Sunday, March 9, 2014

ask me anything: fashion

This is the last installment of Ask Me Anything and it's all about shopping, style, and fashion. You can read the parts about questions about my life here, and medical school here.

Trend (blogging or fashion) that you just want to go away?

I really find the whole dressing for the blog thing over the top. I love seeing what people wear in their real lives, so when I know that people don't actually dress in real life the way they do on the blog, I lose interest right away. Also pictures with coats over shoulders instead of having their arms in the sleeves. Why?

And neon :/

If you layer an outfit with a coat (like the latest & greatest military coat trend) - would you wear it at work as well or do you take it off and just wear the shirt underneath? 

I think you'd just the coat as a normal coat....just a really cute one! And then you take it off when you get to work. 

How do you dress so well? You always look so put together. I love your layered looks and you don't ever look frumpy. You appear to be a real human being (in that you have hips and other curves and aren't a size 2 model) and I think you look fabulous. What are your best tips and tricks for dressing a "real" body and where do you find your style inspiration? 

First of all, thank you, that's so sweet of you to say. Don't let blogs deceive you though - most just show what we want you to see. Most days I stand in front of my closet and even though I like the clothes in there, I struggle with what I want to wear.

I've learned over the years what is more flattering on my body type, so that helps. I know that cap sleeves don't look good on my arms, I need shirts that are more fitted, neck lines that are generally v-necked, no high waisted pants, and I like to have my feet/ankles exposed a little bit. Having a few general rules like that help with shopping and therefore getting dressed in the morning. I try to stick to a certain color palette where the items all can go together, so that definitely helps too (you can read more about that process here). I have found a lot of style inspiration from Pinterest, but also from my mother, real life friends, and blogging friends

I am wondering if you can provide me some insight on how to address my "pooch"! I'm short (about 5'2") and am a size 12 and it's hard for me to find dress pants that don't show off my tummy! Any advice would be greatly appreciated! 
I hear you on the pooch - I think everyone has a little one that needs a little camouflaging. My biggest pieces of advice are to find pants with a little thicker material - I hated the J.Crew Minnie pants on me because they provided no support or "sucking in", but have really enjoyed my skinny pants from the Limited as they have a bit more structure. I also wear these tank tops under everything I wear as they keep everything looking a bit more smooth in the waist and hips. My last tip would be to use tricks to draw the eye up - either statement necklaces or a great pair of earrings always draw more attention than a little pooch that most wouldn't notice anyway :)

What are your absolute favorite top 5 wardrobe essentials (with brand info etc..)

These white tees from Everlane, this navy blazer, dark blue skinny jeans (I love my Madewell pair that I found on the sale rack for $30), a dress that goes with everything, and the perfect pair of black flats

Best stores for someone of your height/body type-ish? 

Stores that sell items in tall - places like Gap Inc, J.Crew, and Madewell. Clothes there tend to run a bit on the longer side, which helps when you are a little taller than average (I'm only 5'9'' but I still struggle with finding items that are long enough on me)

What do you look for in a blazer? I have a hard time finding ones that don't make me look boxy. 

I feel you - I find that buying blazers seems to be so much more difficult than it needs to be. I think blazers with 2 buttons instead of one are more flattering as it helps with the boxiness of blazers. I also generally buy blazers online because I am more likely to find them in tall sizing, so they are a bit broader in the shoulders, and have longer sleeves. If nothing else, you can always buy a blazer where it fits you properly in the shoulders/hips, and then have a tailor take in the waist (which is what I did with this blazer). 

Could you do a quick list of what your closet consists of now that you have been spending more time deciding what to purchase? I have done a huge purge and I'm a little overwhelmed now that it's time to replace so much.

I am actually planning on doing a post on that in the next few weeks. Just remember that it took you years to accumulate a closet full of items you didn't really love, so it may take even longer to fill it back with clothes you really do enjoy wearing. Start with the basics of what you feel you really need (work pants, appropriate tops, a few fun accessories), and work from there. 

Although personal, what are your usual sizes at the stores you shop at? I find a lot of your outfits cute and love how they look, but I wonder if they will fit the same for someone of a slightly smaller size.

I'm between a 10 and 12 in most stores, and generally wear a size large. 

How do you do laundry? Like, how do you keep your nice pants looking new and crisp? How to you wash your cardigans and knits without them going out of shape? And how often do you clean your bags?

The biggest iron. I generally don't have the best laundering habits except whites are washed with whites, and the darks are washed together with the detergent made for dark clothing. I wash and dry everything that isn't dry clean only (very few of my clothing is), and then must make sure to hang it up right away. The only items I'm particular about are the wool items as I made the mistake once of putting a new wool sweater in the dryer. I iron my school pants and my button ups, and keep everything neatly hung in my closet. As far as bags, I generally clean them once a season before packing it away in its dust bag.

How do you know when to hit certain stores for sales? I've not quite mastered dominating sales and doubling up on coupons yet. :)

I don't know if there is a real trick to sale shopping that I can share. I sign up to receive emails from most of my favorite stores so I can keep up on what the current sales are. My general rules are though that I won't buy anything at Gap Inc. unless it's at least 30% off because there is always a sale around the corner. I shop the J.Crew extra % off sales a lot as you can get some great pieces without spending what they wanted for the pieces initially. Sometimes you have to weigh the options of losing out on something you really like versus saving a few more cents waiting for another sale to roll around though - it's definitely a game!

If you had to pick one outfit that is your absolutely favorite since you started Franish? 

I really liked this outfit from a few weeks ago and this one from November.

I would love to know your favorite/can't live without beauty/hair/make-up products. I think this would make a great post! 

I have been meaning to do a "can't live without posts" for a while, so in preparation for that, I would say my favorite hair product is this from Kiehls, this mascara from Smashbox, and this eyeliner from Stila.

Is the dress code enforcement different than what you imagined?

It's a lot more laid back that I initially thought, although it's mostly peer moderated (and judged). I don't wear tights in the warmer months, and we can wear ankle pants without being scolded, but we still do have to look "professional" although that does seem to have different meanings for different people.

How are your feet adjusting to heels all the time? 

I haven't worn heels this winter in fear of falling, and mostly because I'm lazy, but wearing wedges instead of heels has really been my go to. I love my 2 pairs from J.Crew Factory though, and plan on wearing them plenty this spring!

Where did you get your glasses?

My aunt is an optometrist in Germany (Die Brillen Galerie in Goettingen!) and she gave me these glasses. They are from the brand S. Oliver.

all pictures via instagram!