Grad Party Season (or really, any party season)

A few updates:

It's my birthday!! I'm 18!! A legal adult!!!! But that's beside the point. Here are a few other points of interest:

I'm officially a high school graduate!!!!

If you haven't noticed yet, a lot has happened in the past few days. So much that I need to sleep for 40+ hours to catch up with the sleep I've been missing. Why, you ask?

Grad parties. 21 of them in the span of four days. That's not me using some big number that seems quite impossible to exaggerate the amount of parties I went to. That number is real, an actual truth. I'm not sure if this is applicable to anyone who is not a high school graduate (or just someone who has a lot of friends or family who are recent high school graduates). Are there other "party seasons"? Do 20-somethings to 30-somethings get invited to all of their friends' weddings in the span of four days? I don't think so. Maybe a month, at the least? And do all of these happen in the summer? Because all of these factors do play into the idea of grad party season. Here are the conditions:
a) They take place in the summer. And outside (usually). So sweat and a hot sun will be involved.
b) There is unlimited free food. Kind of like weddings, but always buffet style, so sometimes you'll accidentally have nine meals in one day (one meal per party, right?)
c) People will be dressed nice in a casual way. Does that make sense? No cocktail dresses, but no shorts and t-shirts. Also, too many wedges.
d) You will be party-hopping all day if you plan on attending every single grad party you got an invite to. And people you've talked to only once will weirdly invite you to theirs so be prepared to either a) have extremely awkward conversations at said party or b) not attend them.

All these combine to make one sweaty, full (in the food sense), and exhausted mess. While wearing dresses. Why would anyone want to suffer through this? Well, free food, but it's also grad season so everyone is emotional about their friends (or even just acquaintances) going across the country or even out of the country to embark on their new journey of college. We're showing our support. But to get to my actual point: the hardest feat of this season is what to wear to these. Do we have to have a separate outfit for every party? If so, how is it physically possible to go to nine parties in one day and change between every party? Do I even own 21 nice outfits? Do I have to wear heels or wedges? No, it is definitely an impossible task, no, and no. You pick an outfit for each of the days you have to attend grad parties, which will probably span from one to five days, at the most. You can wear the same shoes every day, and they do not have to be wedges or heels. They could be flatforms, clogs, espadrilles, even sneakers. And you don't have to wear a traditional dress every day. Play with cuts, lengths, try a skirt, even add pants to the mix (in the romper/jumpsuit sense).

Dress by J. Crew. Clogs by Sandro Rosi (from Anthropologie). Choker by Asos (similar here). Sunglasses by Madewell.

The first day I attended four grad parties, starting from noon all the way to 10:00. I opted for a comfortable but unique route (am I still allowed to call off-the-shoulder pieces unique?) with this dress from J. Crew. I made the outfit more party-centric instead of fit for a day at the museum by exchanging the bandana choker with an actual chain choker and flat sandals for studded clogs. My sunglasses continued to either sit on the top of my head or over my eyes for the rest of the day because, as I said before, grad parties are usually outside. These, along with my clogs, stuck with me for the next two days. I also brought a little-makeup look all three days because, to be honest, I would sweat it all off anyways. I call this my "I still like to dress up for these parties but it's SUMMER so let me show off my shoulders not worry about a defined waist" look. Free food, remember?

A photo posted by Natalie Geisel (@fracturedaesthetic) on

Jumpsuit by Anthropologie

On day two I never officially documented the outfit but I posted a mirror selfie on Instagram and took some photos with my fellow graduate friends at one of the nine parties I attended (my Instagram caption says eight but it somehow became nine). Because I was at nine parties from 11 a.m. to, well, the next day (some last all night...), I wanted to go a practical route. No time to go home and change, and an extreme desire to sit on the rug of someone's living room because standing for hours in clogs is not my kind of fun. So a jumpsuit worked perfectly for this occasion. My one from Anthropologie that I wore a few weeks ago to fix the lazy girl's dilemma in fashion also fixed my dilemma of having to go to an insane number of parties. It was still formal enough for such occasions, and the thin fabric and cutouts on my back (it's like the designer knew I always sweat the most there) ensured that I would not combust into flames. I like to call this my "I think the '70s are still in" look, which is completely irrelevant to grad parties but it did create a conversation starter at each party I attended. A much needed factor considering that you're bound to be forced to talk to that one kid who sat next to you in AP stats for more than ten seconds at one of the parties.

Romper by Madewell.

On day three I was going off of two hours of sleep and had to prepare for my own grad party then continue to go to three other grad parties. Because of my zombie-esque mood (literally), I went for the simplest route of all -- a romper. Kind of like a jumpsuit, but my legs are now exposed so they can breathe and it's just like wearing shorts but nicer and easier. What's not to love? I chose one with ruffled sleeves and polka dots to end my grad party season with a bang and because SUMMER (a valid excuse for any outfit worn from May to August). I then wore this to my last party of the season, which happened to be black&white themed, which I didn't even plan for until I was on my way to said party. And then I came home, exhausted, full of chocolate from that chocolate fountain at the last party, but proud of the amazing feat I accomplished -- being able to keep up with my personal style while attending 21 parties. 

Day one photos taken by my sister, Kendall. Day two photos taken by either me or the photographer at party. Day three photos taken by me (with the self-timer/tripod photo station I set up at my party).


A Guide to the Festival

Long time no see! I've been too busy being a festival girl. I hate calling myself that, but as Urban Dictionary describes it, I'm "a girl you see at music festivals who is pretty-much perfect, has the same exact music taste as you, and probably has short blond hair and a nice dress, and a backpack." Maybe I'm not perfect, but I do know I have short blond hair and am probably wearing a dress and a backpack. I'm also that girl who snuck ten applesauce containers into that festival because the food there is so expensive and who waited all day at the same stage to be front row for Florence + the Machine. Yes, this is my cool intro to lead me into the fact that yes, I was at a festival this past weekend.

Which one, you may ask? Coachella? You're about a month off on that one. It's one with a third of the celebrities/fashion but triple the music quality (no offense, Coachella). Shaky Knees Music Festival. You may remember me briefly talking about it last year, when I saw my two favorite bands in the span of two days. I also went the year before that, meaning I've been to three of the four years this festival has been open. I should be their official spokesperson because I talk so highly of them. Yes, Shaky Knees will have my heart, but this post is meant for all festivals. It's an official guide to the festival (adding "the" makes it so much more frightening). And you should be scared. It's a lot of work to be festival ready, but at the end of the day, know that being festival ready, as Urban Dictionary says, is simply a goal, not a physical state of mind. It will never truly happen, and this is another key to tackling the festival. Are you still listening?

Overalls by Calvin Klein. Bralette by Aerie. Shoes by Adidas. Hat by Brandy Melville

Sunglasses by Madewell

First things first, I worried about fashion. Obviously. I'm a fashion blogger, remember? Is calling myself that the same as saying Voldemort out loud in public? And no, you don't have to be 100% on your fashion game at a festival. You're there for the music and experience, not for the looks (except looking good at a festival totally means your festival ready, but remember, that state is nearly impossible). I was striving to accomplish this goal, so I slipped on a pair of Calvin Klein overalls over a lace bralette because it was HOT but also because who doesn't love overalls? I also wore my Adidas all three days to combat the foot pain most people get at festivals and my cap from Brandy Melville for those ~festival looks~ (but really to protect my face from the blaring sun). You're only doing a festival right if you're practical about most things -- my overalls had five pockets to carry festival necessities (like my phone and sunglasses), and I also brought my Kavu to carry larger items (water, my camera, my wallet, etc) and to sneak in several apples and packs of apple sauce. Why all of the apple products? I'm still not really sure. And you may be wondering what the hell is tied around my bag strap, and those are t-shirts I bought at the merch booth. It's called using your resources.

The day after I wore a cropped tank with denim shorts (I told you I was going to make them work for a festival) then a slip dress on the last day. I didn't document these because I was too busy waiting at stages to see The Decemberists or Florence + The Machine, but one outfit should create my point. 

And my last thought on fashion: don't wear too much. Do not over-accessorize (Alessandro Michele would be sad, I know). And BE SMART. Yes, those cropped flares paired with that over-the-shoulder top look fabulous on you but you won't be feeling so fabulous when your legs feel like a million degrees and your top falls over your shoulders too much (if you know what I mean) because you're too busy dancing at that one set.

                          Florence + The Machine, from 5/15/16

                                                                                                                 The Decemberists, from 5/14/16

                Shakey Graves, from 5/14/16

                                                                                                              The Head and the Heart, from 5/15/16

Next up, and most importantly (hopefully) is the music. It's a music festival, so of course this is the number one priority. Go to festivals where you know you love at least a few of the bands, but if you're unable to make it to all of the sets you'd love to see, don't stress. I had to miss Foals this year because they were playing at the same time as The Decemberists, and last year I had to miss Manchester Orchestra. It feels like the end of the world (first world problems?), but when you're able to see five sets a day over that one band you sort of like, it makes everything better. To make yourself 96% festival ready, make a game plan with all of the sets. Know that seeing this band front row would change your life (Florence + The Machine), and seeing this other band 100 feet away from the stage would still change your life (My Morning Jacket). Work around this, and your festival dreams will come true. Waiting all day at the same stage ensured me that I could actually touch Florence Welch's Gucci dress (yes, this happened, and she also touched me and sang into my eyes. No big deal.), and sprinting from The Decemberists to My Morning Jacket allowed me to jam out with cool 30-somethings to Jim James's rocking set. And lastly, enjoy yourself. Everyone you see will be worth it if you make them worth your while. Seeing a satanic metal band by the name of Ghost was frighteningly amazing because I let myself enjoy a band covered in skeleton makeup and silver devil masks (click here if you don't believe me). 

Then I could tell you how to truly experience a festival, but that's not my place. Experience one as you wish. I will tell you that eating five King of Pops popsicles a day is completely okay, and playing Heads Up with 20 strangers while waiting for Florence to come on stage is the best way to take up that seems-like-forever hour. But it's really how you make it. And festivals shouldn't be some scary entity where you're constantly afraid you won't make it to this one set or that you have terrible pit stains. Shaky Knees made sure its festival-goers wouldn't have this mindset, and maybe that's why I keep coming back. Happy knee shaking, everyone. 

All photos shot by me, except for the photos of me, which were shot by either Kendall (left in 4th image) or Katie (5th image).


Basquiat Bash

Graduation is HERE!

No, it's in two weeks. But in senior year terms, it's practically tomorrow.

Some would say that your senior graduation is symbolic of the next steps ahead of you, your future, your career (that word alone is already scaring me). But as a senior, I like to push all those icky topics to when college actually starts. I still have the summer. And what does summer mean? Well, excessive sweat and an extremely lazy mentality, but also freedom, lack of responsibility (in the good sense), and a carefree mentality. That's more like it.

And to celebrate this carefree mentality (no more having to write three essays in under two hours!!!), I dressed like it and also attended the Basquiat Bash at the High Museum, which is just a fancy term for attending the new exhibit of Jean-Michel Basquiat's work.

Dress by J. Crew. Sandals by Topshop (or try these). Bandana is my mom's (please don't spend $15 on one at Urban Outfitters. I promise you will find one somewhere)

Usually when I go to the High Museum (like this time and that other time), I do my best to to look like an artist -- wear the most unconventional items that scream individuality. Corduroy and Adidas? A graphic dress paired with a turtleneck and patterned tights? Now I decided to do the opposite because, well, it's basically summer and your look has to look ~effortless~ to celebrate all your freedom.

Does that make sense? More freedom, less effort.

So you could go the lazy route and just wear a really complex jumpsuit or dress, or you can go the even lazier route -- an over the shoulder dress with sandals and a bandana-choker. While many people are going back to the maximalism philosophy in fashion, I'm going back to minimalism because a) it makes me look très cool or b) it's easy.

The beauty of over-the-shoulder tops/dresses is the simplicity -- shifting those sleeves over your collarbone makes any dull piece look like it came straight out of a famous blogger's Instagram. It's the unconventional nature of the shape that gives it the effervescent style (is this situational irony?). I mean, the straps of your dress are practically falling down your shoulders, of course you'll look set for summer. And then to maybe make your look not fit for a day on the beach, add a choker, like a chain one or a homemade bandana one. That accessory will add a finishing touch to the outfit but also draw people's eyes to your gorgeous collarbones, and that's the whole point of the dress -- to show off what you've got.

It felt fitting to wear something like this to an event for Basquiat because this artist is different, unconventional, and ahead of his time. What I wore was exactly this, for me at least (maybe not ahead of my time, weren't bardot dresses from the '90s?). Basquiat created pieces that were out-there but seemed to resonate with the population, and I'd say that these dresses do the exact same. A trend that seems to be worn by nearly everyone who is ahead in fashion, yet the style is almost, well, strange. But even better, Basquiat and the dress share a lack of structure/sophistication (and that's a compliment in this situation). You'll understand my point when you look at some of his work below, but the idea is to commend our independence, our newfound lack of routine, and the fact that we're not restrained by the public school system anymore (or if this isn't your case, at least you get summer). And we're graduating in two weeks. It's about time to just not care.

All art documentation photos shot by me. All photos of me shot by Kendall.
To all my Atlanta readers -- the Basquiat exhibit will be closed on May 29th, make sure you check it out before it leaves!


The Lazy Girl's Guide to Fashion

About a week ago, I was driving through my neighborhood to get home after school and I noticed something was missing. The flowers were gone. Vanished. Poof. Is it summer already? Please tell me it's not summer yet

It's only the beginning of May. Why were the flowers replaced with bright green leaves that only scream 90 degrees of misery? 

This sad transition unfortunately informed me that yes, summer is coming. And with summer comes heat and laziness and procrastination (and an excess amount of sweat) in all aspects. Yes, that also includes fashion. 

A few weeks ago I brought up the point that the less is more theory is, in fact, not a myth. I wore a minimal amount of added clothing to prove a point, but now I'm doing the same only because I'm actually that lazy. The fashion version of senioritis (which, once again, is not a myth) is finally inflicting me.

I'm wearing this really cool Anthropologie jumpsuit that I would have never worn a year ago when I was first introduced to jumpsuits. A cropped flare jumpsuit with a complex pattern that looks like it came straight out of Jackie Burkhart's closet or a worse alternative, off of John Travolta circa Saturday Night Fever? I would never. Well, now I am. The '70s are kind of gone but this jumpsuit doesn't agree, so I guess they're sticking with me for a while longer. And best of all, this oddly unique piece created my entire outfit. In under two minutes, actually. One minute was reserved for attempting to tie the bow on the back of the jumpsuit (that hasn't been shown yet) with only the help of my hands. 

The heat outside makes it really difficult to keep up with your personal style (I'd rather not wear sundresses every single day), but this magical jumpsuit works with both the heat and personal style factor. It reveals a bit of skin in the back to a) follow that trendy cut-out style and b) to give your usually sweaty back some breeze. And I'd say that the cropped flares exist just to fit in with the trend but actually they freed my legs from the confinements of high temperatures. Basically, this jumpsuit has everything. Pockets included.

My former self used to believe that basics are all you need to thrive in fashion and it just depends on how you use them in unique ways, but when it's humid and 87 degrees and you feel tiny droplets of sweat streaming down your back and thighs you can't just keep working with multiple layers because it's just that hot. This is your chance to save up and buy new investment pieces. Not items that you can wear in 5,297 different ways (except how great would that be?!), but pieces that are out-there. Maybe you can only wear them once every two months but it's reassuring to know those items exist in your closet, because they can save you when your seasonal disease of lazy kicks in, you have a backup plan that does not consist of Nike running shorts. Get a few things -- a jumpsuit (not from the simple category), a dress that is more than a simple shift one (like this, maybe?), a skirt with varying dimensions like this. Wear these alone or with simplistic items that require no effort (a white t-shirt with that Zara skirt, maybe?) to get that put-together look with a lazy girl attitude. The best part is this: no one can see past the insanely cool item to see your true, indolent motives.

Jumpsuit by Anthropologie. Bomber by Brandy Melville (other satin bomber here). Shoes by Topshop (or try these).