Before and After: Rachel’s haircut!

I. LOVE. BEFORE & AFTERS. And for months I’ve been waiting for my friend Rachel (you guys remember Rachel, right?) to share her own REAL-LIFE B&A: she chopped 11 inches of her hair to donate to Locks of Love, and emerged on the other side with an elegant and stunning pixie cut!

BEFORE:

Massive haircuts are always scary, and no matter how lovely the cut, someone is bound to make some sort of hurtful comment, whether they meant to or not. So yesterday I made Rachel embarrassingly pose for portraits (amidst neighbors walking by and workers roofing) so that I could embarrassingly post her transformation here.

Aren’t I a good friend?

So with no further ado… click through to see Rachel’s transformation! Continue reading

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My version of a Foxy Halloween

Socks, Dress, and Cardigan: Savers
Shoes: Boden
Masks: Made by ME!

Happy Halloween, everyone! Brian and I, for the past few years, have been living out our favorite children’s books in costume form. This year we were Mr. and Mrs. Fox from Fantastic Mr Fox (both a book by Roald Dahl and reprised in a recent movie by Wes Anderson)! While it was fun finding the actual outfits (Brian’s from his closet, mine from Savers), the best was making the masks. It was lots of fun, even if it did take me three hours!

Lots of women dress up all foxy-like for their big night out on Halloween. Now I guess I can add my name to that list… but, of course, in a much more literal sense of the word. ūüėČ

This year we went to Madison, WI for Halloween to visit and meet up with good friends. Kate and Lucas went all out in decorating their home and yard, and hosted us and a number of other friends at a party on Saturday night. We also carved pumpkins and put the finishing touches on our costumes Saturday afternoon.
Sophie was Minnie Mouse, and Kate and Lucas were Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf.¬†All in all, a very festive weekend! Hope you’re having a great Halloween and meet lots of friendly little ghouls and ghosts tonight!

The best purple of all

From Al:¬†I saw these photos on Alison‘s flickr stream and fell in LOVE with the colors and the outfit. It was time for another update! Welcome back, Alison!

Dress: ModCloth (www.modcloth.com)
Tights: Eddie Bauer outlet
Scarf: gift from my grandma
Long sleeved shirt: Penney’s. About a decade ago.
Boots: Famous Footwear

Jeez, give a girl a shining moment on a style blog and it goes directly to her head! She does a crazy thing like going out to buy tights. Tights, I tell you, with the intention of making my summer dresses push into the colder temperatures. With the intention of pairing them with boots. With the intention of creating outfits. Holy hannah.

 

I’m a 365er and I’m in my second year. So, what that means, sans code, is that since January 2010 I have taken at least one photo a day. It’s a lot of photos. (To be completely honest, I took Jan-Mar 2011 off because I wasn’t sure I wanted to head into year two, but I missed it, and missed it bad. So technically year two is running from April through the end of March. More than you cared to know, I’m sure.) I don’t do a whole lot of self portraits because they always feel so self indulgent, so me-focused, so awkward. But with this infinitely thought out outfit and the courage from some dear online friends across the globe, I headed over to the bike path near our home, set up the tripod, and took to snapping. I do really love this dress, and an excuse to push it past August is well worth a day in tights for me.

 

 

Adventures in Thriftland

Dress: Thrifted (vintage?)
Tights: Target
Belt: Target
Shoes: Thrifted

From Al: You all remember Rachel, right? Well, since my life is getting more and more busy–and because she just so durn cute!–you might be hearing more from Rachel and other friends around here. If you’re interested in contributing to this little fashion blog–give me a holler.

Rachel says: I found this dress the same day that Alison found her beautiful bright red dress (how fabulous does she look in it, right?). On the hanger, I thought it looked like a horrible polyester mess from the the early 80’s, but when I tried it on I was converted.While I still think the pattern is a bit 80’s crazy, the jewel tone blues and purples are some of my favorites wear, and the fit is almost perfect, which is one of my favorite things about vintage clothing. What a novel concept for fit to be considered in garment construction.

This pair of shoes is one of my favorites (found on my first thrifting trip with Alison), but they are ripping at the seams. For awhile I refused to wear them in an attempt at preservation, but eventually I decided that if the inevitable end is in sight, I’m going to wear them out with flair!

Now as much as I like this dress (and vintage dresses in general), I sometime wonder how wearable the style is for regular life. I have been debating hemming this dress a couple inches and perhaps altering the neckline a bit. What do you think, to hem or not to hem?

Lady in red

Dress, Belt, and Jewelry: Via’s Vintage
Shoes: Kenneth Cole (circa 2008?)
Glasses: Warby Parker Sinclair

Weddings are so fun–they’re beautiful and festive, you get to see old friends, and maybe best of all? You get to dress up to go to them! For a wedding of an old friend this past Saturday, I decked myself all out in a vintage outfit (minus the shoes) of bright, bright red for Fall (and for fun!). I found this dress at a local vintage shop, Via’s Vintage, and after mulling it over for 24 hours, I went back and made the purchase! I was so excited to wear it I even dyed my hair a darker shade of brown. I usually do it for winter anyway, but the timing underscores just how silly and excited I was about this outfit.¬†

Mandi was a bridesmaid in the wedding, and looked absolutely stunning in her bridesmaid dress. Can you believe that gorgeous purple dress was from Target? They were about the thriftiest–and some of the cutest–bridesmaids dresses I’ve seen. Kudos to the thoughtful and thrifty bride, Katie!

I also wore my not-so-new-anymore Warby Parker frames to the wedding (which I do almost every day), and discovered that another of the bridesmaids, Megan, also owns a pair of WPs! She looked so cute I had to include a pic of her, too, dancing with her hubs. We bonded over our mutual love of thrifty frames. (Right Meg? ;))And yes–the reception was hoppin! I soon lost my Warby Parkers for complimentary silly sunnies and rocked out the dance floor (and later, the bar) in those beauts. It was so fun to see old friends all decked out in their party clothes. So, in that spirit–I have a few more photos to share.

Many thanks to Katie and Ross for their fantastic wedding, and may you find many years of happiness and companionship in one another! Mazel tov!

Chicago is delicious

Top: Target
Cardi: Swapped
Jeans: Gap Outlet
Boots: Corso Como
Scarf: UO

¬†Brian and I went to Chicago a few weekends ago to meet up with a good friend we hadn’t seen in a while. We were going to run a race with her, and instead, we ended up eating our way through the city. Not a bad switch, I’d say!

Our first stop was at Hot Doug’s, where I had a hot and spicy chicken sausage with pesto aioli and mozzarella (not in the photo below). Who knew hot dogs could be so gourmet? And to top it all off, the fries were cooked in duck fat. DUCK FAT, my friends! You can’t get much better than that.

For the trip, I packed a fall palette of blues and greys, of which I then forgot to take any photos, except for this one outfit. It didn’t help that we spent the (very cold, very windy) weekend pretty much hopping from restaurant to restaurant, so I actually didn’t much want many pictures taken of me and my very satisfied belly. ūüėČ

We stayed with a great couple through AirBNB in Bucktown. We ate (and drank) at, among other places, at BigStar, the Map Room, and Ipsento Coffee. At Ipsento, Brian got a delicious latte with the flavors of coconut and cayenne. I stuck with the nutella latte. Yum.

Conclusion: Chicago is delicious! I wouldn’t mind going back in a heartbeat. (And psst–can you spot the Sears tower in this final pic?)

 

 

Men’s fashion with Morgan

From Al:¬†I’m loving this friend-blogging thing, and today I’m so thrilled to introduce one of my besties, Morgan! As a personal shopper at J. Crew, I feel so flattered that he’s decided to grace my blog with his presence, and share how he’s accessorizing his wardrobe with custom accessories. Take it away, Mo!

From Morgan:¬†First, hi! I’m in the same boat as the previous two guest bloggers on Al’s blog, Alison and Rachel. I¬†never thought I’d be writing a post for a style blog. Same deal with the lurking around other people’s¬†style blogs, though, too, so. My interest in style is pretty recent, but I’d like to think I’ve gotten a pretty¬†good handle on the basics.

Which brings me to the subject of my post: how us regular guys can go about jazzing up our menswear.¬†Here’s how it goes. You learn the fundamentals. Belt and shoes match? Yup. Shirt and tie work¬†together? Sure. Throw on a blazer, and BLAM, you’re put together and people will start telling you¬†how much more, I dunno, put together you look these days.

This recipe is basic, though‚ÄĒthe mac and cheese of menswear‚ÄĒand sooner or later you start thinking¬†about how to add to it. But the problem is how to add to your look (I guess we can say accessorize,¬†even though I don’t want to) without coming off as a foppish dandy. We’re supposed to look stylish and¬†classy without looking affected and false. Pocket squares are a possibility, as are things like scarves and¬†bracelets. But there are such better options! Here’s one.

¬†A few months ago I rummaged through a box of trinkets and found an old key my grandfather had¬†given me years back. He was a civil engineer, and at one point he worked on the huge crawlers that¬†moved Apollo rocket components around the Kennedy Space Center. The key he gave me went to¬†some long-obsolete part of one of the crawlers. What it opened is a mystery now, but when I found¬†the key I had an idea. I looked up a quirky local jeweler and had him fashion the key into a tie bar for¬†me. It took a day, and about thirty bucks. Cheaper than most tie bars you’ll find out there! And more¬†importantly, it’s not just a key anymore, or a tie bar‚ÄĒit’s a story.

Boots: stolen from my dad, who stole them from his dad
Jeans: J. Crew, by way of Mr. Porter
Shirt/tie: J. Crew
Belt: J. Crew Factory Store

*Pssst–like reading about men’s fashion here? Leave a comment on Morgan’s post and tell him to keep blogging!!! ūüôā

Behind the Lens: Alison!

From Al: Second in my “Behind the Lens” series is (the other) Alison, my photographer friend who took those photos that so many of you loved. Alison works down the hall from me, shares my love of margaritas and photography, and blogs ever so beautifully at left in front of right…¬†Please welcome her by leaving lots of sweet comments! ūüėČ

ruffle shirt: jcpenney
cardigan: gap outlet
pants: gap
shoes: famous footwear eons ago
belt: that french boutique, target

I’ll start with this – I never, repeat that,¬†never¬†thought I would be writing a guest post for a style blog. I’m a long-time lurker around sites like¬†Selective Potential,¬†Calvintage,¬†What Would a Nerd Wear,¬†Lulu Letty,¬†The Daybook,¬†and on and on and on. Style has been something I’ve been fascinated by, but something other people did. They were those blogger girls who pouted and looked down at their in-turned toes while their doting boyfriends/husbands/friends snapped shot after shot of their perfectly thrifted, stunningly paired, imaginatively styled outfits. It wasn’t something I could do, and to be honest, it wasn’t something I wanted to do. Did I want to gawk from the safety of my web connection?¬†You betcha.

And then that all changed. Someone I knew and admired was starting a style blog. A style blog, kids! And to top that, she was making it all about cinching. Enter the paradigm shift. All of a sudden style and fashion weren’t just something in magazines and on the web, they were written, being created and being lived right in front of me. How could I not be effected?

Because of Alison’s cinching, I paid attention this fall to the color trends that were happening. I looked at the skinny little belts that were circling the middles of every mannequin, every magazine ad, every lady I passed on the street. And then, to top it all off, I went shopping. I went shopping and I bought things that were in style. I bought a freaking belt. A little cinchy one. My world has changed. Now, I’m not cinching every day, and I certainly do the jeans and t-shirt the moment I get home from work (if I’m not going out that evening), but I’m not afraid to put yellow and teal together and tie it up with a little bow. I can wear big ruffles without fear! Alison’s style blogging just down the hall gave me the push to step out of the shadows of internet lurk-dom, and in front of the camera for a change.

Many humble and cinched thanks, friend!
Alison from¬†left in front of right…

Behind the lens: Rachel!

From Al: Friends, we have a special treat today on In A Cinch! The woman behind many of my photos agreed to be featured in an outfit post of her own today (I’ve been trying to convince her to start a blog of her own… don’t you think she should?!) So with no further ado, I give you my dear friend, Rachel!

Top: H&M
Skirt: Banana Republic (Thrifted)
Belt: Urban Outfitters
Boots: Some mall a long time ago?
Socks: Target
Necklace: Was my Grandma’s

Hello style blog enthusiasts! Since Alison first introduced me a couple of years ago, I have been a regular observer of world that is fashion blogging and this post is my first time as an actual participant! Hummm what to say…

Well the weather changed pretty quickly from summer to fall in the past couple of weeks and I couldn’t be happier. To join in what seems like general agreement, I think it’s so fun dressing for fall weather and this outfit is a great example. I love the rich colors and warm fabrics, and the belt (which is new and was totally on sale) is so autumn it’s almost cliche (almost, right?!).