Second Glance

 

Striped puffer vest, Groovy's in Rockwall. Men's button down, secondhand from Plato's Closet (similar). Topshop Jamie skinny jeans. Cole Haan loafers (similar). Charming Charlie crossbody purse. Vintage scarf. NARS Audacious lipstick in Annabella.

 

     Just like there's a story behind every outfit I post, every photographic location sparks some memory for me. This little rustic barn is no exception.

      Every time I visit my boyfriend, I have to drive by this barn to get to his apartment. I always let my eyes linger on it a little bit longer than they should given the fact that I'm driving. But that's the photographer's curse: whenever I'm driving, I'm also scouting locations for pictures. I never really knew what to make of this barn. I actually thought it was for sale. I kept thinking that someone should snatch it up and turn it into a little event venue because it's actually in the middle of a residential area, not in some remote field. 

     As it turns out, the owners of the apartment complex next to it actually turned the barn into exactly what I was thinking: a little event venue. When I mentioned to my boyfriend that I wanted to take pictures in front of it, he not only knew exactly what I was talking about but also told me a bit more about it.

     It's a bit of a stretch, but there's a specific part of my outfit that required not even a second, but a third, fourth, hundredth glance from me as well. Mere exposure effect is all too powerful in the fashion world, but I never thought I would wear a puffer vest. To be fair, I started out with faux fur and loved to layer with those so much that I eventually accepted that the neo-prep staple was pretty useful. It's not usually cold enough for a full on winter coat and layered get up until January where I live, so tossing on a vest over a button down or sweater is perfect for some non-bulky added warmth.

     It just makes me think: what other trends should I give a second glance?

Marble City

 

Chunky marled knit sweater, Forever 21. High waisted denim skirt, American Eagle (similar here). Chances are my black tights are from Target. Baggu leather bucket bag. TBA TEN20 cheslea boots.

 

     While most people in the South know Knoxville for a certain orange-loving university (Go Vols!), one of its nicknames is the Marble City due to the high level of marble distribution in the 1900s. The natural beauty of the area really does show throughout the city, including the designs that utilize the eponymous stone. The building I'm standing beside is actually a location of a local bank. I love the way the classic structure contrasts with the trees on the other side of the walkway.

     My sweater actually reminds me quite a bit of marble. Not only are the colors the perfect swirl of greys and white, but sweaters from Forever 21 are surprisingly long lasting. If I buy inexpensive sweaters, I prefer them to be a material that doesn't try to imitate wool or cashmere with some awful acrylic that is sure to pill the second I put it on. Instead, I seek out materials that are more like cotton. It's true, I prefer natural fibers for warmth and durability, but in college it is an underrated thing to be able to just throw winter clothes in the wash without having to worry. Since I only wear sweaters for a few months of the year, inexpensive versions that I can swap out and wash with ease are a great addition to my thicker wool numbers.

     These pictures were taken by my good friend Chris before the downtown area got all done up for the holidays. It was one of the only days I have had to wear tights this season, but perhaps that's because as soon as the weather starts to hit temperatures in the forties, I pretty much stick to pants. Maybe that will be a style resolution for 2015: incorporate more dresses and tights again!

A Crossbody for Everybody

You know when it seems like something is following you everywhere once you figure out what it is? It's kind of like Where's Waldo, but instead of the striped guy peeking out from his cleverly hidden locale, you keep seeing the thing all over the place. For some people, it's a song: you hear it once then you hear it everywhere. But for me recently, the thing has been small, rectangular crossbody bags.

     I'm not exactly sure when I started noticing the prevalence of the shape. I don't think it's a seasonal fad; after all, there's the classics like the Gucci Disco bag pictured in the gallery above. But there's a version of this same bag at every price point and aesthetic preference. Personally, I was elated when I went into Charming Charlie on a whim and spotted the exact little purse that I had seen and admired on a stranger that same day. I was even more elated to find out that it came in black, and yes, it was on sale.  Even so, I think I'll put the Gigi New York Madison on my Christmas wishlist to fully satisfy the crossbody craving.

     After spotting these cute little purses at every price point, I wanted to put together a gallery of some of my favorites. I know a lot of bloggers like to schlep heavy DSLR cameras around in their bags, but maybe this will inspire you to lighten your load and enjoy the moment. Your shoulders (and your outfits) will thank you.