Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Maxi Skirt Woes

I know, I know - just because something is $10 doesn't make it right. But I was placing an online order at Old Navy and needed a couple more bucks to bump it into the free shipping range, so I decided to give this skirt a try, since I've been looking for a maxi skirt. My qualifications:
  • No broomstick skirts. We are not going for the Earth Mother from Coldwater Creek look.
  • No tiers. See previous point for reasons.
  • No tight-fitting jersey. I'm not enormous, but no one wants to see my thigh contours.
  • No super outlandish colors - I want to find something classic and neutral, especially since with a maxi skirt, you're in essence wearing a huge swath of fabric around your legs.
So the skirt above - it looked slightly broomstick-y and colors were a little iffy, but I thought maybe the pattern would help with that. After trying a few tops with it and hemming and hawing in front of the mirror, I decided to wear it on a visit to my parents house, because I really couldn't decide and I knew my sisters would help me out. The skirt wasn't exactly what I was looking for, but for $10 I was willing to reconsider.

I styled it with a reddish-purple tank top, tucked in, and some gold tribal-looking sandals. My sisters were helpful - they suggested maybe I was wearing it too high, so it made me look short. At 5'5" I knew I was playing with fire by trying a maxi skirt. Maxi dresses, I'm guessing because the fabric continues upward toward my face, usually helps elongate and makes me look taller. The skirt wasn't working the same way. But if I didn't tuck the tank in, I just looked like a hippie with no shape. I asked my mom if I looked too Earth Mother (remember, it did have a slight broomstick quality to the fabric). She said no, but when my older brother saw me, his first question was, "How many children do you have tucked under your skirts? And do you make your own bread?"

The skirt went back. Not because of that one comment, but because I just couldn't get it to look right and I didn't love it. I want to really love the clothes I own.

Any suggestions for what I might have done wrong, or ways I could've made it work? I realize maybe I wasn't working with the ideal skirt...

Monday, July 30, 2012

Old Navy Copycats J.Crew

I'm sure I'm not the only one who's caught onto Old Navy's blatant copycatting of J.Crew. Although most of the time they don't have the same color expertise as J.Crew and their take on J.Crew pieces have a definite lower-end feel, there are times when I appreciate their attempt to offer inexpensive options.

Here are a few copycats I've noticed - Old Navy's piece is on the left and J.Crew's on the right:

Did I miss any? Let me know if you spot any more, or if you've noticed or benefited from any in the past!
UPDATE: I did some research, because I was curious about how ethical copying designs & patterns within the fashion industry really is. This TED Talk, as well as this article, helped me understand it better - it's pretty fascinating, I think!

Clothes for Cheap: Madewell Polka Dot Shorts

While they're not exactly my jam, I don't mind a little dose of polka dots here and there. I couldn't help but post about these shorts from Madewell...
...because I saw almost the exact same shorts at Old Navy just recently, for about $40 less:

For Andrew

A sort of get well card for my brother - he had surgery a few days ago. He's one of the bravest guys I know, so... Spiderman kind of fit the bill. I wanted to channel a little San Francisco, a little superhero, and a general sense of "I know you'll kick that surgery in its hindquarters."

Birthday Cards

Big cards, little cards, cards that climb on rocks...

I've been feeling inspired recently, so I've been making cards for family members as their special days pop up on the calendar.

Here are a few. Excuse the photography... I must ask you to always excuse the photography. That's just one of the many artistic bones I am missing in my body.

"Sparkler" - For Erin: Her birthday is in early July, so her collage is a proper mixture of patriotic bday enthusiasm and a dash of citron, one of her current favorite colors to wear.
"Dear" - For Laura: The girl loves horses, so this was an easy one. The texture of the polka dots mirrors the fuzziness of the horse, the strawberry (look familiar?) and the unicorn keep it from being too serious (she's 14 for crying out loud). Laura has a sweet spirit, so I wanted to capture a little of that in her collage as well.

"The Best" - For my mom: Simple, pretty things with a beachy feel - a lot of what my mom loves. "The Best" is an inside joke, and also true.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

People Watching: On the National Mall

We took a quick trip down to the Natural History Museum today - you know, just to tell Henry the Elephant "what up." As we were driving along Jefferson looking for parking, I was people watching from the car window (a favorite pastime) and I saw a girl wearing this outfit:

It was the essence of summer. A sherbet-colored breezy top and cropped jungle green pants (anyone else go back to their Crayola roots when describing colors?) were an unexpected but surprisingly harmonious combination. I couldn't see her shoes, but I think gold sandals and accessories would work well with the warm tone of the top. She was carrying a slouchy hobo kind of bag and her hair was up in a messy bun. The Wayfarers kept it slightly sophisticated. The whole look had a classy but, at the same time, summery devil-may-care kind of vibe. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

50 Reasons Not to Date a Graphic Designer

(via A Bourbon for Silvia // I apologize for the language... and the grammar.) 

5. They drink and eat all kinds of weird **** just because they like the packaging.
12. You never know if it is really an original or a copy.
14. They do not know how to add and subtract, they just understand letters.
15. They idolize people who nobody knows and speak of them as though they were their colleagues.
21. You cannot decorate the house without consulting them.
22. They steal street signs.
30. They want to save the world only with a poster.
31. You will spend the day brainstorming.
33. Museums are their second home.
43. They want to spend all the money in the Apple Store.
45. They see ordinary objects and laugh.
48. They dream of the day nobody will make a single change to their designs.
49. They rather pay for a font than for a special birthday gift.

David sent me the link to this list along with the question, "Can you relate at all?"

I could. Unfortunately, it's already too late.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Bleach It. Bleach It Real Good.

Art project idea: load a washing machine with bright clothes, rolled and rubber-banded like a tie-dye shirt, pour in a cup of bleach, see what happens. Present.

Navajo blankets