Thursday, June 30, 2011

As Good as it Gets



I've never been too crazy about flats, but I've realized that there's a time and place for them, such as a day you know you're going to be criss-crossing the campus all day (yes, my workplace is so large that we call it a campus) and your feet just need a break. So recently I went digging around on 6pm.com in search of a black or gray pair (because despite recognizing the need for flats I still wasn't willing to spend much money on them), and I turned up these. They're reasonably cute, they were deeply discounted, and they feel like walking on little pillows. They don't knock my socks off (no pun intended) aesthetically, but then again very few pairs of flats do, so I feel like this is about as good as it gets for me and flats. I like them, or rather, I like the feel of wearing them enough that I can put up with the ho-hum look of them.

Dress: Desigual
Necklace: can't remember
Shoes: Born

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Getting Matchy

This vest is the one I was trying on when Katy Sagal told me how great it looked on me. I think she was right; it fits me like a glove and is perfect for my style. It doesn't get a ton of use, but I always really enjoy wearing it. Pairing it with these cropped pants and espadrilles turned out to be a perfect combination. Another Sheriff of Matchy-Matchytown-approved ensemble. What is it about these shoes that makes me get all matchy?


Vest: Steam Trunk
Top: Anthropologie
Pants: Cynthia Steffe
Shoes: DSW brand
Bracelet: Leslie Danzis


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bettye


I fell in love with these shoes several months ago when I saw them on Endless, but I steadfastly refused to buy them until they went down in price. I didn't think they were overpriced necessarily, but the original price was more than I wanted to pay for another pair of espadrilles at the moment. I waited and stalked them and finally they went down by about 20%, and I figured that was good enough, especially since by then there were only a couple pairs left in my size.


Anyhow, I absolutely LOVE the shoes. Like the other pair of Bettyes I posted yesterday, they have cute vintage styling and are really well made. I like how most of the wedge heel is covered in leather rather than the jute rope; this gives them a distinctly different look from my canvas espadrilles. The extra wide straps across the top of the foot make them comfortable and also hold them securely to the foot. I'm glad I waited for a lower price, but I'd have been really bummed if I'd waited too long and missed out. That's always a risk you take when you hold out for a bargain.

Dress: eShakti
Necklace/Bracelets: Cost Plus
Jacket: Tulle
Shoes: Bettye Muller

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pinup




I loved how this outfit turned out, with all the soft and light colors blended together and accented with the black belt. What I didn't love, however, was the way I had to hang onto the front flap of the dress every time I walked outside, for fear it was going to blow wide open. Wrap dresses. Why can't they be functional as well as stylish? Next time I'm going to wear pettipants under this dress and just not worry about whether people can see them when I'm outside in a breeze.

The dress is darn flattering though, with its voluminous bust draping, hip-hugging skirt, and strategic diagonal pleats across the front. The muted animal print and 1950's cut make me feel like a pinup girl.

Dress: All Saints
Cardigan: Anthropologie
Necklace: Dana LeBlanc Designs
Belt: Red Dress Shoppe
Shoes: Bettye Muller
Bag: Cocchinelle

Friday, June 24, 2011

Tattoos and Interviews


Top: Anthropologie.... Vest: All Saints....  Skirt: Sunhee Moon....  
Bracelet: Leslie Danzis....  Sandals: Camper

Yesterday Sal and I got a great reader question, and the answer I put together seemed like good material to develop into a post. Here's the question:
I have an ankle tattoo and really like dresses and skirts, but am starting the interview process again and am feeling wary of my tattoo showing in my interview outfits. (I feel like my pants outfits are so boring, and I don't have an actual suit for interviews)
I'm interviewing for admin type of jobs. I go back and forth with this, I feel that my tattoos are part of me and people shouldn't be concerned with them, but then I remember that there are a lot of very conservative people out there. I also don't know the dress code rules at the jobs I'm applying for and if they have a "No visible tattoos" policy, I would offend them right off the bat. (although, I probably wouldn't want to work for a company like that)

As you're all well aware, I have some pretty dramatic body art that I display without reserve at work. Of course, I work in a technical job for a company that is well-known for its laid back culture, in a very tolerant and diverse region of the country. But interviews are always a little trickier than the job itself, regardless of the job you're applying for, so it's important to consider a few different factors when determining whether it's acceptable or desirable to show one's ink during the interview process.

Geographical Region 
Obviously in the super laid back San Francisco Bay Area it generally wouldn't be a problem to show a tattoo for any but the most conservative of industries, such as law and finance. Which brings us to...

The Industry You're Applying To
Again, law and finance are two where visible ink or piercings are likely to be a big no-no. Academia is probably a gray area, and may vary department to department. Tech (and biotech) companies, tend to be more relaxed and in general I'd say that showing a tattoo wouldn't be any big deal, but that also depends on what department you're applying into. The technical departments are more tolerant, while marketing, legal and sales are more conservative.

Company Size and Age
Just like many people, companies tend to get more conservative the older they get. My theory is that a small, young company needs people who operate outside the norm; they're looking for innovators who may carry over their innovative spirit into their personal appearance. As a company ages and achieves success, it wants to maintain the status quo and won't be as drawn to the rebellious entrepreneur types anymore. In general the larger a company is, the more conservative it tends to be as well, for the same sort of reasons. In biotech for instance, I'd dress more creatively and probably intentionally show my tattoos if I were interviewing for a start-up company, whereas I'd go with more traditional dress and possibly cover at least most of my tattoos for a big company like Johnson & Johnson or Merck.

How Strongly You Feel About Your Ink
Personally, I'd never want to work for a company that would have an issue with my tattoos, but take this point with a HUGE grain of salt, because I've also never been unemployed for any great length of time and thus have been able to stick to my guns. Under extreme circumstances I might throw my values to the wind and cover up for the sake of getting a job. Ideally though, I prefer to let people see what they're getting, ink and all, so I make sure to show at least one of my tattoos when I interview. Another point to consider is whether you'll be required to go in for several interviews; in that case you might want to start out covering all of your tattoos, and if you get called back you can ease off little by little and allow some ink to show. That way you don't hurt your chances right off the bat, but you can still remain true to yourself too.

Size, Image, and Placement of Your Tattoos
A small tattoo placed in an inconspicuous area is going to be a lot easier to get away with than a larger tattoo in a spot that people aren't traditionally used to seeing one. For instance, I'm well aware that the tattoos on my upper arms are probably too much for most interviews. Not only are they in a spot that's not often seen on women, they also depict  Drinky Crow swilling booze while sailing and subsequently sinking his boat. Not exactly corporate material. Those I would cover up for an interview; the others, most likely not.

Sal has also written about interviews as well: 
Corporette has a decidedly different take on ink at the office, which is not surprising given their focus on the conservative corporate environment. But it's worth taking a look at these: 

Finally, let's hear from you! I'd like to get a sense of how tattoos are handled in different types of industries. Whether you have a tattoo or not, please tell us: what region, industry, and job type you're in; a little about the size, age, culture of your employer; whether you or others you work with show tattoos at work; and finally, if you do have tattoos, did you show them during your interview?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Goodbye Norma Jean


Over the weekend I made a major decision: it was time to do away with my Monroe piercing (although apparently mine was technically a Madonna piercing, but whatever). The reason is that I'd started to notice a wrinkle that the piercing was causing; the tug of the post when I talked and smiled was creating a vertical line from the piercing to the upper margin of my lip, which doesn't follow the natural creases that talking and smiling produce on their own. I knew that in another year or so the crease would start to look odd and unnatural among my other lines, so I figured if I took the piercing out now I could stop, and maybe even reverse, the damage. I'd had the piercing for almost 6 years.

Getting your face pierced is an odd thing, because unlike the ears or nose, there's a lot of active tissue there that has to reconcile itself with a foreign object being placed in its midst. As it turns out, the face doesn't really appreciate having a metal rod rammed through it. It reacts initially with fairly exaggerated swelling, so much so that an extra long post has to be put in at first to accommodate the bulging tissue. When things finally settle down, the real healing can begin.

A pierced face heals begrudgingly, slowly admitting defeat and shrinking back to its normal dimensions, though it remains ready at the attack for several months, always prepared to spring forth into violent rebellion at the slightest disruption. Finally after about 6 months it seems to become resigned to its fate, and almost never protests after that. The back of the piercing settles into the soft tissue in the back of the lip, and it's nearly a part of you. Nearly.

Once the offending object is removed however, the face seems to regain its confidence, as well as a renewed sense of diplomacy. It nary makes a fuss, preferring to write the whole thing off as a minor misunderstanding. It's as if it's saying, "Well, thank heavens you've come to your senses. Let's put that little episode behind us." Not 24 hours after I removed the metal post, I could no longer squirt water out of the hole it left behind (a talent I'm somewhat sad to lose); 2 days in I could barely feel the depression that the back of the post left on the inside of my lip; after 4 days even the hole on the outside is starting to close in on itself. Soon it will resemble what it was meant to mimic in the first place: a beauty mark, albeit a very small one.

I loved the look of the piercing but I knew from the start that its time was limited. I have a few more outfit photos to post from before I took it out, but you may have a tough time discerning the first photos where it's gone. Unless you see me up close, it has always been a fairly subtle accessory.

There's one person I know will celebrate the departure of my Monroe piercing: my mom. Moms never seem to love any modification of their offspring's physical being, I find. I suppose they feel that when they made their sons and daughters, they were already perfect.

Top: Asos
Belt: Oscar de la Renta
Bangles: Amrita Singh
Skirt: Anthropologie
Tights: Hue
Shoes: BCBGirls

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tweaks



This was one of those cases where having a daily wardrobe blog can be so helpful; I simply went back through my recent posts and found a comfortable outfit that I really liked, and quickly tweaked it into a new outfit by changing to a different colored tank and swapping the scarf and jewelry to match. This was my baby shower attending outfit. I wanted something relaxed and casual that still looked put together, and the weather was warm and breezy, but likely to get chillier as the day progressed. The light layers were warm but not overly so, and the scarf could be removed and replaced as needed. The stretchy garments made it easy to load up on all sorts of yummy food; this was carefully planned, since I knew that the baby shower's host is a caterer. She made all sorts of children's book-themed food, such as tobiko-topped braised pork belly for Green Eggs and Ham, and wild mushroom ragout for Where the Wild Things Are.

The only thing this outfit couldn't do is save me from all the horrific pregnancy and childbirth talk. I really, really didn't need to know those things. I dearly wish I could un-know them.

Top: Asos
Skirt: Anthropologie
Scarf: Rapsodia (Argentina)
Shoes: Fly London

Sky Ferreira Wears Audra Jean on Stylecaster!

Stylecaster has a feature on teen electropop artist Sky Ferreira today, and they've styled her up in Valentino, Alberta Ferretti, Jean Paul Gaultier.... and Audra Jean!



In the editorial the leather accessories are fairly difficult to see, but in the behind-the-scenes shots you can get a better idea of which items she's wearing.




The photos are just beautiful, and gorgeous Sky wears the leather items so well. I like how the stylist actually turned some of the pieces backwards or upside down, showing that these harnesses and belts can be worn in different ways. The images are much larger on Stylecaster, so go check it out!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Getting Back on the Horse


I decided to give this pants/shoes combo another try, despite the fact that it felt a little risqué for my comfort level the last time around. You've got to get back up on that horse, right? It turns out that putting a long layer over the pants, even though it was a very sheer layer, did the trick. And in a moment of inspiration, I chose not just a plain tank to put under the sheer tunic, but this beautiful lace-back top, which I've had a terrible time figuring out how to style appropriately while still showing off the back:




The nearly backless halter-neck top doesn't really allow for wearing a bra, making it something I'd normally relegate to say, a night out dining and dancing on the beach in Mexico. But since I'm not in Mexico very often, it's good to have found another way to wear it; the sheer layer provided plenty of coverage, while still giving a hint of the sexy top that's underneath. It only took me about 4 years to figure this out; luckily I didn't give up on the top before then.

When I put all the clothing and shoes together I knew the outfit still needed a little something, but this tunic can't really be belted very easily. Instead, I tucked a long, layered necklace under the tunic's bow to bring in some shine without disrupting the long, sheer line.

Also, going *almost* braless at work felt awesomely rebellious, not to mention amazingly comfortable.


Tunic: Fremont
Pants: Club Monaco
Top: Sisley
Shoes: Pour la Victoire

Monday, June 20, 2011

Intuitive



I resisted the urge to throw on my McQueen skull scarf with this outfit, mainly because I feel like I've repeated that particular item a lot lately (I also just wore it with this exact same blazer). But come fall, won't this dress/blazer combo be spectacular with the scarf, plus my Hero tights and Miu Miu pumps? That's an outfit that's been floating around in my head for several months. For now though, I've gone with a scaled down, slightly more summery version by leaving my neck and legs bare.

This is a great example of how clothes that truly fit your style can magically end up looking like they were made to go together. I was drawn to both the dress and the blazer because of the asymmetric draping, and it's that very detail that marries the two so perfectly. The folds of the blazer draw the eye smoothly down to the corresponding folds of the dress. I also tend to like tops or dresses that have interesting details at the neckline such as the ruching on this dress, so the fact that the blazer is cut low enough to reveal those details makes it a great fit for my wardrobe.

I actually didn't have to try on this outfit in advance to know that the dress and blazer would work perfectly together. This one was completely intuitive.

Dress: Valentino
Blazer: Helmut Lang
Necklace: Ambiance on Haight Street
Ring: Wendy Mink
Sandals: Michael Kors

Friday, June 17, 2011

Stealth Layering


Here's an outfit that looks deceptively summery; hidden underneath the dress are a pair of long cotton pettipants and a slip to keep my thighs warm, and under the boots are long socks to insulate my feet and calves. Had it been colder I could've even added a long-sleeved tee under the dress and kept it hidden with the lightweight denim jacket. I'm becoming quite adept at stealth layering during this remarkably chilly season.

Jacket: Tulle
Dress: Noa Noa
Scarf: Banana Republic
Harness: Audra Jean
Boots: Scoop (Copenhagen)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fallacies


I don't want to talk about Anthony Weiner. The man has gotten more than his fair share of press already, and the reports of his tasteless social media interactions make me queasy. However, I do want to talk about his wife, and what some of the comments I've seen floating around in the interwebs about her say about our society's feelings towards women.

This discussion isn't just about Huma Abedin. Inevitably when any high profile man gets caught in some sort of bad behavior that humiliates his spouse*, the talk eventually turns to how beautiful the betrayed wife is or isn't (Tiger Woods is another recent example). Huma Abedin is gorgeous, leading the online community to cry out, "How could he do this to her? She's hot!!" And this is the sort of talk that gets under my skin.

Why is so much emphasis placed on the wife's looks? If she were ugly would his behavior have been more acceptable? If she were merely ordinary-looking would it have made her somehow more deserving of being humiliated and betrayed? Her worth as a human being and her value as a wife are not dependent upon her looks, any more than a misbehaving man's looks are tied to some sort of sliding scale that determines how outraged people ought to be about his behavior.

Whether you feel that Weiner's actions were completely reprehensible or that they merely demonstrated a lack of judgment and incredibly poor taste is beside the point of this discussion. The part of the story that disturbs me is when people focus on the wife's looks as if they're something that needs to be accounted for in the body of evidence.

The other fallacy I've noticed in the online discourse is more subtle: the underlying expectation that beautiful women are supposed to be immune to the hardships of life, that they don't get manipulated and lied to and have their hearts broken just like everybody else. That if you're hot and your husband sexted someone else, then you must be a nagging, overbearing shrew because beautiful women don't get cheated on unless there's something really, really wrong with them. Being beautiful does not endow women with a superhuman ability to detect cheaters; it does not prevent them from falling in love with the wrong person or making bad choices; it does not mean that their spouses will love them more or treat them better.

Beautiful women get betrayed for exactly the same reason that other women do: they get involved with men who are liars and cheats. And that sort of man will lie to and cheat on whoever he's with, no matter what she looks like. A man is either a good man, or he's not; what ultimately saves women from the bad ones is discernment, strength, a belief in one's self, maybe even a little bit of luck. Often these things have to be acquired the hard way, too; beauty may bring other advantages in life, but it won't help in this arena.

Huma Abedin is beautiful. But bringing her beauty into the discussion of her husband's behavior is disrespectful to her as a wife and a woman. Beauty will not help her handle this situation; only her character will.

I'd love to hear your comments. And hey look, I wore clothes today too!

Top: Forever 21
Jeans: Level 99
Bracelet: Nicole Miller
Boots: Jo Ghost

*ETA: I didn't mean to make this a hetero-exclusive discussion; obviously people get hurt in same-sex relationships also, just as wives can sometimes treat husbands badly. But when we're talking about a powerful, high profile person doing something shitty to their spouse, 9 times out of 10 it's a straight man doing it to his wife.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Assemble a Rainbow


Indiscriminately mixing coral, navy and red? Why the hell not? I've mixed this particular coral t-shirt with teal, bright yellow, pink, lime green -- you name it. Usually in the same outfit. Since this was a work outfit I kept it to just the three shades, but had this been a weekend look I probably would've gone with a teal scarf, and perhaps I'd even have chosen a yellow bag. There's just something about coral that makes me want to assemble a rainbow of colors and throw them into the same outfit.


Striped shirt: Target
Coral shirt: Michael Stars
Jacket: Banana Republic (via eBay)
Scarf: vintage
Jeans: Acne
Shoes: Faryl Robin
Bag: Michael Kors

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

End of an Era


Over the weekend I attended a baby shower, which depressed me. Baby showers always depress me, because they make me think, "Oh, there goes another couple, crossing over to the other side where I'll rarely see or hear from them, and when I do we'll no longer have anything in common." The baby shower typically ends up being one of the last times that the child-free friends really get to spend time with the woman who's expecting. I'm sure sometimes friendships can thrive between people with children and those without, or at least that's what I've heard, but I've yet to experience it so far in my life. People that have kids seem to get sucked into a dimension where only other parents can enter; the child-free must go their own way and make new, child-free friends to fill the hole left by the ones they lost.

It isn't that I'm not happy for my friends, it's just that there exists a divide between the childed and the child-free that's hard to bridge once the baby comes along. This particular couple is pretty special, so if anyone can buck the trend they can, but nevertheless the bummed out feeling that set in after the shower has stuck with me these last couple days. It's sort of an end-of-an-era feeling.

This was not my baby-shower-attending outfit; that'll actually go up next week. This was just another attempt at looking as summery as I could given the chilly weather we were having.

Dress: Aryeh
Cardigan: S
Belt: Red Dress Shoppe
Boots: All Black
Babgles: Amrita Singh

Monday, June 13, 2011

Classified


Yep, I wore the same scarf two days in a row. But when I put together this outfit I knew it needed some extra oomph, and the scarf just seemed to give it the perfect, polished-yet-funky touch. And anyway, that day I was on a TOP SECRET MISSION and needed all the polish I could get. Hopefully I'll soon be able to reveal exactly what my mission was that day, but for now it's classified. In this outfit, I felt like someone who'd have top secret clearance. Or maybe just a pistol in my handbag.

Here's a close-up of my new pixie cut, which I absolutely love. It's been awhile since I've had my hair this short, and I forgot how great it is for windy summers by the bay. There is seriously no messing up this style, no matter how strong the gusts get. Between the new haircut, my awesome Helmut Lang blazer (which is possibly the best purchase EVER), and the killer scarf, I felt totally invincible in this.



Blazer, dress: Helmut Lang
Scarf: Alexander McQueen
Bag: Foley + Corinna
Tights: Hue
Shoes: Born
Earrings: Swarovski