Monday, June 30, 2014

June 2014 in Review

With June, summer begins and time starts that tricky habit of feeling both much faster and slower than usual. Here's we got up to in June around NFD!
Summer Outfits
Shorts, button ups, jeans, pink hat, polka dot, stripe, popbasic, never fully dressed, withoutastyle, wyoming,
Summer Mail
We dreamed about golden stationary, looked at how to write a killer cover letter and indulged in some chocolate via the Mystery Chocolate Box!

Summer Movies
With summer in full swing, we've been out and about instead of feeding our souls with cinema, but we did get some fashion ideas with this month's cinema style looking at the classic Pat and Mike

Summer Plans
As school wrapped up, I found myself shifting full throttle into preparing for my new job as a teacher for the next school year. I'll be taking classes all summer and this month it was on on Bibliotherapy, which is exactly what it sounds like- reading books about topics in the readers' life. Perhaps Le Petit Prince from this month's Dog-eared Page would be a good book choice for that, or one of Jane Austen's tomes, like we discussed here?  I also helped with a kids' science camp, and when not working furiously for kids and their education, we've been meeting up with old friends! My sister has been here and gone again, as have several friends. We went to a childhood friends' wedding (see what we wore here), another friend's bridal shower, and now I'm excited to see what blogger Jana Godin's wedding looked like too!

Amidst all the flurry of people coming and people going though, there was still time to slow down and enjoy the summer days. We talked about our daily rituals with this month's Q+A,  got tips on how to wear a skirt, and I shared some ideas to make this summer even more special when suggesting in June, "Why Don't You... "
friends, ginger, pink dress, eshakti, wedding, summer, june, never fully dressed, withoutastyle, wyoming,
Summer Finds

Do you believe in elves?

From the makers of the Lizzie Bennett Diaries comes- Emma Approved. 

I want this summer style Little Tree's Maria is rocking

My mother's motorcycle

Cool movie posters

My wedding to Captain Von Trapp has been cancelled

Should YA fiction only be for YA? Yes or  No?

A good reminder for us bloggers from The Braided Bandit

The Beyoncelogues

Generation Grit plans to be the male version of American Girls. Do you think boy children need this?

Portraits of female artists the history books forgot

In other art news, let's grow Van Gogh's ear.

Carrie has my dream closet of coats. For an example- look here. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Guest blogging at Small Town, Big Smile

floral dress, friends, pink dress, eshakti, never fully dressed, withoutastyle, small-town-big-smile,

I'm over at Small Town, Big Smile today while Jana is away getting married! In honor of the big day, we're talking about what to wear to a wedding as a guest. Come on over and join in the conversation.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

What I Wore: Don't Fence Me In

wyoming, black skirt, chambray, popbasic, big horn, mountains, withoutastyle, never fully dressed,
wyoming, black skirt, chambray, popbasic, big horn, mountains, withoutastyle, never fully dressed,
wyoming, black skirt, chambray, popbasic, big horn, mountains, withoutastyle, never fully dressed,
 What I Wore: Skirt (Pin Up Girl), Shirt (Old Navy), Shoes (Old Navy), Necklace (Popbasic; Similar Here), Bracelets (Popbasic; Similar Here and Here)

While "What I Wore" is the name of the post, don't let it fool you. I love getting to show off the natural landscape here on NFD. So, when on our way home from last weekend's adventures, I knew I wanted to capture our drive through the Big Horn Mountains. Now, we live in a huge basin (The Big Horn Basin- it's visible from the moon to give you some perspective). However, our town's on one end of the basin and these are on the other, so it was a rather breath-taking exploration nonetheless. The Big Horns are greener and more alive than the  our closer mountain ranges, the Beartooth Mountains, which are more ruggedly majestic, or the North Fork Mountains, which are full of unusual rock formations. Particularly funny to me were the constant warning signs and run-away truck ramps as we wound down the road affectionally called the Oh My God Highway.

Something you might be noticing in these photos that you don't usually see are the fences. In fact, though we usually try to shoot away from them, fences are a common sight. Wyoming has a pretty complicated relationships with fences (fence out for cattle and fence in for sheep, but don't ask why the differences. Wars have been fought over this. I am not even kidding). Suffice to say,  if it is private land, there's a fence.

On a more metaphorical and less history-lesson note, there's nothing like a mountain drive to give you a feeling for freedom, to make you understand the powerful love of the land that lead so many to make this their home. As for the outfit- this is a simple but pulled-together look that's all about the small details- the knot in the shirt, the jewelry on the wrist.

What's the local landscape like where you live?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Mystery Chocolate Box Subscription Review

A few weeks back, an up and coming subscription box company contacted me about trying their unique idea for a subscription box. They send you mystery chocolates. What would make chocolate mysterious you ask? Well, I wondered too and jumped at the chance to find out; they kindly sent me their first box.
mystery1Collage.jpg In a nutshell (or rather, in a box), the Mystery Chocolate Box  sends you three bars of chocolate- not the kind you can pick up at a gas station, but more of the gourmand variety. The kicker is, they have removed all identifying information, wrapping the bars in plain white wrappers merely labelled 'A,' 'B' and 'C.' This is because it is not merely a chance to eat chocolate, but also meant to be a game- you (and anyone else you eat the chocolate with) has a chance to guess the flavors or ingredients of the bars of chocolate. There's a place on the company's website to enter your guesses and the possibility of a prize of some sort for correct guesses.

The boxes will be shipped monthly, and each box will be seventeen dollars. In addition to the chocolate, they come with materials meant to keep the chocolate cool during transport (though, given enough heat, the chocolate will still melt. Mystery Chocolate Box recommends, in that case, to stick the melted chocolate into a fridge to cool back down before eating, but it is certainly something to remember when purchasing). They also send allergy information for each bar, and instructions on how to enter guesses.
mystery2Collage.jpg Like most people on this planet, I'm not one to turn down chocolate- and all three kinds of chocolate were good, especially if you prefer your chocolate dark and complex. Still, I'm not sure it's good enough to turn the scales when the box's pros are weighted against it's cons. The chocolate is not made by the Mystery Box Company, but purchased by them from mass producers. Most of their bars retail at five or six dollars. But the box costs seventeen dollars; if depending on the chocolate you may or may not be getting your money's worth. Perhaps the game element is enough to off-set that, if you are a chocolate aficionado, but personally, I'm not that invested in guessing what is in the chocolate (Maybe I'm just too square to see how cool it is?), especially with a lag in finding out if my guesses were right. As of now, the company releases the information several weeks after sending the box, which means a long wait and requires the consumer to come back to their website, which might not happen;  I know I forget about such things! More practically, I was bothered by a lack of nutrition labels. As a diabetic, I rely on those to tell me how many carbs and sugars are in the food I eat, so I can administer the correct amount of insulin. There are many other health ailments that would also require nutrition information (beyond the allergy information, which the company DOES provide), as well as people who have self-imposed eating restrictions that they feel benefit them. Now, the company encourages sharing the bar with others to heighten the guessing game element, and for those small amounts I and others could probably get by. Still, for less money and more information on the items, I could just buy some fancy chocolates myself.

That's not to say there are not those who will enjoy the Mystery Chocolate Box, or that changes might not be made. If you love puzzles, or are a chocolateholic, this box will satisfy your sweet cravings. And- if you just love the mystery that can be provided by surprises being mailed to your door- then they are not to be missed!

ETA: This post was originally said that the boxes were thirty dollars; they are seventeen dollars a piece. This post has been edited to reflect this change in price.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What I Wore: A Love Story

dotted, black and white, shorts, wyoming, never fully dressed, withoutastyle,
black and white, dotted, polka dots, shorts, weddings, anniversary,never fully dressed, withoutastyle,

What I Wore: Shorts (Old Navy; Similar Here), Shirt (Popbasic; Similar Here), Bolero (Target), Shoes (Similar Here), Necklace (Similar Here)

This past weekend has been all about love. We travelled over the mountains to help celebrate the marriage of a dear, old friend of mine as she wed. I've known this girl since before I can remember, which you just can't say about a lot of people. It was a lovely, intimate gathering in her parents' woodland backyard followed by dancing and much laughter. The rain burst out just before the ceremony, but then the sun came out and held out until just after the reception. Everything glistened as they only can when it rains then shines. I got to see some people I hadn't since high school, and caught up with another dear friend (she, the bride and I all grew up in the same neighborhood, climbed the same trees, went to the same school. That's life in a small town). We are wishing you the very best in this new phase of life, Dori!

The next day was my and The Boy's own first anniversary! It feels like it's been a lifetime and that it's only been a week. Perhaps that is the best way for it to be- you can't imagine things without someone but are always feeling like there are new depths to be found.

 Admittedly, we spent most of that way in car, and that's where this outfit comes in (I know you're here for the clothes. It's okay). These shorts are a new addition, picked up from Old Navy for the summer months. They feel a little more dressy than my other shorts but are even more comfortable- perfect for a day of driving through mountains. Yeah, I might be a little in love with these shorts too.  I kept things easy with a black and white palette, adding the pearls for a bit of something fun.

As for what I wore to the wedding- you'll have to keep an eye out. What would you- or have you- worn to a wedding?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Q+A: Daily Rituals

As of yesterday, the Boy and I have been married for one year! Maybe it is nostalgia or awareness of the time gone, but I've noticed lately that so much of our day fall into patterns of daily rituals, sometimes small and ordinary; sometimes very meaningful. I'll anticipate that first cup of tea in the morning, or laugh at the daily antics of The Boy feeding the dogs (it is quite the production, let me just say). But what about you? What daily rituals make up your life? These five bloggers shared a peek at their life....
withotuastyle, never fully dressed, daily rituals, everyday inspiration,
photo credit: James Butler

Vanisha of A Life of Unstyled writes: 
My days vary so much. Juggling different family members, countries, time zones and schedules is tricky but I find that one thing we do every day, without fail, is to think about what we're grateful for. This takes place at various levels. As an individual, I've kept a grateful journal for years where I jot down what I'm grateful for in point form. As a couple, Patrick (my husband) and I have each written a line a day (about our marriage and how we feel about each other) since the day we got married. Over 2000 days later, we haven't missed a day! As a family, each evening we talk about what we're grateful for and what we're disappointed about. It's one of those rituals that we maintain even if we aren't physically together. I think my daily ritual is really about being conscious of what is really happening around me and how I am feeling. I'm thankful that this is something I have being able to pass down to my family. Today I'm thankful that Kristian has invited me to be part of her beautiful space. 

Marisa of Shades of Monet Chronicles says:
I would definitely consider myself to be a pretty routine kind of person, however with two small boys running and crawling around the house, it can throw any kind of routine, let alone time for myself off kilter a bit depending on the day and the adventure.  With that being said, one daily ritual I absolutely, positively make time for each and every day is sitting down in the  morning in my music room with my cup of coffee nearby and playing my instruments.  I've played piano from the age of 5, so it's pretty much in my veins to love and enjoy making music.  At the moment I've really been throwing myself into practicing my accordion and writing music on my ukelele, but sometimes there's nothing like slapping the bass to a pop song or getting lost in Mozart on the keys.  Above all, it really just calms me, centers me, and gets my day started off on an upbeat pun intended. 

Shades of monet chronicles

Photo curtesy of Shades of Monet Chronicles

Nikki of The Ginger Diaries shares: 

One of my daily rituals? I think I have a rather romantic one I want to share today. My boyfriend and I have been together for 5 years. Because we're both still in college, living together isn't in our plans just yet and therefor we don't see each other every day. For 5 years, each night we've texted each other goodnight and send a kiss through the telephone. We haven't missed a single evening, not even if we had a fight that day. Maybe these text messages have become a routine, they definitely haven't lost their meaning to me. 

Marlen of Message on a Napkin says: 
My daily ritual is one I'm sure a lot of us share: making that first cup of coffee in my favorite flower printed mug. I've tried a bunch of times to wean myself off of the good stuff, but I think it's time I faced the facts. It's never going to happen. I remember one time I bought a fancy new creamer (something Girl Scout cookie flavored) and the night before I couldn't fall asleep because I was so excited to try it out the next morning. I laid there, staring at the ceiling, counting down the minutes like a kid waiting for Christmas morning. I mean, that's a special kind of crazy, haha! But I think I mostly look forward to it because of the whole ritual that goes around drinking that first cup. You sit in your jammies at the kitchen table, the hush of the morning coming in through the open deck doors, flipping through the newspaper as you slowly ease yourself into the day. It's lovely. 

Jen of Jenni Hseih tells us: 

My main daily ritual is listening to Spotify every morning right when I wake up, mainly on the weekdays before work, to get myself in the right mindset. It helps me drag my tired self out of bed, especially on those late nights and early mornings. Spotify actually has some awesome pre-made playlists and my favorites are "Smooth Morning" and "Cool, Calm, & Collected". Without those I'd probably end up being that really grumpy person on the subway. 

Photo curtesy of Jenni Hseih

What about you? Share with us some of your daily rituals in the comment section below!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Letter Writing: Cover Letters

When you're in the middle of a job hunt, a great cover letter can feel like the Be All and End All. While there's no "magic bullet" that will get you a position, here are some tips that will at least get you on potential employers' radar. 

Since this is a professional letter, you should be sure to use a business letter format with both their address and your own on it. If possible, your letter should be on a letterhead, but it isn't required. Make sure  the letter is typed in a standard font (Times New Roman is a good choice) in size 12 font. You should address the letter to a person. Use a name. Yes, more than one person will read your letter, and no, the human resource admin might not be the one calling the shots when hiring, but they are the first ones to see your letter. So, if you cannot find out who is the one with the hiring power, address you letter that person in human resources.  

Once you've started the body of your letter, be brief. A cover letter should be a page or less, so  make the most of what space you have. This is not a place to rehash your resume; they have copies of that, and have likely already read it. Still, you need to introduce yourself and state that you are a candidate for the position of whatever job you are applying for. If  it is customary to state your credentials or schooling in your career field, you might consider briefly doing so in this first paragraph. Then, in the next one or two paragraphs, what you do need to mention is two-fold. Talk about you- and talk about them. 

First, even though you aren't going over all the bullet points in your resume, take a moment to explain what skills you have that set you apart from the crowd. Share experiences or abilities that might not have been easily categorized to put onto a resume. Or, maybe there are things on your resume you feel might get overlooked that are especially unique or pertinent. For example, I spent two summers teaching English abroad. Such an experience provides a lot of unique skills, and insights but just looks like another line on a resume, so it always gets mentioned in a cover letter.  When sharing these skills and experiences, use dynamic language with action verbs, and don't just say they will make a difference, show your potential employers how with an example. 

The other thing you absolute must do- is to show not just what makes you a good fit for the job-  but that the job a good fit for you. This means doing your homework, and researching beyond what the job description says,  to find about the job and company or institution you are interested in working for. Mention what inspires you about them, or what skill you have that will be of use. It shows them that you don't just want a job, you want this job. Employers would rather have someone who is excited to be there- and one who will hopefully stick around in either the position they are hiring or  working their way up at the workplace.

The last paragraph should be brief. Make sure to state how to contact you (you might just consider saying contact information is in your resume, if you prefer), and say you are looking forward to discussing how your skills will be a benefit to them.  It is always a tricky to keep from sounding too confident or not confident enough. Implying there will be an interview or phone conversation in the future usually works for walking that tight-rope. Lastly, make sure you thank them for their time and consideration before closing with a respectful benediction like "Sincerely." Make sure to leave space to sign your name (yes, sign, not print!) in black or blue ink, and below that have your name, first and last, typed out along with any other pertinent information (such as if you are an MD). 

Hope this helps- and to all you job seekers- good luck! 

Further Reading:
How to Write a Cover Letter By Alison Greene

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Remix: Black Cigarette Pants

Popbasic, silk shirt, blue shirt, tweed jacket, hat, black pants, skinny pants, never fully dressed, witoutastyle,

Tweed Jacket | Blue Silk Shirt

skinny pants, black pants, chambray shirt, floppy hat, monochromatic, pearls, withoutastyle, never fully dressed,

All Black | Chambray Shirt

PopBasic, remix, skinny pants, black pants, cigarette pants, arm party, mustard yellow, withoutastyle,

Mustard Sweater

Especially since going back to working full time at a school, these black cigarette pants have been working overtime, in rotation nearly once a week (note to self" splurge on a few more work-appropriate pants by next winter). But just because an item sees a lot of use, doesn't mean it has to be the same old outfit time after time. These are five favorite looks with these pants- and if you are still looking for ways to style them, here's the first remix with these pants too for four more looks.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Dogeared Page: The Little Prince

"What does it mean- tame?"

"It is an act too often neglected," said the fox. "It means to establish ties."

"To establish ties?"

"Just that," said the fox. "To me, you are still  nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world..."

"I am beginning to understand," said the little prince. 

-The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery

Friday, June 13, 2014

Cinema Style: Pat and Mike

Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy were a movie-making match made in heaven. Pat and Mike (See full review here) was the seventh out of nine films made together, and was a script written just for them; supposedly the writers were inspired after seeing some of Katherine Hepburn's natural athletic talent. Though the film follows the athlete- slightly frumpy, easily frazzled Patricia Pemberton (played by an aging Hepburn), it still has it's own share of fashion "wins."
Pat and Mike, outfit, pants, swing pants, sporty, cinema style, movie, film,

Pants (Revival Vintage), Chambray Shirt (Westfield; Similar Here), Undershirt (Pieces), Belt (Spencers), Bracelets (Popbasic; Similar Here), Loafers (Modcloth)

In the very first scene of movie, we see a slacks wearing Hepburn  get scolded for her outfit; they are on their way to convince some very rich and very conservative possible donors to give to their school. What would they think of a woman in slacks? In fact, this reflects Hepburn's real life fashion tendencies and more than once studio execs threatened to steal her "dungarees" as a way to forcer into a dress! Rather than come across as wild or uncouth, today sporting the 40's wide swing pants, will convey both comfort and style.
Pat and Mike, outfit, pants, swing pants, sporty, cinema style, movie, film,

One fun draw of the film for movie-goers on it's release were all the real life sport stars who played themselves in cameos. One such athlete was "Gorgeous Gussie" Moran. A famous tennis player at the time, she'd worn a tennis outfit with a short skirt while still an amateur playing her first time at Wimbledon. The wind gave audiences and eyeful of her frill underthings, causing no end of embarrassment for Moran. She changed her turn when she turned pro though, realizing her look was a draw, and even gave little twirls to the photographs!  Your looks will be a draw too, in this white frock with a mini-skirt from Trashy Diva. Pair it with white tennis shoes for a preppy look Moran would be proud of!
Gussie, Moran, tennis, Pat and Mike, outfit, pants, swing pants, sporty, cinema style, movie, film,
Dress (Trashy Diva), Shoes (Wet Seal), Flower Hair Pin (H&M)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

What I Wore: Literature

Austen, books, leather skirt, popbasic, novels, reading,
Austen, books, leather skirt, popbasic, novels, reading,

What I Wore: Sweater (Modcloth), Necklace (Popbasic; Similar Here), Skirt (Popbasic; Similar Here), Shoes (Old Navy)

Like any book-loving woman, I adore Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice is a favorite book the world over, and even beyond the book has many reincarnations as plays and films. And yes, my friends and I do regularly discuss the merits and flaws of all those movies; we are  book girls.  So how could I pass up this sweatshirt?

For it's first outing on the blog, I paired the sweatshirt with my Popbasic leather skirt. This combo of the super-laid back sweatshirt with a skirt is something that's been cropping up on Pinterest, so I thought I'd give this edgy look a go, especially with the unseasonable wet weather we've been having. I was hoping it might make me feel a bit like a modern-day Lizzie Bennett (speaking of, if you haven't seen the Lizzie Bennett Diaries, go and watch. You'll thank me). I'm not sure it is quite edgy and I'm not quite Miss Bennett either, though the play of textures is fun.

Really, it is just as well; I am no Elizabeth Bennett in life after all- perhaps more of an Anne from Persuasion or even a Fanny, the heroine of Mansfield Park. Persuasion might tie with P&P for a  personal favorite Austen novel, and Mansfield Park is definitely my most read of her works, My sister took a course on Austen books one year and said then that her favorite book was actually Emma because the title character's flaws reminded her of herself. Seems true of myself as well.  Both Anne and Fanny tend to be quiet, even a bit prudish, and introspective, prone to not sharing their feelings, though lovely once you get to know them.  Their flaws drive me nuts, but are probably my own. 

What about you? Are you an Austen fan, and if so, let's talk books! And, Austen fan or not, do you tend to empathize with characters that are similar to you or ones who have traits you admire but don't have? 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Stationery Wishlist: From Midas' Desk

Gold, stationary, never fully dressed, withoutastyle, pencils, desk supplies,

1. Scallop Stationary | 2. Gold Doilies | 3. Card | 4. Kate Spade Notebook | 5. Desk Tray | 6. Gold and Silver Twine | 7. Pencils

1. Scallop Stationary - All the glitters can be gold, with this stationary set. So beautiful it will be sure to brighten anyone's day. So go on, write them a letter!

2. Gold Doilies - Make a letter from you even more special with these dreamy things wrapped around them and tucked  into an envelope.

3. Card - Time is short; remind the people you love to chase their dreams with this card.

4. Kate Spade Notebook - Got a great blogging idea? Research for that article you're writing? A grocery list for your dinner party? Jot all those thoughts down in this polka dot laden notebook!

5. Desk Tray - An organized desk is a beautiful one. Keep tabs on everything by using this tray to sort what's what.

6. Gold and Silver Twine - Julie Andrews sang about one of her favorite things- packages all tied up in string? Make even more favorite by making that string gold-and-twine.

7. Pencils- For those hard days, somtimes you just need a little remind to Be.... !

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

What I Wore: What Fills You

pink, hat, pink, shoes, jeans, white shirt, pearls, outfit, wyoming, never fully dressed, witoutastyle,
pink, hat, pink, shoes, jeans, white shirt, pearls, outfit, wyoming, never fully dressed, witoutastyle,
pink, hat, pink, shoes, jeans, white shirt, pearls, outfit, wyoming, never fully dressed, witoutastyle,
pink, hat, pink, shoes, jeans, white shirt, pearls, outfit, wyoming, never fully dressed, witoutastyle,

What I Wore: Hat (Topshop), Shirt (c/o Sammydress), Jeans (Gap), Shoes (Modcloth), Pearls (Similar Here), Bracelet (Popbasic; Similar Here)

Last week, I ran across this wonderful quote, "There isn't enough room in your mind for both worry and faith. You must choose which will live one there." 

Boy, these past few days have been a challenge to that choice. It is a constant choice to let faith be what fills you. In that spirit, I've been trying to really notice and enjoy those things, small as well as large, that make me happy, and not just happy, but happy to be experiencing this life.  Silly though it may be, those happy things include this hat (a little crushed on arrival but Solonah gave some good advice on using tea kettles for steaming the hat back into shape), and playing along the beach with puppies. There is just something about a floppy hat that makes you feel a bit more carefree, isn't there? 

As for the rest of my outfit, it features a few other newer items to my closet too. The shirt is from Sammydress. I've been looking for a white draped shirt forever, so when they sent this to me, I was excited. And it is lovely, very soft and worked well for this afternoon playing by the water. Sammydress provides many cute items for crazily low prices. Still, you get what you pay for; most of the buttons on this are just for show and I'm sure it will not last beyond the season. So, while I enjoy it for now, the lesson is learned: buy those investment basics as, well, investments. 

What about you? What do you do to keep worry out and faith a mindset to live in? 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Wear a Skirt!

The other day, a friend of mine recounted that she used to have some skirts in college, but now mainly wears dresses because she could never find tops to go with the skirts. Now, I love dresses (which are delightfully easy things to wear. One items on and you're done!), but skirts are my favorite things. And it rather puzzled me too, because (almost) every shirt will go with skirts.  Don't believe me? Read on!

Let's break out some style secrets here-You don't need fancy blouses to wear a skirt. There are some shirts that will go with anything. Actually, most tops can be paired with most bottoms- skirts, shorts, pants or anything else you can think of. These are some of my most trusted shirt choices, and each would work well with any of these three different types of skirts!
button ups, camisoles, crop top, chambray, stripes, sweaters, sweatshirts, maxi skirt, full skirt, pencil skirt,
Knits: pair it with jeans for a relaxed look, or any skirt up to and including a tulle one for a feel of casual elegance.
Button Ups: White button ups are always, always, always going to be in style. Wear it hiking, to the office wherever. Here's the great part though- it doesn't have to be white. Buttons ups in stripes, polka dots, gingham, chambray, and plaids will also always be in style, go with almost everything, even other patterns. Button-ups can be a challenge for bustier women, but button placement and tailoring can help that.
Camisoles: they go with ever skirt every. And they can be great for layering as well. Pick up one now. Heck, pick up a dozen in all sorts of colors!
Sweatshirt: A sweatshirt was once relegated to the gym and can be tricky to pull off with a skirt. But the juxtaposition of the relaxed with the more lady-like can create an edgy visual. Choose one with a fun graphic or text to add to the edginess.
 T-shirts: Long or short sleeved, plain or with patterns (Stripes are timelessly in style), these will work with skirts- except the ones you got for things like being a counselor at a summer camp; those are always invariably ill-fitting and often made of stiffer material. Make sure the T-shirt fits you. It should skim the line of your body but not cling so tight we see every tiny movement.
Silk or Silk-like material shirts: These types of shirts drape and can change the way the fall as you move. You should consider choosing material other than silk if  price and ease of cleaning are concerns.
Crop Top: Alright, this is definitely a Trend with a capital T this summer. But paired with something higher waisted (and skirts do tend to be at their most flattering when sitting at your natural- and therefore higher- waist), this can be fun and still pretty modest. Don't believe me? They were even around in the forties!

neutrals, polka dots, chambray, sweater, t-shirt, mix and match, outfit, clothing, wardrobe,
I'm a strong advocate of making what you have in your closet work with (most) everything else in your closet. So multiple tops should be able to work for a skirt (and multiple bottoms should work with a single top). As you can see, that might mean going with neutral colored tops, but it doesn't have to. Long term, it is probably a good idea to buy things in colors that go together, and that might mean black and white and browns, but it equally could mean a lot of things in the closet are in reds and blues that would pair nicely, or  in pastels.   Always choose colors that make you happy.

Don't feel like solid colors are all you have to go with either. A shirt or sweater with a graphic on it can add interest. An unexpected color combination could be the eye catching idea behind an outfit- thing monochromatic, perhaps, or color blocking. Likewise, pattern mixing can seem intimidating, but is easy to do. If you're unsure starting off, try making one of the patterns either stripes or dots. Those go with literally any other patterns or graphic. Below you can see how each of these strategies could work- and with just five pieces you can get 10 outfits!
stripes, dots, plaid, sweater, button up, le breton shirt, monochrome, pattern mixing, graphic, fox terrier,
What about the skirts themselves? Stores have managed to come up with every possible way to categorize skirts under heaven, but to break it down for you, you can categorize by length and by type. The three most common length descriptions are: Mini, which is short; Midi, which is knee-length hems to about mid-calve length; and Maxi which are long skirts. Types get a bit more tricky. You have pencil skirts (the straight ones), A-line skirts (which, as described are shaped like a letter A), and full skirts, sometimes called Skater skirts or circle skirts ( Techniocally, circle skirts also be laid flat into a perfect circle, so they are very full indeed!) There are a few other types- bubble skirts, drop-waists or mermaid skirts, for example but let's be honest. Most of these types tend to be fad-ish. Ignore fads.

A lot of ladies can wear many types of skirts, but some feel that one type or anther might fit them better. This is crucial: get what looks good for you. Today's stores also use a dizzying array of sizing scales. Find what fits- not too tight nor too loose- rather than worrying about the tags. A good rule of thumb to is find skirts that sit at your natural waist because that is usually the smallest part of you and will be the most flattering. Also find proportions that fit your body. This can be tricky for women who are taller or more petite. Shorter women sometimes worry about visually cutting their bodies in half, or creating the illusion of stumpier legs than normal. Once again,  find things that sit at your natural waist (not higher, though it may be tempting. You short-waist yourself, making your top half look disproportionally smaller and wider than it is!).  Both taller and shorter women may find hem stop elsewhere than the designer meant it to, but a hemline is generally not hard to alter, either.
maxi skirt, white T-shirt, jacket, boots, bracelet, layers, outfit, never fully dressed, withoutastyle,
Sometimes you've paired a skirt that looks great on you with a shirt that works, and things still feel a bit- blah to you. Perhaps the truth is, your outfit isn't so much "blah" as unfinished. Layering can go a long way to polishing a look, be helpful in changing weather or in transitioning the same pieces to different situations, and exponentially adds to the number of outfits your closet can make! Layers could mean adding a light jacket, a blazer or sweater, but don't stop there. Perhaps what would punch up an outfit is an accessory? Jewelry, scarves and even hats might be just what the (style) doctor ordered.

Hope this helps you, dear friend, and all of your too readers! What other tips (or troubles, if you have them) do you have about wearing skirts?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

What I Wore: When School's Out

Mountains-17 copylost2 Collage.jpg

What I Wore: Shirt (Popbasic; Similar Here), Necklace (Popbasic; Similar Here), Shorts (Similar Here), Belt (Similar Here), Shoes (Minnetonka) 

You hear that? Yeah, neither do I. Today, No bell was ringing to signal the start of school because- oh yeah!- school's out for summer!

 Of course, that's not really true for me. I'll be getting my Gifted and Talented Teaching Endorsement (in addition to regular licenses for teaching Elementary or Secondary classes, teachers also often get endorsed in specialized fields such as Reading, Technology, and Gifted and Talented). I'm signed up to get about six credits done over the course of the summer- about half of what I need. Which, to anyone in college, probably does not sound like a lot. I'm trying to get as much of the schooling done over the summer as I can, but choices are limited, especially as most of this will be done online. Still, I'm taking classes through the University of Iowa, which is known for its Gifted and Talented Education work, so I'm pretty pumped. The Boy has been being very accommodating too, since this means we'll mostly be kickin' it at home with not much travel this summer. Instead, I'm dubbing this the Summer of Productivity! Who's with me, right? Of course, there will also be plenty happening right here close to home with some weddings and a class reunion bringing people to town too. Things won't be too quiet!

As for this outfit, I think it classic All-American, and just a bit preppy- a perfect choice for summertime. I've only featured my Popbasic Sophia Boyfriend Shirt a few times on the blog (here and here), which is strange because it is a workhorse for the closet. And it's first time you've all seen it with sleeves rolled down. What can I say, rolled sleeves are my jam.

What about all of you? Tell all about your plans for summer! Inquiring minds want to know!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

In June, Why Don't You...

Artists dining outdoors at Mt. Kisco, picnic,
Photo from the Abraham Walkowitz papers in the Archives of American Art
Pick out wedding gifts for all those loving couples you know

Send a thank you note to someone who did something kind

Go to your High School Reunion (has it really been that long?!)

Fall in love with a new party dress

Hang a shelf and fill it with baubles and treasures

Dine al fresco

Write to a sick child

Challenge a friend to a game of lawn bowling

Buy something (anything) children are selling

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

What I Wore: Barely There

Crop, sweater, high waisted, shorts, never fully dressed, withotuastyle, montana,
Crop, sweater, high waisted, shorts, never fully dressed, withotuastyle, montana,
Crop, sweater, high waisted, shorts, never fully dressed, withotuastyle, montana,
What I Wore: Sweater (ASOS), Shorts (Anthropologie; Similar Here), Shoes (Old Navy), Watch (Modcloth; Similar Here)

I can hear you now: "Whaa?! Kristian, I thought you just told us things were already summer there. What's with the sweater? When can we finally put away the knits already?!"

Well, first off, knits are awesome, so there's that. But it really is summer here, barely (The shorts totally are proof). Due to unusually high amounts of snow pack, we've had high amounts of run off and flooding now that the temperatures are warming up. Like, really warming up, so that much of that water becomes vapor and rises and RAINS. Dudes, I live in a desert. What is with all the greenery and how does one deal with rain?

The sweater with shorts combo is my attempt at it. Though being inside a cozy and brightly lit restaurant while it poured was also a good way to cope, too.

I'm not sure whether this works as an outfit. I feel like you see this on all sorts of gamine ladies- shorts and sweaters. So it isn't so much that as it was...  Really its the waist-skimming crop-cut of the top that I wonder on, but- not to get all internet meme on you- YOLO. What do you think of the crop trend this summer? Despite insecurities I'm wanting to try it again.

Monday, June 2, 2014

May 2014 in Review

May started out still in winter and was filled with changes that bloomed into a summer of a possibilities!

Outfits that Changed Me
never fully dressed, withoutastyle, hell bunny, popbasic, shabby apple, skirts, floral, leather, gingham, wyoming,

Movies to Change You
Take a look back at the nineteen fifties with these two classic gems- Daddy Longlegs and Sunset Boulevard. Then fast-forward a decade to get some 60s mod fashion with Audrey Hepburn in How to Steal a Million. 

Mail to Change You
This month, we talked about how to write a letter of complaint, shared what was in a tea subscription box from Tea Sparrow, and dreamed about these out of the world stationary items.

Plans That Changed Me
May brought about a lot of exciting opportunities for Never Fully Dressed- we sat down with Popbasic about their new, single item line, and also reviewed an eShakti dress as well.  Elsewhere on the internet, Bon Marche interviewed me about blogging as a business.

It was a busy month in my personal life too! The Boy left for a week for work, so  I was soloing it with just the puppies for trusty sidekicks. Later, we got to have my sister over before she headed to work for the Sundance Film Institute's summer events. Spring finally came to Wyoming, followed in short order by Summer, so we celebrated with our first trip of the year to Yellowstone. Most exciting of all though, was getting to share with you that I got a  a new job as a Gifted and Talented teacher!

And, if you're in need of a dose of daily inspiration, don't forget to check this month's Q+A about mothers,  or our Dog Eared Page, Because of Winn Dixie, which is more dogged than others have been- get it?!

Finds to Change You

Fox Terrier Tea Towel

Self-portrait through the decades

Motherhood and Otherhood; also how feminism helps men

Have you been following #yesallwomen trend on Twitter? 

Katie is always such a stunning vintage-inspired beauty

Grandmothers and Food Around the World

Ballet dancers demonstrate their hardest moves

Anyone else in love with the life painted in Marlen's What to Wear series?

Guide to accessing quality of garments

My hometown on the National News (sort of).

Vanisha's inspires us with an Unstyled Life- plus this cute outfit too.

Female Cyclists in Afghanistan

An arcade game that helps you recycle

This I Wear talks about The Perfect Wardrobe vs. Good Enough

Twenty Weird Things About America

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