December 31, 2010

Year in Outfits: 2010

It is difficult to compile my favorite outfits of the year because I began 2010 as a much less frequent blogger. Then I was still taking outfit photos with my dusty mirror and my iphone. As a result a lot of my early year outfit photos look really junky and blurred. But they're a part of this year's outfit history.

Like so many outfit archivists, it is nearly impossible for me to separate what I wore from what I did. Major milestones are planned down to every detail, and outfits are intrinsic to that planning. For better or worse, my memories are often forged through materiality, a subject I explored this time last year

I had a number of firsts in 2010. And the photographic relics include those outfits. Below, the text covers some of my favorite moments (most of which weren't in my favorite buys of 2010 post) and the photos include favorite outfits. Although some photos aren't the best representations of the clothes, the moments matter more.

I experienced the first day of of South American summer. Relatedly, I vacationed in the southern hemisphere. And I flew alone internationally. I drank directly from a young coconut. I had fresh caldo de cana (read what it is here). I became (a little too) well versed in the caipirinha. I cried at the airport in Pittsburgh when I bid Chris farewell. And I cried at the airport in Rio when we reunited after nearly 2 months.

I turned 30 and entered into a new decade of life. Months later I went to the emergency vet/animal hospital. I nursed Speck to health again and apologized profusely for putting her in the cone of shame when I had to leave the house during her recovery.


I had a wedding and got married.

I visited New Orleans and promptly fell in love. I saw the Lundi and Mardi Gras parades and celebrations. I ate raw oysters, fresh from the Gulf. I sailed (albeit briefly) across the Mississippi River. I ate so many classic and delicious dishes there like shrimp etouffee, gumbo, turtle soup, jambalaya, and po boys. For the first time within mere hours of visiting a new city, I thought to myself "I could live here."

I experienced my first blizzard and resultant snowpocalypse as an adult. During this time and in the weeks following, I interviewed for tenure track jobs on the campuses of schools that considered me for hire. I turned down requests from schools for campus and telephone interviews with a heavy heart and a heaping helping of uncertainty.

Months later, I attended orientations as new faculty. I transitioned (though I'm still finishing the dissertation) from graduate student to assistant professor.

I began blogging with regularity. I braised pork by myself. I dyed my hair blond (again) and watched it bleach out further in the December sun of Brazil.

I celebrated as multiple loved ones gave birth, turned a year older, declared their commitments to each other in marriage, celebrated anniversaries, and found new jobs/started graduate programs.

I dressed up a lot.

I laughed and cried through so much happiness and frustration and sadness and joy that I feel more me than ever before.

I can't wait to see what 2011 holds for everyone! Happy New Year and Happy Future to all of you! Thank you for reading! xo

Business Grunge OOTD

Alma Mater Blazer from Anthropologie
Ann Taylor LOFT top
Juicy Couture bow skirt
Boot socks from Kohls
Vintage Coach Satchel

Remember all those romantic 90s comedies that featured quirky female protagonists wearing sportcoat style blazers with combat boots, booties, or creepers? No? Maybe I dreamed it? Maybe it was because I was wearing my Lisa Loeb-est glasses? Regardless, I swear in films like If Lucy Fell,  Miami Rhapsody, Husbands and Wives, Reality Bites, Singles, and the like, quirky lady leads wore cognitively dissonant pairings of pieces like the above. All of them inspired my decision to wear a pretty silly outfit for yesterday's trip to Ross Park Mall.

When I was able to track down an Alma Mater blazer on sale with the extra 25% off thanks to the community over at Effortless Anthropologie, I was thrilled. I wanted the blazer for a while but knew it was an odd piece that would require odd styling.  And I knew I wasn't really dressed age, weather, or style appropriate. But I didn't care because it will almost always be the 90s in my heart. BTW I didn't mean to look so winsome in the middle photo but Chris was in the doorway groaning at my vanity (or just being impatient but wanting to leave the room without being in my photo).

December 30, 2010

Favorite Buys of 2010

Plenty of my favorite blogs have done year in (usually outfits) posts. To name a few:

Roxy of Effortless Anthropologie
Rosa from Love at First Shop
Anjali from Golden Means
Marianne and Adrien of Looks Good From the Back
La Historiadora de Moda of Fashionable Academics
Carol and Kathryn of In Pursuit of Pretty Things

And because my own blog began primarily as a place to reflect and analyze my habits of consumption, here I will overview my top ten (mostly sartorial) purchases of the year. A favorite outfit recap will follow.

10. My stockpile of Havaianas bought in Brazil. I choose these recent buys because in addition to wearing them everywhere, they made great Brazilian themed gifts to give to loved ones. I learned quickly why they're inescapable because they are by far the most comfortable of their genre.

9. Two Paths Trenchcoat by Idra (from Anthropologie). When I was sorting through outfits, I noticed this trench carried me through Spring, Summer, and Fall. Now that tiered jackets are everywhere, I am sure it will look very obviously dated from 2010 in a few years. But I'm going to wear it and enjoy it while I can!

8. My Vintage Coach Satchel. I bought this little bag off ebay in March of 2010 and I've carried it constantly since. Any time I want a no nonsense, small sling bag I reach for this. It is so practical but also so cute and it cost very little.

7. Similarly to above, my two map printed satchels from Alviero Martini (also bought from ebay). They're smaller in size than I normally carry which makes them great on the go bags. I throw in my wallet, keys, phone, and lipgloss and I'm ready. They get tons of compliments despite being so 90s (or perhaps because of it!). And they match everything and nothing simultaneously.

5. My Burberry Trench. It is a shorter length but still so classic and unlike anything else I own. As much as I love the Two-Paths trench, I know this Burberry won't look dated in a few years. I will be able to wear this decades from now.

4. This is sort of cheating cause it was a gift but one I picked out and received from my parents. My Dyson vacuum. It is seriously a quality of life changer if you have hardwood and throw rugs (and need to transition quickly and easily between them). It is a quality of life changer if you have an adorable shedding dog. It is a quality of life changer if you are a little ocd about stuff. It is worth the money which is easier to say when it was a gift. haha But I adore it and had to put it in the top five. Even if it isn't sartorial, it outfits my home so beautifully that it gets a mention.

3. Ferragamo Varina flats and Valentino rehearsal dinner dress. Tied because of similar fanciness.

2. Chloé and See by Chloé everything. This year I noticed a shift. Not only did I buy more Anthropologie, but I replaced my brand obsession. My ebay searching and sale stalking used to be colonized by Marc Jacobs. Though I still love the pieces I have, I definitely coveted more Chloé than ever this year. I specifically expanded my selection of shoes and dresses.

1. My wedding dress. I must be honest. I truly dreaded shopping for wedding attire to the extent that I postponed it for as long as possible. I presumed the genre to be confining and largely uniform. It isn't that I don't find all brides to be beautiful, but I feared deeply the way that a wedding dress could erase or supplant my own personal style. I wanted to still be me and not merely "bride." Some of the shops I visited confirmed my anxieties by imposing the tyranny of the majority on me and ignoring my plea for sleeves. But then I visited Anne Gregory for the Bride and found a dress that was as me as I could have fathomed. And by the end of the night, I was so sad to take it off, knowing I'd likely never wear it again.

All in all, 2010 has been a very good year for my closet. In 2011 I resolve to sort through what I have and donate/sell those lesser worn items. Focus on pieces that transcend trends and seasons. And as always, fight the lure of sale goggles, try to buy less, etc. Happy New Year!


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