NEW WAYS TO WEAR JEANS!! Style exclusive!!

Fall = jeans season. An American wardrobe staple, the industry couldn’t be more ready for the cooler-weather-meets-back-to-school explosion. The fashion industry can’t seem to break away from these two-legged garments, and so has no choice but to capitalize on their wardrobe staying-power with BS articles like “New Ways to Wear Jeans”…

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These magazines are wrong.

The Skinny, the Boyfriend, the High-waist, the Crop, etc. are different ways of wearing the same damn pants. Just because someone’s jeans are particularly baggy or dangerously muffin-toppy doesn’t mean it is different or new! It just means it is more expensive for once uncool people to wear their jeans!

LIES, I TELL YOU! LIES!

Fortunately for you, darling readers, I have been working with my elite style team [of one] to put together what are, in fact, new ways to wear your jeans.

The J’Scarf: Perfect for the autumn chill

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The Urban Un-turban: For a quick disguise…

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The “PSYCH!” : Because who doesn’t want to look like they are running mid-air in the opposite direction

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The No Quarters? No Problem: All your shirts are in the wash? Well that is what jeans are for.

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InStyle or IN DENIAL??

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*facepalm* I know, I know. 

😉

Nothing wrong with a little silliness on a Tuesday night, right? Thank you to InStyle for showing up at my door every month, I promise I actually love you. Apologies to Olivia Wilde for writing on her face with white-out, I know it wasn’t comfortable. Now go out there and be stylish, you!

Now that I’ve repurposed all my jeans, what to do about pants…..?

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xo

Dorky Chick Diaries: Somebody ate skittles and threw up on my iCal.

*Exhale*

I’ve just popped yet another dark chocolate covered mint from TJ’s and am staring at spinach that needs to be put in the refrigerator. It is about 9 p.m. on a Wednesday and I’ve recently returned from some mid-week grocery replenishing. I’ve opted out of music as background noise partially because I’ve been overdosing on Top 40 lately, and partially because it sort of sounds like Fall outside. It smells like Fall. I can tell. A sullen moisture is collecting around old buildings again and the cooler evening temperature isn’t cooking the earth enough to expel the familiar fragrances of warm weather anymore. My laundry is whispering to me from the basement, but my fingers are tingling on this keyboard as I unzip my chest and begin to let words splatter onto my e-diary.

September has ignited me. If you’ve followed any of my past blogs you may have noticed that over the past few months I have grown from being eager, to steady, to scattered, and, at times, defeated. I guess that is what being a 20 something is supposed to be though. Just as things started to get foggy, though, I was reminded of this promise to myself to stay motivated. This silly little blog was the reminder for that promise. So I’ve made some moves, and suddenly my iCal looks like it went on the Color Run or somebody spewed Skittles on September. I have 2 intern positions, both fashion related (more on that in a later post), 3 sources of income (my beloved restaurant, tuppins for my PSU fashion articles, and now extra support from a little daytime receptionist gig), and in 3 weeks I will again be a full time student (a light, yet still full credit load at PSU this term and also a light load at Portland Sewing).

Sounds farking crazy, I know. 

I may risk speaking too soon, but now there is a stomach-butterfly inducing feeling I get when I breath deeply. I’ve piled so much on my plate, yet, I feel like I’ve never felt so privileged to have such little free time. I love everything I’m filling my days with. It feels balanced. It is all work, but with the right state of mind, it is all play. 

I’m playing grown-up, and my Subaru is much more fun to drive than that Playskool thing. 

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To report on my fashion pursuits, here are the headlines!

Miss OR and Miss RI 2011 take NYC by Storm, Stop at Mood Designer Fabrics Before Breaking Hearts 

😉

 

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Portland Fashion Week: Gen. Admission Doesn’t Include Champagne, Still Buys a Good Time

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Croquis Improve for McGowan, Hope Exists

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Croquis Come to Life, as Designer McGowan Takes it to the Next Level

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^^obviously we’re not quite done 🙂

Serger Changes Life: Thanks, Gram

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If you sew, you understand this to be the most exciting of all of the above things.  Thank you to my Gram for my years-late follow up on a high school graduation gift 🙂

 

I wish I could tell you everything, but I know I’m lucky if you made it this far. The bad news, is that my sheets are still in the dryer and it is past my bedtime. The good news is, being busy means things are happening, and I really want to thank you for reading this blog. Every time you click to read, it’s sort of like passing a stranger who smiles instead of looks dead faced. It’s encouraging in the best way. 

 

The bedtime police are going to arrest me, so toodeloo my friends!

If you were wondering, the spinach did get put away a while ago, because I’m grown-up like that 😉

xo

 

 

Time to get TRRRENNNNDAAYYYYYYY 9.6 + exciting news!!

With the onset of autumn, I’m feeling the winds of change turn from tropical breeze to hairdryer-in-face. There is no more excuse to procrastinate the next steps, and I’m going to have to start acting like a big girl. I’m great at playing grown-up, don’t get me wrong. I’ve put on my share of business suits and I pay my bills, but rising to the occasion isn’t enough! It is time to embrace adulthood while I’m still wrinkle-free.

Cue this fantastic Facebook quote my friend Steph shared yesterday:

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YES!

Forget half-assery! It is time for full-on assery!

Both cheeks.

With equally distributed badness.

So I woke up early on this drizzly morning, did my TIU workout, made my veggie egg scramble and coffee, and got dressed for a seminar on campus. It was such a grey day, I had to pull out the fall duds, and actually, I got as excited as a solar-powered chick can get about the cozy seasons to come.

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^ rain boots = closest thing to amphibian-like superpowers

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^ the coffee cup BEFORE the coffee traveler… If you are what you eat, I will soon be a hot black woman.

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For anyone who doesn’t read backwards, that says:

“why yes, I am overqualified”

Teehee 🙂 Those are sticky notes, and I actually bought myself some a few years ago, used them up, and found more a while back that I just HAD to nab. I don’t know if implied narcissism is what motivates me or if I’m just threatened by the Cleaver-esque woman staring me down with that coy “my-floors-are-cleaner-than-yours” look.

Either way, it’s working. I solidified my class schedule this week, landed a PT office gig for my days between classes (which will be a styling endeavor- stay tuned!), and I also- WAIT FOR IT—

got a little position—-

WAIT FOR IT!!!!….

…at FashioNXT’s Portland Fashion Week in October!

Yep! That’s right! I’ve confirmed with the FashionNXT folks that I will be an extra set of hands behind-the-scenes as a VIP host. That means making sure the distinguished guests get a first-rate experience. My not-so-inner hostess is thinking this is right up my ally. I’m pretty ecstatic about this opportunity to meet some fashion-minded people, get some hands-on knowledge, and mostly just that I will get to be a contributor to something I am so excited about!

No, I can’t get you tickets, nor do I have any other “mad hook-ups”, but I’m really pumped to announce this stepping stone in my fashion journey. 6 months ago when I started this blog, it was with the promise of future unknown milestones, and if this doesn’t count, I don’t know what does.

Mark your calendars Oct. 9-12, Portlanders, because it is going to be amaaaaze!

🙂

So cheers, guys! To the turning of many new leaves- the metaphorical ones and the literal fall leaves that are pending descenscion onto our rubber galoshes.

xo

Japanese fashion exhibit A.K.A. stuff I’d never wear

Roughly twice a week, I open my mailbox to find envelopes filled with articles clipped from the Des Moines Register and Wallstreet Journal from my dad. A daily newspaper reader, he is famous for sitting and reading with a pair of scissors for cutting, folding, and mailing to loved ones he thinks may take interest in the material. My mailbox usually gets articles on former classmates and WHS happenings, wine, golf, and, of course, fashion.

Gossip, booze, leisure sports, and clothes. 

Can you blame me?

While all of the articles are fantastic, one stood out to me recently and led me to a fantastic afternoon adventure. It was an article featuring different fashion exhibits around the world, one of which was in Seattle, called “Future Beauty”. So when I realized that I had a trip north planned in just a couple weeks, I marked my calendar and got the deets.

To set the scene: it was a sunny Thursday with smooth sailing on the interstate, I got a free ice cream cone at DQ because corporate didn’t pass the memo about Miracle Treat Day, I got the king spot in the parking garage when they were at max capacity, AND I found a red sequin dress that was made for mischief on super-sale. So I had a feeling this trip to the Seattle Art Museum was going to be great, and I was right.

Behold: 

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Essentially, this exhibit showcases pieces of couture fashion from Japanese designers over the past 30 years. This is the stuff that design dreams are made of.

The ornate details! The unusual silhouettes! The innovative construction! Oh how my heart was singing!!

For those who are not familiar with Japanese fashion (it’s okay- I’m still learning myself), it is an important distinction to make from the rest of the world. Boundaries are unclear and tradition is void. Appropriately named “Future Beauty” the overwhelming takeaway for any non-fashion-minded individual would be that Japanese designers see fashion as limitless and with the ability to transcend time. Much of the world’s clothing is still governed by function, but in Japan the fashion on the streets can sometime be more obscure than what is on the couture runways. The exhibit included both couture and street wear. Some of the labels on the displayed looks even said “street fashion” as opposed to being from a designer. Crazy right? Mostly,  the exhibit consisted of a sizable collection of runway pieces and included names like Rei Kawakubo (Comme des Garçons), Yohji Yamamoto, and a smattering of other noteworthy people I will let you research 😉 but let’s get to the goods– pictures!

Just LOOK at this stuff!

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I had to snag pics for you online because while I was in the exhibition I felt like it was a sacred ground. The hushed whispers of the patrons made footsteps seem to echo louder. I think music would have caused sensory overload because the lights and the angles and the intrigue of each piece had a visual decibel level high enough to wake the neighbors.

My favorite piece came  from Yohji Yamamoto and was made of a thick, woolen felt. I was dazzled by so many pieces, but this one wasn’t the most flashy or jaw dropping. This piece was was austere and sober, yet remarkably regal. I’d costume it for a futuristic action movie. It seems fit for a doe-eyed, stoic villain in a modern-day castle somewhere in a snowy part of the world. Don’t you think?Image

Though many designers have influenced the state of fashion to date, there is something about the philosophy of these Japanese designs that was cohesive. This perceived commonality was the reminder of the importance of play in design. Each design appeared to have intent to reveal the expanse of the muse, like a child who colors outside the lines and makes purple hair because that is what inspires them. Instead of saying “no” that isn’t how it’s done, the designers took their pencils a bit further to create new shapes, surpassed conventional fabrics for avant-garde materials, and selected colors based on doing whatever the heck they wanted to do. The designers said yes to thoughtful innovation and yes to unabashed play.

I thought about picking up one the luxuriously clothed mannequins and taking it with me, but then I didn’t want to take it away from it’s mannequin friends. So I left with my appetite for culture fully satiated and swirling ideas for future projects. Bring on the playtime.

🙂

To anyone who is in the Seattle area: I believe that the exhibit will be up for another week or so, so scurry over there and check it out- definitely worth a trip.

More info at the official link: here

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School starts again in a couple weeks, can you believe it? Am I still a student? Oy vey. I am really looking forward to all of the fashion related events that I’ve been plugging into my iCal. I’ve got a few projects in the works, pending responsibilities, and a slew of fashion shows to get me excited in addition to some new fashion classes. Big stuff- stay tuned!!

Well thanks, Dad, for sending those articles my way. I wouldn’t have gotten that unique experience if I hadn’t known! And just so you all know, summer is officially over. I’m visiting my folks this week and tonight my dad announced that today is the last day he will be wearing his seersucker suits and white shoes.

Sigh.

Cheers to wearing white this weekend and catching the last of the summer sun! Happy Labor Day!

xo

READER FEATURE: Meet Laura!

I designed this blog to be a digital bulletin board/keepsake box/public diary of all things that keep me inspired. This includes learning hurdles cleared, industry knowledge acquired, fashion fantasies explored, and officially, now, recognizing those who live fabulously, fearlessly, and fashionably. I want to dedicate a new monthly installment to readers who have kept me motivated and exemplify what it means to DREAM and DO.

Introducing….

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Meet Laura.

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One of my oldest friends, I couldn’t think of a better person to kick off this segment with.  I can just remember sitting in our middle school homeroom class and chit chatting like we were millionaire shoppers. Drooling over Louis Vuitton logos, daydreaming about Betsey Johnson shoes, and always being “in the know” about what was acceptable 8th grade attire…we’ve come quite a ways 🙂  Why I chose Laura is because she is not only is she a loyal reader of my little blog, she is also an integral part of my fashion history. Knowing my love of fashion, she invited me one spring day in 2007 to watch the Central Campus Fashion Show. This fashion show was the end-of-the-year showcase for the Fashion Design and Merchandising students at the downtown, college-level tech school  for high school students, which I would after become a part of.  (You may remember me mentioning this school before in one of my earliest blogs- click here. ) This experience catapulted me into exploring my creative side, allowed me to take a road less traveled, and ultimately has played a part in what has caused me to sit in this chair and type on this blog.

My appreciation for her goes far beyond that invitation, however, and I would say she is one of the more inspirational people I know. Laura is one of those people I would describe as “tightly wrapped”. She is organized, she is accomplished, she makes friends everywhere she goes, and she somehow makes time for it all and then some.  She makes life fun while still working really hard and looking extra fabulous. OH and she can kick your ass.

But I’ll let her do the talking. I had a chance to ask her some questions so you can get to know her, we can learn about her style, and maybe some of her can rub off on us!

C: Alright Laura, gimme the basics.

L: I live in the fabulous Scottsdale, Arizona! It’s very much the stereotype that everyone imagines. Eclectic cars and women in 100% matching Lululemon outfits at the gym protecting their new manicures. Sometimes I wonder if these people have jobs or are really doing that well being sugar mamas. If the latter, I need to switch careers. Besides it turning into an oven for 4 months out of the year, I can’t complain about the sunshine and the great tan that I can therefore maintain. You [learn to] deal with the 120 degree hot season for 8 months of 80 degree weather  just by thinking of friends at home [in Iowa] crossing treacherous black ice. I am currently a pediatric intensive care nurse at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. It’s amazing, I know. It’s also sad, I know. I get to be the one there for families when their child is in the worst possible state they could imagine. I’m there for the happy times when we’re leaving the ICU, and I’m there for the sad times when that departure wasn’t as positive. All in all, I love what I do! I’m also a Crossfit coach. Nothing about that one is ever sad. I see people improve every day and lift heavy stuff. All in sometimes coordinated Lululemon outfits. I also have a little side job of making homemade almond butter – aptly named after my Crossfit enthusiasm “Nasty Girls Nut Butter.” If you haven’t heard of the Crossfit “Nasty Girls”, Google it. Then try one of my nut butters. You’ll realize after about 30 seconds why they’re appropriately named. The nut butter started as something I just did for myself and has now evolved into something people are bringing me jars back for refills! Check me out on Facebook- I ship!

**side note- Laura was actually on a team that competed at CrossFit regionals. Um.. watch out!!!!!!

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C: How would you describe your style?

L: My style is either scrubs or workout apparel, so pretty darn comfy. I literally have a closet of clothes that I select from for an occasion about every 3 months. However, when these such occasions arise, I’m choosing from a closet of low-maintenance, trendy pieces. I’m usually the one wearing a statement piece of jewelry with a black on black ensemble or the red pants with a basic tee. Standout, but easy. Done.

C: What inspires you?

L: My grandmother instilled in me the love of Coco Chanel. I’ve read three biographies and still have a Chanel-inspired password after five years. The mantra of not taking no for an answer and doing what you feel and not what society dictates is what I strive to achieve as well.

C: Who is a style icon that influences you?

L: Cliché, I know she’s been in the press a lot lately, but I’ve loved Kate Middelton (Dutches of Cambridge, allofherotherreallylongtitles), from the get go. She’s like me, effortless, comfy, and stylish. I also like Reese Witherspoon for her casual day to day outfits and then looking bombshell on the red carpet. Every time.

C: What is your favorite piece in your wardrobe?

L: My favorite piece (such a hard choice) would be a pair of 7 for all Mankind jeans that I have that literally feel like yoga pants. Who likes constricting jeans? Not I. These fit like a dream! I also love my swim covers – because that typically means I’m also wearing a bikini and going to the sun. …..Also, I buy Charles David heels. They’re my one and only. We go pretty steady these days.

C: If you could give one piece of fashion advice, what would that be?

L: My fashion advice would come from my inspiration, Coco Chanel.

“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.”

I love this quote because I don’t ever go for the most avant garde outfit selections. I like things simple, some cleavage if deemed the right event, little jewelry, subtle makeup and fun shoes. Classy. Fabulous.

True to Dorky Chick form, I had to have Laura prove herself in pictures of a “TRRRENNNDAAYYY” outfit… Check it out!

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Laura says: Sooo here’s my outfit! It’s a dress I recently found at My Sister’s Closet, a designer consignment shop. It is Lotta Stensson. This dress still had tags on it that it retails for $350. I got it at the ripe dime of $58. It is also quite risque aka translucent, so I purchased a $28 white Free People slip to throw underneath. $86 investment worth $378; I’ll take it!

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, can I get a round of applause for Laura????

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She is caring for families in their darkest hours, achieving fitness goals and helping others do so as well, starting her own business on the side of ridiculously delicious nut butters, and is still getting out there and loving life. We see that beer in your picture, girl!  What can be learned through Laura is that no matter the circumstance, you can keep on “doin’ you”. For someone who spends most of her time in purpose-driven duds, she does an excellent job of keeping a her attitude stylish. Scrubs at work and spandex at the gym? No matter, because she knows she has fab looks waiting in the wings. Catch her teaching a class and you won’t know what is more impressive- her ability to keep up with the guys, or her adorbs outfit!

Thank you Laura! For letting us get to know how you take the day to day and make it fabulous- and for even getting your “dorky” on for some excellent pics of your Lotta Stensson dress.

Check her out on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/NastyGirlsNutButter

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Until next time readers!  Thanks for being patient as I travel across the country. So much exciting stuff to write about!!!!

xo

Are you a fashionista or fashionisto who lives each day with inspiration? Or do you know someone who is? You or someone you know could be next month’s reader feature!   Send in your name, the name of the person you are nominating, and a mini bio to dorkychickinlipstick@gmail.com ! 

TRRRREENNNNDAYYY WEEKEND: Here comes da judge!! 7.20-21!

 

 

Once again I’ve found myself in pageant land! I may not be destined for the courtroom, but I can still be a judge in the sparkly pageant arena 😉  So I’ve skipped town for a couple days to determine the fates of the ambitious young ladies competing for opportunities to find their inner queen.

This, of course, requires the right wardrobe so I played some dress up to exercise my styling muscles and make sure I was prepared for the weekend’s festivities!

OUTFIT 1: 

Orientation, first rounds of interviews, and introductions means it’s business time. A classic black sheath from Bebe was my first pull from my closet. Hotel A/C is usually pumping freezing cold air so I chose to cover up with this tweed jacket I found at J.C. Penney!  ($30!!) To ad my own flair, I put it with my favorite go-to cutout black heels, chunky silver jewelry to accent the exposed zipper on the jacket, and my favorite bracelet that reads “FEARLESS”

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OUTFIT 2:

Sunday morning is the perfect time to pullout a cheery business wear outfit! Again, A/C pumping means dress for indoor autumn. I brought my own summer in the form of a white, flowy jacket, indigo capris, a bright floral scarf, and my favorite comfy pumps. Don’t let the playfulness fool you, I’m still a tough judge 😉

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OUTFIT 3:

 Dear whomever it may concern at Fashion Police Department,

I’m repeating an outfit. Na na na boo boo. I don’t care.

Sincerely,

Caroline

For the final night of crowning, they said to pack our best! My pageant gown days are over, so I’m choosing to show my flashy flair through different means of fabulosity! I found this bright turquoise dress on sale from FCUK a couple months ago and wore it to the crowning of Miss Oregon 2013. I love that it is flattering, eye-catching, and comfortable! Great nights are only made better if you feel great in what you wear, and I’ve found that wearing a skin-tight sausage casing definitely gets in the way of being carefree- so I picked this! And I glitzed it up with heaping piles of jewelry.

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I firmly believe the best outfits should be worn again! If I ever made it to the big time, I would wear the same outfit a handful of times just so people know it is okay.

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Well, that’s that! I will not be accepting any creepy calls this weekend of people asking “what are you wearing??”  You already know.

 

Okay, I’m off! Have a fun summer weekend- I’m sending love from pageant land!

xo

 

 

 

 

Exercising my fashion muscles: Robert 2.0!

12 days of hometown bliss, followed by a week of extended family reunion, sparkles galore, and the crowning of Allison Cook, the new Miss Oregon 2013 has me in a hazy and happy state of mind. Alas, out of pageant  Narnia and into the real world I have come. While hoping to be met with the warm-fuzzy feeling of being home, I was instead met with a hot-sweltering feeling of our 95 degree temps this week. *gasps for air* Needless to say, I was chomping at the bit to get outta there! And what better way to do that then some sangria at lunch followed by a closet overhaul and styling session?!

Meet Robert:

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This eligible bachelor completed his 35th year in orbit last January, and now works as a Client Manager for Wold Consulting, a tech-based AMC. A friend of many, this karaoke rockstar loves to spend his free time enjoying nature, CrossFit-ing, and of course enjoying good conversation around town at one of the many scrumptious restaurants Portland has to offer. Robert has taken a hold of his lifestyle in the past 12 months and with that comes time to bring in some new fresh energy into his wardrobe. He is looking great and once I’m done with him, will be shaming Austin Powers with his spike in mojo. 

First thing: closet overhaul. 

dun dun dunnnnnnnnn!!!!!!

To get started, we headed straight for Rob’s house to see what we could keep and what would be good bonfire material. And forget bonfire– we’re going to have  a forest fire!!!!!!

Haha just kidding, Rob. It wasn’t so bad, but there was some intervention. To give you a brief recap, here are the things we pitched:

– shirts with decals, excessive embroidery, and arguably tasteless decorative patches

– clothing items that were too big. A nice problem to have for someone who is getting into shape!

– stretched out or worn-looking garments

– things that weren’t getting worn such as a sport coat with big ol’ shoulder patches and gifted items that didn’t reflect his personality

– “repaired” jeans (a.k.a. the inner handyman in Rob patched holes in the rear of well-loved pants)

And in his words, anything that screamed “douche caboose”.

Check out this massive stack of no-no’s! It’s like they’ve seen the light and are about to cross over into the great Buffalo Exchange in the sky……

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We did keep some things, and got a good idea of what the next steps were. 

Things we kept:

– business professional attire. Rob already has a good handle on what is appropriate for work, but we did find a couple items that will require some tailoring. 

– a couple long-sleeved casual shirts that stood out as a great style guideline for what suited Rob’s personal life- casual, comfortable, and still contemporary.

– jeans that didn’t need repairing and one light blue-grey pair made the cut, even though it had minor repairs

– a t-shirt that says “More Cowbell” with a picture of a cowbell. 1) because I’m not totally evil and 2) because Rob has a great Christopher Walken impression and an indefinite amount of Halloween parties in his future. 

Some of the things we found just needed tweaking in the way they were being worn. For example, a long sleeved button-up went from stuffy to relaxed when we left an additional button unbuttoned at the top and rolled up the sleeves. A unique linen sport coat was too thin to be worn with a traditional button-up, but looked noticeably fly with just a grey v-neck t-shirt underneath.

Shoes were the next thing we took a look at before we took off into the burbs for some treasure hunting. One of the first things I notice about a person is the way they complete themselves with shoes. What we keep on our feet is, more often than not, a direct reflection of our lifestyle. It is no surprise that Rob is a practical guy, so what I found was pretty basic. The black pair, the brown pair, the casual tennis shoe, and a couple randoms that were utility related. These are fine, but for someone who is looking to do better, there was room for improvement. Two brands dominated this footwear collection: Converse and Clark’s. By anyone’s standards, these are both brands that boast well-made shoes, but in the pursuit of refinement, fall short of what will take a man’s presence to the next level. 

Here’s what I mean.

Exhibit A-  the Clark’s:

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A little worn and a erring on the clunky side, these shoes fit the bill of an Average Joe, but were quickly put to shame as we found some awesome, albeit dusty, boots buried in the depths of the closet.

Exhibit B- the upgrade:

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Obviously on the left is the clunky Clark’s shoe, and on the right we have the hidden treasure. They are similar in shine and both have the capacity to be worn with jeans. Rob is ready to graduate from the school of thought that just any black shoe will do. Don’t get me wrong, something as practical and well-made as the Clark’s shoe isn’t bad. It is, however, not the best option in menswear for seeking a polished look.  

After we ransacked  through years of accumulated garments, we had a pretty good game plan.

1. Find some casual looks that reflected Rob’s personality and tastes and fit him properly.

2. Upgrade footwear to reflect a mature and evolved sense of style.

3.  Stay realistic with budget. Fortunately there is much less turnover in fashion for men than women, so we were likely to have some luck with quality brands even if we shopped the department discount stores. 

One of the perks of cleaning out old clothes is often finding hidden money in pockets, and fortunately we found a little extra spending cash to take with us on our adventure….

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Our first stop was Saks off Fifth! Located in the Bridgeport shopping development, Saks off Fifth offers discounted items from the high-end department retailer Saks Fifth Avenue. We rummaged through racks and racks of clothing, but weren’t as overwhelmed with choices as we had hoped. It would have been really easy to dress Rob up like a fashionisto, but my task wasn’t to dress a mannequin, it was to dress a personality. Rob’s only request was color, and with some luck we found a great orange and blue plaid button-up. It wasn’t too loud, the cotton was soft, and it definitely had an underlying “Portland” feel. 

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Shirts that met our criteria were scarce, so I pushed the envelope a bit in our hunt for color and found some deep green denim pants. A reluctant Rob took them to the dressing room, and came out striking model poses. Needless to say, I felt pretty good about that one. 🙂

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These two made the cut, and new threads in hand, we called it a “win” and moved on to the next stop!

Following Saks off Fifth,  we went to Nordstrom Rack in Beaverton. Another discounted department retailer, the Rack is one of God’s gifts to humankind, so we were quite hopeful for more success.

This experience was a little more hunt-and-peck, but there was much luck to be had. Rob took a mountain of clothing into the dressing room with the focuses being black jeans, more casual shirts, and with my encouragement, some colored, cargo-pocket-less shorts. The hunt had become more intense at this point, and I was getting a little more ruthless. I did spare him, however, from the chick repellant  that is cheetah printed menswear. 

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Umpteen pairs of jeans, countless ill-fitting button-ups, and a smattering of unflattering t-shirts later, my head was nearly falling off from shaking “no”. The Mount Everest of fabric had provided little inspiration, and patience was dwindling. With what good fortune was left in the day, we came across two must-haves. I’m not a huge fan of short-sleeved button ups for men, but we found one that might have changed my mind about them, for now. A dark grey denim with a faint sheen, it is definitely a sharp looking shirt for drinks with friends. In addition, we found a pair of solid blue cargo-pocket-less shorts that not only were a great deal, but they also added some color, and will look great with the shirt from Saks off Fifth. 

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The biggest accomplishment from Nordy’s Rack came in a pair. That’s right, we even found some shoes that are a serious upgrade! Slim, versatile, and even a little rugged, these are practical in more ways than one. 

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Not bad, eh? 

On that note, we called it a day. We were a little exhausted, but feeling fantastic with 1 long sleeve, 1 short sleeve, 1 pair of green pants, 1 pair of blue shorts, and 1 pair of shoes!!! Not only was he able to add five new boosts to his post-purge closet, he was able to get a variety of garment styles that are cohesive with his personality and lifestyle

As I wandered around these stores and shook my head incessantly, thoughts seemed to come loose and I pondered again my philosophy on fashion. It has become increasingly evident to me in the past few years how crucial visual presentation can be in wholly communicating oneself to others. In other words, I don’t think anyone would look at a man in a three piece suit and say “wow, I bet he paints bird feeders and lives in a nudist colony.” If he did, then the life inside his mind truly wouldn’t reflect the way he communicated himself visually. This is, of course, extreme, but generally people want to be understood. It may be the case that people get derailed somewhere and lose fluency in visual language as it evolves the way verbal language does. Nobody says “all that and a bag of chips” for the same reasons people don’t wear Birkenstocks and Hansen tees with as much frequency as in the 90’s. Shopping with Robert felt less like a scene out of Clueless and more like a visual communication tutoring session. If you met him now, at first glance you would be able to tell he was a practical guy that also has personality. He is relaxed, but active. He is mature, but not old. He is rational, and not lazy. There is an endless combination of fabrics, cuts, and colors that could tell you exactly those things about Robert, which makes things a headache for some but a fun game for me! 

I had a ball exercising my fashion muscles and helping Rob feel good about what he’s got goin’ on! I think he is pretty stoked too..unless of course he is lying…. and hates everything… and then I’ll just scream and kick and break into his house and replace every piece of clothing with these!!!

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MUAHAHAHAHAha….hahah….haha…

Wait… wouldn’t that actually be awesome?

😉

Anyways, HUGE thank you to Robert for letting me play “What Not to Wear” and agreeing to let me put it in my blog 🙂 AND a GIGANTOR thank you  to my faithful readers who have been bugging me to get back to writing– your kind words have me more motivated than ever!!!! 

xo

 

 

DorkyChick Diaries: Heartland Hiatus and Happy New Year

Gosh where is my brain?! Technically it is in Waukee, Iowa sitting at the dining room table of my childhood home. I had so many plans to blog up a storm and to use my break from school obligations for productivity in my creative endeavors. I was going sew and blog and create and do this and that and as soon as I hit touchdown in seat 9A last Thursday my plans dissolved. The hot, sweet summer air has seeped into my lungs and I’m enjoying a kind of serenity that cannot be experienced anywhere other than one’s beloved, familiar hometown.

I’m not sewing. I’m not writing. I’m not pretending like I’m motivated to. I was anxious at first about the absence of my motivation, but have suppressed the ants in my pants with much laughter, a few cocktails, and an overabundance of delicious food. It’s a silent celebration for myself. A year ago about this time I sat here looking at this same tree in my front yard with no idea what the next year would look like, coming off such a strange and beautiful year-long Miss Oregon experience. It was pre-reentry into real life, and I was ready for it. I was hopeful that the year to come would be one where I could realize what it meant to be this “new” real-world Caroline vs. Caroline the Miss Oregon. There was no way of knowing, really. In my time under the crown I’d at times been a 35 year old business woman, ambassador, spokesperson, princess, celebrity, a joke/spectacle, an inspiration, a winner, and a loser. I’d tasted the sweetness of victory, experienced loneliness, extended the list of those I call family, was humbled by unrivaled compassion, and discovered within myself a sort of serenity that can only be experienced from maturation. So with these things in mind, I was ready to graduate the accelerated course of life lessons, and move forward in discovering what it meant to know myself after all of this was put away.

Fast forward a year and I’m sitting looking at the same tree from the same window. Likely, I am drinking the same Panera coffee and wearing the same flip flops, however, this time I know the answers to the questions of how my year would go. I have yet to get my “big break”, I didn’t win the MegaMillions Jackpot, and I’m even still a year shy of my college degree, but I am sure that my year went just as I had hoped. I found a group of incredible people to spend time with who not only are great people, but they also love karaoke (bonus), got a job that has taught me so much and has given me a great escape from college life, had some great times exploring my outdoorsy side in the Gorge, found myself immersed in challenging coursework at Portland State that has made me feel like a smarter human, fell in love and enjoyed an unforgettable companionship, grew in friendship with my Miss Oregon sisterhood, dyed my hair fire engine red with no regrets, and, perhaps most importantly, I rediscovered my passion for creativity in both fashion and writing. I would do some things differently, of course, if I were to relive it, but I’m at peace. It wasn’t an easy or mindless year, but it was overwhelmingly positive, and at times magical.

I feel like it is the beginning of a new year. A year from now I hope to write in this same chair for this same blog regarding the answers to my inarticulable questions of what the next twelve months will bring. I’m going to do everything in my little red headed power to live it well.

I’ve got a little more vacation time to soak up before I’m back to my pursuits, and I think I’m best served to prioritize enjoyment over self-obligation. Iowa is not only a wonderful place to grow corn and beans, but it is also a fertile garden bed for dreams.  The endearing idiosyncrasies of Midwestern culture, the feeling of warm,soft grass underneath my feet, and the echoing of unfabricated laughter are the rain, sun, and soil that nurture the fancies of my heart, which I planted in that garden bed many moons ago.

Happy summer, my dear readers. Thank you for peering into my mind, as I love to share. Cheers to sun, simplicity, stupidity, and serenity. And cheers to cheers-ing. I’ll raise a glass to that.

xo

July 1, DorkyChickinLipstick will be full steam seam ahead 🙂 Readers, what would you like to see more of? Trrrrendddayy outfits? Designer highlights? Sewing project updates?  Fashion illustrations? Puns and pop culture references?!?! I know you want it. e-mail me:  dorkychickinlipstick@gmail.com

Brown chicken brown cowww! I’m gaga for Gatsby!

Oh, my heart is aflutter!!! The beading, the lace, the fringe! And not to mention Leonardo Dicaprio in a tux! Bow chicka bow wow!

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Okay, so if you can’t figure out by now, I just got back from seeing The Great Gatsby. Wow. I absolutely loved the cast, music, and of course the costumes! Catherine Martin (pictured below)really nailed it.

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I was bug-eyed from start to finish!

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(^^I love stupid human tricks and Google images.)

Carey Mulligan  played  a flawless “Daisy Buchanan” and lent her subtle grace to the screen with a flair that is reminiscent of the Hollywood of old. I’d always admired her work, but am officially in the CM fan club after watching that performance. Who better to put inside fantastic outfits like these?!

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Supporting as “Jordan Baker”, Elizabeth Debicki blew me away with her mysterious on-camera persona and reaffirms that Martin  deserves a high five. Check out the beading on that neck line! Image

Eventually the movie ended, as all good ones do, and I realized I was back in rainy Portland in my jeans, scarf, and water-stained boots. Talk about wah wah! (I was also wearing a sweater and other not mentioned garments… hope I didn’t kill a fantasy there but uhh just want to set the record straight… ;))

I can’t transport myself to Gatsby-land, but I can figure out a way to bring inspirations from the silver screen to summer ’13! Here is an exclusive Dorky Chick in Lipstick look at three ways to Gatsby-erize…uh… Gatsby-ate….er no Gatsba—“Gatsby-fy”  your own closet! From daywear, to dinner, to dancing the night away! Image

Kick it in a chill Gatsby fashion with fringe, bangles, and a big black piece of costume jewelry and you’ll make those Starbucks lattes taste like they worth way more than 4 bucks. When the sun sets go Gatsby-er with an LBD that is fringed out, subtle pearl bangles, and a beaded headband! Trying to get your va-va-voom on? Well then you’d best put on your Gatsby-est with some pretty, shiny things and a hemline that has prohibition written all over it!  There’s hope for all of us Gatsby-crazed out there! Summer 2013 feels like the perfect time to show your millionaire-mansion party-girl side! Even if that means just sushi with the girls on a Saturday 🙂

Ahhhh just looking at those gives hope to my little fashion-crazed world. I’ll drink to that, Gatsby.

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But I’d rather give credit where credit is due so if you are reading Catherine Martin … 

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xo

Men’s Fashion Week 2013: dudes in skirts, dudes with no hands, and dudes that may not be dudes

It’s men’s fashion week in Europe! That means a bunch of dudes are dressing up in designer duds to woo the affections of the fashion world for the Fall of 2013. London, Milan, and Paris. As expected, suits were aplenty. Some stayed classic, of course, but some also ventured into the realm of the unknown. I saw a lot of cheetah print… very “grrr” Austin would be proud…

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Here is a quick look at some highlights:

Burberry- the same thing we expect every year with cheetah print shoesImage

J.W. Anderson- I will pay $20 to any of my guy friends to wear this out and use pick up lines on girlsImageSaint Laurent- the edgy cool thing is cool but men also like hamburgers- give him oneImage

Rick Owens- imagine him ordering a frappucino…. Image

Louis Vuitton- okay, had to sneak in a good suit… teeheeImageThom Browne magician maybe? I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a rabbit in that hat….Image

Comme de Garcons : what guy doesn’t want to look like a girl at Disneyland? Image

Versace- hands: who really needs them? 

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I barely skimmed the surface, but that’s an idea of  just how..er… creative things can get. I definitely suggest heading over to http://www.nytimes.com and looking at the photo galleries.

What I want to know is who wears these things?  Dandies, I suppose (and my goodness are they fabulous) But what about a cheeseburger-eating-football-watching-whiskey-drinking-pickupline-using-late-twenties dude out and about in this:

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Attention readers: if you can find someone that meets above criteria out in a public place wearing a fashion-week-worthy outfit, please take a picture and send it to me. If it’s awesome, I’ll send you $5  which is good for a sizable latte or a dive-bar well drink, and we will cheers.

One thing is for certain though, it may be sunny in Portland, but over in at Fashion Week in Europe ……

😉 xo