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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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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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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Cozy Cashmere Sweater

I don’t know about where you live, but here in Harbin it has been c-c-c-COLD. Like below 0. Constantly. Celsius or Fahrenheit. It’s just extra freezing, all the time. The redeeming quality of cold weather – apart from a constant excuse to stay in and read books – is the cozy clothing. Sweater weather. One of my favorite pieces is my cashmere sweater.

girl in cashmere sweater

Soft and roomy, with a pattern and color scheme that match just about anything – it’s a staple. I love having pieces that I can wear with my entire wardrobe, and this is absolutely one of those. It’s great by itself or fantastic for layering. Anytime I don’t feel quite cozy enough in my outfit to go outside, I throw this on under my coat and I feel like I’m wearing a blanket.

winter style girl woman

It’s the adult version of a blanky that I take with me everywhere. Because why does that have to end when you start 1st grade?

cashmere sweater

girl in cashmere sweater

I found this at J. Crew three years ago and haven’t looked back, but I found a couple similar ones online. J. Crew, of course, has a gorgeous one that is currently on clearance, Everlane has a couple mid-range price options, and Uniqlo has an okay one on the lower end. Cashmere won’t be cheap, but I swear it’s worth every penny – it’s warm as shit, and it lasts forever.

cashmere sweater winter style girl

When thinking of getting your own sweater – what are your priorities? I wanted to be able to layer, so I got mine in a bigger size. I wear a lot of black and white with the occasional pop of color, so I wanted something that would go with everything. Take into account the rest of your wardrobe, the type of silhouette you want, etc.

girl in cashmere sweater

And, once you’ve got your sweater, enjoy drinking tea in it and watching the snow fall. Because we still have three more months of this.

girl in cashmere sweater winter style

Love, calm, & care –

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