Sunday, October 20, 2013

Pretty in Prints

Prints have been huge this year and I hope they carry over to Fall and Winter.  Fall is almost here in eastern NC.  It's still in the mid seventies most days, which is nice because it means I can keep wearing my sandals for another week or so.  Though I do have some new leggings stockpiled and waiting in the wings to wear with boots soon.  Sometimes drab and neutral, fall clothes get me a little bit down, but I am looking forward to watching my razor collect dust during the coming cold months.  (Thanks, Leggings!)

I ordered this great mixed paisley print dress from Zulilly.  It was manufactured in India, though there was no manufacturer name label inside, so I can;t tell you where to get one of your own.  I love the bright colors, grass green is a pretty close runner up to orange ad my favorite color.  Since my dress came from India, I decided to pair it with some green bead earrings that Rachael brought back form her recent trip to India. The best kinds of friends to have are the kind that buy you accessories!

Lane Bryant Cardi, Naturalizer Sandals

These shoes make me feel so tall!

We will be switching gears to fall clothes coming up.  Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 14, 2013

From Paris with Love!

Greetings Horizontal Stripers!
Fall is in the air! The leaves are changing colors, pumpkin spice is in everything, and the days are getting shorter. Unfortunately around here, the weather hasn't really made up it's mind! We have gotten a few cool days, but the rain always follows, or the temperature decides to jump back up! What's the cure for fickle weather? To join the jet set, of course!

This combo is perfect for a morning walk along the river Seine!
 The Lourve is another fantastic idea!

 And the reward for looking fabulous and getting fit?

Baguettes, and croissants, and eclairs, Oh my!
     Even though my Parisian excursion was imaginary, these on trend pants are not! Rock an ankle length pant, and don't be afraid to add some volume on top since they are tapered at the bottom! Keep your wellies and umbrella in the car, just in case of emergency or last minute vacation! Until next time, au revoir, and in the immortal words of B*Witched, C'est La Vie!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Over the weekend I headed up to Asheville, NC for my college reunion at Warren Wilson College.  (Asheville, btw is a magical place that all of you should visit before you die.  It's beautiful and full of friendly, interesting, and unusual people.)  I'm not a particularly nostalgic or emotional person, so I was surprised that visiting my old campus actually made me a bit melancholy.

Prior to our reunion dinner, I received a card in the mail along with the invite asking me to write down the craziest thing I had done while attending WWC.  And I couldn't think of a single thing.  I have never been much of a risk taker and I would probably describe myself as a bit of a wallflower during my college years and being back there reminded me of good times and old friends, but it also reminded me of all the insecurities I had back then, and how I let those insecurities keep me from really living my life to the fullest.

My visit also had me reflecting a bit about my style back then.  It was pretty typical hippie-college style back then, flare leg jeans, sandals or clogs, and whatever clean top that was nearby.  I rarely wore make-up and never shaved and I always looked slightly disheveled like someone who just woke up from a nap (mostly because I had probably, actually, just woken up from a nap).  I definitely blended it.  

These days I don't dress to blend in anymore, I wear what I like, whenever I want, wherever I want.  And I think it's an outward manifestation of the confidence I found/made in my late twenties and now my thirties.  If you asked me to fill out a card today about the craziest thing I have done, I could prob come up with a short list.  I'm still not the world's biggest risk-taker, but I'm not afraid to get out there and see and be seen anymore.  

There is only one constant from my style then to now and that's my affinity for cardigans.  (Well actually I still don't shave my underarms, is that considered a part of my style?.)  I always have and always will love me a cardigan.  I own dozens of them in every color imaginable.  I wear one practically every day; I even have some lightweight ones for summer months.  I have cropped ones and long boyfriend ones, prints and solids.  But lately the cardigans that I am most obsessed with are the super adorable, retro-inspired, Isaac Mizrahi Live!, cardis from QVC.  That's right QVC, you read it correctly.  His cardigans are well-made, come in fabulous colors and prints and so far I have three of them.  Behold:

Isaac Mizrahi Live! cardigan in ikat print, ASOS Curve dress, and Annie shoes.

I think I must've seen this pose in a JC Penney Catalog, it says "I'm sassy, but I take no guff."   

Another ASOS Curve desss with Naturalizer sandals.

Holding onto my sweater tight to keep it form blowing away like my hair.  ;)

I didn't get a picture of myself in this cardi, though it is probably my current favorite.  Can't you picture it with a pair of red trousers?  So cute for fall.

Until next time Stripers, make sure to give yourself permission to be who you really are, flaws and all. Whoever you are is enough and positively fabulous.

xoxo, Kelly

Monday, September 30, 2013

Let's go to the Beach! Let's Go Get Away!

Good morning!

Greetings Horizontal Stripers!

     I want to apologize for the long hiatus! Kelly and I went to relax and let our hair down, or rather put it up in a turban at the beach last week, and I relaxed so much I didn't properly blog. Please forgive me! Now we're back with tans, freckles, and ready to run our 0.0 marathon after all the of carbs we consumed. Time to get back to the business of Horizontal Stripes! We didn't make any fashion milestones unless you count the number of consecutive days we wore yoga pants, but we did have a great time! Check out our adventures below:

 Kelly, being the overachiever, showed us all up by learning to captain the USS Carbohydrate.

I, on the other hand, chose to overachieve in different ways.

For all you science nerds out there like me, guess who we saw scuttling around?

This guy! Hermie, the ghost crab 

We saw a lovely brick lighthouse, which was the first I'd ever seen that wasn't striped black and white.

Kelly and I joking around about how it must've been to trot out to the outhouse back in the day.
Speaking of trotting, meet Kelly's new wild horse friends: Sparkles, Rainbow, Cupcake, and Andrea!

    Last, but certainly not least, a montage of beach pictures

    There's nothing like being at the end of the earth to remind you of how small you are.  

    If you haven't made time to get away recently, don't forget to build in some R&R into your life. There's nothing more rejuvenating than getting away from life's stresses, even if just for a few days, to set things right with the world again. If that's not possible, remember to enjoy the simple things like a beautiful sunrise, or if you're not a morning person, the sunset's nice too! YOLO, so fill the time you've got with good food, good friends, and fabulous fashion!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Orange you glad?

Look, it's me, wearing more orange.  I don't know what it is with me and this color, but I can't get enough of it.  I was going through my clothes the other day and couldn't believe how much orange I have in my wardrobe.  It's starting to resemble Fred Flintsone's closet in there.

Lane Bryant cami, Asos skirt, Ralph Lauren madras clutch, Annie shoes.

Seriously, even the gemstone in my ring is orange.

One of my many orange dresses, this one is by Asos.

What colors are ya'll obsessed with, Stripers?   Please tell me that I'm not the only one with this problem.

xo, Kelly

Friday, September 13, 2013

Fitspiration: Friend or foe?

Greetings Horizontal Stripers!
     It's been a busy week for us at Horizontal Stripes. Though the weather isn't cooperating with my fall wishes, I haven't let the blistering sun deter me from going to the gym. There are many reasons that fitness is a beneficial piece in the puzzle of life. There are a bunch of health benefits that you can receive from working on your fitness -- more restful sleep, improvement in body systems, and having more energy during waking hours are just a few. Yesterday morning I did step aerobics for the first time in ages, and while it was tough, I felt better for the rest of the day, and I slept better than I had in ages. Getting back into my fitness groove has left me thinking a lot about fitspiration memes. For those of you who haven't heard of them, they are picture phrases that are supposed to be encouragement for exercise and healthy living, but can really send strong messages, some of which I'd consider harmful. There are some amusing ones like this one below:

or this cute and fun one:

But many of them follow along these lines:



      Now I'm certainly not trying to be Debbie Downer, but I do feel a responsibility to talk about this as someone who promotes body acceptance and likes many types of fitness. If these images are motivating for you, I am not trying to tell you, you're crazy. If you have trained and you look like this or your goal is to look like this, I am not telling you you're in the wrong.  My main concern with these images is best summed up by this article. There is a lot of fitness misinformation and misconception out there. It can prove to be dangerous, if you're not careful. Also, looking like the people above is not a guarantee for happiness, which is alluded to over and over in fitspiration around the web.
     The context into which these memes are put asserts that if you want to be considered healthy, you have to look like X. This is nothing new of course. We've seen something similar in fashion for years, and that mentality can definitely take a mental and emotional toll on individuals as studies have shown. With physical training though, there is also the possibility of injury if you are trying to do things your body can't handle, and many of these images have pushed people to injure themselves. Most importantly though, many of the fitness models (yes, models) that are in some of these memes are doing a million things to their bodies behind the scenes that the average Jane doesn't have the time or resources for. So don't beat yourself up, if you follow the Shape or Women's Health regimen of the month, and you don't experience similar results to our friends above. If you look like this naturally, kudos to you, I'm not hatin'! I do suspect, however that not too many of us are born with rippling muscles in these "idealized" proportions. 

If the above is true, then why is the only way to be "healthy" to look like the women above?  They are beautiful in their own right, please don't get me wrong, but just speaking personally, I could follow their routines to a T, and not achieve the same results. I look completely different from them to begin with. My point is to take these images with a grain of salt ladies and gents.  If you use the same products and do the same routines, there isn't a guarantee that your body will react the same way. Below I've rounded up a few pictures of some other women that are also beautiful and healthy and are working on their fitness.  

The US Air Force Volleyball Team 2008

They may be animated, but the message is true. Pole fitness is for everyone!

  Women's rugby teams know how to kick butt!

                           A Zumba instructor working her class hard, if the sweat is any indication!

 These Yogis are getting in some meditation.

She's got game!

     I hope no one takes this post as me bashing gym rats or those who want to look like fitspiration models. My point is what it always is: you don't have to try to look like anyone else to be healthy. Accept your body for what it is and be grateful for all it does for you everyday, instead of picking at every flaw you think you see. If you hate working out, you don't have to! That's up to you too! If you decide to though, just be safe and realistic with yourself. That will protect your mind and body. In closing, I will see you on the flip side Stripers. Keep calm, and take care of your bodies!


Monday, September 9, 2013

Hats off to Summer!

It's finally happened.....the end of summer.  Well, almost anyway.  Brittani and I still have one last hurrah planned before we dust off our leggings and boots.   In just 12 short days we are headed to the Outer Banks with some friends and family for a week of waves, sangria, and sunshine.  We can't wait.

 There's only one teeny weeny problem for me when it comes to the beach, sunburn.  I'm a pale, freckled, Scotch-Irish, girl and I can go from blindingly white to beet red in fifteen minutes.  I am not exaggerating.   I have found some great sunscreens over the years and I discovered that if you actually follow the directions on the back, they work really well.  ;)

But there is one place that I always, without fail, get sunburn and that is my scalp.  My side part will be hot pink by the end of a day in the sun.  I know you are thinking: why doesn't this lady just wear a hat?  Because I hate them, because it's hard to find hats that fit my boulder head, because they make me feel like an old lady, because on windy beaches they blow away.   What's that you ask, why don't I apply some of that magic sunscreen to my part?  Because it makes my hair greasy and flat and sad.  :(

So I have come up with the most stylish of all solutions, the turban!  All you need is a large square scarf and you too can protect your hair and scalp from damaging sun rays.

It took a little practice for me to get it right.



Square scarf folded in half, to make a large triangle.

90 degree corner to the front.

Bring both ends to the front, 

then tie.  Not too lose or too tight.  Maybe don't put the tag in the front.  ;)

Fold front corner back.

Tie ends again, over corner to hold it down.

We're getting there.

Tuck sides down.

Tuck loose ends under.


From the side.

Hello, stylish, sun-conscious, lady.

If you use a really large scarf, you will have to tie the ends and then pull them all the way back behind your head and tie them again.

Pull the front corner forward, 

Then tuck it back.

Once you get the hang of it, you can experiment with cool, asymmetrical looks and strange, facial expressions

In case you need some more inspiration, here's an instructional video about turbans from 1942.

xoxo, Kelly