December 30, 2010

custom cut

Jardines de la Ciudadela, Barcelona
necklace - vintage, great grandmother's / trench - H&M / button-down - custom tailored, Shanghai / custom buffalo Larch bag - gift, valhallabrooklyn via etsy / leggings -Target / boots - Steve Madden / sunnies (below) - thrifted
Yesterday's outfit included two of my favorite custom pieces - along with my successful escape from the enticing bounds of my balcony! This sort of tunic-y button-down is one of two I had made for me in China about a year ago. I had a few friends going on a school trip and had heard that it was shockingly inexpensive to have things tailored, so I packed a little bag with a few yards of fabric and this "dress" from AA. I got back two super-cute button-downs with matching sashes for the incredible price of $11 (yes, for both), which I now wear more than the (then $40) original. Of course, only a few short hours after these photos were snapped, I managed to splooch this pink one with a few dime-sized dollops of red wine, but I still have hopes that they'll fade out after a few washes. If not, I can always go to my Rit dye fallback plan...
My beautiful purse wasn't quite as inexpensive, but it has been absolutely worth every penny. If you are ever in the market for a custom leather bag, I highly highly recommend perusing valhallabrooklyn's shop - she makes really gorgeous stuff, and is super helpful and easy to work with in deciding what you're looking for. This bag is huge (read: awesome), incredibly soft, and, well.... it smells fantastic. I've had it for a few months now, and I still have a little bit of a daily pet-and-sniff routine.
Jardines de la Ciudadela, Barcelona
'Oh, is there a crazy dragon thing spitting water over my head? I'm sorry, I was just too busy being cool over here to notice.'

Now I'm off to bed, if those ne'er-do-well kids in the youth hostel across the alley would ever stop playing rowdy drinking games with the windows open.... I am old, y'all.

December 28, 2010

neutral territory

Carrer de Ferran, Barcelona
Since I'm now mostly recovered from the food-and-wine overdose that was our Christmas away from home, I wanted to show off my one non-travel-fund gift - this super slick black-on-black bag by Jack Spade, courtesy of fantastic boyfriend. The dipped black canvas and brown handles practically begged to be matched with similarly mixed neutrals, and I was all too happy to oblige yesterday.

This look also gave me an excuse to break out a couple of my favorite jewelry pieces as well. I got this incredible vintage necklace from Christina through her etsy shop this summer, and I love the mix of wood, bone, and gold beads. I definitely tend to gravitate towards earthy materials in my accessories, especially as a way to tie together blacks and browns in an outfit. My thrifted wood and brass bangle is another great earthy piece that I just can't seem to get tired of.
Carrer de Ferran, Barcelonanecklace - vintage, Second Skin Style via etsy / sweater - H&M / wood & brass bangle - vintage, thrifted / bag - Jack Spade, gift from boyfriend / leggings - Style&Co, mommed / boots - Steve Madden
P.S. While I'm obviously enamored with my balcony here, I promise we've been going other places too! I'm still just a little shy about tossing my coat over the nearest fencepost when we're out and about to take a few outfit snaps. We nearly managed it at the aquarium.....

....but I kept just making my FISH FACE!

¡Besos a pescado!

December 24, 2010

le grand (re)tour

Well, I'm back. On the interwebs, at least - in real life, I'm pretty much anything but. Because see that church behind me? Yeah, that's in Barcelona. Spain. Across from my balcony.

I know. Let me 'splain.

This summer I was pretty psyched about the idea of doing a little style blogging. I'm a great blog-reader, so I thought I'd be cracked up to be a half-way decent blog-writer. Not so. It turns out it's actually pretty tough to take passable photos of oneself when you leave for work before it's light and return once it's long dark, and striking fierce poses by the copier at work was really not happening. So, I thought it was time to upgrade - my work schedule, lifestyle, and surroundings.

In truth, the aforementioned darling boyfriend was sweet enough to win a big ole traveling fellowship, so we've traded closets for suitcases and we're living internationally itinerant for the next nine months. Since I was only allowed to bring as much as I thought I could plausibly haul up to a fifth floor pensione, and since I can now afford neither the euros nor the suitcase space to do much shopping, I'm sort of on the longest 30for30 ever.

Now in the interests of making the most of my newly limited wardrobe - which is not helped at all by the ziploc bag of my clothes that got lost (hopefully temporarily) in Madrid - and as an outlet for sharing a little bit of the bizarre fantasy which is now apparently my day-to-day, I'm going to try and blog a little more from time to time. At the very least, I think I can promise some pretty excellent photo locations.

cashmere snuggie cardigan - Cynthia Rowley via Marshall's / floral button-down - gift / jeggings - Target / boots - Steve Madden / earrings - Anthro / belt - vintage Etienne Aigner via rummage sale

August 4, 2010

one brand wonder

Remix items: white v-neck tee - Forever 21 / black skinnies - Forever 21 / orange flats - Urban Outfitters

Spices: necklaces - Forever 21 / canvas bag - Forever 21

I didn't realize until I was editing this photo that almost every single piece I wore here was from Forever 21, which is odd considering I don't have all that many items from that store. I pretty much only go there for basics - t-shirts and skinny jeans, and one really awesome jacket, make up the vast majority of my F21 wardrobe. This outfit I threw together in a few minutes to go meet some friends for margarita Happy Hour, but despite it's speed and simplicity, I was pretty happy with the outcome.

I've got some more substantial posts in the works for this weekend - I've been tagged by the lovely and stylish Ms. Meek of Blessed are the Meek for a Q&A post, and I've got a lot of remix photos to catch up on. I even have plans in the works for some photoshoots beyond the bounds of my comfy white backgrounds - wild, I know! I'll still keep doing my remix equations, but I'd like to shake it up a little bit.

baker's dozen

Remix items: black scoop-neck tee - Urban Outfitters / yellow skirt - self-made from thrifted kitchen curtains / gray flats - Urban Outfitters

Spices: necklace - Anthropologie / belt - thrifted

I've had this shirt for three or four years now, but I only realized this summer that I like it even more worn backwards than forwards. Here you can see it both ways, and it's a great way to squeeze a little more mileage out of thirty items! I have to admit, I'm getting a little claustrophic with my 30, partly because while I've only posted 13 remixes here, I've actually worn more like 25, but for one reason or another haven't been able to take photos daily and so many of them just haven't had their day in the sun yet. There've been a few real winners in there, so I'll just have to endure some repeats in order to keep bringing you guys new remixes. I know, my suffering knows no bounds!

Remix items: black scoop-neck tee - Urban Outfitters / red skirt - self-made from vintage fabric / gray flats - Urban Outfitters

Spices: belt - thrifted / earrings - cheap jewelry store in downtown Boston, probably called "Dazzles"

Per usual, the weekend just flashed by and suddenly I'm in the middle of a busy, busy week. This coming weekend is shaping up to be really great though - on Friday I'm meeting up with some infinitely talented and stylish (seriously, check them out) friends from college to go see YACHT (!) for free (!!) and then go catch a seriously rad looking documentary about this funky parking lot behind (what used to be) the record store in our college town. Sadly, the super cool Plan 9/Satellite Ballroom is now a CVS (wtf, universe??), but the Corner Parking Lot lives on, staffed by weirdos and hipsters.

Of course, a big night out with super-chic* friends I haven't seen in months? I need to come up with an outfit. For reals. One that can be worn to work, and then with minimal adjustments make it through a hot outdoor concert and keep looking good in the cool of an evening at the movies/bar - anyone have any brilliant ideas?

*Seriously, have you checked out chromat yet?? Or metalepsis?? Or upstate??? If you haven't, go do it now.... now do you understand my pain? I am going to have to bring some serious steez to keep up with these gals.

Edit: If you like my blog, you can follow the other emily with bloglovin

August 1, 2010

this one goes to eleven

Remix items: pink tank - Anthropologie / linen blazer - thrifted / skinnies - BDG / gold sandals - Target

Spices: necklace - Brooklyn Flea

I'm afraid this post will be short and sweet since it's already past my bedtime, and I need to clear a huge pile of sewing supplies off the bed before anyone can get in it safely. This blazer and these sandals were rather late additions to my 30 items, but once I clapped eyes on them I knew they'd jazz up almost any drab ensemble far more than that taupe v-neck and striped skirt I'd planned on including. When I wore this blazer to work, I kept imagining that instead of drawing plans for a private gym, I was busting up an international smuggling operation in Miami, keeping the streets safe for hard-working citizens of the 1980s. You know, important business, so important that it can't be undertaken with full-length jacket sleeves.

The sandals didn't inspire quite such an elaborate narrative in my mind, but since picking them up on clearance at Target, I've had a hard time not just wearing them every day. They're amazingly comfy, and they seem to add a little something to almost every look. I've felt like over the last few years I've had a hard time buying sandals - I've sort of rejected flip-flops off the beach as too casual, but every other sandal available is either a gladiator or a long t-strap. I do love the gladiator look, but it does horribly unflattering things to my muscular and not over-long legs, so I've given up on finding a pair that works, and those super long t-straps? I think they make everyone's big toes look freakishly long. I know, way to sweat the small stuff. I also mock people's taste in fonts. Fortunately, these braided gold sandals kind of have that Grecian look without the stumpifying strap across the ankle, and since I'm a total gold junkie they're pretty much perfect.

Speaking of fonts, I know I'm a couple years late to the party, but the boy and I watched Helvetica tonight, and if you haven't seen it yet, I really recommend it. I have some interest in graphic design but have only a pretty superficial knowledge of typography, and I still thoroughly enjoyed watching real experts geek out about the white space that cradles the letters of a truly great font. There are a lot of charming characters interviewed throughout the documentary, but Massimo Vignelli, designer of the NYC subway signage, was perhaps the most winning. The next time someone asks what it is that I do, I'm going to borrow a phrase from this gentleman, and tell them that, "a designer is like a doctor. And the disease that we fight, is ugliness."

July 31, 2010

30 items

Now that I'm officially 1/3 of the way through my 30x30, it seems a bit overdue to post the ingredients for my remixes.

Here they are - 30 items.

1st row: linen blazer - thrifted / striped blouse - thrifted / print cardigan - Ann Taylor

2nd row: gray v-neck tee - American Apparel / white v-neck tee - Forever 21 / navy striped tee - Gap / pink tank - Anthropologie / black henley tank - Old Navy / black scoopneck tee - Urban Outfitters / striped scoopneck tee - Urban Outfitters

3rd row: blue skirt - Urban Outfitters / yellow skirt - self-made from vintage fabric / navy skirt - Gap / cutoffs - Old Navy / red print skirt - self-made from vintage fabric / floral print skirt - thrifted / jungle print skirt - thrifted

4th row: light skinnies - H&M / blue skinnies - BDG / black skinnies - Forever 21 / print dress - Target / blue button-down - thrifted / chambray button-down - thrifted Banana Republic

5th row: orange flats - Urban Outfitters / gray flats - Urban Outfitters / white oxfords - vintage, thrifted / espadrilles - thrifted / tan flats - Old Navy / black sandals - Ross / gold sandals - Target

All told, there are two jackets/cardigans, eight tops, two shirts, six skirts, four pairs of pants/shorts, one dress, and seven pairs of shoes. I see now that I stayed pretty neutral with the tops, but somewhat made up for it with the many over-the-top prints of the skirts. I probably went a little overboard with the shoes, and a little underboard with cardigans as my office is extremely over-air-conditioned. Anyone else learning any garment selection lessons in hindsight?

Edit: Click the image to see it bigger if you'd like a bit more detail on just how wrinkly my clothes were when I photographed them. Look, I really hate ironing, ok?

The T-Shirt, and an interlude featuring woodland animals

Remix items: gray v-neck tee - American Apparel / red skirt - self-made from vintage fabric / gray flats - Urban Outfitters

Spices: belt - thrifted / earrings - H&M

This shirt is so ubiquitous, I feel like I should simply refer to it as The T-Shirt. It must be the single best-selling item from American Apparel. I see it, on others, on blogs, or on myself, almost daily, and I think every one of my female friends has it, and a few of the guys do too. I know it's in Tania of What Would a Nerd Wear's 30x30 too - anyone else remixing The T-Shirt?

Prepare to see an awful lot of this skirt too. It was once part of an enormous, boxy dress, but last weekend I whipped out the scissors and wound up with a cute, boxy blouse and this, the mother of all loud skirts. I haven't even finished hemming the thing properly and I've already worn it thrice - thrice! I'm even wearing it right now, although this remix is from a week ago. I love the breezy rayon and the deep pockets, but it's that nutso print that keeps me coming back for more.


So I just took a little break from writing this here post (blogging is exhausting stuff, people) because there was a seriously cute chipmunk on our patio. He kept creeping up to the glass door and peeking in, so I had to go sit on the floor by the door and watch his antics for a while. He hopped around like a Disney creature for a few minutes, no doubt waiting for me to break into song as the orchestra swelled fantastically in the background, but I failed to deliver, so he scooted into a nearby bush in a huff. I waved a tiny goodbye, and that's when I noticed the three guys in the parking lot, just standing there, looking at my patio like there was a crazy lady in the window or something. If I had to hazard a guess, it was probably because of the skirt.

July 28, 2010

excuses, excuses

Remix items: print dress - Target / black sandals - Ross

Spices: belt - thrifted / necklace - Urban Outfitters

Hot days, busy weeks, delayed trains, etc.

Big number nine! Not really a knockout of an outfit, but what can I say, it was screaming hot when we took this photo on Saturday. In all honesty I'm a pretty devoted dress girl in the summertime, but I tried to break out of that mold a bit for this challenge. This is actually the only dress I allowed myself to include in my 30 items - I figured, sure, I could pick out twenty dresses and ten pairs of shoes, but what's the fun in that? And while dresses are certainly easy to wear and feel pulled together, they often don't really shine on the versatility front. Unless you can flip one half up or down and wear it as a top or a skirt, any dress is sort of always.... that dress. Or maybe that dress with a cardigan.

July 26, 2010

my, what big teeth you don't have

....or, "What to Wear to Your Double Extraction."

Remix items: striped tee - Urban Outfitters / floral skirt - thrifted / tan flats - Old Navy

Spices: belt - thrifted / frozen corn, edamame - Wegmans

This wasn't my most exciting remix yet, but I think I have a pretty good excuse for being a bit under-accessorized - my instructions from the oral surgeon even prohibited wearing nail polish to my appointment, much less any jewelry or makeup. Still, this was my first foray into the stripes with florals trend, and while I played it a little on the safe side, I have to say I was pretty happy with the results. In truth, this outfit was mostly dictated by comfort. I wanted to wear something that still felt pulled together for being out in the world, but would stand up to a day spend curled up on the couch with Netflix and an ice pack. The whole wisdom tooth bit wasn't too bad though - certainly expensive, but it could have been much more of an ordeal than it was. Aside from the actual extraction, I haven't really had any pain or swelling, and I've pretty much been able to eat normal food after that first day. No puffy face or nausea-inducing painkillers this time.

July 25, 2010

black coat, white shoes, black hat, cadillac

Remix items: print cardigan - Ann Taylor / black scoopneck tee - Urban Outfitters / black skinnies - Forever 21 / white oxfords - vintage, thrifted

Spices: necklace - vintage Finnish postage stamp, East Village flea market

These snappy white oxfords are one of the aforementioned recent thrift finds that I just had to get into my 30x30 somehow. I picked them up last weekend for $2.99, practically unworn! Unfortunately the fact that they're practically new also means they're not in the least bit broken in, and wearing them for the first time for a full day in 90+ degree weather in NYC? Maybe not my brightest idea yet. Which is to say, my feet are shredded, y'all. I'll be taking at least a week's recovery time before I remix these stiff little puppies, I can tell you that much. Pain aside though, I felt just so cool wearing this outfit around. The white shoes with black pants just seem so Rat Pack-y.

July 24, 2010

six, pick up sticks

Remix items: chambray shirt - thrifted Banana Republic / navy skirt - Gap / flats - Urban Outfitters

Spices: necklace - Urban Outfitters (clearance!) / belt - thrifted / polish - Revlon in Minted

I loved this outfit when I wore it, but looking back at the photos I'm afraid the tucked-in button-down just does boxy things to my shape. I'm preposterously short-waisted, so I feel like this is something I have to watch out for with blousier shirts. It's easy for me to just end up looking like a head sitting on boobs sitting on hips with no breaks in between. This is why I am (clearly) enamored of a good belt and a high-waisted skirt.

This outfit pretty much came together as a vehicle for the shoes and the new polish. I didn't want my clothes to compete too much with the insane traffic-cone brightness of the flats, so I figured denim and navy could behave like neutrals and let the brights stand on their own. These shoes definitely got me a lot of attention, and the adjectives others used to describe them ranged from "cool" to "distracting." I agree with both, although I certainly mean the latter in a good way. Every time I walked somewhere that day I'd smile and look down whenever I caught a glimpse of my neon feet, and I had no fear of being run down by a rogue cabbie.

July 23, 2010

five alive!

Remix items: striped blouse - thrifted / skirt - Urban Outfitters / flats - Urban Outfitters

Spices: necklace - Anthropologie / belts - thrifted / goofy face - new photographer

This is the first of many catch-up posts to follow, in what I'm guessing will become a regular(ish) pattern of past-tense blogging. I wore this one last Saturday for a day of thrifting in Trenton. I have a pretty established strategy when it comes to thrifting - wear slip-on shoes, a skirt (in case there's no dressing room and you've got to shimmy into something out in the open), and always carry cash. I checked out a couple of thrifts I hadn't been to before, and was rewarded most handsomely. I've actually decided to swap a few of my new finds into my 30x30 lineup and eliminate some items I haven't worn yet - I know, I'm a rebel.

Last weekend I also boldly began a new phase in the life of ye olde (newe) blog - I enlisted the boyfriend to be my photographer! As a result, photos of me will be sharper, have better contrast, and probably involve more embarrassing facial expressions. Photos of the clothes will remain crappy, because I took those in advance and can't be bothered to reshoot/re-Photoshop.

The new job is going well, but the commuting schedule is definitely a killer. I got a little bit of a break today since I get a couple of wisdom teeth yanked this morning. Clearly not the most fun for a Friday, but I had my lower ones out years ago so having just the tops out wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been. I forgot how unpleasant a mouth full of gauze is though, yeesh. At least this time around I don't have to fuss with antibiotics and painkillers though, just regular old Ibuprofen and ice packs.

July 17, 2010

in absentia

Ay me! I'm afraid my 30x30 efforts have suffered a grave blow - employment. Specifically, employment in NYC, which requires me to awaken at an ungodly hour and to return home well after dark. My new schedule has put a serious damper on my infant picture-taking-and-editing routine, and I've discovered that my carefully curated selection of 30 items are not all so very office-appropriate, and so I've been forced to don unauthorized (and, frankly, sort of boring) outfits for most of the week.

Setbacks aside, I am still absolutely gung-ho about the ongoing remix effort in spirit if not evident action, and I've got a little backlog of pictures to edit and post from last weekend and this week. It may take me a little longer than I'd hoped, but by George, I'll hit those 30 remixes yet!

July 9, 2010

date not

Remix items: men's button-down - thrifted / skinny jeans - H&M / espadrille wedges - thrifted

Spices: earrings - vintage, thrifted in Denmark / belt - Frye, thrifted / envelope clutch - vintage, thrifted / sad face - date night, cancelled

Today's outfit! Present tense! Catch-up complete!

Small victories.

I wore this exact outfit about two weeks ago to a dinner party - I like that it's almost monochrome, so the salmon espadrilles really pop, and I love any excuse to wear these earrings. Usually I'm more of a necklace girl, but I got these earrings at a little vintage store near my school in Copenhagen five years ago and I still love them. They're shell, so they're not too heavy, but they're perfectly jingly and dramatic, and exceedingly sexy with a bare shoulder. I didn't want to overdo it here, just an outfit for going to get some ice cream with the boy. The long face is because he called right before I took these - working late, so no date tonight. Oh well. At least I'll look hot walking the pup, even if my posture does make me look a bit preggo.

If you haven't already, you should check out Kendi's blog by clicking the banner below. She's the original (and still the best) 30x30-er.

30 for 30 Banner

everybody loves three

Remix items: white tee - Forever 21 / yellow skirt - self-made from thrifted kitchen curtains / tan flats - Old Navy (clearance!)

Spices: necklace - My Mom's Basement via etsy / belt - thrifted / wood & brass bangle - thrifted / standard blogger pose - cliche

This was yesterday's outfit, so now I'm almost up to speed. Nearly living in the now.

This skirt is one of many that I've made this summer. I've had about a month of blissful free time between finishing graduate school (woo, Master of Architecture!) and starting a new job, and I've had no trouble at all keeping myself entertained. I haven't had much time for sewing over the last few years, but lately I've gotten back into it with a vengeance - in fact, one of my remix items is actually a skirt I haven't even made yet! This yellow one used to be a set of kitchen curtains from the seventies that I picked up at my local thrift. The print is all these great line drawings of kitchen herbs and aromatics, with a few mushrooms thrown in for good measure. I love it just paired with a crisp white tee.


Remix items: black tank - Old Navy (clearance!) / floral skirt - thrifted / black sandals - Ross
Spices: belt - thrifted / painted bangle - had it since I was four / pedicure - Revlon Craving Coral

Bang! I wasn't kidding about playing catch-up. This skirt is definitely a new go-to for me this summer, the fabric is a super lightweight, floaty rayon, so even though it's a little on the longer side for me, it's still nice and breezy for hot days. The bracelet I really have had since I was four, and while I can't say for sure where it came from, it's almost a lock that my mom thrifted it for me to play dress up with. She used to buy me all kinds of "finery" at the thrift store - mostly lacy camisoles and sequined evening blouses that I wore as dresses - that I would insist on wearing to preschool on a daily basis. Apparently the teachers repeatedly sent notes home asking that my parents not bring me to school in such "nice clothes" since all I did was play in the mud and ruin them - little did they know that my mom was getting me that stuff by the $1 bagful just so I could do as I pleased.

I've actually been secretly working on this 30 for 30 challenge for a few days now. There have been a number of things getting in the way of putting this up here and on flickr, not least of which has been my somewhat time-consuming image-processing... process. It takes a while to clean these puppies up and put them on a white background, but I do it to hide two major shortcomings of my photos. Basically, I have no tripod (#1), and I don't know how to use a decent camera (#2). You would think neither of these would pose a problem, since I have a darling boyfriend (#1, solved!) who rocks general socks with his SLR (#2, solved!). But, alas, I am (embarrassingly enough) a little embarrassed to ask for his help with this bloggy thing just yet. Sheepish, if you will. So for now, I take all my pictures with my wussy little point and shoot, and photos of myself I take indoors with a self-timer with the camera propped up on a bookcase. Not exactly a recipe for great photos. So I'm covering for my weak-photo-sauce by making their presentation super stylized. Pretty slick, huh? Well, it was, until I pointed out said weak-photo-sauce. Damn.

fashionably late

So I'm going for the 30 for 30 challenge, the brilliant/evil brainchild of saucy blogger Kendi of Kendi Everyday. Of course I'm almost a week late to the party, but better late than never, right? Unless you're so late the hostess is already vacuuming potato chip crumbs out of the carpet by herself. Oops. Oh well, she could probably use the company. So without further ado, here's the first installment of my 30 for 30.

Remix items: striped blouse - thrifted / cutoffs - Old Navy (clearance!) / flats - Urban Outfitters

Spices: necklace - My Mom's Basement via etsy / purse - thrifted / smile - cheeseball

The crazy heat we've been having lately gave me the perfect opportunity to debut this little semi-crop-top I thrifted up in Massachusetts over the holiday weekend. The lightweight linen and loose silhouette make it perfect for sweltering days, even if the shape doesn't photograph in the absolute most flattering way. The necklace is one you'll definitely be seeing a lot of here, it's a brass whistle and glass bead on a double chain, and all of the materials are vintage! I saw a great whistle necklace a few weeks ago at the Brooklyn Flea, so I quickly scooted over to etsy and found TONS of options, but this one from My Mom's Basement was just absolute perfection.

More remixes to be uploaded today since I'm playing a bit of catch-up, and I'm hoping to post images of all my remix items soon!

January 18, 2010

Gear shift

Bit of a gap since my last post, eh? Unsurprisingly, my final year of school has put a bit of a damper on the creative production of last summer, and I think things are only going to get worse before they get better as I'm headed straight for my thesis this semester. While that definitely means I won't be doing nearly as much sewing, cooking, and jewelry making as I'd like, I'm still looking for ways to keep breathing life into my extracurricular itches. I really love a lot of the great personal style blogs out there on the interwebs, including many featured in the recent weardrobe 100 round-up, and I've always thought that trying to post my outfit every day (or, well, almost every day) might nudge me into being more inventive with my wardrobe. I'll be spending this week in a terrible haze of last-minute paper writing, growing cabin fever and metaphorical sweatpants-wearing, but I've already got a bit of post-deadline outfit inspiration up my sleeve. Stay tuned.