The Last Sweater: My Year of No Shopping

Dickson Family 2017-111

Wherever you stand on resolutions (you love them, you pooh-pooh them, you think they may be an impetus for change, you don’t subscribe because you don’t see any value) I think that there is merit in examining your life periodically, and setting goals and intentions which move you forward as an individual.

This year I have one main goal I am focusing on. I am setting out on a year of not buying clothing. There are many who have trod this path before me: Colleen Bordeaux, Ann Patchett, James Clear, Cait Flanders, and more. Each one of these individuals had their own structure and set of rules for their shopping furlough. For me, this quest is one I’ve toyed with for a very long time. So why now?

I have enough clothes

I have pursued style and fashion for the better part of my life. While I don’t see anything inherently negative about this, I haven’t been as careful about cultivating my personal relationship with money as I have my wardrobe. In short, I have enough clothing. I want to take a year to evaluate my wardrobe.

Shopping mindlessly wastes time and money

I can’t tell you how much time and money I’ve spent shopping, but I can tell you that it has been a lot. One thing that Ann Patchett found during her year of no shopping was that she had time for other more important and even pressing activities. One of the reasons I initially began blogging was to spend more time writing. Yes, I did write more than I otherwise would have in the last two years if I did not run a blog, but I also used the fact that one of my intended focuses was “style” to shop– a lot.

I want to take a break from the online marketing circus. Constant shopping and buying in the realm of clothing drives the machine of wasteful fashion, one of the world’s largest polluters. The industry is all built on the backs of underpaid, often over-worked people in third world countries. I hope to take this year to evaluate my approach to buying, spending. I really need and want to learn to spend more thoughtfully and responsibly.

I want to realign my relationship with my money

In all honesty I have next to no understanding of money. I have jokingly explained my relationship as one where when the water is running (the money is flowing, there is cash in the bank) then I feel free to spend until the water runs dry. Dry would obviously mean that the money has been spent, the cash is gone. I have never used a budget, and I have certainly never examined how my money could be working for me, i.e. in investments, savings, and other forms of return.

I have to say that this is one of the hardest posts I have written. Not because I am not looking forward to the challenge of “no new things”, but because I am a person that does not like to set goals and then fail and I am a bit afraid of failing this challenge!

I’ll have more of my “rules” and some updates on this first month soon! Have a beautiful Thursday!



Dickson Family 2017-367

Holiday Party Wear: Your Vote!

Look 1 : Velvet Camisole, Black Denim, Gray Cardigan, Leopard Flats, Gold Drop Hoops

This may have been one of my most fun social media interactions to date. On Thursday I asked my friends and followers on Instagram and Facebook which outfit they would choose for an upcoming holiday party I was dressing for.

The first look is linked above, the second look is linked below. In the end, I wore a combination of your comments, suggestions, and votes. I can’t lie, crowd sourcing made dressing for this soiree so much more enjoyable! I didn’t have any qualms choosing my outfit. Do you crowd source your looks? Come on, please tell me that you have called your sister, your best friend, your mother, or even pinged your partner to find out what to wear.

Look 2: Sequin Top, Mid-Rise Jeans, Nude Sandals, Pearl Studs

The winner! This is what I wore to our holiday party– sequin top, dark rinse jeans, leopard heels, black topcoat, pearl earrings, and red cross-body purse. I had so much fun asking you all what I should wear, that I’ll probably do it again!

I posted these looks to share my holiday dressing inspiration– from me to you and you to me. Thank you for liking, sharing, commenting, voting, and following Refined + Rugged. What other content would you like to see in the coming year? I’d love to know, so feel free to comment below or post your thoughts to Instagram or Facebook. Have a wonderful Wednesday and a bright and beautiful holiday season!



Procrastinator’s Gift Guide


Gifts for Her:


Fair Isle Sweater, Dark Rinse Jeans, Sequin Camisole, Black Ankle Boots, Striped Bow Shirt, Velvet Heels, T-shirt, Pink Cashmere Sweater, Down Bomber Jacket, White Sneakers, Velvet Purse, Pearl Earrings, Slippers, Velvet Slides, Velvet Dress, Fleece Pull-over

Gifts for Him:


Plaid Shirt, Dark Rinse Jeans, Danner Boots, Cashmere Crew-neck Sweater, Cologne, Leather Messenger, Lotion, Ultra Light Down Jacket, Slippers, Beanie, Black Hole Duffel, Wool Topcoat, Topo Bracelet

Gifts for Boys:


Fleece Jacket, Beanie, Ski Parka, Ski Pants, Electric Scooter, Watch, Legos, Book Set, Boggs Boots, Wool Ski Socks

Gifts for Girls:


Down Jacket, Fleece Jacket, Ugg Boots, Legos, Lace Dress, Dino Sweater, Jeans, Faux Fur Bolero, Plaid Shirt, Bogg Boots, Robot, Meri Meri Necklace and Braclet

Gifts for Grandma:


Alex and Ani Bracelet, Stadium Cloth Coat, Buffalo Check Throw Pillow, Silver Charger, Slippers, Llama Dishcloth, Jeans, Red Ski Sweater, Star Sweater, Red Slippers, Turtleneck Sweater

Gifts for Grandpa:


Family Tree Portrait, Print and Block Frame, Barbour Classic Bedale Jacket, Shaving Kit, Robe

Gifts for the New Mom:


Baby Book, Cashmere Robe, Cashmere Sweat Pants, Tiffany Necklace, Boppy Pillow

Gifts for the Tech Savvy:


Apple Watch, Bose Wireless Headphones, Bose Micro Bluetooth Speaker, iRobot Roomba, Drone

Gifts for the Gym Goer:


Nike Shoes, Racer-back Tank, Wireless Headphones, Leggings, Gym Duffel, Zella Zip Jacket, iTunes Giftcard, iPhone 8, Swell Water Bottle

Gifts for the Tool Man:

Gerber Mutitool, Klein Tools, Pendleton Crater Lake Throw, Spyderco Tenacious Knife, Dewalt Wireless Drill, Dremel, Best Made Hatchet, Deerskin Insulated Work Gloves, No Bull Bottle Opener

Gifts for Beauty Junkies:

Naked Eye Palette, NARS Lip Gloss, Benefit Mascara, NARS Blush in Orgasm, Clinique Quickliner, NARS Velvet Lip Glide, Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, Tom Ford Lipstick, NARS Multiple Stick, Tom Ford Lipstick


Eye Spy: Warby Parker Winter Core and Resort ’17 Collection

Warby Parker Winter Core

As winter’s shadows lengthen and the days grow shorter (at least until mid-December), it’s not too early to think about welcoming the New Year. In 2017, I tried to maintain a better balance– both mind and body. I’ve taken to bike commuting to get (and keep) me outside and moving, I’ve focused on making sure that we’re eating whole and healthy meals here at home, and I’m making sure that I take care of each aspect of me so that I am more prepared to be a strength to my husband, my children, my family, my friends, my students, and the world at large.

One of the things that’s been on my update list for a long time is a new pair of eye glasses. In 2018 I’m going to bite the bullet and get a new pair of specs, and I think Warby Parker is the ideal place to find a new pair! I am very excited to help Warby Parker announce their Winter Core and Resort ’17 Collections.

One fresh way that Warby Parker makes it easy to pick out a pair of new glasses is with their free in-home try on. This is such a bonus for a busy, working professional and mom who doesn’t have much time to break away for a visit to an eye glasses retailer. Instead, I can try them on in the comfort of my own home, make sure I love them before I order them, and the price point won’t break my wallet– see for yourself!

In terms of eye-wear you could call me an 80/20 lady. I wear contacts eighty percent of the time, and glasses around twenty percent of the time. But the reality is that as my eyes have matured, my eye doctor has encouraged me to wear my glasses more frequently. In fact, if you see me some weekend cruising around my neighborhood, chances are I’m wearing glasses.

Here are a couple of new frames I’m considering from Warby Parker’s Winter Core. First up, Violet:


Violet is equal parts quirky and quintessential– perfectly retro-modern. The metal frame is rose gold, and I’ve considered a subtle cat eye like Violet vaunts for YEARS. Maybe now it’s time to pull the trigger. Violet has that cool girl vibe that can be dressed up or down. The look I’ve pulled together is casual with a pretty pink cable-knit sweater, chartreuse beanie, my ALL TIME favorite jeans, and a peachy pair of golden goose sneakers.

My other winter pick from Warby Parker’s Winter Core is Lowry:


Lowry in jet black fade has an edgy, more masculine look that I can really get behind. My outfit would definitely include a cozy, sherpa-lined denim jacket, rockin’ ruffled plaid top, and chewed hem jeans. With Lowry as my outfit topper, I’d add a sweet pair of velvet Mary Jane’s just to lean a little back toward girly, and call it a day!

The other fabulous news about Warby Parker is that they not only have eye glasses, they have a gorgeous collection of sunglasses, too! A few of my new favorites from their Resort ’17 collection are Wyatt and Cleo.


Our post-Christmas plans include more snow, i.e. Tahoe, this year. But if we were headed to the beach I’d be sure that I packed a couple pair of Warby Parker sunnies. You don’t need much to enjoy the sand and the sun so I’d duffle-up this adorable striped romper, a new bright one-piece, some sassy slides, and a packable hat. Paradise, here I come!

Alright, this post has been a really fun one to create. Now I’m headed over to really give Warby Parker’s home try-on a go. I’ll be posting the try-on results in a month or so, but I’m also wondering if any of you have had experience with Warby Parker? Comments, questions, and conversation are always welcome here. Happy Tuesday, fabulous humans!


Caitlin Louise Small Blush Tortoise Warby Parker Winter 17

*This post is in partnership with Warby Parker. All opinions and views expressed are my own. Thank YOU, dear readers, for supporting brands that support Refined + Rugged. The glasses frames pictured above are Lousie in Blush Tortoise.


Outerwear in October

Early Fall

Adobe Spark (17)

Jean Jacket, FleeceLeather Jacket

Not all climates are created for layering, but I live in one that requires it. I still contend that even in a temperate climate, layering is possible if you evaluate your options. A jean jacket, blazer, leather bomber, or even trench coat are universal style staples sea to shining sea.

I’ve gathered some of my current outerwear favorites for October from across the web for this latest installment of Refined + Rugged. Take a look, and tell me what your favorite outerwear pieces are for fall. Happy Friday, wonderful humans!

XX, Megan

Late Fall

Adobe Spark (18)

Wool Topcoat, Rustic Puffer, VestBelted Topcoat

Climate Dependent

Adobe Spark (16)

Puffer Parka, Trench Coat, Rain Slicker 

Cold Stoppers

Adobe Spark (19)

Toggle Coat, Extreme Puffer, Insulated Topcoat, Wool Trench Coat