Wednesday, July 23, 2014

sweet sweet summertime

DSC01482After a whirlwind summer of traveling all over the country, I'm excited to spend the last two weeks at home before school starts again. I have a few projects I want to finish around the house (I started making this pinboard today for our kitchen), bike rides to go on (after receiving a bike as a surprise present!), and hopefully finishing Breaking Bad (only two seasons to go). After a day of sleeping in, going for a swim, and making a delicious dinner, we capped off the night with a Starbucks date. The cooler temperatures meant I got to wear both jeans AND a long-sleeved while I'm not excited for school to start, I am excited for FALL.

Please don't hate me for bringing up fall in the middle of July ;)

Top: ASOS [exact on sale w/ popback sizes!]
Jeans: Uniqlo [exact]
Necklace: c/o BaubleBar [exact]
Shoes: thrifted Tory Burch [current version]
Bag: Madewell [save - read Audrey's review here | exact]
Watch: Michael Kors [save | exact]
P.S. It seems that J.Crew is becoming the new Gap with their constant sales...and I'm not complaining. With their 40% off sale items, I picked up these adorable pants after seeing them on Kendi. I can't wait to wear them with all the red and cognac accessories ;)

Monday, July 21, 2014

too many damn rules

I spent this past weekend in NYC with my good college friend Ben. We had a great time catching up on our lives (both of ours have changed considerably in the past year since we saw each other), walking all over Brooklyn, and doing just the tiniest bit of shopping. We stopped at Steven Alan, which has all of these beautiful pieces of clothing - the kind that you would wear for the next ten years and really treasure and love. As I was looking through them, I was explaining to Ben how I really liked each piece but I just couldn't wear any of them and I don't even bother trying because "I know what works on my body and it's just easier to stick to those rules".

Oh boy. The rules. It's not until you try to explain to someone what exactly these rules entail that you realize that maybe, just maybe, you are slightly insane. What exactly are my rules? Let's just work top to bottom:

  • No hats. I have chubby cheeks and hats always emphasize that.
  • V-necks only (mostly). I'm fairly busty, so adding a bit of skin (but not too much!!! more rules) supposedly elongates my frame without it just being all 'woah, boobs' even if they are completely covered up. I also have broad shoulders, so boat necks make them look even broader, and I don't think I've touched anything high crew necked in years. 
  • Nothing strapless. I'm certain strapless bras are the devil. I just won't even put up with them, so I just don't buy anything strapless. Problem solved, rule created.
  • No cap sleeves. I dislike my upper arms, and cap sleeves cut you off right at the thickest part of your arm. Why emphasize those bingo arms when a full short sleeve is so much more flattering?
  • Also nothing sleeveless. It's hard to find dresses with sleeves so I will buy those sleeveless dresses (if I really like them like this one I found last week that has an all over "neutral" pattern) knowing that the majority of the time I'll wear a blazer or cardigan over it. I would love to own this beautifully designed colorful dress, but I know I wouldn't want to cover it up with another boring cardigan so I just don't bother. There are only 3 sleeveless tops in my closet, and I always wear them layered. There's a reason summer is my least favorite season.
  • Nothing too drapey/swingey/loose. I suppose I'm hour-glass shaped, so anything that doesn't come in at my waist makes me look a good 30 pounds heavier. You know all those cool people who wear loose slightly slouchy tops and skinny jeans and look amazing and casual yet still polished and put together? That won't be me. I'll be there in my heavy duty bra and tank top to suck it all in and tight but not too tight shirt to make sure you didn't think I was actually a walking square. I don't just throw on a shirt and walk out the door. There's a process involved in harnessing it all. 
  • Longer tops only please. I'm 5'9'' and pretty equal parts legs and torso, so most tops are too short on me (the saving grace being pencil skirts and tucking everything in!)
  • No midriff. Not now, not ever.
  • Aways belted. Either at my waist if I'm wearing a dress so that I don't look like a giant rectangle, or on my pants so I can shame-tuck the hell out of my shirts (to emphasis earlier said waist). Oh yeah, and the leather needs to match my shoes...because I have issues apparently.
  • Dark on bottom: Dark denim, dark skirts, dark shorts. I occasionally break that rule with white denim, but I generally try to keep emphasis off of my hips. That weird area that sticks out the furthest needs to be as camouflaged as much as possibly please. 
  • Nothing too short. I'm a lady now (you get that title when you turn 26) and so therefore we don't do 2 inch inseam anything. Okay, really it's just that my thighs rub and therefore I need the fabric to prevent that. I would love to wear a cute romper, but it would look ridiculous on me. 
  • No skirts that don't hit right above the knee. That's probably a pretty common rule, but with midi skirts/dresses being popular, I have to remind myself that they hit at the widest part of my muscular calves, which is "unflattering". Hate that word yet? Me too. 
  • #hussyankles: If you've been reading this blog for 6+ months, you will have noticed that my ankles are almost always showing, even in the winter. I just like ankle pants! I think they are the most flattering on my legs, and I don't like my shoes to touch my pants. I don't even have a valid reason for that weird rule.
  • Feeling overdressed. I have this fear of feeling overdressed. It's hard to articulate really what I mean, but a lot of it is situational. I live in a small city where I spend the majority of my time in study clothes or in business casual clothing while at school. Nothing calls for anything too fancy or layered or stacked - it's about being practical and appropriate. So then sometimes when I could be a bit more "pulled together" I feel that I'm faking it. And so then I just default to plain. Why stand out when you can blend in?
  • Being too trendy. This may be a result of having a blog and reading a lot of blogs. I see the trends come and go, and generally don't really participate. Sneaker wedges, high-low hemlines, overalls - nope, no thank you, not since I was 4. Not practical for my life, and not something that I would feel comfortable in. I of course love some of them - statement necklaces always work, and I'm so tempted to get these Birks (because they just look so damn comfortable, and I'm German so it's allowed), but in general I don't want you to look at a picture of me in a year and be able to pinpoint what month it was taken in based on what is trendy that moment. 

Are you exhausted? Because I am.

On the one hand, it's very helpful to know what looks good on my body and what doesn't. I don't waste time trying on crop tops because I will never ever spend my money on one. Shopping time and shipping costs are kept to a minimum because I only try on things that fit within these rules. I only buy something if I know it looks good on me, is something I can wear multiple ways, and fits my general aesthetic and closet. I buy for my current lifestyle but also try to keep in mind that starting next year I'll be working with patients on a daily basis. I have a closet of clothes that I actually wear, time and time again, and that generally can be mix and matched.

But on the other hand, I'm certain I just wrote a pretty good case for body dysmorphia.

Showing ankles is the most flattering? Mmmmmmkay.

Knowing what works and what doesn't is good, but it's so constricting. I just feel that all of these "flattering" items I own and continue to buy also make it all a bit boring. There's no excitement, no new things I'm trying and making work for me and my shape. Having rigid rules limits me from trying so many fun things happening in fashion. While I do think that sometimes being my size and shape limits me in the sense that I can't just make every item work on me, I really need to just take a step back and just...have fun with it. It's not going to kill me if I own one cute graphic tee - I'm sure I'll wear it enough to make it worth the purchase, and if it adds a bit of something special to my closet, even just for a year, why the hell not? I will be the first person to endorse making responsible shopping decisions, but something has got to give.

I tried to step outside my rules a tiny bit when I purchased this tee this weekend - it still follows some of the "rules" (v-neck, longer short sleeves) but is different from what I own - it's looser, more casual...even the tiniest bit slouchy. Maybe that's how you start to break out - breaking one rule at a time. No need to jump in head-first, just get a toe wet.

Please tell me I'm not alone here. Do you have any rules you are refusing to break? How do you stay true to yourself but still branch out? Have you previously said you wouldn't ever wear something but now it's a staple in your closet?

Friday, July 18, 2014

staple on sale: nordstrom anniversary edition

I grew up in a state that doesn't have a Nordstrom, so the concept of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale was completely foreign to me until last summer when Bri explained the magic behind this time of the year - getting the upcoming season's newest pieces for end of the season prices. You know I'm all about getting a great deal on closet staple pieces, so there's no better time than now to buy a few key pieces for the fall (even though it's probably still 90+ degrees where you are!).

Below are a few of my favorite, budget friendly (most under $100...even though I wish I could justify this beauty) items that would get wear for many seasons to come. Three work/school appropriate tops in neutral colors that would go with everything, and a comfy cardigan for the weekends (or long study nights!). A few pairs of designer jeans for almost half of the price (I bought a pair of the Hudson skinny jeans last week and am in love - they are incredibly soft!). And while winter snow storms are (hopefully) another 4 months away, these beautiful coats make me want to bundle up early (especially that Olivia Pope look-alike!).

I'm in NYC for the weekend so I'm hoping to stop by at Nordstrom to try on a few things in person. I definitely see this cute top (worn tucked into skirts or casually with jeans) and this cognac bag (something I've looked for for months now) coming back with me on the train. I hope I can find this menswear-inspired jacket too (I hope the arms are long enough, it's something I always struggle with).
one | two | three | four

one | two | three | four
 one | two | three | four | five

one | two | three | four (love love love) | five
(P.S. Big thanks to Sarah Christine for helping me figure out links for this post!)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

best internet friends

Lindsay, Bri, and Katrina
Last year when I went to Seattle, one of my most favorite memories was going to dinner with some of the bloggers I admire most. Bri, Lindsay, Katrina, and Kimmie were all so welcoming and fun and energetic - I was so bummed that they all got to live together in Seattle while I was moving even further away! Bri made sure to organize another get together this year, this time with the very patient men in our lives in attendance as well. The boys spent time bonding over making fun of blogging and taking pictures of us, while the girls discussed blogging, shoes, careers, and med school. These girls all lead such interesting lives, and it was just so inspiring to hear about their jobs and lives. I am even more jealous now that they all get to hang out and do blogger events and go eat pie whenever their hearts' desire. It's that much more of a push to move here in three years ;)

So what does one wear when meeting up with a bunch of girls who blog about clothes? I received this stunner of a necklace a few weeks ago for the upcoming BaubleBar x Nordstrom collaboration, so I decided that there was no better time to debut it than a dinner with girls who really appreciate jewelry! When you first look at it, you may wonder how exactly to wear this giant necklace...and I'm here to tell you to wear it with everything - as a finishing piece for a striped dress, stacked with another jeweled necklace, or as the center piece with a simple jeans and blazer outfit. I love that blogging not only brings amazing women into my life, but it also sometimes makes me step outside of my comfort zone to discover pieces that will become staples in my closet. If this necklace is slightly too large for you, this smaller (slightly more discrete version) would be a good way to obtain a similar look!

my outfit:
Dress: Target [similar]
Necklace: c/o BaubleBar [exact]
Shoes: Banana Republic [exact]
Belt: Gap [exact on sale - finally a gold-clasped one!]

Lindsay's outfit here, Bri's here (2 people stopped her on the streets that day to ask her about her outfit), and Katrina's here. Thank you again for a wonderful evening ladies (and thank you to Lindsay for bringing along a real camera and letting us steal her photos!)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

rose city

DSC01356 On Sunday morning we hopped down to Portland. I had checked the weather the night before, and it said it was going to be in the mid 90s, so I happily put on my new (sleeveless) dress, didn't even think about packing a cardigan (because 90 degrees, hello), and jumped on the bus. 12 minutes into being in Portland...and it started to pour. Yeah, that 20% chance of rain was actually 100%, and those 90 degrees were actually 65. Luckily someone was smarter than me and brought his rain coat, and was kind enough (he forced me) to wear it. 

Despite the weather, we had a great time in the city! We did some of the touristy things, and ate at a bunch of great places (brunch at Huckleberries, ice cream at Salt & Straw, dinner at Deschutes Brewery, breakfast at Blue Star Donuts, and lunch at Oven & Shaker). Thank you to everyone for your recommendations - they were excellent :) All of you native Portlanders have such a beautiful city. 
Dress: J.Crew [exact, still on sale with code HOTOUT]
Belt: Everlane [exact]
Shoes: Target [similar]
Watch: Michael Kors [exact]

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Another day in Seattle means another day of playing tourist/tour guide! Bri let us use her car on Friday, so after a beautiful walk around Green Lake, we headed down to Ballard to grab some nachos + margaritas for lunch from the Matador, and then to Fremont to visit the troll who lives under the bridge (turns out he's a big softy). We ended up spending another hour walking around the area - it's adorable, and maybe my favorite part of the city so far. For dinner we had a sushi picnic down around Green Lake again - there were sooooooo many adorable babies around. It was mentioned that it was like watching real life America's Funniest Home Videos, with all the kids falling face forward into the wading pool and toddlers chasing squirrels, and it was so true!

On Saturday we headed up (down? over?) to go on a little hike to Snoqualmie Falls. Bri and I seem to match where ever we go - this time in our favorite Everlane tees. After the "strenious" hike, we treated ourselves to the most expensive pizzas ever, but they were worth every cent as they were so so good.

On the way back into the city we stopped at U Village because I've wanted to get to a Madewell all summer. I was hoping and praying that this crossbody bag would magically be on sale as it would be the best bag ever, but it was unfortunately still full price. My luck turned though when we popped into J.Crew as they were still having their 50% off sale items sale in stores. I have wanted this dress since the day it was released, but with the hefty price tag, I have held off for a good four months. I found the last one on the sales rack, in my size. With the 50% off sale plus my student discount, I got it for one third of the original price! I'm excited to wear it now during the summer for our last couple of trips, and then a bit more covered up during the school year. There are a few sizes left online, and with the current 40% off deal (that ends tonight), you can get it for a steal too! If the pattern is too busy for you, I think this subdued striped one would be a great addition to any closet (plus it comes in petites and talls).
Tee: Boden [exact on sale]
Shorts: Gap [similar on sale]
Necklace: Forever 21 [exact]
Purse: Coach [current version]
Watch: Michael Kors [very similar save | exact]
Shoes: Target [similar version now on sale]
Nails: Essie [exact]
We are headed down to Portland today - thank you so much for all of your awesome recommendations! We can't wait to fit in as many as possible into our quick 24 hour stay there - as many donuts as possible will be instagrammed ;)

Friday, July 11, 2014


DSC01235 Greetings from Seattle! We got here Tuesday and have been all over the place. Buying fresh fruit and flowers at the market, visiting EMP, experiencing all sorts of public transportation, kayaking on Lake Union, having dinner with a few of my favorite bloggers (more on that later), and just really enjoying our trip out to the west coast. I loved my trip here last summer, and this trip has been just as wonderful. I feel like I can kind of figure out the city better, and sometimes it's fun just to play tour guide a little bit!

During our adventures downtown, I of course managed to sneak in a tiny bit of shopping. I found these amazing super soft jeans at Nordstrom Rack that I was willing to pay the $90 price tag for (I buy jeans like once a year and they last me forever) so I was of course super excited when they rang up for 1/6 of the price they go for at Nordstrom! Seattle is just my jean-shopping location apparently

Bri has been such an amazing host, I really couldn't ask for a better friend. I'm excited every day when she gets done with work so we can go explore together. Yesterday we took advantage of going to the Nordstrom Anniversary Early Access Sale, and even though neither of us really found anything, it was just exciting to see all the pretty pieces coming out this fall. I was so tempted to buy these earrings (going for almost half of what they usually sell for) as I have wanted them for years, but I just always have to remind myself that I'm allergic to most metals. We then went to J.Crew because they were having a 1 day 50% off sale items sale (it is currently still 40% off though!). I fell in love with these olive pants, but they only had regular sizes in stores, and online they were almost 3 times as expensive! I also tried on this ruffley dress which Bri quickly vetoed, and a striped dress which was cute but sat too low on my waist. So in the end I walked away with nothing (I know, no one was more surprised than me, not even my boyfriend), but I loved having that shopping time with Bri in real life. 

We are going to Portland this weekend for a quick 1.5 day trip, so I would love to hear any recommendations you have. I've heard voodoo donuts is a must!

DSC01258 Sweater: Banana Republic Factory
Shorts: Old Navy [exact]
Sunglasses: knock-offs via Amazon [exact]
Bag: Coach via Etsy [current version]
Watch: Michael Kors [exact]
Ring: BaubleBar [exact]
Shoes: Target [similar now on sale!]