Wardrobe Architect: Weeks 10 & 11

I feel like the further I get into Wardrobe Architect, the more clothes I find myself pulling out of my closet to get rid of (maybe I’ll get around to photographing them and getting them up on Threadflip this weekend). Even though I like to think I maintain a minimalist closet, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I have some magpie tendencies that drag my eye and my wallet towards details and silhouettes that are beautiful but just not me for one reason or another. Amongst the things I’ve pulled out of the closet, there is lace (totally not me), dirndl skirts (so not flattering), and other experimental pieces either in shape, hemline, or color that I could just never get to work. I definitely won’t miss their absence in my closet.

For week 10, we revisited the palettes we made in week 6. I kind of already did this in the week 9 exercise, where I decided to focus my spring and summer wardrobes with crisp white, black, heather grays, navy, and red. It occurred to me that the palette is a bit nautical, but I don’t intend to go out in lots of stripes and bateau tops. I’m going for a more active, comfortable mom look than a preppy yacht club one. I plan on sticking with this and maybe adding lighter shades of blue to the mix. So this week, we’re talking about what clothes we want to make or buy based off the silhouettes and color palettes of the preceding weeks.

For the most part, I created my capsule collection based off things I already have in my wardrobe. I’d love to make myself a new skirt and some tops, but given that my size is a still a variable, I don’t really want to spend the time or materials on making things that won’t fit in a few months. I have bought a vintage denim wrap skirt (adjustable waist is key!), and I’ll likely one or both of the shirts pictured above. I’m also on the prowl for dark brown leather sandals (Any suggestions? I haven’t found any that have really wow-ed me yet). I’m really loving these eyelet dresses from Madewell and Boden, but I’m not sure about those dirndl skirts, or the expense, or the size…hoping for a big end of season sale on one of them.

Lately

Since the end of February when DB had to go on an exercise for a few weeks, things have been a complete and utter whirlwind. It’s been a constant slog of both of us working, a revolving door of parents coming in to help, working out, and doing our best to spend as much time hanging out with the kids at the cost of leaving the house in a pretty messy state. I hear this is normal for parents of young children, but that doesn’t always make me feel better about the piles of laundry in our bathroom and all the bread and cereal crumbs around the house. What I really miss right now is having time for creative pursuits. My sewing machine is buried under stuff. A sweater I started in January hasn’t been touched in 6 weeks. I did manage to eco out about 15 minutes to play guitar on Sunday, and I really enjoyed that. Luckily, we’re headed towards a break from all this in the next couple weeks. Time to get some serious spring cleaning done, but more importantly, get outside and enjoy these warmer but not oppressively hot days.

These photos were all taken with my iPhone and most had a little help from VSCOcam (favorite app!)

Bro time #vscocam

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Sunday morning Bear #latergram #vscocam

New kicks #madewell #datenight #vscocam

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bro time // i cobbled this outfit together to go to a work fundraiser // do you like my hat?// a window in Georgetown // sweet face for mom mom // along the Potomac // dress blues day at work // dimples! // sunday morning // we went on a date. i wore new shoes // a rare moment of calm

Friday Favorites

Cruising along the Potomac. #vscocam
Another whirlwind couple of weeks has just FLOWN by. We’re taking a break starting this month, regrouping as a family, taking a little road trip, and generally just doing our best to go outside and enjoy the weather before the oppressive humidity and crazy bugs start showing up. Oh spring, you are such a brief but lovely window. Hope you’re warming up and getting some much needed air wherever this weekend finds you.

This article is exactly why I’m not concerned about how long it will take to lose weight, but instead focused on adopting and keeping healthy habits for me and my family.

Rashida Jones has natural beauty down pat.

I want to visit Victoria Smith’s San Francisco.

Also, Paris!

Made a version of this pizza a couple days ago…perfection!

How utterly gorgeous are these embroidered portraits?

I haven’t had much opportunity to knit recently, but obviously I should. This is your brain on knitting.

Tintypes on found cans. So beautiful.

Mint and red is always a favorite.

Have a great weekend!

xo, S.

 

 

Wardrobe Architect: Week 9

This week the gals are all talking about creating capsule collection. For me, this translates to the foundation pieces that create the building blocks for the rest of my wardrobe. If you’ve been following along, you’ll know at this point that I love my basics. I like to keep my wardrobe concise and augment it with colorful accessories like scarves, jewelry, bags and shoes. When I worked in retail I was surrounded by clothes and I bought them all the time. I always had too much, and I always was wearing the same 3 skirts, 1 pair of jeans, and layered v-neck t shirts every day. Now that I’ve moved away from that life, and grown up a bit, I really see the value in investing in high quality, reliable basics. When it comes to things like jeans and t-shirts I strive to buy American made because you can really find great quality made by folks who are paid fairly and care about what they do. It’s easy to run to your big box retailer and buy 10 shirts for $5 a pop, but we all know they don’t last and if it only cost you $5, think about what it cost the person who made it…yikes. Ok, stepping down from the podium.

I really enjoyed this week’s exercise because it gave me some pause to think about what I want to buy and how I truly want my wardrobe and myself to look. My body is still going through a major transition, so I’m not likely to invest in too many pieces for at least another 5-6 months, but for now I think it’s important to dress the body I have, and still look and feel good about myself, even while going through this phase.

Truth be told, I hate summer (though, I’d like a break form the frigid cold!). We live in a terribly humid place and summer signals the return of flies in the house, ants in the kitchen, black widow spiders in the back yard, and that really special feeling of walking out of your house and getting smacked in the face with a really dirty sauna. Ugh. And since I’m a gal who likes to layer and is not a huge fan of shorts, this can be a challenging time for me. So, I kept things really easy. 3 silhouettes. Cropped leggings with loose and layered tanks, Slim fitting cropped jeans with a tomboy style plaid shirt and Vans, and a full skirt with a crisp white t-shirt and strappy sandals.

Summer

 

I also kept the color palette in with my favorite heather grey, black, and crisp white combo with red accents. I do so love red, but I can always trade it out for something else bold. I’d bring in color more with cotton scarves and a bold handbag.

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I mentioned a few weeks ago not being a fan of super loose or boxy clothes, but in this case I like things that will show my shape without feeling clingy. I also, tried to think about things I already have and like wearing for summer, like my lighter weight Vans, cropped leggings, and ribbed tanks. I’ll also be cycling through my old jeans as I fit into each smaller size. So now that just leaves me to buy some looser tanks (I really love this one), a short sleeve shirt, and a full denim skirt which I’m hoping to either find a nice vintage one or find some time to make one myself.

Spring

 

So there you have it, a nice little collection to build off of as the weather (hopefully) turns away from the polar vortex and (unfortunately) into the sweat vortex.

Walking Around: Satellite Beach, FL

Since my aunt departed so abruptly from our lives, mourning her has been a process that occurs in bits and pieces. Like early in the morning when the Cub is doing something quiet and I take a picture and then she’s not around to “like” it on Facebook. Tiny things, small moments, that I wish I could still share with her. When I was 12 she moved to Florida, a dream she had talked about as long as I could remember, finally realized. She lived in Satellite Beach on the space coast. A sleepy town that housed snow birds during the winter, but was also full of vibrant locals and lots of karaoke. Maybe not the most exciting place for me to visit, especially as I moved into my 20s, but still interesting and beautiful in its way. I always loved to take walks along the beach early in the mornings, or during the evenings, watching rockets take off from the Kennedy Space Center, and sitting by myself at dusk and watching the waves roll in and out. I was hoping I’d get to take one more stroll on the beach when I went down to say goodbye for the last time, but the weather was not cooperative. Instead, I managed to take in a few miles of the main road during sunset.

 
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Wardrobe Architect: Week 8

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Week 8 of Wardrobe Architect focuses on hair and makeup. Just like with my wardrobe, I like things to be streamlined and simple. Since I stay at home and have two babies, I know I could totally let my beauty routine fall to the wayside and no one would think less of me. However, I find that taking a little time to make myself feel good allows me to take better care of all the wild bears in this house.

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When I was back in Philly a couple weeks ago, I stopped by to see my hairdresser and get a bit of a trim. Basically, it was just getting the dead ends off and reestablishing some bangs (which are already growing out and being sideswept). Before I walked in there I was teetering between getting a big chop or just a little trim, and about a month later I’m still thinking  about it. Hair is a tough one for me. For work it helps to have it long so I can easily pull it back in a bun. With two tiny one and little time to shower or style, longer hair makes sense. See also, grabby hands. I like having short hair, but you can’t get away with leaving it messy. On the other hand, since there isn’t as much of it, it really doesn’t take too long to style. And then again, it’s a pain to deal with at the gym, always flopping around and what not. So for now, it’ll stay long and simple. I think what I don’t like is that it’s at an in-between length right now. Kind of just past my shoulder when it should either be up around my chin or or a few inches past my shoulders. Another issue: I’ve been going grey since I was 14, so the texture of my hair is changing. It’s still soft and fine, there’s still a lot of it, but it behaves differently so I’m still trying to figure it all out. Still, in spite of all this consternation I do like my hair. In fact, I love the color, I’m just still trying to find which style suits it and me best. Most days I just wash, fix my bangs, and go, but if I have more time I do have a routine. I recently got a fancy Drybar blowdryer and it came with the brush so I use those in with Bumble and Bumble’s Blow Dry and maybe a bit of volumizing mousse. Then I’ll run the curling or flat iron through the ends depending on what I’m going for (usually big), and a quick spray with Bumble and Bumble’s Dryspun Finish. Pretty simple. I would like to use more natural products and a find a good shampoo. My hair…a work in progress. (Side note: I love love love my Mason Pearson hairbrush. Expensive, but 100% worth the investment. I’ve had mine for years!)

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For makeup I like to keep things really simple and natural, and as you can see, I love everything by Tarte. Since I’m in a big wear glasses everyday phase it’s important to me to have a bit of under eye concealer and mascara on my upper lashes. I also like a bold lip, which is a new thing that I’ve been pleasantly surprised by. I hate having a lot of bathroom clutter so keeping my makeup simple is key. I always make sure to stay on top of expiration periods, and replace everything once or twice a year to avoid bacteria. While I don’t wear a lot of perfume right now, my favorite scents are Stella McCartney and Diptyque L’ombre Dans Leau.

I’ve updated my Pinterest board with some natural makeup looks, as well as tips for wearing makeup with glasses that I’ve found helpful along the way.

Wardrobe Architect: Week 7

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Week 7 of Wardrobe Architect focuses on prints. You can probably guess that of all prints, plaid is my favorite. Most of the shirts and a couple of skirts and dresses in my closet are plaid. In the past I’ve even had plaid shoes. Why such a love affair? I’m not sure. Perhaps it’s a holdover from my mid-nineties grunge days, or summers of Girl Scout camp. I like plaids because they tend to combine the colors that comprise the foundation of my wardrobe (like greys and navies), with colors that I like to wear but not go overboard on (like mint and red). The neutrals tempers the bolder colors and provide a lot of visual interest with the pattern.  I also like how versatile plaids can be, rich, cozy, and wooly for winter, as well as light and breezy for spring and summer. I just can’t get enough plaid, period.

When it comes to prints that I wear, I go for the geometric and stay away from abstracts, florals, and whimsy. Interspersed with the plaid shirts you’ll find some polka dots, pinstripes, and a some herringbone tweed. If you open my t-shirt drawer it’s stripes on stripes. But then you go check out my craft closet and realize that what I’m wearing, isn’t necessarily what I’m buying. I have quite a few prints lingering in there that I bought with the intention of making shirts or skirts out of, only to get them home and realize they’re mostly a little too whimsical for me. I’m definitely going to be more mindful with my fabric purchases this year, just like I have become with my yarn stash. For a while I kept buying pink yarn, even though I hardly ever wear pink (it’s not really my color).

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I’ve updated my Wardrobe Architect board over on Pinterest with some of my favorite prints. In the process I fell down the rabbit hole over on Spoonflower. So many great stripes! I’m really inspired to start making my wardrobe as I get my body back into shape. How do you feel about prints? Are you plaid and stripe crazy like me, or maybe a little more floral and fanciful?

Hope you had a great weekend.

xo, S.