The Botanist

The Botanist | The Botanist |

One of my biggest goals in the fall is to dress a little bit like a vintage librarian, or lady naturalist. There’s something about dressing in a perfectly 1950’s style but adding a slightly nerdy twist that really appeals to me. Perhaps it’s the fact that I am, by nature, a very feminine and yet also very nerdy person. I love full skirts and florals, lipstick and lace, and all things uber girly. And yet, I also love history and Doctor Who, and have an entire bookshelf overflowing with my collection of Lord of the Rings editions that all have different covers. I have an affinity for reading dictionaries and discovering new and interesting words, and am equally invested in putting together an outfit that is perfectly coordinated.

The Botanist | eyreeffect.comThe Botanist | eyreeffect.comThe Botanist |

I have had this gorgeous 1950’s plaid dress for a while now; I saw it in the summer, and immediately bought it despite its seller informing me that the waist was 29″, a full 2″ smaller than what I measure on a good day. I can often squeeze my waist into things that are quite a bit smaller than myself, but 29″ is a stretch, even for me. To my surprise, the dress actually has a snap button at the waist that can move an inch or two. The dress is still a bit snug, but wearable enough to fulfill my dreams of pretending to be  a Lady Botanist for a few hours!The Botanist | eyreeffect.comThe Botanist | eyreeffect.comThe Botanist |

After this photoshoot, I finally took the plunge to buy myself a remote shutter release for my camera. I don’t know why I’ve never bought one before; I’ve been taking portraits and outfit photos of myself for at least ten years, and yet it’s taken me until this year to really think about getting one. They aren’t expensive, and it would make photoshoots so much simpler since I do most of them on my own. And then, getting shots sitting on a log on soggy ground in heels would be a little bit less of a “might break an ankle doing this” situation.

The Botanist | eyreeffect.comThe Botanist |

 It will  be interesting to see if my blog photos change with the new freedom having a remote affords me! For one thing, my photoshoots may not take up an entire two hours. For another, focus will be SO much easier. And, I will be able to get the framing I usually just have to guess at! 

Do you have a remote, or do you use a self-timer like I’ve been doing for years? If you’re curious, the remote I ordered is this one. I’ll be sure to update with how well it works when it comes!The Botanist |

1950’s vintage dress | Breckelles boots | We Love Colors tights | vintage scarf and brooch

Memories of a Farm Girl

When I was little, we lived on a farm. We didn’t have cows or pigs or goats or a vast field of wheat or corn, but it was a farm nonetheless with chickens and cats and dogs, and a big garden down below the house that grew a few rows of corn and tomatoes and string beans. And beside the house was a small orchard with plum trees and apple trees.

As a kid, I remember climbing those trees and being afraid of the bees that pollinating the flowers. I remember eating fruit that had fallen to the ground, or throwing it at the driveway where it smashed into pieces, or picking armfuls of apples to make freshly pressed cider in the fall.

Most of my childhood memories involve being outside, hunting for fresh fruit from the trees or ripe berries in the woods. We filled our pockets with crab-apples that were far too sour to be enjoyed, and our mouths with the sweetest sun ripened blackberries. We scavenged the woods for the tart reward of a few bright huckleberries and picked the heads of clover to extract what honey-flavored nectar we could.

Everywhere I lived growing up had fruit somewhere on the property. Usually it was a plum tree, or apples, or blackberries. These things all grow readily in this mild and moist climate, and I can almost smell the fresh crisp aroma of the trees as their bounty ripened in the autumn air. 

When I got married, I moved away from the countryside and into the suburbs, where fruit trees don’t grow wild and the blackberry bushes are discouraged as weeds. But that spark of country still resides in my heart, and I scavenge what little I can. I pick apples from my parents’ yard still, hoping to turn my bounty into rich apple butter or nature-sweet applesauce. I scout the back yard for rogue berries, and revel in the various fruit trees my in-laws have cultivated over the years. Though the girl no longer lives on the farm, the farm has followed me to this day, and we are never short some fresh-picked delight from someone’s overflowing garden. And someday, I hope, we will be back on a farm, gathering berries and pressing cider from apples that come from an orchard I can call my own.

Top, vintage | brooch, antique | earrings, vintage | tights, Target (Similar here) | shoes, thrifted (similar here) | skirt, Facebook BST (similar here) | scarf, gift (similar here)

Emily and Fin in the Clouds

Emily and Fin | Emily and Fin |

I have seen the brand Emily and Fin for years now, but for some reason I have never added any of their items to my personal closet. Either the money is never right, or the things they have available aren’t right for me. Whatever the case, I’ve drooled over my friends’ E&F purchases, but never made the leap to acquire my own. Until this skirt.   Emily and Fin | eyreeffect.comEmily and Fin | Emily and Fin |

This skirt actually belonged to one of my lovely friends, who made the brooch in my last post. She was cleaning out her closet, and we worked out a swap. I didn’t realize this was an Emily and Fin skirt when I told her I needed it; I was just smitten by the print and the vibrant color and, of course, the fullness of it! And now that I have this, I find myself hoping I can find more Emily and Fin items to add to my wardrobe, because it is the prettiest, twirliest, skirt and I want to wear it everywhere. Emily and Fin | Emily and Fin | eyreeffect.comEmily and Fin |

Styling it with this gorgeous cardigan was not an instant idea. I started with the vague thought in my head that I wanted to look somewhat witchy. With that in mind I tested a few outfits using a plain black dress and a vintage blazer, then this cardigan over the dress, then a few other combinations. I was about to give up when the skirt caught my eye, and this outfit was born! The only consistent thing through all of those changes was the flats; these are my go-to flats for almost any style. They’re comfortable and cute and I’ve already worn out one pair I wear them so much!Emily and Fin | eyreeffect.comEmily and Fin | eyreeffect.comEmily and Fin |

Adding the black lipstick kept it from being too classic; in the fall I find myself drifting away from the 1950’s housewife vibe and more towards retro/pinup/romantic-Gothic vibes. The darker season calls for all of my oranges and blacks and reds, all of my edgy lipsticks and heeled boots, and I trade in my beloved clip-on earrings for brooches instead.

It fascinates me to see this change in myself as the season blooms, and I’d love to know: does your aesthetic change with the seasons, or do you stick solidly to one vibe year-round?Emily and Fin |

Cardigan, Facebook BST group | Skirt, Emily and Fin (similar here) | flats, Amazon | Belt, from another dress | Lipstick, NYX “Oh, Put it On”

Fall, Plaid, and Jane Eyre Revisited

Fall, Plaid, and Jane Eyre Revisited |

I have been dying to dive into everything plaid and tights ever since it officially became fall. But, the weather in Washington rarely cooperates, and in true spastic fashion it has been in the upper sixties up to the eighties for a few months now. Which is mild weather, to say the least, but definitely not weather one can comfortably endure tights, a turtleneck, and a heavy skirt in. Then this week, we had one day of cool weather, and I jumped at the opportunity to style this gorgeous plaid and floral skirt (combining my two favorite patterns!) with some tights and fall colors, and run to one of the prettiest parks to shoot some photos. Fall, Plaid, and Jane Eyre Revisited | Fall, Plaid, and Jane Eyre Revisited | eyreeffect.comFall, Plaid, and Jane Eyre Revisited | eyreeffect.comFall, Plaid, and Jane Eyre Revisited |
It’s pretty cliche as a blogger to admit I love fall, but it’s quite true. I’m not great with heat, nor do I love constant rain. But fall here in Washington? It’s nearly perfect. The air is crisp in the morning, sometimes bringing in a mysterious fog from the water. The leaves turn a glorious cacophony of colors from maroon to bright red to orange to yellow, sometimes neon in their eagerness to outshine each other until the hills are a rainbow of autumn colors. The days are mild, neither too warm nor too cold. Those kinds of days where a brisk walk is appreciated, where you could spend all day curled up with a book or exploring the countryside, where smoke curls lazily from the chimneys of the houses you drive past. 

Fall, Plaid, and Jane Eyre Revisited | eyreeffect.comFall, Plaid, and Jane Eyre Revisited | eyreeffect.comFall, Plaid, and Jane Eyre Revisited | eyreeffect.comFall, Plaid, and Jane Eyre Revisited |

It’s all too easy to become smitten with fall here. Bright berries make a stark contrast against branches that are beginning to lose their leaves, and the evergreens add a feeling of perpetual youth to the landscape.

Fall, Plaid, and Jane Eyre Revisited | eyreeffect.comFall, Plaid, and Jane Eyre Revisited | eyreeffect.comFall, Plaid, and Jane Eyre Revisited |

Every autumn, I am struck with the desire to re-read my favorite book, part of the namesake of this blog. Though Jane Eyre takes place in many seasons, there is something about the story that speaks of fall to me. Perhaps it’s the Gothic Romance, the dark tones that pervade even as the story lightens. Perhaps it’s the briskness of the English countryside that you can feel through the words on the page. Perhaps it’s the meekness yet passion of Jane that, much like the meekness of the weather yet the bursting passion of the changing leaves, reminds me of autumn.

Whatever it is, these months you will find me drinking lots of tea, taking long walks in solitary places, and delving deep into the mystery of Thornfield. What gets you into the autumn mood?

Fall, Plaid, and Jane Eyre Revisited | eyreeffect.comFall, Plaid, and Jane Eyre Revisited | Fall, Plaid, and Jane Eyre Revisited | Top, thrifted (similar) | belt, from a different dress (similar) | brooch, Spellbound Whimsy | Skirt, Facebook BST (similar) | Tights, c/o We Love Colors | heels, thrifted {similar)

The Spectator

Fall Aesthetic | Fall Aesthetic |

Fall Aesthetics

Having a forced month off of blogging has gave me a rest I didn’t know I needed, and now that I’m able to blog again I’m back with so much more excitement than I had before!  Thankfully, I have two photoshoots from last week to blog. We still haven’t recovered the photos that may have been lost from before, but I’m choosing to be happy that at last I uploaded thousands of photos to social media!  Fall Aesthetic |

I bought this dress off Etsy from a shop called SpaceBearsDesigns. It had been on my wishlist for months, literally months, and I finally decided to go for it now that fall is here and I can actually wear long sleeves. And I am so glad I did! It is in excellent condition; it feels like a brand new dress, even though it’s from the 1950’s. I love finds like this; it was affordable, arrived fast, and exceeded my expectations upon arrival. I’m so excited to wear it through the colder months!    Fall Aesthetic |

I also think I may need to find a few more brown-toned lipsticks. I am wearing one from NYX, and I didn’t think I would love it but I do! I’m discovering more and more that I tend to prefer a simple red lip, but I still love to play with colors. Especially with Halloween coming up, I’m thinking I may need to do some vintage Halloween makeup looks (and costumes).

Fall Aesthetic |

As of right now, my two ideas are to do Hedy Lamarr’s dreamy star-enveloped look from Ziegfeld Girl for a Halloween party I hope to host, and then for trick-or-treating with our kids, have my husband be Hook, myself be Wendy, Asa be Peter Pan, and Evie be Tinkerbell. I really hope I can pull all of these things together in the next month and a half before the fun begins!

Fall Aesthetic |

Do you have any plans for costumes yet this year? Show me photos! I would love to see what all of you are doing!

Dress: Space Bears Designs | Boots, Amazon | Earrings and Brooch, Etsy | Belt, thrifted | Headscarf, freeFall Aesthetic |