Outfit of the Day

July 22, 2011

Today I felt good enough to get dressed up, and then good enough to make awkward faces at the camera!

polka dot dress

Dress: Super Low Fat*
Sweater: Frenchi
Tights: Hue
Shoes: What’s What

For make-up, I just did black eyeliner and black mascara, nothing fancy. That said, if you look close, you can see the nail polish that I will review next!

*I got this dress used, and it looks like it used to have a petticoat or tulle attached to the lining. Personally, I don’t mind not having the extra volume (although I wouldn’t mind having it, either) – I just like this dress!

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Nicole, 21, soon to be a college graduate in northern Washington.

Neat, sweet, petite.

(Or, well, sweet and petite. Perhaps not so neat!)

Let’s be honest: I am extremely lazy when it comes to fashion. Things that guide me in making clothing purchases:

→ Is it classic enough and sturdy enough to be work for several years?

→ Does it match clothing that I already own? Is it layerable?

→ Is it fitted? (I’m super skinny, and, well. I enjoy flaunting what few curves I have. There is no shame in that.)

→ Is it comfortable?

→ Is it washer and dryer friendly? (If not, is it so wonderful that it’s worth the effort?)

I wear my clothing until it dies. I am sure that the people in my classes appreciate this – I have a tendency to wear the same clothing almost every week. (Clean, of course.)

As long as I can get myself out of the door in the morning showered and dressed, that is pretty good! No make-up, no fancy hair, etc etc.

Things were not always like this. I remain quite enamored with my collection of eyeliners (almost all pencil, all different colors) and my super black, rather slutty mascara. For a girl who does not wear eyeshadow or lipstick, I have a large selection of colors to choose from!

But somewhere in the past few years, I fell off of the bandwagon. I also used to take a picture of myself every day. I fell off of that bandwagon, too. And the photography bandwagon in general. You can see where this is going!

To get me back on the bandwagon, I am going to need quite the push. Hopefully, this blog will help to provide that. (Hopefully, so will a change of activity and scenery after graduation.)

Things that I am loving now:

Nail polish. For a long time, I was too finicky and depressed to be able to deal with it. It was never good enough. But now? Now, bring on the colors! This week, I am wearing ALL FOUR COLORS in the OPI Pirates of the Caribbean sampler set. (There are pictures. They will be up this weekend – I left my camera at home this week. See what I mean?) Next week, I will be wearing something completely different.

Boots. Love me some boots. It’s all black leather, all the time around here. I did acquire some adorable flats and sandals a few weeks ago but, alas, I live in Washington.

Knee Socks. I no longer see any reason to have short socks. Knee socks can do everything that short socks can do, and more. I particularly enjoy wearing them with my higher boots, but I really don’t need an excuse.

So… Yes. S. Ansley and I have known each other for a very long time. One Easter – take this for fashion sense! – we dressed up as, respectively, a Jedi and a Klingon and duked it out in the garage at my parents house.

While we may not do it again, it really does give a sense of the similarities and differences between us!

(Also: I am the maker of the Welcome Bunny. He is only one of several that I have turned out… They are kind of addictive.)

Gratuitous Intro Post

May 19, 2011

Now listening to: Lady Gaga on vinyl (Like any hipster asshole, I maintain all things sound better on vinyl)

Hello, future readers!

Jumping right into the nitty gritty, this is my life (or the parts of it important to this blog):

I’m 22, I live in beautiful, amazing, wacky, weird, Portland, Oregon. I have resided in the Northwest my entire life and while I used to seek the glitz and high fashion of Los Angeles and New York, I have grown to love the laid back, creative vibe of this unique corner of the US. With a background in Fine Art, though my area of study is Political Science, I like to think that my knowledge of color and texture lends itself to my style

To be honest, only in the past three years have I really taken an interest in developing my own style and having a sense of pride in what I look like. For most of my Freshman year of college, I didn’t own a hair straightener which is a problem if you have a thick, unruly, wavy, but not quite curly, mane of hair like I do. Worse, I’d roll out of bed and rock pajama bottoms in class. I wore bell bottom jeans like I was still 13 years old. I guess I’m just glad I didn’t have middle-parted hair. Point of this is: I was kind of a wreck. Legitimately so-my mother couldn’t care less about make-up or clothing and my friends were only marginally ahead of me when it came to dressing and grooming themselves. If you couldn’t already tell, I was one of those kids who was mocked relentlessly in middle school (note: I lived in a very small farming town in middle school-the name of said town rhymes with Drunk’n’Shitty, in case you were curious-where it was weird to be a democrat or a vegetarian, this behavior is not characteristic of the NW as a whole).

In the middle of my first year at the University of Oregon, I joined a sorority. Now, please do not stop reading here because you think this blog is written by some sorority girl. I was only in the house for a year-ish, I left of my own accord. Everyone has this perception of sorority girls as shallow bitches. It’s not true; at least not at the house I was in, but, not unsurprisingly, the environment in the house leant itself to improved grooming habits. It was unbelievably fun to sit in the communal bathroom with 15 of your best friends and have someone curl/straighten/crimp/braid your hair and do your make-up. The beauty tips and tricks you can pick up in a sorority bathroom are unbelievable. I’d never even heard of a triple barrel iron before I joined the house and now that puppy is my go-to if I want to do something a little different. I bought a Chi brand flat iron and it is one of my prized possessions. I have had it for going on four years and it still works as well as the day I bought it. 150$ well spent, I must say. By the end of my freshman year, I had learned that looking good means feeling good or, at the very least, feeling better, beauty doesn’t have to be a chore, and that you should do and wear what makes you feel the best. With regards to the latter, I left the sorority at the end of my Sophomore year because of some misplaced blame, but, in case you were wondering, no one asked me to lose weight or wear designer jeans. There were no weird rituals, just 60 girls having fun. Moving on…

After Freshman year, I had the beauty basics down, but I was still a little self-conscious. At least I wore regular pants to class? I tried to shop at Banana Republic (where, ironically, I now work), but the clothes wore me. I was still a little girl. For the second year of my post high school adventure, I pretty much laid low. Nothing too remarkable here.

Junior year, after I’d left the sorority and spent an amazing summer living in an overcrowded house with four of my dearest chums, I realized that if there was anytime to be experimental with appearance, it was college. I love color, so I vowed only to not look like Rainbow Brite in my fashion decisions. At a friend’s birthday, I wore a tutu over some leggings just because I wanted to. I have long legs (I’m 5’9”) and I wore dresses that were maybe a little too short for said legs because…well, I’m young and attractive now and…why not? I’m a “Senior,” now-I’ll be taking an extra couple terms at Portland State and I’m trying to dress “like an adult,” but I still inject color and creative details at any given opportunity and perhaps show a little skin more than my mother would deem appropriate. Example, last Saturday I wore a top by “Kitsche” which is made entirely of a muted pearly purple lace. For work, I would have put a tank top under it, but because one of my past lovers was in town, I decided to wear said top sans undershirt. I put a white cardigan over it and belted the whole deal with a braided brown faux leather belt. You really had to look to tell I wasn’t wearing anything but a bra under it, but it made me feel sexy. End random tangent.

To summarize, I’ll characterize my personal style as mult-faceted. For work, I have to be fairly careful about wearing tight or revealing items. I wear a lot of cardigans with infinity scarves and classy flats. To spice it up, I have a lot of “statement” necklaces with a lot of flavor of their own. I paint my nails crazy colors because I like them and Banana, for whatever reason, doesn’t have a policy about that, and I sneak in my purple or blue eyeliners almost everyday. I’m also the only person on staff who firmly believes that, depending on the circumstances leggings are pants so I like to think that I’m bringing some youthfulness to an otherwise middle-aged store. Ha. Don’t tell my boss. Outside of work, I’m all about the peep-toe because I love to show off my brightly colored pedicures. I’m kind of a hipster, I think we all might be, living in Portland. I wear my Ray-Bans Way Farers as long as it’s daylight and Keds and Tom’s are my footwear staples. I incorporate as much American Apparel into my life as possible because it’s usually a solid color and it’s cotton and comfortable. Everyone looks good in an AA v-neck t-shirt (lengthens your neck, yo!). Their sexy, slimy advertising campaign clearly works on me. I love my Rock’n’Republic jeans because they are the only brand thus far that is small enough in the waist and still long enough in the leg.

FINALLY, here are my top current inspirations so you may be able to better visualize where this blog is going to go when I write for it…

  1. Disney Characters. No, I do not dress up in costume or actually wear ballgowns. I like to pick a color palette from a character like, say, Alice from “Alice in Wonderland” and dress accordingly. For Alice, I might wear black patent flats, black cigarette pants, a white blouse with some wonderful feminine details under a blue cardigan, a black headband, and finish with some bold jewelry.
  2. Birds. I LOVE FEATHERS. Feather headbands, feather earrings, feather hair extensions. Feathersfeathersfeathers…Peacocks have the most brilliant plumage and if I’m dressed a little plainly for the evening, sometimes I like to mimic Peacock feathers in my eye make-up. The other day I saw a little finch with a bright orange body, yellow chest, and black wings with white stripes. I wanted to be that bird, but I painted my toenails orange instead and I’m still on the market for a yellow polish.
  3. Pop Music/Music Videos. I will be wearing “daisy dukes, bikinis on top” this summer, thank you very much. I think we all like to imagine that we are the subject of whatever song we’re listening to so, if there’s a phrase which describes appearance…there’s a good possibility I will at one point dress as such in order to enjoy the song more the next time I hear it. I also want to be every character Taylor Swift plays in every music video ever. Not because she is a brilliant musician, but because she gets to dress like a princess and has great hair. Also, did anyone notice the rise in popularity in leather jackets with hardware after Michael Jackson’s death?? Music, people!
  4. Old Movies. Everyone loves Audrey, so I’ll just shut up about that. Old movies remind us of the simple elegance of pearls and that some body types can wear pants with a high-rise and not look like your mom. Cat-eye make-up, vintage sunglasses, Mia Farrow page-boy hair, scarves flowing in the breeze…old movies are a treasure trove of inspiration. What can I say? I want to be an icon, if only in my own mind.
  5. Utility. Yeah, this is boring, but I’mma be honest-it gets fuckin’ cold here. And it rains…a lot. And I have a dog who requires I schlep around a lot of items so she can be happy on a walk. So I pick out a big purse, a cute purse, but one large enough to hold the book I will read on the way to work, Molly’s ball, water bowl, and poo pick-up back as well as my wallet, keys, lipgloss, powder, etcetera. You don’t want to be that asshole dropping all your shit because your bag wasn’t big enough and you had to hold it. Similarly, if it rains, I’m probably going to use an umbrella or wear a raincoat when what I really want is one of those dorky fisherman’s rain hats…I promise I will never write another post this long. Also, the gal I co-blog with and I have known each other since birth. We are weirdies. Ta ta for now.

Welcome Bunny

May 19, 2011

This is all rather confusing. How about a Welcome Bunny while we work on sorting things out?

2010_0330knittingetc0049-1

Disclaimer: The pattern for this bunny does not belong to Color Forward! It can be found here.