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Shen Dove Style: December 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Goodbye 2010, Hello 2011!



I still can't believe the holiday season is just about over, farewell 2010, hello 2011!

I love snow, and sort of miss the other shoes in my closet, but the snowy sidewalks make anything besides boots impractical for now...

Shirt: Forever 21
Jeans: Urban Outfitters
Boots: Timberland via Lucky Mag


Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas (for those who celebrate) and a fantastic, weekend filled with family, love and good food.



Vest: Old Navy
Shirt: H&M
Jeans: Forever 21
Boots: Lucky MAg via Timberland
Jewelry: Target, Forever 21, H&M


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Weekend Style: Basic Black

I have a love for vibrant colors, but sometimes, it's nice to stick to neutral tones and black.


On another note, I spent an unexpected amount of time on the Metro yesterday when I wore this outfit, so I'm happy I decided to wear a hat to keep my head warm for the long ride. I spent a 1 1/2 hours on the subway (one way!) to get to a holiday get-together and by the time I got there after that insanely long trip, it was winding down. I was expecting for the trip to take 45 minutes tops, after all, the DC Metro area is only but so big. There was track maintenance going on that limited the number of trains in the system and the train I was on basically stopped for 10 minutes at every.single.stop. I was shooting for a 'fashionably late' arrival to the party, and not to miss the whole thing! That will teach me a lesson to go against my normally punctual ways...smh. It took me even longer to get home (two hours!). I rarely wish for a car because I live in a city with accessible public transport, but maybe I will give in a purchase a Zipcar membership to use on the weekends in 2011.

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Shirt: Banana Republic
Shirt: Target (Girl's section)
Belt: Urban Outfitters
Boots: c/o Lucky Mag via Timberland
Cardigan: ???
Hat: Tulle
Necklace: Eastern Market vendor
Earrings: H&M
Sunnies: Target


Friday, December 17, 2010

Friend Friday: Holiday Parties

Happy Friday folks! December is really speeding by, but there's still some celebrating to do between now and New Year's, so this week's Friend Friday questions are quite appropriate. Here are my responses below:

Which holiday party are you looking forward to attending this year? I’m looking forward to attending holiday parties hosted by a few non-profit organizations I support because it’s an opportunity to connect with friends that believe in the same causes as I do and there is also usually opportunities to donate to charities or causes right there at the party. Parties are fun during the holiday season, but I think it’s also important to support organizations and causes that make a difference in your community through-out the year.



What is your go-to holiday party outfit? My go-to holiday part outfit is a skirt, dark tights, heels/boots and a blazer. This is usually a fail-safe outfit that is also warm, which is a requirement for all my outfits during this time of year. After all, you can’t be so focused on looking cute that you freeze to death!

Worn November 4, 2009

Do you go dressed in something that would be impractical to wear at any other time of the year? I’m a very practical dresser regardless of the time of year or the occasion. The only change in my holiday looks during this time of year is to wear my skirts that are a bit shorter because I can wear opaque tights and jackets over them if I want to go for a more conservative look. I have a few skirts that just don’t feel quite right without tights.

If you are going to a house-party what gift will you bring to the host/hostess?If my host/hostess don’t have small children, I’ll bring something like scented candles or wine; if my host/hostess does have small children, I’ll bring something more family-friendly like dessert or a game all ages can enjoy.

jo malone candle


If you could buy only one trendy piece to update your holiday party wardrobe, what would you get this year? I feel that I have enough clothing to work with to create a nice holiday look, so I’d get a statement necklace (preferably an original piece) because accessories can really change the whole feel of an outfit. As much as I love color, when all else fails, I can wear a little black dress, fantastic jewelry and black heels. That look will definitely stand the test of time.

statement necklace



Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Go-to Skirt

It's probably apparent if you look through other outfits I've posted that my go-to outfits are usually comprised of skirts. I am able to continue to wear my beloved skirts in chilly temps by doubling up my tights and wearing socks and boots on my commute. My Timberland Earthkeeper boots have been getting a lot of wear on my daily commute because they look so much better than my Uggs (don't judge!) with skirts but are still fairly warm.

outfit posted 12.16.10

outfit posted 12.16.2010

This skirt reminds me of an abstract painting, and since I love art, it's become a year-round favorite. And since I want to document how I remix my clothing more regularly, here is how I've worn this skirt during the summer months:

summer edition - outfit 12.16.10

T-neck: H&M
Skirt: Forever 21
Tights: Target
Shoes: Payless
'Dove' necklace: Forever 21

What is your go-to wardrobe item?

Song currently on repeat: "All of the Lights" by Kanye West


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Daily Practices for 2011

I decided not to make New Year's Resolutions for 2011, but I do plan to write an intentional to letter to myself for the year à la Jess from Make Under My Life. Outside of my intentional letter, I plan to implement small daily practices into my daily routine. I am a creature of habit at heart, so I don't think I'll have too much trouble.

  1. Take a picture (outside of outfit shots) every day for Project 365. I didn't get around to doing this last year, but I've decided to give Project 365 a go starting on Jan 1st. I want to improve my photography skills, document my year and make a practice of 'creating' something on a daily basis to stretch my creativity. I'm not sure where the idea of taking a picture a day for a year came from, but I think it's a great one!

  2. Daily affirmations. (Read them, write them, say them out loud). I make it a point to write down my thoughts and goals sporadically, but I'd really like to start writing my affirmations on a daily basis as I've done in the past. This practice really helps me to stay focused on my goals on a daily basis and visualize myself accomplishing them.

  3. Play my weekly 'theme song' daily. On Sundays, I'll pick a song to be my themesong. The only requirement for the song is that there be something affirmative and positive about it. Btw, I am always open to music suggestions!

  4. Express gratitude for my blessings daily (in written form or verbally). I have so much to be thankful for, and it's high time I reflect on my blessings regularly.

What daily practices do you plan to implement in 2011?


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holiday Wish List

I'm not asking for any gifts this year, because to be honest, I truly don't have anything I really 'need.' But I do have a lengthy list of 'would like' items and since I'm a visual person, here is a visual representation of my holiday wish list.

Holiday Wish List 2010

1. Spiegel Cape Style Jacket
2. Brown Skin Lady Tee
3. Decoded by Jay-Z
4. Mango Tweed Wool Shorts
5. Nakumuli African Printed Bangles
6. Rachel Stewart Wood Afro Pic Earrings
7. Apple iPod Classic
8. Asos Suede Ankle Strap Wedges
9. Modcloth Softened Up Skirt
10. Chanel Le Vernis Gold Lame Nail Polish
11. Rosetta Stone - French Edition

What's on your wish list this holiday season?


Friday, December 10, 2010

Friend Friday: Are you connected?

Happy Friday folks! Here are my responses to this week’s Friend Friday weekly questions.
  1. How important do you think reader connectedness is to the success your blog? I think reader connectedness is an important factor to the (long-term) success of my blog. Reader connectedness is something that sets blogging apart from other expressions of creativity is the fact that it offers the ability to have a conversation with the people who are reading/viewing my content. I blog because I enjoy the process of creating (writing/images/etc.), but if I didn’t want to have a sense of connectedness to those reading my content, I’d probably just write/photograph outfits and inspiration for myself and not publish it on the Internet. I don’t think there is anything wrong with doing things either way, but I like the sense of connection that blogging fosters.
  2. What do you do to draw readers in and create that writer-reader bond? I really just focus on putting my effort into creating content that would interest readers. Sometimes asking questions and encouraging readers to comment/interact with you is an organic and fun way to create a bond. Because the focus of my blog is personal style and inspiration, including photos of my personal style and photos of other inspiration are the main ways I try to initially draw potential readers in. I also try to comment on blogs I enjoy and reciprocate comments if someone leaves comments on my blog posts is also a blogger. There are so many bloggers (of all subjects) that inspire me. I appreciate each and every comment I receive and even when I don’t have the time to respond to comments, I hope my readers know that!
  3. What is one way you could improve this connection? I see a lot of opportunities for growth personally in developing the writer-reader bond: Putting as much effort as time allows into improving content, extending the conversation by raising questions, offering ‘food for thought to readers’, maintaining an active social media presence are all things that can be done to improve the connection.
  4. Is there a blogger you think does a great job creating that writer-reader bond? Why? I think bloggers Adored Austin does a great job of creating a genuine writer-reader bond. She makes references to feedback from readers in her content and gives thoughtful responses to comments which I think encourages readers to continue to visit.
  5. What do you do to cultivate new readers? How do you get them to your site in the first place? I participate in web-based style/fashion communities and am always adding blogs to my Google Reader or on Bloglovin’ which is the easiest way for me to bookmark blogs to revisit; when I see content that a blogger creates that I have something positive to say about, I definitely leave comments. I’ve also made it a point to bring up my blog to people I meet IRL (which I find a little unnerving) and carrying business cards with my blog information. This is a very new practice for me, but you never know who you’ll meet! I always manage to carry cards around for my full time job so why shouldn’t I make it a point to carry my own personal cards around on a regular basis as well?

Have a fun, relaxing weekend!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Shen Dove's Style a Year Ago

The best part of taking outfit photos on a (semi) regular basis is the ability to see how my style has evolved over time. It's also a good method to jog my memory when I forget how I've remixed certain items in my wardrobe since I'm a visual person. I wore this outfit last December before I started this blog. But I still tend to gravitate to basics like I did a year ago. This reminds me that I should dig that blazer out of my closet because I haven't worn it in a while. Nothing like a basic pencil skirt and blazer to make yourself feel pulled together for a day at the office!

Blazer: H&M
Skirt: gifted
Necklace: Beacon's Closet (Brooklyn, NY)
Shoes: Payless
Earrings: H&M

Labels: ,

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friend Friday: Blogger Burnout

Here are my responses to this week's Fashion Beauty Friend Friday questions:

  1. How many hours a week do you spend blogging? Has that number changed since you started blogging? The amount of time I spend blogging on Shen Dove Style really varies and I actually maintain another blog as well. I’ve been blogging since 2008 and started Shen Dove Style in January of this year. When I first started blogging, I spent several hours a day writing content, researching ideas for posts, reading and commenting on other blogs. During this time I posted almost daily and sometimes more than once a day. I’ve stepped back from blogging that frequently and the time I spend on blogging is a variable number depending on my other commitments. I could spend anywhere from two hours a week to up to ten hours a week generating ideas for content, writing, taking photos, editing photos, responding to email, etc.

  2. There is always more you can do, write, read, comment on... how do you limit your time spent on these tasks? I limit my time spent on tasks by really seeing what other things I must do for that particular day. I currently work full-time and attend school part-time, so if I have a homework assignment to complete, an exam to study for, or a meeting with classmates for a group project, blogging takes a back seat. I honestly struggle with time management when it comes to blogging which is rather strange because I am somewhat regimented when it comes to many other aspects of my life. One resolution I plan to implement in the New Year is to adhere to a content schedule and schedule my time to comment on other blogs, read blogs, generate content for posts, develop skills (like photography, design, styling drawing) and expand the focus of my blogging to include more life-style related items and interviews.

  3. Have you experienced Blogger burnout yet? How have you dealt with that?Since I started blogging in 2008, I have indeed experienced blogger burnout before and simply have had periods where I’ve been uninspired and stepped away from blogging until I started to miss it. I went several weeks earlier this fall without updating my other blog and have just started feeling like I missed it and started posting again. I’ve stepped away from Shen Dove Style to focus on school deadlines from time-to-time and there have been lulls in posting, but they haven’t lasted more than a few days.

  4. This time of the year is always a lot busier than any other time. Will your blogging change as a result? My blogging frequency will probably remain at its current level as I develop my plans and goals for Shen Dove Style for 2011. I'm not going ot stress myself out over posting, but I don't want to have long lulls in posting. I didn’t really enter 2010 with a plan for this blog other than simply launching it and being somewhat consistent with posting, but it’s time to step my game up and explore my creativity through my blog.

  5. Could you forsee a moment in which you are not blogging anymore? How would you identify that it's time to walk away? I could see myself changing the focus and content of my blogs in the future as my life changes, but for the time being, I don’t see myself stopping blogging altogether. I’ve had positive experiences blogging and it’s been so fun to connect with people I would have never met if I didn’t start blogging. But, when blogging ceases to be enjoyable, then I’ll truly know that it’s time to walk away. I really hope I don't experience those feelings though!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Style Profile: Chicfaced

Blogger Interview - Chicfaced

All images via Chicfaced

For this edition of Shen Dove Style Profiles, Megan and Laura of Chicfaced were kind enough to answer some questions about their style. They both have an awesome sense of style and are girls after my own heart with their love of accessories that really bring their looks together! Now let's get this interview started!

Shen Dove: I think it's so great that you decided to launch your blog together, it's nice to see the elements of both of your personal styles in your posts! Why did you decide to start a blog together as opposed to doing blogs separately?

Megan: Before we met 3+ years ago, Laura and I both had an interest in fashion – it was one of the first things we bonded over while working at a university writing center. Together, we formed an unstoppable fashion-obsessed duo! When we both decided it was time to move on from the writing center we also decided it was the perfect time to start our own blog. It was totally natural - a way to continue our daily fashion conversation. Not that it has stopped us from chatting about it when we’re hanging out, either!

Blogger Interview - Chicfaced 1

Shen Dove: Where is the strangest place you've taken an outfit photo?

Megan: Haha. Oh boy – we were just talking about this! On our very first photo adventure we wanted to go somewhere anonymous and secluded so we decided to go to a deserted parking lot behind an ice skating rink. We – and I kid you not – took photos in front of a dumpster and some fake snow. Those photos never made it onto the blog. Rumi may have been proud, though.

Shen Dove: How would you describe your personal style? Is it influenced by your career/job?

Laura: I would describe my style as vintage-inspired--I like anything that looks like it's from another era, but modernized; lots of color; lots of pattern and texture, a bit of drama, and structured; I also like to balance masculine and feminine pieces within the same outfit.

Megan: I would say my style is feminine, vintage-inspired, arty, and not too serious, if that makes sense. I love details – fringe, buttons, sequins, feathers, etc. The way I dress is most definitely influenced by my job! I own a vintage clothing shop in downtown Fredericksburg, so I get to have a lot of fun with the way I dress everyday. “Having” to get dressed up for the shop is such a great excuse to play around with my style.

Shen Dove: How does the city/town/burb you live in influence your style?

Laura: Fredericksburg is not known for its fashion but there is a large population of young folks and artistic folks, so we have had great support in our fashionable endeavours from our friends around town and from local college students.

Megan: We both live downtown and are out and about pretty regularly so we’ve both gotten quite comfortable and secure in our little community to do what we want, fashion-wise!

Shen Dove: What shops/boutiques/websites do you have the most success with finding great things? Do you have an example of a great recent find?

Laura: My go-to websites are Ebay, J.Crew, Anthropologie, Topshop, Forever 21, Asos and Urban Outfitters. I love H&M and Zara, but the closest ones are an hour away, so I don't get to go as often as I would like.

Megan: Etsy, for sure. I just bought an awesome cape from ArchivesChicago on Etsy I can’t wait to wear! I also have a couple favorite vintage/consignment shops in the area – Halcyon Vintage or Clementine in Richmond and Antics in Charlottesville are places I can always find something special.

Blogger Interview - Chicfaced 2

Shen Dove: What items are you excited about wearing this season?

Laura: Capes! I bought a black knit one and a camel wool one that i can't wait to wear; and every year when the weather gets cold I look forward to wearing hats of all kinds--beanies, berets, floppy ones, and i'm contemplating the cloche this year.

Megan: My coats and blazers! I’ve got so much sparkle, faux fur, leather, stripes and brocade waiting to be busted out in various forms of outerwear. And like any good fashion blogger, I’m ready to wear all my boots again!

Shen Dove: You both have fantastic accessories that really add a creative element to your style. What accessories item do you plan to keep forever and why?

Laura: my handbags! they are like my children i love them so, and they are certainly the "investment pieces" that you are always reading about in magazines that you keep forever and hand down to your daughter. I also have some scarves and pieces of jewelry that have sentimental value to me, and i would never part with them.

Megan: Hey, thanks! It’s all about the jewelry for me. For instance, I absolutely plan to keep the chandelier earrings Laura designed + made for me that I wore on my wedding day. I am definitely keeping all my vintage baubles and I’ve got quite the collection of statement necklaces I love. So much of my jewelry is vintage, handmade or gifted so I couldn’t see ever parting with any of it.

Shen Dove: What are your regular reads (blogs, magazines, books) to get your fashion fix?

Laura: Oh boy, where to begin? I would say my top blogs are the cherry blossom girl, pandora, the glamourai, the sartorialist, garance dore, whowhatwear, fashiontoast and sea of shoes. there are countless more though--and I find more and more every day, the inspiration is endless!

Megan: Ditto Laura, the blogs of the friends we’ve made- Off of Broadway, Corks + Caftans, the Owls. I read most magazines as habit, but I like Elle best. I also recommend the Olsen’s book, Influence.

Shen Dove: Please name a film, song or piece of artwork that embodies your current personal style. Can you explain your choice?

Megan: I’m not sure if these embody my personal style as much as I find them inspiring but Penny Lane from Almost Famous and Nikki from Alfie are two characters I am constantly going back to. I am also inspired by artists Cy Twombly and Mark Rothko for their unadulterated love of and genius control of color.

Shen Dove: Looking your best doesn't necessarily mean spending your entire paycheck, do you have any tips for shopping on a budget?

Laura: My tips would be: Don't skimp on things like shoes and bags, but things like cute tops, dresses and sweaters you can get at places like Target and Forever 21 for next to nothing. Also, stalk things until they go on sale and then snatch them up (and on places like ebay, you have to be cutthroat sometimes!) if the website sells out before you can get to it, call customer service and have a representative locate the piece in a store (if the website has a brick and mortar store). I do it all the time!

Megan: Shopping on a budget is my life! I think it takes two things: 1) time and 2) patience. Thrifting, consignment shopping and stalking items online until they go on sale are 3 great ways to budget. For example, I once found a Chanel sweater for $2 at a Salvation Army. I have found so many cute Anthropologie dresses and shirts at a local consignment store and have practically stolen some designer duds from Bluefly during a 75% off 1 Day Only sale. All take some dedication, but it’s so totally worth it!

Blogger Interview - Chicfaced 3

Shen Dove: Do you have a piece of advice you'd like to convey to anyone interested in starting a blog that you wish someone had told you?

Laura: Having a blog is very time consuming, and if you aren't lucky enough to have a boyfriend/husband photographer, then you have to take all your photos yourself, which can be a little awkward at first, but just keep practicing. Also, it's hard to put yourself out there and have faith that people will like your blog, because it is a personal thing. remember to have fun with it and that your perspective on clothes and fashion is uniquely yours, even though there are a million influences out there--it's your way to share a little bit of yourself and only you can do that.

Megan: I totally agree with Laura. It can be tough constantly creating new content that you’re happy with and you think (hope?) others will like as well. It’s a big leap of faith, but a pretty fun one!

Blogger Interview - Chicfaced 4

Shen Dove: Do you have any personal style rules you live by? If so, what are they?

Laura: Find out what colors look good with your skin tone and stick with them. don't be afraid to try new things, but recognize that not all trends are going to work for you. and (as I get older), try and choose things that you can see outlasting fads--think to yourself, "will I still be able to wear this in ten years and not look ridiculous or dated?" assuming it still fits. dear god, please let it all still fit!

Megan: Generally speaking, I always try to pay attention to fit + proportion + texture in every outfit and I always opt for being overdressed than underdressed. In other news, I only wear cocktail rings on my right hand, only wear bracelets on my left wrist and never wear earrings + a necklace at once.

Shen Dove: Thanks for the interview ladies!

So be sure to check out the stylish ladies of Chicfaced if you aren't already!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Style Inspiration: Giovanna Battaglia

Style Inspiration: Giovanna Battaglia

Images via Garance Dore, The Sartorialist, RDuJour , The Fashion Spot

I have been pretty uninspired by the contents of my closet, but really cannot bear to buy anything for myself when I haven't purchased a single Christmas gift yet...whoops! So I decided to look at the style of a lady who is not a stranger to anyone who reads fashion mags or fashion/street style blogs, Giovanna Battaglia, former model and fashion editor of L'Uomo Vogue.