Wednesday, December 25, 2013

.014 NINETIES WEDNESDAY

Now that I've worked and had my relaxation, it is time to continue to blog. (Because blogging is such hard work, I know.) Before I start in on my insightful look at something nineties, I wanted to say happy holidays to anyone that reads this! My Christmas morning was pretty spectacular. I got a tiger kigu (#fashion), a new black purse, off-white high top Converse, a few vinyl, and enough candy to earn myself a night of sugary regret. I might need to do another haul video, as I foresee a shopping trip at Topshop in the near future. Winter is my favorite season to dress for. Layers are my best friend.

So rather than reporting on a trend, a former trend, or a nineties fashion inspiration, I wanted to show a collage of sorts of items, that I'd like to own, that are unmistakably nineties. I tried to venture outside of my usual comfort zone as I was looking for items. I typically stick to blacks and neutrals, so you can only imagine how much I struggle when investing in any sort of boldly colored dress, slacks, or shoes.



Okay, so maybe I did not go too far outside of my comfort zone. Still, I channeled my Jawbreaker, Clarissa Explains it All, and Babysitter's Club vibes to the best of my ability. As you can see, all items (excluding the tattoo choker, I believe you can find one on Etsy) can be found at Topshop. Who knows? Maybe I'll search for these items the next time I drag myself and my poor wallet into this danger zone of a store. We will have to see in my next haul video. Until then, enjoy the holiday festivities!


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

.013 NOT SO NINETIES WEDNESDAY

Hello, hello. I finally have the day off and instead of taking in the sun and fresh winter air, I decided to stay inside with a warm blanket and my companion laptop. My feet are tired but my thirst for internet knowledge is real. I spent the better half of my morning time on my usual sites, checking to see the latest in all things fashion and whatever else I had missed in the pop culture news this past week. Those who religiously follow fashion just as I do probably already know that pre-fall 2014 looks are being revealed on the daily.

I am absolutely in love with the House of Holland's pre-fall 2014 collection. The colors, textures, and patterns are enough to make me reconsider the direction of my current wardrobe. Mulberry's fall 2014 sneak preview is another favorite. The boxy silhouettes and tailored jackets give a fresh look to the current menswear trend. The Band of Outsiders pre-fall 2014 collection also had me awkwardly bouncing about in my bed. I am super jazzed that tartan is still finding its way into designer's collections. Band of Outsiders (tried to go with BOO to keep things short and sweet - failed) blends prep and punk perfectly and I feel like my pseudo-1970s-school-girl trend can live on. (Look number 9 kills me.) Thank god for that, am I right? Something about this fall screams early 2000s (perhaps it is the color palette and the return of the wild west thanks to Chanel). We can only hope "Don't Tell Me" by Madonna returns to the airwaves and maybe, just maybe, we will even hear a bit of "Señorita" by JT (not western but whatever). The possibilities of feeling like it is fifth grade again are endless.

Rewinding time a bit and thinking about warm weather and college graduation, I wanted to bring up the excitement that is the new Marc by Marc Jacobs spring campaign. No joke, I saw an article on Fashionista about the launch of the campaign and was instantly inspired to post about it.

(Source: Fashionista

The satin. The shine. The promise of a millennium. I am in love. 

(Source: Fashionista

The blue eye makeup. Those looks that say "So what? Who cares? It's just fashion." Once again, I want to be a Marc Jacobs girl and while my wallet cries out in protest, I may need to find a way to get my hands on a piece of this spring collection. (Or, you know, find a way to emulate it.)


Monday, December 16, 2013

.012 TASTE OF FREEDOM

It is over. My final fall semester...is over. I write this now and flinch a little in the fear that I have another assignment to complete. Fear not, I must tell myself. It is over. The last week was spent busing to work, closing late (we are talking two a.m.), and struggling to write thirty pages of what I deemed my own personal hell. Like many college students, I labored over coffee and a bright computer screen, wearing outfits that I would certainly call "not my best." When cold weather strikes and when time is not on your side, it is hard to to put care into your ensemble choices. Thankfully I had my job to keep me in check, as I take looking presentable at work very seriously.

My best advice when trying to look ~phresh~ during finals is to remember shoes and accessories. Trust me, if you focus on what shoes you are wearing and add a pair of earrings and a watch (or whatever you want, as long as it is not full of studs - I am over the studs) to your outfit, things will look more thought out than you intended. Last Friday I wore a skirt, tights, oxfords, sparkly thigh highs, and a gold watch to match. To me, the outfit was lazy and far from being planned out. At work, many asked how on earth I found time to look so put together. I was shocked and obviously flattered that they thought my lazy attempt to look presentable was actually a noble attempt to look...good. Even as I woke up late today I managed to put on my nicer boots as opposed to my hiking boots. I also threw on a leather jacket under my winter coat to edge things up. And honestly, I think I look like dying_girl79 but, once again, I could be wrong.

Okay, this is a really lazy post. I apologize and promise that I will update more now that finals is over.

There is a silver lining to all this finals bullshit though. I made some purchases!


Gonna look PhRe$h 2 dEaTh (typing with the irony of 1,000 bloggers right there).


Friday, December 6, 2013

.011 ORCHID DREAMS

Before I start talking about the newest fashion trend, I want to give a shout out to those dealing with this insufferable winter cold. It is -3 degrees Fahrenheit and not even my warmest of winter goodies can keep me warm. Truly a tragedy. Honestly, I wonder what kept me in Minneapolis in the first place because the weather could not have possibly been it. I have on my American Apparel infinity scarf, my camel Carhartt hat, the infamous Anthropologie faux fur coat, a Banana Republic wool sweater, and some warm hiking boots I snagged from my local Goodwill. I would take an OOTD but my face is disgustingly dry and red and my eyes demand more sleep. Needless to say, I look a mess this morning. Goddamn you, Minnesota.

Looking forward to Spring and getting out of this Freeze Miser hell, I woke up this morning and caught a trend report on Fashionista about the latest SS14 trend: orchid. Whispers in the fashion wind (a thing, I guess) spoke of such a trend and as for how exactly such a color would look, I did not know. Drum roll please...


Bam and boom goes the dynamite (ah, yes, my humor never left 2005). Here is Pantone's color of the year, a color a plebeian such as myself would have called lilac.


Fashionista did an excellent little Polyvore-esque photo displaying how exactly the color looks on clothing and makeup. Honestly? I am hardly one for color, especially in shades of purple or pink. My life tends to lean towards black or darker shades of clothing. In fact, I am actually selling a sweater in this exact color. 


Okay, I might even want to try a little of this shade on my eyelids. The color reminds me of a spaghetti strap tank I had in second grade (back when I lived in a world of vibrancy as opposed to a world of cynical darkness). The tank top had a bit of that Millennium sheen and there was a 99% chance the top was better suited for a prom dance floor.

If I happen upon this color in Sephora or MAC, I will update you all on my experience. Knowing my complexion, this could fail horribly (so about being a cynic...). I might even be daring enough to try the shade on my lips. Who knows?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

.010 MORE NINETIES

DKNY, Kenzo, Acne, Stussy, Versace, Alexander Wang, the list goes on . What do these seemingly unrelated brands have in common? All are hopping on board the logo trend and frankly, I am in love.


If you followed the ss14 fashion shows, the logo trend is probably already on your radar. Designers from all ends of the fashion spectrum took a sip of the logo kool-aid and the results are top drawer. Already knock-offs from around the world are hitting the eBay markets and Forever 21 is already on the ball, snagging designs and less-than-shamelessly recreating the runway looks.


Left: Forever 21's "Fashionista Advisory Explicit Style" and Right: Alexander Wang's trend setting sweater.


My personal favorite to come out onto the scene is the Kenzo tiger sweater. Already a favorite with off-duty models and style bloggers, the sweater is statement making and blends together the logo trend and the animal-on-sweater trend (honestly, that is the best name I can give it) that has been circulating the style must haves for the past few years. I hope to get my hands on one of these sweaters, ideally in the maroon color

I see this as a trend worth committing a few dollars to. I love my Stussy sweatshirt and hope to add a few more sweaters in the mix. Hopefully my efforts will not go towards a lost cause, but considering the economy and the irresistible pleasure in having people know who you are wearing, I imagine this trend will stick around.





Tuesday, December 3, 2013

.009 EVIL'S SWAY


I finally have my tripod and I am oh-so-excited. The trusty, foldable companion proved a million times more helpful than my webcam as I remembered the power of flash and a bit of distance between myself and the camera. Every time I start to photograph myself, I find it necessary to put on a soundtrack. Turns out, the soundtrack to my half hour of vanity would be Japandroid's Celebration Rock, an album that I highly recommend to those that enjoy a bit of the ol' rock and roll sounds. I actually am in no way an expert in music, so genre-wise, I am going to say they fall under the rock category. ANYHOW, I happened to channel a bit of that rock 'tude during my photo shoot of sorts. As I have said before, I am a huge fan of taking on a persona in my clothing. I see fashion as an opportunity to explore oneself. And hell, I have always wanted to be a little tougher than I look.
Jacket: Silence & Noise, Urban Outfitters 
Striped Crop Top: H&M
Seam High Waisted Jeans: BDG, Urban Outfitters
Rings: Forever 21; Local Thrift Store
Lipstick: Sephora Brand
ALT. VIEWS ON MY LOOKBOOK


Saturday, November 30, 2013

.008 POST-BLACK FRIDAY

When I woke up this morning, I realized that it was November 30th. Not the 29th, but the 30th. I had survived Black Friday, but at what cost? My feet ache, my head is killing me, and my heart is still thumping at an abnormal rate. Just twenty-four hours ago,  I prepped and opened for Urban Outfitter's "midnight madness," an event that was guaranteed to bring in hundreds of customers and thousands in sales. Sure enough, the event lived up to its title. In true apocalyptic fashion, once the store opened, people came running through the gates and towards the back where our store had set up the 50% off sale section (yes, as in, our sale was an additional 50% off). I heard people fighting, a few people yelling at employees, and watched as customers hummed happily to themselves while carrying a mountain of discovered goods. The energy in our store was next-level and to be honest, it was contagious. As much as I wanted to hate these people for making me work 11pm-5am, I wanted to be them. So careless in their sweatpants and sloppy placed messy buns...

Alright, perhaps I did not want to be them, but at least I wanted to be on the other side of things. Though lately, I have been shying away from sales. The beacon of red tags and back rooms has become less and less interesting to me as the years have passed on. I no longer want to find the best deal. Instead, I look to find the dream dress or the shoes I cannot stop thinking about, both probably could be found out on the sales floor and without a red tag. Maybe it is keeping up with trends or perhaps I started to realize something. When items are on sale, they suddenly have this appeal to them, I start to see them in another light. The dress that I thought was "alright" suddenly becomes "very cute." I make the purchase and head home to hang it in my over-stuffed closet. A week goes by. Maybe I wear the dress, maybe I do not. Suddenly a week becomes a month and soon I wonder why on earth I bought that dress. Then I remember. 

Oh, it was on sale. 

The story could be told time and time again, it just took me years to learn that I settled when the price went down. It is not to say that I do not search the sale racks to find the dress of my dreams, but I do so with a frame of mind that says, "Hey, just because it is on sale does not mean it is that cute." Sure enough, I have saved myself from some pretty awful trend disasters (I am looking at you, high-low dress of 2011). I have been testing my theory for the past year and there is little to not doubt in my mind that my theory has remained true. Just a few months ago I bought a cropped sweater for five dollars. I thought I would love it and hell, five dollars is a steal. I was wrong. Wore it once (see below, it is in my first post) and honestly, I am not that enamored with it. So the next time you are going out to find some sales, think to yourself: Do I love it because it is true to my sense of style or do I love it because it is on sale? Trust me, even if full priced are two scary words, you will save the same amount of money in the end and get more wear out of one item that you love rather than a few items you are partial to.

Friday, November 22, 2013

.007 INSPIRATION STATION

It is sixteen degrees Fahrenheit outside and eight a.m. I am tired and the biting winter chill only makes me want my bed more. Despite wanting to move as far away from the oncoming Minnesotan winter as possible, I am happy to have a little slice of early morning time to write a thoughtful blog post.

I introduced this blog stating that I draw inspiration from a variety of different sources. Fashion icons, film, music, things found hanging in a museum, time periods, etc. Whenever I come across a form of media I evaluate it and store what I can in my brain for a style opportunity later. Each day is an opportunity to express myself, so why not show a little of what I like?

Recently, I found myself whiny and tired, wanting to get lost in a film. With a cup of hot cocoa in hand, I decided I was going to watch more of Jean-Luc Godard, an auteur of the French New Wave. I landed on Une Femme est une Femme (A Woman is a Woman) starring Anna Karina, a personal style icon. From about thirty minutes into the film, I knew I was enamored with it. The unconventional sense of humor, the destruction of the fourth wall, and the lively, almost show-tune-esque soundtrack - all of which made for a memorable film.



Now, I will not be attempting to sport bangs again (after numerous attempts in 2010, 2011, and 2012, I think my dreams of achieving that Alexa Chung look are forever lost) but nothing can stop me from wanting to throw on winged eyeliner and a bit of fur to recreate the Anna Karina look.


My personal favorite outfit from the film was Angela's (Anna Karina's) pinstripe midi skirt with a quintessential red sweater. And while colored opaque tights make me think of a younger me in 2008, I can appreciate Angela's matching red tights and I may rethink my colored opaque tights aversion. My collection of midi skirts is less than impressive. I have one floral midi that flows rather than hugs and I have a plum midi from American Apparel that I find difficult to match. Perhaps I will need to hunt for a proper sweater to throw over it. Is black too obvious of an answer? Or should I dare to pair red with plum? Or a forest green?

Sure enough, Alexa Chung is already on this trend.





Saturday, November 16, 2013

Friday, November 8, 2013

.005 CRAZY LIFE

I picked a particularly inappropriate time to start a blog -> hardertobreathe.mp3. But a lot of good has been sent my way. I was recently hired by a music venue for their social media and communications intern position [throw confetti here] and I was also brought on board the Urban Outfitters team. Holler @ your girl. So what does that mean for me? More time spent away from my computer (sob) and more time on public transport. With going to college full-time, it is already difficult enough to post. But I want to start making this blog a priority. To the two people that accidentally clicked on my blog while surfing my Tumblr...please stay.

Please know I am risking my neck to update my infantile blog. I'll have you know, I write this post as I sit at my desk job. The risks are real. Well...with no tasks on a Friday afternoon, they leave me to do whatever I want. Unfortunately this means no photos of my OOTD. Though, this whole "no photos" thing won't last for long! I return home to visit my father in two weeks time to get my tripod. Now all I need to do is find a proper shooting location that isn't outside in 20 degree weather.

As for a proper fashion update, in the last couple of weeks I have made quite the shopping haul. From Urban Outfitters to H&M to MAC Cosmetics, my closet is now bursting at the seams with new fall/winter apparel and my lips are gothic chic.

VIDEO SOON TO COME.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

.004 NINETIES WEDNESDAY PT.2

As a senior in college, it is hard to keep up with a blog, so I do apologize for the two week hiatus. With that being said, I want to address that I did mean to post, trust me! I've been mulling over what to talk about when it comes to the reoccurring "nineties wednesday" theme. After an impulse purchase last Sunday, I had my topic.*


Ah yes, Anthropologie. The mother store to Urban Outfitters. The goddess of expensive bohemia. A store I usually bypass for the sake of my wallet. Well, my self control was shattered and I made the purchase. All it took was putting the coat on and looking in the mirror. I could see it then. A black slip, sheer black tights, and black heels or booties. Possibly a floppy black hat and long gold chains. Oh wait, someone else did this. Ahh, Courtney Love. So I wasn't that original. Whatever.

Yeah. She pulled this off first.

She knows this.

This sort of street style celebrity chic isn't necessarily anything new, but hey, with a nineties twist it is a bit refreshing. And who doesn't want a bit of faux fur dressed down with some silk and lace? Classy and risque, who would have thought? (Plenty of people, but roll with me here.) 

Gotta love the strings for straps.

I'd like to argue that faux fur is timeless. Sure, it phases in and out, but it's always there somewhere. Whether it is rockstar couture or that old woman you talk to on the train, there is something to love about the overwhelming warmth of synthetic fur. 

*Pictures in the coat soon to come!




Wednesday, October 9, 2013

.003 START OF NINETIES WEDNESDAYS

Flannels, ripped jeans, Elaine Benes, Britney Spears, The Baby-Sitters Club - you get the point. Nineties fashion and culture has been on repeat for the last three years in both the fashion world and in underground fashion movements that more-or-less stemmed from the Internet. Crop tops and a late 1990s inspired minimalism are featured on the runway, still fresh and popular. The idea that the nineties is influencing fashion is apparent as trends trickle down into chain stores cough Forever 21. One look at the store window and you’re assaulted by a display of crop tops, plaid, and sportswear. This is not to say that this clothing is not “fashionable”, but the creativity is slowly lacking.


Starting around 2011, Internet-based movements like “sea punk” and “grunge” appropriated nineties icons with a certain flare of irony and nostalgia. Jeremy Scott’s Bart Simpson knitwear, worshipping Kurt Cobain, remembering the software designs of Windows ‘98, rewatching King of the Hill; reaching for inspiration in an era where most feel popular media icons are lacking. Nineties culture is idolized as a better time - a time when the millenium was the next big thing and when the Internet was a new world. But now that we’re here...now what? The trend has not faded and, in fact, companies such as Urban Outfitters and Nasty Gal have profited from the Internet phenomenon.  

image credit to weheartit.com

In the cyclical world that is fashion, there is already a tackiness assigned to these internet-based trends. The Internet, namely Tumblr and Instagram, has only accelerated these “oh-so-nineties” looks and after being recycled x-amount of times, the alien backpacks and the pastel on black becomes...tired. I will reluctantly admit to tapping into my inner-sea punk pastel goth phase. Summer 2011 was a dark time, my good friends. I realized quickly that investing my mind, body and soul into this trend was a waste of time and money (the little money I had, let’s be real). And in a way, it would have been a waste because it is a trend for a reason.

~*~pastel princess~*~

After exploring the dark path of edginess, I wanted to remain in the nineties for the nostalgia still was not ready to leave my closet. There was also that ever-present want to stay true to my personal style. To abandon myself for a trend seemed...wrong, so I decided to explore other nineties icons and fashion movements. The cast of Friends, Elaine Benes, and the pop stars of the late nineties - I’m looking at you and your cropped turtlenecks, Britney Spears. Platform mules, that shiny sheer nonsense, and Missy Elliott inspired quilted coats - I want to see more of this. Much to my pleasure, latest runway trends seem to be guiding towards the lesser known nineties fashions. Grunge is getting glammed up and holographic clothing is being recognized for its greatness, even if my friends aren’t ready for my backstreet's back purple shine.


tanks over tees are making a comeback

sometimes i run, sometimes i HiiiDe






Monday, October 7, 2013

.002 WEBCAM NO-NO

I am without a tripod for now. So, please enjoy webcam shoots. 

What a look of indifference.

My trusty velvet loafers from Urban Outfitters. Poor things are falling apart.

Sweater: Forever 21
Beanie: Urban Outfitters
Loafers: Urban Outfitters
Dress: Lauter 
Glasses I wear everyday: Versace




.001 GETTING STARTED

A friend approached me the other day and asked why I haven't started writing a fashion blog. There had been talk from me about being in favor of the idea, but never anything serious. To be fair, my friend knew I had an interest in fashion and an interest in social media. To her, the idea was worthwhile. The entire time I laughed it off. Said I didn't have time and gestured to my outfit. I was wearing a knit cap, an infinity scarf, and a large sweater, completely unassuming while I held my corporate five dollar coffee. I didn't have the designer labels or the expensive camera. Excuse after excuse, all the same from the other times I have considered the idea of starting a blog. She told me to sit on the idea. So I did, and here I am.

I start fresh. Not wanting to take on to much, yet, wanting to tell all. I draw fashion inspiration from everywhere. From characters in books to a scene in a movie. I hear songs and imagine the perfect outfit I would wear as I dance along. My mind is constantly grabbing up inspiration, whether it completely unique or pathetically dull. I never want to seem unoriginal, but I also keep in mind to adhere to "fashion rules" and it's hard not to consume the trends spewing from fashion week. Keeping up with trends has always been hard for me. I grew up working class, but there is no shame in this. Instead, I took time to craft a personal style and allowed trends to sparingly fall into my wardrobe. I like to blend the old with the new, the stylish with the trendy. Everyday I wake up and think, "what version of me will I be today?" Fashion to me is an expression of myself and all of my hidden personas that want their turn to shine. I am full of hideous clichés, but what else do I have?

If you're reading this and wondering why in the world I'm worth following, well, I can give you my mission statement that might be more or less convincing:

I hope to offer my personal style as well as my opinions on trends, designers, and other various forms of social media.