Good Morning Yoga

This 30 minute practice opens your hips gently and fluidly, perfect post run/workout as I did this morning. It’s a vinyasa, so you get a nice flow going, and she takes you into all sorts of hip openers from tree pose to butterfly.

If you have tight hips, don’t fret. Take it easy, go as far as you can – accept your body where it’s at today. My right hip always tightens up more than the left one, and it’s so easy to get frustrated over this! But it’s okay. Just show up today and let the body be what it is.

One caveat – opening your hips can bring up a lot of emotion, so be mindful of what might come up.

Allow.

Relax.

Open.

Enjoy.

Namaste –

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90s Mini Dress

Nothing like a little 90s flair, eh? I found this pinstriped dress at a thrift store – originally almost floor length and accompanied by a long matching blazer. It’s heavy polyester – from a classic power suit in its initial form.

90s pinstriped mini dress style

The length didn’t quite suit me, so I tore off the bottom. When I tear my dresses and skirts, I often make them too short accidentally. However, there’s no going back, and I couldn’t part with this! So it’s primarily a winter dress – the heavy material suits the cold, and it layers wonderfully with a long sleeve shirt and tights.

pinstriped 90s dress style headscarf

The high neckline is classy, but the cut is perfectly body skimming – an excellent balance. I like to make this look a bit funky, often pairing it with a headscarf and a bold lip.

headscarf ring high neckline style

It’s subtle, but still a bit of a statement, so I keep everything around it simple. I like to add other long lines with it, mimicking the pinstripes, whether in the form of a necklace or a scarf.

pinstripe dress, high neckline, key necklace

Boots, loafers, and sneakers all work equally well – a true testament to this dress’s versatility.

90s pinstriped mini dress girl winter style

90spinstriped dress style

sneakers 90s pinstripe dress

I found some fun 90s style dresses similar to this one through ASOS marketplaceone big floral print and one small. You could also have a look on Etsy, and don’t be afraid to comb the racks of your local thrift store – these gems often take a bit of digging.

headscarf striped dress style

Love, calm, & care –

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Spring Pleats in Cold Weather

Spring is in the air! The days are getting longer, the sun shines higher in the sky, and the world feels like it’s smiling on me when I go outside. Even though temperatures here are still flirting with freezing, I’m ready. I feel the energy, the spark, the excitement of spring – this time when the world comes back to life, people leave their homes, and the outdoors become as comfortable as indoors.

I adore this time of year, and it’s making me want to gallivant around in multi-colored tank tops and sundresses. The weather won’t permit this, however, so I’m left to find a way. I want color. I want lighter materials. But I still have to be warm; this pleated skirt provides the perfect solution. I’ve had it for years, but pleats are hot right now, so I guess it’s better than ever.

pleated skirt style

I can still wear it with boots and my super warm tights if I need to, but it has the flirty, floaty spirit of spring time.

pleated skirt style

Originally a dress, I didn’t like the drape of it, so I tucked in the straps and made myself an adjustable waist.

pleated skirt dress hack style

I used to use safety pins, but I got sick of undoing and redoing them every time I took it on or off, so I found two buttons from another shirt I was getting rid of and a little black ribbon from one of those superfluous loops sewn into the shoulder of a shirt, whipped out my mini sewing kit, and sewed it all together.

dress to skirt style hack

I can tighten or loosen it depending on how I want it to hang and how much I’ve eaten or what time of day it is, which I love – I wish clothing companies made adjustable waist clothing for adults like they do for kids.

dress to skirt style hack

dress to skirt style hack

I wear it with the closure in the back because I like the way it hangs, but sometimes – in warmer weather especially – I’ll turn it to the side or over my hip. So versatile, I love it – I’ve even worn it as a dress over a bathing suit! The length is perfect – just in the middle of my calves. Green is one of my favorite colors, and this olive color goes with everything. Since it’s still cold, I’m rockin black, but once the flowers start blooming I’ll get crazy.

dress to skirt pleats style hack

If you want a pleated skirt of your own, go to Zara, H&M, Forever 21 – really I see these everywhere, it’s just a matter of finding one that suits you. Or, if you have a dress that isn’t quite right, try folding the top under and wearing it as a skirt – it might become your new favorite thing.

pleated skirt style

Love, calm, & care –

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Choosing a Winter Coat

Before winter ends, I’ve gotta talk about my coat. Black, down, puffy, beautiful; a match made in heaven.

big puffy coat

I found it in Denmark a few years ago. I was backpacking through Europe at the time and, before leaving the states, had spent a fair bit of money on a nice, versatile coat from REI. I loved that coat. And then Halloween in Berlin happened, and I found myself leaving a club with a British golf pro at 9 AM in a coat that was decidedly not mine. So, realizing the time, I gathered myself and made my train to Copenhagen, spending the journey wondering about the nights we forget and the ones we remember, and how they influence our growth respectively. Upon arrival in Denmark, in late October, en route back to Iceland and wearing a hideous, huge, and annoyingly not-warm jacket that smelled like cheap cologne, I searched for a coat.

puffy coat winter style

And look what I found! Isn’t she lovely? I remember being shocked at how cheap it was, but it was perfect – simple, sleek, functional, comfortable. I can wear it literally over anything, from dressed up pajamas to a fancy formal dress. I like the length because it works just as well with skinny pants as it does with a full skirt. The zipper, just for kicks, can zip my entire face away inside the brilliantly massive hood. I’ve worn this skiing and traveling and dancing and through the sub-zero Siberian winter of Harbin, and I have stayed warm. And I like to think I looked pretty fresh, too.

A coat is an important piece in a wardrobe. I came upon this one by chance and, until moving to Harbin, would only wear it on the coldest of cold days in Colorado. Using it daily here, I’ve been continually reminded of what a fantastic coat it is – but what makes a fantastic coat?

A coat, above all, is functional – it should keep you warm. Down does this most dependably, but wool and fur work as well if you don’t want to look like a marshmallow. But sometimes you need the warmth. Consider length, color, and style.

coat puffy winter style

Length – many coats hit around your thigh, and some go as low as the calf. What works best for you, what works with the clothes you own already? Or maybe the questions is what can you afford, and, as you can see, I got the cheapest option.

puffy coat winter style

As color goes, keep thinking about your current wardrobe. A coat needs to go with absolutely everything, so black is the easiest color to fit in with what you rock regularly. But maybe blush pink matches everything you own, or white, or brown – just don’t go buying a magenta coat that looks ridiculous over your favorite chocolate brown corduroys.

Finally, style. Do you want a coat with a cinched waist? A fur-trimmed hood? Bell sleeves? The options range as far as you can click your way into online stores, and I figure Burlington Coat Factory and Overstock.com are good places to start, but Google your vision

puffy coat winter style

Maybe you’ve spent this entire winter dreaming of a new coat and unable to afford one. Well, good news, kids, now is the time to buy! Coats everywhere will be on clearance as stores clear room for bathing suits, so make your way to the mall and get yourself excited about next winter.

Love, calm, & care –

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Sweatpants. Anywhere.

Who doesn’t want to leave the house in sweatpants? You’re lying if you don’t – they’re a dream. And aren’t we lucky, they’ve somehow become stylish. Personally, I am all in on taking advantage of it. I found this pair at Forever 21 for just ten dollars, and the selection was ample. Jogger sweatpants are so hot right now you could find them at Wal-Mart in exactly the style and color that suit you.

classy sweater comfy sweatpants winter girl style

classy top cozy sweatpants winter girl style

I went for pink. It’s a nice 90s dusty rose kind of shade, which plays nicely with most of my clothes – blacks, burgundies, corals, oranges – and I generally prefer to wear black tops with funky bottoms, although I do have a couple more wild shirts like the brocade you see here.

classy sweater cozy sweatpants winter girl style

As sweatpants, these are powerfully comfortable. They’re also versatile – just wait for the summer post. Still bangin. Here in Siberia, I do have to layer them with leggings or tights to stay warm, but can you even tell?

classy sweater cozy sweatpants winter girl style

I’ve posted photos before of these paired with a pajama top – my cozy Christmas outfit. Here I’ve got three other options.

classy sweater cozy sweatpants winter girl style

Start simple – these pants can sing, so let them. They rock well with a black t-shirt, boots, and a hat – perfect for when you don’t leave yourself enough time to get ready or just don’t feel like putting clothes on but have to go to work and haven’t washed your hair in far too long. This is the ultimate lazy person’s outfit.

t-shirt, hat, sweatpants winter girl style

Next we have this Victorian looking gem – a bit more elevated, like the next one. Something about the casual nature of sweatpants makes me want to class it up on top, and what says classy more than a high necked top made out of brocade?

classy sweater cozy sweatpants winter girl style

If anything can top the brocade, it’s this sweater – classy as hell, right? Boots in all three of these outfits keep it grounded – comfy, but still utilitarian.

classy sweater cozy sweatpants winter girl style

Comfort and class, united in three outfits – what could be better? Sweatpants are now acceptable attire for work, for school, for errands, for life outside the house – with a single caveat. Style them appropriately. If this didn’t help you on that front, I don’t know what will, so now that you’re equipped, bust out those sweats. I hear Chancho has an extra pair. Stay cozy.

classy sweater cozy sweatpants winter girl style

Love, calm, & care –

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Winter Mini Skirts and Sex Appeal

Ah winter, a time when the legs must always be covered and skirts seem inaccessible. But are they really? My tweed mini skirt is designated solely as a winter skirt – I don’t wear it unless there’s snow on the ground. Why? It’s too short to wear without tights, the fabric is too heavy for summer, and it’s black and white – my primary winter color combo.

I found this skirt at a thrift store for a couple dollars. It’s originally Forever 21. I like the metallic threads woven through it, and it’s a nice weight – balancing the short length well for cold weather.

close up wool mini skirt

I think we can all agree that sexy becomes difficult in winter. Yes, it’s a way of carrying yourself that flows from an internal well of self-love, but, in clothing, it’s typically considered form-fitting and skin-baring. If this is a part of your style, winter can feel confusing, even stifling. Sometimes all I want is to wear a sleeveless crop top! But alas, my abs freeze with the slightest chill in the air, so I’m left to other means. This skirt, like my leather one, is the perfect combination of cute and sexy. It’s not too much, but it’s fitted, high-waisted, short – just the right dose of winter sex appeal. And, depending on how I style it, I can raise that up or down.

winter wool tweed mini skirt

If I only feel like being comfortable, I throw a roomy flannel over it – it’s more cute than anything since I’m mixing patterns and wearing a massive shirt. And, most importantly, I’m comfortable. And warm.

flannel and winter mini skirt

Medium appeal – a fitted t-shirt, layered with a beanie and, when I get cold, my scarf and cashmere sweater. I would describe this as relaxed sexy, if anything. I’m comfortable, I’m wearing a beanie and sneakers, my body is covered, but I’m wearing a mini skirt and I love it.

winter mini skirt comfortable sexy cool

If you’re not sure about how to stay warm in a skirt or what type of tights to wear, check out this post I wrote a couple months ago. It’s easier than you think.

winter pattern mixing sweater with mini skirt

For a little more, I pair it with a v-neck sweater. Even this is relaxed and adorable because I’m comfortable, I’m warm, and the sweater is kinda long – I like to balance emphases in this way. Since my chest is bare, my waist is a bit obscured. I am teaching children in these outfits, after all.

tweed mini skirt winter sex appeal

So I didn’t get crazy with sex appeal here, but honestly I never do – that’s not my style. And I’m not trying to impress anyone. At least now you know a mini skirt is possible this time of year and, if you’ve got a hot date for Valentine’s day, pop a lacy leotard under your skirt, pair it with some over the knee boots and a bold lip, and you’re set. My date is with myself in a gorgeous Chinese coffee shop, so I will be wearing this because I can –

YOLO hat, comfortable sweatpants, relaxed winter style

I found a couple winter wool mini skirt options online – a J Crew skirt on Tradesy that has some fun color to it and a black and white H&M one on Poshmark. Stay strong, friends, we’ve got a month or two left in winter and then we can toss out the tights! In the meantime, buy yourself some flowers and be your own valentine, because you deserve all the love in the world and it starts flowing when you give it to your self.

Valentine's Day roses self-love

Love, calm, & care –

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Cocoon Sweater

I love wearing black in the winter. Excessive color just seems wrong to me this time of year – I take a cue from nature, and let the color fade out of my wardrobe, blanketing myself in cozy neutrals. It’s easy and comfortable, and makes getting dressed a breeze. One of my favorite winter pieces is my big black cocoon sweater.

I found it at a thrift store a few years ago – the tag says 22W, so it’s massively oversized, and that’s what makes is so ideal. I can layer a shirt underneath if it’s really cold, but, even in these subzero temps, that’s hardly necessary. It’s roomy and soft, like wearing a hug, and it works with any pair of leggings or skinny pants in my closet.

cozy black sweater winter style

The sleeves hang low, giving it that safe cocoon feel, and the neck is fitted without being constricting. There’s a little zipper up the back to give it an extra bit of polish – zipping up a sweater feels far more fancy than just pulling it over your head.

sweater neckline zipper

I can throw on my loafers for a pedagogical look –

teacher loafers black sweater winter style

Or boots and leather leggings for a bit more swag –

maroon leather leggings winter style

Or if I just need to run out of my house to the market or something quick, it’s the easiest thing to reach for to be dressed in a hurry. Stay warm!

Love, calm & care –

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Winter Layering with Summer Crop Tops

I’ll let you in on something – I haven’t always adored being female. There are just so many rules! As a kid I ran around in my brother’s hand-me-down basketball shorts all morning and then had afternoon tea in a fake silk ballgown my mother stitched up, but the romantic comedies I watched and the novels I read told me that women needed men in order to be confident, whole people and that, above all else, we’re supposed to be pretty – devoting our lives to finding a mate. This didn’t jive with me even in my adolescence, so I wore ridiculous, ostentatiously feminine outfits – playing dress up everyday with high heels and makeup in an attempt to find clothes in which I actually felt like myself.

And this, my friends, is why I love androgyny – a blending of gender concepts and styles and feelings and traits that allows men to be emotional and women to be intelligent and all of us to wear whatever the hell we please.

Sometimes I feel like dressing like a boy. A boy who has my closet and my tastes and my figure. When the mood strikes, I’ll layer my black summer crop tops over button downs for a comfy boyish sweater vest look. I just love it, and there’s so much variety to be found within it, depending on how far I want to go – necklace or no, silky top or flannel.

close up layering pajama top

I like to balance masculine and feminine elements, so I put the edgy leather leggings with the silky pajama top –

androgynous girl winter layering style

The lumberjack flannel with the beanie, pencil skirt, and bulky boots –

androgynous girl winter style flannel

androgynous flannel girl winter layering style

And the sweet lilac suede with simple black pants, a necklace, and my loafers –

androgynous female winter style

People might do a double take when you step out like this, but so what? What really matters is that your clothes honestly represent who you are. Personally, I find it liberating.

androgynous female purple winter layering style

What are your thoughts on this baby step into androgyny? Not for you? Down to try it?

Love, calm, & care –

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Moon Boots!

Form and function, right? Well, where I currently live, the conditions are icy, snowy, subzero – like the winter x-games on my sidewalk. So I had no choice – I needed snow boots…or moon boots…or, as I’ve been affectionately calling them – moots!

Harbin boasts shopping malls not only on every corner, but underground, too. I stroll through one when I pass by now and then, and, upon finding one marked OUTLETS – I perused. I have yet to find a thrift store here, but this place was the closest thing. First floor was all shoes, something like forty different vendors with different types of boots and sneakers.

winter style moon boots

It was love at first sight.

love moon boots

I didn’t try them on, but I did think about them all week. I like to step back before making a purchase – give myself at least 4 days to think about it, let it simmer, mentally match it with everything I own. And if it sticks – it sticks for many good reasons, and, budget permitting, I proceed. These only cost the equivalent of 13USD, but as far as I can tell they’re great quality. #MADEINCHINA. Lined with fake fur, they are cozy and comfy.

cozy comfy moon boots

I’ll admit that these are not as orthopedic as I like my shoes to be, but, given the harsh conditions out here, I had to compromise. I do have a slice of Dr. Scholl in there, and that makes a difference.

winter boot girl style

What I love about these – they look sleek, even futuristic. Black goes with everything, but the words on the back add somethin special. I love that the word is love – that sealed the deal for me. All the tread on these acts as a platform, too, which, since I don’t much wear heels, is a fun boost.

winter girl moon boot style love

I browsed around the internet and found a swanky DSW deal, a fancy Euro lookin moon boot, and a website called moon-boot.com. Go nuts.

pretty girl skirt winter moon boot

I’ve worn these all week, and I haven’t slipped on ice once. Mission accomplished.

moon boots winter style

Love, calm, & care –

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Leather Skirt

Every girl needs a leather skirt, right? A little sexy, a little edgy – pair it with a lace leotard for a party or with a cozy flannel for a day at the movies. The idea of a leather skirt might seem intimidating or over the top, but check out my options below and you might be surprised.

leather skirt styled three ways

White button up, comfy running shirt, layered tees – I’ve got my skirt three ways for you here, and, trust me, there are so many more. That’s the best part of this – I can wear it with anything. And that’s what clothing is all about – versatility.

leather skirt with sweater

I found this skirt at a resale shop for $7. It’s originally from Forever 21, but feels like it’s pretty good quality – as good as fake leather can, anyway. It’s just the right length, has a lining to keep it from getting static-y with tights, and a sleek little zipper up the back. It’s just roomy enough, so I never feel constricted by it, but it stays in place at my waist.

leather skirt white button up style

When I looked online for leather skirts, most of them were skin tight and quite sexy. Personally, what I like about the leather material in the skater style is the combination of sexy and cute – it’s not too much.

winter leather skirt girl style

I found a couple similar to mine – one from from ASOS and one from MissGuided. If the sexy pencil or leather mini is your jam, rock on. But proceed with caution if you’re tryna wear that to teach children or to an office.

leather skirt watch ring style

I like wearing varied textures in traditional shapes – they’re understated but still noticeable. And they play well with others. This skirt goes with so many things, I’m sure I’ll post more on it. As for next week – I GOT NEW BOOTS. Get excited.

sporty leather skirt style

Love, calm, & care –

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