Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Goodwill and green

dress: vintage (via Bluesville USA) | top, belt, shoes: thrifted | lady tie: Flapper Girl | glasses: c/o Firmoo

More and more, I'm learning that when I'm feeling stagnant with my wardrobe, Goodwill is the place to go. Case in point: this dress. I bought it on Etsy months ago, and I absolutely love it - gorgeous color, wonderful texture, insanely comfortable. The problem? It's a little bit low-cut for me, and didn't feel quite appropriate for work...which I have to go to 5 days a week. So for most of the fall and winter, it hung sadly on a hanger, unworn. I don't know what exactly spurred me to try it with this top I thrifted last year, but I'm so glad I did! I felt amazing in this outfit, both because I loved how it looked and because it allowed me to give this wonderful dress a spin. It inspired me to hit up Goodwill again that evening, and I walked away with a bunch of new tops and a skirt - all for less than $4 each. Can't beat that! 

This post is basically a reminder to myself: if you're bored with your clothes and short on cash, Goodwill is the way to go. It's not exactly a brilliant new idea, but sometimes I forget what a treasure trove thrift stores can be.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

If not now, when?

sweater: thrifted (via Fawn on a Lawn) | shorts: Forever 21 | belt: thrifted | tights: gift | shoes: Target

Maybe it's the fact that we are finally experiencing some approximation of spring weather in Michigan, or maybe it's just that my new apartment and new job have me in the mood to take on new challenges...but whatever the reason, I'm finally taking steps to accomplish something I've always wanted to try: selling art prints.

Ever since I began taking over graphic design duties at my old job, I've had this lingering feeling of being an impostor. After all, I'm not a trained designer. I didn't go to school for it, and the last graphic design class I had was back in tenth grade. In some sense, I was worried that I would be "found out." It's a ridiculous (but common) feeling. I didn't realize how ridiculous it was, though, until I had a  lightbulb moment when listening to Austin Kleon's phenomenal talk "Steal Like an Artist":
There’s this very real thing that runs rampant in educated people. It’s called imposter syndrome. The clinical definition is a “psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments.” It means that you feel like a phony, like you’re just winging it, that you really don’t have any idea what you’re doing. Guess what? None of us do.

So I'm done feeling like an impostor - I can hardly imagine a more self-defeating endeavor than that! I expect I'm going to be humbled, and I expect I'm going to learn a lot. But I could hardly be more excited. I posted my first piece on a few sites last night (a Doctor Who fan piece - what else?) and got a great response. I'm going to give this all I've got, and I can't wait to share with you.

On a side note: it's awesome to be posting outfits again! My all-yellow outfit from a couple weeks ago was intended to be a bit of an April Fool's post (yellow is my favorite color, and it's by far the most-represented color in my wardrobe) but I'm glad you all liked it - I had fun with it!

Also - there are just a few days left to vote for me in Fleet Collection's April contest! If you haven't already voted for my picture, I would really appreciate it if you could take a moment to do so. Thanks!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Found by Fleet + 15% off your April Fleet Collection purchase!

Remember a couple months ago when I expressed my love for all things Fleet Collection? Just in case you need a reminder: they're a small (but quickly growing) brand that carries affordable classic clothing and jewelry, and all of their original designs are made in the USA. Pretty great, right? Well, they were kind enough to invite me to take part in their April "Found by Fleet" campaign. Three ladies are chosen each month, and the one whose photo gets the most likes on Fleet's Facebook page will win some fun prizes.

So, I'd be absolutely thrilled if you could take a moment and head over to, find the above photo, and "like" it (or you can use this direct link to get right to my entry).

But that's not all - they've provided me with a coupon code to pass on to all of you, and it's good for 15% off your Fleet Collection purchase for the month of April: FLEETTJF15

I'm sure many of you have recently gotten your tax return, so why not use it to support a small business and invest in beautiful pieces such as these:

(This is the one I'm thinking of using as my bridesmaid dress in my sister's wedding this upcoming autumn!)

Thank you so much for your support, everyone!

FLEETTJF15 code: Good for 15% off purchase. One use per customer. Expires at the end of April.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Monochrome & complements

dress: vintage | cardigan & belt: thrifted | shoes: Francesca's Collections

This outfit was borne out of one of those lovely moments when you see two pieces hanging next to each other in your closet and wonder, "why have I never worn these together before?" Maybe it's because I thought on some level that they would be too matchy-matchy, or maybe the combination honestly never crossed my mind...but either way, I love them together. And anyway, any over-matchiness (wow, can you tell I studied creative writing?) is offset by the complementary orange-brown of the shoes, belt, and even my hair. It's a new favorite outfit, and one that I'm sure I'll be returning to often.

Oddly, though this outfit came together almost without thinking about it, I've been having much more trouble with colors in my design work. Any kind of creative block is beyond frustrating, whether it be writing, art, or I'm hoping I snap out of it soon. I've got a steady stream of inspiration going, but it's possible that that's paralyzing me even further, you know? Regardless, I think I'm going to try to spend some time outside this weekend. Spend too much time inside at a desk, and you're going to need to get your batteries recharged sooner or later.

On another note, the sun has me feeling optimistic, so I'm labeling this post "spring." Let's hope it sticks around!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

More thoughts on fast fashion

It's been over six months now since I started my self-imposed six-month ban on my "fast fashion" vices, Charlotte Russe and Forever 21. I can honestly say that in that time, I have not been tempted to buy anything from those stores. I walked into a Forever 21 after six months on a whim, and truth be told, it felt completely overwhelming. So I think it's safe to say that I probably won't be going back much, if at all.

However, one thing that I didn't accomplish during my ban was actually looking up information on fast fashion. I intended to, but I never did. What good is a ban if you can't actually articulate why you're doing it, if anyone should ask? 

A few weeks ago, however, I was contacted by someone (thanks, Amy!) who had helped make a short 2-minute video on the business of fast fashion. She had seen my blog post and thought I might be interested. Well, she was right! There's only so much they can cover in two minutes, but for being so short, the video packs in a lot of information - and it helped me to understand the reasons why it's best to cut back on mass-produced clothing.

Whether you're a Forever 21 junkie or a Goodwill devotee, I encourage you to give this video a watch - not to condemn your choices, by any means, but rather to inform them. Let me know what you think!

Monday, April 1, 2013

A study in contrasts

dress: vintage | cardigan: H&M | shoes, belt, and coat: Forever 21 | tights: Target

Hello again! It's only been a week, but I've already missed keeping this blog up to date. I still don't have internet at my place, so this is just a quick post because I just had to get one in today.

Today I decided to put together an outfit using one of the most under-represented colors in my closet: yellow, of course. I normally don't like bright colors, yellow especially - but I thought I'd try something new and different. My favorite thing about this outfit, though, is the contrasts. It's so important to have contrasting colors; otherwise, you either look bland or like you're in some kind of costume. I like how the different yellows subtly contrast each other, particularly the shoes and the tights.