Monday, January 31, 2011

Edwardian Ball

 Hat: Audra Jean..... Top: Sequoia and Gita....  Skirt: Fanplusfriend Garden....  
Jewelry: gifts....  Velvet blazer: a gift from Sal....  Boots: John Fluevog

Last weekend we attended the Edwardian Ball again, which is interesting because it certainly doesn't seem like it's been a year since the last one. Anyhow, here's what I wore. Mark and I went with my friend Laura and her husband, who had never been before and were duly impressed. The ball was amazing as always; the costumes were wonderfully creative and elegant, and the entertainment was great. There were musical acts, acrobats and trapeze artists, Can-Can girls, and of course, the ever-popular absinthe bar. The wonderful Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were there, looking gorgeous and exotic and... tall. Really, really tall. Where do they find those platform heels? 

And for Sal: Your former roommate was performing. I gave her a long, evil glare, but I don't think she saw me.

Mark and I both wore my handmade hats.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Layered Nudes


I hit on the bright idea to layer nude fishnets over nude nylons, the idea being that the nylons would keep my legs warm and the fishnets would sort of hide the nude nylons. It definitely did keep my legs warm, and it had the added benefit of making the fishnets a LOT more comfortable, because these are really course and leave an imprint on my butt when I sit down (sorry for the TMI). However, it still didn't hide the weird color of these nude nylons, which I've realized really need to be replaced. The shade just doesn't look very natural to me, and they aren't quite sheer enough for my taste. But, the idea was still a good one, and I'll definitely try it again with some better nylons. Or maybe better yet, I'll find a good pair that has the fishnet pattern woven right in. Anyone have any recommendations?

Capelet: Forever 21
Shirt: Target
Belt: Red Dress Shoppe
Skirt: Eva Franco
Shoes: John Fluevog

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Occupational Hazard

Can you hear the angels singing? That's because I finally found The Perfect Pair of Casual Black Shoes. After literally years of searching (not continuously, mind you), and looking at pairs of shoes online until my eyes crossed and my head hurt, and finding an ideal shoe only to discover it wasn't available in my size, and thinking and rethinking the choices I had narrowed down, I finally took the plunge and bought these. And holy smokes, are they the comfiest shoes ever. My feet have joined the chorus of angels in song.

My requirements: black shoes that are a little outdoorsy looking, weatherproof, with a 1 - 1.5" heel so I can wear them with longer jeans, rubber soles that have good traction in the rain, a wedge heel for stability, cute enough to wear with skirts, and comfortable enough to walk in all day. Yes those are tall orders. Why I needed all those qualities in a single pair of shoes is no longer clear even to me, but it was a lingering obsession of mine and I was determined to fulfill  it. I found an awful lot of cute shoes and great deals while I was scouring the internet for these, I can tell you. Some of them, like my Timberland boots, also ended up in my closet. It's an occupational hazard, I guess.


Dress, belt: Red Dress Shoppe
Cardigan: Cynthia Rowley
Shoes: Bastien

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tension

I wasn't in love with this outfit, to be honest. I thought all the pieces actually looked pretty good together, but between the awkward length of the cardigan with respect to the oversized pockets on the dress, the way the full neck of the dress made the neckline of the cardigan sit funny, and the skirt hiking its way up all damn day, I just didn't feel very put together.

I only added the skirt as an afterthought, because I noticed that the bottom couple of buttonholes of the dress are starting to tear, and I wanted to spare them from further damage by leaving them open. This is not the best design for this dress; the fabric doesn't stretch at all, so sitting down puts a lot of tension on those bottom buttons. I think a more permanent solution would be to sew the bottom of the dress closed from the hips down, and have the buttons as decoration only. That way the tension would be distributed evenly across the whole bottom portion of the dress. It really only needs to unbutton about halfway in order to get it on and off anyway.

The skirt, on the other hand, is not fixable and is totally out of here. By the end of the day I was beyond frustrated with readjusting it, and I was ready to take it off and burn it right there. It was a cheap thrift store purchase anyway, so I'm not too sad to part with it.

Cardigan: American Eagle outfitters
Dress: All Saints
Skirt: thrifted
Tights: MP (via Sock Dreams)
Shoes: MIA

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ringleader

I really liked how this outfit turned out; it had sort of a circus ringleader vibe to it, and all the pieces worked together so well. I did discover the particular challenges that this skirt presents for taking public transportation though; its snug fit and zero stretch fabric make stepping up onto a bus stair really problematic. Thankfully the zippers are actually functional, so I was able to unzip one of them a few inches to give my legs more room to bend.


I've never worn this shirt before; it's mainly used to style harnesses and belts for Mark's Etsy listings, so it doesn't get hung up with the other shirts in my closet. That morning I happened to spot it hanging up with some finished harnesses and knew it'd be perfect to pair with the striped skirt. Of the few things I ordered last year from Clockwork Couture, this shirt is the one item that has reasonable quality; the others have had belt loops that tear free at the slightest tug, buttons that fall off, and fabric that looks cheap. Hence, the other shirt I ordered from them ended up being relegated to use as a prop.



Shirt: Clockwork Couture
Velvet blazer: a gift from Sal
Vest: Last Kiss
Skirt: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Boots: All Black

Monday, January 24, 2011

Feels Like Spring

Here's another layered-up outfit using my maxi dress. This outfit was wonderfully soft and cozy, although I have to say I'm looking forward to when I can wear this dress without tights underneath, because the dress does tend to get hung up on the tights as I walk.

You can tell how dark and gloomy it was by looking at the light coming in at the window. Since this picture was taken it has warmed up considerably; in fact, it really feels like spring now. The trees are all getting leaves already and a few of my flowering plants are even starting to bloom, and the daytime temperatures have been in the 70's. Amazing what a difference a mere week can make.

Shirts, scarf: H&M
Dress: Forever 21
Belt: Red Dress Shoppe
Boots: Timberland Boot Co.
   

Friday, January 21, 2011

Memory Fades

This cardigan is an oldie but... well, it isn't as much of a goody as it really should be, in all honesty. I hadn't worn it in ages because I vaguely remembered it being sort of itchy, and sadly it was even itchier than I remembered. By the end of the day I had to take it off because the tattoos on my arms became raised and painful.

For anyone who doesn't have tattoos, this is a common phenomenon. Skin irritants, excessive heat, and other factors can cause even long-healed tattoos to occasionally become puffy and raised as if they're brand new. The pair of tattoos on my upper arms is several years old, but even the very first one I got, back in 1993, still gets irritated every once in awhile. What's odd is that it isn't always the entire tattoo either; sometimes it's just a small section, but it can really be uncomfortable.

By the end of the day I was cursing this sweater and vowing to pack it off to the Goodwill, but it's so darn cute that I might see if I can line the sleeves instead (the sleeves are fairly tight, otherwise I'd just put a long sleeved t-shirt under it). Just look at how great it fits me, not to mention the sweet little butterfly embroidered on the hood. That's the reason it has languished there in my closet instead of being donated years ago. So either I'll figure out a way to fix it, or else it'll languish awhile more until my memory fades and I'm suckered into enduring it again.

Sweater: Miss Me
Dress: J. Crew
Tulle skirt: Noa Noa
Boots: Miz Mooz

Thursday, January 20, 2011

At the Crossroads


Yesterday's sweater dress wasn't the only gem I found at the Crossroads Trading Company; when I spotted this blazer I just knew it was going to fit me perfectly. I fell in love with the 40's-style wide lapels and beautiful tailoring in both the front and the back, and at $40 it was an amazing steal for a designer piece that's in perfect condition.

The blue sweater ended up being more hidden than I intended it to be, but the v-neck just left too much skin exposed for as cold as it was, so much of it was by necessity covered by the scarf. The sweater is a basic cashmere one and has been a wardrobe staple for many years; it was nice to bring it out again and layer it under this gorgeous blazer, and I like the way it picks up the subtle blue stripes in the skirt's pattern.

Blazer: Karen Millen England
Scarf: Banana Republic
Sweater: Nordstrom, ages ago
Skirt: La Redoute
Boots: Scoop in Copenhagen

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cocoon


Awhile back I decided I should get myself a sweater dress, having seen Sal look great in them as well as a couple of ladies I've spotted at work. But I also decided I would buy one second hand, because I figured the sort of dress I was looking for would cost more than I was willing to pay. So off I went to the thrift shop, and though I didn't find one there, I thankfully stopped in at Crossroads Trading Company, where I snagged this seemingly never-worn one for just $18.

I had some pretty specific requirements for the dress, too, which makes it even more miraculous that I found it. It had to have a cowl neck, long sleeves, be a thick cable knit and not too clingy, and be soft and of good quality. This one is 100% merino wool, and as you can see it clearly satisfies all the other requirements. It feels like wearing a big cocoon; I couldn't be more thrilled with it.

I added the harness to give the boxy dress a little shape, and tied the scarf cowboy-style up under the cowl in order to bring some vibrant color to the outfit. Adding the purple scarf reminded me that it had been awhile since I'd worn these pretty purple boots, which I thought paired well with the edgy harness.

Dress: Banana Republic
Harness: Audra Jean
Scarf: a long-ago gift
Boots: Eject

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Icelandic

OK, I'm officially ready for winter to end. It got so cold that I pulled out my Icelandic sweater, for Pete's sake! This thing has never been worn outside of Iceland, because beautiful as it is, it's deeply impractical for the San Francisco climate. Like the Danish sweater I posted the other day, it's another one of those gorgeous items I fell for while traveling in a colder climate than my own, not thinking that I might not have much use for it at home. I don't feel like this was a wasted purchase though; the traditional design isn't really in danger of going out of style, and the sweater is such good quality that it'll last for years.

I felt like the best way to offset such a bulky sweater was to pair it with my skinniest jeans, and to make my legs look longer still by adding these tall boots. I threw on the belt as an afterthought, but I think it gave the outfit nice proportions and kept the sweater from bunching up.

Sweater: Icelandic
Jeans: Joe's
Boots: Apepazza

Monday, January 17, 2011

An Abundance of Leather

In my continued effort to make use of all my warmest items before the winter is over, I pulled out this dense, boiled wool tunic and paired it with my leather pants. And oh man, was it comfy and warm. These pants started out pretty tight when I first bought them, but after a few wears they've broken in to a nice, relaxed fit. I'd definitely recommend buying leather pants a bit on the snug side if you're thinking of adding any to your wardrobe.

It did feel a little weird to have my legs encased in such an abundance of leather; I mean, tall leather boots over a layer of leather pants? It felt a bit extravagant, but I got over it.

Shirt: J. Crew
Scarf: Forever 21
Tunic: Promod
Pants: Firetrap
Boots: Bata

Friday, January 14, 2011

Random Bonus Post: Photo Subject Found 20 Years Later

I just had to repost this story (found via Neatorama), because it made me smile and because the photo that accompanies it is so beautiful and moving. I just can't stop looking at it.


Photographer Catherine Karnow took this photo in Vietnam in 1990, and through the phenomenon that is Facebook, recently reconnected with its subject after losing her address 20 years ago.


Happy Friday, everyone!

Limited Utility



Now here are a couple items you've never seen before.The first is the sweater; I've actually owned it since 2005, but it's another one of those items that requires the absolute coldest days to wear. Since it has been bitterly cold here lately (disclaimer: "bitterly" cold to me is anything below 50°F), it's been a great time to pull out some of these little-used items. I guess I should've realized when I bought it, in Denmark, that it might have limited utility in California. Interestingly I bought it specifically to wear with these very shorts and tights, but as far as I know I haven't worn any of these pieces together since that trip.

The tights you've seen before, but they also have a good story. I purchased them at a shop in Iceland after I changed my travel plans and ended up staying far longer in Iceland than I'd intended, and venturing outside of Reyjavík and into areas that were a lot colder than the city. Like the sweater, they don't get a lot of use here because they're 100% merino wool and are dense enough to wear as pants, but on the coldest days of winter they are delightfully cozy.

The boots are fairly new; I got them just before the holidays (I think I averaged about 2 -3 gifts for myself for every one I bought for someone else. Oops.). According to the description, they were designed as a tribute to Rosie The Riveter and are intentionally distressed, with flaws such as missing eyelets and straps that appear to have been torn off and sewn back on. I love the fact that they're black and brown, because they can truly go with anything. The best part is, I snagged them at 6pm.com for 40% off the retail price. And I don't even have to wait for a bitterly cold day to wear them.



Sweater: from a boutique in Copenhagen
Belt: Lazaro
Necklace: Wendy Brandes Little Woolf (for Sister Wolf)
Shorts: Mango
Tights: Cintamani
Argyle socks: Sock Dreams
Boots: Timberland Boot Company

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Christmas Skirt



Mark got me this skirt for Christmas; isn't it fabulous? I'd been stalking it for quite some time on the Anthropologie website, so I didn't realize how much cuter it is in person. The navy and white stripes are much more obvious in person than they looked online, and the fabric has a soft, almost flannel-like texture. The draping and ruffles are such fun details to find on a pencil skirt, too; I thought the softness of the skirt made a nice contrast to the structural, geometric detailing on the jacket, even though color-wise the two pieces match perfectly. Together they almost have the look of a suit, but are so much more interesting than one.


Jacket: vintage (from a shop in Paris)
Skirt: Eva Franco
Hat: ADS Hats
Shoes: BCBGirls

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Nothing But Neutrals

Drat, once again my dark olive skirt shows up as black. I assure you it is green, which makes for a far more interesting outfit than if the skirt were indeed black. You'll just have to take my word for it.

I love how versatile this floral top is; I've worn it with soft pinks and purples in the spring, I've paired it with bare arms and legs in the hottest part of the year, and here I've layered it up with nothing but neutrals for a winter look.

The tulle skirt serves two purposes here: warmth and contrast. Without the white border peeking out at the hem, the outfit felt way too dark to me, and there was nothing to anchor the brightness of the top. The tulle also set off the dark green skirt from the black leggings and made the difference in color more obvious; at least, it did in person.

Cardigan: Express
Top: Mica
Skirts: Noa Noa
Boots: John Fluevog

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Resolution

In the last weeks of the year I decided to get a jump start on my New Year's resolution to drive less, and not knowing exactly how far I'd end up walking or how long I'd be standing and waiting for public transportation (I hadn't yet tried taking public transportation to work from the new house), I decided I should make my outfits as comfortable as possible while I was still getting used to the new system. I'm not the sort of gal who will put on sneakers with a work outfit and change at the office; no way. So if you look at the last few outfits you'll see two of my favorite pairs of walking shoes -- these boots as well as my brown Batas -- and plenty of soft, flowy knit fabrics.

Now that I've done it a few times, I've realized that taking public transportation to work is actually quite easy from the new place. Not only that, but I arrive at work far less crabby than I do if I have to suffer through the traffic on the freeway. This might just be a resolution I can stick to.

Cardigan: BB Dakota
Gray skirt (hiked up and worn as a dress): S
Teal skirt: LA Made
Belt: Red Dress Shoppe
Boots: Modern Vintage

Monday, January 10, 2011

Casual Outfit Catch-Up

Dress: Skunkfunk...  Belt: Audra Jean...  Tights: Sock Dreams...  Boots: Bata

I have several outfits from the end of December that I'm still trying to get caught up on posting, so I figured I'd group a few of the more casual ones together in one post. You can tell these are older because my hair was still blond; if you look at the photos from when Mark and I got married, you'll see that I've gone back to red since then.

Cardigan: thrifted...  Dress: local boutique Ruby...  Socks: handmade in Latvia...  Boots: Bata

This outfit is similar to something I put together over the weekend for thrift shopping. It's the perfect outfit for such an activity, because the short dress over leggings allowed me to try on skirts right in the aisle rather than having to wait for a changing room. The dress is also thin enough that I can try on tops right over it. And a lightweight cardigan is much easier to deal with than a coat when I'm wandering the aisles carrying an armload of clothes.

Top and scarf: Forever 21... Cardigan: thrifted...  Jeans: Joe's...  Boots: Bronx

This outfit isn't too exciting except for the double sequin action of the top and the scarf. I never would have paired two sequined pieces together had it not been for the fact that the items are distinctly different colors, and the sequins are different sizes -- the top has the regular size and those on the scarf are the tiny ones.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tuxedo


This is the J. Peterman shirt I told you about a few posts ago, newly-arrived in the correct size and fitting far better than the size recommended on the website. Since the shirt has all sorts of tuxedo-like detailing, I decided to play up that look by making the whole outfit black and white, and on the fitted, formal side. To spice it up I chose my leather pants, because wouldn't any tuxedo be more interesting with a little leather?


Shirt: J. Peterman
Necklace: from a glass shop in Venice
Waistcoat: Heathen
Pants: Pepe Jeans
Shoes: Steve Madden