Meet Kater of the blog All This Happiness. With whimsical prints and retro flair, Kater channels fictional heroines in her everyday outfits. Perusing her blog might incite you to search out her hometown in Upstate New York because of the fairytale quality of her photos and the vintage wardrobe she has discovered there. When she doesn’t have her nose in a book, Kater is working in a bakery, where perks of the job include tasting cake (jealous!).
Does your locale in Upstate New York impact your style?
I live in a relatively small city, so I really have to be in the mood to stand out on days when I dress up! There are a lot of stores we don’t have around here, and that is part of what made me start looking for vintage. Shopping vintage, whether online or in person, is a really great way to feel like you’ve got something fashionable and special when you’re limited by location.
The joke is that my city is three hours from everywhere — and it’s true when driving to NYC or Boston! Being just close enough yet far away from these places does, I think, influence my style in some strange way. The weather is also pretty crazy up here — we get lots and lots of snow, but it’s hot and humid in the summer! That we get an intense experience of every season is a huge impact on personal style. It’s part battling the weather and part playing with it.
What literary heroine most inspires your style?
This is such a hard question! I like to have characters in mind when I get dressed, but it varies depending on what I’m into at a given moment. Last spring I was trying to dress with the most recent adaptation of Jane Eyre in mind, but this spring and summer I’ve been reading a lot of short story collections that are akin to fairytales and trying to dress like the girls in those.
I was so stumped on this question that I brought it up to a friend, and it turns out the answer is pretty obvious, although it might be cheating a bit! It’s not so much a heroine, because I’d stay the literary person who most inspires my style is Remus Lupin, the professorial werewolf character in Harry Potter! I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but it’s something I’ve talked about on the blog before, so I suppose I should get over it! It’s definitely a feminine version but the whole slightly dilapidated style where things are a little bit patched up, and all kinds of cardigans and tweed are exactly the kind of thing I think I get from that character, but I try to make it more, you know, for a lady!
You’ve said you’re a huge Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings fan — do you have any recommendations for fun summertime reads?
The Virgin Suicides is an every-year summer read because I don’t really feel like summer has arrived until I get into that prose again. I’m also really liking The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis. The stories are strange and sometimes heartbreaking. I started Tender is the Night at the end of last summer, but when fall came I couldn’t bear the beach scenes in it without having some sand for myself, so I might pick that up again soon!
If you could live on the set of any movie, what would it be?
Is it really typical of me to cite a Wes Anderson set for this one? It’s only that they have so much texture and stuff, and I’m never more comfortable than when I’m nestled in an interior of well-managed clutter. Probably The Royal Tenenbaums because of Margot’s shower curtain alone. Period movie sets would probably be really fun at first, but I’d feel so strange and out of place with all the order and delicacy.
What blogs do you read for inspiration? Do you have favorite Pinterest users you follow?
I definitely check out blogs first when I don’t know what to wear. I frequent Calivintage and Fancy Fine because those ladies know how to layer like no one else! It Girl, Rag Doll because there is nothing Emily can’t make look like a million bucks, and I hang out a lot on Honey Kennedy because Jen always posts the best shots from new lookbooks and things, and her link lists have so much on it to inspire what I wear and what I eat.
I’m still getting used to Pinterest; I usually forget about it and then go on a binge and pin everything I can see for six hours at a time, but I always enjoy the Pinterest that goes with the Miss Moss blog, and the Pinterest for the Museum at FIT is a dangerous time-waster! I get lost in there for ages.
Working in a bakery, you’re around sweet treats all day — what’s your favorite indulgence?
I’m really bad about indulgences! I don’t really hold back as much as I should when it comes to sweets! I get to sample a lot of cakes at work, and the edges are usually all mine, so those don’t really count. When I do spend a little bit of my hard-earned cash on a treat, I often splurge on a tin of Mariage Frères darjeeling tea. I’ll also pay a pretty penny for a simple, perfect, fruit tart.
Tell us something most people don’t know about you!
I’m not really one for harboring secrets or weird, special talents, so this is another one that was kind of hard for me to answer! I spend a lot of time writing and reading stories about weird and strange things like ghosts and creatures, but the thing is I really, really hate scary things! I’ve only seen a handful of horror movies, and almost never the entire thing, because they freak me out so much! I really love things that are spooky and strange but when it’s bedtime I get totally freaked out! So I don’t, and usually refuse to, watch scary movies.
Wondering how Kater would wear her namesake dress? She styled it up for a late breakfast with her friends.
As perfect accompaniments to the All This Happiness Dress, Kater chose the You Started Something Heel, Mahogany Muse Bag, To Have and To Gold Earrings, and Earth Wind Attire Belt. You can check out all of her faves here.
How would you style this summery stunner?