May 26, 2013

DIY Debut

So... I made this dress.

I made it up as I went along, trying to copy another dress I have (without taking that one apart).  Of course, it ended up not really similar at all.  Someday I'll start using real patterns or slopers instead of winging it; for this one, I'm just happy that I was slow and careful and specifically not giving in to all the sloppy "eh, I can make it work" habits I've gotten into with my sewing projects.  Pattern-matching those stripes for a chevron in front wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, and I like how they work with the high-low hem. 

Dress: I made it! | Sweater: Anthropologie, thrifted | Shoes: thrifted

It was not really this warm out -- rather, it was fine in the sunshine but not warm enough inside my study -- for these bared legs and sandals, which I did not appreciate. So, most of the day was spent with leggings and socks for the cozies.  Wearing something that I made myself was empowering, and I think the pride ("Look what I can do! I totally rock at life right now") helped inspire me to a highly-productive day.

Inspired by Rachel's QUITEbeautiful campaign, I give you: my completely un-done-up face.  (Not that I normally wear much makeup...)  My siblings and I all have that crazy-high hairline; we call it the "Phelan phorehead."  We're also all covered in freckles -- why would I want to bury those under makeup?  (Although mine have long been covered by what I suspect is rosacea, that discrete red patch across cheeks/nose/low forehead -- perils of being a medical student, you think you've got every condition you study).  I've gotten more compliments on my teeth (?!) in the last six months than I ever imagined I'd get in a lifetime.  I've got laugh lines at my eyes and no stress lines in my forehead, and dang it if my collarbones aren't just the sexiest things ever. 

What's making you feel like you rock these days?  What parts of your un-done self are your favorites?

May 12, 2013


 As a way to mark the passing of time and celebrate all we have achieved at this half-way point, our school holds a pinning ceremony at the end of second year.  Usually it's like a mini-graduation -- some awards are given out, there are a few speeches, and one by one we march across the stage to receive a[nother] lapel pin for our white coats.

I attended last year's pinning in support of friends, but this time it was a particularly moving ceremony -- partly due to the events of the week, partly because it's now my future that's beginning to happen.  I've been doing a lot of thinking lately on my path in medicine, and the kind of doctor I want to be.  It seems like the more I know, the more I realize that there are even more questions needing to be answered before I can move forward.

Dress: Ross | Sweater: a Target brand, thrifted | Sandals: CL by Chinese Laundry, thrifted | Earrings: turquoise studs, I've had them forever | White Coat: courtesy of OPSC

It was nice to see almost everyone all polished up into their best doctor-y selves before we buckle down for boards preparations and then disperse to the four winds for rotations.  This dress was a last minute I-don't-have-anything-I-could-go-clubbing-in acquisition before our dance and basketball teams went to Vegas for the Big Game in March (a bit of a departure from my normal style, but with a sweater or the white coat, you'd never know), and the sandals got a ton of wear at conference-related social events in Orlando earlier this spring, since they're as dressy as heels but totally flat, making this an outfit full of memories of some of the very best parts of this year, and of medical school in general.

Is this spring a season of transition for you?  How are your reflections coloring your approach to your body and how you dress?

May 6, 2013


Though done with "real" school, there are still some things we need to learn before they turn us loose in the local hospitals.  As a result, I've spent the last couple of days in a workshop certifying in BLS/ACLS (which is short for What To Do When Someone Stops Breathing and Maybe Doesn't Have a Pulse -- and No, "Calling 911" Is Not a Sufficient Answer).  Ideally, we'd be doing the opposite of stopping hearts, but "Heart Re-Starting" just didn't have the same ring...

Dress: Express, thrifted | Tee: Target | Leggings: Target | Belt: thrifted | Shoes: Teva Fuse-ion via Sierra Trading Post

This...tunic? mini-dress? makes me feel like a sci-fi heroine.  A dropped waist is not a silhouette I often wear (I don't like how it looks on my curves, so I normally go for natural- or high-waisted), but the way this one slings on my hips make me feel like I should be packing a bandolier of bullets and strutting around in boots and leather.  A recent acquisition, I can't wear to bust it out with my adventure boots come fall.  Not a bad look, for learning to be a superhero...

Let me show you something that is actually heart-stopping (and allow me to brag shamelessly):

My little sister, prom 2011 / 2012 / 2013

First, the brag: I made the black & white dress!  (Technically, I made a maxi skirt, which she's wearing over a strapless sundress).  Second, I'm impressed: girl knows what she likes -- flowy strapless column dresses (without heels -- she really is that tall!), and the over-the-right shoulder hair -- and she knows how to work it!  And dang, is she thrifty.  I don't think she spent more than $100 total on three years of prom -- first was a refashion of a 1980s bridesmaid dress from mum's closet, second was thrifted, and third was DIY/use-what-you've-got.  Also, I can't get over how grown-up she looks!  Wasn't *our* prom not that long ago?  (Never mind, it's been nearly a decade since then.  When did that happen?!?)

How has your clothing made you feel lately?  Any fashion-induced reminiscings?  Do share!