Marlen is a friend of mine from Chicago, and lately I’ve been seriously envying her style — nostalgic and pretty. Her day job is being an assistant, but after hours she pursues other interests of writing and styling. She says that she’s been reading Vogue since she was old enough to scrounge up $4.
She has also had aspirations to be an author since the first grade, and rightfully so. Though Marlen has got a grown up office job, but her talents really shine on her two blogs, The Adventures of Mo and Messages on a Napkin.
One slow day at work, I contacted Marlen about doing a feature on her, and asked her some questions:
What’s the deal with your blog, The Adventures of Mo?
Ah, my brain child. This year I moved out of my parents’ house for the first time and realized being a grown up is way harder than movies led me to believe haha. And especially in my case- I was literally coddled like Buster from Arrested Development. Because of that, I went through a lot of trial-and-error moments that were equally funny and equally hot-mess-status that I wanted to remember. So whenever something funny or down right ridiculous happens to me, I jot it down on The Adventures of Mo and let you guys in on my journey. The verdict is still out if it’s a journey of success or failure.
Tell me about Messages on a Napkin.
Messages on a Napkin is my fashion blog that I started this past January. Working as an assistant gives you lots of breaks in between filing and making phone calls, so I’d fill those times up scrolling through other girls’ style blogs, hunting for inspiration. I’d love all their creative and fun outfits, and after a while I realized I dress pretty interesting too- so why not share it. I love having it- it really is a creative outlet. After a while I noticed that I started dressing more boldly and creatively because I would look at some pictures and think that the looks were too safe or boring to share. So I feel like my style really evolved from this and I have way more playing with clothes now because I’m not as shy or timid about what I actually like.
Marlen’s personal style is feminine and vintage, but playful. She says that she loves mixing patterns on patterns and textures on textures to make the whole look more interesting. And the more color the better!
She could never live without her yellow maxi skirt, grey suede ankle booties, and jean vest. A good jean vest really ties any outfit together. Two timeless items that you could never go wrong with, according to Marlen are floral dresses and wide-brimmed hats.
Where are your favorite places to shop?
I really, really love shopping at thrift stores. The old prints and shapes you find there really add character to your outfits and let you be more creative since you have to add modern touches to them. And the pieces you pick out have this great vintage feel to them, be it with a longer hemline or a structured shoulder. Just think of how much you love the Mad Men wardrobe! I also love places like Urban Outfitters and Forever 21 for their prints and Topshop and J Crew for their jewelry.
What are your must-have items of the moment?
Any dress that hits just under the knee and maxi skirts. I love how feminine you feel with a longer length dress and maxi skirts are literally over-taking my life. I pair them with any shirt or put them on top of a dress, and I think that the length of it makes the whole look more interesting. There’s more to play with and to look at. And they have to have a pattern on them or be a bold color, like yellow!
What’s your most regretted fashion statement?
I don’t usually put on something that would make me cringe later- maybe wrinkle my nose in disappointment that I didn’t style it creatively enough. BUT my friends still talk about my 6th grade fashion. I think that’s when I started realizing dressing up was fun, and if you think my style is loud now you should have seen me then. A few horrible flashbacks include bellbottom jeans with velvet cow-print on the cuff, a Dalmatian-print headband that I’d wear with a puppy-print sweater, and this god-awful red chocker. Hot. Mess.
I’ll be at Pitchfork Music Festival this weekend with Marlen and some other friends. Naturally, the blogger instinct is to plan an outfit for the occassion, so I couldn’t help but ask:
Describe your dream Pitchfork outfit. Who are you most excited to see at Pitchfork?
I know I dress super girly what with my peter pan collars and full skirts, but I love a good bohemian slash grunge look. My dream outfit would be a long maxi skirt that is sheer from the knee down, paired with a crochet crop-top, beanie, and a hodge-podge of colorful bracelets piled on top of each other. And I honestly don’t really know any of the bands playing. I’m mostly going to sit on grass and drink beers with my friends, haha I’m ready to be wowed!
Favorite blogs to read at the moment?
Well, I luuhv Rusted Revolution. But other than you guys I like any blog that has vintage-feeling styles that could give me inspiration. Every time I skim through them I literally get hungry for some thrifting. A few favorites are:
Want to see more of Marlen? Stay tuned — Pitchfork blog-ness coming your way after the weekend, and you bet her street style will be featured.
*All images courtesy of Marlen’s blog, Messages on a Napkin