Friday, February 28, 2014

Month in Review: February 2014

February is known for being short, but cruel. Hopefully that's not been the case for you. Honest moment here: with a constant snow storms and both me and The Boy sick, it has been bit cruel for us. Only a little....Still,  I like to think there were many happy posts on Never Fully Dressed! Here are some lovely ones you'll not want to miss!

Lovely Outfits

February, outfits, never fully dressed, withoutastyle, remix, white sweater, popbasic, blue shirt, terrier sweater, wyoming, Black Skirt | Blue Shirt | Pencil Skirt 

February saw a lot of remixing layering pieces, including this Popbasic silk shirt and this cream, cropped sweater. 

Lovely Mail
This month, I shared some of my favorite fashion-inspired stationarymy thoughts on Popbasic's latest, the Sunday Collection; and how to write Letters to the Editor!

Lovely Movies
Classic comedy How to Marry a Millionaire had so much envy-inducing fashion that it inspired not one but two posts of Cinema Style (Here and here)!

Lovely Plans
Bad weather kept us homebound for most of the month, though we did manage one trip out of town. In the meantime, I tried a few of these ideas on things to do in February while other bloggers shared their small pleasures. This winter weather made cozying up with a good book just that much more appealing- why not try reading this month's Dogeared Page, The Tale of Desperaux? It was also a good month for celebration, since February marked the end of my second year of blogging  and the start of year three! The Boy also made Valentine's Day sweet with a special breakfast, flowers and a nice meal out- he felt a bit bad about having work that night, but I know he loves me 365 days a year, so can't complain about that!
Valentine ,Flowers, purple, bouquet,

Lovely Finds
I am obsessed with this blog lately. It's a good read for anyone interested in minimalism or a French Closet. 

Richard the III found under a parking lot

Underwear made in the USA

Erica is the most fashionable Hogwarts student; want this outfit in my life now.

Facebook knows when you've fallen in love.

A new way to think about trends.

My dad sent me this. Made me smile.

Wired Fox Terrier takes the West Minster Dog Show! (Stella is our WFT)

Doesn't Hannah look like she in the quintessential winter outfit? What about Sammi in this adorable Valentine's Day Look?

The Ethics of Ethnic Prints and Other Designs

In case you missed out- Jenna talked about Heart Month on Smitten every day this February

Tips for shopping for vintage 

Norwegians in winter. 

Am I the only one who hadn't heard of the Postmodern Jukebox?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

What I Wore: To Never Lose Affection

Fox Terrier Sweater, popbasic, silk shirt, red pencil skirt, outfit, never fully dressed, withoutastyle, wyoming
Fox Terrier Sweater, popbasic, silk shirt, red pencil skirt, outfit, never fully dressed, withoutastyle, wyoming
Fox Terrier Sweater, popbasic, silk shirt, red pencil skirt, outfit, never fully dressed, withoutastyle, wyoming
Fox Terrier Sweater, popbasic, silk shirt, red pencil skirt, outfit, never fully dressed, withoutastyle, wyoming

What I Wore: Sweater (Joules), Shirt (Popbasic; Similar Here), Pencil Skirt (Brag Vintage; Similar Here), Boots (Similar Here), Leggings (Target)

There are so many things I love in these pictures. I mean, yes, this fox terrier sweater and that blue silk shirt have been remixed like no other this past month, but red pencil skirts go with literally everything. So why not the shirt and sweater too?

But you may notice something else you recognize-  the location! Yes, underneath all that snow, this is the same place where many of the photos from our wedding day were shot! The building is a little church-turned-gallery, and it positively bursts with charm. In fact, it was the original Methodist Church (the current Methodist Church where we were married is just across the street). Don't you love all the kitschy, vintage-y details. It is a popular style 'round these parts, but passing by this building reminds me every time of our wedding, and all those happy feelings of being surrounded by so many friends and loved one. Yes, even when it- and we- are buried in snow. It's like Beatles say, there are places I remember...

What are the places that you will never lose affection for? What memories do they bring?

 P.S. This post is a part of Red Envelope's RedStyle campaign, looking at what makes each woman's style unique. not only do I love red, but I like Red Envelope. They were where I got my bridesmaids' gifts ironically enough- cute engraved pocket mirrors perfect for carrying in a purse.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Letter Writing: Letters to the Editor

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.

In a world of comment threads, it is easy to give your opinion, but there is still a place for the well-written Letter to the Editor or Op Ed note.  Letters to the Editor respond to recently published articles; Op-Ed. Letters express an opinion about a current event or  trend, but  are not  necessarily  responding to a specific article. Both follow the same basic guidelines, and can serve to make your voice heard.
photo credit: NS Newsflash via photopin cc

First, pick your topic and what publication you are sending your letter to. If you are writing in response to an article, write to  the paper that published it.  If you writing about a more general topic, consider which publications have an interested audience.  Magazines tend to attract like-minded readers; newspapers have a more general readership. Certain publication will also be aimed at certain geographical regions, such as a local paper. Remember too- you are more likely to  be published at a smaller publication.

Look up if there are any guidelines from the publisher, but a good rule of thumb is to use a business letter format for the heading. Include your full name and contact information; most publications like to verify the identify of writers, but won’t publish contact information. The salutation can be “Dear Editor,” or can address the writer of the article you are responding to.

The body of the letter should be short- the shorter the better! Start by addressing your topic. If you are responding to a specific article, make sure to state the name of the piece and date published. Next, state your opinion and, if relevant, why you are an authority on the subject (for example, a teacher might be an authority on the 21st century classrooms or a doctor on vaccinations).  After this, provide the evidence to back up your opinion. Evidence could include facts (if  well-researched!), but could also include local events or even a personal narrative that proves a larger point. Also, if you are talking about a problem, give a solution; write a call to action. What can the reader do to help?

photo credit: Armando G Alonso ✈︎ via photopin cc
Other good tips include using a professional tone, and not bashing those with opposing opinions- it only makes you look less sure of your stance. Try to humanize the story and tell people why they should care. Lastly, make sure you only address a single topic at a time.

Taken together these tips will help you to take on the world of writing letters to editors, so you can change the world one envelope at a time!

Further Reading:
Letters to the Editor Guidelines from Student News Daily


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What I Wore: Through Winter Days

Polka Dot, Sweater, pearl necklace, slouchy outfit, wyoming, never fully dressed, withoutastyle,

What I Wore: Sweater (via Flock Together; Similar Here), Skirt (Similar Here), Leggings (Similar Here), Boots (Similar Here), Hat (Similar Here)

Morning all! If you're as crazy for polka dots as I am, you won't want to miss my post on Flock Together today. Go on and click the link- you know you want to! 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Wardrobe Hero: Necklaces

Rarely getting main stage but always what finishes off my outfits perfectly- jewelry, specifically necklaces. Here are some of my favorites from this year.

gold, chain necklace, never fully dressed, withoutastyle, wardrobe hero,
A gold chain necklace seems like such a staple of any woman's wardrobe. At any rate, this is definitely my most worn piece! But who can blame me when it goes with everything and seems so.. All-American. This necklace was one I chose out of my grandmother's jewelry box when she was cleaning out pieces that had been hard for her to clasp. It had been one of her favorites, she's said, making it even more special.

Vintage, necklace, costume jewelry, red, never fully dressed, withoutastyle,
This red and gold necklace is very similar in style. A friend and co-worker gave it to me from her collection of costume jewelry she no longer wore. It took a little time to figure out how to wear it without looking like playing dress up, but things came together in the end. Though it is decades old the red makes it surprisingly modern at times, working as a the on-trend statement necklace.

pearl necklace, wedding, never fully dressed, withoutastyle,
This pearl necklace was another gift from my grandmother. It had been her grandmother's once upon a time, and was given to me to use as my "something old" to wear to the wedding, making it an even more meaningful gift. They fit the retro feel of our wedding well, but are understated enough to work with almost anything.

pearl necklace, never fully dressed, withoutastyle,
This is a pearl necklace with an entirely different feel! It can be knotted or looped, but never fails as a bold sartorial choice. Confession- This was something I've more of less permanently borrowed from my mother. Sorry, Mom!

popbasic, necklace, never fully dressed, withoutastyle, yellow,
This yellow and gold necklace is one of three I've gotten from Popbasic micro-collections. Both this one and the tourquise and brass one beneath were from their Beta Collection, which I'd won in a contest. Lucky me! These babies were a gateway drug into the world of statement jewelry for sure. Somehow, over the year I've had them I've shifted away from pendants that were a bit kitchy and fun (anyone remember this one that was a little dollhouse?), into the more timeless and certianly on-trend chunky necklace. Interestingly, I was more in love with tourquise necklace on first getting the box, but think I've worn the yellow one more.
PopBasic, necklace, never fully dressed, withoutastyle,
The amethyst pendant is a much more delicate peice than the colorful statement necklaces, but it too is from Popbasic (this time their Lost Collection). I have to be careful wearing it. If I wear it to school, all the elementary students stare at it (and, hence, my chest...) and want to touch it. They are full of questions- why the diamond is purple if they are younger or when my birthday is for the older ones who are aware of birthstones. Amethylst is miles prettier than my birthstone of periodot, anyway. I like this necklace's romantic feel.
popbasic, amethyst, necklace, pendant, never full dressed, withoutastyle,

Are you someone who wears necklaces or shies away from them? Any favorites or ones with fun stories?

P.S. This necklace and this one too both have fun stories to them as well!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Cinema Style: How to Marry a Millionaire (Take Two!)

A rom com with three of Hollywood's best actresses all dressed in all the latest fashion and a runway show in the story itself? Please. How to Marry a Millionaire has been featured on Cinema Style before, but has too much style for only one post- so let Take Two Begin- this time with the focus on the trio's ringleader, Schaltze, played by Lauren Becall!

It is Schaltze who comes up with the scheme to get the girls married to millionaires- because she was burned in the past by a man who took all her money and left her by quite literally by the side of the road. She likes to act posh, thinking it will attract men with moolah, but her real self is a lot more casual, which comes through in both of  outfits.
How to Marry a Millionaire, cinema style, movie, film, Lauren Becall, never fully dressed, withoutastyle,

Earrings (Similar Here), Scarf, Sweater, Belt, Skirt, Bracelet, Shoes

This outfit has subtle hints of sophistication- mainly in the accessories. Still, an outfit of separates with an understated color palette can easily transition to be appropriate for most any occasion formal or informal.

How to Marry a Millionaire - 1953 - schatze blue

Make no mistake, Schaltze can dress to the nines, but keeps it casual for a night in, gabbing on the phone. This is a look that's pretty timeless, and could see you through today too. Channel a little of Schaltze's gutsy attitude with this tongue-in-cheek phone cover too, perfect for your nights in.

How to Wear a Millionaire, casual outfit, outfit, look, Lauren Becall, Never Fully Dressed, Withoutastyle, chambray shirt, ballet flats, wishbone ring,

Phone Case, Shirt, Pants, Ring and Bracelet, Shoes

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What I Wore: Winter Daydream

Cream Sweater, Crop Sweater, black skirt, ladylike, never fully dressed, withoutastyle, outfit, skirt,
Cream Sweater, Crop Sweater, black skirt, ladylike, never fully dressed, withoutastyle, outfit, skirt,
Cream Sweater, Crop Sweater, black skirt, ladylike, never fully dressed, withoutastyle, outfit, skirt,
Cream Sweater, Crop Sweater, black skirt, ladylike, never fully dressed, withoutastyle, outfit, skirt,

What I Wore: Sweater (ASOS), Skirt (Pin-up Girl Clothing; Similar Here), Shoes (Modcloth), Necklace (Stitched + Adorned; Similar Here), Petticoat (Similar Here)

For much of the past month I'd been day dreaming of getting out of town.  Over the weekend, roads were finally good enough to get our day trip, so we headed up to Billings to one of my absolutely favorite places in the world- Harper and Madison's. Its nothing much to describe- a little cafe/eatery, but it is hands down the best food in the city. I'd been dreaming of their croissants, perfect and flakey.

But what it is really so nice about it isn't (just) the food, but the mood. Light streams in through the windows in such a warm, friendly way. As always, it was crowded, so people sat down at tables with strangers, and left friends. Sinking into one of the low chairs by a coffee table, I watched a mother and son take their seats across the aisle, as the little boy- who could have been no more than six- very carefully opened the wax paper bag in his hand to take out a cookie and look at it and smell it... Before glancing at his mother and carefully returning the cookie first the bag and then to her hand. With equal gravity she used her nail to fold over the bag's opening and set aside the treat for later. What would be more delightful, the taste of the cookie or its anticipation? Next to me, an older couple worked to complete a crossword together, and walking out the door someone petted the dogs that are so often at Harper and Madison's. Their owners leave the back hatch of their car open so these friendly huskies can bask in the sunlight and say hi to whomever passes by.

This outfit- inspired by Pinterest, as many of my looks are of late- fit right in at this place where the cliental seems to dress a bit nicer than you would see on an average Montana or Wyoming street. Men will wear those newsboy hats and pea coats; women often have something sparkly on, along with nice shoes. Not that there's never anyone in a hoodie, but it is like we are all communally pretending we are in France instead of Montana (aided by all the Paris prints on the wall!)

Hope this past weekend allowed you to get out,  and enjoy some good food and good company too.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Q+A: Small Pleasures

February can be the doldrums of winter, but we can all take solace in enjoying life's small pleasures. For me, that means snuggling with puppies in the morning, pots and pots of tea, and- lately anyway- nail polish! Nail polish had never been my thing. It was always nail polish everywhere, all over fingers and chipping, but Popsugar sent out the most luscious red. Now I'm in love. How fun, how indulgent to take the time to put it on and, even if its a bit messy, just a glimpse of that red throughout the day is like a cheerful "Hello!" every time you see it.  Here's what several other lovely ladies advice to pick up your mood!
Q+A, Nail Polish, bloggers, questions, answers,
Nikki of The Ginger Diaries said:
There are many small things I enjoy in life. Sunday evening walks through the city, browsing J.Crews new arrivals or that first breath of ice cold wind that touches your nose when you step outside. But my most favorite small pleasure must be a self-spoiling latte, preferably with hazelnut syrup. Yum! All coffeehouses in town serve them, and they come in great varieties. Basically what I'm talking about is a latte, with an abundance of whipped cream topped off with caramel sauce, chocolate treats, marshmallows or any type of candy you can think off. My favorite has Maltesers on top. Simply perfect!

Playing piano! Ever since I was about nine years old I have played piano by ear. I've never taken a formal lesson, yet it's one of my absolute favorite pastimes. If a day or two go by without sitting down and playing for 30 minutes are so, my day isn't complete! There is something so wonderfully rewarding about being able to make music.

Hannah the Braided Bandit writes:

I have quite a lot of little silly things that can make my day, but a really small thing that gives me great pleasure especially during the winter months is treating myself to a Vanilla Latte.  I know it may sound a bit cliche that I am using coffee to answer this question, but I usually try to make it at home, so the treat of getting a latte out once or twice a week really makes my whole morning!  I also live about one block behind my favorite coffee shop, so it makes it even more pleasurable trying to show restraint (and save money) on most days and really treating it like a more special occasion- an instant mood booster!  The runner up for small pleasure for me would be daily drop-in visits from the Dalai Lama, who just so happens to be my neighbor's big orange kitty!

Photo credit: Luc Viatour

Thursday, February 13, 2014

What I Wore: Tomboy Style

Tomboy, snow, never fully dressed, withoutastyle, sweater, layers, popbasic shirt,
Tomboy, snow, never fully dressed, withoutastyle, sweater, layers, popbasic shirt, wyoming,
winter outfit, Tomboy, snow, never fully dressed, withoutastyle, sweater, layers, popbasic shirt,
winter outfit, wyoming, Tomboy, snow, never fully dressed, withoutastyle, sweater, layers, popbasic shirt,

What I Wore: Sweater (ASOS), Shirt (Popbasic), Jeans (Gap), Boots (Similar Here), Silver Bangle (Popbasic), Rope Bracelet (Popbasic; Similar Here) Watch (Modcloth; Similar Here)

What I love about this outfit is that it is a bit tomboyish- my father loves outfits like this and tried to convince us to wear them all the time. In fact, he even took my portrait in an outfit not unlike this one with a collared shirt popping out from under another layer, and my 17 year old self was mortified. What if someone came over and saw them? Times, they have changed. I want button-ups peeking out from warm, cozy layers like this all the time. 

Or maybe that's just the snow talking. 

This is my shirt from yesterday's Popbasic review. I'd hoped to show it to on it's own but it is just too darn snowy for that- and, well, cozy layers, as previously stated.  This cozy layer sweater is from ASOS. Confession- I meant to return this, not realizing how cropped it truly is, but things got busy and I got lazy and now the sweater is mine as the time for returns has come and gone. It's length has proven a challenge, but one that has worked out, in the end (right?)

I like to pretend that this is an outfit I could go adventuring in- snow shoeing or sledding or just tromping around. Truth is, I didn't do anything more adventurous than sip hot chocolate, but be real here- you do all that other stuff just so you can have hot cocoa, so why not cut to the chase? 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Popbasic Sunday Collection Review

Popbasic has just released their latest micro-collection, the Sunday Collection, ready to be mailed to your door. Longtime readers might recall other times I've mentioned this company (here, here, here and here), but for those of you unfamiliar here's the low-down. Popbasic creates micro-collections of women's wardrobe items. Each collection is a mix of basic, closet staples and "pop" or trend items. There are three items in each collection, usually one clothing piece and two accessories. Priced at eight-five dollars (with free, world-wide shipping), the Sunday Collection features a blue silk blouse, a silver ring, and silver bangle.

Popbasic, Sunday, silk, shirt, silver, bracelet, ring,
I got this collection mostly for the blouse and it doesn't disappoint.  The color is more vibrant in person than the photos showed- clearly a rich blue, not black. I was also very pleased with the shirt's sizing on this collection; when I bought the Lost Collection, the shoulders of that shirt were a bit narrow (no measurements for the shoulders were given for either collection). But this shirt fit me perfectly based on the measurement chart; if you are unsure about what size to get though, I'd size up. The shirt's design means it is meant to be more loosely fitting and would drape in an elegant way.

Popbasic jewelry often ends up my most used items from any collection. Just like in past collections, the ring and bangle from this month's box are obviously high-quality. The bangle is large, but one expects that of bangles as you have to get your hand through. It is a simple and elegant piece, perfect for layering. I find myself constantly playing with it if it is on my wrist. Sadly, the ring only came in one size- a US size nine- and therefore falls right off all fingers including my thumbs. To be fair, the ring size is listed on the website, so I knew it was too big when I purchased the collection. Still, it is a bit baffling why the company didn't go for an adjustable ring design, or, if it must be sized, why they chose a ring size nine. The average ring size for a women is a size 6 and most jewelry stores use size seven for their display case rings. Hopefully as the company grows they will be able to offer at least one or two size choices should they have rings in their collections again.  In the meantime, I will see if resizing will be expensive or if, perhaps, I have a friend the ring might fit. It is a lovely ring after all!

My review for their first mirco-collection, The Beta Collection, was published almost a exactly one year ago and it has been so interesting to watch Popbasic grow since that time. They are a company I find myself loving not just because of the clothes, but because of how they treat customers. Customers are not just consumers but a community- I've always appreciated how Popbasic has a very active social media presence (mainly on Twitter and Facebook, though they have recorded a podcast or two) that asks for the opinion of its community. Many of the items and colors were chosen based on suggestions. Similarly, all of the style guides each collection comes with were made by Popbasic's customers (my own style guide for this collection is featured below). Having community isn't all about their product or product promotion though; co-founder Madeline Veenstra set up a pen-pal program and an online book club. Beyond the screen, she also sends hand-written notes in each parcel.

The company still exhibits its burst of growing pains, but all signs point to continued polishing of the brand, products, and message as they grow. My biggest wish is that the company soon finds a work flow that allows them to settle into a routine, one that so that customers know the date each month when a collection will be launched, even if the previous collection is not sold out yet. My other hope for Popbasic is already coming true- this year will see the launch of their permanent collection where you can buy individual items.
Popbasic, Never Fully Dressed, Collage,

So, have you purchased The Sunday Collection- or a previous collection- from Popbasic?What did you think? If you haven't tried Popbasic before, might you try it out? Share what you think in the comments below!

This is not a sponsored post; all opinions here are my own.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Remix: Skinny Jeans

skinny jeans, remix, outfits, never fully dressed, withoutastyle, wyoming,jeans,

Popbasic Lost Shirt | Horse Sweatshirt | Tweed Jacket and Sweater

skinny jeans, remix, outfits, never fully dressed, withoutastyle, wyoming,jeans,

Flannel shirt and Cardigan | Fox Terrier Sweater | Red Hat

skinny jeans, remix, outfits, never fully dressed, withoutastyle, wyoming,jeans,

Flannel Shirt | Owl Sweater

This has definitely been the season where I truly embraced wearing pants. And that could be the cold, or it could be getting this skinny jeans from Gap. Sort of amazing how often they've made it onto the blog already, considering I've only had the jeans since late September. Still they are form and function beautifully combine and allow me to be more creative with my layering in these cold, winter months.

Are you a jeans lover too?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Dogeared Page: The Tale of Despereaux

Despereaux stared up at her in wonder. The Pea, he decided, looked just like the picture of the fair maiden in the book in the library. The princess smiled at Despereaux again, and this time, Despereaux smiled back. And then something incredible happened: The mouse fell in love.

Reader, you may ask this question; in fact, you must ask this question: Is it ridiculous for a very small, sickly, big-eared mouse to fall in love with a beautiful human princess named Pea?

The answer is… yes. Of course, it’s ridiculous. Love is ridiculous.

But love is also wonderful. And powerful. And Despereaux’s love for the Princess Pea would prove, in time, to be all of these things: powerful, wonderful, and ridiculous.

“My name is Despereaux! I honor you!” said Despereaux. “I honor you” was what the knight said to the fair maiden in the story that Despereaux read every day in the book in the library. Despereaux had muttered the phrase often to himself, but he had never before this evening had occasion to use it when speaking to someone else.

“Despereaux,” she said. He saw his name on her lips.

“I honor you,” whispered Despereaux. “I honor you.” He put his paw over his heart. He bowed so low that his whiskers touched the floor.

He was, alas, a mouse deeply in love.

- The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
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