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July 19, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Posted in Me | Leave a comment
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Have you joined Pinterest yet? After hearing about the site from virtually all of my favorite style bloggers, I finally made an account last week, and I am hooked!

Pinterest is a free site with a very simple concept: when you see an image you like anywhere on the internet, you click a bookmarklet labeled “Pin It” (I keep mine on my bookmark bar, but you can also simply bookmark it), add an optional caption or tag, and import the photo onto a “board” (basically a folder) on your Pinterest page. Right now I have a board for DIY ideas, recipes, style ideas, and wedding inspiration (since J. and I are getting married next year!). There’s a social media aspect to the site too, so you can “follow” other peoples’ boards, and friends can follow your boards, too. Finally, the photos are all sourced, which is great for attribution and for finding your way back to the original content later!

Aesthetically, I really like the way the images are laid out on each page; the screenshot above gives a sense of the boards’ layout, with each photo stacked up in columns with others on that board. (This screenshot is actually of the homepage, but the boards share the same layout.) My only gripe with Pinterest is actually quite minimal: since the site currently requires members to make accounts through their Facebook or Twitter account, I was automatically forced to “follow” the boards of every Facebook friend I have who has a Pinterest account, which is totally awkward! I wish the system was opt-in instead of opt-out.

I would definitely recommend Pinterest to anyone who spends a lot of time on blogs, since so far I find Pinterest to be better than bookmarks and screenshots for keeping my ideas together. Since I am in the very early stages of wedding planning, I especially like how it is helping me keep track of wedding inspiration — for example, I love being able to see all the invitation designs I like side-by-side! Plus, unlike screenshots (which I had been using before), I never have to worry about forgetting which website sells an invitation I like, since Pinterest images always link back to the original content.

Right now, Pinterest requires folks to request an invite, which you can do here. But before you join, be forewarned: if you start wading into the site’s most popular boards, Pinterest can be a total time suck. But the most awesome, stylist, and inspirational time suck you’ve ever been in!

[ screenshot from Pinterest. This is probably obvious, since my little corner of the internet is probably read by all of six people, but I do not work for Pinterest, and they did not compensate me in any way for this post. I’m just spreading the good word about a site I love! ]



February 9, 2011 at 11:12 am | Posted in Me | Leave a comment
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Back in 2008 I found myself inspired by a dress worn by Suri Cruise — who was, at the time, all of two years old — and that made me a little uncomfortable.

Today, I saw a photo of Usher with his two adorable sons, and again I’m feeling a twinge of sartorial inspiration:

See the cognac leather (pleather?) jacket on the little one on the right? That is basically the exact jacket I’ve been looking for for months! And probably in the right size, too — since it’s clearly too big for him, and I am hoping for a shrunken look. (Armed with this photo of Blake Lively, my mom even tried to track down a jacket for me, but was told that cognac was so two seasons ago. “You mean, two seasons from now, right?” I responded.)


[ image from Jezebel ]

I don’t know why I’ve been stuck in the ’90s lately

January 25, 2011 at 1:15 am | Posted in Internet Sleuthiness | Leave a comment
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But seriously, how ridiculous and awesome is Gwyneth Paltrow’s red carpet ensemble from the 1996 premiere of From Dusk Till Dawn?? Crop top, long black skirt, long leopard coat (side note: I love that the 1990s can now be called “vintage”), and — the crowning touch — the black Jack Purcells: the shoe of choice for every single cool girl in my 8th grade class.

[ image from IMDb ]

Another ’90s Moment: No Doubt

January 17, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Posted in Internet Sleuthiness | Leave a comment
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Two months ago I had a brief ’90s flashback when two of the decade’s (teen) movie stars appeared side by side on a website I was reading. The ’90s are certainly having a big moment lately. Although I can’t say I’m on board with all aspects of the ’90s fashion revival that has surfaced over the past year or so (such as super-light or acid wash denim, yikes!), but one thing that did make me feel a little nostalgic was watching an old No Doubt music video.

I can’t remember why I decided to watch the video for “Don’t Speak” last month, but the first thing that jumped out at me was the clothing and accessories worn by Gwen Stefani.

First of all, I am on a major polka dot kick lately, so of course I loved her dress. Its simple cut, shape, and print — with the fun addition of the tiny buttons along the neckline — made me wish I had it in my closet! But what really made this video notable was the simplicity and informality of Gwen’s whole outfit: basic cotton dress, black jelly bracelets that everyone wore in the ’90s/early ’00s, normal-looking hairstyle, and, to top it all off, no shoes!

The rest of the band is dressed in a similarly casual outfit. My favorite outfit nomination goes to Tony for his Adidas track suit pants!

The whole look of the video, from the clothing to the accessories to the shooting location, gives it such an unselfconscious vibe that you hardly see in music videos anymore. (A prime example is Lady Gaga.) Perhaps the most telling little detail of the “No Speak” video that places it in the ’90s context is something presumably unintended:

A broken seam (or open zipper) on Gwen’s dress! I imagine most of today’s musicians would likely reshoot a video that exposed such a flaw.

While I certainly appreciate the artistry that goes into something like Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” video, I also have a soft place in my heart for the sweet honest simplicity embodied by No Doubt’s early music videos.

[ Album cover from Amazon; all other images are stills from the “Don’t Speak” music video ]

Would you pay $45 for sequins?

December 6, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Posted in Internet Sleuthiness | Leave a comment
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J.Crew and Old Navy are currently selling nearly-identical t-shirts. Observe:

The main difference? A few rows of sequins… and $45. Both shirts are currently on sale, which puts J.Crew’s at $49.99 (down from the original $72!!) and Old Navy’s version in Navy Stripe at $4.99. Personally, I’d rather go sans-sequins—full disclosure: I bought the Old Navy shirt a few weeks ago!—but for those who prefer their striped shirts to be a little more festive, might I suggest an alternative, courtesy of Amazon?

There. Just saved you $41. You’re welcome.

[ images from J.Crew, Old Navy, and Amazon. ]

Let me just say

November 4, 2010 at 10:39 pm | Posted in Internet Sleuthiness, Me | Leave a comment

If I thought having a 9-to-5 job was a blog killer, being in grad school is like the bubonic plague of blog killers. (Or maybe by plague I mean it is victorious?) In any case, it is now November. Which means people are supposed to be wearing sweaters, which they are, which I never understand on weeks like this one, when it was over 70 degrees every single day. But that’s beside the point.

The point is that The Sartorialist—or rather, some fashion designer named Paul Smith via The Sartorialist—is telling me that a super cool idea this season is wearing your cardigan backwards. Um, Paul? Though I regret being unable to find photographic evidence to support it, Teen Vogue told me about the backwards cardigan thing, and I actually did it. Just once, but still. You know when that was, Paul? 2004.

[ image from The Sartorialist ]

::Cries Inside::

August 26, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Posted in Internet Sleuthiness | 1 Comment
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No, it’s fine. Punctuation is not really that important, Kate Spade. It’s not like you’re a major national brand or anything, and it’s not like this is the way your official website appears when searched on Google. I mean, what’s the big deal, right?

Is this phenomenon becoming more pervasive, or am I just becoming more paranoid and alert?

[ image from Google ]

Dress Your Best Week Day 4: Hair + Feet!

May 24, 2010 at 9:35 pm | Posted in Me | 1 Comment
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My final (and very long overdue!) Dress Your Best Week outfit did double duty, for it served to emphasize both my curly hair and my tiny feet.

I’ll start with my feet, because they are the uncomplicated part of this outfit. My feet essentially stopped growing when I was twelve years old. They have been size 7 ever since, with some occasionally fluctuation between 5 1/2 (at a bowling alley) and 7 1/2 (if I’m desperate). Although 7 sounds like a pretty common, not-too-small size, somehow my feet look tiny, like they belong to a small child!

Some shoes in particular, such as my black Toms, really emphasize the small size of my feet. No matter how many times she’s seen my feet, my mom is still prone to squealing, “Your feet are so TINY!” nearly every time I see her. There is very little about me that is delicate—I tend to stomp around my apartment rather than walk, and I’m clumsy to the point of not being trusted around a hot oven—but my feet are small and sweet and feminine, and that is why I love them.

The last part about my feet that makes me love them? They are just so damn cute! Maybe it’s because I wore flip flops probably 300 days out of the year while in high school in San Diego, but I always make sure to take good care of my nails and moisturize my toes. Whether they’re tiny in shoes or polished in sandals, my feet remain one of my favorite body parts!

The last part of my body that I decided to emphasize during Dress Your Best Week is also the most complicated: my hair.

Until I hit puberty in sixth grade, my hair was long and straight with the occasional wave. Then, all of a sudden, my hair became curly, and I had no idea what to do with it. I got a dreaded triangle haircut just before sixth grade graduation, blow dried the hell out of it before special occasions, and avoided washing it because it looked better (read: less poofy) with a day’s worth of oil on the strands. In my high school Leadership class, I was once even awarded “Worst Hair”! I tried gel after mousse after spray after creme, never buying the same product twice because nothing seemed to work well enough. It wasn’t until I got to college that I started figuring out how to do my hair.

Today, I am the happiest I have ever been with my hair. It looks healthier and curlier and happier than it has ever looked before, and I owe this to the products and routines I’ve learned from reading websites like Naturally Curly, a community for curly-haired gals like me!

So, that wraps up Dress Your Best Week. Hope you enjoyed reading all the posts on academichic and elsewhere, and hope you enjoyed my posts too! (I was pretty excited to see one of my outfits highlighted in academichic’s roundup of its reader’s outfits—thanks to Lindsay for the photo!) Now, back to our regularly scheduled programing: random shit I found on the internet! Cheers!

For more, check out academichic‘s original post on Dress Your Best Week.

Dress Your Best Week Day 3: Bust

May 16, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Posted in Me | 1 Comment
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My third outfit for Dress Your Best Week, worn on Thursday, was one of my favorite “grown up” (read: non-thrift store) dresses, a yellow J. Crew wrap dress to emphasize my bust. In my previous post I mentioned how my narrow waist gives me an hourglass figure that I love to emphasize, and I would be remiss to not acknowledge the role my bust plays in creating that silhouette.

I am lucky to have always been the bearer of a bust line that makes me happy. Ever since my bust was anything I had to think about (since middle school, that is) I have felt proportional and confident about the way I looked. I like the way I fill out v-necks and bikini tops, yet I can still go braless comfortably when I wear halter or backless tops—or, on days like today, when I’m just lazing around the house!

You may be thinking that this dress is somewhat demure for an outfit intended to emphasize my bust, but I had to balance bustiness with a work-appropriate outfit, and this yellow dress—with its empire waist-line sash and v-neck wrap top—fit the bill perfectly!

For more, check out academichic‘s original post on Dress Your Best Week.

Dress Your Best Week Day 2: Waist

May 16, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Posted in Me | Leave a comment
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Day 2 of Dress Your Best Week (Wednesday’s outfit) served to highlight my waist. I am lucky enough to have something of an hourglass figure, with a narrow, well-defined waist that I never really appreciated until high-waisted skirts and waist-belted dresses came into fashion. What a shame that it went to waste (heh) for all those years during the rein of low-rise jeans and skirts worn around the hips!

Once I embraced waist-emphasizing dresses and skirts, I never looked back. My waist is the reason that my style has evolved to favor outfits with a 40s or 50s silhouette.

The real workhorse in this outfit is the brown woven belt, which is probably the best thrift store purchase I have ever made. Before waist-emphasizing styles gained widespread popularity, I found thrift stores were the best place to find belts that were short enough to be worn around the waist, since department and mall stores were still selling mostly hip-length belts. This brown belt is my go-to waist emphasizer, and helps make this green Gap skirt—which I purchased years ago to be worn around the hips—into the perfect waist-emphasizing outfit. Usually I like to wear a bright eye-catching necklace with this simply black blouse, but since this outfit was all about the waist, I left my neck clear so that all emphasis would be on the belt and the narrowness of my waist.

So here’s to you, waist, for giving me an hourglass figure that I absolutely love, and for helping me feel beautiful and feminine in dresses and skirts!

For more, check out academichic‘s original post on Dress Your Best Week.

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