Spring Forward: A Look toward the Warmer Months

It has been a long winter (as evidenced by my lack of blogging, among other things).  In Chicago, spring isn’t even close to being on its way.  But I’m in California this week and, as the warm breeze filters into this coffee shop where I’m sitting, I’m thinking about the shedding of layers that always comes in anticipation of the warmer months.  It’s time to take baby steps away from the neutrals, the thick scarves, and the long coats toward a lighter, flowy-er, more colorful spring wardrobe.  On that note, here are a few styles I’m looking forward to wearing this spring!  Is it hypocritical of me to say that denim (the winter-est of all these options) is the thing I’m most excited to wear?  Probs.

Click each set or visit my Polyvore page to see details.

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In the Spirit of Irrelevance: A Brief Return to a World I’ve Missed

It’s a quarter after 2am and, instead of sleeping, I’m up pondering the craziness that is Rudolf Otto’s theory of religion and remembering how much I enjoy blogging.  In the spirit of the phenomenology of religion, which is about…well, who cares what it’s about?  In the spirit of something irrelevant, here’s a post of random shots from the last few months of blog silence.  It will be, I hope, the first of many new posts that lead me back into this world that I’ve greatly missed.  Until then, happy (almost!) winter, folks!!

Really obsessed with this prim sweater, especially when it's worn with a trim blazer and skirt.

Really obsessed with this prim sweater, especially with a trim blazer and skirt.

 

Cirton and floral=attempts to blind passersby.

Cirton and floral=attempts to blind passersby.

Big fan of this combo.

Big fan of this combo.

Who says you can't be well accessorized when hiking a bajillion miles in Montana?

Who says you can’t be well accessorized when hiking a bajillion miles in Montana?

Heartbroken over the scandalous length of this otherwise perfect dress.

Heartbroken over the scandalous length of this otherwise perfect dress.

Rosie the Riviter for Halloween

Rosie the Riveter for Halloween

Summer's best loved sandals.

Summer’s best-loved sandals.

Style blogger travel rule: always fly with some (easily removable) bling.

Style blogger travel rule: always fly with some (easily removable) bling.

Not used to wearing lipstick=I feel like an alien.

Not used to wearing lipstick=I feel like an alien.

Oxfords on the train.

Oxfords on the train.

Standard profusion of prints.

Standard profusion of prints.

Ninjaturtleneck!

Ninjaturtleneck!

No sock in this nest of a top knot.  Time for a haircut!

No sock in this nest of a top knot. Time for a haircut!

This necklace speaks for itself.  It says, "I pity the fool."

This necklace speaks for itself. It says, “I pity the fool.”

Adoring Roy Lichtenstein at the Art Institute.  Also adoring this giant-sleeved dress.

Adoring Roy Lichtenstein at the Art Institute. Also adoring this giant-sleeved dress.

Leopard, olive, and gold.  Not a bad combo, as it turns out.

Leopard, olive, and gold. Not a bad combo, as it turns out.

Vintage leaf print dress, vintage belt, market tote, lots of gold.

Vintage leaf print dress, vintage belt, market tote, lots of gold.

Standard summer look.  Obsessed with this vintage silk scarf and its hummingbird print.

Standard summer look. Obsessed with this vintage silk scarf and its hummingbird print.

Reading "King Arthur" with The Tiny Pants.

Reading “King Arthur” with The Tiny Pants.

Leopard flats, a gift from my amazing mama.

Leopard flats, a gift from my amazing mama.

Ages old Anthropologie dress.

Ages old Anthropologie dress.

Dots and stripes!

Dots and stripes!

Citron again, this time with polka dots!

Citron again, this time with polka dots!

More flats, this time in cobalt.

More flats, this time in cobalt.

 

Profound and Horrifying: A Dress, a Briefcase, and Something You Already Know

I have just discovered something profound and horrifying, and I need to share it with you all:

TIME IS NOT UNDER OUR CONTROL.

Okay, that intro sentence was meant to be funny, but really, I’m sometimes shocked at how little control– and often, even awareness– I have when it comes to time.  I could’ve sworn, just before I looked at my calendar, that it’s early June and I’ve just finished classes.  Or maybe it’s July and I still have weeks left to lie by the lake and assure myself that papers will be completed soon (really, self, so soon!).  But no, it’s late August, and I’ve somehow made it to the end of the summer without realizing it.

Profound and Horrifying: dress (Anthropologie, $30), briefcase (c/o ASOS), best sandals ever (c/o Wanted Shoes), jewels (various).

Profound and Horrifying: dress (Anthropologie, $30), briefcase (c/o ASOS), best sandals ever (c/o Wanted Shoes), jewels (various).

Such a goofy face!

Such a goofy face!

This isn’t a new phenomenon.  I’m always wondering where time has gone, especially during the summer.  And I have some pretty good answers– it’s gone to the library and Powell’s and Myopic; to the Northwest, New York, and South Carolina; to The Empty Bottle, The Art Institute, Indian restaurants, the lake, the park…  Time has been well-used this summer; happily, I was so busy playing and working that I forgot to watch the clock.  Unhappily, I forgot to blog, too.  I’ve worn many an outfit since I posted last, and have gone through a sort of style identity crisis during the sweltering heat this city suffered.  Alas, all that will remain unshared.

As time continues to fly and fall draws near, here’s one outfit I did record.  I adore this silk dress and its funky print.  The shoes are my go-to summer sandals, and the bag has been a godsend (ASOS-send?) for when I’m attempting to look professional.  I’ve been carrying it for months; now let’s just hope that as the weather cools down and my favorite ways of dressing are possible again (boots! scarves! tights! blazers!) I have a little more to share with you all.

How has your summer been?  Have you been wondering where time has gone?  What’s the best thing you’ve done all summer?

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Especially Risque: Animal Prints, Bleach-Blondes, and Shopping at Hussie-Mart

 

The Most Risque: leopard print dress (Hussie's Closet/Forever 21 via thrift, $6), belt (thrifted, $3), shoes (C/O Wanted Shoes), jewels (various).

The Most Risque: leopard print dress (Hussie-Mart/Forever 21 via thrift, $6), belt (thrifted, $3), shoes (C/O Wanted Shoes), jewels (various).

As I’ve mentioned countless times on this blog, I grew up in a rural, conservative town in the South.  How I managed to emerge from that upbringing as a liberal vegetarian nerd-face is beyond me.  I think it might’ve had something to do with cool parents, lots of books, and British tv, but I could just as easily be an alien.  Despite my broad structural differences from the land of my birth (which I still love to pieces, by the way), there are some things about me that I think of as super Southern, or at least that linger in my brain from my formative years.  See my love of grits, boiled peanuts, watermelon, hush puppies, and mac and cheese; my affection for muddy rivers and large, open spaces; my affinity for heat and humidity; and my occasional use of the term “y’all.

Andrea is funny.  So is my face.

Andrea is funny. So is my face.

Something about me that is decidedly un-Southern?  My love of animal prints.  Growing up, women who wore them were the same ones people at the hair dresser called “bleach blondes” and then were vomitously nice to at church bar-b-ques or t-ball games.  Leopard print was especially risque, and I remember the way that the few women who wore it got the side-eye from more than one matron or young pearl-clutcher-in-training.

Awesome stamps from Randolph Market.  I wanted to buy a zillion!

Awesome stamps from Randolph Market. I wanted to buy a zillion!  Instead I bought 4.

Karyn of Dethrose Vintage

Karyn of Dethrose Vintage

I’ve never been one to toss around negative words for women and their sexuality (you know the ones…).  Vague concepts of feminism (or maybe just not being a total d-bag?) got implanted in my brain at an early age, and I was always massively uncomfortable with the way both men and women (but especially women) treated those ladies who didn’t fit in with the often rigid expectations of their gender.  Since becoming a real-life adult and leaving that small town behind, I’ve embraced the idea that animal prints aren’t just for women who threaten the staid and serious members of the prayer meeting committee.  While I’m no Andrea, who can rock the leopard like no one else I know, I consider myself a serious devotee of the animal print, and wearing it often leaves me with this silent thrill of solidarity with those women from my youth, whose sense of style and adventure ended them up on the wrong side of the cultural law.

With Merl, who's not blonde, but is a (completely ridiculous queen of a) bombshell.

With Merl, who’s not blonde, but is a (completely ridiculous queen of a) bombshell.

This is what happens when you bike in sandals: you get THE BLACK FOOT!

This is what happens when you bike in sandals: you get THE BLACK FOOT!  Thanks to Wanted Shoes for possibly the best pair of low-heeled sandals in the entire world.

In Chicago, no one looks twice at a woman in a head-to-toe leopard print, even when her dress is too big (like here!) and especially when mega-blondes (like this one and this one) are at her side.  Andrea and I strolled through Randolph Market and giggled over breakfast and I never once got a suspicious glare from booth tenders or lemonade girls.  Whether that’s a sign of the times or the region, I can’t be sure.  But I can say that I probably won’t ever stop feeling the tiniest bit rebellious when I wear a dress like this…but I probably won’t be bleaching my hair, either.  :)

Mega thanks to Andrea for photos!!  And if you’re on Instagram, hit us up at @sartoriography and @andreakerbuski

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The Summer Wanderer Series, Part 3: Travel-Friendly Beachwear

After a brief hiatus, The Summer Wanderer Series is back!  Now that we’ve planned and packed your warm-weather travel wardrobe, it’s time to add in the one thing we’ve forgotten: beachwear!  After all, no summer vacation is complete without some time at the pool or on the sand.  Whether you’re planning to sprint after frisbees, set sail in the sun, or lounge under an umbrella, the looks below will keep you stylish without adding too much bulk to your suitcase.  The key to keeping things light?: re-use street-wear on the beach and beachwear on the street.  And let your accessories and space-savers like canvas totes and turbans sass up your get-up!

Which look is your favorite?  Do you have any suggestions for balancing fashion and function at the shore?  Share your ideas in the comments!

For more advice on packing and travel wardrobes, see Part One and Part Two of the Summer Wanderer Series, in which we strategize on how to pack and dress for summer travel.

***See something you like?  Head to my Polyvore page for specific item details!***

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In the Bag: A Tell-Tale Assortment

Busy quarter.  Many papers.  Occasional distaters.  3am conversation on empty train platforms.  Outfit posts to someday return, I promise.  Until then, here’s what I had in my bag one random day.  No explanation for the partially eaten fig bar…except that it was delicious.  It sort of frightens me how much this post says about me.

Contents of Le Bag:

Southwestern print briefcase/messenger (thrifted, $2), glasses (guess I was wearing contact that day), Illuminations by Walter Benjamin (only one of the greatest books of essays ever), wallet from Namibia, suitcase label from some flight or another, keys, stick drive, partially eaten fig bar, Ellen Lindgren for Wisconsin State Assembly pin, Macbook Pro, phone, random buffalo buttons (??), photobooth strip with Andrea and Tabitha, “Permanent Gentleman” postcard from Namibia, pens, ever-present mason jar of iced tea.

The essentials!

The Summer Wanderer Series: Packing Advice for Warm-Weather Travel, Part 2

In Part 1 of the Summer Wanderer Series I shared some practical advice on how to choose a wardrobe for summer travel. Now it’s time to test my theories and see how well these pieces work.  Below is about a month’s worth of outfits built from the items I chose; each is (loosely) inspired by a European city.

A few overall reflections: I think these outfits demonstrate the versatility of my fictional travel wardrobe, but there are definitely things I could’ve done better.  I should’ve packed belts and a black bag (some outfits reflect these additions).  I could’ve also used some black sandals and maybe a few more/different scarves.  Still, thumbs up to the wardrobe workhorses: the navy skirt, black skinny jeans, grey tee, cobalt trousers, and brown tote and sandals.  While it gets a little boring to see the same bag and shoes show up over and over again, I think it’s a realistic reflection of a limited wardrobe and proves how crucial it is to pack good accessories.

Also crucial– not packing things you really don’t need.  A few days before I’m set to leave for a trip I lay out every item I’ve chosen and create possible combinations.  Any piece that doesn’t go into at least three outfits suffers the cruel fate of rejection.  In my virtual culling process I realized I probably wouldn’t use some of my “just for fun” pieces, especially the pink and gold skirt and some of the sequin pieces.  If I were packing for real, they’d be out of the game, and I’d put in the aforementioned bag and shoes in their place.  More accessories=new ways to wear dresses, which exponentially increases outfit options and work well for day to night looks.

What would you have packed if you were wandering Europe this summer?  Which outfits are your favorites?  Any you particularly don’t like?  Share your advice!!


For more packing tips and travel style, come visit me on Pinterest!

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