Time to Strip

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Slowly but surely, the weather is warming up here in Cville and I can once again start taking street shots of myself in minimal layers. Don’t get me wrong, I am allll about that layering stuff, but I think it is fair to say that no one wants to see photo after photo of my big puffer coat. As darling as it is with its fluffy furry hood, there is such a thing as too much publicity. I have (hopefully) retired that puffer coat for the year and have progressed to a lighter (but, obviously, still black) jacket that I thrifted last summer in NYC. This jacket, from J.Crew, is one of my favorite thrifted pieces, along with my J.Crew black biker boots, which can be seen here, here, and hereGap shoes, TJMaxx pants and tote, thrifted ALC shirt, gifted scarf, Target sunglasses

Here’s to striping layers!
(Can you tell I’m excited for my sister’s bachelorette party this weekend? :P )

Here is a close up of my awesome leopard shoes:

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What A Beach

Gearing up for the beach getaway? There are several style options to go for, from the bare minimum (pun intended) to a full get-up, giant floppy hat, rash guard and all. For me, I like to keep it simple. While I am one guilty of pinning those photos of bronzed gals hitting the sand in maxis, kimonos, jewelry and gladiator sandals, I must admit my practical nature. None of that would stay on for longer than the walk to the beach chair. Its just the truth.

My go-to beach attire consists of the bikini, the breezy button down (today’s is denim), and a felt hat– just enough brim to shade my face and not blow away with in the breeze. Giant sunglasses optional.

Madewell bikini, thrifted shirt, Target hat, J. McLaughlin tote.

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She’s alive!

What is this place? It couldn’t possibly be a dedicated style blog, the girl hasn’t posted anything in, what, three months?! Pathetic.

Pathetic indeed. I can’t believe it has been so long since I’ve typed words on these pages, but then again, I can’t believe we are still getting 6-10 inches of snow in Charlottesville when it was 66 degrees two days before. That’s more than a bit ridonculous if you ask me.

I suppose I could blame my hiatus on a number of things going on I’m my life so far this year: between recruitment for my sorority and figuring out my classes earlier on, I applied to UVA’s commerce program (it wasn’t meant to be) as well as summer internships (and I hear back from those any day now); as maid of honor in my sister’s wedding, it gets tricky balancing school work but also trying to be there for her as much as I can– but oh so worth it. Sister gets married once in her life (I’m quite confident on this one), and the bachelorette in April? Miami won’t know what hit it.

Despite all of these time crunchers, and the fact that I haven’t been able to bring myself to unzip my coat to snap a street-style pic in this polar vortex, I do not feel I can justify my absence. Style and fashion is my love, my desire. That rush and excitement I get from watching emerging trends, conjuring up new outfit ideas, sewing, and trialling hair and makeup styles is the coffee that gets me up in the morning, and it inspires me to be creative in all other aspects of my life. And I’ve realized that over the past few weeks I have gone through varying levels of happiness, and have come to the conclusion that I am going through a fashion withdrawal. Unable to commit the time I want, I need, to my blog and my passion, I found myself in a funk.

Well, my dear readers, today is March 7th and I am on the sandy, sunny, 84-degree island of the Grand Cayman. This spring break will be spent with four of my girlfriends, plenty of tanning lotion, the third book in the Divergent series, and my blog. Consider this next week to be my great comeback– my de-funkifying cleanse, if you will– and, oh yes, expect it all to be Instagrammed.

Of course I will post my vaca photo diary to these pages, reviving them with life, but be sure to also find them all by following me on Instagram and Twitter! @missmeredithrw and #sbcaymans

Springing Ahead

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While I was expecting to spend the final moments of 2013 in the Florida Keys, per my family’s usual NYE plans, the weather in the area wasn’t exactly in keeping with a celebratory mood. Can’t have fun in the sun when there is none! So, in a last minute change of plans, I was able to head back to school to ring in the new year. But before scurrying back to the 30 degree temperatures up north, I took full advantage of the warmth and rocked some new spring gear I received for Christmas :)
I’m sure this isn’t the first time you’ve seen this Zara skort surface on a fashion blog, and there’s a reason for that– it’s possibly my new favorite staple piece. It’s different, classy, and can be styled for almost any occasion. You’ll be seeing quite a lot of it on the pages of my blog, especially as spring approaches!

Zara skort, faux leather vest top from Nordstrom Rack, Rebecca Minkoff bag, H&M sweater, Reefs sandals

Beanie Boppin

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Finals were coming to a close, campus was deserted, and all hell had frozen over.
Just kidding. But it was getting quite chilly, and rather barren sans snow. After a week of studying for finals in the comfort of my bedroom (read: studying, sewing, eating, showering, sewing, falling asleep on my notes), I decided it was time to emerge from the cave, switch up the study environment, and venture out into the cold.
I was sure to bundle up en route to the library, including this beanie I picked up over the summer from Forever 21. It was odd, buying a beanie in the summer, but that was also during my Cara Delevigne obsession and $3 to look even a little bit like her was a no-brainer. Unlike Cara, I was tentative to don this tête topper during the summer, but found yesterday to be the perfect time to whip it out. I love it’s rosy cozy red hue– and it matched my cheeks that day!

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From one cave to the next. Much <3 from the hood.

Madewell jeans, thrifted J Crew boots, LF sweater hoodie, Marc NY coat, Henri Bendel bag

Just Call Me a Copy-Katniss

Ever since I was about 13 years old I have taken on a knitting project around Thanksgiving and Christmas. I first learned to knit when I was about 10ish– my mom put me in a knitting class with a few of my best friends, and I was able to knit a teddy bear. It was not a very cute bear, mind you, but it was a bear nonetheless. Initially, I was so proud of my bear, but also so glad that I was finally finished with it, that I didn’t feel the need to even look at a pair of knitting needles for quite some time. Knitting requires a lot of patience and down time, and my tween attention span couldn’t handle it very well.

As I got older (and desperate for Christmas gifts for my siblings), I decided to give the grandmotherly task another shot by knitting a beanie for my brother and a scarf for my mom. In the process, I realized how calming it was to be able to sit down, absorb the background noise of Friends reruns on the TV, and zone out on my yarn and needles. Especially before or after exam time, its all very meditative.

Getting on to the main point of this post– I went to see Hunger Games: Catching Fire with my roommates a few nights before going home for turkey day. First of all, to those of you who have yet to see the film, go see it. I don’t care if you don’t like sci-fi or are afraid the movies will wreck the books, because they won’t. Just do it. You’ll thank me later. You’re welcome. Secondly, I not only found the movie awesomely awesome and JLaw to be fiercely fierce, but gurrll was also stylin’– and I don’t mean in Cinna’s fanciful costumes. In the opening scene, Katniss is wearing a cowl/scarf/shawl/vest/sweater thing, and its amazing. I immediately knew what this year’s knitting project would be.

The inspiration

The inspiration

As soon as I got home I searched for patterns, and luckily I was able to find one on Etsy! Another woman had my same adoration for this piece, and she had whipped up a pattern that was pretty much as close as one could get to the real design (which was woven, not knit). As soon as I got home for break I raced to JoAnn’s to pick up the yarn, and immediately got to work. In total, it took me from Wednesday evening to Saturday evening to complete the project. While my family will tell you I was a knitting fiend all of break, I assure you I did put my needles down periodically. Occasionally. When it was my turn in line for turkey.

Image from Etsy Pattern by Anaid Designs

Image from Etsy Pattern by Anaid Designs

I have to say, I am so incredibly pleased with how it turned out! It really is a unique looking piece, much more modern than a boring old circle scarf, and there are a number of ways to style it. Obviously, you could wear it like Katniss does, and like the pattern-maker Anaid shows, with a military look. What I love is that I can wear it as part of my day-long look, over a simple t-shirt, or I can wear it as a removable layer– over a leather jacket, or under my winter coat!

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It was getting too dark by the time I got around to taking outfit photos today, so I went with the classic mirror pics. But I will certainly be incorporating my masterpiece into other outfit posts this winter!

Even in the past week, more and more versions of the cowl are popping up online, some in patterns and some ready-made. These babies are selling for upwards of $100, but I say, why spend that when you can get it for $30, plus the priceless satisfaction of having made it yourself? Katniss would be proud.

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Fashion eCommerce at its Finest

I highly recommend checking out the e-commerce site Daily Look. When you sign up, you can choose between daily or weekly emails with several outfit ideas, all of which you can purchase right from their site! They have a large variety of brands, for all price ranges, and even have some awesome designer look-a-like pieces, like this red faux-Celine tote. Also, put together outfit sets to save your ideas when you get inspired, and then shop them all in one convenient place. It is almost as good as getting to try on your shopping wishlist before committing! Here’s the inspo set I created this afternoon with some of the down time I had– haven’t been able to say that for a while…
 
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Sweater Madness

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I always seem to find myself looking at sweaters when I go shopping and I have to tell myself, no! No more sweaters! You already have a whole 2 drawers full of them! And then winter hits in full force, causing me to wear a sweater every day. Then I realize I don’t have enough sweaters. I may as well prepare to dedicate the whole bureau to them.

Forever 21 sweater, Madewell jeans, thrifted JCrew boots, Michael Kors coat, Calvin Klein bag, NY street vendor sunnies

So much in so little time

I can’t believe how long its been since I last posted. There has been so much going on that I can’t even recount everything. Not to mention, I haven’t had any real time to take OOTD shots, or much less dress in post-worthy attire. I’d be happy to upload some shots of me in my trusty yoga pants and tattered high school sweatshirt, occasionally complemented with an oversized circle scarf, but I felt you might appreciate my HDOTD (hair do of the day) instead. I will be back to catch you up on my life happenings soon enough. Until then, enjoy this loose crown braid bun style I fashioned yesterday morning.

Photo on 11-11-13 at 12.37 PM 4-up on 11-11-13 at 12.41 PM #5 (compiled)