Wednesday, April 29, 2015

April 2015 in Review

Spring OutfitsPicMonkey1 Collage
PicMonkey Collage2
Spring Plans

April has felt like a month of anticipation. The weather teases us and the calendars are all saying- spring is here; summer almost is too. Easter seems so long ago already (though, if you want to capture the magic, I did a Cinema Style post for Easter Parade!) We have only a month of school left for my students and even less for my graduate classes (eeps!), but the days are flying by so fast that we're daydreaming about trips to take this summer. Meanwhile, Stella the Fox Terrier has been loving that it is warm enough to swim.

Speaking of spring, if you're looking for something else to sweeten yours, you might try something from this month's Why Don't You... list; read this book; or try popping in one of my favorite films. I'm updating my wardrobe for the weather, and thinking about ways to make people's mailboxes happy.  There's some new-old favorite items on this month's Stationery Wishlist, or you could try getting a Le Tote Box, or  writing "Open When" Letters. What are you doing to enjoy the warming weather?

Spring Finds

 Springtime is all about flowers, so here is the perfect  Rose, and Cherry Blossoms in bloom.

Design art for an unmade Studio Ghibli adaptation of Pippi Longstockings

TRUTH.

Yes, there really are Camel-riding Robots.

Katerina has some advice on what to do after you're done spring cleaning on your closet.

You know I love a good cup, so: Tea around the world.

This may be only because I teach about Ancient Egypt, but these are hilarious.

Do you join  Instagram Communities? Vanisha has some great suggestions.

The woman who woke up in the future

An unusual seat

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Best of NFD's Film Flicks

I've written a lot about  classic movies, and their importance- and have reviewed a lot too. So many in fact, it might be a little hard to figure out where to start!  So, here is a list of my favorite films that have been reviewed on Never Fully Dressed. It isn't a definitive list by any means, nor a list of what is "best," but if you're looking for a place to start- you might as well start here:

Casablanca- Love and Nazis. This film is one of the most quoted (and misquoted) films in the English language; no line is extraneous. It's my all-time favorite film, for reasons of both quality and sentimentality (it was a film we had playing at our wedding). Plus, Humphery Bogart is dark and brooding. Ah, Casablanca, we'll always have Paris... 

The Third Man  It's a Noir like none other, and worth watching for the manic, jaunty soundtrack alone, but the surprise twist that is revealed half way through is one of Hollywood's most iconic moments.

To Have and Have Not- This is the film where Humphery Bogart and Lauren Becall met and fell in love. It smolders and is stylish as can be. "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve...?"

White Christmas- My family watches this one every Christmas and it never gets old. And really, it is good enough you can watch it all year round. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye banter like they were born to it; Rosemary Clooney croons in her soft voice, and we've never stopped wondering at Vera Ellen's mad dance skills and impossibly slender waist!

It Happened One Night Two Words for you: Clark. Gable. Actually, four words. Clark Gable is funny. Who knew? By the way, this film also was the first to get a "grand slam" winning Best Picture, Best Director, Best Writing, Best Lead Actor, and Best Actress. Only three films have done this. So- there you go.

Desk Set- Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy did nine films together and created one of Hollywood's most popular "real love stories." Arguably, this is probably not technically their best film or most important one. But... it is so charming, I don't care. It is my favorite. Spencer Tracey delivers what is probably the most beautiful of compliments when he tells Hepburn, with utter sincerity, "I'll bet you write beautiful letters."

Annie Hall- Billed as a "neurotic romance" Annie Hall might be the first modern rom-com. Woody Allen tells the story out-of-order, breaks the fourth wall and more. Plus, Diane Keaton's trademark looks created a fashion craze that has never truly gone away.

The Maltese Falcon- Largely considered the first film noir, it's little slow to get started.  But it is jam-packed with characters who remain unique and interesting, fascinating to watch, despite being the film to spawn the genre.

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir This is another one that might not make any "top 100 lists" but it should. Its a poignant story that defies genre labels and is in turns funny, thoughtful,  and heartbreaking. But never trite. Never cliche or pitying.

Gigi The day after it won Best Picture, MGM answered its phones, "M-Gigi-M Studios!" Today, this musical is often overshadowed by the more famous of its creators' works, My Fair Lady. However, no one should under estimate it's gaelic charm, especially since it is set during the Belle Epoch in Paris and stars Marius Chevalier and Leslie Charon.

How to Steal a Million- When you say Audrey Hepburn, people think Roman Holiday, Breakfast at Tiffany's Sabrina... but this is probably her most fun film. There is art, a bank heist and really, really fabulously wild sixties fashion involved. Plus, Peter O'Toole in a suit.

Singin' in The Rain- Gene Kelly is singing in the rain. More importantly, all of the other song and dance numbers are hilarious ,and- unlike many classic film musicals- there is an actual story to hang the song and dance numbers on. Basically, it is probably the best movie musical of all time.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Letter Writing: "Open When" Letters

It happens- sometimes a person you love and care about is far away from you. Maybe it's a husband or a child or a friend. They're in the army, the navy, off to college, moving across the country... whatever their (and your) circumstance, you want to be there for them, but sometimes you just... can't. Not until they finally invent that transportation device they always used in Star Trek, anyway.

That's where "Open Me When...." letters come in! As the name implies, these letters are to be opened at certain times. Generally, you send multiple letters all at once, similar to a care package, but  instructions are clearly marked on the outside of each envelope about when to open each letter. While these instructions can include certain days, or even times of the day, most often they are for when certain situations arise, or when the recipient is feeling a certain way. It is basically a way to "be there" during the hard times and the good time, even when you can be there. Below are a list of a few of my favorite examples of "Open Me When..." situations:

You need to know  I love you
You need a good laugh
You could use a pep talk
You are feeling lonely
You want to reminisce
You’re worried
You’re upset or angry
You can’t fall asleep
You need me
 You’re feeling grumpy
 It’s your birthday!
It’s Galentine's Day!
 It’s Valentine’s Day!
It’s Christmas Day
It's Halloween
You’re having a guys'/girls' night
You don't feel beautiful
You need courage
You’re mad At me
You Need To Smile
You’re bored
You've had a Bad Day


I would recommend always having one letter with the instructions "Open When... You Get This" or "Open Right Away." This letter can do two things. First, it provides you with a chance to explain what the "Open When..." letters are for, and second, it can function as a regular, personal correspondence letter would. Share all the latest news or funny stories of what happened to you. Ask about their day. This is, if not the only letter, then certainly one of the few letters, you know exactly when it will be read. Other letters may not be opened for days or even weeks. So, you can use the first letter as a chance to share timely information.

What about all those other letters though? Most people who send these "Open When...." Letters like to put a bit of pizzazz into the presentation. And why not, when that will communicate the time, effort and thought you put into all the letters? Even without reading them right away, that "pizzazz" will help show someone how much you care. Perhaps you might like to have similar theme or look for all your envelopes. Or maybe each one is a different piece of "mail art" with pictures, puzzles or funny handwriting. You could have the size or shape of the envelope play a part too- who doesn't get a kick out of small, tiny things, or oddly shaped things?

As for the directions of each letter, you will know the circumstances of your recipient best. When might he or she most want to talk to you, need help, congratulations, or advice? For a college student a "Open when your stressed during Finals Week" or "Open when you have no more clean clothes and need to do laundry" might be more useful; a husband on an overseas tour might appreciate "When you miss your little boy" or "When it's our anniversary" more. Pick a few; I'd recommend at least five, maybe more. This is one of the situations where more often equals better,  so long as situations are thoughtful and relevant.

The trickiest part, of course, might be what to put in these letters. Some, such as letters to be read over special holidays, will seem obvious. For most of the "Open When..." letters though,  there is no guarantee when, date-wise, they will be read. So avoid the more chatty style of a personal correspondence, where you might ask questions and expect a reply. Instead, you might consider writing them in the style of a letter giving advice, a love letter, or a letter of appreciation. You could get really creative and write a pictionary note, a mirror letter, or even a letter in code. Since you might reasonably be sure of the mood your recipient will be opening many of these in, you can take that into account. For example, will the person need a laugh, or cheering up? Include something funny such a a cute story or even a a list of knock-knock jokes! If they are lonely, photos of the good times you have all shared together? If they are discouraged, share what you admire about them.

Don't limit yourself to just writing letters either. This is a care package of sorts. What can you stick into the envelope to help the person you are sending this too? Maybe a gas card for someone who might need to drive home for a visit would be good, or even a bunch of crossword puzzles for when someone is bored!(Psst! If you're feeling stuck about what bit or bob you could tuck into an envelope, Look my 15 Things to Put in a Care Package series here!)

Remember too- not all of these "Open When..." letters need to be written by you! Enlist other friends and family to help you out. In the previously mentioned example where a serviceman might be missing his kid, why not have the child write a letter or make a picture or even record their voice sending a message on?


If you're still looking for more ideas, here is some Further Reading: 
101 Open When Letter Topics from the LDR Magazine

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 |







Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What I Wore: The Shape of Things

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PicMonkey Collage What I Wore: Skirt (Pin-Up Girl Clothing), Sweater (Similar Here), Shoes (Minnetonka)


One of the things I do when looking to add things to my wardrobe, or what to keep or throw out, is what silhouettes am I drawn to? What shapes or styles do I most enjoy and feel confident in?  What do I most like as inspiration for myself? Because while I love seeing people in all sorts of things, that's not always what I can see myself being happy in. Clothing really sets your mood for the whole day. You want it to be you- what you can move around in, what you can feel comfortable in, but also what you love,

When looking at what to add to my Spring/Summer wardrobe list, I noticed that the two shapes I'm most drawn to were, in some ways, opposites. I loved the more stream-lined look of skinnier pants such as cigarette pants or peg pants. Yet I loved the fullness of midi circle skirts. Beyond the obvious though, they are more alike than you'd think! They both have appeal as pared down versions of themselves, styled simply. Plus, with both you could mix feminine and masculine together (yes, even skirts can have an more androgyne feel, depending on what you put it with). So, I knew I wanted another skirt to round out my wardrobe...

And yeah, every blogger and her dog seem to be getting this skirt, I just don't care. It is too pretty to care. The (admittedly, lovely) print and color makes it a bit harder to find separates to go with it, but It Can Be Done! Here, its paired it with a low-key sweater. It's simplicity helps the skirt step away from its Pin Up Girl roots (no pun intended with the brand...) and shows off that it can look great in a repo vintage style or styled a bit more modernly.

Are there any certain shapes, colors or items you find yourself drawn to again and again?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Dog-Eared Page: The Book of Embraces


Their hands were tied or handcuffed, yet their fingers danced, flew, drew words. The prisoners were hooded, but leaning back they could see a bit, just a bit, down below. Although they were forbidden to speak, they spoke with their hands. Pinio Ungerfeld taught me the finger alphabet which he learned in prison without a teacher:

"Some of us had bad handwriting," he told me. "Others were masters of calligraphy." 

The Uruguayan dictatorship wanted everyone to stand alone, everyone to be no one: in prisons and in barracks and through the country, communication was a crime.

Some prisoners spent more than ten years buried in solitary cells the size of coffins, hearing nothing but clanging bars or footsteps in the corridors. Fernandez Huidobro and Maurico Rosencof, thus condemned, survived because they could talk to each other by tapping on the wall. In that way, they told of dreams and memories, falling in and out of love; they discussed, embraced, fought; they shared beliefs and beauties, doubts and guilts, and those questions that have no answer.

When it is genuine, when it is born of the need to speak, no one can stop the human voice. When denied a mouth it speaks with the hands, or the eyes, or the pores, or anything at all. Because every single one of us has something to say to others, something that deserves to be celebrated or forgiven, by others.

-Eduardo Galleano, "Celebration of the Human Voice," The Book of Embraces

Friday, April 17, 2015

Le Tote Review


You all know I love a good subscription box, right? Well, waaaay back in December, I caught an amazing deal where a subscription box company,  Le Tote, would send you your first box for free. 



Le Tote is kind of like the Netflix of clothing, or a rental version of Stitch Fix. When you sign up, you fill out a style quiz, and also have the opportunity to peruse all the clothing Le Tote has in their closet- and they have a lot, many from very reputable brands like Anne Taylor and Nasty Girl amongst others. You "heart" the clothing items you like to have them appear in your own closet. Then, stylists will pick a combination of items in your closet and others they think you'll enjoyed based on those choices and quiz. They send them all to you. You can wear them as much of as little as you like and then send them back, free shipping, to the company. Viola- a wardrobe to rent! 

Le Tote aims to make itself very easy to use, but there are certain tricks and unexpected tips that will make your experience with them better.

First off, it is important to remember you are paying for the service, not the box. This means, you pay forty-nine dollars every month to be a member.  You are sent one box of five items (generally a mix of clothing and accessories) at a time and may keep the items for as long as you want (even more than a month if you really like them!), or you may return the box and another will be sent to you. If you get two or more boxes in a month, it is does not cost you anymore; it is covered under your forty-nine dollar membership fee.  They have  two-shipping, which means a four day turn around, so realistically, you are unlikely to get more than two boxes a month, but it is a nice option to have.  If you like an item enough to want to purchase it, you simply send back your Le Tote without that item in it. The cost of the time is then simply charged to your account. It is important to remember that Le Tote is a continuing membership, though that membership can be put on a temporary hold if your wallet is feeling a bit thin some months. You can cancel your membership all together, but it is a bit of a pain, because you have to email a representative and the correspondence generally takes a few days from start to finish.  

Another important consideration is that, while Le Tote has items from various brands, the clothing tends to reflect a certain style- a more modern, geometric style that I tend to associate with work place clothing or clothing for the 30+ crowd. Much of it is very cute, no matter your age or situation, but it is something to consider! Also, because items are from various brands sizing varies a lot. When you take your style quiz, you specify your sizing and all items your "heart" and put in your closet default to that sizing. However, I highly recommend that you look at the sizing guide of each item. I've seen S and XS vary from 24" waists and 32" busts to 38" busts or even 40" busts! To the right, you can see this for yourself with these two sizing charts for different items available with Le Tote. Personally, I often have the issue that many women's brands, especially for workwear, don't make clothes smaller than a six (I have very narrow shoulders), and this was definitely reflected in one of my Le Tote Boxes. They do provide sizing charts for all items (unless they are one size fits all), and provide a measuring tape for you to keep in your first box, so make use of both tools!

Another useful ability is the being able to evaluate each Le Tote box and the individual items in the box. As you can see below, you can rate whether you liked or disliked an item; ask for the item to resend; and even upload a photo of you in the item for other Le Tote costumers to see. These photos can also be useful when you go to pick out items for your own closet. You can also check the price of any item, which may be helpful if you are considering keeping something from a box. 

I got three Le Tote Boxes over two months, and personally had mixed feelings about the results. I quite liked a number of items in my first box, including a snake-shaped bracelet I probably wouldn't have bought on my own, but which felt fun to try "renting." That's the nice part of this subscription, you can experiment with different colors and styles. Of course, you can do that in any dressing room, but I enjoyed having the time to see if items really fit with what was in my closet and lifestyle already. My second month I got two boxes; the first box went back right away! Almost nothing fit well. This was due in part to not looking at either the sizing charts nor the material of the items, but was very disappointing nonetheless. I had also chosen a large array of items just to to experiment with too. Le Tote recommends keeping about forty items in your online "closet' for them to choose items to send you from; I think one might be happier with 20-30 very well chosen items. The second box came in about four days, just as advertised. It was a bit better than its predecessor, but still no winners I kept in my closet after sending the Le Tote back. 
Top row was the contents of my first box; middle row the contents of my second box; third row has the contents of my third and final box

Forty-nine dollars a month every month seemed a bit too rich for my blood, but having learned how to pick a bit more strategically and look at the sizing, I might give Le Tote another round ( ETA: I have tried Le Tote again, using what I learned. See my newest review of it here). Le Tote also seems ideal if you really enjoy the novelty of new things in your closet, and might otherwise be shopping alot/too much. It would also be a great way to try out a new style, especially if you've gone through a life change like a new job or a move and don't have a lot in your closet to work with. Would you or have you ever tried Le Tote?  If you're looking to try it out, use this link to get twenty-five dollars off your first month!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

What I Wore: The Value of Basics

popbasic
ShirtCollage
trenchcoat

What I Wore: Shoes (Old Navy), Pants (Gap), Shirt (Popbasic), Trench Coat (ASOS), Clutch (Popbasic), Bracelet (Popbasic), Necklace (Similar Here)


Just the other day, I shared what was on my spring/summer shopping list. Black pants have been a staple piece of my wardrobe this year, so it should be no surprise that they made my list as something to replace.  After all, when you can dress them up for work, or down for a day on the town, it is really no wonder they are the MVPs of my closet. 

Black cigarette pants are a bit of Goldilocks situation. They have to be juuuust right in terms of fit, and material. You want them to skim, not cling, yet they need to be something you can move in. They need to not shrink funny in the wash; no one wants pants where one leg is half an inch shorter than it's pair (please insert the stink eye I am giving the store White House | Black Market). I was surprised as anybody that these ones from the Gap were the winners of the bunch. It had a seam ripped, so it was marked down; thank goodness for basic sewing skills right (and that costuming class I had in college)? 

With pants- and other basics like it- its easy to create these really polished looks that don't take any time. I wore this look to work and then again on the weekend. Like black pant, the shirt gets worn a lot. I've shared on the blog before; its my favorite piece from my favorite company, Popbasic, but in fact this is how it gets worn more often. Sometimes a girl knows, what's simple is best.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Spring/Summer List


I've found I'm a less stressed and happier shopper (and person) when I have an idea of what I'm looking for, and I have a more cohesive wardrobe that makes me happier if I'm deliberate in what I choose to wear. So, I make A List. This is not a so-called "shopping challenge, and I'll be the first to admit that I'm still learning when it comes to ethically sourced shopping and the like, but I try. It is also not a hard set of rules that I may never purchase anything Not On The List. It just helps me sort through what I want, so I don't dither about purchases or, on the opposite extreme, impulse buy. With this, I can focus on getting what makes me- and my wardrobe and my life- happy! You can see my previous lists for winter 2014, summer 2014 and fall/winter 2013. Here is what I'm looking for for the summer and spring of 2015:

1) Nude Colored Blazer- Story time: last summer I got the coolest beige/blush/nude/whatever-that-color-is blazer at a little boutique while traveling. It was long, and had sleeves that were black to just above the elbows. Oh, I felt so effortlessly awesome wearing it, and it worked for downtime and work-time. Feel free to image the heart-shaped eyes that I made at this blazer. I loved it.... So must of whom ever found it and took it with them instead of returning it to a lost and found after this blazer got lost.... I'm still looking for a replacement. Because- Cool, that's why.

2) Circle Skirt- This winter my silhouette has pretty much been skinny or cigarette pants, but as summer starts to approach, I took a close look at what I really loved to wear. Through out the entirety of Never Fully Dressed's existence, I always returned time and again to circle skirts. They are beat the heat, and just as re-mixable as pants. This one pictured above has a fun novelty print of Venice on it, but is sadly sold out, so I'm keeping my eye out for Mr. Right (Skirt).

3) Black Cigarette Pants- I wear black pants All. The. Time at work, but a few weeks ago mine got ripped and since this would make the third time of mending, I decided these pants needed to head to the closet in the sky. How I underestimated the impact of that decision! My wardrobe feels crippled without a pair, but finding ones that fit just right is harder than it sounds! Especially with all these leggings masquerading as pants (I mean, c'mon. I've nothing against leggings, but if that's what you are say so!) You can see some of the myriad of outfits I've made with black pants here and here.

4) Printed Shorts- One of the best tips, for deciding what needs to be on your shopping list, is to look at what you actually wore and enjoyed in the past. Last summer, I practically lived in shorts. Truth is though, I didn't have nearly enough functional pairs to really do that. Technically, I had four pairs, which ought to be enough for anyone, but when I contracted diabetes, I lost a lot of weight (this was not a good thing. If untreated, you literally starve to death because your body can't process the food right. And yes, I've had people tell me they wished that would happen to them, just suddenly losing weight like that. No. You don't.) and several things didn't fit anymore. But I just sort of ignored that and kept unfitting items in my closet on the pretext I might some time wear them. Not this year. So out they go! In will come a new pair or two of shorts. I'm thinking a printed pair might be fun, or a solid color. Thoughts?

5) Shirts- This list will be the third or so shopping list shared on NFD, and the biggest difference with this one is how many items on it will be replacements for worn out items. Maybe it is a bit boring that they are plain shirts and not daring cuts or- even better- fabulous dresses, but it is important to have a good foundation to lay all those other pieces on. All shirts on this list would pretty much fill that function. A white T-shirt, and a white button-up have both proven their worth to me, but it is time for new versions. I'm also in the market for some solid colored shirts and tanks. Summer gets scorchin'.

6) Shoes- Last but not least on my list are shoes. Not just any shoes but the kind I can kick around in. Mostly I gravitate towards ballet flats, or, as The Boy calls them, "wrappers for my feet" shoes. Sneakers? Not my thing. But we live in the great outdoors and I need something with a bit more protection and endurance. While I probably wouldn't go on a five mile hike in these converses (or ever, really), I would take the dogs for a walk around a lake with them, so let's kick it this summer in some tennis shoes with style!

What is on your list for summer and spring wardrobe items?

Friday, April 10, 2015

Stationery Wishlist: Old is New

OldNewStationary

1. Camera Stamps | 2. Telephone Card | 3. Bamboo Keyboard | 4. Camera Tape Dispenser | 5. Typewriter Photo Holder | 6. Ceramic Smartphone Dock

Maybe it is "hipster-y," but there is something about what is old seeming to be so new! Here are some ways to make old new to you too!

1. Camera Stamps  - Add a vintage flair to your next letter with these stamps.

2. Telephone Card - You want to say hello? Why not make a phone call, or send a letter? Or you could do both with this!

3. Bamboo Keyboard- We use keyboards every day, but what do you think of trying to type on this wooden beauty?

4. Camera Tape Dispenser - Now you can take a picture... and use tape from this dispenser to hang it up...

5. Typewriter Photo Holder- ...Or you could put a photo on your desk with this photo holder!

6. Ceramic Smartphone Dock Miss rotary phones, but love the technology of a smartphone? Why not get this ceramic smartphone dock? 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

What I Wore: Spring has Sprung

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PicMonkey Collage
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What I Wore: Skirt (Similar Here); Sandals (Similar); Shirt (Popbasic)


Ah! These were also snapped over our Spring Break, but I can hardly believe it was just a few days ago already. I've been sipping tear and wringing out my sopping hair since I got home. Rain, rain and more rain.

Still, it was lovely to have good weather for a few days because it meant skirts. And this is one skirt that has seen me through thick and thin- it made its first appearance on the blog when NFD was still a wee babe of a blog (here). It's quite surprising I've not done a remix with it, actually, and might need to change that! Regardless though, this skirt has never seen such a colorful pairing before. I feel like I ought to be wearing it in France- maybe not Paris, which seems to be all about Wearing Black, but Provence, maybe. Yes, I'd quite like to wear this strolling along the streets of Nice before finding  a little bistro there and ordering some escargot and cheese plate (I'd be quite cross at being such a cliche, but honestly? Both of those things are so delicious and are on every bistro menu in France ever, so- #sorrynotsorry.

Despite the Spring Break, we didn't go anywhere. I spent the week doing homework. The Whole Time. Daydreaming of faraway travel may be on overload right now....

Monday, April 6, 2015

Cinema Style: Easter Parade

Easter may be through, but that doesn't mean you need to put away your Sunday Best! Anne Sheridan and Judy Garland have the style tips that will keep you looking ready for spring in their film Easter Parade. A surprisingly large theme of the film has to do with style- how you can be inspired by others but need to keep your own. These two modern takes on the classic style of the film set out to do just that! 

Anne Sheridan plays a dancer who's outgrown a partnership with fellow dancer Fred Astaire, much to his consternation. While he spends much of the movie trying to outdo her, Sheridan's character enjoys tremendous success in show business. She's not only got talent- she's got style, she's got flair. Nowhere is this truer than the stunning pink ombre gown she dances in on her show's opening night. Of course, full-length gowns aren't in high demand's for most women's closet, but this day dress also has the ombre effect while keeping its hem at a more wearable length. To make it a bit more casual, you can add a jacket, but keep Sheridan's flair for the dramatic alive with touches of jewelry and heels you could totally tap-dance in. 


Judy Garland's Hannah Brown doesn't know quite what she's gotten herself into, when she agrees to become Astaire partner. He sets her on a course of imitation by stuffing her into feather-trimmed gowns. But Neither Garland nor Brown are feather-trimmed gals. That doesn't mean they don't have style of their own. Astaire's character comes to see that eventually, but it should be obvious at first glance, such as when Garland struts down the street in a smart mustard suit dress and grey vest. You can turn men's heads too, by following this up-dated example. Adding jeans, loafers and a white button-up lend a more casual and tomboyish feel to the outfit than you could have gotten away with in 1912, when the story's set or even in the 1940s when it was filmed. However, the mustard and grey color combination is timeless. Going with an unstated gold chain necklace never steered anyone wrong.  And how could any Easter Parade outfit be complete with out an Easter Bonnet- or in this case a great fedora? 


Friday, April 3, 2015

What I Wore: "Dot" to Break Away

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PicMonkey Collage

What I Wore: Shorts (Similar Here);  Sweater (ASOS); Shoes (Loly in the Sky); Clutch (Popbasic); Bracelets (Popbasic)


Can you tell I have been very determined to have spring be here? Look at those bare legs! Brr! 

Well, actually, it has been pretty nice (knock on wood!), and you can't blame me for thinking spring is here- we are on Spring Break this week! Most people use the opportunity to really get away and have a holiday. We're in more of a "stay-cation" mode...or, truth be told, a "work-work-work-get-caught-up" mode. Still, we are finding a little bit of time to break away from routine. We headed up to the Big City and Bright Lights of Billings for shopping one day, and around the house I've been getting caught up on laundry, mending, and all those little things. 

While spring cleaning, I finally went through old letters and cards. I love to see them and reread every now and then, but where to keep them? Do you keep cards and correspondence (do you send cards or correspondence*?) What do you do with all of them? Mine is a small but faithful circle who will write now and then. It makes me smile.  You know who you are, and I hope I bring that same kind of smile to you too. 

*If you're in need of some new stationary, why not check out some of our older Stationary Wishlists

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

In April, Why Don't You...

flowers, april, why don't you,


Get your taxes done!

Buy new bedsheets

Make banana bread 

Put together a care package for a friend

Tie fresh sprigs of eucalyptus branches on your shower head for a heavenly scent


Read the private letters of a historical personage

Send your friend flowers

Watch a movie with subtitles

Listen to a podcast

Wear a pleated skirt for a romantic look


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