Wednesday, January 30, 2013

[DAILY OUTFIT] New Skull-Print Scarf, Purple Hair & Lessons Learned in 2012

So 2013 meant a new hairstyle - let's see how long this purple will last - and a new scarf given randomly to me my sister halfway between Christmas and my birthday (last Monday). She realized she wasn't a scarf person but let's call it a New Year's present anyway. The golden-polka-dots shirt was also Christmas present from her and is quickly becoming one of my favorite shirts.

I've had some time this month to really think about last year, reflect on my experiences and vow to never make the same mistakes. It's hard to form generalizations because every experience seemed like it's own little world but there are a few things I feel I've learned:
(scroll past the picture)

  • The best time to think, plan and organize is under a long, hot shower.
    Baths can be a little too relaxing for this. I think the physical process of washing away the daily grime helps to wash away clutter of the mind. The pouring water drowns out most other noise and I get a chance to clearly process my thoughts. Water is traditionally the element of intuition and the subconscious so I'm sure that helps. I recommend keeping a notebook or tablet handy to quickly to jot down your thoughts before you even get dressed.
  • There's nothing wrong with fighting over the little things.
    We're all different and I sincerely doubt that everyone in your personal life (lover, partner, sister, BFF, etc) will share your views on everything. So have a little argument when you need to, agree to disagree - and an hour later you'll realize how insignificant the issue was in the grand scheme of things. Sometimes we just need to yell at each other to realize how much we care. If in an hour, however, you can't shrug it off, then you guys will have to delve deeper.
  • Make sure to get everything in writing.
    This is one of those things everyone tells you but ends up taking experience to really understand. We're all human which means honesty tends to be subjective. I don't mean to say that everyone is horrible but people always want the better end of the deal. So when making deals, make sure everything is spelled out - in business as well as between friends. I've seen friendships die over verbal contracts. It seems stupid because "Hey, who's closer than your BFF?" but, financially, gray areas tend to screw things up.

Is there any lessons you feel 2012 taught you?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

[DAILY OUTFIT] When I Grow Up...

I'm turning 27 in a week. Just three years shy of 30 and I don't really feel like an adult. For a few years now, I've been expecting this AH-HA! moment where things fall into place and everything is clearer (like when I realized I was gay). But, no, the giant hand of adulthood has yet to hit me over the head.

I'm sure this outfit, and various others in my closet, do nothing to help my cause. I've tried dressing "older" and putting away clothing that obviously came from the Juniors section in hopes of tempting the adulthood fairy to sprinkle me with her magic dust. However, I always come back to my poofy skirts, graphic shirts and hair bows - it's what I like, it's what feels the most me.

I finally got around to reading my backlog of magazines and found an article in November's ELLE that made me wonder if the adulthood fairy has retired. It seems I'm not the only 20-something who hasn't quite felt that official "I am a Grown Up" moment. A couple of -Ologists have discovered that our brains continue to develop well into our twenties, and are calling this stage of our lives emerging adulthood.

Sociologists explain that the AH-HA! moment of adulthood as made up - historically and socially - of five things: (1) Moving out, (2) Getting married, (3) Finishing higher education, (4) Financial independence, and (5) Having kids. Because our world has changed so much over the past couple of decades and there are more choices now, twenty-somethings are doing this at an ever decreasing rate.

Personally, I'm not married and I don't want kids, I only hold an Associate's (for now) but I live in an apartment with my girlfriend and we financially support ourselves. So where does that leave me?

The article asserts that it's okay if you're twenty-something and exploring your options - it's actually the best time to do it. From experience, I can attest that trying different paths and weighing all your options can be freeing yet overwhelming. I agree with the author's conclusion of a "strategic searching" so you don't feel like you've wasted an entire decade and have nothing to show for it (like I do in my most depressing moments).

But then the paradox: "How can you sincerely throw yourself into testing alternative ways of living if you're always shooting for a certain outcome?" However, I believe that because of our humanity, we always have an outcome - no matter how vague - in mind. Even when we're out exploring, we're looking for that career path makes us happy (or rich), we're looking for that person who clicks and melts our insides, and we're slowly building the life we want. Remember, "not all who wander are lost."

In college, I had a professor who always said "when I grow" when we touched on interesting new jobs or skills in the fashion industry. I feel she had the right mindset: maybe the idea of growing up and adulthood has become antiquated, pushed aside by a better idea that we can explore our options until we die.

I personally have come to believe that growing up is as simple as working, becoming financially independent and contributing to society. If you're doing it form your parent's basement, if you're doing it with a partner (or three), if you're doing it in hot pink tights and a candy skull shirt - who cares??

Outfit: Shirt & Tights via Walmart Juniors, Skirt via JC Penney Juniors, Jacket c/o my sister who studded it, Boots via & Hair Bow via Incorrigible Dames (got it at a Burlesque Show).

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

[STYLE ICON] Little Red Riding Hood is All Grown Up & Dressing Like a Rock Star

ABC's Once Upon a Time aired it's mid-season premiere on Sunday, which re-ups Alex's and my TV tradition. While we don't have a lot of shows where we mutually geek out, we are both very much into fairy tales which means we both hate missing an episode. She's a big Disney geek (like her mom) though I enjoy the modernization of the characters juxtaposed with the development of their back stories in the magic realm.

Speaking of character modernization, I love Red Riding Hood's transformation from little girl lost in the woods to hipster-rebel-girl werewolf (yet still maintains a caring demeanor). And while she still has her hooded cloak from the old realm, her collection of hats during the first season more than compensates in our world.

Like her bloody past as the very wolf she feared, Ruby's style is dark and edgy with glimpses of rebellions red in her hair. With red and black as her main color palette, it's no surprise that I would gravitate to the character's style at the beginning. But as the story progressed, her closet also grew with touches of lacy goth, rocker jackets, fashionable slouchy sweaters and trendy sheer tops.

Because she has everything I would love to have in my own wardrobe, and still manages to stay loyal and caring despite the hungry wolf that lives inside her, I've added Once Upon a Time's Ruby a.k.a. Red Riding Hood to my Style Icons.

P.S. Don't blame me if you see red streaks in my hair soon.