Tie-Dye's Gothic Uncle

There's just something so 'fuck it' about acid wash that I love. I like to think of it as tie-dye's weird goth uncle. 

The best part of this outfit is that every single thing was purchased secondhand. Some of it was through Poshmark, some of it from thrift stores near my house. I really love that secondhand fashion is trendy these days. It's so much better for the environment than spending money at fast fashion retailers. I also find the act of secondhand shopping infinitely more satisfying than browsing the mall. There's nothing quite like sifting through racks and finding that one amazing piece that's so authentically you for a fraction of what you'd pay retail. For example, this McQ Alexander McQueen sweater I'm wearing would retail close to $300. I bought it at Buffalo Exchange for $20. There's no universe in which I could ever afford to purchase a McQueen except the universe where I'm a thrift store queen. 

One of my goals this year is to bring the secondhand ratio of my closet to about 95%. If I can keep creating outfits like this, that won't be a problem at all. How do you feel about shopping secondhand? If it's not your thing, what's holding you back? 

And please note my obligatory sunglasses photo. The sun decided to peak out for 2.5 seconds of my photo shoot and we've been sunless for about 3 months here in the PNW. I couldn't say no!

Recreate this Look (items marked with * were purchased secondhand):

Black size zip sweater*, McQ Alexander McQueen (similar)

Acid Wash leggings*, Rock & Republic (similar)

Black zipper boots*, Michael Kors (similar)

Wishbone necklace*, Marc Jacobs (similar)

Black sunglasses*, Perverse (similar)

Facing Fears and Making Changes

Well, hello there.

I doubt you're still here after all this time but on the off chance someone is still lurking about - I'm back.

It turns out working full-time in the fashion industry doesn't leave a lot of time for fashion side-projects. Especially given that I work with clothes all day every day, my weekends were decidedly not very fashionable. But, life is transiting again and there's been quite a few changes both personally and professionally since I was last here in May. Here's a run down:

-A year with a secondhand retailer has really upped my fashion game. I've been to exposed to so many things: new designers, vintage fashion, interesting trends. I feel like I'm dressing more 'me' than ever before.

-Black. I have just embraced my love for it. I used to consider my fashion to be more on the grunge spectrum but I'm definitely darker than that.

-About 90% of my wardrobe is now secondhand. Poshmark is my BFF - for both buying and selling secondhand fashion.

-I'm a salon accident redhead (stylist accidentally dyed me pink - I'm definitely not a pink person. Red was the only thing that would cover it up). But only for one more week so don't get too attached.

And the biggest change of all:

I'm going back to school for a BA in Psychology with the intent of pursuing a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology right after. I gave my two weeks notice to my current employer just yesterday. I'm excited and honestly, terrified of this new adventure. I've wanted to work in this field for some long it's just always seemed unattainable. But I'm at a point in my life where I'm ready to face my fears and take chances.

The good news is that I'll have a lot more free time. I snagged a little part-time stylist gig but for the most part, I'll be focusing on school. I'll need this space to maintain my sanity as an almost 30-year-old student. And since I will no longer be dealing with fashion for 30+ hours a week, I'll be able to get my fashion fix this way.

My plan is at least one update a week. I need some consistence and a place to play creatively. I hope you'll join me.

Shop This Look (items with a * were purchased secondhand):

Crop top*, Wilfred Free, similar

Longline black cardigan, Style & Co (gift), similar

Black highwaisted skinny jeans, Treasure and Bond, exact

Black ankle boots*, Lucky Brand, exact

Black studded purse*, Michael Kors, similar

Black braided logo belt*, Michael Kors, similar

StitchFix Unboxing and Try On May 2017 - WIN!

Wow! We've come a long way from last month, haven't we? This fix = total win.

The Unboxing:

The Details:

Bay to Baubles Paola Hammered Fringe Necklace $34 -  Kept
Pistola Tory Distressed Ankle Zip Skinny Jean, 10P $88 - Kept
Napean Sea Rd Foley One Pocket Top, L $58 - Kept
Pixley Shanina Back Detail Tank, L $48 - Sent Back
Bella Dahl Odelle Bomber Jacket, L $158 - Sent Back

The Verdict:

There's no denying last month was terrible. I almost quit Stitch Fix entirely it was so bad. But after talking to a few people who have similar style to me, I made some changes to my style profile, requested a new stylist, and updated my Pinterest to include real-life examples of my style as opposed to individual pieces. And it worked! We've certainly moved onward and upward with this fix. My new stylist is Michelle. I think she did a fantastic job curating this fix. It felt very me and contained a couple pieces that actually pushed me out of my comfort zone. I'm so pleased with the result. I was worried that Stitch Fix had run it's course but after this fix, I'm ready for next month!

If my experience with StitchFix has helped you decide to try the service, I'd be so grateful if you used my referral link to sign up! I'll get a credit towards my next box!

Wild and Free and Plaid

I'm one of those obnoxious people who celebrate their birthdays for the entire month. This shirt is a result of that. Do I want to spend $250 at Dolls Kill? Hell yeah, I do. So I did. Because it's April and all of April is my birthday. I had never shopped at Dolls Kill before and it's a retailer I've been wanting to try for awhile. I can say that I am super pleased with the weirdness of their selection and the insane quickness of their shipping. I ordered on a Friday and had my package by Monday afternoon. What else have I indulged in for my birthday, you ask? Well, let me tell you!

-I bought a mannequin from Craig's List (for art, I promise)
-I bought a disgusting, stained, grody late 1800's Edwardian lace dress to put on said mannequin
-I rented studio space for the first week in May to make the art mentioned above
-I spent way too much money at Sephora during their VIB 15% off sale
-I spent way too much money at Dolls Kill
-I spent way too much money at Asos
-I ate way too much - ice cream, brunch, cookies, more ice cream. And yeah, ice cream one more time.
-I got fancy purple hair
-I got a new tattoo
-I went and photographed a quaint little graveyard 30 minutes from my house
-I read my full year tarot spread and saw a lot of cups and a lot of swords - which balance each other nicely.

The birthday indulgences I've allowed and the things I have done have all felt very me. I hope to take that shameless me-ness into the coming year.

Shop this Look:

Wild and Free graphic tee, Dolls Kill (exact)

Black drape pocket cardigan, Stitch Fix (similar)

Black and white plaid pants, Asos (exact)

Black velvet floral creepers, TUK (similar)

Bravery in this Body

"You're so brave for posting these photos."

No. I am not brave for posting these photos. I am existing. I am taking up space. I am uncovering a body that possesses features society says are better left concealed. There is nothing brave about having a body. We all have one. The fact that people will think it's brave for me to show mine says less about me and more about the world in which we live.

My size 10 body. My 34DDD breasts. My tummy rolls. My broad shoulders. My arm fat. My cellulite. My stretch marks. Here they are. They are part of what makes me me. They are as essential to who I am in this moment as my tattoos and purple hair. They tell the story of daily morning coffees with extra cream, lazy nights in with my husband eating pizza and watching TV, an ongoing battle with PCOS, and a preference for roller blading over hitting the gym. They are features that are almost a carbon copy of my nana, who passed away but somehow lives on in the genetics staring back at me in the mirror each morning. They are the things I was told I should hate - and I did. I started that inner dialogue as a smaller, thinner, younger me and cultivated it into a mental disorder known as BDD. And as the number on the scale grew and girth of my thighs no longer fit into the same size pants as they did in high school, I convinced myself I was not worthy of love in this current body - not from others, not from myself.

So no, I am not brave for posting these photos. I am brave for trying to love myself despite a world and an inner voice that tells me every single minute of everything single hour of every single damn fucking day that I shouldn't.

And in case you couldn't tell, I'm over covering myself up and thanks to Calvin Klein's ID bralette, these big boobs can finally go braless.

Shop This Revealing, Liberating Look

White mesh bralette, Calvin Klein (exact)

Black loose-ftting tank, Free People (exact)

Contrast stripe leggings, asos (similar)

Stitch Fix Unboxing and Try On - April 2017

Queue immature barfing sounds. This was bad.

The Unboxing:

The Details:

Pixley Banu Mesh Neckline Knit Top, Size L

Le Lis Teylyn Textured Knit Dress, Size L

Renee C Lillie Knit Top, Size L

Edyson Maisha Ponte and Faux Leather Jacket, Size L

Pizley Alison T-Shirt Swing Dress in Navy, Size L

The Verdict: 

I'm really disappointed. Those dresses were so bleghhhhh. They looked like something the preppy girls were wearing back when I was in high school. And there's nothing wrong with that - if you like that style and you're in high school...in the 2000's.  Too sweet, too cutesy, too young, not me in the slightest. The worst part? I got dresses because I asked for an edgy dress to wear out to dinner with my husband for my birthday. My stylist made two choices - that's two attempts at what I asked for and both dresses were super casual, super not my style, and super booooring.

I've been waffling on Stitch Fix for awhile. I thought I was good to go - the last box was a 5/5 keep. But this is my 10th fix and it was so off-style. I'm all for stepping out of my comfort zone - I'm pretty adventurous when it comes to fashion but this wasn't adventurous or boundary breaking. It was just nothing. I feel like after 10 boxes with this company, they should be getting it right or close to right every time with the exception of "try this and break out of your comfort zone" pieces. I've even been using the same stylist for the past handful of boxes.

I think it's time to take a break from Stitch Fix, at least for me. I think it's a wonderful service. They have some of the best customer service I've ever come across. If you're into a more vintage, boho, classic, or corporate style, you will love it. But, after 10 boxes, I think they're running out of edgy pieces to send me. I'm getting a lot of the same silhouettes, patterns, and colors (I get it, yes, black = edgy to most of the world but it's more than that) over and over.

My message to Stitch Fix is this: edgy is in. Flannels, graphics, hardware, mesh, asymmetry, strappy necklines, cutouts, open backs, distressing, tie-dye, acid wash, fringe - this stuff is on-trend and you have customers who want it. It's not just me. I see a ton of people asking for this same stuff in the Stitch Fix Facebook groups. People who are getting these classic, preppy styles who are continuously asking for "edgier please" and inevitably quitting your service when you aren't able to deliver. These sweet silhouettes are not for everyone. You're alienating a section of your audience. Find buyers that understand edgier trends. Find stylists that understand edgier styles. I want to be paired with someone who still cries over My Chemical Romance's break-up and wore Tripp NYC pants in the 9th grade. Where are those stylists? If the answer is "nowhere" - find them. Or just hire me!

If you're wanting to try Stitch Fix (I know I make it sound so appealing, but I do think this service can work for some people depending on your needs) and this blog post helped your make that decision, I'd be grateful if you signed up using my referral link. I'll get a credit towards a future box!

Athleisure is Fashion for Corpses

I'll be the first one to admit that I used to scoff at this whole athleisure thing. After all, I have the athletic ability of a baby learning how to walk while throwing a tantrum because it's hungry. But then I picked up a few pieces - a pair of Nike's here, a vintage 90's Polo Ralph Lauren bag there. And then before I knew it, I had a whole outfit. And then my wardrobe became 90's athleisure with a side of grunge I-don't-give-a-fuck-ism. They work well together. It all started when I realized that athlesiure is literally just sporty fashion for the lazy. So, you mean, I get to wear contrast striping, leggings, sneakers, and a pony tail without the expectation of sports-ing? And that's on trend? Hell yeah, don't mind if I do.

I think athleisure is the fashion trendy reanimated corpses would choose. I don't have any proof, mind you. But it seems appropriately comfortable for mindless shambling.

Shop this Look

-Black and white striped cutout top, All Saints (similar)

-Black leggings, Kohls (exact)

-Buffalo plaid fleece jacket, Kohls (similar)

-Nike Red Tag sneakers, Nike.com (similar)

-Vintage Polo Ralph Lauren purse, ThredUp* (similar)

*If you like shopping second-hand, you should give ThredUp a try. It's like thrift store shopping only online and organized!