Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Monthlies: December '13

d e c e m b e r  2 0 1 3
December collage books at breakfast cat plaid

In December:
-Skated in the club Christmas show.
-Made a Facebook page for my blog.
-Did lots of baking and wrapping (and eating...).
-Watched more movies than usual...and greatly enjoyed it!
-Had lots of fun perfecting spin combinations with my coach.

Goals for January:
-Finish Biology.
-Do lots of skating, Pilates work outs, yoga, and dry-jumping.
-Stop procrastinating.
-Make muffins.
-Do more reading.
-Land an axel (hopefully!).

Books read this month:
A Study In Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck.

Reading goals for January:
Finish listening to Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and reading Becoming Jane Austen by Jon Spencer. Read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, and The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien (A very optimistic list, I know). I'd also love to listen to either Jane Austen's Emma or Persuasion, or another of L.A. Meyer's Bloody Jack's.

Recent favorites:
The Perks of Dressing Vintage While In College by Flashback Summer.
7 Ways to Just Get Stuff Done by Avoiding Atrophy.
Why Dressing Up is not a Crime of Fashion by The Fashion Police.
INSANE STUDY TIPS by The College Prepster.
This Disney/Loki mash-up pin. Admit it, you love it.
The Wuthering Heights Read-Along at An American In France.

Most popular post this month:
Inspiration...Ravenclaw Madness. This post is definitely my most popular, consistently getting the most page views every week. I'm honestly not sure why. All the photos are blurry, there's no writing, and, well, it's not on of the ones I'm proud of. Still, I guess it's always the posts you don't think twice about that get popular! :)

Happy New Year, ladies! I hop you are warm, comfortable, happy and healthy. Have fun tonight, and I'll see you in the new year! Best of luck in 2014!


Monday, December 30, 2013

Handmade In Action: Ena

http://youngyankeelady.blogspot.com/2013/08/did-ya-miss-me.html

You know those people that should be totally infuriating, and yet you can never be mad at them for long? Yeah. Well, my cousin Ena is one of those.

Christmas outfit full skirt green blue cardigan vintage

This girl is hysterical. She's a hurricane. She's everything but normal, and that's definitely one of the many reasons I love her. She'll do anything in front of a camera and laugh it off later. She has a comeback to everything, bounces around, and can down a gallon of ice cream in one day by herself.

When she was about four or five, she went to a Chinese restaurant with her dad. Eventually the waiter came up, and with very broken English attempted to take their orders. After several minutes of confusion, he walked away. Ena, putting on her most metropolitan expression, leaned forward and said, "That's the problem with these places: they all speak Spanish."

Christmas outfit green full skirt blue cardigan vintage ll Young Yankee Lady

Gifted with a baby-bird style of always getting her way, Ena's always been an opputrunist. She could conince her older sister, Lily, to clean her room simply because she told her to. She can get out of doing dishes by not doing them and getting the 'older and more responsible' Lily in trouble for not getting it done. Ena's the sole reason Grandma buys Poptarts, and somehow manages to get milkshakes after the ice cream is supposedly gone.
Driving to Missouri this past summer in my uncle's bus, there one was seat that was unanimously considered 'the best'. As we started the trip back, AJ began arguing for it. Ena's logic? "I had it on the way here, so I should get it on the way back, too."

Christmas outfit green full skirt blue cardigan vintage headband ll Young Yankee Lady

One of our favorite family pastimes is making movies. Some are elaborate, most are outright silly. The bloopers are usually longer than the actual movie, and Ena never fails to make an appearence. Our favorite is when she is 'tied' to a chair, and yet still takes her hand and scratches her nose while filming. Most of her appearences, though, happen when she interupts a scene. Like falling down the porch stairs as Lily and I struggle over lines, playing with a whoopie cushion during a 'serious' scene, and forgetting to turn the camera off when she's been pressed with the all-important task of 'hitting the button'.

So happy birthday, my wonderful girl. Enjoy being 13. Love you.

cousins red sox game ll Young Yankee Lady

Outfit Details: dress and slip / / made by me, cardigan / / jc penny's, heels / / thrifted, heandband / / eastern states exposition, belt / / stole from mum, nylons / / walmart.

Stalk These Pieces: cardigan & heels: #1.

Linking up to Watch What I'm Wearing at Watch Out For The Woestmans.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Collection of Things

I never know what to say after a holiday. I feel like I'm supposed to share a bunch of photos of my adorable family, piles of presents, and food, but for some reason that never feels right. Plus we're not a family of picture takers, and my thoughts are too muddled to do a really good 'thankful for' post or something. So. Umm, have a nice Christmas?

Oh, I almost forgot! My belated Christmas present to you: weird-indoor-Christmas-outfit-selfies. You're welcome.

Christmas outfit black dress red belt lipstick via Young Yankee Lady

+Christmas really was lovely. Good food, good friends, lots of reading, and of course lots of little cousins. I really can't ask for more.

black dress black flats via Young Yankee Lady

+After a rather ho-hum-not-really-into-it Christmas season, Christmas was lovely. Oh wait, I already said that...

+My room is really dusty. I've been cleaning it out all weekend and I'm appalled by how much dust settles after eight months (oops).

+I saw The Desolation of Smaug! And I have many, many thoughts. I don't want to get into that know, as I'm still not emotionally capable of talking about it, but soon. BUT. I will risk being indelicate and say: I was right.

Christmas outfit black dress red belt red lipstick via Young Yankee Lady
blegh. blurriness.
+For Christmas I got three perfect paperbacks of The Lord of the Rings. I can't wait to crease them, write in them, and otherwise christen them. I'm starting with The Two Towers after I finish my current read.

+I've been on a major Jane Austen kick lately. I've been reading Becoming Jane Austen, listening to Pride and Prejudice, and re-watching the 1995 P&P adaption. *sigh*. Jane makes every day perfect.

+SHERLOCK. It is coming. January 19, everyone!!! I'm considering swearing of Pinterest, since the BBC gets it on January 1, so I don't get spoilers. But I probably won't, because, well, a day without Pinterest? Unthinkable.

Hope you had a lovely Christmas, Happy New Year, XOXO, and all that good stuff. TTFN!

(And thanks for reading!).

Outfit Details: dress / / gift (jc penny's), belt / / stole from grandma, flats / / gift (jc penny's), lipstick / / revlon's 'love that red', bracelet / / gift (nicole's).

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The 2013 Book Awards

You don't know how excited I am to be writing this.

I've been literally planning and dreaming about this post since mid-summer. And now it's finally time to post! :)

One of my favorite 'reflecting' aspects of the end of the year is looking back at the books I've read. True, true, I usually come in short of whatever goal I set. Still, looking over what I've read tells me a lot. I can remember every feeling the book gave me, what I was going through at the time, and how my life effected my opinion of the book. Books are a constant roller coaster ride for me. While I'm always reading, I go through ups and downs of excitement. Everything I read is driven by feeling, and it's interesting to see how those cycles change over the year.


In 2013, I read a total of 20 books. I came in short of my extremely optimistic goal of 40, but overall I felt it was a great year for reading. Almost everything I read was of great quality, and I found some really great authors! I completed 1 re-read and 19 new-to-me reads, and read from 13 new-to-me authors while reading 4 old-favorite authors. I tackled two titles from my Classics Club list, 9 from my Informal Summer Reading List, and 2 from my western list.

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen / / Under the Jolly Roger by L.A. Meyer / / Shane by Jack Schaefer / / The Fitzosbournes At War by Michelle Cooper / / The Magic of Ordinary Days by Anne Howard Creel, Beautiful Girlhood by Karen Andreola / / The Fault In Our Stars by John Green / / The Quest of the Fair Unknown by Gerald Morris / / How To Be A Hepburn In A Hilton World  by Jordan Christy / / Glenn Beck's Common Sense by Glenn Beck / / The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tollkien / / In The Belly of the Bloodhound by L.A. Meyer / / An Assembly Such As This by Pamela Aidan / / A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper / / Don't Be A Lamesauce by Brandon Lee White / / The Lost Years of Merlin by T.A. Barron / / 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher / / Mississippi Jack by L.A. Meyer / / The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne / / A Study In Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

And now, the exciting part: which books made the cut for the 2013 Young Yankee Lady book Awards?

The Laid To Rest Award: Presented to the book I put down, but plan to return to.


The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo.

I WILL read this book, I swear. I tried reading it in the spring and I was just having none of it. But, it will be returned to.

The Unsuspected Award: Awarded to the book that took me surprise by how much I liked it.


An Assembly Such As This (Fitwilliam Darcy, Gentleman No. 1) by Pamela Aidan

This is my first Jane Austen fan-fiction read, and I was hesitant (because seriously, who can compete with Jane?). I was pleasant surprised, though, and can't wait to read the next two. She did a great job with Darcy's voice; I felt it was pretty believable.

The Disappointed Award: For the books that I was looking forward to, and found to be lacking.


The Lost Years of Merlin (The Lost Years of Merlin No. 1) by T.A. Barron

*cue shoe throwing*

I was just disappointed. It moved slow. The plot wasn't tight. I didn't love the characters. Maybe the series gets better, but this first book didn't draw me in.

The Long-Awaited: The book that languished on the TBR pile for far too long.


Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

*cue more shoe throwing*

I know, I know...this was the first Jane Austen I've ever read. But before you start plotting against me, just know that I did like this. A lot. Now, it's not my favorite Austen, but it confirmed the fact that Jane Austen's brilliant. Oh yeah, and Colonel Brandon's awesome.

The Upward Slope Award: For those books that started out boring but by the end were awesome.


The Quest of the Fair Unknown (The Squire's Tales No. 8) by Gerald Morris

I love Gerald Morris, and his entire Squire's Tales series. I was more than excited to read another, but I quickly got crabby after this one started out slow. By the end, though, I'd totally forgiven Morris and enjoyed the book.

The Downward Slope Award: You guessed it. For those books that started amazing and then fell through the floor.


13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Alright, so I read this book on a whim after my list of eight books (yes, eight) to grab from the library were all checked out. And at first, I seriously couldn't put it down. But then it got...old. The same thing, every single page. I had to finish it, but I was all-to-excited to finally put it down. It should have been good, interesting, and gripping: it was about suicide letters, for pete's sake! But it wasn't, it was boring. And that probably makes me a horrible person.

Best New-To-Me Author:


Jane Austen

No explanation. She's just awesome. Titles read: Sense and Sensibility.

Best Old-Favorite Author:


J.R.R. Tolkien

For obvious reasons. Titles read: The Fellowship of the Ring.

The Too Much Hype Award: Best sellers that weren't worth the hype.


The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Meh. It was alright, I guess. I didn't shed a tear over it, and it isn't worth a re-read on my list, anyway.

Best Reading Month Award: The month with the most completed books.

August, 5 completed books.

Since I had a long car ride to Missouri and back, I got a lot of reading done! I read In The Belly of the Bloodhound by L.A. Meyer, An Assembly Such As This by Pamela Aidan, A Brief History of Montmaray by Michele Cooper, Don't Be A Lamesauce by Brandon Lee White, and The Lost Years of Merlin by T.A. Barron.

Ultimate Page Turner Award: Awarded to the book that gripped me from start to finish.


In The Belly of the Bloodhound by L.A. Meyer

Best. Bloody Jack. Yet. Seriously, these books are all awesome, but this one was insane. I didn't see the ending coming (even though I should have....), and the entire thing was perfect. Easily my favorite in the series.

Most-Read Author:


L.A. Meyer, 3 titles read.

What can I say? Bloody Jack's are too good to put down. Read: Under the Jolly Roger, In the Belly of the Bloodhound, Mississippi Jack.

Most Emotional: A roller coaster of a book.


The Fitzosbornes At War (Montmaray Journals, No. 3) by Michele Cooper

Set in WW2, this book sent me spinning. It's sad, funny, and completely enthralling. Plus I had post-book depression after reading it.

Best Non-Fiction: Awarded to the best of the often-overlooked.


How To Be A Hepburn In A Hilton World by Jordan Christy

An adorable quickie. I agreed with her on everything, and it was great to hear from a classy lady. Definitely worth the read!

Five-Star Awardees: A list of the books that merited 5-star Goodreads ratings this year.

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
Under the Jolly Roger by L.A. Meyer
In the Belly of the Bloodhound by L.A. Meyer
Mississippi Jack by L.A. Meyer

The Ultimate Best Read of 2013: 



The Fellowship of the Ring (Lord of the Rings, No. 1) by J.R.R. Tolkien

While I usually find decisions that make me pin-point a 'best book' to be hard, this one was a no-brainer. This book has been in my life since I was 7, and reading always fills me with thoughts and memories I haven't felt in ages.

Thanks so much for stopping by and reading, guys! I hope you all have a lovely Christmas. I'd planned a whole slough of posts to really keep the Christmas spirit on the blog this season, but busy-ness kicked in and I didn't accomplish everything I wanted to. Still, this Christmas Week has already proved to be wonderful and I'm really looking forward to a break. 

I hope your families are healthy and happy, and that your Christmas is perfectly lovely. I'll be back on Thursday (or Friday...or whenever...). I just have one question....

What books made the cut on your awards?

Merry Christmas, all!

PS. Links to book reviews and such are found in the big list of books I read. :)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

17


I turned seventeen on Monday. Like pretty much every year, everyone is asking me if I feel different. And like usual, I don't. Being 17 is still quite strange, actually.

When I turned 16, I felt all excited. Two whole years to accomplish all my goals! And as I'm sure you all know, everything would work out smoothly, because 16 is the age when everyone is perfect for no other reason than being 16. But now at 17, it's scarier. What am I doing with my life? Will I ever be anything? I feel less perfect. I'm not a kid anymore, and that's a little frightening. Soon I'll have to become a semi-interesting adult with a life and promising existence. I'm not sure I'm capable of that, yet.


Anyways! Since I'd rather not dwell on self-doubt and all that, here's a list of what was awesome about 16.

...Being sweet (haha, just kidding. I've actually gotten ruder)...

...Finally starting to dress without caring what other people think...

...Making lots of progress with skating. This year I've passed tests, skated with more power, and gained confidence in my goals...

...More conversations with Mum & Dad...

...Finding out I can function pretty well on my own...

...Improving my writing and growing this blog...

...Learning more about friendship, and overcoming barriers....

...Maybe, just maybe, starting to figure  myself out...


In other news, I've finally captured on camera a picture from every fashion bloggers dream: A picture of me in mid-jump while wearing adorable clothing. And yes, I'm totally channeling/stalking Casey and Amber. 


Alright, so there's my first try. Meh.


And the second try. You can see how hard I'm concentrating.


Now just look at that gem....


And here it is! Mid air! Maybe next time I'll make a cute face to match the cute legs...


Or, you know, maybe I won't. Happy Thursday, gals!

Outfit Details: cami / / jc penny, wool shirt / / hand-me-down, belt / / jc penny (came with a pair of shorts), skinnies / / old navy, flats / / payless, ring / / gift, necklace / / heirloom.

Stalk these pieces: flats #1, #2, #3.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Tolkien, Not Jackson: Talent, Commitment, and My Pre-Desolation Thoughts


The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug came to the theaters on Friday! And no, sadly, a trip to the movies wasn't meant to be. While opening weekend is out, I'll definitely be making one (or two!!) theater trips this week with family and friends.

Whenever I think about the fandom around The Lord of the Rings, I am always left in awe. Even when compared to the likes of Sherlock, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Star Trek, I feel like the LOTR fandom stands head and shoulders above the rest. I've never come across a friendlier, more talented, and more genuine group of people.

One thing that's different about the LOTR is that getting into this story isn't easy. Most (but certainly not all) fandoms are rooted in TV shows or movies, but the LOTR is rooted in reading. Supposed fandom members who haven't read the books aren't really considered 'true fans.' For many people, the movies are just an added bonus. The books are what drove us to The Lord of the Rings.

I think that what makes the Lord of the Rings fandom stand out is that we're all committed to Tolkien. We realize that it was Tolkien, not Peter Jackson (as much as we love him), that gave us Middle Earth. We want to respect Tolkien and his work, morals, and ideals. He really was a charming person, and most of us want to give back to the fandom while respecting him.

Not only are these qualities apparent in fans, they're apparent in the cast and crew of both trilogies.

{via}
I was in a Tolkien mood and so started watching The Lord of the Rings Outtakes videos on Youtube the other day. I was struck with the camaraderie of the cast and crew, and the relationships they formed throughout the filming. I mean, Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan are real life Merry and Pippin. Sean Astin took care of Elijah Wood in the same way Sam takes care of Frodo. Ian McKellan was looked up to, and Orlando Bloom was (lovingly) laughed at.

The talent that went into the makings of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies is crazy. Almost too obvious to mention, the casting has been perfect and each actor and actress totally brilliant. But just stop and think about the stunt-men, makeup artists, camera crew, editors, musicians, and writers. These people were just as committed to their art as any of the actors. These movies had a weaponry department, for pete's sake, where people made the armor by hand. Oh, and let's not forget about the fat-suit department (I swear I'm not kidding).

Like all great people, though, the cast and crew knew that talent is nothing without dedication. Each actor put every ounce of themselves into these movies; even when they weren't seen on screen. Andy Serkis was originally cast as a voice actor for Gollum. To create the right voice, however, he made drastic facial expressions and moved his entire body. Only after watching him did Peter Jackson realize that they needed human energy, not just an animator, behind Gollum. Andy Serkis went on to act out every scene, complete with spitting, and then be animated to the point of no recognition. Once he even slid under water and over rocks just moments after the crew had melted the ice off the river. Peter Jackson has commented that he's never known another actor to work so hard and yet never make it on screen.

I think the reason that The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy was so successful was because of the commitment by everyone involved. They were committed to making a monumental movie that would respect Tolkien and his masterpieces. Their main purpose wasn't to create a new fan base, but rather to inspire an existing one with one of the greatest movie adaptions of all time. The books were kept to their rightful center throughout the production. No corners were cut. The cast and crew committed themselves to greatness, and they achieved it.

And yet, I've been worrying over these Hobbit movies. The atmosphere around them seems more about the money than the story. While the same level of talent is present, I'm not sure the same level of dedication is. They've taken too many liberties, and from what I hear, they're only taking more.

Instead of appealing to the Tolkien fans who have waited their entire lives for a movie adaption of The Hobbit, they're appealing to a more nonchalant crowd who couldn't even be bothered to read the books. Where is the commitment to detail? The respect for Tolkien? The respect for his readers?

I would like more than anything to be wrong.This past summer, I talked about my hesitations for this installment. I stand by those, but I'm trying to stay positive. I'm not going to lie, watching An Unexpected Journey the other night settled a lot of my fears. After all, I worried over that movie, too.

Elijah Wood hugging Peter Jackson on the last day of filming {via}
Tolkien has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. When I was little, imaginary games were always placed in Middle Earth. Talking about the the books and movies has been an ice breaker when I'm being socially awkward. Watching the movies is always a much-awaited break from reality, and the books bring back memories like no other series does. Lately people have thought I'm getting a little over-sensitive, and maybe I am. But the simple truth is, I would hate for the movie adaptions of The Hobbit to give false feelings for the book. The movies should encourage a commitment to this fandom and inspire viewers to read the books for themselves. That's not going to happen if the movies aren't accurate portrayals.

In the past Peter Jackson has shown incredible taste and talent in his adaptions. I want to continue to trust him, because he's given so much to the Tolkien world. However, my commitment is to Tolkien, not him. Even if these next two installments are flops, I'll continue to be a LOTR fan. It would just be really, really nice if I didn't have to join the Percy Jackson readers and forget that certain movies ever happened.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Thoreau-ly

"I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, and when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." -Henry David Thoreau

I've been reading some Emerson and Thoreau this past week. Both were transcendentalists, believing that God was not the highest power and that instead nature was. While I totally disagree with the majority of their beliefs, as I read on, I found quite a few things I identified with. So much of what they say is simply about simplifying and striving to be unique. At the end of our lives, don't we all want to know that we have lived?

The whole internet addiction and living deliberately conversation has been on my mind a lot lately. I'm a pretty lazy person, but I'm also always dissatisfied with being lazy. I want to do things, read things, accomplish things. And yet, I can't always convince myself of that and I end up scrolling through Pinterest instead. When there's something I don't want to do, I procrastinate on it and don't start until the last possible second. I don't work hard enough. My life isn't on the internet, but honestly, there are days when all I do is skate and read blogs.

I love what Shay said. She hit a home-run on so many points. This next week, I'm going to try harder to be more deliberate with my time. To make more time for reading, exercising, stretching, studying, and writing. To talk with friends more. To clean the house and finish decorating. I want too much from life to scroll through Pinterest all the time.

I'm searching to simplify and do bigger things all at once.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

TYG: I'm A Rebel In The Kitchen


In my family, when we say "I'm in the mood for some cookies." We really mean "I want some cookie dough."

Everything's about the dough. We seriously decide what cookies to make based on which dough we're in the mood to sample. And I'm not talking about taking a fingerfull of butter and sugar....I'm talking major sampling.

At every stage.

By the spoonful.

Even after the egg has been added.


People are always shocked at that one. "What??!! You eat raw eggs? But those have salmonella!"

To which I reply, while holding a spoonful of cookie dough, "I'm not dead yet." *cheeky smile*

The simple truth of the matter, is that neither me nor my family really cares.

Don't look at me like that. Don't act shocked unless you can honestly say you have never eaten cookie dough after the egg has been added. Yeah. I didn't think so.


Yet, I still get a lot of blank stares when I start talking cookie dough. That's why I have a lovely answer committed to memory. "Oh, well, we use eggs that come from our own chickens. We know where they come from, and that our birds aren't diseased. So it's alright."

Sounds very educated, oui?

But the truth is, I ate cookie dough before we had chickens. And I have no qualms about eating it when I know it's from store-bought eggs. 

So I need a new reply. Something witty, light-hearted, and that no one can argue with.

How can you eat cookie dough with eggs in it??!!

Because I have a great and powerful God.

It's exhilarating.

Just think of it as a dance with death...

It's my rebellious streak.

Can anyone say addiction?

You're not the boss of me!

What reply do you have down pat?

I'm not really sure what I'm doing here...
Outfit Details: cardigan / / JC Penny's, tank top / / hand-me down, pencil skirt and heels / / thrift store, nyons / / Walmart, necklace / / heirloom, ring and bracelet / / gift, belt / / came with another dress, lipstick / / Revlon's "Gentleman Prefer Pink."

PS. Don't forget to like Young Yankee Lady on Facebook!

Update: Linking up to Watch What I'm Wearing at Watch Out For The Woestmans.




Sunday, December 1, 2013

Class-ify It: How to Wear Turtlenecks and Pencil Skirts

Today I've got a really special post planned for you guys! It's been on my mind for awhile, and I'm so excited to finally be writing it! I've started a new category on my blog: Class-ify It. Some of my favorite posts to read are ones that talk about figure flattery, how clothes should fit, and elevating outfits. The fashion world has very strange views about what looks good, and with all that chaos, it's pretty easy to loose sight of what actually does. In these posts, I'm going to try and show how making a few simple changes can go a long way in turning something from frumpy to classy.

Turtlenecks and pencil skirts are a wintertime classic for lots of people. They're warm, fun, and make great go-to's for lots of different occasions. Like everything, however, there's a right and a wrong way to do it. While turtlenecks are cozy and comfy, they've gotten a rather bad rap because people tend to associate them with 'frump'. It's really too bad, though. With some searching, soft and fitted turtlenecks are great additions to your winter wardrobe.

While I've always enjoyed dressing up and wearing nice clothes, it's only been recently that I started to understand figure flattery. Because of that, outfits that I would have thought pretty classy look really frumpy to me now. Below I've re-created an outfit I would have worn as recently as last winter (left) and the class-ified version (right).


Outfit Details: (Left) Turteneck//hand-me-down, pencil skirt//thrifted, tights//Walmart, flats//Payless. (Right) Turtleneck//thrifted, pencil skirt//thrifted, tights//George via Walmart, heels//thrifted.

These photos were taken on the same day, wearing the same skirt. Yet the left looks frumpy, while the right is put-together. Looking at the pictures, I feel like I not only look taller, but also a little slimmer and older in the right picture.

Let's talk about the outfit on the left.


I mean, there's not a lot wrong with it. It's passable. My two biggest problems with it are that it's boring and makes me look a little stumpy (For reference, I'm about 5'7"). Here's what's contributing to the frumpy look:

  • My hair is pulled straight back in a bun similar to what I exercise in, and I'm not wearing any makeup. Both those things make the outfit appear less put-together.
  • The turtleneck is definitely not as fitted as it could be, and is a bit rough with those 'ridges' that seem a little granny-ish.
  • The plain, opaque tights keep it boring, and also provide never-ending-black.
  • The flats elongate my feet and just don't look right with the classy skirt...they make the shoes seem like an afterthought rather than an actual part of the outfit.
Now let's look at at the right outfit:


I think this outfit to look more thoughtful and sophisticated, and therefore more mature. Here's what's making it classier than the left outfit:
  • Here I have my hair off to the side in a full, 'fluffy' bun. I'm also wearing a simple, 5 product makeup look: concealer, foundation, eye shadow, mascara, and lip balm.
  • The turtleneck is much more fitted and softer, with small details like pleats at the neck. Plus the fact that it's gray, instead of black, makes it less monotonous.
  • It's hard to tell in these pictures, but these tights actually have a fun diagonal pattern to them. Much more interesting than plain opaque!
  • Heels are always a good idea. Period. They only make outfits look better. Here, they continue the theme of a more sophisticated, mature look.
What do you think? Are turtlenecks and pencil skirts one of your go-to's? How do you make  your looks classier?

PS. Don't forget to like Young Yankee Lady on Facebook!