Hello again and happy fall to those in the Northern Hemisphere and happy spring to those down under! It’s been really busy around here on all fronts (work work, fashion blogging work, and the fall dinos collection for the etsy shop) but I have been doing a lot of backend work reorganizing how I’m balancing my time with everything going on, and that includes switching to a once a week round-up instead of once a month. While the monthly post definitely provides more perspective, it was just too much to keep up with as I wasn’t consistent enough and always end up doing the whole thing in a panic over two or three days. I’m excited for this, as I do enjoy checking in with you all about both fashion and just general goings-on.
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Let us start off with the most exciting of developments: a reorganized sock drawer 🙃
One thing I’ve gotten more into wearing more that hasn’t made it as prominently into the old Instagram feed is my socks. I’ve amassed a pretty impressive collection over the past few years. I took some time recently to reorganize the sock drawers to go from the standard tube-flip style to a rolled style before switching back to a modified flip style that results in a flatter sock burrito, which packs more efficiently and stays neater!
(Yes, that is a set of plastic drawers from Target that I’ve been carting around since college and never bothered to remove the stickers from. It at least lives in the closet now.)
I started following @thefoldinglady after @gocleanco shared one of her posts, and I am HOOKED. I absolutely love folding clothes and I’ve had so much fun sorting all our drawers (I’m the laundry person in our household) into perfectly organized little sock/shirt libraries. You can check out the folding technique I picked up from her in the post below:
I’m very much a morning person and to make the start of the day more fun, I pick out a random fun pair of cheapo cutesy patterned socks to wear with my indoor sneakers (or just by themselves) while I’m doing the dishes and tidying up, and it really brightens my morning. While I do truly enjoy styling outfits, it’s nice to have a moment where I can pick out something to wear PURELY just on a whim and it’s a nice way to start out the day.
I’ve been getting those thinner sort of patterned socks from SHEIN after I realized that they sold literally the same socks you’d find on Urban Outfitters at 1/10 the price, but the miss rate in hit-or-miss quality was just too high so I’ve since stopped. I try to buy from better brands like Darn Tough, Smartwool, and Solmate for hard wearing socks, but I’ve yet to find a brand with decent production values that does more fashiony socks to my taste, and in the meantime I figure I might as well at least not pay the 10x at UO.
Back in June I finally got around to getting more than one pair of real hiking socks, and it has been LIFE CHANGING. There’s really nothing better than the breathable cushioning in a proper pair of Smartwool or Darn Tough light hiking socks for a long walk in hiking boots or docs. I’ve been really happy with how the ones I’ve got are holding up (I have the Darn Tough Light Hiker Crew Sock and Smartwool’s Light Hiking and Medium Hiking Crew Socks) although it’s mostly just been on neighborhood walks. Though to be fair those walks usually involve 500 ft+ elevation change since we live in a hilly neighborhood.
I previously often used a few thicker pairs of slightly scratchy wool-blend crew socks I got long ago from Amazon both to fulfill my walking boot sock needs and my cozy home sock needs, but I figured at this point since I wasn’t gonna use them for walking, I might as well just retire them into the duster rag pile and get some socks focused on cozy comfort. I’ve been stalking Target for several weeks waiting for them to release fall/winter socks, and they finally released some last week from the Universal Thread line. I picked up a few pairs of their Women’s Cozy Cable Lounge Extended Crew Socks which was exactly what I was looking for!
Well, in a perfect world I’d have been happy to pay up for a merino/acrylic/nylon blend, but I’m still really happy with these. The slouchy fit boosts the cozy vibe. The texture from the marled yarn and cable knit is really lovely and they’re very soft and a nice medium weight. Because they’re soft, I feel like they might get chewed up if I walked a bunch with them in boots, so I’m probably going to mostly wear them around the apartment. I got two pairs of the forest green, one in the burgundy, and one in the adorable lilac/pink. Come at me, California winter! Ready to stay in 😴
One thing to note is that the sizing says for shoe size 4-10, which is ridiculous. These will probably be too floppy for anyone smaller than a 7. They really should have done two sizes.
Over 2020 I’d also sized out of Uniqlo’s heattech sweater tights (they were low-rise on me anyway, so good riddance) so I’ve been looking into other options. I got a pair of A New Day’s Cable Fleece Lined Tights in L/XL, which is the size up from what the chart recommended. I haven’t gotten a chance to wear them for a whole day yet cause it’s been warm, but they were comfortable on try on. They go above my navel (hurray!) and the waistband doesn’t dig in, and they’re not so long that there’s excessive wrinkling around the knees. I don’t think they’re as warm as the heattech extra-warm line as those are just too warm for me to wear indoors, full stop, but they’re definitely warmer than your basic sheer stockings. I’ll probably get another pair in charcoal and one in white since I really liked the more small scale mixed cable pattern in person, but I’ll be keeping an eye out for what Hue and Sockdreams come out with this season for a more colorful option. I still haven’t gotten over the colorful tights trend that I missed out on back when twee was making the rounds.
In the last blog post, I showed off my newfound love for the denim shortalls I got from Aerie, and since then I’ve been trawling the internet for long pant overalls that would work with my wardrobe. I was so excited to find a pair I liked from Free People in a green and black railroad stripe! I have a lot to say about styling overalls and how you can integrate them into your style, so I’m going to talk more about these in my next post, but in the meantime here’s the first outfit I wore with the Free People Ziggy Railroad Overalls in size L in Olive Sparrow. The “Ziggy” style comes in loads of other fabrics, including a range of colors in traditional denim and corduroy options and after wearing these for a day I decided I liked them enough to order a second pair in black denim.
I really can’t believe that it took me so long to get into overalls. I’ve been loving the one-and-done nature of my relaxed fit poofy sleeve dresses, and the layering options of sleeveless or pinafore styles, and overalls and shortalls fill a similar role in the realm of jeans. I can see these working really well for the “crunchy casual” and the “storybook style” aesthetics I often go for, and I was glad that I could adjust the straps and cuff them to a wearable length out of the box, though eventually I think I would like to hem them a bit for a less chunky cuff.
The New Jewelry
I haven’t worn earrings for over a year now because they’re too annoying with both masks and the over-ear headphones I often use while working, I was never much into bracelets, and I’m still trying to find my necklaces that I “put somewhere safe” during out move and have yet to locate since 😭. I actually found that when I tried on some of my cheaper fashion earrings (which is almost all of them) my earlobe felt like it was going to get a rash, so I think the cheap metal sensitivity I had as a kid might have come back in the absence of exposure (either that, or I’d just gotten used to permanently irritated skin?).
I think I’m at a point now where I know what I like enough to start upgrading to better quality metals, but in the meantime I thought I’d try out brooches! I ended up buying these in a roundabout way. I actually got an Instagram ad for a brooch at J.Crew and that made me look up whether brooches were trending. Apparently they have been, and some discussions spawning from Instagram Stories pointed out that they’re great for both Zoom and not catching on masks, and it’s been a while since brooches have been up in the jewelry trend cycles. I don’t really wear many blazers or outerwear pieces that make sense with traditional brooches, but I was really intrigued by the suggestion to style them on hats, scarves, and bags, so I picked up a set of mixed vintage pins from eBay for about $20. It’s been too warm for berets recently, but I think a beret with a few of these pinned on would be really fun. I’m not sure I’m gonna end up wearing all of these, but I particularly liked the brown and green flowers, the roses, and the mushroom. A very 1970s collection.
I think I want to try out enamel pins with more modern designs for casual jackets and bags as well, but I haven’t had time to have a good browse on Etsy yet.
I’ve decided to just call it in on the July and August round-ups, but there were a few items I got that I felt were still worth a share!
Tapestry purse – I got this darling woodland themed needlepoint/tapestry shoulder bag from Poshmark! A lot of tapestry bags can feel rather stiff and formal, or just have too many zippers for my taste, but this struck a good balance of a modern shape (no kiss claps) in a minimal enough style that it doesn’t look so 90s. Both sides are cute, but I really love the birb. I may just be reading too much @falseknees though.
Frog purse – Following the high from that previous bag, I got really into needlepoint bags and was combing eBay and Poshmark for cool ones to evangelize the form with when I found this most excellent vintage froggy purse. The label is Katha Diddel, and I love that they properly designed the rear of the frog instead of just opting for a plain backing. The strap is a tad short (possibly this may have been intended as a children’s item) but I liked wearing it more across my front in another outfit so I might actually keep it.
LOOK AT HIM. Perfection.
Just as a heads up, if you are about to search for ‘vintage frog purse’ beware that taxidermy frog/toad purses are A Thing, so you may want someone to filter those out for you if you’re squeamish.
Patchwork cardigan – as much as I love my Free People dresses (I just realized I’m wearing the same one in all the outfits in this section), it’s unique items like these that usually make me feel excited to get dressed. It’s been warmer recently so I haven’t worn it as much as I’d like to, but I got this magnificent specimen of knitwear from Poshmark. It looks handmade, as searching for similar ones turned up two sold listings of the same design but with varying buttons and ‘handmade by …’ tags. I feel like this is one of those ‘so weird it goes with anything’ situations, particularly in my wardrobe which has been leaning softer and more colorful over the past year.
I’m not going to copy and paste my style notes captions since I wrote those in a way more optimized for Instagram’s character limit, but you can click on the images to go over to the original posts to read my styling thoughts for each. I figured on these round ups I’ll do more of a high level review of the week.
A mori kei inspired Halloween look for the start of ~spooky season~! I don’t actually like the horror elements of Halloween, but I love orange+black and anything with pumpkins or spooky-cute motifs like the witchy menagerie of toads, cats, snakes, owls, and spiders. Wearing one of my dependable Free People Get Obsessed babydoll dresses over a secondhand Comme des Garcon skirt I purchased from an Instagram friend ($75!!! It’s truly everything I’ve ever wanted in a midi skirt, but I’ll talk more about it in a round-up where I’ve managed to wear it as a feature piece instead of a petticoat).
A Disneyland Haunted Mansion cast member inspired look, featuring this Old Navy Crew-neck sweatshirt (it comes in tall and petite sizes, and I’m wearing a L petite and the sleeves are delightfully exactly the right length), Universal Thread dress (Poshmark), and my Dr Martens Leonas (Poshmark). These sorts of outfits are never the most popular on the feed, but sometimes you just want to revel in a slouchy sweatshirt and wrinkly ruffles. I always think that space buns and platform combat boots can make anything ~fashion~ though 😛
Same outfit as above but with a cardigan layer. I feel like a garden of heirloom tomatoes in this and it was so comfortable. Wearing Universal Thread cardigan, Free People Overalls, Target cactus t-shirt, Birkenstocks.
This might be one of the most mgetsdressed things I’ve worn recently. The generous sleeved witchy dress, the camp counselor accessories, the nature motifs! Baseball cap from the local garden store, another Free People Get Obsessed dress, the vintage frog purse, and Teva Terra Fi 5 sandals.
Read to go pick some pumpkins! Or at least go to the post office. I enjoy poking into the depths of alternative fall/halloween styles, but there’s also nothing like a messy bun, black denim, combat boots, and a flannel to put you in the mood for corn mazes and flavored lattes. Wearing Madewell Sunday Shirt in “Emmy Plaid” (older color, via eBay) size S, Aerie zip sports bra in M, Aerie Werk and Play denim shortalls in L, and my other pair of Dr Martens Leona boots, size 7.
I’m a big proponent of practicing your fancy looks before you have to put something together for an actual event and realize that something doesn’t fit, or those colors don’t work as well as you thought they would. I’m also a proponent of casual tulle skirts. Especially if it’s comfortable anyway! The lightweight floral turtleneck was a recent secondhand purchase and it’s just perfect with this celestial skirt. Wearing Morris & Co x H&M turtleneck in M (Poshmark), Moulinette Soeurs (Anthropologie) Lumiere skirt in XS (eBay), and old colorway Dr Martens Leonas (Poshmark)
I really enjoyed every single one of these, and on the whole I’ve been feeling pretty good about my outfits. They’re very seasonal when I’m in the mood for it, and otherwise just fun or at the very least super comfortable. I’ve been focusing a lot more on hair styling the last couple of weeks, and tbh I think that’s done a lot. I still don’t heat style my hair, but now that it’s waist length I’ve been putting it up more often simply because if it’s loose, it’ll get in the way!
It’s wild to me looking at my feed on Instagram and seeing that I either had a hat or accessory or did something with my hair in almost every single outfit. I remember when I first started out in the whole fashion journey that I was often very frustrated because it seemed that most outfits relied on the model having killer hair, makeup, and always having cool shoes and a “third piece” and how that just seemed so inaccessible to me. Not financially, just that it didn’t seem like I’d ever be able to commit to that amount of work on the daily. Turns out, like anything else, it just involves trying consistently, committing to some messy results, and building habits for a few years until it feels weirder not to do it.
And the rest
Speaking of hair, I FINALLY figured out how to do the “blogger bun”. AKA that messy bun that looks really full and perfectly tousled but also doesn’t fall out. I followed the elastic + bobby pins method in this ancient YouTube tutorial by Jade the Libra, minus the backcombing and curling prep. I do put salt spray and styling paste in my hair after I wash it though.
As someone who grew up without ever doing anything more complicated than a ponytail, for a long time I was allergic to the idea of using bobby pins in everyday looks, but I’ve come to realize that they’re just a part of a lot of styling. Switching to curved bobby pins also helped, as I feel they stay put better.
Earlier this week I watched The Hobbit after seeing it mentioned in one of Corridor Crews “animators react” videos. Not the Peter Jackson one, but the 1977 Orson Bean animated movie. As someone who’s never managed to make it through the LOTR books but enjoyed reading The Hobbit, I actually really liked the animated movie a lot more than the live action. It left out a few things I felt would have helped it make more sense to someone who hasn’t read the book, but on the whole it was a lot more efficient with how it used its short run time and just had a ton more personality. If you want a healthy dose of watercolor 1970s high fantasy and cottagecore aesthetic, I recommend giving it a watch if only for that.
While I’ve been personally content to keep my crochet skills within the very niche realm of whimsical stuffed triceratops, I was delighted to discover that UK diver Tom Daley picked up knitting and crocheting over 2020 and posts his projects to a dedicated fiber arts Instagram account @madewithlovebytomdaley. I’m honestly impressed with both the quantity and quality of the pieces he’s made, and there is nothing more precious and heartwarming than knowing that he crocheted his most recent gold medal a tiny custom Tokyo 2020/Great Britain cozy to keep it safe 😭
Those of you who’ve been following along in my Instagram stories know that I’ve been super into deep cleaning and organizing particularly in the last month or two. I usually put on some YouTube videos while I’m working, and one of my favorites has been The Organized Soprano’s recorded “Clutter Therapy” livestreams. The slower pace is nice for something just on in the background, and I enjoy that it has both presentation and chat sections. One that I thought was particularly interesting was when she discussed hoarding vs collecting.
The particular takeaway I had was that if you have a collection, you’re proud of it, display it, maintain it, and want to show it to people. I feel like that’s a good way to decide whether or not you have “collected” too many clothes for you. If looking at your wardrobe gives you a sense of excitement rather than dread, even if every hanger is used, then it’s doing what it’s supposed to and there’s no need to pare it down just for the sake of decluttering. If your friend comes over and expresses interest in your style, would you be happy to show off the 26 beautiful Anthropologie dresses you’ve spent your adult life finding and wearing to the grocery store, or are you embarrassed that you have 26 dresses from Anthropologie in your wardrobe that you don’t even like all that much? 🤔 Now that I’m reading this back, this pretty much lines up with the whole “does it spark joy” thing, except at a larger scale.
That’s all for last week! I did have quite a lot of outfits I liked in August, so I might do a separate post discussing some specific styling aspect of them if I feel inspired, but otherwise I have a variety of posts in the queue that should be quite fun. This week I don’t have any particular fashion goals, and I’m mostly going to try to focus on my schedule’s consistency to hopefully get in more time doing stuff that I like without getting behind at work. I anticipate a continuation of the more fall themed outfits and more appearances of the froggy purse 🐸
This coming week I’m looking forward to checking for pumpkin items at the local Trader Joe’s. I usually stock up on the pumpkin butter (which is more of a jam), the pumpkin bread/muffin mix (which I consider cake), and the pumpkin pancake/waffle mix. I keep hearing the pumpkin ravioli is good, so I want to try that out this year if they have it. Last year I actually wore a gourd inspired outfit (below) for the rare TJs run, and was really tickled when the staff dispensing hand sanitizer at the door said she liked my outfit 🎃. Are there any seasonal grocery items you look forward to in the fall?