Friday, February 14, 2020

How to Stay Warm with Shapewear

Hello. Welcome to February, otherwise known as that bad time of year when everything is grey, covered in dirty snow, and otherwise painful to move around in. Also, it's felt like the other worst time of year for the past three weeks: March. Am I whining? Yes. But you need to understand something: here in New England commenting on, and otherwise complaining about the weather could be considered an Olympic sport. A sport in which I am a passionate competitor. Going for gold you could say. I've slipped into a sort of ennui-driven style rut lately, only getting really dressed two or three times per week, so when I actually do make an effort, I like to look nice. But also be warm. But also not wear tights because I'm very, very over tights. Which is a tricky dance to do – so here I am offering you my tips for how to look cute but stay warm in wintertime.

See this outfit above? Looks simple enough, but underneath is a carefully constructed foundation of layers, comfy shapewear (yes, it exists), slips and even a pair of yoga leggings. Here's a handy guide for what to wear under that cute winter outfit so you don't catch cold:

Tops: Silk long underwear is your friend, friends. because I live in the land of LL Bean, I've been lucky enough to find several like-new silk thermal tops at thrift stores, but even purchased new they won't break the bank. These are thin enough to wear under close-fitting dresses and also provide an itch-proof layer beneath sweaters.

Another great way to layer tops is a thin modal turtleneck – super cute under slip dresses and they're a fun way to play with pattern and layers. Or get the best of both worlds with a sleek heatech turtleneck.

Middle: Keep your mid-section warm and makes your dresses fall nicely with the addition of good shapewear. I know this isn't everyone's cup of tea, but in my opinion, the right shapewear can give outfits a more polished, finished look while also adding an extra layer of warmth. My go-to for under dresses like this is a good pair of shapewear shorts.

You could also consider adding or swapping-in a slip – easily found at the thrift store for a little more warmth and to keep your dress or skirt from sticking to your tights if you choose to wear them.

And of course, those yoga pants. I'm wearing a 3/4 length pair under this dress because it was cold but I didn't want the look of tights. Boom. Done. Yoga pants.

Bottom: And finally socks! Good socks. Thick socks. Wool socks. Or synthetic. None of this cotton business. Why? Because cotton stays wet and makes you colder. It's the first rule of dressing for the outdoors which applies to all outdoor situations, whether you're hiking or strolling downtown. My favorites are these for short boots, these for taller boots where I'll be showing them off, and these for any boot or shoe that will have the top concealed.

Of course a good jacket, hat, gloves and the occasional scarf are must-adds (I've been living in my fluffy blue topcoat and this orange hat lately)

Monday, February 10, 2020

Last Week's Wears: 2/3-2/7

We're officially in the depths of "Bad Winter", that is, the time in winter where it just ices and the world becomes a hard, icy hellscape that's difficult to move around in. So fun! So treacherous! Thing is though, last week began with a hint of spring, which made getting dressed actually fun for a couple of days. I haven't had much going on lately, so coupled with the weather I've really been reaching for reasons to get dressed. Like, really dressed in something other than yoga leggings and an oversized sweatshirt (TBH I would live in this combo if I could.... aaaaand it definitely makes an appearance below). Grocery store trip? Therapy appointment? Both good reasons to wear something other than my tried and true legging combo for an hour and a half. I'm including a couple of looks from late-January too, because I can:

Above: What year is it? 1999? 2000? I often call my style a grown-up version of what I wore in high school and this look is exactly that, right down the the wide-leg Dickies and Dr. Martens Jadon boots. However, instead of wearing a Ramones t-shirt and studded belt, I kept it age-36-appropriate and added a vintage polyester top, vintage liner jacket, vintage topcoat, and a pop of neon. I was headed out to photograph some accounts for work, so I needed something I could move in and this fit the bill. Needed a belt though.

Above: Ok, so there are definitely a few leggings looks in here – I can't help it. Jeans just really aren't my friend right now and frankly, leggings are just super comfy. SO HERE WE ARE. I bought this fleece and neon hat the weekend before and liked how they looked together, especially with my neutral sweater and boots. I wore this to work from a cafe downtown. It was cozy.

Above: Wore this to work on-site. Unless it's summer and I can wear a dress and sneakers, I usually wear a big sweater and leggings on on-site workdays simply because I'm moving so much. But this day I wanted to take advantage of the weather. I've been on the fence about whether or not to trim these jeans down. On the one hand, I'm into the full-length jeans look, on the other, I'm not sure I'm into the look on me. Regardless, I took advantage of a dry day with no snow to wear these Everlane boots, which I stupidly purchased at the beginning of the messiest time of year. They'll be great for spring though.

Above: Wore this to go buy that fleece and neon hat. It's been so icy and cold here, any day when I can wear sneakers feels like a revelation. 

Above: Wore this to therapy. Honestly my therapist might be the one person who sees me dressed most often. My top, jacket, hat, belt and jeans are all secondhand. I loved how classic this felt.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Weekend Reading 2.7.2020

Happy Friday! This was one of those New England winter weeks that started out feeling like spring and ended with a fresh 8 inches of snow on the ground and ice blanketing the trees. Ugh. I'm really trying to embrace winter and appreciate this time of year, but those few days spent walking back and forth to the gym and downtown and running outdoors felt really, really nice. Oh well. This weekend is looking like another quiet one. I'm hoping to get outside and might head up North for some cross-country skiing or the Camden Toboggan Races but otherwise need to do some bookkeeping and tax-prep (so fun!). Hope your weekend is a cozy one! xo

FYI: I have a new code for Ogee Organics: 'Julie2'. use it for 15%off your next order (psst, receive a free lip oil with any order over $100!

Do you celebrate Valentine's Day? I always love the pretty V-day themed clothing and accessories (like these pretty clips) that pop up this time of year

ICYMI January in review

A Valentine's message to Target: ditch the plastic (click to sign)

Speaking of V-day, how romantic are these vintage-inspired button studs? So classic but updated. And these nameplate necklaces would make the perfect gift (hint hint)

Ha - love this: Jimmy Fallon thinks he's cancelled after calling Ru Paul a drag queen (scroll to the bottom for the video)

Speaking of Valentines, these adorable chocolates would make a sweet (!) gift for a friend, mom or sister (this sunny set is cute too)

The case for fanatical optimism

I finished this book last night (recommended) and now it's time for a new one! Using Grace's Amazon Picks as inspiration – she always has great recommendations

Texting with Aidy Bryant (who else is excited to watch Ru Paul host SNL this weekend?)

I don't shop often at H&M but went there last week looking for a hat. I found the perfect orange creamsicle hat (now needed in every other color – very thick and warm and also ON SALE)  and this super cozy fleece (fits slightly oversized, I bought a small)

6 outfits to get you through Bad Winter, because it's officially here (Crystal's looks are always my favorites)

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

January 2020 in Review

As the meme goes, "January was a tough year but we did it." How is it possible for a single month to feel so damn long? And somehow February feels halfway over, it's crazy. The first month of the year is always a quiet one for me. It's a month I use to recoup and reset after always, always ending the previous year on a crazy note (why is this? I'm already dreading the 2020 holidays). Below, I'm recapping a few things I learned, read, bought and liked in January 2020:

Read: At the beginning of the year I realized I was spending way too much time scrolling my phone at night, especially when I don't have a book lined up on my Kindle or sitting on my nightstand, so I've been making a big effort to change that habit. In fact, January has been all about habit setting and habit changing for me – having a book nearby helps me cut my screen time and actually wind down for bed. This past month I ready two books and started a third, beginning with Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark (for those under a rock, Karen and Georgia are the hosts of My Favorite Murder, AKA – the best thing about Mondays and Thursdays). I liked the book, but actually think I would have enjoyed it better as a book as opposed on my Kindle. The way it's formatted, it seems like it would read better on the page. Otherwise, it was great and I enjoyed Karen and Georgia's laidback and straightforward writing style. After that I flew through Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan, which I loved. I tend to gravitate towards memoirs and non-fiction, so reading this was pure fun and such a nice change of pace. I'm looking forward to reading the other two books in the trilogy and watching the movie. Now I've gone back to old habits and am almost done with The Killer Across the Table by John E. Douglass, who the show Mindhunter was inspired by. Recommended.

Bought: I've been keeping my purchases very, very intentional after being a bit spendy at the end of the year, but I'd had my eye on this pair of very cute white sneakers for so long, I finally took the plunge using a birthday discount. And I must say, no regrets. I'm wearing them now with distressed denim but I can't wait to style them for spring with feminine dresses. I also purchased this set of bright leggings and the matching crop top for yoga and the gym and I love them. I usually opt for black or dark blue workout sets, but I love how bright and bold this set is, it also just makes me really, really happy and excited to workout and there's not much more I could ask for.

Cooking: I've been working on incorporating more vegan and vegetarian dishes in my routine this year, along with just replacing meat with tofu, beans or tempeh more often. A fantastic side-effect of this is that I've been rediscovering my cookbook collection. Most of our cookbooks are plant-based anyway, but I haven't used them in awhile – my go-tos lately have been the Oh She Glows cookbook and Oh She Glows Everyday, The Moosewood Cookbook, The First Mess and Love Real Food.

Working on: If it's not already obvious by what I've previously mentioned, I was kind of a wreck at the end of 2019. My skin was a nightmare, I was experiencing major cystic acne breakouts a couple of times a month, I wasn't sleeping well, my gut was in a shambles (which was helping with those breakouts), my period was weird, and I was becoming an expert at talking myself out of going to the gym – or even just going outside (movement is my #1 coping mechanism for when times are stressful and times were definitely stressful). In short, I felt like crap, and it culminated in a really bad night on New Years Eve (some people drink too much on NYE, I ate too much cheese - ha! But for real.) In the new year I cut out all alcohol and most dairy (I still occasionally eat fermented dairy, like kefir and low-sugar yogurt), two things I know exacerbate my acne problems and aren't great for my digestion, and I've been working on getting back to early morning workouts before I sign on for work. It's been a process, but the difference I've noticed is kind of incredible and super motivating. Something that's been helpful for me this time around is not putting hard stops on anything – for instance, I'm not saying I've quit drinking, nor am I doing a "dry January", I'm simply not really drinking right now. If I want to, I can, but I don't really want to. A couple of other things that have helped my skin: This set by Sunday Riley (I use the toner AM & PM, the oil only at night, and the mask as a spot treatment), this supplement for liver support, and lots and lots of water.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Weekend Reading 1.24.2020

My goodness – how is it already January 24th? This month somehow felt a million years long and also so very short. I've just gotten back from a long day on the road from work and to say I'm exhausted and excited for the weekend would be an understatement. I have NO PLANS. Other than a haircut and to maybe make a trip to Sephora to re-up on this serum (it's a hit, will review soon). Also, it's my birthday on Monday so I'll be doing some thinking in terms of how I'd like to celebrate. I'm not a huge birthday party person, but do enjoy using the day (and let's be honest, the days leading up to the day) as an excuse to treat myself a bit. This year I'm not going crazy because I'm planning on visiting family in Florida soon (sun! warmth!), but I'd like to maybe get myself another pair of these leggings or maybe an extra cozy cashmere piece (love these). January's been a quiet month for me, I've been working more on myself than spending much energy on outward things, trying to get my head in the game for a new year and just generally feeling like a hibernating bear. I hope you're having a cozy month too! xo

I've really been missing running lately – the sidewalks here are so icy it feels impossible – but loved these tips for running in winter from Grace

January always sends me into a major style rut and I've been feeling super uninspired lately. I think . it's time for a closet clean out soon... I've been eyeing these under $200 finds (love that leopard top handle bag!), a cute pair of jeans, and an edgy tee or sweatshirt (love this designer's pieces)

Prepare to be mesmerized by fish (also the headline is pretty cute)

I just ordered these pants and i can't waittttt to wear them – apparently I'm slowly morphing back into my high school self? But so cute with a chunky sweater and equally chunky sneakers (and chunky jewelry? Yes, that too!)

More of this please: 3 older women style their favorite pieces from their closets. "The pants are plaid, and well, they're fabulous")

Ogee has two new lip tint shades and they're gorgeous - Elenia, a soft coral, and Fuchsia – use my code 'JulieLovesOgee' for 15% off!

"Would you adopt this jerk?"

Speaking of new colors – Thinx also launched two new shades, Juniper & Pine, and they're so pretty. Shop through my Leaders profile for $10 off your first order! I also recently wrote a piece about Thinx if you're like to learn more

This was really useful: 5 ways to actually solve your shoe storage

A really great sale: save an extra 50% off sale items from Anthropologie! This puffer coat looks so cozy and I'm seriously considering this snake-print puffer

In case you need some dinner inspiration: 30 sheet-pan dinners & desserts (my dinner tonight was an RX Bar and some cashews so all of these look incredible)

Heads up: If you're looking for cashmere on sale, here it is, plus take an extra 25% off with the code 'Sale25'!

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Weekend Reading 1.12.20

Hi! Hello! It's 2020 and dang is this year already a doozy. I was writing something before this, rounding up my favorite products from 2019, and realized that the post was taking a turn into more personal territory. All of a sudden it was a reflection on being better and decidedly not about my favorite items from the past year. I'm still going to publish both of those, but need more time to think about it. Basically, I've been feeling it lately. As in, all the feelings, most of them difficult ones. It's made it hard to function normally, frankly, knowing that so many are hurting while I go about my daily life. Especially functioning on the internet. I know I'm not alone in this. This weekend I'm working on breaking out of the rut for a bit, seeing some friends and spending time on our beautiful coast. I'm also thinking of ways to help and get more involved. More on that later, I've included a few links below that could be useful. I hope you're doing OK, friends. Remember to take care of your hearts. It's hard to be human sometimes. xo

A few ways to help Australia: If you're a crafter, here are a bunch of ways to lend your skills to help wildlife; the World Wildlife Fund is working to help animals and has a plan to replant two billion trees after the fires; The Fire Relief Fund for First Nations Communities is collecting funds to support indigenous communities

If you're sick of winter dressing already (I am), a few easily layerable options: love these winter-to-spring transition pieces (that light denim dress would be so cute with cozy tights and big combat boots), my favorite leggings that are also perfectly acceptable as pants (just got them in lime, thinking "daybreak" next. My goal is to be the brightest person at the gym), very curious about these corduroy pants from Everlane. Anyone tried them?

A good read if you're working to strengthen relationships this year: How negativity can ruin relationships

I've been listening to this podcast lately and it's one of my top recommendations I've been sharing with people. I even shared it with my therapist. Episode 14 could have been written about me.

Another great podcast episode, especially if you're working on changing some habits: how to build better habits

I've been experiencing some cystic acne lately and along with working on my inside, I've been using this trio of products with great success. I use the oil only at night and the mask as more of a spot treatment. Then in the AM I use this serum and this oil. A+ so far. (it should be noted that none of it smells good, but then again the best skincare rarely does)

Sezane denim has gone eco-friendly! I have my eye on this pair and this pair. So classic!

The case for co-housing – I'm intrigued.

Love these tips for looking more put-together 

This article about almond milk has been making the rounds and I think it's important. It's hard to be perfect, but I'll be switching to oat for the little amount of "milk" I use

The 10 most anticipated books of 2020

I've got my eye on this chunky under $80 sweater – perfect? It might be!