Holiday Shopping Vibes: Philomena & Ruth

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Holy cow, y'all. It's December. This year simultaneously felt like it crawled by and also vanished within hours. Luckily, the end of the year brings the holidays, and for a lot of people, that means SHOPPING. Shopping for others, shopping for yourselves, shopping for Secret Santas in the workplace. I really strive to support local shops when picking up goodies for people, and St. Louis has a huge variety of places for you to hit. Today, we're gonna talk about Philomena + Ruth!

Just across the river in Waterloo, IL, Philomena + Ruth is an eclectic store in a 100 year old building, complete with a pair of shop kitties that will keep you company as you browse. It's a favorite stop for accessories, household items, and more. From hand-rolled incense to eye-catching pins and patches, they've got just about something for everyone. Try to go in that store and not leave with your gift-giving game on point this holiday season, I dare ya. If you can't get to the store, you can order online, and now through December 15th, you can get free shipping on your order with the code NEWFREE at checkout!

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Now, when I say that this sweatshirt from Philomena + Ruth is the softest sweatshirt I've ever owned, I'm not exaggerating one bit. Considering I don't wear a lot of, um, athleisure... I don't have a ton of things to compare it to, except maybe my 8 year old band sweatshirt that I refuse to give up. But this blue, bleach-dyed number takes the cake. I slipped it on and woke my dog up from her nap with a "WHOA." 

I love that it's a little longer in length because my DNA played a cruel joke on me and left me with super short legs and a long torso. This size medium is the perfect amount of snug and roomy, and I'm looking forward to basically vibin' in it all winter long.

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I've been feeling all over the place lately with style and wardrobe choices, and that also bleeds into my makeup and beauty choices. I waffle between wanting to dress in an androgynous manner all the time, but also bend all the "rules" society set in place for presentation choices. I haven't worn nail polish in probably six months, but if I'm gonna go in, I'm gonna go ALL IN. Black nail polish calls for black lipstick, too. If you haven't heard about Lipsense yet, you might be living under a beauty rock because this brand is getting a lot of attention. This lipstick stays on for a long time, and when you want to wear wild colors like black, that's important. My friend Emily is a rep for Lipsense, and hosts a fun Facebook group here that you can join if you'd like more info as well!

Thanks to Philomena + Ruth for sending me along the comfiest sweatshirt in the world! 
And thanks to Allan Crain for the photos. 


Outfit Details: 
Sweatshirt: c/o Philomena + Ruth  |  Jeans: Levi's  |  Dr. Martens: Secondhand
Hat & Sunglasses: Red Fox Vintage, Portland  |  Necklace: May's Place  |  Lipstick: Lipsense

This post was sponsored by Philomena + Ruth. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

On Breaking My Own Big Rules

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The only thing constant about St. Louis' weather is that it's forever, always unpredictable. We just saw a wild November with both cold and warm temperatures, and I had a hell of a time keeping up with my wardrobe. One thing that made it even more difficult: I've officially sized out of a whole lot of my clothes. 

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Jeans are my safe zone, but finding denim that feels good on my body right now can be difficult. I've mentioned a bit of weight gain before on the blog, but I've officially hit my heaviest yet. The thing is: I love my body. I just don't love dealing with finding clothes that feel good on it. Most of my closet is thrifted and vintage clothing, but I'm having a hard time drumming up the right sizes on secondhand shopping trips. 

A rule I've basically lived by for nearly two years is this: I try to, within reason, only purchase secondhand, vintage, or USA-produced clothing, shoes, and accessories. 

The issue, however, is that eventually there comes a breaking point. 
And that breaking point is here. 

A few weeks ago, I was sitting at work and realized the waistband of my jeans was cutting into my middle so badly that I couldn't focus. I kid you not - I unbuttoned those suckers and went about my day. But it had become painfully clear I could no longer depend on my trusty, stretchy Agave skinnies to carry me through whatever the sweet heck my body is doing. 

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Because I'm still ballin' on a budget and desperately needed a pair of jeans FAST, I drove out to the county and purchased a brand new pair of jeans from Levi's at Simon Premium Outlets. I've mentioned the Outlets on the blog before here and here, and since I'm familiar with them, I felt confident I'd find what I needed. This shirt was also picked up new while visiting a Wildfang shop in Portland. I especially knew it was likely I'd find something to fit me at Wildfang as their brand is created for ladies like me. 

But, I try to stick to my guns as much as possible. Most of my closet is still secondhand. And living an eco-friendly life is still always a main focus. In fact, this perfectly granda-chic cardigan is a vintage gem from a brand spankin' new shop in town over on Cherokee. Thrift Gold has a great little space, with a pleasant variety of clothing and accessories to sift through. I even picked up a ridiculously neon Doritos-branded scarf. 

Being kind to yourself is always important. And while I take my commitment to being kind to my planet seriously as well, being happy and comfortable is just a smidge more important right now. 

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Photography by Dave Moore Photography
Fresh Haircut by Amy Sin at Union Barbershop.

Outfit Details: 
Jacket: Goodwill  |  Sweater: Thrift Gold  |  Shirt: Wildfang
Bolo Tie: Pop & Pop Vintage  |  Jeans: Levi's  |  Shoes: Coach, found at Avalon Exchange

Back At It: JORD's Wood Watches (Contest!)

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I've never been the best with accessories. I typically stick to the same earrings, several necklaces, and a bandana here and there, but I know there's always room to up the ante on my accessory game. Everyone seems to be jumping on the smart watch train, but for me, I've decided to stay a little more traditional. A couple years ago, I teamed up with JORD for the first time, but they've since expanded their offerings, and have even more stylish options. I'd been thinking about looking into a dark or black watch to wear, and with perfect timing, JORD reached out to see if I'd like to do another collaboration! This time, I'm also able to offer a little contest, so that you could win a gift card towards your own watch as well. 

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The watch I'm wearing here (and will have more photos to share of soon!) is the new edition of the Frankie watch. You can find more about it and get a closer view HERE.

With JORD's help, I'm sponsoring a little contest! One lucky winner will receive a $100 gift card to spend on JORD's site, and all other entries receive an automatic $25 off. Enter from now until 11:59pm on 10/22! Contest link: https://www.woodwatches.com/g/bl128906ig

Both the $100 and the $25 codes will expire on 11/30/2017.
Best of luck! 

Photo c/o Roach x ReprsntSTL

OOTD: Lil Plants and Ripped Pants

Last month, I had the opportunity to host an amazing shopping party at one of my favorite places, May's Place. In conjunction with May's Place and Hex STL, I spent a Sunday afternoon hanging out with friends, drinking local tea from Big Heart Tea Co, and supporting sustainability in Saint Louis (and beyond). I wrote a blog post before the event, if you'd like to check that out!

Since I focus a lot on sustainability in my personal life, I knew that when it came time to decorate my apartment, I'd want to curate my space accordingly. I found a fun set of vintage barrel mugs at May's Place before our event, and knew they were perfect to use as planters! Why buy new, boring pots for your green babies when you can repurpose something with a lot of character?

I don't mind a mono-chromatic look in my outfits - if you know me, I'm regularly guilty of wearing denim on denim. This soft, lightweight top I found at May's Place is perfect for transitioning into summer. I look forward to wearing it with my cutoff shorts and sandals all season long. Recently, local shop Living Collective had a sidewalk sale that I scooped a few new items up at. I've mentioned before that my figure is currently a bit more curvy than it has been in the past... and when you wear jeans constantly, you find that you need a couple pairs that have a lot of stretch and wiggle room. I also found these cute beige flats at the sidewalk sale, which are perfect for just about everything. My footwear game used to be loud and wild, but I've become a lot more function-focused in my old age (ha!). 

I hope you'll visit some of my favorite shops this summer while searching for your warm-weather wear! May's Place is on Ivanhoe near Lindenwood Park. Living Collective in just over in the Central West End. That amazing bolo tie is from a Manmade pop-up shop, and they'll be hosting another one soon in Alton, IL! 

Photos: Lily Voss Photography


Outfit Details: 
Top: May's Place  |  Jeans and Shoes: Living Collective  |  Bolo Tie: Manmade

OOTD: Just Do It, Vintage Style

When you're all ready to admit that climate change is real and global warming is dancing around us with two middle fingers way up in the air, I'll be over here on this park bench in the middle of winter wearing NO COAT. Sure, I won't completely complain about being able to spend a weekend off in minimal layers, but let's not forget that the world is falling apart around us. Did I sufficiently ruin your morning? Cool, we can move on to talking about clothes again. 

I spied this vintage cropped Nike sweatshirt on Mesa Home's Instagram page a while back, and just about dropped whatever I was doing and booked it there. I'm a layer-er by nature, and I had this perfect combo in mind: toss that thing ontop a turtleneck and high-waisted jeans, and: voila! Just about everything I ever wanted in an outfit. Well, plus my trusty Converse and denim jacket. I sure crammed a lot of favorites into a Saturday brunch look. 

You'd think I might have beanies galore in my closet, but here's a fun fact: Up until the last few months, I only had one. I picked up this newbie at Swedlife in the Delmar Loop. It's a rad company, run by even more rad dudes, and they carry Carrots, a brand by super young and super talented Anwar Carrots. I'm particularly fond of this one because it's reversible: one side has the embroidered carrot logo, and the other has the name of the company. I also finally upped my sunglasses game thanks to the Simon Premium Outlets. I know I preach about my quest to wear only secondhand or sustainably-made clothing, but when the generous people at the Outlets say "have at it!" you treat yourself to something you know you'll have for years (therefore not buying multiple cheap sunnies that will break over time and then create more waste). I finally caught up with the Ray-Ban trend after all these years, and I'm pretty stoked. 

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Sure, I'm cheesin', but that's what happens you wear what makes you happy. Especially when 87% of what you wear falls within your "save the world" clothing parameters. Yes, I did the math.

I also wanted to give another shoutout to local startup Face and Body Shoppe for pampering me a while ago with some items to try. The gorgeous face you see here in these photos comes with the help of theBalm's Betty-Lou Manizer bronzer. This hyper pigmented product not only makes me feel like a million bucks, but also comes in some of the cutest packaging I've seen in a while. Y'all know I'm not going to argue with a pinup girl on my makeup, especially when she looks suspiciously like Bettie Page - one of my all-time biggest crushes. The nail polish you see peeking out in the above photo is also available at Face and Body Shoppe, and was recently featured here on the blog.

Well, today is supposed to be 76 degrees, and then it's supposed to snow on Saturday. I'll take what I can get. Seeya on the flipside of our wild weather.

Thanks to Lily Voss Photography for these great snaps! 


Outfit Details:
Earrings: Rebel+Ruse  |  Hat: Swedlife  |  Ray-Bans: c/o Simon Premium Outlets
Jacket & Shoes: Avalon Exchange  |  Turtleneck & Jeans: Goodwill  |  Sweatshirt: Mesa Home

OOTD: Oversized Comfy Neutrals in Winter

Saint Louis winters can be totally batty. We've recently had mid-day snowfall, followed by a 60+ degree day. Luckily, my wardrobe is just about as nuts. I don't really even have seasonal clothing any longer, which works out well for the wild weather changes we've seen in our city. Something I also don't have much of happens to be lounge-oriented casual clothing, so I've slowly been gathering items that I feel cute in while doing just about nothing, whether it's hanging at a friend's place or reading a book at a coffeeshop. 

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Most of my everyday wear is compromised of a mix of new and old, but the only new thing in this outfit are the leggings. A few months ago I started seeing a lot of online promotions for a company called Girlfriend Collective, advertising that they were manufacturing and selling the best leggings in the world - or so they claimed. Because of their strong advocacy for recycling, being Earth-friendly, and their transparency regarding their facility practices, I thought I'd see what all the hullabaloo was about. I ordered a pair and waited a few weeks for them to arrive. My verdict? I like how high-waisted and thick they are, so that I feel comfortable wearing them without them being see-through, but they're not the perfect pair for me. Having athletic legs makes me feel like I'm pulling on a scuba suit with the Girlfriend leggings, and I end up feeling like they fall down a lot because my waist is smaller than my thighs. However, for the mere $20 I paid for them during their promotion (their full line of items should be released this spring), they get the job done. 

This oversized Christian Dior sweater I snatched up at a Goodwill has kept me warm through several winters, and this rather ridiculous coat also hails from a secondhand shop. Honestly, I feel if you have the patience and dedication, you can find some of the most amazing and unique items secondhand. This little elf hat, however, was picked up at a handmade market probably a good five years ago, and I don't wear it nearly as often as I should. It's a testament to how many clothes I truly have - even after I donated FIVE bags when I moved two weeks ago - to say that I also don't wear these boots as often as they deserve. 

I may never be just a t-shirt and sweatpants type of gal, but I'm definitely trying to find my comfort zone when it comes to all occasions. We'll see what happens. 

Photos by Allan Crain.


Outfit Details:
Coat, Sweater & Necklace: Goodwill|  Leggings: Girlfriend Collective  |  Glasses: Zenni
Sunglasses: Parsimonia Vintage  |  Boots: Avalon Exchange  |  Hat: Handmade
 

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

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 Adón  |  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