Sylvia Plath

For the next installment of The Authors (see the first here), I designed an outfit inspired by Sylvia Plath. Naturally I wanted to incorporate a few of my favorite female authors as well. Sylvia was an American novelist and poet working in the ’50s and ’60s. Her life was fraught with mental illness and personal difficulties which led to her suicide at only 31.

View More: channel the refined feminine styles of her time, I dressed Sylvia in a taupe midi skirt and a soft vintage sweater. The lace up flats and leather texture on the skirt give it a more modern vibe. View More: was talented from a young age. She excelled at her writing in school and won a summer internship at Mademoiselle magazine in college. The protagonist of her novel The Bell Jar goes through an almost identical experience. Both Sylvia and her literary double Esther are then institutionalized for feelings of depression and undergo shock treatments. In fact, The Bell Jar is largely autobiographical which gives us some interesting insight into Sylvia’s state of mind. View More: The Bell Jar and much of her other work Sylvia discusses feeling trapped and suffocated in her everyday life. She attempted suicide several times in fairly gruesome ways throughout her life. In her poem “Lady Lazarus” she says, “Dying/Is an art, like everything else/I do it exceptionally well/I do it so it feels like hell/I do it so it feels real.” View More: find Sylvia’s use of language incredibly beautiful. And I think, especially in today’s society which increasingly emphasizes perfection, her story of a protege pushed too far is very relatable. Even at times when I’m professionally spot on, I sometimes feel empty. I think we all have those moments, for Sylvia they were just too often to ignore.View More: big part of Sylvia’s struggle was being a woman in a man’s world. She felt trapped by the expectations put on her gender and her constant fear of pregnancy made it difficult for her to express herself sexually. Even in 2015 there are certain risks and standards that only women have to deal with. I can only imagine how hard it must have been sixty years ago.

Ultimately I think we should take what positivity we can from Sylvia’s story. She may have had a tragic life, but from that tragedy grew some of the most beautiful poetry in American literature. For some more reading on Sylvia, check out this insightful article in the Atlantic.

Sweater: Thrifted, Skirt: Nordstrom Rack, Shoes: Primark, Belt: Thrifted, Notebook: Gifted

Photos by Stephanie Krist.

Black Friday Sale Guide


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I don’t typically participate in Black Friday. I’m not interested in having my vintage clothes be trampled by a group of citizens desperate for a new TV. And at 4’11 trampling is a real issue to be concerned about. But shopping online through the weekend is a trample-free way to score the best deals to treat yourself and others this holiday season. And better yet, you can do it from your bed. Here are the deals my favorite stores are offering this year.


For all you book lovers, Barnes & Noble is offering 30% off one item with the online code 30BFriday.

H&M is offering 20% off your entire purchase with the code 3231 and free shipping with the code 3265.

For all your quirky, nerd apparel, Out of Print is offering 30% off site-wide, applied at checkout.

Today only you can get 30% off your Steve Madden order plus free shipping with the code FESTIVE.

Forever21 is offering an array of merchandise for up to 70% off. $6 culottes people, this is not a drill.

You can take 30% off sale at NastyGal, applied at checkout. Can we just talk about this tux dress for holiday parties?

30% off everything at ASOS with the appropriate code: BLESSED.

For those of you who insist on being active members of society, don’t forget you can still get 20% off glasses with EYESPOT by mentioning my name in store!

Leo Tolstoy


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I’m so, so excited to announce the first post of an exciting new series: The Authors. This series will feature outfits inspired by my favorite writers. I’ve styled them very specifically to express the personal history and passions of my literary role models. Fittingly we’re starting with the love of my life, Leo Tolstoy. Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy has been a guiding force in my life for many years. His books have gotten me through good times and bad.

View More: was born into an aristocratic family in Russia at their estate Yasnaya Polyana outside of Moscow. Russian winters are notoriously brutal so I started the look off with a heavy wool coat and fur hat. The formal structure is reminiscent of Tolstoy’s time in the military as a young man. And look, he was cuuuute!  Celina - Authors-0005About mid way through his life Tolstoy went through a moral crisis and renounced the trappings of wealth that he’d been raised in. One way he did this was with clothing. He retreated into baggy, simple, peasant garments. Here’s a photo of him and his wife. In his mind, simple clothing indicated a clean conscience. His books follow this same rule, the extravagantly dressed characters tend to be the most corrupt (think Anna Karenina or Helene from War and Peace). The New York Times Magazine wrote an excellent article on the subject, you can read it hereView More:

In keeping with this philosophy I wore loose pants and a top in neutral colors. Tolstoy may not have been the most stylish, but man was he comfortable! If you want to know what other books to read by Leo, check out my guide to Russian literature
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I got this beautiful notebook on Etsy. It has a quote in Russian from his play The Live Corpse. The translation is “Music is the shorthand of emotion.” This play was one of many pacifist works Tolstoy wrote. His call for non-violent resolution would later influence Ghandi and Martin Luther King. View More: More:

This bracelet was another Etsy find. On it in Russian is the confessional scene from Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. Dostoevsky and Tolstoy were contemporaries. They moved in the same circles and even went to a lot of the same events, and yet, they never met. It’s fascinating. They wrote to each other and admired each other’s work immensely. They tried multiple times to meet and were thwarted repeatedly. I wore the bracelet as an homage to their friendship. 
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Coat: Gifted vintage, Hat: Vintage, Trousers: Zara, Shirt: Thrifted, Shoes: Primark, Necklace: Forever21, Bracelet: Etsy, Notebook: Etsy

Photos by Stephanie Krist.

What I’m Reading: The Romanov Sisters


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My fascination with Russia and Russian literature has been well established, so it’s no surprise that my latest book is a biography of the last imperial family, in particular the often-shafted Romanov sisters. The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport gets five stars on my scale of nonfiction historical works. There’s a lot of lore and mystery around the Romanov’s, especially Anastasia. I hate to be the bearer of sad news but she didn’t survive the Bolshevik massacre. The fake Disney movie lied to us.


For those of you who slept through World History, here’s the rundown. It’s the late 19th and early 20th century and Tzar Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra are ruling Russia. Alexandra is generally disliked by the Russian population for being a German outsider and not very friendly. She also gives birth to four daughters before a son so for a while people are pretty pissed. When her son Alexei is born, he has hemophilia, a disease that will likely kill him by 13.

In a desperate attempt to save him the two rulers consult the creepiest human on earth, a mystic named Rasputin. Just LOOK at that. Ew. He seems to have some kind of control over Alexei’s illness and becomes a great pal to the family. Unfortunately Nicholas starts going to him for political advice. Nicholas was kind of a crappy ruler before this and the Russian people get really mad when they find out an unwashed sex addict is telling him what to do. From this anger comes the Russian revolution and the Romanovs are executed by the Bolsheviks in a basement. You just can’t make this stuff up.


The story itself is a nail biter but Helen does an excellent job telling it as well. It really reads almost like fiction. It is a fairly long book though, for those of you who aren’t dedicated to the Russian past. Although it moves quickly, it’s a commitment. That being said if you’re interested in the historical content it’s a must-read. On top of being extensively researched, the novel shines light on the four sisters that were so often looked over in favor the their brother, the heir.

Photos are mine.

Cozy Weather


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It’s starting to get cooler here in Boston which means I’m pulling out the big guns. On days when I wake up late or am feeling uninspired my go-to winter look is a sweater dress and lace tights. It’s comfortable and warm but also visually interesting. These tights have been with me since high school and are pretty burnt out (I didn’t notice the rip until we got home!) but they give an otherwise plain look some edge.

IMG_2287IMG_2290Dress: H&M, Tights: TJ Maxx, Flats: Macy’s

Photos by Caroline Cassard.