December 24, 2010

on the bright side...

robert byrne once said, "Winter is nature's way of saying, 'Up yours.'" eloquent as that statement is... i can't help but agree; and with the fun and exciting parts of winter (the first snow, holiday cheer, and the like) drawing to an end, i'm simply dreading the next two months. february in particular has always been one of my least favorite times of the year. i mean, not only will winter simply not go away, but there's that whole valentine's day thing... what could be more torturous? 

this dilemma may be best remedied, i believe, through the unabashed, hell-if-i-care donning of bright, perhaps "summery" colors whenever and wherever possible!  think brilliant turquoise flats, a melon-colored cardigan, or a new take on fair aisle.  much like dior showcased in their spring 2011 runway shows, the season's favorite jewel tones can be livened up with pops of neon and electric hues, pulled together with bright poppy lips...

as someone who already owns lots of colorful wardrobe items, dior's poppy lips are the perfect way to incorporate new brights into my winter wardrobe.  gone are the days when a hot-pink nail polish satisfied my color cravings! instead, this awesome lipstick by Revlon (purchased by emily forever ago and recently found at the bottom of our makeup drawer) is superbly fresh and daring!  and to my surprise, it's also insanely flattering; i like to wear it with a simple, sort of vintage eye--nude shadow with black liquid gel liner, winged at the edges, and lots of black mascara.  who ever said the runway can't translate to real life? (ps: watch the show here to see these ideas come to life)


December 18, 2010

it's all about the tuck

recently i've had one single criteria when shopping: can i tuck this in? (or in the case of pants, what can i tuck into these?) while this doesn't seem like that revolutionary an idea, for me it's quite the departure from my usual fashion tendencies.

as someone who favors loose-fitting tops (the bigger the better) over skinny jeans or leggings, i rarely wear anything tight around my waist. i do occasionally wear the ever-present high-waisted skirt, but even then i usually find a way to wear a loose crop top or boxy blouse over the skirt - once again avoiding the tuck. 

after some deep self-analysis, i realized i'm traditionally anti-tuck because of the 9 years i spent in strict catholic grade school.  i was continually forced to tuck my white polo shirt into my plaid skirt or khaki pants, and let me tell you, it was not pretty.  

 i was constantly trying to bend the rule; i even resorted to folding my shirt under so it looked like it was tucked in - but it really wasn't! ha! success!

needless to say my devilish ways were soon discovered and i was unwillingly forced to tuck, tuck, tuck once again.

apparently it's taken me 5 years to get over this fashion trauma, because i'm now enthusiastically embracing the chicness of a tucked-in shirt. it looks especially polished and feminine with higher-waisted skinny pants; i'm not talking mom jeans, but pants with a slightly higher rise that hits two inches below the belly-button look best (try these). adding a skinny belt reinforces the {surprisingly slimming} look, as do simple flats and a jacket cropped at the waist. the photo above, sourced from lucky (obviously) is the embodiment of all these tiny tweaks and tucking tricks - i love how her shirt is slightly bloused, and am still shocked by how strong her simple outfit is. talk about the definition of chic. i'll be referencing this picture a lot this season, save for the week after christmas... i'm guessing all the delicious holiday treats will not bode well for my waistline!

happy holidays!!! {and get tucking!}
II emily

December 10, 2010

wishful thinking

~ Holiday Wish List 2010 ~

{ click above to enlarge images }

i know everyone gets excited about the holidays, but i think i personally take the cake. i can't even guess how much hot chocolate and peppermint bark i consume "just because it feels festive," christmas lights and ornaments bring me a ridiculous amount of yuletide joy, and i power through my workouts with cheesy holiday music blaring in my ears.

most importantly, several long hours are annually spent making a huge wish list for my wary parents and sister. (i make gift lists for all my friends and family too, ok?!) but what can i say? this holiday was made for shoppers! this year, however, i'm trying to keep my wish list relatively short and only put things on there that i really love and that will mean something to me; i've found that this is the best strategy to a great wardrobe. instead of amassing tons of pieces i like and can wear with a few other pieces, i want a closet stuffed with things i can't live without -- getting dressed and looking put together would be undeniably easier.
at the top of my list? an ultra-embellished belt, glittery nail polish, luxe fur earmuffs, a slouchy sequin bed jacket, spotted kicks, a cozy wrap sweater and super-textured pieces like a velvet top, marled loop scarf and a rope-and-bead necklace.

happy wishing!
II emily

November 29, 2010

so fab.

i have met very few people in this life that do not at least respect or mildly enjoy the beatles. and those individuals that refuse to admit the sheer and utter genius that was, is, and always will be The Fab Four are obviously lying to themselves, and so i can hardly stand to associate with them. (my close friends know better than to doubt the godliness of john, paul, ringo, and george in my presence.)
i can say with 100% certainty that i was born in the wrong era. i should have been one of those obsessive, lovesick girls clinging to the gates of Shea Stadium in full skirts and curled hair. in fact, i might go so far to say that i was one of those girls in another life (not that i really believe in reincarnation; but in this context it is a rather appealing concept...!). watching footage of beatles concerts--and particularly the reactions of the audience--immediately evokes a sense of nostalgia and joy for me. as much as i enjoy listening to my beatles records in the car, in my room, or on my way to class, nothing in this life will ever compare to a beatles show; i'm sure of it.
if you aren't quite as dedicated to the beatles as i am and don't own every album ever recorded, it's okay. because lucky for you, the beatles are now on iTunes. (my jaw literally dropped when i logged onto the apple website to discover this; i was floored.) most everyone has been acutely aware of the fact that this was simply not the case for so many years, and so this is really quite newsworthy for music fans the world over. i still have mixed feelings about the whole thing (their record label honestly is just selling out...) but what am i going to do about it except spread the word and get everyone to buy beatles music? do it!!

oh, and while you're at it, go buy this awesome tee from urban outfitters; it's been on my christmas wish-list for weeks! i like to think of it as a modern interpretation of a beatles fan's wardrobe.

rock on,

November 27, 2010

give thanks!

i think thanksgiving is usually the same for every family; we all get together, eat the same types of food, watch football, and engage in various lazy-night activities like watching john hughes movies and stealing extra helpings of french silk pie. this is usually how it is for me -- thanksgiving never really brings any surprises.

this year, however, was quite the odd holiday.

this year, instead of the usual group of 12 at my house, all of my family members from chicago drove down -- creating a total of 21 house guests. there was never a dull moment, especially considering the number of little kids scurrying around and everyone's slightly-ridiculous sleeping arrangements.

most notably, the dinner was different than any thanksgiving i've ever seen or heard of! among other things, there were 2 types of stuffing (one was a dark lebanese version with chestnuts and several spices i can't even pronounce), a plate of pineapples, 5 pies, a massive platter of mac & cheese, 2 servings of cranberries, pickled green beans, a massive ham, and 2 turkeys. and yes - one was fried. and it was delicious.

my parents bought a legitimate "butterball brand" turkey fryer specifically for the occasion, and i couldn't help but snap a few pictures when everyone gathered in the garage to watch my dad ceremoniously sink the bird into a vat of sizzling oil. it was quite the opposite of your traditional oven-roasted turkey, and i'd say it was the epitome of a very different (and extremely memorable) holiday. :)

November 17, 2010

oh you flouncy, huh?

if i could choose one thing to splurge on this season, it would undoubtedly be this flouncy, ruffly skirt. yes, it's expensive.... but i honestly think i would wear it every day (or at least i would try... i'm pretty sure liz would put a stop to that madness right away. mostly because she hates to see me repeat outfits but also so that she could wear it.)

i was recently inspired by this post at cupcakes and cashmere. i love how emily paired her chunky zara sweater with a full ballerina skirt! i've always been into juxtaposition, and while i've done my fair share of pairing big sweaters/tops with slim bottoms and tight minis, the full-skirt idea really struck a chord in me. i love how it looks with this fairisle sweater and am dreamily picturing wearing it with all of my chunkiest, slouchiest sweaters - possibly with some tights and boots?

the hardest part will be choosing black or cream. what do you think?

happy mixing!
II emily

November 14, 2010

dying for...

i've never been one to maintain much of an interest in celebrities or their personal lives; i just find the hype of hollywood a little contrived and fake. (sorry i'm not sorry.) of course, this doesn't stop me from watching the red carpet shows on E! every time awards season rolls around. just for a day, i'd give up my holier-than-thou attitude towards fame and fortune in exchange for an afternoon trying on dress after dress after dress... i mean, really. who wouldn't? it's stupid, it's unreal, it's fabulous.
this is probably why my obsession with rachel zoe (pictured above) cultivated so quickly this past summer. i became religious about recording her reality show, the rachel zoe project, and became genuinely fascinated with the lives of RZ, her husband rodger (who is equally stylish in that very metrosexual way, all thanks to zoe, i'm sure), and her employees. yes, she might be a bit too in love with hollywood, but hey- hollywood loves her back. with a client list including demi moore, cameron diaz, kate hudson, and anne hathaway, RZ is doing more than keeping up appearances- she's creating a legacy for herself. and i die for it.
and rachel's style is completley and totally her own. the old, less adventurous me might have been too shy to wear huge sunglasses, turban-style headbands, or bracelets up to my elbows. but all that has changed- i can't wait to interpret RZ's style into my own wardrobe this fall. and she almost makes it too easy with her QVC line! i fell in love with this super-chic vest (i like it in coyote) and this fabulous cuff. not only are they two of the most fabulous, exciting things i've seen this fall, but they're so affordable. upon realizing the beautiful coming together of these items and my love for rachel, i ask myself: do things always end up this perfectly in life?! well, not really. but for rachel, the answer is probably a super chic yes.


November 8, 2010

the blogosphere

{photo via the glamourai}

as a journalism major, i'm supposed to know a lot about being biased. as in, i am never, ever, ever supposed to have this word associated with my name under any circumstances. but you see, i'm a future fashion journalist, and having a strong opinion is what makes someone great at this profession. {ideally, i'll have my own opinion column where i'll discuss my favorite trends, secret beauty products, street style, and lots of other lovely things i will declare my totally-biased love for.}

so, yes, i will be a little biased when i talk about the event pictured here -- coach's holiday 2010 blogger campaign. while i do enjoy coach from time to time, this post isn't really about the brand. rather, i'm writing about the theme of this event: BLOGGERS.

coach, a major heritage accessories label that everyone knows of, has dedicated an entire season--the holiday season, no less--to bloggers!!! as a blogger myself, i must admit i'm very excited (here comes the bias). for the past few years, fashion bloggers in particular have gained an almost guru-like status for sharing their creative, honest love of fashion with the world. these men and women have lived their entire lives loving style and fashion and art and culture and glamour all on their own, and they're finally being recognized.

i've come up with a nice comparison here: these featured bloggers are to the rest of the fashion world what 8th graders in pale pink ugg boots were to me and the rest of the girls in my class in the winter of 2004. they are ahead of the trends, always appear effortless, have seemingly endless closets (i'm envisioning narnia-esque wardrobes that lead to barney's and bergdorf's rather than the mythical f0rest), and an equal amount of class. and all you can say about it is it's not fair!! how do they do it? how can i be like them?! how can i go on living my much-less-glamourous life! and then you feel dramatic and simply must stop the theatrics.

but let it serve as inspiration for you. bloggers have become a big deal. they're speaking at fashion conferences, collaborating with designers, being recognized in Forbes and The New York Times, receiving awards (oh hey emily schuman, bloggie's 2010 'best fashion blog'), and have really just become huge influences for the fashion world. if you aren't a dedicated follower like me (i read countless daily), this should motivate you to find some sites you love! i can assure you i would trust jane, rumi, tavi, scott, and kelly with advice on what to wear this season before any designer or brand. check out some of their blogs to find some inspiration, and keep up with what's next in fashion!

II emily

October 27, 2010

the new face of fashion

i don't know if you've seen/heard about the alexa chung collaboration for madewell, but if not i strongly encourage you to go check it out right this instant. alexa chung embodies almost everything i love about fashion, and i'm always inspired by the interesting combinations she comes up with. the "fisherman" cable-knit sweater i was dying for sold out before i could even attempt to buy it, but i'm equally tempted by almost everything she's put out on the website.

chung's most inspirational pieces are undoubtedly the high-waisted "christian" skinny jeans, which come in 5 different washes like this dusty gray pair. i've really been wanting to try something new in the denim arena, and this might be my golden opportunity. i'm already imagining these slimming jeans with one of madewell's flowy silk blouses or loose tees, maybe with a skinny belt, colorful flats, and a thick scarf... and at night these would be great with platform heels, a tucked-in silk tank and sharp blazer.

plus, with free shipping on all madewell jeans, the offer is almost too good to pass up! happy shopping!

II emily

October 25, 2010

playing favorites

{ on liz: forever21 top, j.crew necklace, h&m bangle, ray-ban glasses, nordstrom bp skirt }

if i haven't mentioned it before, i'm sure you've figured out the blatantly obvious obsession liz & i have with lace. it's one of my favorite recent trends, possibly because we were a little shocked when it started popping up on the runways and in every store imaginable. my style has always been on the romantic side, and i'm happy to see designers are starting to feel the same way! (i've seen enough chains, studs, rips and holes, but that's just me...)

luckily i haven't fallen into the fashion victim trap, as i am acutely aware that one day lace may not be as chic and wonderful as it is right now (sigh). so, i didn't allow myself to splurge on a handmade lace minidress or vintage lace blouse--instead i looked to my favorite bargain stores and sale racks.

this lace shirt from forever 21 has been crowned our favorite piece (although it was hard to pick just one!) - and it only cost $17. you wouldn't know by looking at it, especially since it has those tiny, special details like puffed shoulders, a scalloped hem, and slightly-cropped length. people have asked me more times than i can count if i bought it at anthropologie! but the best part about this shirt isn't just the price, but the fact that liz and i have worn it in so may ways it has basically been rendered free. whether it's mixed with a tight banded skirt and a large chunky necklace or distressed boyfriend jeans and flat sandals, this top makes a stunning impact that leaves me wishing i'd bought two. (you know, just in case we wear holes into this one - it could happen!)

II emily

October 12, 2010

newfound nostalgia

lately, the temperatures have been so fitful i can never even remember what month it is. one day its a 90-degree august afternoon, the next a chilly gray november morning (like today, unfortunately enough). its made me realize that despite my excitement for military jackets, cashmere sweaters, faux-fur leopard stoles, leather boots, and all of my other fall favorites, there's so much about summertime that i'll really miss. it always surprises me how much i long for a dripping-sweat, totally not-chic summer day when i'm trudging through black slush in the middle of february (the worst month, in my opinion). here's a bunch of photos -- some old, some new -- that i'll be looking at when i need to remember that feel-good sunshine. :)

{the chicago skyline - taken during lollapalooza 2010}

{lake michigan}

{liz getting bronzed}

{our favorite childhood park}

{soaking up the sun nearby our house}

don't say goodbye to summer yet!
II emily

October 3, 2010

just romping around

as weird as it sounds, i actually prefer rompers as cool-weather apparel. they've been a "summer essential" ever since their conception (i'm pretty sure i first saw a romper on beyonce--in gold lamé, no less) - and it makes sense, considering they're comfy, easy, and consist of almost no fabric at all. but that's a little too easy for me--almost as simple as wearing denim cut-offs on a ninety degree day. there's not too much thought in that.

so what takes lots of creativity and a little bit of confidence? turning rompers on their beachy heads for fall, of course. kind of like throwing tights and boots under your favorite floral mini-dress, rompers look chicest when you throw something(s) over them and carry them through another season.

liz bought this "summery" romper largely for its dark floral print, reasoning she would wear it well into fall with the right accessories (namely her favorite cream-and-navy striped cardigan). she's never been more spot-on, and we've already started experimenting with all the possibilities as the temperatures drop sporadically here in bloomington. as much as the cold weather shocks me every time i step outside, i secretly can't wait for it to get a teensy bit colder and throw on sheer black tights with this fantastic floral piece. a sharp blazer would look chic and edgy, while an oversize cardigan + oxford flats is coolly casual and collegiate. how do you personalize your romper?


= a perfect fall ensemble.

{on liz: nordstrom bp romper}
{pictured: urban outfitters blazer, ann demeulemeeseter cardigan}

:) II
style on!

{PS: check out this article i wrote for more tips on how to rock a romper}

September 27, 2010


posts have been embarrassingly sparse, which i tried to conceal for a while but now there's just no use. long story short - my camera broke out of nowhere, and now the screen resembles a spider web. not conducive to a functional blog. today i'll have to share some cool links and borrowed images, and hopefully i will have a new camera sooner rather than later! our fall wardrobe hasn't made an appearance yet and i'm very depressed about it....

but for now, some inspiration:

{photo via sea of shoes}
i love jane's spotted boots! especially with that huge jacket and splash of's perfect. this blog is one of the few that i frequent multiple times a day.. i think jane might be one of the coolest girls in the fashion universe.

{photos via atlantis home}
since coming back to school, the thing i've missed the most is my family's huge kitchen. i'm itching to cook, especially when i see food like this on atlantis home! (fun fact... the blogger isjane's [see above] mom!) i might have to make a quick trip home just to try out these recipes...
(brie-apple-arugula quesadillas & corn salsa)

{above photos via the glamourai}
kelly is a genius, with a look that can't be replicated no matter how hard you try. and i reallllyyyy want to order some pieces from her jewelry line... i love these natural stones.

{ check out some of my other favorite blogs: fashion toast, cupcakes and cashmere, and the style rookie }

happy fall!

September 14, 2010

change in scenery

being back in bloomington feels amazing--every day i still feel like a bright-eyed freshman ogling the gorgeous campus and feeling oh-so collegiate walking to class in historic buildings! seeing my friends every day and doing typical college things is another great plus. there really aren't any cons to being back at school....... except the toll it takes on my skin.

a new abbreviated sleep schedule, more time spent outside, added stress, and different water all contribute to my skin suddenly becoming confused and sporadically breaking out. for these first two weeks, i survived without face wash (i forgot mine at home, ironically) - but then i sucked it up and went to scour the nearby target for a new cleanser. i settled on Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser. i wanted something gentle but effective, and blindly hoped this would work - turns out it's EXACTLY what i wanted. so mild, and after a week my skin is completely clear. as an added bonus, my skin tone is noticeably more even and feels soft and smooth. for barely more than $6, it really is a miracle.

September 8, 2010

LBPD in action!

about a week ago i posted about the LBPD me and liz were currently into - and liz got to wear it out the other night! she went to a semi-formal date party at a fraternity down the street and it was the perfect thing. instead of wearing that over-the top bejeweled necklace we showed in the last post, she instead stacked bangles on her wrists and wore a tiny studded cross-body bag.

the funniest part was 2 of our good friends wore dresses in almost the exact same shape! brandi (in the coral) had matching nude pumps as well. great minds think alike, right?

August 31, 2010


in an earlier post (see it here), i talked about LWDs - little white dresses. during the summer, there was nothing better than throwing on a simple white dress and lots of accessories before heading out into the sticky midwest heat. but now that fall is upon us (hopefully sooner rather than later) and school is starting again, the good old classic LBD will be reappearing once again.

but aside from a handful of formal events that will take place this year, a real, all-out
LBD won't be hanging in my closet. liz and i updated the idea with an edgier shape, casual material, and a statement-making pattern (now its more like an lbpd: little black printed dress). we're thinking it will work equally well for weekend parties (worn alone or tucked into a black skirt) and dinner with friends ruched up a little and worn with leggings. here liz dresses it up with some heavy jewelry and flattering nude pumps:

{on liz: niche boutique dress [located in broadripple village, indianapolis--website here], j.crew necklace [similar one here], target pumps}

August 20, 2010

dreaming of denim

as i get more and more excited for fall weather and fashion, the words "transition piece" repeatedly pop up in my head. a true transition piece, something that works for both summer and fall weather, is actually harder to come by than you would think (especially when you remember how irritating autumn's unpredictable temperatures can be).

a denim shirt is one of these miracle pieces. it looks equally chic with white shorts, black skinny pants, or a sequined mini skirt; converse low-tops, embellished flats, or platform heels; piled-on jewelry, minimalist streamlining, or boyish flair. i personally love pairing my denim shirt (from j.crew's 2007 summer collection) with the most unexpected pieces, like a tight black pencil skirt, oversized jewels and funky sunglasses:

{on liz: j.crew denim shirt [similar version here], nordstrom bp skirt, david yurman silver-and-gold chain bracelet, j.crew rose-gold chain bracelet, j.crew gemstone bracelet [similar version here], burberry stainless steel bracelet watch, urban outfitters braided fabric bracelet [similar version here], h&m cheetah-print sunglasses}

get creative!

August 18, 2010

beauty buys

just saw jane aldridge's latest post on her crazy-cool blog sea of shoes. don't you love it? i'm obsessed with this blog, and especially enjoy when jane posts her wacky little drawings and insane, artistic juxtapositions of fashion. her makeup always looks stunning and intense, which of course led to fans like me asking what she uses. here's how she shared her flawless beauty regimen:

it inspired me to share my go-to beauty products with you too. i believe that when you embrace it, makeup can be the greatest thing in the world; being hopeful and enthusiastic about your beauty endeavors allows you to find exactly what colors, textures, and tools work for you (hellooo, gorgeous!) but this excitement can often lead to a few bumps in the road (mistakes you learn from, of course). after experiencing a few makeup failures (i.e. lip-gloss overload, matte gray eyeshadow, and messy black eyeliner) i think i've finally figured out what works best for my olive-toned-and-sometimes-dry skin, brown eyes, and round face.

{FROM TOP: Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner in Caviar Ink, Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Gel, Maybelline Lash Stiletto in Very Black, Cle De Peau Beaute Concealer in Beige, Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, Tarte Cheek Stain in Natural Beauty, Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Fawn, Laura Mercier Bronzing Gel, Fresh Satin Luster Face Palette}

what are your trusted beauty products?

August 15, 2010

bargain hunting {for lazy girls}

i always say there's nothing like a good bargain. as a seasoned bargain hunter, i love that rush of adrenaline i get when digging through the sale room at anthropologie or dismantling every rack at affordable stores like forever 21 - the weight of my barely-emptied wallet is quite comparable to nirvana!

a few months ago, in an inadvertent attempt to transform me into an even crazier bargain-hunting freak, one of my friends showed me the website i now check it every day.

okay... several times a day.

you'll understand when you join. it's an online store that holds daily sales for big name designers, and by sale i really mean give-away. sometimes you can get stuff for up to 60% off! and the website sends out an e-mail reminder every day as if to say we know you haven't succumbed to your shopping addiction yet today...

i've placed several orders on things like patterned minkpink tanks, bright oversized shirts from wildfox, and mineral-washed tees from romeo & juliet coutoure. shipping takes a little bit longer than most websites (because haute look has to import the clothes to their warehouse), but it's totally worth the wait. this week's menu includes c&c california, paige premium denim jeans, and even penguin for men (so you can get something for your main squeeze while you're at it!) all you have to do is sign up with your e-mail and get shopping.

$$$ save on!

August 12, 2010


on days like these when the temperature averages in the mid-90s and all hope of a good hair day is completely lost, i become positively giddy at the idea of fall being just around the corner. the latest urban outfitters catalogue is partially to blame for my excitement, and i've been scanning their website like an addict trying to decide what essentials are needed for my cold-weather look.

i came across several little booties and decided i have to get a pair. or two. it's a very, very weird thing for me to say. you see, i've never been a booties fan - i always thought they looked weird on my feet and have always preferred tall leather boots. and i also have a soft spot for uggs (sorry i'm not sorry) - nothing is better when you're trudging through a snow drift and are dangerously close to slipping on your bum, desperately thinking i'm just trying to be a good student and go to class...

this year i feel different about booties though. maybe i've changed, maybe the silhouettes have improved. but i'm excitedly thinking about these tiny, adorable little shoes with tights and shorts, or skinny jeans rolled at the ankle, maybe with patterned socks, or with little wool skirts and baggy sweaters, and possibly wearing my oversize ray-ban eyeglasses just because they would be so perfect....
there really are endless possibilities!