Don't worry, there won't be flannel, or rather, there won't be much flannel.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Beatle Boots, Loafers, and Oxfords

Shoes that I always viewed as old or old ladyish, I am digging the new takes on them right now. Oxfords, loafers, and Beatle boots (I will explain this one in a bit).

Oxfords are my favorite and I can't wait to get a pair.

These two are really cute and courtesy of They are classic looking and probably go with about anything.  Easy to pair them with work outfits, especially if that outfit is boring like mine, which is just a basic collared shirt and black or tan dress pants. A shoe like the first one would be great to up the fashion quotient on the work outfit. The heeled version of the oxford would be cute with a summery skirt. The heel would work better to make your legs look longer, too. Because the top of this shoe is longer, it covers more of the top of your foot so it can make your legs look shorter, especially if your legs are shorter. And of course, they would look great with any sort of jean.

The loafer:

The first loafer is a pretty classic take. It does look like the ones that my grandma has worn. The second one does have a little more of a modern take on it. These you don't just have you wear to work or church. Wear them with whatever they look good with, if thats a pair of work pants or a cute flirty skirt. 

Lastly the Beatle boot. The Beatle boot is named after the boots that the Beatles wore. They are making a come back among the big designers. 

This a more biker take on the look. The narrowness of the toe is what makes me associate these to Beatle boots. Usually they don't have laces, but I thought these looked really cute. They would easily be worn with skinny jeans, shorts and socks, or a skirt and opaque tights (which would be my favorite look). If you want more of a true Beatle look, just google it and quite a few pop up on ebay, even vintage ones.

All the shoes in this post are from They have a great collection of shoes, unfortunately, they don't seem to keep everything, all sizes, in stock. They must sell out quickly and not replenish quickly enough. Plus the shoes aren't that expensive.

Happy trails U.P. girls.

A Summer Outfit Idea

It's summertime and the heat settles and the dust rises and the days become more lazy. Roll down the windows, find a breeze, loll in the heat while its here. 

This is my favorite summertime look, so far, and I want to share it with you.

First don a pair of shorts, the rougher the better. Cutoffs, holes, preferably a longer cut, not super short, but not the length of bermuda shorts. The shorts should be longer than the top you are wearing. They are a lot easier to find now, than years past. American Eagle has a few cute shorts that are that right length. They call them "midi shorts." 
Next add a flowy top, which are everywhere. Give these a chance too. I avoided them because I always felt like they would make me look heavier or pregnant and not at all the skinny bitch that I am. But seriously since I have bought a couple, I love them. Stick to a fabric that is thinner, one that easily drapes. Drape-iness will still glide over your curves but not cling uncomfortably to whatever you don't want hanging out. Plus, if you still aren't comfortable, you can always belt these tops, unless they are empire waisted, then it looks weird.
Add some accessories and you are set for the day. It's cute, it's chic, and its as easy going as a U.P. summer.

However, if you are like me, and freeze any time I go near air conditioning, then a light cardigan is key to staying warm indoors. I just bought a cute one at Target. It's a boyfriend fit, so it's looser, and the sleeves are rolled and go to my elbow. This can just hang loose over your tank and shorts or buttoned or belted (yes, I love the belt. A belt is always a good choice).

For later that night if you do desire to dress up a bit for the trip to the movies or cruising down whatever main street your town has, ditch the cardigan and add a blazer. I love the blazer that I own. I bought it awhile ago from American Eagle and, surprise, it's more of a boyfriend fit. It's not fitted, the sleeves are rolled and shorter, but it is still sexy, especially when paired with a lower cut, feminine top underneath. Blazers are pretty easy to find right now, but find the fit that works perfectly for you. Whether that is fitted, or boyfriend fit or whatever else is out there. The shoulders should not look like something out of the 80's. I still do not understand shoulder pads. A blazer should have more of a defined shoulder, but you shouldn't look like a linebacker ready to take out the other team's quarterback. If a blazer sounds too business-y for you, or after all my talk about boyfriend-fit, sounds like what your boyfriend would wear, you can femme it up a bit by adding a lace shirt underneath. So far I have not found a lace shirt that I like and thus can't recommend one to you, but I think it looks so cute, especially when paired with those dirty, roughed up shorts.

During the day I would usually wear flats, but for going out, dig out the heels. A chunky sandal, a simple black heel, something with a splash of color, or my favorite with this look, ankle booties. And maybe a pair of socks...

Of course, add whatever accessories you love. If the tank is lower cut, wear longer layered necklaces. If you choose a boyfriend fit anything, most likely you are showing off your wrists, so add a couple bracelets. Or you could skip the necklaces and wear some kind of statement earrings like those longer feathered concoctions that are appearing everywhere.

Have fun developing your favorite summer look. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

White Nail Polish

White nail polish is alot of fun. I just bought a bottle, again from Walgreens, Sinful Colors, 1.99 a bottle. The cheaper the better when you are not sure if the color will work or look good. I was delighted to find that white looks awesome on nails. Try it!

It is a little difficult to make it look neat since it is so bright looking. Apply it at the kitchen table or something and not in bed leaning over the night stand where one might keep accidentally smearing the polish by repeatedly bumping nails against the edge of the night stand.

Honestly, it really is a fun, summery look, yet it has a "polished" look that would do well for attending a wedding. It's not as boring as a pale pink but it isn't as brassy, in-your-face as the neons that are now in style. The white polish would look equally cute with a fun summer dress, yet can easily be dressed up and still look classy.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Sartorialist

This guy is an amazing photographer. Just check out his blog, The Sartorialist. You have to. Do it. 
He takes pictures of not only noteworthy people in the fashion industry but also people on the street who's style catches his eye. Yes, the streets he is roaming over happen to include fashion capitals of the world, New York City, Milan, Florence, whole worlds removed from the great U.P. Still, check it out. The pictures are beautiful, the fashion amazing. Many of the looks I think are completely replicable for the more subdued streets of the Yoop, with the exception of the runway photos. 

I hate to use the word "replicable." The pictures are more for inspiration, an art form to move you to try and think something different. Getting dressed for me can be art. I know, that sounds like a stupid statement. Hello, we all have to get dressed, whats the big deal? Putting an outfit together for me is a creative outlet. With every piece of clothing you don, it says something about you. Putting together an outfit for me is like writing a beautiful sentence. It flows well together, it has a quality about it, a hum, a sigh, a bar of music that can be so utterly perfect...Getting too abstract here. But this photographer has it, in the most perfect of ways, the ability to put that little piece of art, creativity, beauty into something concrete. And I try to do that with clothes now. I may not achieve quite the effect that he catches on his worldly streets, but it certainly is fun.

And if you are reading this and think "artsy fartsy" you belong in the inner circles of hell. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summery Neutrals

Who knew that summer could be all about the neutral color? Apparently yes, and it makes sense.

By neutrals I mean the colors ivory, gray, beige, blush, and navy. Sounds almost boring right, wearing all neutrals? But its a good option. The colors are nice and light for those hot summer days. If you aren't one for making a statement with your clothes, but still want to look nice this is a great option to work with. Plus it is something that can easily work on the street in the U.P. and not get that up and down look from every woman you meet. 

It's easy to mix and match with looks like this. The colors all meld together great, there is no possible awkwardness between the color shades. To keep from being too boring or monochromatic add texture like embroidery, knits, ruching, and sparkle. 

What I think is great about this look is that finding clothes in these colors is so easy. Plus they are easy to layer other colors over. I already mentioned in a previous post my love of the color slate gray and how easy it is wear with, well...anything, neutrals and beyond. has many great neutral options. I tried to pull some pictures from their website, unfortunately it didn't work. So I will just have to tell you about it and you can check it out for yourself. Old Navy has a lot of embellished tops in an array of colors, cute cardigans, and skirts that are simple (to balance out a busy top) or skirts that are embellished (to balance out a simple top).

To brighten up the look you can always add a pop of color with jewelry, a bag, or even nail polish. I love to add rich colors like maroon and turquoise to my neutrals. Actually, its usually adding neutrals to my colors.

Have fun with these light summery neutrals. Totally rock it down that U.P. sidewalk.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Okay, I felt I was a little harsh on solids yesterday. They are most definitely still a staple in my wardrobe. There are certainly some interesting ways to wear them, much like pairing different patterns together (which I am doing right now. Flowered tank under my flannel. They don't even match, but I love it. It's like I am living dangerously. haha. There I go mentioning flannel again).

There is color blocking, which I love and think is so fun. Repeatedly in magazines I have seen this picture of Camilla Belle in the ultimate color blocked outfit.

The colors mesh wonderfully, yet each piece is a stand out on its own. And in no way does she look like a clown or some other creature that layers color over color and ends up in my nightmares. Camilla looks pulled together, polished, and sexy. This is a big look to pull off, especially in the U.P. where everything is a bit more laid back. An easier way would be to limit the outfit to two colors. Avoid colors that clash and black does not count! 

Anyway, my favorite way of pulling this look off is with tights. I once wore a color-blocked outfit to a Tiger's game. Tiger's shirt up top, gray skirt, maroon tights. See, not as bright as Camilla's outfit, in case you shy away from the jeweled tones of her outfit. Another idea that I like is wearing my slate gray dress, with my peach tank layered over and belted at the waist. Simple. On cooler days I wear it with brown tights and my boots. Yes, there does seem to be a lot of gray in my closet, but it's a great color that I love and so easy to add different colors to, pretty much any color. 

However, using gray is cheating a little if you are going for a true color blocked look. It has to be all color, all over. An easy way to do this, at least for me, is with a skirt or dress, because most of my bottoms are neutral as in jeans, black pants, etc. Then layer over the skirt or dress a shirt, tank, sweater, whatever, in another color. Add a belt to pull the look together and match any accessories to it, like what Camilla did with the gold. For an even bigger punch add tights and a pair of bright shoes. Flats are a good way to go as they are so easy to find in different colors nowadays. Avoid too many colors or risk looking clowny and you will end up in my nighmares. Clowns are scary! Also, avoid all over pastels. I feel this look in pastels would just end up looking like an easter egg or a little girl on Easter. Stick with the richer hues and look like a grown-up.

Solids are a great way to tone down a print, too. I have a few print dresses that on some days I want to amp up the fashion or...honestly I just love to layer. Simply wearing a summer dress doesn't feel like enough. I pick up a color in the print and layer tanks or sweaters over them along with colored tights. Tights are such a great accessory. I am continually looking for them in other colors. However, now that it is summer they are harder to find beyond black, brown, and nude. Kohl's in the winter does have a wonderful selection as does

Solids are mostly a great accessory. Tanks are always a must, there is never a time when I am not wearing one. They always add a splash of color (Target usually has great priced tanks). As do colored tights!

Color block away on a night out, the only way something like Camilla's shiny look could probably be pulled off in the Yoop. Sad, but true. Have fun discovering news ways of putting colors together. Try colors that you wouldn't necessarily think go together. Rock a pink and red outfit if the shades look great together.  Or green and blue. Or purple and marigold (avoid a Viking look, unless going to a Viking game, as was the case when I went to the Tiger's game).

Monday, June 20, 2011


I have always avoided patterns beyond something simple or little. I have always gravitated towards solids. Solids were comfortable, solids were safe, solids don't have to be, but I made them invisible. Then I decided to be more...daring with my wardrobe. I started incorporating patterns. At first it was what I call Monet skirts. A swipe, a dot of color that came to represent pretty flowers. Then it was a whole dress in a pattern.

Then as more patterns came into style, like the African prints that are everywhere, I had to try it. I waited to find one that I loved, that suited me. Forever 21 came to the rescue. They always have a ridiculous amount of patterned material. I found a pattern that was reminiscent of the Pueblo Indians of the west. I loved it. I bought it and wore it layered with solids, a cardigan when it was cool, a peach tank layered over it and belted with a skinny brown belt. It is all about balance for me when dressing.

My next attempt with patterns will be to wear pattern on pattern. I can see my husband's eyebrows already rising in question at the idea. I had always avoided this, really only seeing it in magazines where the pictures are taken from the runway and anything from the runway are always "hyperreal." But it is doable. I will probably take one of my many Monet patterned skirts and pair it with the striped tank I just bought. Or layer the tank over one of my summer dresses. The key is to find a common color that each pattern has. It pulls the look together and makes it look like you did not get dressed in the dark. There really aren't any hard and fast rules concerning patterns (some would argue this, I say screw you who still uphold the no wearing white after labor day. What is that anyway?).

Something a little more low-key than tribal prints is the nautical stripe, which is just striped blue and white. Honestly, I have not tried this look yet. In fact, I ran into a rack of Calvin Klein, which exclusively boasted just that look, I wanted to turn and run in the other direction. It always looked a little grandma-ish to me, not my grandma, but someone's grandma. It's all about how it's accessorized, though. Find a boat neck, which I always thought looked sexy (doesn't necessarily sound sexy), but delightfully shows off the top of the shoulders and the delicate collarbone, which always looks good on a girl. Use a scarf or bag in red or green to add a pop of color. For a bolder look find a bottom in those colors, like a red skirt or shorts.

Be careful with stripes for they can add width. Always test drive them before buying. Try it on to make sure that it isn't too tight. A top should skim curves not cling uncomfortably, that way stripes can add or embellish that which you don't want. If the top is a little loose add a belt to cinch in the waist. A belt can break up the pattern a bit and give you an hour glass figure and who doesn't want that?

Enjoy the patterns on those summery days when the beach beckons, my U.P. lovelies...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Working Girl

Confidence. That is a key fashion piece. Seriously. I was re-watching the 80's movie Working Girl with Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford (who looks damn hot), and Sigourney Weaver. 

Melanie Griffith plays a secretary trying to make it in the business world and when she goes to her boss about an idea, her boss, Sigourney Weaver, attempts to steal it. When Sigourney Weaver breaks her leg on a vacation, Melanie Griffith discovers the subterfuge and pretends she has Sigourney's job to put her idea into reality which leads to working alongside the young-looking Harrison Ford.

There is certainly some interesting fashion in this movie, as it is an 80's movies. This movie also takes place in a time when more women are working on wall street. The style for women in the office is kinda manish. It's very covered-up, a lot of knee-lenght skirts, blazers, and yes, bow ties.

The colors of the clothing all blend together into a sea of gray. Literally. Scenes at work parties the men and women just blend together. Then there is Sigourney Weaver and Melanie Griffith. Both reveal their own kind of confidence. Sigourney Weaver's character is very up front with her confidence (a little too much in some instances). She is often in the color red, popping in the crowd of gray. Which I love. Color is a good idea. But if you don't want to rock an entire outfit in such a bright color, try something small. I like to try and wear one thing that pops a little, whether it is my nail polish (like the neons) or a piece of jewelry, or a tank top that peeks out beneath a sweater or shirt. Want something a little more wild? I really like to wear colored nylons with skirts. It covers when it's a little chilly out and adds a punch of color.

Then there is Melanie Griffith who plays the quiet-spoken secretary Tess. She is not in-your-face-arrogant like her boss, but she certainly has a quiet confidence in evidence in the scene when she first meets Harrison Ford. At some sort of business function, she gets a little tipsy and emits the line that still makes me cringe in embarrassment for some reason: "I have a head for business and a bod for sin, is that so bad?" Boom, yeah. Harrison, is of course, hooked. He also points out how she is dressed differently from all the other women there, like a woman, not like a woman trying to dress like a man and think like a man (watch the movie. The real line Harrison says is way better).  She is in a cute, off the shoulder, little black dress. Always classy, always in style, the LBD. This may not pop quite like the red that Sigourney sports, but it certainly draws the eye. The dress reveals her quiet confidence, a good kind of confidence that is always in style as well. I still have to find a good little black dress, but it is always something good to have in your closet for...well...anything. Find one that fits well, and complements your body shape (which is all about balance).

There is one last fashion trend that I want to mention about the movie. I don't even know if this was a real trend at the time because I have never seen it in any other 80's movie. The secretaries, often bright and colorful, with big hair and piles of jewelry, sport an odd mix of eye shadow. Instead of eye shadow applied horizontally, it is applied, in two stripes vertically. Yep, vertically from eyebrow to lash line. Not something I am willing to attempt. Or should ever be attempted. It draws the eye, the eye.

The business women use their make-up subtly, whereas the secretaries are loud about everything, their hair, make-up, clothes, even the parties they throw. It is a very interesting contrast and I wonder if the eye shadow is to make that contrast more in-your-face like Sigourney Weaver's red outfits.

Anyway, check out the movie, work the confidence wether that is in conservative gray work outfits or a bright red dress. And go get a little black dress if you don't have one. Please don't forget the confidence, you have to stand up straight and shine in those little dresses.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New Loves and Updates

I know that last week I did not post that often, due mostly to technical issues and a family visit. 
So, I am going to do an update of the things that I like, want, or find interesting.

Walgreens has a great cheap nail polish line (Sinful Colors) that has some of the best colors. Quite a few neons but also other awesome colors. It's only $1.99 a bottle so don't except the polish to last that long. If you are like me who changes it constantly (a color barely lasts a week) this is fine.

Here is the orange:

The orange neon looks awesome. It's a good accent color. It looks good against my skin, which is more on the pale side. Whereas the yellow just made my skin look gross. If you are darker complected or tan try the yellow, if not stick more to the orange or green. Plus the orange and green cover better than the yellow.

Yes, back, briefly to flannel. Forever 21 was having a sale and I saw an awesome red and black checked flannel shirt for six bucks. It is summer so how am I going to wear this very warm long sleeve shirt? As a cover up! Do it. I get cold easily in air conditioned conditions. Everything is air conditioned now and I freeze. I was asked at work yesterday why I was wearing a sweater. Because it is cold! Replace the cardigan with this fun long sleeve. It's just as heavy as a cardigan but has a little more personality with it's checks and colors.

The jeans I blogged about the other day, the boyfriend fit by American Eagle, amazing. The most comfortable pair of jeans that I have ever worn. Yep, they stretched out a bit, but they make my ass look great, plus they don't slid off, plus they are just comfy. Total win.

Cool things I want:
After spying this type of skirt in just about every magazine last month I have been searching high and low for just such a skirt in my price range. I love the look, it's so easy and free and summery looking.

I found this one at and just bought it:

The second one is from and purple. I like purple. But I like the fit of the first one better. I think these long chiffon skirts are so cute. And hopefully it looks good on me. It might be a little difficult to find something to wear with it. It has to be something fitted up top, like a simple tank top.

These earrings:
These long feathered earrings are so interesting and fun-looking and if I had a pair I would only wear one, Lucy Hale-style.
This is from Edge of Urge, so pretty expensive, but Urban Outfitters has some, still more on the pricey side. Maybe I could try and make my own...

Beach Reading:
Lastly, there is a little bit of reading. I picked up Lauren Conrad's new book Style. I haven't gotten very far through it yet, but she offers a lot of helpful and accessible tips, tips for the real girl, even the U.P. girl. It's something you could read at the beach, if you want to avoid a cheesy or badly written romance or want to take a break from all the vampire fiction that's out there now. For me, it's a break from the existential theory I thought would be fun to read last year at the beach. Interesting, but not beach material.

That is it for today. As always, let me know what you think. Let me know if any of these styles would work in the U.P. I am curious on how that chiffon skirt will be taken. I will find out, I am sure.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Shopping Techniques

I have a secret: I am not currently living in the U.P. But soon I will be moving back, in literally a few weeks. Right now I am living in the land of shopping where anything I want is at my fingertips. A fruit from the deepest part of South America, I can find. If I want all natural oreo cookies I can get them (If you are ever near a Whole Foods check them out, so good).
And clothes. Pretty much anything I want. I can shop Macy's, Anthropologie, American Apparel, Victoria's Secret, Urban Outfitters, vintage stores, boutiques.
But I am moving soon, to the land of trees and deer. Which I am happy about, don't get me wrong, but I am wondering how I will do without all this shopping at my fingertips. Probably save money.

There will certainly be periodic trips to the nearest shopping mall: Appleton.

Since Appleton isn't in our backyard, it needs some planning. You want to go there and get everything you need and not realize afterwards that you didn't get what you really needed. Growing up whenever we went to places like this, it was just for school shopping. There was always an idea of what was needed, jeans, shirts, sweaters, etc.
With me leaving, I am planning, it's like getting ready for a new school year. There are certain clothing articles I need/want: a good pair of jean shorts, a few more tank tops, an outfit for the rehearsal dinner I have to attend later this summer, a possible interview outfit, a long chiffon skirt, a decent watch.

Having a list, or atleast an idea of what you need, I think helps so much with shopping. Less distractions,  less spending money on things you don't need or won't end up wearing.

Research a little. Maybe I am the only one who does this, but I read many fashion magazines. When I see something I like in the pages and usually those clothes are designer pieces that I would never be able to afford, I look for a similar cheaper version. Right now I am looking  for a long beautiful chiffon skirt that is actually being a little difficult to find. For my interview outfit I am looking for a black pencil skirt and a white button up. Go online, most places have online shopping now. If you are familiar with what stores usually carry, then you should be able to find what you are looking for. I finally found that chiffon skirt at, and I am going to make a trip to the mall soon to try it on (fingers crossed that it looks good),

Take a friend who is good to shop with. I took a friend with me a couple weeks ago and told her what I was looking for. She kept a good eye out for me and kept popping up with exactly what I wanted.

Plan the time of year to go. As summer settles in, people are out traveling, I often find more sales. Right now winter gear is on sale or on clearance. I know, who wants to shop for stuff like that in the heat of summer. But stock up on those cardigans, I always need one in the air conditioning stores blast. Stock up on the basics, too. Forever 21 is a great place to get cheap tank tops and t-shirts. For someone like me who loves to layer, they are a staple. I am never not wearing a tank.

So those are a few of my tips on shopping at a distance.  Hope they help in your journey to the mall. By the way, Victoria's secret semi-annual sale is going on right now. Hit that ridiculousness up.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The lifelong search for that glorious pair of jeans

Good fitting jeans for me are hard to find. Over the past five years I have probably only had two or three jeans that fit me amazingly. And yes, I wore them out until there was nothing left. In fact, I still have one pair because I can't bring myself to throw it out. Yet they are so full of holes I can't wear them.

Right now I have a pile of jeans that some aspect of them just don't fit that well. Too loose in the butt, mostly they don't fit me in the waist. There is a gap in the back, or when I bend over my ass hangs out. Jeans should be comfortable. Jeans should fit well. It's unfortunate that this rarely happens. So here is my little guide to helping you make the mistake that I so often do...

I have begun my search for those jeans that are perfect. I have done the rounds of the places that I once got perfect/cheap jeans from. Target, Old Navy (they never actually fit that well, except their trouser pants. Love their trouser pants), Charlotte Russe, Silver Jeans, even Aeropostale. I have since moved on to Gap, American Eagle, Urban Outfitters, and Levi's.
So far all have failed except American Eagle and Urban Outfitters. I just recently bought a pair of jeans from American Eagle and have not had a chance to wear them out and about yet. Urban Outfitters I have heard a lot of good things about but have not yet hit up their store.

Now, to begin your search for that pair of jeans that completes you, do not be faint of heart. It may take a long time. When trying on jeans grab a handful of them, different sizes, different fits. The jeans I got from American Eagle are a size 2, boyfriend fit. Never would I have thought I could fit into a size 2 or even like that usually looser boyfriend fit. 
Ask the salespeople too. Usually if they work there, they buy from there (or at least I would if I worked in a clothing store). They, if they are knowledgeable, know if their sizes run small or large. So don't beat yourself up about whatever size you end up fitting in. In the next store instead of a size 2 I may be grabbing a size 6.
Jeans nowadays usually have a little stretch to them, like 1-5% spandex. When trying on jeans get them tight. You know, not tight to the point of losing breath, but that you can still easily zip them up and nothing is spilling out anywhere. Once wearing them they will stretch out, so don't except them to stay how they are in the fitting room. So for jeans to be a little too tight is good, because they will stretch out. While still in the fitting room, dance around a little, do a couple stretches. Do the jeans say in place? Do they slid off your ass? Do they hitch above your ankle if you sit down? Does the waist gap hugely in the back?
If you have any of these problems move on to the next pair unless you want to be uncomfortable in your jeans or have to have a belt to keep them up. 

Looking for a specific style of jeans? It's nice that there are so many different styles of jeans. There is the skinny cut, boot cut, flares, boyfriend, the I missing any? Probably. 
Anyway, Skinny jeans, I think, does take some confidence to pull off, at first. I was nervous for my first pair, especially after a life time of wear straight leg or boot cut. I have quite a few pairs now, mostly due to my love of boots. These jeans have to be the right length. Too long and they bunch at the ankle and it usually looks chunky and terrible. You could roll them, which is fine, or you could move on to try another pair, or find a tailor, like my grandma. Grandma's are usually free, tailors I imagine are not, as I have never gone. But if the pair fits perfectly every other way, and you want to invest in the jeans, then find a tailor. Or try and do it yourself. We've all had a home ec class at one time right?

Boot cut jeans are universally appealing as they aren't tight against the calf and balance out an ass or hips.

Flares make me laugh and I don't have much else to say about those. I never was one much for the sixties looks. But if that's what you like, go for it.

Boyfriend jeans are usually a nice, loose fit. To balance out this comfy cut wear something more fitted up top, even if it is just a t-shirt. Don't make it one complete boyfriend look by borrowing your boyfriend's white t-shirt. Get your own nicely fitted T with these jeans.

The jegging. Do they even fit into this category of jeans? I don't know. I have tried a couple on in the past, but if you are like me and have a wider hip/ass/thigh thing going on be careful with these. Find ones that have a thicker fabric, that skim over curves rather than clinging uncomfortably. My sister found a great pair at the Levi store, probably because those jeggings are more jean than spandex, rather than the other way around.

Now you may have noticed that many of the stores that I have mentioned aren't actually in the U.P. but the jean search can take you far and wide. Appleton isn't that far away. Go to stores you normally wouldn't go to and try on the jeans there. But try them on! Unless you know very well how a certain jean brand fits avoid the internet unless they have a good return policy.

What to do once you found that perfect pair? Stock up. Invest in them and buy two or three pairs. Jeans never go out of style. And who cares about style, if they fit you great, they will be a staple in your wardrobe at any time of the year. Often times stores change their jean selection frequently and that pair you found a year ago may very well be gone. Yes, I am talking to you Silver jeans. Sigh...How I miss that pair of jeans.

I hope this was helpful when shopping for that elusive pair of awesome fitting jeans. I will keep you updated on my jean search. And tell me about yours!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Brush with Blush

I want to share with you my favorite way of applying blush. It actually makes me look like I have cheekbones.
You will need a contouring blush, which is a blush compact that has three corresponding colors, a dark, medium, and light. Right now I have Covergirl Instant Cheekbones. I bought it awhile ago, so I don't know the name that goes with this specific blush combo, but the number on it is 240 if that helps.

First step. Dab that brush in the darkest shade and sweep it along the bottom of your cheekbone. Suck in your cheeks, do whatever you would do to better define that bone and so better able to apply the blush. You should be sweeping it right above the hollow that your cheeks make when sucking them in. Not in the hollow that would be too low. Blend it out at a slight angle up, again, following the cheekbone, towards your ear.

Next step. Using the medium shade sweep this right along your cheekbone, starting at the apple of your cheek out towards your hairline. Follow the cheekbone, right in the middle of it. It should overlap a little with the darker shade you just applied, so already you have a nice blending of dark to light.

Last step. With the lightest shade brush it along the top of your cheekbone, right in the area where cheek turns into undereye. But not on that delicate skin in your undereye. No one wants to define that usually tired-looking area. Sweep it out, still maintaining the upward sweep, following the cheekbone and you should end at the hairline right below the temple.

And done!

What you have created is a shadow, a dimension that wasn't there before. This is a hot look! But a subtle look. It shouldn't be obvious that you have three swipes of color on your face. Remember, shadow, a subtle dimension has been added, a trick of light.

In ending I leave you with another trick of light courtesy of our U.P. nature:

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Budget your wardrobe and add a belt

Today, I was frustrated with my wardrobe. I just want more. But that is not possible, if anything I need to rein in my spending. Which I fully intend to do. So, I must make due with what I have. Don't we all? Many of us are in school, or just starting out at jobs, or trying to stick to a budget.
Now I turn to creativity. Digging through my closet today I discover old shirts I had forgotten about and I start throwing them together with the skirts that I have. Delightful! A 3/4 length, flowy, green shirt tucked into a cream lacy skirt pulled together with a belt, made daring by my wonderful beaten up boots. Boom. New outfit. One of my collared work shirts tucked into a flower print skirt, skinny belt around my hips and my strappy brown heels. Another outfit.

Yes, there seems to be a belt in just about every outfit I wear lately. Next to neon polish I am loving all the belt options out there. I have a skinny brown one, a skinny black one, a thick brown one for around my waist and just a standard brown belt for holding up pants. Belts often, for me, pull an outfit together.

There is probably something, atleast one item, in one's closet that has never been worn. I have a couple. But with my push for creativity with my clothing those items have actually seen the light of day. Mostly, for me, the reason I don't wear something is because I don't like how it fits. If it's too big I love wearing one of the belts to pull it together, make it look more fitted, give me more shape.

Sometimes I just have to step out of that box to see what my closet really has to offer. Pair something together that you normally wouldn't, like the collared shirt with a skirt. I usually keep my work shirts completely separate from everything else I wear and certainly never wear them with a cute flowered skirt.

Have fun creating new outfits!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Vintage...or just old?

Royal Oak, MI, yes, not in the U.P. but a city with a hipster downtown that includes several shops for vintage clothing. That is where my foray into vintage began. Next were the online stores, ebay, in particular. The fun thing about vintage is seeing where the current fashions came from, how they first looked. Then I look at the price. The clothes are just old, used, why the giant price tag? There are several reasons for that tag, the sellers need to make a living, it probably is hard to find vintage clothing in a condition well enough for someone else to even want and the main reason: slapping the title vintage on it. Switch out the word vintage for old and would people spend the money on it? Not as many would. I think the only way to really cheaply build a vintage wardrobe is to hunt through those second hand shops, St. Vinnie's, Goodwill, Salvation Army, flea markets and your mother's and grandmother's closets (that is my next stop when I go home). Once I find something that I like and is in my price range I will let you know how that goes on the streets of the U.P.

Is vintage a viable option for us in the U.P? I want to find out. I just need to find a vintage outfit. Maybe I should hit up my Aunt's closets. The key to dressing vintage and not totally looking like a hippie from the seventies or a shoulder-padded power house from the eighties is to add keys pieces that are modern. Add a skinny belt, carry a cute clutch, dispose of the shoulder pads!

If you are ever in Royal Oak, here are a couple places to visit: Paris, and Lost and Found
Never go downstate, hit up someplace closer: your computer. Here are a couple online sources for vintage: Mama Stone Vintage and Bleubird Vintage. Then there is your local St. Vinnie's, Goodwill, and Salvation Army. Happy discoveries.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Daring...or just weird?

Socks with heels, something seen more and more on the glossy pages of magazines, a fashion statement safely kept on the runway or something that could actually be passed off in the real world, in the U.P?

I find it a little funny. We laugh at guys that wear socks with sandals and call it a faux pas, but when girls do it, its a fashion statement. Lately girls have been stealing much from the male side of the fashion world, if you want to call socks with sandals fashion. It's more than just that, girls clothes are given more of a masculine cut, like the blazer that I own (and totally rock with jeans, heels, low cut tank, and a pile of necklaces). Anyone remember the power suits of the 80's with the shoulder pads? Broad shoulders was in. My grandma still wears outfits with shoulder pads, looking for a more defined look. marie claire this month featured tweed, often what I envision as the look of the collegiate male, boldly worn with a fedora by a long legged model sneering at the camera. (All this a result of our patriarchal society? But that is a whole other argument...)

Some men are stealing our fashions, those skinny jeans, but few U.P. men would dare to show up anywhere wearing women's jeans, except, maybe, on NMU's campus. Men with earrings are still often ridiculed by the older set (I say let them wear earrings, its not like they are wearing glittery hoops). Carhartt and carpenter jeans still rule men's fashion in the U.P. I am okay with that, men wearing women's pants. No. Don't do it. 

Here are some of my interpretations of this sock with heels look and yes, I have worn a couple of them out.

Opinions? Let me know. Have a better way of pulling off such a style? Let me know!

Want to pull off the look, but want to avoid feeling like a Catholic school girl in knee socks? Get a mid calf sock, like the ones you can find at Ankle socks, probably best left to the tennis shoe. And don't be too matchy-matchy.

Have fun experimenting, my U.P. friends.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


The Wedding:

A typical U.P. wedding, ceremony in a small church, reception in a hall big enough to fit you, your date, and the entire city that the bride and groom occupies, plus those out-of-towners who have moved away from the beautiful Yoop.

The Dress:

The accessories:

It's June and thus, wedding season. This fun floral dress (from Old Navy) is perfect for that wedding you have coming up and so easy to accessorize. Pile on the bracelets, find a pair of stilettos to go more dressy. Have a wedding located by always cool Lake Superior? Pair the dress with a cardigan and belt it to give yourself an hourglass figure.

Want to do something a little daring? Or if it is colder than excepted, because it is the U.P. and the weather never does do what one whats it to do. Wear a blazer with a more masculine fit, wider shoulders, narrow waist. Throw on a pair of turquoise or mossy green tights (though they are hard to find now that it's summer) with those heels. The blazer balances out the femininity of the dress and the colors. 

Have another wedding in a couple weeks? Want to save money? Wear the same dress but switch up the accessories. Instead of black heels and black belt, go a little earthy and wear those awesome leather boots (I always love boots, even in the summer) or just brown heels. Accessories could be leather bands, like the ones below from American Eagle, which I am loving right now and want them (They also have an awesome watch on a leather band almost like the one below, that I drool over a little).

The feather necklace is fun and cute, too.

A place to get a similar dress, I found this online store: 

They have really cute chiffon dresses that aren't too expensive, especially if you have multiple weddings. Don't like the florals, they have polka dots, a feather print, and leopard (much too daring for me). These dresses aren't layered like the one above, so slip it up! Also, while on the website, check out the other cute vintage dresses and the absolutely crazy leggings they have. Any sort of legging you have ever been looking for is there. And more.

Have fun at the weddings!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Michigan Fashion, What is it?

In Vogue's June issue, there was a lovely fashion spread centered around America, the beautiful. It profiled key fashions in the Pacific Northwest, Florida, South Carolina, Maine, and Texas. Maine had the chunky fisherman's sweater, the Pacific Northwest had their hiking gear, Texas had the cowboy gear. Which lead me to the question of where is the Midwest in all of this and more specifically Michigan? Eh, who cares about Michigan, what about the U.P? What is the one look that we all rock? For the U.P. some would claim it was flannel, but is it? My grandpa wore it when he worked. I only just got one once it came into fashion and could easily be found at Target (Converse always has a great selection). I don't recall too many of my friends wearing it. So what is it? 
After living in several areas of Michigan, I have discovered that the personal style differs. Metro Detroit is much more fashion savvy, with the women always manicured and Gucci sunglasses nestled against perfectly coiffed hair. Marquette, overrun with the neo-hippie, employs more of a natural look paired with hiking apparel. Escanaba, only an hour away, is none of that, jeans and a shirt kind of place.
For a state that is broken in two, is there any sort of unified look? Part of this blog's journey will be to discover that look and more specifically the great yoop's look. Because the U.P. is what it's all about.

The runway's view on flannel, Isabel Marant:


Flannel in its original, work wear form (still sexy on a guy, at least in the U.P.):

My fun, sorta glam, sorta however-I-want-to-wear-it flannel:

Yes, totally rock the colored tights, you can leave behind the peach heels if you want. Black heels always work. Also, pile on the accessories, bright blingy bracelets, and dangling earrings, even if they don't match. Like always, have fun with you clothes.

The look of the U.P.? Or should we create something better, newer, a look that can only be pulled off in the Yoop? Or have I just completely overlooked that staple, seen so often it has become invisible to me? Whatever this look is, it will be great.