I’m sorry & Happy Holidays!

I haven’t had much motivation or positivity since the election. It was like a light went out across the country and talking about fashion or beauty seemed petty, though I suppose it could’ve been a solid distraction.

However, it’s December now, which is my second favorite month of the year (after October) so I am ready to savor it. I’ve already watched White Christmas & Miracle on 34th Street, I’ve wrapped a few presents, and I’m burning my Christmasy WoodWick candles.

I’m currently 3/4 through reading Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I just wanted something sappy after all the crime books & shows I’ve been indulging in. I’m listening exclusively to Christmas music, because why wouldn’t I be? James & I also went on a date last week to see Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them …. and what a freaking joy.

Some articles I’ve appreciated recently:

  1. “Newt Scamander takes every trope we know about the Male Hero — the toxic tropes that we have grown up with, that are so internalized in traditional narratives that we don’t even blink at them anymore — and flips them on their head.” – On Newt Scamander, Toxic Masculinity, and the Power of Hufflepuff Heroes
  2. “Women talk ourselves into needing less, because we’re not supposed to want more—or because we know we won’t get more, and we don’t want to feel unsatisfied. We reduce our needs for food, for space, for respect, for help, for love and affection, for being noticed, according to what we think we’re allowed to have. Sometimes we tell ourselves that we can live without it, even that we don’t want it. But it’s not that we don’t want more. It’s that we don’t want to be seen asking for it.” – Hunger Makes Me
  3. Evan Rachel Wood speaking for so many through her ‘confession’ to Rolling Stone.
Shoes on my Christmas List:
madewell nealy boot in print velvet free people aura ankle boot in sage madewell lou loafer in smoked graphite

Madewell Nealy Boot in Print Velvet // Free People Aura Ankle Boot in Sage // Madewell Lou Loafer in Smoked Graphite

Check out my Amazon wishlist for more items on my Christmas list this year. 

— Edit —

I forgot to add that I just finished watching all three seasons of The Fall over the course of a few weeks. Oh my gosh, I can’t recommend it enough. Gillian Anderson as Stella Gibson is the strongest-written female lead I have ever seen in movies or television. Being a BBC show, the seasons are only 4-6 episodes and it’s recently transitioned to a Netflix series. Go watch it, then kick ass.

Color palettes, personal style, etc.

Now that there are a measly two weeks left of Fall 2016, I think it’s fair to say that my Autumn Capsule was a bust. I never really got the hang of my style and frankly, it was way too hot to wear the things I felt I should’ve seasonally been able to wear. There was no need for sweaters or even light jackets, for the most part. I could wear my Birkenstocks through all of October without my toes ever getting cold.

However, I can’t really say that it was a failed experiment, because I’ve learned so much through the first attempt and I’m really looking forward to trying again for Winter. First, I took some time to really delve into my coloring and what looks best on me and though I’d kinda-sorta always known, it’s nice to pinpoint that, yeah, super greyed-out shades are more flattering and bolds always have looked wonky. I used this quiz to really pinpoint what I am, which btw is a Soft or Toned Summer (always thought I was a Winter!!). Into Mind also has a gorgeous color analysis breakdown. I had become so uncomfortable with color that I’d been getting rid of essentially everything in my closet that wasn’t some shade of blue, so for me it’s liberating to see that I can wear essentially any muted color.

I’ve been using a lot of different tools to help determine my personal style. I think the FemaleFashionAdvice subreddit is a hugely helpful resource. They have great threads on personal color analysis, wardrobe overhauls, clothing materials (though, warning, I did find out that suede is lamb skin, so … yeah, I’ll never be buying it again), and dressing for your shape. I’ve felt like a fashion mess the past couple of months, but these are helping me get it together again. I’ve also been using ClosetSpace to add items from my current closet to keep track of what I have and what I need/want.

Better luck next time!

I know, I know, I can wear whatever the heck I want, but for the purposes of curation and feeling comfortable and confident in my wardrobe & creating a personal style that feels authentic, this is helpful. No more neon peplum tops and tomato red dresses just because they’re on sale! 

Bye October!

I can’t believe that 1) October is OVER and 2) November has started off in 80’s. I’m a child of winter. Give me cold weather and numb noses and biting winds and fireplaces and cozy sweaters. I am sick to death of heat, and I cannot believe it persisted through (I’ll say it again, folks) my favorite month of the year! I’m still holding out hope for Winter, but it’s been screwing with my “Capsule Wardrobe” aspirations to still be wearing all of my Summer clothes.

I spent the Halloween weekend in Chattanooga with my family. It’s especially magical because my mom is super devoted to getting in the spooky spirit. Check out some of her sweet, sweet decorations in this post … and then imagine the entire house, every room, being filled with similar decor.

I have been … a little weak in my spending lately. I cancelled Sephora Play!, which may come as a surprise to … well, just Alex. Since I’m VIB and trying to rack up points for rewards, I order regularly enough to receive cool deluxe samples as often as I want. The Play! box wasn’t as fun for me, personally, as its equally cheap competitor Ipsy. However, plenty of people dislike Ipsy (though I’ve only had fun & positive experiences and quick responses from customer service), so your mileage may vary! In Play’s absence, I’ve picked up the BeautyFix box from Dermstore because I love skincare, and BeautyFix focuses on skincare with haircare and makeup mixed in. I just got the October box and it’s wonderful. Post to follow. I also signed up for the PopSugar Must Have sub, which is a $40/month lifestyle blog.

Though I’m on a clothing no-buy … or I’m supposed to be … I caved and purchased two pairs of leggings from Yogasmoga, an ethical, USA-made activewear brand. I never buy nice activewear, but they are currently having a 50% off full-priced styles sales and I’ve been wanting to try the brand for awhile. I’m weak, okay?

++ Current Wishlist ++

It is time to retire the blush & gray Saucony sneakers I picked up from Madewell last year. I am set on booties for the rest of the year, but I am terribly tempted by these babies. I’m torn between what I want & what I need, what will last a long time & what will be on-trend for the season. 
+ Vans Weatherized Suede Slip-Ons with Sherpa Lining, $55 | Black, white, AND fuzzy inside? They’d go with anything, but I wonder how quickly I’d destroy them. 
+ Allbirds Wool Runners, $95 | I’m a sucker for the trendy-yet-ethical shops that keep popping up over social media. These merino wool sneakers from New Zealand fit the bill of fashionable & functional and honestly I just want to feel them. How cool was this rose quartz pair
+ Adidas AlphaBOUNCE, unreleased | Everyone knows I love subscription boxes, and my mouth has been watering over the Adidas box since it’s release this Spring. The Winter box is a collaboration between Rita Ora & Adidas and will include these beauties. It’s $150 so it’s a little pricey, but they’re already promising that another pair of shoes will be included, too, along with the usual activewear pieces. 
+ Old Navy Jersey-Knit Shift Dress in Charcoal, $29.94 | I realized lately that I’ve become a denim brat & only consider buying from Madewell & J. Crew for jeans, since I know they work for me. However, I’m in need of a dark wash pair with no distressing & don’t feel like dropping $100+ on a single pair, so I hit up Old Navy just to see what it was like…. and it was awful. I tried four pairs and though they fit, the stitching was so crooked and wobbly that I couldn’t stop noticing it. They even made my butt look bad, and that’s the one body part I feel confident about!!! So, that was a failed experiment, but I did find this shift dress. It isn’t necessarily flattering, but it’s got a cool girl vibe while also being a throw-on-and-go piece.
+ H&M Ribbed Sweater in Black & White Melange, 14.99 |  Um, hello… It’s a $14.99 basic sweater. Priya posted about wearing it in London and now I can’t stop thinking about it. 
+ Uniqlo Ultra Stretch High Rise Ankle Jeans, $29.90 | Since I’m still on my dark-wash-no-distressing denim search, I’m considering these. They have great reviews (everyone seems to be a Uniqlo fan) but I’m just so scared of thrifty denim. 

Thoughts of the day

  • Dogs (probably) dream about their owners when they sleep, which makes Sansa’s snoozes so much sweeter than they already were. 
  • My mom, sisters, & I have been working through this list of horror shorts in honor of the Halloween season. We can only get through a few at a time due to the super tension condensed into every few minutes. 
  • Even though my “capsule wardrobe” has ~50 pieces, it has truly helped my mindset as I go into Autumn and see all the beautiful cool-weather clothes coming out. I’m still trimming as time passes – realizing that I don’t need a turquoise tee in October (though you better believe I’m eyeing the navy) or that the black platform clogs I thought about getting rid of are the shoes I reach for most often. It’s a learning process, but I’ve been so much better about not wanting to go clothes shopping! Now, as James brought up, if I could just “capsule” my skincare and makeup… 
  • I’m also committing (as of today) to start a slow process into (potential) vegetarianism. For the next 30 days, I am going to try cutting red meat & pork out of my diet. I’ll still eat poultry, because … baby steps. This also led me to cancel HelloFresh (options are too limited) but keep HomeChef. HomeChef always has at least 2 vegetarian options, and while I am continuing to eat poultry, this will be a great choice in figuring out creative ways to make meals without beef or pork or whatever else. 
  • Roxane Gay lists 13 Rules for Female Friendships – full of helpful truths like “If a friend sends you like 30 crazy emails needing reassurance about the same damn shit, be patient because one day that’s going to be you tearing up Gmail with your drama.”
  • This election has brought out the absolute worst in so many people. I’m starting to worry that whether Hillary wins or loses, there will be ensuing violence, especially against POC & LGBTQ communities.