Tag Archives: fashion

Building a Better WardrobeOctober 2, 2013

Clothing rack by Annaleena

I’m not great at receiving compliments, and if and when I’m applauded for my attire, I awkwardly make a comment about trying on several items before settling or, conversely, saying, “This old thing?” I should really be more confident, attributing my conciously-chosen wardrobe from years of actually paying attention to what I wear and how I shop. I used to collect magazine and catalog pages of favorite outfits, then file them in a binder stored in my closet. More recently I’ve been relying on my Pinterest board, “her style‘” for fashion advice. For special events, shopping trips, and lazy mornings, I log on to see what I’ve posted to help inform my decisions. I’ve often been able to assemble an outfit with what I already have, but never thought to put together without a visual reminder.

I’m also a pretty thrifty shopper and tend to stick to neutral-colored staples in my wardrobe. Not much room in my budget to buy latest fashion trends I can’t foresee wearing 3 days a week. However, by poring through pins, I’m able to admit that perhaps I could make a pair of bright colored pants work into my wardrobe, or perhaps invest more into a pair of shoes that will be a workhorse for my everyday attire. My cobalt blue pants did me well the last few seasons, my Clark’s desert boots were only ever replaced with cozy slippers during the cold weather, and Frye ballet flats are doing the work this spring and summer. I’ve even used it for hairstyle counseling, braving thick-cut bangs with curly hair for while. Overall, it’s given me confidence to invest in my style, and how to dress up and down pieces, adding value to each piece – how else would I be wearing a chiffon polka-dot skirt to the coffee shop one Sunday morning when I last wore it to a wedding?


I’ve been pinning on this board for over a year now and it’s interesting to see what I’m drawn to each season – what styles repeat themselves or how color palette changes. I think I could live in dolman tops, skinny pants, dresses, and cardigans (sort of “sexy grandma / grandpa”) and my style board will prove it.

So go pin and see for yourself. Your past-pinning self may reveal more than you think.

Note: I found this post floating in my draft folder from probably months ago! I’ve since started myself a “her maternity style” board to cope with this watermelon I seemed to have swallowed… 

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Open Letter to TOMSFebruary 2, 2012

Dear TOMS,

It was just yesterday that I was craving some Botas for the peekaboo winter we’re having here on the East Coast. And now you’re taunting me with Ballet Flats? C’mon. Didn’t you hear Puxatawney Phil saw his shadow? Spring isn’t supposed to show up for a while yet… but with January ending on 60 degrees, I should probably invest in a pair of each. Just in case.



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FIELD TRIP: Art Star Craft BazaarNovember 23, 2011

I hadn’t planned to get to Art Star Craft Bazaar this weekend. In fact, as most things do these days, it sort of snuck up on me. However, after fellow Philly creative Susan over at Fleurishing kept tweeting about such lovely things, I squeezed a little time out of my Sunday afternoon to get over there and experiment with my new camera. Yeah, I looked all sorts of official with a camera – too bad I was so busy chatting that I didn’t notice my focus was way off.

It was the end of the weekend for the slew of talented crafters when I arrived – hour 14.5 of 16, to be exact. They were tired but still quite friendly, eager and willing to share stories of their process and love of their particular talent. Let’s meet a few, shall we?
Skylark Studio – I had seen Karen’s work before but it was lovely to see and touch it in person. She explained to me her continuous development of designs that have outlasted the indie scene’s anticipated expiration date, such as the birds and antlers that still seem to dominate sales. My favorite piece was a simple pendant with a new variation of her fish-scale design. Unfortunately, my camera skills were off to a rocky start and the photos didn’t quite turn out. No worries, though, as I was having a lovely time chatting with her! Quality time with an artist is worth a few blurry shots.
Kin Ship Press – They were featured etsy sellers this summer, where they share the inspirations and process. By the way, I need this mug to remind me to actually enjoy my coffee.

Gioconda Padovan – “Feel free to try!” came a pretty little voice, inviting me to use her custom-made stamps designed with her original drawings of buildings, people, and objects. A simple concept made popular in recent years by Yellow Owl Press – infinite possibilities for customers to create their own works of art. (Photo from GP site)
Meerwiibli – This coat stopped me dead in my tracks! I loved the color, the collar, the pattern, the pockets – everything. I watched as a waify little thing tried it on with her cool colored tight and rugged boots, then asked her if it was as warm and cozy as it looked. When she replied, “yes,” I knew I had to move on because I went any closer, it would have some home with me.

Brainstorm – They were working with a paying customer when I wandered up (I promised Tom I wouldn’t spend any money, but I surely took some notes for Santa). I love to see what this team dreams up, and am always happily impressed with the quality and rich color they accomplish with their prints.

Forage – Anything made by Shauna and Stephen is infused with their sense of humor, romance, and impeccable craft – Forage is no different. This was my first encounter with the bowties, and, as expected, could have scooped up a few if only I had the kind of gent who’d brave the bowtie. I’ve decided to hone in on my husband’s cousin who is getting married this spring… Matt, there’s a handsome green gingham with your name on it! And the wedding party would look dashing, dear boy! Let’s pair it with some Whitney Deal dresses for some homespun matrimony. (Photo from SHiH – mine were quite awful.)

Gilbert & Leona – Another item on the Christmas list – the bucket bag. Made of recycled and/or post-manufactured leather, it would have been a total step up from my days with the diaper bag. I’m just about done those and am in the market for a new one. Not too heavy, wonderful color, and I’m sure it would patina quite nicely…

Diamond Tooth Taxidermy – The feathery headpieces here were so elegant and pretty, I almost wished I had some fancy place to go wear it. But fancy means finding a babysitter, shaving my legs, and staying up past my bedtime… how about I just wear it around the house with a cocktail?
Concrete Polish Studio – I’m normally attracted to simple jewelry with little to no detail, but these chunky, sparkly rings drew me right into the booth. Perhaps I need to shake things up, and go straight to the double finger quartz knuckle duster? Yup, I think so. (Photo: CPS)
Farmhaus – This was the first public debut of their works at the craft fair. I was getting pretty handsy with all the cutting boards – great qualilty and a simple, modern design with crisp edges and a convenient hole at the corner for hanging. But my favorite piece was a (sold) hunk o’ wood, sanded and waxed up, on a trio of big red castors. If Lucy has been there, she’d be riding that around the place fo’ sho’.


Penelope Rakov – I had two questions for this vendor: How do you make that? and Do you like your name? The latter had more to do with taking advantage of meeting my first Penelope, a name I can’t seem to explain nor question why I like – I just do. More importantly, do you see those earrings? I had to ask how she does it – was it clay and resin, I asked? No, no – glass! In her Philadelphia studio, she plays with stupid hot glass, stretching and combining colors and patterns to create really stunning pieces. The resulting jewelry has depth and personality breathed into each piece.
Diane Koss – Cutesy But Not Too Cutesy added some frickin’ awesome baby hoodies to make your little one an adorable monster. Also a good gifts for wee ones of friends and relatives who would never, ever admit that their kid IS a little monster.
Namoo – Where were these quilts when I was planning my nursery? Actually, that’s exactly what I said to owner / maker Insung Kim, before telling her that this just re-enforces why I need to have another kid ASAP (just kidding! Let me graduate first). Her color and textile pairings were neutral and fresh, and she was sweet as pie, telling me about her desire to incorporate with more organic and natural fabrics. All the better, Insung! All the better…

Lil Fishy – This booth just had the darnedest baby gear – because every tot needs a scarf with a penguin on it! Plus their tagline is “It’s important to be little.” Well stated.
Girls Can Tell – I’ve seen these neat diagrammatic linens and lunchbags around the webs, and I had just seen their ad for their new shop in Grid. So I stopped in, chuckling aloud at a few illustrations (magical unicorns and Chicago architecture, specifically). The tea towels were so soft I could have bought a stack right then and there… but put them on my Christmas list instead.
knitknit – The embroidered felt necklaces here are so elegant and charming. The soft autumn palette only compliments the woodsy animal folk Nguyen Le draws and embroiders free-hand. (Photo: KK)
Huldra Press – Marianne was fresh out of business cards when I got to her at the end of the day – a sign she was in quite the demand this weekend! When I asked her about her work, she gushed to me about her craft, telling me her favorite creations often came from crisp metal letterpress on recycled kraft papers. Her mellow color schemes and simple forms made quite a palatable collection for the show.
Solidio – Wood buckles, frames, and jewelry all made from custom furniture scraps. Mitch was kind enough to tell me a little bit about the company and their commitment to reducing waste by using scraps for these finely crafted accessories (or to feed the wood stove and keep warm!). (Photo: Solidio)
Red Prairie Press – I only had time to quickly pass through the racks here and fell in love with the soft raglan Arrow sweatshirt, taking note of the size I’d need for Santa (medium). Then I moseyed on over to the site, where I read up a little on Rachel Bone, who creates it all herself in her house. Crazy, right? I also found this awesome Eagle print pullover with a rad Lenape Indian folk art inspired design. I’d look pretty awesome in it. (Photo: RPP)
There were many more but these were a few favorites among the bunch. Glad I stopped by – lovely to meet everyone! Hopefully my photo class at Project Basho next weekend will get my skills up to par for next time.
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hard graft LifeSeptember 23, 2011

What’s a guy to do when he has too much stuff for pockets but doesn’t want a man purse? hard graft is bridging the gap for those too timid to embrace their inner metrosexual with their Square1 Holdall. It’s a bag, it’s a backpack, it’s perfect! And the Personal Pouch – an excellent means to carry your notebook, pens, and a snack while biking about town. Don’t have a bike? Carry a u-lock in your back pocket – people will get the picture. Both are available in a light DRIFTWOOD or dark CAMPFIRE hues.

Also new, the BACK2BACK Rucksack (below) in black, brown, or my favorite, grey. They perfectly describe it as a “multi-functional bag. 100% rucksack. 100% messenger bag. 100% briefcase.” So business or party, you are ready to go. Consider it the mullet of man bags… actually don’t. Mullets are bad.

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Darling DressesSeptember 14, 2011

I’ve been a fan of Darling Dexter for years now, traveling along with Whitney as she left her graphic design job in New York for photography classes at SCAD, then back up to NY for fashion when her photography passion uncovered a love for fashion design. Along the way she and her “hub” (so funny when she talks about Dustin) started up an amazing photography company. My “hub” and I are hoping we can one day commission the two for some family portraits. And maybe, through osmosis, catch some of their entrepreneurial amazingness.

Now she’s back down South and just covered a new line of wedding gear that is just what the industry needed – heartfelt, homemade, and fresh. While I’ve already had (ok, survived) my own wedding day (3 years yesterday!), I can’t wait to tell my engaged friends about her new line. Maybe I’ll get myself a purdy little dress for their big day. Or any day, really. These dresses can really work anywhere! So congrats, Whitney! You work hard and I’m proud of you.

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Donna WilsonAugust 12, 2011

I just love Donna Wilson. Her work is so playful, and the colors and patterns in her new collection are lovely. Click here to download her now catalogue, with everything from outerwear to stuffed animals to ceramics. I so want those gloves!

via Poppytalk

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Cotton and CurlsJuly 25, 2011

Just came across this site – how remarkable is this lady? Seriously! Lizzie is quite talented refashionista and has inspired me to finish up a pile of vintage and secondhand clothes I’ve picked up this summer. Check out her Granny Chic contest from last week – some truly amazing refashioning happening there.

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GratitudeJuly 14, 2011

Thanks, EmersonMade, for making me think I could pull off a caftan.

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Stella McCartney Spring/Summer 2011March 7, 2011

I wish I was as concerned about my wardrobe as I was about my daughter’s. After all, she will outgrow her clothes in one season whereas my clothes will last years. However, browsing kids’ fashion has me re-thinking color and staples for myself. Stella McCartney’s spring/summer line is full of rich color and classic shapes, from bold-printed tunics to sweet pastel blouses. Sitting here in my layers of grey, perhaps a bit of color will propel me into spring!

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Flour VintageFebruary 18, 2011

Flour Clothing is serving up some great kids and adult vintage clothing. I have to admit that I love dressing my kid up all adorable-like, and don’t mind wearing my own rags. (No one pays attention to the parents and a cute kid, anyway.)

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