Friday, March 29, 2013

Month in Review: March 2013

March came in like a lion and (hopefully!) will be heading out like a lamb! Either way, it's been a whirlwind of activity! If you've been busy too, here's a review of the not-to-missed from Never Fully Dressed this month:

Outfits not to be Missed

Mail not to be Missed

Continuing NFD's letter-writing series, we talked about how to write  Congratulatory Letters. And, if you're looking for a way to treat others (or yourself!) to something a little special, why not try Subscription Boxes?

Movies not to be Missed
This month we kept our movie viewing light and funny with these delightful romantic comedies. Monroe wowed the boys in Some Like It Hot,  and we watched Audrey Hepburn make a  Funny Face.

I also talked about why I think being literate in classic cinema is so important. 

Plans not to be Missed
With Google Reader on its way out the door, it's a good time to explore other ways to follow blogs you love. Speaking of blogs, this month, I talked about the balance between positivity and authenticity on Never Fully Dressed. In my day-today life, our puppies are growing like weeds (sorry to anybody who feels besieged by my puppy pictures on instagram!) and wedding planning is coming along. Listen to some of our wedding music picks or take a peek at our wedding website! 

Amos and Kristian Wedding Website

Finds not to be Missed

  • Have you "met" Flock Together's three newest bloggers, Jen of Jenifhsieh, Leah of We Live Upstairs, and Jenna of Smitten? If not, what are you waiting for? Go for it! 
  • Cool art and a sense of humor? If that piqued  your interest, go on and check out the Big Book of Cats. The blogger behind Creature Types shares- and then redraws- her illustrations from her middle school years. Yeah!
  • I'm sure we all know someone (or- ahem- have been guilty of ourselves. Sorry real life peeps!) of breaching good phone etiquette. A little brush up on good manners never hurts, right?
  • Love how fashionable this girl is (can you believe she's only fourteen?! No way was I that sartorially savvy. at that age.) and look at her adorable dog!
  • I love things that are in the state-shaped, but anything in the shape of Wyoming is...well, boring. But if you live somewhere that's not in the shape of a square, why not try out these stamps for return addresses? 
  • I adore anything Oz, so this post by October's Rebel was right up my alley! 
  • See the changes to fashion through the decades with these vintage sewing pattern illustrations.
  • Carrie of Wishwishwish is always effortlessly stylish, but this outfit makes my heart flutter. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

What I Wore: Relaxed and At Home


What I Wore: Shirt (Target), shrug (old), necklace (gift), jeans (GAP), shoes (Minnetonka)

In style blogging, I think there can be a tendency to show our favorite outfits, the special ones. These are the outfits you wear for a day downtown, or to dinner with friends or even what you might wear to work. And I'm sure I'm not alone in loving to see these types of outfits. But since I've begun subbing this past fall, there are inevitably days where I'm home at the house. Not really being the yoga pants type, this has quite often been my uniform for a day at home over the winter. 

The life of a substitute teacher is always interesting because you might be in a different school, a different grade, a different classroom every day of the week. You might be busy for weeks because everyone has come down with the flu at the same time, or there's several away games for the high school all in a row... and then there are weeks where no one is going on a trip and everyone is in perfect health. So, I'm curious, for those of you who work at home (or who are looking for jobs, or who are housewives), what does a Day in the Life look like for you? Any tips for working from home you care to share ? Schedules, routines? Comments about why or why not the choice to work from your home was right for you? 

P.S. Yes, that's snow in March. Sure we haven't seen the last of spring blizzards either. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

How to Follow Never Fully Dressed

So by now, I'm sure everyone and their brother has heard that Google Reader is going away. Since I know many of you seem to subscribe on Google Friends Connect, remember, GFC is NOT currently going away. However, if you do use Google Reader, or if you are just looking for fast and efficient ways to follow blogs you love, let's take a moment to talk about some of these great ways to follow Never Fully Dressed (Without a Style). 



This is the site I personally use to follow blogs. You can organize the blogs into lists, get both a visual and written teaser as to what the entries are about, and you can mark posts as read/unread, which means unread posts are at the top of your feed. Super easy and visually pleasing to use and organize. 

You can follow NFD on BlogLovin' here or click the link in the side bar. 


While I don't (currently) use this, if you have been using Google Reader, this might be the thing for you. They will import all your feeds and bookmarks etc from Google Reader, if needed, or you can start adding things you wish to track from their site. You can access Feedly online, on your desktop,  with iDevices such as iPads and iPhones, with Android devices and, with Kindles.  All of these will  sync up. The display is very visual and intuitive-looking with both pictures and written teasers. It will auto mark when items are read and you can tag items. It also has "advanced sharing," and keyboard short-cuts. This option also allows you to follow not only blogs, but any website, podcast or youtube channel, making it a one-stop shop to access many of your internet favorites. 

Follow me on Feedly here, or just click the RSS Feed link on my sidebar! 


Before I got a Twitter account, I never would have believed how easy it is to follow a blog(ger) on there. I always make sure to post links to new NFD entries on my twitter feed as well as other content. Plus, you can use Twitter to have conversations with me (and many other bloggers, companies and cool people)! I love to interact with people on Twitter. So, if you are a twitterer, feel free to follow me! If you're not on twitter yet, maybe now is a great time to give it a try? 

Find me on Twitter here, or Just click the link on the sidebar.


NFD has a Facebook page! Have you 'liked' it yet? I always add the links to new posts there, in addition to other fun content like extra photos, polls, questions and links I love. All you have to do is 'like' NFD's page! And if you're afraid not all my posts will make it to you newsfeed, just remember to click the 'Liked' button to brin gup a menu, followed by clicking 'Show in Newsfeed' to ensure you see all my latest posts! 

Find NFD's Facebook Page here, or click the link on the sidebar. Then 'like' and follow! 

E-mail Subscribers

I'm checking my email all the time, and maybe you are too? You can subscribe to my site and get an email when I post new entries. Just look in my sidebar and enter your email address in the box. Feed Burner will do the rest for you. A simple and easy way to stay updated! 


While maybe not the most simple way to stay up on my blog's new posts, I am on Pinterest and do pin content from the blog to the relevant boards. Hair how-tos will be pinned to my Hair Board. Outfit posts to the What I Wore: Never Fully Dressed Board, and mail posts are pinned to my You've Got Mail board. You can follow any or all of my boards. To get to my profile page just follow the link in the sidebar. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What I Wore: A Springtime Outfit

A springtime outfit for a decidedly not springtime day. Come over to Flock Together to see more on  how I styled Jen's dress!

Monday, March 25, 2013

20 Basics for Every Woman's Closet

Closet Staple, basics, clothes workhorses, classics. Call them what you will, but I think there are foundations on which every wardrobe can be built. If you follow NFD on Twitter or Facebook, I've already asked, but feel free to respond further with your thoughts on the subject. What are clothing items every woman needs? Of course, your life and age might change the answer somewhat. I live in Wyoming and will never need "clubbing attire" for example. Still. Some things are pretty universal, so basics? Discounting for seasonal items such as coats and swimming suits, these twenty pretty much cover it. These pieces could be your entire wardrobe, or could just be the pieces that make your other stand-out clothing items really work. However you use them, here they are:

20 Basics for every woman's closet

20 Basics for Every Woman's Closet

1) An LBD- Of course an Little Black Dress You need something that works for everything. Funerals, concerts, fancy dates, the office or a day at the park- an LBD has got you covered. I like this one in particular for the hemline- it is respectable to enter a church in, but not so long it seems out of place in a casual setting- and for its sleeves. Sometimes you just need something a bit demure (see above church example). 

2) A Solid Colored Dress- I love color, but for foundation pieces neutrals are going to get you more milage. One exception though, is a solid colored dress. Every closet needs a pop of color and, frankly, sometimes black can be a little too somber. Going with a solid color though, allows you to mix and match with things so much. Put it on and feel instantly cheered. Afraid of committing to something so bold and bright as a red or mustard color? Try white or blue.  

3) Cambray Button-Up- Really, you might be thinking? A denim shirt? But first off- Cambray is a much softer and more wearable fabric. Take your time and wait till you've found a shirt that feels good to the skin. Secondly, it  goes with everything and can be added with most outfits to give an "effortless" feel. It gives a casual feeling to more  formal clothing with the fabric, and its classic structure keeps a casual look from getting too sloppy. If you still aren't into cambray, a check or plaid patterned button-up can often achieve the same effect. 
4) Camisoles- Have multiples of these in multiple colors. You can use them for everything. 'Nuff said.  
5) White Button-Up- The classic of all classics. Wear it buttoned to work. Leave it unbuttoned over another shirt for a day around the house. Add a tie for a menswear look; a ribbon around the neck for a girly one. Tie the ends into a knot for a sexy tomboy feel.  Pop the color to show you too are a Rebel Without a Cause. Tuck it in; leave it out. It all looks good.
6) T-Shirts- They are like camisoles and you will use them all the time. Get multiples in multiple colors but I'd at least have one- one perfectly fitting not-too-loose, not-too-tight one in white.  
7) Brenton Striped Shirt- Ever since Chanel made these fashionable for more than just sailors to wear, they haven't gone out of style. Put one on to feel instantly chic in that not-trying-too-hard kind of way.  
8) Silk Blouse- Though a solid colored silk blouse also works, a simple pattern (one that is not over large, as the size of a pattern- if too small or too large- I think can looked dated quicker) adds versatility and interest. It can become the focus of the outfit, or can act as a neutral if more vivid pieces need to take center stage.  Plus, silk looks feminine and refined, and feels fantastic.  
9, 10 &11) Sweaters- I chose three sweaters here, which might seem like overkill, but each plays a valuable part in your closet.  A black turtleneck is timeless and looks great at every age. If turtlenecks give you a headache, try ones with cowled necks instead. A  sweater with a classic shape can be layered over anything and looks good alone or with cuffs and collars peeking out from under it.  I would also go for a chunkier knit and a slightly boxier shape over a tightly clinging one to leave more to the imagination. The last type of sweater to have in a closet is a cardigan or shrug. It can any be any color. It adds versatility by not completely covering the layers under it, and can be more easily removed if temperatures change. 
12) Tailored Trousers-  These can tan, brown or black. They can be wide-legged a la Katherine Hepburn, or cigarette pants a la Audrey Hepburn or anywhere in between, so long as they are flattering to your size and shape (tailor if needed). Every woman needs at least one pair of pants that are job interview/business meeting appropriate, even if your career is something where people dress casually. Because you never know when  opportunity knocks.  
13) Jeans- Everyone should own at least one pair in a flattering shape. Dark wash jeans almost always have a slimming effect. Colored jeans are also a good option; they are fast phasing out of being a trend into things everyone of every age wears. The key to colored jeans (or any clothing, really), is just make sure they fit- and don't forget these to can be tailored. You can be weekend-ready in jeans and a T; wearing them with boots makes any girl ready to commune with nature; and a add a blazer to head to a coffee date with friends.  
14 &15) Skirts- A lot of women overlook the value of skirts in favor of either pants or dresses. But skirts are easy to move in, and as separates allows for a lot or mixing and matching with other closet items. A Pencil Skirt  is a very work-appropriate skirt (but also one that can make you look sexy depending on what it is styled with). This pencil skirt is grey- with only a simple detail to give it a little pizzazz, but this could also be a great piece to add a splash of color to your look with. Go for a bright solid color and pair it with a neutral colored top for a cheerful outfit. The other skirt I would make sure to have on hand is any Skirt with a bit of movement to it. Here, I chose a chiffon maxi, but you could also do a tulle skirt or a circle skirt. I'd keep things at least knee-length. Between these, you have the chance to create two very different shapes.  
16, 17, & 18) Shoes- I love me a good shoe, but should push come to shove, I think any lady can get along with these three (well, and possibly a sneaker for exercising). Black Heels will take you to work, take out to town, take you to funerals, weddings and everything in between. I'd get ones that don't have too high of a heel, a closed toe and a classic shape. You also need an alternative to a heel, something you can walk in. I could walk all over cities in Ballet Flats and have my feet not hurt. I love to have a pair in red ( I think every woman should own a pair of shoes that makes her feel like she's Judy Garland), but practically speaking black ones can do no wrong. They go with everything. Lastly, have some Boots. Everyone looks good in boots, and they are good to have when out of doors and in winter too!  
19) Grey or Black Blazer- Another piece I feel people should have for work and job interviews alone. Whether you go with like colors or have a blazer in a different shade than your bottoms, you still will always give a good air of professionalism. They can also be mixed with almost anything. Blazers over a dress or with jeans make any look feel effortlessly cool.   
20) Tweed or Brown Blazer- I can hear what some of you are thinking, "But Kristian, it's not my style; I like to feel feminine!" It can be good have some more androgynous items in your closet though. I love bows and polka dots and twirly skirts too, but there are times when less can be more. Mixing elements- rough with the soft, masculine with the feminine can give visual interest while keeping things understated.   

Friday, March 22, 2013

Film Flick: Funny Face

Funny Face has many of the hallmarks of a classic Audrey Hepburn film- foreign cities, glamorous clothes and a make-over, an older male lead, and romance, of course. It is considered by many one of her best, and there is much to adore in it. It is not without it's flaws, however, and ultimately it was these that kept me from falling in love as headlong and hard as some of her other works have.

Kay Thompson (perhaps most famously known as the creator of the irrepressible Eloise), plays a fashion editor in need of the Next Big Thing. Photographer Dick Avery, played by sixty-something Fred Astaire, thinks he's found what she's looking for in the "mousy" form of a bookshop employee, Jo. Jo, played by the decidedly not mousy Audrey Hepburn, has other ideas, but agrees to give modeling a try after learning she gets to go to Paris. There she and Avery start to fall in love during the creative process of the photo shoots. During her off-time (and sometimes when she should really be working!) though, Joe meets her idol- a philosopher who is much more young and, well, male than she would ever have guessed! The head and the heart; the creative and the logical are at odds in The City of Love, and it is anyone's guess as to which it is Jo truly wants!

The plot might sound like a fairytale- one that could never happen in real life, but, however implausible it might sound, the story is true! Funny Face's plot was based on famous photographer Richard Avedon's marriage to model "Doe. "As in the movie, Avedon had found an intellectual, if every-day, girl (in actuality, an office girl rather than a bookshop employee), and lured her into the world of fashion with travel. He too transformed her into a world-class model and married her, but they were divorced by the time the film was released. Avedon's influence in the film didn't just stop at the storyline though. Almost all of the photographs in the film were his-including the iconic close up of Hepburn's face in which just her features can be seen. He was also the visual consultant for the film, and added to the cast several real life models including Domiva. And, like in the film, Domiva really did enjoy reading comic books!

With  the photographer who inspired the story also behind the camera lens, it shouldn't surprise anyone that the best part of the film is the visually stunning photo shoot montage. Along with many of Hepburn's most iconic images, the montage also included her famous line, spoken in that lilting accent, "Take the picture!" Beautiful clothes, beautiful surroundings and beautiful people- all this gives the viewers little reason to doubt our two main characters falling in love at this point! It makes even a 30 year age difference a moot point. Also delightful, was the performance given by Kay Thompson. Though she usually kept to behind the scenes as a vocal coach, here she has such vibrancy, that one simply cannot imagine anyone else playing the part, except maybe the real life magazine editors Diana Vreeland of Vogue or Harper's Bazaar's Carmel Snow on whom Thompson's character was based.
No, there were only two real failings of this film, but unfortunately, they were large. The first was, despite being a musical, it didn't feel like a musical, and probably would have moved along  much better without the songs. This seems counter-intuitive. After all, the songs were by Gershwin, and Fred Astaire is and always will be movies' number one dance man! But the songs don't really move the story forward; they stop the action. Plus, while Astaire and Thompson both have good voices and plenty of energy, it must be admitted that Hepburn possessed only an average voice. Not bad, but probably not one that really needed to be recorded and put in the movies either. The other thing that kept me and the film at arm's length from one another was the heroine. Perhaps in this I am overly critical, but even Hepburn's immense charm could not overcome what the plot does with the lead role. Jo is constantly eschewing the world of charm and beauty that Thompson and Astaire are trying to pull her into, which, okay, might not be everyone's cup of tea. But Jo also shows an appalling lack of work ethic or even responsibility  She is constantly missing from work, late to important events, and standing people up. There is a pretty constant lack of regard for other people. She also never really grows or changes in the film, except to fall in love, and, for me personally, this is not enough reason to like her.

What do you think? Does this film charm you, or is Hepburn's Funny Face not enough to keep you coming back to this dreamy version of Paris again and again?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

What I Wore: As a Teddy Girl

Teddy Girl
Teddy Girl
Teddy Girl
Teddy Girl
Teddy Girl

What I Wore: Shirt (J. Crew), Blazer (Old; H&M), Skirt (Pin Up Girl), Shoes (Minnetonka), Scarf (Yarnworks by Danyon

Ever get an idea for an outfit in your head, but you put it on and something isn't quite right? So you try a little something else- add a hat, take away a scarf- and the look somehow evolves right into that perfect look. That would be this. The blazer gives me just a little bit of sense of a Teddy Girl- not quite androgynous, but with a definite menswear flare. 

If you've never heard of the term "Teddy Girl" before, don't worry. Until just recently, I hadn't either. "Teddy Girls" (also called "Judies) was the nickname given to one of the first youth cultures that arose in post-WWII London; they were the female counterparts to the slightly more well-known "Teddy Boys." This Teddy Girl subculture seems to have mostly flown under the radar with only one article on the group being written during their own time, and very few pictures taken. Honestly, the subculture is probably only getting the attention it is now because Ken Russell, one of the few photographers who did take photos of these girls, died, and a post-humous exhibit entitled The Last of the Teddy Girls toured. Not much about them is known even today, but you can find out more here, and here

Speaking of women in menswear, I was perusing back issues of my favorite online magazine, Matchbook Girl (So much easier to read with a Tablet! I'm delighting in going back into their archives now!), and I came across this article about a book entitled Tomboy Style. The author says in this article that she divided the book in categories based on different types of Tomboy Styles too. Would you get this book? And what style, if any, of a Tomboy are you? 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Care Package Post


It has been forever since I did a care package post! This was sent to my sister in college.

We sent her: A plant for Easter, avocados (her favorite), a treasure box with pressed flowers and fortune inside, An assortment of teas, sudoku puzzles (she a whiz at them!), Two cards with instructions on the envelope, The Sun Magazine (My father's photo in on the inside back cover), and the book Knit Your Own Dog (it has a pattern for Wire Haired Fox Terriers like our family breeds)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What I Wore: Over the Rainbow


What I Wore: Shirt (New York and Company), necklace (Popbasic), skirt (thrifted at Red Light in Portland),  Petticoat (Portland Boutique), Shoes (Montana Vintage)

Ah! The magic of clothes. I wore this basic look to work, but with the addition of a petticoat, and trading sensible flats for some blue sling-backs and I was ready for a date with the Boy! The florals felt just right for the springy weather we enjoyed throughout the week (oh, fickle Wyoming. We know snowstorms are not long in coming though.), and the entire thing had a bit of a fifties vibe that seemed all things feminine- perfect for a date! 

Our night out was  of the typical (photo shoot &) Dinner & A Movie variety. Amos took me to see Disney's The Great and Powerful Oz. Something you may or may not know about me, if I'm a HUGE Oz fan, especially the books. L. Frank Baum wrote 14 Oz books in total as well as a large number of other children's fantasies that all took place more or less in the same canon. After Baum's death, a series of other writers became "Oz Historians" and wrote a total of 40 Oz books that are considered canon. Sadly, most of the ones by other authors were not available to me as a kid, but the ones I could get my hands on- I devoured. I reread over and over. True Story- he librarians at the Public library commented on it when the rare occasion happened and I did not have even one Oz book among my 12 (our library's limit). 

So you can imagine I was...curious, a little concerned even, about this latest Oz movie. Disney owns all the movie rights to all but the first book, and in the eighties did a very well-done adaptation of two of the books. That movie is the cult-classic Return to Oz. So, I knew they could do it justice, but wasn't sure if this newest film would. Well.... I liked parts. The climax was fun to watch. Most of the plot-line was ridiculous, and even my father- who is the most easy-going of film-patrons- said they needed somebody to go over their script with them. Also, I was not a fan of most of the CGI. It is a fantasy land, but it is not Who-ville; the plants are allowed to look real and not cartoony. Oh well. Maybe this film will spark some other little girl's interest in Oz, and she too will fall in love with reading by going Over The Rainbow to meet Dorothy Gale, Ozma of Oz, The Hungry Tiger, the Patchwork Girl, the Shaggy Man, and so many, many more! 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Wedding Website

So, this is what I was working on this weekend. I'll admit, I'm not entirely sure if guests will actually look at/check this thing. I hope they do; the FAQ talks about our retro/50's theme and dance floor stuff, so it'd be nice for people to know about that stuff. At any rate, it is done and once I was over the stress of having-yet-another-wedding-thing-to-do, it was even a bit fun. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

What I Wore: Long Skirts and High Buns


What I Wore: Sweater (Old), Skirt (Catworld via, boots and legging (old), You Really Dot Me Top (Modcloth), Hair doughnut (H&M)

This is one of those outfits that I've been meaning to get on the blog forever, because I wear it All. The. Time. It never fails to make me feel elegant and intelligent (can clothes make you feel smarter?). Plus, several of the students at an elementary I work at said I looked like a princess in it. Now, I'm no Kate Middleton, but that still seemed like a pretty awesome thing to aspire to look like!

As much as I'd like to take credit for the outfit, it was actually inspired by this outfit from Kekio Lynn. Think I saw this outfit way before I'd ever thought of becoming a blogger. It was one of those outfits that made me think 'Hey, I could do that.' As in, I could make an outfit like that. Better yet, I could wear an outfit like that. I could wear that even in Small Town, Wyoming no less! Any of you have bloggers who's styles inspire or have inspired you? Who, what, where, when?! Answer in the comments below!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Subscription Boxes (Redux)

One of the favorite posts from the blog has consistently been this one on Subscription Packages. But, it is almost a year old! While all the companies listed there are still fun looking, a whole lotta new subscription box companies have made it to my radar, and they seem like their worth a second look. 

Olive Box

The Olive Box is self-described as a subscription service for "paper and lifestyle products." What does that mean? It means:  cards, stationary, calendars, art prints, stickers, labels, notepads, books, creative magazines, crafts made of paper and even home decor. Any combination of these items can be delivered monthly in themed package to your door. For example, this February's theme was Paris and January's was Love.  Memberships include 1 month, 3 month, six month and year-long plans. The items in your package will always meet or exceed in the monetary value the amount that you pay. A great gift for a lover of the written word. 


Popbasic technically isn't a subscription box. You can only sign up to receive their packages on a month to month basis, which is actually nice because then you are not locked into getting more than one package, or getting a package you did not want.  I included this fun company in the round-up though because the premise of being mailed a package of curated goods is the same.

Popbasic is a woman's fashion company that aims to expand a woman's wardrobe by filling it with basic and trend items. Each month they create a "micro-collection" of three items- generally one "basic" or closet staple clothing item and two trend items. The trend items seem to mostly be accessories such as jewelry or bags. Basics might include things such as a white button-up, a maxi skirt or benton striped shirt. The package also includes sample-sized beauty items. Each month the beauty item is a surprise, however the micro-collections are not. The micro-collections for each month are featured on their website, so you will know in advance what you are getting. The price of a Popbasic package will vary from month to month, but will average between $65-$100. You can see a more in-depth review of a Popbasic package here.

Stitch Fix

Don't like to shop? Or can't find the time to? Or are the right stores just no where in sight? That's where Stitch Fix tries to come in. When you sign up for a membership with the still-in-beta Stitch Fix you will fill out a "style profile." For twenty dollars, a real person will look at that profile, and find five items they think you'll like, and send it off in a package for you. If you like any of the items, you are then charged for them; any you don't like you just send back! Simple as that you can have a closet of clothes hand-picked by a personal stylist. 

Obviously, the real backbone of this operation is the "Style Profile." The style profile will ask for information including the basics like sizing, but will also ask for you to describe your style, have you compare different clothes and even asks for a twitter and other social media handles in order to "get to know you" better. They also ask about pricing. Though more of their clothing items are about $75.00 a piece, you can ask for cheaper or more expensive items. 

Fancy Box

Fancy is an online website that tries to curate and sell the most unique and "cool" items around. It is a gigantic site to surf though, and you might not have the time to do so! No worries. For $39.00 a month, Fancy will send you a "Fancy Box" filled with some of their favorite items. You can specify wanting certain types of goods- Men's, Women's, Kids, Pets, Home, Gadgets, Media, Sports & Outdoors, and Workspace items. This creates a balance between making each box a surprise and making sure you are getting what you want. They have also just started shipping boxes curated by celebraties, such as their collaboration with Ashton Kutcher.

Bespoke Post and Awesome Box

Bespoke Post are the makers of the Awesome Box. The Awesome Box is filled with men's lifestyle items. As their company name implies, all items they send you are of bespoke quality. Their boxes are sent monthly and each one will have items curated around unique themes. Past themes have included "Breathe" with items for decanting wine, "Shave" with shaving items, and "Summer Essentials" just to name a few.

Each month the company previews what is included in their Awesome Box, each of which cost about $45.00. If you sign up for a membership that first box is sent to you and then charged to your account. Simple enough. After that first box, you will receive an email letting you know what is in each new month's box. If you do not want that month's box, simply email the company back before the fifth and you skip that month's box for no charge. You will only ever be billed for the boxes you do receive  If, on getting an Awesome Box, you find the items are not so Awesome, there is an easy returns service. In addition to this month's box, Bespoke Post also sells limited numbers of past boxes.They also provide gift certificates with for one, three or six boxes. As with a regular membership, you can skip boxes you don't want, so you will truly be giving only gifts they love. I gave this to The Boy as a Christmas Gift. See how he liked his Bespoke Box here!

Loot Crate
Last Christmas I was looking for a present for The Boy. With a a boyfriend who solves Rubix Cubes in his spare time, you have to be prepared to get a little creative....or let Loot Crate get creative for you. Loot Crate is a very affordable subscription service whose boxes are under $20.00, including shipping. But you'll always get a good amount of bang for your buck, if you are into "geeky" items. Loot Crate's target consumers are those who might describe themselves as geeks-and-gamers; if you or someone you know is into Doctor Who, Batman, Star Wars, and/or video games, you've hit the jackpot. Boxes will be filled with paraphernalia including snacks, gear, artwork, figurines from all those franchises and more. Be aware though, when you sign up, you will automatically be charged and recieve new boxes monthly until you cancel your subscription.

What do you think? Any of these need to be winging their way to your door? 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What I Wore: For Love of Films


What I Wore: Dress (Chichwish), Leggings (Old; similar here), Shrug (Ruche), Shoes (Old Navy), Belt (Old), Gold Chain Necklace (Gift), Sunglasses (

I'm going to let you in on a secret- I kinda love movies. I *heart* them, if you'll excuse the visual pun going on here.... Oh, wait. That probably wasn't a secret at all, was it? 

Here's what I think: A well-rounded person- they've read a few of the classic, right? I mean, there are things we get when we read The Grapes of Wrath, Huckleberry Finn, or Great Expectations. We get things from everything we read of course- comics and Bridget Jones have their place too- and we get things from anything we watch. But the right movies are kinda like the right books. They go further; they mean more. There are some things from films that- whether it is the themes, the honest emotion, the visuals, or something else- they move us; they become a part of the culture and our understanding is enriched from knowing them. So, I feel it is important to get literate with classic films. 

Casablanca is one such movie. It is, in fact probably my favorite movie, but that's not why I say that. It's fingerprints are all over our pop culture. Which is why when my dad came home with this story, we were really, honest-to-goodness shocked.  My dad, he teaches photography (Learn more about Photographic Communications at Northwest College here!) and one of the class assignments was a shot Film Noir style. Granted, kids today- he's not expecting them to have a deep, intimate knowledge of The Big Heat or even The Big Sleep. But he used Casablanca as an example of good, visual, film noir techniques.....And not a student had even heard of Casablanca, let alone seen it. How is that even possible? This is not obscure. I bought a Valentine's card with Casablanca, for goodness sake! "Here's looking at you kid," "Round up the usual suspects," "Play it again, Sam"* - It's everywhere. So, being the awesome teacher he is, they are going to have a movie night as homework. 

Anyway, seeing this old poster for the seminal film reminded me of this. Funny, what sparks the topic of a blog post! 

In regards to the outfit- this is my newest (and, I swear, last for awhile!) purchase. With the wedding coming up, I am trying to keep away from unnecessary spending, but a red dress seems like a closet staple, and I've been searching for the perfect one for months! This one is a pretty perfect fit on me and how sweet is the cut-out? Can't wait for warmer weather, so I can show that off some more. Oh, yes, you will definitely be seeing this baby a lot on the blog from now on. As to the accessories...well, I'll let you in on a real secret and say one of them juuuust might be used with a certain ensemble I'll be wearing in June. But which one is any reader's guess! 

*"Play it again, Sam" is actually a rather famous misquote from the Three Stoogie's paradoy named A Night in Casablanca. The line Ingrid Bergman actually says is "Play it, Sam. Play as 'As Time Goes By.' "

Monday, March 11, 2013

Wedding: Music Ideas

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you'll know I was looking at music for the wedding reception this weekend. Thanks for all your great suggestions! Truthfully, this is one of the parts I'm most excited about (oh, who I am kidding? I'm excited about ALL parts of the wedding), because The Boy and I love to dance. And, several of our friends started taking dance lessons too, so it won't just be us and our dance instructors out there doing actual dances. I mean, obviously, I'm hoping for a full floor, even if it is mostly free-form shaking about dancing, but it makes me so excited to have others there dancing the Lindy, the Cha-cha, the Mambo, Two-step, and Waltz. I suspect even the Polka will make an appearance.

Anyway, thought to get Monday started off right with some music, so here's a sampling of some of our wedding reception music ideas!

Sample Wedding Music by Kristian on Grooveshark

Friday, March 8, 2013

Film Flick: Some Like It Hot

'Well, nobody's perfect," but the movie just might be, if the awards its garnered are any indication at all! The American Film Institute ranked it at number fourteen on their top 100 greatest American Movies List, and, while they dropped the film down to number twenty-two on their revised edition of the list, it still made number one for American comedies. And let's not forget its Academy Awards for Best Costume Design and for Best Black and White Film.

A film such as this wasn't easy to make either, if rumors are to be believed. Marilyn Monroe was so hard to work with Billy Wilder, the director, banned her from the film's wrap party. And who can blame him, when she threw tantrums in which she refused to come out of her trailer and when she sometimes required upwards of fifty takes to get simple lines like "Its me, Sugar" or "Where's the bourbon" right? Tom Curtis, joked that kissing his co-star was like kissing Hitler. Monroe was not the only one to get some heat though. Curtis managed to offend Holllywood veteran Cary Grant by mimicking his way of speaking when his role, Joe, pretended to be a millioniare.

But despite such struggles, the movie is well-done. When two poor musicians accidently witness the St. Valentine's Massacre in Chicago, it becomes imperative to get out of the Windy City double quick. Which is why they sacrifice dignity- and leg hair- to cross-dress and join an all-girls band. But after meeting the sexy singer in the band, laying low (and ladylike) might be harder than it first seemed.

The film deserves its revered place as number one comedey with its timing and slapstick. The two main characters play off one another perfectly, each taking turns at being the straight man, and hence keeping it from being too stereotypical. Monroe manages to make ditzy funny (even if it probably wasn't in real life!) and, the entire soundtrack works to punch up any moment's humor-potential. As funny as the entire film is though, it might all be considered build up for that last, memorable line. Additionally, Monroe is, unsurprisingly, sexy as can be and manages to give us several good vocal performances.

Despite its strengths though, I did have one cravat-  Once part of this all-girls band, and having met a bombshell of a blonde, our heroes are presented with a problem: How does one woo when the lady in question thinks you are a her, not a him? This film's answer was to find out all her ideal qualities in a man and pretend to have them when you dress up as a (male) alter-ego. Many love stories have the theme of mistaken identity, and are quite well done. Something about this particular one rubbed me the wrong way, but that is a personal preference, one the humor of the film far out-weighs. So, prepare for some good laughs, kooky misunderstandings and some of Monroe's famous sex appeal and you'll find out why Some Like It Hot! 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

What I Wore: Black Skirt Remix

blackskirt2 Collage

With a Plaid Shirt | With a Button-Up | With a Scarf | With a Sweater | With Bowling Shoes

A black skirt goes with everything, as this remix shows (and heck yeah! After a year of blogging, I have enough outfit photos to show a real variety). Since I don't post outfits as often, it can sometimes be a bit deceiving, but I'm "remixing" my clothes all the time, and this black skirt from Pin-Up Girl Clothing is one of the real workhorses of my closet. Funnily enough, I wasn't even sure I liked it when The Boy got it for me. Turns out he knows me better than I know myself (or something like that anyway.) It is a little longer than you'll find most skirts these days, but it can be rolled, or filled out with a petticoat, or left as it's long, swingy self.

Best of all, this remix has reminded me of favorite outfits using this that haven't even made it to the blog yet. So you'll be seeing this baby again soon.

P.S. Thank you for all the kind words about my post earlier this week concerning authenticity. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Letter-Writing: Congratulatory Letters

Getting mail is a ton of fun, but in an increasingly digital world, writing it can sometimes be hard. This blog post series about Letter Writing aims to make it easier. 

Congratulations, For Your- fill in the blank. Life is full of changes and happy occasions, ones you might want to write congratulatory letters about. Here are just a few reasons you might be writing to congratulate a person- that person graduated or completed some sort of certification, they had a baby, got married, moved to a new home, are celebrating an anniversary of some sort. You might write if they got a promotion, an award, a scholarship, or if they completed some especial task like having a book published. The list could go on. And just as the reasons are varied, so will what you write vary to suit the occasion.

No matter the reason for writing a congratulatory letter though, one can assume the tone of the letter will be a joyous one, and the content focussed on the other person's event or achievement, rather than catching up on news. The formality will also vary depending on the capacity you are writing in, and level of intimacy you enjoy with the person. A boss will write in a different tone than a grandfather might, for example. In general though, this is one letter where you might strive for a more formal, and eloquent style. In fact, it is not uncommon for congratulatory letters to include quotes or poems. The trick is to keep the balance between eloquent and sincere. These are the type of letters people will keep and look back on in posterity  so make your words count!

The format of your congratulatory letter will usually follow this general guideline: After the date and standard greeting, start right off by expressing your happiness over their good fortune and follow that up by telling the recipient congratulations for whatever milestones you are commemorating. You might add a few lines about the work they had put in to get to this moment, or the bright future that lies ahead, or even, when appropriate, add a bit of advice to help them with the new tasks ahead. In some cases, such as with moving into a new home or having a new baby, an offer of help might be appropriate. Even if you have gone through a similar event, refrain from using those anecdotes as it is their moment not yours. As with all letters, it is quality over quantity. For the most part, this type of letter will be on the shorter side. Most will range from a few sentences to a couple of paragraphs.

In closing, here's a helpful hint- the exception-to-every-rule about writing congratulatory letters. Despite being called "Congratulatory letters" there are some cases where it is inappropriate to say the actually word "Congratulations." When you are writing to a woman on the occasion of their engagement or marriage, it is considered politer to say "Best Wishes" to the woman. To say "Congratulations," has the connotation you are implying the woman has finally caught herself a man; rather, you congratulate the man on getting an affirmative answer! Of course, in today's society, no one might notice if you phrase your well-wishing one way or another, but it never hurts to be safe from injuring a person's feeling with careless syntax!

Still wondering about writing a congratulatory letter? More reading here:

Letter Writing Series: Thank You Notes | Personal Correspondence | Love Letters | Sympathy Letters | Congratulatory Letters | Postcards | Letters of Appreciation | Correspondence Chess | Get Well Cards | Invitations | Holiday Letters | Letters of Recommendation | Letters to the Editor | Letters to Politicians | Penpal Letters | Fan Mail | Cover Letters | Letters of Complaint

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What I Wore: Coming Clean and Getting Authentic



What I Wore: Shirt (ModBod), Blazer (Cat World via, Locket (Gift), Bracelet (New York and Company), Pants (Wet Seal), Shoes (Old Navy)

This tree and boulder combo has fascinated us since the blog started; we pass on the way to many of our common photo shoot locations, but have never stopped at it before. It reminds me of one of those screen-savers. You know the ones; they're all very calm and mediative somehow.

We probably could have used some of that calm at the photoshoot. As it was, an act of carelessness led to the camera being left on the roof when we drove from this site and...yeah. You all know how that story ended. The Boy is a very positive person, the doesn't-cry-over-spilt-milk kind, but this is one of those infuriating moments where you know it didn't need to have happened, right? Strangely, one thing that he said about it was that it woke him up and reminded him that he wanted to live a more deliberate life. This has manifested in cleaning out the home office and getting projects done while we wait for the new camera to arrive.

But it got me thinking too. What does it mean to live a deliberate life. Honestly, things have been crazy around these parts. I never feel like I'm quite all there. You might not have been able to tell; it hasn't been mentioned on the blog. I like to keep Never Fully Dressed (Without a Style) a positive place because it is my place on the internet and there is enough negativity out there. But there's a line between positivity and authenticity, and somethings I've been afraid to mention here. So...

Things I've been afraid to mention

1) I substitute teach. This is not where I ideally want to be; I want to teach in an elementary classroom of my own. Every single job I've applied to for the last five years has literally had over a hundred applicants each. Usually more. If you've been job hunting recently, this is not news, but if you want to tell me about how you just sort of fell into your job thirty years ago...well, then it is news. Hiring time is coming around again, and can, at times, be very hard to face and be positive about. But you gotta try. 

2) I suffer from chronic migraines. I'll admit to the silver lining that other people might have worse migraines. I don't generally throw up, nor do I go temporarily blind, as some do. But I get them all the time, and they are still pretty debilitating. There are a lot of things that can trigger my migraines and I'm not always as careful as I should be, but sometimes I am and I still get them. Certain meds tend to help a lot, but I'll average nine or ten migraines a month. This is a big goal of the summer: get my headaches more under control. 

3) I've mentioned earlier that a family member came home from the hospital. Obviously, I can't talk too much about this for their privacy. Still, being part of a person's support network and one of the primary caregivers to a elderly person can sometimes seem to take over. 

4) I'm not sure most readers are very clear on where I live. And maybe you don't care (that is perfectly fine). I live with my parents. Yes, I'm sure some people would say this is rather sad and pathetic. It works for us, and I've always been grateful. My parents are in many ways my closest friends. We live in one town and The Boy lives in another town. I'll be moving there after the wedding, and stay there now from time to time. We are working on decorating it and fixing it up. It is not such a long distance relationship as many; we probably shouldn't complain, but it can get old to travel the thirty miles back and forth all the time. I am beyond excited to be living in the same place so soon. He's the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep and the first one I want to see on waking up! 

5) Is it okay to talk about the wedding here? I'm never very clear on how much it too much. No one wants to be a wedding-bore, nor a bridzilla. I'm not going to say wedding planning has never been stressful, but mostly it has gone surprisingly well (ask me again in a month and you might get a different answer). All our vendors but the baker have been hired, and all our venues booked. We start the pre-martial counseling with the pastor tomorrow. I've got my dress, and the bridesmaids are getting theirs. It has kept us busy. A good busy, but busy nonetheless. 

What does it all mean in terms of living a deliberate life? Not sure, but I think it is something I'll be exploring in the upcoming months (and blog posts). After all, I'm beginning a new chapter in my life here soon. Might as well be looking at what else that can mean besides a new mailing address. <>

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