10 item wardrobe star wars murder she wrote

10-Item Winter 2017 Wardrobe: Murder!

Hey guys! I’ve finally put together my 10-item wardrobe for this winter, yay! It took me a little longer than I planned to put this post together because one, I was waiting on a black cardigan from ThredUp, and two, I had to make sure my clothes were clean before I took pictures. Ha.

So if you’ve read my blog in the past, you know I have a big thing for capsule wardrobes–I learned about the 10-item wardrobe from writer Jennifer L. Scott‘s Madame Chic books. Basically, you want to put together 10 “core” pieces that go well together: pants, dresses, blouses, sweaters, etc. Then you round it out with extras like t-shirts (I admit I have a lot of t-shirts right now, but when you see them you’ll understand why). The 10-item wardrobe does not include underwear, outerwear, or evening wear.

I’ve always wanted the perfect, packable wardrobe–something I could throw in a small suitcase and travel the world in, looking good (or at least acceptable) everywhere I go. This is seriously it. I take my 10-item wardrobe with me to Massachusetts every spring break to visit my husband’s family. It takes less than five minutes to pack and I’m good to go. And in my everyday life, it takes me like three minutes to get dressed. It’s awesome and I love it. So let’s look at the clothes!

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Plaid blouse by Rail.

This is a new purchase this year–I found it while shopping with my Mom. I love this shirt–it’s so soft and cozy, but it’s nice enough to go out to dinner.

10-Item Wardrobe

J. Crew Factory chambray shirt.

This shirt has been part of almost every one of my 10-item wardrobes from the very start (I did take it out of rotation to give it a rest). It’s still holding up well!

10-item wardrobe jeans

Citizens of Humanity “Sculpt – Rocket” high rise skinny jeans in Waverly.

I admit–my jeans are the most expensive part of my wardrobe. However, I wear them multiple times per week, so I really need high-quality jeans that will hold up. My last pair of Citizens of Humanity jeans lasted almost three years, so I’m doing my best to make sure these follow suit. They’re never going in the dryer! Anyway, it took me a moment to deal with the fact that these jeans go up to my waist–I’ve been wearing low-rise jeans for the past 15 years and I was a little worried this meant that I was Giving. Up. But they are insanely flattering, and it’s kind of nice to be able to sit without worrying that I’m flashing anyone. Bah, I have given up, noooooo!

10 item wardrobe jeans

Citizens of Humanity “Rocket – Sculpt” high rise skinny jeans in black.

Hey, when I find something that works I buy it in a second color. Citizens of Humanity jeans are also super comfy, which is a major plus, since I’m often sitting/squatting on the floor with my toddler.

10 item wardrobe Kenneth Cole black leggings

Kenneth Cole black leggings.

These are actually some leggings my Mom gave me for Christmas six or seven years ago that I rarely wore, but couldn’t bear to part with. I grew up in the ’80s, so I wore leggings the first time around, plus I kind of hate the leggings as pants trend. However. These are some good-looking leggings, plus I’ve started going to the gym on a regular basis. Paired with a t-shirt (see below) and my ancient sports bra from college (also rarely worn), I’ve got a workout outfit.

10 item wardrobe

Spider-Man sweatshirt, Forever 21.

This Spider-Man sweatshirt is also a long-time member of my various 10-item wardrobes, and it’s also part of my workout ensemble. I look really athletic and serious about fitness in it. Ha. I love this sweatshirt and will never part with it, neveeerrrrrr!

10 item wardrobe

Fisherman’s sweater, vintage.

I love this sweater, but I was thisclose to dropping it from my 10-item wardrobe. It’s so heavy and thick, but . . . it’s so heavy and thick! I don’t actually need a big wool sweater most of the time (I run hot), plus it’s a little uncomfortable under my trench coat. However! It is so pretty, and this winter has been a little colder than usual. I’ve been using it as a coat when it’s not raining.

10 item wardrobe black sweater H&M

H&M black cardigan with lace detail.

Because my fisherman’s sweater is so heavy, I felt like I needed a lighter cardigan to throw over my (many) t-shirts. But since I had already spent my Christmas and birthday money on things like jeans (see above), I didn’t want to spend a lot. I found this sweater on ThredUp, a site that sells used clothing online, for about $11. It arrived in like-new condition, and it works well with the rest of my wardrobe! I actually couldn’t tell it had lace on it when I bought it (black is hard to photograph), but I’m glad it does–it’s something I wouldn’t usually choose, and it adds a little extra interest to my wardrobe.

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Blue “chambray” dress, Twill.

I picked up this dress from Twill, a local boutique that sells cute, reasonably priced clothes. It fits really nicely and is comfortable–a big plus for me. I don’t generally wear a lot of dresses during the day in the winter, so I’ll pair this with tights or leggings.

10 item wardrobe topshop wrap dress

Topshop Star Plissé wrap dress.

This dress is awesome and insanely flattering. I wore it out for the first time this past weekend to the Image Comics welcome/anniversary party and I got a lot of compliments.

And now, the extras–aka I got a lot of cool t-shirts for my birthday and Christmas this year!

10 item wardrobe Madewell

Madewell t-shirts, white and gray.

These are great, basic t-shirts.

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Splendid ringer t-shirt.

Geez! All my t-shirts look wrinkly but I am not ironing them, not even for you, dear reader. The fabric of this ringer tee is soft and thick–I love it.

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J. Crew Factory long-sleeved striped boatneck t-shirts.

Again, these are long-time loves of mine–they are the best! The navy-striped one is at least four years old and it looks great (I’m wearing it right now). I hang these to dry as well. You can buy them here!

10 item wardrobe star wars murder she wrote

Star Wars and Murder, She Wrote t-shirts.

My friends are the best, they buy me rad t-shirts that make me happy.

Phew! So here it is! I think this is my best 10-item wardrobe yet–I like how I can literally do anything from work out at the gym to go out at night in it, yet pretty much all the pieces go together nicely. It helps that I pretty much stick to neutrals, stripes, and nerd.

Have any of you tried out the capsule wardrobe? What do you think? Post below!

10 item wardrobe

10 Item Wardrobe Prep: Winter 2017

Sometimes I hate the 10-item wardrobe. Don’t get me wrong: having 10 core pieces (pants, sweaters, dresses, etc.) and extras (t-shirts) that look great together and fit my personal style is amazing! I can get dressed in three minutes, I always at least look presentable, and it’s really easy to pack for trips. However. When you are in the habit of saving your Christmas and birthday money and doing your major shopping in January, and three of your 10 items (two pairs of three-year-old jeans and one pair of red pants) go kaput in October, you start to look pretty shabby.

I was able to still wear my old black jeans and sub in my light-blue summer jeans from J Crew Factory, but then I realized that my t-shirts were looking pretty worn out. Then one day, I took out my APC sweater dress–purchased just two years ago–and realized that despite my special care, it had become shapeless and unflattering. What was happening?!? I basically wore my striped J Crew Factory shirts and my worn-thin black jeans for two months straight. When I wasn’t dressed as Mrs. Santa Claus.

The good new is: I went shopping today with my Mom! And, just like in Pretty Woman, I had money to spend, thanks to my weekly savings plan (I sock away a little money every week to buy the whole family clothes) and gift money. Thank you parents and in-laws!

I’m waiting on one pair of jeans to be delivered, so in the meantime, I’m going to go through last winter’s 10-item wardrobe and talk about what worked, what didn’t, and what should die in a fire. Then next week, I’ll have a shiny new post unveiling my new duds! I’m sure you’re all very excited.

10 item wardrobe

J. Crew Factory long-sleeved striped boatneck t-shirts.

If you’re a regular reader of these 10-item wardrobe posts, you recognize these shirts–they just keep going and going! Seriously, I’ve had the navy-striped one for at least three years and it shows no sign of wearing out (pro tip: I always hang these to dry). I may actually get sick of these! Definitely staying (but I really count these as extras).

10 item wardrobe

Thread & Supply blue “menswear” shirt.

I feel a little guilty looking at this one. I got it last year from my parents for my birthday while shopping with my Mom (thanks again!) but while I wore it a fair amount this summer, I totally forgot about it. Gonna have to try it on and see if it’s worthy to be one of the 10, or I may just keep it for when I need to look business-y. It’s a maybe.

10 item wardrobe

Spider-Man sweatshirt, Forever 21.

This is another item that’s still going strong! I bought it in San Diego during Comic-Con 2013, the final one I worked as an employee of Things From Another World–but not at Comic-Con, weirdly enough. Not only does this sweatshirt feature Spider-Man (its initial selling point), but it’s the perfect size and weight. Also, a great conversation starter. It’s staying!

10 item wardrobe

Halogen grey wool-blend sweater with embroidery.

I like this a lot–the look, the weight, the fit–but it isn’t wearing as nicely as I would like. I’ve laid it flat to dry but it’s still pilling. It’s staying this year, but we’ll see for next.

10 item wardrobe

Red and gray J Crew Factory sweater with gold polka dots

Ditto for this one–I still like it, but it’s pilling. Maybe it’s me? Likely will stay for 2017.

10 item wardrobe

J Crew Factory jeans.

These jeans are great, but it’s weird that I had them in my “winter” 10-item wardrobe last year. I’ve been wearing them this winter until I got new jeans, but I’ll put them away until this summer.

10 item wardrobe

J. Crew Factory red tailored stretch Lexie pant.

These . . . did not stretch the way I needed them to. They’ve either shrunk a bit or I’ve put on five pounds. I’m not going to say which. They also faded (typical for red fabric), so they’re gone!

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Vince black ponte pants.

I still like these pants, but they’re a maybe. They tend to stretch out and get baggy as I wear them. If I wash them and put them in the dryer they shrink up again, but I feel like they’ll wear out faster that way.

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APC sweater dress.

Ack–no! I have been very disappointed by this dress, which I bought on sale a couple years ago. You can kind of see it here–despite my keeping it folded in a drawer and dry-cleaning it (a rarity for me), it has . . . relaxed? It’s baggy and shapeless, and I give up. I give up!

10 item wardrobe

Fisherman’s sweater, vintage.

Oh man. I still love this, but it had a couple of moth holes when I bought it. I repaired them, but either more keep happening or I’m discovering more! Also, it’s very thick and heavy, so it’s bulky under my coat, and I run hot and tend to not need a sweater as warm as this one. A maybe.

Final verdict: three maybes, and three no’s–leaving a possible six slots open in my highly competitive, breathlessly anticipated 10-item winter wardrobe! Do you feel the excitement? Gee, I hope people don’t bet their entire fortunes on the outcome.

As always, I must credit Jennifer L. Scott, author of the Madame Chic books, for her 10-item wardrobe inspiration! See you next week!

My Summer 2016 10-Item Wardrobe

Yes! I am so excited to write this post. I love everything about the 10-item wardrobe idea, which I first read about in Jennifer L. Scott’s Madame Chic books. Having a simplified capsule wardrobe makes my life much easier: I can close all my drawers, and getting dressed takes no time. But also, I feel like it’s made me more stylish. Having to pare down my wardrobe makes me focus on what I actually wear every day, which are usually the items I feel best in.

So when the weather started getting warmer, I started by bringing out and evaluating my summer 2015 10-item wardrobe. While I kept a lot of it, some pieces that were a few years old needed to be retired and replaced.

I love this year’s wardrobe! The color scheme is red, white, and blue. I didn’t mean to be so patriotic: red is one of my favorite colors, and blue goes with everything. So let’s start with pieces that made the cut from last year:

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Fisherman’s sweater, vintage. This is from my fall/winter wardrobe. It’s warm but still looks great with summery clothes.

10-Item Wardrobe

Gap cropped white jeans.

10-Item Wardrobe

J. Crew Factory striped dress. I still love this piece, I’ve had it for four years!

10-Item Wardrobe

Floral dress, made by me about six years ago. Pattern by Amy Butler. This is a great any-occasion summer dress. The colors are so bright!

10-Item Wardrobe

J. Crew Factory chambray shirt. Another one I’ve had for four years!

And now (drumroll please): the four new additions for this year!

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What’s this? My goodness, it’s the summery, short-sleeved cousin of my very favorite J. Crew shirt! I especially love the peacock blue and dark red together, it looks vintage.

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Navy blue J. Crew Factory 5″ chino shorts. These are actually a late addition to last summer’s 10-item wardrobe. They’ve held up well!

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J. Crew Factory striped chevron dress. This is the dress I blogged about (the one I was eyeing as an alternative to a $500 dress). I love this dress. It fits beautifully, it’s made beautifully (it’s lined, and they’ve matched the stripes really well), and it was only about $50.

Here’s the dress on (a little wrinkly–I was sitting in it)!

So those are my 10 core pieces. Here are some T-shirts (my extras) to round things out:

Summer just isn’t summer without Archie. I got this shirt from Archie Comics’ official Threadless store! The (wow, wrinkled) navy T-shirt, white and gray tees, and floral tank are all from (of course) J. Crew Factory. The floral, white, and gray tops are from last year.

So what do you think? I’m pairing everything with my brown Josef Seibel sandals and brown Ahnu sneakers, both of which are about two years old. I also have some five-year-old Sam Edelman silver flats that have held up really well (see picture above).

Have you done a 10-item or capsule wardrobe? Post about it below!

Happy Wednesday! I Missed You All So Much

good-and-cheap.jpgYay! It’s not Monday, and it’s after lunchtime, but I finally have a scrap of time to blog and I’m taking it. How are you? What have you been up to? Is summer treating you well?

Summer has kicked my . . . hindquarters thus far, with GeekCraft Expo PDX debuting June 11-12 and the Doubleclicks heading out on their #MassiveTour (prompting me to launch about a million press releases). Plus, now that Sid is out of school, I have him full time, except when I’m ferrying him to his summer camps.

But it’s been worth it! GeekCraft Expo PDX, that Etsy-Meets-Comic Con curated geeky craft show, attracted 4,500+ attendees in its first year, completely obliterating my stress dream of being stuck in an empty hotel exhibit hall staring at the other GCE organizers (who I met in person for the first time at the show) and exhibitors while they glare at me and wonder where I went wrong. Instead, we surpassed my personal goals, the items for sale were incredibly awesome, and everyone went home happy! Whew.

The Doubleclicks’ tour is going strong: make sure to follow them on Twitter for pics and check out their YouTube channel for videos!

More links:

Food

I picked up Good and Cheap at the library, and I am in love with this cookbook. It was originally the capstone project of Leanne Brown, who wanted to create a cookbook of delicious, healthy recipes accessible to those on a SNAP/food stamp budget of $4 per day. As regular readers know, I’m obsessed with reducing our grocery budget (FYI: I totally sucked at that this month), but also, I love that this book encourages people to use what they have on hand, rather than sticking to strict recipes–the essence of good cooking.

Cooking for yourself is one of the easiest ways you can save money (I calculated that a ham and cheese sandwich–even without sale items–is about $2, compared to at least $8 for a non-fast food lunch out), and it’s a way to control the quality of the nutrients you put in your body. Healthy food can be cheap! There’s a free, downloadable PDF on Brown’s site, but if you buy the book, she donates a book to someone who needs it.

Speaking of food, it’s getting hot in Portland. I’m going to compile a full list of good hot weather food, but for now, check out AllRecipes’ super-easy kalua pig in a slow cooker. This is delectable, savory pulled pork that is dead easy to make and doesn’t heat up the kitchen (although your house will smell awesome).

Fashion

Remember that J Crew Factory dress I blogged about that was an alternative to the $500 dress I was drooling over? I bought it! And it fits like a dream! I’ll try to do a 10-item summer wardrobe post tomorrow.

Geek Stuff

Like I would forget. First, you’ve probably seen this everywhere since the PR was so good, but Chuck Palahniuk announced that he’ll come out with Bait, an adult coloring book, in October from Dark Horse! Let me just say I have some insider knowledge on this, and it is good. Also, I probably can’t read some of the stories.

Portland’s geek-folk sister duo the Doubleclicks might be on their #MassiveTour now, but they’ll be back in Portland July 19 at the Doug Fir! This is a 21+ event, but they’ll also be playing an all-ages show at the Tualatin Public Library (my childhood book haven!) July 24.

Tomorrow! I’m going to write that 10-item wardrobe post, by hook or by crook. Then, I’ll be prepping for a family vacation to Wyoming. Part of my (improbable) prep: giving myself the gift of a clean house to return to. Pray for me!

3.1 Phillip Lim Open Back Stripe Sculpted Dress

Fashion Friday: 3.1 Phillip Lim Look for Less

3.1 Phillip Lim Open Back Stripe Sculpted Dress

The perfect summer dress–if you have $550 to spend. 3.1 Phillip Lim Open Back Stripe Sculpted Dress via Nordstrom.

So I’m in the process of putting my spring/summer 10-item wardrobe together–yay! While most of the pieces I wore last year are in good shape, I do need a few things: new t-shirts, a pair of shorts, and a casual-yet-spiffy dress. So I was psyched to spot this 3.1 Phillip Lim Open Back Stripe Sculpted Dress during a recent shopping trip with my mom. It combines three things I love: stripes, a fitted silhouette, and a super-cute back opening. Then I checked the price tag.

$550. Yikes! Yes, that was me dropping the tag like a hot potato and sadly trudging away. I can make a dress last a long time, but I’d have to wear it for about 10 years to make it worthwhile. Will I want a back cut-out when I’m 51? Probably not.

J Crew Factory Chevron-Striped Dress

J Crew Factory Chevron-Striped Dress–a very reasonable $64.50! Via J Crew Factory.

But then! True love found me via banner ad (I know, right? Who even notices banners these days) and showed me this J. Crew Factory (like that is a surprise) Factory Chevron-Striped Dress, which is quite reasonably priced at $64.50. Like the 3.1 Phillip Lim dress, you can see that it’s striped and fitted (albeit with a front pleat), and the neckline and armholes are similar. Instead of white with navy stripes, it’s navy with white stripes. But what captured my attention was . . . (drumroll please):

FFJCrew2Yes! The back opening (described as a “coyback opening” in the Nordstrom URL, good description, meta data!) is very similar. Definitely worth a try! I never even tried on the 3.1 dress (I think my tears would have soiled it), but I’ll be making a trip to Woodburn after Memorial Day weekend!

I feel a little like Betty unearthing a cute knockoff of one of Veronica’s “Paris originals.” Yes, pretty much all of these Fashion Friday posts will contain an Archie Comics reference. You’re welcome.

What are you looking for this summer? Post below!

Hail Caesar the Kurgan

Happy Monday! Hail, Caesar and #10ItemWardrobe

Hail Caesar the Kurgan

Yes, that’s The Kurgan on the left! The Highlander himself (Christopher Lambert) also makes an appearance in Hail, Caesar! Photo via Universal Pictures.

Well hello, folks! How was your weekend? Mine was great–I went to a birthday party for my Dad and saw my second movie of the year in the theaters, Hail, Caesar (the first movie was Deadpool, of course)!

When I first started dating my now-husband, I had pretty much given up going to the movies. I had lived for many years on an island that had two theaters and a total of three screens, which meant Movie A would play Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and Movie B played Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. I worked nights waitressing anyway, but if I happened to have a free night and thought about going to a movie, the one I wanted was never playing.

Cut to dating my husband. He loves going to the movies. Especially horror films, which was never my bag. But I gamely went to movie after movie, and soon realized that I wasn’t just being a good sport–I was enjoying myself (and loved horror movies–turns out they aren’t all gore fests!).

Having a baby changed a lot of things for me, but one thing I didn’t even think about was going to the movies! I kind of went back to my default position. But now that Sarah is almost 18 months old we have a babysitter, and I’m finally swimming back up to the surface and checking things out. Who am I? What do I want to do now? Turns out I wanted to go to the movies. So this is a ridiculous, boring anecdote, but going to the movies was a surprisingly Big Deal last night, and I enjoyed the hell out of Hail, Caesar, and hanging out with my husband, so I’m feeling good.

Links!

Entertainment

Hail, Caesar is a love letter to the movies of the 1950s, but did you know the main character, fixer Eddie Mannix (a highly fictionalized version played by Josh Brolin), who runs around hushing up the potential scandals of actors and directors, was a real person? Den of Geek has the real history of Hail, Caesar and Eddie Mannix.

Speaking of Hollywood scandals (and relating to one of the fictional storylines in Hail, Caesar), did you know that actress Loretta Young adopted her own baby to avoid the scandal of an illegitimate, out-of-wedlock child? The father? Clark Gable.

Mike Mignola has decided to end the amazing Hellboy in Hell series, and did an interview with Entertainment Weekly that reveals the cover of the final issue!

Fashion

We’re leaving for Massachusetts this week to visit my husband’s family! Much like I did last year, I’ll be taking pics every day of me in my 10-item wardrobe and posting them on Twitter with the hashtag #10ItemWardrobe. Follow me here!

Speaking of fashion, I have a problem. I have fallen in love with all of the cute, high-quality, organic cotton baby and toddler clothes at Hanna Andersson. It’s a problem because they’re a lot more expensive than Carter’s–but at the same time, they last much longer, too. I’ve found help, however! Our local Hanna Andersson outlet store has everything at a 20-40% discount (or more). You can find your Hanna Andersson outlet here. We’ll be shopping here until I maneuver Sarah into a gig as a baby model. I’m not a paid endorser or affiliate of Hanna Andersson. But I am willing! Call meeeee!

That’s all I got today. What are you enjoying? Have any tips on transitioning from being a 24-hour milk machine to an actual human woman? Post them below!

 

Happy Tuesday! International Women’s Day

International Women's Day

It’s International Women’s Day! Image from International Women’s Day!

Happy Tuesday everyone! I was unable to blog yesterday because Sarah has been 1) sick and 2) teething, and the combination left her inconsolable unless I was physically holding her. Sigh. I invited a friend over for lunch and she ended up making the sandwiches. But hey! Sarah might have eight whole teeth by the time she turns 18 months (she’s been a real slow teether).

On to links!

International Women’s Day

It’s International Women’s Day, a day celebrating the achievements of women and calling for increased gender equality and an end to discrimination and violence towards women. As a woman and a mother, I approve.

Check out UN Women’s interactive timeline about notable women in history–it’s really interesting, and visually stimulating for kids, too.

Speaking of notable women, Kelly Sue DeConnick is a fantastic comic book writer (Bitch Planet, Ms. Marvel), force of nature, and inspirational kick-ass woman. She used her fame and social media prowess for good yesterday, retweeting the names and portfolio links of hundreds of female comic book creators yesterday using the #VisibleWomen hashtag. Go check ’em out!

Another woman I love is Jennifer L. Scott, author of the Madame Chic books. She posts weekly video blogs over at the Daily Connoisseur, and just posted one that especially speaks to me about dealing with exhaustion. Plus she gave my latest 10-item wardrobe post a shout out, and I want to return the favor!

Of course, my favorite fictional woman is Jessica Fletcher of Murder, She Wrote. One day I will write in length why, but in the meantime, Bitch Media’s Jessica Fletcher of “Murder, She Wrote” Is My Anti-Ageism Heroine is well worth the read!

Cooking

As part of this month’s meal planning, I brought out my Mom’s 1970s copy of Make-A-Mix-Cookery. It’s all about creating your own mixes–for baking, casseroles, soups, etc.–to save time and money. And I’m all about creating my own entertainment by trying out retro recipes. So far I’ve made two of the mixes, so keep an eye out for reviews!

Speaking of Kelly Sue, she posted this recipe for a Buckeye Bundt Cake and I want. To. Make. It. And I will.

Okay, I’ve got to give Sarah a bath now (I will spare you the details why). Post your favorite women below!