Category Archives: Fashion

finding personal style

Finding My Personal Style | BEDA Day 28

When I started this project, I made a list of topics I could touch upon over my 30 days of posts. One of those topics was “forming my aesthetic.”

Past Charlotte, what does that even mean? How does one fit such a whopper of a topic into one 500-word post? And which aesthetic are we talking about? Fashion? Literary? Home decor? Tumblr? Every time I return to the list, I’m not quite sure where to start with it. So I guess we’ll just go with some free thoughts on finding my personal style.

My style was pretty much the same throughout middle and high school. I was a standard t-shirt and jeans girl, particularly if those t-shirts were of the graphic variety. I’d mix it up occasionally with “punk” elements like Chuck Taylors or a studded belt (woof), but the general vibe was pretty casual. As time went on I softened up my look a bit, embracing cardigans and empire-waist tank tops with a dress or two to mix things up. My shops of choice at the time were Delia’s (RIP), American Eagle, and The Gap.

I was more willing to experiment in college, but tended to revert back to my denim comfort zone. If it took more than five minutes to get dressed, I wasn’t having it. Dresses and skirts made more of an appearance in my wardrobe, as I was more willing to embrace my femininity. Once I started to move out of the juniors department and into the world of Big Girl Clothes, though, I realized I was in a whole different category of customer, one that didn’t cater to my age group. I wanted to try crop tops and rompers, but the options in Forever 21 looked silly on me. Gaining the Freshman 15 kind of wrecked my self-esteem for a bit, making shopping even more difficult.

Something changed when I went to London, though. I stepped into a Topshop in Kensington and found that their petite section had a lot more than frumpy pantsuits. Finally, I could try out the styles I’d seen in magazines and style blogs. I’ll be honest, most of them still looked kind of silly, but just seeing that I could actually wear trendy pieces opened my mind up to new options. I started to wear brighter colors and pieces that didn’t always work, but made me feel good in the moment. For a second, I finally felt like one of the cool girls.

I now face a new dilemma as a post-grad working full-time in New York City. I can shop for work clothes without a problem and find outfits that look professional and comfortable at the same time. But part of me still wants to be “trendy” during my limited time off. I have very few “going out” outfits as I can’t find any that suit me (and I rarely “go out” as it is). I’m also just generally dissatisfied with the options available to me. The recent fare available in stores like Topshop and Zara kind of look like costumes you would find in a sci-fi movie. Culottes? Really, y’all?

I guess the key is to keep trying things on until something feels right. Or just keep perusing fashion blogs until I find a look to emulate. For now I’ll stick to my new uniform: LOFT blouses and black jeans.

Image via Enis Lebelici

On Being “Petite” | BEDA Day 23

I am what the fashion industry classifies as “petite.” I am 5’1” (on a good day), have small proportions, and can still fit into kids shoes. Almost everything I buy has to be from a petite section or tailored until I can actually wear it without looking ridiculous. I’m privileged in that I can go to a store like H&M and actually find clothes in my size, but they rarely look right on my body.

This all makes shopping extremely difficult. And expensive.

The petite sections of most department stores are pretty terrible. They’re full of bland pantsuits that even Hillary would pass on and basic blouses and pants that are fine, but not particularly trendy or fun. There’s something to be said for sticking with well-made basics that fit, but I want to have the choice to branch out and try new things. I shouldn’t be shut out of having fun with my personal style just because I’m short.

If I decide to venture out of the petite section, I eventually end up paying extra for tailoring. It’s usually worth it, but that’s an extra $20+ I wouldn’t have to pay for a garment were I a few inches taller. I may just be stubborn, but I’m on a budget, yo! I’d like to only pay for my new pair of jeans once.

And what about the ladies who are curvy AND petite? A lot of petite lines seem to cater to tiny, waifish figures (much like the rest of the fashion industry), effectively shutting out anyone who is short and above a size 12. That just doesn’t seem fair.

I like to think things are getting better for us short girls. Trendier brands like LOFT, Anthropologie, Topshop, and more offer pieces in petite sizes, even dedicating (small) sections of their stores to us. There’s even more selection online on sites like ASOS. I’ve also managed to find a few petite fashion bloggers, like Alterations Needed and The View From 5 Ft. 2, to get more style inspiration.

Despite all this, I never feel like I’ll get this whole “shopping” thing right. I have a tendency to walk into a store, try on a bunch of stuff, and leave with nothing. This is great for my wallet, but not great for my closet. The petite struggle is real, y’all. I think I’ll just stick with the juniors section for a few more years. They seem to get me.

Outfit: Spring is for Polka Dots | BEDA Day 18

modcloth outfit-2

Dress: Modcloth* | Belt: Modcloth (old) | Jacket: LOFT | Shoes: Aerosoles*

Folks, spring is here at last. I’ve worn dresses without tights for the last two days and I haven’t frozen to death. This is a true accomplishment. I’m really enjoying this brief moment of actually being comfortable outside. I have just a few weeks before I start sweating for 4 months, and I plan on taking full advantage of them.

These shots were taken on the balcony of the AirBnB I stayed in this weekend in Washington, DC. I love a good balcony, I love some exposed brick, and I LOVE this outfit. This dress is super fun and comfy and I plan on wearing it all the time this summer. This jacket is also a wonderful replacement for my beloved Topshop denim jacket that recently sprouted a hole in the elbow. We’re going to be inseparable until it gets too hot to warrant a jacket again.

modcloth outfit

This dress is one of my favorite new finds from Modcloth. If you haven’t shopped Modcloth’s huge array of vintage-inspired threads yet, you can now get 20% off your first order of $100. Not a bad deal if you ask me. Check out their amazing selection of spring styles here*.

12524395_10206141144795939_2976775369057621860_n

6 Things I Did This Weekend Instead of Interacting With Humans | BEDA Day 4

I really haven’t had a weekend at home, without any plans, in a while. The prospect of an open weekend is always both exciting and a bit scary for me as someone smack-dab in the middle of the introvert/extrovert spectrum. I finally have time to check off all the items on my (very extensive) to-do list, yet I feel a twinge of FOMO and the pressure to see people. This weekend I spent 48 hours taking care of my home and myself, with like two social interactions in between. Here’s how I spent my hermit weekend.

  1. Deep cleaned my apartment. After weeks of traveling back and forth to Philly, a little spring cleaning was absolutely necessary. I’m a generally disorganized person, but clearing out the crap makes it so much easier to think and create and just live. Also, I cleaned my sheets which made it much more difficult to get out of bed this morning.
  2. Got a facial. I haven’t gotten a facial in…a while, which was pretty apparent when I met with my skin therapist at HeyDay. Needless to say, I needed some work. My clogged pores aside, they did a great job and I would totally go back. Everyone needs a little pampering once in a while.
  3. Bought an overall dress. Sometimes you see an overall dress on Topshop’s website in a petite size and you just have to go for it. I’m 75% sure this is getting returned, but for now I’m looking forward to cosplaying an extra on Clarissa Explains It All.
  4. Tried and failed to resell old clothes. You know that episode of Broad City where Abby attempts to sell a bunch of clothes at Beacon’s Closet and the pretentious sales lady only takes one bag? That happened to me this weekend (albeit not at Beacon’s Closet). It’s not like my clothes were in bad shape, they just didn’t quite meet the style requirements of that particular shop. My 11:30am walk of shame out of there was pretty embarrassing.
  5. Made coq au vin. Not trying to brag, but I’m turning into a pretty amazing cook. With the ample time available to me on this free weekend, I decided to attempt The Financial Diet’s crock-pot coq au vin recipe and it was delicious. I’m not sure if I got the whole wine reduction thing right, but the whole thing still tasted pretty great. 10/10, would recommend.
  6. Saw Zootopia. Holy crap, you guys. Have you seen this movie?! Come for the adorable animals, stay for the commentary on institutionalized racism. And Shakira as a gazelle. I may have cried a little.

Overall, it was a pretty solid weekend, but I think I’m ready to return to the land of the living again. How were your weekends, friends?

cactus

Halloween in the Desert

Okay, so Brooklyn isn’t exactly Arizona. Bear with me here, coming up with witty titles is difficult sometimes.

As usual, I spent a fair amount of time scouring the internet for Halloween costume ideas. I cycled through all my favorite film and TV characters, trying to find one with a look that I could borrow for the night. After several hours of clicking, I came across this post from Studio DIY and knew I had to try it.

This costume turned out to be cute, easy to make, and pretty darn inexpensive. I already had a bunch of yarn leftover from some abandoned knitting projects, as well as a flower crown I made at the BUST Craftacular back in April. All I had to buy was the dress ($14.95) and a hot glue gun ($8.25 for a mini glue gun kit complete with glue sticks). Putting everything together took about an hour and a half total. Of course I waited until the afternoon of Halloween to actually fire up the glue gun. I am truly the queen of procrastination.

I was a little worried that people wouldn’t quite get my costume, but once I struck a pose, everyone was on board. Overall I had a lovely weekend galavanting around the city with my friends, and I looked pretty good doing it.

I want to see your costumes, y’all! Share your Halloween looks in the comments and let me know how you spent the 31st! I hope your weekend was extra spoopy.

#TBT | Great Costumes of Halloweens Past

For some reason, I’ve always been inherently against buying my Halloween costume out of a bag. Don’t get me wrong – I love going to the Halloween store for inspiration. I just can’t seem to justify spending $60+ on a slutty witch costume that will probably have to be altered (petite sizes don’t exist at Halloween Adventure) and will ultimately wind up in the trash. I’d much rather tailor my costume to my own taste. I have my mom to thank for this attitude.

My mom made all my Halloween costumes up until about second grade. Of course I wanted to be a princess/queen/some member of the royal family every year, and mom used her amazing sewing skills to put these dresses together. My favorite was a shiny black renaissance-style dress I wore for Halloween in Kindergarten. The dress made a comeback at some Alice in Wonderland-themed school event when my mom added some strategic red felt to make me the Queen of Hearts. I really don’t give her enough credit for those dresses. 

Someday I’ll actually learn how to sew. For now, I can just arrange clothes into some semblance of a costume. Here are some of my Halloween costume highlights of the last few years.

Jazzercise Instructor (2007)

jazzercise

I may have retired from competitive swimming two years earlier, but I broke out one of my old practice suits for this costume my sophomore year of high school. I’m pretty sure this was entirely a “shop your closet” look – old swimsuit, old ballet tights and leg warmers, old sweatshirt cut into a crewneck. It was probably also one of my warmer Halloween looks. Work those layers, kids.

“Wonder Woman” (2009)

wonder woman

 

This was part of my first (and only) ever group costume my senior year of high school. My school held a costume parade every year specifically for the seniors, and group costumes were more or less required. My friends and I were “generic American Apparel superheroes,” but clearly I modeled my costume off of Wonder Woman. I mean, look at those hotpants. I spent way too much money on this costume.

Flo from Progressive (2010)

Progressive

 

I used my newly-short hair as a jumping off point for my first Halloween costume of college. Pro-tip, Amazon has a plethora of Progressive aprons. With the awkward white pants and polo shirt, this definitely made me the least sexy attendee of the crappy Halloween frat party I attended. At least I was warm.

Original Mouseketeer (2013)

1382005_10200926319828574_931242195_n

What do you do with a pair of personalized mouse ears and a 50s haircut? Join the Mouseketeers, of course! The real tragedy of this costume is that no one really saw it. As I was in the midst of a show, I didn’t really get to go hard that Halloween. However, I insisted on wearing my costume to class all day. Because I could.

Velma Dinkley (2014)

velma

Photo Credit: Amanda McLoughlin

I went with another hair-friendly costume for my first Halloween in New York. Since I didn’t have any concrete plans leading up to the 31st, I didn’t want to spend too much energy on a costume. Still, I scoured Amazon/Ebay for the perfect sweater, glasses, and socks and came up with this. And people actually recognized me! Jinkies!

This year I’m getting a little crafty with my costume. No spoilers here, but it does involve a flower crown. Tune in this weekend to see the full look.

Of course, I want to hear about your favorite costumes of Halloweens past. Share your memories in the comments!

The “Me Time” Tag

What do you do to get out of a video-making rut? Film a tag video, of course! I do love a good tag video. They give me structure when I’m at a loss for ideas and want to make a more conversational video. Plus, I just like to see how everyone responds to the questions. It’s like hanging out with your girlfriends (who don’t always necessarily know who you are) (is that weird?).

Anyway, check out the video above to see how I spend my “Me Time.” I woke up early yesterday to record this, so the fact that it exists on the internet is kind of a miracle. I’ve realized that I’m somehow more productive in the morning, so maybe this whole “waking up early” thing will become a regular part of my routine. Not holding my breath, though.

Products/Videos Mentioned:

*Affiliate link.

Sunday Style | A Tale of Two Cities

full body 1

Shirt: American Eagle | Shorts: American Eagle | Hat: New Era (similar)

Oh, Sunday. A day for hanging with friends, doing a bunch of laundry, and just generally resetting in advance of the week ahead. I like to keep it super simple on the weekends. T-shirts, jeans, and sundresses are usually my go-to. Today, I decided to use my outfit to honor my dual citizenship.

full body 2

This sounds like the most touristy thing I’ve ever done, but as soon as I found this shirt in American Eagle I knew it needed to come home with me. I like anything vaguely resembling a map, particularly those for public transit. I’m particularly obsessed with the MTA’s general design, no matter how much I complain about their actual service.

headshot

Brows: NYX | Eyeliner: NYX | Mascara: NYX | Blush: Physicians Formula | Lips: Urban Decay

I kept my makeup pretty simple since my day mostly consists of errands and brunch. I recently discovered the NYX Felt Tip Liner and I’m liking it so far. The brush is a little stiff, but it’s a good alternative to my beloved Soap & Glory Supercat liner, which is sadly not available in the US. I also dug out a sample of the Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in F-Bomb to get some red lip action going on. No work means no makeup rules, y’all.

hat shot

Of course I’m still a Philly girl at heart, so I’m getting some shade with this vintage Phillies snapback I got at Citizens Bank Park last season. They may be struggling right now, but the Phils will always be my faves.

What’s your go-to weekend look? Let me know in the comments! And of course, if you want to keep up with all my nonsense, follow my blog with Bloglovin!

leather-jacket

The One About the Jacket

My leather jacket is filthy. I’m pretty sure it’s never been cleaned in the year I’ve had it. Frankly, I’m not even sure how to clean it. I don’t even know if it’s real leather (I know it’s not, but part of me wants to keep the dream alive).

I found it at a Bloomingdales outlet in Miami’s infamous Dolphin Mall (is it infamous? IT IS TO ME.) I saw it as an inferior replacement to my Topshop jacket, which I foolishly left behind on a plane coming back from Los Angeles the summer before. The cut wasn’t quite as trendy, the sleeves were too long, and it kind of felt like plastic. But every good city girl needs a cool leather jacket, so it made the trek back to Philly with me.

Of course I needed to get the sleeves hemmed in order to not look like a tall baby in it. I took the jacket to my usual tailor. She was out, but her partner promptly remedied the issue. Sure, one sleeve was a little longer than the other. Nobody’s perfect. You can really only notice it when you squint. Right, guys? RIGHT?

I wore that jacket everywhere that spring before it got too hot. It kept me warm through debauched college parties, study sessions, play rehearsals, concerts, the whole nine yards. I pulled it out once again this fall when I moved to New York. Maybe it’s not the most on-trend, but it makes me feel like I actually belong here. It’s the finishing touch on any hard-femme look I try to pull off. It’s even pretty work-appropriate (for my office, at least). It makes me feel like one of the Cool Girls, even if I am such a dork that I dedicated an entire blog post to a dirty “leather” jacket.

———————————————————————————————-

Did this sound weird? Probably. In an attempt to kick my creative ass back into shape, I’m doing BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo challenge (yes, I’m aware that I’m starting late, why would this project be different from anything else I’ve done). Check out this month’s prompts here! And if you want to keep up with this nonsense, follow me on Bloglovin.