Jan 3, 2014

Chapter 3 of 365

SCARF: c/o Afternoon Owl Designs (get same one here)| VEST: c/o Pretty Cat Vintage (similar: here)| SWEATER: H&M (similar: here)| SKIRT: thrifted (similar: here and here)| BOOTS: Macy's (similar: here)| HAT: Urban Outfitters

The snow started New Year's Eve and hasn't stopped since, sneakily locking us indoors and burying our cars, giving us no choice but to curl up on gingham couches and watch Hallmark marathons all day long. My New Year's day was something close to perfect- my parents and I drank champagne and ate chocolates for lunch, I read books by the light of the Christmas tree, penned my favorite quotes into notebooks, and- with my chin on my knees- watched the snow fall quietly outside the window and thought of what was underneath the wrapping of this brand new year.

Last year was about trusting the stars and jumping into every unknown I could get my hands on: I quit my ulcer-creating job (but also my nerve-soothing paycheck), went to India, hiked through the Himalayan valleys, came back home for a hot minute and then moved to Seattle. All of these choices were done on whims and I did them because I wanted to see how deeply I could let go. How can a person fully live without doing a trust-fall onto the world every now and then? And I can't say that life catches me every time- I admitted defeat and moved back to Chicago at the end of the year to be home with my family, but sans a boyfriend. But even wrong decisions have their own kind of rightness.

So as I watch that snow dust its way down to the ground, I quietly think of what twenty fourteen has in store for me. At this point in my life I can honestly say, without a doubt, that I have...no plan. I have no idea what my next move should be or where I should even start to begin figuring that out. But I feel that we should have patience for those unsolvables inside of us. And instead of seeking the answers, we should live the questions, and enjoy the uncertainty. 

Because with uncertainty comes an infinite amount of possibility. 


And on a sartorial note, when there's a Midwestern blizzard threatening to knock down your door, a girl reaches for anything and everything cozy. I went for a knit caramel sweater paired with a winter floral skirt, and tied it all together with my suede Pretty Cat Vintage vest. I really like all the textures that are in this one look- from knit and cotton, to suede and silk. When you read them out loud it sounds like it'd be a bit of a mess, but all together they work really well. And one styling tip I can't get over is use your sweaters with dresses and skirts. I can't tell you for how long I'd only use tops and cardigans with my skirts, all the while completely overlooking the sweater section of my closet. It usually makes a dress or skirt outfit so much more cozier and winter appropriate, so don't be shy to play with them! 

And if you like my suede Pretty Cat Vintage vest, be sure to check out their store here because they have another one just like it, along with other Southwestern inspired pieces! 

And just to give you an idea of what they have in stock, here are some of my favorite pieces from their store!



Fox-and-Rook height-of-vintage

Linking up with: Funday Monday, Monday Bloom

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  1. Oh, Marlen. I feel you. I moved out west (to Portland) with my sweetie last year. I don't love it here, and all I want is to move back to the south. He doesn't want to come, and I love him, and it's so hard to figure out how to navigate those two. I hope you are doing okay--at the very least, you and your outfit look beautiful. Much love. xx

  2. Awesome combination!


  3. again awesome photographs and outfit dear.I really love your cozy and vintage looking outfits even though they are not totally my style but you manage to look great in those!
    Style Of OzOz
    Style Of OzOz Facebook Page

  4. These photos are gorgeous!! The falling snow is so picturesque and i love the floral skirt and mustard sweater, so perfect together.
    It's funny how quickly life can change, but you learned so much from all your experiences that it's always worth it! And change can be really good :)

  5. You look like you should be exploring the next frontier with your trusty-tamed-talking St. Bernard. Basically, it's awesome. I agree about the new year. Although I might say I am more scared than excited, but maybe I'll realize those two feelings are more similar than different. Who knows....

  6. You are so brave! I don't know that I would ever be able to do all of the trust-falls you did last year (though maybe if I didn't have a dozen kids I would). I really admire that. And it snowed here on New Years Day as well, but just for a minute. But it was fun to wake up to. I love all of your soft colors today. Enjoy your indoor lounging!

  7. "Because with uncertainty comes an infinite amount of possibility." ... Chills! My word that is so perfect, and I feel like that is going to be my motto for 2014

  8. Marlen you look fantastic! I never would have thought to style an outfit like this. It is Amazing! Enjoy the vest. Now I kind of wish I could find another one for me :)

  9. Oh darling, I love this post. Your New Years day really does sound magical-- chocolates for breakfast and reading by the fire are amazing ways to pass the day! And I can't believe how much in common you and I have-- two years ago I went on a month-long volunteer trip to India and camped out in the Himalayas for two weeks! I'm sure you must have had an incredible time. Did you drink Indian chai?! I made sooo much up in the mountains. And I can totally relate to your feeling of not having a single plan... Isn't it nice? 2014 will be a great year for you, I just know it!

    Xo, Hannah


  10. Thanks for stopping by my blog and linking back to yours! Sounds like you've had quite the changing year, I'd love to hike the Himalayas. Hope this year brings you lots of good things!

    <3 Vicki

  11. You had quite the adventurous year! Well done! I love what you said about doing "a trust-fall onto the world." Those are inspiring words. I am also sans plan past this spring, and often daydream of disappearing off to unknown places for a while - it's encouraging to know that someone else has taken that step.

    Lovely snow day clothes! I must try more sweater/skirt combos, yours look so timeless and cozy. Enjoy the weather :)


  12. You really did have a year jam packed with adventure and change! This was really beautifully written, Marlen! I really admire your sense of adventure and knowing when it's time to come home. Happy new year!! Oh, and perfect outfit for looking cute during a blizzard :)

  13. I love the color palette of your outfit :)

  14. AW MARLEN this is such a hopeful post. You are an amazing lady and it's 100% okay to have no plan. I think most people have no plan with what to do next and constantly feel like they are stuck in some shape or form. You are a smart, lovely lady with so much talent and will find something out. It'll hit you like a squirrel throwin' a nut at you from a tree one day. I have faith in you!

    On the outfit side, I luuuuuh the colors in this outfit. Mm mm good. Especially that skirt and scarf!

  15. "Because with uncertainty comes an infinite amount of possibility." Indeed! At least you're dressed and ready to impress no matter where life leads you ;)

  16. I have a very hard time making trust-fall-like decisions. I like to have some sort of plan. I admire you for picking up and moving like that and for your India trip. I'd definitely be down for moving somewhere new but I'd have to have a job set up or some sort of plan!

    But annnyway. I love the way you remix your warmer weather pieces for the winter. I want to go back up to Illinois and be in the snow a little bit longer. It just doesn't stay cold enough for layering for an optimal amount of time here. I actually wouldn't mind living in Chicago for a little while... after all I do have family up there. But I'll stop rambling. You look awesome. The end.

  17. Love your skirt, you look gorgeous!


  18. Unlimited amount of possibility is right!
    Lisa | c/oMKE

  19. Thanks for sharing... stay warm over there.. and I know 2014 will be all sorts of wonderful for you.. full of adventure and wonder... the best sort of fun... Cheers.

  20. This is coziness + floral perfection. And even though I technicially have at least a life plan for the near future with my shop, its still definitely in the stages of being a life-fall in to the universe type thing and I can totally relate. I basically chose the no regular paycheck route and the no "job in my field" route, but I totally believe we just have to go for it sometimes! Enjoy your family and the snow! :)
    xo Hannah

  21. I think people need to relax more and think about their life. And I think you are absolutely right. Sometimes people need to be able to dive into the unknown, to be able to let go. I'm just like you right now, I have no idea where I'll go from now, but I really don't give a f... :D
    As for this outfit, it's perfect vintage once again. Reminds me of coffee, so much complementary colors,the scarf is a total favorite!

  22. I like your view on things Marlen. "Because with uncertainty comes an infinite amount of possiblity." Here's to 2014 bringing you what you need and more!
    I also like the earthy tones in your outfit! That scarf just makes me want to snuggle in it <3

    The Dragonfruit Diaries

  23. Love the scarf (and the rest of the outfit). I'm in process of crocheting a bunch to sell in my shop that are similar.
    I feel that vests, these days, are truly underrated. I love them so much, but you hardly see anyone wear them.

  24. This outfit has to be my most absolute favourite, truly! I am in love with the whole colour scheme and again your layering is spot on. Beautiful, beautiful :)

    So I'm reading that you are sort of plan-free in 2014 and I've always wondered if you were perhaps writing something... are you? I think your writing is spectacular and ever so engaging! If you wrote a book, article, etc., girl, I would rush out and buy it! Haha

    Happy New Year :)

  25. I do like this look- cute but still warm looking.

    Also, good luck on your journey!

  26. It's so hard for me to relate to anyone dealing with a blizzard right now as I look out my window and it's sunny and 70 degrees haha. Don't get me wrong though, I am a bit jealous because I totally wish I could wear an outfit like yours. I love the whole ensemble and the colors are prefect. Also, I think it's really admirable that you were so spontaneous in 2013. I'm hoping to be more like that this year. And good luck to you in your 2014 endeavors :)

  27. Really love the tone of your outfit, Marlen !
    I really in love with your blog and how you combine everything, so vintage !
    Happy new year ! hope 2014 will be a great year for us ;)


  28. I'm in love with your skirt! You look so beautiful and I love the snowy pictures :)

    xo www.inventedromance.blogspot.ca

  29. You look like a cozy winter dreaaamm.


  30. Okay, this word is way-overused in the blogging community, but there is really no better one to use--you, my dear, are inspiring. I do the "safe and secure" thing wayyyy too often, but I yearn for adventure. This quote--"How can a person fully live without doing a trust-fall onto the world every now and then?"--is going to be printed out and hung on my desk where I will see it every single day.

    Hope you're having a great 2014 so far!

  31. Lovely outfit, so warm and cozy.


  32. really like all of the brown tones in this outfit, and the snow is beautiful! :)

    Hope that 2014 is full of lots of exciting things for you :)

    Away From The Blue

  33. Great outfit! I love the colours! And I need your skirt! Happy new year! :)

    XX Sonja

  34. Beautifully written. And loved the recap. I fell off the blogosphere for a while--okay--almost 3 months! ahh! So some of this I did know--and some I didn't. But either way..that is one "full" 2013. Hoping 2014 is the best year yet for you. And so jealous of the snow--and your new years day sounds perfect!

  35. I can so entirely relate to you here… I think that just about every time I've moved somewhere on a whim, I've ended up moving back home to Chicago… and I think I might be getting ready to do so again… this whole quitting my job, selling my stuff, and moving halfway across the world thing isn't going so much as planned… plus, now I'm not getting the snow/cold day that I would be getting if I were back in Chicago. I don't have a plan, either. Pretty much none, whatsoever. I didn't really have a plan in moving out here either, but all I know is that it isn't living up to the semi-expectations that I had. Who knows where this year will bring us…

  36. lovely mix of textures and pattern.
    Marie @
    In Our Happy Place

  37. Ah, back in 2011 I did this and moved to SF right at the end of 2010. I quit a job I loved but moved away from Vegas, a city I hated. I came with no job and after months of looking found two, right now I have three to juggle! You never know what adventures are in store for you unless you take the plunge.

  38. this is SUCH a lovely post. being young is all about trying things out, making changes and seeing what works for you. it sounds like you're on an incredible journey. i hope 2014 is a wonderful year for you!


  39. Wow! Your blend of color and pattern is amazing. I'm in love with your sense of style.

  40. I adore this remix Marlen! you are awesome at layering for winter and looking so chic still. i love the cozy scarf w/ that pretty skirt and the hat tops it off. also, you're a beautiful writer! I love the "But even wrong decisions have their own kind of rightness." While this coming year might not be as exciting, i'm sure it'll bring it's own adventures : ). Happy 2014 to you dear!

  41. Great skirt and loving the way you layered it with the tights. That snow looks insane as well. Looking Great! mywhiteT.com

  42. this is such a cozy yet retro look! love everything about this :)

    C's Evolution of Style

  43. Such a pretty layered look, very vintage and lovely insightful writing !

    Feisty Fox Diaries

  44. Loving the different textures here! And it sounds like you had such a great 2013. I love what you said about uncertainty and possibility. Sometimes it's just best to dive into things without looking back. Happy 2014!

  45. We've had similar weather here in Toronto, chilly, but quite beautiful (as long as you're scoping it from inside ;)). Loving this outfit- the scarf looks so ultra cozy! xo



  46. Look so warm! xxx


  47. oh my goodness, i love this outfit! so many chunky knits, and i love them paired with the skirt!


  48. You had a CRAZY year. I'm so sad that you and Marc broke up (I have been reading your blog even though I haven't commented lately (till now, ha!)), but I was glad when you said even though it's bittersweet, you know it's the right thing. I hope 2014 is fantastic and just as adventurous. You inspire me to try more things, go more places, wear crazier clothes (in a good way), and just... live more life. I'm so sad we didn't get to hang out more when you were here; I would have LOVED to have had more hang-out-and-chat (I don't know about you, but I felt so comfortable just sitting and talking to you, like we were old friends!) times and more thrift-store shopping together. Maybe someday I'll come to Chicago and see your side of the world!

    And in other, much shallower news... I need that skirt.

  49. You are so amazing because you are so genuine.

    I am 40, and still - no plans. And lots of darling things, and relationships, and cities, and even countries left behind. For the better. Just live.

    Your photography is very beautiful, and so is your outfit (colors, colors! and textures!). Beautiful talented, genuine girl. You are so rare...


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