Sartorial Resolutions


It was one of those nights where, at 3 a.m., a closet cleaning seemed like a perfectly reasonable thing to do. Inspired by a few glasses of wine and a barrage of finals work that needed desperately to be done, but more importantly needed to be avoided, I started tearing through my closet and pulling out anything that caught my eye for the wrong reasons. This one hadn’t been worn in years, that one I just didn’t like, this one didn’t fit.

It was the last pile that grew the quickest. To my left, that tuxedo romper I loved, and bought even though it was only available four sizes too big, foolishly thinking to myself, I can make this work (I couldn’t).  To my right, about six pairs of pants of varying washes and wears but with one thing in common: They were inexcusably long. The wheels started to turn that maybe there was something wrong with my closet.

Cue another night, two weeks later, same time, when I found myself sitting on the floor of my apartment, methodically hemming all of my pants. The inspiration came after the recent purchase of a pair of Gap jeans that hit my ankle so perfectly that it opened my eyes to the length that pants should be. It was then that a crushing realization hit me: Have I been wearing poorly-fitting clothing my whole life?




I think it must have begun with one wrongly-sized item bought out of a lack of sizing options, and spiraled from there. The oversized clothing trend in the early 2010s certainly didn’t help. Also filed securely under “Not Helpful” was the trend amongst bloggers to recommend buying clothing from the boy’s section at J.Crew because they allegedly had way better clothing. They did, but there comes a point in every 20-something-year-old’s life when you have to admit to yourself that whatever money saved by shopping in the kids’ section is not worth the judgmental glares.

This closet situation isn’t unique to me. I’ve had a male friend lament to me on several occasions about the difficulty his god-given proportions presented him with when it came to clothes shopping. It seemed part of his torso was convinced it was a small, while the other part felt more at home in a medium.

Whether it be length, an in-between waist, or a torso that can’t quite decide its size, we all have weird workarounds we have to account for while clothes shopping. Sacrifices must be made. The aforementioned friend has created a system of buying smalls and owning the fact that his shirts, in the fit department, will always come up a bit short.




At a certain point, it becomes more about being honest about your body’s proportions. For me, this means making the shift to buying petite jeans, despite a nearly-lifelong campaign against being pegged as a petite. (Can’t we come up with a better name? Like ‘More Badass packed into a smaller size’? Petite just sounds so dainty.) It requires some extra effort, sure, but it’s probably a lot less effort, than, say, spending five hours hemming your own pants.

And so, in the spirit of New Years’ resolutions, I’m offering up my guidelines for shopping for clothing this coming year:

I admit…

  •  that a belt will not make it look better. I own very few belts and despise them all, so relying on one to make this item work is not realistic.
  • that no matter how cute the idea or fit of the garment is, an XL will always fit me like a trash bag. Always. Except at H&M, and then it fits like small.
  • if a pair of pants needs to be rolled more than twice, they are officially too long and not made for me. There are a billion pairs of pants out there, and this is 2015. Find a pair that fits.
  • regardless of chicness and general oversizedness, I am not an Olsen twin and never will be. Don’t be fooled by the similarity in stature—they were born with the genetics to make it work. You were not. Put it down.


What about you? Which guidelines have you created for shopping? Do you also find yourself buying clothing more suited for a 300 lb/6 ft tall man? Tell me, let’s commiserate.


DIY, Outfits

Green and Yellow, Green and Yellow

Shirt: Goodwill DIY; Shorts: J. Crew; Shoes: Madewell

I apologize in advance, but I’m about to show some mad love for this outfit.  As the temperature crept into the high 70s for the second time in Maine this year, I knew a celebratory outfit was in order.  Worn together, the bright green pattern and neon yellow come across as somewhat of an assault on the eyes, not unlike the feeling one gets when staring straight into the sun.  Mission accomplished.

This outfit brings up a second sentiment, one I’ve been meaning to flesh out for quite some time, and that is my love for Goodwill.  Alas, my hometown is not the shopping mecca that my former workplace in Georgetown was, and shopping options are for the most part limited to JC Penney and Goodwill.  Seeing as how I’ve come to associate the shopping experience at JC Penney with frantically searching, in vain, for a dress for the upcoming Father Daughter Ball (Does anyone else remember going to those?  Did I just reveal something too embarrassing?), most of my shopping occurs at Goodwill instead.  Of course, any Goodwill is only as good as the cast-offs of its residents, but I’ve found some pretty good things there, including the shirt above.  Originally a dress, I literally took a pair of scissors and cut the dress in half, and now I have both a shirt and a skirt, a two-for-one deal if you will.  I might even venture so far as to say shopping at Goodwill fosters creativity.

So, I’m dying to know:  Do you too find yourself shopping at Goodwill on the weekly? If not, what are your favorite off-the-beaten-path shopping haunts?

**In other news, I recently had the opportunity to Skype with the Today Show, and should you be interested in viewing it, you can do so by clicking here.  I’m not saying I’m famous or anything, buuut if I were you I’d get my autograph before I’m too famous to know you.

And with that…

See ya!


Fashion vs. Business Formal

Dress: J. Crew; Blazer + shoes: Madewell; Bag: Zara

There comes a time in every young professional’s career when, through no fault of their own, they encounter the dreaded “business formal” dress code.  I say dreaded because the term typically conjures up images of vast swaths of business professionals gathered together, the palpable tension of forced networking interactions between strangers thick in the air, wearing ill-fitting polyester pantsuits in various shades of black, grey, and at times the even more gag-inducing pinstripe.  Unsurprisingly, the mere mention of this particular dress code is enough to give any fashion-conscious professional ulcers.

However, when I had the opportunity recently to attend the George Washington Women in Business Conference at GWU (Which was awesome, by the way, thank you GWWIB for putting on such a great conference, and thank you Stacey from Strategy in Stilettos for inviting me.), which called for business formal attire, I decided to challenge this stereotype (for my own health and sanity, see above comment on ulcers). The basic skeleton of a business outfit is there, thanks to the pumps and the blazer, but this version, business formal 2.0 if you will, takes it home by clashing combining polka dot pumps with a bright floral dress.

Unfortunately I was unable to get off work that day and so I couldn’t attend the entire conference, but rest assured that I did make it back during my break to get a signed copy of By Invitation Only, which may or may not have included a literal sprint through Georgetown to make it there and back in half an hour, and also may or may not have included an accidental head-on collision with a small child at one point.  I’m not saying it did, but it might have.

So, readers, what do you do when you encounter a business formal dress code?  Do you stick to the tried and true suit, or switch it up?


Lazy Sunday

Shirt, jeans, wedges: J. Crew. Bag: Zara.

Ooh, look at that juxtaposition. And unvacuumed floor.

I wore this outfit for a lazy Sunday filled with treats n’ studyin’, studyin’ n’ treats, hold the treats, heavy on the studying.  I’m not usually one for wearing bright colors, but this top was just such an insanely pretty purple that I couldn’t resist.  Helpful tip, if you’re color-shy like me, pairing a piece down with neutrals and informal silhouettes (not unlike the above-pictured boyfriend jeans) helps keep one from looking like a human kaleidoscope.  Unless, you know, that’s the look you’re going for, in which case, get crazy.

Alright, off to sign my soul away to finals now.

Fashion musings, Outfits

On Being a Leather Daddy

Boots, jeans, scarf, shirt: Madewell; Jacket: H&M; Bag: Zara; Belt: J. Crew

Is there such a thing?

It’s no secret that I use this blog as a forum for discussing deep, meaningful issues.  As I was dressing the other day, I realized I was wearing not one, not two, not even three, but four different types of leather.  Unable to decide whether this qualified as a fashion faux paw pas or not, I decided to pose these difficult questions to you, dear readers: Too much leather, or not enough?  How much leather is too much leather?  Is there such a thing as leather clashing?

And, perhaps the most pressing question of all, who wore it best?

Yours truly…

Or Tobias Funke?


This One’s for You, Mom

Jeans + Cardigan: Madewell; Shirt: J. Crew; Shoes + belt: gifted.

Finally, as promised, we’re back to the dorm.  And I didn’t even clean my mirror.  It’s good to be back.

Full disclosure:  This post serves two purposes, kills two birds with one stone if you will.  I wanted to make an outfit post, and I wanted to show my mother my new jeans.  True story, she is the top commenter on this blog, followed by my dad in a close second.  Thanks, guys.  Without you, none of this would be possible.  Literally.

Aaaaand on that note, it was recently brought to my attention that I have the same exact haircut-layers, length, bangs, everything-as my mother.  While they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, considering we both already share a knack for worrying, an affinity for hiking, and 50 percent of our genetic makeup, having the same hairstyle likely qualifies as overkill.  So while I wait for my hair to grow out, I’ve been experimenting (read: rocking a topknot everyday, except for this particular day).  Inspired by this tutorial, it will hide any hairstyle, no matter how awkward the transitional stage it happens to be in is, guaranteed.  It brings to mind a certain Britney Spears’ song, something like “Not a bob, not yet a Farrah.”  Anyway, it’s easy, looks good no matter which hairstyles you happen to be between, and holds up surprisingly well, assuming you use a lifetime supply of hair spray and bobby pins.  Just be prepared to explain to everyone in great detail how you managed to do it.


Transitioning winter wear into spring


Sweater: J. Crew, Shoes: Belle Sigerson Morrison, Pants: American Eagle denim leggings from years ago that I’m surprised haven’t fallen apart by now, glasses: Warby Parker (check them out if you haven’t already, they’re a great company).

Although the flowers may be out, the birds may be chirping, and the temperatures may be rising, it is definitely not spring yet, something I found out the hard way after starting out my day in shorts and then getting all kinds of awkward stares and goosebumps walking around campus.  So I quickly came back to my room and changed into pants, and these eskimo booties (they may also be a sprained ankle in the making, but they’re the chicest way to sprain your ankle, guaranteed.).  Don’t be fooled, though: the fur, sweater, and fully-covered limbs may seem like the makings of a winter outfit, but the mint and pastel blue are fully on trend with spring.  (Or maybe next fall?  I’m getting my fashion collections all mixed up.)  I know what you’re thinking though, and yes, I did walk like an egyptian eskimo:

This picture brings up two sentiments: 1. my form is all kinds of off, and 2. I really need to clean my mirror.