Style inspiration: Heathers (1988) starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater. Full post here!
I cannot tell you how excited I was when I learned of True&Co‘s existence. I’d been reading about the company and how it’s been in the works for a long time on the blog Blushing Ambition by the darling Annabel. I thought it would be just your average middle-end boutique that sells nice sleepwear and pretty undergarments. Boy was I wrong. Everyone and their mother, literally, needs. this. website.
Let’s talk breasts. Mine are small. I have struggled since puberty to find the right bra for me. Believe it or not, I’ve worn the same size bra since I started wearing them. It’s a tiny size. Victoria’s Secret doesn’t even carry it in their stores. Even on the off-chance I do find my size, in Vicky’s mind, all A-cups must wish desperately they were DDs. I like my small breasts, I really really do.
So, for the last few years I’ve been ordering 3-10 different bras from online vendors like Asos, trying them all on, and sending 9-10 of the ill-fitting, overly-padded ones back, then repeating the cycle. But not anymore. Thanks to True&Co’s delightfully positive questionnaire that narrows down your best bra size based on your favorite bra’s fit, your dress size, and a few other factors, I have fallen in love with lingerie shopping once again.
Sign up with your email and the site catalogues your information for future purchases and stocks your personal shop with bras tailored to your needs. The big twist on conventional underwear shopping? For a $45 deposit, True&Co will send five different bras (three picked by you from your special shop, two recommended by True&Co especially for you) directly to your house for you to try on. If you don’t like any, send them all back for free. They return your deposit and you can go on searching for that perfect fit. If any of them do tickle your fancy, great! Keep the best ones, send the rest back. Obviously you have to pay for them but the shipping is free!
Check out my True&Co. Gift Guide ripe with recommendations for your sister/girlfriend/gal pal/mom (?).
Another huge bonus: they have an impeccably edited sleepwear shop as well. Whether for sleep, play, snuggling, or the holidays, they’ve got your lounge time covered with a great selection of labels that truly fit every budget.
Something I’ve been rather awkwardly stumbling across ever since coming home from school is that flustered run-in with that semi-good acquaintance from high school. I always end up being in a state of disarray during these instances.
But when that semi-good acquaintance asks you to coffee or brunch and you exchange your new numbers in all that “I haven’t seen you in a while” niceness, keep in mind these tips for your next meeting. This way, you’ll be sure to keep up that “I was moderately well dressed when you knew me last, a time when I was relying on my mother’s pocketbook for all my fashion needs but can still maintain that look even though I am less than penniless at the moment,” appearance.
That’s right, an impressive edition of $100 or Less perfectly suited for Brunch with the Gals.
And now for the breakdown:
Black Diamante Rose Stud Earrings via River Island – $5.00
Amity Bow Kitten Heels in Rust via Shop Ruche – $34.99
Porch Swing Dance Skirt via Modcloth – $35.00
BDG Printed Sheer V-Neck via Urban Outfitters – $9.99
Grand Total: $94.98
At this rate, you’ll even have enough cash left over for a bottomless mimosa to help you through the dreaded catch-up chat. Throw your locks up into a sloppy sweet topknot, spritz on your favorite perfume, and, if you’re feeling daring, a red lip. A navy/cream/maroon cardigan might also be in order.
All my best for your brunch date, good luck, and be sure to brag about your new European boyfriend you met taking Honours Chemistry 410.
Until next time,
The Fashion Serf
It’s that time of year again. Stores are brimming with gotta-get-em-now deals that seem too good to be true. So in honour of this month of shopping bliss, I took a minute to whip up my Christmas list in an ideal world (i.e. where my wallet is fatter than my never used once credit card and driver’s license combined).
And the wishes are: 1. Topshop Longsleeve Collar Tip Shirt (here) 2. Club Monaco Beatrice Pant (here) 3. Urban Outfitters Felt Porkpie Hat (here) 4. The Splurge: Tom Binns Rokoco Dumont Earrings (here) 5. Zara Bowling Bag (here) 6. Need Supply Piping Oxford (here) 7. Dents Bow Detail Glove (here) 8. Madewell Scallop Lace Top (here) 9. Modcloth It’s Good to Be Chrome Skirt (here) 10. Madewell T-Strap Mini Wedge (here)
Coincidentally most of the items go together in one way or another and could be easily remixed to create some off the charts holiday outfits. But fear not! Actual gift guides for those of us on a budget who have more than a few difficult-to-shop-for folks on our lists are in the works and will be posted before you know it! First up: Gift Guide for the Girly Gal.
Until then, HAVE YOU ENTERED THE GIVEAWAY?! There are only a few hours left!! Click here to get lucky.
I’ve reached a huge Tumblr milestone: 1,000 posts!
To celebrate I’m sponsoring TTYLUSA’s first ever giveaway. The prize for first place is an incredible piece from Mawi London’s Gypsy Rani line from the brand’s AW06 collection, valued at over $500.
The second place winner will receive a treasure trove of four vintage accessories delivered in keepsake boxes of my own design, seen below.
How do I enter, you may be asking? It’s SO easy! Just follow these three simple steps:
Two winners will then be picked at random at midnight (CST) Monday, November 26th.
NOTE: This giveaway is now CLOSED. Congratulations to the winners, Lacey of My Boring Closet (1st prize) and Rachael H. (2nd prize)! If you weren’t so lucky this time, fear not! More giveaways await 🙂
In the meantime, entertain yourselves with some gems from my tumblr archives spanning the last three years of my life.
Some people dismiss tumblr as a mindless forum hosting a hodge podge of pretty pictures and miscellaneous links. For me, Tumblr has served as an ever-faithful journal of what piques my interest at any certain moment in time. It’s actually been surprisingly fun to sift through the photos, videos, links, and quotes I’ve posted over the years. And it’s been especially delightful to realize how much I’ve changed in that short amount of time.
Want more TTYLUSA history? Check out my archives!
There are so many blogs having giveaways right now, just in time for the holidays! Check out Fashion Ocean for one too, but don’t forget to enter the TTYLUSA GIVEAWAY!
Please note that this giveaway is not sponsored by any brand, company or other affiliate. The prize for first place was selected from my own personal collection; the prizes for second place were purchased at vintage shops and markets in London and across the United States. If you have any questions regarding this giveaway, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hey everyone! Just wanted to send out this friendly reminder into the interwebs reminding you to get on out to your local polling place and cast your valuable vote. Only you can do it!
Don’t know where to vote? Check out this website.
Did you miss the last presidential debate? Lucky you, the New York Times uploaded the whole thing to YouTube.
Need a refresher on your local issues up for revision this election cycle? Visit your town’s local news websites to get the full briefing.
Curious about the issues concerning us gals that could be decided by the results of this election? Watch this video (below).
Regardless of your political ideologies, it’s more important than ever that women get out to vote. Sorry guys, but you’ve had the power of government on your side for almost always. Consider the points made by former Marie Claire Editor-in-Chief Joanna Coles, taken from her November letter from the editor:
“[Women] make up 51 percent of the country’s population but represent only 17 percent of Congress. You do the math….It’s astounding to me that in the history of Congress, only 217 women have held office compared with 11,279 men….if Congress were representative of the population, with 51 percent of seats filled by women, do you think we’d still be debating about contraception? Of course not. We’d be focused on jobs, the economy, education, and the myriad of pressing matters that really need our attention now….Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, having women’s voices heard and represented is something we should all be able to agree on.”
To me, that extremely astute argument is huge. We are leaps and bounds closer to equality in America than when our grandmother’s were our age, even our own mothers, but there is no denying that we still have a long way to go.
I’m not a true blue fan of either party. In fact, most days I have a sarcastic word or two for the political puppet show that massive media makes of our national elections. But I am a fan of my personal voice being heard concerning issues regarding my body, healthcare, gender-equal pay, education, foreign policy, and human rights.
So, I will vote today for the millions of women of the world who do not have the right to vote, and may never live to gain it. I will vote today so I won’t become a statistic of female non-voters. I will vote today in hopes that the world will be a fairer place for my future daughters.
I will vote today, and so should you, sister.
“‘Only to think, next week, at this time, I’ll be saying good-bye to you, Mary Raymond.’ Marjorie Dean’s brown eyes rested very wistfully on the sunny-haired girl beside her in the big porch swing.”
– excerpt from Josephine Chase’s Marjorie Dean, High School Junior
Lately I’ve been looking back into my family’s history, hard. My great-grandmother recently passed away and I’ve been given the task of sorting through boxes upon boxes of her old things. From figurines to photos, china sets to coupon clippings, I had my hands full.
This massive organization inspired me to sort through some other old mystery boxes in my house, sometimes full of myriad treasures and sometimes full of, well, let’s just say trash. Apparently just about everyone in my family is/was a pack rat.
But I’m thankful for that! Because it’s led me to some really priceless finds, mostly based on sentiment. One such find was a novel by the title of this post, Marjorie Dean, High School Junior by Pauline Lester.
I adore antique books. Like, verging on unhealthy adoration. I would rather buy a used book than a new one any day of the week. My favorite part of cracking open a beautiful used book is the possibility of stumbling across an inscription that gives me a clue to the book’s former life before it came to rest in my hands. Marjorie gave me just that.
Inside the front cover of my copy of Marjorie Dean is scribbled “To Mildred, From Lucille, Christmas 1918.”
Since coming across the book, I’ve picked it up from time to time to read a few pages here and there. Last week I finally came to the end of Marjorie’s junior year saga. I immediately set to work learning everything I could about Marjorie and the author.
“Marjorie entered her mother’s room and dropped dispiritedly at her feet,”
There’s not much to go on but a few half-written Wikipedia pages, but as it turns out, Pauline Lester was a pen name used by author Josephine Chase. Stories about harrowing, golden-hearted young women were such a smash at the time, Chase also wrote another series about title character Grace Harlowe under the pseudonym Jessie Graham Flower. The fake names didn’t stop there, however, and before Chase’s death in 1930, she also wrote a boys series called the Khaki Boys Series under the title Captain Gordon Bates.
The entirety of Marjorie Dean’s high school career was put to paper in 1917. Her success in life is attained based on a strict sense of duty to friends, family, school work, and those less fortunate than she, in her middle class existence. Marjorie is a beacon of truthfulness, fair play, beauty, and moral conscientiousness.
I was ecstatic to learn that not only did Marjorie graduate high school with flying colours, but that she also lived on, in a literary sense, to complete college, have a (short) career, get married to her high school sweetheart, and have a family, all before 1930! Learn more about Marjorie’s rival of her college years in this article.
I also learned a little about novels written for young women during the early 1900’s and their effect on women’s roles in sports, thanks to Dr. Nancy G. Rosoff. Both Marjorie and Grace were avid basketball players and much of the conflict faced in High School Junior was derived from the game.
All of this is even more interesting when you add in the fact that the publishers of Josephine Chase’s works were anticipating these novels to influence the young people in America. They hoped that the girls and boys featured in Chase’s novels would inspire the average reader to follow suit by understanding their places in society and the world. As such, the Grace Harlowe series was widely marketed as “stories of real girls for real girls.”
Read the entire story of Marjorie Dean’s junior year of high school online, right here.
Do you have any favorite antique or used books? Ever come across some beautiful inscriptions? I’d love to hear about em!
Around this time of year, my love for Edward Gorey’s macabre illustrations and stories renews itself and inspires a thirst for all things Halloween.
There’s a stark, depressing reality in his work, especially in The Gashlycrumb Tinies. Arguably Gorey’s most famous book, Gashlycrumb documents the tragic ends of 26 children, one for every letter of the alphabet, in a darkly comedic way.
Besides being an incredibly well known artist and author with an extremely distinct style, Gorey dabbled in television, film, and stage productions. The quintessentially creepy author’s incredibly prolific career is documented in a series of anthologies titled Amphigorey.
Gorey is also my current crush because I recently discovered a book of his personal letters to friends and family. Read this article about the book and check out his amazing envelope sketches.
When asked who his typical fans were, Mr. Gorey responded, “It ranges from dear little old ladies to rather distracted teenagers who sometimes turn up at the door. I go to the same place for breakfast and lunch every day. Most of the people there are regulars, but every once in a while somebody will come up to the table and say, ‘I have a book of yours in the car. Will you sign it, please?’ And I’m thinking, ‘What is a book of mine doing in your car?’ I’m nothing if not terribly amiable, though.”
Gorey passed away in 2000 but you can still visit his home in Massachusetts. P and I are dying to get out east to visit friends in New York (providing it still exists by Christmas) so I think the Gorey House will definitely earn a spot on our travel agenda.
Yet another good reason to have a huge crush on Edward Gorey is summed up in the above photo. He adored his feline friends, I mean, really really loved them. Me too!
This month has been barreling through, throwing an unfathomable mix of weather, obstacles, and emotions my way, all the while showing no signs of slowing down.
I’ve had the heavy burden of a long list of life-altering decisions to make, many of which have been made for me by the powers that be. This has made for a rather unorthodox month. As far as my musical mood, I think these fluctuations can be heard in this month’s playlist.
In a last-ditch attempt to get my musical musings for the month of October to you, my ever-devoted reader (kidding here), I’ve squeezed it in at the tail end. There are some appropriately themed spooky ones thrown in but I think it’s a good mashup of all sorts.
P.S. Now you can stream my playlists right from your own computer! Still trying to figure out how to embed them in my actual posts, but here’s the link to the 8tracks:
- Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl – Broken Social Scene
- You Should Close the Door – Craft Spells
I saw Craft Spells around this time last year in London at this tiny above-a-pub venue. My friend April and I got drunk off rum and cokes and danced our little indie hearts out. It was great. See a barely-visible shot of the show below.
The night immediately after I saw the aforementioned Craft Spells, I saw this band at the Roundhouse in London. It was an awesome show and definitely the most badass one I’ve ever been to. Also, another milestone was my first-ever beer shower, thanks to the rowdy crowd of drunken Brits.
- So Far Around the Bend – The National
“Take a bath and get high through an apple,
you wanted to cry but you can’t ‘cause you’re laughing.”
- Little Ghost – The White Stripes
This makes the list because a) ghosts—October, obviously. And b) I heard a sound byte once of Jack White asking a crowd if they ever feel like they belonged in a different time period. A man anachronism.
- My One Desire – Freakwater
Apparently this is a cover of a Rick Nelson song? Never knew. Either way, I couldn’t find the version I wanted so give Ricky a try.
- Inside the Cinema – Culture Reject
This is one of my top ten favorite songs of all time. I mean it though. The music video doesn’t do it justice! Lyrics are priceless, to boot. Plus, I do love that Bill Murray man.
“I wanna get home, I wanna get stoned,
Make myself food, make myself good.”
- Sea of Love – Cat Power
Gosh this song has the power to overthrow me with the blues with the first little guitar riff. Can’t get enough.
- Tunnel Vision – Here We Go Magic
Fallish and also mildly creepy. Listen to it in a car going fast on the highway.
- Necrology – The Cinematic Orchestra
Longing for the Big Sur, where the ocean and mountains and redwoods and cliffs and fog make for just the right setting.
- Blank Maps – Cold Specks
This gal has the pipes to be a megasuperstar.
- My Body’s a Zombie for You – Dead Man’s Bones
No, Ryan Gosling (who wrote and performed this music with the Silverlake Conservatory Children’s Choir), my body’s a zombie for you. Trust me.
- Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois – Sufjan Stevens
I wrote a script to a short film inspired by this song. Not in a cheesy way.
- Pleasure Sighs – The Morning Benders
The mounting energy of this song gives me shivers.
- Better Son/Daughter – Rilo Kiley
“But you’ll fight it and you’ll make it through,
You’ll fake it if you have to
And you’ll show up for work with a smile.
And you’ll be better and you’ll be smarter
And more grown up and a better daughter—
Or son and a real good friend.”
Okay, this song is verging on brutally angst-filled, I realize. And okay, I adored this band during my hilariously moody middle school years.
But, in my defense, I’ve loved this song since the day I heard it and it is oddly (and embarrassingly) fitting at this juncture in my life. I’m not clinically depressed like the assumed subject of this song, just faking it, since I have to.
Also, Jenny Lewis and her parade of vintage/thrifted stage looks were a huge inspiration to me as a youngster. Just look at that ensemble. Holy cats.
- Wolf Like Me – TV on the Radio
My love for this song is never-ending. Learn all the lyrics and blast it at full volume in your car and sing it at the top of your lungs…even at the red lights!
Well, that’s all for now (folks)!
What were some of your go-to songs for the month of October? Comment!