Tag Archives: self exploration

fashionable feature :: style guide #1

So I just signed up for modepass – it’s pretty darn cool. If you don’t already have an account, you should definitely register! And be sure to add me as a friend when you do. You can find me at :: http://modepass.com/fashionnerd (my user name is, of course, fashionnerd). I re-wrote my advice from my previous post on achieving a menswear inspired look and posted it as an article on modepass; check it out and vote for it on my modepass profile. I also decided to re-post it here because, well, I’m kind of proud of it. 🙂

I’ve decided to make a new weekly feature post called “Style Guides”, where we’ll explore different trends and discuss how to construct them. Consider this the first installment! I hope you find it helpful… if you have any input (am I wrong somewhere? something you’d like to add? a question? anything!) please feel free to comment! In fact,  any feedback you have for me would be greatly appreciated. This is my first detailed style guide – I want to make sure it’s complete and make sure that my future guides are up to par! I will also post the week’s Style Guide in a separate page (found in the sidebar under “my closet”), so you can find it easily if you miss it. Style Guides will be posted every week, probably on Sundays.

Here goes. Enjoy, and let me know what you think when you’re done 🙂

fashion_nerdom style guide :: issue 1
inspired by menswear, styled for a woman

Nude wedges and a light colored blazer are a girl’s best friends for summer. Straw hats, loose blouses and tailored shorts are also among my new inner circle of lovelies.


The menswear look is definitely my favorite; it’s loose and flowy and comfy, but still very chic and sexy. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to achieve and looks great on everyone. There are some basic guidelines to follow when attempting this style; but remember – they are guidelines, not rules. They may not work for everyone, and everyone may not agree on how I feel about certain things. The best thing to do is to take this information as advice and work your way up from there. Experiment, play around, and find out what works for you and your body and what you’re comfortable in. Nothing in fashion is ever set in stone!

How To Get There

(in a hurry? check the bottom of this post for the abbreviated version)

the top half
Blazers provide a menswear inspired look in and of themselves, so if you’re just dipping your toes and you’re not sure you want to go all the way, a blazer + men’s watch are your go-to pieces. I would definitely recommend that you pick a blazer that has some structure to it and is a little over-sized (think boyfriend fit). Strong shoulders are also very in right now – I like small shoulder pads in blazers. For summer and spring, choose a blazer in a light color, like white, peach, light pink, beige, etc. For fall and winter, slip into something a little darker, like black, charcoal, navy, etc.Pink-Blazer-Lavender-Tunic-Taupe-Shortsgo all the way
For those of us who prefer to swim in the deep end, trousers or tailored shorts (extra points for pleats) and a fedora will fill in the rest of the blanks. Remember, though, the look should be inspired by menswear, not make you look like a man. In spring and summer, keep it feminine with light colors throughout the ensemble (think light neutrals & pastels), pretty jewelry (I like gold touches and pearls with this color scheme), and sweet accents (like a straw fedora, especially one adorned with flowers, and a cute-but-subtle purse). A delicate, ladylike blouse balances out the other menswear style pieces, and nude wedges are the perfect shoe for this look – sky high wedges scream “I’m a woman” without distracting from the rest of the look, and when worn in the nude make your legs seem impossibly long. Wedges also keep things from looking too businessy (I’d advise avoiding pumps for this reason). In the fall & winter, swap the nude colors for darker ones to keep with the season, but follow the rest of the rules for keeping things ladylike.

Nude-Wedgesadd ons

Regardless of your tactics for achieving this look, a men’s watch is a must. It may truly be the key piece for this particular style. Pile on some pearl necklaces, bangles and loads of cocktail rings to complete your accessorizing. Don’t overdo it – if you jingle when you move, take off a few items of jewelry before you leave the house. In the fall & winter (or if you simply want an edgier look), when you’re wearing darker colors, you may want to trade the pearls and gold for chains and studs in pewter and silver, depending on the rest of your ensemble.


Choose a bag in that meshes well with the rest of your clothes. To many people view the purse as outside the outfit; on the contrary, especially when going for a menswear look, the purse is an integral part of your ensemble. A bag that clashes in any way (wrong colors, style, etc) can seriously break an outfit, while a bag that fits in seamlessly can make for an incredible ensemble. Small purses with long shoulder straps and clutches are very stylish right now, but the larger bags haven’t completely migrated off the fashion scene. Keep in mind though that larger bags tend to be more sensible for day time use, and small purses and clutches are more chic choices for evening outings.


Hats are the perfect way to top off a menswear look; my favorite are fedoras. Hats can completely transform an outfit – into something amazing or something hideous. They can be incredibly tricky to style, as hats don’t flatter everyone universally. Finding the perfect one for you and your outfit may take some work, but it will be well worth the effort when you find it. Some general guidelines for your hat hunting mission:

  • If you’re using a spring/summer palette of light neutrals and pastels, try a straw fedora in a natural or cream shade.
  • Embellishments such as ribbons, flowers or bows can add a uniquely feminine twist to a traditionally male accessory.
  • In the colder months of fall and winter, when wearing darker colors, leave straw hats on the hook. Choose a fedora with a fun print, like pin stripes, leopard print, zebra print, etc.
  • If the rest of your outfit ventures closer to the darker end of the color spectrum, feel free to add a pop of color with your hat – just make sure that it doesn’t clash with your outfit or your hair. It sits right on top of your head, so if it clashes with your hair it will be hideously apparent. Be wary of this if you choose a funky color.
  • Try to choose a hat that is the same/is a similar color as one in the lower portion of your outfit. This will pull the look together; otherwise, it can look a bit random and out of place.


Further Notes

If you don’t have a blazer, you can instead opt for an oversized button down – add a tie for extra credit. Ties a little too much for you? Try a fun and unexpected twist on the idea, like a big bow (kinda like a bow tie, only better). If you don’t have one pre-made, DIY by wrapping a large ribbon under your collar as you would a tie, and tying it in a bow.

If you’re not comfortable in heels, or if they’re simply not practical for your day, switch to ballet flats (ones with bows or jewels will have the same effect as the wedges, but make sure they follow the same color scheme as the rest of your clothing). Even better, slip on some jazz oxford flats, like these from ThreadSence.com.

Jazz Oxford Shoes $33.00

Jazz Oxford Shoes $33.00

things to avoid
Don’t mix all three major players – blazer, oversized button down & tailored pants – as that could end up overpowering your womanly physique. Keep one or two items femme and play around with loose, boyfriend fits for the rest to create the perfect feminine menswear look. Some possible combos :: blazer + button down + skinny jeans; blazer + button down + leggings; blazer + ladylike blouse + tailored shorts; blazer + graphic tee + trousers… The possibilities are endless. Play around. Find what you like and work it.

empirical evidence
I was able to purchase an entire menswear styled look from Forever 21 for about $110… It is absolutely my favorite outfit. You can see it in the photo attached to this article, or in my previous blog entry :: femme it up. I constructed the look using a peachy-pink blazer from their Love21 line ($27.80), a lavender-gray sleeveless tunic ($17.80, sale $8.99), taupe tailored shorts w/pleats ($17.80), nude buckle wedges (sale, $14.99), a straw fedora w/cream silk flowers ($12.80), a cloth floral bangle (sale, $1.00) & a gold & turquoise ring ($3.00). I completed it with a 3-layer necklace (gold chain, cream ribbon & pearls adorned w/a flower of cream ribbon), gold hoop earrings with gold & cream beading, and some other cocktails rings that I acquired on a different shopping trip. Everything except for two of the rings was from Forever 21.

so, to recap

  • A men’s style watch is the key accessory for achieving a menswear style look.
  • Structured, over sized blazers with small shoulder pads are a great way to add a menswear touch, without going all the way.
  • Add trousers or tailored shorts to your blazer for the full effect. Pleating on these items make them even better.
  • Let them know you’re a woman with a lady like blouse, jewelry & super tall wedges.
  • Think light neutrals & pastels in spring and summer; blacks, grays, dark browns & other dark colors for fall & winter.
  • Gold & pearls with ribbons & bows in spring & summer; studs & chains in pewter & silver for fall & winter.
  • Cocktails rings are a must.
  • Repeat after me :: My purse is an extension of my outfit.
  • Perfect fedora = outfit perfection
  • Avoid overkill; too much of any one thing (menswear pieces, bangles, cocktail rings, etc) will overpower the look.
  • Play around. Have fun. Experiment.

True fashion is learning to enjoy yourself and what you’re wearing, finding a look you love and wearing with with confidence.
Style is the art of self-creation.



it’s been a long week – and it’s only tuesday

Okay, so I really fail at updating my blog over the last week. Things have been crazy. Sorry blog and blog friends 😦

Travis and I had a hunormous fight the other night that very nearly ended in me walking the 600 miles home. It was a bad one. And while I understand his point of view, the argument only happened due to his inability to understand my point of view, despite how many times I have explained myself. And it’s really starting to piss me off. He has a tendency to be extremely inconsiderate and insensitive sometimes over certain issues and it causes a lot of stress for our relationship. There are only two things we ever argue about: sex and money. UGH – Men! But, we’ve worked it out (for the time being, at least), and both agreed to work on our parts of the deal. I think we can fix it… we just have to try a little harder than we have been.

So then, Vince (my cat) went missing for an entire day – I worry entirely too much about my cats. A couple hours I could handle, but he went missing about noon and wasn’t home by midnight when I went to bed. I was skeered, to say the least. Travis went out to check the door at about 4:30 a.m. and found him – in the garage, that we’d torn apart and checked 4 times already. Damn cat.

And then my mom told me she can’t hold up her end of the financial arrangement we made with her this month, which put us in a tight spot for our end of the month obligations. We did get Travis’s 401k check today (thank God), but all of the banks wanted to hold it for at least 5 days, and we have something we must pay on Friday, so we had to pay $80 just to cash the damn thing.

I did get to do a little shopping today though, and I will finally be able to organize my clothes, set up my closet and get my bedroom together. Plus, we’re going to the mall tomorrow – yay!!!

We went to Wal-Mart to obtain some caffeine, and I decided to check the clearance section again, just for kicks and giggles, and I’m so glad I did! I’ve been desperately searching for a denim button up, and I snagged a Miley Cyrus destroyed denim shirt for $7!!! I also picked up an L.E.I. yellow & brown & white plaid button up shirt dress for $7. How sweet is that? 🙂 There was a pair of shorts I strongly considered getting… They were white with a floral pattern. They came in two colors: blue or red, and both had a little yellow mixed throughout them. They were only $5… I’m going to the mall tomorrow, and if I don’t find something I like better, I might go back for them. I’m not sure. We’ll see.

But I am super excited about the denim shirt 😀

I do have some outfit photos to share, so I will be back with those either later tonight or tomorrow sometime. I finally got my sleeping schedule fixed, so I function mostly during the day now. Hopefully I can maintain this trend!

In the meantime though, I have a question. Remember the camo pants I wore in this outfit:
White button up & camo pants

Well, that day was actually the first day I’d worn those pants in, well, years. They’re not skinnies, so they’re kind of a pain in the ass to wear with boots, but they are really cute in this outfit. I’m considering cutting them off into shorts, and I think I would wear them a lot more often that way. Plus, that way I get more wear out of them in the summer while the military/desert trend is still hot. What do you kids think?

my dream life & its wardrobe

Recently, a new friend of mine (Cafe Fashionista) posted a “what if…” post, describing what she would do with her life if she had no responsibilities and could do whatever she wanted, every single day, and invited her readers to do the same.The result, for me at least, was a lovely fantasy that I enjoyed so much I want to share it with you, and I hope, desperately, that one day I can turn it into a reality.

If I could do whatever I wanted every single day, I would go everywhere. I would wear tights, slouchy boots and a loose tunic top or shirt dress, belted at the waist, and carry a big boho bag filled with a camera, good books, treats, spiffy pens and an incredible leather journal.

If my life were mine, to do with as I please, I would wander the beach, stopping occasionally to read or to write; the next day I would explore the city and spend the afternoon sitting outside at a coffee shop, writing about all of the different people who pass by and imagining what their lives are like; I would go deep inside a mountain cave, touching the rocks and writing about what they must be thinking of the crazy human who’s intruded on their home; visit an ancient forest, where I would write about the trees and imagine what they must have seen in their hundreds of years of life.

If my life were mine, I would write, and imagine, and explore, and re-discover the wonder that is the world around us.

What I wouldn’t give to be able to do that…

My daily wear would consist of…

Espresso Cross Body Satchel $36.00

Espresso Cross Body Satchel $36.00, via ThreadSence.com

I would carry this purse with this coraly dress when wandering cities and towns in the South, going through places like Dallas and Nashville:

Embroidered Peasant Dress & Belt via Forever21.com

Embroidered Peasant Dress & Belt via Forever21.com

And with this white dress when wandering through the countryside, meadows and playing in fields of wildflowers:

Embroidered Woven Dress via Forever21.com

Embroidered Woven Dress via Forever21.com

I would wear these shoes with both dresses:

UnionBay LuLu Sandal via Alloy.com

UnionBay LuLu Sandal via Alloy.com

Or maybe these boots:

Don't Come Walking Boot via ModCloth.com

Don't Come Walking Boot via ModCloth.com

This is the jacket I would wear with these dresses on chilly days:

Blended Leatherette Jacket via Forever21.com

Blended Leatherette Jacket via Forever21.com

Edgy Chic Zippered Tote via Forever21.com

Edgy Chic Zippered Tote via Forever21.com

I would carry this black bag (above) with this little but comfy and cute black dress (below) while people watching in places like NYC and LA.

Mesh Tiered Hem Dress via Forever21.com

Mesh Tiered Hem Dress via Forever21.com

I would cinch my waist up with this belt when wearing my LBD:

Studded Waist Belt via Forever21.com

Studded Waist Belt via Forever21.com

On chilly days, I would pull on these tights (or simple, opaque black ones, depending on my mood) to keep my legs warm:

Glam Rock Tights via Forever21.com

Glam Rock Tights via Forever21.com

This is the jacket I would wear to ward off the cold:

Crinkled Faux Leather Jacket via Forever21.com

Crinkled Faux Leather Jacket via Forever21.com

And these are the shoes I would wear with my LBD:

UnionBay Success Sandal via Alloy.com

UnionBay Success Sandal via Alloy.com

This would be my beach outfit, layered over my swim suit:

H&M Romper, shoes, bangle & sunglasses, via HM.com

H&M Romper, shoes, bangle & sunglasses, via HM.com

This would be my hiking outfit, along with the satchel from the top of this list:

Camping Cutie Top via ModCloth.com

Camping Cutie Top via ModCloth.com

Cargo Shorts With Sash via Charlotte Russe.com

Cargo Shorts With Sash via Charlotte Russe.com

Lace-Up Military Boot via ThreadSence.com

Lace-Up Military Boot via ThreadSence.com

And this would be the journal I cart around with me, and write and draw and express my every single thought and emotion and impression in:

Genuine Leather Writer's Notebook via Amazon.com

Genuine Leather Writer's Notebook via Amazon.com

Pen & Ink Fountain Pen Sketch Set Fine Point via Amazon.com

Pen & Ink Fountain Pen Sketch Set Fine Point via Amazon.com

If my life were mine own to live, this would be my attire and my tools; everything I need. What I wouldn’t give to be so free…

What would you do with your life if you were completely, utterly free? Imagine your life completely without restraint, without boundaries or borders or responsibilities or obligations – I dare you. Who would you be? Tell me.

(P.S. Don’t forget enter my ThreadSence.com giveaway!)

midnight munchies

Some things that I found on NeedSupply that I desperately want:

NeedSupply Cloud Parade Dress

Cloud Parade Dress

NeedSupply DolceVita Zip & Stud Sandal

DolceVita Zip & Stud Sandal

NeedSupply Round Stone Cloud Ring

Round Stone Cloud Ring

NeedSupply Madison by Faryl Robin

Madison by Faryl Robin

The weekend was a flurry of activity getting ready for The Move. Spent all day and all night Saturday packing and cleaning (didn’t sleep at all), then Sunday was spent moving all of our furniture and stuff we weren’t taking into a storage shed. Sunday night and all day Monday we packed up everything we were taking, and we left Monday night about 9:30 mountain time for California! It was a VERY long drive, especially with two cats… we drove 60 the entire way because we were trying to make the most of our gas, so the trip took longer than Google maps said it would.

So now we’re in Cali! I’m really excited… we arrived about 8:00 am pacific time, unloaded about half of the car and then slept for a few hours. My days are all messed up now. It’s nearly 3:00 am but I’m feeling a little wired and don’t really want to go to bed. Plus I have a major case of the munchies, but eating right before bed is bad for digestion! I’m going to finish up this post, read my blogroll, then go to bed.

Speaking of other blogs, you should definitely check out the latest giveaway on Unravelled Threads. I’m pretty excited about it!

Tomorrow we’re going to finish unloading the car and get situated here, and I definitely intend to go out and explore our new town! Not really sure what’s here, but hopefully it will be warm enough that we can go walk around and find out. Google weather says 63 & cloudy… so maybe our adventure will have to wait for the weekend (lame sauce!), but either way, there will definitely be outfit photos tomorrow!

Now that I’m here in CA, at the start of a new life for myself and a fresh start for my marriage, I finally have some real time to think about, and devote myself to, my goals. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and my recent forays into the world of Fashion have awakened a new passion for me. Fashion, for me, is both a form of self expression and self exploration. Learning what I like and what I don’t has taught me a lot about myself and my personal sense of style, and trying out new trends and new pieces that I would normally never have even thought about has been an adventure. With this new start and the chance to reinvent myself, I plan to include lots more of those pieces… new ways to explore, express and create myself abound, and I’m excited to be able to take advantage of them without worrying about how the people I know will perceive me or react… Every day here is new, with new possibilities that are endless. The ocean and the LA Fashion District are only a couple of hours away, and I intend to visit both as often as possible.

One thing I know for certain is that I am going to go back to school and finish my degree in journalism, minoring in something having to do with fashion. My ultimate goal is to work for a fashion magazine like Glamour. I’ve always loved and respected the writing element of the Fashion world, and I have a unique perspective and some interesting ideas that could really add to it. That perspective and those ideas, along with my own style and sense of fashion, are things I hope to hone and explore more here on this blog.


New blog, new host, new audience…. Maybe an introduction is in order.

I want to record who I am right now, at the start of my journey, so that I can always remember.

For the purpose of this blog, my name is Sparrow.
My favorite colors are black and pink.
I am currently unemployed and looking hard for a new job.
I am Wiccan, liberal and lost.
I read tarot cards and I am very interested in fashion.
When I grow up I want to write for a fashion magazine (hopefully Glamour).
My favorite bands are Breaking Benjamin, Staind & Evanescence.
I live in Salt Lake City, Utah.
I live with my husband (T), two friends (Ad, a girl; and N, a boy), and two kitties (a boy and a girl). Our good friend B hangs out frequently, but due to his often strange behavior and personality quirks, he is the butt of many jokes amongst The Group. We’re kinda like That 70’s Show… T and I are Eric and Donna, Ad and N are kinda like Jackie and Hyde, and B is a combination of Kelso and Fez.

I feel lost and confused, dazed and disoriented. But I also feel like I’m starting to come out of it. I have a chance to start over, and I am going to take full advantage of it. I’m starting to pull it together and I’m beginning to think I might have a future after all.

I am developing a passion for fashion and art and culture, and I am re-discovering my passion for writing. I want to go back to school and finish out a Journalism major and one day (hopefully sooner rather than later) I want to write for Glamour magazine.

I can’t wait to get my life moving again. I think I’m finally figuring it out.

..finding me..

This blog is my newest venture into the world of writing. My life has completely, dramatically changed since the beginning of 2010, and I find myself in need of some serious self re-evaluation. I typically keep a hand written journal, but I’ve also kept various blogs on an off over the last ten years, and I’ve always enjoyed it. There is a lot going on in my head right now that I find myself unable to share with my friends and the people I love. Sometimes it’s easier to bare it all to a stranger – the danger of judgment and rejection is so much smaller. Someone who doesn’t know you (who doesn’t care) is much more likely to tell you the truth.

And I think that’s what I need most of all right now. The truth. Something honest. The rest of my life is built upon a crumbling foundation of beautiful lies and fantasies. I need to start re-building, from the ground up.

I’ve been married for a year and a half now. I care about him, but I think I may have fallen out of love. It makes me sad, and I’m not sure, but I do know that I need some space. I need some time to work things out, but he refuses to give me that time. He’s insecure and afraid to lose, but his death grip on our relationship – on me – is doing so much more harm than good. I feel like I’m being suffocated. I know he needs me, and I do care about him, I don’t ever want to hurt him… so I stay. But I feel like I’m slowly dying inside. Whatever I was supposed to do with my life, it wasn’t this.

So I’ll blog it. I write everything here, let loose with my keyboard the feelings and emotions that I dare not show IRL. This blog is my sanctuary. Feel free to lurk. But know that I am desperate to not feel alone any more, and it is in truth that desperation that drives me to write here. I just want to know that I’m not the only one who feels trapped. I want to know that there is someone out there who made it out, because I want to believe that one day I can too.

“The best part of believe is the lie…”