Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tour de France 2009

It has been about 15 weeks since I left for France. Yeah, I know. A bit late. Nonetheless, here it is! A little taste of mon voyage...

Le Hallier

Yes. Ed's grandparents own a chateau near Orleans, complete with a moat, a neighboring farm (we are talking cows, bulls, sheep, chicken, dogs, the works), a few lakes for fishing, and some gardens. I'm not typically a fisher, or a farmer for that matter, so it was difficult to know how to dress for the daily events. On one hand, I'm in France meeting much of Ed's family for the first time, so I want to look at least half decent. On the other hand, I am literally in the middle of the forest mushroom picking and wading into the lake to catch a massive fish; I certainly can't wear a Diane von Furstenberg dress with pumps. My go to gear this week was a forest green rubber pair of boots (compliments of Ed's grandmother), a graphic tank from Martin and Osa, and an American Apparel skirt (sometimes traded in for very heavy duty jean shorts when the fishing got serious).

Mr. Bull didn't like me too much.

"the living quarters"

Our fish!

After Orleans, we stopped in Paris a few days to meet up with some friends and visit Ed's awesome and extremely accommodating cousin, Pierre Antoine. We got a few drinks at a bar near the Eiffel Tower, and then went to this delicious creperie stand. Don't laugh, but I am actually wearing a tank and skirt from French Connection here. I love the stripes of the shirt and the pattern of the skirt together :) There was a lot of walking taking place, so I wore my used and abused white (turning grey) converse along with my Ithaca farmer's market bag. Its surprising the amount of comments you get just because your bag says NY on it. Actually, as a result of this trip and my general incapability to communicate with ANYONE, I am taking french at Cornell this semester, and loving it.

Pierre Antoine!

We also went to Montmarte where this is an extremely beautiful view of all of Paris, and some interesting characters dancing, singing, painting, drawing, or just about anything to get people's attention. I wore my multi-functional American Apparel skirt, Martin and Osa tiger tee, and a black belt from BCBG. The scarf I actually bought that day, so I just stuck it on... I think a scarf can add a lot to an outfit. It always adds that something that I was looking for in an outfit that seemed off. Its a great way to easily (and affordably) take ordinary clothes and make an exceptional outfit.

Ed and I at some point during this trip made our way to Chambort, a spectacular castle near Orleans. It was my favorite castle that we visited this summer (there were a lot, trust me). There is an incredible double helix staircase that has two entrances on the bottom and the two flights of stairs spiral around each other all the way to the top floor. It is incredible. If you are ever in the area, make sure to stop by because pictures don't even come close to doing this place justice.

A small picture of the staircase

We then took a train to Toulouse, stayed there a few days, and then drove to Tours to meet back up with Ed's family. One day, we biked to Villandry, a castle known (at least by me) for its gardens. It had fantastic grounds with at least 6 different sections of gardens. They had the most interesting stuff...

For example, this flower that looks like an egg!

I felt the need to include the fact that the place we stayed at in Tours had these two massive bears staying there. By bears I mean dogs, Newfoundlands to be more precise. They weighed around 200 pounds each, and immediately captured my heart. Here is the backyard of the house we stayed at...



Finally, we went stayed at a beach house in Royan for the last week. The ocean couldn't have been more amazing and we really lucked out with the weather. The trip in a whole was incredible... I just wish I could say I learned more french!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Classic Summer

You know those days where you get up and really don't feel like wearing anything special? You know... you wake up, and for some reason it reached a low of 110 and a high of 190 degrees during the night, your hair is plastered to your head from sweat and you know that whatever clothes you're about to put are going to do the same. Maybe that's just me, but its a classic summer experience in the life of Meghan Brown. Times like these, I just reach for that classic summer outfit that probably every teenage girl has been wearing all summer: a tank top and shorts. No belt, minimal jewelry, perhaps a bra. However, just because these clothes may seem average, the look doesn't need to be.

To give it a different look than the millions of other students in Ithaca during the summer, I put on my "extra stretchy = extra comfortable" high=waisted shorts and a red tank top from Target. The shorts are so old I can't remember where they're from and there is no longer a tag... maybe its from Lord and Taylor or somewhere in the city. My shoes are a pair of converses that have really fun multi-colored splotches on them. The different style of short and a punch of color in my sneakers and the scarf (which I only wore in my air-conditioned office) made the outfit spot on in my book. Its so easy to give some visual interest with an unexpected (aka less popular) cut, such as high-waited anything.

Later in the day, we stuck a tie that was lying around the office with the outfit instead of the scarf and that gave it a little bit of an edgier punk look. I'm not sure I'd personally wear this out for the day on a normal basis, but that's just a personal preference. I think it looks pretty cool, its just not quite my style. Make your clothes suit your style to say something about yourself, without having to even say a word.

Extremely busy on my last day of work!

Next stage of my summer: 3 week trip to France with my boyfriend and his family (they're all French). Stay tuned for regular updates on my trip and the fashionable French!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Business Casual

Me with my new phone! Very official.

Rachel and I were invited to a dinner event at Cornell the other night. However, this was the same night that I decided to get a new phone. After dealing with Frank from Verizon for over 2 hours, I had negative 10 minutes to get ready for the event. Seeing time was short, I put on a really simple, no fuss outfit. The navy pencil skirt is one of my nicer and classier items from Ralph Lauren (that 50% discount contributed a great deal to the purchase) and the top is a soft cotton tee with pretty, flowy sleeves. I thought they looked pretty elegant together. To dress it down a bit, I put on a big brown belt and my white Dolce Vita sandals. It isn't my usual colorful patterned outfit (I typically have at least one patterned article on), but the small details such as the belt and the flare sleeves give it a punch, while the conservative colors make it appropriate for a business event.

Heather's belt

I'm not sure where the belt is from... it's a hand-me-down from my older sister, Heather, who has probably influenced my personal style more than I know. I don't have any idea where she gets all her things - she used to live in the city. I'm pretty sure I've never seen anyone better dressed though. The belt is awesome with several brown leather "leaves" attached in the front. I think the leaves complemented the draped sleeves quite nicely. Of course, I only now notice a lot of these things - it can be so much easier to critique a picture rather than something in real life. Maybe if people had a picture of themselves to see before they went out, they would realize how they actually look to an outside person, see what looks great, and what could maybe be changed. I suppose people don't really care they much, but trust me... looking the part is half the battle.

The bag was one of my purchases in Chicago from French Connection. It was on sale for $20 and it fits much more than I thought it would. Go little bags that hold a lot!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Windy City


I flew to Chicago this weekend to visit my long-standing boyfriend, Edouard Boulat. It was a jam-packed weekend, and unfortunately (or maybe its a good thing) I don't have pictures of all the activities. But I shall describe: 

Day 1 (Friday): I skipped work (not that my presence really makes a difference there), but I had to get up at 4:30 AM to catch my plane. Getting dressed that early can be rough... all you really want to do is sleepwalk to the car and curl into a little ball. However, we were all raised to be classier than that. You should be well-dressed and put together when you travel. My ancient grandmother would always have a stellar traveling skirt suit while traveling, and always had an alternate Pucci outfit to change into at a moments notice in her bag. Also, after many years of traveling with a team, I've gotten used to a certain standard to dress while traveling: dress code. Never fear! You can be comfortable and look at least composed while traveling... a girl's got to get her sleep on that 5AM plane or who knows what kind of monster is going to arrive at the terminal. I usually wear a loose fitting dress with a belt that can be adjusted (loosen the belt while sitting on plane) or a cute elastic skirt. This time, I wore some nice stretchy jeans with a warm, comfy, but still cute tee from Urban and my sweater material blazer. All very comfy and simple items, but together they make a solid outfit. I slept great on the plane... however I fell asleep at 8PM that night and woke up at 10PM the next day. New record. 

Day 2 (Saturday): Shopping in downtown Chicago! Ed and I headed to the Water Tower Mall, which is one of the largest and most awesome malls I've been to. The bottom floor is this really intense food area where you can get any kind of food you want. Trust me - its great. We were going to go to the beach after shopping, so I needed a pretty versatile outfit for the day. I put on a bold, bright strapless sundress and my thin brown belt for a really easy look. Dress is that urban renewal line from Urban Outfitters. Looking back on the things I wear, I now feel like a weird walking billboard for Urban. Hopefully no one can tell. It went great from downtown to the beach, although some of the wind that the city is known for tried to blow my dress up. Sometimes I wear little spandex shorts under my dress to avoid embarrassment and it makes it easier to bike around. 

My purchases!!

The bracelet I wore with it.

Ed!! (I like his suicidal gasoline pump shirt...)

and I love these shoes. Pretty cool colors.

Day 3 (Sunday): We went to Six Flags with Ed's little sister (aka the love of my life), Victoire. It was awesome, I got some not so sweet tanlines from the French Connection tank I was wearing. For places like theme parks and water parks - I just dress as simply as possible. Tank and jean shorts are all you need. Then we went to this grass roots/folk festival that is pretty famous in Chicago. The music and food was great - there was southern cooking, corndogs, chicago deep dish pizza, vegan cuisine, malt ice cream truck, indian food, funnel cake... the works. It was a really fun, interesting end to the weekend!!

Victoire and I at the festival. 

Ed and I after the waterpark.

The Boulats!!!

The crowd... quite a group.

Yey awesome French band. 

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Threadless Mini Golf Excursion

There is this really great store that I found in Chicago called Threadless. I don't think it has a physical location anywhere but in that state, but it is an online great. Average folk can make a design for a t-shirt, send it to the Threadless site, the design is voted on, and the best ones get made into awesome, hysterical, fun tees of all colors. The shirt I'm wearing is a rainbow colored man on the back holding a large rainbow colored bouquet of beautiful flowers. Its old and getting a little gross, but I love it. Remember: I love colors.

During the day I wore some purple shorts with it, but I changed into my favorite Ralph Lauren green pants (that I got from the RL Mansion in the city - yeahh 50% employee discount). By the way, in case you hadn't noticed, I wear this brown belt with almost everything. I don't know why, but I think a splash of brown really adds to an outfit - makes it look whole and adds something visual. There is clearly no practical need for a belt seeing my pants are typically too tight to fit my keys in.
My co-workers and roommates all gathered to go mini-golfing. It was great - we loved the pirate theme:
Mexican afterwards was quite the event. I was.... hungry.

Check out for tons and tons of really cool and fun tees and hoodies. They're great!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Shirt or Dress?

I'm personally not a spandex as pants person. Perhaps it's because I'm forced to live in spandex as a runner in Ithaca, so I refuse to wear them when it is not necessary. In any case, I therefore have nothing to wear those weird tunic shirt things with. Sometimes I can pull it off as a dress, but then if I lean over too far it's slightly inappropriate. It looks really bulky and weird if I try to wear it as a shirt, so that's a no go.
It's been a pressing issue in my life that I am forced out of a whole category of clothes (tunics) simply because I'm not the biggest fan of spandex. Determined to find a use for it, I bought a cute striped tunic tank from Urban. That day, in the window of a store the other day I saw the answer. Layer it. I'm a huge fan of layering. It's how you weave ordinary clothes into an interesting look. The answer was so obvious. So, I took a really simple strapless dress and put my new tunic on over it, belted it, and voila! I also put on my "gladiator sandals" (as my boyfriend, Ed, calls them, even though they aren't - ah well, can't teach them everything). I got them at Lord and Taylor, the King of Shoes in my opinion (get it - Lord...King... funny pun). Got to love their sales. It's a really easy, comfy outfit, and a huge relief for me. I finally have a use for those strangely lengthed clothes!

And this is what I do at work all day, honestly:

We went for a walk/run/play around campus!! Yey!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My Inspiration of the Day

Big news: Urban Outfitters has finally arrived to Ithaca!! To celebrate, my roommate Emma and I promptly arrived at Urban at 11AM to sneak in some shopping before the holiday weekend. We both came away with some really awesome pieces. You really have to integrate the pieces you get there into your pre-existing wardrobe well, because if you wear all urban sometimes you risk looking too hipster or poser-ish.
Emma got this really cute Saint Tropez tee there and decided to wear it today. Normally, people put t-shirts with a cute pair of jean shorts and while there is worth in that, it's an average outfit. T-shirts aren't distinct enough to wear with some jeans and end up with a fun, unique outfit, no matter how awesome the print/pattern on it is. However, Emma put her cute tee with a really versatile skirt from Target (pronounced Tar-je) that matched perfectly with her top and then some brown boat shoes and a tan/white striped cardigan to mix up the colors a bit. I really like the two striped pieces together because both stripes are subtle enough that they complement each other rather than compete. Here's Emma in all her awesomeness - certainly my inspiration of the day:
Also, this is what I wore today. It's and old dress from the city (I love grey and yellow together) with a pair of my favorite summer boots that can scrunch up from Lord and Taylor, and my tiger jacket from Rugby Ralph Lauren (the place where I used to work: - look it up! Don't be alarmed by the preppy appearance of the website - the pieces separately can be really awesome, you just have to search.) I think the tiger jacket really makes the outfit, because you can't really beat a tiger :)