Tag Archives: topshop

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.

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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?

Sunday Style | Nerdcon: Stories

OOTD

Dress: Modcloth | Jacket: Topshop (similar) | Boots: Steve Madden | Hat: Target

Nerdcon: Stories marks my sixth convention since 2011 and I finally feel like I’m doing something right with my con style. I always want to look ~cool~ and ~hip~ at these gatherings, but comfort ultimately trumps everything. If I can’t walk around a convention center for 10+ hours in a certain outfit, it’s not worth it. The look I sported on day two of Nerdcon: Stories was pretty much perfect for attending all the awesome panels and exploring Minneapolis later in the day.

OOTD 2

This dress is super comfy and stretchy, and I never had to worry about it being too short. Since it was a little cool outside (and in the convention center), I threw on some tights and my trusty Topshop denim jacket for a little extra coverage. My Steve Madden boots aren’t necessarily the most supportive shoes I own, but they helped me power through three days of long skyway walks. Of course, being in Minneapolis, we had to stop at the flagship Target for a bit of cheeky shopping. This floppy hat was probably my best purchase of the trip.

ladies

From left: me, Amanda, Rebecca, Leslie, and Allyson

I had a great time hanging out with all my favorite people this weekend, telling stories and hearing from some amazing creators. I’m now back in New York, feeling super inspired (albeit super tired). Stay tuned for more thoughts on Nerdcon: Stories coming soon! Of course, if you want to make sure you never miss a post, follow me on 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.

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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.