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: 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.

OOTD: Secondhand Summer Fringe

Hi, lovelies! It's been a little quiet around the blog, but it's because some new things are brewing. I'm working on a new direction in my personal life that will bleed over into the blog, and although it's not an entire departure from my current ideals, it's going to be a serious focus. I can't wait to get more in-depth with that, but for now, here are some long-overdue photos from my darling photographer friend, Abby!

I'm sure I sound like a broken record when I say I generally avoid dresses, but this little tank dress gets worn pretty often during the summer. I scored it at Avalon Exchange last year, and it has just the slightest hint of acid wash, which speaks to my nostalgic love of '80s fashion. To up the interest factor, I layered this fringe shawl on top, which is just another way to hide peekaboo bra straps (my biggest pet peeve in the clothing world).

You've seen these sandals before, and they ended up being the only pair I've worn all summer. You should see the sweet tan lines I have going on now. I think I might do this every year - buy just one pair of nice sandals and wear the heck out of them. Black and white goes with everything, right? 

My addiction to shopping local comes through with my Fable & Lore necklace and JORD watch. I can't wait to have more Fable & Lore in my life - I plan to keep all my jewelry purchases from here on out from local or small shops. I'll cherish them more, and treat them better than $5 earrings picked up at the mall. 

My hair has since grown a little longer, but seeing these photos sure make me miss the super-short crop! Will I ever have long hair again? Who knows!  

Photos: A. Gillardi Photo

OOTD: When A Dress Makes Sense

Guess what, y'all? It's hot as all get out in Saint Louis. I don't really mind summer - I like camping, pools, nights in the park, and all the activities that accompany the season. However, when it gets too hot to wear jeans, I start to get grumpy. I'm a denim girl through and through. But when our temperatures start hovering around 90 degrees and up, I start falling apart. I feel boring in dresses, and I also feel like so many dresses these days are poorly designed, don't fit well, and are generally unflattering. However, every once in a great while I stumble across a vintage pretty that fits well, is breezy, and still sort of fits with my style. 

I hit a secondhand jackpot at my local Goodwill recently, and this dress happened to be there that day. The 90s are so in right now, as well as dark florals. Now that it's hot as heck in Saint Louis, and I also have been healing up a new, large leg tattoo, I've gravitated uncharacteristically towards dresses, so this one has seen a lot of use since I snapped it up for like $9. I can't really argue when it fits so well, too! 

Many thanks to my darling friend Emmy for snapping these photos recently when we met up for brunch! Check her blog out over at That Cheap Bitch - I heard a rumor that she'll be updating again shortly! I can't wait to see her this fall when I'm back in NYC for Fashion Week. 

Outfit Details:
Dress: Goodwill   |   Bag: Avalon Exchange   |   Sandals: Revive Thrift Shop
Necklace: Fable & Lore   |   Sunglasses: Hand-me-downs from Grandma