Sunday, March 31, 2013

New territory

I've long aspired to pull off the whole shorts & tights look. But guys, it's really hard. Wearing shorts without tights was challenging enough for me to embrace, but as of last summer, I got pretty comfortable with a good cut-offs and cropped t-shirt combo. The right tights and shorts look remained elusive though. Even when I felt like I'd come up with the right pairing, I always felt like I'd mess it up on the shoes. Which boots were right? Or should it be oxfords? flats? Every time I tried to don some tentative version of the tights/shorts outfit, I'd inevitably end up changing at the last minute, leaving the garments in a pile of shame & defeat on my bedroom floor.

While considering how to wear this new floral t-shirt I recently scored from Joe Fresh, I decided to give this trend another shot. Also earning a second chance in these photos: the messy fishtail side braid. I love fishtail braids on people with hair textures that are different from my own, but my straight, fine, layers don't exactly provide the best raw materials. Still though, this one turned out better than most, so I'm feeling optimistic. Jury's still out on whether or not this outfit was a total success, but today I felt cute, comfortable, and ready for spring. 

Floral shirt: Joe Fresh via JCP
Jersey blazer: J.Crew Factory
Denim cutoffs: thrifted old school Levi's (cut by Meg & Ali!)
Boots: fashionista vintage & variety
Bag: Nine West via Marshall's
Watch: Fossil
Earrings: foundling
Lipcolor: Bare Minerals in "cherries on top"


Saturday, March 30, 2013

"Study" date

So on Friday, it was over 50 degrees, I got to wear a new dress, and I was reunited with my BFF Elizabeth, a fellow femme academic who has been studying in London this year. That's a lot of great stuff in one day. E & I planned to meet up for an epic reunion/study date where she would get some writing done and I would plow through the stack of grading that hasn't managed to diminish much over the past few days. But despite our good intentions, we spent the afternoon catching up. We haven't seen each other for a few months, so I think the free pass on productivity was certainly deserved!

Elizabeth has long been a source of femme-spiration for me since she's pretty much the epitome of style, so of course I made her pose for a few quick iPhone shots before we parted. You're welcome, internet. You're welcome. We were strangely in sync with our ensembles today, with a common theme of white polka dots and black/red tones. This is a dress I picked up for mad cheap at a JC Penney in my hometown over the weekend. A reader of femmepirical evidence recently clued me in to how unexpectedly awesome JCP has become as a result of its recent image makeover, and it's been a little life-changing to see how many cute items they have for very reasonable prices (thanks Audrey!). I'll definitely be keeping my eye on them as I think about budgeting to add some new spring pieces to my wardrobe.

Dress: JCP (sale, winter 2013)
Jacket: thrifted
Tote: Gap
Sunglasses: ModCloth
Flats: Urban Outfitters 

Shirt: thrifted (Blitz London)
Cardigan: Urban Outfitters
Coat: Banana Republic
Jeans: J.Crew (after Christmas sale!)
Earrings: thrifted, Village Style (east 7th)
Flats: Jones
Lipcolor: Nars Dragon Girl


Have I mentioned...

... that I'm moving to California in the fall for my PhD?  I'm already putting together my list of best California blogs (do you know any I should follow?), and thinking about how my New Englander wardrobe will have to change for the move.  Check out what I've been reading in preparation:

Pro tip: If you want to stay awake, get dressed.

Often it's during my most stressful days that I need to get a little bit dressed up... I think mostly so I don't end up napping away my stress, as I've been known to do. It helps, I promise. These photos are from Tuesday, when I was still slogging through this week's two presentations.

Typically I've worn this Jason Wu for Target dress with the top couple buttons undone, but I've been getting more and more bold with the buttoned up look.

Between library sessions, Ali and I went grocery shopping for the Passover feast we had last night.  We also realized we had nothing to cook the brisket (!! best time of year) in, so we hit up Macy's for this baller Martha Stewart dutch oven that was half off.  And that matches our clock, evidently.

Sorry guys, it was a long week.
Totally proud of the dutch oven conquest, and also psyched for the brisket that would come out of it.

Dress: Jason Wu for Target
Cardigan: LOFT (stolen from my mom)
Belt: Steve Madden via Marshalls, I think (2008)
Earrings: J. Crew Factory (recent purchase and I've been wearing them for about five days straight!)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Femme-spiration Friday: Audrey Horne

Hi! It's Fuchsia. You might remember me from some of Femmepirical Evidence's greatest hits, including Ali's .gif party and the clothing swap. I am here today to talk to you about some seriously important 90s Femmespiration.

As with most things, I came late to the Twin Peaks party - let's just say it's because I run on femme time. After about six Log Ladies came up on my Instagram feed this past Halloween, I figured it was time and queued it up on instant watch. I'm happy to report that it combines everything I love in TV shows: the FBI, paranormal occurrences, some seriously beautiful Pacific Northwest scenery, murders, and high school (unlike Caroline, I did not stop watching Gossip Girl when it jumped the shark and I have no regrets). But, the main reason I kept watching this early 90's masterpiece all the way to the end after the second season slump is Audrey Horne.

Although Audrey, played by Sherilynn Fenn, is supposed to be nearly ten years younger than I am, her personal style is light-years ahead of mine. I don't even want to talk about where I was in my style timeline my senior year of high school, but I will tell you it involved wearing multiple skirts of different lengths at the same time and soda can tabs re-purposed as earrings. Audrey cultivates a mid-century sweater girl look pushed through the lens of the late 1980's and early 1990's, with dolman sleeves, an undone bob (we should all just forget her hair in the pilot episode ever happened), the best eyebrows on television, and a great shoe wardrobe.

I covet all of Audrey's schoolgirl skirts and sweaters. After watching through the first few episodes of the show, I realized her iconic green lace sweater had seeped into my subconscious and influenced the color and design combination I chose for a recent knitting project (and yes, this is literally the best face I make when Meg and Melina aren't around to take my picture).

But her sweaters and skirts shouldn't get all the love. She wore a few great buttondowns and dresses, too! I feel like I should be able to find all three of these at a cute indie clothing store (why can't I find any of them at a cute indie clothing store???)!

As a character, Audrey admittedly isn't the greatest. Her main role during the earlier episodes of the series seems to be to wander around town like a space cadet, dancing and baby-talking about the death of Laura Palmer in inappropriate places, and as a plot device for David Lynch to establish what a great guy Agent Cooper is when he doesn't give in to his feelings for a high school student. She bumbles a self-assigned undercover investigation at Canadian brothel One-Eyed Jack's, necessitating an international rescue operation that later complicates Cooper's standing at the FBI. As a sidenote, I am pretty sure this black dress in her initial scene at Jack's would look great on me and if we were real life friends like I am with Melina and Meg I would attempt to subtly bully her into giving it to me during a clothing swap.

Of course, her general ineptitude could be due to her age and maturity level; towards the end of the show, she stops caring so much about boys and high school and starts taking charge of her life by involving herself in the family business. Her wardrobe starts to change towards the end of the show to reflect her newfound maturity, but it stays true to her vintage-y roots and, most importantly, stays awesome.

In her new (albeit unofficial) role at the hotel, she heads a team attempting to help her father recover from a mental breakdown, in the process strong-arming her flaky Uncle Jerry and showing her apparently forceful business acumen. She later develops an interest in conservationism based on a business strategy, which grows into an apparently genuine alignment with the conservation movement in Twin Peaks.

Without resorting to any spoilers, every time I hear rumblings about a possible Twin Peaks reunion (none have panned out so far), I hope Audrey makes it through the events of the show's final episode and comes back as the billionaire, philanthropist head of an expanded Great Northern/Ghostwood empire, or as the Director of the FBI. Or, you know, maybe just the mayor of her hometown. Whatever floats her boat, really. Because, after all -

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Modcloth treats

By the by, have you guys checked out the ModCloth Style Gallery this month? There's a lot of cute stuff happening at ModCloth right now, especially for spring! We've had our eyes on a few pieces from ModCloth recently, so we thought we'd share:

Meg's picks:

1. Mary's Savor Every Stop Heels - I've been dying for a pair of Swedish Hasbeens for a while, and I think this orangey-red pair that Modcloth is offering might be the summer shoes I'm craving.
2. Paddle the Pond Dress - This would be my second swan dress, so I think I need to leave it to you, dear readers!
3. Orla Kiely Trunnel of Love Dress - Too perfect. 

Mel's favs:

1. Homemade Ice Cream Flat in Mint - I'm dreaming about new flats for spring, and these minty confections are at the top of my wish list.
2. Day After Day Dress in Pineapples - I'm obsessed with pineapples right now—and this adorable print dress. 
3. Scalloped Peaches Top - This might just be the perfect peter pan collar.

The last unicorn

Ok, I lied.  There are a billion of one-horned creatures on this amazing ASOS dress that came in the mail yesterday.  Of course, I couldn't resist throwing it on this morning for luck on a presentation, nor could I resist the first day that it was warm enough not to wear tights.  Bonus: I have Good Friday off tomorrow, and get to enjoy a Passover inspired feast (read: not real seder, but involves matzo ball soup) that Ali is preparing with some of my besties, plus all the wine.  And I don't even have to go to my Latin class in the morning!  Best day ever, especially after a rough post-break week.

Preparatory veggies to go with the brisket (!!), and wine from a flamingo cup. 

This was my first ASOS dress (am I the only femme in the world that has resisted this long?), but I'm pretty pleased, especially since I managed to snag it on sale.  By the by, did you know that ASOS offers a 10% student discount?  Worth knowing... J. Crew, J. Crew Factory, and Madewell all do too, which may explain why Mel and I own so much J. Crew Factory stuff! Take note, academic femmes!  Speaking of things from The Internets, I also ordered five pairs of Warby Parker glasses to try on, so I can't wait to share those with you guys!

By the way, come back tomorrow for another awesome Femmespiration Friday guest post from one of my and Mel's bffs!



So I finally got a haircut. I know you were all pins and needles waiting to hear this news, readers, but you can rest easy now: my bangs to face ratio has finally approached acceptable proportions again. While hanging out with K. and our dog at my mom's house this past weekend, I went to see Thomas, my new hair guy/recent bestie. In these photos snapped after my haircut/our glorious reunion, I'm wearing a version of what's become my standard weekend uniform lately: colored denim & some manner of button down under a blazer for layering.

I was particularly happy with this incarnation because of the way the bright spring-y green lining of the velvet blazer looked with the plum jeans. I also managed to work in a new vintage piece I'm pretty excited about; even though I initially thought this necklace would be too much for this casual outfit, I think it kind of works. Anyway, here's to hoping these bright colors help usher in some warmer weather soon! I'm sick of this nonsense. 

Floral shirt & velvet blazer: J.Crew Factory
Jeans: BDG high rise cigarette in plum (on sale right now!!)
Necklace: vintage (1950s) via Today's Vintage Designs
Boots: thrifted (9 West)
Lipcolor: e.l.f. Mineral Mineral Lipstick in "Beautiful Berry"


Monday, March 25, 2013

Black and White and Read All Over

Remember that old joke about the newspaper? Or, like, the sunburned zebra? I don't know. It seemed appropriate because (sorry guys) I'm doing two animal print posts in pretty quick succession. It actually would have been two in a row, but I left this post on the queue for good measure. I didn't wear zebra and leopard two days in a row on purpose; I was getting ready for a friend's birthday party (happy birthday, P!), and I just grabbed the first cardigan I saw to throw over this little black dress. Maybe it's a problem that I have so much animal print readily available, but Meg sent me a text later that night admitting to wearing two kinds of leopard print in the same outfit, so I think I'm in pretty good company.

I also tried to something out of the ordinary with my hair, so I went with a variation on the bouffant side-braids into messy bun look I tried before from a bobby glam tutorial. My backcombing results in a messier look than in the original tutorial, but I was still pretty pleased with this magical ponytail.

Cardigan: old as the hills (I think from Kohl's?)
Dress: stolen from Meg (James Perse)


From the vault!

These photos are practically archival- they've been trapped on Ali's phone for over a month, and I only now got around to snatching them so I could share this look with you guys.  A friend and I were invited to give a lecture we had presented at our school at a nearby liberal arts college, and we were thrilled to accept.  In my current program, I don't often have the opportunity to teach, so it was especially fun to be back in the classroom with a really engaging group of students at a SLAC not unlike the one Mel & and I attended. Ali snapped these photos after, and at that point, I was pretty high on academia (not something you can say every day in grad school).

The setting was pretty informal, so I chose this dress which satisfies all requirements of clothing for me: ruffles? Check.  Bright colors?  Check.  Floral?  HELL YES.  I'm also loving these earrings, which were a Christmas gift from Ali's mom (hi Marina!), and my yellow cardigan which is one of my favorite finds from the Anthropologie pre-Christmas 50% off sale sale.

Best part of this photo spot? A hook on the gate for my coat!
I'm not totally sure why my face is so ghost-like here, but maybe it has to do with taking photos outside of a cemetery gate?  Spooky.

Dress: Macy's Bar III (winter 2012, also I'm obsessed with this one too!)
Cardigan: Anthro (super sale! winter 2011)
Boots: Steve Madden (summer 2012)
Coat: J. Crew (and unabashedly stolen from my mom)

Laced up

At last, spring break has arrived. And it feels glorious. Or it will, until grading and various other responsibilities intervene. But for now, I'm taking time to hang out with family and enjoy re-reading Great Expectations. I'm teaching it after break, but it's always been a pleasurable novel for me (the only Dickens I can say that about) so it's easy to trick myself into thinking it's just for fun. If only I could say the same about preparing lesson plans on MLA citation and forming research questions. Oh, well. Can't win 'em all.

K. snapped these pictures before we left to roadtrip back to my mom's place. This is a new outfit for me, and I'm feeling pretty enthusiastic about it. I thrifted this shirt a few months back, imagining that I'd need to wear it with a high-waisted pencil skirt because it looked way too short for pants. But when I tried it on with the intended black skirt for a date night, it felt totally blah; it hit me in the wrong place, and I looked like I had no shape at all. Already convinced that the length wouldn't be especially flattering with pants, this top remained neglected in my closet. Until I tossed it over my faithful black skinnies today on a whim. This has been happening to me a lot lately, and it's been great to let go of some of my internalized rules about proportions that work. Being wrong has never felt better!

Shirt: thrifted (winter 2013)
Jeans: BDG high rise cigarette
Boots: thrifted ($5! vintage 9 west)
Sunglasses: ModCloth
Locket: gift from K.
Lipcolor: e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color in "Rich Red"