NaNo Day 18: Fall Layers with ModCloth

It’s well-known that I’m obsessed with Modcloth. Apparently so well-known, in fact, that one of the lovely ModStylists emailed me last week to see if I’d be interested in sharing my fall layering style using pieces from the awesomely quirky and adorable fashion site.

Um. Duh?

So, below is the outfit I came up with using pieces from ModCloth’s fall collection.

Fall Layers with ModCloth

My fall style is all about warmth and coziness, so I began my look with–you guessed it–layers. A tank top beneath a flowy blouse beneath a chunky cardigan.

I chose to go with warm colors that reminded me of falling leaves and bonfires, so the tank top is a deep red and the cardigan is goldenrod yellow. I offset these against the off-white of the flowy top, which has cutouts throughout it to show off the red tank top beneath. I’d wear it with the cardigan unbuttoned so as to avoid the contrast in necklines. (Notice how the red tank top and and off-white blouse, on the other hand, have coordinating necklines.) Wearing the cardigan unbuttoned also adds to the casualness of the look.

Of course, an outfit isn’t complete with just some cozy layers, so I paired these with dark wash skinny jeans that draw attention to their warm colors, a pair of brown lace-up ankle boots (still running with the fall colors), an army green wool jacket (playing into the utility jacket trend while adding warmth) (I don’t know about you, but the windshield here was -6 this morning), a multicolor infinity scarf that echoes and accentuates the colors already in the outfit, and, finally, an adorable grey cable knit beanie.

The long, flowy top half of the outfit combines with the tight jeans and heeled boots to give a lengthening, slimming effect that keeps you from turning into the dreaded cold weather marshmallow, while the jeans, jacket, and beanie are also important as neutral colors, because they draw focus to the layered tank top, blouse, and sweater as statement pieces. (I don’t know about you, but it’s impossible for me to be moody about the cold weather when I’m wearing such happy, warm colors.)

Altogether, my look is all about slouchy, cozy pieces you can throw on in minutes while still looking cute on the way to morning classes. Now all I need is a chai latte and a pile of leaves to jump in.

Check out the individual pieces below! And make sure to head to ModCloth’s site itself to see all their other fabulous offerings here. (Protip: You can find their cardigan collection, specifically, here! It’s one of my favorite things.)

Special thanks to Polyvore, the site I used to put together my style board. Super fun and easy to use!

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NaNo Update: No writing technically planned for today, but I’m probably still going to be playing catch up in NaNoWriMo, because I NEED to stop being obnoxiously behind, with term papers and final projects coming up.

Goal for today: 0 + yesterday’s leftover 2,000 + Sunday’s 2,000 + Saturday’s 3,000 + Friday’s 200.

Overall goal: 35,000.

Current word count: 31,072

~Julia

Wordy Wednesday: Clothing Your Characters

So, I’ve been semi-putting off writing this post all day. Which is why, once again, it is now practically too late to still count as Wednesday. But so much is going on right now, and I’m getting worried about getting everything done in time, and all I want to do with my life is lose myself in cheesy YA beach reads and have time to watch a movie without having to work during it. (I know. I have shallow, shallow wants.)

No more putting off the Wordy Wednesday in favor of things that don’t need to get done until tomorrow night anyway, though. The winning option for this week was writing process, so today I’m going to talk about clothing your characters, or using fashion in your fiction.

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I don’t know about you, but I am quite possiblyaddicted to ModCloth. Their stuff increasingly composes my wardrobe. On top of this, my critique group likes to play this game in which we try to outdo each other by finding the ugliest clothes on the site, I have an ongoing wishlist of items I’d love to purchase if I ever have the money, and I spend a kind of crazy amount of time ogling all the gowns and shoes I will never have reason to wear (because who doesn’t want to pretend they have a ball to go to, right?).

The other day while scrolling through the party dresses, I came across one that absolutely screamed, “OLIVIA. OLIVIA WOULD WEAR THIS.” (Olivia being the reluctant assassin protagonist of one of the novels I’m working on, Cadence.) It was crazy how much that dress looked like Olivia. I could picture her scoping out a ball full of corrupt businessmen and politicians from the edge of the room, lips stained red and a gun strapped to her thigh.

Intrigued, I searched for dresses that some of the other characters would pick and, sure enough, I found others that matched their personalities just as well as Olivia’s did.

Olivia’s party dress is royal blue and fairly plain, with a swoop neck, intricate back, thick straps, and a flowy, knee-length skirt. Practical but feminine. A color that’s bold, but wouldn’t stand out in a crowd.

Another character’s dress is soft pink, with a sweetheart neckline, a short, flouncy skirt, and lots of lace. It shows off how she’s very outgoing, sweet, and girly, but also sophisticated.

A third is short and tight–a rick, dark shade of plum. This is another outgoing character, only this one’s the other side of the coin: instead of sweet, she is sarcastic. She’s whiny, flirty, haughty; a slow burn. Open with her affections. Passionate about her friends. More interested in how she looks than how practical it would be to run in stilettos.

The important thing to note here is that, over the course of Cadence, we only ever see one of these three characters actually get to choose clothes, and even then it’s only street clothes. The rest of the time they’re all in various uniforms. But just looking through ModCloth, I can tell you what each of these characters would think of any particular article of clothing.

Figuring out what your characters would wear in different situations, and what they’d think of different types of clothes if they saw the pieces in the store, is a great way of getting a grasp on the larger traits of your characters’ personalities.

We all have different goals for what we want our clothes to do for us. Some people like to wear bright colors, and others like dark, and others are all about pastels. Some people want to let their quirkiness shine; others want to keep up with the latest fashion trends; others want to be able to pull something on as quickly as possible without having to worry about whether this-shirt-goes-with-these-pants or not.

Maybe your character has volleyball practice after school and she doesn’t want to take the time to change before it, so she wears a t-shirt and sweats all day. Or maybe your protag wears Toms all the time because he likes to help people (and we ALL KNOW that’s why you wear Toms, right?).

I can tell you that Olivia hates wearing skirts, because they’re impractical; loves Converse, because they’re tennis shoes but also look nice enough to wear places; and has a thing for bright colors, because they’re such a contrast with the plain black uniform her organization makes her wear.

Basically: Olivia is practical, but craves the opportunity to be impractical without worry. And this is something I wouldn’t have figured out without her clothes (and my ModCloth addiction).

So, peruse ModCloth for yourself. Ask yourself what your different characters would think of some of the pieces on the site. Put them in an imaginary scenario and figure out what clothes they’d pick and why. Really think it through.

After all, you never know when your characters are going to have to attend a ball. You don’t want them to have nothing to wear.

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A reminder to anyone who wants to write a guest post or do an interview for while I’m traveling, you have until the end of Friday, June 20th to email those to me at jbyerswriting@aol.com. Show me your beautiful words!

 

~Julia

PS. It’s after midnight again. Sorry! I should be more on top of things again beginning, like, three months from now.

Fashion Friday: Favorite Spring Trends (2014)

I’ve been dying to do a Fashion Friday post for a couple months now, but between school and other commitments, this is the first chance I’ve gotten.

The weather has been absolutely crazy this year. It was in the seventies last weekend, then it snowed Tuesday. We have had blustery, freezing rain, and light misty rain, and burn-you-just-from-glancing-at-it sunshine. Basically: Michigan experienced all four seasons in four days.

What all this means is that figuring out what to wear this spring has been really difficult. I’ll be in shorts one day, and my winter coat the next.

This all has led to an interesting spring in clothes.

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Favorite Spring Trend #1: Layers

Target, $29.99

I’ve noticed I’m not the only one on campus rocking lots of layers the past few weeks. U of M is a sea of denim, leather, fleece, and utility jackets over hoodies. My personal favorite pairing is something light–a tank top of v-neck–under a sweatshirt with my jean jacket over top. It gives me three options to wear, depending on what turn the weather’s taken and how high the heat/air conditioning’s cranked in my classes. (I really appreciate the comfy look of the thin, baggy utility jackets though, so I’m thinking of splurging on one of those.)

Favorite Spring Trend #2: Funky Flats

DSW Oxford ShoesDSW, $39.95

I don’t know what you call the shoes in the picture above, but I call them “hipster shoes.” And they are weirdly cute. And a fantastic way of adding some personality to your outfit (also: much comfier than most ballet flats).

(While searching for the picture above on DSW’s site, I learned that the term “hipster shoes” is, indeed, not proper. They’re “Oxfords.” Which, looking back on it, I should have known.)

Favorite Spring Trend #3: Mint

Essie Fashion Playground Nail PolishEssie, $8.50

This color somehow is both calm and cheery. I don’t know how it does it, but it’s great. A nice, light green with a hint of blue.

Favorite Spring Trend #4: Blazers

Modcloth Fine and Sandy Blazer in SunshineModcloth, $64.99

This one’s been common for a while now, but I don’t think I’ve ever professed my love for blazers. While I don’t wear them often (I can’t seem to find a good, not-super-formal one that actually fits me), they’re definitely good for dressing up an outfit that would otherwise be casual. T-shirt and jeans? Throw a blazer over them, and suddenly you’re classy and smart.

Favorite Sprint Trend #5: Flouncy Skirts

Asos, $19.75

I’m a big proponent of dresses and skirts. They’re comfy and fun and a great way of looking like you actually made an effort with your appearance when in actually you, you know, just rolled out of bed and threw a dress on. This spring’s seen a lot of flowier, flouncier skirts. The kind that are soft to the touch and swish as you walk. Lots of skater skirts, made out of thinner, more breathable materials than usual for the warmer weather.

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What are some of your favorite trends this spring?

Countdown ’til summer: 7 days.

~Julia

Fashion Friday: Favorite Fall Pieces 2013

Well, we’re now halfway through October 2013. The leaves are changing, it’s finally cool enough to justify boots and sweaters, and I’ve probably eaten more doughnuts in the past few weeks than all the food groups on the bottom half of the Food Pyramid combined.

They’re just joking about the “use sparingly” thing, right? RIGHT? [Image found here.]

Since we’re officially and fully into autumn now, I figured it was time for a Favorite Fall Pieces post. You ready?

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Combat Boots

Combat BootsDSW, $59.95

I’m pretty sure I’ve already highlighted this before, but I think it’s great that combat boots are such a thing right now. They’re warm, look great with almost everything, and as far as fashionable boots go (I’m not looking at you, Uggs), they’re also surprisingly practical. I can wear my combat boots walking all over campus and never once find my feet uncomfortable. My favorite way to wear them are with a sundress, leggings, my jean jacket, and some snugly socks.

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Cozy Sweaters

Forever 21, $19.80

I don’t think this one needs much explaining: It’s a sweater. It’s cozy. This particular one has Spider-Man on it (you can thank Hannah for this find). Maybe it’s just because I live in Michigan and seem to lack the ability to produce my own body heat, but I love warm, soft sweaters that I can just cozy up to my homework in, a nice mug of peppermint tea in hand.

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Black & White

Black and WhiteModcloth, $44.99

A big trend this fall is wearing all black and white. I’m generally not a fan of looks that don’t involve color (I always feel more alert if I have a pop of color on), but this one is interesting, since it does create such a sharp statement. The contrast takes an outfit that would otherwise be ordinary and gives it a spark of class and sophistication.

I’ve gone for it by wearing a white dress with a black belt, black leggings, and black ballet flats. Because I do just really like color, I try to add a little in the accessories, by wearing colorful beads or bright nail polish.

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Collared Blouses and Dresses

Collared BlouseModcloth, $44.99

Collars are an easy way to add a touch of quirky cuteness to a top or dress. I like how they have a smart look to them, like they belong in a classroom or at a meeting. A perfect style to help transition into fall and classes.

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Well, that’s it from me for now. What are some of your favorite fall trends this year? What’s the weather like where you live–does it get cool enough to justify a comfy sweater, or are you more likely to be spotted wearing something else?

I hope you have a great weekend! 🙂

~Julia

Want to Guest Post?

Hey there! I’m going to be going out of town for a couple of weeks in June, and since I won’t have internet access during the trip, I’m going to need to get a nice queue of blog posts put together before I leave. And because I don’t have time to write a thousand and one posts myself before my departure date, I figured I’d see if anyone wants to write a guest post instead.

Your post should be between three hundred and a thousand words, and it can be about pretty much anything you want, minus porn or Twilight (unless you’re bashing S’meyer’s writing, in which case be my guest). Want to talk about a book or movie or author you really love? Want to share a short story you’ve written? Want to gush about a fashion trend you’re obsessed with, or how to dress like a certain book or movie character? Anything goes. Send your ideas in.

If you’re interested, email me with your idea and a sample of your writing (or just send me your proposed post) at: jbyerswriting@aol.com. I can’t wait to read all your awesome ideas! (Watch them be so great nobody even wants me to come back from vacation.)

Thanks for the help!

 

~Julia