Outfit: The Rose Sweater

DSC_0015.jpgHaving blogged for a couple of years now, I’d like to think I’m a little seasoned.  Sure, I’m not a pro, but I’ve got some things under my belt, like working with brands.


A lot of the time, it’s a little thrill when I get an email from a brand saying they want to work with me.  It feels good to be recognized for something I put my heart and soul into.  Most brands operate on the same game plan–they send me something for free, I wear it on the blog, and we both go home happy.

But then there are the sneaky brands.  They, too, send an email saying they want to “work with me.”  As I read further into the email, though, it becomes clear that they want something for nothing.

Here’s an example.  A bra company recently contacted me and asked me to do a blog post for them.  I was to include a little quiz they made up and put in a promo code for 30% off one of their products.  I told them that before I could promote their brand, I’d like to receive a free bra–after all, I have to know what I’m talking about!  They said sure.

Kind of.

The company told me I could do a “free trial” and if I liked the bra, I would have to pay for it.

Um, are you kidding?

I sent them back an email politely declining the offer, and I explained that it’s not fair to ask a blogger to take the time to put together a post in return for nothing.  A loss, even, if I decided to purchase the bra after the “free” trial.

How do these brands justify this kind of thing?  Sometimes I imagine they must be thinking, “This blogger should be SO FLATTERED that we reached out to her!”  Maybe they really don’t understand how much work goes into a blog post, or that we totally deserve to be compensated for it.

Clearly, I find this practice super annoying.  Has this ever happened to you?

I’m thinking of putting together a blog post next week that explains how you can politely decline something like this but leave the door open to the brand.  What do you think?


5 Reasons Why I Only Shop Online

DSC_0310This weekend, to take a quick break from house-and dog-sitting, I thought I’d head to the mall for a little shopping.  This is not something I normally do.  While I like looking at window displays for ideas and generally taking in all the sights, sounds, and smells, I typically don’t come home with anything these days.  Instead, nearly everything I get comes from a shop online–and here’s why.

  1. I’m lazy.  We’re talking about someone who regularly eats cereal for dinner because she can’t be bothered to whip up a sandwich.  I don’t relish the idea of driving, walking around to a bunch of stores, waiting in line to buy stuff, and driving back home.  Maybe this will change when I live in the city and driving won’t be as much of an issue, but for now, ugh.
  2. Most places don’t have petite offerings in-store. This was a nasty shock the other day when I strolled into Anthropologie.  The store used to carry petite clothing in a tiny nook in the back, but they’ve since gotten rid of the whole selection.  When I asked about it, I was told to just go online.
  3. It’s easy to buy clothing that’s made in the US. Shopping for American-made stuff is a priority for me, and shopping online is the best way for me to find it.  Why bother roaming around a store and checking tags for the country of origin when I can simply go to my favorite websites and filter by American-made clothing?
  4. Quality, quality, quality. It might seem easy to check the quality of an item when you’re at the store, but how do you know how well the item will fare once you wear it a few times?  I always read the reviews on products before I buy them to find out how well the clothes will last.  I’ve found that lots of reviewers will describe what an item is like out of the box, after it’s been washed once, and after it’s been worn several times.  This info is gold, I tell ya!
  5. It gives me ideas! Many clothing websites, alongside their reviews, allow customers to upload pictures of themselves wearing each item.  I love this because it gives me inspiration and makes it easier for me to imagine how I’d style a particular item.  While it’s not great for my wallet, I like getting those creative juices flowing.

So what about you?  Do you have a preference?



A Staying-In Valentine’s Day Outfit

DSC_1992Until very recently, I never put much thought into Valentine’s Day.  I’ve usually been single on the holiday, so I’ve grown accustomed to treating it like any other day–well, maybe with a little extra ice cream or Nutella.  This year, though, I’m extremely lucky to be dating someone incredible, and we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day by doing exactly what I want: catching up on The Walking Dead and indulging in plenty of heart-shaped cookies and wine.


I had put together this outfit on a whim over the weekend, but I realized it would actually work really well for the kind of Valentine’s Day I’m planning.  I’ve got the red, I’ve got the heart, and that’s all I really need, right?  (Although there IS an obnoxious pink dress with a heart-shaped bodice and tiny hearts printed all over it in my closet just in case I want to get fancy at the last minute.)

What are you planning on wearing for Valentine’s Day??




Outfit: Where the World Turns Blue

One of the drawbacks about living where I do is that there are no nearby bodies of water.  There isn’t even a duck pond or a little creek, so I drove about an hour to get here to take these pictures.  It’s the first time I’ve been to the beach all year, and this is how I was dressed!  In my defense, though, I’d been going for a Regency-era bathing costume look, and I think I hit the mark.

I’d been dying to wear this dress again for an outfit post.  Back when I was still taking pictures on my phone, I staged one of my very favorite shoots to date while wandering around an old mill house in this dramatic ensemble (see here).  I don’t suppose I feel better in any other item of clothing in my closet.  I love the contrasting stripes, the flowing skirt, the perfectly fitted waistline.  It seems to me like an updated version of something a Jane Austen character would wear, perhaps Catherine Morland of Northanger Abbey?

When I arrived at the beach on this day, everything went wrong.  Instead of it being empty–it was a chill day–there were lots of people around.  I’d been playing around with the manual settings on my camera and started off with some miserably overexposed shots (although they did turn out pretty cool–see the last shot).  I got sand in my purse and plenty of grit in my shoes.  I might have scratched my lens.

But you know what?  I really like the way these turned out, and I think I must owe it to the dress.  I want to throw a parade for it.

Hat: Urban Outfitters

Dress: old, Anthropologie

Hair clip: ModCloth

Shoes: old, Seychelles (similar)