Trendayyy Vlog! I didn’t wear sweats to class and want to brag about it.

I am convinced that wearing anything other than sweats to class falls somewhere on the scale of heroism. Or maybe I just felt like a hero because I basically was wearing a superhero cape/sweater/magic carpet/wing thing…

Here’s a new vlog where I try and fly and also dance and also be mildly fashion forward in class. Still working out the kinks of this method of diary, but will try anything that lets me shake my groove thing thrice.

Weeeee!

X!

C

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recently I’ve been wearing clothes (trendy pics!)

Fummer? Sall? It is too chilly for shorty shorts and too warm for sweaters, but even with these imposing circumstances, I’ve decided to continue to wear clothes.

In fact, I wore some out the other night to my friend Katie’s birthday party.

AND DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS TIME FOR??! That’s right, kids. This is the part of the show where I put on clothes that I thought were cute enough to spend money on and do as the fashion bloggers do by taking trendy pics.

Except I do it my way.

Here’s what I wore: a B&W patterned blouse from Collective Concepts with my favorite  loose-fitting polyester pants from J. Crew and  heels from Isola. Right now my nails are a deep raspberry shellac, and for makeup I went with an lined pink lip and neutral smokey because birthday!

Here’s me being casual with my September Harper’s Bazaar.

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And still trying to make this outfit look cool from afar.

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But then I found an apple core. Uh…. oops.

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And then decided I should just cut to the chase and contort my self so you could see the whole outfit.

 

Photo on 9-8-14 at 7.14 PM #3

Oh, and here is a peek at the nails + makeup:

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If a burglar stole this exact outfit I would try to replicate the style with these items! From right to left: Everlane Silk Round Collar- $78, H&M loose teal pants- $24.95, Metika Wedge Sandal- $79 @ shopbop.com, and I’d hunt down nail polish like this one from OPI if I wanted to recreate without shellac.

 

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TGIAF, y’all.

Photo on 9-9-14 at 1.17 PM

 

XO

delusions, resolutions, and now i want ice cream.

Some breeds of dog are known to have their eyes literally pop out of their faces. Literally one minute they will have an eyeball inside their head, and then said eyeball will be on the floor. Typically it is the ones with the ones with smooshed noses, like pugs, who suffer from this dilemma of runaway eyeballs, but if I don’t put my September Harper’s Bazaar away for the night I might just learn what that feels like. I’ve been exhausting my eyes and noggin, stuffing my brain with images of assembled fabrics on airbrushed models, and I’m running out of room between my ears to hold it all. And of course that leads to Pinterest, which leads to self-hypnosis, which leads to the calendar telling you it is Thursday when last you checked it was Monday and now I can’t see anything and it might be almost the weekend again! *breath*

 

Uh… oops?

 

There is nothing like the September issue of a fashion magazine to reinvigorate my temporary enthusiasm for the idea of cold weather. The images of jackets and wool fabrics set to flashy graphics on shiny pages somehow erases all memories of cold associated with misery and instead replaces them with elaborate fantasies of crunching leaves under Manolo Blahniks and exchanging alluring glances with fancy men in Burberry trenchcoats. I don’t own Manolo Blahniks, and I don’t think many fancy men live in Portland. That being said, all this eye popping isn’t for nothing. I love the coming of Fall Fashion because it is like New Year’s all over again, except exclusive to style.

 

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Sure, I’ve graduated from the whole back-to-school shopping, but I will never graduate from finding new ways to make the sidewalk my catwalk! So in honor of Fashion New Years, I am making a FNY resolution….. DRUMROLL PLEASE……

 

 

MY FNY resolution is to make 2015 the year of the upgrade.

 

 

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^^move it kid, that’s mine!

 

Maybe I can’t swing Manolo Blahniks on a food service budget, but there are still some fab shoes I can crunch some leaves in, and I am going to wear them instead of those rubber things that were 6 bucks on my family beach vacation! I’m going to wear that shirt I love even though it needs ironing! Forget being cold this year– I’m going to actually have fun with layers!  I’m going to put on some of that jewelry I thought I deserved to buy buy really didn’t! Yoga pants to the grocery store? NAY!

Okay that’s too far…but they at least better be recently laundered.

 

On a serious note, I’d like to try to find a couple garments that I have outworn and give them an update as well. I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

 

In the mean time, if you were looking for an excuse to drink tequila and kiss a stranger at midnight, you have my blessing. How my blessing will hold up against the law when said stranger calls the cops is probably not very reliable. So, uh, be careful….

 

XO

 

 

p.s. If you have a FNY Resolution, tweet me @PDXcaroline or if you have an #upgrade, I’m on instagram @PDXcaroline … no pictures of eyes popping out of sockets, please…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pics of my TRENNNDAY outfit- feat. the dress I made!!

*bvv ts bvv ts bvv ts bvv ts*

That, friends is the sound of me having a small celebratory beatboxing session.

FashioNXT week followed through with everything I could have hoped for and then some. I made some new friends in the industry, got to see the work of fashion rockstars four nights in a row, and feel like I overall have a much better idea of what the fashion world in Portland has to offer and how I want to be a part of it! Some of you may know that a while back, I set a deadline for myself to engage the skills I’ve been boasting and I could prove myself by completing a design and wearing it at FashioNXT. I have been doing a lot of sewing over the past months, but mostly for class projects. That means pajama pants, tailored shirts, and sample stitches. All of these skills are important,  but if I don’t start churning out more of my own looks I’ll be burning daylight!

In the words of Elvis,

“A little less conversation, a little more action please”

Elvis-Presley-007

Look at that face..the man has a point. 

So when I zipped up my creation and took off for the venue, it felt like an official stepping out. This was 100% mine and what I have been working hard to feel confident enough to do for years.

What I wasn’t expecting was that I was going to feel super nervous. I got in the car to drive to the event in my dress and thought, what if it looks homemade? What if a seam pops? What if I tell someone I made it and they get that glazed/raised eyebrow look on their face that says “yeah ya did….” while their voice says “oh that’s cool…”

Irrational fears, maybe, but I had put a lot of thought and love into making something that I knew epitomizes where I feel my style is right now and exercises my growth in my sewing skills.  I splurged on the fabric months ago in NYC, I drew it and redrew it, and I did a lot of seam ripping right up to the hours before I left the house. So it is with grand excitement that I debut to you, loving readers, just another baby step in the “Dorky Chick in Lipstick” story.

OBVIOUSLY this calls for  some “trennndayyyyy” pictures from my high class studio!

TA DAAAPhoto on 10-12-13 at 4.51 PM #3

 

 

Day 4 of heels… ay yi yi….Photo on 10-12-13 at 4.51 PM #5

 

See through back….scandiiiiiPhoto on 10-12-13 at 4.50 PM

I tried to recreate the pose from the drawing….. lol

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At the event, my friend Erika, who I met working VIP, and I got to get our pics taken at the Intel Photobooth! It was a real mini runway you can walk down– we felt pretty cool.

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For the record, nothing ripped, popped, or snagged. I just wore a dress and the world kept spinning. It isn’t a big deal, but someday in the future when I have made fourtyhundredthousandmillion dresses, I’ll know that this  is one that helped me get there– and that is a great feeling.

The highlight, though, was after I took some designers from NYC to after party, they asked me if I was wearing one of Michael Costello’s pieces (a headlining designer for the week and Project Runway star). After hours of work, pin-pricked fingers, and a few F-bombs I got to respond

“No, actually, this is one of mine.”

xo

 

 

 

 

 

My #FashioNXT Experience: Part 1

Status report: I am having a ball this week as a VIP Host at FashioNXT.

 (For those of you who are just checking in, FashioNXT is the #1 fashion week  outside NYC as ranked by Time Mag, and it takes place here in PDX!)

These past few days between school classes, I’ve been figuring out WTF to wear, lending my intern hands to help Michelle get ready for her big show tonight, and even finishing up a few stitches on my own designs just for the personal satisfaction of wearing something 100% unique!  It has been validating and refreshing. I feel like I’ve made it to level 2, you know? No more am I just a chick with a wordpress account and homemade pajama pants.. It is go time, people! 

Let me break it down:

*eee uhhreeeeeee!!*

(^^side note: I googled ‘vinyl scratch’ so I could put in a little image to illustrate that typed sound effect, and I only found pages of pictures of this cartoon, “DJ Pony”, called Vinyl Scratch…apparently it is some DJ’s avatar or something… idk I get less cool every day…)

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3:30 Start getting ready, which yesterday involved completely scrapping a piece I had been working on for a while to make a last minute miniskirt… it ended up working out– a giant relief after a failed attempt at this other thing I’d been working on… sigh. Still calling it a win, though. 

Here is the outfit I wore with the skirt I made! Didn’t have time to do a “trenndayyy” pic feature, but still wanted to document the progress. I tried to crop out my dirty laundry…….

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5:30ish- Arrive at the Vigor Industrial Shipyard, which is sort of an obscure location out in North Portland. The first time I went I was just sure that I was lost, but the venue is big and industrial and totally trendacious. I park, walk in, get the lay of the land and start the greeting process. 

6:00- guests are allowed to start arriving. They saunter around the various vendor booths such as Lexus, Intel, and Delta (to name a few) as they make their way back to the bar (which, let’s be honest is the real reason 80% of anyone is there- am I right?) As the “VIP’s” stroll in, I start in on the hand shaking, small talking, and smiling. Working events like this is one of my favorite things. You never know whose day you will make just by talking to them or who you will meet. It could be the mayor of Portland or it could be a super-friendly person who just won tickets and is pleased as peaches to be there! It’s great for me because I just need to make sure people feel cared for and important.. who doesn’t want to be told they are very important?

7:00- Usually at this point I’ve given a few backstage tours. I love that it is a sneak preview of what the show is going to be like. The detailing with shell beads on Francis Libiran’s looks were exquisite up close. If I had just seen them on the runway I may have thought they were plastic, but lucky for me I got to snoop and was all the more dazzled when the models hit the runway.

Here is a pic I snagged from FashionNXT’s Facebook that was taken backstage with those dresses!

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7:30- Pretty much everyone is enjoying their cocktails by this point, so I just go around the VIP lounge and say hi, thank people for coming, and tell them I’m at their service as I filter a couple dirty old man comments and then proceed back to the front.  The VIP lounge looks great. It is funky and mod with a black, white, and red theme. There is a telephone booth covered in flowers for photo ops, exclusive bar access,  and white leather couches surrounding a zebra step-like seating platform. I can’t think of what to call it, but it looks clubby and cosmopolitan. The people watching is the best- women wearing actual high-heels (which is rare in this town), sparkles galore (which I’m a sucker for), and sharp dressed men (a.k.a. kryptonite).  It is a window into the lifestyle of the refined Portlander that is seldom seen in herds, such as it is at FashioNXT. 

7:45- Take an Advil for my poor little feet in heels. Totally worth it. 

8:00- Start politely hearding people to the gates and cross fingers that everything is running smoothly. It has been fashionably late to start the past couple nights, but I think anticipation is the most fun part anyways. At this point I usually get a handful of women coming up to me and complaining, which, for the record, is so very pointless. I do not have a headset on, I do not have a clipboard in hand, and I am nowhere near the ushers who are in charge of letting people in. I’d really like to tell them to save their snarls so that they can conserve saliva in the event that the apocalypse happens because they stood too long. End rant.

8:??- Everybody sits, the show starts, and magic happens. The music is loud and the setting is intimate. Five rows on each side hold a captive audience. I love to watch the way people tilt their heads and squint their eyes like they are making serious judgements. They are, and I do too, although as a baby seamstress myself I know to do it with a grain of salt. Some of these designers churn out 20+ looks and I can only imagine the amount of curse words and coffee that went into  getting their visions just right. Selfishly as a learning tool, it has been marvelous to compare different design styles so quickly. It helps me decide what values I place on certain skill sets and how I hope to see my own designs evolve. I’m finding that showmanship is most important to me, followed by cohesion, and followed by construction. I’ve determined that I want to be dazzled by something, then I want it to match the others in a collection so I can get a clearer understanding of the designer’s aesthetic, and then I of course want the models to look good in it. Not good- impeccable. If a string bean model with a gorgeous face and professional hair + makeup is not flattered by the clothing, then I have a hard time imagining that it would enhance anyone else… I digress… ANYWAYS.. Last night Project Runway star Michael Costello was one of the designers who showed off some hard work, and I was loving it.. Just check out this neon number that epitomizes his collection..

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10:00ish- show is over, people are invited to after party, and everyone files out because their cocktails have worn off. I may swing by the AP this weekend, but so far have been a little more than stressed out this week simply because of my inability to get all 40 things done at once that I want to. I’m to the point where “this too shall pass” seems to be the best motto, and I’m ready to just enjoy the ride of the rest of the weekend. Hopefully I’ll be able to turn some acquaintances into friends, will continue to get inspired to one day have my looks on that catwalk, and get a few more good stories…

….like the time I took some male VIP’s on a backstage tour and the models (most of which are under 18, mind you) didn’t get enough warning and were in the buff, much to the pleasure of the guests. Pervs. 

…or that time when I was sitting waiting for everyone to take their seats and a man waiting for his wife wanted to make smalltalk and I mentioned I was resting my weary feet. This turned into him making note that he is increasingly fond of women’s footwear. I quote, “I think I may actually be getting a foot fetish!” I laughed heartily/nervously as what I observed as a joke, and he proceeded to say something about how “it’s okay” and everybody likes something different……

Uh yeah… I guess you are right? Wait, what??

Ohhh memories…. haha

Tonight I’m excited to see Michelle’s vision come to life. In the few short weeks I have been interning, I already feel like I’ve absorbed an invaluable amount of information. I even got to help with some finishing on the looks so it will be really validating to know I got to help be a facilitator, even though only a little, for someone’s vision and expression. After all, that is what it is all about. 

 

So cheers! To fashion……. and perverts.

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Shows are tonight and tomorrow at the Vigor Shipyard at 8. Doors open at 7. Come play!

xo

BLOGRESS REPORT: What I’ve been doing this month!

Today I had my annual pumpkin bagel with pumpkin cream cheese and autumn roast coffee as I sat in the sun on my porch on a sewing break. It was magical, and nice to take a breather. I’m living coffee to coffee, but getting a lot done along the way. Here are some pics and links that give a snapshot of what Fall 2013 is looking like so far.

High-profile journalism: For my first fashion article for the year click here!

Laboring of love : check out this spoiler on the dress I’ve been making with the brocade (that’s the greenish fabric) that I got at Mood NYC! Not quite done, and will post more as soon as it is done!

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Intern Extraordinaire: 

As some of you know, I’ve recently acquired a new gig interning for an awesome local designer, so awesome, in fact, that she has dazzled the likes of Zac Posen and Heidi Klum! 

Meet Michelle Lesniak!

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She was the winner of Season 11 for Project Runway, and now she is back in Portland doin’ her thing and being a local fashion rockstar. A couple weeks ago I got to be an extra set of hands on her promo shoot for an upcoming website revamp, and I’ve been getting to spend some time seeing what life is really like for an independent designer. So far I am absolutely loving it!  Not only am I getting to spend a few hours a week breathing some designer lifestyle into my lungs, but the ladies are a great team to work with and get to know. I’ve recently being doing a little documenting as a good intern should, so to share, here are a couple Vines from the past couple weeks! 

Here is Michelle giving the camera a little love in her own design at the shoot:

https://vine.co/v/hvwzBL5m95j 

This is a VERY small little sneak peek into what Michelle is busy working on for FashioNxt– NEXT WEEK! Exciting times.

https://vine.co/v/hgIZVeExhZ0 

 

Oh yeah, and on top of all this I still gotta pay rent… SO I’m off to work! This next week will be a ball with FashioNXT Fashion week and I am excited to report back! Have an awesome rest of your weekend, friends, and enjoy those beautiful falling leaves!!

TTFN- ta ta for now!

xo

 

Don’t feel like going naked? Here is an article I wrote.

I’m off to the fabric store and then on to my industrial sewing machine class, but to quench your DorkyChick thirst, here is an article I put out a couple weeks ago for the PSU Vanguard!

CLICK !

If you don’t like any of my suggestions, I hear there is a nude beach on Sauvie’s Island. 

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

The blog post that will save your life!

If you see  this girl wearing Jeremy Scott:

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RUN! Or just don’t wear this:

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It’s just not safe. 

Now that I’ve basically saved your life, you should probably return the favor.

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Donate your time, money, or blood to the American Red Cross! Last year I had the privilege of being an official spokesperson for the Red Cross of Oregon, and want to make sure to put in a plug for their incredibly easy text-to-donate program.  10 bucks won’t change the weather, but it will get those who have lost it all in recent tragedies one step closer to normalcy.

Text REDCROSS to 90999.

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And have an awesome and safe weekend, my friends.

xo

Thank you for everything.