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…


Simple pleasures

Dress: Anthropologie
Sunglasses: A boutique in Durango, CO
Necklace: Swapped*
Shoes: Shoegasm

Inspired by how the color of my newly-swapped necklace matches so perfectly the dress I wore to a Colorado wedding, I decided to style this dress about as simply as possible. I tossed on my nude (to me) pumps, tied a low bun at my neck, donned a simple matching necklace, and I was ready to let the dress do the talking. I’m glad I did–in fact, I almost wish I had simpler (or no) sunglasses to keep them from adding too much¬†to the outfit.

Today’s lesson learned: Sometimes keeping our accessories sparse is just the right accessory.

*I got this necklace in a clothing swap! Some friends all got together, brought clothing and accessories we no longer wanted, and took turns picking items. What was left over we donated. We had fun getting together and got some cute new stuff out of it, too!



Appropriate for a western-themed wedding

Dress: Anthropologie
Boots: Corso Como
Belt: Herberger’s

I can’t seem to get enough of these boots lately! The are my go-to friends in sprucing up an outfit, particularly a skirt or dress, bringing an automatic chic factor. Plus they’re so dang comfortable! If I were to choose all over again, I’d probably have far fewer shoes in my 30 items, because I wear these boots about every other day!

Back to the outfit… this dress is one that I bought to preside at a friend’s wedding in Colorado earlier this summer. I wanted something that would be appropriately Western, very pretty, and that seemed somehow fitting for the officiant at a wedding. This dress really worked! I love the color, too. If you like, you can see pictures from the wedding at my Flickr stream.

Today’s lesson learned: I’ve having some belt problems here. I added the belt as a nice complement to the boots, but I spent most of the day tugging at it, since it’s cinched tighter than the holes available at my natural waist. I like the contrast of the pretty scallops on the dress to the roughness of the leather, but I don’t like that it’s sagging a little. I wonder if the contrast isn’t worth the problem of looking sloppy. Okay, another item for my “to-be-thrifted” list: a wide belt that can be cinched at the waist! (Sigh.)

Lessons on how to cinch a wrinkled skirt

Top and Belt: Gap Outlet
Skirt and Shoes: Thrifted
Necklace: Gift

I’ve been looking forward to this post since starting the 30 for 30 challenge, because it really highlights why I named this blog ‘in a cinch’.¬†This skirt is one that I bought a year ago and hardly wore right off the bat because it was just a touch too big. Enter belt! By hiking up the skirt and cinching the belt tightly around my natural waist, my once-failed thrifted skirt turned into a skirt I wear all the time. And rightly so! The pockets are so dang cute!

This was also a supremely easy and fast outfit to put together. Simple skirt, tee, and belt? Check. A winner every time.

Today’s lesson: A little ironing never hurt anyone! Sheesh, I thought people didn’t really pay attention to wrinkly clothes (I know that I rarely notice wrinkled clothing), but seeing photos of how wrinkled my clothes were is a little embarrassing! Lesson LEARNED, my friends.