What I’m wearing during rage winter

I want to burn everything to the ground when it snows. Late February and early March certainly bring out the worst in me, and I get absurdly grumpy when the forecast says anything below 45 degrees. It doesn’t help that every advertisement I see is pushing Spring! Spring! Spring!, or that I’ve been stuck wearing only the same 3 pairs of waterproof boots for the last 4 months. So here’s what I’m wearing in March to combat my why-is-it-still-winter rage.

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Spring clothing wishlist and mood board

The shopping monster in me is never stronger than it is in late February. I’ve been trying not to shop (yet), in order to make smarter spring and summer wardrobe decisions. So instead, I’ve been pinning away. Here are a few items I am eyeing for warmer weather…

Continue reading “Spring clothing wishlist and mood board”

Power outfits for defending, pt. 2

I’m so excited to say I passed my prospectus defense yesterday–I wrote 100 pages about what my dissertation will be about (1/3rd of the length of the full product!) and had to defend that before collecting data. Here’s what I wore…

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Defenses are really weird. The build up is big and then the let down can be…like nothing even happened. As one committee member likes to remind me, a defense is just another meeting for professors. Fair, but it also DETERMINES MY ENTIRE FATE so yeah it’s a little scary.

This defense was also downright weird–we talked for 1.5 hours and then were running out of time, so everyone was just like “yeah, good meeting!” and left…but usually at the end of a defense in our dept committee members meet without the student and then announce to you if you’ve passed or not…and they just…didn’t do that?? So I left the room like “ok! that’s over!” and then got half way down the hall before I was like “wait did I pass?” I spent the next 2 hours on an emotional rollercoaster about that before my advising meeting, where I asked my advisor, who replied “yes, wasn’t it obvious?”

Um, no. I am in grad school. Validate me always. Thanks. 

So with that flood of relief, I promptly changed outfits and went out looking for wine and a patio.

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All in all, a fine day. Weird, but better than the time the department lost my comprehensive exam answers. But that’s a story for another time. To anyone else defending as the semester ends: good luck! 😀

More color, please!

This season marks my three year anniversary of dressing using a capsule wardrobe, and I have no idea how I got dressed before I made the change! If you don’t know what a capsule is, it’s based on the idea that too many clothing options lead to decision fatigue, and dressing with less options will maximize your wardrobe. Caroline, over at Un-Fancy, suggests 37 pieces, and the idea is that they should all focus on a similar style and color palette. Here’s a get started guide if you’re interested. 

When I first got a capsule, I was in love with allll the colors (teal, seafoam, lavender, blues, red, pinks, yellows….to name a few), and I basically quit color all together, because I realized that if you buy only neutrals everything matches. Lately I’ve been missing color, though, so I am working on incorporating more color into my capsules. Here are my picks for this spring and summer:

My ideas for how to bring color back into my life are pretty apparent in this pic:

-Select only a couple of colors

-Pick colors that pair well

-Focus on adding color with accessories 

-Steal Home Depot paint chips to keep myself on track (taping these up next to my closet has been helpful and reminded me of what colors I should focus on)

I’ve been enjoying this tomato red and yellow so far. Here’s a link to my pretty yellow sandals, red purse, and all the bandanas

What items in your wardrobe are worth waiting for?

Talking unicorn items today…you know, the things that you have picked out in your head and you wait and wait for them and then suddenly one day you’re out shopping and you find the one! I was wasting time while waiting for a brunch reservation in Kansas City when I wandered into the boutique next door (strategically open for hungry people like me, I’m sure!) and this shirt caught my eye. I had been wanting a white button up shirt for a while and when I tried it on I knew it was the one! It hangs really well and is a kind of athletic-y fabric that doesn’t wrinkle. Amazing. 

If only it were always this easy. Unfortunately, I’m a to-do list motivated person, which means I tend to pull the trigger way too soon on clothing items that are not perfect and then realizing my mistake once the tags are already off. I’ve decided the key to waiting for the right clothing item to come along is to shop for dream items really casually–I keep a list in my phone of things I’m on the look out for. Currently:

-White shirt (found it! Spendy but here if you are also on the hunt)

-Moto jacket

-Overalls (nearly impossible because I’m so tall)

I try to keep the descriptions really loose so that I’m open to trying lots of things on. For example, I don’t really have a color or fabric in mind for the moto jacket, I figure I’ll just know when I find one I’m in love with. And then I can donate the two that are currently sitting in my closet that I don’t love. Whoops. 

Dressing down the pencil skirt

If you return to grad school after working an office job for a couple years you might have this conundrum: how do you style all the great business clothes you accumulated? I still have two nice suits sitting in the back of my closet, guilting me because they’re not getting enough use. So today I’m here to focus on how I dress down my dress clothes, starting with the pencil skirt. 

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My formula for dress clothes tends to be pairing one fancy piece with a bunch of other casual clothes. So today, I went with a chambray button up and lace up sandals. I do the same things with suit jackets (with a t-shirt plus jeans). I also like buying things that look like dress clothes but are super comfy, for example, pull on pencil skirts! (Like this one I’m wearing, and this one, which doesn’t have side slits).  

Do you have any clothes that suddenly seem too fancy? If so, what are your strategies to make them work? 

What I learned from wearing the same 10 items of clothing for 10 days.

Phew, the 10×10 challenge is over. I’m really happy to be back to my full wardrobe, but the challenge did have its perks. In no particular order:

1) i felt way stylish every day. When I get dressed in the morning, I tend to style things in the safest way I can, probably because I’m tired and not thinking ahead. But with only 10 items to work with, I had to start pairing clothes in ways that weren’t my first choice, which is how I learned that culottes + a long cardigan sounds excessive but actually feels pretty cool!

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2) Less choices is just better. Having a limited color scheme may seem boring, but it also makes getting dressed a no brainer, because everything goes together. I picked black and white, blush, and navy as my colors and I felt like I could do no wrong in whatever I paired. 

3) I should totally do this every season before I go shopping. I think from now on I’ll pick the ten things I’m most excited to wear for the season and use them all to get dressed for at least a week before I go shopping. This challenge definitely helped me identify holes in my wardrobe (more sandals!) and now I feel more confident in the colors and styles I should be looking for. 

4) Start with accessories. As someone who is not very naturally accessory-inclined, picking accessories that all coordinated and building outfits around them was a fast way to get dressed in the morning. Here were a few of my picks:

5) Making internet friends in the best! Seriously had so much fun commenting on everyone’s outfits on Instagram and got a bunch of good ideas from others. If you participated in the challenge, thanks for your inspiration! ❤ If you want to do your own 10×10 challenge, check out Style Bee’s guide, and maybe see you in a summer or fall challenge!

Here’s my day 7 outfit of the Spring 10×10, which I wore this morning to get brunch to celebrate our 7th anniversary. And then to browse around a record store and buy some anniversary vinyl (which is I thing I made up but would now like to honor on every anniversary).

Now i’m off to the pottery lab, though, so nice clothes have to go because I’m mixing glazes for the first time today and I just know I will get them all over my shoes. In between I’ve been doing some Feminist Security Studies reading for one of my final projects. Some days grad school is full of stuff I don’t want to do, but today it is full of the things I’m 100% interested in, and that feels really nice.

Day 6 of the Spring 10×10. Enjoying the warmth, feeling great because I did no work over the weekend. Carving out time to relax can feel impossible, so I like to schedule non-working time in my planner along with working time. Also, if I write out all the things I have to do the next week and schedule the work ahead of time, it’s much easier to chill out and watch TV/clean the house/cook/go for walks/take some time for pottery.