A Simple Style | Shopping For Home Decor.

I dragged Kyle into the bookstore the other day to “get books for our bookshelf”. 

We have a bookshelf in our living room that I’ve recently gained the opportunity to re-decorate. And when I say “recently gained the opportunity”, I mean “one of my plants died and it’s thrown the entire shelf out of whack and now I have all of this space to fill where my dead plant used to be.” 

I guess if you gain nothing else from this post – there’s a lesson in what happens when you don’t water your plants. 

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How to Shop Your Own Closet.

I was inspired to write this post because I *didn’t* buy a jacket. 

Back story – I have fifteen thousand jackets at home. Probably. I haven’t counted, but I know that when I open up our “coat closet” (also doubles as our laundry/shoe/vacuum/Swiffer closet) most of the coats that I see in there are mine. Maybe three of them are Kyle’s. And one of those I bought for him. 

This post could have just as easily been titled “Confessions of a Shopaholic” or “How to be a Crazy Coat Lady” – but honestly, that’s a little embarrassing and – based solely on my experience today – I am clearly turning a corner outside of my consumerism mindset. 

Exhibit A: I did not buy a jacket. I *almost* did. But then, I didn’t! Yay! (Isn’t this a great story so far?) 

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That time I almost worked for a fashion company in New York.

Contrary to popular belief – working in the fashion industry was never really my “dream”. People always assumed it was because A) I wanted to move to New York City, and B) I liked to go shopping.

That’s it. There was also a brief stint during my childhood when I begged my parents to let me pursue a career in modeling because the lady at the mall from the Barbizon Modeling School told me that I could. For a fee. But she thought I had a real “look”, so the $750 application fee would be totally worth it.

To this day, I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I’d just gone to the Barbizon Modeling School. Maybe that lady WASN’T just trying to scam me as a poor, unsuspecting eighth grader with low self-esteem, maybe I really did have “the look” – if that look was ‘glasses and frizzy hair’. Instead my parents got hung up on that measly $750 application fee. Even though I was like, “The lady said it’s TOTALLY worth it! I have THE LOOK.” And my parents were like, “uh…” and I was like “The Barbizon lady said that! And she knows what she’s talking about, SHE WORKS THERE.” 

Right. She works there. So, she said it because it’s TRUE. Not because she’s trying to scam my family out of nearly $1,000. She wouldn’t do that, she was so nice.

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Out and about!

Full disclaimer: I am not a photographer. Sure, I take a lot of pictures – but that’s essentially all I am: a picture-taker. When purchasing a new camera, photographers are people who consider things like shutter speed, lens selection, aperture, and various camera-words-that-I-don’t-know-because-I’m-not-a-photographer. Meanwhile, in the other camp, a “picture-taker” will pick out a camera based on… “I don’t know, is it easy to use? Is it heavy? Do I have to know stuff about cameras to be able to use it? Will it take better pictures than my iPhone?”

These are all real questions that I asked when searching for a new camera.

Photographers don’t like picture-takers (I’m just guessing). At least they don’t like the picture-takers who like to call themselves photographers. (Again, I’m just guessing.) I feel like if I had taken a lot of time and practice to hone my craft, I’d be pretty annoyed with the person who shows up with an iPhone and an Instagram account and refers to themselves as a “photographer”. Congratulations, you officially have as much photography experience as Chrissy Teigen (who, for all I know, could actually be a very skilled photographer.)

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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.”

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Vintage fashion debunked.

Is “debunked” the right word? I don’t know. I used to think that I looooved vintage fashion. The idea of a string of pearls sitting around in a jewelry box that’s been passed down since the Titanic? Maybe it belonged to Rose De… Dewitt? Google says “Dewitt-Bukater”, but I’m just going to call her Rose Dawson because we all know she should have scooted over and let Jack climb up on top of that door with her. He didn’t have to freeze to death. It’s not always all about you, Rose, people are dying.

But the pearls. Let’s get back to the pearls. Did she have pearls? Oh, wait – no, she had that gaudy necklace that she chucked it into the ocean at the end of the movie. Way to be a hero, Rose. People have been looking for that.

But when you say something is “vintage” – that’s what people imagine. That’s why they say “ooh… ahh…”, because they’re envisioning something that somebody wore back in the day. It’s a romantic idea that something has been around longer than, you know, a Forever 21 t-shirt that you ripped and threw away after one wash. It tells a story. It’s been around the block. It’s seen some stuff.

When I was in high school, one of the girls came to school one day wearing dangly paperclip earrings. Like, dangly earrings, made of paperclips. Tiny paperclips clasped together dangling from her ears. And when everyone said, “Oh! Those are… different!” – she told us that she found them in her grandmother’s jewelry box and that they were “vintage”.

Vintage paper clip earrings. From Grandma’s jewelry box. Like Grandma was a true fashion pioneer back in the 40s who just strung a bunch of paper clips together and then said, “Yea, I’m gonna keep these. Let me just put these in the jewelry box next to my pearls.” 


Did they even have paper clips back in the 40s? When did they start making paper clips? Were people even writing on paper back then, or was it all parchment and quill pens?

Okay, I guess it’s the 1940s, not the 1800s. You shouldn’t come here expecting a history lesson. We’re here to talk about clothes and stuff.

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BOYFRIEND JEANS: NOT YOUR BOYFRIEND’S JEANS.

I used to think that if I wore “boyfriend” jeans, people might think that I actually had a boyfriend. Isn’t that why they call them boyfriend jeans? Because maybe your boyfriend left them at your house and – instead of putting on your OWN jeans that morning (you know, the ones designed for your female body type that actually fit) – you were like, “Oh, maybe I’ll just wear my BOYFRIEND jeans”.

Because that makes sense. Why wear your own clothes when you can wear your boyfriend’s clothes that were wadded up in a ball on your bedroom floor?

At least that was how I’d always imagined it. Like Boyfriend spent the night, and we woke up together and maybe I left the house before he did – you know, for bagels or something – and I just slipped on his jeans because they looked soo comfy. And because I wanted the world to know that I had a boyfriend, and that maybe he was still at my place, and that maybe he wasn’t wearing pants.

This doesn’t make sense for a few reasons:

1) It’s weird. Why am I stealing his jeans? Why wouldn’t I just steal his sweatshirt like a normal girlfriend?

2) If I wanted to be “comfy”, why wouldn’t I throw on sweatpants? Even if they were “Boyfriend’s” sweatpants? Sweatpants are exponentially more comfy than any form of jeans that have ever existed, even men’s jeans that are baggy and have extra room in the crotch area.

3) Men’s jeans are baggy and have extra room in the crotch area.

Seriously. Even if Boyfriend and I were the same size – and I’m going to level with you here, boyfriends and I have never been the same size – his jeans would not be comfortable. Jeans are not soft and blanket-y like over-sized sweatpants. They’re made of denim. You’re wearing baggy denim. How many times have you said to yourself, “Gee. I can’t wait to go home and throw on my baggy denim sweatpants…”…. oh, right. Never.

Because that’s not a thing.

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