a personal style blog by Lauren Pfieffer

Friday, May 24, 2024

Taking Time to Heal

In early May I took a step back from social media for a bit of a break. After 15 years of creating content, I don't think I can recall a period longer than a few days where I didn't share some update on social media. Taking a week off from work and even longer from my personal pages has been something I've needed for a long time.

I do believe if you work yourself too much, your body will eventually force you to stop. Since January I've been fighting the pull towards rest, believing I could outrun its call.

My mind has been sick. My body has been sick. My little family has been struggling and I've felt helpless in showing up for them with the time and mental capacity they need. 

In February our four year old dog, Benji, started having seizures. The day after Valentine's Day, my partner C and I were sleeping and woke up to his cry. We found him thrashing on the floor and foaming at the mouth. We were paralyzed with fear. 

Once Benji came out of it, he stumbled around aimlessly in a trance: we knew we had to get him to the emergency vet. We were shocked when the vet told us he'd had a seizure. This wasn't something that had ever even crossed our mind as a possibility. Benji was a young dog with no history of epilepsy. We hoped (and prayed) it was just a one-off occurrence, perhaps triggered by a new food he'd started. Life resumed and although we were weary, we were hopeful we could move past it.

In April we woke up again to him having a seizure. It was similar to the first, but this time we confidently knew to record, time and document it. Our confidence was shaken when just a few hours later he had another seizure. Multiple seizures within 24 hours of each other are called cluster seizures. We knew then it wasn't just a one-off occurrence and he needed medication to try and control his seizures. 

Since then we've started him on Keppra (Levetiracetam), an anticonvulsant medication. I wish I could say Keppra has been successful, but even with increasing his dosages over the last few months Benji's seizures are more frequent, about every 10 days. This morning at 5AM he had another one, which feels especially discouraging after we recently increased his dosage from 2x a day to 3x. He's now at the maximum dosage for Keppra.

From here, it's really just experimenting to find the right cocktail of medicine that will work to control his seizures to ideally only one to two every six months. We've also been working on integrating some holistic treatments like fish oil in the AM and melatonin in the PM to see if they have any positive effect. 

And then there's been Tito. Tito, my little best-friend who has been with me through so much over the last 8 years. I was only in NYC for two weeks when my roommates and I adopted him. I don't know what  New York (or life) looks like if he's not in it.

Gradually over the years Tito's health has been declining, really due to his age. At 17, he's lived a full life for a cat -- especially for one with only one tooth left. A few years ago he was diagnosed with hyper-thyroidism and we've been trying to slow down its progression since with twice a day methimazole. 

Earlier this year around the time Benji's seizures started, Tito was also diagnosed with stage two renal disease. He throws up quite frequently and his disposition has definitely been shifting. He seeks comfort and has taken to sleeping on my pillow above my head every night. All we can do is continue to give him palliative care and love him unconditionally.

Whenever life feels too overwhelming or complicated to continue on, I find myself seeking refuge in Ohio. The simplicity and comfort of home always brings me back to my gravity's center. I knew I had to take some time off both professionally and personally and spend time in Ohio in order to heal from the last few months.

It's day six now of rest. I find myself settling into it more willingly than day one. It becomes easier to sleep in. More natural to do nothing but read, run and relax. Even my pets feel more at peace as they look up at me and seem to understand their mother is finally letting go. Nature has been so healing as I spend time on our front porch, listening to the sounds of suburbia: the low rumble of lawn mowers, children playing, birds chirping and cars leisurely winding down the street. The chimes we received at my grandmother's funeral nearly two years ago play softly now as I write. Benji sits at my feet, tufts of fur blowing in the wind as he lays stretched out on the warm concrete. I've let go of the obligation to create. I don't feel a desire to make things other than this blog post, which feels cathartic to write. 

This is a stop in my healing journey. It's not a solution for the culmination of creative burnout and heavy sadness I feel. This week taught me the importance of slowing down to clear my mind in order to gather clarity about what's next. I feel a calling for change and have for awhile. I'm working on the what, the how will come later. 

I hope you're well. I miss you and will be back hopefully soon. 

With much love,



Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Reflections in Personal Style Over 15 Years


Sometimes it's hard to believe I've been sharing outfits on the internet since I was 16. This year will mark 15 years of documenting all the ups and downs of my style and I've been reflecting on this journey.

This blog started in 2009, when Instagram wasn't even around yet and Tumblr was still in its infancy. At the time, I drew most of my fashion inspiration from magazines. I loved to spend hours at the local Barnes & Noble browsing the high brow ones like Elle, Harpers Bazaar and Marie Claire. My mom used to get subscriptions to a few others and I'd cut out the designer shoes and hand bags, making collages of items I dreamed of owning when I was an adult. 

The other source of inspiration I turned to were fashion blogs. Blogs were gaining popularity, especially in the fashion space. Tavi Gevinson, Bryan Boy and Sea of Shoes were some of my big name favorites, but it was the smaller, more niche vintage blogs I really connected to. Vintage was having a moment, and it really was its own subculture in fashion. For the first time, I identified and wanted to be a part of a group,   so I started my own blog to document my exploration of vintage fashion. Some OGs may remember,  my blog's initial name was Someone Like You. You can read my first post here.


Many of the first fashion blogs I first followed focused on true vintage styling. A few of my favorites were Strawberry Koi (now Aya Smith Art), A Clothes Horse, Wish Wish Wish, and Liebelmarine (now on stack), and I would discover up and coming bloggers on sites like Lookbook.nu and Chictopia. 

Movies and books also became huge sources of inspiration and education in my early days of learning about vintage. Here is one of those first light bulb moments for me in 2010.  I took on renewed interest in the local library to rent out classics like Casablanca, Roman Holiday and Breakfast at Tiffany's. 

1940s and 1950s quickly became my favorite decades, and my dad took me to the nearest vintage store 30 minutes away called Stitches in Time. What a magical memory I'll always hold close to my heart. I was 16, and this was my version of a mall. I received for Christmas from my parents in 2010 my first vintage pieces: a rainbow taffeta 1950s circle skirt and wide brimmed red straw hat. 

I wore full vintage to high school as I continued to delve deeper into the community over my junior and senior years. Coming home from school and sharing my outfits online with a community of vintage lovers from across the world excited me. I felt like I belonged -- something I longed for in small town Ohio. I was soon sharing daily, logging hundreds of outfit posts every year and investing a lot into my blog. Thrifting became an affordable way to continue exploring my new passion and I started sharing my hauls on the blog, too. 

Because of my blog, I knew I wanted to continue with a formal education in fashion, so in 2012 I began studying Fashion Merchandising at Kent State University. 

TWEE TAKE OVER: 2012 - 2016

In 2012 blogging was fading in popularity thanks to buzzy social media platforms like Instagram and Tumblr. People were still blogging, but blogs became a secondary priority to sharing on places that provided instant gratification, attention and growth opportunities.

While I was still running Someone Like You in college, my style started shifting out of true vintage and into twee vintage.  Twee was much more childlike and over-the-top feminine. Zooey Deschanel was the twee icon and It girls like Alexa Chung and Lana Del Rey were reblogged across every girl's Tumblr.  Alexa and Lana integrated many twee elements into their outfits like Peter Pan collars and flower crowns.

I dreamed of owning everything American Apparel (especially in the sunflower print), but the best I could do was one of their $20 hair bows. Fast Fashion brands like Forever21, Charlotte Russe and even dELiA*s (which was still around at the time) played heavily into vintage-inspired & twee styles.  This was how I supplemented my mostly-thrifted closet. If I was lucky, for Christmas or my birthday I would receive a dress from ModCloth, one of the biggest retro clothing retailers of the 2010s. One of my favorite dresses from Modcloth was cobalt blue with a subtle heart pattern and crochet Peter Pan collar. I wore it on Christmas Day after receiving it that morning and still have it hanging in my childhood bedroom in Ohio.

Some of my favorite pieces I loved to wear during this era were: circle skirts, Peter Pan collars, lace socks, knee high socks, ballet flats, lace everything, bow print, headbands, cat eye sunglasses, cardigans, flower crowns, pearls, locket necklaces. For most of the early 2010s I also has the go-to twee hairstyle: blunt bags. 

Often I look back on 2012 - 2016 as one of my personal favorite eras of style. While it doesn't feel right for me now at 30, it did when I was navigating the complexities of my early 20s. I found a lot of my identity in my personal style and the twee community. 

LOST IN THE TRENDS: 2016 - 2018

Once I graduated college in 2016, I moved to New York City. With two suitcases and no job I was determined to fit into the New York persona I'd been dreaming about since my internship at Cosmopolitan Magazine the previous summer. 

One thing about New York City is there will always be someone 'more' than you. More stylish. More beautiful. More wealthy. It's an impossible standard to keep up with and at 22, I thought I'd try. My first few years of living in NYC was chasing every trend I thought would make me stand out. After paying rent, what was left of my paltry paychecks went to shopping at Zara. I was working my first big girl job at Kiehl's with older and established co-workers who had the means to invest in what was stylish. It made me constantly feel insecure. Not just that I couldn't keep up with everyone else (in many aspects), but following trends didn't allow me to feel like my style was mine. I became a mix match of everything I absorbed in NYC and none of it was really reflective of who I was. 

Thrifting wasn't like it was back home, where it was easy and affordable to find vintage. I struggled with creating a wardrobe that felt like mine and it showed. 

CONSCIOUS STYLE: 2018 - 2020

In 2018 I'm 24 and working a more established job at a clothing brand. It feels good to be working in fashion, something my degree was actually in. It's around this time I also start digging deeper into sustainability. 

Around this time, I watched a documentary called The True Cost, about the shocking realities of the fashion industry, I was changed. I didn't want to buy fast fashion anymore. I felt like if I didn't know the true working conditions and pay of someone who made my clothes, I didn't want to buy it at all. I started researching ethical fashion brands who had more transparency. One of the first I discovered was Everlane, which felt like an anomaly back in 2018. They really were one of the first of its kind in transparency for consumers, and while I couldn't afford most of their pieces, I took to their philosophy. My new perspective on slow, intentional fashion also made me second-guess my job at The Gap. I felt morally torn working for a company that didn't align with my values and eventually switched back into beauty.

I started buying less and rewearing what I had more. I became really interested in remixing challenges and following capsule wardrobes. I wanted my outfit choices not just to make me feel good, but do good, as well. I stripped my style back to the basics and wore a lot of simple, classic and neutral pieces so I could optimize my closet. I started #PassingWhimsiesRemix on Instagram where I shared all the different ways you could wear an item, and it became one of my most popular series. My blog was mostly abandoned, sharing on 9 posts in all of 2018. It was too hard to keep up with multiple social platforms and juggle a full time blog. 

Thrifting my main source to get new (to me) clothes. Really other than the Everlane Boss Boots I saved up 6 months for or the upcycled Girlfriend leggings I became obsessed with, I committed to no longer buying clothes new from stores. 

Overtime, I began to find myself limited in my closet and uninspired. I had donated the more trend-forward pieces in favor of a cohesive and versatile wardrobe (peak 2010s millennial-core), but found myself lost again on what my style truly was when everything was stripped back.

Then the pandemic hit.


Suddenly getting dressed for my 9-5 at the office became 24/7 sweats or pajamas as I began working from home in 2020. I didn't own many leisure pieces at the time, but invested in some once I saw my new reality for the foreseeable future. The pandemic shut down any exploration of my style for months as I grappled with the uncertainty taking over the city at the height of the pandemic. I was alone in my apartment with no family and it was a difficult time. By the summer, I took to fashion again as a way to express myself during a time of uncertainty.

From 2020 to present, it's really been a continual exploration and evolution of my style. The pandemic awoke something within me: a creativity I hadn't explored since I was in high school. I got really into vintage again and dressing in all the different decades, but especially 90s. I started my TikTok account in 2020 and re-found my style on the app through discovering new accounts that tapped into 90s nostalgia. I'd always really loved 90s fashion, but I started doing more fully authentic looks and completely committed in 2022 when I cut my hair into a pixie.

I'm often asked what inspired me to go from a shoulder grazing bob to a pixie. I'd been in a relationship for 6 months with someone who didn't make me feel like myself. After it ended, I rebelled with my appearance. I pierced my nose, my ears and then cut all my hair off. It was liberating to explore this new physical expression of my style. There were a few months when I didn't know what the hell was going on with my style after I cut my hair short. I felt challenged by traditional gender norms and what short hair meant for the way I got dressed in the morning. 

It didn't mean shit. You can do anything, whether your hair is short or long, and I found a newfound freedom with no boundaries holding me back.

Last August, I turned 30 and I'm still unsure if it's placebo or real, but I do feel different. I feel hungry to discover what the next phase of my style is and ready to push the boundaries once again. I've been itching for something new for a while now, I'm just not quite sure what yet. I know that I do feel different and want to reflect that outwardly in where my style goes next.

With much love,


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