December 9th, 2013
Although style can sometimes be construed as frivolous in academia, I wore this “traditionally” feminine outfit to my job at the tutoring center — a place where, I feel I should mention, the dress code is more casual-casual, as opposed to the business-casual of my adjunct job. I love floral prints, tulle and sequins, but I often find it difficult to pair them together without garnering something of a frivolity factor that translates into a potentially negative perception.
I really went for it with this outfit though, a floral print font, turquoise tulle, and a studded bow belt. The shirt is a little larger than I would normally choose to style with a voluminous skirt, but I think the belt creates enough structure and proportion that it doesn’t appear frumpy. The college professor frump, a style comprised of copious ill-fitting garments, is something to be avoided at all costs! I know, I already posted this outfit last week on Instagram — which I am sure is some sort of style blogger no-no, but I like to live dangerously. Also, I am fairly certain my neighbors must think I am a deranged person who photographs herself laughing spontaneously at trees in the driveway.
Shirt: Hello Apparel // Skirt: Modcloth // Shoes: J. Crew (thrifted) // Belt: Korea
December 6th, 2013
One of the reasons I am interested in style and fashion is because of the opportunities it presents for experimentation. Through the visual manifestation of personal style I can question traditional gender roles, fashion ‘rules,’ and (dare I say) be a tad bit subversive in general. I’ve never admitted that I enjoy these particular aspects of style, but I do. I find confidence in wearing completely mismatched nonsense, because I’ve found that, oftentimes, the more mismatched the ‘rules’ say a particular ensemble is — the more I will (unintentionally) enjoy it. Dressing well makes me both feel and perform better, but it has to be done within the parameters of my own aesthetic.
When I first started interviewing for jobs everyone told me to wear a “black pantsuit.” I cringed every time I heard the advice. I mean, I respect Hilary Clinton, but I don’t necessarily want to dress like her. Ultimately, I didn’t heed the advice and yet, still managed to procure a job. Now, I am discovering how to walk the self-styling tightrope that extends between grad student, adjunct professor and a stylish person with something of a life. Generally, I find my outfits are either loved or loathed by my students (for example: they really disliked my mustard tights) and mostly loved by my colleagues. I can definitely say that fashion in academia isn’t a particularly pressing topic for most professors. The college I work for has a (more or less) business casual approach to dress code — although I see everything from suits to Hawaiian shirts to the aforementioned pantsuit on a daily basis. I believe professors should be allowed a certain degree of quirkiness, but when does quirkiness begin to translate to lassitude? How can we create an appearance that is approachable, while still maintaining a degree of professionalism?
Dress: UO // Sweater: F21 (Korea) // Tights: ModCloth // Shoes: Ross // Scarf: TxSC
December 4th, 2013
I choose not to inundate my blog with superfluous giveaways because I want people to linger here with the intention to read mindfully and (hopefully) enjoy some of the experimental outfits that I tend to post. I am very careful about who I choose to work with because I want to make sure the brand represents both my aesthetic as well as yours. Basically, I want us both to like the outcome, and I will reach out to brands who I feel can provide that.
I spoke briefly about the transformative power of accessories in a previous post, and I stand by that assertion. So, when Outfit Additions offered to partner with my blog to giveaway a $50 voucher, I jumped at the chance — because it’s the holidays and everyone loves fabulous jewelry (as a gift to give, or to keep). Personally, I am particularly enamored of their necklaces and already own two, so I feel comfortable endorsing their site here.
This giveaway will end at 11:59PM on Dec 10th.
In the meantime use the coupon: GEEK for 20% off orders over $50. Valid till Dec 17th.
Here are some of my current favorites from the site:
One || Two || Three
a Rafflecopter giveaway
December 2nd, 2013
This post is a part of a series on A Geek Tragedy called Celestial Bodies where I interview lifestyle and personal style bloggers about how they maintain a positive body image and dress for their body type. This interview is from the Jessica who blogs at Weird & Wonderful Willinghams.
Describe your body for us.. Well, if we are talking numbers…I am 5’2 and anywhere between 125-128 lbs on any given day. My measurements are 34.5, 29.5, 35.5. In my own words, I am short but not petite. I am athletic. While most women identify as a “pear,” “apple” or “upside down pear” shape, I am something else: a ruler shape. My shoulders, waist and hips are (to the eye) the exact same width. With this body shape (like any) comes a unique set of pleasures & challenges.
What is a positive memory you have about your body image (a particular compliment, or positive realization, etc.)? My mother has complimented me on my lips my whole life. She tells the story of my birth & always mentions these “gorgeous, red lips” on her baby girl. The important thing about this interaction with my mother is that it gave me a boost related to my appearance, but one that had nothing to do with the size of my jeans or dress. It was a true compliment to me, not a comment on my weight. The language between mothers and daughters is extremely important & impactful, & thankfully my mother chose very positive words to describe me and herself.
What is something about your body that you really dislike for people to comment on or an opinion about your looks that you wish people would keep to themselves? “Wow, you’re really short.” If I had a dollar every time someone told me that, I could’ve bought 700 pairs of disco platform shoes by now. Yes, I am short. I don’t need reminding. One of those burned-into-the-psyche memories from middle school is when a woman told me I “looked hungry”. It was in the 7th grade: I had transformed from a little girl to a woman & a competitive athlete & my body reflected that. I know the woman didn’t mean to be cruel by commenting on my physical transformation, but the interaction was the spark that fueled a firestorm of self-esteem issues in the following years. Again, how we speak to each other as women is life-giving or life-taking. We need to be careful.
How do you dress to accentuate your body type? Conversely, what might you try to hide? I love to wear flats & rock my height! I also try to wear very structured blazers to work, that hit right at hip. It can create a pear-like illusion on a ruler-like frame. Also, most women’s wear is designed to taper at the waist & give a little extra in the hips & thighs. For ruler bodies, this is often a disaster in the dressing room. Dresses are the worst, so shoot for separates. Because my hips are narrow, my midsection is my least favorite area. I camouflage it with flowy tops cinched with a skinny belt, structured blazers & form-sitting pencil skirts & cropped skinny slacks. Works like a charm!
What body image advice would you give to a younger version of yourself? Girl, you need to relax. Your body will ALWAYS be changing, adjusting & evolving. Just be thankful that you can run, laugh & explore. So many girls would trade everything to have what you have: good health. Don’t take it for granted over a couple pounds.
Don’t forget to check out Jessica’s blog. If you’re a blogger who would like to be included in this series, please feel free to email me (link in the sidebar).
November 30th, 2013
I’ve been thinking a lot about accessorizing lately. In the past, my only accessories have been a pair of large earrings and occasionally a scarf, but only if I was actually cold. When I started reading style blogs I also began to notice how a single accessory could make or break an outfit. A bright, statement necklace can allow an everyday outfit to transition into evening, scarves add a focal point (even in warm weather), and belts can add shape to a droopy outfit.
However, I am not a huge fan of bold, colorful accessories as a general rule and usually prefer something simpler. So, in my recent experimentation with necklaces, I’ve found that this industrial hoop necklace from Outfit Additions is my current favorite.
Shirt: J Crew // Blazer: Ross // Skirt: Target // Tights: Modcloth // Boots: Zara // Necklace: Outfit Additions
November 27th, 2013
It’s the time of year where all of us bloggers post a gratitude inspired list to commemorate the season. As I was reading through those very lists I came across this one by Nicole where she discussed five (often overlooked) things to be grateful for. I am borrowing her subheadings to write about my own thankfulness this year.
1. Something your body CAN do.
As I’ve gotten more involved in yoga, I’ve become more and more thankful for the ways my body can move. I am not the most balanced, the strongest, or the most flexible person, but the fact that I can come to my mat each day and practice at all is something to be grateful for.
2. The people who help you without knowing it.
This year has been a year of growth and a lot of people have inspired me without attribution — until now, I suppose. Terra got me more involved in my own passions after I witnessed her love of running firsthand. Tara Stiles, one of the best DVD / YouTube yoga instructors ever, encouraged me to take a yoga class at my gym (which I now do every week). Both Elizabeth and Rebecca‘s blogs inspired me to begin transforming A Geek Tragedy into something of a style blog (which I’ve wanted to do for ages).
3. Something that has changed in the past year.
Aside from the obvious answer, my location, I’d say the biggest change this past year was my job. Teach a college class is a goal that has been on my Life List since I first wrote it, but it wasn’t something I ever thought I’d get to do. Now, through a series of serendipitous events, I teach and tutor at a community college. And it’s awesome. And I’m good at it.
4. A shitty experience that taught you something about yourself.
The most challenging thing that happened this year was interviewing and applying for jobs, only to be turned down multiple times. Losing a sales-rep job at Anthropologie to a teenager was a particularly crushing blow to my self-esteem. However, the silver lining from this experience is that I learned where I truly fit in. I was so sure I wanted to teach public school or work retail part-time, or any other number of things, but in the end I wound up exactly where I belong (funny how that works).
5. Something you have enough of.
I like to think of myself as a simple person, a minimalist even, who doesn’t need a terribly large amount of “stuff” to get by. So, I am thankful that I have enough time to myself, enough money and resources to live comfortably and travel occasionally, a house of my own, and plenty of love and support from Jared.
What are you grateful for this holiday season?
November 24th, 2013
While most of y’all have been taking killer photos of fall foliage since September, the leaves have just started changing and falling here in Texas. The holidays approach now with rapidity from my peripherals, where they’ve hidden for a time, and are descending upon me like fast burning flames — white hot for only a moment before extinguishing. The transient quality of this time of year makes me feel both rushed and relaxed, both desperate and inspired. I’ve been making an effort to spend more time creating lately. The crisp air seems to carry with it some much needed inspiration and I’ve been grabbing at it each day — I illustrate and create things for the house and add a bit of flair to my outfits. Slowly, our house is taking on a patina of holiday shine as I hang wreaths and banners, twinkle lights and candles.
Jacket: H&M // Sweatshirt: Edae (Korea) // Skirt: UO // Tights: Modcloth // Shoes: Zara
November 22nd, 2013
Every year people ask for my holiday wishlists and then end up giving me gift cards, which I inevitably use to purchase something in-store that I never intended to buy. I am not the best gift card spender, I panic and buy impulsively at big stores. If it’s one of those Visa gift cards that I can use at different places, then I don’t feel like I have to spend it all at once, RIGHT THEN. I possess divergent interests which allow for a wide range of store preferences, and an even wider range of gift concepts. Thus, I am compiling the following gift lists as both a reminder to myself and as a (hopefully) helpful list for any of the ladies in your holiday purchase path. I didn’t include a ton of clothes on here (I know), because I am secretly hoping that I will get to hit up my favorite vintage stores with an aforementioned Visa gift card.
One: Too Faced Shadow Brushes 3-Piece
Two: Tarte Airbrush Finish Bamboo Brush
Three: Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette
Four: Record Time Dress
One: White Moleskin Notebook (hard cover, ruled pages)
Two: Mint Pantone 337 C Mug
Three: Munchkin Deluxe Board Game
Four: The Great Wave Off Kanagawa iPhone 4 Case
One: Lululemon Energy Bra
Two: Yoga Mat Spray (peppermint & lemon)
Three: Aerie Crop Yoga Pants
November 20th, 2013
Jared and I recently consumed the entire Friday Night Lights series on Netflix in a flurry of several days, binge watching and then re-capping and then binge-watching some more. There were tears, lots of tears, laughter, and Tim Riggins impersonations. When the series ended, I had a lot of feelings. Granted, most of the feelings were along the lines of: “OMG NO! It can’t be over!” And cue the Friday Night Lights soundtrack on Grooveshark and Tim Riggins / Lyla Garrity fan fiction (there is a lot of FNL fanfiction, you’ve been warned).
Last week, Jared told me he had a surprise, out-of-town date planned for us. I love surprises, but Jared does not plan, ever, so I was admittedly hesitant about this secret plot of his. All he would tell me was that we were going to Austin. We set out around 8AM with kolaches, Starbucks, and a freshly charged iPod. As we approached the Austin city limits, I asked, “Do you think Tim Riggins’ land is out here?” Yes, I am that person. He just smiled and replied, “Maybe.” The GPS navigated us into a neighborhood and I thought we were going to be interacting with new people, naturally I immediately began to panic.
Me: “Are we going to see friends?”
Me: “Your estranged family members?”
Me: “Are you taking me to an old lady’s house where we are going to learn how to paint china? ARE WE PAINTING CHINA WITH AN OLD LADY?!”
Him: “Do you know where we are?”
Me: “A residential neighborhood?”
Him: “The Taylor’s house!”
Me: “Like… your estranged family members?”
(Note: Jared and Coach Taylor have the same last name, so this was all very confusing for me)
Finally, he physically pointed to the house and I recognized where we were — on Friday Night Lights! I should know him better than to think he’d make me talk to strangers. At this point, he explained that we were going on a tour of all the Friday Night Lights filming locations in Austin. I jumped out of the car and proceeded to run around the Taylor’s yard (don’t worry, no one was home) snapping photos and happy dancing. Friday Night Lights never has to end!
(There were people home at the Riggins residence, so no yard photo).
The houses were slightly altered from their show versions, but still fairly accurate — I especially liked seeing Matt’s house. Next on the list, Jared informed me we were going to the Panther fieldhouse. The Panther fieldhouse is actually an abandoned fieldhouse and football field near the Austin airport — it was pre-abandoned before the Panthers ever used it. And it sounds sketchy, because it totally is — but worth the effort, because there’s some genuine Panther pride left behind.
(There were security cameras, so we didn’t stay for very long.)
Our next stop was Ray’s BBQ. Jared wasn’t sure if it was still open, and it appears to have closed only recently. The smell of smoke still lingered in the air and there was a “for rent” sign out front. I had the most fun taking photos here because it was open and uninhabited.
(Just a couple of Texas kids in love.)
There were a few places we weren’t able to get to. The East Dillon practice field is now a series of baseball diamonds, the Panther’s playing field is actually in Pflugerville, the Alamo Freeze is now a Dairy Queen, and Tim Riggins’ land is also located out of town (maybe another trip). We went by Fran’s Burger’s, but it’s fairly messy now.
Afterward, we ate gingerbread pancakes and breakfast tacos at Magnolia Cafe (feat. on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, to continue with the TV theme — although we eat here every time we visit Austin). Then, we went vintage shopping on South First (I’ll post my finds at a later date), and had a London Fog (which reminded me of a milk tea from Korea) at Bouldin Creek Cafe before heading home.
In conclusion, I will allow Tim Riggins to summarize my overall feelings about this outing.
November 18th, 2013
This is the yet another post in a new series on A Geek Tragedy called Celestial Bodies where I interview lifestyle and personal style bloggers about how they maintain a positive body image and dress for their body type. This time I am talking to Angie the voice behind Lariats and Lavender.
Describe your body type for us. For quite a while, I was an hourglass shape, until I started gaining more and more weight in my lower body and am now considered a pear shape. I am 5’4″ and as of my last weigh in, 180lbs. I have been overweight ever since I was a child, and I have never had proper nutrition information, so I am learning everything as a 20-something year old (24, as of right now!). I love my body. I am self conscious about certain parts of myself, definitely. However, as a whole, I do love my body and I love everything that my body can do, and who I am on the inside as well.
What is a positive memory you have about your body image (a particular compliment, or positive realization, etc.)? The first time Jen called me beautiful, and I knew that she truly thought I was. I was fourteen, when that happened. I wasn’t nearly as in love with my body as I am now, so her calling me beautiful moved me so much. She’s helped me overcome a LOT of my self esteem issues, both body wise and otherwise. Next, I disliked my childlike face for quite a long time. No matter what I do, people think I am a teenager. However, I have had several people tell me that I look a lot like Bettie Page and when I first looked her up, I realized I DO and I am quite proud of that!
What is something about your body that you really dislike for people to comment on or an opinion about your looks that you wish people would keep to themselves? My teeth, and my chest. I have fake teeth, and they’re ill-fitting. I saw a dentist for the first time this year, and he is planning on doing a little work on my mouth and getting me a new set of teeth and I cannot wait. You can tell that my teeth are fake, and I have had people (children, and a few co-workers) comment on them. As for my chest, I was an early bloomer and my garden really grew! The last time I went bra shopping, I picked up a 38D and that was still too small, so I am working on figuring out my current size. I’ve had men yell “compliments” about my chest while walking or driving by me, and I really hate that.
How do you dress to accentuate your body type? Conversely, what might you try to hide? I should start with my eyes, as I love them. I don’t wear make-up often (sensitive skin, boo!), however when I do, I really play up my eyes. They’re big, and my actual eyes change color! I also play up my mouth… Now, I know I said I mentioned disliking when people comment on my teeth, so why play up my mouth? I smile, a lot. I don’t believe in hiding my smile, just because people may comment on my teeth.
I also love my neck and shoulders, so a pretty v-neck or scoop neck shirt or an off the shoulder shirt is perfect. I have a slim waist, so I accentuate that part of my body with shirts that end right near my waist line, and pants that hang just a titch lower.
As for what I hide, I definitely would prefer hiding my acne. It’s not something I enjoy having, however like I said, I don’t wear make-up often and I don’t see the point of wearing make-up JUST to hide my acne. I much prefer wearing make-up, because it’s fun. I also try to hide the fact that one side of my face is a bit “lower” than the other, and is quite noticeable.
I try and find shirts that fit me just right, so I don’t have rolls that pull fabric and look unflattering. I hate too tight clothing, and too loose clothing as well. I don’t show a lot of skin, because I feel like sexier clothing should be worn around Jen – not everyone in the store. However, that’s my personal feeling and I don’t think anyone is right, or wrong, for how much or how little they wear. I don’t believe in clothing making someone a prude, or the opposite.
What body image advice would you give to a younger version of yourself? I would tell my younger self, learn more about healthy eating, and exercising. You won’t do either because you dislike your body, but because you *love* your body. You’ll love yourself, no matter how much you gain or lose, but you want to feel healthier, and have more energy, and it’s better to start now.
Also, start a wardrobe, and try clothing on; see what fits right, and what doesn’t and wear what you love yourself in, both look wise and comfort wise. This is 100% more important as you get older, younger self, because when you were 15 and 16 you had a much better judge of your body shape and what looked good on you than you do now, as a 24-year-old!
Also, you will get acne. It’s okay. You don’t care that much, however sometimes you’ll feel a little uncomfortable. But seriously, it’s okay. Just take care of your skin, so it’s healthier. Take care of yourself, so you’re healthier. Our bodies change. You’ll love yours, no matter what. So take GOOD CARE OF IT.
Also, I should say… For other girls, especially younger girls, don’t change for anyone. Boyfriends, girlfriends, friends… if they’re real, true potential love interests, and if they’re real, true friends, they won’t want you to change anyway. They’ll love you, for who you are. Inside, and outside. You’re *beautiful*. No one else can be you, but you. Your body is a remarkable thing. Think of all you can do, and how much your body does everyday. Think of what a miracle that is. When you’re feeling down, and being hard on yourself, put someone you love in your place. Think of what you’d tell them, and how you’d feel if they were being hard on themselves. Everyone is beautiful, no matter their size, shape, what they love about themselves or hate and no matter what anyone says. You’re amazing.
Don’t forget to check out Angie’s blog Lariats and Lavender. If you’re a blogger who would like to be included in this series, please feel free to email me (link in the sidebar).