31 October 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone! I wish I had pictures of my planned costume but unfortunately I didn't dress up this year. I had to work both days super early (we're talking 5 AM) and therefore that basically made it almost impossible for me to go out anywhere.

My lover and I were going to be Arthur and Francine from my favorite children's book and children's TV show, Arthur.  We did however dress up my dog as an artist, haha.


But I did get to enjoy other fun activities like carving pumpkins! 

And shopping for new shoes. I can't wait to wear them! 


Rachel Beth

28 October 2011


An exciting update! 

Starting tomorrow, VARNISHEDJEANS.blogspot.com will now be VARNISHEDJEANS.com! Of course the blogspot URL will still work, but now we're a legit site! I finally broke down and bought the URL, haha.

Enjoy your Halloween weekend! 


Rachel Beth

27 October 2011


I love tights so much. I'm sure you've already recognized my love for tights, all different styles and colors. I love them because they are comfortable, like a second skin. They can add so much to an outfit. The best part about tights is that they allow me to wear dresses, skirts, shorts in the fall and winter months without much discomfort. 

Tights are so delicate though. Sometimes I can be an impatient person, something tights just can't tolerate. Tights demand a patient, gentle hand to handle them. Otherwise, they tear and rip to shreds while you pull them over your feet and legs. I usually purchase tights a little bigger than the suggested size because I've found that a. my legs are longer that my torso, and b. that larger tights make for less rips. 

Not that I don't love the edge that torn tights can give. Holy tights can add a lot of needed texture to an outfit. But sometimes I just want particular pairs of tights to stay intact. Like these polka dot tights I purchased. I love them, how sheer they are, the small dots. I had only worn them one time, for this outfit, and the second time - holes. I was so bummed. 

I think they add sophistication while maintaining a bit romantic and whimsical. Now they just scream anger, grunge, goth. That's not entirely my style. But I suppose I'll have to take it for now.


Rachel Beth

Images taken by Brian Garcia of Hate Your Answering Machine.

26 October 2011


There are so many wonderful fields and farmland in Michigan. Living in the semi-country can seem uninspiring to most, but the natural world is almost something that inspires me the most.

Since the end of the fall harvest, most farmers have plowed their fields in preparation for winter. These fields make for some gorgeous expanses, perfect for taking pictures.

I like to show different ways to wear things. I got this turtleneck from Old Navy for $5.00. I paired it with this raspberry/wine skirt I got from Forever 21 for $10.00 that I've most certainly worn before. I love the way the skirt's color pops against the chocolate brown of my tights and the cream stripes in my turtleneck. The tights almost match the color of my hair, so I like the balance that creates. Especially teasing my waves into some much needed volume adds to the overall look. 

I'm also wearing some boots I borrowed from my little sister. I love the slight amount of edge they give to this overall romantic outfit. Just a little bit of edginess can really create and interesting outfit that deviates from the norm. And still maintain it's elegance.

I'm hoping to travel to a thrift store that is shutting down this week. I want to cash in on some great deals!


Rachel Beth

Images taken by Brian Garcia of Hate Your Answering Machine.

25 October 2011


It's only a week away from Halloween and the commencement of the end of Autumn in Michigan. I'm enjoying all of my favorite living in Michigan in the country during the fall pastimes. This is probably my last fall here, but I'll explain that later! This weekend my lover and I went to a corn maze. It's been quiet a while since the last time I was trying to find my way through fields of corn plants, but I thought it would be a fun, campy area for a photo shoot.

Not too long ago I was reading this book on Coco Chanel, something like, Life Lessons by Coco Chanel or the Gospel of Coco Chanel. I never really ended up getting through the whole thing before I had to return it due to piling late fees. One of the "life lessons" I suppose I learned was the ability to have a catalog of everything in my wardrobe. Kinda like the computer catalog that Cher has in Clueless, but only in my mind. Chanel thought it important that every woman have this skill, and be able to mismatch every item within. Therefore the "what should I wear" or "I don't have anything to wear" conundrum would be eliminated.

I've been really trying to work on this trait lately. Before I started my blog these things kind of came naturally. It was fun to dance around my room to my favorite Jens Lekman album or whatever and thing up new ways to wear my clothing, since I was a poor college student who didn't even have the money to shop at Salvation Army.

Now that my aesthetic is on display for the entire world to critique, it's been a bit more difficult. I had some parties and people to see on Friday, so I put this outfit together. Most of the items in this outfit I've worn before on this blog, besides the skirt. The white thrifted shirt has been worn most recently here, the scarf I wore in Chicago as a bow in my hair. I've worn the belt so much it's almost ridiculous, the best .50 cents ever spent. The heels and tights I've worn in the school hard, as well as the beret.

I guess what I'm trying to say is I want my blog to be like that. I want it to showcase my wardrobe and my ability to use pieces over and over again in different ways. Or maybe the same because they are static pieces, but with different garments. I want to maintain my sense of averageness. I'm the average 23 year old girl, with the average income, and here's what I can do with it.

This skirt I'm wearing is actually a pencil skirt that I adjusted the length to, making it a little shorter. It also falls like a normal skirt, on the hip. I pulled it up, tightened my belt, and made it into a mock paper-bag skirt. It was a really easy way to change the silhouette of the skirt, and really the entire outfit.

I got many compliments out on Friday. In fact, one girl told me I should embrace my beauty, and that I should call American Apparel for a job. I was shocked to say the least. I didn't know if that was a compliment or an insult.


Rachel Beth

Images taken by Brian Garcia of Hate Your Answering Machine.

24 October 2011


. . . that I have never shared my favorite Youtube sensation to date, Drew Droege as Chloe Sevigny. Droege & Jim Hanson have been producing this mock "Vlog's" of "Chloe Sevigny's" opinions on different matters like, toast, fr33dom, manners, vacations, and comedy just to name a few.

Droege offers up a satirical look at everything the real Chloe Sevigny stands for, or at least what society believes she stands for; a unyielding pretentiousness. The videos are expertly written. It's almost impossible not to laugh at the ridiculousness that comes out of "Chloe's" mouth. And although they may not be altogether accurate, isn't that the point of a satire? An exaggerated form of humor that produces mockery?

The best part about these videos is the uncanny likeness of Droege in "Chloe drag". Not to put down Chloe Sevigny's actual appearance, she has a Nordic attractiveness that is unconventional at best, yet represents the beauty of the normal, average woman. But Droege's likeness makes the video's all the more believable and hilarious.

In his recent video above, discussing "Chloe's" take on "aezzories", Droege has finally gotten the recognition of brands and advertisers that he deserves. I don't really mind the product placement, the video is still awesome and I can't wait for more.


20 October 2011


The weather in Michigan has just been awful the past couple of days. I'm so glad I was able to get this outfit in before the monsoon hit. 

I've been experimenting with ties lately. I love the idea of a tie; I'd love to find some to wear traditionally, but recently I've been trying to find new uses for them. Earlier this week I died to wear one as a headband, and this outfit I'm using it as a belt. I love the way these ties add a little something special to my outfits, making them only slightly more interesting with out taking away from them. They also add some preppy-ness to the outfit which I just must have. I'm hoping to come up with some other interesting ways to wear ties, I just haven't yet.

I'm also wearing a v-neck sweater from J. Crew, a thrifted skirt, wool tights from Target, and heels from Target. I wanted to do something different with my hair so I decided to wear it in a bun and place a bow on my head.


Images taken by Brian Garcia of Hate Your Answering Machine.

19 October 2011


I love all the leaves all over the ground. The colors here in Michigan are so inspiring, bringing a lot more color into my outfits than normally. I just want to jump around and play in the leaves before they all blow away or end up in a compost pile or land fill. And believe me, the leaves are basically all gone from all these blustery Autumn days.

I've never been a huge fan of the color red. I think I've just been affected by the stigma surrounding the color red and a woman wearing it. I always think of the stupid song "Lady in Red", a Stouffer's Smart One's commercial, and these very simple, slinky, Halston-esque red dresses. It's just not me. 

I bought this red skirt from American Apparel a few years ago because I just liked the way the skirt looked in red. It almost reminded me of a tennis skirt, and since I'm such a prep it was a perfect fit. I actually wore an outfit that was inspired by a tennis uniform when I was a little girl, the skirt being a short red pleated skirt, with a gingham top that had crossed tennis rackets. I actually only wore this skirt when I would play tennis the summer I bought it. 

I paired it with this black bow shirt I got from H&M recently. I love the huge bow detailing. It's just enough embellishment for this outfit, and especially for someone like me, who can't stand jewelry hanging all over my body. And it doesn't take away from the pop of color the red skirt gives this entire ensemble.

I also wore my new black loafer heels I got from JCPenney! I love them especially because they looks almost exactly like the Nine West Loafers I desperately wanted but were only $40! Something that I can actually afford. Since, you know, I'm a working girl, a real, middle class person that doesn't have an expendable bank account like some fashion bloggers.

On a final note, thank you to all my fans on lookbook! I was so shocked by all of the attention my outfit got yesterday! I'd like to think it had more to do with the ensemble and not just the YSL tie but I'll take it! You all have left the most wonderful comments for me and they truly make my day! 


Rachel Beth

Images taken by Brian Garcia of Hate Your Answering Machine.

18 October 2011


The weather has been absolutely gorgeous. The most inspiring things to me during the Autumn season are just the colors on the leaves. 

I'm wearing a mustard cardigan I got from Target, wool shorts from the Gap, tights from Target, and this amazing Yves Saint Laurent tie I thrifted for $1.50!!!!!! I'm pretty sure the Salvation Army didn't know what they were selling me. It's a super wide tie, probably from the seventies or eighties, and so I thought it would be the perfect head band accessory. If I actually wore it like a tie I think it might make me look like some freakishly thin thing. I love how the tie playfully placed in my hair and hangs down the side of my cardigan. It adds some nice asymmetry to my outfit and makes my cardigan just a tad more interesting.

I borrowed these awesome boots from my sister. I think they were something like $100, not anything I would spend! But, I'm glad I get to wear them. :D


Rachel Beth

Images taken by Brian Garcia of Hate Your Answering Machine.

17 October 2011


I stumbled upon the Spring 2012 Kate Spade collection from twitter (You can always follow me on twitter, here). I love how easy it is to keep up with designers, friends, fashion, and news on twitter. Anyway, although I'm not a huge Kate Spade fan (which is weird because I'm a self declared prep), I just thought this collection was totally me and totally impeccably designed.

I love the adorable print on the Vespa, the gorgeous prints, that large black and white jacket and the model's 'tude. The colors are bright but not over done. Just gorgeous.

* * * * * *

Surely, it's time to get personal now. If you may or may not have noticed, I haven't been updating as frequently as I have in the past. Sometimes this little thing I have here can be quite overwhelming; the self inflicted blog post deadlines can pressure me into writing about things that don't necessarily interest me all that much. Last week I actually took a break from taking pictures. I'm not a model, and with this I'm certainly not trying to be one, but taking pictures is a lot harder than it looks! Some days if I'm not feeling particularly confident it's hard to bear it all and be vulnerable in front of the camera and try to look half way decent.

I think it's a part of fashion blogging that readers don't really know about. I know when I was just a fashion blog reader, not writer, I had no idea the time and effort it took for the bloggers to post every day or even three times a week. I just thought thats what they look like every day and it takes nothing for them to pose for 5 or so pictures before they end their day or even begin it. Let's just say, now I know, and I have a greater, a much greater, appreciation for it.

That being said, sometimes life just gets in the way of things. Our emotions cloud our vision of the future and make it really difficult to see thing optimistically. And sometimes, that just makes me uninterested in taking pictures and more interested in vegge-ing out in front of the TV or just spending time with loved ones. I'm a human being, a normal, average, 23 year old lady. I have my days.

Either way, to my loyal fans, sit tight! I took pictures this weekend, and I can't wait to show you! I'm thinking about making some detachable collars. How about a DIY? I know you probably saw the one on rookiemag.com but mine will be better! 

Thanks for reading,

Rachel Beth.


A few weeks ago I was approached to be featured on refinery29.com's website for campus fashion! I was in fact featured! Check it out

Images from katespade.com, and refinery29.com