Friday, December 31, 2010

Our 2010 Favorites and our 300th Post!

Happy New Year's Eve, Stylenation!  It wouldn't be the end of the year without a year-end wrap-up, would it?  (Actually, this idea was inspired by La Historiadora de Moda's year-end post).  This retrospective makes us think perhaps we should rename our blog "We like dresses and belts."  As if that wasn't enough excitement, this is our 300th post!

We are taking a break from No Repeats on New Year's Eve (maybe even a break from work for Rad... or not).  Anne is having a party (that Rad wishes she could attend) and Rad will tear it up with close friends in Brooklyn (and will try to avoid the ER this year).  What are your plans for tonight? 

We hope you have a lovely end of 2010 and here's to more style, remixing, blogging friendships, and good times in 2011!

 Happy New Year from your friends at TCC!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year's Eve eve

Yesterday, Blokey and I met old friends from graduate school who now live in Connecticut. It was really nice to see them and catch up on their lives.  I ended up just wearing a reiteration of this outfit, which is fitting since it's what I wore most of the time while in g-school.  The lovely wife was one of the first women I met in graduate school who really paid attention to what she wore, was trendy but selective about following them, and dressed for her body type. She taught me a lot about developing style.  
One topic that came up was how graduate school spoils us- we meet so many like minded and interesting people who are willing/wanting to make new friends, make strong connections, go through collective traumas*, watch each other pair off and go through life changes, and then we all scatter to our respective new jobs.  We really were lucky to find each other then (I complained a lot in graduate school, so please forgive my momentary mushiness).
Today, I'm taking a page from Audi layering a quite short dress over a longer skirt.  I don't have a problem with the high hemline, but it's a little cold for that kind amount of leg. When I venture out later today, I'll throw on a cardigan, and then a coat.  But it's not so cold out anymore, just snow drifty.  This outfit also clearly marks me into "Anne Style", since I wore this dress as a top the first day of the challenge.
Happy New Year's Eve Eve, everyone!

Dress: Zara, via Beacon's Closet
Skirt: American Apparel, from a swap
Tights: Target
Boots: Born

*I know that qualifying exams are not the same as really terrible traumas, but they are stressful and real.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

No Repeats Catch-up, with a side of awkward

OK, so the past couple days have been busy and productive, but I didn't always take a picture, so please accept my reproduction of some outfits from last Saturday to today, although I hope to pick out a winner outfit for going out tonight (train service in my neighborhood is supposedly back to normal). 
Since I didn't take photos for a few days, I think I lost my picture mojo.  I feel awkwarder in these photos that I have in a while.  But hey, I'm OK with a little awkward. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Not Wearing Jeans

No Repeats, Day 14
Over the weekend, I tried my hand at a casual outfit that doesn't involve jeans.  Perhaps you've noticed that I wear a lot of jeans when I'm not wearing work clothes?  I'm trying to break myself of that a little, so yesterday and today's outfits are casual without jeans too.  Yesterday's outfit strikes me as a little reminiscent of something a kindergarten teacher might wear, but I like it anyway.  I'd previously only worn the dress to the beach, since it's a little too short for me without tights underneath.

Dress: Old Navy
Sweater: Gap
Leggings: Target
Boots: Sporto via Piperlime
Necklace: New York & Company
Headband: Hazel Chicago

No Repeats, Day 15 (the halfway point!)
I like all of the pieces in today's outfit, but the boots don't seem to work with these pants.  Is it just me?  I feel like flats may have been a better choice given the length of the pants, though not really an option with all the snow and slush on the ground.  Fortunately I have the rest of the week to work on casual outfits.  I spent today and yesterday running errands and catching up with all the things I don't have time for while I'm working, like doctor's appointments and lunch with friends.  I can't believe I'll be back to work in less than a week.  Ugh.

If you're taking time off, how is your much-needed break going?  If not, do you get a break soon?

Cardigan & tee: Loft
Pants: New York & Company
Boots: Kohl's
Necklace: Embellish, gift from Fella

Monday, December 27, 2010

Snowed in workaholic

I hope that everyone at StyleNation had a beautiful and fun Xmas (and if you didn't celebrate it- Happy Festivus).  I had a great Xmas eve/Xmas, but I have to admit that since I didn't travel, I worked on both days.  And I worked a lot yesterday.  This East Coast blizzard has made me feel better about the fact I didn't travel to see my folks in Atlanta because in likelihood, my flight would probably have been canceled. A colleague of mine who visited family in Chicago was supposed to fly out yesterday, and the earliest she can fly out is Thursday.  This would have been unfortunate because my mountain of work to requires many hours logged in daily to chip away at it.  I don't think I LOVE to work, the way some of my very intellectually minded buddies from graduate school operate.  I have a lot of other interests in addition to my academic pursuits.  But I think I was trained a little too well to put my nerd tasks high on my priorities..

Our street this morning

Anyway, I was really hoping to be able to actively participate in the No Repeats challenge during winter break, but I may be more intermittent than I hoped.  But I do hope to be able to post intermittently.  I apologize in advance if my commenting dies down a bit, as I'm using a Leechblock to my browser to limit my use of fun sites (including wordpress, blogger, tumblr, NYTimes, Facebook, etc.) to my key work hours.  Self-discipline- I haven't got it.

Here's an outfit from last week that I put on, and then took off once I realized that 39 degrees and sunny wasn't as warm as I'd hoped!  The jacket was a swap item from jesse.anne.o.  It's warmer than it looks but not warm enough for the weather lately.

Happy post blizzard/post-Christmas to everyone!

Jacket: swap, Isaac Mizrahi for Target
Scarf: from Cliche, Minneapolis
Jeans: Uniqlo
Shirt: Swap, JCrew
Shoes: Ecco

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Holiday Hangover

No Repeats, Day 13
After celebrating nearly non-stop for the past 10 days, I think we're just about finished with Christmas celebrations here.  As much as I love the holidays, and as bummed as I always get in January when my social calendar goes back to being more sporadically filled in, I'm ready for a little break from all the celebrations.  When I woke up this morning, our living room looked like Christmas had thrown up all over it.  There was wrapping paper, ribbon, tissue paper and boxes strewn all over the place, not to mention the remnants of Jude's new toys (we buy him things that are easy to destroy for presents, since it's one of his favorite things to do).  All of that said, I had a great holiday weekend.  How about you?

Tonight, Fella and I had dinner downtown with his parents and some family friends at one of my favorite restaurants, the Grand Lux Cafe. I always feel like a scrub wearing jeans downtown, so I went with a casual dress with leggings instead.  It was snowing today and the sidewalks are pretty slushy, so I had to wear my snow boots, but I think it worked since the outfit was fairly casual.  I'm really getting to like the dress, leggings and boots combo.  How have I not owned leggings until recently?  Also note new additions to my jewelry collection.  The necklace was a present from Fella, and the watch a gift from his parents. 

Like the shirt I posted on Friday, this dress is kind of a closet orphan.  I bought this dress for a dinner party in 2008, and haven't worn it since.  It's pretty cute, very comfy and a great color, but I'm at a loss for ways to style it.  Thoughts, Stylenation?  

Dress: H&M
Sweater: Target
Cami: New York & Company
Leggings: Target
Boots: Sporto, via Piperlime
Necklace: Embellish, gift from Fella
Watch: Fossil, gift from Fella's parents

Friday, December 24, 2010

White Christmas

No Repeats, Day 12
The presents are wrapped and bags are packed, so I'm just waiting for Fella to get ready before we head out to his parents' house in the suburbs for Christmas Eve.  It's snowing, so we'll be having a White Christmas this year.  With absolutely nothing else to do, here's a quick post.  I hope you're all enjoying the holidays, or at the very least, a couple days off :)

Thanks to this challenge and my desire to get as close to going Cynthia-style as I can, I've been searching the depth of my closets.  This top is a bit of a closet orphan, just in that it was hiding all the way at the end of the rod in the back of my closet.  I don't know why I haven't worn it in so long since it's cute and, being black and white, goes with any of my many, many cardigans.  

I'm taking tomorrow off from the challenge and blogging, so I'll leave you with the gift of more cookie porn.  Happy Holidays!

Sweater: New York & Company
Top: Kohl's
Jeans: Gap
Socks: Gap (no shoes, since I'll be wearing my snow boots)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Happy

No Repeats, Day 11
Merry Christmas Eve Eve, Stylenation! I worked from home today and finally finished up all of my holiday shopping during my lunch break.  The only person I had left was Fella's brother's girlfriend, so I went to a couple neighborhood boutiques.  I'm a little bit envious of the hat I bought her, but I have so much winter stuff I could restrain myself.

Jude was extra excited about photo-crashing today.  Obviously it's because he wanted to show off his early Christmas present: a new collar.  The brand is Spiffy Dog, which definitely describes Jude.

Anyway, Rad tagged me to post seven things.  I have no pictures nearly as badass as hers, so I'm throwing in a couple childhood ones (inspired by all of jesse.anne.o's awesome childhood pictures).  So here you go.

1. My first job in Chicago was cleaning out fitting rooms at Neiman Marcus downtown.  I got the job because my friend worked in their HR department at the time, and they paid me under the table in cash.  It was pretty much the worst job ever.

2. I really, really love math and I'm pretty good at it.  My school didn't have Mathletes (does that actually exist, or was it just on Freaks & Geeks?) but if it did, yeah, I totally would've been one.  The closest I came was yearly city-wide math competitions.  I think one year I may have one like $50 for my math skills. 

3. I had to get a total of 30 stitches in my face during my first winter in Chicago due to ice-related injuries.  So you should believe everything you hear about how awful our winters are.

4. I met Fella during a free 3-day trial on back when online dating was still not too common.  We're both winners despite that, I promise.  I emailed him because he said he was interested in 3 things in a girl: dorkiness, sarcasm and freckles.  I don't have as many freckles as Fella does, but I'm overqualified on the other two. Clearly we were made for each other.

5. I'm a huge baseball fan.  My favorite team is the Detroit Tigers, followed by the Chicago Cubs. Here's me at my first Cubs game, in 1986:

6. Aside from two trips to Canada when I was younger (once to Toronto to see my Dad's old stomping grounds, and once to Windsor), I've never been outside of the United States.  I don't even have a passport.  I'd really like to rectify that.

7. Like E-Jo, I really love Christmas unironically.  This is how excited I get about it every year:

Sweater & Cords: Loft
Boots: Rampage (gift from Fella's mom)
Necklace: New York & Company

Have a Happy


I dig this tunic top, but it is so low cut that I rarely wear it.  And it may just be a teensy bit smaller than I'd prefer (but the next size up was too big).  And the jersey knit is a little bit thick for warm weather, so I've also found this awkward to style. 
Blokey and I are not traveling this year to see our family over the holidays.  It seemed like a great idea at the time (Deadline of the Decade and the stress of holiday travel), but I must admit that I regret the choice now.  But Blokey and I are going to start some of our own traditions, and we'll have a nice time.  (And I'll visit my family soon.)  This includes picking/singing a few non-carol holiday songs in the next few days.  Especially this:

Style Nation: whatever you are doing the for the next few days- I wish you healthy and happy ones. 

Tunic: Billabong, via Cliche (Minneapolis)
Jeggings: Hue (via Alamo shoes, during shopping trip with Anne)
Shoes: Hue (Macy's?)
Booties: Me Too (DSW)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sweater love


I finished all my undergrad grading last night, but I still have more than 1/2 of my M.A. class's research papers (worth 50% of their) grade trickling.  So I'll be in grad seminar grading purgatory for a bit longer, but Blokey and I are gonna pretend like we're done with the semester tonight, make popcorn and watch one of his very erudite European/Taiwanese/Iranian films.  (Last week it was I am Curious (Yellow) and I am Curious (Blue)).  I like this sweater, but it feels awkward to style.  I don't know why.  Maybe the short sleeves and the length?  But Blokey really likes it and compliments me whenever I wear it, so why not?
This is an almost 100% second hand/thrifted outfit.  The sweater and dress are from Salvo, and the boots from Beacon's Closet.  The belt is a swap.  How rad is that?
Oh, and Buster wants to show you his tail.
Since starting No Repeats, I think I've gone "Cynthia style", because I realize how much of my casual clothes I ignore during the semester.  So far, this has been a good reminder that I have a lot of clothes.
Happy Wednesday, Style Nation.

Dress: Talbots, thrifted
Vest/sweater: Free People, thrifted
Boots: Durango, via Beacon's closet
Belt: swap box from Pineapple Mint Vintage

And.... done!

No Repeats, Day 10
Well, today is my last day in the office until January 3rd!  I have one project that needs to be wrapped up before the end of the year, and a few meetings scheduled, but I'm planning to take it easy otherwise.  For example, I'm meeting a friend for a nice, long holiday lunch today.  And I let myself sleep in about an hour and a half this morning.  My work really picks up after the holidays, so I won't get to slack off like this again until the end of March or so.  But who wants to think that far ahead?

Today's outfit features my apparent favorite color combination: pink and grey!  I've been wearing less of my favorite fall-back combo lately, but not intentionally so.  Really, just because I've been avoiding my 30 for 30 items, which seemed to form that combination a lot.  There's some cool beading at the waistline of this dress which I should provide a close-up of (but don't have time to right now), so I left jewelry pretty minimal.

How's everyone's holiday week going?  If you celebrate Christmas, are you ready for it?

Dress: New York & Company
Sweater & Leggings: Target
Boots: Eddie Bauer
Earrings: New York & Company

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Cheesiness

No Repeats, Day 9
I really love Christmas, Stylenation, but I've never been one to wear holiday-themed clothes.  Well, at least not since I was about 10.  So last year when one of my friends threw an ugly sweater holiday party (they're really all the rage lately, aren't they?), I didn't have anything to wear.  Another friend of mine called me from Target before the party and told me they had cute holiday cardigans, so she bought this for me and a festive coordinating cardigan for herself.  Tonight is the second annual holiday party at my friend's house (we're accommodating some out of town friends, so that's why it's on a Tuesday) so I had to dig all the way to the back of my closet to find this not-so-ugly holiday cardigan.

Why would you want to wear a bulky Christmas sweater vest when you can have sequin snowflakes?  I don't know either.

And obviously the real exciting part of this post is that Jude is back in the pictures!  He was SO excited to see the camera come out today.

Cardigan, Skirt & Tights: Target
Cami: New York & Company
Shoes: Indigo by Clarks

Grading, and seven (ridiculous) things

Happy Tuesday, Style Nation.  Right now I am in grading purgatory, and I'm sinking neck deep into additional research work (Deadline of the DecadeTM is coming up, February 1).   Today, I am attempting mixed patterns again- diamond tights and a slouchy striped knit cardigan.  And my favorite cut off shorts, which I am glad other people are wearing again.  Since I accidentally dyed my white tank tops bluish-green after washing them with a brand new beach towel, I co-opted Blokey's tank for this look.  But he's giving a final right now, so he can't mind too much.

Last Sunday, jesse.anne.o tagged me for a "seven things" list meme.  Her's is super cute (including super cute photos).  I hope mine are about as 1/2 as endearing, although I haven't scanned in kiddie photos for this, but maybe later (as holiday gift to Style Nation?)  

1. I play the guitar, quite poorly, mostly as an accompaniment to singing (which is moderately tolerable, but not good in a choral sense).  I may post a video some day.  I realize this is very vain, but then again, I do post pictures of my outfits regularly.
2. I spent my first semester of college at a U.S. Service Academy (a.k.a. "naked army").  I can't quite explain why I chose to go there, and it was a full time job applying (Senatorial nomination, physical exam, fitness test, interviews).  At 17, I thought I was going to be a politician, and I thought joining the military meant helping to stop humanitarian crises in Eastern Europe.  Hey, it was the 90s!  This explains my love of military styles and combat boots.
My brief stint in the military (service academy attendance equals active duty service) is the only time I've ever done 7 pull-ups.  I can barely pull myself up once now.  

 Rad during basic training, in summer '98.   That's not a real gun. 

3) Berlin is my favorite city to visit.  I went there in 2005 as a result of strange circumstances and had a blast.  I'd love to take Blokey there and see all the old post-communist stuff in the East again.
Marx, me, and Engels, in front of the now destroyed Palast der Republik

4) I used to run about 7 miles, 5 times a week.  I was very hard core about running outside as long as it was above 0 degrees (Fahrenheit).  Minnesota made me a cold weather beast.

5) My sister, who is 17, is one of my style icons.  She takes risks, she mixes bold colors/patterns, and always looks comfortable and awesome.  She did a rockabilly thing when she was about 12 years old, wearing an oversized boy's blazers, Converse, and skinny jeans.  She got a sewing machine at age 13 and made a bunch of cosplay clothes.  I can't believe how cool she is.

6) I spent the first 2 weeks in NYC, after moving here from MN in 2008, on crutches and an aircast boot.  Why?  Because I fell off my bike one hot summer's night, after a fateful drunken bachelorette party. This is why I shouldn't drink.  It looked a bit like this:

Nobody is nice to you when you're young and crutches in this city.  Please enjoy Blokey's super 1970s, super Scandinavian 'do.
7) Blokey and I live on the top floor of our brownstone in Bed-Stuy.  This rocks not only because we can see Manhattan from our window (including the Empire State building), but it's marginally quieter and we don't hear folks on top.  Last night, we went up and looked at the lunar eclipse (and my attempts at a picture on the windy roof resulted in blurry, smidgey pictures not worth sharing with anyone).  Most importantly, sometimes our kitties can see very exciting things, like pigeons.
(Can you spy Buster's buddy?)

I'm supposed to tag others.  Participation is optional, and of course you should totally work around your holiday blogging hiatuses (hiati?)
1. Anne
2. All the lovely ladies at In Professorial Fashion

Tank: Hanes (via Blokey)
Cardigan: Roxywear (via Cliche, Minneapolis)
Shorts: from old pair of Levi's
Tights: Uniqlo
Boots: Palladium

Monday, December 20, 2010

Homeward Bound

No Repeats, Day 8
This afternoon I headed back to Chicago after a nice long weekend back home in Ohio. I wore this outfit for breakfast with a girlfriend, and ditched the belt for travel. This is me trying to wear something other than jeans for my casual outfits, so I'm really branching out with a denim skirt.  But it's a start!

I'm back home, watching even more snow fall outside, catching up with Jude and snacking on some of the Christmas cookies that my mom and I baked over the weekend.  I think I was supposed to share those with Fella and his family over the holidays.  Woops.

Sweater: Loft
Skirt: Old Navy
Leggings & Belt: Target
Boots: Sporto via Piperlime
Hat: Anderson's General Store, Toledo, OH (Look, E-Jo, I found something cute at a grocery store too!)

Pineapple Mint Vintage giveway winnner!

Thanks to everyone who entered our little giveway!

Drumroll please...

The winner of our the Pineapple Mint Vintage Giveway is...

LyddieGal, commenter number 11!  (Check out her beautiful photography on her favorite Christmas things the past few days.  Her brown paper packages tied up in string are beautiful as a magazine editorial).

Congrats, Lyddie.  And thanks again to Kim from Pineapple Mint Vintage!  And thanks to Style Nation, because you rock our world.

School's out (for winter)

OK, not exactly yet, but soon.  I give my last final at 5:30.  I should go into school early and take care of lots of business.  I spent a while figuring out today's outfit, because I want to causal, but still a bit more polished than the students (harder for the night classes, where many student work 9-5 jobs in the financial services).  I started with  Peter Pan tights, and found this old, second hand jersey hoodie (in the depths of the closet), which is too puffy to wear by itself but works nicely under a denim jacket (which I hope will work nicely under a wintery coat).  
Is StyleNation off of work (or teaching, for the academic types) for the next few weeks?  I hope that you have a great Monday, whether you're at work, hanging out with your family, or traveling.

Dress: H&M
Tights: Target
Hoodie: Buffalo Exchange in Chicago ('07)
Scarf: Pineapple Mint Vintage swap box
Smug look: 17 weeks of a semester done!

Sunday Best

No Repeats, Day 7
I know, it is Monday morning already.  But I'm a little behind.  I had wanted to get this post up last night, but instead I was up until 2am listening to 40-50 year old records with my dad.  I bought him a new record player for Christmas, so he was excited to listen to songs and albums that he hasn't heard in years.  He seriously looked like a kid on Christmas morning while ripping away at the record player's packaging, which is not a side of our parents that we're all accustomed to seeing very often.  He and I are definitely alike in what a huge role music plays in our lives. He could listen to songs and tell me the first time he had ever heard it so it was cool to hear those stories, and cool for me to finally hear music that I've loved my whole life in analog format.  So yeah, it's been a total music nerdy week for me.

Anyway, before my family Christmas celebration last night, I started the day out at church with my Grandma, and spent the rest of the day taking her around town (which included taking her for a hair cut, so look out for my newly-trimmed bangs tomorrow!) and visiting with various other family members, and ending it all with a nice dinner out.  I had a pinkish knit top with this black skirt, but it photographed horribly, so I'll have to try to recreate the rest of the outfit for you sometime.  Instead, here's some more winter outerwear, since I have such an abundance of it.

This coat was yet another early Christmas present from my parents. I think I've mentioned that they get me a new coat most years to help keep winter interesting and warm and all. I still don't own a black winter coat, so I guess a black and white pattern is the closest I'll get.

Coat: Macy's, gift
Brooch: New York & Company
Scarf: Gap
Skirt & tights: Target
Boots: Eddie Bauer

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Paul Bunyan buys shampoo


The challenge with the No Repeats Challenge is that I have to gussy up a bit more weekends, as well as work week days.  Non teaching days are often spent working/lounging until the mid afternoon, when I like to go for a 3 mile jog (for sanity purposes.  Exercise is my stress reliever) outside.  So fussing too much about my appearance doesn't make much sense, since I will get sweaty and shower around 4 or so.  No one really sees me.  Even Blokey keeps "artistic" sleep schedules on the weekends.  (He's the last real bohemian in NY, I think).  So StyleNation- what do you guys do on days you're planning on working out, in terms of getting ready in the morning? 
This is typical Sunday wear.  Oversized, vintage western shirt, skinny jeans, boots, and hat (for public consumption).  I need to run to the store and buy some shampoo.  I tried to get Blokey to switch to natural/sulfate free products when we met, but it's a hard habit to break.
Kudos to Chalkdust and Boots, a Style Nation member that I've only recently discovered, for linking to Kasmira's page on how to take better indoor pictures.  I fiddled with some of the settings last night, but my pictures came out worse than yesterday.  I assume that is mostly because yesterday was sunny and today is not.  It's amazing how different pictures taken a few minutes apart can look too.  I had managed one bright, well lit photo today, but the lens wasn't clean and it had those dust circles, so I had to scrap it.  Another thing I've realized is that my face is often in the shadows because of the placement of lighting (even though I drag a few floor lamps into the shot.  I may drag another one soon).  Well, it's a learning experience.

Shirt: vintage via eBay
Jeans: Blank Denim (via Cliche in Minneapolis)
Boots: Born
Belt: swap box via Pineaple Mint Vintage

So Tired That I Couldn't Even Sleep

No Repeats, Day 6
Greetings from Ohio, Stylenation!  I can't believe I'm posting so late, but I can't sleep because I'm still on Central Time, so it's only 11:30ish for me. I'm waking up pretty early to go to church and breakfast with my Grandma in the morning so I should get to sleep soon, and I'm pretty worn out, but somehow wide awake.  Visiting home can be so exhausting because every minute seems like it's jam-packed with things to do and people to see.  Today I went out to breakfast with my dad, finished up a majority of my Christmas shopping (the mall was a nightmare - ugh!), visited with my aunt and baked a ton of Christmas cookies with my mom.

Sorry for the picture quality here (and the odd expression - it was cold this morning!).  It's possible that my pictures are always this bad, but Jude is a nice distraction in most of my photos.  But Jude didn't make the trip, so it's just me and grainy pictures, my friends.  My parents' yard makes for some lovely backdrops, especially with the snow, but I'm not used to the lighting so things could've turned out better.  For instance, you can't see the fun detailing on this tank top in the picture above...

...or these shoes!

These were an early Christmas present, but I haven't been able to wear them until recently because of 30 for 30, which is just a shame.  I like these shoes a lot better with skirts (and they looked better with my jeans not in photos, I swear), but the idea of jeans and heels is growing on me.  Usually I pair my jeans with flats or sneakers for comfort, but these heels are seriously that comfy that I could walk around on them all day.

Stylenation, what do you do when you can't sleep?

Cardigan: Loft
Tank & Jeans: Gap
Shoes: Indigo by Clarks