Blearning Blog! Letter eeeEEEEEE!!!

It’s Monday, which means it is time to put new information in your head and live a fancier and more fashionable life!

BLEARNING BLOG brought to you by the letter E!

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E is for Elizabeth and James!

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You know Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen? They are the masterminds behind this hip label, which they started in 2007. Ashley and Mary Kate went from Full House to powerhouse with their fashion careers post sitcom stardom.

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Elizabeth and James is the second of two lines. It is named after their siblings, and is the younger brand to their luxury line The Row. Here are a few of my favorite looks from the Resort 2015 collection. The good news is that the following eye candy is part of the less expensive label. The bad news: you still may have to “resort” to looking and not touching, because even the midi top is going to cost upwards of a couple hundred bucks.

If MK & A hired me to label these looks, it would go something like this:

The Short, Plump Cartoon Man that Never Was

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The Playground Outfit Not Made for the Monkey Bars

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The Powerpoint Presentation w/ Gun Show Encore

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The Laundry Day Skirt Shirt

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The DIY Sharpie Lab Coat … paired with the Rejected Color Jansport

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Okay okay so maybe I was poking a little fun at these looks, but I think even though they appear to be somewhat mod and stark in the way they have been styled for the photos, there is still room to be playful in these looks because of their creative lines and unexpected pops of pattern and color. The aesthetic is supposed to be a relaxed urban with just enough of a blend of femme and structure that it looks powerful and stays relaxed. I’d wear it because it would make me feel edgy and because the shapes allow for all kinds of pizza to be consumed. I wouldn’t wear it if I wanted to feel like a polished professional or if I wanted to show off my silhouette.  If I were styling someone who had a lax, urban dress code for work, I could definitely see pulling some of these pieces for their wardrobe, otherwise I see most of these pieces as meant for the everyday casual sophisticate.

Speaking of sophisticated, when I realized that today’s Blearning Blog was going to start with “E” I immediately thought of Mini Me from Austin Powers running and squealing, and thought “oh, I should definitely put a clip in my blog of that!”  Here’s what search engines gave me:

Because I said sophisticated and I meant it….  😉  Maybe a good look for my next post?

CheeeeEEEEEEEEEEEErs!

C

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Blearning Blog: d’Orky for d’Orsay

Monday it is! Learn we will.

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Blearning Blogs, for those of you joining us, are where I pick a topic the fashion world assumes everybody knows about, but actually doesn’t, and I write about it for you to read. I like it because we all become savvier without buying a damn thing. Street cred for all! 

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Oh, I should also mention that Blearning Blogs go in alphabetical order. If you want to catch A, B, or C, you can check them out here!

Letter A!

Letter B!

Letter C!  

Letter D! …. Oh wait that’s today…. Check it out!

Today we are learning about d’Orsay style shoes! I have seen these all over, and have heard the word d’Orsay, but have I ever used it in a sentence? Not once.  Let’s take a quick peek at a shoe that is not only everywhere, but it is also historical! Who knew?

If I were your best gal pal describing my new d’Orsay shoes on the phone, I would say something like this:

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“Yah, they’re like a kind of shoes that have, like, a cut out sort of on the middle sides so, like, you can see the arch of your foot, ya know? Like the toes and heels are still covered. Yah, and they’re like so in right now.”

If I were writing about them for fashion research project I might say this:

D’Orsay  (pronounced door-say) is a style of shoe designed originally for men in the 1800’s by Count Alfred d’Orsay, who wanted a better fitting military shoe that would accommodate wider feet.  Women loved the pointed toe, and incorporated it into ladies’ fashion shortly thereafter. The characteristics that make the d’Orsay shoe unique, are the point in the toe and the exposed arch, which comes from an absence of structured fabric between the heel and the toe box. In recent years, d’Orsay style shoes are experiencing a comeback to store shelves and sidewalks. They follow the “cut-out” trend and also offer versatility in that the exposed arch can be incorporated at any level of formality in both flats and heels.

If I had all the monies for all the shoes so I could buy them and show them to you,  here are pictures of ones I would buy:

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(Those Pierre hardy ones have blue mink fur around the top… wait, what!?? So drool.)

STOP!  Put the credit card down. Here are three more that won’t break the bank:

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My faves are the Ava & Aiden out of this bunch. These are perfect staples because they are sassy and yet still muted enough to wear with a lot of things. 

D’Or I say we have learned something today??

Ba dum chhhhhh!

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Cheers! Because d’Orsay shoes would look really terrible on men!

Happy Monday!

XO

Umm… #FUNFEARLESSLIFE in NYC?! I am SO (bleep)ing there!!!

Oh how I do love a good cliché! From catch phrases like “reach for the stars” to stereotypes like high school “jocks” and “nerds”, these tired ideas are all around us, breathing truth into our lives.

There really is no “i” in “team”.

If you don’t “keep calm and carry on”, you will just be stuck in hysterics somewhere. 

You can count on least 4 slutty pirates to show up at every Halloween party.

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*facepalm*

I know the cliché life quite well.

Most of my Christmases have been white.

My favorite food is pizza.

My first kiss was under the bleachers at the high school homecoming game.

I am a blonde, Midwestern girl who was raised in the suburbs, joined a sorority, competed in pageants, and I have a love of fashion. 

Just a small town girl with big city dreams.

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WAIT WAIT It gets worse.

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I have a very large city crush on the Big Apple. We met just a few years ago when I chased romance, and now I get cravings to visit like I get cravings for pizza. Next week, I can have both for four. straight. days. (eee!!!)

I’ve planned an adventure– party of one. It begins in 10 days.. I’m going to New York City for a solo weekend listening to incredible speakers and meeting women just like me who want to grab life by the heels!

It is going to be FUN and it is going to be FEARLESS and, oh yeah, that’s what it’s called!

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AHHHHH

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AAAAAAAAAAAAHHH

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AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!

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Cosmopolitan Magazine is putting on a 2 day conference for women looking to write on the walls of the world in lipstick. I’m going to soak in words of wisdom from women who are living the dream. Kelly Osbourne! Jillian Michaels! Chrissy Teigan! Joanna Coles (CEO of Cosmo)! And so many more, but I would probably lose your attention if I listed them all. 

Why am I going? Because the struggle of senioritis is real. I’m t-minus 6 weeks to being plopped out in the real world. That’s right, everyone. After that year off of school as Miss Oregon and a transfer from Oregon State to Portland State, I’m finally going to (bleep)ing finish!!!!!!!! I have some ideas of how I want to make my first moves in big-girl world, and I can’t help but ask myself– what are the ladies at the top up to?  I’m hoping to harvest some inspiration from these working women. They didn’t do it overnight; I’m sure life handed them some lemons.

And these chicks know how to make lemonade. 

^^ How about that cliché, eh? eh? You see, I love clichés for their steady truth, and mostly because you never know when they will show up. They lend peace of mind, they make for great jokes, and they level the playing field. Nobody is safe! Everyone fits somewhere, and the fun is finding out where it is by following the cliché clues.

Small town girl with big city dreams? That’s a cliché I can live with.

So I have 10 days until I wake up in the city that never sleeps! And guess what?! You are coming with me my beloved reader-watchers! Cosmopolitan’s Fun Fearless Life Conference 2014! I’m going to be logging with both a “b” and a “v” in these days leading up to takeoff, and will be social media-ing the $#*+ out of NYC.

Say it with me:

AAAAHHHHHHHH!

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Stay tuned as I rip off links on my paper chain, pick out outfits, try to pack light, and prepare for the fun-cation of inspiration ahead!

Cheers! To an Empire State of Mind and lemonade…… and clichés! 🙂

X!

Caroline

@pdxcaroline  and instagram: pdxcaroline

Blogress Report: Button-up Shirt and Wrap Dress DOMINATION!!! Sort of!!!!

Great news. It’s official. I am slightly smarter, slightly more accomplished, and slightly closer to crowdsurfing through thousands of adoring fans while people call my name and the trumpets sound and fireworks are exploding and Beyonce’s lipsyncing the national anthem and all there is to eat is pizza!!!!!!!!! That’s what dreams come true is, isn’t it!?

I just completed my next round of sewing projects! I took a “Perfect Shirt” class, a dress class, and also textiles! This weekend I have been doing a lot of last-minute crunching to get these suckers done.

PROJECT 1: THE PERFECT SHIRT

The “Perfect” Shirt is certainly not flawless, but this was an incredible introduction into traditional tailored garments. I made a shirt somewhat similar to this when I was back in high school, but it looked like doo-doo and was never seen again. This was a second chance for me, and it still wasn’t a walk in the park, but some serious progress was made!

Check it out!

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Eh? Eh??! I can’t take credit for just whipping this out myself, because I definitely had some guidance.That being said, I did have to finish a considerable amount on my own time since I missed some classes for my travels home.

Here’s what I learned:

-Proper plackets. The Rubik’s cube of fabric folding.

-Collar stands

– Adding structure with a yoke on the upper back.

– How to make a proper cuff

Here’s what I need more work on:

– Everything. There are a multitude of little tweaks that I couldn’t possibly think that I’ve mastered here, but all time spend working on this was incredibly worthwhile. There is little to no creative freedom in a project like this, so it is a classic example of “practice makes perfect”

PROJECT 2: THE WRAP DRESS

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Image << That’s the print up close.

This was a fun project to do because it didn’t require any zippers or buttons!!! Wahoo!! The fabric was fairly easy to work with and the garment seems to fit fairly well. It is lined with a grey synthetic, which frayed easily, but for as often as I’ll wear the thing, I think it will be fine.

Here’s what I learned:

-How to use a hemmer foot: this is a tool that wraps around the edge of the fabric and curls it as the machine stitches. This helps to make delicate hems.

-How to use twill

-A refresher in pattern manipulation

What I’ll work on for next time:

– Patience with the hem. I thought the hemmer foot would solve all my problems, but it is not a cure-all

– Measuring more accurately. It fits fairly well, but the..er.. girls ain’t gettin’ no bigger.

– Like the shirt, just overall confidence and proficiency.

I think the skill I am closest to mastering after this weekend is ironing. This is way more crucial to the construction process than I had ever imagined. I won’t try and make an irony joke here, but please know that I want to.

Well that’s all folks! I’m tired of sitting down, so I’m off!

As we say ’round here– cheers, to sucking less!

xo