Monday, November 10, 2014

Sporty Spice takes El Escorial

You really don't know luxury until you've seen what the mix of old money and political power can bring you. This past Friday, I took a day trip with the other students to town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. While there is actually another town called "El Escorial," this royal site is also simply referred to as "El Escorial." The palace here is massive. Massive. The type of big that is just flat out unnecessary. Sometimes when I walk into these old palaces, churches, and other buildings, it just strikes me that, in this day and age, no one would even think to build something so large.


That's literally like 1/32 of the building. Insanity. El Escorial was about two hours from Toledo and we had to take off on a cold, rainy morning. If you know me, then you know I'm not one to usually wear leggings. Provided that they're comfy, they're also not that interesting and don't really add anything to a look. I bought my second pair of leggings ever from Zara a few weeks back and they came in handy when I was rushing to leave that morning.

Since my leggings were so boring, I slipped on my Dope Boy Magic windbreaker to stay dry in the rain/stunt. This windbreaker was one of those pieces that I absolutely had to have. I dragged my best guy friend up to Fat Tiger Workshop, the brick and mortar storefront for DBM, Vita, & other streetwear brands, the day after the summer line dropped and snagged this gem. All of my pieces from DBM deviate from my typical, preppy-ish style, so I always like wearing them to mix things up. I really appreciate the humor and intelligence that goes into making a great piece of streetwear and the guys behind DBM are pretty great at finding the right balance. Fun fact: I was the first woman to buy this windbreaker #trendsetter.


From wearing this a lot over the summer in Chicago when I was messenger (don't ask...) and had to deliver stuff no matter rain or shine, I learned that it is the easiest way to draw attention to yourself. And that actually applies to my other DBM pieces, too. So, just so y'all know, if you don't want randos talking to you, you probably shouldn't step out in your Dope Boy Magic joints.

I'm missing home like crazy, so I love wearing things that remind of Chicago. You can take the kid out of Chicago, but you can't take Chicago out of the kid. Also, I love doing things that remind me of Chicago, like compiling a video of my friend bopping in palaces in Europe. Shoutout to Natalia. 

This is technically a men's piece, but the cut isn't particularly masculine; I don't feel like I'm wearing my older brother's jacket. This jacket and my other stuff from DBM and Vita Morte (RIP), are all smalls and the fit is solid. If you have the chance, I'd totally recommend taking a trip up to Fat Tiger Workshop. As mentioned in previous posts, I really like talking to those who had a hand in the production of pieces I'm buying. On any given day, you're bound to find one of the guys behind the brands in the store, which is pretty cool. 


Just taking a break from showing all of the peasants around my palace.


Big ups to Natalia for the pics. Her guest post will be going up this week, so watch out for that.

Keep up with my shenanigans on Twitter and Instagram, @all_worn_out.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Happy Birthday, Patsy!

Today is the day: my cousin Patsy's 40th birthday! As mentioned a few weeks ago, Patsy came over to Europe with me and my mom before the start of my study abroad program. Though Patsy is technically my cousin, she's more like a big sister. She comes on our family vacations, checks in on me and my siblings, and is straight up one of the coolest women I know. Shoutout to Patsy for being the best.

Patsy had a list of 40 things to by 40 and having a blog post written about her was one of them. So, clearly, I was more than happy to oblige. As a young woman myself, I realize how lucky I am to have someone like Patsy in my life. No matter what, I know she has my best interest in mind. Looking at her and all she has accomplished, just makes me want to work harder. I'm in college now and people really act like this is the end all, be all in terms of life planning. I always tell people that my cousin Patsy is an engineer by trade, but went back to school to get her PhD in Environmental Sciences. and that she is living proof that if you work hard and go after what you want, it all works out in the end. Also, beware that Environmental Sciences is the vague, Stephanie-isn't-smart-enough-to-explain-the- subject way to describe Patsy's work; it's really impressive, trust me on that.

When I first saw that picture of Patsy floating around Facebook, I literally said, "Okaaayy, truee!" Like, turn up. A girl can only hope that she's still out here stuntin' like Patsy when she's older. Let's be real, 40 has never looked that good. 

Also, throwback because Patsy's always been beautiful. 

Patsy, I'm sending my love and muchos besos from Spain! I hope today, and this year, bring you all you have wished for! 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Sweater (Vest) Weather

Hey peeps! I’m back again to show you another sweater weather style, featuring two special items I purchased here in Spain.


Today was chilly and cloudy, so I snuggled into my new deep maroon Pull & Bear turtleneck vest. Pull & Bear is a Spanish retailer based in Galicia that sells very hip clothing and accessories worldwide (though they have not yet arrived in the States) and I love their knits. This vest is soft enough to sleep in with a wide and high turtle neck—the perfect outer layer for a crisp autumn day.  

I wanted the vest to remain the statement of the outfit, so I decided to go monochromatic beneath. I paired my Pull & Bear with a simple charcoal cotton sweater and a pair of steel Joe’s jeans. (Joe’s jeans run on the pricey side, but they are very worth it if you are willing to splurge or can find a good sale!) The side-slits in the vest revealed a smooth gray-on-gray transition from top to bottom, letting the vest stand alone as the star of the outfit. Vale!
 The Spanish tile drop earrings I’m wearing were bought for me by my dad (who has impeccable taste) at an incredible flea market in La Latina, a bustling neighborhood in Madrid. The flea market is poppin’ every Sunday morning, and it seems to go for miles… the entire main street becomes packed shoulder-to-shoulder with locals and tourists alike, and along either side vendors sell everything from handmade leather goods to wooden children’s toys. The prices are very fair and many of the goods are one-of-a-kind; to any of you heading to Madrid anytime soon, I definitely recommend this gem of a market.  
 
I am a faithful customer to so many American brands, but I vowed to get out of my box and make purchases here in Europe that I couldn’t make back home, like today’s Pull & Bear vest and one-of-a-kind tile earrings. We are spoiled in America with the amount of quality brands available to shoppers of all price-ranges; here in Spain, there are only a couple quality chains that are not designer stores. The silver lining of this is that I’ve been exploring boutiques and artisan shops… Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll share some of my favorite artisan purchases!

Stay warm.
--Natalie

Monday, November 3, 2014

Sweater Weather

Editor's note: I don't know how I have been friends with Natalie for this long and not had her do a guest post for AWO. And a little birdy told me that a certain someone might be welcomed to the AWO team soon enough. Until then, enjoy!

Hey chicos! Natalie here, guest-posting on my main awesome blog. This is my first blog post ever….so bear with me as I take you through today’s look. 


It’s finally cooled down here in Castilla-La-Mancha; I’ve been counting down the days ‘til sweater weather and today, at last, I brought out my first fall sweater of the season… a bell-sleeved wool blend Free People cardigan, one of my favorite statement pieces in my closet. It’s super soft and cozy, with a stylish twist: a gorgeous blanket print and, hello, bell sleeves. I love collecting pieces like this one that are unique and chic while staying oh-so-soft… For me, good fashion should never compromise comfort.

I wanted the sweater to stay the focal point of today’s look, so I kept what was underneath pretty simple. Beneath I wore a dark olive long-sleeved tee and high-waisted black jeans, complete with wool socks and my favorite Steve Madden cognac leather lace-ups.
Lastly, accessories: the name of my game! Today I chose a western-style leather and ivory belt, and small silver chandelier earrings—both vintage pieces handed down from my beautiful mama! The southwest feel of the belt paired super well with the sweater’s blanket print, giving the entire outfit a Taos feel (side note: one of my favorite towns in the US), and the chandelier earrings were just big enough to notice without distracting from the overall fit.

Today’s look was all about statement pieces set off by a pretty simple base look; this is my favorite way to show off special wardrobe pieces, and an easy way to enter sweater weather with a vavavooom.  Until next time, ladies and gents!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hoy en España

Today I finished my midterms and that, my friends, is a great feeling. It's pretty late here in España, but I did want to share a few photos from today. We had some pretty cool 14-16 year olds roll through my school today for a pumpkin carving workshop. Halloween isn't really a thing here, so this was the first time that they had ever carved pumpkins. Only really young kids celebrate and a few adults. While it has become more popular over the years, it has yet to become a staple in Spanish culture. The big day is November 1st, Día de Todos los Santos. I'll be headed to the students' school next week to learn about Día de Todos los Santos, so when I know more about it, I'll let y'all know, too.

When I got to school today, there were literally five other people wearing chambray shirts. I'm always lowkey blown when things like that happen. But, I guess great minds think alike??


To save myself from being an outright repeat offender, I layered my sleeveless H&M chambray shirt under a Banana Republic sweater. I never wear tops that have dropped shoulder seams and exaggerated necklines because I don't think they're particularly flattering on me, but I kind of like this one. In reality, I just accidentally ordered this sweater online and was mad surprised when it came in the mail, but I was leaving for Spain the next day and couldn't really do anything but keep it. Yay for happy mistakes!


Like I mentioned in a post last week, I decided I could be more interesting with accessories. I bought this necklace at Akira for like nine buckeroos or something. It's actually a long necklace that has been wrapped around twice to create a double-collar effect. Not even gonna front, when I wrapped this necklace twice around my neck and saw the final result, I pretty much thought I was a genius. Okay, maybe not a genius, but fairly skilled in the art of getting dressed. I wore this with cream colored J.Crew jeans and Topshop chelsea boots. 


Some of these kids were suspiciously skilled with knives and really outdid themselves for first time carvers. 

There's also this crazy classroom at my school that has an insane view of the cathedral. Toledo's cathedral is the fourth largest cathedral in the world (!!!). When I looked out the window the first thing I said was, "Aw hell, that's pretty as f**k." Sometime you just have to drop that f-bomb. This was one of those times. 


¡Que tengas un buen semana! 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

90's Girls Rejoice

If you were a real 90's girl, you probably wore a choker necklace at some point. And that is nothing to be ashamed of. Despite the semi-violent name, the necklaces were pretty common and, dare I say, cool during the late 90s and early 2000s. I have a pretty vivid memory of a picture of me and some other girls at someone's sixth birthday party and most of us were struggling to breathe wearing these necklaces. And just a thought: we should collectively come up with a better name for these necklaces, like neck huggers or neck buddies, basically something that isn't inherently awful.

Yesterday, I popped into a vintage shop here in Toledo. They had a solid selection of skirts, but they were priced at about 35 euros and up and ya girl wasn't about that life. But, I did find something else...

Ooooooooohhh yaaaaaaa. Y'all should have seen me snatch this thing off of the little jewelry holder thing. Tried it on and immediately said, "I'm buying this." I had no idea how much it cost, but it was one of those pieces that I knew I had to have. I ended up purchasing it for a solid 9 euros.


The colors are literally everything. And not to be a super douche, but I knew it would look dope af against my skin.


In an attempt to make sure my necklace was the most interesting thing I was wearing, I wore a navy Madewell maxi skirt, white F21 crop top, and white Birkenstocks. Seriously, these white Birkenstocks are life. I went on a hunt for them over the summer and have been living in them ever since. So comfy. I be on my granola grind sometimes.


This necklace is definitely one of the coolest things I've bought in a while just because it's so unlike anything else I have. And it brings up memories of childhood *sheds one tear*. Nah, but actually, it's such a fun piece. It's the grown-up version of the stretchy, oddly patterned chokers of yesteryear. Ya feel meh?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fall Blues

Question: When the weather is unseasonably warm or oddly cold, do you immediately assume it is a result of global climate change? I do. And I'm gonna say that that assumption is probably the truth. With that in mind, I'm over here in Spain screaming, "¡Calentamiento global!" while also basking in the glory that is sunshine and 75 degree weather. I've definitely worn more skirts and dresses in September and October than I did throughout the cruel cool summer in Chicago. I lowkey have all of these sweater that I'm tryna bust out, so I wouldn't be mad if it suddenly dropped 20 degrees.


Ever since Kanye killed that GQ spread, I've been into the idea of wearing the same color. I decided on a blue chambray sleeveless top from H&M and MM6 Maison Martin Margiela navy cotton & linen skirt. Clearly not on Ye's level, but just wait on it. Ya girl is on the come up. I picked up the MM6 skirt for 40 bucks secondhand in great condition from Vaunte, a site to buy and sell designer clothes for the low low. When I'm buying secondhand, I always compare the item to things I already own and how much I bought those comparable items for new. When purchased, the skirt was in "like new" condition, so I was 'bout it for 40 bucks. 

Before I skipped town, I decided that I could try to be more interesting when it comes to the use of accessories. You can usually catch me wearing small hoop earrings, a watch, and maybe a bracelet if I'm really tryna do something. I picked up the earrings at a small store here in Toledo and even had a small conversation with the woman who made them. If you know me, you might know that I'm totally into that type of shopping -- where you can have a conversation with someone about where the product came from and have them know with certainty that it's well made. I got the cord necklace when I was visiting a friend and an AWO founding member, Caroline, in Michigan from a store called Pitaya...I am pretty sure there is one in Chicago, too, but I'm not certain.

Not to crap on Spain, but I'm not that into the shopping here. Maybe I just haven't found the right places yet ~~ hit me with them suggestions doe ~~. The small, artisan stores are mad cool, but the chain stores are only alright; they're not very different than the ones in the US. On the bright side, I'll get to save this guap. 

Also, big thanks to my best friend/partner-in-crime Natalie for taking these pics. She's also the Creative Director of Blacklight Magazine. So, when the magazine snaps (and it will), you know who to thank. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

¡Barcelona!

Traveling has its perks: new experiences, new people, new places. It also has its downsides: missing your friends and family dearly. But, I can say this: Spain has been fantastic. I've been here for about three weeks. I was in Barcelona for a while, then Madrid, now I'm in Toledo. Toledo is a town of about 80,000 people. Maybe Toledo is a city...not sure, but coming from a place with a couple million people, 80,000 seems like a town to me.

I was in Barcelona with my mom and my cousin, Patsy. Barcelona was packed with tourists and we gladly joined the masses. My favorite spot that we visited was La Sagrada Família, which is a church designed by Barcelona's reigning architecture king, Antoni Gaudí. All of Gaudí's spots were dope, but this church was pretty incredible. I feel like I am always visiting churches in Spain and I think that feeling might be the truth. So, when I walked into La Sagrada Família, my idea of what a church should look like was shattered.


The church is actually still under construction and your entrance fee serves as a donation to the project. Whenever you look at Barcelona from atop a mountainside, you can always see the towers of the Sagrada and the cranes. It's one of the few particularly tall buildings in the city.


The ceiling