Monday, September 27, 2010

so much for four feet ten in one sock.

The weather has been really weird in the Bay Area this year. We had a super-rainy spring and a very mild summer. Now, it's sweltering hot. It's going to cool down to the upper 70s this week. Today's forecast was 93 degrees, so I opted for a very summery dress.

dress: thrifted, $6 -- scarf: thrifted, $2 -- shoes: thrifted, $5

sunglasses: from a county fair, $4

I Sue-Lyon-as-Lolita'd it up with my heart shaped sunnies. These are a really good investment for anyone who likes attention. Seriously, I get so many more looks, smiles, and double takes when I wear these than when I wear my Ray Bans.

(Er, um, my legs aren't different sizes. For the record.)

This dress could have used a petticoat to show off the lovely cross-stitch.

After tramping around for miles (literally) in those wedges, I was ready for some comfy shoes before going off to discussion section and work. I'm also really stressed out... You can see it in my face.

Ok, back to scrubbing the counters!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on

This outfit was inspired by a Mark Rothko painting that was in my art history textbook. I was all stressed out and I turned the page and saw the painting and it almost moved me to tears. I can’t explain why. It’s just vaguely rectilinear areas of color, sure, but it moved me.

the painting

dress: thrifted, $6 -- boots: thrifted, $6 -- jacket: thrifted, $3.50 -- sash: homemade

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

are those chili peppers? (they're leaves)

Today I think I pulled off a good Sophi-in-a-Nutshell outfit!

sweater top: thrifted, $4 -- skirt: thrifted, $5 -- shoes: BC Footwear, $40

I like that sweater top a lot because it's really ugly but also really awesome.

I absolutely LOVE those shoes, but they're kind of hard to wear with most things. It's been easier since I converted my skinnies into ankle-length jeans, but they're a little funky with most outfits. It's a shame, too, because they're so cute! I was eying them on ModCloth for months, but they were too expensive at $89. One day I was at Nordstrom Rack and saw them for $40 (still a splurge for me!) and snatched them up.

And... excitingly, for me anyway, one of my academic heroines complimented me on them! I love female professors who are brilliant, poised, and powerful while stil maintaining a sense of femininity and style. This professor is the head of the African and African American Studies department and I took a very big required freshman class with her last year. She also had a high-up undergrad admin position for a few years, too. We have a weird tendency to walk by each other at least once a month (I go to a big school, so that's pretty impressive), and when I walked past her today she said, "Cute shoes!" and it made me soooo happy.

Monday, September 20, 2010

back for more!

Sorry about the total lack of updates for the last 12 days. It's been a whirlwind of travel, prep work for a class I'm co-teaching, organizing an event, getting ready for classes, and moving into my university housing for the year.

Thankfully, all that's gone really well! I'm living in a co-op house this year. I spent half of the summer searching for a really cool sofa bed, and I finally found one at a little thrift store for $100. It's quite compact, but it folds out into a full-size bed. And I actually manged to arrange my furniture so it unfolds, too. I probably could have gotten something "nicer" for the money, but I just love the aesthetics of the couch, and, well, I'm a form above function girl :)

Behold it in its midcentry naugahyde glory!

And some pillows with covers I made from vintage fabrics:

I organized a student panel about sex, dating, and relationships on campus for the freshmen orientation. The freshmen seemed to really enjoy themselves, and our panelists had lots of insightful things to say. It's always a good feeling to not only be done with something challenging but also to know that you've done it well.

I had my first class today, which meant I had to come up with my First Day of Class Outfit. I like to wear something on the first day of a class that's sort of the Reader's Digest of my personal style. So the idea is to look vintage-hipster-sophisticated-western-80s at the same time. I think I may have been overly ambitious about the plausibility of such an outfit. What I wore today just looked kind of off, so I didn't end up taking photos. Well, there's always tomorrow to impress my Tues/Thurs classes and share a neat outfit here, too!

It's a real challenge taking photos in my room. I have an east-facing window that looks into a walled courtyard and a south-facing window that's mostly blocked by trees. Oh, and a buzzing, dim flourescent light. Buying a lamp and some Reveal bulbs (I love CFLs but they just won't cut it in this case) is high on my agenda.

Ok, I could also have a friend take the pictures for me outside, but I still find it embarrassing that I do this at all and don't want to ask. I'll get over it eventually.

I wanted to show you all my favorite mug. It's a Taylor & Ng mug my mom bought me for my birthday last year after I found one at Goodwill and wanted more. Behold, hippos having an orgy!

Also note my cool Victoria & Albert Museum alarm clock my mom bought me for my birthday this year :)

Time to do my first homework of the quarter!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

polyvore fun!

Rebecca of The Clothes Horse is promoting a really cool online boutique Ruche on her blog, and I hopped over to the Ruche blog and found a cool Polyvore contest. Erin of Calivintage (my all-time-favorite blog) had a Polyvore contest for one of her sponsors, Clever Nettle Vintage.

I decided to enter, even though I'd never used Polyvore before. Because most of my clothes are thrifted or vintage, I don't have a huge impulse to make outfits. I shop online very infrequently--I just browse like crazy.

I've really enjoyed using Polyvore, though. My normal getting-dressed inhibitions are shed. I'm more willing to try trends and take risks, but I still think the finished products are things that I would actually wear.

Here's a few of my outfits!
A collage for Ruche
Fall into Florals at Ruche

Fall into Florals at Ruche by SophiN featuring a pouch handbag

Here, I wanted to go for a fall outfit that kept the vibrant colors of summer while still being fairly warm. I love the combination of rich reds with dark or muted greens. I guess it reminds me of Christmas or something! It just screams "cozy" to me. I'd add in my favorite grey blue tights to this ensemble, too.

A collage for Clever Nettle Vintage
Another Clever Nettle Fall '10

Another Clever Nettle Fall '10 by SophiN featuring a flat oxford

I am really proud of this outfit! I think it's great for transitioning into fall. The colors in the outfit are pretty light except for the shirt, which really plays up the autumnal side of things. The textures are varied and rich--linen, leather, and nubby knit. And I just LOVE that green bag. It's a nice little pop of color. And I have to find some of that maroon polish.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

fall fashion!

So, after reading my September InStyle and Lucky magazines, I have to say that I find this year's fall trends pretty darn uninspiring. Bbout my choice of magazines--I really prefer the ones that focus just on clothes, especially ready-to-wear and mass market. Pictures of models make me feel sad because I can't help thinking about how unhealthy they look and how much it messes with your body image to see women that thin all the time. I like pictures of clothes. What's more, I don't care about What He's Really Thinking in Bed or the How to Sculpt Your Abs in Less than 10 Minutes articles.

As for the trends go, I just don't think I'm a fur vest girl, and my legs are way too short to pull off the midcalf skirt trend. And that whole New Look revival style, well, um, I think I may have gotten that mostly out of my system when I wore long circle skirts or dresses almost every day back in 9-10th grade. It's too soon for me.

As for some of the other trends... Minimalism is more of a classic thing, almost a non-trend. Audrey Hepburn is a style icon for a reason. And, um, wow, leather jackets for fall!!?! What a concept. I know I sound like a naysayer, but I just couldn't really get excited about anything.

What I do really like are these desert boot heels and slouchy ankle boots, which I can't afford anyway. But here they are in all their glory!

Indigo by Clarks Water Row in green

80%20 Chaia in cordovan.

I think they're both really tastefully styled shoes that look like they'd be really comfortable. I love how both shoes would look amazing with dresses/skirts/shorts and tights. I love that look for transitioning weather. And those 80%20 shoes are faux leather, meaning they would be pretty incredible rain-friendly shoes. Hmm...

Monday, September 6, 2010

yesterday's airport musings

Today I embarked on my final summer hurrah, an adventure up to Eastern Washington State to visit my relatives. They live in a little rural town of 2,400 people. I love it up there. I spent long stretches of time with them (my aunt, uncle, and cousin) every summer from the time I was 10 until I was 16. After that, work has always gotten in the way. Their house is a little oasis in the middle of a rather conservative, Walmartian landscape. The town itself is charming, don’t get me wrong, with a little farmer’s market and some tasty restaurants, but its inhabitants are about as progressive as you’d expect in such a rural, farm-based community.

snapshot of the valley, 2006

I come from a metropolis of some 2 million people, so the change is pretty darn dramatic. And when I say “metropolis,” I mean the South San Francisco Bay, so we’re pretty much surrounded by metropolises on all sides on top of our own hustle and bustle. When I’m up in Eastern Washington, I finally get to ease off of my Consumer-Driven Lifestyle. We walk the dog, we garden, we watch classic Hollywood movies, we cook. In the lulls of the day I listen to their records on the basement stereo, I wander around their property, I write in the garden, I marvel at my cousin’s scale-model trains.

their dining room/kitchen, 2007

My uncle’s job is somewhat complicated, but part of it is running a salmon restoration project along a river. Basically, they create little side-streams that allow the fish to migrate safely. There’s a small cabin office on the site, and my uncle commutes there a few times a week to attend to business. I always tag along at least once, partially because it means we get to drive through the mountains in a red Triumph convertible from the 1960s, but mostly because I love taking pictures there. I wander around the town in awe of the quaintness and stillness of everything. Plus, we always get some delicious lunch. There is that, too.

the river, 2007

a quaint house, 2007

Right now I’m in SeaTac airport, waiting for my connecting flight over the Cascades. It’s the airport I’ve spent the most time in. Between my layovers and comings and goings, I’ve gotten familiar with the place. I love airports. I guess I love all transit stations. The concept of a place that holds people who are between places is an interesting one. They’re this perfect microcosm of human culture, little self-contained cities. And the way we spread ourselves out in the gate—opting always for isolation from strangers, prime real estate are the seats with a view, desperately curious as we watch others but always smiling sheepishly and looking down if we’re caught.

I ended up not taking birthday pictures. Silly me. I'm new to this whole blogging thing, and my photography is pretty art/project-based. I don't do a whole lot of everyday "I did this and then this" stuff. But I'll figure it out.

Here's Alex's birthday present to me though, a vintage silver and gold locket. I looooove it, props to his friend Allie who helped him pick it out! I already made little pictures on cotton paper and little acetate covers for them to put inside. Also, today I'm wearing that green dress for the first time and it is working out very nicely!

Thursday, September 2, 2010


My chief agenda item today was teaching a photo class at my old high school how to make cyanotypes. They're my favorite alternative process, and I'm currently working on a project where I print on book pages. I should be finished in a few weeks, but until then, you'll have to content yourself with the cyanotypes on my flickr. Here's one of mine:

Lauren in the stacks 1

And here's a little snapshot of the ones the students made today:

It was super hot out today, so with the triple restrictions of something vaguely compliant with my high school's dress code, oven-like outside conditions, and the real possibility of getting prussian blue pigment all over my clothes, I opted for this ensemble.

scarf: thrift, $2 -- shirt: thrift, $3 -- skirt: target, $10 -- shoes: thrift, $4 -- clutch: ebay, $2 (part of lot) -- earrings: thrift, $1

The really cool thing about the earrings I have on
is that I found them at the thrift store while wearing that shirt. They match perfectly--white on black Breton stripe.


Pretty neat, huh? Sorry about the intense close up on my face. All those magazines really make the sight of pores sort of shocking. Anyway, my boyfriend Alex invented a word to describe an item you find thrifting that works perfectly with what you have on: "dippity." As in "serendipity." So the earrings are, in our little jargon, a total dippity.

Alex wanted me to post his outfit on my blog, so here it is in all its austere and dandyish glory. He's seated on these intensely cool velour chairs at our favorite thrift store. If only either of us had room for them.

cardigan: American Apparel -- pants: Levi's -- shoes: Florsheim, I think -- tie: from the thrift store, but sadly full of holes and thus not purchased

Tomorrow is my 19th birthday! I'm looking forward to an awesome meal with my family, First Friday with my boyfriend and our friend Daisy, and then a trip to Point Lobos on Saturday with my boyfriend. Expect lots of documentation!