Sunday, December 27, 2015

Fiending For A Foxhunt

   Sometimes I’ll put an outfit together and upon inspecting the blog pictures representing it I’ll notice I literally created a character with clothing.  The style constructed in the pictures above is a perfect example.  This particular day I decided to unveil my newly thrifted vintage, plaid Pendleton blazer.  Side note:  Thank you 2015 for the return of plaid!  Oh, how I missed you!  Of course, this year’s plaid is much different than the plaid I was sporting back in 1995.  Yep, back in the good old days of Grunge I was doing the full on lumberjack meets metal head look.  There wasn’t a band t-shirt out there I couldn’t match with at least two plaid flannel shirts and a, “Grandpa,” mohair cardigan.  Of course, back then I was probably often mistaken for an ax wielding dude from Alaska considering I refused to wear makeup and often wore clothes that were two sizes too big.  Now that I’m in my mid-thirties I find myself caring a bit more about my appearance.  I want to look like a lady and not just another, “bro,” from the backwoods with a passion for Soundgarden and chintzy facial hair.  Wait,…what?  Okay, to explain, when a woman gets to a certain age she finds herself concerned with things like possibly growing a beard.  Basically, if I can wear a petite feminine blazer to help counteract any weird masculine mutations I may form in the coming years, I’m going to do it.
   Hence, the outfit I constructed above.  Looking at these photographs now, all I can think is, “Huh, I must have been seriously checking out Ralph Lauren ads that week.”  I mean, how equestrian can one get without realizing it?  Pretty sure I was cruising the RL website regularly at the time since I believe I shot these pictures around Black Friday.  If you weren’t already aware, I’m here to tell you that Ralph Lauren has some of the most fantastic sales available.  I suggest trolling the site for most of the year in order to prepare for what you’re going to purchase on that monumental day.  Don’t laugh, those sales get competitive and there’s not much time to think.  However, I must have been thinking more than I was aware, because looking at these pictures I obviously had some serious subconscious inspiration from that website. 
   Overall, I’m extremely pleased with the way this outfit turned out.  Despite the fact that I feel like I’m a character preparing for an annual foxhunt, I really like this casual, yet polished, version of plaid.   It’s a far cry from the teenage girl wearing the white and purple flannel tied around her waist.  Not that I don’t respect that girl for the fashion faux pas she always owned up to.  Without her I wouldn’t be the lady I am today.  This woman is an everyday lady of the plains who sometimes dreams of being a character of pedigree, riding on a horse, readying herself for the big hunt.  Of course, in this case the hunt would not actually included stalking down some poor unsuspecting animal.  That just seems barbaric.  Actually, my hunt would probably not include me on a horse since it’s been quite a long time since I’ve ridden and I could see that being a pretty messy affair.  Okay, so really my character would just stand around the stables in her vintage plaid jacket and try to look fabulous.  Maybe I could also have one of those riding crops to carry around, purely as a prop of course.  Man, why does every aspect of this outfit seem to lead to the subject of animal cruelty?  I know next time I wear plaid, instead of wearing a band-t, I’ll put on one of my WWF shirts.  Now that’s WWF as in World Wildlife Fund, not some crazy wrestling thing.  That’s a whole other outfit…which also could probably include the riding crop.  Wait…what?

Blazer:  Vintage  (Pendleton)
Jeans:  James Jeans  
Boots:  Born
Purse:  Matt & Nat
Scarf:  Thrifted
Belt:  Vintage  (Hand-me-down from Dad)

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Hanging With The Cool Kids

   Recently, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not very cool anymore.  I specify, “anymore,” because I do recall a time when I actually thought of myself as pretty darn hip.  That’s  right…pretty…darn…hip.  For instance, I used to know all the happening hangouts in town.  Of course, now that I don’t drink anymore, the only hangouts I’m going to involve mountains of discarded items, (I love my local Goodwill and Savers stores.  Also a big shout out to St. Vinny’s too!  Oh yeah, and Ray Ray…isn’t there always a Ray Ray during shout outs?)  Maybe my fondness for discarded items comes from my equally discarded social life.  Lately, the only other people I’ve been interacting with have been coworkers, my baristas at Starbucks and of course, the other individuals loitering at the public library on Thursday afternoons. 
   This being stated, I’ve always reasoned that even hermits can be cool.  I mean isn’t it kind of mysterious to be the lone, “tortured,” writer?  Don’t other people see me at the coffee shop reading, or furiously clicking away on my laptop and wonder, “Wow, what’s that chick up to?  It really looks like she has a purpose.  I bet she’s really deep.”  Little do they know that I’m writing this kind of crap and actually entertaining myself with it. 
   To be truthful I entertain myself a lot these days.  In many ways this is a wonderful thing.  Between writing two blogs, my small, “sewing business,” reading, and my Sunday night movie club, (membership one), I'm rarely bored.  At the same time, a person can get a tad socially dysfunctional when always spending time with just themselves.  I have to state it’s really not, “just like riding a bike.”  One does not automatically recall how to act properly in social situations.  Coolness is something that has to be practiced.
   Not so long ago I had the opportunity to test this theory when I was asked to participate in a charity fashion fundraiser with my absolute favorite vintage boutique, ELOFSON.  This event was being held at a pretty, “happening,” location and I knew the guest list would most likely include a lot of local socialites. The idea of going to these types of functions usually fills this increasingly antisocial blogger with something similar to dread.  However, I was honored to be asked to contribute to this event, especially with a team of individuals I so admire.  It was this reason that persuaded me to dismiss my anxiety, put together the, “coolest,” outfit I could think of to wear, and practice my resting bitch face in the mirror in an attempt to make me look more, “fashiony,” rather than, "fraidy."
   In the end, I suspect I just ended up looking pissed off for most of the night.  However, I was far from it and had a very enjoyable evening at an event that had to do with fashion, an industry I adore.  I guess I composed this post today because looking at these pictures now I don’t see the socially awkward woman I know myself to be.  In these pictures I see a pretty darn hip lady, albeit one who should smile more.  I guess it's impossible to tell what another’s thinking just by looking at them, (even if it's your own image!)  
   In conclusion, if you find yourself alone a lot it’s my recommendation to take many selfies.  Not only can they help alter your perception of that particular time, but you no longer need to ask anyone else, “Do these shorts make my butt look big?”

Blazer:  Express
Shorts:  Thrifted
Boots:  Born
Backpack:  Victoria’s Secret PINK
Bracelet:  Thrifted

Sunday, December 13, 2015

A Haute Hang-Up (Theodora & Callum)

   Have you ever been making a recipe, let’s say something like Beef Stroganoff, and you were so damn hungry that you found yourself licking the excess sour cream directly off the mixing spoon?  Of course, I mean after you’re done using the actual spoon to cook everyone else’s food…I mean, of course.  Now let’s take this scenario a bit farther and imagine you just happen to be munching on some pre-mealtime nacho cheese Doritos at the same time when an idea hits you like a thunderbolt and you decide to dive into that sour cream a little more heftily with the aid of a chip.  Around the time you start to inhale your eighth scoop, you decide that this could be a mistake and maybe you ought to put away the bag before the Stroganoff become unnecessary.  However you find yourself having another bite, and another, and another, until the Doritos disappear and you resort to just dipping your finger directly into the tub of sour cream because why the heck should your long term, roommate, boyfriend care about germs?  I mean you guys have swapped spit at least a few times these past years…right?
   At this point you’re probably wondering why I’m talking about being unhygienic in the kitchen.  I guess my answer is, because it can be so much fun!  I mean every time I engage in this type of behavior I understand I’m doing something, “bad,” by spoiling my dinner with terrible junk food.  Not only that but I’m eating in an absolutely unseemly manner that would probably disgust my poor, “special man friend,” who shares food with me.  Basically, I’m sharing a perfect example of how an otherwise highly controlled individual like myself can completely lose control while enjoying something, and let me tell you it’s not very pretty.
   However, who say’s life always has to be pretty?  Sometimes the most enjoyable things are unsightly, unhealthy, and may leave orange stains on your fingers.  Of course, one could argue that the opposite is also true.  Periodically, the best things in life are some of the most beautiful.  Interestingly enough, it’s been this style blogger’s experience that these items can also come with their fair share of guilt, considering they’re often rather expensive.  In other words, there is nothing pretty about being broke.
   Which brings me to the true topic of my blog post where I finally reveal another one of my secret guilty pleasures.  It’s interesting that I find it harder to confess my addiction to Theodora & Callum scarves than I do my love of mowing down sour cream straight out of the container.  Did I mention I’m usually sitting on the kitchen counter while doing this?  I guess it’s the retail cashier in me that realizes I really don’t have the kind of income needed to justify purchasing these types of luxury scarves.  At the same time, my inner wannabe fashion mogul tells me I need it, I deserve it, and my friend Visa can hook me up pronto.  Have you ever had a friend like that?  One who plays with dangerous limits and always pays for the cartons you’re about to binge eat out of? 
   Despite, the rather high price point of Theodora & Callum scarves, it’s the opinion of this blogger that every accessory loving lady deserves to have one…or two…or three depending on how generous your pal Visa may be.  All I can say is Theodora & Callum provide some of the most beautiful and quality scarves available.  Not only are their prints always stunning, but the quality of these oversized, versatile pieces cannot be beat.  Simply put, they’re most definitely the dollop of sour cream on the taco salad.
   So, this winter if you find yourself in dire need of a guilty pleasure consider treating yourself to a Theodora & Callum scarf.  It may be noteworthy to mention they’re large enough to double as a sarong over swimwear.  Of course, this is just in case one finds themselves frequently indulging in those other little hang-ups in the kitchen.

Coat:  Vintage  (Casual Corner)
Jeans:  Vintage  (Levi’s Orange Tab)
Clogs:  Vintage
Purse:  Banana Republic
Scarf:  Theodora & Callum 
Sunglasses:  Coach





Sunday, December 6, 2015

This Girl's a Greaser

   Recently, it occurred to me how I almost never wear my hair back.  I was paging through old posts and began to notice just how little I alter my hair from day to day.  I don’t often curl it, never braid it, and hardly ever pull it back off my face.  I find this odd since so many of my friends with long hair always say, “I don’t even know why I have long hair.”  I just throw it back in a ponytail every day.”  Nope, not me though.  Me, I take the ultimate slacker route by sticking to the same old, same old.  No effort here folks.  I just let it ride.
   Speaking of ride, the day I photographed the pictures above I was inspired by my newly, “greased,” back look.  It’s like I put in a ponytail and immediately had the need to look tough.  Was it the way this hairdo seemed to accentuate my habitual resting bitch face?  Or could it be that one little strand was being pulled too tight making me a titch more aggressive than I would usually be?  I don’t know.   Honestly, chances are it could’ve been all the Rockabilly music that’s been dominating my turntable as of late.  Whatever the real inspiration behind this posts’ look was, the fact still remains I left the house that morning feeling the overwhelming need to spark up a Lucky Strike against the bottom of my Converse.  (Which thank God I didn’t because about a million years ago I accidentally got a pack of non filter Lucky Strikes out of a bar vending machine and after smoking three of them I felt like I had an entire pallet of pavers resting on my chest.)  Of course, now that I quit smoking I could’ve just rolled a pack in my sleeve, but cigarettes as a prop is just lame.  It’s so much cooler when you’re actually smoking the…did I just revert back to high school mentality there?
   I guess I’m rambling on because I thought this post could be an interesting opportunity to describe my thought process while trying to construct an outfit.  On this particular day it went like this; took one look in the mirror after waking up and gasp at the holocaust of hair on my head.  Decide it’s not salvageable and even though it broke with the routine I so desperately cling to, I pull my hair back into a ponytail.  As soon as I do so the woman in the mirror is suddenly a different person.  She looks edgy.  She looks kinda badass.  Actually, she looks like she hasn’t showered.  Really she looks extremely tired.  Maybe she should just call it a day on the blog pictures and go back to bed but…she doesn’t!  Instead she starts humming her favorite new album of, “surf,” songs while searching her bottomless closet for those, oh so cute, Chuck Taylors she’s been meaning to revisit for over six months now.  From there it’s simply common sense to cuff the bottom of my jeans and add a shiny black jacket with embroidered red eagles on it.  Basically, it’s formulaic.  (Ponytail plus Converse plus ‘50’s inspired tunes equals one breathless, “Betty.”)  I say breathless because this particular character has been sucking down cigarettes in the ultimate quest to be cool.  I promise, I’m just kidding Mom.  I only want to look like the cool kid, not actually be one again.  Even though I seem to be wearing the same shoes I did back then. I’m also totally certain the high school me would’ve seriously dug the jacket I’m now wearing.  Interesting, maybe my greasy hair and pair of Chucks have little to do with the construction of a, “look,” and more to do with the acceptance of an unpolished self.  Woah!...that deserves a cigarette, doesn't it?

Jeans:  Kasil Workshop
Shoes:  Converse Chuck Taylor
Backpack:  Bess
Earrings:  Gift from a friend


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Tea and Toast

   Dive Bar, Independent, Breath of God, and Of a Woman.  These are the names of several things I’ve loyally purchased just because of the titles given to them.  Coincidentally, all of these items are cosmetics.  All I can state is, “Wow, those Madison Avenue agencies really have their acts together while identifying their target audience.” 
   For example what hip fashionista doesn’t want to wear the super vampy NARS lipstick, Red Lizard?  Edgy isn’t your thing, well a company like NARS says, “No problemo, we have the right shade for the everyday nerdy girl.  Here comes Barbarella!”  Not having it?  Sometimes a, “lady,” just needs to get metaphorical for the night and how better to do this than wearing the color, Fire Down Below?  You see, a company like NARS is prepared for any situation the modern day woman may find herself in.
   Not only do I purchase products due to the titles these agencies create, I also find a lot of style inspiration in them.  I mentioned the name, Dive Bar, earlier because this is the title of one of my favorite nail polishes made by essie.  Upon going to their website the description of this particular shade reads exactly like this, “Here comes trouble! This mysterious blackest, blue polish with shimmer creates an intensely sultry scene wherever you go.”  Between this description and the name itself, the marketing team of essie have already determined what type of mood the consumer will try to live up to while wearing their product.  I put on Dive Bar and I know, “Yeah, I’ll be wearing black today.  Yep, my eye liner will probably have a little cat eye action to it as well.  Also, where’s my mini Members Only faux leather jacket?  For some reason I really have the need to hit the pool halls today and I simply can’t do it without that coat.”   I guess what I’m trying to get across here is sometimes I wonder if I’m just attracted to items due to the way they're presented to me.  In other words, I'm an ad agency’s dream. 
   Further proof of this hypothesis can be found in the pictures above.  I called this particular post, “Tea and Toast,” because that’s exactly what the creator of the skirt I’m wearing titled it on Etsy.  I’ve mentioned several times before that I'm an avid shopper on this site.  I love the idea of wearing one of a kind pieces, either found or created, by these vendors.  In other words, I like apparel that's unique and is only possessed by me.  Despite the fact that the particular artist I bought my skirt from specializes in patchwork pieces, (something I’m drawn to almost as much as fringe,) I was almost more attracted to the way she presented her product to the public.  Unlike corporate names like NARS and essie, I assumed this individual did not have an entire team dedicated to marketing her product for her.  However, upon browsing her online shop, this consumer was immediately aware of what type of persona could be conveyed by simply wearing the items featured.  I mean who doesn’t want to wear a flowing skirt called, “Desert Wind,” or, “Mexican Maple?”  I give major credit to this solo artist who not only had the ability to construct a beautiful, well made garment, but also was aware of whom her target audience was.  
   In conclusion I want to say, "Pay attention NARS!  There’s a whole lot of hippie girls out there who’re throwing their money into, “festy skirts,” instead of a potential lip gloss with the name Gaia."  Likewise, us bookish types are less concerned with pursuing the, Fire Down Below, than we are a lovely night of, Tea and Toast.  Actually, to put it simply I’m just concerned when it comes to anything like a, Fire Down Below.  I guess that’s why boring people like me wear ankle length skirts to avoid it.

Sweatshirt:  Thrifted
Moccasins:  Minnetonka
Earrings:  Johnny Loves June
Necklace:  Thrifted
Sunglasses:  Coach


Sunday, November 22, 2015

"Dem Jeans"


   Yes, it’s true.  I decided to title this post after a Chingy song.  For those of you who may not be familiar with this fine piece of song writing, “Dem Jeans,” is a little hip hop ditty that’s chorus goes a little bit like this, “Daum Girl  How’d you get all that in Dem Jeans, Dem Jeans?  How’d you get all that in Dem? Daum Girl.”  One should really just physically hear me sing it.  Not trying to brag or anything, but for a 36 year old Midwestern white woman I feel like I got some swagger…pff, I can’t even pull off that lie in print.  The truth is, “Dem Jeans,” is a, "Daum," fun tune about women looking foxy in their jeans.  Deep, I know.
   Except, maybe this song is deeper than it first seems.  I mean, we’re living in a time where even seeing a woman wearing jeans is a rarity.  Everywhere I look I see women in leggings and yoga pants.  The horrific truth seems to be spandex is in and denim is out.  Considering the great Chingy released, “Dem Jeans,” in 2006 one has to wonder if he had some sort of prophetic message he was trying to convey in these lyrics.  I’m thinking something like, “Daum Girl Anyone can get all that in cheap knits, cheap knits.  Why’d you get all of that in cheap knits?!”  Really, I think I should have been writing Chingy’s lyrics.  Had we just altered his song slightly the world may have avoided the tragic epidemic of knit pants.
   However, I digress.  The real reason I named this post after, “Dem Jeans,” was due to the way the jeans I’m wearing in the above pictures make me feel.  You see, this particular pair of pants makes me feel foxy, even though they have absolutely no right to.  Let me tell you why.  I found these jeans on the men’s rack at my local Savers store.  They have a high waist, are Rustler brand, and at least a size too big for me making them fairly ill fitting.  Combine this with the fact that I don’t possess the most perfect posterior, and what it comes down to is a lot of bystanders scratching their heads and thinking, “Daum Girl Why’d you try to wear that?”  Okay, I promise to stop now. 
   I will admit I have many other pairs of jeans that compliment my appearance better.  However, they don’t make me feel like this pair does because these are my favorites.  I say they’re my favorites because I have the guts to wear them even though I don’t look, “perfect,” in them.  To put it simply, these jeans make me feel kinda bad ass.  It’s like I’m doing something wrong just by wearing them and I don’t care.  Just look how confident I can be in these jeans!  It makes a girl feel cool, which in my mind makes her appear hot.  You know, stating this now makes me wonder if maybe that’s how all the ladies wearing leggings feel.  “I don’t look perfect and I don’t care.  Just look how bad ass and foxy I can be in these ugly pants!”  Huh, well ain’t that a bitch.

Sweater Vest:  Thrifted
Jeans:  Thrifted (Rustler)
Socks:  Ozone
Shoes:  Libby Edelman
Purse:  Thrifted
Necklace:  Alfani