Monthly Archives: March 2014

Why I Can’t Have Nice Things…

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You know me and printed pants. I can never have too many pairs. This was yet another Zara steal, and a while back they had one of their massive sales where I was able to score one of the last pairs of these white and gray floral printed skinnies for $7. Yep, I’ve gotten really good at the “thrift-store-level-pricing” from my favorite non-thrift stores. There were very few reasons to turn these pants down in my opinion (haters, go ahead and hate, I love floral pants), but one of them that almost turned me away is the fact that they are white. A) most of us look like we have a couple pounds added onto us in white skinnies, it definitely emphasizes bloat, so I always have to wear these when I’ve been working out and eating right all week. And B) I am a professional spiller. Oh dear God, am I a spiller….

In fact, I put this outfit on (wearing them for the first time, mind you) to go meet a friend for lunch and coffee, and I even said to myself “Renee…you have to be really careful with your coffee today. You cannot excitedly flail your monkey arms while chatting and you have to get a little plug for your cup hole.” The fact that I mentally warned myself should have been enough, right? WRONG. Not even 5 sips into my damn triple latte did I set my cup down too hard in conversation and watched in slow motion as it all came bubbling out of that tiny hole on top and onto my white pants. It’s shocking just how much liquid can escape that little opening, and how forcefully it foams over onto everything. Not pictured, as I photographed this outfit before leaving the house (fortunately), is the giant brown coffee stain conveniently coating my mid-thigh area. Anyone who has ever worked with me in an office setting that supplies coffee knows this about me. I have never owned anything white that I haven’t managed to destroy within an hour of having it on my body.

This is why when I go on the hunt for new white skinny jeans, you don’t see me buying J Brand, or 7FAM, or Paige, or Hudson….all my white pants are like $30 and under for this very reason. This is just one of many examples as to why I can’t have nice things. No matter how careful I mentally prepare myself to be, the fact is I am a giant freaking klutz in every aspect imaginable. “Graceful” has never been a word used to describe me, and it looks like that’s not changing any time soon. In the meantime, thank God for Dawn blue dish soap, the ultimate stain remover. I literally never head to the laundry room without it.

 

Jeans: Zara (Similar, and super cheap incase you’re also a spiller!)
Heels: True Religion (similar, on sale!)
Sweater: H&M (similar)
Vest: H&M

Neon Nikes.

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I wouldn’t exactly call myself “athletic.” Any success I’ve had athletically throughout my youth (I was a swimmer) can be attributed to a tremendous amount of work. I go to the gym, work out at home, and eat very healthy. In fact, that’s the only part I love…eating healthy. Hell, I just love eating in general. Now I’m thinking about what I’m going to make for dinner tonight, and those damn dark chocolate-covered “Power berries” that always seem to sneak their way into my cart at Trader Joe’s….who put those there?! Crap. Sidetracked. 

But when it comes to working out I do really have to force myself to do it. Never in my life though, have I gotten any sort of workout “high.” These people who go for run because they’re pissed off and come back glowing of sweat and happiness baffle me. When I go running, I come back more annoyed than when I left! And if my Spotify cuts out at the gym because my phone loses service you can pretty much count my workout as over. No music, no workout. Ok, so I’m maybe not quite THAT bad. Let’s face it, if you drive anywhere in LA and fight a crowd, you’re gonna damn well finish what you came for at least.

Regardless, after a little lull in my fitness routine, I’m actually starting to dive into it again regularly, so we’ve been seeing a lot more of the infamous neon coral Nikes! Don’t be fooled, these are heavily used. I’m about due for some new ones, as this style is long gone by a good 2 years almost. But these suckers are hard to take off. It’s like heaven for your feet. While this is supposed to be a gym shoe, I can’t help but take a break from my usual footwear to toss these on for a busy or an active day. And hell, sometimes already having them on helps encourage me to get to the gym on the way home. ;)

I love the idea of incorporating a trendy workout shoe into an everyday outfit. The trick to this is you can’t just use any athletic shoe! Color matters, and the shoe needs to be the focal point of the outfit or else it’s just an everyday outfit with an awkward footwear choice. For this, I kept everything else neutral and offsetting, such as the olive green of my vest. The last color you’d expect to go with Neon coral, which is why I chose it, duh! And the neon coral bralette I’m wearing peeks out just enough from time to time to pull it all together.

 

Shoes: Nike Free Run 3 (the new version)
Skinnies: H&M
Tee: Zara
Vest: H&M
Bralette: Amazon (similar)
Beanie: H&M

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Makeshift Monday.

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I don’t know what my problem is, but sometimes it’s hard for me to get rid of stuff. I’ve definitely gotten much better over the years, and moving halfway across the country always helps, since it forces you to let go of things that absolutely will not fit in your car or tiny U-Haul. It’s actually a good thing. And I’ll admit, it feels really good to de-clutter, even in the closet area. However, if I’m not being forced to, it’s a challenge.

Lately, I’ve been trying to think of the best approach to start going through my closet for a downsize, I’m still hanging onto things I moved with that I still haven’t worn since before I moved. But I would say there are actually very few pieces in my wardrobe that I’ve had for over 5 years. I can probably count them on one hand. Recently, when going through some things, these boots were nearly making the pile to be donated or sold, but in my awesome thriftiness I asked myself, “What if I made these short?” Sometimes the easiest solution is to take something you already have, and look at it in a new way to make it work.

They are actually a taller, cuffed/ruched boot from Aldo about 6 or 7 years ago, so they’re a bit dated with how much my style has progressed and evolved. I personally am not a fan of ruched or scrunched boots that are taller, let alone somewhat fitted. It’s just not a style I love, though it was sort of the trend for a while. Now I think it looks a bit “young”. But what If I could find a way to make them into some rad, slouchy ankle boots? Yes? Maybe? After playing with them a bit, I realized I could fold them down inside themselves – think like one of those stupid light saber toys we had as kids, where it folds up into itself and when you whip it forward it pops out into your 8-year-old weapon of choice. Sort of like that, in reverse. This probably wouldn’t work for every boot, but it worked with these, and I was able to make them into something I could work with for the time being. When I find a pair of gray ankle boots that I like the fit of, for a price I’m OK with, these will probably go, but until then, why not get creative and switch up the way you wear something?? Everyone loves a good upcycle! ;)

 

Boots: Aldo (tall, worn short, and SUPER old)
Tights: Target
Skirt: F21 (similar here and here)
Sweater: F21 (similar)
Scarf: Urban Outfitters
Bag: Warehouse (similar)

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Peacocking.

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When I was a kid, I was very close with my great-grandmother. She lived on farmland that was essentially crops-only for as far back as I can remember. By the time I was old enough to know what was up, all the animals were gone except for a coop of chickens and peacocks. Yes….peacocks. My great-grandmother had about half a dozen peacocks hanging out in this coop, bouncing around in the rafters, who by default were best friends with their pals the chickens. This totally fascinated me, because let’s be real, who has peacocks on their farm in Nebraska!?! Well regardless, my sister and I grew up playing on her farmland, exploring, running around getting stung be bees, chased by raccoons, playing with barn cats, and timidly checking out these peacocks from time to time. We had an abundance of beautiful peacock feathers at all times, which also got played with. That is, if by “played with” you mean swatting each other in the face or whipping each other with them (Fresh off the bird, those things are about 3-4 feet long at least!).

My love for peacocks still exists, although I don’t want to play with them, chase them, or own one at any point anymore. It took me a long time to figure out as a kid, IF YOU STOP RUSHING AT THEM the poor birds are actually quite nice and tame if used to being around people. They’re beautiful animals though, and I love when I find peacock pieces to incorporate into my wardrobe, like this necklace I found at a vintage store in Omaha many years ago. I haven’t busted it out in a while, and in honor of the weather cooling back down a touch this weekend, I thought I’d post this outfit from an equally cool day a while back that hasn’t made it to the blog yet. A soft skater skirt and simple sweater and scarf keep me warm, and the printed tights and peacock pendant add for a touch of visual interest.

Boots: London Rebel, via ASOS (similar here and here)
Tights: Nordstrom (similar from Target!)
Skirt: Urban Outfitters
Sweater: F21
Scarf: H&M (similar on Etsy!)
Necklace: Vintage, thrifted (similar)

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The Anti-Matching.

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I’m always a fan of color. Spring is just around the corner so I find myself gravitating toward it a little more lately. I’m a firm believer that in fashion you don’t need to match, you just need to compliment. This goes for prints, textures, and color itself. While I still plan on doing a full color-breakdown post soon (I know, I know, I’ve been talking about it for a while), but here is one of my more colorful first outfits of spring.

I love the look of an elegant long sleeve blouse with shorts, and although it was mid-70s, this outfit needed to be comfortable enough to handle a busy day on the go, as well as taking my work out with me, and good for a transition into evening when it cools down quite a bit. To put together this outfit, I started with the shorts. Then I went through the blouse section of my closet to find a color that would give a fun little contrast without being too far off the spectrum. My sleeved-blouse choices were a blush, black, white, taupe, coral, orange, hot pink, black floral, yellow floral, sky blue, multi-colored floral, or this yellow pin dot number. For me, white was too easy, black was too dark, and I knew I wanted a warmer color that wasn’t as shocking in it’s bright hue as the hot pink shorts. It came down to the yellow with green and blue floral, or this solid yellow with tiny pin dots. The deciding factor: what shoes? I needed to pick shoes that would handle all the busy aspects of my day with no fuss, then that would determine the top.

Sidenote: I’ve given up on steaming these shorts. I love them, but they are the devil. I also have them in red, and for some reason, that pair cooperates and looks flawlessly smooth at all times. I’ve been forced to embrace inevitable wrinkles when wearing these pink ones. WTF!! But I’m over it.

I’ve been loving little pops of leopard here and there lately, and its such a versatile print that, believe it or not, acts really well as a neutral. The warmer tones of classic leopard complimented the bright yellow and pink without matching at all, and offered a nice contrast to the lady-like print of the blouse. And there you have it. 3 key pieces that are completely different on the color/print spectrum that work nicely together! My only matching accent: my beloved MAC lipstick in “Impassioned.” Hello, spring!

Top: Target
Shorts: Akira Chicago (similar)
Flats: Cotton On (similar here and here)
Bag: Urban Expressions, via DSW (similar style)
Rings: Zara, Brandy Melville

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