24 April 2014

a wool story + my everyday look

Why yes, I do wear black skinny jeans and an oversized grey sweater everyday.
My favorite part of this look is my blush pink ombre A Wool Story hat made by the talented Meg Navoy. When I bought it back in early March I joked with her during the exchange that I needed a new hat since we were stuck in a never ending winter. Not far from the truth, I still need this hat every morning when I leave the house since Long Beach apparently hasn't gotten the memo that its almost May. Made from 100% pure wool Meg keeps costs low and creates no environmental impact by unravelling previously loved sweaters to make her one of a kind hats. I highly recommend following her on Instagram @megnavoy where she shares snippets of her fashionable life and interest in sustainability in the fashion industry.
PS: Here's the elusive trench coat I told you about. But more on that later.
Hat: A Wool Story
Skinny jeans: BDG
Trench Coat: London Fog
Steve Madden booties
JCrew sweater
Messenger Bag:Clare Vivier

21 April 2014

easter snippets

I had all these plans to take photos all weekend and of course it didn't happen. A few managed to get snapped though.
Friday night has no visual evidence but it was pretty great: I gave up on Lent after a long week at work went to Barrier to try their Lime Pale Ale, Queen of Tarts. Rich's sisters were there and we ate all the popcorn and hung out til they were shutting down. (Don't get the wrong idea, we aren't cool, it was only 7p.) After I was sufficiently drunk off two pints we stopped at Trader Joe's for various fancy salami and cheese so I could double give up on Lent and eat meat and cheese on crackers for dinner and promptly pass out on the couch.
Saturday I spent the morning running errands which included doing laundry at my moms and picking fresh daffodils from her garden. I spent the afternoon hanging out on the deck in the sun. LK came over and we walked the boardwalk which gave me my first sunburn of the season. In the evening Rich and I rode our bikes a few blocks over to a BBQ at a friends place. We played with their pooch and hung out until the sun was going down and went home to relax and snuggle the cat. When we were putting our bikes away I snapped a picture of the sunset and when we went inside the apartment smelled like daffodils.
sunset 4.19.14
Sunday I did a very grown-up thing and had my grandparents over for Easter dinner. I cooked an herb roasted chicken, lemon dill rice and sauteed asparagus with garlic and oil.
easter dinner
I didn't have time to change into my Easter outfit but it was perfect. Now that its warm enough to leave the door open this part of the living room gets the most amazing light by the mirror. Obsessed with taking selfies in it.
mirror selfie 4.20.14

09 April 2014

wednesday survey

My name is Kallie
I am currently at my desk at work having lunch even though its perfect blue skies and warm enough to leave behind my jacket. Eating and typing up a post to clear out the brain cobwebs and getting back to work as fast as possible (I started this at work, but finished it up at night in bed before going to sleep)
I am good at making the bed, reading things quickly, driving a car and drawing small towns
I do not like to rush or be hurried
I'm bad at singing in tune, dancing to the beat and paying attention for long periods of time
I read lots of books, articles and blogs. Right now I'm reading a lot for a new project with Mallory
I like it when I can wear shorts and sweaters, when Rich sings to the cat and there are lemon stuffed olives in the refrigerator
I sing in the car as loud as I can with the windows down even though I know it sounds terrible
I love the first few minutes of any day I wake up without an alarm clock and lay awake in the quiet before opening my eyes.
I prefer fall to spring, spring is like a tease when it looks warm but its actually cold
I enjoy standing in front of the refrigerator with the door open while having a snack
I'm addicted to green tea
I'm wearing a black swingy dress with white stripes, black tights and my black booties
I drink too much green tea and not enough beer (gave up all alcohol for Lent)
I'm listening to old Ratatat and Sigur Ros albums that I loved when I was at school, namely Ratatat (2004) and Takk. I got fired from my first job in a pharmacy back then because I called out sick when a friend invited me to go see Ratatat at their album release party and I drank gin for the first time. I made the right choice
I get angry when strangers touch me on the subway and when people break rules/social codes in general ie. line cutting and touching strangers
I am afraid that my whole life will pass me by while I sit at a desk for too many hours a day
I wish I could go on a week-long vacation once a month to travel around the world or stay home and catch up with friends
I'm embarrassed by people who try to embarass others
I grew up in Long Island

A little list I found from a blog I love called un velo
photos from instagram

08 April 2014

classic trench coat

I started compiling these photos while I was dreaming about the perfect trench coat--and happened to stumble upon it that afternoon. My mom and I were at a department store and then suddenly she was holding up exactly what I'd had in mind. When I tried it on it was perfect and she even bought a matching one.
Here is my definition of a perfect trench coat: Waterproof for fickle spring weather but be light enough to keep dry in a summer downpour and a light shade of khaki to match with anything. A classic, vintage vibe, like something that Audrey Hepburn or Francoise Hardy would have worn around Paris, the kind with tortoise shell buttons and a belted waist. It also shouldn't cost $1,300 (ahem-Burberry I'm looking at you).
I'll post pictures of it soon with all its perfect little details. Until then, here is some inspiration for trench coat wearing with the leading ladies of 60's style and some more recent streetstyle updates.
Trench coat inspiration: leading ladies
Trench coat ideas: work days
Lots of khaki color
Burberry, APC, J Crew, Old Navy
Vintage pictures found on Pinterest and blushing ambition

07 April 2014


Over the past few months I've cleared out a good portion of my wardrobe and I feel like I've gotten my closet to a really great spot. From a color palate I'm sticking to, cuts and fabrics I feel great in and the highest quality I'm able to afford has made my life much simpler, but getting dressed is still fun. I'm very interested in buying higher quality items from brands that are conscious of sustainability and transparent in their business practices. Basically, treating the earth and their workers well. By buying higher quality, I can wear my clothes for longer and recycle them at second hand stores in the future to give them a second (or even third) life.
One company that I'm sure many of you have heard of is Everlane, and I keep telling everyone I know about them. Personally I've bought three tee shirts in total, all in the box cut pocket tee which to me are perfection. They're also only $14. What I like even more than the shirts is the response I received when I emailed them thinking my beloved treasure-trove of perfectly soft cotton tees was gone forever: "We purposely produce in small batches with our manufacturing partners without middlemen, and that flexibility allows us to charge a reasonable price. The box tee is currently out of stock, but not to worry-- we're working on restocking! Be sure to check our website for the most recent updates."
The tee shirts in particular are made from the fabric to the finished product in Long Beach, California in a small family owned factory focused on green-practices. And because of the effort of Everlane to seek out this factory we are given high quality at a reasonable price.
Each item on the site allows you to read about where each piece is made, who its made by and why they chose it. Ranging beyond tees there are beautiful, simple accessories like the Petra tote and the slim wallet and I would love to buy a navy slouchy cardigan next winter.
As a consumer I appreciate the company opening the conversation about where their products are made and how. I also appreciate the emphasis on green practices, although I'd like a bit more insight into how exactly the factories do so. This is a brand I will likely be buying from for a long time to come.
Everlane tee

06 April 2014


There's been a lot of talk about "normcore" lately, and I think its a kind of backlash from the past few years of everyday fashion (at least for women) being very feminine and "done-up". Skirts, accessories, high heels...and now we backtrack to the bare basics. This isn't really "normcore" per se, but its my Saturday-errand-running outfit and its simple. All suburban and comfortable for food shopping and laundry.
These classic Sauncony Jazz sneakers were from my senior year in high school, bought in 2005 and long forgotten in my mom's basement. When I found them (practically new because I was not into gym class) I re-incorporated them into my everyday life. I'm even that girl that carries her heels and commutes in sneakers. Its my normcore suburban life and I'm ok with it.

Coach Parka (similar here)
Clare Vivier Messenger
Classic Saucony Jazz
J Brand 620 mid-rise black skinny jeans via Century 21
Everlane tee shirt
Brandy Melville Sweater via Beacons Closet similar here
Madewell Sunglasses
Timex watch (similar here)

05 April 2014

wardrobe makeover

After reading Madelynn's posts about "the perfect wardrobe" it dawned on me that I've subconsciously been editing my own in a similar way for the past few years, albeit without such an articulate thought process. My wardrobe feels the most me its ever felt and when I get dressed I'm not (usually) plagued with "I've got nothing to wear". After several moves and closet cleanings, there's only room for things I love. What I've got now feels like the base of what will continue to be my version of the "perfect wardrobe."
Having a blog I'm able to click through and categorize each style phase I've gone through and wonder what I was thinking. I can also see items I wear over and over and the ones that made a one time appearance and judge from there how wise an investment they may have been.
I've slowly but surely weeded out the faded remnants of my college jeans and over-sized tees keeping only one or two sentimental things I can't bear to part with. Next came the clothes of my first grown-up-girl job, made up mostly of H&M, Gap and second-hand JCrew; keeping only those beloved things like my cherry blossom dress and perfect Swiss-dot button down.

When I moved out of NYC to live with my boyfriend I didn't want to clutter up our shared home. I tried on everything I owned before deciding which would make the closet and which would go to the giveaway bin. Shedding the uncomfortable and ill-fitting stuff was hard because I LIKED so many things, but didn't love them. My "love meter" was set at: Have I worn it this year? Why not? And then being strict about it.
Editing isn't just about getting rid of things though and small purges when things wear out and big ones when moving or de-cluttering all lead to extra space. By being so careful with removing things from my life, I want to be just as careful when bringing in new ones. Making lists of places my wardrobe feels sparse or basics that need updating keeps me from impulse buys that end up being wasted later on. For a long time I avoided sales and the mall, but now with specific goals in mind I feel safe browsing the racks once in awhile. For a real challenge, I'm only allowing myself a few key items each season that will be considered additions and investments. I even have a handy list on my phone so its always with me to save me money and the guilt of buying something that might languish in closet purgatory forever.
Here are my lists, I can't believe I'm sharing them finally after mentioning over a year ago. Its very rough usually, just little ideas and things I'm debating between.
It was pretty organic how I came to my "base wardrobe": When I moved I re-organized my closet by color and around that time happened to see some articles about the "French woman's wardrobe" (whatever that means) and the idea of having a daily uniform. This idea, that is supposedly quintessentially French, of having a very basic pared down wardrobe that is like a uniform of sorts where every piece works well with every other and then only adding one or two key new things each fashion-season is what makes French women so enviably chic.
Just eyeballing my new closet clued me in to my own color palate. Most of the guides will say to stick with neutrals or all black and white, I'm not having any of that though. When I reorganized my closet by color I realized that some colors outweighed others and in order to make the clothes work together, I started using my previous choices as a guide. Black, white and browns round out my neutrals while in the winter and fall I gravitate towards deep reds, burgundy's and navy with the odd green piece here or there. In the spring and summer I'm drawn to golden hues, rich pinks and true-blue.

Scroll through below to see the colors I love.
For years I've been aware that there are certain cuts of clothes that I always love and others that I avoid no matter how in they are. I tend to gravitate towards feminine 60's inspired shapes like shift dresses, a-line skirts and fitted tops. Conversely, I love over-sized pullover sweaters and skinny jeans (must be a remnant of my lazy college days). I stick to the shapes that make me feel good and tend to pair well together and here is where I really make no exceptions. A lot of this has to do with my acceptance of my own body, which I'll talk about at length another time, but when I'm out shopping or just thinking about how I want to look that day I feel my very best in clothes that fit me, rather than clothes I fit in. For example boyfriend jeans will never be a thing I try, unless I literally wear my boyfriend's jeans as a joke. The reason is because I don't think they are flattering on me and if I don't think it makes me look good, I won't feel good wearing it.
Now that I feel like I have a good base its all about being choosy. I want to be more thoughtful about the waste that is fueled by the fashion industry and by buying long lasting items, recycling and buying second-hand I'm creating less waste. I'd also like to buy from companies with sustainability models that are ethical in their business practices. Along with that, I'm challenging myself to only buy a few things a season and then make them last for a long while. I'll be writing about this more as I gather more tips to share as I continue in my wardrobe makeover.
happy, honey & lark. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.