The OOTDs of a person who doesn’t quite belong

As fashion blogs are so popular on the internet, I thought today it’d be fun to talk about my personal style. Why? Well, unlike all these other girls who seem to have it together, who follow (or set) the trends and look as if they’ve stepped out of a magazine, I’m generally just a hot mess.

I mean, I don’t think I’m a hot mess; I wear what I like and feel good in. But I’ve met many people over the years who have given me those backhanded compliments that have assured me I’m not doing it completely right. Things like:

  • When I would tell people I was going to study abroad in London, their response would be “Ah, that’s cool. Your style looks like it comes from somewhere else. You’d fit right in.” Um thanks? I appreciate being recognized as someone with a unique style, but are you telling me I don’t belong here based on my wardrobe? And really, how much do you really know about UK fashion?
  • Or when one of my old managers in retail would talk about having a teammate having a great fashion sense in a conversation and I would reply asking her about mine, to which she would reply that it was very “me” and “different”. I’m pretty sure it was her polite way of saying “You do you, but it’s not right.” Haha.

And really, the people from the above examples are right: I don’t necessarily dress to fit in and I do tend to have my own sense of style. But hey, isn’t that the beauty in fashion just as it’s the beauty in art? Sometimes the most interesting things come from people stepping out and finding their own style?

So, to celebrate my own unique fashion style and encourage others to do the same, I thought I’d share some OOTD drawings and talk about what you can expect to find me wearing if we ever meet.

(And apologies in advance for the somewhat sloppy quality of these photos. It was ridiculously hot when I went outside to take them, the kind of hot where you sweat just breathing, so I totally rushed through them. Whoops.)

OOTD Illustrations || Waist-tie Dress and Pandora jewelry || by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Outfit #1: Dresses & Pandora Jewelry

My mom actually loved putting me in dresses as a kid, but between my inability to drink milk out of a carton without spilling it all over me and my natural tomboyish ways, I quickly stopped wearing them once I started dressing myself. As an adult though, I find I love them and it mainly has to do with one thing: my fluctuating weight. I hate the stress that comes with putting on pants and realizing they’re no longer fitting as well as they used to. Dresses solve that problem for the most part. I mean, you do have to be wary of how short they get as you get wider, but overall they’re more comfortable to grow in.

And, if I’m wearing one of my many dresses, it’s a good bet that I’m wearing my Pandora jewelry. I have a Pandora bracelet that Dave bought me for our first Christmas together and over the years it has been filled with charms from our many adventures together (along with a few others from my parents). It’s the only jewelry I wear (along with a necklace) and I like that it acts as a memory book in a way.

OOTD Illustrations || Cardigan, Blouse, and Shorts || by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Outfit #2: Sleeveless Blouses, Cardigans, and Shorts

Sleeveless blouses are my favorite things. I like how light and airy they are, I like that I can just throw a cardigan over them if I’m a little chilly, and I just think they’re one of those things that will always be somewhat in style. Plus, they’re sleeveless! And, if you couldn’t tell between this OOTD and the last, I don’t like long sleeves. If any dress or top has them, you can almost always count on me to roll or scrunch the sleeves up so my forearms are bare because for some reason their full length bothers me.

And the shorts? Well, don’t let me fool you. Those are not tight booty shorts. I don’t care for those personally. The kind of shorts I prefer to wear are the loose fabric kind with elastic waistbands. Because comfort. I’m all about comfort. (But hey, the funky patterns make them sort of fashionable, no? No, probably not.)

OOTD Illustrations || Pants, Tanks, and Cap || by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Outfit #3: Caps, Tanks/Tees, and Baggy Pants

This is my “I don’t really want to get dressed so here’s my half-assed attempt” look that I can be found in most often, which I sometimes claim to be my attempts athleisure wear. It usually involves throwing a hat on my head because my hair’s a mess, putting on a loose t-shirt or tank, and wearing comfortable baggy pants either casual or joggers. It’s honestly really nothing pretty and I’m pretty sure it’s the look that confuses people the most because it’s like “is she trying or not? What the heck is going on there?” And really, I don’t know. It’s just an accurate representation of how I feel some days: I go out attempting to look like I have it all together but really, I’m just not feeling it. It’s neither here or there.

OOTD Illustrations || V-neck tee and midi skirts || by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Outfit #4: Shirts and Midi Skirts

This is my newest go-to look (though one I don’t wear often because my mom says it reminds her of what my aunt wore when they were in school and I don’t know, that just put me off): high-waisted long skirts with somewhat fitted shirts. You see, the thing about most of my looks is that they’re not always flattering for my body type. I prefer bagginess for comfort and/or growth but unfortunately that bagginess tends to mean most of my shape is hidden. And, believe it or not, I have a nice hourglass figure (bom chicka wow wow!) So, these high-waisted skirts are awesome because not only do they highlight my waist but they still allow for the comfort I so happily seek. Plus, it means I don’t have to worry as much about flashing everyone on a windy day. No one wants to see my granny panties.

The only thing missing from these four OOTDs are my scarves. I do own quite a few scarves and they are the one thing I turn to when I like an outfit but feel like it can do with something a bit more. They’re not pictured in any of the above because it’s a bit too hot for them now, but I can guarantee you I could find a scarf to wear with each above if I wanted. (And I’m not quite sure why I like them so much. Makes me feel less naked since I don’t often wear jewelry? To help cover cleavage? To have a tool to choke someone if they really annoy me? Hmm…)

So there you have it, a rundown of my style when it comes to fashion. That wasn’t too bad, right? I don’t look completely ridiculous, do I? I’m curious, what would you say are your go to looks? Any similarities? Is there a certain theme (such as my comfort and ability to wear with fluctuating weight) that affects what you like to wear? Let me know in the comments below!

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The trees are alive! || My favorite trees in fiction.

The Trees are Alive Illustration || Treebeard, Groot, Pickett, and Uprooted || Illustration by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

When it comes to my stories posts, I’ve decided reviews and recommendations are not enough. I also want to talk a little more in general about the overarching things that pull me in, whether that be themes, characters, genres, tropes, etc. Reading about specific books or shows is nice, but sometimes it’s easier to interact with a post if it touches on broader themes (and I’m all about interaction here).

To start off, today I wanted to highlight one of my favorite types of characters in fiction: tree people!

Now, I have this strange memory from when I was a teen where my mom and I went on a little road trip and stopped at this place where a guide would take you on a horse trail around the area. I’m pretty sure it was educational and insightful then, but there is only one specific part of it I remember: at one point during the tour the driver picked me out of the group and commented how I looked like a tree lover and might run off to go hug a tree at any moment. I think this incident was around my goth days so he may have just been ironic at the time, but there was a certain truth to what he said. While I do not run around talking to trees on a daily basis, I do find great comfort in their presence and walking in the woods surrounded by a bunch of trees is one of my favorite things.

Of course, the trees I love and experience daily never come to life – or not in the sense that they walk and talk! They grow and they creak and they shed leaves, but that’s about the most action I get to see.

In fiction though, they have a chance to do so much more. And I LOVE IT!

There’s just something about taking an everyday staple of real life – trees – and making them come alive that I can’t get enough of. It makes you look at those things differently, and makes the child in you believe that maybe when you’re not around the things you ignore on a day-to-day basis really do come to life. (We all need a little belief in magic, I believe. It helps you stay excited about the world.)

And I really like considering how they would act if alive: would they be as calm and peaceful as they tend to seem? Or would being alive unleash their wrath and destruction would be brought upon us all?

Without further ado, here are some of my favorite trees in fiction (which, for the most part, seem to fit the peaceful description – unless provoked):

Treebeard

When Trees Attack || Treebeard from Lord of the Rings || Illustration by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrativeThe Ents from the Lord of the Rings series, whether we’re talking about the films or the books, are one of the first fictional trees I fell in love with. There is just something so endearing about these old and slow beings. They may take forever to decide things, but I like that they don’t rush into things. (It’s a good lesson, I think.) Plus, when it comes down to it, they still kick ass. Ah, just typing this makes me want to re-watch the series.

Groot

When Trees Attack || Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy || Illustration by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrativeI’m going to be 100% honest here, I actually never quite understood the hype for Guardians of the Galaxy. It was enjoyable, sure, but it wasn’t the best thing ever for me (and I’m not rushing to see the sequel). That being said, I did fall hard for Groot thanks to this movie. Who knew a character that had such a limited vocabulary (“I am Groot”) could be so lovable? Especially when in his baby form. (Would it be cruel to say I’d be tempted to keep him in his baby form forever? I can’t help it!)

Pickett

When Trees Attack || Pickett from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them || Illustration by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrativeOkay, I’m not quite sure if this last one counts as a tree, per se, but I’m pretty sure it’s close enough. Pickett is a Bowtruckle from the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie and awww, this little guy is so cute. While those attachment issues Pickett has may need to be sorted some time, there’s no doubt in my mind I would carry him around with me everywhere I went too, if I were Newt. He comes in handy! (Though seriously, I wanted to punch Newt when that one scene happened where Pickett’s life seemed to be in great danger…)

Honorable Mentions

And, for some honorable mentions who I did not draw but love just the same:

  • The Walkers from Uprooted (see my review here) – One of the best things about this series is that the trees comes to life and they’re EVIL! They kidnap people and attack people and just all the things. It was refreshing reading a story with that kind of perspective around the trees when most seem so nice (though also sort of creepy)!
  • The Monster from A Monster Calls – I’m actually shocked that I almost forgot this one, but I think it’s fair enough because the monster isn’t necessarily a tree. It’s just the form he chose while talking to the MC. Still, he definitely deserves a mention, especially because Jim Kay’s art depicting him is so beautiful.
  • The Whomping Willow from the Harry Potter series – Okay, I actually see the Whomping Willow as more of like a Venus flytrap, something that moves based on reflex and not because it’s a sentient being, but hey, it’s still a cool tree. (Plus Weeping Willows are my favorite trees so their Whomping cousins deserve some love.)
  • The Giving Tree – If we want to be real about what fictional tree first won over my heart, it is The Giving Tree. I read the picture book as a kid and oh gosh, that tree. It’s been years since I’ve read it but just thinking about it breaks my heart all over again. If you haven’t read it, go to a library and see what I’m talking about. </3

Now it’s your turn! What do you think about living trees in fiction? Love them, hate them, indifferent towards them? Are there any I didn’t include in my list that you love, or any that I listed that you agree are the absolute best? Let me know in the comments below! And then go out later and hug a tree. They deserve some extra love. 😉

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In which I ruin my friendships by giving everyone big eyebrows

If you happen to follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that in April I decided I would deviate away from my normal Vogue magazine drawings to attempt my hand at illustrating some friends (tweet proof below for you slackers who missed it though lol, I just noticed the grammar mistake in it so I guess I’m the real slacker for not proofreading before sending it out):

After posting this tweet, every couple of days I would pull out my sketchbook and attempt to draw a picture of someone who I had talked to. It was my little attempt to show appreciation to some of my friends for being so great to me (definitely not all of them – if you don’t see yourself here it’s only because Dave visited in April and ruined my drawing mojo) and a way to challenge myself to move a little outside of my comfort zone. And today is the day I show those illustrations (and so find out if I have any friends left).

I know, that’s a bit dramatic. Surely I wouldn’t lose any friends over these illustrations? But I have to say, there has been a trend with the feedback for the ones I have shown so far (and this doesn’t include the Snapchat message from Kelley which mentioned a similar thing):

Whoops, I seem to have a thing for big eyebrows.

But hey, eyebrows have got a lot of attention lately, right? People draw them and feather them and all kinds of things. Surely my big eyebrow faces aren’t a bad drawing? And it’s not like I just limit them to friends: I even draw myself with these big things (they’re so big they’re even visible through my bangs in my drawings).

Illustrations of Friends || Self-portrait || by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Haha, oh well. It is what it is. And like it or not, I can’t promise you these big eyebrow drawings are changing anytime soon. So any friends out there I haven’t drawn, the warning remains: if you never want to be illustrated with some big eyebrows by yours truly, stop talking to me or remove all selfies from the internet. Otherwise, who knows when my motivation for another friend month will appear and whether you’ll be next. Muhahaha.

And now, the drawings featuring some of my favorite people on the Internet (along with a few little notes about why they’re so great):

Friends || Kelley @ Oh, the Books! || Illustration by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Kelley: Crazy cat lady, co-blogger from my Oh, the Books! days, ampersand lover, tarot reader, creative, unique, and best friend

Illustrations of Friends || Joséphine @ Word Revel || by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Joséphine: blogger at Made of Mint, reader, sporty, photographer, super smart, and needs to bake something and send it to me

Friends || Inge @ Of Wonderland || Illustration by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Inge: Blogger at Of Wonderland, Harry Potter and Disney fangirl, lover of sloths, advocate for mental health, writer, whimsical, supportive

Illustrations of Friends || Maraia || by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Maraia: Guest blogger at Büechermonster, Bookish Games devotee, patient, understanding, another fool who fell for international love

Illustrations of Friends || Stacey @ Pretty Books || by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Stacey: Blogger at Pretty Books, Tumblr all-star, traveler, caring, all around book person, one of the friends I miss the most from London

Friends || Iris @ Eat Train Read || Illustration by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Iris: Blogger at Eat Train Read, blogging buddy!!!, book lover, exercise addict, hardworking, inspiring, reliable, and fun

Illustrations of Friends || Topaz @ Six Impossible Things || by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Topaz: blogger at Six Impossible Things, poet, editor, actress, award-winner, peaceful, raw, magical, supportive, honest

Illustrations of Friends || Asiya @ Literary Head || by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Asiya: blogger at Literary Head, writer, sass enthusiast, sneaky, fun, unique, caring, confetti spreader

Why Can't We Be Friends? || Victoria || Illustration by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Victoria: An actual real-life friend, old co-worker, kid at heart, sunshine and patriotism, better at “girling” than I’ll ever be, a trooper

Illustrations of Friends || Sian @ Sian Blogs || by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Sian: Blogger at Sian Blogs, newest internet friend (whether she knows it or not), creator of A Film Club, explorer, inspiring, honest, brave

For more detailed explanations of why I chose each friend, follow me on Instagram! I’ll be sharing one a day for the next week or two, talking about why I appreciate each person so much, and encouraging you to check them out. All the love for all my friends!

There you have it! A small glimpse into some of my friends, why I love them, and their very big brows (which are totally accurate, I don’t know what you’re talking about). If you see someone you don’t recognize, make sure to click the links in their caption to check out their twitter or blog. And let me know what you think of the drawings and if the thought of me drawing you terrifies you. You have to lie and say you love it even if you don’t, because that’s what friendships are for, right? haha. Also, how are we liking the attempts at putting more effort into photos and maybe doing flatlays? Yay or nay?

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Want more of my madness? Don’t forget you can follow me elsewhere:
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Or, if you’re interested in my last art post:
Growing and identifying as a creator

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