F2014 2: Happy Halloween!

F14 - 3 (Happy Halloween)

Happy Halloween, everybody! This is one of my most favorite holidays, and I'm eagerly looking forward to embracing a variety of characters -- in rehearsal and beyond! Not to mention admiring the parade of cute kids, lighting jack-o-lanterns, and eating candy like it's going out of style.

As for costumes, Carrie and Miranda present a good point (above): I can't count the amount of times I've not-so-creatively fallen back on the old witch and kitten classics (read: female stereotypes.) Still, there's something great about these steadfast standbys. So, instead of going for a witchy costume this year, I'm decided to send the inspiration toward my daytime outfit!

Even though it's essentially my job to pretend I'm someone else, I still feel silly donning an actual Halloween costume to work. To keep in the spirit, I focused on subtler witchy details, as you see above. Black heeled boots + black stockings + a classic dress + blood red nails = Insta-Witch! If kitten's more your style, try a black sheath dress + leopard print heels + bold cat-eye liner. Trick-or-treat!

For more Halloween tips & tricks, check out these posts: 1 2 3 4


F2014 1: Making Accents Pop

F14 - 1 (Leopard Luxe)

Inspiration Image Source

Here's an approximation of the first outfit I created from my fall capsule. As mentioned in my last post, the items here are not identical to my own peices (The ring above is worth about $5000, and I only wish I owned a pair of Frye boots.) However, they do reflect the styles and/or colors of the actual items in my wardrobe this season, and therefore serve as adequate representation.

While this adorable inspiration photo was discovered after the fact, the outfit relation seems obvious now. My own polka dot dress is cream with black spots instead of beige, so I looked even more leopard-like in person!

What I love about this look is the colorful pop of the tights against an otherwise neutral outfit. Bottom-half accessories like tights and socks are a great way to incorporate your accent tones -- especially those which threaten to overwhelm your complexion. Wine is actually quite a nice color on me, but if I ever decide to play with neons or pastels, you can bet they'll be introduced this way first!

A final note on how to bring it all together: match your jacket to your shoes! Book-ending your outfit in this way provides a frame for your prominent tones (beige and burgundy, in this case), and lends a polished air to even the most casual look.


Fall Capsule Wardrobe 2014

Fall 2014 Capsule Wardrobe

Today I'm very pleased to present my Fall Capsule Wardrobe!

While it's technically been in cycle since late September, I've been fine-tuning and adding final touches over the past month or so. As I have neither the time nor the camera skills to photograph my actual clothing, I used Polyvore to create an approximation of the full wardrobe. What you see above is more or less what I’ll be working with through November.

Recalling the lessons learned from my summer capsule project, I tried to be more particular during the planning process, especially with my color scheme. Like most sensible shoppers, I recognize the value of neutrals and tend to shy away from color. Sooner or later, though, a more whimsical side of me takes hold, and I wind up impulse-buying a Skittles-rainbow of colorful items that won't work with each other -- and sometimes not with the neutrals either!

Here, I’ve broken down my wardrobe by color type: mains on the left, then neutrals, and accents on the right. Since I'm always in the midst of a love affair with the color black, I invited that shade into my main color category, but I also added some grays for a casual, less severe alternative. Wine and chocolate, two of my favorite shades (and indulgences!), round out the main color category. For neutrals, I chose three trusty favorites: navy, cream, and cognac. The sophisticated academic vibe of this color trio perfectly complements my professorial inspirsessions. The creams and cognacs also serve to contrast the darker mains. Finally, my accent tones are still a bit of a rainbow, but their tones are in harmony enough to mix and match.

In the coming weeks, I'll show you a variety of outfits that can be created from this capsule, in addition to styling tips and tricks acquired along the way. I hope you find them useful as you learn to mix and match your own pieces!


All Ears

Guys, I've put myself in the proverbial doghouse today. I had high hopes for blogging this month, but rehearsals for Horse Girls have completely (and gloriously) taken over my life! While I'm overjoyed to be channeling my energy into such an amazing project, I'm sorry that my writing, styling, and general inspirsessing has taken a backseat lately.

As I was allowing myself to stress over this fact, however, it occurred to me that posting photos and blurbs for the mere sake of consistency and viewership is not really what I want to be doing here. It isn't the reason I started this blog, nor is the kind of writer I want to be.

With so much information flow in our day-to-day, do we really more daily updates, even from our friends? More descriptions of our hectic days? More pictures of our perfect outfit or the perfect meal we just ate? More "look at me" moments? In the past week I skimmed approximately 35 posts from the various fashion & lifestyle blogs I follow, and maybe four of them stood out to me as inspirational, unique, or applicable to my life.

There's an obvious solution here: follow less. Unplug. Get out of the kitchen, as it were. But there's also a less obvious, secondary solution: generate less. While I'll readily admit to envying the creativity, self-motivation, and energy of the blogging world in general, sometimes I wish everyone would take a step back to think, reflect, and listen.

I'm not trying to let myself off the hook here -- I really would like to get back on board with my outfit posts, especially now that fall is (sort of?) finally upon us. But this silence has given me time to ponder several things...

    1) In denim world, where is the sweet spot on the axis of cost vs. quality? (I'm looking at you, designer jeans...)

    2) How can you be sure your style matches your true self?

    3) Might friendship bracelets single-handedly be brought back by this one zealous actress?

    4) Could psychoanalysis and fashion blend in a helix of perfect harmony -- one that does *not* involve so-called "retail therapy"?

    5) WHAT am I going to be for Halloween?

And so on.

My point is, there are still blog-related thoughts swirling in my head. In the quickly-diminishing spare moments of my day, I am thinking constantly about fashion and identity and my own sense of self & purpose. I'm realizing that, like theater, writing and fashion can't reach their full potential until they're experienced by someone beyond their creator. But I'm also realizing that, like a wardrobe, information worth sharing with the world takes time to cull.

If you're reading this now, whether you come here often or this is your first experience of Inspirsession, I welcome your voice/thoughts/opinions. What questions are you asking yourself about style, identity, or life in general? What problems can we work together to solve? What inspires you on a daily basis, and what turns you off? Let me know in the comment section or in a personal message or in person.

I'm listening.


Pumpkin Hunt

This weekend sparked the first stirrings of Halloween spirit in me. Saturday evening was spent kicking back with a few friends, lots of candy corn, House on Haunted Hill, and Evil Dead II. We carved pumpkins as we screamed and laughed through the films, and the next morning I roasted pumpkin seeds and made tissue ghosts to hang in our doorway.

I'm getting my spooks and chills on while I can, since these upcoming months promise a life of semi-permanent theatre vampiredom.

While it's been ages since I've visited a proper pumpkin patch, I must admit that our daytime journey to Dr. Maze's Farm in Redmond failed to live up to my childhood memories. In eastern Washington, farms are abound with endless orchards; apple and peach-picking goes hand-in-hand with choosing out your pumpkin. There are hayrides through the hills and enormous corn mazes. There is livestock and live music, homemade pies and wheat fields for days.

The Puget Sound, on the other hand, decided to grace us with the hottest weather we've had all week, bathing this randomly rural patch in blinding late-afternoon sunlight. My comrades and I, who'd donned sweaters, fleeces, and boots in (perhaps overly optimistic) autumn spirit, found ourselves boiling in the heat. By the time we broke for kettle corn, I'd shed down to my camisole and J had turned his pullover into something like a turban. A bit of a motley crew for harvest season.

Speaking of motley, the farm itself was... curious. The pumpkin patch, while fairly sizable, sat just a few yards from the parking lot. The corn/sunflower maze looked patchy and droopy in the hot sun. My hay ride reveries were quickly obscured by the suburban reality: a tractor which pulled a large covered trailer behind it on a loop around the patch and surrounding area, only to return about 10 minutes later. Not exactly a romantic adventure through the countryside.

Expectations aside, the day served its purpose: we had some good, old-fashioned harvest time fun and procured some beautiful pumpkins. Happy October, everybody!



Here is Adam Levine with a puppy:

Image Source

You're welcome.


Fashion Revamp: The Breakfast Club

Guys, it's happened! Autumn is totally, officially here. How do I know? I lost circulation in my fingers at work today. (It's the little things...) Other little causes for seasonal celebration: wearing my favorite trench coat, pulling sweaters from storage, sifting through soup recipes, molasses cookies and hot coffee with the beau, listening to rainfall before bed, excusing myself from the gym because it's "too dark" to walk there, falling in love with each and every shade of leaf on my commute home... This is truly the season of all seasons. I don't know how anyone could possibly dislike fall.

While I've been soaking up all the autumn glory I can, it still seems like September just flew by. I'm a little sorry to have missed the back-to-school flurry that brings the collegiate fashions out of the woodwork every year. This is where I'm truly in my element. Blazers, tailored pants, tartans, pleated skirts, ribbons, sweater vests, knee-high socks, oxfords, collared blouses, tweeds... I've always been a bit obsessed with the English prep school vibe. That said, there's one (American) film that stands out in my mind as THE DEFINING back-to-school movie: The Breakfast Club.

My original idea was to recreate each character's look in an outfit post series. Unfortunately though, being in the thick of streamlining my capsule wardrobe doesn't exactly lend itself to a wide variety of character options. So I challenged myself in a different way: Using items from current fall collections, I revamped the look of each character with a more modern edge. I tried to stay within the bounds of each student's vibe (similar colors, silhouettes, and fabrics), though I did gender-swap the boys. Hopefully it will illustrate how you can translate your own inspiressesions into modern realities!

character looks were created entirely 
from the following brands:

The Criminal // Bender: All Saints
The Basket Case // Allison: Rag & Bone
The Athlete // Andrew: Converse
The Princess // Claire: Zara
The Brain // Brian: Tommy Hilfiger