It’s here! It’s finally here!

Ahhhh, summer vacation. It’s finally here! Well, kinda. I have graduation tonight and then one more day tomorrow, which will be a celebration meeting and check out. It’s here!!!

This summer B and I will be sticking around Denver for most of the time. I’m really looking forward to getting in a lot of gardening time combined with some mountain biking near town, and of course loads of just chill time. We have a couple out of town weddings, our annual canoe/camp trip, and then we will try to take a road trip about Colorado. Every summer I have to remind myself that B doesn’t get a summer vacation like I do (sucks), so he will probably spend more time at the co-working space than usual.

Finals ended last week, so this week I’ve been cleaning up my room and packing stuff up. I’ve been in weekend dressing mode ever since then, and it’s been glorious. Getting ready in the morning has been so fast! Jeans (the same ones everyday practically), a t-shirt, a sweatshirt type cover, and all set. And who needs makeup on these days? (Just kidding, I do. At least a tiny bit!)

These are the same Banana Republic jeans from before, and I’ve been living in them. The Patagucci Patagonia sweater thing is from a sale they had back in February. I really like the old school label, it’s mostly made of recycled wool (Patagonia is so good at sustainable fashion) and it’s fleecy on the inside so therefore not itchy at all. It is still available on their site! This almost never happens since I only buy things on sale and by the time I get around to posting about them, it’s all sold out. I’m not generally a Patagonia fan, as their clothes always seem like they are made for more petite women. Tops (on me at least) tend to appear too short and boxy in the body and with too short sleeves. But I love their environmental stance, and I like a lot of what they make. Soon I’ll be packing away these fleecy things though because the weather is warming up here! Happy summer everyone!

pullover: patagonia – tshirt: sf giants mlb ? – jeans: banana republic – shoes: adidas

Over Analysis: REI Trailsmith pants

Welcome to the Over Analysis.  In this series, I go over an item in great detail – positives and negatives. Sometimes I spend way too much time going over small ridiculous details about clothes, skincare, makeup, anything else most people consider shallow. This series can be about as deep as a puddle, so enjoy!

This past winter I became increasingly interested in functional, durable work apparel. I was diving deep into the hipster horticulturalist/potter/shop girl look and was quickly getting obsessed. So for Christmas, I asked B to get me a pair of Carhartt overalls. He laughed at me and said “For what? What kind of work do you think you do?” I wanted them for working in the garden, but to be honest I really wanted them for the aesthetics. B and I are always out working in the garden, especially in summer. We grow heaps of vegetables, maintain a few fruit trees, and we just like to keep our garden neat and clean with beautiful perennials and annuals. I wanted something rugged I could wear everyday and not worry about scraping up my knees kneeling in the mulch. Most importantly though, I wanted something that would keep my butt crack in check when I’m bending over weeding – overalls!

Ever since I got my overalls, I started noticing how cute work pants were for everyday. I did a bunch of browsing through Carhartt’s website, but wanted something a bit more everyday and less cowboy. I picked up a pair of Topo Design’s Chore pants when I found them sale at a local shop, but they fit terribly on my curvy body. Then I spied these pants at REI when they first released their spring items in March. The Trailsmith pants were exactly what I was looking for so I snatched them up the moment they had a $20 off for members coupon come through. I’ve been wearing these pants regularly since then and I can honestly say I have no regrets. If they made them in other colors, I’d get a second pair.

From the REI site: “Like your favorite work jeans but better, the women’s REI Co-op Trailsmith pants have added stretch, durability and mobility so you can build a deck, boulder or shoot pool in comfort.

I really like the look of these pants. The brown color is reminiscent of Carhartt brown, sticking with the work pants vibe. The thighs are double layered to below the knees, again giving them the work pants/duck pants look. The fabric is thick, warm, and rugged without being too scratchy and stiff. The front pockets are deep enough to fit my whole hand ensuring my lip balm will have a hard time falling out. The back packets are large enough to fit my phone in them without worry that the phone will hook on something. The length is long enough so the can be worn as pants, but can be cuffed to flash some ankle while still looking proportional. The waist is fairly high which I absolutely love to help balance out my long torso. I wanted something specifically with a high waist, helping bridge the aesthetic gap between real work pants and everyday fashion-y pants.

The downsides: the fabric doesn’t really stretch even though REI claims you can boulder in them. They also shrunk a bit in the dryer – or maybe I’ve gained a few pounds since purchasing them – but they have softened up a bit. The fabric is durable, but after only about 10 wears and 3 washes, there are faded (patina?) areas at the zipper fly and along the seams.

All in all, I love these pants and it seems like many others do too according to the reviews on REI’s site (though there are mixed feelings about the high waist). I chuckled a bit reading through the reviews and what people wear them for…”I’m a petite archeologist!” and “I work outdoors in swamps and mud”. I’m busy wearing them to work inside a classroom, and to the brewery!

sweater: uniqlo – shirt: mont bell – pants: rei – shoes: vans

Controversial/Appropriate or Nah

Controversial/Appropriate for school or Nah?

I know there are plenty of teachers (people) out there who might look at my classroom fashion choices, and think “that’s not appropriate for a teacher to wear in front of kids/teenagers”.  I have heard that I shouldn’t wear skinny jeans to work because they’re not professional. I have also heard that I shouldn’t show my shoulders at work because it’s too much skin. Frankly, I don’t really care what other people think is appropriate or not because I have already set my own boundaries in terms of what not to wear to school. I won’t wear anything short (one or two inches above the knee is where I draw the line), I won’t wear spaghetti strap tops, and I won’t wear leggings on a teaching day (non-student contact days though, I might). There are very vague guidelines for a dress code of sorts in our district.  I can’t even find anything that states an official dress code other than “Attire must not disrupt the school’s learning environment.” 

I find that the later in the school year it is, the more lax I get with my attire. In September, I’ll wear a lot of dresses, and nicer clothes. In May, I’m in jeans almost everyday and the arms come out. This past week I wore what many other teachers might consider too “risky” or inappropriate. There were holes in my jeans. My top was sleeveless, though I wouldn’t personally call it a tank top. The top has an open back where a tiny bit of skin peeks out. I think if I worked in a private school, this outfit would have been a no-go. If I worked in a more conservative district/area/state, my outfit on this day maybe would have been outright scandalous. But thankfully I work where I do and no one says a thing to me about what I’m wearing other than, “miss, you look cute today!” Also,  I think these jeans make my butt look good. I bought them last weekend at Banana Republic and they are so very comfortable. I’ve worn them 4 times this past week and I have them on today (Saturday) too. Highly recommend you check them out! They are a bit mom jeans-ish and many sizes are sold out online. They are cheaper in store anyway, so I’d recommend you try and find them in person.

So here is a question for everyone reading: do you think these items are appropriate for a teacher or not?

  • jeans
  • skinny jeans
  • white jeans
  • jeans with holes/distressed denim
  • bare arms
  • tops with open backs
  • tattoos
  • shorts
  • skirts/dresses that are above the knee

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top: j.crew – jeans: banana republic – shoes: sven clogs

Easy-Like

I am turning into one of those people who chooses outfits based on comfort and ease.  I used to always “suffer for the fashion”, and occasionally I still do. When the weather starts heating up though, tight restrictive clothes get left in the drawers. This dress, for example, is a tent.  It lets plenty of air in to circulate around, is made of a quick dry material, and there are no tight spots anywhere. I bought it in Japan (Uniqlo, obviously) last summer, and if any of you have been to Asia in the dead of summer, you know what it’s like to steep in your own sweat for hours on end. Japanese brands have breezy clothes figured out – linen or quick dry roomy pants or dresses is where it’s at for work. So dress tents (with pockets!) are in for the next 2.5 weeks!  Summer vacation is so close, I can just taste the freedom.

Speaking of comfort though, I love wood clogs – most of the time they are actually very comfortable (counter intuitive, I know). These oldies though, I’m just going to have pass on to someone else with narrower feet. I bought them while we were living in Brooklyn, but my feet must have spread more since then. Swedish Hasbeens run on the narrow end, and my feet are just getting wider and wider with age. Clogs really do last forever though, and I will keep buying them.

*Side note, you should all check out Insecure on HBO by Issa Rae. She is a favorite of mine, and the entire third season’s episodes were titled “__-like”*

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dress: uniqlo – shoes: swedish hasbeens 

Where the Heart Is

Last weekend, B and I went back home to San Francisco for a friend’s wedding (it was super fun!). Whenever I go back to SF, I stay at my mom’s house which is in the Glen Park neighborhood in the city. It’s my childhood home and where I lived up until B and I moved to Brooklyn together in 2012.

I have very fond memories of the neighborhood, and have watched it change slowly over the last 38 years. Whenever I walk through the streets of Glen Park, I’m always reminded of something from when I was a kid – my elementary school has been running since 1938, the same coffee shop is on the corner, the trees are all still the same, and I still see many of the same faces around. This last trip coincided with the annual Glen Park Festival, which meant live music and a number of vendors were out selling things like jewelry and t-shirts. The moment I spied a Glen Park-Giants shirt, I had to snap one up even though the only size left was a men’s large! I’m heading to the Giants vs. Rockies game tomorrow, so I’m representing starting today! I smarted up the t-shirt for work with a stretchy ath-leisure style blazer and hoop earrings. All together a really easy outfit to throw together for a work day.

 

blazer: oliver bonas – earrings and t-shirt: unknown street vendors – belt: gap – jeans: f21 – shoes: adidas – watch: fitbit

April Favorites

A kid once said to me, “miss, you have cool stuff”. Why yes kid, I’m a materialistic girl that tries not to be. But yeah, I have stuff that I like a lot. Here is a short list of the cool stuff I’ve liked so far this past month.

Favorite things: A couple months ago B and I splurged during a moment of weakness at Costco and picked up the Sonos Soundbar to replace our old speaker system that B bought who knows how long ago. We have a pretty tech-y house, and had been playing music off of our Amazon Echo which doesn’t have very good sound quality. I also prefer to buy my music so I have a pretty massive collection tied to my desktop at home which I wanted to be more accessible through out the rest of the house.  Costco has a pretty good deal on Sonos speakers, so we jumped in and got the big one.  A few weeks later, I loved the sound so much, I got us two more – the smaller Sonos Play 1 speakers. I wanted to have one in the kitchen for when I cook and one in the bathroom so that I can sing and dance in the shower.  Now we can play the same music upstairs and downstairs simultaneously and control it all through the app or through the Echo, and I can airplay from my desktop through the Apple TV to all the speakers. B will never escape BTS and other k-pop now!

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Speaking of BTS, I recently caved and bought myself a set of AirPods.  I already regret the purchase, as they are really uncomfortable in my ears.  If I wear them for more than 30 minutes, my ears start aching and hurting. It’s especially acute in my left ear, where I have a small hoop through my tragus. The AirPods are not a favorite, but the case I bought for the case is. I know – a case for the case seems like a dumb purchase, especially since it’s a purely aesthetic purchase. I wouldn’t categorize myself as a person that is super into kawaii stuff, but I have my moments. The case is one of those moments, and is a testament to how K-pop and BTS in particular are so savvy at spreading their brand. The case is from Line Friends, which has collaborated with BTS to create a line of characters called BT21 (think Hello Kitty crossed with Ugly Dolls), one for each band member. Obviously I had to get Cooky, the one created by my favorite member, Jungkook. It matches the phone ring I already have on my phone 😉

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I swear I’m not normally a super kawaii type person, but this next favorite is exactly that. Gudetama.  If you’ve never heard of Gudetama, watch these short clips featuring my favorite Sanrio character, the lazy egg with a butt crack. When B and I went to Japan last summer I went a little crazy at the Sanrio store stocking up on all things Gudetama. I now have a coffee thermos, a shirt, some pens, chopsticks, stickers, and a onigiri maker. My favorite of them all though, is a squishy stress thing that is actually B’s! I stole it from him after our friends gave him two of them for his birthday at the end of March. It has the most satisfying squish, and it has that distinct Sanrio smell that lands somewhere between bubble gum, fake strawberry, and teenage girl perfume. When you squish it, the scent lingers on your hands. I brought the squishy to school, and it now lives on my desk. The kids like to grab it occasionally, and I like to tease them by telling them to smell its butt when they ask, “miss…what is this?” Inevitably, they all smell the butt crack and it’s so fun to the surprise on their faces when they take that first whiff.

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Activity Favorite: Just to prove that I’m not a totally materialistic person, I have an activity favorite – it’s baseball season!  I was never super into baseball, and I’m still just a fair weather fan.  I have more than a handful of Giants stuff, and even a Rockies shirt, but the thing I like about baseball is going to the games.  Often times I have no idea what is going on or what the names of the player are. I do know that each player picks their own “walk up song”, and what a strike vs ball means. Mostly I just like the hang out time I get out in the sunshine with friends in the cheap seats with giant ball park beers. This season my friend Melissa and I got a 10 pack of tickets to the Rockies. We’ve already been to 2 games and I’m looking forward to the rest this summer.

Student favorites: AP Bio. This year’s cohort of AP Bio kids have been killing it. The questions they ask, the discussions they have, the level of critical thinking they do in class blows me away every class. We have talked about things like the evolution of monogamy in humans, whether or not athletes like Caster Semnya should be allowed to compete as a woman, and if we are shaping technology or is technology shaping us a a species. These kids make my soul happy and give me hope that the future just might not turn into a worse version of Wall-E.

Beauty Favorite: I’m pretty into skincare stuff, and a few years ago I started in on using essences daily and haven’t gone without since. Essences have been around for ages, SKII being the most famous of them. With the surge in popularity of Japanese and Korean beauty, we now have a lot more to choose from. My favorite of all is the Maycoop Raw Sauce Essence – lightly hydrates, viscous without being sticky, affordable, and most of all smells amazing. The scent reminds me of a drugstore perfume I used to have when I was 10, one that I don’t remember the name of and have been searching for ever since. Double cleansing and using an essence is key in my skin care routine, so it’s nice to have found an affordable (and better) alternative to the classic SKII essence.

Hope you all are enjoying these new posts! I’m trying to get into a routine with regular posting and new series like monthly favorites. Wish me luck!

A Gradual Move Away From Leg Prisons

My friend Morgan aptly calls leggings “leg prisons”.  I’ve been a skinny jeans person since 2007 when I bought my first pair of skinny black jeans (Paige denim from Nordstrom Rack) and in the past couple of years, I’ve been moving away from the leg prisons and towards more straight leg cuts. Wide leg cuts just make me feel like a squat triangle, so the kinda loose, kinda fitted look is where I’ve landed lately.

These pants are anything but leg prisons.  They have a paperbag waist, which means I don’t even have to undo the button or zipper fly for “bio breaks”. The drawstring lets me adjust for food babies easily, and the loose leg is just so darn free feeling on my legs. They are reminicent of pyjama pants, but the material and cuff at the bottom make them more daytime appropriate.  With a frilly top and clogs, these pants could be dressed up (guess what I’m wearing tomorrow!), but I wore this last friday with a plain t shirt and sneakers for my version of “casual friday” (read: very, very, casual).

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t-shirt: uniqlo – pants: urban outfitters – shoes: nike 

I was inpired to find pants like these when I saw a guy walking in front of me with cuffed linen looking pants, thick socks, and Blundstone boots. That weekend, I came across these in the sale rack at Urban Outfitters and they fit that image in my head perfectly.  Fashion inspiration can come from anywhere!  Here are a few images of baggy pants that I’ve been thinking about lately.

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Unknown source (found on pinterest)

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Image Source: Death by Elocution

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Image Source: The Sartorialist