Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Number One Bows


works cited: gap jeans; ralph lauren outlet button-up; madewell sweater; j.crew boots; american apparel sash

I've worn this outfit a couple times this winter and haven't yet managed to get a picture of it. I started wearing the giant bow first as a joke when I went to high tea a month or two ago, but then I ended up keeping the bow on all weekend, long after tea was over and the bow was an ironic costume-piece. Now I unapologetically love the slightly cartoonish, playful vibe it lends an otherwise preppy outfit. It makes me feel like I walked out of one of my childhood Frances Hodgson Burnett novels.

Monday, February 27, 2012

I'd Like to Thank the Academy

i'd like to thank

i'd like to thank
works cited: h&m skirt; secondhand j. crew jacket; american apparel sweatshirt; hue tights; thrifted bag; steve madden boots; hanes tee shirt; necklace from the summercamp lost and found

I threw this on yesterday to run a few errands and ended up wearing it straight through the day and into the evening, where I watched the Academy Awards with a few friends late into the night (and lost in our betting pool, as usual). Last year, I was obsessed with True Grit and was crushed when it didn't win Best Picture. This year, I really liked The Artist and Midnight in Paris (a great literary nerd movie if you haven't seen it) and was cheered to see them both do well. Did you watch? Any favorites win or get snubbed?
P.S. An interesting article about the make up of the Academy.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

8 Outfits, 1 Very Small Suitcase

Picnik 1-8
My latest trip back to the Midwest was a packing challenge. I am an egregious over-packer by nature--I'll bring a 50-pound duffel on a 10-day trip--but last week I really needed extra space in my teeny carry-on to bring books and photocopies back, so I tried to whip myself into shape with a packing challenge. Inspired by Elsie's 8 pieces, 8 Outfits, I thought that I'd pack only 8 pieces (plus 2 pairs of shoes) for my week-long trip. These outfits are definitely basic, but I was proud of how much wear I got out of each piece. Here is a mostly-accurate* rundown of what I wore on my trip:

pink dress from ruche; steve madden boots; h&m striped tee and blazer; gap jeans; j.crew white tee, plaid shirt and cardigan; UO flats
*Modifications: I actually packed danskos (go ahead and laugh) instead of flats because the weather was pretty snowy and rainy, but had the weather been slightly better, these flats would have been the shoe of choice (they take up much less space and they're about 12 times cuter). 

This was a fun experiment, I'm off to give myself a few pats on the back for packing so lightly and conquering my tripod to take my own almost-in-focus-photos--huzzah!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

[CLOSED] Giveaway: $50 to Ruche!

Today you have the chance to win $50 to my favorite online shop, Ruche. Their affordable and pretty clothes are a staple in my closet. They also have rad lookbooks and often include great literary references (like Ibsen, above, one of my favorites). To enter, check out Ruche and leave a comment below. I'll pick a winner next week. Good luck!
P.S. If I won, I'd buy this striped dress.
P.P.S. I'll be back with regular posts starting tomorrow, I promise. It's been a crazy week! xo
UPDATE: the winner is Christie! Thanks for playing.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ten Years of Life


I don't usually give in to sentimentality or to the personal overshare but I'm making an exception for today, which marks the ten year anniversary of the day I was diagnosed with leukemia. The day I was diagnosed made me anxious for the day when life would "return to normal." While life has returned to normal in many big ways, it is completely different in all the small ways. I find it impossible to take beautiful moments and even difficult ones for granted now, because I am reminded of what I've fought through to make it there. So even when I am crying on the steps of the Library of Congress about my dissertation chapter, I am always also thinking, "What a blessing to be alive and to have the luxury to cry about this!" Today I feel so happy to be healthy and long-of-hair; I feel deeply indebted to my parents who sacrificed so much of their own lives in the pursuit of my wellness; and most of all, I am grateful just to be alive, and to experience all the goodness and all the hardships that come with it.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Out of the Office



works cited: thrifted skirt; UO belt; jcrew boots and tee; h&m sweater

This week, I'm back to my beloved flyover zone for some meetings, research in the library, and catching up with friends at the university. This week will be low on posts for two reasons: I have a lot to get done; and I can't fit my camera (or really many clothes) in my bag because I have to save space for all the books I need check out! A girl's got to have her priorities straight, right?
One funny thing I've been thinking about: It's the first time I've been back to the midwest and my home university since I moved to DC and I am so excited for my trip. Four years ago (in my first year of grad school), I remember visiting my sister in California for spring break and when I landed back in Chicago to gray, drizzly, wintery-mix skies, I burst into tears on the runway. If you had told me that just a few years later, I'd be over the moon with excitement as I flew back over those cornfields, I never would've believed you. I'm amazed at how much has changed in the past five years, and I'm looking forward to DC eventually feeling as much like home as the midwest came to feel.
See you next week!

Friday, February 10, 2012

work/alvin ailey/work


works cited: megan nielsen skirt; h&m top; j.crew boots; hue tights; breda watch

This week has been a bit nuts for me as I race toward deadlines, but I did take Wednesday evening off to go to an Alvin Ailey dance performance with Christopher, which was incredible. I had seen them once before in 1998 after my 8th grade English class did a whole unit on "Revelations." It was such a treat to see it again, especially in the middle of a crazy week.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Spring in My Step


works cited: h&m cardigan; gap tee; bdg jeans; target flats; earrings from eastern market; j. crew belt; breda watch

Yesterday it was starting to feel like spring--I barely needed gloves on my bike ride, my ankles were bare, I ate lunch in the park, the birds were chirping! Because all good things must come to an end, today we have a forecast for snow, naturally. All the better to cozy up in the library and read Woolf's letters (which, incidentally, are so often hilarious or sharp-witted--I was amused to see that she begins so many of her letters "I am a wretch not to have written sooner, but you know how I hate writing letters" given that most of my emails start out similarly apologetic, if you substitute "email" for "letter" and "lazy bum" for "wretch").

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Creature of Habit

once more

once more
works cited: ruche dress; thrifted belt and watch; steve madden boots; h&m blazer; scarf from etsy

In times of busy schedules, I am totally a creature of habit, turning to outfits I've already made to tweak a piece here and there and see if I can make them feel different. Yesterday, I copped the scarf and dress from this outfit, and added some structure with a blazer and belt. It's not radically different but it's such a hectic week, I'm satisfied if I can leave the house wearing shoes (even if I don't have time to brush my hair).

Monday, February 6, 2012

Repeat Offender

sunday walk

sunday walk
works cited: gap jeans; ll bean sweater; ralph lauren outlet button-up; h&m scarf; target boots; secondhand jcrew coat from secondi; breda watch

On Sunday, C. and I went for a walk around the neighborhood to enjoy the brief hours of sunshine before the Superbowl. I've come to really like watching sports, especially after playing intramural football in college, which was equally competitive and fun, but yesterday grad student voice* won out and I half-worked while we watched. This jacket has become my new exoskeleton--it's just the right weight for fake winter in DC--because I've barely taken it off in the past week. If wearing the same jacket fifteen days running is wrong, then I don't want to be right.
*You know Grad Student Voice, it's the one that says, "you could be working right now" or "I bet insert X colleague name is working right now." It takes no notice of professional sports schedules, your social life, or your mental health in the name of its mission. Most of the time, I can shut it up with a beer but I'm weakened by the length of my current to-do list.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Those Magic Words


works cited: skirt from jeremy's in berkeley; target tee; secondhand jcrew jacket; jcrew tights and boots

Not that I am ever slow to leave the house, but sometimes when Christopher is really ready to go and is tired of watching me hem and haw in front of my closet, he pulls out the big guns: "That definitely looks like something Lauren would sketch." He knows that however ambivalent I feel about what I'm wearing, the thought of Lauren's midas-touch is alluring enough to get me to grab my books and leave the house even if in retrospect I wonder if there's something not quite right about the proportions. Like, why does my head look so abnormally large? Must be all those nights in the library really bulking up my cranium...

Thursday, February 2, 2012



works cited: vintage skirt; gap tee; old navy trench; thrifted necklace and belt; hunter boots; (very old) liz claiborne bag

Nothing quite like a windy, rainy day to really lift your spirits, eh? But I'll forgive the District of Columbia because it's been so magnificently warm this winter that I can actually forego tights, even if it's a bit eerie to have such warm weather in January and December. Is that spring in the air or global warming?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

[CLOSED] Giveaway: Win the Fireside Cowlneck from Five Bamboo!

This week, you have the chance to win the fireside cowlneck from Five Bamboo, one of my favorite places to buy high-quality, ethical wardrobe basics. I have this top in the dark orange and it is super-thick and cozy, perfect for layering under winter sweaters and coats. To enter, just visit Five Bamboo and leave a comment below. I'll pick a winner at random next week!
P.S. Five Bamboo is offering 20% off my blog readers with the code "nerdthreads" :)
UPDATE: the winner is Grace!