My Closet – 2 years later

Two years ago I left LA and moved to South Dakota.  Why here and now?  I’ve always loved it, and I had the chance – so I took it!  I moved into an apartment with no closets at all, so naturally, the only option was to turn one of the small bedrooms (an apartment with more than one bedroom? Yes, it’s like living in paradise!)  into a dressing room.  I don’t know if I can ever go back.

I stopped blogging, somehow fashion just didn’t seem very relevant.  I didn’t feel the need to carve out my place in the world; I was a much bigger fish in a much smaller pond. And the shopping.  We have some very nice shopping – it’s not as if I moved to the ends of the earth.  But the need to shop significantly decreased!   People here shop at Walmart (*GASP*) and it doesn’t seem awful (impossible!).  They dress simply, and there isn’t the constant competition to keep up.  I realized I have enough clothes to last me the rest of my life.  That’s a good feeling!

My wardrobe has changed, but also retained a lot of the key pieces I loved.  It’s been interesting to see what has stood the test of time.  Here’s a few:

My army boots (originally seen here) and here with the red dress.  Are still a staple in my closet.  I had the zipper replaced – from a plastic to a metal and I’ve had them resoled three times.  They look worn in, but still nice.  Sometimes you just can’t say goodbye!

Nothing says Wild West like denim, it’s pretty much the only thing people wear.  So my denim pencil skirt and my denim pleated skirt are still in heavy rotation (and my mom still hates both!)  I’m on the third version of the classic chambray shirt (this year’s is from Old Navy.)

What hasn’t lasted?  I got rid a lot of my jewelry, I don’t wear armfuls of bangles, and it’s a fancy day if I add a necklace to something.  While I still love bright sparkly things I let a lot of the sequins age out of my closet and I finally have given up bright-colored tights. (See this post for both.) Bright tights just seem a little too juvenile, or perhaps it’s just here.  It’s true that it’s important to be an individual, but it’s also important not to look like a kook.  So you take the status quo and you amp it up just a touch; you kick it in the pants, but hopefully not across the street.  Colored tights are a kick down to the next town here.  And maybe they look a little childish for someone who’s 31.  Yes… 31.  How did that happen?!

I tried to go through and really be objective about the clothes I needed for my new life here.  I don’t go out, I don’t dress up often (besides church – and even then I’m far and away the most dressed up person there) and I have a job working from home.  So my wardrobe has become even more casual than it was in Los Angeles (if that’s possible).  I still like to dress nice, and look like I put effort into my clothes, but the requirements are different.

So why am I back?  Well, I do have enough clothes to last me the rest of my life (replacing things as they get worn out aside) but I don’t want to slip into the rut of doing the same old thing, or just dressing like everyone else.  My style needs a kick in the pants.  So I’m back.  I’ve missed you old Closet, we need to fill you back up with happiness!

Winter Brights

If my shoulders seem hunched it’s because I’m standing in an alley that feels like a wind tunnel with pre wind temperatures of 9F.  Yikes.  Two days ago it was 55F.  What’s with this winter?  I don’t mind winter, but I do dislike wind!  In seasons like this where everything seems like it’s had the color sucked right out of it, it’s good to dress with a little of it!

My mom decided to get me lots of winter gear since I’d be moving back to the states with winter.  Gloves, winter boots, this down jacket.  There were all great gifts.  I was wearing the gloves except for this picture because I wanted to show off my fingernails.  I used the Sally Hansen nail polish stickers in a hot pink that turned out even more neon once I applied it.  Mom says it looks like electrical tape.  hahahaha…. very funny.  Well I like it!  These take longer to apply than you’d think, but they do stay on better than regular nail polish for me.  I didn’t get them to last the ten days that the package promises, but if it lasts for longer than three I’m happy.

Green Down Jacket: MontBell, gift, ’11

White shirt: Express, ’10

Necklace: Express, gift, ’09

Jeans: 7 Brand, ’11

Black Booties: JC Penny, ’09

Purse: Nordstrom Rack, ’11

The City Life: Denim Mini, Hot Pink Tights & Sequins!

Moving was so busy and stressful that I kept taking outfit pictures but never took the time to sit down and post them.  This is one of those outfits.

day sequins with bright tightsGray jersey blazer: H&M, ’11

Black sequin tank: Express, gift ’10

Denim mini skirt: H&M, ’03

Pink Tights: Target

Shoes: Nordstroms, ‘??

Black leather and stud purse: Nordstrom Rack, ’10

Bangles: H&M

What could be better bright colors and sequins?  I love these sequins because they’re oh so matte.

When I was moving I was going through clothes and decided that I should probably say goodbye to my days of denim mini skirts.  I got rid of two.  Looking at this picture I think, wowee that’s a lot of leg.  But part of me misses those two skirts.  I also got rid of this black tank top, because I had another in navy blue.  Do I regret that too?  Well on the plus side I gave all three things to friends who I know will appreciate them.  So at least they can have happy lives of wear!  I got almost 8 years out of this skirt, I think that’s pretty happy!

Comfy Cold Weather Outfit

comfortable outfit with dansko clogs

Denim Shirt: H&M, ’09

Metallic Gray Tanktop: Express, ’09

Leggings: Express

Black Knit Skirt: F21, ’10

Wool Socks: Smart Wool

Black Clogs: Dansko, ’11

I got these shoes a few months ago.  But between moving and packing and then the Holidays I’ve been way off schedule not only with drawing but also posting.  Now I don’t have my computer or my old friend Photoshop so no drawings until I get that figured out again.

how to wear a knit mini skirt

I know that these shoes are fabulously clunky and have the real possibility of being frumpy old lady shoes, but I love them.  They’re usually industrial food service or nursing wear, which is why I got them in the first place, since my job in California involved lots of standing and walking.  They are comfortable and the slip on and off nature makes them great “run to the store shoes.”  Not only that but they somehow feel European, and now that I’m in the frozen North aka Minnesota (home to many northern European immigrants) it feels kind of cutely cliche to wear clogs with wool socks.

In the cold winter months I wrap my hair up a lot.  Going out with wet hair into the cold is awful and it’s faster to wrap it into a bun than spend the time diffusing it dry.


Ice Skating Outfit

ice skating outfit

Spending some time at home in Minnesota over the holidays.  We haven’t had much snow, and if we did get any it would melt in a warm spell.  But no snow and really cold weather means perfect ice!  This is a surprisingly tricky combination to achieve, so I was really excited when I got home and the ice was beautiful and four inches thick.  My mom and I spent two days ice skating before the weather warmed back up and it got mushy.  Falling into ice-water isn’t my idea of a good time so we didn’t risk skating.  Now it’s snowed and melted and refrozen so the ice would be awful.  But it’s supposed to warm back up to 43F this week so I’m hoping before too long we might have skatable ice again.  This is the same lake and courthouse that you can see in these pictures when I was here last summer.

I wore this outfit to church and when we got back I just didn’t feel like changing before our evening events so I just added some leggings and warm socks and felt charmingly girly.  Who says you must wear spandex to exercise?  I’m sure the ice fisherman in their camo coveralls and snow boots (the only other people that utilize the ice) were mystified in their little fishing huts.  Let ’em laugh!

Ballerina Metallic Skirt: F21, ’10

Cardigan with Jewel Buttons: Express, ’10

Leggings: Express, ’10 (I love their leggings!)

Socks: Smart Wool

Bell Sleeve Wool Coat: Zara, ’09

Skates: Dunhams, ’11

We took these pictures with my phone, so I apologize for their low quality.

More Ice Skating outfit inspiration from ASOS.

Blast From the Past: 1940’s

Oh my, life has been hectic.  I’ve left my home in LA for I’m not sure where yet.  But in the meantime I’m enjoying Christmas with my family in the frozen midwest.  It’s really lovely!

It’s sad how when you get out of the habit of blogging it becomes harder to remember to sit down and do it.  And because I haven’t taken any photos recently (primarily because I’m living in lounge clothes and jeans) I’m including some pictures from my college days.  This is when my sister and I were in college together.  We had such good times.  If you have a sister then you know what I mean, and if you don’t have a sister hopefully you’ve had a best girl friend!

Can you see how short my hair was?  I’d never had short hair and I was determined to have it least once!  I emailed this picture to my sister and she hated it because “my face looks fat.”  I think we both didn’t really loose the baby fat in our face until we were both 20-21.

We are dressed up 1940’s style for school spirit week, where each day was a different decade.  We were both pretty pleased with the outcome here.  I’m sad that whoever took this picture cropped out the feet, because the shoes are always a nice part of the outfit.  My sister is wearing an old Marine jacket that we found at a Army/Navy surplus store.

Hope you are having a good holiday season!

A Visit From Mom (In Which We Visit Madewell)

My Mama came to visit me, we always have fun together, and it feels like as we both get older it gets less stressful.  We used to have some big traumatic blow out every time we got together before we could have fun.  Hopefully those days of mother-daughter contention are past us ’cause having fun is much nicer!  She says I make her feel short, but at 5’7″ she’s not what most people would consider short!

madewell purple twirly skirt

loft army green sweater jacketNavy tunic length t-shirt: H&M, ’11 (After wearing this shirt I loved how a tunic length stays tucked in!)

Wool striped army green sweater jacket: Loft, ’11, on sale!

Cherry preserve midi length skirt: Madewell, ’11, on sale!

Clogs: Via Spiga, via TJ Maxx, ’11

Necklace: H&M, ’11

Embossed brown purse: Gift from India, ’09

Watch: DKNY gifted, ’09

I wanted to show a picture of the skirt in action, but while this one is the best of the outfit, I have my eyes closed.  So disregard my face!  The skirt was so fun to wear.  I loved this color palette, it’s warm and autumnal (is that a word?)

I’d never been to Madewell before, except to look in the window.   I met a girl that works as a visual merchandiser in the store near me and when I was out the other day I decided to go check it out.   She happened to be working that day and we had a nice chat about our blogs and the difficulty of keeping up with them every day.

I found so many really cool things in wonderful colors so keep an eye out for them in future posts.  While a bit on the pricey side, the clothes seem well made (haha) and hopefully they will wear well and last for a long time.  I didn’t try on their jeans (one of their main staples) so I will have to go back and see how they fit me.

Here is a bonus.  (Sorry for these inside pictures that we took in a dressing room!)  But wearing the tunic length t-shirt also lends itself to switch hitting if you need an alternate outfit.  Day to night, done!  Granted this is still a pretty casual night look, but you could dress it up or down depending on the need.  I think I need more tunic length t-shirts in my wardrobe now!

A Place of Quiet Rest

I love how this shirt falls.  This outfit felt very 40’s.

Teal silk button down shirt: Madewell, ’11

Black pencil skirt with front placket detail: Express, ’10

Black oxfords: Nauturalizer, ’06

Black fishnet nylons: Target

I’ve recently decided the time has come for me to close the chapter of my life in LA.  I’m quitting my “glamorous” job and heading to the midwest.  I’m eye-ball deep in stuff to do.  I’ve been taking lots of outfit pictures but haven’t taken or had the time to sit down and assemble them into posts.


I went with some friends to see the painting of the crucifixion at Forest Lawn in Glendale.  It’s funny how leaving forces you to get around to doing all those things you wanted to but somehow never found time to do.  This painting is about the size of a billboard and shows the entire panorama right before the moment when Jesus is crucified.   It was awe inspiring that someone could spend 30 years painting by hand a painting this size.   The park like cemetery is so peaceful in the normally hectic city and it was wonderful to take a break from my hectic life and refocus and spend some time with good friends.


The Sleeveless Sweater Conundrum

miz mooz red boots

I really like this sweater but it’s just a tad tricky to wear.  I think maybe it’s supposed to be a sweater dress?  But since I’m tallish (5’9″) It fits me more like a long shirt.  It’s too short to wear it with tights and because it’s black it looks goofy with leggings in a different shade of black.

But most of all there’s the problem of it being sleeveless.  Being a sweater means you don’t want to wear it when it’s hot, but it’s sleeveless so when I think about wearing a sweater, I usually opt for the one with arms.  Thank goodness I remembered in time while the weather is still finicky and not really that cold.  I can brave it for a few minutes in the morning until my car warms up.  Cause I’m tough like that!

Black tunic length sweater with cowl neck, gifted: Express, ’10 (Similar style but with sleeves)

Skinny Jeans: Guess by Marciano (only fit because I had them tailored), ’10

Boots, gifted: Miz Mooz, ’10 (still available online in various heel heights, and colors)

New Boot Shopping

Looks like it’s time to start boot shopping.  And as per my other comment about being tired of the lace-up army boot, and the buckled riding boot, here’s my selection for more simple and classic flat boots.  I’ll be the first the admit that flat boots don’t really get my heart racing, in fact they’re a little boring, but you know, sometimes you need simple basics in a wardrobe.  You can’t eat a bowl full of salt, but it’s necessary to a good soup.  I’m sure that with the right outfit these would really sing.

I hesitate to spend this much money on boots, but I know that buying cheap boots that are either made inexpensively or not real leather won’t last nearly as long so I’ll just have to cough it up eventually, or else hunt until I find something on crazy sale.

The Steve Madden’s aren’t flat, but perhaps I can splurge with a low heel?  They would definitely have to be the “right” fit but I think these boots fit my qualifications.

Piperlime: Report – Elastic, $150

Piperlime: Michael Kors – Elastic with zipper, $198

Steve Madden: Meteour, $230

Zappos: Seychelles – Adventurer, $225

Zappos: Sofft – Elastic with zipper, $120

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