Thursday Think

I write this post with passion.   This book changed my thinking.  I live life like a cliche.  I am one of those people who really just enjoy every moment, and take it for all the world has to offer.  For so long I had been miserable, sad, down, depressed, all those gloomy words, and one day, I just HAD it.  I had to change.  So I started living every moment of life like I was at the front row of a concert.  Excited, passionate, and overall happy.

Last August, I had the great pleasure of hosting a speaker who really just made it all click.   It was like he read my mind.  He lived my life!  I swear, it was so weird.  This excited, passionate, and overall overwhelmingly proud feeling came over me.  I still tell him all the time “You branded the way I live my life!”  Simply put- he wants everyone to “Live Life in the Front Row” meaning- experience life like you are sitting at the front row of a concert.  Treat everyone you interact with like they are a rock star, and you’ll quickly see how “living life in the front row” really is easier said than done.

Since his lecture, and his famous emoticon \o/, I have encouraged my students to think “When was the last time you had a front row moment?”  Okay, not a concert, but what was that front row moment for you today?  For me?  On this crazy Thursday before the big “Spring weekend” my front row moment was watching students run around campus like crazy people, hunting for free burritos.  (See you wish you were one of my students, free Chipotle for 4 straight days!)

I have to share this philosophy as a new “Thursday Think” series I am doing.  I want to make people think.  I want to spread the word.  Check out the book- a fast “hour long read” it’s something that may just convince you that every day should be the day you “live life in the front row.”

Go, buy this now. Seriously. Life changing.

What I Wore Wednesday

I will admit.  I have a strange obsession with black and white.  So much so, that I am constantly thinking that all my wardrobe needs is 6 colors.  Black, white, tan, gray, navy and a color. Don’t know what color that would be, but I really cannot get this out of my head.  Tell me I am not crazy… after all, Breanna, my StitchFix stylist totally gets me.  I wear her selections all the time…too bad I never get around to posting them.  (One day, I swear!)

For realz though.  I’ve been watching my wardrobe these last few days (and yes, I know, I haven’t been posting anything) but I’ve been wearing a lot of white/black/navy/tan/and a color.  The color is always changing, but I am trying to narrow down which color would work best for me.  Today, I’m leaning to red.  Tomorrow I may go to plum. (meaning the extra “color” to my wardrobe).  Alas, I digress.

Can’t go wrong with a simple black/white outfit.  And no necklace needed, it’s a bow tie shirt!  But side note- I took the picture late in the day, my office seemed to be a zillion plus degrees (I have an entire wall of glass windows- and when it is sunny for a day or two, my office is like an incubator for a few days…even with the AC on…)



From the waist up (what students really see on a daily basis when I am not running around like a crazy person) I look decently professional, right?  I mean, I was wearing a lavender cardigan when the AC got a little too chilly.  As for shoes?  I was wearing my Hunters rain flats (not the boots, but flats!) It was raining…

Top: JCP (similar, similar, similar)

Skirt: Banana Republic (similar, similar, similar)

Shoes: Hunters (similar, similar, similar)

Happy Wednesday friends.  Hope this week finds you happy!

See you tomorrow!

pleated poppy

Fancy Friday #1

Fancy Friday #1

How to Navigate: Hair Care

A few weeks ago, I got a fantabulous haircut. However, this was not as enjoyable as haircuts go.  Why?  Let me back it up.

Two years ago, I moved away from home.  Home- being the stylist I’d been going to since I was 14.  Roughly 10 years of she and I going back and forth.  Dying, blonde, brunette, highlights, low lights, quasi perms, updos, down dos, straightening, makeup application lessons.  You name it, she and I have done it.  But once I moved, our visits halted.  Recently, I made the trip back home to see her (Mama UC was getting her hair did, and I tagged along).  Then the inquisition began.

“Clare!  What have you done to your hair?  What happened to its luster, the shape, the tone, the texture?”

Simple response:  “I hacked it off in September, and haven’t done anything to it since.  And have been washing everyday, sometimes twice a day, itching my scalp til it bled, noticed significant thinning.  I’ve been using a 2 in 1 “hydrating” thinking that my hair was dry.  Then I switched to Moroccan Oil.  And when that wasn’t working for shine, I went to Head and Shoulders to get rid of the flakes.  Nothing is working.  Help!”

She started to “assess the damage.”  Dry, stringy, stick like twiggy hair which used to have bounce and color and shine.  She inspected the damage.  Made faces like this.


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Why Understated Classics?

Dread, fear and overwhelming feelings.  That’s what came over me when I crossed the stage and collected my degree at my undergrad graduation.

The real world is upon me!

Paying bills, decorating an apartment, cooking for yourself, exercising without college friends laughing at you, getting a real job, and the ultimate, looking good while doing it all. No one said it would be easy.  And then there are others who make growing up look so fabulous, that you just get that twinge of “How is that possible?”

Sound familiar?  Then you found the right place to help calm you down.   Or, maybe just to calm me down- venting about growing up- a forum for those who are growing up, it’s all the same.  A place for us to grow up together.

Welcome to Understated Classics!

The idea of Understated Classics was to really navigate how to manage life after college.  Being 5 years removed, and working in a college environment, the blog has held true to its purpose.  How else is a college student or “recent grad” going to learn about life?

Someone has to be real.  Why not learn a lesson from someone who already learned the hard way?

I’m Clare, a 20-something with no idea what I am doing every day.

Mission: Navigate daily life in a grown up world and write about it.

This is Understated Classics.



Weekend Wear

Cherry Blossom Sightseeing
Okay so it’s that time of year.  Cherry Blossom season.  They are absolutely stunning this year.  Stunning.  Too bad they are killer on the allergies.   And of course, I forgot to add Zyrtec to this picture, but since the weather will be so super warm, and there will be tons of people (since no one was around the last few weekends, and this is PEAK bloom…) I went for the more casual yet sophisticated touristy look.
I am one of those people who dress up for the work week but all I want to do is slum around in jeans and a tee for the weekend.  I think I managed a cool balance.  (If you are in DC this weekend, this is basically exactly what I will be wearing.  Be sure to say hi if you see me!)  I also wanted to make sure that my accessories made it looked pulled off yet goes along oh so well with the event.  And since I get really hot, really fast, I kept it as cool as a cucumber…
Enjoy the sightseeing in DC this weekend, folks.
Follow me on Instagram for some pretty awesome pictures!

Maxi Dress and Vienna

I know.  You read the title and thought “you have got to be kidding me.”  And yes, I am actually kidding you.  But seriously.  I wore this to work.  Granted, I threw on a navy cardigan, but it was a laid back “running around the office all day” kind of day.  Students in and out of my office, crazy noises, loud music, the occasional dance party.  I can’t keep up sometimes.  And today, I’ve really listened to the words of Billy Joel’s Vienna  a lot today.  Why the heck haven’t I followed this song’s advice?  A quiet, yet powerful ballad that just grounds someone.  Also, makes me think of that scene from “13 Going On 30″ when Jennifer Garner’s character realizes just what the heck she got herself into.

Today was one of those days.  My cell was buzzing from texts from students, students in my office, students coming in and out of my office, the phone ringing, no quiet. (I swear, at the end of the day, I absolutely love my job, and love being surrounded by the crazy, I thrive on it!) Yet, when the dust settled, Vienna came onto my Pandora, and well, for those 3 minutes, everything stopped.  And let me tell you, sometimes all you need is a simple song to reground you.  One of those “right place right time” situations.  It’s funny how that happens, isn’t it?  Just something to “speak” to you right when you need it.  TELL ME I AM NOT CRAZY. 


Totally a Marshalls #fabfound type steal.  (Now I have to remember to link this up to Marshalls so they know NEVER EVER GO OUT OF STOCK OF AWESOME STRIPED 3/4 SLEEVE MAXI DRESSES).  Oh yeah, the necklace, (which every single student that saw me today, commented on how awesome it is) I “borrowed indefinitely” from madre.  Can you believe my mother has such great J.Crew taste?  *I double checked since I didn’t believe the woman would even step into J.Crew.  Sure enough, the little hang tag on the toggle clasp, is J.Crew.  Ten points for mom!


Side note: check the nail polish. One of my students gave me one of the best manicures I’ve had in a long long time. Kudos.

It is Thursday.   One more day closer to posting about my hair cut and the very SPECIFIC “DO IT OR I WILL NEVER CUT YOUR HAIR AGAIN” directions my stylist (10 years and counting) gave me.  I think I’ll schedule it for Saturday…

Let us celebrate.  That means one more day closer to the weekend.  One more day of allergies.  One more day of work.  One more day of silly stories, and Spring fever!  #thursday   Don’t forget, this is what I wore to work, and I’ve linked up with Tara for her “Wear to Work” Thursdays! 

Dress: Marshalls (similar, similar, similar)

Necklace: J. Crew  (similar, similar, similar)

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