Dress Well: Chambray and Stripes

Madewell shirt, Madewell skirt, Madewell belt, Rocket Dog boots, J. Crew bracelet, Anthropologie bag (similar), Coach sunglasses

Hi, remember me? That girl who just a few weeks ago was complaining about how nothing at Madewell ever fits her right? Well, let's just say I stand corrected. I dropped into our San Francisco store a few weeks ago to return two shirts that I had ordered online (because nothing fits me correctly!) but lo and behold - I couldn't stop myself from grabbing about 15 different items to try on while I was there, and I ended up buying the shirt, belt, and skirt you see in this picture, as well as my gray dress and my pink jeans. I had to skip going to J. Crew and Anthropologie afterward for fear of spending myself into financial ruin. I'm finding it hard to believe that I found a store that was capable of breaking J. Crew's chokehold on my wardrobe, but here we are (and we're also ignoring the fact that Madewell is owned by J. Crew).  DSC_4969

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Here's something you probably don't know about me - when I was a kid, I was obsessed with Nick at Nite. While other kids watched Saturday morning cartoons and Clarissa Explains It All, I watched The Wonder Years, The Brady Bunch, I Dream of Jeannie, Gilligan's Island, and so many more. While I loved each and every old show that they showed on Nick, nothing ever came close to my love for Cheers. While I was listening to Pop Culture Happy Hour today, I learned that Vulture had recently written a series of articles inventing a sitcom bracket, pitting sitcom versus sitcom in a tournament, and ultimately crowning a Best Sitcom of the Past 30 Years. The two shows in the finals were The Simpsons and Cheers. Although I've never really intellectualized or analyzed my 12-year-old love of Cheers (Nick showed two episodes a night, every night, and I watched them religiously with my dad), reading those articles gave me an opportunity to reflect on why I loved and watched that show with such intensity. If you've never seen it, the show is about a bunch of misfit oddballs who hang out in the same bar day after day; losers who say funny things with regularity. But deep down, the show is about loneliness, and I think that theme reached across the 20-year void and into my 12-year-old heart. Despite having four siblings and spending all day, every day, at public school, I was a very lonely preteen and teenager. I liked things not many other 12-year-olds liked: books, movie reviews, TV shows, doing well at math, etc. I felt that who I was was incompatible with being popular and having friends. So I felt a kinship with those lonely losers in TV land, watched them night after night, wished happiness for them, and learned a few lessons as they embraced their aloneness. Maybe watching TV shows with my dad on weekend evenings wasn't the best way to stop feeling lonely at the time, but I think all those hours added up to learning something about myself and humanity at large. At the very least, it gave me a few great moments to think about and giggle about over the years, including this one.

I hope you have a great Tuesday!

Dress Well: My Oscar Party Outfit

J. Crew shirt (similar), J. Crew cardigan (old), Paige jeans (similar), Rocket Dog boots, Michael Kors watch (similar), J. Crew bracelet, Tory Burch bag (similar), Tory Burch sunglasses (similar)

We had initially planned to watch the Oscars at a friend's apartment, but due to some technical difficulties with my friend's TV, we shifted the party location to our apartment at the last minute. I had no problem with that - knowing that everyone was going to be in my home just solidified my decision to bust out a comfortable, laid-back outfit in which to enjoy the three and a half hour Oscar telecast. My husband and I hopped up to our roof right before our friends came over to document this outfit - could the light have been any prettier? I don't think so.

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DSC_2843Did you guys watch the Oscars? I have to admit, I LOVE the Academy Awards. The dresses are beautiful, but my favorite part is the actual handing out of awards. There is something so uplifting about appreciating the combined beauty of art and effort, and I truly enjoy watching people who have labored in love for so long get appreciated for that work. Now that the Oscars are over, what I'm excited for is next year's batch of fantastic movies!

Have a wonderful Monday.

Dress Well: This Is My Hipster Outfit

J. Crew cardigan (old; similar), J. Crew tee, Anthropologie skirt (old; similar), J. Crew bracelet, J. Crew bracelet (similar), J. Crew bangles, Old necklace, Rocket Dog boots, Anthropologie bag (similar), Coach sunglasses

This past Saturday I had to take a trip down to the Mission for a volunteer orientation at 826 Valencia. For those of you who don't live in San Francisco, the Mission is probably just like the most recently-gentrified neighborhood in your town. The Mission is where you can find the best food, the oddest crowd, and, of course, the biggest group of hipsters. At 826 Valencia, you can multiply the Mission's hipster effect by about 4 - it's a nonprofit tutoring center run by writers, so you know the people there love their thrift-shop accessories and baggy sweaters. All of this is to say that the last time I went to 826 Valencia I was wearing business casual, and I felt like the world's biggest sore thumb. So I decided I should step up the hipster-ness for this second visit. Clearly, I failed.

For me, the most hipster thing I could muster from my 75% J. Crew closet was throwing on boots with a skirt. Oh, and a long cardigan. Yes, I know, so daring. Luckily, the crowd ended up being not too hipster-y, so I think I blended in okay.

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DSC_1783To be honest, I debated for awhile on whether or not this outfit was blog-worthy. There isn't really anything edgy (or even printed) to it, so I thought it might just be too boring. But then I realized: this is how I dress. I probably wore this shirt and skirt together at least once a week every week for the last two years I lived in Houston. And now that I'm in San Francisco, I whip this outfit back out any time that it gets above 65 degrees. If I want to stay honest with you guys (and I do!) then this outfit deserves a spot on this blog. I hope y'all agree.

Have a great Presidents' Day!

Dress Well: Double (Valentine's) Copycat

Anthropologie dress (wish I had enough $$ for this one), Urban Outfitters cardigan (similar), Old necklace (similar), Vintage clutch (similar), J. Crew bracelet, Coach sunglasses, Outfit 1 shoes: Rocket Dog boots, Outfit 2 shoes: Steve Madden flats

I have had not one, but TWO inspirations for the pairing of this eyelet dress and this red sweater. The first was two years ago, when Quinn wore this outfit on Glee:

Sorry for the low-quality picture, image source here

Yes, she is wearing the exact same dress that I'm wearing in the pictures above. And she's also wearing heavy brown boots, which I unfortunately could not find a picture of. When I first saw her in this dress on Glee, I hated how they styled it - brown boots with spaghetti-strap eyelet? Too unexpected. At the time, the only thing I thought this dress went well with was sandals. But as time has gone by, I've come around to the Glee version, and now my Rocket Dog boots are one of my favorite things to throw on with this dress.

Here are a few more photos of my interpretation of Quinn's outfit:

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I am so proud of these curls.

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I told you you'd see this bracelet soon enough!

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My second inspiration came from Sequins & Stripes. When Liz posted about Valentine's outfit consisting of an eyelet dress paired with a red sweater, leopard flats, and the J. Crew heart bracelet, I realized I had every single outfit component and decided to put it together myself.

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DSC_1578Where are you finding your Valentine's Day dressing inspiration?