Friday, March 29, 2013

Girl Friday: Erin

This is my dear friend Erin (she's the blonde, not the furry one), and she is boss:

Erin strikes an impressive balance between fun-loving and mature in not only her style, but her life in general. She's an amazing prankster with a very caring heart -- the perfect combination, I think! Erin's enjoyment of life shines through in her clothing & accessory choices, but at the same time, she's able to maintain an air of poise and class as she dresses for her job as a school teacher. Read more about Erin's style below!

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The Twenty Ninth: Tell us a little bit about what you're currently doing.
Erin: I teach English and History and coach cross country and cheer-leading at an amazing private school, and I am working on my M.A. in English.
TN: Describe your style in a few words or a phrase:
E: Classic and feminine with a dash of the vintage and whimsical. Students have described several of my outfits as "country chic," and I think that fits in there somewhere as well.
TN: How has your style evolved over the years?
E: I remember when I first became interested in clothes as a teenager, I looked to whatever my friends were wearing to define style. At that point our lives this was mostly sporty and athletic (shout out to Adidas sandals and American Eagle t-shirts!). It wasn't until college that I started to discover more of my own personal taste in clothing, which was primarily pastel and extremely girlie. That general idea has has evolved and matured over the years, and became even more defined when I was doing graduate work in the UK. It's taken me far too long to realize that my style has to come from within, and no one else can define it except me.
TN: Any fun/embarrassing clothing mishaps or stories you want to share?
E: The whole of middle school I consider to be a clothing mishap. Thanks for bringing it up.
TN: Who are your style influences?
E: Zooey Deschanel, Kate and Pippa Middleton,  and a little classic Doris Day.
TN: Where's your favorite place to shop?
E: Modcloth, H&M, Delia's, and some local independent stores.
TN: How do you pick out an outfit?
E: During the week, I have to plan and pack the outfit for each day the night before because I try to hit the gym before work. (Emphasis on try... don't fact check this with my roommates.) As I'm looking ahead to what the next day holds, I'll shop my closet until I find something that feels fresh and inspiring. If I wore something businesslike the day before, I might plan something more whimsical for the next or vice-versa. From there I'll try to add accessories that polish the look and give it a little more personality.
TN: Which part of your look have you experimented with recently?
E: I've tried to experiment with color and contrast. Particularly in these winter months, we all need an unexpected splash of color in our lives.
TN: What's your favorite thing in your closet to wear, and why?
E: Fun dresses are my favorite, hands down.
TN: Is there an article of clothing or type of shoes you wouldn't be caught dead in?
E: High-waisted pleated pants. Some people have tried to pull it off recently, but for me it'll always be a big "no please."
TN: Do you have a favorite skincare or makeup product, or a favorite perfume?
E: Dream Angels: "Love is Heavenly" perfume
TN: Any shopping tips or fashion advice you'd like to share?
E: Keep your eyes open. Inspiration can come from anywhere, so keep mental notes on what strikes your eye and file those away for wardrobe inspiration.

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Thanks for sharing your perspective on fashion with us, Erin!

Know someone who should be featured on The 29th? Interested in being interviewed yourself? Drop me a line: casey [at] thetwentyninth [dot] com. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

People Watching: Senpai + Kohai

If you're a fan of beautiful, one-of-a-kind, Free People-esque style, you must check out the designs offered by fashion label Senpai + Kohai!

Created by designers Melissa Choi (a very old friend of mine!) and Pia Panaligan, this line is unique in both its textiles and its purpose.
About their designs, quoted from their site:
Artistic approaches to fashion characterize our line. For our first collection, we were inspired by traditional embroideries and embellishments gathered from Melissa's travels to India. Our first collection used mainly natural based fabrics, many of which were hand dyed or painted. All the pieces are one-of-a-kind, hand-sewn party dresses, reworked found jackets, recycled fur and some hand painted hosiery, along with some silk scarves.
And about their purpose, which personally, makes me love their line even more:
The fashion industry being a fast paced business has been taken over by “disposable fashion”. We want to create a line of great quality-made pieces that don’t necessarily follow fashion trends and instead focus on traditional craftsmanship. With our world travels and multi-cultural heritage, we will incorporate these influences into our collections... Because we are from Philadelphia, a city that is a minority in the fashion world, we will stand out among our peers and help bring attention to the creative minds that dwell here.
I appreciate their desire to encourage fashion and the arts in their city, as well as their goal to produce clothing that is beautiful enough to transcend trends. I can't wait to see where Senpai + Kohai ends up in the fashion world -- I'm sure it's going to be amazing!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Finding the Perfect Sunglasses

via Pinterest
Much like my treacherous relationship with sandals in February, my relationship with sunglasses also seems to be cursed.

If I find a pair I kind of love, I dive into the ocean with them propped on my head in a moment of fashion forgetfulness. If I try a pair on at the store and they look amazing, when I bring them home, I look like a bug. If I try to be spontaneous and buy an obnoxious pair on a fashion-crazed whim, I ultimately regret it all summer and push the silly glasses further into the glove compartment in an attempt to forget my idiocy.

While waiting very patiently for me the other day as I tried pair after pair of sunglasses at Urban Outfitters, David asked if there were style rules behind picking ones that work for your face shape and size. I'd always heard that you should look for lenses over which you can still see part of your eyebrows. But it was time to do some research. What was I missing?

According to this article found on Glamour's website, the key is to "Choose sunglasses with features opposite to your own face!" I also found this article on You Beauty to be really helpful (and a tad more specific). But in general, if your face is...  

 Round: Go for something more angular/square and avoid circular frames.

via Pinterest

Square or Rectangular: Look for sunglasses that are more rounded, and 
steer clear of sharp angular frames.

via Style Bistro


Heart-Shaped: Try to find frames that balance your narrower chin and broader forehead -- Glamour suggests wire frames or bottom-heavy shades.

Oval or Oblong: You can rock pretty much any type of frame. Slightly wider frames are recommended in order to balance out the length of your face.

So based on this info, it looks like I need to try a more rounded frame, since I have a rectangular face. I can tell you right now I will NOT be rocking Lennon shades, but I'm going to look for something with more rounded curves rather than something boxy and square, and see what I can find. (Apparently cat-eye frames work well on rectangular faces? Yikes. Not sure about that one.)

I'll let you know if I land on a pair or style that finally ends up working!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Girl Friday: Kendra

This is the one and only Kendra!
I've known Kendra as a faraway friend for years now -- though never close, I've always admired her spunk, energy, and outgoing personality. And her outfits, which reflect all of those aspects! Enjoy her interview, below.

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The Twenty Ninth: Tell us a little bit about what you're currently up to.
Kendra: I’m single, in my early 30’s (I think that is the first time I’ve actually typed that out. Yikes), working in a pretty conservative office. We are allowed to be somewhat casual, but it’s still a bit… buttoned up. I sometimes go out after work to spend times with friends, grab dinner, or run errands. So I need to wear things that can easily transition.
TN: Describe your style in a few words or a phrase:
K: Easy, comfortable, work appropriate, yet able to transition quickly. Female Bob Dylan with a hint of Punky Brewster. Well, not really Punky Brewster anymore… I got over that when I was 8 for the most part.

TN: How has your style evolved over the years?
K: I used to just find something I liked at Old Navy and get it in numerous bright colors. I wore what I felt like I should wear based on what everyone else was doing. Now, I have a better idea of what I like, what looks good on me, and when to take risks. I was shocked when I realized that I prefer darker colors. Especially since before, I would buy every bright and spring color I could find. It seriously looked like RainbowBrite puked in my closet. Now my wardrobe is full of black and gray pieces that I pair with small pops of color or sparkle. Tiny bits of neon is a current favorite. I’m more confident with mixing patterns, coming up with different combinations, and when to throw in something unexpected. But I still get in ruts of cycling through the same few things. And I’m always happy to just not try and wear my favorite hoodie and sweats.
TN: Any fun/embarrassing clothing mishaps or stories you want to share?
K: I live in very… posh side of town. My area is full of classy southern women who don’t leave the house without a full face of make-up and designer clothes. Our “upscale” mall is down the street from my house and is where the closest Chipotle is located. So often, I’ll park at Neiman Marcus and roll through in my sweats, pajamas, or work-out clothes if I’m craving a burrito bowl for dinner. Those women look like they are going to faint when they see me, lookin’ fly in my comfy pants and flip-flops as they are trying on their Chanel coats and Manolo Blahnik heels.
TN: Who are your style influences?
K: Charlotte Gainsbourg is my favorite!! I’m pretty obsessed with her across the board. I love her easy, glamorous, yet bada$$ style. I also love Francoise Hardy, Bob Dylan, Nico, Annie Hall, Rachel Bilson, Elizabeth Olsen with a hint of Beyonce mixed in. You need Beyonce’s fierceness thrown in from time to time. Basically, my goal as of my last birthday is to dress like I could’ve been Mick Jagger's French girlfriend in the mid 1960’s. 

TN: Where's your favorite place to shop?
K: I have a VERY small clothing budget, so I go for really cheap. Forever 21, H&M, Target, Urban Outfitters, ASOS, and thrift stores.
TN: How do you pick out an outfit?
K: In all honesty, it’s based on how lazy I’m feeling that day. I often will make a deal with myself that if I can decide what to wear right when my alarm goes off, I can go back to sleep for another 15 minutes. It works! But also what the weather is like and if I have plans after work.
TN: Which part of your look have you experimented with recently?
K: Like I said, I tried to go for a more French-tough-yet-feminine look with my birthday resolution. Trying to make that work-appropriate has been an adventure. I think I’ve figured it out for the most part… it’s just hard to keep it from looking boring. So I’ve also thrown in fun elements with it (Example: Black jeans, black platform wedges, black blazer and black shirt with tiny unicorns printed all over it).
TN: What's your favorite thing in your closet to wear, and why?
K: Cardigans are a staple for me. They are my go-to when it comes to layers. They can make something that would normally be too casual or revealing and make it work-appropriate. And they help with mixing & matching outfits. I’m also pretty infatuated with my glitter gold loafers that I got at Target this fall. They add a little extra Beyonce-ness to each outfit. And, most importantly, my black fake-leather moto jacket. When I wear it with a basic gray t-shirt, my jeans, black flats and dirty hair, I feel just like Charlotte Gainsbourg.

TN: Is there an article of clothing or type of shoes you wouldn't be caught dead in?
K: I can’t really wear boots because I have really short legs. They make my legs look like tree stumps. I wish I could pull them off, but it just isn’t going to happen. There are other things I swore I’d never wear, but over time, it ended up happening! I said I’d never wear animal print clothes. But for my 30th birthday I found an awesome leopard print dress from Forever 21. It was unexpected and looked great on. I also ended up wearing it to a Christmas party with a dark green cardigan over it.
TN: Do you have a favorite skincare or makeup product, or a favorite perfume?
K: I’m not very monogamous when it comes to products. Even if something works really well, I tend to think that maybe something else could work even better. The only thing I’ve really stuck with is actually a haircare product. Oribe Apres Beach spray is incredible. I use it to mess up my curls a bit, give them some texture and shine, and the smell is awesome. I’m pretty stingy with it because it’s not cheap. But I adore it. Oh, I’ve also just started using BB cream. I normally don’t wear face-makeup. Just eye stuff. I don’t like the way it feels or how it looks. And this is going to sound super braggy, but I’ve never really needed face make-up. Just under-eye stuff to hide dark circles on nights I stayed up too late watching Say Yes to the Dress re-runs on Netflix. Recently I sampled the Bobby Brown’s BB cream to see what all the fuss was about and didn’t like it… but funny enough I really love the Maybelline version! It is light and gives just enough coverage without looking like you’re wearing makeup. It’s magic.
TN: Any shopping tips or fashion advice you'd like to share?
K: Over the years my biggest frustration was that clothes don’t look the same on me as they do others. I’m short and curvy with hips that won’t quit. And that is a really huge challenge when it comes to shopping. Often it would lead to me in tears in the dressing room. I’d find something that I saw online or on someone else, love it, but realize it looked like a trash bag on me. It was really discouraging. So, I had to learn how to shop for me. That’s my advice. Learn how to shop for your shape, your style and budget. Don’t compare those things to anyone else. Maybe someone has a different shape than you. Maybe someone looks better in a color than you do. Maybe someone has a bigger shopping budget than you. Don’t get discouraged looking at that. Be patient with shopping, be willing to leave emptyhanded. Don’t shop when you are tired or emotional. That can be a disaster! Try things on that you normally wouldn’t. You might be surprised! And shop places where you can return something! For example, you can’t return Forever 21 items in store, but if you order from them online, you can ship returns! That has been a life saver on a few occasions! 

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Thank you for interviewing, Kendra -- keep "lookin' fly in your comfy pants & flip flops." I'll join you! Read more from and about Kendra on her blog, Avocados & Diet Coke!

All photos are by Jessica Paul.

Know someone who should be featured on The 29th? Interested in being interviewed yourself? Drop me a line: casey [at] thetwentyninth [dot] com. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Finally, Spring.

via Everly True

We made it! The thermometer might not reflect it quite yet, but today's the First Day of Spring and the temperature will soon be looking up. I love those first few spring days when the breeze is more warm than cold, and you can care-freely break out the sandals and t-shirts.

Here's a little First Day of Spring outfit inspiration for you... I hope to be wearing outfits like these soon (either wrangling it over my baby bump, or in May, after Bea makes her appearance). I'm dreaming of...

Maxi skirts & slouchy tees:
via Icon Jane

Light jackets and baseball caps:
via Madewell
Heathery sweatshirts & cut off shorts:
via Pinterest
What are you just dying to wear as the weather gets warm?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Styling Tips from the Experts

via Refinery 29
A few weeks ago, my fashion buddy Krystle sent me an article from Refinery 29 about fashion stylists in the San Francisco area. Along with inspiring stories about their small beginnings in the fashion world, a few of the stylists also divulged a few of their styling secrets. For those of us experimenting with and attempting to find our own sense of style, here's some advice:

I love this from Trina Papini: 
"When you think the outfit is done — add one more step. It can be a necklace, a vest, a slight roll of your hem, a buttoned-up collar, a vintage pin, or bright lip color. One small jump past your comfort level and voilĂ !"

And from Tienlyn Jacobson:
"Experiment! That’s how you figure out what you love and what you don’t. But also, listen to yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable in something, don’t force it. Style has a lot more to do with confidence in what you wear than the latest trends."

PS: For the curious... I had no idea that Refinery 29 existed when I named my blog five years ago. Originally started as a place for me to write about what was going on in our early married life, The Twenty Ninth refers to the date David and I got married -- April 29.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Red Carpet Project

My dad is the king of sending me links to things that he knows I will love. Whether it's movie news, an amazing photograph, or a silly comic strip, whenever I see an email from my dad with the subject line, "I think you'll enjoy this..." I know it's going to be good.

The other day, he sent me this: The New York Times' Red Carpet Project.

A catalog of dresses worn by celebrities on the Oscars red carpet over the past 15 years -- and you can sort it by person, color, or dress style. FUN right?! Go look!

PS: For those of you still disappointed with Anne Hathaway's dress at this past Oscars, take a look at this. It's a little pathetic that she felt like she had to apologize for her choice, but it's nice to see she did have a previously awesome Valentino picked out (I'm guessing in the end it was too much like Amanda Seyfried's?).

Friday, March 15, 2013

Girl Friday: Eleanore

Hey hey! A fun interview for you today... this is Eleanore:

I love Eleanore's eclectic style mix of tailored, indie-bohemian, and rocker. I've known her for years, and have been inspired by her fashion sense, her unconventional but artistic outfits, and her fearlessness when it comes to going a little edgy. You can tell this girl loves clothes!

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The Twenty Ninth: Tell us a little bit about what you're currently doing.
Eleanore: Currently finishing up my bachelors degree at Johns Hopkins University. Still deciding on a med school for next year. Kickin' it with my dog... Yeah, I really don't have much more extra time for a real life.
TN: Describe your style in a few words or a phrase:
A: Menswear that’s often infused with western and Native American pieces. Occasionally I’ll go girly and incorporate lacy dresses and pastel colors. I like my style to be slightly androgynous.
TN: How has your style evolved over the years?
A: In the last few years I think my style has become much more personal and I've started to focus more on building a wardrobe with staple pieces I really love as opposed to changing it up every season and letting fashion trends dictate what I wear. My closet is also very much a collection of pieces that reflect my taste in other things I'm passionate about, like music and art. My favorite pieces are the ones that I have history with and I repeatedly go to year after year. 

TN: Any fun/embarrassing clothing mishaps or stories you want to share?
A: Because I love more over-sized tom-boyish things, one of my best shopping secrets is to shop in the men’s section at select stores (Gap, Target, J.crew). Often their sale section is better too. But I have definitely run into a few guys on campus wearing the same plaid button down or jacket. 
TN: Who are your style influences?
A: Hands down, Erin Wasson is my main style icon. She really embodies a woman who plays by her own rules when it comes to fashion but still maintains her femininity despite her often rough-looking getup. I also love pretty much everything Kate Bosworth and Miley Cyrus wear.
TN: Where's your favorite place to shop?
A: I’m a big online shopper simply because it is more convenient. I love Free People, ASOS, and  Urban Outfitters. Anytime I am up in NYC, I try to hit up as many vintage-urban consignment stores as I can. Some of my favorite pieces are secondhand.

TN: How do you pick out an outfit?
A: I usually start by picking one component of my outfit that I really want to wear and build the rest of the look around that. For every season I also have go-to outfits for those times when I can't decide.
TN: Which part of your look have you experimented with recently?
A: I have never been a big fan of animal prints, but this year Steve Madden came out with a pair of leopard print loafers that I can't stop wearing.
TN: What's your favorite thing in your closet to wear, and why?
A: Ankle boots always seem to be my shoe of choice; they are super comfortable and they work with both dresses and pants.

TN: Is there an article of clothing or type of shoes you wouldn't be caught dead in?
A: Anything with polka dots, anything neon, and absolutely no pearls.
TN: Do you have a favorite skincare or makeup product, or a favorite perfume?
A: I've been wearing Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume since high school. I can't get enough of that scent.
TN: Any shopping tips or fashion advice you'd like to share?
A: Spend the extra money and buy quality staples that are classic and timeless. I'm all for a good deal, but I just think there are some things that aren't worth skimping on. I bought my first pair of Frye boots this winter and not only are they the most comfortable things I have ever worn, they come with a two year warranty (regardless of where you buy them). If the soles need replacing or there are any major scuffs, Frye will restore them to an almost new condition free of charge.
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Love it. Thanks, Eleanore!

Know someone who should be featured on The 29th? Interested in being interviewed yourself? Drop me a line: casey [at] thetwentyninth [dot] com. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

People Watching: Family Party

My friend Kati sent me a picture of her sister Jackie rocking shorts with tights (which she's done with flare ever since she asked this question a few months ago). She looked chic and adorable, and I had to share her outfit:

shorts & tights

I love that she wore purple tights -- the dark color kept things tame, while still adding a little bit of fun. Thanks for letting me share, Jackie!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

From Yoga to Work: Outfit On-the-Go

via Pinterest
Hannah left the following comment:
As a college student I have a very hectic, ever-changing "schedule." I'll often go straight from yoga to school to work (making deliveries to clients of an interior designer), then out to babysit for a family or hang out with friends in the evening. I rarely have time to stop by my house to freshen up or get changed, so I find that I live out of my car a lot.

Any ideas for versatile outfits that can accommodate loose, flexible materials for yoga, look presentable for work, AND allow me to get messy while keeping up with toddlers? 
Quite the girl-on-the-go! I don't know if I can offer a one-outfit-fits-all solution, but here are few practical ways to think through how to dress for your day:
on the go
  • For yoga: Keep your yoga gear versatile and simple. Invest in a nice, well-fitting pair of yoga pants in a sophisticated color (black or dark gray). That way, you can wear the pants for more than just yoga (again, as long as they're well-fitting and not scrubby!) -- specifically for babysitting, and occasionally, for school. In terms of tops, consider ones with built in bras, etc. that you could possibly wear under other pieces, or just a basic tank top that can be easily layered later on.
  • For school: If you don't have time to change, go for that sporty but still put together "I just came from yoga" look. Consider a slouchy tee that can be worn off the shoulder, or a cute knit sweater that works with your yoga pants (could be an over-sized cardigan; could be an open-knit pullover). A denim jacket is a another good option. For days where you have a minute to spare, keep a pair of jeans or even a jersey maxi skirt in your car and throw one or the other on with the tee/sweater.
  • For work: Depending on your dress code for work, this is where you'll probably want to take a second to throw on a pair of jeans or nice pants (or a maxi skirt!). If the sweater/cardigan I suggested above is nice enough, that could also work double-duty. A blazer or other cute jacket (or even a denim/chambray button down) thrown over the slouchy t-shirt would also work.
  • For babysitting: Back to the yoga/school gear! Yoga pants make chasing after kids a breeze.
I realize I may be damaging my fashion-cred here by advocating wearing yoga pants around town, but let's be practical, people.

Another simple solution that comes to mind is, since you're living out of your car most days to begin with, it could be a good idea to just keep a few basic staples (i.e. jeans, tees, a blouse) hanging in the backseat, ready for quick changes. You might even put together a mini makeup kit for your glove compartment, so you can freshen up before your next activity.

I wish I had some magic formula to offer, but hopefully these tips will help a little. I'd love to hear other reader's thoughts on this as well -- share your ideas in the comments below!

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Curse of the February Sandals

via Target Does It Again
It's not my fault. It's because of those sneaky 60 degree days that just pop up all of a sudden in the middle of February and early March and remind you that there is life after snowstorms. I. I. I. Just can't help myself. Especially when rows of new sandals at Target whisper their summer siren song, begging me to try them on... to smell their fake leather new shoe smell... to take them home...

The past two years, I've been suckered. I bought sandals in February, convinced that when April or May rolled around and I could finally wear them, that I would LOVE them. That I would wear them with EV-eryTHING. That I would be SO glad I grabbed them at the store before they went out of stock.

Not so. It is a curse. But still, I buy them. I buy those sandals, convincing myself with thoughts like, "It's a promise of SPRING! It'll remind me that warm weather is coming! They'll bring happiness! They'll break the monotony and despair of 40 degree days!"

And then something happens between the rest of February and throughout the cursed month of March. The wait for spring seems interminable. The weather continues to be frigid. And the brilliance and perfection of the promise-sandals die a slow sad death as they wait in my closet.

Then one day, when it's balmy and perfect, I try on everything I possibly can in an effort to make those dang sandals work. And they don't. I wear them once or twice, trying to appease my buyer's remorse, all the while mourning my muddled winter-headed stupidity in buying those ridiculous sandals. I swear I won't do it again next year.

But so like these sandals just showed up at Target, and I like you know like really like them and think they'll be like so versatile and I can already picture what I'd wear them with and I think I should buy them now even though it'll be weeks before I can wear them, but I know I'll regret it if I don't, and it was so warm this weekend...

Besides, it's March now, not February, so I'm safe, right? Good, because I bought them. Now all I need is a pedicure!! Aaaaand sandal weather. But that's beside the point. Reckless abandon here.

Happy Monday; go get yourself some sandals!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Girl Friday: Aly

Meet Aly!
I was introduced to Aly via Janet, who recommended that I interview her. And I'm glad I did -- Aly's simple & comfortable style is definitely share-worthy! Enjoy her interview below.

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The Twenty Ninth: Tell us a little bit about what you're currently doing.
Aly: I currently work as a Behavioral Interventionist with kids with autism. This coming fall I am embarking on the adventure that is art school to study textile art.
TN: Describe your style in a few words or a phrase:
A: I like to think it's simple, classic, and incredibly wearable. I love textures but when it comes to colors, well, I don’t wear very many. I tend to stick to pieces that are very versatile with other favorite pieces in my wardrobe.
TN: How has your style evolved over the years?
A: When I look at clothes I see textures and shapes and colors long before I see labels, brands, or outfits. Fashion isn’t any different from any other form of design. You design a room just like you build an outfit. Once that clicked in my brain I felt I actually liked getting dressed in the morning.
TN: Any fun/embarrassing clothing mishaps or stories you want to share?
A: Ages 13-18 were pretty rough in the clothing department -- sort of like one giant mishap. Looking back, I just laugh because I just really had no clue. I owned a closet full of khakis and pastel polos. I was stuck in the awkward teenage years for way longer than I should have been. I blame taking fashion advice from two older brothers.
TN: Who are your style influences?
A: I have this weird love of pretty much anything the Olsen twins wear. They have perfected this balance of classic elegance meets tomboy. I also love, love, love Wes Anderson and I’m always inspired by his 60’s/70’s color palettes and fresh clean lines. I don’t wear a mustard yellow tweed suit or anything, but I do have pieces in my wardrobe influenced by some of his work.
TN: Where's your favorite place to shop?
A: I don’t have a specific store that I couldn’t live without. My loyalty lies in individual items rather than brands. For example, Topshop has amazing basics like leggings, t-shirts, and tanks. Madewell is my go to for button downs and sweaters. I have too many of Gap’s jeggings and classic jackets, and you can’t beat Anthropologie’s accessories and dresses. Any other oddball thing I have is probably from my favorite thrift store, Penny Pinchers.
TN: How do you pick out an outfit?
A: Normally it starts because I really want to wear one particular thing. But when I’m not sure what to wear, I always start with pants. Maybe that seems backwards, but it’s sort of like buying a sofa for your living room -- starting with the basics and then building towards the final product.
TN: Which part of your look have you experimented with recently?
A: I’ve spent the past year traveling and basically unemployed so I’ve been trying to revamp some of my “older,” less favorite items and trying to wear them differently. Accessories, belts, tights, and a little creativity can really refresh your view of an older piece of clothing.
TN: What's your favorite thing in your closet to wear, and why?
A: With a bit of shame I will admit that I’ve become a huge legging wearer. I fell in love with Topshop’s classic legging. It’s thicker than most leggings and is more along the line of really, really, stretchy pants. (This is not making them sound any better...) Honestly I would be completely lost without them. They come in a million colors and go with everything.
TN: Is there an article of clothing or type of shoes you wouldn't be caught dead in?
A: Overalls. I wore too many as a child and I shudder whenever I see the threat of their return on the runway.
TN: Do you have a favorite skincare or makeup product, or a favorite perfume?
A: I love Fresh’s Sugar Lip balm. It is a perfect finisher to your makeup routine. Gives you that, “Oh yeah my lips are just that awesome all the time” look. Totally natural and super light on your lips.
TN: Any shopping tips or fashion advice you'd like to share?
A: My one shopping rule is: If I don’t love it, don’t buy it.

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Thanks for sharing, Aly -- so glad to get to know you through your interview! And big thanks to Kristina at Green Ginger Photography for the gorgeous pictures.

Know someone who should be featured on The Twenty Ninth? Interested in being interviewed yourself? Drop me a line: casey [at] thetwentyninth [dot] com. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

People Watching: Pentagon City Mall, Saturday Night

mall outfit

I was running a last minute errand to the mall on Saturday evening, trying to get in and out as quickly as possible. That plan was foiled by the droves of people, walking slowly, bags in hand. One good thing came out of being slowed down: I saw a girl wearing the outfit above, and knew immediately I wanted to share it here.

Her jeans were skinny, and gray (with a blue tint), tucked into worn-in cuffed black boots with a snow-day meets motorcyclist edge. She wore a gnarly-knit light tan cardigan with black trim (not quite like the one above, but you get the idea) with a light, red scarf wrapped around her neck. She looked dressed for the weather, comfortable, and really cool.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Imperfection of True Style

via Pinterest

Somewhere on the style spectrum between "impeccably tailored" and "saggy baggy," there is a happy medium called "imperfection."

I've been thinking a lot about what takes an outfit from being just "clothes" to being "stylish." Why do certain people get stopped on the street in New York by fashion photographers while millions of others don't? I know a lot of it comes down to the fact that they broke the rules, or they're wearing something incredibly one-of-a-kind or expensive. But I think there's something to be said for imperfection as well.

I think the difference between "getting dressed for the day" and "having style" can be as simple as personal details. Cultivating your style requires an odd mixture of caring enough to consider carefully what you're putting on, while at the same time disregarding that well-dressed voice of perfection in the back of your mind that says, "But you don't look like ______." It's the imperfect details that make your style unique and what it is. The un-tucked shirt hem. The unevenly rolled pant cuffs. The half-untied lace. The purposefully messy hair. An out of place but favorite necklace. Mismatched earrings. Things that trigger a "wait... what?" reaction.

Accepting imperfection allows clothes to be clothes, allows the fabric to bunch a little oddly, un-tuck a bit, blouse and pouf, trail on the ground. Online we see things styled just so, captured by cameras held just so. In reality, you move a million times a minute, and your clothes move with you, constantly changing your look throughout the course of a day. In reality, shirts and pants and shoes should kind of melt into your personality and daily living.

So wear your scuffed up sneakers with a dress and a baseball cap. Layer a hot pink blazer over a hoodie. Tuck your shoelaces willy-nilly or wear a black earring in one ear with a turquoise one in the other. If it makes you smile a little to yourself, if it makes you feel like you, if it causes a few double takes on your morning commute, if it's happily imperfect... congratulations. You've got style, and it's all your own.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Nail Colors for Spring/Summer 2013

via Harpers Bazaar
Kati asks:
"Do you have any thoughts on the spring/summer nail color for this year? I'm guessing that matte gray will be pretty gone by then, but not sure what the up and coming new color will be... I was wondering if it was green, since that you mentioned that being color of the year, but don't really know how much those things correspond... I will be really interested to hear your thoughts!"
Based on what was seen on the runways at New York Fashion Week as well as general trend reports, the nail colors that are in for spring and summer include a little something for everyone:
  • Pale: Blush pinks, nude, putty, light gray, white
  • Pastel: Lavender, mint, periwinkle
  • Dark: Navy, purples, charcoal
  • Metallic: Gold, copper, pewter
Also on trend: Glittery accents, edgy accents, and two-tone manicures.

In general: One way to be stay on top of nail color trends is either visit your favorite nailpolish brand's website and see what their current collection features, or even check out their drugstore display for the colors they're promoting as new for the season. Most likely, those are the colors that will be on trend. Overall, though, nail color tends to be one of those things where if you love a particular shade, just go for it! Maybe you'll even start a trend!

What colors are you going to try this spring/summer? I'm going to go for some darker shades to mix it up!

Monday, March 4, 2013

For Monday.

In honor of Monday, since we're all probably feeling a little off our game, I offer you this:
David drew this last week and I can't help laughing whenever I see it. And a laugh is definitely needed right now... it's all fevers and flat tires over here today!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Girl Friday: Natalie

Meet Natalie!
My friend Kelley texted me Natalie's email address and said that I just HAD to feature her and her amazing style -- and she was right! I'm so glad to "meet" Natalie and get the chance to share her interview with you all. Please enjoy!

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The Twenty Ninth: Tell us a little bit about what you're currently doing.
Natalie: I'm in the mom biz. :) I have 3 kids: Greta (5), Will (4), and Miles (1).
TN: Describe your style in a few words or a phrase:
N: Rustic glam.
TN: How has your style evolved over the years?
N: I grew up in Alaska where you dress more in a survival mode. I never cared all that much for fashion because it always got covered by my utilitarian outerwear. Now, living in NC, I can take more liberties with my outfits and change it up from season to season.
TN: Any fun/embarrassing clothing mishaps or stories you want to share?
N: In college, I wore my tan New Balances with white tights and a khaki skirt, much to the dismay of all four of my roommates. I don't think I was really all that embarrassed as they were for me. I was just channeling my inner Avril Lavigne. :)
TN: Who are your style influences?
N: I come up with ideas in my head or something that I've seen before and google/pinterest it to make sure it looks as cool as the way I'm picturing it.
TN: Where's your favorite place to shop?
N: My closet! I've learned to try to piece my tried and true clothes together in different ways and come up with a completely different look every time. If my budget allowed, you would find me more often in Fossil, J.Crew, or Gap.
TN: How do you pick out an outfit?
N: It usually starts with a pretty color combination that I'm currently into and pulling out the clothes that fit into that category and trying them on!
TN: Which part of your look have you experimented with recently?
N: The sales lady at Fossil convinced me to try shorts with tights this fall and I kind of loved it.
TN: What's your favorite thing in your closet to wear, and why?
N: Leather. That's the rustic side in me that I love to pair with trendier things. I have brown leather boots, a watch band, shoes, and a messenger bag style purse that age with grace and make it worth getting the real thing.
TN: Is there an article of clothing or type of shoes you wouldn't be caught dead in?
N: Those red soled heels that Oprah wears (editor's note: Louboutins). Not that I wouldn't buy them if they were at a Goodwill somewhere! But $6,000 for a pair of shoes? C'mon people. Adopt a child already.
TN: Do you have a favorite skincare or makeup product, or a favorite perfume?
N: Coconut oil! It does wonders for my dry skin.
TN: Any shopping tips or fashion advice you'd like to share?
N: I love doing everything on a dime and one way to spend nothing at all and get some new pieces for your wardrobe is to have a clothing swap. Get your girlfriends together for a fun night to trade out things that you don't wear anymore or don't fit and come home with their stuff!

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Thanks again for doing the interview, Natalie!

Know someone who should be featured on The 29th? Interested in being interviewed yourself? Drop me a line: casey [at] thetwentyninth [dot] com.