WhyDid Wisdom: Get In Where You Fit In

By |December 27th, 2012|WhyDid Wisdom|

Four years (and a month) ago, I sat at my desk in my grey cubicle in my grey carpeted office and stared at an Excel spreadsheet while my eyes began to cross and water.  I spun around in my lopsided pleather chair- certainly an original piece of furniture from the early nineties- and nearly toppled over a pile of Hanky Panky holiday samples to see my friend, Stephanie, grinning at the entry of my own personal hell.  “Ready for lunch?” she said.  I nodded too quickly.

Spending half an hour across the street at Devon and Blakely with her over a cup of lentil soup was basically the highlight of my days.  While I had a job that most girls would consider a “dream job,” I found myself struggling to excel.  I was disinterested for the most part aside from the actual selection of product and styling of pieces.  The entering of orders, tracking of shipments, and balancing of budgets was the majority of my role and I just was not what one might consider a “star employee.”  I constantly felt guilty for not feeling giddy about my job and tried my best to be a superstar, but I was just not meant to sit behind a desk and crunch numbers.  One day, one of my colleagues actually voiced that.  She turned to me in a buyers’ meeting and said, “Kirsten, you’re too funny and pretty to be here.  You should go enroll in acting classes or something.”  An actress I’m not, but I was made aware at that specific moment that everyone knew I didn’t fit in the corporate world.  I hung in for another year and a half before that whole recession thing happened and retail took a beating forcing many offices to eliminate entire departments and completely restructure their corporate offices.  Stephanie and I were unluckily, or luckily depending on how you look at it, part of the trimming of the fat.  We weren’t alone though.  Ever see a bar full of buyers getting hammered before noon?  Dive bars have never made so many martinis.

kirsten smithFortunately, before all of the chaos, I had been on a double date with a girl who informed me she was a “blogger.”  She was a very nice girl, but not particularly brilliant or earth shatteringly interesting.  I thought to myself, “I can do that.”  The next day, I signed up for a Tumblr account and bought the domain WhyDidYouWearThat.com.  The idea stemmed from seeing so many girls wearing so many horrific outfits, namely leggings as pants.  When I started blogging I hadn’t the slightest clue as to what I was doing.  Fortunately, I had a college pal who was instrumental in setting me off in the right direction.  Should I ever hit it big time, he’ll be the first person I write a check to.  I wrote my posts anonymously.  Honestly, I didn’t think anyone was even reading them.  I was writing as a creative outlet to balance out all of the arithmetic of my daily tasks.  I had totally forgotten how much I enjoyed writing.  Instead of having conversations with myself in my head, I started writing all of my thoughts down.

Then something funny happened.  I started seeing my hits go up and up and up on Google Analytics.  People were reading this?  My Facebook page started growing.  Strangely enough, people were paying attention.  Almost a year or so in, I wrote a post that was quite a bit more personal than my typical WTF?! posts.  I even included photos of myself, which I hadn’t really done before.  My hits spiked and I realized that I had cracked the code.  I realized that I was able to connect with readers on a more personal level.  I could communicate with them without polarizing them.  We could commiserate.  We could laugh.  We could cry.  We could think.  We could be girlfriends… even though I don’t even know most of them.  I wanted women to know that there is someone out there dealing with the same problems as they are: whether it be finding the perfect hair product, or clever way to hide bra straps, or heal a broken heart.  I wasn’t here to make them feel bad about all the clothes and stuff I have that they didn’t (which I don’t have).  I wanted to be a safe place, a fun place, a release from a shitty day at the office with an Excel sheet and bitchy clients.

leggings are not pantsAnd while I was kind of forced into figuring out what I loved doing by being fired, it wasn’t easy.  I tried to get jobs after being laid off.  I got a few, but they weren’t particularly fulfilling or long lasting.  The jobs I would have wanted, I couldn’t get.  I was either overqualified or didn’t have the “right” experience to get them.  So, I realized that I just needed to put my head down and focus on creating something for myself.  Sure, I have a long way to go and I’m still learning even now.  I had no idea four years ago when I wrote my first post that this was what I was meant to be doing.  It was just a silly whim that grew legs and started sprinting.  There have been times I’ve wanted to quit, but I believe everyone feels that way at one point or another.  I get frustrated that I’ve worked hard for years and still have not made it to where I want to be and some bloggers have just walked onto the scene and been scooped up by agents and brands and critics.  When I see that happen, I get discouraged.  I start to think maybe I’m no good.  However, when I really think about throwing in the towel, I think about my readers.  I think about all the kind comments and emails and the friendships that have come from doing what I do.  I think about how much I really do enjoy writing and here I am.

So as to not make this all about “me” (you’ve got to be a little narcissistic to be a blogger afterall), I want you to know that sometimes when you are being rejected left and right and nothing seems to be working, it isn’t because you aren’t good enough.  Maybe it’s just life’s gentle nudge telling you that there is something else for you.  Maybe you just need to dig deep and figure out what you love and what your true calling is.  Don’t feel bad because you aren’t fitting into that round hole if you’re a square peg.  Know that you are just being pointed in the right direction and always know that there is a safe place for you here.

Thank you for four amazing years.




Why Did You Wear That: Ray of Light

By |January 24th, 2012|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

Though winter here hasn’t been much more than grey and rainy, I was able to catch a little bit of sun a couple of weekends ago.

I know coming hot off the heels of my Stylelist Q + A, this may seem like a “risky” outfit choice.  Here’s the thing: I don’t hate leggings as a whole.  I hate when girls wear leggings like they’re Levi’s.  I’ve got a whole stack of leggings, but you better believe that unless I’m in the midst of a pilates class, my “assets” are covered when wearing them.

I love the sheer peach mixed with grey knits and grounded with a luggage brown boot.  It’s a nice alternative to the standard black and brings a little bit of light (ness) to your most grey winter days.

Rule of thumb when deciding whether or not a shirt is long enough to be worn with leggings:  Put your hands down to your sides.  If the shirt reaches your fingertips, it should be okay.  It’s kind of like the skirt/shorts rule in highschool.  Use your head (and your eyes), your front pieces and bum should not be showing.  Leggings, afterall, are not pants. 

1. Equipment Major Blouse, $208, 2. Top Shop Ribbed Marl Leggings, $36, 3. Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner (Peacock), $20, 4. Bare Escentuals Pretty Amazing Lip Color (Confidence), $16, 5. Kain Modal Silk Blend Tank, $85, 6. Alex & Ani 12 Assorted  Expandable Bangles, $138, 7. Steve Madden Intyce Cognac Boots, $149.95




The List Volume LV

By |October 7th, 2011|The List|

 I always get a kick out of checking my Google Analytics to see what people are searching.  Some of you are real freaks.  Then again… I’m the one with the blog that people Googling land on.  That’s neither here nor there.  So, what were you fine folks Googling this week? Let’s have a look.

  1. Slutty Halloween costumes (specifically slutty Tinkerbell and slutty schoolgirl).
  2. Motorcycle hand signals. 
  3. Anal bleaching (in several variations of the words).
  4. Black and white engagement rings.  FYI- Wedding Chicks just did an awesome piece on these. 
  5. Fishtail braid, Blake Lively mermaid braid, Serena fish braid.
  6. Ombre hair.
  7. Hedgehog bites, hedgehogs, hedgehog saying you’re stupid.
  8. Cute ways to curl your hair for a date.
  9. Rainboots, Hunter rainboots, Burberry rainboots, celebrities in rainboots.
  10. Cameltoe
You guys need to get hobbies…




The List Volume XXXIX

By |February 25th, 2011|The List|

So, I thought I’d switch things up a little this week.  One of my favorite things to do is check Google Analytics to see what exactly people are Googling to land on WhyDid.  I’ve compiled a list of this past week’s most interesting and/or popular searches (I promise you I did NOT make these up) and will do my best to answer all queries.

  1. Justin Bieber’s haircut. Here. Don’t ask again.
  2. Do people eat Bump Its.  Sweet heavens, I hope not.
  3. What to wear to a coffee date. I’m fairly certain we’ve covered this.  You don’t go on a coffee date. Period.
  4. Fishtail braid. Here is WhyDid’s “How To” video for the good ol’ fishtail braid:               
  5. How to pee in a one piece romper.  Well, when you take on the task of wearing a romper, you’re taking on a lot of responsibility.  This includes having to basically strip down nude when going to the ladies’ room.  Sorry, kiddos, no shortcut for this one.
  6. Kanye West wearing leggings. I didn’t know about such an incident until I saw this.  I presume this is in reference to the ridiculously tight red metallic skinnys he wore during the NBA All Star Game performance.
  7. What is why did you wear that? Um, well, you’re here now.  In case you haven’t figured it out, WhyDid is a lifestyle blog dishing out real life advice on fashion, love, food, and fun. Think of WhyDid as the big sister you never had.
  8. Why can’t Jennifer Anniston make a good movie? I laughed out loud at this one.  Great question.  If anyone has the answer, please let me know.  As a matter of fact, you should probably let her know.
  9. Dog cupcakes. Here’s a delightful recipe for dog cupcakes (aka pupcakes). I smell a “How To” video coming…
  10. Did Rihanna have on panties at the Grammy’s? If you look really close. Like really creepy stalker close in this photo you can see the nipple covers as well as the edge of a nude thong.  So while she may not have the best fashion sense, she does have enough good sense to cover her hoo ha.

Keep Googling, guys.



Would You Wednesday: Skeggings

By |January 26th, 2011|Why Did or Why Don't?|

I mean, first came leggings, then came jeggings, then majeggings, all leading up to the ingenious “pajama jeans.”  (To be clear: NONE of these are pants). Now there’s apparently a little somethin’ somethin’ from the fine folks at HUE being made available to you called “skeggings.” (Anyone else thinking the name could possibly have been derived from skank + leggings?).

I’m sort of torn on these “skeggings.”  While they are absolutely hideous (the way they are styled in this photo make me want to just end it) at least your vdot will be covered. I mean, it seems that some people will just never learn that leggings are not, nor will they ever be, pants. So, while these skirted leggings are sort of ridiculous, maybe they are doing more good than harm?