my style: scarf it up

You will never guess what I wore today, folks! (I really need some sort of term of address for you, dear readers. T.Lo have "kittens," maybe you should be "kitschens." Must investigate further.) Just yesterday, I was thinking about scarves. I have never worn a scarf, I thought to myself. Then I steeled myself. I will blog about my desire to wear a scarf and pledge to do so in the next week. Well, hold onto your pickles, because I wore a scarf today.

awww yesss (Sorry for these ridiculous self-taken mirror shots, my roomies never seem to be home when I want to show off my outfit!)

I was trying to figure out what to wear to class, and settled on a newer purple top. It came with a fabric necklace that I'm not a huge fan of, so I know I need to accessorize it another way. I'd worn my go-to necklaces a few too many times to this class, and I wanted to change it up. Suddenly, I spied the scarf my sister had given me for my birthday! Just the right color and with some fabulous ruffles, I suspected that today was the day, the time was now (then), and I would feel like a French butterfly wearing my scarf. And it was true: I felt chic and fabulous!

I'd always thought that wearing a scarf would be difficult. It seems like one of those effortlessly chic things that in fact take a whole lot of effort, like putting on enough makeup to make it look like you aren't wearing any or those adorable little boots that will secretly eat your feet, leaving naught but blistered stumps in their wake. But it turns out, wearing a scarf is...just wearing a scarf. Wrap it around your neck and go.

There are other bloggers who have tons of great ideas on how to wear scarves (I've spent the past twenty minutes trying to track a particular post down for you, but it's not happening. Bitter failure!), and I would definitely recommend checking out a few of those or a few youtube videos if you're unsure of how to wear it. I've only just had my first scarf-wearing experience today...I'm pretty sure I'm not yet qualified to comment!

Most importantly, I paired my scarf and top with black jeans and these beautiful babies:

SO Glorianna Ankle Boots in houndstooth

When I first saw these in a catalog, a nearby dog spontaneously grew human vocal chords and said "Jennifer, you were meant to own these boots." True Story. I adore them.

Opinion Time! I know a lot of blogs rely heavily (or even solely) on "What I Wore" posts. Fickle Kitsch is never going to be a photodiary of my every fashion statement, but would you be interested in seeing some outfit pics when I've got one I'm particularly happy with? Let me know!

the right stuff: business chic for the tragically stylish

I was all ready to come home from the Networking Fair and give you a post extolling the virtue of sweatervests (or vestsweaters, as they may also be called). But my fabulous roomie both read and expanded my mind with a request for a post about appropriate (but awesome) businesswear. She has a real point; especially for those of us who are heading into the world of non-uniform-providing jobs, it's very important to know what to wear in a business setting. Blah, boring, and black are often words that come to mind, but there are ways to be staid without being a snore.

The most important word to remember when you're thinking about businesswear is pieces. Versatile pieces are definitely a key concept in every wardrobe, but for businesswear, they become even more necessary. A few key high-quality items of clothing will be able to provide you with a fine basis for your working wardrobe.


Everyone who works in an office should own at least one buttondown shirt. That's just the law (seriously). I would probably have at least one white one, and a few others of appropriately muted colors and patterns. Blouses are great, as long as they aren't too revealing. Basically, in an office setting, the general rule is to attract as little attention to yourself as possible based on your clothes. You obviously want to draw everyone in with your brilliant ideas, stunning work ethic, and exceptional personal magnetism--you just need to look professional while doing it. My very subjective and easily contradicted guideline is this: if I would wear it on a date, I probably shouldn't wear it to work.

This isn't to say you can't have some fun or personality in your look. A great way to do this is with blazers. I love blazers. They are italicized forever in my heart. There are blazers (okay, I'll stop) in a variety of colors and styles; for the most part, you want one with darting on it, to give you some structure and keep you from looking too boxy.

blazers blazers blazers

One of the bonuses of blazers is that they allow you a little more fun with your under-blazer choices; a jewel-toned shirt might seem like too much on its own, but layered under a dark blazer, it's a sassy pop of color! Another great way to personalize your look is through the cunning use of vests. For the office in particular, I especially recommend sweatervests. Actually, I recommend sweatervests for pretty much anything. I'm wearing one right now!

They add an air of saucy nerdiness to an outfit, while still remaining very practical and appropriate. In more wintery times, a nice sweater (not one with a Santa Claus or any kind of puffball on it) can keep you warm during your commute and stylish in the office.


In my prior wardrobe essentials post, I showed a Polyvore set with some of my favorite pencil skirts. The pencil skirt is still the choice for office style in my book. A nice A-line is also acceptable, though stay away from anything too flouncy (as difficult as that is--we love the flounce!).


For work, pants should be black, brown, gray, navy, or some subtle pattern in those shades. I'm personally a huge fan of a faint windowpane pattern, which can add a kicky retro flair to the outfit.

As far as style is concerned, tight is obviously out. The office isn't the place to rock a pair of skintight anything, no matter how awesome they are. I'm personally a fan of wide-legged trousers for more formal situations, but whatever your preferred non-jeans pants are will be fine, as long as they fit properly. Ideally, you'd be able to go to a tailor to get them fitted perfectly to you, but hey, most of the time it's exciting to have enough money to get pants, let alone tailoring. For this reason, I usually choose to buy up instead of down. Pants that are a little too long can be counterbalanced with a heel, or hemmed, and if they're a bit loose in the waist, they can be held up with a belt. Never ever buy pants that are too short for you--they look ridiculous and honestly, if your shoes are having a party, they should invite your pants to come on down. You don't want to have rude shoes, do you?


Shoes can be a great way to show your individuality in the office, but you can't go overboard. It's fine to add a subtle pop of color (subtle is one of the buzzwords for office attire, if you hadn't noticed), but work isn't really the place for your hot pink stilettos or Ugg boots or anything made with lucite. Consider what you do all day: if you're going to be making copies, delivering mail, making calls, or on your feet for any appreciable amount of time, you'll probably want to pick lower heels. Sky-high heels and platforms are not appropriate for the office.


Less is more when it comes to office accessorizing. You still want to be fabulous, of course, but the place for your chunky costume jewelry is not your desk. A cute brooch is an easy way to add a little bit of fun to an outfit without looking unprofessional or "too much."

For the most part, it's always better to err on the side of "too little" when it comes to the office. I'm going to render everything that I've told you in this post useless and say: it really depends. Each office is going to have a different dress code and different standards of professionalism. The best way to know what's appropriate to wear is to look around and see what your coworkers are wearing (look to those who have been with the company longer; they'll have a better idea of what will fly and what won't). At one office, dangly earrings and a huge necklace would be fine, where at another, anything beyond gold studs is considered incredibly gauche. The same goes for pretty much any part of your office wardrobe.

So my real advice is this: take cues from coworkers to figure out what's appropriate (or ask your supervisor!), but the suggestions I've made here should help you play it safe in just about any office. I've tried to provide a general guide of pieces you should look for and what sorts of things you can build a professional wardrobe on. Any questions, class? (Hope this helped, bb!)

wishing and hoping

Cirque Party Dress from ouma

Dreamy and gorgeous. I'd like the skirt a bit shorter, closer to knee-length and, magically, the seller is willing to fully customize the measurements of the design. Definitely putting this on my wishlist!

(Trying the short post thing...good for you?)

yikes stripes: blogging slowdown (not a hodown)

First off, I want to apologize for the ridiculous blogging slowdown that's been going on at Fickle Kitsch. My senior year is taking up a lot more time than anticipated--yowza! I've also been doing almost exclusively long, writing-intensive posts that do take a while for me prepare. So I wanted to ask my fabulous readers: would you prefer I stick with the sporadic longer posts or would you like to see more short posts with the long ones still mixed in? I'd like to post more, but not if just seeing a pair of shoes I'm gaga over isn't enough meat for you. Let me know in the comments!

But I do still have a lot of stuff in the works! Upcoming, I've got a piece about stylish business wear, another Fictional Fashion Icon, and a series that goes a little more in-depth with makeup. I'm also considering working some recipes and housewares in: yay or nay?

I'll be back soon...stay fickle! ♥

friday fix

It's a lovely Friday afternoon, and while I write a story about surrealist typewriters for my fiction workshop, I feel the urge to look at pretty things. Have a look, and then have a great weekend ♥

Photo thanks to projectrungay

I would so wear Mondo's entry from this week's PR. And am I the only one who can't help thinking of him as a young, especially flamboyant Gomez Addams?

Photo thanks to pretty space

Those pillows are so adorable, they're driving me bonkers. (I originally reblogged this picture over on my tumblr. Follow me there to see pretty pictures all week long!)

Available here

Pinup Girl Clothing has been one of my favorite "look and lust" websites for years now. If I could outfit myself entirely in their dresses, I would.

What pretty things are you looking at this fine Friday?

kiss and makeup: out the door in four

Disclaimer: I am definitely not a makeup guru. I don't get paid to put it on, and I probably don't even own enough (YET) to be counted a true devotee. But two of my friends told me upon returning to school that they'd considered makeup purchases over the summer, but wanted to wait and get my opinion on it--so I think I have dispensation to give a little bit of advice.

I considered doing a "my five" makeup post, but I didn't want to be limited because to talk about makeup! So I've started a new feature, kiss and makeup, to dole out the little tips/tricks/thoughts I've gotten from wearing makeup, watching Youtube videos, reading books, all those special places. If there's a specific topic you'd like me to go into more deeply, let me know! Leave me a comment, send me an e-mail, tweet me -- any way you can!

For the first post, I thought I'd take on that most classic realm of makeup talk: the "five minute face." Because I like rhymes, I decided not to call my post that, but it's the same concept. Quick, easy makeup that's perfect for class, summer, and any time you're running out the door without a lot of time to put on makeup and probably not in need of too much look.

one: powder your nose
For most of us, there's no reason to put on a full foundation or even a full face of powder for everyday/casual looks. Dust some powder over your "problem" areas--I tend to get red around my nose and cheeks--or skip it all together. No one in your Contemporary Women Poets or Contagious Diseases class is going to notice your complexion isn't perfectly even. You don't need a full face of makeup on to leave the house. Promise.

two: walk the line
I'll talk more in depth about eyeshadow in another post, but if you're really at a loss for time: skip it! Use a colorful (but forgiving) eyeliner instead! Lately I've been rocking Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in El Dorado. I'm really enamored of the Glide-Ons because they do what it says on the box: glide on. So far, it's the only brand of eyeliner I can actually wear (I have really sensitive crybaby eyes that don't like to be prodded) and I don't mind because the colors are fantastic. A touch of El Dorado gives me a slight pop of color without making me feel overdone for just running to class or the store.

three: fifteen lashes with a wet noodle
There are amazing mascaras that, with a primer coat and a few minutes of teasing, will give you sky-high lashes (I think that's actually the promo for one). That is not the mascara you want when you have seven minutes to get to class and you don't even know where your shoes are. We all have "out on the town" makeup, but though nighttime makeup and daytime makeup is mostly a distinction of application, not product, it really can make a difference. If you're going to put on mascara everyday, it's worth getting an "everyday" mascara with which you can get your desired results quickly and easily. Alternately, you need mascara that can do both. I've used UD's Big Fatty mascara in the past, but I'm currently enamored of plain-old Covergirl Lashblast. If I sit and wiggle-flick my lashes into submission, I get lush, dark volume, but it only takes two brushes over my lashes to thicken them up and get them as ready as I need them to be.

four: choose your poison
Lips can really tie a look together, turn up the volume, or just chillax. It all depends on your style and what you want to do with them. For your fast and dirty going-to-class look, stick with one product. You might go with lipgloss: it's fast to put on, forgiving, and makes your lips luscious in mere moments. But lipgloss is also often ultra-sticky, so if you're wearing your hair down, be prepared to tug it off your lips every few minutes. Maybe you want lipstick: not quite so fast, but it can make a look fancier/louder without too much extra effort. It does have a the possibility of dressing you up too far; lipstick draws attention. Maybe you just want a tinted balm or maybe you're just going to go without. The important thing is that you don't have the time to craft the perfect lipstick + gloss combo -- figure out what goes and then go with it.

And with those four, you'll be out the door in approx. 4 minutes. If you're late for class/work/lunch/function/hearing because you trusted this guide, just send 'em to me and I'll set things straight.

mix it up: i cooked!

I won't lie: fashion is not my only passion (though it is the only one that rhymes so neatly). And while this blog is primarily about gawking at pretty things, I think that lots of things are pretty. And happy to be shared! So if the odd bit of food or interior design pops up here, just chalk it up to "lifestyle" and indulge me?

Okay, mostly I'm just really proud of food I made and I wanted to show you:

So I have a pretty crummy camera, but you get the idea! I made bruschetta and it was super easy. I mixed a tablespoon of olive oil with some crushed basil my roommate was drying over the stove and a minced clove of garlic (the recipe also called for fresh chives and lemon juice which would have been fabulous, but I didn't have that, so it didn't go in!), then mixed in a diced red onion and a tomato. (The fact that the onion was from the Farmer's Market and the tomato from my garden at home definitely helped it taste delicious.) Then I just let it sit while I toasted up some french bread in a buttered skillet and, boom! Bruschetta was mine, and it was good.

This bruschetta made me want to not be wearing denim shorts and a t-shirt while I sat on the couch and noshed. It made me want to sit next to the window at a cute little cafe, wearing one of those casual dresses, you know the kind, with the effortlessly cute cotton tank on top of an adorable skirt. Hair gathered into a loose bun on the nape of my neck to show off some pretty dangling earrings, but otherwise clean and simple. We're just having a casual but immensely chic dinner, of course.

In fact, I think I would want to wear something like one of these:

bruschetta date I guess it ended up being about fashion after all!


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