Sunday, January 29, 2012

Valentine's Day spotlight

I am not a pink person - really, I'm not. I don't own any pink dresses except for what's in my shop, and when it comes to Valentine's Day colors, normally, I would pick red over pink any day. But as my quest for the perfect red velvet dress continues, I've really grown fond of some of the pink dresses in my shop - and I'll be sad to see them go. They just don't fit me, sadly.

Posting may be a little bit sparse this week - my computer cord is dying a slow death, and as a result, I can't really be on my computer for more than around 20 minutes at a time. Makes writing and editing photos awfully difficult! I'm hoping to get a new computer sometime this week, so hopefully that will get resolved soon. I'll miss this computer, though. It's green - and in case you couldn't tell from my last post, I'm a bit enamored with that color...

Anyway, there's a lot of posting I want to do. I'm planning some things that I'm quite excited about. (I hope you like food & fashion!) I also impulse-bought the most darling white 1950's dress over the weekend (at the cutest little vintage shop, I think I wrote about it before). I think it will help me overcome my fear of neutrals. Good things are happening in Joyful-Fox-land! What good things are happening in your life right now?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ce n'est pas facile d'ĂȘtre vert

dress/matryoshka ring: ModCloth | cardigan: H&M | oxfords: Charlotte Russe | green ring: borrowed from my sister

Green has always been one of my favorite colors, and I suppose it's been having sort of a "moment" in my closet lately. Last time I went thrifting, I picked up 2 green sweaters; I got a vintage green cardigan for Christmas; and I can think of at least 3 green dresses I've bought in the last couple of months. So when I noticed that my outfit had a bit of a green theme going on - what with my green dress, green ring, green book (and green eyes, but I suppose I don't have much control over that!) - I decided to just embrace it and take photos by the green door. I'm a little early for St. Patrick's Day, perhaps, but I'll just look at it as practice!

Green just seems to be one of those colors that keeps recurring in my life. It's my oldest brother's favorite color, too. I remember that when we were growing up, he would only write in green pen. Never blue or black, ever. I can recall one particularly humorous conversation when my dad needed him to sign some official papers for the adoption of my sisters, and since they were official, it needed to be in blue or black. It took some convincing, but he finally signed...we always give him a hard time about that! All for the love of green...

(This picture isn't necessarily my favorite, but I enjoy that it (quite misleadingly) makes me look very tall. I'm 5'2", for the record.)

Have any of you read this book? It's really fantastic. It's all at once sad and funny and gross and enlightening and just overall really well written. I have such a writing crush on Jonathan Safran Foer anyway, so to have him write about food - well, it's a match made in heaven for me! I still haven't read his latest, though...

I must say, I  had a fantastic college experience, but one thing I do enjoy about being graduated is that I now have time to read for pleasure!

And now it's back to my reading! What are you reading now?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Style inspiration: Rooney Mara

In the interest of full disclosure, I suppose I should admit that as of right now, I have no plans to see The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I have nothing against it - I just don't know anything about it, really. But despite my lack of knowledge, I have to say, I am developing quite the style crush on its star, Rooney Mara. Her hair is making me want to do things to my hair that it could not do. (I don't have the face for short, blunt bangs, no matter how tempted I get every time I see her picture.) She slips so effortlessly between, as Tom and Lorenzo so delightfully put it, "Audreybot" and "Blade Runner extra."

Well, as much as I love Blade Runner, I'm not sure I could pull off that style. I do, however, love Audrey Hepburn - who doesn't? - and I love, love Rooney's take on Audrey-inspired looks. I gasped aloud when I saw red carpet photos of her in this red lacy Valentino, and I was seized with a sudden desire to dye my hair black again and chop off my bangs. (Not happening.)

As should surprise absolutely no one, I could never afford such a gown in a million years, and I prefer vintage anyway. So here are some dresses from Etsy that evoke the vintage glamour of Rooney's Valentino - sans the exorbitant price tag.

Which one is your favorite? As I'm on a bit of a red kick at the moment, I'm not sure I can pick just one...but I'm especially partial to numbers 1, 2, and 5. Happy window shopping!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Opposite day

dress/boots: ModCloth | scarf: Charlotte Russe | belt: thrifted | cardigan: Target

It sounds silly now to think about it, but before I started reading personal style blogs, I had never thought of the concept of "remixing" an item of clothing. Summer dresses are for summer, winter dresses are for winter; a shirt is a shirt, a dress is a dress, and never the two shall meet. That's what I thought, anyway.

But once I started buying clothing that I actually liked - clothing that actually excited me and expressed something about my personality - I discovered that I didn't want to let certain items of clothing languish unworn in my closet for six months out of the year. That discovery has led to a lot of sartorial experimentation, and my bank account is grateful for that. With a little experimentation, just a few items of clothing can be stretched into an entire wardrobe.

This particular dress has seen me through numerous situations and seasons. On one hand, the fabric is very light - almost like a swimsuit cover-up. The day these photos were taken, on a photo adventure with Shelby (flickr/tumblr) nearly a year and a half ago, it had to have been nearly 90 degrees and humid, and we each scored nearly 50 mosquito bites apiece.

 dress: ModCloth | belt: vintage | oxfords: thrifted

But while the fabric is airy, it is also perfect for layering. Case in point: since I had never visited the lake during the winter, on a very cold day last year, Chris and I visited Rosy Mound. Rosy Mound is a park on Lake Michigan with a long winding trail that leads to a beach on Lake Michigan. We bundled ourselves up and hiked the trail, which was completely buried in over a foot of snow. Stairs were treacherous and nearly impossible...until I realized that the thick snow meant that I could use them as a slide!

No photos of that part of our little adventure, unfortunately, but we did snap some other photos to give you an idea of both the versatility of this dress, and the still, tranquil atmosphere of a massive lake in wintertime. If you ever get a chance to visit a beach in winter, go for it - it's like nothing you've ever seen.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mellow yellow

dress: vintage | cardigan: Target | belt, tights: thrifted | boots: gift

If I had to pick my one multipurpose, "default" outfit, this would probably be it. I've had this dress for a couple years now and it's no exaggeration to say that I've worn it pretty much once a week ever since then. In the beginning I didn't wear it as much because the length was a bit awkward for layering, but with the magic of a needle and thread, I transformed it into what has basically become my uniform! It has even gone all the way across the Atlantic Ocean with me. (It doesn't wrinkle. I can't overstate how amazing that is for a lazy iron-er like me.) That's how you know it's extra special.

Not that I ever would do this, but I could literally put together an entire outfit made of this color: a hat, dress, cardigan, belt, tights, shoes - even underwear! Yikes. Ah well...I suppose if I'm ever struggling to put together a Halloween costume, I could always go as mustard...

But enough about my yellow obsession! I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that all of the pieces of this outfit are staples of mine. I think everyone should have a big, comfy grandpa cardigan complete with elbow patches. It keeps me from freezing to death at work (yes, even in an office). The boots were a surprise birthday gift from my sister, who had no idea I had been wanting boots like these. Actually, that happened with most of my gifts this year. I didn't tell anybody what I wanted, but they all knew somehow. I'm a lucky girl indeed.

Do you have a "default" outfit? Does it have a special story behind it? I'm a sucker for stories. Blame my creative writing degree!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The one that got away

For fishermen, it's that elusive catch - the one that will always nag at their mind, the one that got away. For lovers, it's that perfect girl they almost had. That same sting is felt by vintage lovers the world over upon seeing one little 4-letter word: "sold."

In case you couldn't tell, I recently experienced such a feeling. I've been on the search for the perfect vintage red dress - preferably velvet, possibly with some kind of sleeve, nipped-in waist and full skirt, but not so formal that I couldn't use it for everyday wear. It's a lot to ask, of course, but I did find this mythical dream dress on Etsy and naturally I quickly fell absolutely head over heels. It was my measurements exactly and the price was right - it was everything I had hoped and more. However, I did have a question, so on my break at work, I messaged the seller. She got back to me quickly, and (as I had used up my breaks already) I resolved to buy it as soon as I got home.

Alas, fate had other plans. Some lucky girl snatched it up in that hour, and this lovely frock and I are never to meet.

In the wake of this, I have spent an embarrassing amount of time searching for a similar dress. I've found several and filled my Etsy favorite list with dresses that, truthfully, are beautiful. But I can't resist comparing them to the dress: "Oh, it would be perfect if I just shortened the sleeves...or if the waist were lower..." And I'm hesitant to rush into a purchase, especially if I know I'll want to "fix" it. (Isn't it funny how much this sounds like love? As if I'm afraid of a rebound...)

 1 | 2 | 3

I'm sure I'll settle on one eventually...but I think this dress might be the one I remember - the one whose virtues I exaggerate - the one I brag about, like an old, grizzled fisherman or an unrequited lover.

Have you had a similar experience? What was your "one that got away," and what did you do?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Shop update!


Hello all! I've just added some new things to the shop and I'd be much obliged if you'd stop on over and see if anything strikes your fancy.

I hope you're having a great weekend!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

They say it's your birthday...

dress & boots: ModCloth | cardigan & scarf: Charlotte Russe | tights & belt: thrifted | 

Every year on my birthday I feel absolutely obliged to wear as many bright colors as possible. Granted, I have an obsession with bright, saturated colors anyway...but it's almost as if on my birthday I have to take it to the next level. I literally can't imagine wearing a neutral-colored outfit to blow out the candles. I love color. So sue me!

Anyway, yesterday I turned 23 and my brother turned 30. (Yes, I was born on his 7th birthday...that's quite the story, believe me.) I wasn't sure how the day would go since I didn't do much planning in advance, but it ended up being a lovely day. The weather even cooperated - not a single flake of snow and it was sunny all day. Perfect.

My day started off with breakfast in bed, which is sort of a family tradition. In my family, when it's your birthday, everyone wakes up super early to make you breakfast and blow up the number of balloons that corresponds to your age (until you're 21, at least. Then you're deemed "too old"...which I think is silly!) Then, they all come into your room with the breakfast and they throw balloons at you and turn the light on and take these really horrible sleepy, squinty-eyed photos. I mean, these photos are really horrible - and we've gotten quite the collection over the years. Always good for a laugh.

I was further spoiled by my mom bring me a dozen roses, and Chris bringing me lunch - this gorgeous salad that he made. Too wonderful. We then ventured out to take these photos just outside the door. Did I fool you into thinking that the outside of my work building is scenic?! Well, it's not. It's an industrial complex and it's rather sad looking in the winter. In the summer, though, there are actually fields that have tiny wild strawberries...sigh.

I capped off my day with some delicious Indian food (vegetable korma and naan!) with a few close friends, and catching up with my brother and his wife, who are visiting us for a few days. All in all, a lovely birthday.

Want to know a secret? This dress came in the mail on Saturday and I proceeded to wear it 4 out of the next 5 days. I am not ashamed. The best thing about this dress is that it's so colorful, it quite literally goes with almost every item of clothing I own. Upon buying this dress, I instantly could think of 10 different ways I could wear it. Definitely my new favorite wardrobe staple. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Blueberry pie

dress & oxfords: Charlotte Russe | cardigan: Forever 21 | belt & tights: thrifted

Lately when I choose an outfit, I find myself daydreaming about what sort of food would go with that outfit. I think I'm even starting to do it subconsciously: today I was craving avocado, so I cut one up, only to look down and see that it was the exact same color as my sweater! That's not the only time that's happened, either. I've definitely been known to wear yellow on days I eat curry. I might as well just embrace it and start dressing like my favorite foods on purpose, eh?

This particular outfit combines two of my favorites as of late: blue and brown. There's something so cozy about the combination; it always, every single time, makes me think of blueberry pie. Sadly, there was no blueberry pie to be had on this day, but I feel like perhaps baking inspiration may strike soon...

I kind of can't believe Christmas and New Year's are already over. I'm not sure if it's because of the lack of snow or because I've been working full time for the first time in my life, but something was definitely different about this holiday season. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it, of course! Getting to see family was definitely the highlight for me. I've got a big family and sadly, we weren't able to have absolutely everyone there, but the house was still packed. I wouldn't have it any other way...what was the highlight of the holiday for you?

These precious oxfords are starting to get a little worn down, but you know? I don't mind. Knowing how I am with shoes, I'll definitely wear them into the ground. There's something so nice about a shoe that's been lived in a little, don't you think?

The shoes that Chris is wearing in this picture are actually the reason we met. But I think that's a story for another day...