Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Thrifty Outfit


 
 

For this late posting of Thrifty Outfit, I have a simple summer outfit because the weather has no clue what it's doing. Everything is thrifted - BDG jeans are suppose to be fantastic high rise jeans on par with J.Brand's Marias but...I feel "eh" about them. I do normally have to do alterations to make them fit right but jeans for that price that are black to boot is hard to beat, seeing as high rise black jeans are a wardrobe staple for me. I do like that the inseam was correct for me, at 5'2 that rarely happens! I love this Zara tie top, I didn't show it here but the back button up all the way - it's super cute and a fun detail. These suede sandals are also nice and I like how they add a little bit of color to an all black/white look otherwise, the same for my bag.


As far as thrifting lately, it's been hit or miss. (When is it not thou?) I did find this amazing silk DVF top, the silk DVF scarf and this Madewell denim skirt from a little while back. Not bad but I passed on quite a lot of nice stuff - Louis Vuitton capris (because I felt "eh" about them and I try not to buy "eh" things that aren't staples) a DVF dress in which the colors nor the price were appealing and a ton of designer denim which was mostly something I had already. For fellow thrifters, what scores have you brought home and what have you left?


Friday, July 13, 2018

Remix Friday: Cold Shoulder Top


Remix Friday? Doesn't really have a good ring to it. Six way to style stuff you wear? Doesn't flow off the tongue.

Naming problems aside, I want to do a weekly remix because remixs are about my favorite thing ever. Those "30 ways to wear 2 items" articles? WILL READ THEM ALL. Remix challenges on the internet? YES PLEASE. My point, I enjoy seeing tons of ways to wear clothes and it's what pulled me into blogging in the first place.

For my first installment of Six Ways Friday (still not good) I took a current favorite item of mine: The Dreaded and Hated Why Won't They Go Away Cold Shoulder Top.

Wait! Before you throw your phone across the room in a spasm of anger and trend-driven rage, hear me out. I didn't like cold shoulder top at first. They looks so impractical and silly and...trendy. Boo, hiss! And then I got over my trend aversion and bought a really lovely cashmere cold shoulder Alice and Oliva sweater and I loved it and wore it all spring. It's not like I was working outside in -60 and it was fine in 0F weather with a coat so it wasn't AS BIG OF A DEAL as I first felt. It was actually kinda cute! I was trendy! I was a cool mom you guys!

Suppressing the gag reflex that thought process brought on, I started looking at trendy stuff in a different light. Was I adverse to it because I'm Not That Kind Of Blogger or was it really not good or just that it was a new look at an older trend I hadn't cared for? for me, it was a new look at a trend I hadn't liked the last time around but...they're kinda ok this go-around. Since then I've bought a grand total of...two cold shoulder items. One is a lovely silk Joie Dress (the yellow one from my Friday post) which is just all sorts of summer coy and sweetness and the other is this black Paige tee. I put it on and it brought the same feelings as the cashmere sweater did, I was Trendy, I was Cute, I was A Cool Mom! And that was okay.


Here I showed the six ways I've worn it lately. I wear this pretty often and consider it a cornerstone of my wardrobe now, it adds just a tiny bit of flair to a plain outfit as you can see in the first. It's just a black tee, high rise black jeans and silver Birks which could be boring but the cut-outs add just a tiny bit of intentional-ness to the look.

The second look is a no-brainer, it's a A-line denim skirt with some flatforms (although flat sandals would be cute as well) and a cool tooled leather hand bag to add a little bit of print to the outfit and to pull the color of the sandals into the outfit. Simple but interesting.

The third look is a little more trendy. It's also a denim skirt but it's totally cool and makes me feel like I'm Rihanna. (Stop laughing, I know I'm not that cool.) It's a high rise midi skirt which I feel is the best proportions for a midi skirt on my 5'2 frame - the high rise helps keep my legs from looking too stumpy and again, looks intentional. The rips and light wash color I really love as someone whom was an older teen in the early 2000s, I'm just reliving my youth! Mules are at the peak of their trendiness so I don't know how long the style will be around for but I like these shoes for adding a little height to my summer outfits.

The fourth look is a mash up of my favorite staples - a kimono a (fake) leather leggings. Kimonos make a great layer for summer time and are a nice alternative to field jackets or denim jacket although either of those would work with this. Leather leggings are nice for colder or rainy days, I wouldn't recommend them on super hot days unless one enjoys a case of swamp ass. I wore the mules again because closed toe shoes would feel like a lot of covering up for a summer outfit and might make the visual weight too heavy. For a fall version of this, black ankle boots would be perfect!

Fifth is the obvious choice, shorts. Almost any shorts would work, I just went with high rise distressed shorts because the shameless 2000s hussy in me needs more than a skirt to break out. Regular denim shorts would be as cute and pretty cute and short, this outfit is about as much of a blank slate as it gets. I wore my Old Navy straw hat for sun protection, silver birks because I love them and a crochet bag to keep it a ~look~ and not just thrown together.

The last outfit is also really simple, just high rise silk pants with platform heels. High rise denim pants would also look cute but I like how lightweight the silk ones are for hot days and I like looking a little taller.

There it is, the first remix for the new blog. Next Friday, how to remix your Starbucks Cup!

I know, that joke is dead. Leave it be Katie, leave it be.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

An Acne Story or What To Do When Your Face Hates You

*Note: I am not a doctor, just a random internet person. This works great for me and might work great for you but don't take it as gospel.

*Note: This post is NOT sponsored nor gifted. This is a product that I have bought with my own money many over the course of the last 30 months.

You might recall that in the spring of 2016 I had a post go up in which I stated that I was really struggling with acne and asking for options. At the time I was going through a serious cystic acne outbreak and to be honest, it was really messing with. My lower face was completely covered with hard cysts that were extremely painful and would take months to fade away. I couldn't get my foundation to cover them very well and it made me deeply insecure to walk around. I know people scoff about stuff like that "just get over it, no one's looking at you" but when it comes to acne, that really is not true. I had remarks made to me that cut really deeply (by strangers, to my face and behind my back) and I've heard multiple people make fun of my two friends whom struggle with far more serious acne than I do. (I suppose I am lucky that it didn't really show up in photos but I didn't take a ton of close up photos and photos in wintertime lighting tend to soften everything.) It was awful.

I researched quite a few items trying to figure out someway to get rid of the acne. My sister was extremely sweet and gifted me a famous acne solutions set for Christmas, however it didn't really work with my skin. I tried multiple solutions recommended by the skincare subreddits and beauty blogs but ended up having some severe allergic reactions where my skin would start burning, break out in hives that would last for over a week and then having the top layer of my skin peel off. It was gross, let me tell you and didn't do much for my already-in-the-toilet esteem. Since then I've narrowed down the ingredient that I'm allergic to and unfortunately it's present in most skincare. However, Jergens, Vaseline moisturizer, Queen Helene Coco Butter(which is $2.50 for 32 oz, wow!) and most Clinique items do not use it.

My quest for soft, lovely, glow-within skin, or at least not covered in painful, red volcanos, was going nowhere until I almost started crying to the Clinique consultant  at Ulta while looking for anything. It turned out she struggled with the same kind of cystic acne as I did and ran me through their acne skincare line. I was really skeptical because, they just want me to buy stuff, right? She walked me through each step however and then when I mentioned I didn't want to spend $100 plus, cut it down to the essential items she thought would help and gave me a 10 day sample to try before I bought. I went home, slathered the stuff and and...didn't expect anything. Nothing had worked so far and this probably wouldn't.
At the end of the 10 days I went back and bought the Acne Senstive Soultions Acne foundation, the Acne SPF and the Acne Solutions Clinic Clearing Gel (for all skin types.) HOLY SHIT THAT STUFF WORKS. (Foundation was $27, SPF was $18 for the smaller tube and the larger bottle of the Gel was $26.)

I did not take pictures and now I wished I had because I saw a difference of small pimples within a few days and the cystic acne softened and faded away within the 10 day period, not leaving the angry red welts that would take months to fade. It actually worked when nothing else had made even a remote difference (aside from worse, lol) and I can't even express how amazing that felt. It sounds dumb but it really did change my outlook, my mood and how I saw myself when my face wasn't in pain and I felt like everyone was staring at it. I'd felt hopeless by the time I'd tried this and it is the one product that has made such a difference for me. Since then I've recommended the Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel to several friends and family and have given it as gifts and everyone has said the same thing , "HOLY SHIT THIS WORKS." (All with different skin types and a couple different acne types but mostly cystic acne.)

I've since then repurchased the foundation four times. I am currently using the Nars Sheer Glow Foundation which I like but not the price and have used the Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer which I would NOT buy again, it's a little too thick for my tastes but as soon as I finish my Nars foundation I will go back to the Acne Solutions foundation. I like that it's a medium coverage that I can thin out, it lays nicely on top of crusty acne (gross but real talk) and it helps an outbreak chill out. The  on that line also doesn't pull as yellow on me as other Clinique foundations do. (I realize Nars is known for pulling yellow but I wear Light 2, Mount Blanc and would wear Light 1 in the winter and find that it suits my cool undertones better. Go figure, skin is weird and water is wet.) I do like the price of the Clinique quite a bit more, $27 to $47, yikes and since I feel they preform about the same, I will rebuy the Clinique when I run out next.

The SPF I love and wear as a primer at times but to be honest, I usually gloop a bunch of store brand SPF50 on my face, let that sink in for a few mins in the morning before I put on my primer and/or foundation. It's nice to have and sometimes I'll wear just that as it is tinted but I don't think it's essential  and I only buy it on sale.

The real winner for me that I have bought over and over again is the Clearing Gel. There's two size, a small for $18 and a large for $26 and I normally buy the small and even thought I am very liberal with my application of it all over my face, it still takes me two months to go through a small jar. The consultant did say to use a q-tip and lightly a thin layer to problem spot and that you can use a very thin layer under your morning makeup but I slather it on at night, take off in the morning and then apply a thin layer to spots before doing spf. It would probably take a normal person quite a bit longer to go through a bottle and best of all, it doesn't stain your towels like most acne products.

I wrote this post because this was such an amazing product for me. Acne sucks and it made me feel like I sucked and this was the one product that I felt changed everything around. I ran into a lot of bad advice and products that did not work or straight up hurt my skin and for everything I read about, the Clinique Acne Solutions Clearing Gel was the ONE product that I have never seen mentioned - not on subreddits, not in magazines, not on beauty blogs or suggested by derms. I mentioned I've talked about and gifted this product to friends and family and everyone has said that same thing, it works.

If you've tried everything, lol, nothing at all, this would be my first suggestion. Make sure you are not allergic to any of the ingredients, ask at your Ulta counter if you can try a take home sample (if you are lucky enough to have one, I know my town went for over 10 years between loosing our Gottschalks' makeup counter and getting and Ulta in so I know the feeling of a makeup wasteland) and see if it might work before purchasing. I don't believe in spending a ton of money in products because there's so much misinformation and misleading claims out there but from my humble experience, this is what has worked for me. I hope it can for you and even if it doesn't that you will be able to find something because we can all agree that for such a small thing, acne can have a profound impact on how you view yourself and how others view you. Good luck!

*Again , not sponsored. This made a huge difference in my life and my skin and because it is not a talked about product, I wanted to put it out there for anyone else.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Thrifty Tuesday on a Monday



I use to do a weekly post series called Outfit Under $30 or something. It was an outfit of items, usually thrifted, that added up to under $30 which is kinda cool because nice shit is expensive. Unless you thrift! I have a pretty strong passion for thrifting and it's my version of ethical shopping since $300 pants, even if I save, are really far out of my comfort zone although zero shade to those who do, you're better women than I.

Our thrift game in Fairbanks Alaska is really strong. We have a large proportion of people who are in the upper brackets of wealth and we have a large amount of people in the poverty line. (Which is higher for Fairbanks AK than other states or nationally - we have the highest property taxes in the nations, the highest fuel costs aside from some of the villages, the highest electricity  cost and our food costs are bananas. It takes a lot to live up here and is pretty frustrating to be honest, we've experienced a mass exodus the past few years with the Recession and hopefully it will get better.) The one good thing about this is:

our thrift stores are the bomb and it's not too much to buy awesome, nice stuff. J.Brand jeans? VV hasn't figured out they are nice, they're $5.49! Stores don't carry your size? Vintage clothing runs really small for those sized out of most stores and the plus size sections is impressive at our local VV. You like crazy stuff not in style right now? Congratulations, you'll find it there.

The one hang up? It takes time to build a wardrobe thrifting and that's the catch. You can go cheap, invest the time and have a great wardrobe or you can save your time, spend cash and have a great wardrobe. It's your priorities and mine is spend the time and save the cash.

For Thrifty Tuesday (very original, I'm sure no one has ever used this and we'll ignore the actual day) I wore an outfit of totally second hand items. It was hot out so shorts and a cold shoulder tee were in order and because I love a ~look~ I wore these Crown Vintage suede boots that I thrifted for almost nothing and accessorized with a DVF silk scarf (thrift stores are great for silk scarves) and a leather bag. It's not an exciting outfit, kinda basic but the point is, you can thrift basics-to-you and have great building blocks for your closet.
For items brought home and spotted, well, I forgot to take pictures of cool things spotted. Bad thrifting blogger, bad. For items brought home lately, here's my terrible flat lay of them. (Seriously, isn't Blogging101 suppose to cover flat lays? Why am I so bad at them?!)

These were mostly half off items due to the tag of the week VV likes to due. The 3 Madewell tops are pretty awesome - we don't have a Madewell or J.Crew in Alaska so it's always a little exciting to spot these items in the wild, even if they do seem like old hat to everyone else. The long sleeve white cotton top is really cute and has just a touch of the Victorian romance look that's been popular in tops this summer, I'll wear this with jeans or high rise shorts for the summer, a green velvet maxi skirt or wool pants and boots for the fall and winter and I've got a beautiful gray cashmere midi pencil skirt that will be amazing with this. The embroidered Madewell top is very me and well go with everything and the silk ruffled Madewell top will work in the same fashion as the long sleeve one. The orange Free People top is a color I love to wear but don't often find in clothes and it has a cinched waist and is a tunic length - not a common silhouette right now but one I like quite a lot that goes with jeans and shorts. (The waist hits at my waist and is not empire which would have been a deal breaker for me. With a true waist I can tuck this top into high rise skirt but an empire waist line would look off a disproportionate on me and I feel it also looks more portioned with a true waist and tunic length over jeans.) The J.Crew shorts are linen and since most of my shorts from last year did not fit and were past the point of being able to be altered (4 sizes is too much to alter for my skills and would have required me to take apart the garment and still might not have worked.) I needed shorts this year. I like how breathable linen is and since we have rather hot summers up here, that's a must. The loose leg style is something I also like on my figure just because I think it's flattering and the soft colors work with pretty much everything. I've also been looking for jeans this jeans but uuh, sizing is crazy. I have jeans everywhere from a 23 to a 27 and I have no idea what my true size is right now because sizing is so different for each brand. For comparison, my waist is 24, my hips are 37 and my thighs are 21.5 so I'm not the same size all over. I know the 23 are way vanity sizes because they fit me the way they are suppose to (tight butt, high rise, loose leg) and the majority of my pants fit a 26 so...I don't know? It's almost impossible to order pants online because so few places actually provide measurements so thrifting it is! I like black pants as they are a staple for me so the Paige and Current/Elliott's fit right in and I like the looser AGsfor summer with floaty tops and sandals.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Hello Again Blogging My OldFriend

Hi everyone. Really long time, no talk huh?

I don't know what was up with that. Life was busy, I didn't really have time for photos and I really didn't feel like it. I still like clothes and makeup and apparently being shallow on the internet but I wasn't feeling the blog anymore. Blogging has changed a lot since I started reading them and even since I started my own back in 2012 and...I don't know what I wanted out of it. Sure, it'd be kickass to make money off of it and it's been super cool the few times I've received items. (I still freaking love those Sandgrens Clog boots and wear them all the time, that was probably one of the coolest things ever to happen through the blog, no lie.) However, I don't have the dedication, skills nor the moxie it takes to really montitize this space and I have a ton of respect for those who do because that's hard. That's really hard.

What I loved about blogging what the community of people taking quick pictures of their outfits, seeing cool ways to style everyday garments and trend changes with the various subcultures of dress and people talking about their closet philosophies. I know, it sounds silly but I have deep thoughts about my closet and I like to know I'm not the only one. Lately, my blog had been none of that and while I do like the frolic-in-the-field photo sessions with Mr. Tripod, it wasn't doing anything for me. I was burnt out. I just want a quick picture of an outfit, cira 2010 with some thoughts.

So that's what I'm going to do. I still like that part of blogging and I'm going to try to make it work. I'll talk about our holy religion of Thrifting and the Great Thrift Karma, I'll do remixs, closet talk and who knows. I won't be talking lifestyle shit because no one wants to hear about that from me and my family will stay off the blog as it's been for the past while. My guys are growing up and because I love them more than anything in the world, I want them to have their space if that makes sense.

To kick off the first post of the new and maybe improved Alaskan Weredork (maybe I should grow that name up a little) here's a quick overlook of what outfits I did take pictures of. You've been warned.


I felt like I had a solid spring look going, cute boots, jeans, a dress of two and hats. I love the outfit with the Old Navy brown coat and floral scarf because I felt like the cutest thing ever in that and I loved the American Eagle poncho layered over the matching Old Navy moto - it was so matchy-matchy and western-ish.

And then half way through, I felt like I lost my way. I liked what I was wearing but it started to feel disjointed and not cohesive at all. As a blogger, I have to stay on brand right?! I kinda fell apart here and just went with "whatever, it doesn't matter, I'll were whatever because I'm not blogging." And to be honest, that felt kinda freeing. I wore trendy stuff, weird goth-light stuff, stuff that didn't really reflect my style for the past few years and yet had elements of it. Boy, it did not show up well the few times I took photos however and made me even more resistant  to blogging.

I did like the shorts with tights outfits I had going during the colder parts of our spring-that-would-never-end but after a spring of not being very focused on my goals physically, I was a little bummed out taking photos in shorts during hot weather. It did make me jump back on the horse so I suppose it was a good reminder to keep taking care of myself.
One strange thing I noticed was I stopped wearing hats in photos and all of a sudden, I felt like I looked like a stranger. My head was so weird looking! I think I've adjusted since then but it's still a little odd.

It's been lovely to catch up and I promise, no more radio silence. I won't be posting every day but a few times through out the week which I think will be more accommodating towards my schedule and hopefully the change around here will be good. Thanks to all of those who've read over the years - I don't know how you did it.
 

Friday, April 27, 2018

I Gave In





All Saints Jacket (ebay) / Silk Scarf (thrifted, old) / Acne Jeans (thrifted, old) / Alice and Olivia Cashmere Sweater (thrifted) / Seychelles Boots (old) / Mulberry Alexa (second hand on ebay)

I feel the same as most of you about cold shoulder sweaters - they just aren't practical. I live in a super cold climate, I don't need holes in my sweaters. Until I tried on this sweater and I realized that yes, yes I did. I love this sweater, it fits close to the body which is nice now that the dominant shape of sweaters seems to be loose and the sleeves have the perfect amount of volume, just enough to be cute but still can tuck into a jacket sleeve. It's just so cute, even the holes have grown on me and I don't think I'll sew them up as I was planning to.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Fairbanks Is Too Cool





AEO Cap / Aritiza Wool Scarf and Pants (thrifted) / Joie Silk Tee (thrifted) / Crown Vintage Suede Boots (thrifted) / Muubaa Leather Jacket (ebay) / Mulberry Alexa (second hand on ebay)

I've been finding a lot of Aritiza items lately at the thrift store. I know that's a brand that's quite popular and I kinda get it now, I really like the few items I've seen from them so far. This scarf is a new staple in my wardrobe and these pants make me feel like I'm a cool person or at least can play like I'm one. speaking of which, I'm not sure I'm cool enough to live in Fairbanks anymore! The people I've seen out and about this spring have been SO stylish and it's not just the Korean, Chinese and Japanese collage students on spring break from the states. (Although those girls have an amazing style. You can almost always tell who's a tourist - they have a Canadian Goose jacket and they look super cool in their draped sweaters, cashmere sweat pants and cropped pants with Timberland. I don't know how they do it.) I saw a mom with a long black duster, sweat shirt, cropped leggings, sneakers and a studded backpack at the library and it was so good. Another older lady had bright hot red leather pants, studded boot and an embroidered purple leather jacket. (also at the library.) Another mom had a cropped jumpsuit with a denim jacket and converse on. (again at the library.) One woman had a light wash baggy denim jacket over a red bodycon dress over black leggings and beige, one inch block heels. (surprisingly not at the library.) This is just what I've seen in the past hour, it's been like this for the past few weeks, everyone looks so cool! I need to stop being lazy...