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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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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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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Christmas Spirit

It’s the holidays – the most wonderful time of the year. Parties for hosting, marshmallows for toasting, caroling out in the snow, etc, etc. But why do we care, and what does one wear?

pattern skirt funky long mid thigh tea length thrift store boots winterOf course we all like to look festive for Christmas parties, throwing on sequins and red dresses – really doing ourselves up. I went to a couple events, and, for the first big buffet I went for a big high-waisted skirt. I found it at a thrift store a couple years ago, and sewed two snaps in the waistband, so it’s expandable. It’s a great deal of material, so I save it for special occasions or when I’m in a particularly flashy mood, but I find that I wear it most around the holidays. I keep it simple with black, my necklace, and my tall boots. A bold lip sets the whole thing off. It’s simple, comfortable, but still interesting enough to merit complements at a holiday party.

bold lip holiday festive necklace black simple

skirt holiday party outfit festive beautiful girl

over the knee boots tall winter gold zipper suede heel

The holidays are a big time – a series of days with high expectations attached. Expectations are a sure-fire way to set yourself up for disappointment, so why do we always insist on having them? Why is it that Christmas must be the most wonderful time of the year? Supposedly you’re with the people you love most, giving and receiving a few thoughtful gifts, eating delicious foods, and all laughing and wearing santa hats like you’re living the reality of whatever Christmas card you sent out. But what actually happens on Christmas, and why are we celebrating?

To many people, Christmas is nothing more than a chore – a day to be around people you call family by blood, not by choice – to eat and drink and try to be merry, to give and receive gifts that not much thought were put into, to attempt to enjoy each other’s company. For others, it’s a break in the monotony of everyday life – something to look forward to, a day to set aside for nothing – for fun. A day to be calm, relax, socialize with people whose company you enjoy, and forget about the rest. We throw parties because we can – here in China no one knows what Christmas means or where it originates – stores put Santa Claus stickers in their windows, and people use the day as an excuse to have a party, to go shopping – to treat themselves. Because they need a reason.

It began as Saturnalia – a week-long pagan festival of debauchery, something like The Purge movies – where anything and everything was indulged, and a human sacrifice set it all right at the end; gingerbread cookies started as human shaped biscuits to symbolize the human sacrifice. If you’re curious to know more, I read through this page and found it fascinating. But then Jesus came – supposedly the ultimate [human] sacrifice. He was born, and Christians placed his birth on this day – somewhat arbitrarily – in an attempt to redeem the pagan holiday. Then it became an excuse to persecute Jews – a day to mock them for being wrong about the messiah’s arrival.

art drawing caption love came down

Growing up, we always read the Christmas story straight out of Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John, and celebrated the whole thing as a day of hope – a day when, as the Christian band Point of Grace pointed out on a Christmas album we played every year – love came down. Regardless of why we celebrate, I hope we can all latch on to that phrase. Whatever or whoever love is to you – let it come today. Let it be a day to give, to enjoy, to embrace – to extend love to those you might not naturally extend love to. And let that pervade your daily existence. I think that’s the true spirit of Christmas, and what is there to lose by practicing it? It can bring joy all year round, and it doesn’t even require the trees or the presents or the feasts.

Feasts are a blast, though, and I really got to go HAM this weekend. I took time to care for my body in between meals with a 20 minute yoga vid especially for holiday meal digestion – it’s a gem, especially with all this rich food. For the Christmas day festivities, I wore dressed up pajamas – a second buffet within 24 hours required an elastic waist, and this top literally came from a pajama set at Target. I’ve been incredibly comfortable for games and meals, and I look cool to boot – at least I think so, and that’s what makes it true.

sweatpants pajamas boots winter christmas comfort holiday

sweatpants pajamas comfort function utility christmas style

sweatpants pajama ass sideview girl pretty christmas holiday

What do the holidays mean to you? What do you like to wear for a party or a day of opening presents? Please comment down below, and enjoy your holiday!

Love, calm, & care –

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OOTD: Pretty Punk

I like my look to strike a comfortable balance between masculine and feminine, strong and dainty, casual and fancy, tough and pretty. This is partly why I have short hair – but, as I’m growing out my pixie, I’m having to strike a new balance every day. And while I adore dressing up, it isn’t practical for my lifestyle. I live in Colorado, where people wear workout clothes to meet friends and putting on jeans is considered getting fancy. I walk or ride my bike everywhere, I get sweaty, I’m outside a lot, I like to sit like a man. These are real factors.

I don't own this bike. I wish I did. We just found it in a parking lot.

I don’t own this bike. I wish I did. We just found it in a parking lot.

Summer is tricky because I don’t like to show a ton of skin, but it’s just so hot outside. So, as always, balance is the key. In outfit of the day posts like this, I’ll break it down head to toe.

Headscarf – this is a scarf about three feet long that I found at Goodwill a couple years ago. The color scheme is varied, pulling together the solid colored pieces I’m wearing. I like a headscarf when I’m having a weird hair day. It makes life easier.

Sunglasses – five dollars at Charlotte Russe. After much experimentation, I find that round glass work best with my long oval face. I like the light shade of the lenses and the gold rim.

Top – this was a dress that I found at a resale shop. I tore the bottom off after wearing it once. I like the high neck – it’s a good balance for the bare shoulders and shorts – and the color suits my skin tone – it’s pale without washing me out. I like the delicate touches of lace and the drape of the chiffon.

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Necklace – I got this at Charming Charlie years ago and now it’s nearly the only necklace I own. It used to be bright gold and now it’s this nice tarnished bronzy color, which I really prefer. It goes with everything, and can be helpful when I want some vertical lines in an outfit.

Belt – from Target. This belt has enough holes to fit comfortably around my hips or my waist, and the color goes with everything I own – burgundy is as versatile as black for me.

Shorts – these are from a local place called Topo Designs. They were a bit pricey [~60], but worth every penny. The fit is perfection, and I know they’ll last a while. That olive color plays well with the other clothes in my closet. They’re versatile, too – I hike in these, but I can also wear them like this.

IMG_0826Boots – I found these on clearance at DSW a few years ago. They might be the most complemented item I own. I love the tapestry-ness of the material, the color palette, and the Victorian style. Also, the heel clicks when I walk, which is always a fun feature. These, like the scarf, are great for uniting an outfit of solids.

Backpack – I found this on clearance at a Vans store for 40. I love that color, and its leather that’s perforated like mesh. I’m into interesting textures, and this bag is great for traveling. It’s big enough for all my things, and small enough to carry around town without breaking my back.

Head to toe, that’s me on a Wednesday. What do you think? How do you feel about boots in the summer?

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Intro to Style: Form & Function

Style is fun. It’s wearable art. Any kind of art takes a certain knowledge of your self, your preferences – what colors belong on the palette? What are you painting on? What types of brushes do you prefer? These are the questions that must be asked when figuring out your style. I could write a whole essay on the case for having personal style, but put simply – don’t you want what people see to represent you accurately?

What do you want your painting – your art – your self – to look like? Some prefer garish prints and neon colors, while others enjoy muted tones with a focus on texture. Really the possibilities are endless. The two principles to consider, under which all others rest, are form and function.

Form should follow function. This was a principle of the architect Ansel Adams that always stuck with me because it makes sense – and his work is gorgeous, workably beautiful. I like to be comfortable in my clothing, but that doesn’t mean wearing sweats. The function of clothing is also make me feel incredible. A bomb outfit boosts the confidence. But it begins by feeling good in it. The two go hand in hand.

I can do anything in a long pleated skirt.

I can do anything in a long pleated skirt.

Form

This is the visual aspect, the textures, colors, prints, silhouettes. It takes getting to know your coloring, body type, preferences. Do you look better in warm or cool colors? Solids or prints?  I’ve done this through trial and error. I’m drawn to textures – I have velvet shirts, leather and wool skirts, a denim dress, silks, and all kinds of blends. I like clothes that hit my natural waist, calf-length skirts, backless anything, and fitted shoulders. With experimentation, I’ve found that shades of red belong both in my hair and in my wardrobe. Warm colors, olive greens, oranges, mustard yellows – rich, fall hues. I wear far more color in the summer than I do in the colder months. I like my accessories to be black and versatile. All my jewelry is gold, with various gem stones.

To figure this out for yourself, pay attention to what compliments people give you, to how you feel in various colors, etc. I once saw an episode of Scrubs in which Elliot returned a dress because she didn’t get three compliments on her first day of wearing it. This is excessive, but it’s worth noting that people don’t usually lie when they compliment you. And people notice when you feel good. Feeling good is the ultimate goal. And that leads us to…

Function

I like to be comfortable, to be able to move freely. I like room around my waist because I don’t want to feel like I can’t breathe. Soft, luxurious fabrics feel nice against my skin. I have two bags – one backpack with sturdy straps, and one simple black cross body number. I have a shoe for every occasion, but only 4 pairs, all of which are comfortable and worn regularly. I wear the same pair of earrings every day and rotate through five rings. All of my clothes can be mixed and matched [part of why color palette is so vital]. Everything goes with everything. It makes getting dressed so much easier. But it’s still fun! Like when you were young and had a Barbie doll with a 4 piece clothing set that allowed for at least 10 outfits. That’s me every morning. And it gets fun trying to find all the combinations.

Notice what you feel comfortable in. Take into account your lifestyle, your daily activities. There’s no point having a closetful of sky high stilettos if you’re on your feet all day and rarely go out in the evening. They might be nice to look at, but it feels better to use everything you own, to make your wardrobe your own.

Another aspect of function is price. I like high quality, always have, but I’m forever on a budget. And maybe it’s my Jewish heritage, but I love a bargain. And I find some of my nicest pieces on clearance or at a thrift store. The hunt is part of the fun. I also customize things – little fixes here and there make pieces uniquely your own.

Style is a journey. Hopefully seeing mine will inspire yours.

Style is a journey. Hopefully seeing mine will inspire yours.

Style is important to me. Remember that the phrase, “Look good, feel good” is axiomatic; “Feel good, look good” rings just as true.

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