Sunday, July 12, 2015

Conscious un-Coupling......for now.

Hey guys!

It's been a while since my last post (months! eeeps!) and I figured I owed everyone a few words quite a few words on what's up.

For now I've decided to take a little break from blogging. I've been doing this for over four years now, and quite honestly, blogging isn't what it used to be. I feel lost in a world I no longer recognize. I get the sense that attitudes within the 'fashion blogging' world have shifted more towards monetizing and sponsors, selling an unattainable lifestyle and look, shilling a product with no regards to personal integrity, attempting to gain as many followers as possible for the click$.  That's not me. I don't want to even attempt to keep up in that world. 

I always intended my blog as a hobby, as a way to connect to other like-minded people, to take a break from real life and real work. I was just another small voice doing basic stuff like fit reviews and ootd's, and was cool with that. As a reader, those smaller ootd/review blogs were what I was drawn to and what I read daily anyway so it was like being part of club. But feel like all those smaller voices out there are being drowned/snuffed/driven out by huge mega-bloggers, Rstylers, career bloggers. It feels impossible to compete with the professional, glossy, curated lives of those blogs. I've seen many other blogs that I religiously followed drop out in the past 2 years, so I doubt I'm alone here. 

I think other forms of social media like snapchat and instagram have taken over in some ways. That's fine. I like instagram for some things. But I miss the connections that were made in the earlier years of blogging. Interacting with readers. I think it's trend impacting others as well. Example: I love the JCA blog and still read it daily, but even that has declined in participation in the past few years. I miss that too (and the old J Crew, while we're at it!).

I don't ever want this space to become a forced chore or something that's not true to who I am (which it's felt like lately......) and sometimes it's just better to bow out gracefully.
I can't say this break is a forever thing, because I just don't know. I don't want to do an epic flounce here just to come back later. After a few months, I might decide I miss it. Or I might not. 
So for now, we're doing a "conscious un-coupling." 

Of course, I'll still be in instagram, because I'm not about to give up on the ootd's entirely :)


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Outfits of the Week: 4/21 to 4/23/15

Top: H&M | Jeans: J Crew | Shoes: Talbots (similar, similar) | Bag: LV

Tee: J Crew Factory | Pants: Lands End | Shoes: Lands End | Bag: LV

Top: J Crew  (similar, similar) | Skirt : J Crew Factory | Shoes: Lands End | Bag: LV | Necklace: Giles and Brother

So our cruise is coming up more quickly than I'd like! The packing! The last minute grading! Boarding Iddy Biddy (I seriously considered trying to sneak her in the luggage, but Husband said no. Jerk.)

One of the things on my to-do list is to find a new pair (or two) of comfortable walking shoes that are a bit more dressy than my standby Birkenstocks. Don't get me wrong, I love my Birkis and they'll be coming along in the suitcase, but I want to find something a bit more refined (and less clunky). I have plenty of "casual work" sandals that are moderately comfortable and suitable to wear with dresses (see above), but I'm hoping to find something designed for long hours of walking. Surprisingly there is a lot of walking on board a cruise ship---especially considering that to offset the multiple dessert buffets, I always insist on using the stairs for everything while on board the ship.

{Really, I'm just trying to justify the need for more shoe shopping here.}

So these are the shoes I've got my eye on:
Several of these styles are on their way to me from Amazon to try on (Prime 2-day shipping and free returns is seriously the best thing since sliced bread). In an earlier round of try-ons I fell in love with the Patagonia pair on the bottom middle (right now it's less than $40 at Amazon in several colors/sizes). So comfy! Surprisingly cute! If I can just find one more pair, I'll be good to go. But really---just one more pair, as that's all the room my suitcase can spare. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Outfits of the Week: 4/16 to 4/17/15

Top: H&M | Pants: Banana Republic | Shoes: Talbots | Necklace: J Crew | Bag: Longchamp (similar)

Jacket: J Crew | Tank: Target | Pants: Old Navy | Shoes: Jack Rogers | Bag: Longchamp | Necklace: House of Harlow

Boy, Old Navy and Banana Republic have been finding a welcome home in my closet lately. Prior to 2015, my BR/Gap/ON purchases were very few and far between. I do shop at Old Navy and Gap for Child but rarely for myself. And when I did buy something for myself, in the past it was usually only to bump up the limit to $50 so I could get free shipping. 

It could be my disillusionment with J Crew retail, my own personal style changing (or better said, J Crew's style shifting and not wanting to shift along with them) or some need to feed the fast-fashion monster in my closet, but I've been finding a ton to love at both Banana Republic and Old Navy. (Gap...not so much. They're like the forgotten middle child for me, I'm afraid.)

My purchases at J Crew retail have almost completely stopped. Since January all I've bought from the retail side is a pair of jeans, some jewelry, and dessert plates---yes, plates. Meanwhile, Factory purchases have increased quite a bit. Partly, I just like the styles there better. But also, the pricing is more on-par with what you pay/what you get. I feel the quality is declining so much at J Crew, that there's not that much of a discernible difference from JC retail to Factory any more. And then it's a smaller and smaller gap from JC Factory to Old Navy. So I figure, why not just skip J Crew altogether and see what else is out there (something I would have never said even 3 years ago!)

The Old Navy pants above have to be one of my favorite purchases so far. So comfy!! Like pjs! Loose, drapey, perfect for summer. I will say they needed alterations though. The regular length was too short (I'm 5'9") and the Tall length was too long, so I had to settle with the Talls and just hem up. My paltry sewing skills can handle a basic hem, so it was an easy fix. I deeply appreciate that most styles are offered in petite/regular/tall with the BR/GAP/ON family. 

I've got some Old Navy swimsuits and dresses (in tall!) on order for our upcoming cruise, and I'm optimistic I'll be keeping most of the order.  I like their low $50 limit for free shipping. I like their free return shipping policy. They've got a much better rewards system for cardholders, and actually offer real incentives and promos for cardholders. Those are all things J Crew needs to improve upon. I hesitate to say it, but J Crew could learn a thing or two from Old Navy.


Also, I wanted to announce the Giveaway winner: Laura Mueller!
Laura, if you could contact me with your shipping info, I'll get your goodies posted in the mail. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Outfits of the Week: 4/14 to 4/15/15

Top: Banana Republic | Pants: Ralph Lauren | Shoes: Sam Edelman | Bag: Longchamp (similar) | Necklace: J Crew Factory

Top: Banana Republic Factory | Pants: Ann Taylor | Shoes: Rockport | Necklace: J Crew 

 I didn't realize until editing these photos that I'm essentially wearing the same outfit in both. A drapey printed top, crop pants, sandals, and a necklace. Why fix what isn't broken? You can't improve upon perfection? Or, just unimaginative as it gets towards the end of the semester? Yeah....I'm going with the latter.