Hello, my darling grasshoppers.

Let's talk about what I'm excited about:

Nicole Lee bags at Target. I know nothing about these, except for the fact that they are way more detailed than you'd ever expect at a store like Target.

Boston Fashion Week. With my busy class schedule, I don't have time for many events, but I am hitting a clothing swap and blogger mixer Thursday evening. Cannot wait. I will, of course, bring my camera and share the madness with you! (unless it interferes too much with grabbing the best swap goodies, that is.) If any Bostonians are reading this blog and end up attending the swap, please come find me and say hi! I'll be the one with messy hair and scuffed combat boots.

♥ Finally hearing what some of my favorite bloggers actually sound like. I've always known that Susie Bubble would have a great British accent, but after watching this video I want to be her best friend. She seems like such a doll, no?! And Jane Aldridge seems so young and bubbly in her Style Like U video. Plus, look at her closet, will you not? Good lord.

♥ Spring 2011 Pucci and Cavalli. Both are absolutely glamorous and gorgeous and unique and iuhniugfoijfnew. Plus, there is a particular pair of lace-up over-the-knee boots from Pucci that I want to lick. Or wear. One or the other.

♥ The absurdity of The Pyramid Collection. I unexpectedly received their catalogue in the mail and opened it to find a collection of clothing, jewelry, Halloween costumes, and ... sex toys? Yeah. I'm super amused. Even though there are quite a few things from the shop I'd be happy to own. Like this ring, for example. Or this pretty little number. Or my future wedding dress. Not to get carried away or anything.

Nullnetwork's cheap, unique jewelry. I saw their stuff, expected a hefty price tag, and gasped with joy when I realized they were more than reasonable. Score! I am eyeing the octopus ring.

Alright, time to read some Freud. Or go to bed. I need my beauty sleep for swap success tomorrow! Wish me luck!

dog days

My weekend, what once showed great promise, was partially ruined by a moderately severe reaction to an antibiotic I was on, but despite my red, obster-like appearance and scaly skin, I had a great time hanging out with friends and my grandparents who made an impromptu visit.

In better news, I wore this absolutely fabulous and comfy button up sent from ModCloth last Friday. Since I can wear jeans on Friday, I waited to wear this with skinny jeans and platform heels.
[top c/o modcloth, jeans by bdg, platform heels by jessica simpson, bag by marc jacobs, sunglasses from urban outfitters, belt by american apparel]
I loved the back of this top.
Thanks to Kimmi for taking my pictures! She came out on Saturday and we went out to dinner, rented movies and drank wine. She mostly drank the wine, which resulted in some entertainment for me.

Spotted Moth Clutch Giveaway!

Thanks to Spotted Moth, the Coffee Date Clutch will be given away to one lucky reader! To be eligible, please visit Spotted Moth, pick out your favorite item and comment which item is your favorite along with your email address. For an additional entry, become a fan on Facebook, but you will have to comment a second time! Open to U.S. and international readers until 10 p.m. Sunday, October 4.

a sidewalk stroll


Back in Lansing now! I spotted this skirt at American Apparel and then a sales associate pointed out all the new belts they have and after much contemplation, I selected the grey. I paired the skirt and belt with a vintage blouse and leather jacket to add to the feminine look. I always pair a leather jacket over a skirt or dress. Most of the time, I don't feel complete without one and that was my challenge with dressing myself this summer. I pranced around to work in this outfit yesterday paired with tights and changed into knee highs after work. For some reason, I feel as if thigh highs are a little scandalous, so I save those for after work.
[blouse-vintage, belt, skirt and knee highs from american apparel, shoes by ciao bella, bag by marc jacobs, leather jacket by gap]


Psst Check out the new LG Voice of Fashion blog! You can win some sweet prizes and view a variety of bloggers including me blog on that web site!

I love coats.

I've taken a recent interest swing coats and when I spotted this at Forever 21 for a mere $35, I knew I had to have it. Once it gets even cooler here, I plan to pair it with long, leather gloves.

Becky took these for me over the weekend since I planned on wearing this in Northern Michigan today during the last day of the conference when I Traverse City today, hairpiece and all! I stayed at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa and I've been spoiled with delicious food and a gorgeous view from my wall of windows in my room. I don't want to leave! I'll post photos upon my return!
[coat by forever 21, pants by silence + noise, boots by jeffrey campbell]


Sometimes insanely beautiful people enter your life and instead of raging with envy, you photograph them. And so I photograph Naomi. I heart her!
Naomi was an intern for us at Capital Area Michigan Works! last spring semester and she always came to work dressed in such stylish, fun outfits. I was constantly gushing--so much so that the words "that's so cute!" probably means nothing to her anymore. I just couldn't help it!
Naomi wore a simple black dress with cap sleeves, patterned tights, a scarf I want to steal and a red leather jacket this past Wednesday. Naomi's closet I believe is filled with these amazing versatile pieces that she can accessorize differently and dress up and down for various occasions. Take the outfit she had on for the shoot, without the jacket it's so sweet and feminine and with the jacket, it just adds such an edge.
[dress by piko 1988, jacket by leather loft, purse and scarf by f21, ankle boots by steve madden, tights from lord & taylor]

In Which It is Too Early to Write Coherently

Dear Readers,

I am writing to you bright and early this morning because I was woken by a startling realization: my fashion sense is going down a scary route called Country Farmer. Okay, yes, the heat in my dorm coming on at 6:45 am with a horrendously loud clanking has something to do with my early wake-up. And okay, yes, my burnt fingers are throbbing a bit as I type this (Why must I always investigate possible heat through touch?), but the literal wake up call that my styling sensibilities lean toward the Old MacDonald end of things makes for a much more dramatic story. So let's go with that.

Anyway, if you're a longtime reader, you know me to a certain extent. I was already halfway there. I live in plaid flannel and jeans. My hair is perpetually messy. I have a soft spot for motorcycle and/or combat boots. But oh, it gets worse.

Those shoes I was lusting after the other day? It didn't take long to realize that I didn't really want winter wedges. Inconvenient for walking across campus, and - let's face it - I tend to wobble a bit on anything taller than about an inch. What I really wanted was another pair of lace-up boots. Brown ones. Ones that didn't come up as high as my combat boots. Ones that were a bit more rugged. Ones like these:

I ordered them last night. And I'm excited about them. Real live work boots made by a company best known for selling "hand-crafted, authentic cowboy boots since 1879." Oh, the shame! But you have to admit, the details on the front are pretty damn cute. Can't you just imagine them with black tights, thick socks, and plaid flannel?

See? Farmer, farmer, farmer!

Please don't shun me.

cornfield sunset

I had to dress up a little more for work this week for our bimonthly legislative breakfast. I wore a skirt earlier in the day with purple suede pumps and changed into black pants and lace up boots after work. This outfit was perfect for running errands and not looking like quite the bum I normally look like.
[jacket by f21, pants by silence+noise, lace up boots by deena & ozzie]
Photos by Becky Johns

channeling garth from wayne's world

I wore this fun outfit out with friends for a couple drinks last Friday. I added a military jacket since that particular night it was quite chilly. Once I got my dance on, I lost the jacket, drank my miller light and remembered a few key choreographed boy band dance moves when they played Backstreet Boys and N'Sync. Classy as usual.
Although it was quite disappointing that I couldn't partake in any New York Fashion Week festivities--I was in one of my best friend's weddings this weekend, which was one of the most fun weddings I've attended! And I am feeling less panic-stricken and anxious for a large one-day conference I'm planning at work. Last week was a busy and tough week, but I know I'll be in NYC for the next fashion week in February!
[top by zara, faux leather shorts by f21, tights by merona, lace up boots by jeffrey campbell, leather studded bracelets by tea accessories]

And It Happens Again

These shoes have caught my eye in a major way.

Aesthetically pleasing, comfortable-looking, versatile, and on sale for $44.99. At Kohl's, of all places. Am seriously contemplating adding them to my winter shoe collection (let's face it - boots are the best kind of shoe), but...

Can a poor college student (me) with three pairs of boots that merit regular rotation on her feet actually drop $50 from her dwindling bank account? Not until I get a job, I think. Which I am working on.

This is part of the reason my blogging isn't as regular as it used to be. I need the funds!

Also, let it be known that I lust over shoes on a regular basis. Only, these ones have me extra excited. Is it just me, or are they kind of perfect to pair with flannel on chilly days?

photography: bring your outfit shots to the next level!

I still consider myself a newbie blogger with my nine month old blog, but if there is one thing I've learned so far, it's that high quality, interesting photography can really elevate a blog. And it doesn't matter if you have a point and shoot digital camera or a DSLR with a handful of interchangeable lenses, there are plenty of tips to help anyone with any camera improve their photography techniques. I've asked one of my good friends, Haley to model for me to show you a variety of elements of composition.

To improve the quality of your photographs, think about lighting and composition. Incorporating these techniques into your outfit photos will them become stronger and more compelling images. 

Same location, different angle with camera. The first of these two is the strongest. It's cut off a bit here, but you can view the image by clicking on it to get to flickr to see the whole image. The lines in the first photo draw your eye to focus of the picture: Haley.
The repeating columns add more interest
Depth of Field
Whether it's a wide shot with lots of details in focus or a detailed shot with the background compressed, depth of field can add a lot to a photo. I prefer to shoot details with a short depth of field. 

I centered Haley in the center of the doors. I don't normally do a lot with symmetry, but it was actually a lot of fun to incorporate these different elements into my photography. It's something different for readers to look at as well instead of the same shot over and over again.
For me, this can be tricky. I wish I didn't cut her off so much in the second image, but it's all about trying and seeing what works and having fun with outfit shots.
I'm a huge fan of framing. You can frame anyone using anything. In this case, I stood on the side of a door and asked Haley to stand on the outside. I like the lines on the windows and wanted to frame her within them.
You can also play around with color, texture and lines. The example images for perspective is also a great example of utilizing lines.

One of the best ways to get beautiful images is playing with light. You can use natural light (what's coming through your window or shooting outside), available light (your lamps and other sources of light that aren't natural) or artificial light (using an sort of lighting kit.) Natural light is my absolute favorite. Most of my outfit shots are taken outside and if they are taken inside, I utilize window light. This is all personal preference of course. My advice with light would be to not take photos in direct sunlight. It's harsh and unflattering. If you must shoot on a super sunny day, find some shade or shoot earlier in the morning or later in the evening before the sun reaches its peak in the sky.

Taking a variety of shots is just as important as the shots themselves. Make sure you take full body shots, portraits and detail shots of interesting pieces of your clothing.
And if it's a moment captured, it's ok if it's not technically sound or following any rules. Sometimes, it's just important to capture the fun stuff.
If anyone has specific questions, feel free to email me at kerbuski@gmail.com. I'd be more than happy to help! A lot of you may already know most of this, but hopefully it was useful for a couple people!