Black Out Challenge Week 1: Complete!

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Coat // similar Shirt // similar Sweater // similar Jeans // similar Boots (on sale) // similar Necklace // Sunglasses // Lips

You know what I didn’t realize? That I would be struggling to complete not one, but TWO wardrobe challenges this month. Not only am I doing the Black Out challenge, I’m also doing the Don’t Freeze to Death challenge. Let me tell you, doing both of them at once is not easy. When you have to wear 2-3 layers and slush-appropriate shoes every day, it’s pretty hard to not wear any black. Granted, the Black Out co-host Nicole and I agreed there should be 2 passes per week allowed for tights, shoes, and subtle patterns. But I already took both my passes this week on Tuesday…didn’t have time to take photos of that outfit, but I’ll re-create it some other time. Like in the spring.

This outfit was the biggest struggle of all. I nearly gave up and stayed home, but I had brunch plans, and nothing stands between me and French toast. I had an internal debate with myself over whether this sweater was cheating, because up close it’s very clearly black and white yarn all mixed together. Finally I realized this was a totally insane thing to be worrying about. It’s a gray sweater. And the Black Out challenge is not about eschewing all neutrals, it’s just about not dressing like you’re going to a funeral when the weather is already depressing enough.

But enough about me and my problems. Let’s talk about all the people who tried the Black Out challenge this week! I hope the rest of you will consider joining in for the last week…Don’t forget about that adorable fox necklace you could win!

Could I Be Wearing Any More Clothes?!

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Yes, I am well aware that pictures look prettier when you take them outside in natural light. But guess what? The wind chills yesterday were below zero and that’s just not happening. I bundled up the best I could so I could stay alive long enough until the heat in my car kicked in.

Let me give you a rundown of just how many articles of clothing I was wearing:

  • Fleece-lined leggings
  • Dress
  • Jacket
  • Scarf
  • Coat
  • Hat
  • Gloves
  • Fuzzy socks
  • Boots
  • Belt & bracelets (a girl’s gotta accessorize)

I kind of felt like Joey in that episode of Friends when he puts on all of Chandler’s clothes. You know what I’m talking about.

Leggings: Pitaya

Dress: H&M

Jacket: Zara

Scarf:(similar)

Coat: Kenneth Cole Reaction (similar)

Hat: handmade gift (similar)

Boots: Matisse (I love these that are on sale!)

Belt: Madewell (similar)

Bracelets: Forever 21

It’s Always Chilly in Indianapolis

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I have a cold (I guess it’s better than the flu…or AIDS), and it’s been so bitter cold outside the past couple days that my face practically freezes immediately so I can’t even feel the snot running down my face. My sex appeal is through the roof this week.

Luckily I’ve found a couple pieces of clothing that are incredibly warm and make me feel like I’m wearing pajamas but without looking like I’m wearing pajamas. These leggings have fleece on the inside, you guys. They’re amazing. And they were only $8. They’re “one size fits most” which usually kind of scares me because I’m on the small side. These fit me just fine though, and they’re very stretchy. I should mention thought that they just barely reach my ankles and I’m only 5’3″…so if you’re tall they might be cropped. And for the record, I’m not getting any commission on these leggings…it is out of the kindness of my heart that I want your legs to be as happy as mine.

Sweater: Urban Outfitters

Leggings: Pitaya

Boots: Sole Society

Necklace: Target

Me and My Crew

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I didn’t mean for this outfit to be so J. Crew heavy, but it happens sometimes and I’m not mad about it.

I wore this for another museum date, this time to the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. I’ve been living in Indianapolis for more than 3 years, and I still hadn’t been there until this weekend. I found out recently that students at my university get in for free, so I really had no excuse not to go.

Plus, you might have already guessed this because of my dark complexion and affinity for spear fishing, but I am 1/16 Native American. I love any excuse to learn more about “my people”! The exhibits were really interesting, although I was a tad disappointed that there weren’t many artifacts from the Cherokee (which is the tribe that my great-great-grandmother was a member of).

Still, the museum was really great and I’ll definitely go back. In the photo below, you’ll see a few snapshots of my favorite things at the Eiteljorg, including some interactive basket weaving. Clearly it comes naturally to me because of my heritage.

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Sweater: J. Crew Factory (on sale!)

Scarf: Target, old (similar)

Skirt: Webster for Target, old (similar)

Tights: Simply Vera, old (similar)

Shoes: J. Crew

Bracelets: J. Crew, Stephan & Co.

Coat: Tulle, old (similar)

How to Not Die in the Winter

It’s around this time of year when you start to see magazine editors, bloggers, and the like telling you what you need to have good hair/good skin/good style during the winter months. I’m sure some of them mean well, but I get the impression that many  featured products are chosen based on the magazine’s advertisers, what’s new for the season, or just what packaging looks cute when you put it in a collage.
Well, good thing you came to me. I have no agenda other than to tell you what it takes this (originally) southern girl to survive in the Midwest. I swear on the grave of someone important that I really do use each and every one of these items, and I’m willing to bet that most people will be able to identify with some of my picks…
Winter Survival Kit

To warm you from the outside…

  • Slippers, preferably really ridiculous looking ones with pom poms or animal ears. Because if you can’t let loose in your own home, then where the hell can you?
  • Sweater tights so you can wear your cute dresses to holiday fetes without catching pneumonia. (Don’t be that girl.)

To warm you from the inside…

  • A glass of red wine to give you the [responsible] warm fuzzies. You can look up what red wine pairs best with, but I tend to think it just pairs well with life.
  • A Keurig coffee maker so you can have a quick cup of joe or cocoa at any time. There are a range of models at different prices, but this is the B60 model, which I have and recommend.

To protect you from the elements…

  • Light-tinted sunglasses to protect your eyes from the wind or the harsh heat in your car even when it’s not very bright outside.
  • Frizz serum so you don’t look like you just got electrocuted every time you take off your sweater. This is the kind I use because it’s cheap and available everywhere.

To keep you from looking like a dried up mess…

  • A good face wash and moisturizer to quench your thirsty winter skin. Even though it’s a bit pricier than a drug store brand, I’m a fan of Philosophy’s Purity cleansing oil (which doesn’t actually have oil in it) and Hope in a Jar moisturizer. My skin gets easily annoyed by products but these work for me!
  • A moisturizing winter lipstick. I’m a fan of the cult classic Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey. It’s sort of the color of red wine-stained lips, which can be convenient for covering up the fact that you’ve been drinking red wine (see above).

Stay warm, my friends!

This post was submitted to this week’s IFB Project.