OOTD: Post Holiday Plaid & Print Play

Holy shoot, y'all, it's 2017. It's winter, the weather is finally acting like it, and we're officially moving out of the year from hell for most people. I'm pretty stoked on what's to come. I've been focusing a lot the last few days on feeling grateful for all the best parts of my life currently, some of which include: my supportive family, my super rad coworkers/company, hard personal work that is paying off both career-wise and financially, and an expanding circle of amazing friends.

Sometimes those new friends are even talented photographers, who also then become your latest coworker at your super rad company! I met Lily Voss last year, and she just started working with me this week. Outside of her new voyage into the email marketing world, Lily is a photographer with her own business, which you can find more on here. We met up last weekend so I could hop back on my outfit post wagon in order to start 2017 off strong. This past year, my blog fell a little (okay a lot) to the side, and I'm prepared to revitalize it, bit by bit. 

Something I used to be totally, utterly terrified of was print-mixing! I feel like so many people can pull it off effortlessly, while I hem-haw in the mirror wondering if I look like a dweeb. However, I simply need to remind myself that I shouldn't give a flying flip what people think of how I dress. Another thing I'm focusing on this year (call it a resolution, if you must) is to actively work on pleasing myself first and foremost. That includes wearing whatever I want, whenever I want. Especially when it comes to fantastic vintage blazers and secondhand shirt dresses. 

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I've said it before, and I'll say it again - sometimes I feel like "meeting" a piece of clothing is meant to be. I was having a "treat yoself" day on Christmas Eve, and popped into Parsimonia Vintage, where this lovely little number jumped out at me. I slipped it on and knew immediately that it was coming home with me. 

Because I'm a certified weirdo, I find wearing just one item boring, and that's why I couldn't leave well enough alone and wear this shirt dress by itself. It was a find on the site thredUP - an online resale shop and giant consignment marketplace. Because I'm dedicated to only buying secondhand or ethically/sustainably-sourced/USA-made clothing, this is the PERFECT place for me to shop online. You'll find anything from fast fashion to designer digs. Y'all know I'm not really a dress person, but the collar, length, and stripes on this piece screamed my name. 

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I finally also joined the Ray-Ban band, too. I've been eyeballing these on just about ALL of my friends. The rounded shape and size is flattering on just about everyone. I have to give a major shout-out to Simon Premium Outlets for inviting me out to a blogger shopping spree last month, which gave me the opportunity to afford these bangin' shades. I know, I KNOW - Ray-Bans are no longer USA-made as of the late '90s. I broke my rule with these babies - but I did spend the rest of my shopping spree on holiday gifts for my family. So for that, Premium Outlets, I am indebited to you!

Thanks again to Lily Voss Photography for these snaps!
Find her on Facebook here

Outfit Details: 
Dress: c/o thredUP  |  Blazer: Parsimonia Vintage  |  Necklace: Gift  |  Glasses: Zenni Optical
Rings & Bracelets: Vintage  |  Dr. Martens: Secondhand  |  Ray-Bans: c/o Simon Premium Outlets

Mani Monday: Essie's "Smokin' Hot"

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Guess who fell asleep too soon after doing their nails recently. It's me! One of the worst feelings when you spend a lot of time on your nail polish application is discovering fabric prints later. Oh well. You live and learn, eh?

I was feeling a darker color for the wintry weather we have here in STL, but I have been such a good girl with not purchasing polish lately! I finally popped by an Essie display and picked up Smokin' Hot, which is described as "a stone-cold fox gray." The polish was super hard to photograph for me, and pulls so, so dark gray here. There is actually a lot of purple in this shade, and I feel like this Polished Cousins' post has much better color accuracy. Their beautiful images also remind me that at some point it would be smart for me to eventually setup a "real" way to shoot for my blog when it comes to beauty products. Hello, 2017 resolutions.

Application was a little difficult with this one - the brush worked beautifully as usual, but I feel like my first coat went on rather streak-y. I used three full coats to get to this opacity, and that likely affected dry time and allowed me to get the little fabric depressions. I think I'll likely use this again soon on my toes because I like the color, though!


Polishes Used: 
Smokey Gray: Essie's Smokin' Hot
Base & Top Coat: Seche Vite

Tune Tuesday: The xx's new single "On Hold"

When you think of indie music and its rise to hey day level in the early 2000s, fewer groups come to mind as quickly as The xx. As I branched out in music taste in late high school and early college, their album xx was in heavy rotation with the likes of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Hot Chip, and Tegan & Sara, just to name a few. They were one of my first forays into electronic music of sorts, and their vocal style is pretty indicative of my preferred kind - clear yet intimate, intense yet soft. 

Following groups closely can be hard to do when they take large gaps between album releases, and their last drop in 2012 gave a lot of us something new to dance to in our bedrooms while getting ready to go to school/work/out. I sure love Coexist, but I didn't really think any song by The xx would have eclipsed "Heart Skipped A Beat" - can any tune ever really grab you by the throat and force you to accept love lost than this?! - until "On Hold" came out. 

Filmed in Marfa, Texas, a desert city of just under 2,000 residents, the video for "On Hold" is an almost nostalgic love letter to small town Americana. Focusing on high school students and iconic cheerleader-football player chemistry, and delving into the bizarrely tight-knit ecosystem that is teenaged community, the video is beautifully shot. The lyrics fit so well with young love and all the dizzying confusion that comes with it, like "My young heart chose to believe/We were destined." 

The xx has always been one of those groups that pulls at all of my heartstrings, all at once. I seem to have an affinity for groups that create music that makes me want to both dance and cry simultaneously, I am fairly sure their new album I See You (due out in January) will not be any different. They recently performed on SNL and I am hoping that they'll make their way through the US late next year while on tour. 

Stay up to date with The xx here: http://thexx.info/

OOTD: A Blazer, Boots & Bowood Farms

It seems that fall weather has finally descended upon Saint Louis for real. It's time to take advantage of my wardrobe fully because I'm a big, big fan of layers. I feel most at home with about 18 different items on my body at any given time - hence why I hate summer and its outfit-killing weather. Another thing I'm a huge fan of is a good, vintage blazer. I've been on the lookout lately for a few to rotate into my daily layers, and this Goodwill find is just the right amount of oversized.

Let's talk a little about transparency for a minute. I've mentioned before that I have moved in a direction where I personally am choosing to only purchase clothing items that are vintage, USA-made, or come from companies that focus on eco-conscious and sustainable efforts. However, that does not mean that my entire closet is full of these items. I have been living under these terms for months now, but there are still items that I wear that were purchased before this direction. 

I recently had a conversation with a friend regarding how we feel as though we must apologize for and acknowledge that a particular clothing piece came into our lives before we changed our tune. I've learned a lot of lessons this year, and one of them is that people will judge you for just about everything and a half. I worry that as I focus more and more on sustainability on the blog, someone will come crying out, "But those jeans you're wearing! You admit you bought them at Forever21!" I should not have to explain that some items are over a year old, and therefore pre-date my current direction. These boots also fall into that category. That does not mean I will cast them aside simply because they came before I woke up when it comes to the fashion industry's issues with sustainability. 

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This fun shoot happened directly after an absolutely delicious brunch at Cafe Osage in the Central West End. The Cafe falls under the umbrella of the Bowood Farms family - all in one location, you can eat an amazing, locally-sourced meal, shop gifts, or pick up plants of all shapes and sizes for your home or garden. I'd like to start being more of a plant lady myself, so you can bet I'll be back to do a bit of shopping. 

Photos: Abby Gillardi


Outfit Details:
Blazer, Sweater & Turtleneck: Goodwill   |   Jeans: Forever21 (old)   |   Earrings: Fable&Lore
Necklace: Thrifted, Unknown   |   Boots: Dolls Kill (old)   |   Glasses: Zenni Optical

Hers & Hers: JORD Wood Watches

If there's anything I know about myself for sure, it's that my time management skills really are not the best. It's something that I'm always working on - and if you don't have something that you're always working on, I need to take you out to coffee and learn your secrets. When I'm on the go, I often reach for my phone - but I've been much better about keeping my wrist fabulous since JORD came into my life last year. I don't have to dig around in a bag or pocket for the time. 

JORD recently rolled out a new style of watch that caught my eye not only for its good looks, but its name: the Frankie 35. I've been obsessed with the show Grace & Frankie since it came out, so I knew I needed to investigate this gorgeous lil timepiece. Luckily, JORD reached out to a few bloggers in my area to see if they'd like to check out the Frankie! I was pleased as punch not only to be asked to take part in the collaboration, but also because my partner, Megan, had been chattering about wanting a JORD for herself. We were just about to take a roadtrip out west, and what better way to stay on track than with complementary watches! 

After our trip, I wrangled my talented friend Allan Crain for some fun photos of us sporting our watches together. The watch coordination was purposeful (duh), but the outfit matching was completely unintentional. I guess it's how you know you found yourself a good match! 

Megan keeps her accessory game pretty minimal, so having a simple watch with just the right amount of personality makes perfect sense. The zebrawood has such a great natural pattern and makes the golden face of the watch pop. One of the best things about ordering a watch from JORD is the ability to give them your exact wrist measurements so that the fit is spot on. 

I've been all about supporting local lately, so if you're looking for a nifty new timepiece designed by a company located here in STL, please check out JORD! I have a few friends who work there, and they're absolute sweethearts. 

Find more about Frankie 35 HERE.  
Visit JORD's women's watches HERE
Follow along with JORD on Instagram HERE

My entire outfit is thrifted/secondhand, except for my Zarie booties, c/o Naturalizer. Stay tuned for an upcoming post all about Naturalizer and a super fun shopping experience I had with them!

Although all opinions & thoughts are my own, this post was sponsored by JORD wood watches.

Saint Louis' Shark Tank Fashion Venture

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Everyone loves a friendly competition, right? Bright lights, cameras, judges. Big money prizes! What makes it all even better is if the talent is home-grown. Saint Louis Fashion Week has extended its season this year, stretching out across several weeks of haute happenings, shows, and events. The 2016 season's biggest bang is the Caleres Fashion Entrepreneur Competition, which gives five local makers the opportunity to compete to win the grand prize of $10,000, second prize of $5,000, and a People's Choice award. Intrigued? Learn more below, and enter to win two tickets for the event on November 10th!

Not only will you find five of Saint Louis' most talented and up-and-coming names showcasing their work, you'll also be treated to interactive fashion and video presentations, designs inspired by Caleres' shoes, and in true Shark Tank-style, live pitches from the competitors. Something I always yearn for when peeping a fashion show is more insight into what makes the designer tick, and here's my (and yours!) chance to hear from creators first-hand about their processes. The panel of "judges" for this event even includes Eric Johnson, Executive Director of Saint Louis Fashion Fund - you might have heard that the Fashion Fund had its official launch this week! 

I'm excited to not only be there in support of our city's talented folk and learn more about how the Fashion Fund is supporting funding, mentorship, education and professional development to fashion design entrepreneurs in St. Louis, but also in a music capacity - I'll be DJing for the cocktail hour and party aspect. Every gig is a chance to learn more about an industry, and this is already one I love! 

It should come as no surprise that the finalist that might immediately pique my interest would have a strong focus on footwear! Claire Flowers is named directly after its designer, who resides here in Saint Louis. Intent on having shoe that fused fashion and function, she opted to design her own. Feminine silhouettes with a heel that flares out at the base have helped the brand of Claire Flowers excel - you can snap up a pair of these beauties in several local shops, like 10Denza & Ivy Hill, as well as a few national stores in states such as New York, Kentucky, and Illinois. One of my favorite little features about Claire Flowers' new approach to crafting a comfortable shoe is the material used in the heel cap: TPU, the same material roller skates are made out of! I grew up roller blading and always thought the wheels were pretty neat - sturdy, yet with some give in order to take force. Sounds like the perfect heel cap to me! I can't wait to hear more from Ms. Flowers herself at the event, and see more of her work in person.

Get acquainted before the event! The five finalists for the Competition are:
Beltshazzar Jewels  |  Qristyl Frazier Designs, Inc.  |  Claire Flowers  |  Rafael AdΓ³n  |  Fauxgerty

If you're interested in joining me on November 10th at the fabulous Majorette on Manchester Avenue, you have two options!
1) Get Lucky! Head on over to my Instagram profile for a chance to win 2 tickets! 
2) Head on over HERE and use code CALERESFECSOSM in the referral box - that way we can know how you heard about the event!  

Follow along on social!
Facebook for the event
@STLFW  |  #STLFW  #FECSTLFW

OOTD: End of Summer Shades

Just because summer has ended doesn't mean we have to lose all the color in our wardrobes! Personally, I don't pay too much attention when it comes to seasonal shades anymore. Part of trying to organize my closet and really focus on wearing what I want, when I want, is having items that work almost all year round. This wild-print vintage Wrangler shirt came to me by way of my beloved Avalon Exchange, and I practically live in it. Perfectly broken-in, with the right fit and funky flair... I think this shirt is me if I had to be a clothing item. 

As part of my moving into supporting almost strictly USA-made products, sustainable-focused companies, and shopping mostly secondhand, I did a little research while searching for a new pair of skinny jeans. I had learned about Agave Denim a few months back as the local men's boutique Mister Guy carries them, and was pleasantly surprised to find a pair of their women's jeans on super sale. Agave Denim is crafted in the USA and the quality is A+. Wearing these jeans feels like a second skin - they're that soft and stretchy. However, I think I might have them hemmed a bit, as my legs are obnoxiously short. 

Having friends that participate in and support your shenanigans is still something I'm getting used to. For a while there, being a young adult was difficult when it came to making new friends. However, this lovely lil' lady happened into my life by way of the hair salon I frequent, and she moved into an apartment on my street this year. Terresina and I have started getting together to work on our personal creative writing, and I'm stoked she let me take her photo for the blog as well. Hopefully we'll be able to share some of our work eventually!

These goofy round glasses get a lot of attention when I wear them, so I feel that I should mention I snapped them up for about $15 from Zenni Optical. It's a website where you can fill in your eyeglass prescription from your doc, and get some ridiculously cheap specs. I have a few pairs from Zenni now because the price is so right! 
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Outfit Details:
Shirt & Shoes: Avalon Exchange   |   Jeans: Agave Denim   |   Necklace: Thrifted

Tune Tuesday: Tycho @ Murmuration Fest

If you peeped my post about Murmuration Festival a couple weeks ago, you'll know I was stoked to take in this new event dedicated to art, tech, and music! My weekend was already rather packed to the gills, so I managed to pop out just in time to spy Tycho on stage on Sunday night - and boy am I glad I stopped by! 

Seeing Tycho was, amongst other things I'll get into, a significant reminder that doing things alone is good for the soul. I don't think I've spent that much time in public in silence. The only time I spoke to anyone after arrival was to order a beloved City Wide from the bar tent. If you're going to do a festival based on elevating and educating St. Louis, it's a smart move to have one of our currently most popular brews available.

I was pleased to see a bit of a crowd forming at the beginning of their set, but by the end, nearly the entire lot dedicated to this stage area was full of people. I've always struggled with Saint Louis' propensity for small turnouts and un-enthusiastic crowds. For a brand new festival, and a show on a Sunday night, I was impressed and pleased to see such a turnout. Tycho, fronted by Scott Hansen. He is the primary creator, writer, producer for all things Tycho, and has a long background in creation and design, which is evident not only in the project's album artwork, but also in the visuals used during live shows. For a festival focused on the intersection of tech, art, and music, Tycho was an obvious choice! Peep a quick clip from my Instagram:

A few weeks back, I went on a winding roadtrip out west to desert and canyon country (I hope to have a fun little recap post up soon enough!). On the drive home, knowing that I'd be seeing Tycho live soon, I listened to the new Epoch album. Tycho's video visuals during their live show last Sunday featured sweeping landscapes that may have actually been Arizona and some of the rocky vistas I happened to spy, and I just about cried in the middle of the crowd. Funny how life works like that. I was intrigued, captivated, and drawn in by the pulsating designs, shimmering effects, and pretty silhouetted ladies throughout their set, and I could definitely tell that the visuals were calculated perfectly for each song. I can't wait to check out some of their older work on YouTube now that I've seen them live!

I'm disappointed that I couldn't attend more of Murmuration this year because I saw so, so, SO many fun, informative, interactive, and interesting activities being shared on social media! I sure hope it returns for a second year - I plan on trying to find a way to help advocate for it next year if possible. Our city is ripe for a recurring weekend of learning and entertainment like this. 

If you're interested in learning more about what this year's Murmuration was about, check out:
- Murmuration's website
- Murmuration on Twitter
- Murmuration on Facebook
- Murmuration on Instagram


This post was sponsored by the Midwest Influencer Network. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Music Monday: Lizzo's "Phone"

There are fewer things I love more than finding a musician that not only makes me dance, but also laugh. If I'm laughing because the topic is relatable, I'm even more a fan. If the musician is a body-positive, feminist, lady rapper - then color me completely smitten. I thought I recognized her name when she popped up on my Spotify a while back - she was featured on Prince's "BOYTROUBLE" track a few years ago. 

Lizzo, which seems to be loosely derived from her name Melissa, hails from Minnesota, and was been named by Time as a musical artist to watch in 2014. She's released two albums already, but dropped her latest tune, "Phone," just three days ago. Outside of music, she's crush-worthy because she approaches body positivity in a way that I definitely look up to. In her interview with the sensational webseries What’s Underneath by StyleLikeU, she mentions feeling "big," but in a way that encompasses her personality, her identity, and her overall appearance. I have always felt that my appearance is directly tied to my personality and confidence - I feel most beautiful when I feel most like myself, and when I feel confident in myself. I think many of us can agree that confidence is sexy! 

While speeding (literally) back from my road trip last week, "Phone" popped up on Spotify's shuffle and I was laughing out loud immediately. We all have had that moment during a night out where our phones appear to have vanished, and we spend a great deal of time looking for them. My lifestyle involves being up till 4am on many weekends after DJing, and lemme tell ya - in the hurry to break down, get home, and get in bed, there have been several times where I have actually said out loud "Where the hell is my phone?" 

The video for "Phone" dropped today, actually, so check it out below! 

The Lou's Newest Fest: Murmuration

Saint Louis has become seriously well-known for its bevy of startups, and for an environment that is ripe with potential. A testament to this city's willingness to explore new ideas, a new festival has sprouted up in the Cortex district of the Central West End-Midtown area. Welcome Murmuration, a weekend dedicated to bringing together art, music, science, and technology. Because I've always been a nature nerd, I personally am stoked that the festival is named after the spiraling, swirling patterns created by a group of starling birds. 

Murmuration is the perfect festival for people who are nerds like me for other things as well - especially the intersection of technology and music. Due to some previous engagements, I'll only be able to attend Sunday's activities and performances, but I lucked out and a few of the talks that interest me most fall on that day! I can't wait to hear more about Gil Weinberg's work with robotic androids that perform music and prosthetic robotics that assist amputees with playing instruments. If you know me "in real life," you'll also know that I'm a circus nerd, studying various focuses over several years as a youngster. I just about squealed out loud when I saw that Calum Pearson, the Vice President of the Resident Show Division for Cirque du Soleil, is also giving a talk on Sunday - "A Look Inside The Technology of Storytelling." A personal project I've been working on is writing, and I can always use some inspiration when it comes to storytelling. If I can *possibly* swing in on Saturday, I'll definitely attend "What's Really Happening On Earth, And What Should We Do About It?" - a talk by Peter Raven, president emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden. 

Outside of the informative talks, music also takes (pardon the pun) a main stage at Murmuration. Three of the acts that I am most thrilled about all fall on Sunday, so I'll be bumping and jiving to the sounds of Tycho, Deerhoof, and Dan Deacon. Tycho especially excites me - for Scott Hansen's use of samples of organic sounds and I'm also interested to see how much of a band he brings along since Tycho began as a solo project. 

I'd highly recommend you join in the fun! Find tickets here

If you'd like to follow along with Murmuration, check out:
Twitter & Instagram: @MurmurationFest
Facebook