Fun with a capsule wardrobe

Lately I’ve been really interested in the idea of a capsule wardrobe. I don’t think I’ll ever fully commit to the idea because it means giving up the trends I love so well, but it got me thinking about what I would stock my capsule wardrobe with if I had the guts to give it a try.

I decided to pick a color scheme and a season: so this would be early spring, and this is my color palette:

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It’s a lot of the colors I already wear, with one notable addition: navy blue, a color I almost never wear. But I found these amazing heels and I thought a cool tone would be a nice addition for a pop of color for this “dream” capsule wardrobe.

Check out what I threw together:

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Now, this isn’t a true capsule wardrobe; it’s far too small for one thing, and for another, it’s missing some mix-and-match pieces, but this would be a start for me.

What would your dream capsule wardrobe look like?signoff

Sunday Inspiration | A poem by John Milton

20140723_143530Today’s post is a poem by John Milton. Milton is one of my favorite poets because of Paradise Lost, one of my favorite works of literature ever. I took a class in my senior year of college based entirely on Milton (shoutout to my amazing professor at Fordham University) and in the first week or so of class, she assigned Sonnet VII to us, written by Milton when he was 23 years old:

SONNET VII.

ON HIS BEING ARRIVED AT THE AGE OF 23.

HOW soon hath time, the subtle thief of youth,
     Stolen on his wing my three and twentieth year!
     My hasting days fly on with full career,
     But my late spring no bud or blossom sheweth.
Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth,
     That I to manhood am arrived so near,
     And inward ripeness doth much less appear
     That some more timely happy spirits indueth.
Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow,
     It shall be still in strictest measure even
     To that same lot however mean or high,
Toward which time leads me and the will of heaven.
     All is, if I have grace to use it so,
     As ever in my great taskmaster’s eye.

In case you’re like, “ugh poetry,” this poem is basically about the fear and anxiety Milton feels at having accomplished little by this age, and it’s also about the future that he knows is his: a literary career. “Toward which time leads me and the will of heaven” is basically like, “I know I haven’t done much to further my career right now, but I know that I will soon be working toward my destiny, because God wills it.”

At this time, Milton was 23 and all his friends were publishing while Milton was at home just reading and studying. His friends were like, “Bro. What are you doing with your life?” And he was defending himself against their criticism, expressing anxiety, but also asserting his opinion that he wasn’t wasting his time studying, learning, and reading: he knew that his future held something good, and he was okay taking his time to get there, as long as he was quietly (and slowly) working. Also, he was like, “Dudes, get off my back. You have no idea what I’m capable of.”

I picked this poem to share today because I’m 23, and I feel such anxiety sometimes about the future — I think all of us do. I think it’s sort of inspiring and comforting to know that one of the most successful English poets ever felt totally lost at 23, too. I keep remembering this poem even though I first read it over two years ago, and it’s a nice reminder that as long as I keep working, it’s okay if I don’t have everything figured out all at once. Yaknow?

Happy Sunday and have a great week!signoff

Fashion | Summer Wine

This is probably one of the last actual summer outfits I’ll do this year. August is almost over. :(

Instead of shopping at the end of the season I tried to do some restyling with old pieces. These shorts are from Forever 21 but they never fit me before this year, and the top was cut from a dress that didn’t fit! This outfit happened because I pulled random things out of my closet and found that they worked — surprisingly.

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top DIY, shoes from Jeffrey Campbell, shorts from Forever 21 (old)signoff

Books about growing up | This Side of Paradise

Ever have that feeling like you want to re-read a book you’ve read a while ago, because of something that’s going on in your life? That happens to me occasionally, reminding me how much books have influenced my life and continue to sort of guide me along. I’ve been thinking of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise recently, and I wanted to share my thoughts on it. It’s a coming-of-age story, full of growing pains and full of mistakes, and maybe that’s why I’m remembering it.

46165This Side of Paradise was Fitzgerald’s first novel, semi-autobiographical, and hugely popular. It turned Fitzgerald into a household name basically overnight. The novel tells the story of Amory Blaine, an indulged, confused, and idealistic Princeton student and the moments in his young life that have shaped his character. Amory isn’t always such a likable character, and his actions are sometimes questionable, but reading this novel is like growing up all over again.

It’s full of powerful concepts that have stuck in my brain in the two years since I read this book. Quotes like:

Don’t let yourself feel worthless: often through life you will really be at your worst when you seem to think best of yourself; and don’t worry about losing your “personality,” as you persist in calling it: at fifteen you had the radiance of early morning, at twenty you will begin to have the melancholy brilliance of the moon, and when you are my age you will give out, as I do, the genial golden warmth of 4 p.m.

If nothing else, This Side of Paradise is about growing up and discovering who you are, and how you want to proceed with who you’re going to turn into later in life. It’s about holding onto youth when you no longer know how to be young, and about making mistakes because of that.

Amory doesn’t really know how to live his life, and even though he’s doing his best, it’s almost as if his personality is constantly frustrating his wishes. Don’t you ever feel like that? Like maybe you’re just holding yourself back from something?

Amory Blaine had to go through a lot just to come to terms with himself, and who he is.

And he could not tell why the struggle was worthwhile, why he had determined to use the utmost himself and his heritage from the personalities he had passed…

He stretched out his arms to the crystalline, radiant sky.

“I know myself,” he cried, “But that is all.”

No wonder Fitzgerald’s fame was made on a book like this. signoff

These are the books I’m dying to get my hands on this fall

Alas, it is almost the end of August and come September, a whole slew of new books and new music will be released, and I can’t wait for any of them. I’m the kind of person who buys half a dozen new books and then lets them languish on my shelves for months while I read through my extensive back catalog of books, and the cycle continues ever on and on. But this fall, I’m so looking forward to ushering in a new, multi-hued season with these books.

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The Girl In The Spider’s Web

I don’t know how I feel about this one, to be quite honest. I was totally in love with the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series a few years back, but the trilogy satisfied me enough, and I’m not a huge fan of new authors continuing the thread of other authors’ stories. It feels somewhat disrespectful, and in any case, “sequels” like this are never as good as the original. Even so, I’ll have to stop by my library and peek into this one, and maybe I’ll be proven wrong!

Lair of Dreams, by Libba Bray

I’ve been a huge fan of YA author Libba Bray since I was 12 or 13 years old, and it took her over three years to get her sequel to 2012’s The Diviners to a release date! She’s notoriously terrible with deadlines so I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I’m still beyond impatient to read this YA novel. The first one is a supernatural historical thriller set in 1920s New York City. If that doesn’t sell you on this novel, nothing will!

The Girl From Krakow, Alex Rosenberg

This is a book I just heard of. It tells the story of a young Polish woman named Rita Feuerstahl who moves to the University of Krakow as a student in 1935, and it’s set against the looming presence of Nazism in Europe and World War II. Sounds like my kind of historical novel!

What is everyone looking forward to reading this fall? signoff

Featured Blogger | Kez Blogs

FEATUREDI’m so excited to bring you this month’s feature, KezBlogs written by Keziah Lendor. Keziah is a fashion stylist, freelance writer, and model. She’s been featured on Vogue.com, British Vogue, and Lucky Mag. This is her story:

There is never a dull moment in my world but this in no way means my life is without the ‘crazies.’ Technically speaking I’ve been entwined officially with the world of fashion for about 3 years (since I graduated from University). Being a fashion stylist, writer and blogger is exciting but very challenging at the same time. It requires discipline, diligence and a lot of passion, but when you’re doing what you truly love, it will almost hardly ever feel like work. For me, it’s like working on this masterpiece that takes time and effort but makes it all worth the while in the end. I truly believe that when you love what you do there is a mysterious thrill and void within us that is filled that nothing and no human being can possibly fill. That’s why part of my life’s agenda is to get people to tap into that passion or dream they have and pursue it to the end.MIP_3897-Edit

I remember starting my blog Kezblogs at a time when I wasn’t sure if I should just yet. I didn’t feel like I was completely prepared to but I did anyway. Sometimes in life that’s what our dreams require from us, a leap of faith. You’re not always going to have the support of everyone you wish to have it from but that’s okay. In all of the lessons I’ve learnt in the past three years, one of the most important ones for me has been finding the strength to encourage myself. It’s easier said than done but with a strong faith in God I was able to do it. My blog is my muse. It’s where I share a lot of the things that excite me both in fashion and my life. It’s very therapeutic for me and it’s my safe place. I’ve also made the blog’s social media handles very dimensional. For instance, my Instagram shares lots of behind the scenes aspects of my work together with some everyday life highlights, my Twitter is the Kezblogs rant station, my Facebook is my blog post alert central and my Snapchat is the most personal of them all. That way you get to see a different side of me everywhere.

For the most part, I live my life in color. My blog and my work has grown very quickly within the past three years and I am definitely not about to complain anytime soon. I have set very big goals for myself and I don’t plan to reduce them for anyone. I dream big and work hard at it because I can and will see it all come to fruition and I implore everyone who is dreaming big to do the same too.

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Highlights from KezBlogs:

Spring Rebellion

INTO THE WOODS: THE POCONOS WEEKEND GETAWAY

TURNING 25: AN INTIMATE PORTRAIT

Follow Keziah Lendor on her blog, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!

Want to be featured on this blog? Check out the details here!signoff

Fashion | Mountains up ahead

Fancy flapper dress. :) This dress comes to you from Ifchic.com, and the best part of this beautiful number is that I actually got it free of charge because of their cool coins program. This website lets you earn coins every day (up to six dollars worth of coins a day) and then redeem your coins for these designer pieces on the 24th of each month. I shopped at Ifchic.com on July 24th after acquiring like 180 coins and I was able to redeem them for this dress!

Ifchic.com has some really amazing designers. My favorites are Missha for shoes (love their plastic heel), Joomi Lim jewelry, and Greylin dresses (of which this dress is one). You get 4 ifchic coins a day just for visiting the site, they’ve got a great selection, and shipping was ridiculously fast. The products are definitely more expensive than what I’m used to buying, but for this type and quality of dress, not to mention this interesting rewards program, Ifchic.com is definitely worth a look.

The feathers on this dress are obviously my fave part.

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If you want to participate in the next ifchic event, it’s on August 24th, which is plenty of time to start collecting those coins!

dress c/o Ifchic.comsignoff