January isn't usually a month I remember or even care to, but this year started off on a pretty good note (as least as far as my Instagram shows!).

This month I...
wore mustard-colored tights
ate homemade grilled cheese
didn't get a job I wanted
passed on a job I didn't want
wrote about my faith in Sisterhood
made a couple of trips up to St. Ed's
finally picked up my college diploma(!!!)
downloaded the Vine app (add me: nicole seligman)
had Popeyes for the first (and second and third) time
had a bunch of successful thrifting adventures
had some fun times with Tess (her stealing my pizza roll)
and some not so fun times with Tess (her scratching my face while I was sleeping)
wore a lot of different lipsticks

In February, I hope to...
eat a lot of Girl Scout cookies
spend Valentine's Day reminding loved ones how much I love them
launch my new business venture (more on this coming soon!)
hang out with my brother
do something obnoxiously cute with Dago
become a master at Vine

How did your month turn out? What are you looking forward to in February?

january grams

jacket: gifted Banana Republic (old, similar) // dress: Francesca's Collections (loving these 1 2 3)  // booties: Charlotte Russe (similar) // belt: Target
oo1. This is the first time I've ever belted a jacket. I don't know what took me so long, but I love it.
oo2. Before I put on this outfit, I shaved my legs for the first time in one two three months. No, it's not a feminist thing, it's a lazy and I'm bad at shaving thing. (Yes, I cut myself in two places.)
oo3. For my first round of photos in this outfit, I actually wore a sock bun. It was my first time doing a sock bun and I quickly realized that it's not a flattering look on me, so you'll never see those photos.
oo4. This is my first time wearing this dress without tights. I bought it last winter and somehow never wore it when it was actually warm/seasonably appropriate/Spring.
oo5. This photo session was the first time I continued posing and taking photos when cars/people/the mail man passed by (instead of awkwardly grabbing my tiny tripod and pretending to be doing...anything else).

firsts

blazer: thrifted (originally Banana Republic) // jeans: Gap // shoes: Target (really, really old) // belt: Target
In high school, I thought I would grow up to be a blazer and jeans kind of girl. I was on the speech and debate team, so it was not uncommon for me to rock my favorite pair of jeans with the top half of my suit. Unfortunately, I'm shaped like a twelve year old boy, so blazers have never been as good a look on me as I imagined in my head.  Luckily, I rediscovered skirts and dresses the second semester of freshman year of college, which are millions of times more flattering on me.

However, I never got the image of my dream blazer out of my head. Something checked, in a heavy material, in a olive-y hue, with a super-cinched waistline, and big round buttons...and maybe some pockets. Definitely something Spencer Hastings would wear. I've searched high and low for this blazer. I've tried on many a jacket in thrift stores and every Gap I've ever walked into and never been able to find one that meets all of my criteria. (Of course my dream blazer probably lives in the racks of J.Crew, but I don't have a J.Crew income to buy said blazer.)


I've had so much fun planning outfits with my new blazer. The olive wool and dark plum lining are the perfect neutral colors to go with so many pieces I already own. This definitely isn't the most exciting outfit I could have put together with my new favorite item, but I'm so excited to be able to rock a biz-cas look that fits my personality and my body. 

So what do you want to see my paid the blazer with next? I'm really excited about dress/blazer looks, so throw out some color pallet ideas and I'll start planning!

biz-cas

 

Wow, what a crazy episode. Not crazy in the way the crackcident episode was crazy, like I expected, but crazy in a hyper-emotional way. Even though the episode really only followed Hannah and a little bit Marnie, it felt like a fuller episode than the last couple. I'm titling this post 'get on my level' after Hannah yelling it up to Eli at the club, but also because I think it explains every character's motivations in this episode.


After Hannah judging Marnie for putting her passions on the back burner for a hosting gig in the last episode, Hannah was inspired to seek out more writing opportunities to put her voice out there. jazzhate, the publication Hannah meets with, isn't so much interested in her voice as they are in a voice who did some outrageous shit that's 'out of their comfort zone.' Since Hannah's sexual fantasies have more to do with her sexing herself than a threesome, she chose the cocaine pitch. Probably a solid call for Hannah.


I was sort of hoping for a more involved coke-quest, but I'm satisfied with meeting Laird instead. Unlike a lot of the characters who live in self-centered realities, Laird has cleansed himself of his junkie ways and takes an interest in getting to know and protecting Hannah. As self-centered as Hannah is, I think having someone who takes a moment to think of her is nice and is something all of the characters would benefit from--if only they would all cease caring about themselves for a minute and would look out for one another. Anyway, Laird is a good guy who genuinely wanted to help out and not just leave Hannah stranded with a strange drug in an environment where no one else was looking out for her.


In the meantime, Marnie is trying to do the working girl thing--almost literally with that old creep harassing her--when she sees her old infatuation Booth at the bar. Knowing he can say anything and Marnie will jump, he asks when she last had sex and then takes her back to his place in the middle of her shift. Booth is an artist who has probably never experienced the kind of pain and trauma he attempts to create, but neither has Marnie, so his art affects her. The scene where she's locked in the television column was both beautifully framed and frustratingly emotional because it just shows how much of a mean person Booth is and how little he cares for Marnie or anyone else who experiences his art. He isn't interested in the post-art conversation or the catharsis of engaging with his creations; Booth is in it for the shock factor. Either way, Marnie wants to be on his level and she'll say anything to gain his approval as an art appreciator.


Back in Hannah's cokeventure, "it's a Wednesday night, baby, and [she's] alive." That is until Eli crushes everything Hannah thought she knew or at least believed in about herself, her sexuality, and her relationships with the people she trusts the most. Way to go, Eli. I do agree that Hannah deserved to know and this was probably the best (see: easiest; not healthiest nor most respectful) way to tell her, it did totally suck. It seems like Hannah has emotionally sacrificed a lot for Marnie and totally put aside any residual emotions about her break up with Eli, so to find out that she'd been betrayed by both must have been pretty isolating. Marnie has told Hannah again and again (even episode after episode) that she's a bad friend, yet actively chose to do something that she knew would be hurtful to Hannah. So do we blame Marnie for being a conscious bad friend or Hannah for being a clueless bad friend? I definitely see where both are coming from and personally think they could use a communication skills makeover, but we'll see what happens in the next episode.

What I'm looking for in episode 4:
oo1. More of Shoshana's cute hair styles
oo2. Marnie realizing she's a better person than Booth
oo3. Hannah looking for a new roommate
oo4. More discussion of what makes a good friend (sisterhood!)

Do you think Hannah or Marnie is a better friend? Do you think Eli will end up moving out?

girls 2x3 // get on my level



I've had especially good luck on my most recent thrifting trips, so I thought I'd share the haul. I don't know if it's my thrifting skills or the Austin thrift stores that have improved, but I'm finding much higher quality items than I used to. I think I'm going to add a new rule to my thrifting tips and start focusing on name brands and designer pieces. I want my wardrobe to be filled with long-lasting items and can't afford to purchase them for full price, so thrifting them is a good place to start.

oo1. Banana Republic checkered blazer ($15.99)
I have a hard time finding blazers that fit my twelve-year-old boy frame, so I spend extra time trying on every blazer that might possibly fit me, in hopes that I will eventually find one. I'm usually prone to buying boy-child's navy jackets from ring bearer suits and private school uniforms. When I found this checked blazer, I literally ran across Goodwill screaming Dago's name until I found him so I could show him my new treasure. It fits so well and I have pinned many a blazer that looks just like it. I especially love it because it's a little bit cropped, so the waist is cinched in the correct place on my ultra-short torso.

oo2. Oscar de la Renta tweed a-line skirt ($9.99)
I've also been searching for the perfect tweed skirt for some time. In the store, I fell in love with the color, but didn't have time to try it on, so I just bought the darn thing. Once I got it home, I realized the skirt was definitely a-line and not pencil, like I previously thought, so I started planning ways to tapper the bottom. Cut to me realizing that the skirt is Oscar de la Renta and wondering if I could ever bring myself to take a sewing machine to it after all. A-line skirts are really not a good look on me, so I'll likely end up altering it or saving it to eventually sell in a Shop My Closet type of situation.

oo3. James Perse henley ($5.99)
Last week, the lovely Robyn of Cleverly, Yours posted a hot little outfit of Free People overalls with a comfy henley and I immediately began scouring the internet for an affordable one in my size. I love the one she was wearing from Brandy Melville (it's even called Nicole!) and I found a couple on sale at Aerie, but I didn't want to deal with shipping if the shirt wasn't going to look good on me anyway, so I went a-thriftin'. I rarely shop in the shirt section of thrift stores because there is just so. much. stuff. to look through, but I was on a mission and I knew just what I was looking for. And then I found it. And it was James Perse. And in my size. And only $5.99. From working at Nordstrom, I know how pricey James Perse can be, so I snatched the shirt up and took it to the front and happily dropped six bucks for my new favorite tee.

oo4. Urban Outfitters plaid shirt dress ($9.99)
For more on my brand new UO shirt dress, see Tuesday's post.

Next I'm hoping to thrift the perfect mini skirt and a fitted black leather jacket.
What have you thrifted lately? Would you be interested in shopping my closet?

PS. If you haven't noticed, I finally decided on a blog button (and fixed the code so that the new button shows up instead of the old one!!). Feel free to grab one and let me know you did so we can swap! Yay bloggy friends!

thrift haul

Winter can be a tough time of year for dressing. For one, putting clothes that aren't my sock monkey PJs on is difficult in the first place, but I struggle sometimes with knowing what colors to wear. Spring, summer, and autumn all have pretty easy color pallets. When it gets cold and dreary outside, I tend to gravitate towards greys and blacks because, without the help of Mr. Sunshine, I don't have the energy to wear anything bright.

On days when even a bold lip isn't enough to cheer me up, I turn to jewel tones. While I wouldn't say that I prefer jewel tones against my complexion (they make me look awfully washed out/bluish and veiny?), I can't help feeling cheerful when I have a cool cranberry or deep turquoise in my outfit. 

Because I know I still have at least another two months of winter ahead of me, I'm keeping my eye out for cool colors to add to my closet. Right now I'm loving this flirty frock, this dotted dress, and this purple animal print sweater.

jewel tones


Since graduating from college last May, I have applied for countless jobs, interviewed for 8 (I think?) positions, and turned down 4 offers. Maybe this sounds crazy to you. Maybe you think I should jump at any offer in this struggling economy. Maybe you've been taught to say yes to every opportunity. Maybe that works for you.

I'm not saying that saying no is always the best choice, but when you know it is, I want you to know that it's okay to say it. Interviews are just as much about you getting to know a company or position better as it is for the company to get to know you. I notice my interviewer's body language (do they give me eye contact?), I get an idea of how employees feel about the higher ups (is there strong communication across the hierarchy?), I pay attention to how management treats customers (did they really just tell that women she was wrong? ONTD!). When I'm not impressed with the structure, ethics, and support of a company on the day of an interview, I can pretty much guarantee that I'll be declining any offer, no matter how much they want to pay me. Knowing that I can't thrive in a negative environment has saved me from getting stuck in jobs I would eventually hate anyway.

Knowing your value is a big part in getting the job you want. If you're willing to work for anyone doing anything for any amount of money, you may not have a lot of confidence in your abilities or you may not have a sense of direction for what you want to do, but either way you're likely settling on something that takes time away from your happiness and your future endeavors. This isn't to say that there won't be a handful of jobs that you'll work that won't be related to your interests or won't make you jump for joy; what I'm saying is that it's okay to be selective.

After assessing the reality of my financial situation, tossing out pros and cons, and being really in tune with both my personal and professional needs, I've been able to turn down 4 jobs that, for one reason or another, weren't the right fit. I've been trying to find the right third job help myself cross the line into 'financially stable' territory, but I've had to be super selective as to not mess up the good things I have going for me. I know that both my skills and time are valuable, so I can't just throw them at anything that comes along. Saying no reminds me that my standards come first. Saying no makes me appreciate my "yeses" so much more.

a note on saying no

dress: thrifted (originally Urban Outfitters) // chambray: American Eagle // jeans: Gap // boots: Chinese Laundry // watch: Anne Klein // headband: Old Navy
While everyone else is concerned with leggings as pants becoming an acceptable form of fashion, I am finding myself validating my seventh grade self's sense to pair dresses over pants. My mom told me I looked like a ragamuffin, but I would stuff petticoat skirts into my messenger bag and then slip them on over my jeans at the bus stop. I've always been a fashion deviant.

I was so excited to find this shirt-dress at Savers last weekend. I told Dago that I had a list of things I was allowed to buy while we were out and luckily plaid flannel made the cut. Sometimes thrifting can get expensive if I don't give myself a limit. On this particular trip, I also bought a tweed Oscar de la Renta skirt that I'm so excited to style.

 I originally thought to wear the shirt-dress over black leggings with heeled booties, but it's been so darn cold in Austin that leggings just weren't enough. I can't wait to dress it up with chunky pearls and then wear it with bare legs in the spring!


Photobucket

pants as leggings

It's week 2 of Girls and a whole lot went down. Let's all put on our shorteralls and discuss.

I'm glad the episode started off with Eli and George so I could get them out of the way. Elijah's character isn't very likable right now and, while I don't care for George either, I'm obviously siding with him in this split. George said  "I've spent so much time confused and I'm not anymore," a sentence echoed by so many of my friends when they struggle with a partner who is struggling to figure out what they want. Whether it's sexuality or commitment, sometimes it's the right choice to figure it out without the pressures of a relationship, especially when you're clearly hurting your partner. I get where Elijah is coming from for sure, but that doesn't make it fair to George and I'm glad he was able to separate himself from a spiral he didn't want to be a part of. Maybe now Elijah can explore what he wants by being loyal to himself instead of disloyal to his committed partner.
Cut to Hannah and Elijah for a terrifying song and one of my favorite lines in the episode. While Adam is all "You destroyed my heart," Hannah is quoting my 13 year old self: "I've always marched to the beat of my own drummer ever since i cut my camp shirt into a halter top." When we're 13, everything revolves around us and we just want to be pretty enough to have a boyfriend to treat us badly because it means we at least have a boyfriend. Hannah often reverts back to her 13 year old self when she's faced with insecurities. Part of Hannah obviously doesn't want a psycho ex-boyfriend to send her hostile music videos, but as soon as she believes she isn't good enough for the psycho ex to get murder-y on her, she's all "So you basically you're saying that he didn't love me enough to murder me." Yes, Hannah. Exactly.
For the first time, I really identified with Marnie in this episode. Poor thing had a plan and worked so hard to get where she is. She took all the steps and bought the (Ann Taylor) suit and even got the interview. Only to find out that her dream job sort of doesn't exist anymore because the people who have it are already employed. (Because what assets do you really have if all of the experience you've got leads to a dead end? "A Bachelor's degree," Shosh reassures. *Scoff*) Some say you have to make your own dream job (a different post for a different day), but in reality, if no one will pay you to do your dream job, then you've got to settle for a less-than-dream job. Like a pretty person job. Marnie's putting the classic I'm-trying-so-hard-to-be-optimistic spin on her new hostess job by telling everyone that she's making good money and the hours allow her to explore new interests. I hope this works out for her, because in my experience, these quick cash/pretty people jobs can be rather soul-sucking and slashing through any motivation I once had to explore other interests.
I'm going to skip recapping Shosh + Ray's pig-bathing conversation, but they are precious and I'm glad they found each other. 
Having seen Jessa and TJ interact together before she and Hannah's come to Jessa chat, it's painfully obvious that Jessa is blinded by her perceived insight. She's incredibly happy in her new life with her husband who tells her he likes her paintings as soon as he sees them and who tells her to get anything she wants, but telling Hannah that this is what life is like "when the hunt is over" is sending her into a new dead end fairy tale. I'm always surprised and impressed with Jessa's listening skills because I never expect her to really hear what anyone else says, but she saw right through Hannah's feigned excitement about Sandy and gave her the truth she needed (that Eli and Marnie were missing) to see that Sandy wasn't really kind or supportive, he just wasn't Adam. "If he's not reading your essays, he's not reading you," appealed on a much deeper level to Hannah than anything about Sandy being a Republican. Though his Republican-ness inevitably did him in when Hannah broke things off so that Eli and Marnie's "rights could happen." 
And then there's Adam in all of his psycho, milk drinking, non-murdery-ness. I basically felt that Adam recognized any maturity Hannah had in this situation and stepped on it with his man foot: "as a man living my man life, my desire for you cannot be repressed and to quit this pursuit would be to shirk self-respect and abandon my own manhood and that's not going to happen." Evidently, if man-Adam doesn't want to be mature then no maturity will be allowed in any situation involving him. Come on, Hannah. Don't lie to the police. First, you should have asked for your key back when he was in the hallway and then stood up for yourself when given the opportunity to regain your maturity. 

I realize I sound kind of annoyed with everyone right now, but I did really like this episode a lot.

What I'm looking for in Episode 3:
oo1. Hannah dating a bunch of different guys. (Maybe joining a dating site!)
oo2. Marnie meeting someone at her new job that makes her question this decision.
oo3. Shoshana and Ray on a date in public.
oo4. Jessa and TJ out with the group at a party/dinner.

What did you think of episode 2? What do you predict for episode 3?

girls 2x2 // flip it and reverse it

Olly olly oxen free! Identify yourselves!

There are so many ways to network in this crazy blogosphere, but finding the right one isn't always so easy. I know I fit in somewhere here, but I haven't found other bloggers in my "niche" and I want to connect!

So let's link up. I already post feminist-minded content on writes like a girl, but I think it would be rad to link to other bloggers so we can all be a part of the conversation. Maybe your content is also filtered through a feminist lens or you've thought a about how feminism could be a part of your blog, but weren't sure how to incorporate it. Or maybe I am the only feminist fashion blogger out there...but I highly doubt it.

Not a feminist or fashion blogger, but know someone who is? Pass this along to them!

Feminism & fashion: taking down the patriarchy, one sequin at a time.

calling all feminist fashion bloggers!


similar coat // similar dress // similar sweater // similar scarf // similar shoes // similar tights

I'm having fun playing with pieces in my closet that don't see the light of day very often--or what I call 'infrequent wears.' You know how sometimes you buy something and then you wear it as much as possible until you buy something new and you forget about your last favorite thing? That's what happened with this dress. And the sweater. And the shoes. At some point in my life (long, long ago, since I've had each of these pieces for 3-6 years), these items were in heavy rotation.

I wore the dress too much the summer of 2010 and it eventually shrunk in the dryer so I thought I would have to retire it. Nope! Turns out a too-short dress makes for a perfect layer over a sweater and tights in the thick of January. Who knew?

What's hiding in the back of your closet that you could bring back to life?

infrequent wears

shirt & jeans: American Eagle // shoes: Target // bag: Forever 21 (similar here here and here) // bangle: Banana Republic // watch: Anne Klein
(Don't worry, guys--I took these photos last Friday when it was unseasonably warm. AKA not in this near-but-not-actually snow-cold weather we're having in Austin this week. Carry on!)

 I had this outfit in mind a few weeks ago, but it was too cold to wear it. Then Jessica over at Bows & Sequins blogged almost the same outfit and I got really excited for the weather to be nice again so I could share my version. The weather was finally nice fantastic, so Andy let me skip out of work early to go eat tacos on a porch.

Trends are not necessarily something I find worthy of my money since they change so often, but I'm really glad I caught the train to colored denim town, hopped on the leopard shoe express, and booked a first class flight with chambray. The next trends I'm hoping to add are patterned pants (coming to a blog near you!) and a solid-colored peplum top. By only buying one of each, I'm able to really work my closet around them and remix outfits that are both on trend and totally classic. Using these trendier pieces as staples in my wardrobe makes the every day outfit more interesting and I really get the bang for my buck.

I wore this outfit to work, but I easily could have worn it to a networking event, to brunch with the girls, on a movie date with Dago, for an impromptu shopping trip, or to hang out with my parents.

How to you get the most out of trends?

on trend

When I first got into blogging, it was actually because I'd discovered the Mormon fashion bloggers scene. These women believe in modesty, but they also have powerful voices and don't confuse longer hemlines with lack of style.  Any time I discover and fall in love with a new blog, I can pretty much count on them to have a little tab on their navigation bar that reads "I Believe." Not only are these LDS girls rocking out the latest trends, but they have a unique perspective on fashion and womanhood.

Though I don't identify with any organized religion, the thing I Believe in most is Sisterhood. Like devout followers of Christ, I aim to live my life adhering to Sisterhood. The rules aren't written in a bible, but they run through my veins and make up my bones. Sisterhood is about solidarity: never leave your sister behind; always believe your sisters when they speak their truth; support your sisters without judging them; listen to your sisters; stand up for a sisters even if they are making a choice that you wouldn't make for yourself; reach out to your sisters; don't blame a sister for a man's wrong-doing; empathize with your sisters and empower your sisters.

When I make a choice in my life, I first think about whether or not the outcome will ultimately hurt my sisters who do not have the privileges in this life that I was born with. This includes my queer sisters, my trans* sisters, my sisters of color, and my differently-abled sisters, as well as any sisters who are living in a situation where their voice goes unheard or unvalued.

I am adamantly pro-choice because no one should decide for a sister except herself and I'll stand up for that right until the very end. I actively support the words of female artists, poets, musicians, and filmmakers because promoting their work is something I value. I can talk for days about my love for the relationships between women in creative industries like comedy and music. I take my female friendships very seriously and I make sure to put in extra effort to have fulfilling relationships with them. My ideas about how to make the world a better place all lead back to The Girl Effect and I can't think of anything I love more than having an empowering conversation with my girlfriends. Whether we're talking about the various ways we're expected to protect ourselves when walking home from the library alone late at night or about how to keep our hair down there, these conversations are severely important to me. It helps me feel validated in what I'm doing and how I'm feeling as a woman.

Like going to church or attending Bible study can be a refreshing, inspiring, and powerful reminder of faith for a spiritual person, having brunch with my girlfriends, attending women's networking events, and working among creative and revolutionary women gives me strength. Womanhood is a special experience and I believe it is so important to share it with my sisters.

What do you believe in?

i believe

All images via Nordstrom.com View full lookbook here.

When Dago sent me the link to the new Miss Wu for Nordstrom lookbook (yes, Dago online shops as much as I do!), I nearly peed myself. I've long been a fan of Mr. Wu (I even tried to fit into one of those little girl's dresses he did for Target x Neiman's) and this collection didn't let me down. Feminine silhouettes, interesting fabrics, and so many fun pieces...it's like Jason's been looking at fashion bloggers for inspiration! The cap-toed shoes, olive trench, and red shift would be making their way to my closet in Spring of this year, buuuut my bank account won't allow for that, so I'll have to wait for the next Target collab* (*fingers crossed!*).

What are you most looking forward to from Miss Wu?

*Speaking of Target collaborations, check out this sneak peek of the Prabal Gurung x Target collection that hits stores in February. It has a little bite.

feeling wu-zy

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