Summer in December?

I'm finally back from my dreadful hiatus and the-opposite-of-dreadful vacation. BVI was a nice break from reality, and I would say a nice break from the cold, but there was no cold to break from. It's practically December tomorrow, and it's still the mid-60s everyday. If I was living in San Francisco, I would be used to this constant temperature, but I live on the East Coast where seasons actually exist. And I, unlike most, love the cold (my longtime readers should already know that by now). The only thing that stopped me from staying on that boat in the middle of the Caribbean was the fact that I would be returning to winter in my hometown. Nope. I guess the Fashion Gods hate me. And I use the term "Fashion Gods" in this scenario because I had planned so many cold-weather outfits for this week when I was sailing in the Atlantic. Layering with turtlenecks, layering with tights and thigh-highs, layering with dresses and sweaters, basically every possible way to layer -- it's impossible with this weather. But I told myself that I can't let this awkward weather bring me down, I already have enough stress in my life right now. So I thought, to hell with the weather, flannel is still completely acceptable. It's practically winter. Wearing summer brights and mini skirts is not on my list of outfits until next April. Flannel will do, but how?

Duh. A dress. It seems like the obvious, but it really worked today to keep my winter fashion up to date with the sticky weather. Shirt-dresses have been a thing for years now, and many stores are catching up and combining the beloved flannel shirt and dress into one. Madewell has a few, ASOS is filled with various styles, and practically every women's fashion store that I approve of probably has a product of the sort. (side note: Cyber Monday is coming in full swing this year, including 30% everything from ASOS, half off selected items at Topshop, 25% off everything at Madewell, a complicated but worth-it discount at Urban Outfitters, and the list keeps getting better. I'd use these deals to get your winter necessities, even if it includes a warm-weather flannel shirtdress). The one I wore today is from Madewell, and I had bought it thinking I would be pairing it with tights, a leather jacket, and possibly a scarf for the winter. Maybe that outfit will appear if the temperature ever drops below 50, but the dress also proved to work well in warmer climates. The thin and structured material was just enough to keep me comfortable with a slight breeze, and the dress still screams winter (a neutral flannel dress could never be worn in the spring). I even wore my darkest shade of lipstick to intensify the winter look, but the dress could have worked the cold-weather theme alone. Although I was disheartened to see that I couldn't wear any turtlenecks this week, which are still sitting sadly in the bottom of my dresser, I proved the weather wrong with this flannel dress. Take that, Fashion Gods.

Dress by Madewell. Shoes by Doc Marten.
Photos taken by me, of course.


Blogger Inspo

As a fashion blogger who has had her blog for almost a year (the anniversary is coming in about three weeks!!), it is my goal to make all of my posts completely original. That's also how I am as a photographer, and as a writer, and even when I put together my outfit for the day. I want to be original. I think everyone strives for that, but sometimes, it's impossible to say that there is no inspiration that led to the artwork, the writing, the post, or the outfit. Throughout the months with this blog, I've learned to become more original because I learned the gist of how to be a blogger. With new things, everyone has to use someone for inspiration to know where to start. But once you get the hang of these new things, new posts, new art, new writing, new etcetera all comes from your own creativity and originality. I depended on it for a while, but now, after (almost) a year, it's gotten to the point where I have occasionally run out of ideas. I spend a lot of my time researching fashion related things, like watching runway shows and reading articles from Nylon and Vogue, and this also includes discovering those fashion bloggers who have made it pretty big in the fashion and online world. A few months ago, this was Margaret Zhang, the one who runs Shine By Three, and through her, I realized I needed to broaden my topics to things other than fashion to gain more interest from readers (and myself). This next one is completely different, but she has been invited to practically every show in all of fashion month this year, and she's a name that people who don't even involve themselves with fashion know.

Leandra Medine. Wait, let me start that over. Man Repeller. That's better.

The first name is a little less unknown than the latter. And that makes all of the sense -- successful bloggers have a known brand, and their true identity may be only known by its longtime fans. Nonetheless, her quirky attitude and style, along with her humorous and even sarcastic tone, attracted millions of people. I may even call her one of the biggest independent fashion bloggers out there. And how did she make it this far? The fashion blogging world is a tough one, yet she was able to stand out and make it her serious career.

That's the thing -- she's different. Even when it comes to her oddly put together outfits (which I think are magnificent), she's able to put herself on top by being unique, maybe even shocking. And she's definitely not afraid of what people think of her. Her words ooze this fun, yet artfully careless attitude that makes me want to read every single article on her blog, and that would take ages. Her usually short but effective posts make me, and probably hundreds of others, want to be just like her. In every sense of the word. And I guess that's why she's so important in fashion right now -- she's refreshing. We need someone we can look up to when we want to throw stuff together (with artistic intentions) and call it fashion. 

Her cool and (probably) charismatic personality show through her writing, and a post from her about turtlenecks is bound to make me laugh (see here). I laugh in an intellectual and witty way, however, because she somehow knows how to appeal to an audience that makes fashion more than buying expensive brands. She knows exactly how to throw in a properly timed joke, how to skillfully place a few racy comments in a post about fashion, and finally, how to relate to us. Her brand name says it all. Why would a fashion blog be titled man repeller? How does that even make sense? Well, she explains it by defining it as "she who outfits herself in a sartorially offensive mode that may result in repelling members of the opposite sex. Such garments include but are not limited to harem pantsboyfriend jeansoverallsshoulder pads, full length jumpsuits, jewelry that resembles violent weaponry and clogs." These few sentences explain how brilliant of a blogger she is because nearly every woman should immediately want to read more of her posts by just reading that definition. She's relatable, in the coolest and most intimidating way ever. Basically, she wants to shock others by her unconventional ways of fashion, and that sounds like the perfect way to live life, at least in my opinion.