Monday, May 23, 2016


Palace bomber, Acne pants, Palace x Adidas sneakers, Reformation turtleneck bodysuit

Had a quick photoshoot with my little brother before he left to stay in LA for his summer break. I know I said I'd try to get back into blogging but to be completely honest I'm not sure how I'm going to get my photos taken with him gone. It's kind of why I stopped blogging to begin with, when I stopped I didn't really have a photographer boyfriend who I could consistently scam into taking a couple photos. I suppose it's also on me for not trying harder to find other ways to do it but up until now I've been so slammed with work that I ended up letting that part of my life go.

Sometimes I think about what could have been if I hadn't stopped blogging when I see how successful my friends are now but I may just be a little bitter because I'm going through a huge life change right now. I don't know how my life would have turned out if I'd taken a risk and had gone into freelance blogging over working full time for a startup for 4 years but it's no use harping on that now. All I can really do is move forward.

Anyway, enough real talk. I'm sure I'll figure out a way to keep this going. Maybe I'll finally try to date someone and con them into taking my photos? (YEAH RIGHT.)

I'll leave you with a song that I've been playing on repeat since last week. I was lucky enough to catch Floating Points live in SF and the show was fantastic. Also, if you need any new music to listen to I've been maintaining a playlist of new music that I've been really into this past year.


Thursday, May 5, 2016


The hardest part was starting the process.  The longer you wait, the worse it gets. In my case, I waited almost 5 years. A lot of things can happen in 5 years: relationships, jobs, etc. I started working full time for ecommerce startups, which meant the busier I got, the more I let myself go. I explained this in the previous post but my closet turned into a place where I’d just stuff things in when I was done with them without bothering to give it any thought.

My style may be described as simple/minimal but my closet as a whole was hardly anything like that. It frustrated me, but I just kept buying and buying new clothes for the sake of it. Some pieces have lasted me a decent amount of time but most haven’t really made it past a couple wears. I’ve come to realize that I’m a sentimental person and I hold onto physical things because of that. 

Once I finally started cleaning out my closet I ended up breaking up the process into 5 steps which really helped me get past the anxiety and refresh my closet once and for all.

Can I mentally picture myself wearing this in an outfit? What does this outfit look like? Also, does it fit me? If it doesn’t fit well when you try it on, you’re probably not going to wear it.

Going back to the topic of the past 5 years and letting myself go, my body has also gone through a lot of changes. 2 years ago I gained weight from stress eating when I was going through a difficult time in my life. I tried to hide it with loose clothes but a lot of my clothes stopped fitting and I had to buy larger jeans. It wasn’t until the last 6 months that I actually did something about it and started working on myself, mentally and physically. I’m not quite at the weight I used to be at (I don’t weigh myself so I have no idea how much weight I’ve lost, actually) but I’m pretty comfortable for now. 

A lot of my clothes have ended up being either too small or too big (or just don’t look good on me because I was buying looser clothing) so I haven’t worn any of them recently. Best thing to do is to accept that they won’t fit again and if they’re in good condition, recycle them by selling them online or via a consignment shop because someone else WILL fit into them.

Ok so it fits. But back to the question I asked myself earlier. Do I see myself wearing it in an outfit anytime soon? If you can’t come up with an outfit, you probably won’t wear it. After 5 years I’ve come to realize that as I’ve evolved as a person my style and preferences have evolved as well.

For example, I’m 27 and I prefer to not wear heels now. I live in San Francisco where it’s impossible to wear 5 inch platform heels and try to commute anywhere on foot. So why am I holding onto my massive Miu Miu wooden platform heels? They were one of my first expensive purchases that I saved up for years ago but I can’t remember the last time I actually wore them even though I loved them the first two years I had them. I couldn’t even walk around them when I tried them on recently. It was a hard decision to make since they have sentimental value but what’s the point of keeping them in their box if I’m not going to wear them? Depop it is, then.

Ok now what am I actually keeping? What am I letting go of? This was the hardest part. I found it helped to have a “maybe” pile if I got stuck on something, which let me revisit it later. For the things I definitely knew I was keeping, I organized them into neatly folded stacks or hung them up based on style. It was pretty fulfilling to see my wardrobe come together even though giving up so much gave me deep anxiety. For the “maybes” however… 

I know, it’s hard. When it comes to your "maybe" pile your best bet is to actually justify why something belongs in your closet. If you really have doubts about something but you feel you need to keep it, try it on and style it into an outfit with clothes you know you wear. It’s time consuming, but there were a couple things I really fought with myself to keep and ended up being able to justify holding onto them.

This part is time consuming so I don’t recommend doing it with all of your clothes obviously but it did help me figure out what I knew I might be able to wear sometime soon and helped prove to myself what to let go of if I couldn't justify keeping it.

Do I really need this many striped shirts? Well maybe not all of them, but the ones I’m keeping are different colors and styles and I know I'll wear them again and again. Do I have enough sweaters? Enough coats? Too many denim shirts? Reviewing your wardrobe as a whole also helps determine what is missing too which will better inform your future purchases and lead to less impulse buys (another topic I want to cover in this series).

Anyway, I'm sure a lot of you are better at cleaning out your closets than I am but if there's anyone out there who struggles like I do hopefully this will help. Next blog post I'll be talking about how to sell! Speaking of which, I updated my Depop with more stuff this week. Thanks to everyone who has purchased so far!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

CLOSET CLEANING PT. 1: The Beginning

I have a confession to make. I’ve finally come to terms with a truth that I’ve ignored for years: I am a hoarder. A clothes hoarder. I am that person who outgrows an item after a couple wears, stashes it deep in her closet, and thinks “ok well I’ll wear it eventually.”

Or I tell myself “I will like this again someday.” Sometimes I’m right, but 90% of the time I’m wrong. Trends come and go for me but at the core there are pieces that have outlasted 80% of my past wardrobe. Like say, my black Acne moto jacket (which is now more of a faded black) or my Saint James striped tops that I saved up to buy when I was still in college. Hell, even my white Converse sneakers from college are still around somehow. I’ll write a separate post about this later this week.

I think the thing that exasperated this situation was the fact that my closet isn’t attached to my room, in fact, it’s across the hall from my neighboring roommate’s room. A few years ago I built a really sturdy Ikea rack/shelving system in my room which holds my “main” wardrobe so I started using my closet to store stuff that wasn’t in my usual rotation. My outside closet is pretty big but up until recently it got so messy and crowded that it reached a point where I’d get really bad anxiety if I spent more than 30 seconds in there. I had no reason to really go in there, other than to stuff clothes in there when the rack in my room got too crowded.

It's taken me a while (years) but I finally caved and dedicated a couple weekends to a full closet clean out. Get this, I only cried TWICE! I was finding random clothes in boxes I didn't even know existed. I found clothes I only wore once or twice and got really upset with myself. In the end, I decided to only keep a 1/3 of it, which is a huge deal for someone like me who is the type of person to hold onto receipts for sentimental value. It's been a cathartic but rewarding experience so I wanted to document it with a blog series explaining my closet cleaning process plus next steps for maintaining my wardrobe.

I am also reviving Shop Blushing Ambition. Well, working on it. For now, I've been using Depop to slowly post a bunch of clothes to sell. I've been posting a lot of pieces from older blog posts, don't miss out!

Thursday, March 10, 2016


Alpha Industries Flight Jacket // R&S Records T-Shirt // Zara jeans // Converse sneakers // Ray Ban Round Metal sunglasses

Weird coincidence: the day I finally decide to put together an outfit post happens to be exactly two years after my last outfit post on March 10, 2014. Two years is a long time, I know. I was looking back at my last few blog posts and realized I still wear about 80% of the clothes I wore then, minus the Acne Pistol boots and Isabel Marant Dicker boots which I wore to the ground. Am I growing up or am I just boring?

I've been active(ish) on Instagram (@annabelaly) so I don't really have an excuse to not post here given that I end up with so many photos I don't post to Instagram, although maybe I've been hesitant because they're mostly iPhone photos. Maybe I don't really need these high quality DSLR photos anymore? We'll see.

As for these photos, I took them last weekend in Japantown before the rain hit San Francisco. Does the orange lining of this flight jacket count as a pop of color?

Probably not.

Thursday, February 4, 2016


I made a playlist of all my favorite songs that came out in 2015, started it somewhere in the middle of the year and finally finished it this month, I think. I just hit 200 songs so I figured I'd share it. I know I missed a ton of stuff so any suggestions are welcome. Enjoy!

Friday, January 9, 2015


Yes, that is a deep fried tempura soft boiled egg. I loved Tokyo but by the end of my time there I was starting to feel a little overwhelmed so it was refreshing to visit one of my best friends in the countryside. There were some pretty intense typhoon warnings while I was there but it lost power by the time it hit the mainland so I wasn't too worried. Although Maizuru was a small town it was nice to relax and actually breathe in fresh air. I got to eat at a pork katsu restaurant one of the nights but somehow the highlight of the trip ended up being an egg... the most perfectly cooked soft boiled egg I've ever had that was deep fried in tempura batter. Oh, and the hand rolled udon was pretty damn good as well.



Checked out of my Airbnb in Ebisu (thank you, Hiro!) to hop on the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto. The ride was nice, hard to believe I was going 200 mph when I totally fell asleep for half the trip. My favorite place in Kyoto was Fushimi Inari Taisha where I hiked through hundreds (thousands, even?) of gates to get to the top of the mountain. Okay, maybe not the top, but at some point halfway I ate soft serve ice cream and took in the view.