Tuesday, November 30, 2010

21 & 22 of 30

Still playing catch-up a bit. Below are the outfits I wore Monday and today. The majority of Monday was spent driving home. Five hours. In the rain. The entire time. Needless to say, I did not look nor feel up to taking outfit photos when I got home, so I recreated it today for your viewing pleasure.

Outfit 21

Day 21 (Driving Home)

Yellow Cardi - Loft
Stripe Tee - J.Crew
Skinny Jeans - James
Boots - Frye
Necklace - Dillards

I realized that I hadn't taken any of my photos with my glasses on. This is a bit of a misrepresentation of myself, because I almost always wear glasses. There is a stereotype about architects that they always wear black and have weird glasses. This is a stereotype that happens to be completely true. I can pick out architects in any city I visit just based on their apparel and eye wear.

For the most part, I've managed to not reinforce the stereotype. Even though architecture school gives you many things to mourn (loss of free time, loss of sanity), I never went completely black with my outfits. I do own lots of black clothing, but I try to pair it with color or print. Try as I might to break the mold, I could not pass up the "architectural" glasses. My friends and I joke that there is a special case of glasses that they pull out if you show them your AIA (American Institute of Architects) card. All joking aside, the glasses do serve a purpose. We've all spent entirely too many hours staring at a computer screen and our eye sight is shot.

Outfit 22

Day 22 (Teaching Non-Western Architecture)

Blazer - Banana Republic
Honeycomb Blouse - Banana Republic (via consignment)
Black Skirt - Banana Republic
Boots - Vintage
Glasses - Kate Spade
Necklace - Vintage

Today before class, one of my students asked where I shopped. I guess I'm still dressing stylishly even 22 days in.

Monday, November 29, 2010

19 & 20 of 30 - Playing Catch-up

The last few days I've had spotty internet availability, so I'm playing catch-up today. The two outfits you see below are what I wore Saturday and Sunday.

I've had these red tights for a while, but haven't been able to summon up the courage to wear them. I was afraid that I would come off too Christmasy. I wore them on Saturday to watch our team's football game on TV. It was rather appropriate because our team color is red. They must have been good luck, because we won. Go Hogs!

Outfit 19

Day 19 (Watching the big game)

Stripe Tee - J.Crew
Polka Dot Skirt - Thrifted
Necklace - Vintage (From Grandma)
Belt and Tights - Target
Flats - Banana Republic

In case you were wondering, yes I do appear to have an abstract painting going straight through my head. My boyfriend (the artist) has been taking my pictures the last couple of days. Thanks for the art direction, hon.

Outfit 20

Day 20 (Hanging Out)

Stripe Cardi - Old Navy
Ruffle Shell - Anthro
Black Legging Jeans - Gap
Boots - Vintage
Belt - Vintage (Etsy)

Friday, November 26, 2010

17 & 18 of 30

Look! A new venue. My dad actually took these pictures since I was home for Thanksgiving. This necklace is one of my favorites. I've been saving it as a secret weapon. Is there anything you are holding back just to give the last half a boost?

Outfit 17

Day 17 (Thanksgiving Dinner #2)

Stripe Shirt - J.Crew
Yellow Skirt - Vintage, Thrifted
Boots - Vintage
Necklace - Dillards
Belt - Vintage
Tights - Old Navy

I didn't participate in the Black Friday festivities. It wasn't even a temptation for me. We hardly ever go out on Black Friday and when we do it's like 2:00 PM. Why you may ask? A) I value my sleep. B) I hate the cold. C) I hate crowds. We're talking about the family that left Times Square on New Years Eve, because we couldn't stand the crowd.

Outfit 18

Day 18 (Driving 5 hours to my Boyfriend's house)

Red Cardi - Banana Republic
Navy Ruffle Tank - Gap
Skinny Jeans - James (Finally)
Boots - Vintage
Sunglasses - Vintage
Necklace - Vintage (From Grandma)
Belt - Thrifted

Yes, I always like to match my outfit with my car when driving long distances.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

16 of 30 - Turkey Time

Okay, so this isn't really day 16. It's my second outfit for day 15, but I'm behind, so I'm counting it. I changed after my big meeting into something a little more comfortable for driving to my parents house for Thanksgiving Dinner #1. This is the first time my $0.50 polka dot skirt has made an appearance, but you will see it again.

Outfit 16

Day 15 (Outfit 16): Going Home

Chambray Shirt - Gap
Polka Dot Skirt - Vintage, Thrifted
Necklace - Charlotte Russe
Belt - Target
Bracelet - Vintage
Boots - Vintage

Week 2 Wrap Up

Okay so these are not exactly weekly roundups. Being sick put me behind a few days and 8 photos fit better in my layout than 7, so you're getting a wrap-up on Wednesday.

Week 2

What I've Learned (Week 2):

  1. I can do multiple poses. New locations coming next week.
  2. I should have picked a different style pant. I love my James jeans from Anthropologie and wear them all the time in real life, but they have yet to make an appearance in the 30 for 30. Let's face it. All outfits with skinny jeans look more or less a like. I could have multiply my outfit options by instead including a pair of trousers.
  3. I could still use another cardigan. I'd like another causal topper option because the blazers are nice for work, but not necessarily for chilling.
  4. I am going to do a major purge after this is over.
  5. I'm overwhelmed by the possibility of having my entire closet at my disposal when the 30 days are up. I may just introduce a few pieces at a time.
Anyone else have any mid-way revelations?

15 of 30 - Half Way

Today I had a meeting with an executive board about a project that I've had a part in for the last year. In planning my outfit, I started out pretty conservatively. I was going to wear my grey blazer and black skirt, maybe one of the colored shells, then I thought, heck, this is boring and it's not me. So instead I choose to wear yellow! and print! and the black skirt. So what if all my colleagues were in black and tan. This is me. I enjoy color. Why shouldn't I wear what I want (within reason)? So I did. And maybe I brightened some old guy's day in the process.

Outfit 15

Day 15: (Big Meeting)

Cardi - Loft
Shell - Anthro
Skirt - Banana
Necklace - Banana
Belt - ?
Heels - Gianni Bini

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

14 of 30 - Back with a Vengeance

Today I'm really back fashion-wise. The last two days were "fillers" so to speak.

Lately, I've been thinking about how the way you dress effects the way people perceive you. I feel like sometimes if you dress too fashiony (at least in my area and profession) then you aren't taken as seriously. Like you can't be fashionable and academic at the same time.

There are certain items/outfits that I won't wear to teach, because they're not serious enough? Not professorial? I'm not quite sure, but I do have a fear of looking too young. I teach a class of 18 year-olds and am often mistaken for a student myself, even though I am in my late-20s. I guess my main goal when dressing for work is to seem older and more credible. Therefore, I tend to avoid trendy items that might make me look younger. I pass on cute outfits that might mess with my "professional image". Oh well, I guess that is what the weekends are for.

Outfit 14

Day 14: Teaching (Non-Western Architecture)

Dress - Banana Republic
Blouse - Tucker for Target
Locket - Vintage (with random children inside)
Belt - ?
Bracelet - Vintage
Heels - Gianni Bini

Monday, November 22, 2010

12 & 13 of 30 - I'm back!

Though not 100%, I am back to the land of the living. Below is a recreation of the outfit I wore to the doctor on Friday. I did not accessorize or even wear makeup that day. I somehow feel that your appearance should look as bad as you feel when going to the doctor. My twisted mind thinks that if you make the effort on your appearance, the doctor will somehow think that you're not really sick, as in, "If she feels well enough to put on makeup and pick out a necklace, then maybe she really isn't that sick." I know this is just me being paranoid and probably no doctors think this way, but oh well.

Outfit 12

Day 12: Went to the doctor (boo)

Chambray Shirt - Gap
Black Legging Jeans - Gap
Black Flats - Banana Republic

Outfit 13

Day 13: Working on my lecture for tomorrow

Stripe Shirt - J.Crew
Skinny Jeans - Banana Republic
Black Flats - Banana Republic
Pendant - Vintage
Bracelet - From Mexico

Saturday, November 20, 2010

? of 30 - Short Hiatus

I have developed some sort of seasonal cold, so I'll be out of commission for a few days. Trust me, my pajamas are not very blog-worthy. I'll try to be back on schedule by Monday. Have a good weekend everybody.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

11 of 30 - Looking Pretty Good, Feeling Pretty Crummy

I may look put together in this picture, but I'm currently in my jammies and I'm about to take a nap.

Outfit 11 copy

Day 11: Teaching (Non-Western Architecture)

Dress - LC Lauren Conrad (Kohl's)
Navy Blazer - Gap
Bead Necklace - Banana Republic
Bracelet - Vintage
Heels - Gianni Bini

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

10 of 30

One third of the way through! I've actually had the bizarre desire to to give away all my other clothes, that are not part of the 30 for 30. Oh, I might save 10 or 20 items, but my life would be so much simpler. I may not go to that extreme, but regardless, I will be having a major purge by the time this challenge is over. The amount of clothing I own is ridiculous and it really doesn't make me any happier. Less really is more, Mies van der Rohe. Okay, that was my zen moment for the day, now on to more frivolous things like today's outfit!

Outfit 10

Day 10: Going to campus to attend a lunch lecture

Grey Blazer - Banana Republic
Grey Ruffle Tank - Anthropologie
Yellow Skirt - Vintage, Thrifted, Altered
Tights - ?
Heels - Gianni Bini
Necklace - Vintage (Great Aunt's)
Belt - Vintage, Thrifted, Awesome
Bracelet - Vintage
Watch - Skagen

Outfit 10 detail

This belt is AWESOME. Today is actually the first time that I've worn it even though I've had it for months. It's so unusual (therefore hard to match). Found at my LTS (local thrifts store), this vintage beauty was a whole $2.00, but so worth it. You will definitely be seeing it again.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

9 of 30

Outfit 9

Day 9: Teaching (Medieval Architecture)

Red Cardigan - Banana Republic
Print Tank - Old Navy
Pencil Skirt - Banana Republic
Tights - Old Navy
Boots - Vintage
Necklace - Simply Vera Vera Wang
Bracelet - Vintage
Watch - Skagen
Belt - TJ Maxx

I have several "Senior Auditors" in my class. These are senior citizens that are taking my History of Architecture class just for fun. Well today, one of the ladies said that she and the others enjoyed coming to class, because they like to see how I was dressed. I guess my 30 for 30 style is popular with the 70 and over crowd.

Monday, November 15, 2010

8 of 30

Outfit 8

Day 8: Working at Home

Stripe Cardigan - Old Navy
Grey Tee - Gap
Black Legging Jeans - Gap
Slouch Boots - Vintage
Necklace - Vintage (Gift from parents)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Week 1 Wrap-up

Week 1

What I've Learned (Week 1):

1. I have a favorite pose. Can you tell what it is?
2. Tiff files work much better than jpgs for editing.
3. I use shopping as a pass time, not just as a way to procure items I really need. Talk about an expensive hobby.
4. The mall is really not my big temptation, it's thrifting.
5. I could use one more neutral cardigan in my 30 for 30, maybe in exchange for that black dress.
6. I can conquer temptation. Shopping will not get the best of me.

Anyone else have any big revelations for week one?

7 of 30 - What do you wear to listen to your favorite band?

Okay, so I totally lucked out this weekend. Clinton Kelley on Friday and Iron & Wine concert tonight (Sunday). Iron & Wine is in my top 5 bands ever, probably even close to the top of that list (right behind the Avett Brothers). Sam Beam, he is pretty much the band, is so talented and amazing. If you are not familiar with his work, get thee to emusic right now and check him out. Needless to say, I am pumped about tonight. So now, what to wear? What to wear?

Outfit 7

Something a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll.

Chambray Shirt - Gap
Floral Skirt - Thrifted, Blogged Here
Boots - Frye
All Jewelry - Vintage
Belt - Flea Market

I'll let you know how the concert goes. What groups are on your must see list?

Update: The concert was amazing. I was able to stand about five people back from the stage. Sam Beam is funny and so great live. Nothing beats it.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

6 of 30

Outfit 6

Day 6: Campus Day at School, Talking with prospective students about the Department of Architecture.

Abstract Print Tank - Anthropologie
Skinny Jeans - Banana Republic
Navy Blazer - Gap
Flats - Banana Republic
Starburst Necklace - Vintage
Bracelet - Vintage
Watch - Skagen

All the other school representatives were in the school color, royal blue. For some reason that never crossed the minds of any of the architecture representatives. We were in shades of green, tan, and coral. So much for school spirit.

5b of 30 - What do you wear to meet Clinton Kelley?!?!

Yesterday afternoon I found out that Clinton Kelley, of the show What Not to Wear, was going to be at my local Macy's that night. What Not to Wear is one of my favorite shows, so I couldn't pass up the opportunity. Soon after my initial excitement died down, I was struck with panic. What should one wear to be in the presence of Clinton Kelley? Well, thanks to this challenge, my options were partially limited, which did make for a slightly easier decision. I did a test run on a outfit and sent a pic to my most stylish friend, Anna of tulip.louise. She okayed the outfit and I was on my way. It was a fun event. Clinton was great. He's just as funny in person as he is on the show. The whole thing was a bit of a scam. If you purchased $100.00 in women's merchandise from Macy's, you would get a copy of his yet to be released book and the opportunity to have him sign it. Old Kara may have given into the pressure, but new 30 for 30 Kara didn't. I attended the event, had fun, and then went home without spending a penny. Yay me!!!

Outfit 5b

Floral Blouse - Tucker for Target
Black Legging Jeans - Gap
Patent Heals - Gianni Bini
Gold Fringy Necklace - Gap
All Bracelets - Vintage

Friday, November 12, 2010

5 of 30 - Can we have one do-over?

Five days in and I'm already having regrets. Eeep! I would kill to have one more piece of neutral outwear right now. Sigh. I guess this is a good thing. One of the goals of this challenge is to make you long for things you already own, but that are not included in your 30 items. Grey Cardigan, I'm longing for you, even though you are on a shelf mere inches away. Oh well, see you (and gladly wear you) in twenty-five days.

Outfit 5

Day 5: Meeting with students and other academic activities.

Teal Tank: Heather Kelly (Now Defunct Etsy Site)
Black Legging Jeans: Gap
Stripe Cardigan: Old Navy
Black Flats: Banana Republic
Woven Belt: Don't remember, Target?
Watch: Skagen
Bracelets: Both Vintage

Anybody else having regrets? If you could have one do-over at the moment, what would it be?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

4 of 30 - Thoughts on Temptation

For me, the temptation is not really in the mall, at the Gap, or even in those Anthropologie emails. I try to make that kind of shopping the exception and not the rule (some who know me might say otherwise, but that's why I'm doing this challenge in the first place). For me the real temptation is thrift stores and other places of that nature. I drove past my Goodwill twice yesterday and both times felt a pull at my heart. I could go in and buy vintage fabric and that wouldn't be explicitly against the rules, but I'm afraid that if I saw the perfect vintage jacket, I wouldn't be able to resist.

Vintage is hard. Each piece is pretty much one of a kind. That sweater at the Gap will probably be there next month (and 50% off at that), but that vintage piece may not be there tomorrow. And that, my friends, is why I'm avoiding all situations in which I might find myself in close proximity to vintage including, but not limited to: thrift stores, yard sales, estate sales, etc. $3.00 here, $5.00 there seems harmless enough, but it does start to add up. Hopefully this challenge will make me more mindful in my thrifting as well. I need to do it thoughtfully and with intention, not just as a passtime.

Outfit 4
Day 4: Teaching (English Gothic), grading and other school related activities.
Printed Top - Banana Republic (via consignment)
Black Legging Jeans - Gap
Yellow Sweater - Loft
Black Flats - Banana Republic
Stud Earrings - Simply Vera Vera Wang
Multi-Chain Necklace - Charlotte Russe
Watch - Skagen
Bracelet - Vintage (Great Aunt's)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Don't mind me, I'm just learning HTML.

3 of 30

Day 3 and I'm already making a list of possible purchases after the 30 days are up. At this rate, it could be a pretty long list by then. I will persevere and make it until the end of this challenge.

Outfit 3

Day 3. Errands, grading student assignments, etc.
Stripe Top - J.Crew
Navy Ruffle Top - Gap
Skinny Jeans - Banana Republic
Flats - Banana Republic
Turquoise Earrings - Crafts Person in Mexico
Gold Necklace - Vintage, $0.25 at a yard sale!
Watch - Skagen
Bracelet - Vintage (on loan from cousin)
Belt - Vintage (Antique Mall)

Outfit Chart

As I'm thinking of outfits to wear, certain combinations are striking me as "good" ones that I should save for days when I have something "important" to do, meaning days when I'm not just hanging around my apartment or running errands. I needed to be able to make up some cute, stylish outfits for just chilling. Enter outfit chart as seen above. I started out by writing down all the shirts I picked. Then for each one, I wrote down which bottoms it would work with. Just doing this gave me over 60 combinations, and that's not even factoring in dresses or jackets. I think I'm good needless to say.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

2 of 30 - Disaster Strikes

Soooo, today right after I got to school, I managed to spill coffee on this yellow skirt. When the item in question is one of hundreds, no big deal, there's plenty more to wear. However, when it is one of thirty, that is a much bigger deal. Needless to say, this baby went straight to the dry cleaners.

Outfit 2

I wore this for a day of teaching (High Gothic Architecture). The yellow skirt is one that I picked up a Goodwill for $4. It was a little on the long side (read dowdy) so I took it to the seamstress to be hemmed. I normal hem up my own skirts, but I wanted this one to have an invisible hem, which my sewing machine either doesn't do, or I haven't figured out how to do. It was a little expensive, but the skirt still ended up being well under $20. I think that's still a bargain.

Kara Outfit Detail

Chambray Shirt - Gap
Yellow Skirt - Vintage, Thrifted, Altered
Scarf (Above) - Banana Republic
Tall Socks - Target
Boots - Frye
Starburst Necklace - Vintage
Leather Belt - Thrifted
Watch - Skagen
Cuff Bracelet - Vintage (from Great Aunt)

Monday, November 8, 2010

1 of 30

Let the remixing begin!

1 of 30

Grey Blazer - Banana Republic
Black Tank - Target
Skinny Jeans - Banana Republic
Slouch Boots - Vintage
Necklace - Simply Vera Vera Wang

30 Items

Without further ado, the 30 items I will be mixing, matching, and living in for the next 30 days.

Neutral Woven Tops L-R
1. Grey Ruffle Tank - Anthropologie
2. Print Tank - Old Navy
3. Black Tank with Lace - Target

Colorful Woven Tops
4. Teal Bow Tank - Heather Kelley (defunct Etsy site)
5. Abstract Print Tank - Anthropologie
6. Honey Comb Print Top - Banana Republic (via consignment)

Knit Tops
7. Stripe Tee - J. Crew
8. Grey Pocket Tee - Gap
9. Navy Ruffle Tank - Gap

Button Up Tops
10. Print Blouse - Tucker for Target
11. Chambray Shirt - Gap

12. Stripes - Old Navy
13. Deep Red - Banana Republic
14. Mustard - Loft

15. Lace - LC Lauren Conrad
16. Navy Blazer - Gap
17. Grey Blazer - Banana Republic

18. Black Sheath - Banana Republic
19. Ruffle Print - LC Lauren Conrad

20. Skinny Jeans - Banana Republic
21. Dark Skinny Jeans - Anthropologie
22. Black Skinny Pants - Gap

23. Black Pencil - Banana Republic
24. Polka Dot - Thrifted ($0.50!!!)
25. Yellow - Vintage, Thrifted, Altered
26. Maroon Print - Vintage, Thrifted, Altered

27. Black Slouch Boots - Vintage
28. Brown Boots - Frye (via consignment)
29. Patent Leather Mary Janes - Gianni Bini
30. Black Flats - Banana Republic

Let the Madness Begin

30 for 30 is officially underway. For a list of all the participants visit here. Also be sure and check out the Flickr Group. It's only Monday, and I've already had my first brush with temptation. I had to go into Target to buy a tripod (to take all my outfit photos!). I kept my eyes straight ahead, marched right past the clothing section, and due to my steely resolve made it out of the store with the one item I came in for. Trust me. I will not be putting myself in many other tempting situations this month.

Closet before. In this pic, I've already removed my 30 for 30 items. It's sad to say, but this is about 1/10 of the clothing I own. I have a serious problem and this month is much needed anti-retail therapy.

All my clothes have been moved to another location and now my closet only holds my 30 for 30 items (plus some shoes, but they were never much of a temptation to me.) The clothing certainly has more breathing room.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

30 for 30

I'm starting a new style venture on Monday. It's called 30 for 30 and it is the brainchild of blogger Kendi of Kendi Everyday. The premise is simple really. 30 pieces of clothing mixed and matched into 30 outfits, all over the course of 30 days, but here's the kicker: No Shopping. It will definitely be a challenge for me. I'm not sure I've ever gone 30 days without shopping, which is sad really. Hopefully this will be the start of better habits where shopping is concerned. I have more than enough clothes to last me a life time, I just need to get more creative with what's already in my closet.

Above is a rough draft of what items I will be choosing. Everything you see above is something I actually own, or an approximation of something I already own. Above there are only 24 items pictured, so I can add 6 more items! Seems like plenty of clothes now, but I may be singing a different tune by day 29. I'll put up the actual clothes I'm using on Monday. Stay tuned to this blog to see how my progress goes. It can be done. Kendi has actually done it quite successfully two times now as seen here and here. She did it (twice!) and so can I. Wish me luck.


I am doing a trial run on Christmas presents. I won't tell you which one I decided on in case any of my relatives actually read my blog.

The big daddy, a dopp kit. This was a deceptively simple tutorial that I found on the Purl Bee. A dopp kit and you only have to cut one piece of fabric! Sign me up. Unfortunately, my sewing machine and the fabric I chose for this project did not get along at all. The needle didn't want to go through multiple layers of this fabric, so I had to give it some muscle and manually turn the wheel on the machine, quite forcefully, to get it to go through at some points. That can't be good for my machine.

The tutorial called for bias tape to finish the edges on the interior. I didn't have bias tape, nor did I want to make any so I managed to figure out how to line it myself. I do wonder if the bias tape would have given it more structure. Oh well that's another project for another day. Exterior fabric vintage, thrifted. Interior fabric vintage, thrifted bed sheet.

The next pouch for the day is the handy, dandy pencil case from my Home Ec class. I've already completed one of these before. I'm getting better at the whole zipper thing, but I could use some practice with my zipper foot.

The fabric is the same as above. A matched set. Awwww.

Lastly, but not leastly, a quick and simple project. A card holder. This seriously took me 30 minutes tops and that includes sewing the curved top. I found this tutorial on the Moda Bake Shop. The directions were a little vague (maybe geared towards more experienced sewers?). FYI for anyone attempting this project, the two fabric strips you start with measure 5" x 10".

I need to add some kind of closure device. Probably a snap once I am able to procure one. Both the exterior and interior fabric is thrifted. I've used the red fabric previously in this skirt project.


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