Thursday, October 16, 2014

~ black and white and red all over ~

My favorite color combination, year round, is most definitely black and white.  Black maxi dress + white sandals, white shorts + b/w striped shirt + white Converses, black corduroys + white button up + black flats, etc., etc., etc.  I even have this compulsive need for all of my blacks to match each other (because a greyish black t-shirt DOES NOT match a black black pencil skirt, no matter how hard you try to make it).

Black color thesaurus

Of course, I love bright clothes and red lipstick and crazy color combinations, but black and white go together effortlessly.  It's like a lazy dresser's dream!

Yesterday I stood pant-less in front of my closet for 15 minutes before I decided to stop forcing something that wasn't going to happen and just grab something black a white - but because my jeans were in the wash and it was too chilly for shorts, it came down to my red pants or polkadotted capris.

{gap pants, ralph lauren shirt via. goodwill, converse all stars}

The way I figure it, you kind of can't go wrong with a black and white color combination.  It can be dressed up, dressed down, and dressed sideways (if that's a thing).  

And if black and white is good enough for Marlene Dietrich, it's good enough for me.

Marlene Dietrich - Sassy hollywood star

xoxo,
Eliza

Monday, October 13, 2014

~ unplanned weekend ~

What I planned to do this weekend: Go to a beekeeper's picnic with my mom, go to a festival downtown, see a movie, bake cookies, go for a run.

What I did this weekend: get sick, watch Gilmore Girls on repeat, consume lots of tea and kale salad, do homework, and wear pajamas all day every day.

But I also ate a really good breakfast on Saturday:


Snuggled with kittens:


Found my weekend mantra:


And took several really good naps.

When I was little, getting sick meant feeling sorry for myself, eating buttered rice and toast with jam, sleeping all day, and watching Arthur during the hours I was awake.  But unfortunately, getting sick when you're an adult (yuck), means carrying on as normal - writing emails, doing homework, submitting assignments, cooking, etc. - but taking the occasional break to nap, use your inhaler, watch Masterpiece Mystery, and eat pancakes.

And to tell you the truth, as long as I've got pancakes and kittens, being sick on the weekend isn't so bad after all.

xoxo,
Eliza 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

~ teddy girls ~

Now it will come as no shock to most of you that one of my favorite eras, style-wise, is the 40s.  The tailored suits, structured hats, peep toed pumps, and don't even get me started on the uniforms.  But let's talk a bit about post-war fashion.  Specifically the rebellious, rambunctious teddy girls of Britain.

Now - disclaimer time.  If you're not a history nut (like I am), scroll past quickly because you're about to get an intense lesson on fashion history that isn't for the faint of heart.

So let's start with a bit of the basics:

Teddy Girl: noun, ( often lowercase) Informal. a rebellious British girl who, in the 1950s and early 1960s, affected the dress of the reign of Edward VII. 2. a girl companion of Teddy boys.

"In the late 1940s American girls (and boys) spice up Heidelberg, Germany in an unruly mix of saddle shoes and lederhosen. The locals gawk and gasp as young girls parade down the streets decked in men’s flannels, trousers and loafers. (I’m guessing red lipstick is involved somewhere.) Shocking the Germans as they reappropriate various Heidelburg traditions into trendy accessories—old university caps, miniature Heidelberg sabersons, and military patches. American invasion!"
{"In the late 1940s American girls (and boys) spice up Heidelberg, Germany in an unruly mix of saddle shoes and lederhosen. The locals gawk and gasp as young girls parade down the streets decked in men’s flannels, trousers and loafers"}

[from the satorialist: if only it were in sharper focus.] Submitter says: "My grandmother, Audrey, age 17, 1939, days before she enlisted in the Air Force. On her right is her younger sister, Amba. On the way to the Tan at the Botanical Gardens for a horse ride, the two were captured walking down Swanson St, Melbourne by a street photographer.
{Via the Sartorialist: "My grandmother, Audrey, age 17, 1939, days before she enlisted in the Air Force. On her right is her younger sister, Amba. On the way to the Tan at the Botanical Gardens for a horse ride, the two were captured walking down Swanson St, Melbourne by a street photographer."}

Elsie, 15, and Rose Hendon with Mary Toovey and Jean Rayner, 14, in front of the Seven Feathers Club in Edenham Street, North Kensington.
{Elsie, 15, and Rose Hendon with Mary Toovey and Jean Rayner, 14, in front of the Seven Feathers Club in Edenham Street, North Kensington}

14 year old Jean Rayner surrounded by young aspiring Teddy Boys on a bombsite, January 1955
{14 year old Jean Rayner surrounded by young aspiring Teddy Boys on a bombsite, January 1955}

Teddy girls were not only impeccably dressed and, let's face it, total bad asses, they were also inventive and revolutionary.  Many left school at 14 or 15 to find work in offices or factories - rebelling against the notion of marriage, child-rearing, and the endless duties of a housewife.  In post-war England, a nation still feeling the affects of wartime and mourning the loss of many lives, these girls cast aside the austerity and created a new, youthful identity for themselves.  In doing so, they created a new style of dress that combined menswear with Edwardian silhouettes.

To quote Wikipedia "Teddy Girls wore drape jackets, pencil skirtshobble skirts, long plaits, rolled-up jeans, flat shoes, tailored jackets with velvet collars, straw boater hats, cameo brooches, espadrillescoolie hats and long, elegant clutch bags. Later they adopted the American fashions of toreadorpants, voluminous circle skirts, and hair in ponytails."




Despite a horrible case of the Monday blues, I decided that my day could use a little teddy girl inspiration:  But since I'm fresh out of velvet waistcoats and hobble skirts, high waisted jeans, flats, a button up, and a vintage scarf had to do.


Next time I'll dig out my straw boater hat.

xoxo,
Eliza

Saturday, October 4, 2014

~ mom ~

There are certain things that we all inherit from past generations of family members (whether we care to admit it or not).  These things can be both physical and pertaining to our personalities/soul.  In my case, I got my great-grandmother's thick, wavy hair, my grandfather's height, my mom's eyes, and most likely, heart diseases, arthritis, and osteoporosis (woohoo).  I also inherited my great-grandfather's love of photography, my grandfather's love of fashion and interior decorating, and my mother's passion for justice and her need for speaking out against social injustices.

But there is one thing, one characteristic, that I feel I am lacking.  A characteristic that perhaps cannot be inherited, but only observed in its original form and gently copied.  The original form was a powerhouse of kindness, had the ability to silence negativity with one or two thought out words, and was a mother to all who knew her, despite where they fell in relation to her on the family tree or in the address book: My grandmother, who almost everyone in the family called Mom or Ma.


She was born in 1918, following a world war, and lived through a depression, a second world war, a civil rights movement, a women's rights movement, man's first step on the moon, and saw her family grow from two 18 year olds who eloped on Christmas Eve, to children, grandchildren, and even though she never knew them, great-grandchildren.


Her temperament cannot be done justice with the 24 letters in the alphabet.  She was the combination of Melanie Wilkes, Mother Teresa, and Mahatma Gandhi, possessing the ability to calm my grandfather with a simple "Now honey," and make all who met her feel as though they had just spent time with a saint.  Her kindness was infectious, and if she had a temper, I sure never saw it.  My mom can only remember her raising her voice twice: once when the landscapers cut down one of her favorite trees, and a second time when the principal of my mom's school ripped out the hem a dress that she had painstakingly sewn because it was "too short."


One of my biggest regrets is not spending as much time with her as I could have.  I backed out of sleepovers at my grandparent's house, and spent too much time arguing with my sister when I could have been learning from her wisdom.  Perhaps this was because I thought of Mom as an immortal figure in my life.  She had always been there so why would there be a time when she wasn't?  The last person whose death I could remember was Dumbledore's, but even he wasn't truly gone.

The morning my mom told me that Mom was gone was heartbreaking and confusing.  I remember crying but it didn't feel real.  Probably because I couldn't believe it was really happening.
It was different when my grandfather died.  He passed away after a long fight, during which we all came to terms with what was eventually going to happen.  I knew that one day I would wake up and things would seem different.  But with my grandmother it was a surprise, as though she had been robbed of her favorite time of year and a few more years of drinking coffee with Pop and watching the birds - at least, that's how it felt to 12 year old me.


I wish I was like her.

I like to think that along with my grandfather's love for dancing to big band music, I also inherited my grandmother's personality and temperament.  But it isn't so.  (Yesterday I yelled at a textbook.)


It's been seven years since her death and I've come to terms with the face that her warmth, strength, and slow southern love can't be replicated in the coming weeks, months, or years.  But among the things she taught me - how to perfectly crimp a pie crust, the importance of doing the right thing even if those around you aren't, that putting nail polish in the refrigerator will make it last longer - she unknowingly taught me the biggest lesson of all: that kindness and patience speak louder than anything.



Perhaps with a little practice, we can all be like Mom.

xoxo,
Eliza

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

~ black and white ~

Lately my wardrobe has been devoid of color.  Blame the grey weather, blame the busy mornings that cut into my dressing time, blame the lack of outfit inspiration, etc., etc...

But there's something very simple about black and white that appeals to me - perhaps it's because you can get dressed with your eyes closed and still look put together, or maybe it's the vaguely french vibe that one gives off when sticking to a limited color palate.

(or maybe because it makes my life goal of being a swanky french spy in a 1960s movie even more achievable)

classicMagnolia Antic

New York street style meets French sensibility! Click through for more summer street style

{details of yesterday's outfit)


Whatever the reason, I'm perfectly okay with it.

{today's outfit: gap t-shirt, jeans, and ballet flats, target blazer}

The one exception to my new monochromatic phase is lipstick - yesterday it was bright red, today it was bright pink!


By adding a little color, maybe this weather will take a hint.

xoxo,
Eliza

Sunday, September 28, 2014

~ swing time ~

Last night was the annual swing dance in the streets.  I've waited for this since last year's event, counting down the days!  It lived up to its expectations.

{I might have picked out my outfit a month in advance}

This is one of my favorite 1940s dresses and after a little repairing and altering it fits like a glove.  I paired it with a vintage velvet 40s hat and vintage silk flower that belonged to my grandmother.  


It was a perfect night of dancing with strangers, listening to great music, and meeting new friends!  Let's do it again next year.

xoxo,
Eliza

Saturday, September 20, 2014

~ sick day ~

(The post title should actually read "sick week")

So far this week I've used the neti pot 10+ times, gone through two boxes of kleenex, had to get a refill on my inhaler prescription, watched four movies on netflix, had a temperature of 98.6, 101, and everywhere in between, made a whole recipe of brownies, eaten half a recipe of brownies, successfully gone several days in a row without wearing a bra, done homework in bed, done homework on the couch, and then done homework in bed again.


I've also walked outside to watch the rain, listened to the birds chirping in the morning, and allowed myself to rest without feeling a) guilty, b) like a slob, or c) like I'm wasting my life away.



So all in all, it hasn't been such a terrible week!

xoxo,
Eliza