souvenirs from the city of lights



Just a little heads up that I'm having an instax photo sale while I'm away in Paris! If you use the code "PARIS15" any time before midnight EST on 10/13, you'll get 15% off any order of $10+ and you'll receive a signed instax photo from my Paris trip!!

If you want a photo of something specific -- a specific landmark, like Notre Dame or the Eiffel Tower, or a specific color, a movie theater, a pastry, whatever (within reason!) -- just let me know in the message box on the shopping cart page and I'll do my best to fulfill your request! :)

If you're interested, the promotion is active in my shop right here.

xo Kate

Arachnophobia



It's officially Halloween-themed-outfit time! I turned a glittery black spider decoration from the craft store into a brooch (you just glue a bar-pin brooch piece to the back of the spider and voila! spider brooch!) and I want to wear it every day now.

I think it's so funny how I (and I'm sure many other people) put fake spiders all over the place in October, but if I ever see a real one my heart jumps out of my body and I let out a blood-curdling scream. I mean, even the small ones do it to me (they're usually jumpers!) I'm so jealous of people who aren't scared of spiders. I have one friend who will pick them up with her hand and carry them outside. I wish I could do that! I've tried to train myself to think of them as perfectly harmless friendly little insects but then I see one and I'm stricken with paralyzing fear all over again.

At least the decorations (and brooches) don't bite, and they can't climb up your nose while you're sleeping (Is that even a thing? Even if it's not possible, I'd still be worried about it.)




brooch - DIY | wig - keke wigs

flower power



I'm leaving for Paris today!! I'm so excited for myself, but I'm even more excited for my mom. She hasn't been there since 1984. She's been gushing about it for as long as I can remember and you could always tell how much she wished she could go back. She has a really great memory so I'm looking forward to her pointing out all the spots she visited with my dad in 1984 and on their honeymoon in 1976 :) And I can't wait to show her my favorite spots from my own visit last year. Mainly I just want her to try the chocolate mousse I had at a cafe across from Notre Dame (I don't even know the name of it, we'll just have to go exploring to find it, lol!)

It's supposed to be much colder in Paris than it is in NJ right now. It's still like summer here! I've been wearing sweaters around the house since we're still cranking the A/C but outside it still feels like August. So this dress still feels seasonally appropriate for the kind of October I'm living through this year lol.

I have a little tip for anyone who, like me, isn't a bare midriff kinda gal but loves dresses with waist cut-outs. I wear shapewear that matches my skin tone underneath the dress, so it *looks* like a bare belly but I feel comfortable knowing my torso is still totally concealed with clothing lol. If I hadn't wanted to wear faux-knee high tights for this outfit, I would have probably gone with body tights (like the Capezio ones for ballerinas) which would serve the same purpose. I love this because I feel like lately a LOT of clothes have cutouts, and it helps to have some tricks up your sleeve if you love the style but don't have the guts to bear that much skin :)




dress - c/o tobi | shoes - bait footwear | tights - urban outfitters (old)

countdown



I've had a dry-erase countdown on my refrigerator since last November when I booked me and my mom's joint 30th/60th birthday trip to Paris and now that countdown says THREE DAYS LEFT. Ahh! I'm looking forward to this trip SO MUCH. This year has been the most stressful one of my life since high school (the entirety of high school would still rank as most stressful) and I can't think of any better respite than a week in my favorite city with one of my favorite people.

I think I'll get to see way more of the city this time because my mom is such a good planner. When I went last year I kind of wandered aimlessly a lot but this time we have so many fun things on the itinerary. We're going to The Louvre, Disneyland Paris, and my mom surprised me by booking a reservation for lunch IN THE EIFFEL TOWER!

As excited as I am, I actually haven't started packing yet. I'm the worst at packing early. I actually had a dream last night that we were leaving for the airport and I still hadn't finished packing and my whole family was yelling at me because we were going to miss the flight, lol. So I guess I should probably go pack now ;D




dress - modcloth (old) | sweater - c/o Tobi | shoes - bait footwear

time capsule



A few days ago I was reminiscing with my Grandmom about a basket of toys and activities she used to keep in her closet for whenever me or my brother visited her. It had some play food, card games, crayons, etc. and even though we go over my Grandmom's house multiple times each year I hadn't actually seen the basket since my little brother outgrew the toys inside.

I asked if she still had it, and she offered to give it to me and my brother if we wanted to come pick it up. So over the weekend we went over and sat on her floor, just like we did when we were little, and went through the basket. It was one of the most pure moments of fun I've experienced in my adult life. It's amazing how many memories just came rushing back to me, and how many things in the basket had slipped my mind until I saw them again. A green pitcher, a yellow canister filled with used crayons, a mini cardboard box of Reynold's aluminum foil, a 101 Dalmatians puzzle, a crazy eights card game with jungle animals on the cards, play food peas that snap into their pods.

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of nostalgia. I love reliving my childhood and I am a big proponent of letting your childhood and adult life coexist in harmony. So this was very special to me. It was like opening a little time capsule! I'm just so glad that she saved everything.



Unrelated to what I've written here but very much related to my photos -- the necklace was a DIY project that me and my mom did last year for my New Order outfit. It mimics the color coded squares from the cover of the Power, Corruption, and Lies album! We made it out of wooden tile beads, wire, and paint and it's one of my favorite projects of all time :)




dress - modcloth (old) | shirt - vintage | shoes - bait footwear
necklace - diy | wig - keke wigs

laughter is the best medicine



The last several days have been very crummy, but today I'm going to see Jen Kirkman live and I am SO looking forward to laughing until my sides ache. If you're not familiar with her stand-up, I highly suggest checking out her specials on Netflix. Her newest one, Just Keep Livin?', was taped in New York last year and I was in the audience! They always tape more than one show (so they can edit together the best versions of the jokes) so I keep showing up and disappearing in the video. It's probably less noticeable when there isn't an audience member with bright pink hair in the front center lol ;D

Speaking of hair, I think it's safe to say I'm a wig convert now. I've been wearing this one constantly and I just feel SO much better about myself. I'm planning on keeping this up until the pixie grows out (and even then I might still keep it up because who doesn't love an instant good hair day?!) A few days ago I went to run errands and I got a lot of compliments on my "hair" though and I felt so awkward about it. Do I just blurt out "IT'S A WIG!" to strangers? That feels weird, but smiling and acting like it's actually my hair feels weird too. I don't know what the proper etiquette is here lol.

I will say though that I've watched a lot of youtube videos about how to wear wigs and make them look more like your real hair, and the best tip I've learned so far is to take dark eyeshadow and brush it into the roots to make it look like the hair is actually growing out of your scalp. Ever since I did that to this wig I feel like it's blended into my hairline better and it really does look like actual hair! I've also started styling mine more rather than just wearing it down, which feels more me-ish since I didn't used to wear my real hair un-styled when it was long. This week I styled it into a "half up- half down" do and have just kept it that way when I put it on my wig stand at night so I don't have to style it again the next day :)




dress - charlotte russe | cardigan - h&m | collar - asos

bon voyage



I'm leaving for Paris in less than three weeks! eep! I have to say, I wish I could go back in time and hug 2016 Kate for treating 2017 Kate to a trip to France. (Although one could argue that if 2016 Kate had been more diligent about saving money instead of spending it on trips, 2017 Kate wouldn't have so much financial stress... hmm...) Anyway, I'm very much looking forward to the trip. It's a joint 60th/30th birthday vacation for my mom and I. She hasn't been to Europe since before I was born, and I'm so excited about being able to take her back! We're planning on eating all the bread in the city and just taking it easy for the most part.. wandering around, stopping in a few museums, and just taking in the atmosphere :)


dress - vintage (another shop-my-closet keeper, ugh!)

feel good movies



You know I love a good themed outfit, and this is one of my favorites because it's movie themed! Popcorn dress? Check! Movie camera purse? Check! Stack of DVDs to watch while I'm wearing said outfit? Check! ;)



I tweeted about this bag over the weekend and one of my friends saw the tweet and bought it for me as a gift! It's one of the sweetest things anyone has ever done for me. I've had a lot of financial setbacks this year so I never imagined I'd actually get to own this bag when I saw it. I'm so grateful I can't even put it into words. Thank you, Amanda!!! :)





leftovers



My last shop my closet sale didn't go over too well, but on the bright side I got to keep a lot of clothes that I would have been sad to part with, like this lilac/pink dress. I could have used the money a lot more than the dress, lol, but still it's nice to be able to wear it since it was one of my favorites. It's just such a pretty color and goes with a lot of the other separates in my closet.

It's funny though how there are always some leftover dresses in every sale, and I end up feeling bad for them, and start wearing them WAY more than I did before I put them in the closet sale. I feel like they have hurt feelings and deserve more love now. It's crazy. There are three dresses in particular (a blue/black striped dress, a coral and tan lace dress, and a white daisy print dress) that have been in three closet sales over the last few years and still never sold. I've reached a point where I decided they're never going back in a closet sale again, and I'm going to wear them ALL THE TIME to make it up to them, lol.

Anyway, speaking of closet sales -- my vintage sale on the Whurl app is live today! I posted about 20 dresses including some of my absolute favorites. I know I always say that but really, there's some goodies in there. Also Sam from Whurl posted an interview with me on her blog today, right here :)


dress - charlotte russe | shoes - asos
cardigan - oasap | wig - keke wigs

what a bigwig



What a difference a wig makes, huh? Is it weird that this feels more "me" than my real hair does right now? I've had this particular wig since I got my pixie cut earlier this year. I bought it as a just in case kind of thing, but didn't really end up wearing it much. I've been wearing it a lot more often lately, though, since my pixie has been feeling so meh. And I really love it! Honestly I'm a little tempted to just keep the pixie and wear the wig more often.. it's like an instant good hair day, every day! haha!

Also I'm so excited that I can still take outfit photos in front of my pink shelves! I was worried when I decided to move my desk that it would make this area too cluttered (or too close to the other side of my room where my camera sits) for me to still take pictures, but it worked! Not quite as flawlessly pretty as it was before, but I did always like having my work desk in my old outfit photos (pretty much all photos 2010-2014) so it's nice to return to that setup :)



If you're in the NJ area, I'll be doing a little pin/patch sale at the Red Bank, NJ Urban Outfitters tomorrow! The event is on 9/7 from 3-7pm and the theme is "denim customization" so you can bring your jean jacket and have it embroidered, add patches and pins, etc. It looks pretty cool! Hopefully I'll see some of you there :)


blouse - modcloth (old) | skirt - h&m (old) brooch - vintage

my yoga pants



I noticed recently that I was falling into the habit of throwing on leggings and a t-shirt or sweater whenever I left the house to run errands. Partially because I usually go for a walk while I'm out, so it's nice to be wearing something comfy, partially because I'm lazy, and partially because I've been very self conscious about my appearance lately and I just haven't felt much excitement about getting dressed. Anyway, for whatever reason, I was looking a little sloppy.

I was looking for a maxi dress for my Halloween costume this year when I came across this dress on amazon. I've been on a very strict spending freeze (Halloween costume materials notwithstanding lol) since April and haven't actually purchased ANY new clothes for myself since then. But I decided to cave in when I saw this dress. It's comfortable, it's lined, it has sleeves (I'm one of those "doesn't wear sleeveless even in summer" people.. as you can probably tell by the fact that all of my outfit posts in my summer archives include cardigans lol) it has belt loops, and, the best part, it's a petite size. So I didn't even have to hem it! Normally I can't buy a maxi at all without also factoring in the cost of a tailor lol.



I'm so happy with this! I feel like it looks better in the mirror than it does in my outfit photos (I've taken pictures so infrequently this year that I kind of forgot how devastating it is to think you look fierce in the mirror and then have that feeling crushed once you start snapping photos!) And considering how much I love the middle ages, I love wearing things that feel slightly medieval haha!

I still wear my nice clothes when I'm feeling up to it, and that isn't as infrequently as I'm probably making it sound, but it's just really nice to have a go-to that I can throw on when I'm feeling kind of "blah" and still look put together.



Overall this year has been a big bummer appearance-wise. I'm STILL not really feeling the pixie (I had it cut in March! Yikes!) but it just seems like such a challenge to grow it out that I keep getting it trimmed. Maybe when I get back from Paris in October I'll start the long grueling process. I do have some wigs I can wear while it's in the shaggy mullet stage...

I've also really noticed my face starting to age. Not like wrinkles or anything, just .. aging. My under-eyes are a little sunken and my cheeks are getting kind of droopy. I really want to embrace it and be like "it adds character!" but it's tough. I had a really hard time with the idea of turning 30 last year, but I didn't expect my worries about growing older to start materializing on my face so soon.

But. You guys know how much I love movies. You know in movies there are people who are leading ladies, and then there are people who are kind of like their wisecracking sidekicks? Not really pretty, just sassy and sarcastic? That's how I've always thought of myself. I'm like a character actor. And I'm just growing into my character actor face now, I guess lol.



This stuff weighs on me sometimes, but only really in the morning when I'm putting on makeup and getting dressed. Once I'm done with that, I just move through the world like a confident human and I mostly forget how I look.

I guess all the word vomit is just because I really do want to take more outfit photos. I've always enjoyed doing it, I love having the visual record of how my style and my room changes over the years. And I don't want to stop taking pictures just because I'm feeling insecure. After all, in my very first outfit photo ever, I blocked out my face. Somehow I got over that and I think I can again.




dress - amazon | shoes - blowfish | flower crown - modcloth

Another closet sale update!



Hey! I just added 24 more dresses and 24 pairs of sunglasses to my closet sale!

I promise I'll be posting something other than closet sale updates here sometime soon lol. As you can probably guess by the fact that I've been selling off 99% of my wardrobe, I've had some financial woes lately so I haven't been doing much (read: any) online shopping. Ergo, no wishlist wednesdays or new dresses to share with you guys. Sad face!

I'm thinking about doing some kind of closet challenge to make me feel better about the few things I have left in my closet. Like a 30 piece/30 day remix? Maybe.

Anyway! You can shop the sale right here. The dresses are still $25 a pop and any order of 2 or more dresses ships free. Sunglasses are all $5 each. Go, go, go! :)

shop my closet sale!



The first batch of shop my closet items are FINALLY ready. The sale will go live tomorrow, August 8th, at 7PM EST at katesclosetsale.com.

The sale includes 76 dresses, all priced at $25 each. The sale is US only (sorry International friends!!) and if you buy any 2+ dresses you get free shipping. Almost all of the dresses are US8 or M/L with a handful of exceptions. The store is hosted by Shopify, so you can pay with Paypal, Apple Pay, or credit card. The site is mobile friendly, too, so even if you're on the go at 7PM tomorrow you can still shop the sale!

This sale includes some of my all-time favorite dresses (like this Darling dress) that are SO hard to part with, so I hope they find good homes! xo

flamingo for it



Anyone who knows me would say I'm a pretty big fan of flamingos (I mean, they're pink. Was there even any question??) so when Unique Vintage asked if I'd like to review a dress from their shop, this flamingo-bedecked number immediately caught my eye! I love the print. It reminds me of palm springs wallpaper (does that make sense?) instead of little cartoon flamingos. It's so unique!

The dress itself is great quality. It's fully lined, so anyone who likes to go slip-less can rejoice! I had some issues with the neckline (I'll get to it in a minute) but I LOVE the design. It has an asymmetrical neck with fabric gathered into one of the darts on the bust. It's technically a 40's style dress but I felt very Ginger Rogers-in-the-1930's wearing it. The cut, the fabric, and the print just remind me so much of something she'd wear on vacation on a grand black and white art deco set with a giant white wide-brimmed hat.

I ordered a medium and it was a little tight in the waist, but the bust was a little too big, so I had to safety-pin the neckline to be narrower, and I'll sew it in place as soon as I have time to work on some mending. I'm curvy, but I'm only 5' tall so I usually have to alter things. I'm used to it. The neckline on the dress is a little too wide for my frame, plus the adorable peek-a-boo opening didn't work with any of my bras. *Sadface!* But again, I'm used to that -- I'm a DDD and need full coverage bras, so necklines often cause issues for me. I think it looks really cute the way I pinned it, though, so once I put a few stitches in place I think it'll be perfect!

I'm also flirting with the idea of hemming it. I think this looks so pretty at this length but I'm just so used to above-the-knee hems lol. What do you think? (I don't have comments here but feel free to let me know on IG or FB!)



I was going through my old posts a few weeks ago and laughing at how often I used to talk about my camera/lighting problems. "Oh, Kate," I sighed, "such a newbie." Then I decided that today was a perfect day for outfit photos, despite the cloudy weather, and ended up with grainy, weirdly saturated, strangely sharp yet blurry photos all over again...

I actually have a new flamingo product coming to my shop in the next week or so, so I think I'll just wear it with this dress and do a whole new batch of outfit photos when it arrives! I haven't really added many new items to my shop since, like, March, but I have a GIANT update coming up and I'm so excited about it! Be sure to keep an eye on my instagram for updates! :)


shoes - vintage | sunglasses - ebay