the paintings in your closet.

Every morning in high school, after dragging myself out of bed at 6:20, I would slowly trudge to my dressing room and promptly collapse down on the carpet to stare blearily at my clothes, hoping some creative outfit inspiration would strike. These days, 6:20 counts as sleeping in, and I don’t put as much thought into my clothes as I probably should. Both then and now, I could probably get a bit of inspiration from Thread and Canvas.  The site takes famous paintings and comes up with sartorial getups that echo the aesthetic. Here are a couple of my favorite paintings in clothes form. 

The blogger also puts from where each piece of clothing comes, so if you’ve just got to have that Degas skirt, she can hook ya up.



the explanation for mormon mommy mania.

I’ve featured Naomi of Rockstar Diaries here and Natalie of Nat the Fat Rat here. They’re both hugely popular, though in terms of page hits and loyal following, they might come behind Sydney of The Daybook. Sydney, like Naomi and Natalie, posts happy things, wears bright outfits, and has a raging sweet tooth. Also similar? She’s another big name in the world of Mormon Mommy Blogs.

Based somewhere around DC, Sydney is married to Tyson and has a baby boy named Everett. She writes well, she’s likeable, and she’s got awesome style that flips from sleek 9-5 looks like this

to more Pinterest-y splashy styles like this

to feminine nerdy chic like so

What’s most interested me on her blog so far, however, is her explicit discussion of the Mormon Mommy Blog fascination. Here’s her explanation for why the blogs have become so popular.

For starters, the LDS Church has 13 Articles of Faith {short descriptions that explain our foundational beliefs}. The last of which states: “If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.” A diligent effort to be put toward seeking after the beautiful things in life is an applicable and encouraging thought, whether you’re religious or not. I’ve always had a soft spot for aesthetics in my own life. Back when I was a little girl I had a ridiculous penchant for dramatic ringlets and red nails. In high school I tried my hand at interiors and went on a chalkboard-paint frenzy in my bedroom and then gave Thanksgiving place-settings a go-round. In college I explored my personal style further, chose to study Graphic Design and gained a greater appreciation of the arts. Until recently, I had never questioned whether this had anything to do with being raised in the Mormon faith. But then came this question from the email: 

So, what are your thoughts on the nature of the relationship between your faith and your church upbringing and the way you engage culture, the world, style, fashion, design, etc?

So much of modern day media, world views and culture can be used to tear down and distract from the lovely things in life like family and relationships, or in my case, creating {or trying!} something beautiful through design, style, etc. But the encouragement from LDS church leaders to engage ourselves in ways that enlarge our capacity for happiness {and seek out those things that are “virtuous and lovely”}, has I’m sure, inherently influenced my decisions when it comes to becoming involved in the world of design and style.

The LDS Church widely supports and encourages creative minds; something that I got to experience on a daily basis during my time at BYU-Idaho {a private LDS university}. Whether through seminars, galleries, out-of-class demonstrations, or just daily assignments, I was always grateful {and encouraged!} for the opportunity to learn from the work of both professional artists and students, as we each strove to perfect our craft. The design program there was challenging and rewarding and will certainly influence my endeavors as a designer down the road.

Additionally, LDS values have always encouraged a developing and sharing of personal talents. In my case, I don’t necessarily consider getting dressed or blogging to be a personal talent {we all do one or the other!}, but for me it IS a fun form of personal expression and creativity. How wonderful is it for an individual to have something that allows them to create and learn from everyday, whether their talents lie in aesthetics or car mechanics? Blogging has certainly opened up opportunities and new paths for me to pursue other talents that I had wished to develop further, like photography, graphic design, styling and interior design. All of which, I consider to fall under the category of “virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy.”

Because of our beliefs, we choose to abstain from participating in a few things {drinking, smoking, immodest forms of dress, swearing, etc} which does limit our participation in certain aspects of popular culture, but certainly doesn’t hinder us from seeking out the very best that culture has to offer. It just makes it a little easier for all those lovely things we seek out in life to bubble right to the top.”

Whether Mormon or not, hope you have a day of bubbling joy!


the brainy sartorialist.

In Bossypants, Tina Fey calls her marriage borderline boring. She says, “I don’t enjoy any kind of danger or volatility. I don’t have that kind of ‘I love the bad guys thing.’ No, no thank you. I like nice people.” Me too! The bad boy holds negative appeal for me. My sister’s neighbor once called her husband a “rugged nerd” in passing, and that categorization has become the buzzword in my family for the ideal guy. Rugged so that they’re athletic, handy, masculine, and nerd so that they’re smart, analytical, curious, etc. According to this chart that I came across a few days ago, these are the characteristics of a Geek instead of a Nerd, but I definitely would have flipped the titles if I’d made this little diagram.

Feel free to disagree with me in the comments, but I’ve got a pretty big dog on my side in the geek/nerd fight in the blog, The Nerd Boyfriend. On the site, Roxana Altamirano takes iconic men from real life, history, movies, and TV, and she tells you where you can buy specific items of clothing to recreate their looks. Her site is an online style guide, and it shows the chic in the geek (had to do it).

Here are some examples. If you don’t recognize all these people, their names are under the picture, and then the clothing items are collected below. If you’re on the site, you can click the item and the link will direct you to a store.

Clearly, “nerd” has a wide definition, which means there should be plenty of rugged ones running around too. Perfect!

(1, the rest)

the glamamoms.

My dream-life best friends over at A Piece of Toast posted about this blog last week, and it’s a really beautiful, dreamy, sweet one. The Glow features “styling ideas, go-to gear, multitasking secrets, and the enviable decor” of famous fashion moms. Lauren Moffatt, Cynthia Rowley, and Rebecca Minkoff are some of the biggest names featured. The blog offers a peek into their closets, homes, and hangouts with their kids.

The main page has a gallery of all the various fashion moms, and then there’s an album of pictures for each woman from around her home. Click on each one for a caption from the mom about the activity pictured, or a cute anecdote, or a time-saving tip, or a work-family balance analysis, or a favorite family recipe.

Jeananne Williams, PR Director at True Religion on a parent’s influence: “It’s frightening at times to think that you are shaping someone’s life and who they will become. Often I hear Ruby using one of my expressions, or doing an unfortunate dance move that she learned from me and I’m reminded that she is a sponge, taking it all in, and each moment big or small molds who she is. I used to catch myself when I sounded or acted like my mother—singing off-key definitely comes from her, we’re both a bit tone-deaf—but now I love it. I am my mother’s daughter, and Ruby is all mine.”

Lauren Moffatt on rules: “I wish I was better at saying no to sweets. Can’t make myself do it because I want it too.”

Check out The Glow for a glimpse into the pretty lives of these stylish mamas and kiddies.

the real-talk hipster mom.

I don’t know how I haven’t been reading this blog for a long time. I think you all will like her.

Nat the Fat Rat (gross name, pretty blog) is a force. Her name is Natalie, and she’s a snarky but grateful mom who leads a life that reminds me of Rockstar Diaries Taza’s (posted about here) and Cup of Jo Joanna’s (posted about here and here). She dresses like Taza and loves her chubby little boy like Joanna. Proof:

She’s different, however, in terms of substance. I love reading Taza and Joanna’s posts, but they’re often so short and…moony? that it’s like calling cotton candy your supper (which would be great! but it’s not really anything good and dinner-y into which you could sink your teeth. You know, like a brownie sundae). Nat the Fat Rat’s posts are well-written and funny. They range from serious ones about her faith to her self-discovery through her Meg Ryan Theory. She takes beautiful pictures, and she’s not one to sugarcoat life’s bumps and bruises as many bloggers tend to do.

She and her husband (whom she calls either by his first name Brandon or by their last name Holbrook) and their little plump cherub Henry (often called Huck on the blog) live in Manhattan. Holbslovah (she sometimes calls her husband that on the blog too, so I thought it’d be ok for me to as well) is an attorney, and she writes for a few different websites, runs her force of a blog, and looks after their little baby. The blog’s name was her nickname as a baby– apparently she was a chunker, and her family (so kindly and discreetly) called Nat the Fat Rat. And even though she hated that name, for some reason she decided to make it her blog title. Catchy, at least?

I really can’t believe she hasn’t been in my Google Reader forever, but better late than never, and I’m glad she’s part of my crew now.

(Images via Nat the Fat Rat)

happy weekend!

Considering the weather outside, I should dress like this girl this weekend:

Instead, I have plans that call for wearing something quite similar to this:

Same color palette, at least? But don’t worry about me being cold, Mom– I’ll at least blow dry my hair before heading out.

Have lovely weekends!

(Images1,2 & 3 )

the sketchbook.

There are a gazillion fashion blogs. I enjoy a lot of them, and I admire the bloggers’ bravery for posting pictures of themselves for public consumption/possible criticism. I’ve posted about a couple of my favorites here and here, but I haven’t posted any other fashion blogs for a while because I find them difficult to blog about. I don’t have the necessary repertoire of fashion adjectives to describe their specific styles, and I can reblog their pictures, but it’s not that fun for me (which duh, is the main reason I write this ol thing).

This chick is different! Lauren Friedman, 24, lives in Washington DC, and she blogs on My Closet in Sketches. Friedman started her blog as a release from the monotony of her 9-5 (I’m beginning to sense a theme…), and it became so popular that she quit her dreary job and now trades on her site and sketches. Instead of taking pictures of herself, Friedman draws pictures of her outfits and writes in her commentary/explanation for each piece. Thankfully, she’s already identified her style as “boy-meets-girl prep with major swag” so I don’t have to try to describe her look myself.

The blog isn’t all outfit of the day posts, and she mixes it up with things like the following:

My Closet in Sketches is unlike any other fashion blogs I’ve seen, Friedman shows a lot of talent (I wonder how much time each drawing takes her?), I love all the DC references, and her scrawling commentary is well-written/funny. Hope you like her!

(Images from My Closet in Sketches )