Creating a capsule wardrobe.

When I hear the term “capsule wardrobe”, I immediately think of it as a “time capsule” wardrobe. Not in a weird way – I don’t imagine putting all of my clothes into a box and digging it up in fifty years. But there’s something about the idea of a “capsule” that makes it feel timeless. Like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly. Not so much ‘the trends’ -  just a classic, elegant style.

I’ll tell you that’s what I strive for – a ‘timeless, classic’ look – but what I’m not telling you is that I’ve been on a mad hunt over the past three weeks for one of those winter beanies with the fur pom. Or as I’ve been calling them “you know those hats with the fuzzy ball? Yea, I want one of those.” I don’t know if that look falls under “timeless” or “classic”, but I LIKE IT. Even though I'll be looking back at pictures with my grandchildren in fifty years and they will ask, “Why does your hat have a fuzzy ball hanging from it?”, and I’ll be like, “I don’t know. That was the style back then.” *Shrugs*

For the record, I couldn’t find one. The department stores swept those winter hats clean in January when they made room for their Spring collections. So, I’ll just have to stick with my regular, old, BORING, non-fuzzy-ball winter apparel until next year.

How to stop buying clothes you never wear.

I'm searching for a new purse, "for winter". A black chainlink cross-body purse, to be exact. I don't know what winter has to do with it - but I saw some girl in a movie wearing a grey peacoat with a black chainlink cross-body purse and big sunglasses, and I was like "That's it! THAT'S what I want to look like this winter!" 

I don't know where this comes from. I don't know why I see a random stranger in a made-for-tv movie and think that I have to change up my entire look for a season. It just happens. It happened with Peyton Sawyer on One Tree Hill when I suddenly decided I needed a leather jacket. It happened with Serena Van Der Woodsen on Gossip Girl when I decided that my "new style" should be "boho chic New Yorker-y". It's even happened with YouTubers. After watching two hours of Carly Cristman videos, I committed to only wearing neutral colors for a year. A WHOLE YEAR. 

My entire wardrobe has been decided by fictional characters and people that I've never met in real life. That's probably normal, right?

Shopping for Fall trends!

If I had to define my personal style, I would call it: "Target Women's Section".

Do you know what I mean? When you see a woman walking down the street and think to yourself, "She totally bought that at Target".  

Yea, that's me. I'm the woman. 2/3 of my closet is made up of the women's section from the store. (I mean, they're RIGHT THERE. In the front of the store. As soon as you walk in.)

Notice how the men's section is always squeezed into a back corner? But not the women's section. Oh, NO. Let's put that right next to the entrance, so that all of the women who think they're only coming in here for groceries and toilet paper will walk by and say, "Oh THAT'S cute.... well, I mean, while I'm in here... it doesn't hurt to LOOK at the clothes..."

Well, it DOESN'T hurt to look, right?

Spanx. They aren’t just for Moms.

I wouldn't say that I have "anxiety" about wearing Spanx (and honestly, no one SHOULD have anxiety about wearing a brand of sucky-in-y underwear - because that's essentially all they are) but I HAVE noticed that when I'm wearing a tight dress, along with - what is essentially a modern day girdle - I feel, a little.... well, anxious. Stiff. Uncomfortable. There's a tightness in my chest.../abdomen. 

I mean, most of that is the sucky-in-y part of the underwear that I paid $50 to literally wedge myself into so that I could look good in a dress for a few hours, but you know what I mean. I worry. The Spanx alter blood circulation to my brain (probably, I don't know.  You'd think they've got to be cutting off some circulation around my torso. Otherwise, are they even doing their job?) My inner fat girl that needed the Spanx in the first place starts sending paranoid, worried signals to my brain. 

"What if people can tell?" I think. "Can people tell that I'm wearing a girdle?" 

I honestly do not know how anyone would ever be able to "tell", unless they came over and lifted up my dress and said, "Hey I see you're wearing some funny underwear under there." And if someone ever does that to you, I can PROMISE you that the the highlight of that story will not be "I was wearing Spanx", it will be "A stranger lifted up my dress. It was weird."

How to make ANY outfit look good.

There were two things that I wanted to be as a high school freshman: a Varsity cheerleader, and the lead in the school play. As a quiet, mousy, afraid-to-even-raise-her-hand-in-class kind of kid, these seemed like totally normal things to want. I was too shy to ask a question during English class, but getting up in front of everyone during a basketball game and jumping around in a short skirt? That sounds GREAT! Sign me up. There was a guy I liked on the basketball team.

I mean, of course there were OTHER reasons I wanted to be a cheerleader - because it's a SPORT. And a healthy extracurricular. And a great opportunity to build life-long friendships with my other cheer... mates? Cheermates? Is that a word? Cheer friends?

Whatever. It was mostly about the guy. And everyone knows cheerleaders are hot.

So I dragged my friend to try-outs with me - you know, because I was too afraid to go alone - and together we learned all of the basic chants, stunts, cheers, I think there was a dance involved? The only thing I can remember is thinking how they made everything look so much easier in "Bring It On". I couldn't even do a cartwheel, let alone the front handspring-stepout, roundoff back handspring-stepout I had planned to blow everyone away. You know, if I practiced enough. How hard could it be? It's just, jumping around. On your hands.

I did the splits for my "stunt" portion during try-outs. That was one of the things - you had to do a "stunt": a cartwheel, a roundoff, a handspring, you could even do a forward roll if you weren't coordinated enough to do anything else. Which I wasn't. But I chose to do the splits, because I decided that a forward roll might be too dangerous for someone inexperienced like myself.

Also I thought the splits would be more impressive. Which they would have been - had I actually done them, instead of whatever I did. Because what I did was slide down about halfway to the ground, until my knees started to bend and my legs made this triangle shape with the floor, and I was like "Ta-da!"

How to take photos like a fashion blogger.

One of my biggest worries is that my boyfriend will one day see my Google Search history. It's not that I have a bunch of dirty Google secrets - I'm not hiding things from him, but I fear the day when I'll have to explain to him why I'm looking up weird stuff on the Internet like, "What kind of salads do the Kardashians eat?" or "How to get more followers on Instagram". You know. Personal things. Things between me and Google.

This almost happened last week when I was showing him a picture of a nature preserve where I thought we should go hiking. "Oh!" He said, "I should show you" (some forest preserve that had mountains and stuff) "Hang on, let me Google it", he said, still holding my phone.

Panic set in. "I'll do it!" I said, yanking the phone out of his hand. Like - straight up, grabbed it. Ninja style. Like he said he was about to scroll through my photo album and see all of my selfies and screenshots of inspirational quotes (this is my second biggest worry, by the way).

"Geeez..." He seemed a little confused. I have no idea why, especially since I was being TOTALLY NOT SUSPICIOUS AT ALL. "What don't you want me to see?" He asked.

"Nothing!" I realized by this point - you know, after the fact - that I was being super weird.Like, DEFINITELY-hiding-something weird. Great. He probably thinks I've been looking up porn. "I'm just excited to see the place you're talking about! What was it called?"

"I was going to look it up."

"I know! I just..." *Cricket* *Cricket* "What was it called?

The thing is, my boyfriend is the kind of boyfriend who would probably let me use Google on his phone. He wouldn't yank said phone out of my hand. Because he's not looking up weird things like "What really happened with Corinne and DeMario on Bachelor in Paradise?" and "Is Corinne coming back?"

But, really. What happened?

We bypassed the awkward moment - he knows me well enough by now to know that I was probably just looking up dumb stuff about the Kardashians and not 'how to smother your boyfriend in his sleep' - and gave me the name of the forest preserve to search. As soon as I typed the letter 'H' - sure enough, another embarrassing Google search came up: "How to take photos like a fashion blogger"

How to be a fashion blogger.

I don't know how to ask someone to take a picture of me "for my blog" without sounding like a... like a total... what's the mom-approved-PG word for douchebag? Because that's what I sound like. A pretentious douchebag. It's hard for me to take myself seriously when I'm saying, "Hey will you take a bloggy picture of me in front of this fountain?"... which is usually followed by, "What should I be doing? Should I, like, look off into the distance? Or, look over my shoulder? Should I smile? Is that weird? Smiling is weird, right?"

Sure. Smiling in a picture? Totes weird. Only serial killers and ax murderers do that.

Rarely is this magical moment complete without me asking, "Is it cute? Will you take another one? What should I do with my hands?" 

I never know what to do with my hands. And I alwaaaays ask if it's cute. Like the person behind the camera is ever going to tell me:  "I don't know, Jenn. You're twenty-seven years old and still pretending to be a model. Is THAT cute?"

It's not cute. In fact, the whole thing usually feels so awkward that I fidget for about five seconds in front of whatever fountain/brick wall/lake front/rooftop view I'm standing in front of and then ask, "Did you get it? Is it cute?"

Seriously. Like I'm Beyonce or something. "Did you get it? Are we done here?"