Friday, February 27, 2015

February 2015 in Review

Lovely Clothing
Feb Collage
Lovely Plans
February is always such a strange month; it can feel eonian, yet Never Fully Dressed seems to have little to show for it- probably because all my energy has been focussed on my classroom. But that doesn't mean things weren't afoot in blogland!

This month marked the 3rd year I've been blogging! In addition to looking back, I asked readers to help me look forward by filling out a survey. If you haven't done so, please go here. Then NFD took a week off, where I mostly worked on my graduate classes, but we did end the week with a Valentine's trip out of town. To help everyone get into a Valentine mood, I shared a romantic excerpt form a girlhood favorite for this month's Dog Eared Page, dreamed of  this stylish romance movie's looks, talked about things to do in February, and looked at fun Valentines.  We also celebrated President's Day with the classic film Young Mr. Lincoln.

Lovely Finds

Are you dying to read To Kill a Mockingbird sequel Go, Set a Watchman

These fun illustrations will tell you how to get the style you want!

If Stanley Tucci were your boyfriend

How Wednesday Addams would react to cat-calling

Marlen always has the coolest outfits. Evidence A: this outfit's perfection

You can now get temporary tattoos of your instagrams. You're welcome.

Your name might affect more than you know

I've been  obsessing over this new-to-me blog all month.

As a former TEFL teacher, I get nerdy about grammar.

Katie and Carrie both nail winter style, don't you agree?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What I Wore: A Perfect Fit

peals, white belt, black ankle boots,
Grey ShirtCollage

What I Wore: Shirt (Popbasic; Similar Here), Jeans (Lucky Brand), Shoes (Crown Vintage), Necklace (Similar Here), Belt (Similar Here)

I've had a growing interest lately in capsule wardrobes- anyone else on that bandwagon- or at least eyeing it speculatively- too? Obviously, I haven't tried it yet (intentionally anyway. My work wardrobe may be an accidental one. That sounds better than "stuck in a rut," right?), but simple outfits like this are ones I find myself reaching for on any day out. The thing of it is- it is a long sleeved T-shirt with jeans. Yet, I wore t-shirts and jeans in high school and didn't feel like this. It's details and quality that make all the difference to how I feel about such a basic combo.

If I were to describe this outfits- boots topped off by jean cuffs rolled just-so while  a matching belt and necklace sandwich a perfectly fitting tee, all of which are complimented by a bold lipstick and messy French twist- it is all the little things that make it. My coworker calls this pearl necklace my "goes with anything necklace," and she's pretty much right (I wear a similar look to work all the time with flats and black pants too). I picked it up at a boutique's summer sale while walking back to my hotel half a year ago. This was when I traveled to Iowa City to take intensive graduate classes at  my endorsement. It was my one little concession to myself as a reward for a job well done. I'm not normally a rewards-myself-with-baubles kind of a person, but it was literally the only half hour of the day I wasn't working on classes. At any rate, I think the accessories elevate the look from boredom to something more.

Additionally, the Popbasic shirt is unbelievably soft and fits just so, while the dark-wash jeans have that great fit too. It makes me think that- with the right items- you don't need much in your wardrobe. Would you ever try a capsule wardrobe? Or have you done other shopping or closet challenges?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Cinema Style: Daddy Long Legs

Daddy Long Legs is mostly an excuse to watch Leslie Caron and Fred Astaire dance, but, buried within that, is a cute little story in which a millionaire becomes the anonymous benefactor of a charming French orphan. The two fall in love and between the opening and the rolling of the credits there are spunky roommates, witty banter, and  trunks of beautiful clothes. What girl wouldn't love that?
movies, cinema, leslie caron,

Shirt, Belt, Shoes, Pants

Leslie Caron's character Julie certainly appreciates the opportunities she's been given- and the clothes. After all, why shouldn't she? She has been unused to having a choice in the wardrobe department! Of course, when we first meet her, her orphanage has recently received a large donation of gingham. That means everything- the sheets, the curtains, the clothes- are blue and white gingham. While too much of a good thing can make one cringe, I do still love her charming and simple outfit. What is best of all is a blue gingham shirt with grey slacks and pants is still as stylish today as when Caron donned them.

Fred Astaire, Leslie Caron,

The musical is filled with plenty of dresses and full skirts- all the better to dance in, of course! But the costume that was put on all the promotional materials and opening credits is another simple one that fit Caron's timeless style. A striped shirt with black cigarette pants are enlivened with a blue sash and pointe shoes for a dream sequence where the two dancers perform ballet among the clouds. This is style that is easy to recreate in your own wardrobe as well- just add more practical (but still ballet inspired) shoes on, and you're ready to go!

clothes, striped shirt, ballet flats,

Striped Shirt, Earrings, Shoes, Sash, Pants

Friday, February 20, 2015

Letter Writing: Open Letters

Think of an open letter like the letter to the editor's funky cousin. You are still writing a letter that is intended to be read by the general public. You are still expressing an opinion. A letter to the editor does those things too. The difference is this- when you are writing an open letter, it is addressed to a specific audience. This may be a specific person, or group of people or even, very occasionally, an  inanimate object or idea. For example, famous open letters have been written to political leaders, to civil organizations, to graduating classes, to offspring, to family, to days of the week, and even to anthropomorphized ideals.

Why does addressing your letter to a specific audience, make the open letter different? Where is the power in that? Simply speaking, though the open letter is being written with the knowledge that everyone can read it, you are also writing to one audience. The public takes that knowledge as into account when they read. If you write to denounce an act of a political figure, they know of their act.  If you write to give advice to a specific person, the public can infer that person's situation and take the advice if their situation is similar.  Your arguments are understood to be framed and crafted  to counter those of whom you addressed. Even if you choose to write to a Monday Morning, people know instantly what is the mood you are trying to convey (who, after all, doesn't have Monday Mornings now and then?)

By writing to a specific person, you choose to make it more personal and can write in a more intimate style than a letter to an editor might allow you to. The person(s) you address are known to you- how intimate relationship determines the overall tone of your letter. A writer might make an open letter to his daughter, giving advice about growing up. That will be a more lovingly letter with references to specific incidences. The tone will contrast greatly when compared to Martin Luther King Jr.'s open letter on civil rights, written from a jail cell. As it should. The person you write to is also usually an indication of your letter's purpose. You might write an open letter to give advice; to start or end a dialogue about a certain idea, especially social movements; you may be urging a change in thinking, or a change in policy; you may be warning people of dangers you foresee; or you may be merely trying to make them laugh.

In format, an open letter will start with the salutation to the person you addressed the letter to. Much of the rest of the letter will follow an essay format, and your purpose will dictate the level of formality in the open letter. Rather than merely ending the essay, you still sign off with a benediction appropriate to whom you are addressed the letter to (in more cases, "sincerely" works fine).

Have you ever read an open letter, or tried to write one? In this month when so many conversations are going about the civil rights movement, and with International Women's Day coming up in March , it makes me wonder what open letters will we be seeing in the weeks to come?

Further Reading:
Open Letter to Open Letter Writers in 2014
Open Letter...About Open Letters
Wikipedia's entry on Open Letters
The Art of the Open Letter


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What I Wore: For My Funny Valentine

Bozeman, valentine, clothing, bozeman, valentine, clothing,
Bozeman, valentine, outfit, clothes,

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

With Valentine's falling right before Presidents' Day, we were treated to a long weekend at work! And with the extra time, The Boy made my wish come true- we went out of town! Especially in the winter, you can feel so hemmed in a small, remote town, and for both of us the every weekend has been a working weekend, just trying to keep treading water. So it was a relief to finish things up Friday and hit the open road!

We headed up to Bozeman, a Montana college town just far enough away that we don't get to visit it often. We spent most of our time there poking around bookstores and the funky, thriving downtown scene (sure, it obviously caters to mostly rich, granola skiing families, but it was still fun!) and eating..Mmmm, I'm honestly getting hungry just thinking about it! Our favorite discovery though was "Granny's Doughnuts." Just a hole in the wall, with barely enough room for two tables, the place was still hopping! Ironically, it the business of the head baker- the grandpa behind Granny's Doughnuts. And what he made was nothing fancy just- good, down-home doughnuts done really, really right."Everyman's food," he called it. The best part was, he let little kids put on their own icing and sprinkles; can you imagine my surprise when the 7 year old in line in front of us, refused! Sadly, we were not given that option, but the doughnuts were still pretty good.

One of my favorite parts of the trip though was getting to wear this skirt- we've been having some of the most mild weather imaginable- like it was April, not February! So I braved a skirt (Look, Ma! No tights!). This skirt was actually much trickier to style than originally anticipated. It's just so darn- poofy. You have to be careful not to top it off with anything oversized or loose at all. Even tucked in, it could make you look like a marshmallow. Plus, the skirt is such a statement on its own, everything else needed to be simple to balance things out. But I loved wearing it. People literally stopped me in the street to say how much they liked my skirt. And, my funny valentine liked it just fine too, so there's always that!

How was your weekend; do share! ;)

PS After taking in the results of my survey, I'm cutting back my posting schedule from 4 times a week to 3, so expect outfits on Wednesdays now :D

Monday, February 16, 2015

Film Flick: Young Mr. Lincoln

"I felt as if I were portraying Christ himself on film." is how Henry Fonda recalled his feelings on playing the eponymous lead in Young Mr. Lincoln. As that quote indicates, the film is somewhat

hagiographic. It focuses on Lincoln's early years as a lawyer, and evolves from a character study of the man as a humble but charming lawyer able to get on everyone's good side (yes, even that lynch mob's!) with a parable or two into a courtroom drama.

 Loosely based on a real case, Lincoln must defend two out-of-town brothers when a brawl results in a local man's death. To make matters more dire, the mother of the boys and the dead man's friend are the only two witnesses. If one brother is not convicted, they may both be facing murder charges- that is, if the lynch mob doesn't get to them before the jury can. Making bit appearances are others who become important in Lincoln's life- significantly his early, doomed sweetheart Anne Ruthridge; his future wife Mary Todd; and his rival in both love and politics, Stephen Douglas- but the real focus never strays for more than a moment or two on framing Lincoln as the epitome of the American Sprit. In fact, to aid the image of this mythic man on screen, Henry Fonda wore specially made boots that made him appear taller! With their own visions of America at stake, both director John Ford and producer Darryl F. Zanuck fought for control of the film. Ford even went so far as to destroy unwanted takes to prevent the studio from using them when cutting the film.

In fact though, Young Mr. Lincoln is only one of three films directed by John Ford that were released in 1939- more than any other one director in that year of years for Hollywood! All three- Stagecoach, Young Mr. Lincoln, and Drums Along the Mohawk -present a Ford's Americana vision where men are honest, if fallible, and nature is to be respected. This bio-pic of Lincoln is perhaps the most cloying of the three, but Henry Fonda does a lot with what he is given. The dialogue can be a bit hackney-eyed but his physicality of the role is great, and the plot doesn't mind slowing down to show Lincoln in everyday life, which gives viewers a break from the sometimes overwhelming message of the film. Luckily, when Abe  isn't waxing poetic about his purpose or the goodness of justice, he has parables to share. Funny and witty, many of these pointed tales are ones actually used by Lincoln.

If you are looking for something to put you in a patriotic mood this President's Day, you could do worse than Henry Fonda taking on this most sacred of historical personages, but be aware it delivers its message with less finesse than the real Young Mr. Lincoln ever would have.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

3rd Blog Anniversary!

PicMonkey4 CollageFebruary | March | AprilPicMonkey 3CollageMay | June | JulyPicMonkey 2CollageAugust | September | OctoberPicMonkey1 Collage November | December | January
Another year of blogging come and gone! How did that happen so fast? Some days I feel like my style is changing a lot, but when I went back to pick favorites from each month, the same pieces kept cropping up. If I like it, it is in high rotation! I guess that style is more defined than I knew. 

Looking beyond outfits, this has been a pretty strange year, as I took on a new job, and also went back to school to get my Gifted and Talented Education Endorsement. Naturally, other things had to take a backseat while focus was elsewhere. However, balance is everything, and this year will bring changes to Never Fully Dressed that will make it a more engaging and meaningful for readers such as yourself. Below is a survey for you fill out to help with this; thank you for your time and thoughts on the matter! 

I'm also hoping to redesign my layout. I've had the same basic look for all three years of NFD's existence! I actually have a pretty specific idea in mind for what I want, but have had no time to make it myself. If you have gone through a blog redesign, please feel free to share your stories, tips, designers you collaborated with, and advice. I definitely appreciate your help!

I'll be taking a week's break to plan, and reflect, so your help is very appreciated. Until then! 

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Stationery Wishlist: Funny Valentine

valentine, stationary, mail, wishlist, etsy, kate spade,

1. Lips Pouch | 2. Love Stickypad | 3. You Are Here Card | 4. Heart Stickers | 5. Like Salt And Pepper Card | 6. Pink Ombre Wrapping Paper | 7. You Are My Favorite Card | 8. To Do List Pad | 9. Sweet Talk Pens | 10. You're A Stud Card

1. Lips Pouch- This sweet pouch is the perfect place to stash your lipstick while out on a Valentine's date! 

 2. Love Stickypad - Remind someone of your love- and to buy milk- at the same time with these fanciful sticky notes! 

3. You Are Here Card- A more literal take on Valentine's Day. 

4. Heart Stickers - Whether it's for your true love or your platonic soul mate, these bright pink hearts are sure to cheer up any mail. 

5. Like Salt And Pepper Card - Who needs pink for Valentine's? This is cheeky and true for you and your love. 

6. Pink Ombre Wrapping Paper - Make any surprises extra lovely with this gorgeous wrapping paper. 

7. You Are My Favorite Card- Because, reader, you know you, yes, you are my favorite ;)

8. To Do List Pad  This note pad will be not only a reminder to get stuff done but do get stuff done with love. 

9. Sweet Talk Pens For those times in the workday you need a little pep-talk.

10. You're A Stud Card- Um. Cause The Boy's a Stud. But you can use if for the studly person in your life too. That's alright. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

In February, Why Don't You...

Image by Charles Schultz

Layer delicate necklaces

Hang up some twinkly lights

Go salsa dancing on a Saturday Night

Give Valentines (or Galentines!) to all your friends to remind them they're special

Make French Toast with strawberries for a decadent brunch

Plan a scavenger hunt for your Valentine

Try an audiobook of a biography of George Washington

Snuggle with a pet; after all, "Happiness is a Warm Puppy"

Trek up a mountain snowshoeing

Watch a Korean romcom, just so you can throw popcorn at the screen at all the ridiculous parts

Monday, February 2, 2015

Dogeared Page: Emily Climbs

"Emily," whispered Teddy, "you're the sweetest girl in the world." 

 The words have been said so often by so many millions of lads to so many millions of lasses, that they ought to be worn to tatters. But when you hear them for the first time, in some magic hour of your teens, they are as new and fresh and wondrous as if they had just drifted over the hedges of Eden. Madam, whoever you are, and however old you are, be honest, and admit that the first time you heard those words on the lips of some shy sweetheart, was the great moment of your life.

-Emily Climbs by L.M. Montgomery 
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