Monday, December 30, 2013

The Skinny

I have to admit, I'm REALLY dubious about this whole skinny jean thing.

BUT I've been working on embracing leggings and tights lately and in doing so I have noticed a wardrobe hole that would be pretty well filled by some skinny jeans - that being the one where I'M WARM, winter hasn't been too bad so far but February in New York can be pretty brutal - so I'm trying to look at them as really beefy leggings.

I have some guidance for wearing skinny jeans as a petite woman and some really comfortable stilettos in my closet (did I seriously just say that?), so I'm taking the chance.

I had a fair number of reward points built up with Old Navy and decided to splurge on some skinny jeans. By splurge I mean that after points, free shipping, and the current 15% off discount code I spent $13 on jeans, two dresses, and some purple microfiber stockings, but any spending post-holiday feels a little painful.

I ended up grabbing a pair of The Rockstar Skinny Glitter Jeans in black. Normally I wear their Sweetheart cut, but they *say* Rockstar is universally flattering. Worst case scenario there's always in-store returns, right?

I'm also strongly considering a pair of their new Demi Boot jeans as I do love a good cigarette pant with a heel, but I had already eaten up my points with this order so those shall have to wait.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Happy New Years! You get my wardrobe failures!

Hope everyone has had a fantastic midwinter celebration of their choosing.

Whew! The immediate holiday chaos over and of course I now have the inevitable vacation cold, so there's been ample time for poking at pictures and saving energy for the coming Birthday/NewYearspalooza.

I now have pics of the better part of a month's worth of outfits and as it happens I wore everything in this particular post to work. Collecting so many days of wardrobe shots has revealed a few points to watch and one heavily recurring issue.

What didn't work at all:

The worst are the are pics from the 10th, 16th, 18th, and 23rd. I feel I must point out for posterity that these were *the most flattering* of the shots I took for each of these days.

We have four hip length shirts each with a hip length (or longer) sweater, jeans, and flats. Oddly enough all of those shirts can be fairly flattering on their own, but in every one of these shots the primary visual line is DIRECTLY across the width of my hips with absolutely no upward distraction and no indication whatsoever that I have a waist.

I'm short and primarily pear shaped, and yet here I am drawing attention downward and toward the widest part of my body and cutting off my legs. Fail. I do think all of these days except the tee shirt day could potentially have been salvaged with neckline accessories or some manner of high waist belting.

I did eventually end up wearing an orchid coloured pashmina with that grey cowl neck shirt, though that was more about work appropriateness than fashion. Necklines are becoming an issue and that will most assuredly be a future post as well.

This was my first attempt at a logo tee shirt during this experiment and I don't really know what I thought I was doing, but clearly it didn't work. I have a LOT of tee shirts I'm not willing to abandon and I need to figure out a way to wear them well.

More after the jump:

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Two great tastes that taste great together!

Bats and nail... polish? Seriously though, bear with me.

Taking a hard left from my regular(?) posts because I just found out about an awesome team up and I had to share.

I was poking around on a nail polish blog called Never Gonna Give You Up and for some reason this post caught my eye, she discusses a lovely lilac-y/pink holographic polish called Peekaboo and the Etsy seller she gets if from: Ruby White Tips. Not normally my kinda colour but it was sparkly and I have my occasional (well, not so occasional) magpie moments.

Not only do half of the proceeds from this polish (and the related line) go to The Bat World Sanctuary, but this particular colour is named after a bat named Peekaboo.

I have a particular affinity for bats so my Brother and Sister In Law sponsored a bat in my name through The Bat Sanctuary for my birthday last year, and THAT BAT WAS PEEKABOO!

The Bat Sanctuary does amazing work toward bat conservation and rescue. I have really enjoyed following along with the materials they have sent me and via Facebook, and I appreciate having the opportunity to help out where I can. Passing along info on this product line was a no-brainer.

I haven't tried these polishes myself so I can't personally vouch for them, but I suspect that will change pretty soon. I love bats and I love nail polish; it's not a hard sell and that BOO2 colour is especially calling. 

*Rights to those images not even remotely mine but as I'm linking to the source hopefully I'll be forgiven.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Why does it always have to be a learning experience?

I'm not going to subject you to an outfit-per-post arrangement because I am fairly sure it would bore all of us to tears. I don't think my wardrobe is terribly interesting (yet, hopefully this will change), but I do think I have a lot to learn by looking at what it is I'm actually choosing to wear. Here we have Wednesday and Thursday of last week, and it's all just kind of... inoffensive. Woo?

I actually really like the Born boots in the first pic (same style as these) but you can't see them at all. I love the scarf in the second pic (and not just because my mom made it for me) but it's probably saying something when a cleverly knotted grey silk/wool scarf is the most interesting thing about your outfit.

The shirt is not hanging in a remotely flattering way and the cut of the cardigan does pretty much nothing for the outfit whatsoever. It's not a bad cardigan per-se, but the length is really just all wrong for this shirt. That shirt mostly sticks around because I don't utterly hate it, but I think I could be convinced otherwise at this point. I'd offer replacements for this combination per my last post but I really think the best policy is to forget it exists altogether and move on.

I do however highly recommend that scarf knot (linked instructions with diagram here). It makes the scarf into a feature, doesn't fall off over your shoulder every eight minutes, and covers the neck very comfortably without appearing bulky. 

There is one other major difference between the first and second shot and that is a full face of makeup. I think the fact that this is *not* obvious (crappy camera work aside) is pretty darn awesome, and deserves its own commentary - more on that later.

I like the blue of my undershirt in the third picture and I feel like I must be able to pair that vest with SOMETHING in an interesting way, but this ain't it. All of the puffer vest outfits I've seen that work involve belting, a long slim leg, a play on the nylon texture, and heels. Example, Example, Example, Example. I do feel like there's something more out there, it's too shiny and carapace-like to abandon as too shapeless and uninteresting. Give me time!

(Also: suggestions welcome)

Here we see the first intro of my burgundy Grinders Oxfords which are hands down the most comfortable, heavily used, and durable shoes I've ever owned in my life and which are the last vestiges of my early 20s "you mean they make shoes which are not combat boots?" phase. 

Wow I just realised those shoes are at least 13 years old!

Continued after the cut.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The point of (hopefully) no return

 "See? That was nothing. But that's how it always begins. Very small". 

-Egg Shen - Big Trouble in Little China

Sometime in the wee hours of Monday night into Tuesday the third I hit a wall. Barely days into December and I'd officially had enough of winter, my winter wardrobe, and my usual approach to dressing myself for the season in general.

Shortly after this post I turned off my computer, got ready for bed, and picked out a winning ensemble for my upcoming day at work. While falling asleep I remembered a picture series my friend Christa aka the BabbyMama  had done for a while and had the thought to start keeping track of what I was wearing.

Continued after the cut.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Behold the power of embarrassment!

When the format of this blog began to crystallize (sometime last Tuesday-ish) I immediately thought of the TLC show What Not To Wear.

If you've never seen the show: they pick a person to makeover and follow them around for a few days getting pics of their day-to-day wear. Stylist/hosts Stacey and Clinton surprise them by showing (and picking apart) this footage in front of a giant group of friends, and then through the magic of television we all accompany the makeover-ee on a shopping spree with tips tailored to their frame, tastes, and lifestyle. This culminates in a big reveal in front of the same crowd who got to see the embarrassing secret footage.

(Results not typical)

I've gotten a lot of solid info from the show over the years, so I figured if I was looking to overhaul my wardrobe I could do a lot worse than to follow that same formula. Over the course of the week I started taking daily shots of my outfits and learned some pretty important things.

Continued after the cut.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWERS Itty-bitty living space

I have a strong sense of fashion
I love (and collect) makeup, hairdye, heels, and nailpolish
I am drawn to shocking colour but also appreciate the classic simplicity and flexibility of neutrals
I have a fair grasp of what looks good on my frame
I love tailored structural pieces and edgy combinations
my crafting background (particularly in sewing) gives me a deep appreciation for design and construction

I know what I like, and I like looking good.

So why do I walk around looking like an unkempt schlub 70% of the year???

I have no idea, but I can tell you what prompted the question now, or at least a few of the contributing factors.

Continued after the cut.