Saturday, November 30, 2013

the tapestry bag

The tale of this tapestry bag probably begins a long time ago, way back when I first saw Anne of Green Gables. My desire for one has only increased over the years, and when I finally got around to reading Anne of Green Gables, it was settled.

Matthew, however, was spared the ordeal of speaking first, for as soon as she concluded that he was coming to her she stood up, grasping with one thin brown hand the handle of a shabby, old-fashioned carpet-bag; the other she held out to him....

"Oh, I can carry it," the child responded cheerfully. "It isn't heavy. I've got all my worldly goods in it, but it isn't heavy. And if it isn't carried in just a certain way the handle pulls out--so I'd better keep it because I know the exact knack of it. It's an extremely old carpet-bag. 

Sweater (shop!)/Tapestry Bag (sold out): Ruche, Bottoms: Thrifted, Necklace: AnthropologieShoes: Urbanog
Of course, this particular bag isn't extremely old and doesn't contain all of my worldly goods in it. But it certainly could, and the dreamer in me just has to close her eyes and grasp the handles to imagine the life-changing adventure that is about to occur -- just my tapestry bag and me.

There's something about having this tapestry bag that makes me feel really grown up.
I packed it up for our Thanksgiving weekend with friends, and I loved feeling put together for once. We've always survived on mismatched and hand me down suitcases, which have always done the trick just fine. Dusty and I have a random stack of bags under our bed, and we usually just cram everything into one bag whenever we travel.
But having something cute and folksy that's all mine is kind of lovely all on its own. A bag just for weekends, those special short trips reserved for close-by mini adventures or holiday getaways. 

This sweater is also one of my favorite new things from Ruche, and I have already worn it a little too often lately. The bows and pearls are so sweet! 
I guess I was feeling a little retro yesterday because I parted my hair down the middle for the first time in many years. I was overwhelmed with how much I look like my mom. I kept picturing a photo of her when she was around my age, with her long straight hair, parted down the middle and all. I couldn't ask for a more lovely look-alike, but it made me miss her something fierce.
We're basically twinsies, except for my chin and sense of humor which belong to my dad. 
I think I'll keep up the middle-part for a while longer. :)

Friday, November 22, 2013


Happy Friday!

I've been taking a break from blogging, since we had some family in town last week and then I got a cold and, more honestly, all I've been wearing are skinny jeans and big sweaters. Not super blog-worthy, so I'll just admit to the laziness!

Amidst my comfy cold-weather wear, I have been admiring fashion from other sources. Most notably, Reign, which is a new show on the CW (I know, I know. Guilty pleasure).
I have to confess I've fallen head over heels for the period drama, despite its glaring historical inaccuracies and supernatural whims. (Or maybe that's why I like it...those are pretty standard requirements for guilty pleasure shows, I think).


If you're completely unaware of the premise of this show, it is loosely based on (but at this point is a completely fictitious account of) the journey of young Mary, Queen of Scots, as she resides in the French court awaiting her eventual marriage to young Prince Francis, heir to the throne of France.
In this version they're all supremely gorgeous people, dealing with politics, power plays, strange ghost figures, castle drama, court drama, love drama, and just so much delicious drama.

Perhaps I'm still devastated by Downton Abbey, and having another Mary in my life is somewhat therapeutic. Whatever the reason, I'm hooked.

For those of you familiar with the show, I think the enchantment comes from a mixture of Francis's wispy facial hair, Mary's full lips, Bash's mystical eyes, Nostradamus's husky voice, Queen Catherine's stern brow and Clarissa's mystery. A few other ingredients, such as the cutesie names of Mary's ladies (Greer, Kenna, Aylee and Lola. Ha) and the absolutely superb soundtrack make for a rather enjoyable show.
Truly, the music is amazing - I hope they come out with an official soundtrack eventually, but for now I've just posted featured songs in a playlist on my Spotify. There are only a few songs missing, including the theme song "Scotland" performed by the Lumineers, which aren't on Spotify.

Also, the costumes. Oh, the costumes.

The costumes are clearly period-inspired, but they've really created an entirely new genre of style, specific to the show. It's a concoction comprised of the Renaissance feel with a modern twist, using touches of bohemian and vintage, custom-made to make me drool and go on Etsy to search for crystal bodychains

I often find myself wondering if the secret agenda of this show is to bring headbands back.
If that's the case, they've totally succeeded. I've been shopping online for headbands all day. 
Or shall I say, headpieces. Because these take headbands to a whole new level. 

You could also just pull an Aylee and use your ridiculously braided hair in lieu of a headband. 

I found an excellent tumblr page about the fashion on Reign, and I'll definitely be checking that out every week. If you're interested in seeing some of the specific pieces and how/where to get a hold of them (or just to dream about them, like me) then check that out here

In the meantime, let me know if you also watch Reign and find yourself oddly attracted to velvet again, or if you've started looking up local Renaissance festivals so you can take part in all this nonsense for a day or two or five.
If you don't watch, and start to watch, contact me immediately. We'll have a whole new host of things to talk about, including whether or not you think Clarissa is really Scarecrow from the Batman movies.

p.s. see all reign posts

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

the vintage slip

Vintage has been a cherished theme and idea for pretty much my entire teenage years/adulthood.
Vintage weddings, parties, clothes, dishes, decor. Antiques. 
Perhaps it stems from that long-time love of all things Jane Austen, and the generation that fell in love with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy is finally growing up and getting married and decorating things. 
It could also just be the inevitable infatuation with nostalgia, which every generation seems to have in common. (I will always love you, 90's.)

Some bloggers out there are experts at thrifting and shopping vintage clothing and accessories.
I must confess that I have little to no experience in this area, mostly because I have trouble not knowing the history of an item -- in some cases it can be romantic, like a chipped china teacup or a bit of lace trim. 
But with clothes, I'm always nervous and my most germophobic self comes out in all its irrational glory. 
I have no idea where that item has been...I seem to recall some incident where I tried on an old hat once, and someone yelled at me that it could have lice in it, for all I knew. Maybe I was traumatized?
Whatever the cause for my aversion to vintage clothing, I finally had a must-have moment in an antique store. For a slip, of all things.

I've seen this trend, where a particularly fancy lace-trimmed slip is used to achieve a lengthened skirt, or to simply add some flair. Ruche has a nice collection of slips to choose from, and their winter lookbook Once Upon a Time even featured an outfit with one.

When I saw the vintage slip for a mere $9, I couldn't help myself. I had to get it!
It was something I had been wanting to try, but couldn't bring myself to spend a lot of money on.
I was surprised by how much I loved the way it turned out.
What do you think? Would you wear a vintage slip?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

call of the styled

Modcloth: Travel the World

(1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

I quickly fell in love with Modcloth when I discovered my passion for online boutiques, after moving to Virginia and discovering that local shopping was very, very bleak.
Along with Ruche, they're one of my favorite places to go for unique and stylish clothing and accessories.

This past week, Modcloth reached out and asked if I wanted to participate in their Uniquely You campaign on Polyvore!
I of course accepted, because I love them, and was thrilled by the prospect of creating an outfit designed around a specific Modcloth item. I was also really interested in becoming a part of the Polyvore community.
They sent me an image of the call of the styled coat, and my only objective was to build an outfit using up to 7 other Modcloth items and post it on Polyvore and here on the blog!
Each week they'll pick a winner to feature on the Modcloth Polyvore page.

After playing around with different outfit ideas, I settled into a travel-inspired ensemble, with some of my favorite layering techniques. It's absolutely an outfit I would wear! I love those maroon booties, and the little cicada earrings.

When Dustin and I went to Paris and London this past March, we quickly realized that the only article of clothing that really mattered was a great coat.
We settled into a daily routine of our favorite coat with various layered clothing underneath. Occasionally we'd shed that outer layer when we were indoors, but we spent so much time sight-seeing, we needed to be warm against the wind, snow and rain. A great coat can be the inspiration for a myriad of ensembles, and is a great investment piece.

Find a coat you love and travel the world in it -- follow the call of the styled.

Monday, November 11, 2013

afternoon dates

I think there's something about 2pm that just gets to me
It's that time of day where uneasiness settles in, boredom maybe. Extreme fatigue. All I want to do is fold up under my desk like human origami, and eat a bar of extra, extra dark chocolate. (Which, by the way, is my new favorite thing. Chocolate has always been meh, which as a woman I've been ashamed to admit - but super dark chocolate is basically the extra bold coffee of chocolates. Score.
Whatever you're doing at 2pm, time is against you. It's the afternoon curse. It's some strange alternate universe that swallows you up and wants you to fail at everything you're doing. 
For all these reasons and more, Dusty and I came up with afternoon dates.
Because eureka, coffee solves all my 2pm problems.

We began to figure out that we needed that bit of a break, that little extra time together. 
A time to run outside and jump in the car. Sunglasses on, music up, sigh of relief. 
A spontaneous treat in the hot morbid dead center of that awful, no good portion of our everyday lives. 
2pm. 2-freakin-pm. 

Top/Necklace (shop!): Ruche, Skirt: Modcloth, Sweater: Banana Republic 

Naturally, because we are the way we are, afternoon dates often include picture-taking.
And here, in the Sonic parking lot, was a completely irresistible red tree. You wouldn't even know you were near fresh cheddar poppers and tater tots, by the look of it. Completely wild and on fire with fall. 

On a side note, if you've never owned a true cashmere sweater -- invest in one. Today.
Spoil yourself! You deserve it.
Dusty got this one for me from Banana Republic for our anniversary this past January, and true story, it feels like I'm being kissed by angels all over my arms.