Monday, November 29, 2010

Twenty Three Chromosomes

After my crazy amount of unexpected time off recently (snow, I love you) I felt invigorated and ready to start a new week. Of course, so did the kids at my school and it took most of my energy to wrangle them to the tasks at hand in class, but that's another story!


I decided to go for my typical teacher ensemble--pencil skirt, ballet flats, cardigan and scarf. In my attempts to actually use most of my wardrobe I decided to bring out these bright indigo tights that I rarely wear. They are another pair of tights that are surprisingly bright once you put them on, much like my bright teal Hue tights; I had bought them thinking they would be a subdued navy, but clearly I was mistaken! The scarf is an attempt to bring the tights into the realm of 'normal' for me, as this bright color is a bit out of my comfort zone. What do you think? Did I stay true to my fledgling style, or is this a bit too far out of my color palette?


Do you have any accessories that didn't wear how you thought they would? Do you have any tricks to bring an unusual accessory into your daily rotation?


Shoes: Naturalizer
Tights: Hue via Plato's Closet
Skirt: Preview Collection via Goodwill
Shirt: J. Crew via Goodwill
Cardigan: Self-made
Scarf: Unknown via Goodwill
Necklace: Vintage via Goodwill Outlet

Sunday, November 28, 2010

New Feature Poll Results

The results are in from last week's poll on which new feature I should do first on Developing Style. It looks like it's a tie between an interview with a fellow fashion blogger and a tutorial on mimicking SLR photography with photo-editing software! Keep a look-out for both of those features to be coming soon. If you voted for either the Gorilla-pod review or a layering for cold weather guide, I will still be doing these features, just a bit later. :)

A pretty leaf I saw during my run today.

Catch-Twenty Two


This is what I wore for Thanksgiving dinner (a backlogged outfit that I am finally posting). It's ok...but it's not great. I am still posting it, however, because it is a great example of why this is called DEVELOPING Style, and not Plummy: Life of Glamour and an Eternally Fantastic Wardrobe. I can't quite put my finger on what's wrong with the outfit though. I think it's a bit top heavy? With no patterns and no single focal point of interest? Is it the lack of accessories? Readers, please help!

I still love my shoes though!

Sweater Dress: Rhapsody via Ross
Long-Sleeve Shirt: Kiabi via France
Tights: Hue via Plato's Closet
Shoes: Naturalizer via Goodwill
Sweater: 22 via The Rack (oh, the irony! Wearing the brand 22 for outfit 22...hahaha...)

(I also can't help but think that these tights would fix everything...but that might just be a minor obsession talking...)

Twenty One Grams

How much time do you spend getting ready every day?


As much as I believe that it is the look of the person inside the clothing that really makes the outfit (NOTE: not the inside of the person. The look of the person herself. I believe in the goodness of people, but we're talking about the look of an outfit here), I can't quite bring myself to spend a lot of time every day making myself look faaaah-bulous. I think something inside me just rebels at the thought of wasting so much time on perfecting a look that will last less than 12 hours.


I love putting on makeup, perfecting my technique, but spending time on my hair is what I draw the line at. My hair is unruly, sort of curly and resistant to being styled--anything I do to it will fall out within a few hours. I've tried hairspray (it makes my hair oddly both stiff AND limp), hot irons (damage galore), bobby pins (slide out) and have resigned myself to never being a master of hairstyling. Enter my variety of ways to put my hair up! I love braids, but there are some days (read: today) when I just need it out of my way. Hence--ponytail.

How much time do you spend getting ready in the morning?

Do you see your makeup and hair as an integral part of your personal style, or separate?

What is your go-to hairstyle when you don't want to deal with your hair?


Skirt: H&M via Plato's Closet

Tights: Target

Shirt: Language Los Angeles via Plato's Closet

Cardigan: Unknown via Goodwill donation pile

Shoes: Naturalizer via Goodwill


Time for your weekly dose of linkage, c/o Plummy! This week I found myself gravitating towards small doses of extravagance.


I love the attention to detail in this post at Le Blog de Sushi, especially the glitter brogues and cute earrings.


This blogger from Moldova has a lovely winter look, one with not too many layers but still looking incredibly warm. I've been to Moldova in the winter and it's quite cold, so it's great to see how a blogger tackles this cold weather challenge!


This sweater is just the right amount of interest for an outfit. While I am not sure I could pull off the bright mustard quite as well as this blogger, I love the idea of a thick wrap-like sweater with a pattern.


I love the pattern mixing here! I tend to default to solids or subtle patterns and it is refreshing to see such a great use of pattern.

Finally, I love E. of Academichic. A fellow 30 for 30 remixer, I have always enjoyed her use of classic lines and awesome shoes, especially in this post.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Twenty Twenty

Despite smack in the middle of my 30 for 30 challenge, I still went out Black Friday shopping with a friend—I was bound and determined to not let the challenge restrict my social outlets as much as possible. We went out bright and early, did the whole lining-up-outside-the-store-before-it-opens thing, got some awesome freebies (free $20 REI giftcard? Yes, please!), and saw the madness and pandemonium caused by people shopping while half asleep. I poked around a bit, looking at clothing in my sections—just to see what was there!


However, I was impressed with neither the quality of sales nor the quality of clothing! Anything that was up to my expected level of quality was completely out of any reasonable price range. Do you guys find that as well? It seems that there is a fairly distinct line between cheapy clothing (Forever 21 and H&M spring to mind) verses nicer-quality items—and a very distinct pricing division as well. I miss going to the Goodwill! I love how I don’t have to sacrifice on quality AND I get great deals there, plus not having the same item that everyone else has. I was waiting in line in one teen clothing store with my friend and I saw so many people buy the exact same item…but where is the fun in that? Am I missing something? I understand that personal styling definitely comes into it, but how many different ways can you style a red plaid button down shirt with a hood? What do you guys think about buying the same distinctive item as everyone else?


I was pretty impressed with myself though—even though I did find one item I wanted to buy (gray Hue tights! A basic I need to replace!) I decided that they would fall under the ‘shopping’ category, not a ‘basics’ category (which would include items such as soap, food, and white basic socks), and I sadly put them back. Hopefully they will still be there when this no-buy is over!


Did you guys go out Black Friday shopping? Was there anything you had to pry yourself away from, or was it fairly easy for you to resist the temptation?

What do you think about having the exact same distinctive item as many other people? Helps/hinders/doesn’t affect personal style?



Shirt: Tricot Jolie via Plato's Closet layered on top of Underarmour via Goodwill

Pants: Martin & Osa via Goodwill

Scarf: Goodwill

Cardigan: Unknown via Goodwill donation pile

Shoes: Naturalizer via Goodwill

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Nineteen (84)

I woke up thoroughly annoyed with my 30 item wardrobe. I was tired of remixing, tired of dealing with only the 30 items I chose, and I was grumpy to boot! So I put on my big girl pants and did what any self-respecting remixer would do--I wore a scarf as a top. *blows raspberry at 30 items* I wanted to rough up my outfit today and not have everything as pristine as it usually is. Given that my 30 items are all pretty clean-lined and nice looking, I used this plaid scarf I have been turning to again and again recently. I fastened it with several pins, wore multiple items of underarmour, and popped on my boots. Ready for another day of snow! Now that I am all dressed, I realize that I was being silly, and I have actually learned many things from this remix already!


1. I usually rotate what I wear through these 30 items (there are only a few items in my wardrobe I really wanted to wear that I couldn't)

2. My winter wardrobe is woefully unprepared. Apparently I only own three long-sleeve shirts, including my purple sweater (but not including the three pieces of Underarmour that I wear underneath). I am completely unsure how this has happened, as I have lived in cold-weather climates for the past four years...

3. I really do wear scarves almost every single day.

4. I have a great basic wardrobe but would like to add more layers of interest--I found myself consistently wanting a piece to roughen an outfit up, or add a bit of contrast. This is where my desire for patterned tights, vintage shopping and not-so-feminine touches is emerging from.

5. I use thrift shopping as a hobby as well as a way to de-stress and get out of the house. Without thrift shopping I have been able to catch up on some projects I didn't have the time to do before (sewing, mending, cleaning and cooking) but I am still craving that hunt.

6. I can make do with what I have! This is the lesson I learned today, as I was able to put together an outfit that looked (to me) a little less pristine, a little more interesting, using items I already have. Of course, I still want to go thrift shopping, but I know I don't have to.


What items do you wish you had included (or could buy) during this challenge?

Have you missed shopping, or do you welcome the reprieve? If you have missed it, why?

Don't forget to vote in the poll on what upcoming feature I should do for the blog!


Leggings: Underarmour (only one layer today? It's like a miracle)
Skirt: H&M via Plato's Closet
Shirt: Underarmour
Scarf worn as wrap: Self-made
Pins: Gift from Grandma
Boots: Giusti via Goodwill
Socks: Target

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Par For Eighteen

More snow! No work again today, and I am housebound due to lack of snow chains for my car (I didn't expect I would need them so early in the year!). Today I chose an easy comfy warm outfit for a snowy day.

Do you get a lot of snow? What is your typical snow-outfit? Do you see your clothing choices changing dramatically with the weather, or are you fairly consistent with your style throughout the year?

Don't forget to vote in my poll! Let me know what you want to see as the next feature on my blog. :)




Legs: Underarmour, Target Tights, F21 Tights
Sweater Dress: Rhapsody via Ross
Base Shirt: Underarmour
Cardigan: Unknown via Goodwill donation pile
Belt: Unknown via Goodwill
Cashmere Scarf: Gift
Boots: Steve Madden
Snow: Awesome!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Seventeen Sickles to a Galleon

Yes, I did see HP7 this weekend and it was AWESOME! I am a huge HP geek. ^^

...Onto the outfit of the day! I woke up and it was snowing. It is supposed to be very very cold today, so I decided that it wouldn't at all be cheating to swap out my pinstripe short-sleeve button down for my Underarmour longsleeve shirt. The forecast is cold and snowy for the week, a surprise for Big City which usually sees little snow, so I'm not going to feel bad at all about my swap. After I got completely dressed, had eaten breakfast, and was ready to go, I got the call that school was canceled for the day. However, I was already dressed so I took my outfit photos and am now snuggled up in a blanket, wearing leggings and my sweater.




Base Shirt: Underarmour long sleeve (modified by me so it's a scoop neck and not a turtle neck) via Goodwill
Middle Shirt: Gray Gap long sleeve via Plato's Closet
Outer Sweater Jacket: 22 via The Rack
Scarf: Unknown via Goodwill
Skirt: Brass Plum via Goodwill
Base Leggings: Underarmour
Outer Leggings: Hue via Plato's Closet

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Well, it is officially snowing so hard that school (which is on top of a mountain) has been that means it's time for this week's edition of Link-spiration! Most likely due to the fact that I am having thrift-shopping withdrawals, most of the links this week are vintage or thrift-inspired. Enjoy!

Sally Jane Vintage is a virtual gold-mine of thrifting inspiration. I don't know how she does it, but she always finds the cutest high-quality thrift items. I especially love this vintage wool coat with a zip-apart hood that she found this week!

I loved Liz's post on Scholar Style Guide this week on being in a style rut and how to break out of one. There is an interesting discussion in the comments on pattern-mixing, getting yourself out of a rut and planning outfits ahead of time.

I think I am probably the last person in the blogosphere to find the Clothes Horse, but I finally did and her style is so cute! Girly without being over the top, always with plenty of vintage inspiration. I loved this post she did about all the ways she remixed this neutral dress--particularly fitting, considering that we are close to the two thirds mark on the 30 for 30.

I loved the casual-yet-still-professional look of this outfit on Unusual Form, a fellow remixer. We all know of my love of the color gray, and she pairs it with a punchy yellow (I would have never thought that color would be so professional!) and a belt that I am in love with. Yes, both are thrifted. Please, I just want to get back to my thrift stores, ok?

Enjoy, drool over the pretty pictures, and then get back to your 30 items to finish this challenge!

Sixteen Ounces to a Pound

It is SNOWING here in Big City, and I am both excited and apprehensive about what this means for the rest of the winter. Excited because snow=awesome, duh. And apprehensive because we usually get snow only for one or two days in January, so this is very foreboding for our winter...but at least this will give me ample opportunity to bulk up my layering skills before Mr. P and I take off abroad next year! :D



Tights: Target
Skirt: H&M via Plato's Closet
Sweater: Gap via Goodwill
Wrap: Chico's
Scarf: from a street market in Kiev, Ukraine
Boots: Steve Madden

I also have a POLL for everyone to vote on! I have a few different ideas for the next big feature (interview, tutorial, etc) here on Developing Style and I wanted to know what YOU would like me to do first! Please vote and I will announce the winner in one week on Sunday the 28th.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What I Run In

I didn't count any of my running clothes in my 30 items, so I thought I would show you what I wear when I go running. WARNING: I run through mud, on trails, in the cold. This is a function trumps all situation, and not the usual union of form and function that I so enjoy.


What do you exercise in? Do you try to look cute, or do all attempts at being fashionable go out the window?


Pants: Goodwill, plus I'm wearing Underarmour underneath
Shirt: Underarmour
Zip-up: Marmot
Jacket: Outdoor Research
Gloves: Gift
Hat: Goodwill
Shoes: Vibram

And what am I propping my camera on, with the lack of benches/tables/etc in the forest?


Yesterday I bought a Gorillapod--a bendy tripod that also has magnets in the 'feet.' I have had fun sticking it to pretty much everything around me (inside of car roof, refrigerator, tree branches, doorknobs) and I also used it for my outfit photo today (by sticking it to a street sign). It's going to be an epic friendship, I can already tell! (I had to draw the camera on, since I was using the camera to take the picture!)

If you guys are interested, I might do a review of it--how it holds, what it can hold on to, what it can't, if it's useful everyday.


Fifteen Past the Hour

I bought this bright green scarf the same time I bought this purple one, and while this green one doesn't fit so perfectly in my color scheme I still love having it in my arsenal. When I am tired of wearing the same colors I always do (see: cranberry, purple, neutrals, teal, zippy red color) I pull out this scarf for a different look. The pink and purple in the scarf tie into some key pieces in the rest of my wardrobe, but the dominant color scheme is different and gives me a dose of new color without having to coordinate a new piece of clothing into my existing wardrobe. It's a win/win/win situation for me. :)

Do you have any pieces that you reach for to break out of your color routine?
Am I insane for thinking that this is so different from the rest of my wardrobe (my senses may have been dulled by prolonged exposure to burgundy...)?
Is it obvious that I am absolutely freezing in the last photo (but was determined to get a shot without my wrap)?



Dress: Martin & Osa via Goodwill
Wrap: Chico's
Scarf: Unknown via Goodwill
Tights: Hue
Boots: Steve Madden

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fourteen in a Fortnight

After wearing jeans yesterday, I felt compelled to wear a 'high-energy' pretty outfit today. I broke out these boots for the first time in this challenge and took another item off my 'I put it in my 30 items but still haven't worn it' list. I love these boots, and theoretically they are versatile (brown knee-high boots that fit), but when you put them into practice they take a bit more doing. Of course, they passed my Four Ways to Wear test (see: Episode 10), so they can't be all that bad. :)

Tip of the Day: Since it's been freezing over here, I have been layering like crazy. To keep all of my layers from moving around, I tuck them all into my tights and they stay put! Here, I have a long-sleeve base layer shirt, a pink silk shirt, and my cardigan all tucked into my tights (with my underarmour underneath it all!). I didn't have to worry about anything sliding around on me all day!




Base gray long-sleeve shirt: Gap via Plato's Closet
Pink shirt: Banana Republic via BR Outlet
Cardigan: Unknown via Goodwill donation pile
Skirt: Brass Plum via Goodwill
Base layer on legs: Underarmour
Top layer on legs: tights by Hue via Plato's Closet
Boots: Giusti via Goodwill

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lucky Number Thirteen

Today I chose to wear pants for a variety of reasons, but mainly because I wanted a low-energy outfit and we've seen how pants are that solution for me. However, after work I had to run an errand downtown and I felt...less stylish, especially compared to all the sharply dressed people around me. Of course, it didn't help that I ducked into Anthropologie to check out the new clothing--just to look! ;) The sales staff there are always so well-dressed, they make me feel self-conscious!

Anyways, I thought it was interesting how different I feel when in pants as compared to when I wear dresses or skirts. I definitely feel more stylish and fashionable when wearing a skirt, and I'm wondering why that is. Is it because, to me, pants signify less effort being put into an outfit (although we all know that throwing on a dress is really the ultimate in no-effort chic)? Is it because society sees dresses and skirts as being more dressed up, so I feel more fashionable? Is it because skirts are now rather uncommon, so I feel special when I wear one, like I've made a conscious decision to be different? Hmmm...I have no answers, only questions.

What do you guys think? Why do you choose to wear/not wear skirts?
Is there anything you wear that makes you feel extra fashionable?


Jeans: Martin & Osa via Goodwill
Boots: Capelli via Goodwill
Sweater: Gap via Goodwill
Cardigan: Self-made from a Goodwill find
Scarf: Unknown via Goodwill
Belt: Unknown via Goodwill
We knew the day would come...EVERYTHING I am wearing came from the Goodwill. I'm pretty much awesome. :D

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Clock Strikes Twelve

Whenever I wear this soft peach sweater, I always feel more feminine and pretty. I think it's the soft color, the loose fit, and the flattering neckline. I also find myself seeking out this sweater when I want to look pretty, and it ends up forming a self-sustaining loop of prettiness (the best kind of loop!). I find that I usually select my clothing as a reaction to what I'm feeling--if I'm feeling upset or nervous, I choose extremely structured clothing (to act as armour, or an exoskeleton!), if I'm feeling happy I tend to be more adventurous in wearing items that make me happy, if I'm tired I wear many soft layers in muted colors. Less often do I choose my clothing to incite the mood I am yearning for. Usually this happens when I am tired, but I choose a flirty dress for going out in the hopes that it will rejuvinate me.

I am also trying to make a conscious effort to use all of my 30 items--here I am using my black H&M blazer. I bought this blazer when I was in High School, on my first trip to France. I purchased it to wear under hoodies and zip-ups, and it has been a constant staple in my wardrobe even as the sweatshirts have given way to cardigans. It is a bit boxy, but I like that it can be both formal and casual (a decent material, nothing shiny, no exposed seams, everything is clean), and the curved hem is ever-so-slightly feminine. This is the epitome of what I strive for in my wardrobe--an item that I spent a bit more money on, but has endured in my wardrobe for SIX YEARS (!!!) now and is an everyday staple.

Do you have any staples that have stayed with you throughout style transformations?
How do your clothing choices reflect and reflect upon your mood?

You can't tell, but it's raining like crazy in this picture! This photo shoot was super quick, with my camera being protected by my umbrella balanced above it!

Coat: Jenifer via France
Jacket: H&M
Shirt: J. Crew via Goodwill
Necklace: Spotted Moth via Giveaway!
Pants: The Merlot via Plato's Closet
Shoes: Naturalizer via Goodwill
Camisole: Shimera (I am usually wearing a camisole, but I only list it when you can see it in the outfit--here it is adding much-needed length to this sweater!)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Eleventh Hour

After my revelation yesterday that I had yet to wear 25% of my 30 items, I decided to build today's outfit around this lovely Orchid silk Martin & Osa dress. Usually when I build an outfit I choose one item to build it around, whether it be a pretty dress, a comfy pair of shoes or a piece of sparkly jewelry. I tend to quickly fall into style ruts--you will notice that I have worn my neutral cardigan approximately EVERY SINGLE DAY since I bought it, and ever since I have started pairing black and brown together that has been my failsafe color combination (with pops of red, of course).

I try to challenge myself to put together new combinations to avoid falling into a repetition merely out of a lack of awareness. The point that I am wrestling with is how to avoid falling into mundane repetition while still safegaurding my own sense of style. I am playing around with branching out my basic 'uniforms,' while keeping a sense of 'me' in all of my outfits. To this end, I am trying to only incorporate what I truly love into my wardrobe, but it's hard--I love so many different things! I think that keeping a general color scheme will also help me here.

Do you consciously put together your wardrobe to convey a certain feeling?
Do you have more than one basic 'uniform'? What (if anything) links them together?
Do you find yourself repeating many outfits you have already done? Do you try to avoid this, or do you actively embrace this repetition?





Dress (worn as shirt): Martin & Osa via Goodwill
Long sleeved shirt (base layer): gray, Gap via Plato's Closet
Skirt: Brass Plum via Goodwill
Tights: Target
Shoes: Naturalizer
Sweater: Self-made
Scarf: Unknown via Goodwill
Coat: Jenifer via France