the moment when a memory aches

A couple weeks ago I went to see Beach House at the Riviera. It was every bit as heavenly and sublime as you would expect - and then some! I was particularly struck by how marvelous Victoria Legrand's vocals sounded live, how her booming voice filled up the entire theater, how her voice sounds just the same as it does on records. The lighting was especially magical, with soft colors and fog machines creating sunsets and dawn, and twinkling lights that were stars. I had really high hopes and was almost certain I'd be disappointed, but was not! It was absolutely one of the more moving shows I've been to in a while.

As I have mentioned before, whenever I go to shows I like to dress like how the bands sounds as a way to connect myself to the experience! In this case I chose to focus on how regal their music is. Like how majestic and cinematic their songs are, but still sounding familiar and comforting - like an object you've loved forever. All clothes are vintage, shoes are Prada and were an ebay find.

This dress was probably an old prom gown? Removing the skirt and keeping the tulle lining intact is really great DIY. The sequins are actually a zip-back top that I've never actually worn as a top - it looks better worn backwards as a vest! Karen Smith inspo everrrryday. Lace and sequins are a pretty unbeatable combination.

Have you guys been to any rad shows lately? Do tell...


we hold it down

(rodarte for opening ceremony blouse, paisley skirt from goodwill, madewell boots, necklace birthday present)
No idea why I'm just now posting this outfit because I've been wearing it kind of compulsively for a few months now. Green is a really underrated color! In the right shades it can feel every bit as spooky as wearing black, but with the added feeling of elves and haunted forests. Plus it looks good with dark reds and whites and deep blues.

FMK9tu on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

One thing I love about Chicago is the wind. Sometimes it is a gentle breeze, most of the time it is a gust that battles umbrellas and knock you off your feet. Whenever I travel to some other place I always immediately notice the lack of wind - eerie stillness, the missing subtle pressure on my skin, the inactivity of my clothes. Living here has totally made me fall in love with clothes that react to the wind. Things like long flowing garments and hazy prints just take on a more special character when being blown around!


rose hip november

I'm a bit of an obsessive playlist maker; I have playlists for all moments of life, some 3 songs, some hours and hours. My playlists are somewhat of a rudimentary form of journaling, so it feels a little weird to share this one, but it's really the best way to convey the inspirations I'm feeling right now. 

Whenever I am thinking of what to be inspired by, it usually begins with a song. I think a lot about the physical place that a song would exist in. Lately I am interested in this idea of ethereal places that do exist, as opposed to dream worlds. Places like Alaska with its starkness and its fogginess and the way everything there looks so blue. Or Northern California and its gently rolling hills and sky that seemed to stretch clear across the planet, and how the few trees pierced the sky, and how the beaches had no sand, only sharp rocks and crashing waters. And places I've never been - like the Plains with a cabin here and there, and waves of grains, and a cinematic sunset. I guess I am itching to be around stillness, to see stars in the sky. The city is windy and noisey and noises all clanging into one another, and for some reason I'm really compelled to be away from that. Even for a few moments.

For fall and winter maybe I feel like living in that place. It exists within its own history; an amalgamation of the 70s and the Victorian era and everything Baroque and maybe here in present, except you are much older than you are now, and still favor the old-timey things of your youth. Like going to your grandparent's house and seeing everything covered in lace and doilies and weird inspirational placards hanging on the walls. And stark dualities between these things, like dreams and wakefulness, black and white, ghosts and the living, and magick and reality. And precious music that is spooky but instead of being from a dream world, is from a place that is so close you can reach it. You don't have to sleep to see this world, you only need to listen to Azure Ray and sit under a tree on a very gray day.

Hellen Van Meene for Paradis #5

Francesca Woodman

Marc Jacobs by Juergen Teller

White Magic by LOVER

Grazhyna Kukhta by Elsa Torjdman

Gertrude Kasebier

Norman Parkinson for Vogue, 1970

Valentino Haute Couture 

Guy Bourdain, 1971

Arthur Rackman, 1908

Yelena Yemchuck

Codie Young in Raf Simons Menswear archives

Angelica Huston

Alexandria Valenti for Sisters of the Black Moon

Ellen Rogers x Prizme

Erin Fetherston Resort 2013

Steven Meisel for Versace 1998

I will probably be over this inspiration in like a week, but here are some things I'm looking forward to wearing during the colder weather.

All clothing is vintage (black dress and paisley jacket from Sisters of the Black Moon), except for the white ruffly overcoat which was from my secret Goodwill. Plastic clutch is by 202 Factory,  faux fur boa is Meadham Kirchhoff. Pamela Love sacred heart necklace, Prada shoes from ebay, Rachel Comey x Hansel from Basel socks that remind me of Bloom.

This post was exhausting, and probably very pretentious! Oh well, hoping this autumn brings magic to your imagination. It's the best season for that. xoxo



(vintage sweater, risto blouse underneath, jeans c/o NYDJ, super old leather chuck taylors)
OH MY GOD FRIDAY, I can sleep till 10am tomorrow that is all that matters OMG. Friday is also sacred because I can wear "denim" "jeans" to work which lol if you ever expected to see me wearing plain jeans on this blog. But the whole point of  my work outfit series is to show that I don't wear pompom headpieces or giant lace curtains on a daily basis, even though I wish I could. I am not special because I have a blog and wear weird things sometimes. I am normal human wurmbaby who treasures that one day a week when I can sit in a desk all day in comfortable jeans. Incidentally I also wear a variation on this outfit when visiting with my partner's family in suburbs, lest they think I am a DEVIL CHILD 666 and refuse to attend the wedding. Pratical outfits, folks!
Thanks to everyone who added their wonderful insight to this series. I know many of you are creative for a living, or are young and don't have Adult Cubicle Jobs yet, but that's precisely the reason I did this series. As humans, we grow when presented with things that confuse us or challenge or make us feel uncomfy or can't relate to. And for those of you who've emailed or commented to tell me that you have day jobs and CAN relate, please know that work is a part of who you are. And that it is okay to derive part of your identity from your career. Trying so hard to seperate your personal life from your professional life will only make you unhappier at work! This is opposite of what self-help nonsense tells you. But after working in shit job after shit job for many years, I have learned to derive some pleasure from work by throwing myself in it, by being present and conscious at every shift, regardless of how much I hate my job. It is not the easiest thing to do, but it helps. It really does. And for those of you who feel like your job only execerbates your feelings of WHAT IS MY LIFE LOL, please know that these feelings of confusion are normal. Most people, even grown-ass parental types, end up in vastly different places in life than they ever envisioned. Life is really fucking terrifying, but it is a roller coaster and you can never know what awaits you. Try to enjoy the ride. ♥



(topshop sweater, rachel comey dress)

This is my FUCK I WOKE UP TOO LATE WHAT CAN I THROW TOGETHER IN 4 SECONDS outfit, which usually happens about once a week. Cropped sweater over a printed dress = BOOM. It takes you more time to dig through your hamper for clothes that sort of don't smell and sort of aren't covered in pet hair. Rachel Comey magical shoegaze dress is one of my favorite things in my closet, and I make a point of not wearing my special clothes to work lest they become un-special, but sometimes I need something! anything! to help me feel like myself at the office. Even if its just a dreamy print peeking out of stark black office wear. Take what you can get.



(vintage blouse, zara pants, way old chanel flats)

We've made it to Wednesday, that point in which you still have as much work ahead of you as you've already completed. Wednesdays seem to a be unoffical "casual" day. So today I wore slacks and rolled up the ankles juuuust a little to make it feel less profesh, and left my blouse untucked because FREEDOM, MAN. It's not a bad idea to have a mini stockpile of blouses that are short enough that they don't need to be tucked in, for when you feel like LETTING LOOSE and BEING CHILL. Slacks and ballet flats are definitely not something that I wear on regs outside of the office, but I firmly believe that I am still myself when I wear them! Work clothes are an exercise in compartmentalization. Turn it on from 9 -5, SHUT IT DOWN immediately at 5:01pm!



(thrifted sweater and skirt, zara jacket. WHAT UPPPP 7:30AM ON A TUESDAY MORNING)

Total Celine vibes for work today. Honestly, I cannot overstate the importance of burgundy tights as a part of your work wardrobe. They go with just about every dark color that Profesh Clothes seem come in, but also add just a little "HI OFFICE I AM WEIRD", enough that you coworkers will call you the ~artsy~ one.

As someone who lacks a college degree, I realized a long time ago that if I wanted to eat more than peanut butter sandwiches for a week, I would end up working jobs that require me to look a certain way. Whether that was in an apron and orthopedic shoes at California Pizza Kitchen, or hipster cira 2006 garb at American Apparel, I have never worked at a job in which I could wear what I wanted. Sometimes I'll see my friends with brightly dyed hair and feel a tiny twinge of jealousy because that is not something I could do, even if I wanted to. Personal style is important and I firmly believe in style as self-expression. But it is a privilege, not a right, to be able to express yourself through style everyday because doing so is not economically sustainable for most Americans. That's a hard pill to swallow, I know! Most Americans, myself included, have to submit ourselves to a standarized corporate appearance in order to put food on our table. We work those "boring" jobs so the world can function as it does; we process paychecks and ring up groceries and aswer the phone when Amazon sends you the wrong package. Working with a dress code isn't for everyone. But people will do what they need to do to earn a paycheck - including wearing boring outfits for 40+ hours each week. Because sometimes it really is all about survival. Doing what you gotta do in order to make it though each day.



(vintage dress, belt c/o everlane, old tights, alexander wang shoes, jacket gifted from club monaco when i briefly worked there)

Good morning! Do I look tired? That's because I am! It's Monday morning, and I took this photo right before I left for work. I'm writing this post from my phone on the el! This whole week, I will be posting my outfits that I wear to work - and also talking about some issues that working women face, everything from "can I wear socks with loafers at the office?" to "WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?!?!?" The idea came to me as I rode the train home from work one evening, and noticed that the rush hour crowd looked defeated and tired and wanted nothing more than to be with their families and pets and friends and a nice homecooked meal. And I realized that those of us with office jobs spend more waking time at our jobs than not, wearing these awfully ugly clothes that blend in with the cardboard walls of our cubicles. So let's talk about these things! It's such a loaded discussion but one that us working women never seem to have. I'm not even sure how many of readers even have office jobs, but if you do, I encourage you to comment and join the conversation!

Anyway I try to dress THE MOST professionally on Mondays, because I think it helps to set a good tone for the week. Also I tend to hang out with my friends on Sunday nights, so a profesh outfits hides any instance of a hangover. I tend to wear one vintage piece to work, but never underestimate of a belt and a power jacket - the more modern, the better, because they really make a vintage pieces into something work appropriate. But no matter how businessy I try to look, I ALWAYS have bad hair on Mondays. Without fail. In fact, I'm pretty sure everyone has Bad Hair Mondays. Look around your workplace today, and take a shot (when you get home!) if someone actually has a snazzy 'do. You will probably have zero excuse to down those shots.


good morning

(house of matching colours dress, risto jacket, vintage dior camisole gift from sleepy head vintage, old slip, venessa arizaga necklace, jil sander shoes. photos by kelley)

Back in July, on my 27th birthday, Kelley came over to interview me for her style website Majestic Disorder. It was a lot of fun to spend an afternoon talking about me, myself, and I, and also watching Gangam Style for the first time. Hop on over to her website to see the feature in which she wrote the *sweetest* things about me. Also inclues a lil video of me gesticulating stupidly while talking about House of Leaves, which YES I AM AWARE that this book is pretentious pomo drivel, but honestly I think artists should err on the side of talking themselves too seriously rather than not seriously enough. I say this because I've watched way too many talented artists do nothing except snort coke and party all night. MAKE ART even if it showoffy or sardonic or just plain sucks!


pray for those who have gone from the sunlight that surrounds you

 (risto jacket, jil sander t-shirt, vintage silk skirt, margiela shoes)
One last hurrah before autumn sets in, and the sun is low in the sky, and I embrace the darker colors in my wardrobe. It was truly refreshing to spend the warmer months wearing a bright color palette of rose and ivory, but soon it will be time for the blacks and the blues.

I'm really attracted to this idea of taking optimistic prints and patterns and turning them upon themselves - making them melancholy by placing them into a melancholy context, through the use of things like a forced vacant stare and the weird flat light of the Midwest that seems to envelop us every autumn. I am not sad anymore, but I suppose I'm still fond of that aesthetic. Fall always feels solemn to me. It was in the fall of 2003 that I became obsessed with Saddle Creek bands, because their aesthetic had a way of capturing the Midwestern austerity that I find so comforting. Specifically Rilo Kiley, who although they hailed from LA, seemed to sense these gray Midwestern days. Listening to The Execution of All Things brings me back to my beloved best friend Annie and our struggles to deal with the weight of our lives. Days were tough back then but when we listened to Rilo I Kiley I felt less alone, more understood. Its shining moments of buoyancy tempered with unrelenting sorrow were the soundtrack to our hearts.

Hail to Whatever You Found in the Sunglight That Surrounds You by Rilo Kiley

I've never seen flat sunlight quite the way it happens here. One of the many reasons that the Midwest is inspiring.