No Longer Grey

The sartorial experiments and ramblings of a girl named Sarah

Bookish

by Sarah on January 31, 2019, no comments

sweater- J. Crew, jeans- thrifted, shoes- Everlane

Back to the land of academia. Back to books. Over winter break I read a couple: Silas Marner (good), Flow (meditational), The Female Persuasion (loved the start, meh for the rest), The Rules Do Not Apply (love), Chronicle of a Death Foretold (!!!),  Hannah Green and Her Unfeasibly Mundane Existence (devilish). Now it’s back to economics textbooks and Tolstoy.

What have you been reading lately?

 

BLOOM

by Sarah on January 25, 2019, no comments

So I survived my first semester!

As this post is being published, I’m on a bus back down to Boston, where I’ll take the red line from South Station out to Harvard Square. Just as I didn’t know what was in store for me the first time I left for college, I don’t know what’s down the road for second semester.

Traditionally I’ve set sartorial resolutions on this blog. They’ve ranged from never wearing the same outfit to school twice (I did this for four years straight) to quitting outfit envy to wearing only clothing I truly find inspiring. This year, the new year passed and I didn’t make style resolutions. I thought about writing a post, thought about setting fashion goals, thought about it all and then let it slide.

Maybe next year.

It’s not for lack of passion. I still like clothing, like style, like fashion. I still love to write and post here. But I don’t have any new resolutions to set. The guidelines that I’ve tried to set for myself are working. I’ve stopped impulse shopping, and stopped buying things that are almost, but not quite right. I’m consuming much less fast fashion, wearing fewer synthetics, spending less and doing more need versus want based shopping. I’m absolutely not perfect, and have a long way to go before I make it to perfect consumption. But I feel good about where I’m at style-wise, and like my goals are already clearly defined.

This all ties into my guiding principal for this year. Though I have some individual goals (learn to bake bread, actually keep up with fashion week proceedings, drink more water), my guiding principal for this year is the word bloom. I’m not trying to do a total 180, to change myself overnight. Rather, I want to take what I already am and grow and change towards a better self, allowing time for self reflection and recovery. Being at college, surrounding myself with smart and interesting people and living away from home all force change, one way or another. I want to embrace that change in a responsible way, never expecting results all at once but acknowledging that it takes time for life to happen.

So, here’s to second semester. Here’s to hard work and big fun and doing scary and wonderful things. Here’s to blooming.

Happy 2019.

Dressing for a Cocktail Party: To LBD, or Not to LBD

by Sarah on January 18, 2019, one comment

When you’re a kid, going to a party means wearing either clothes you can get cake on or clothes that you would wear to sit for a 1950’s family portrait. When you’re a teen, it means wearing shoes people can step on and a jacket that can get lost in some frat basement. But with adulthood comes complications, and nothing is more complicated than the ambiguous “cocktail attire”. What’s a girl to do? Even though I’m not technically of cocktail age, cocktail party clothing doesn’t require an ID. Read on for some tips on how to nail the perfect party look.

  1. Check the invite in the off chance that the perfect outfit formula will be printed on the back. When it’s not, consider the season, the venue and time of day of the fiesta. Plus, if the invite was over email, it’s probably a less fancy party than one with a calligraphied invitation. Also be sure to RSVP, because the least fashionable thing is to show up unannounced.
  2. Consider the LBD. It’s appropriate for every season, every event, yada yada yada. In the summer, a lighter fabric is in order, while in winter, velvet and brocade reign supreme. With an LBD, it’s all about the styling. Necklaces, statement earrings, big rings and barrettes (for a look at some serious bling, click here) can all help to refresh a simple dress. My personal favorite option is a pair of wild shoes.
  3. If you decide to reject the LBD on the grounds that you think can do better and it’s worth it to at least consider another option, try literally any other dress (unless you have a really really perfect LBD and/or are terrified of spilling drinks on yourself and always wear black to protect against that eventuality). But if you’re anything like me, this is the moment you’ll realize you don’t own any non-black dresses. Resolve to fix that and look for other options.
  4. Try a suit. After all, the guys at the party will wear one, so why shouldn’t you? A dark suit if you’re looking for something sleek, a brighter one if you want to stand out a little more. An unbuttoned silk shirt underneath always looks chic, or a lacy cami for a more feminine take. If Hillary can do a pantsuit, so can you.
  5. Reject the pantsuit because you maybe look a little too much like Hillary. Save the pants and go for a blouse or button down up top. Add some dangly earrings and a swipe of lipstick. With a more masculine outfit, heels never go amiss to make the look a little more girly. Don’t be afraid to play with a little color. I’m a big fan of neutral colors, but pull a Samantha Jones and get some color up in there.
  6. Wonder whether or not you’re actually pulling off your outfit and probably end up in an LBD. C’est la vie.

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Never thought I would say this…

by Sarah on January 12, 2019, one comment

sweater- Everlane, jeans- Levi’s, shoes- Everlane

… but I’ve been craving color in my outfits lately. And I don’t think I’m the only one. Pantone’s color of the year, Living Coral, is a vibrant pinkey orange. Mustard, baby blue and blood reds have walked the runway in men’s fashion week. My instagram following feed has gone from minimalist black and white to sugarey pastels, dazzling sunset tones and bold jewel tones. The fashion world is emerging from color minimalism, and I love it. This sweater is a celebration of color, in a gorgeous sugary cool toned pink. It feels like wearing an eternal blush.

Will 2019 be the year of color?

Cream and Taupe and Beige All Over: Adventures in Neutral Outfitting

by Sarah on December 28, 2018, 2 comments

shirt- vintage, pants- Everlane, shoes- Everlane, jacket- thrifted

Beige is possibly the least appealing word in the English language. It’s the lexical version of the waiting room in a dentist’s office or a pair of stretched out socks doomed to reside in the back of a dresser. The color itself seems like the most boring color in the world, surely in need of some sartorial condiments to make things interesting. Because of this, at first it would seem counterintuitive to style beige with more beige. After all, two wrongs don’t make a right. However, two beiges can make a killer outfit. Here are some tips for how to pull off head to toe neutral.

Break it up

The key to a successful neutral outfit is contrast, so even if it’s not in terms of color (the traditional way to add contrast), create contrast through other mediums. The best neutral outfits use a range of textures, all designed to break up the appearance of the outfit. Different finishes – glossy vs matte, knit vs silk, pebbled vs smooth all will help break up your outfit.

Beige doesn’t have to be beige

There are a lot of neutral browns. Camel, khaki, mauve, cream, white, eggshell, caramel, chocolate, the list goes on and on. Find out what looks good on you and which shades you think are pretty, and work from that color palette. Using different tones in the same color family helps keep a monochromatic outfit from being too completely monochrome. Tonal contrast guides the eye through an outfit in the same way contrasting colors can. Here, I’ve got gold, cream, camel, dark brown, caramel and rusty brown represented, but there are hundreds of other shades too.

Play with proportions

One color outfits can look blob-ish if not done correctly. The key is to have clear dividing lines between pieces, so that they don’t flow into each other and become a melted mess of beige. Do a half or whole tuck, layer a sweater over a different colored button down, cuff your sleeves and pant legs. Even just adding a shoe with a bit of a heel can change up the proportions, so don’t be afraid to try a heel.

Add the bling

You don’t have to be a diamond expert to know that a little sparkle can turn around an outfit. Earrings, some layered necklaces, even a funky pair of socks can help add interest to a simple look. Plus, throw on a scarf (remember that the way you wear your scarf matters) for some added textural interest.

Convinced, or not quite ready to put on a latte/ chicken nugget/ cinnamon roll costume that a taupe outfit really is? Let me know in the comments!

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