Wednesday, October 30, 2013

October 2013 in Review

You might be forgiven for thinking October is every bloggers favorite month ever, because what blogger hasn't posted an ode to pumpkin spice or shared a zillion and two pics of leaves (guilty as charged!- at least on the latter account). But it has been a great month and here are just a few reasons it should be your favorite month too! 

Favorite Outfits October, Autumn, Fall, outfits, clothes, modcloth, popbasic, gamine

Tweed Bazer | Gingham Skirt | Golden Skirt

Favorite Mail
This month I shared a stationary wishlist, we talked about how to write invitations and got an inside peek at the subscription box company, Stitch Fix. Would you let a stylist pick out clothes for you via mail?

Favorite Movies
Try on the fashion styles of favorite films Annie Hall and Sabrina, or curl up to watch Halloween flick, Bell, Book, and Candle!

Favorite Plans
October started off with a bang, sharing some ideas of things to do with the monthly Why Don't You... post. It was also a month that saw a lot of changes on the blog. I attended the online conference Alt for Everybody (recap here) in September, and have been fired up to make Never Fully Dressed better than ever! Among other changes,  there were two new blog post series  introduced this month- Cinema Style and the Dogeared Page!What did you think of either of these? I also asked you for input with this survey (It is not too late to help out and give your opinion!You can also share further ideas in the comment section below). I'm well aware some of these changes might be great, and some might be seen as unsuccessful risks I took. But, hey, you gotta break a few eggs in order to make a blog, right? Or something like that. Speaking of, the topic of risk-taking was the centerpiece of this month's Q+A, when we asked What is the Biggest Risk You Ever Took.

Lest you think October was all blog and no play, we were excited that dance classes started up again (The boy and I do social dancing, both ballroom and "country" dances), and I also daydreamed about shopping with this fall list.


Favorite Finds

Did you play with American Girl Dolls as a kid? What about paper dolls?

I'm in love with this new blog series by Messages on a Napkin called What to Wear

A case for cursive? 

Katrina looks purrfect, Jenn nails casual style at it's best, and Carrie is a floral dream.

Newly rediscovered silent films!

A voice I could listen to for days + a beloved children's classic? Yes, please.

Loving this new-to-me blog, Vintageshere. Check out her use of color!

It's Not Happening Here, But It Is Happening Now

The Pineneedle Collective put together a directory for ethical clothing shopping

Edible Flags

What do Brad Pitt, Wes Anderson and Japan have in common? This commercial.

How Movies Teach Manhood- A must watch for anyone with a child in their life.

Guess what America leads the world in?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What I Wore: Put a Smile On Your Face

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What I Wore: Sweater (Old; Similar Here), Red Jeans (Wet Seal; Similar Here), Fur scarf (Vintage), Purse (Vintage; Similar Here)

I've been dying to show you this outfit forever- since last winter, in fact! This is a go-to outfit for me, because it never fails to make me feel pretty and happy. Last winter, its what I'd wear when I was happy, when I was blue,  when I was just going to be around the house that day, when we were going out and I wanted to impress, when I wanted to be comfortable. Something about the color red? Or the softness of the fur? The skinny jeans  that give it a delightfully Audrey Hepburn feeling? Whatever it was, I loved having this as a winter "uniform," and have no doubt it will be back in just as much of a heavy rotation this year too.

Do you have a no-fail outfit that puts a smile on your face?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Start, Stop, Continue Survey

I am constantly working to improve your reading experience with Never Fully Dressed (Without a Style), and would love your feedback. Share what you think I should Start, Stop and Continue to do on my blog by taking this short survey below. It will just take a few minutes, and will be indispensable to me. Thank you!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Cinema Style: Sabrina

Is there any woman who hasn't- at some point in her life- named Audrey Hepburn as their style icon? Whether you are currently in an Audrey Phase, or not, though, it is undeniable that she and her partnership with Givenchy changed the face of fashion in an enduring way. Hepburn's film Sabrina(review here) is a modern day fairytale, complete with a makeover to wow her prince(s). Unlike a fairytale though, Hepburn gets her transformation from Givenchy (in their first collaboration together), rather than a fairy godmother and that is infinitely preferable.

Though the dreamy evening gown created for Sabrina's triumphant appearance at the Laraby ball is to die for, she is also a girl with many other looks, all of which might be a tad more... everyday-wearable.

Sabrina film style

Gloves , Dress, Shoes (Similar HereChoker, Hat 


A  cocktail dress with a high boater neck hid Hepburn's collarbone, which she was sensitive about. Who knew then that it would launch a look eventually often named for Audrey, herself? And you can't go wrong with the color black (though promotional posters show the dress as a wine-dark color!) To get even more of a Sabrina Fairchild look- add bows to tie around the shoulders and an interesting fascinator for your head.



If you still want some of Hepburn's charming look, but cocktail dresses don't figure into your day, why not don this super simple combo of a plaid shirt and high-waisted shorts? In fact, I've discovered for myself how easy this look is to do. Don't forget to add ballet flats and pop your collar for extra flair. 

Sabrina film style

Shorts, Shoes, Earrings, Shirt

What other ways have you incorporated some of Audrey Hepburn's iconic style into your own? Or is there another icon you like better?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Remix: Plaid

What could be more basic, and more autumnal than a good plaid shirt? This closet staple sees me through from the first hint of dropping temperatures all the way through the coldest winter months and never gets old. (In fact, I was even wearing this when I got engaged!)

Do you have a favorite way to remix plaid? Let me know; I'm always looking for more ideas!
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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Stitch Fix Box Review

Stitch Fix is a subscription service I've mentioned before, and this past September and October, I finally took the plunge to try out!  The basic idea of Stitch Fix is in each box you will be sent five items in or below your price range that are your style. If you like the items, you pay and keep them! If you don't, you send them back. But how accurate can a company and stylist you've never seen be? That's what I was determined to find out!
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When you sign up for Stitch Fix, you provide a form of payment, as each box has a twenty dollar styling fee attached to it.  You also fill out a Style Survey. Most of the questions are about general style (would you describe your style as: romantic? Bohemian?) and include both words and images to help get a feel for what you like. They also ask if you are "More of a dress gal or a jeans girl." It also has a space for you to pick a price bracket. Most of the clothes you choose will be in your price bracket, but if there are items lower than that bracket the stylist thinks you'll love, they might send you cheaper items too! The company does ask for links to any social media or website you want to share with them, but I'm unclear how much they look at those links to help them.

Once it is filled out, you pick a date to get a box and one will arrive at your door. Once the box arrives, you can see what they picked. Each clothing item will have a price tag and will also have a small style guide attached to it to give you ideas on how to wear it with items you already own (as seen above). You can feel free to try out the clothing too. One of the big advantages of Stitch Fix is you can try on their items and see how they work with your wardrobe right in the comfort of your own home!

Within a day or so of getting your box, an email will also arrive at your inbox, reminding you to check out. The check out process is similarly very easy to do with StitchFix. They have a list a of the items sent to you and their cost. You pick whether you will be keeping each item. There is also a space to leave feedback about what you did or didn't like about each item. This, I feel, is an important component of how the company works. Here is your main opportunity, after the survey, to interact with your stylist. After you've said whether or not you are keeping the items, it will show you your total, and charge the card on your account. If you buy any of the items, the twenty dollar styling fee goes towards the cost of your total (and if you don't buy anything, you are still charged the twenty dollars). If you buy all five items you get a discount.

If you don't like items, Stitch Fix makes it very easy to send those items back; it is a simple two step process and you are not charged for the clothes or their return. First, let them know you will not be keeping the items when you check-out, and then you just put the unwanted items back into a pre-paid for return bag that needs to be sent back within three business days. Take that bag to your local post office and it is on it's way!

Stitch Fix was easy to use, for me.
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Not gonna lie. I got my first box in September and- It. Was. Awful. Hardly anything fit right, and almost nothing was my style. I won't say the pieces (or at least most of them. One could not be redeemed) weren't cute. They were. In fact, I could see several of my friends in those pieces. They were just not me. This could have been how the survey was filled out; I do, after all, tend to an eclectic taste. More likely, I thought, the first Stitch Fix box just wasn't going to be that good- how can they know me, my size and my style from just a survey, after all?

So I signed up for one more box to be delivered in October. I was detailed in explaining what I did not like about the September Box and also left a comment about two certain items I was looking for. This extra information really seemed to help, because I really liked my Stitch Fix in October much better.

The October box focussed much more on basic items. I was sent the two items I mentioned I was looking for- a white sweater and a pair of darker wash skinny jeans. Both were fantastic! I was also sent a LBD, a black long sleeve T with embellishments and a red cardigan. Of these five items, I only kept the white sweater; the jeans were also great and for the quality well priced, but I'd actually already picked up some skinny jeans between the September and October Stitch Fix. As for the other items- I mostly felt they were nice items, if sometimes overpriced for the quality. However, I already had a LBD and a red cardigan, and a T shirt was not my current style, though I could see it would have been considered quite a nice shirt for many a local cowgirl. Interestingly, I think Stitch Fix must mostly buy items that cannot be bought in regular stores. I looked to see if my Doleman Sleeve shirt could be bought anywhere else, and you must buy directly from wholesalers. Also, though not all items were, at least some (including my white sweater) were items made in the USA.

The October box also came with a surprise- a chance to work with the group Thred-Up! Stitch Fix Members also had a chance for a coupon to birch box that would arrive with their November Stitch Fix as well. While this opportunity is no longer available, I was very interested to know that the company Stitch Fix worked regularly with other companies to bring their customers good deals.


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Overall, I enjoyed the experience with Stitch Fix, with several cravats. First, I do think it gets better with time. The most Fixes you order, the better the stylist will know you and the better your clothing items will be (for you). Secondly, though the option is there to sign up for monthly boxes, I'm not sure I'd get one every month. Too much temptation to get too much!

However, I loved having the time and leisure to try on items at home, so I could see how my own wardrobe looked with the Stitch Fix items, and I loved having the time to decide if I wanted an item or not. The sign-up process and the returns process were both pretty convenient. I also felt that the company really does listen to you in terms of what you want, and what you did and did not like. This is a great subscription box, especially if you do no like to shop in stores or don't have the time, or just want something different from what everyone else has. If you haven't already, I'd highly recommend you give Stitch Fix a try!  If you are a Stitch Fix customer, what has your experiences been? Share in the comments below.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What I Wore: Here's to Love

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What I Wore: Shirt (Similar Here), Pants (59th Street; Similar Here), Gold Necklace (vintage; Similar Here), Shoes (Similar Here), Hat (Target; Similar Here)


This was not the hat I'd originally intended to wear with this outfit. However, a dusting of snow prompted a change to a hat that would keep my ears warm. Then it warmed up. Isn't that how it always goes? Still, I rather like the mood this hat created. Between it and my shorter hair it is a little Faye Dunaway a la Bonnie and Clyde, don't you think? 

I didn't wear it to rob any banks though. This was what I wore to at the dinner celebrating my parent's 34th wedding anniversary. Congratulations, Mom and Dad. I want a marriage as successful and happy as yours has been. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Q+A: The Biggest Risk You Ever Took

Risk is one of those buzz words you hear thrown around a lot. To succeed you must take risks. Which I will agree with, but success (and risk taking) is highly personal. Oddly, I think many of my biggest risks were admitting to changes of heart. Choosing a new degree and career path in college, choosing a new home, turning down an opportunity that did not seem right (this, by the way, was a teaching job in Kuwait. Two days after turning the job down, the Arab Spring happened). My biggest though, may have been turning down a job opportunity because I had recently met a man and been on a few dates with him. The number of dates, mind you, was probably not enough to warrant the decision I made, and I am not one to normally advocate making decisions based on a man, but... something told me to turn down the job and see where things headed with this Boy, who turned out to be The Boy. And though I am happily married  to The Boy now, that decision still has repercussions both positive and negative in my life.

Risk is an inherent part of life.


Four bloggers share their biggest risks. What was the biggest risk you ever took?
Q+A


Erica of Sweets and Hearts

The biggest risk I ever took was choosing to study fashion marketing in college. My parents pushed for me to study something more "practical", but I knew in my heart that it was what I was most interested in. The fashion industry is hard to get into, and it's filled with lots of difficult personality types, but it's also one of the most creative and exciting industries to be a part of! After a short internship and a few unfulfilling jobs post-college (ugh, retail), I've finally found a fashion copywriting position at an online designer consignment store and I couldn't be happier! It's worth taking a risk when it comes to your career if you know you'll be happier in the long run. It can take some time to get where you want to be, but the best thing you can do for yourself is stay optimistic and do what makes you happy.

Rachel of Floral Prints and Common Sense: 


I don't want to sound cliche or anything, but one of the biggest risks I ever took was starting this blog of mine! People on the internet can be cruel, what with the anonymity, and it's kind of scary to just like, post tons of photos of yourself. I'm no model, and my fashion sense is a little on the quirky side, so I wasn't sure if I'd get 100% positive reception. What was even scarier for me personally, though, was launching my etsy shop. I was really worried that no one would like what I had to sell, and since my art is very personal and important to me, facing that kind of rejection was arguably more daunting than posting about my life on my blog. Really though, both endeavors have paid off. I've made so many new friends and learned a lot about myself as a blogger, and my shop has connected me with really great people and given me some valuable experience in running my own business and working with clients. Putting yourself out there is scary, but definitely worth it! Follow your dreams, guys!


Lisa of Lala Faux Bois:

I'd have to say the biggest risk I ever took was when I moved to Arizona to get my pilot's license. I was born and raised in Oregon, and although it's super beautiful, all those rainy days didn't work well for me. Also, I really wanted to get my pilot's license and the process was realllly slowed down with so many rain cancellations. I got it in my head that I was moving to the desert after college, so I packed what fit in my Honda Civic and made the trek to Arizona. I got my pilot's license, and although the training has been on a long pause, it still feels like my biggest accomplishment. The first time I was flying solo in an airplane, I couldn't believe I was fulfilling this long-time dream. I kind of hate that my biggest risk (which was kind of 2 in 1, I guess...) is now 13 years ago- looks like it's time to shake things up again!

Sammi of the Soubrette Brunette:

It's hard for me to nail down what the biggest risk I've taken would be, and I realized that's because my chosen field involves constant risk-taking!  It'd probably be impossible to stay inside your comfort zone and still gain success as an actor.  I think the hardest thing for me is playing sexy characters on stage, because there are so many private elements to that that suddenly become public.  I've had to do this a couple of times, and though I'll never really be typecast in these kinds of roles, facing your fears by playing other characters can be kind of liberating and safe in a way, because they're not directly connected to you, if that makes sense.  But every time I put myself out there and audition for a show, I'm taking a risk.  There's a lot of rejection in this industry, and every time you step foot in an audition, you're risking being rejected and all that comes along with that; this career is not for the faint of heart.  Ultimately, I guess my decision to pursue performing will always be my "big risk," but I can't imagine not doing it.  I'm risking not having a steady paycheck, not knowing when I'll book another job, and not having a permanent, settled lifestyle, but nothing ventured, nothing gained!


Share your biggest risk in the comments below!


P.S. Don't forget! If you want to be featured on a future Q+A, just leave a comment below or contact me at withoutastyle@gmail.com! 



Friday, October 18, 2013

Film Flick: Bell, Book, and Candle


There would be more to follow in its footsteps, some, arguably, much better. But Bell, Book and Candle is more than just a way to be excommunicated from the Catholic Church. It is also nineteen fifties rom-com perfect for your Halloween season. How could it not be, when it is a story of witchcraft and love?





A community of witches, warlocks and magic co-exists, unknown to most mortals, right alongside us, even (or perhaps most especially) in New York City.  Gillian, as well as her aunt, brother and a whole host of crazy characters, are just a few of this mostly unseen community in hip Greenwich Village. Since magic (literally) cannot pay the bills, Gillian (Kim Novak) spends her days, tending to her shop of African fetishes, and nights at the magic community's favorite hang-out, The Zodiac Club. It all feels very same-old, same-old to Gillian until one night the trio of family members runs into some unexpected company at their nightly haunt. A despised, former classmate of Gillian's and her fiance, Shep (Jimmy Stewart),  wander in from the cold only to be befuddled by the beatnik and downright witchy atmosphere in the place. Seeing a moment for revenge, Gillian- with the aid of her familiar- casts a love spell to draw Shep's attention. But is it only a spell if both are falling in love? She might not have time to find out, since her brother's helping write a book that could expose them all. Can love and magic really co-exist?! And just what does happen to a witch in love?



Novak's character was sultry, cat-like, and aloof- and sometimes this left me a little cold towards her. No doubt this characterization was a deliberate way to show she is a witch, and that there is something uncanny about her. However, it can at times make it hard to connect with. And a sixties film about a woman not being able to Have It All- well, let's just remember The Feminine Mystique had not yet been written! Opposite Novak was Jimmy Stewart in what was to be his last romantic lead (he had been contracted to do this Colombia film in exchange for Novak being lent out earlier that year for Hitchcock's Vertigo). The twenty-five year age difference shows much more in this film than Vertigo. But then, it is not fair to compare a thriller like that to this lighthearted fare. Ironically, another favorite of Hitchcock's, Cary Grant (who was older, but looked younger), campaigned unsuccessfully for the role. The real acting chops in this film belong to the large host of secondary characters though, who all excel at comedic beats. Jack Lemmon played Gillian's bongo-playing brother Nicky, Ernie Kovacs dons a ridiculous mustache as a writer trying to find witches, and both Hermione Gingold and Elsa Lanchaster give great turns as dotty, old witches. 

Overall, Bell, Book and Candle might be nothing to write home about, exactly, but it is also nothing to turn one's nose up at either. It is fun, holiday fare with filled with some mild laughs, lots of smiles and even a few jibes at beatniks. Go ahead and watch- it will make your Halloween a little more witchy and a whole lot more fun!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

What I Wore: Rocky Mountain High

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What I Wore: Shirt (New York and Company), Necklace (Popbasic), Bracelets (Popbasic and New York and Company; Similar Here), Shoes (Old Navy), Skirt (Vintage; Similar Here), Belt (Vintage; Similar Here)


If you've read Never Fully Dressed at all before, you've probably noticed the mountains in the background of almost all our photo shoots, but I'm not sure I've ever mentioned that we are literally right next to those mountains. In fact, we drive through a canyon to get to our most frequently used photo shoot location, The Buffalo Bill Reservoir. Well, for a change of pace, we didn't make it all the way out of the canyon and instead are showing off some of the neat geological features present in the area with these canyon walls. I love how geology like this can tell a story of a place. The sharply rising juts of stone telling where friction pushed up abruptly, the painted lines showing where water rose too, and all that. In fact, for a long time, the arid desert I called home was underwater! All the kids around here learn that early one because taking fossil hunting trips is one of the big parts of the local elementary kid life.

Also in this photoshoot would be... an outfit (Surprise, surprise I know. Well, it IS a fashion blog)! This look is actually quite similar to one I've shown off before, but I feel the accessories lend it an entirely different feeling.As usual, I'm wearing a lot of Popbasic items. Getting addicted to them! Despite being in a skirt and with stacks of jewelry on, this seems somehow rugged to me, matching the backdrop perfectly. What are your favorite accessories to be wearing of late? A favorite necklace or a belt you adore? Anyone wearing hats?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Letter-Writing: Invitations

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. 

Got a party or event? Then you'll probably want people to know about it. This is where invitations come in. In this digital age, e-vites are becoming more common, but if it is an at all formal event, you're likely going to be sending the good old-fashioned paper kind too. There are no hard and fast rules to writing invitations; what the invitation is for will be your guide. But here are some tips to get your invitations off to a good start: 

photo source: unknown

1) Be sure to include the following: What the event is (wedding, funeral, party, dance etc.), where it will be held, when the event is (include the date, the day of the week, and the time the event starts), and who is being invited. If applicable, also include information about who the event is being held for/in honor of, and who is hosting.

2) Sometimes additional information or instructions might also be needed for the guest. Do they need to bring anything (a gift or foodstuff perhaps)? Is there a specific dress code (FYI: White Tie mean men will wear white ties and vests with black tails; black tie affairs have men in tuxes with black ties; semi-formal affairs have men in suits and jackets. For women, the dress code is much looser, but most would still wear formal evening gowns to white and black tie affairs, and shorter dresses would be more common at semi-formal events)? 

3) If additional information about getting to the event is needed, these are often on a separate, smaller piece of paper. The information might include: a map; driving or walking directions; or information about alternative transportation. 

4) Invitations are written in the third person. It lends a certain formality, and also helps communicate who is hosting the event. An example of this is, "Lisa Satterlee requests the pleasure of your company at a retirement party for her husband, Craig."

5 )In general, the more formal the event the more formal the wording. The exception is if you are writing to children. Then clearer instructions, less formality, and writing at an appropriate reading levels takes precedence. 

6) You say "request the honor of your presence" when the event is being held at a church or other place of worship, and you say "request the pleasure of your company" if the event is being held at any other location. 

7) There are several convention about writing the guests' and hosts' names. You should always use and spell out full titles, with the exception of any general titles (such as Doctor/Dr, Missus/Mrs. or Mister/Mr.). You do not need to add the PhDs or other degrees at the end of any titles though. Some of the titles you might write out in full include, but are not limited to, military ranks and governmental posts such as judges or mayors. Also, invitations should include both the hosts' and guests' names in full, with first and last names. The exception is when a person's relation has been established to someone who's last name has been mentioned. For example in the line, "Lisa Satterlee requests the pleasure of your company at a retirement party for her husband Craig," We know that Craig's last name will be the same as Lisa's because his relation to her as a husband has been established. This is also common on wedding invitations where the parents are hosting; the bride and/or groom's last names are sometimes left off, since the relationship to the host(s) is clear. Lastly, if you choose to include middle names of any guests, hosts or honorees, those too need to be fully written out and not just as initials. 


Photo source: Thomas Printers

8) If you require an estimate of how many guests will be coming, remember to include an RSVP. Most often such events will be limited to ones where you must make a reservation, serve food or have exact numbers of chairs. For more formal events, like a wedding, you should include a separate pre-addressed and stamped page and/or envelope for guests to send you the information. If you do not choose to send RSVP stationery  remember to include ways for your guests to contact you (i.e. if you prefer a phone call or email indicating their acceptance, don't forget to include your phone number or email address).  Always include a return address at the top of your invitation's envelope as well; some people will write letters of acceptance back to you. 

For further reading, look at these articles: 
The Etiquette of Writing Wedding Invitations by Susan Fox at the For Dummy's website 
Basic Invitation Writing Guideline/Tips for Outlines at the Lifetips website
How to Write an Invitation from Best Letter Help


LETTER WRITING SERIES: THANK YOU NOTES | PERSONAL CORRESPONDENCE | LOVE LETTERS | SYMPATHY LETTERS | CONGRATULATORY LETTERS | POSTCARDS | LETTERS OF APPRECIATION | CORRESPONDENCE CHESS | GET WELL CARDS | LETTERS TO SICK CHILDREN | INVITATIONS | HOLIDAY LETTERS | LETTERS TO SANTA| LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION | LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | CIRCLE LETTERS | LETTERS TO POLITICIANS | WRITING TO ADVICE COLUMNS | THE LETTER WRITING GAME | PENPAL LETTERS | LETTER OF COMPLAINT | COVER LETTERS | LETTERS TO PRISONERS | OPEN LETTERS | LETTERS TO FUTURE YOURSELF | LETTERS OF APOLOGY | "OPEN WHEN" LETTERS | FAN MAIL | GOOD BYE LETTER |



Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What I Wore: In Better Sweater Weather

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What I Wore: Dress (Modcloth; Similar Here), Sweater (via Stitch Fix; Similar Here), Shoes (Gift; Similar Here); Leggings (Similar Here), Shirt (Forever 21), Hat (Vintage; Similar Here)


Autumn leaves and autumn looks- if you just glanced at these pictures you might mistake these mountains for having better sweater weather (say that three times fast!). In fact, the mountains did have surprisingly nice weather, but notice that word- surprise. It has been facilitating between fall crispness and winter storms around these parts for the last few weeks. Either way though- you might want a good sweater. 

I've been practically living in this one I got from the subscription box company StitchFix. Keep your eyes peeled, as I'll be going into more detail about StitchFix in days to come, but suffice to say, I am really digging this dolman sleeve sweater. 

Also new is the golden skirt- which is actually a golden dress to be precise. It came when I decided to try out Modcloth's latest out of Stylish Surprises a few weeks back. For those unfamiliar, it is pretty much what is sounds like. The clothing company, Modcloth, sends you a surprise item in your size. For fifteen dollars, I can't complain. Sure, it is a little redundant in my wardrobe since I already have a similar golden skirt (seen here). Stil. Pretty is pretty, especially when you get to frolic in the mountains in it. 

Any of you ever try StitchFix or Modcloth's Style Surprise? What did you think of it all? 


Monday, October 14, 2013

Dogeared Page: Emily of New Moon


In Dean Priest Emily found, for the first time since her father had died, a companion who could fully sympathize. She was always at her best with him, with a delightful feeling of being understood. To love is easy and therefore common--but to UNDERSTAND--how rare it is! They roamed wonderlands of fancy together in the magic August days that followed upon Emily's adventure on the bay shore, talked together of exquisite, immortal things, and were at home with "nature's old felicities" of which Wordsworth so happily speaks. 

 Emily showed him all the poetry and "descriptions" in her "Jimmy- book" and he read them gravely, and, exactly as Father had done, made little criticisms that did not hurt her because she knew they were just. As for Dean Priest, a certain secret well-spring of fancy that had long seemed dry bubbled up in him sparklingly again.

 "You make me believe in fairies, whether I will or no," he told her, "and that means youth. As long as you believe in fairies you can't grow old."

 "But I can't believe in fairies myself," protested Emily sorrowfully. "I wish I could."

 "But YOU are a fairy yourself--or you wouldn't be able to find fairyland. You can't buy a ticket there, you know. Either the fairies themselves give you your passport at your christening--or they don't. That is all there is to it." 

 "Isn't 'Fairyland' the LOVELIEST word?" said Emily dreamily. 

 "Because it means everything the human heart desires," said Dean.


-Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Cinema Style: Annie Hall.

We're rolling out a new series this month. The fact of the matter is, my love of cinema definitely has influenced my style. Movies has probably influenced all of us in that department, actually! Now you can see how to capture some movie magic in your everyday looks, with Cinema Style.

If you've ever read my blog, this would be  obvious by the number of times I've dressed like Annie Hall. Winning Best Picture of the year, Annie Hall is about finding- and keeping- love in the 1970s (want to know a bit more? Read my full review here). Diane Keaton wore much of her own wardrobe while portraying the title character, and caused a fashion craze in her wake. This slightly boxy and oversized look has a timeless, androgynous appeal that has never really gone away. Luckily, it is still easy to capture today!
Annie Hall Style Collage I

Similar Here: Camera Decal, Tie, Hat, Trousers, Vest, Shirt, Belt, Shoes


Annie Hall is first seen in her most iconic outfit- a tie tucked under a vest. You can give it a modern tweak by using colored pants with a slightly baggy fit. Plus, Annie loved photography; a cellphone decal might be a way to pay homage to that.


To invoke that Annie Hall feeling in a less obvious way, go for long maxi skirts, tweed, and bowler hats. Even today, Diane Keaton is often seen in a bowler hat. Riding boots under the long hem add an unexpected element, as does the arm party with a men's watch. Best of all, this look works great for fall!

Annie Hall Style Collage II

Similar Here: Skirt, T-Shirt, Boots, Jacket, Hat, Watch, Bracelets


Would you try a tomboyish look like this? What other movies' (or movie stars') wardrobes are you lusting after?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

What I Wore: Simple and True

gingham skirt, modcloth, hell's bunny, scarf, winter, fall,
gingham skirt, modcloth, hell's bunny, scarf, winter, fall,
gingham skirt, modcloth, hell's bunny, scarf, winter, fall,
gingham skirt, modcloth, hell's bunny, scarf, winter, fall,heart mountain,
gingham skirt, modcloth, hell's bunny, scarf, winter, fall,
What I Wore: Top ( Similar Here), Scarf (Target; Similar Here), Dress (Modcloth), Shoes (Old Navy)
What I love most about this outfit is that is is simple- no jewelry, no fancy shoes, or even much color. Oh, sure there is a belt and a scarf, but both have function as well as form. These are also all items that have been my possession a while now- all at least a year- and are each workhorses of my wardrobe (Yes, even the scarf is now that October has decided to blow such cold winds each night).

Seeing inspiration on Pinterest, I decided to do something I hadn't done in years- turn a dress into a skirt. And not the put-a-sweater-over-a-dress kind of "skirt" (which is layering, let's be honest, not, um, "skirt-ing"), but folding over the top to make a proper skirt. Other bloggers do this trick with such ease as a way to expand their wardrobes, but I always ended up feeling a bit...bunchy, when I tried it. For whatever reason, no bunching occurred this time around- hallelujah- but the skirt of this dress drapes so well, it wouldn't be a big deal.

More than just clothes though, I feel like my life is...streamlining a bit, becoming simpler, a bit. In it is mainly my husband, my dogs, the rooms of our house, books, and many, many cups of tea. Friends we see every once in a awhile and extended family only a little more. I may get to chat on the phone with someone, or work with someone, but it is a step removed. Part of married lif,e or part of winter coming on? A sort of hibernation? Or is it both marriage and winter together? It is pleasant in it's own way, though I wonder what winter (such a long season!) will be like if this continues. I could crawl into a good book (or several dozen) and just stay that for weeks on end, but even an introvert like me, might want a bit more than that now and then.

Ah, well. Maybe we will escape to an adventure this weekend. What about you? Are you more introverted or extroverted?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Alt for Everyone 2013 Recap



Sitting down to write this, I thought quite a bit about what I wanted to say about my experience with the online blogging conference, Alt. For Everyone. For the uninitiated in the blogging world, Alt Design is a- blog, brand, whatever you want to call it- about design and blogging. They host three conferences about blogging for the design and style world (including fashion) yearly, and now have started an  online conference too, called "Alt for Everyone." So what to talk about from Alt?  Did I want to share the nitty-gritty, nuts and bolts of what I'd learned, or what about the big take-away ideas or even just what it was like going to a conference and learning online? As it turns out- D) All of the above.


Alt for Everyone as an Online Conference

Clearly having classes online is no where near the same as attending a conference. Many things can- and were- done to approximate the energy and excitement of a life conference, but something you can attend in your pajamas is just not going to have the same effect as packing into a room with other people to hear someone speak. And that's okay. Here's the big differences:
No "swag bags" or vendor tables;  instead Alt mails you a box of sponsor goodies
No small talk in hallways or auditoriums; instead you have chatboxes. You aren't having face to face interaction, which is a drawback. But because you could listen to a speaker and type at the same time, people were able to continue to network even during the lectures.  
No live networking events; instead you signed up for "meet-ups," which were chatrooms. For the meet-up I attended, at least (the "Pajama Party") a moderator asked that we all have questions ready and we took turns sharing questions about blogging and helping one another with answers. This was both fun and instructive. As an introvert having a purpose to the "chatting" helped me be more active too.

No lecture halls; instead you have a live feed video of the speakers from their own homes. You were able to chat with them in real time as well to ask questions. Interestingly, this lent a much less formal quality to the classes, as the teacher couldn't see any students and was also in their own home. Not really bad or good in any way, but different. Pretty sure the quality of the classes did not differ in any way though. 
No trading business cards; instead you were encouraged to share your contact information on blogrolls at each class. Those blogrolls then could be copied and pasted for bloggers to use to connect with one another. A bonus of this method is you got everyone's information, and usually three or four ways to connect with each classmate. On the other hand, the numbers could get overwhelming. I'm still slowly making my way through blogroll lists over a week later.  
Overall, it was different than a live conference (which this made me excited to try out!), but I still loved Alt for Everyone. It was perfect both in the sense that it was designed for those who are unable to travel to their other conferences, and in the sense that Alt for Everyone seemed designed for bloggers who already have a start in their blogging but were looking to take things to the next level, especially if they were looking at blogging as a business.


Big Take-Aways
Know who you are, as a blog and as a brand. What is your core message, and how are you communicating that message? Just as importantly- know you who you aren't.  
Experiment. Try things. Because the internet is a fast changing place, and that is the only way you will jump the curve when those changes happen. Failure is part of this. Be okay
with admitting something isn't working and move on. 
Know your worth- in terms of numbers, and in terms of what you have to offer.It is not about being "big enough;" it is about selling what you have. Make a media kit to reflect these things.  
Communicate with the people you work with, work for, and collaborate with- especially sponsors. You need to know what is expected from you. Also- know to under-promise but over-deliver. Go the extra for those who are working with you.  
Design is a matter of both form and function. Look at how your platform works for you and your goals (change your platform if is doesn't work for you); label things clearly; make your blog easy to navigate; and make it easy to read (Most often this means left aligned text at 16 pt. font in basic typeface. Both centered text and decorative fonts strain the eyes if you have to read them for more than headlines).  
There are tools out there to help you- apps for managing money; for managing time; for making editorial calendars; for helping you organize your ads, your photos, or your posts. Find them. Use them.  
Yes, you can make your blog work as a business. And there are ways to do this beyond just advertising (though that can be fine too). Think how your skills can help others. Offer that help. Let people know you want to work with them.  Diversify your revenue streams. 
When working with others, focus on what you bring them, not what they bring to you. 



Nuts and Bolts of Blogging


As mentioned above, I took seven classes + a Keynote + one meet-up (Hi to any other Alt attendees who were at the Pajama Party!). These are not necessarily in the order I took them, but here are those classes:

Making Money on Your Blog Beyond Advertising with Melanie Bloggett of You are My Fav 
Working with Sponsors with Sara Urhart of Alt Summit 
Growing your Blog: Case Study Action Items with Kelly Beall of Design Crush 
Graphic Design: Color and Typography with Laurie Smithwick of Leap Design 
Tips on Being an Organized Blogger with Liz Stanley of Say Yes To Hoboken 
Coding for Bloggers with Melanie Burke of Fifth and Hazel 
How to Start Selling Ads on Your Blog with Jaime Derringer of Design Milk 
Keynote Session: Using Brand Straegy to Grow Readership with Kate Arends of Wit & Delight
 Now, with all these sessions, you can bet what I learned won't fit into a tidy bullet point sheet. And there was a lot to learn. So, I'm not gonna try. It wouldn't really be fair to these lovely teachers who worked hard on their presentations anyway. What I WILL do however is- One, let you know that Alt also provides monthly classes that are run in the same format on their Alt Channel. Sponsored classes are free and all the rest are only fifteen dollars! I miiiight already be signed up for an upcoming one. Two- If you do have any questions about blogging, that you think notes from these classes might answer, well, ask! I'll do my best to help you out. Leave a question in the comments or feel free to email me or reach me on social media sites.

As for myself- this just makes me more excited about blogging, about upcoming changes and learning more. What about you? Do you think you might attend Alt or another conference- either on or offline?

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