Vulnerability Manifesto

Feb 9, 2014

kaiho-vintage-2kaiho-vintage-4 KAIHO-VINTAGE-6

HAT: Urban Outfitters
JACKET: J Crew (similar: here)
DRESS: c/o Kaiho Vintage (similar: here and here and here and here)
TURTLENECK: Banana Republic (similar: here and here)
BOOTS: Macy's (similar: here and here and here

Have you heard of the Vulnerability Manifesto? It goes something like this:
"Soft is harder than the hardest hard. Sweetness is stronger always. These are difficult realizations for any human being. But what it is to be strong and female means to be brazenly feminine, not merely to imitate or be counterpart to the masculine. No one is excluded from embracing these qualities. We demand that Love struggle against the will for power. Giving isn't sacrificing. One should be in a state of vulnerability at all times and that state should be evident."
 - Sarah Sophie Flicker & Maximilla Lukace

I mean, can you think of anything more beautiful? Soft is harder than the hardest hard. When did tenderness become a weakness, when did kindheartedness lose its allies? Somewhere along the lines gentleness lost the war, and we decided being cold was a much easier pill to swallow than being kind. And it is. Tenderness takes courage; allowing ourselves to be affected takes guts. Whether it be through an old song that takes you back or a new friendship that has you looking forward; through the way the sun looks stretching through the leaves of the woods or the moon looks yawning through your blinds; through a familiar perfume of a person that's left or the uncomfortably unfamiliar feelings you get with someone new; those things are powerful, even if in a quiet way, and can sometimes feel like lashes. But they're all for you. Don't shrink away from your sweetness, and let yourself be vulnerable. Because you were always meant to live out in the open and not flinch behind walls :)


And now onto the fashion: I am definitely going nuts with turtlenecks this year, haha. I just find them such an easy fix to make summer dresses more winter appropriate! Take this Kaiho Vintage dress for example. With it's dainty little daisy print, you'd think there wouldn't be an easy way to nudge it into your winter wardrobe. But all I did was slip a grey turtleneck underneath, add on a cargo jacket, and layer some socks over my tights to add that extra, subtle layer and there we have it! A dress that looks like it's been made for February itself. And if you like the delicate, minimalist look of this dress, then you should definitely check out Kaiho Vintage for yourself. It's got clean lines and soft prints that reminds me of Madewell, but it's SO affordable. Like almost everything is under $30 affordable. So don't dilly dally and check them out here


And to give you an idea of the simple, elegant pieces Kaiho carries, here are three of my favorites. How pretty is that linen white dress? It looks like a dream! Also, they're offering my readers a 20% coupon with code 20MESSAGES- happy shopping ;)



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  1. Sweetness wins with me, always. Well said, Marlen! Also dress perfection and another layering trophy for you!

  2. Fantastic. x

  3. I adore your dress and lip color!! Looks fantastic. :)

    xx Love & Aloha

  4. I do feel that soft is sometimes hard - SOMETIMES. I think it's better to pair soft with something hard, like what you've done today with the dress and the jacket and boots.
    Beauty Fashion Skin Care Blog -Girlie Blog Seattle | Casual Chic Style

  5. I love love love your dress. I have been trying to cultivate a spirit of gentleness and quietness this year and I think your quote definitely hit the nail on the head!!! Xo, Lauren@

  6. I agree with your turtleneck obsession -- they are the ultimate layering piece, especially if they stick tight to you so they can go under everything! So far the only kind I've been able to come across are loose so layering is still a bit of a bust. You, however, look fabulous. I love the polka-dots with the military style jacket!

    That little tidbit about being soft and strong was beautifully written. Thanks for the share. :)


  7. That is such a beautiful sentiment, and something that really resonates with me personally as I can be incredibly sensitive. I have always viewed it as a weakness but have been working the past year to see what a brilliant advantage it can give me if I'm really aware of it. That was deep, I'm going to even that out with a "I love this outfit, it's super cute and you're layering rocks" because it's true;)

  8. I am just loving your hair like that!
    Lisa | c/oMKE

  9. I haven't visited your blog in quit a while! That dress looks adorable on you. (: I like the length of it and the little dots

    Trending In Fashion

  10. Here's to vulnerability, and flower-dotted blue dresses!

  11. ahh I think this is one of my favorite outfits of yours! That jacket is great.

  12. Your posts are taking on a very philosophical turn of late.

    A clever (and cute) way to make a spring dress more winterized.

  13. That color blue looks stunning on you and I'm liking your turtleneck looks.

    And so true that's it's easier to be cold. There's like an unspoken rule in LA that you don't acknowledge strangers when you pass them on the street. We just naturally have our guard up and our mean mug on. It's a weird way of life. Part of the reason I really like Seattle and Portland is because when you're walking around in those cities, people smile back at you. Oh and thanks for your empathy in regards to my job situation :)

  14. so beautiful. It is hard to let us feel and be tender, I'll admit times I would push away from things because of being too scared to feel. Aside from that, your layering game is too strong, I love it! And I love the hat, been looking for one to hide my mane on bad hair days!


  15. I love the look! The dress is so pretty.

  16. What beautiful words :) Love your layering like always!


  17. Your look is pretty good today, you definitely have wonderful personal taste in clothes! that hat suits you so nicely) I wish I could wear hats in such an appealing way as you are, nevertheless, I still can't find a hat which would suits me. Lovely snapshots as well!
    Have a fabulous time!

  18. Such a cute dress! You really have a talent for layering and making things winter appropriate! :)

    Hadn't heard of the vulnerability manifesto before either, thank you for sharing :)

    Away From Blue

  19. I had a sense that this tenderness issue was only a Bulgaria kind of thing, but guess I was wrong :D I've had tons of problems in relationships, because I was always the one who was straightforward and didn't hide their feelings or played stupid games. And most people care less if you care more, natural fact!
    The jacket is wicked cool! Loving this dotty dress, the dark blue reminds me of a night sky, so dreamy!!!

  20. I love that you paired that awesome dress with a turtleneck! I would never think to do that and it look so cute.

    Courtney ~ Sartorial Sidelines

  21. This dress is just too cute <3

    The Cutielicious

  22. LOVE this message and I love the outfit. You are the Layer Queen!

  23. i love your style! and that dress is gorgeous!


  24. First of all, I am enamoured by the topic that you bring up. There is an overwhelming sense that in order to get by in this crazy world, you must wear thick skin at all times. While things can be difficult or hard to bear, it doesn't mean that you can't let them affect you. While growing up I was basically raised to sweep my feelings under the rug and keep them to myself, but I think it's important for people to experience them, and then feel like they can share it with others.

    I avoided turtlenecks for the longest time, but you inspire me to at least try one on soon! It's all about the layering. :)

  25. Really nice look :)
    I like the dress :)

    Svetlana from Lavender Star

  26. floral chiffon (is that chiffon?) dresses are my JAM. love it love it!!

    ♥ perfectly PRIYA

  27. What an adorable dress! That color of blue looks amazing on you! I'm always layering dresses to make them winter appropriate, best way to expand your wardrobe!

    Great message, too!

  28. Love your reflections about the Vulnerability manifesto, tenderness is what definitely makes the world go round, we should be more kind with each other every day. You have beautiful thoughts for a beautiful oufit!

  29. You are such a sweetheart! Beautiful quote and thoughts! And I love the dress!
    Sarah xx

  30. I think the feminization of vulnerability and kind heartedness does a great disservice to women, and men, and society as a whole. And just a rather ridiculous notion - which this really drives to for me. Thanks for sharing this!

    Unrelatedly, I love that you paired this awesome dress with a turtleneck. I would never think to do that and it looks really great.

    Courtney ~ Sartorial Sidelines


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