Tell Me Something I Don’t Know: Zipped

TMSIDK-Chelsea

I’m so excited to be bringing this series back to life on the blog! Today we have Chelsea from one of my favorite style blogs, Zipped. I’ve been reading Chelsea’s blog for a few years now and I love her style because it’s actually attainable- she always looks chic and pulled together in outfits that you could recreate without having to spend a fortune. Also, she seems so sweet and relatable and has the most adorable instagram feed, hands down. I loved reading through her answers and I’m totally with her on #7 below. Take it away Chelsea!

Tell Me Something I Don't Know-Chelsea

Thank you Chelsea for agreeing to participate in “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know!”

(images: Newsroom, ZZ Ward, An Object of Beauty; Minneapolis, Coffee in Bed (from Chelsea’s instagram); Burberry Prorsum Trench, arrow graphic  via vmac + cheese; first and last image via Chelsea)

Tell Me Something I Don’t Know: Sartorial Sidelines

Tell-Me-Something-I-Don't-Know_Courtney

There was a little bit of a hiatus, but now I’m back with another installment of Tell Me Something I Don’t Know! When I first dreamed up the idea for this series, I knew without a doubt that I was going to feature Courtney at some point! Courtney was one of the first bloggers I connected with and she’s been so supportive of my blog since the very beginning (I’m pretty sure she’s the #1 commenter on my site!). Courtney was also one of the first bloggers I met in real life when we had the first CT Bloggers Meetup and she was just as delightful in person as she is on her blog, Sartorial Sidelines. Not only does she have great style, but also plenty of brains to boot (she got her PhD in History at Yale). Her intelligence totally shines through in her answers below- take a look!


I’m a fashion blogger and, obviously, I wanted my blog title to convey that in some way. I settled upon the first part of my title “sartorial” because it clearly imparts the subject matter of the blog and also because it happens to be one of my favorite words. Odd, I know. Anyways, the second half of the title “sidelines” is a reflection of the fact that I started blogging while pursuing my PhD in history and engaged in the process of professionalization of myself as a scholar and historian – my interest in fashion and the writing outlet that the blog provided were sort of a sideline to all that. It also attempts to convey what I still see as a fairly prevalent attitude among certain people (especially within the academy) that things like fashion are inherently frivolous and detract from one’s position as a “serious scholar.” I, of course, think that’s rubbish and so my blog title offers a little nod to that. Finally, I am a sucker for alliteration. 

Listening to- The Flatliners // Reading- In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson // Watching- Homeland

I’m currently really into the bands The Flatliners and Hot Water Music. I listen to a lot of punk and metal (alongside mellower more experimental stuff like Metric, the Rural Alberta Advantage, and Ladytron and classics like the Supremes and Leonard Cohen) and my current musical obsessions are pretty in line with that. I’m addicted to Homeland, Breaking Bad, Parks and Recreation, and the Walking Dead in terms of viewing and can’t enough of reruns and new episodes. I’m also thinking about rewatching the amazing series The Wire but its so emotionally draining that I have to screw myself up a bit before that happens. In terms of books, I am an avid reader. I usually have 3-4 books on the go at a time (fiction, non-fiction, and all the academic books about history (British history specifically) that I read). Right now I’m reading a scholarly book called Tudorisms, the newest book in the Game of Thrones series on the fiction side, and In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson as my light non-fiction read.


I did a series of posts from England while I was living there researching my doctoral dissertation that I really like because they were both about fashion and allowed me to geek out about my research and the glories of British history, which was fun. I also did a post about the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met when I was living for 6 years in the NYC area and made it into the city with some frequency. McQueen is my favorite designer and so getting to see that exhibit and write about it was an amazing experience for me.

I just moved back to my hometown in Canada after living in the US and various other places for 6 years while I was in grad school and I’m really enjoying rediscovering the city of Edmonton. So much had changed while I’ve been gone and there’s a lot about it that I love these days…the sense of local community is really strong in a lot of areas of the city and I just love that.


My current job is incredibly demanding and I’m also teaching a history class at a local university on the side, as well as applying for research fellowships and academic jobs at research universities so my plate is pretty full these days when I’m not blogging. But I’m also reconnecting with old friends after having been away for so long and trying to work in some down time (and by that I mean tv watching and wine drinking with my husband and two adorable cats…don’t worry, they don’t drink the wine).

This may sound a bit lame but I’m going to have to go with my books. I have a great collection that I’ve been building for years and that I love being surrounded by. Yup, I definitely need those in my life!


Definitely sipping some wine and taking in a good tv show or a so-bad-it’s-good movie. When I really need to de-stress I reach for a terrible When Animals Attack movie. Deep Blue Sea anyone?

1 // 2 // 3

I’ve been coveting a pair of Fluevog boots for seriously the longest time now – I think it’s getting close to the point where I should pull the trigger on that. I am also currently obsessed with clothing that incorporate little accents of faux leather and am trying to stock up on pieces like that.


The best advice I’ve ever gotten, and it’s so good that I give it out now, is to be open to stay true to your vision of yourself. There’s a real tendency for fashion bloggers to get caught up with trends and, while there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, my favorite blogs (and the ones that I think endure) are those with a clear vision that really showcase the personal style (and attitude and character) of the blogger behind them regardless of what other bloggers are doing. If I wanted to read about trends I’d buy a magazine – I like blogs for their sense of realness and immediacy in terms of fashion. And I think that sense of authenticity is really important and worth preserving.

Thank you so much Courtney for agreeing to participate in “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know!”

Tell Me Something I Don’t Know: Casee Marie

Tell-Me-Something-I-Don't-Know_Casee

I was so very pleased by the overwhelmingly positive response to my first post in this series and I’m so delighted to bring to you another one of my favorite bloggers, Casee Marie! Casee always posts fantastic content on both of her blogs, The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower and Literary Inklings (I don’t know how she manages to run two blogs!). As I’ve gotten to know Casee over the last couple of years, she has always been so friendly and supportive of my blog, not to mention that she was clutch when answering my questions the weekend I decided to make the move from Blogger to WordPress! Casee is a writer at heart, which comes across so clearly in her masterfully written posts. I’ve told Casee before that I treat her blog like I would a good book or my favorite magazine: I can’t rush through it, but instead I’ll wait until I have a period of free time and peruse her blog at my leisure.  Well that’s enough from me- I’m sure you’re dying to read Casee’s answers now! Take it away lady!

The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower is a reference to an Audrey Hepburn film, which seemed appropriate since Audrey is my top inspiration.  The film is called “Paris, When it Sizzles” and in it Audrey plays a secretary to a film writer, played by William Holden. They fall in love as she helps him with his new screenplay, called “The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower” – they even got Frank Sinatra to sing a mock-up title song for it! Anyway, The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower the blog is largely personal and I write on a broad range of topics, but overall I like to consider it a blog to inspire cultural living – with attention to fashion, beauty, décor, and the arts – especially with a European flair.

 On Literary Inklings I work with authors and publishers, both indie and mainstream, on book reviews and interviews; other than that there’s a lot of bookish content, from personal essays to adaptation reviews.  I like to hope it’s an online equivalent to the feeling a booklover gets when they’re around books.  The name came about on a very long road trip with my mom when I was first entertaining a literature blog.  I told her about The Inklings, the group started by writers at Oxford in the ‘30s (whose members included J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis) and it was from it that she suggested Literary Inklings as a blog name – it stuck quite quickly.

 Listening // Reading // Watching

Literally at this moment I’m listening to Ella Fitzgerald singing “Georgia”; I’m almost always listening to Ella, she’s my favorite. I love making past decades a part of my everyday life. I like to pick out the best bits, mix generations to make my own little world; lately there’s lots of Imelda May, The Smiths, I Am Kloot, Sia (my other favorite) and JD McPherson on my playlist. I’m watching the Olympics! I’m a homebody with a wanderlust heart so I just love the opportunity to learn about other countries – and sports – through the Games. And I’m currently reading a giant of an old-style crime novel that will be publishing this month, The Twenty-Year Death by Ariel S. Winter.

Ohh, difficult! The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower has several years of content, and I’ve put a lot of things that I’m proud of into it. One of the first times I wrote in detail about Audrey was in tribute on her 82nd birthday (Our Huckleberry Friend: Remembering Audrey Hepburn) and that will always be a special post. I also really love Lessons from Tom Ford to an Unlikely Fashionista; it was challenging because I wanted to capture everything Tom Ford has given to me, but I think I accomplished it, and I was gratified to know that other people found inspiration in it as well.

 My favorite post on Literary Inklings is “Don’t Just Say You Have Read Books, Or Why I Read: A Personal Essay,” and for a number of reasons. I was able to get a lot of my thoughts down on the importance (in my opinion) of reading, and it also sparked some absolutely wonderful comments; I loved reading how other people could relate to the post and what reading means to them.

 

Well, I live in a small town, but my favorite thing about Wallingford, Connecticut, is that it was one of the inspirations for Stars Hollow on Gilmore Girls. For those who never watched the TV series it might not be as exciting, but I think it’s pretty cool!

I’m always blogging, really. When I’m not blogging I’m usually reading – exciting, I know. I also try to focus on my creative fiction writing; I’ve written the roughest of drafts for two novels, which I’m hoping to pursue in the future.

 

Supposedly it was Oscar Wilde who said, “With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?” I think that sums it up well for me!

A glass of wine and some online shopping; unplugging and focusing on simple, technology-free pastimes relaxes me, too. I think when you spend a lot of time working on a computer it’s important to engage your mind elsewhere as well, to get inspired or just rejuvenate your perspective.

 

More hours in a day!

I don’t know that I can pinpoint one exact piece of advice because blogging has been a singular, giant experience for me, an evolution process that doesn’t seem to have a beginning or end.  Being observant and reflective, I think, has been the key factor for me.  I’ve gone through the phases of feeling like I have to publish a certain amount of blog posts a week, judging my audience by the number of comments, presuming that to work with brands is to have “succeeded”; and I’ve realized that’s all wrong.  I’ve learned to focus not on any of that, but on blogging as an outlet and as a representation of my skills, inspirations and dreams.  When you take absolutely everything else out of blogging it feels exciting and new all over again.

Thank you so much Casee for agreeing to participate in “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know!”

Tell Me Something I Don’t Know: Delayed Missives

Tell Me Something I Don't Know_Alex

I’m so excited to reveal this new blog feature to you guys, called Tell Me Something I Don’t Know! This idea has been brewing behind the scenes for a long while now and in the last few weeks I finally put it into action. In this series, I plan to interview lots of different bloggers and the plan is to get to know the person behind the blog a little better. I’m always so fascinated by little tidbits of people’s lives, so this is a great way for me (and you lovely readers) to get to know some more bloggers!

The phrase “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know” comes from my high school World History teacher.  Every day when we walked into that class, the very first thing he said to us was, “Tell me something I don’t know,” and the idea was that we would share with the class little facts and stories that we had heard throughout the day or the week. It was a great way to catch up on current events in the school and the world beyond and it was definitely one of my favorite parts of class. I thought it would then be a fun idea to apply that concept to some bloggers that I love!

I promise that the introductions for these won’t always be so long! ;) Without further ado, please say hello to Alex! If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ve surely seen Alex pop up in many of my outfit posts or posts about events here in NYC.  Alex was the first blogger that I met when I moved to NYC last summer and we’ve been friends since! It’s so awesome to have a blogger friend because she totally doesn’t mind when I want to take photos and she’s always willing to attend an event with me :) Take a look at Alex’s answers below to get to know her a little better!

A very long time ago, I started blogging on Tumblr with the extremely imaginative name of Alex Elizabeth. Tumblr was always down in those days, so I moved to WordPress in 2010. I couldn’t get any Alex Elizabeth domains though (or even anything close), and after trying to register for about 150 different names I took the one from my old photo blog– Delayed Missives. I blog about what I wear, and sometimes what I do: eat, drink, shop, and take photos. 

Listening to: Melanie Fiona- The Bridge
Reading: Through a Glass Darkly by Karleen Koen
Watching: True Blood 

It’s probably Between Bridges. I loved that outfit and it was a great day. Really fun. It’s from the same day that we went to Shake Shack Madison Square Park in December without coats, which is totally amazing. Even more amazing was the five person line. 

 

Do I have to choose? The energy of the city, the rush of people, the ability to walk places, the option to take the train or a taxi after a few glasses of Scotch, nights so late they turn into mornings…

Meet my friends! I like to have a good social schedule and dislike going directly home from work. I’m always at dinner or brunch, or if my friends aren’t available I wander around DUMBO, Flatiron, Union Square, or the East Village.

 

I can’t live without my iPhone! Seriously, I’m really attached to it. I don’t even use it to call people. Minutes? I only use like 30 of those each month. I use it more as a camera than anything else. My favorite apps are Camera+, Instagram, and Flipboard. I love photography apps because New York is like one big photo opportunity. 

I actually have a hard time relaxing… or rather, I think I’m generally relatively relaxed. Yoga — and not the mild kind either, I’m talking Ashtanga — always relaxes me. Actually that’s not true, it energizes me, but I feel relaxed… I’m not making any sense. Umm… I like wandering around the East Village or Brooklyn Bridge Park. That’s always relaxing to me :) 

I really want these Jeffrey Campbell sandals in black. And a decent handbag. I don’t know what it is yet, but I’m going to find it.

Focus. You don’t need to be everything to everyone. And my little scrap of advice to give is if you’re a blogger and you don’t read copyblogger yet, you should start. Now

Thank you so much Alex for being my very first interview in this new series!  Also, I would love to get feedback from you guys- what do you think of “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know?”