Outfit Post: 6/27/11

Polo shirt: Old Navy — Capris: Goodwill (French Cuff)– Belt: Goodwill (no label) — Sandals: Goodwill (What’s What by Aerosole) — Puka shell bracelet & necklace: gifts? I’ve had them forever

So, this outfit all started with the polo shirt. I saw this style while browsing the Old Navy website, because I am boring, and got super-duper excited because ombre and me are like best friends since way back. I ended up buying three, in blue, green, and the orange you see here, because they were on sale and why not. Sadly, I haven’t had an opportunity to wear them much yet, because how can normal khakis live up to that fabulousness?

But a month later, I was in Goodwill doing my Goodwill thing and looking for capris, and I found these. They boggled my mind. Are they pink? Orange? Coral? Salmon? And are they Bermuda shorts or capris? So of course they had to come home with me, along with an intensely orange belt. The rest was simply magic and my desire to resemble a bowl of sherbet. Also maybe because my glasses were still missing at this point.

(In reality, I can’t decide if the pants have crazy embiggening properties on my legs or if they’re alright. They’re pretty comfy, though, and constitute the first pair of non-full-length pants clothing that I’ve bought since probably early college, when I became convinced that shorts were the devil. I wore them and thought of Jentine from my edit. and her phenomenal ability to wear the heck out of neons and look classy doing it.)

In case you’re wondering, I added the puka shell necklace and bracelet because OBVIOUSLY I secretly wanted to dress like a frat boy from like 1996. I really missed an opportunity to do a popped-collar picture. BROSEPH!

(The babbling nature of this post is brought to you by the fact that it’s like 8:30 and I still haven’t had dinner. Ughhhh low blood sugarrrrr.)

Dress Your Best Challenge: Part 2 – Shoulders! and Butt! and Freckles!

This is a big ol’ two for one challenge post. It’s been pretty nice out lately here in Chicago (mid-seventies), so I wanted to wear something comfortable that still showcases my assets. Also, the beau and I were out apartment hunting, so I needed to be comfortable and mobile. Today is all about my wonderful shoulders and my fabulous ass and my sweet freckles.

I love my shoulders. I’ve always loved my shoulders. They are the one part of my body that causes me no end of pain, but I still love them. When I first told my fiance about this challenge, and listed my favorite parts of my body, he expressed a confusion on why someone would target their shoulders as a favorite.

But look at that slope. It’s so femme and yet strong. Maybe it sounds a bit vain, but my shoulders? Gorgeous. This shot also shows the exact reason I purchased this tank top. The racerback design highlights my first tattoo. (I’m dreaming up a post about my two tattoos, but I’m waiting a little bit to write about them until I’m ready.)

An anecdote from high school: at the high school Mia and I attended, there was a policy that said no spaghetti strap or halter tops were allowed. I posited at the time that this was clearly because shoulders were too sexy to be seen. This…resulted in some rather hysterical times. I mean, shoulders are one of the few parts of our bodies that don’t have an overt sexual context, and yet exposing them at our school would result in being required to wear the phys. ed. uniform for the rest of the day.

Now, the title of this post includes a big ol’ butt. Unlike my shoulders, I’ve struggled with my butt over the years for a couple of reasons. However, I’ve grown to love my butt. And my butt has grown to feel that love (buddum-ching! Get it? Cause I wear 14s instead of 8s now? It’s grown to feel the love? I crack myself up.) Also, this is a present to you, because Mia insisted one of us have it in our blogposts about butts. 😀

I’m also that rare kid who never once realized you weren’t supposed to like your freckles. I loved mine from day one. As far as I was concerned, the more freckles, the better. A huge chunk of this is my mother freckles like mad, and more freckles = more like mama, who I was pretty convinced was the prettiest lady in the world. So I never went through a freckle hating phase, and thus never shied away from wearing white or black, colors said to make freckles really pop.

I feel like covering three things about my body in one post might’ve been pushing this post, but I hopped on this bandwagon a bit late. 😀

  1. Boobs! Hurrah!
  2. Freckles
  3. Shoulders
  4. Bootay – a journey that has been even more ridiculous than the experience with my boobs
  5. Hair

Dress Your Best Week – 6/26/11

T-shirt: from my friend Leah’s free pile — Skirt: made by me — Sandals: Birkenstocks — Locket: my grandmother’s — Bracelet: gift from my mom (made by one of her friends) — Ring: vintage — Earrings: World Market

So this was day two of my friend Jessica staying the weekend, and we decided after going out for lunch to tool on over to the university where I work and take some super-exciting outfit pictures. It’s not hard for outfits to look at least 40% cooler and classier when seen on campus; it’s variously described as the 4th, 5th, and 31st most beautiful college campus in the United States, and you bet your boots they use the most flattering factoid in the list during tours. It’s even been used as a movie set. I look forward to exploring the campus more after work and on off days, while simultaneously hoping I don’t accidentally out myself to my coworkers.

Fortunately for me, during the summer (and especially on a Sunday) there are very few students or staff around to catch me gettin’ down with my bad self in front of Mike and Jessica, and as a result, we tried lots of fun and crazy things and ended up with a ton of pictures that make me happy.

This is the second outfit I’m wearing for the Dress Your Best Week challenge, and it may not be immediately obvious what body part I’m giving some love. I’ll give you a hint: it’s my hands. My hands are so good to me. They help me do so many simple things that I don’t even think about, and they also help me do the things I love, like cook and read and write. My hands helped me make this skirt seven or eight years ago. (Come to that, my mom’s hands helped me make it too.)

I’ve worn it a thousand times since I originally made it for my very first renfaire costume, because it’s long and swishy and feels like wearing pajamas, and I get a compliment on it nearly every time I wear it out of the house. Normally I pair it with a casual black t-shirt, but today I pulled this light-blue t-shirt from the pile because I decided the swirls made the two pieces conceptual cousins.

Just for fun, I really loaded the jewelry on–comparatively speaking. This bracelet, made out of Mexican pesos by one of my mom’s friends some years ago, is a little heavy and unwieldy and not so good for the office, but a lot of fun for wearing out to lunch and dinner and for a little photoshoot.

My glasses-less-ness in these pictures wasn’t intentional. I simply couldn’t find them. This happens frequently, as I am prone to coming home and immediately casting all bags, purses, and other unnecessary items off of my person with great enthusiasm and force, such that my glasses end up on top of the refrigerator and the tupperware from my lunch hides behind the couch for a week. This is a fault in my person that I despair of ever correcting.

Jessica asked me to swish my head back and forth so she could try to get some good pictures of these tassel earrings flying in my homemade wind. It gave me a heck of a headache, but the pictures were worth it!

The locket belonged to my grandmother; I’m not sure if the letter inscribed is an F or an A, as her name was Frances Armstrong. I like that it can be either, though, and I make it an A when I wear it for me.

This is a first for me: jumping pictures! I need a whole heck of a lot of practice at not making dismayed faces while in the air, but I finally pasted a smile on my kisser and readied for takeoff.

Like I said, my hands are good to me. They put up with a lot, between my nervous tendencies to pick and pull at the cuticles and using a non-ergonomic workstation for hours of endless computing. I plan to pamper them this week with extra lotion between washings, and maybe a little fingernail polish. You go, hands! I’ve really got to hand it to them. [cue all our ones of readers immediately unsubscribing due to excessive poorness of pun]

Dress Your Best Challenge: Part 1 – Boobs!

The Academichic Dress Your Best Challenge is on…it’s on like donkey kong even. Honestly, those who know me in real life know what body part I love most about my body. Why? I talk about my breasts all the time. It’s funny because I haven’t always felt this way about my chest. I was so happy in freshman year when it looked I was done growing at a B-cup. But then I started taking birth control.

I went from a B-cup to a D-cup in a few months. It was unbearable. My smaller boobs had been so much easier to deal with! I could run and jump in wireless bras and it didn’t bother me. All of the sudden, there were these excessively large fleshy things that ached when I didn’t wear a bra and went down stairs. Mind you, in high school, I didn’t exactly want to be known as feminine. I wanted to be one of the guys. In came the breasts, in came the really painfully embarrassing acknowledgments of my chest that I really. did. not. want.

It took me about a year to come to terms with my new shape. But now? It’s nearly impossible to get me to stop talking about them. I love how they look in a girly tee, or in a blouse like this. I feel confident when I decide to display them, wearing my push-up from Victoria’s Secret.

One of the great things about wanting to show case my chest is how easy it is. Just about any v-neck shirt will do, but this one has the added benefit of having a seam that runs along the underside of my breasts, really accentuating their shape. My daily necklace also directs attention straight down my cleavage with it’s arrow-y shape. This isn’t really a conscious choice for me, but other ladies looking to direct attention to their girls might also want drop necklaces that draw the eye downward.

In case I don’t manage to post outfits for the rest of the challenge in time, I’ll give you my list of things that I’m into on my own body now. 🙂

  1. Boobs! Hurrah!
  2. Freckles
  3. Shoulders
  4. Bootay – a journey that has been even more ridiculous than the experience with my boobs
  5. Hair

Swap Lulus San Francisco: My Haul

yellow dress/tunic: H&M — shoes: Jenn Yaw — red blouse: Wet Seal — wrap skirt: no label (possibly homemade?)

Last Thursday, I went to an awesome clothing swap in San Francisco put on by The Swapaholics and Lulus.com for “a fun night of retail therapy and recycling.” I got there too late to catch most of the mixer thanks to always-fantastic Valley-to-Bay traffic, but still had a chance to meet not one, but two Chelseas! What are the odds, I ask you?

First I got to chat with Chelsea S. of Bright Side Dweller, who was totally sweet and charming (and just as pretty as she looks in pictures). Then I worked up the courage to tell Chelsea R. how much I liked her outfit–lady is mad stylish–because she was one of the few other people who came to the swap by herself. Okay, and because I don’t know how to talk to other people without sounding like Socially Awkward Penguin. Anyhow, she sells some awesome clothing at her vintage clothing shop, Lucky Rabbit, (seriously, how beautiful is this kimono thing?) and she’s pretty as heck and so easy to talk to, even for a socially awkward Mia!

dress: Chaudry KC — plaid shirt: Self Esteem — skirt: Liz Claiborne

I was actually surprised by how civilized the swap itself was–there was very little shoving, and mostly bumps were followed by “excuse mes.” And Chelsea R. even bustled over at one point with a skirt that didn’t fit her but that she thought I’d like, and she was totally right. I’m a sucker for silly and cute little prints, and the cut is perfect! I want her to be my personal shopper.

C’mon, how cute is that? Little beach umbrellas!

short-sleeved cowl-neck sweater: Derek Heart — hat: no label — short-sleeved blazer: Stoosh — knitted vest: Nina Piccalino

All in all, I had a great time. Next time I will probably try to bring a friend along, since that seemed to be what most ladies did and which made it a little harder to find someone to chat with. (Orrrrr maybe I could just work on not being super nervous around people I don’t know?) Clothing-wise, it worked out perfectly; I dropped off a huge bag of tops and skirts that just aren’t in my rotation for one reason or another anymore, paid a whopping $17.81 entrance fee with the discount I got from Chelsea S.’ link, and got an awesome stack of new-to-me pretty stuff! It’s a great way to recycle clothing and keep it in use instead of tossing it in the trash, and everybody comes away with a little something different.

If you don’t already, keep an eye open for swaps in your area. I bet you’d like it!

DRAG Outfit Post: 6/25/2011

Top: Merona Men’s Button-Front (XD)
Vest: Thrifted
Jeans: Thrifted for Braden, stolen when we realized they were mislabeled.
Shoes: Converse All-Stars ❤
Tie: Gifted (to Braden)
Hat: Jacked from Braden

So! Tonight was Pride Night at Bluetopia, the monthly blues dance here in Chicago. I am, in fact, a blues dancer, so I was so there. Part of it being Pride was an encouragement to wear drag. What you can’t see in this picture, is I was wearing two tank tops with built-in bras and a sports bra to flatten my chest even to that, remarkably not flat level. I really need to purchase a compression vest/learn how to wrap my chest. I love dressing in drag.

One of the things I noticed that surprised me was that I actually changed my dancing with what I was wearing. I had more masculine movements, more short stops, and more powerful strides. I lead about the same amount of the time I regularly do, but when I did lead, I felt stronger. I also felt sweatier. It was hot. The layers meant that no one but me knew exactly how sweaty I was, but I was dying by the end of the night.

Also, as a neat part of this month’s Pride theme, Bluetopia hosted a Jack n’ Jack/Jill n’ Jill competition. For those unfamiliar with the terms, a Jack and Jill competition is one where you don’t chose your partner, and is judged typically on connection and partnering work. A Jack n’ Jack/Jill n’ Jill is similar…except ladies dance with ladies and dudes dance with dudes. This is a super fun thing if you lead AND follow, which I do. I had a blast…and ended up winning, along with Bob, Jamison and Brooke. This is literally the first time I’ve won a dancing competition, and I’m super impressed with myself. Definitely would do again. 😀

Dress Your Best Week – 6/25/11

Top: gift (Cell) — Jeans: Goodwill (ellemeno) — Cami: gift (Active Basic) — Shoes: Birkenstocks

I’m super excited to be participating with Tia in Academichic’s Dress Your Best Week challenge. I feel like this is a great opportunity for me to not only show off what I already love about my body, but to learn to appreciate and embrace parts of my body that I usually don’t love so much. This outfit actually displays two of the body parts on my DYB five-body-part list: my upper chest/neck and my booty.

I got a haircut right before these pictures were taken, for one thing–I love the way my hair feels when the back of my neck is freshly shaven, and I feel like, although it can be a somewhat stark look and not as softening as longer hair, it shows off my neck and shoulders really well. I like my neck, even though it gives me trouble after long days at work.

As for the blouse, it doesn’t accent what I usually prefer to draw attention to: ordinarily I prefer to wear something with a more fitted and defined waist, to better show off the narrowness of my waist in comparison to my disproportionately wide hips. I’m definitely not an hourglass, more like a bowling pin or a pear. This top doesn’t make my chest look any larger than it is, and it kind of floats around my waist, but it frames my upper chest and neck in a way that is nice. I ultimately decided to leave off any necklaces and just let my neck do its thing. You know, as necks are wont to do.

Oh, my butt. Where to start. I was a skinny child, but eventually my sedentary nature and love of food caught up with me and while I don’t have much of a chest, I definitely have an ass. Some days I bemoan my stocky legs, wide hips, and the excess of junk in my trunk because it’s all so asymmetrical. But you know what? My butt’s pretty cool, especially when it looks good in jeans! My legs and butt get me where I need to go, and I need to give them more love. (Also, I need to give back to them a little bit and get on my bike on a regular basis, to turn all that adipose tissue into muscle. I promise you, my legs, I will do this. I owe you. Especially since I’m not going to stop eating copious amounts of cheese anytime soon.)

I need to give what the young kids these days call a “shout out” to my good friend Jessica, who came to visit and took these pictures for me! I was worried that I would feel super awkward posing for her. Not because of any problems with her, mind you; Jessica is a super cool lady. Mostly I’m still figuring out this whole style blogger thing and reprogramming my brain to understand that I’m not (necessarily) being vain by having my friends take tons of pictures of me trying to look cute. Anyway, it turned out to be only slightly awkward and mostly a heck of a lot of fun. Jessica brings out the goofiness in me. Which, if I’m perfectly honest, isn’t all that deep beneath the surface to begin with.

This Just In: 1970s Romance Comics…Actually Encourage Liking Yourself As You Are?

Well, knock me over with a feather! After playing the link-click game for a while today (you know what I mean, folks), I ended up at Sequential Crush, an awesome blog run by Jacque Nodell dedicated to romance comic books of the 1960s and 70s, replete as they are with beautiful artwork and (sometimes) crazycakes content. I read Jacque’s posts recounting three different comics that make you feel like there’s an echo in here: “Too Tall to Love,” “Too Smart to Love!,” and “That Strange Girl.” (What, “Too Butch to Love” was taken?)

image used with permission from Sequential Crush (also, I might pose a question: where is Pink Jacket’s other hand going? Get a room, you two!)

Besides introducing great lines like “Why don’t you date a computer?” into the American consciousness, all three stories are predicated on the same formula: that a girl who fits outside the mold of normal womanhood (too tall, too smart, too unfeminine) has a sad because she can’t find a man/people think she is weird, she mopes and/or tries to change herself to fit the socially-defined standard of femininity, and ultimately finds a man who subverts her expectations by loving her for who she is.

image used with permission from Sequential Crush

While the formula for these stories is imperfect in some pretty obvious ways to me–that the girl-of-the-day’s happiness and self-worth relies on being loved for what she is by a man, that the comics code of the day (maybe) prevented “That Strange Girl” from being an out-and-out (pun intended) story about LGBT, as some speculate, the heroine has to be saved by the hero in ‘”Too Tall to Love”–it’s still kind of a heartwarming idea. A tall girl finds a community of similarly-heighted women and men to feel comfortable in, and ends up accepting that to love a man shorter than her is, hey, okay? A smart girl discovers that she doesn’t have to dumb herself down, and actually is deserving of respect and an equally smart partner? A tomboy who rejects the standard trappings of femininity is accepted for who she is by a man who doesn’t make stereotypical assumptions about her sexual orientation based on her appearance?

That’s…kinda cool. That’s…kinda like self-love and self-acceptance. That’s…kinda like embracing those who live outside the norm. The whole idea could use some work, of course–there’s more than one man in the world who wants a “brain child,” for cripe’s sake, and later in the comic he calls her a “silly little fool”–but still. It brings a little bit of a tear to my eye. Or maybe that’s the cat hair.

On a shallower note, I kind of love how in “Too Smart to Love!,” Glory’s “post-makeover” outfit pretty obviously riffs off of her “pre-makeover” outfit:

images used with permission from Sequential Crush

A fun little bit of cohesion and character design, right? Honestly, I like pre-makeover Glory better; her outfit looks less dated to me, and she would look more like a plain ol’ hipster today than someone on their way to an Austin Powers costume party. Although that turtleneck does look like a rare species of tube worm that’s slowly going to inch its way up her face and suffocate her before devouring the remains. But maybe that’s just me?

Outfit Post: 6/20/11

Top: gift — Skirt: Goodwill — Sandals: Goodwill — Necklace: vendor at Northern California Renaissance Faire — Bracelets: from my friend Leah’s free pile

Okay, so this is a quicky because we didn’t get home until later than usual and by that point the light had gone really crappy.

This top is another Aunt Laurel gift, and each time I wear it I can’t decide if I like it. The fit isn’t ideal, kind of baggy at the waist and then constricting at the bottom. I may give it away before we move. I do like the overall effect of the white with blue accents, though. I maaaay have borrowed the idea from Chelsea at Bright Side Dweller, because the color combination makes me think of the paint job at my dad’s house, which makes me think of spending summers visiting him in Mexico and melting in the heat. So, a little roundabout, but whatever!

Also, egads my hair is looking shaggy in this picture. Thank goodness that by the time this post actually goes up, I’ll have gotten a cut! (Ooooh, posting to the future is weird.)

I have a funny story, though: a couple of Fridays ago, while stopping by Winco after work to get some groceries, I saw this little middle-aged lady coming out as I was going in who was wearing this exact skirt. I wanted to stop and talk to her for a moment, but I ended up chickening out. I was curious whether she thrifted hers as well, but couldn’t think of a way to ask without sounding rude or like a weirdo. Now I kind of regret it, though.

(I added this necklace to the outfit to create, as I told my coworker Amy, some “much-needed drama.” This may or may not be true, but I love me some big chunky Renfaire jewelry!)

Wherever you are, lady, keep rocking the skirt!

Outfit Post: 6/22/11

I went to see Jason Webley perform, and when I got home, made Braden take pictures so I could talk about the importance of dressing appropriately for concerts if you want to be comfortable and also not lose anything. So! This is what I wore.Shirt: Michael’s + Fabric paint + BAD ASS SHARPIE signature acquired tonight!
Shorts: (actually, rolled pants) thrifted
Shoes: Pay Less (woot)

My priority for concert-going is absolutely comfort. I don’t want to have to worry about my boobs showing inadvertently, or my feet aching from standing all night, or my thighs complaining from rubbing all up on each other. I don’t want to check my purse. I don’t want to have to think about where my cell/wallet/keys are. So these shorts-that-are-actually-pants are pretty much perfect. There are deep pockets on the sides with top flaps that keep my wallet/cell from falling out, and the front pockets are deep enough to store my keys. Look at all the stuff I had in my pockets in that first shot:
My giant friggin smart phone, and my over-extended wallet. All in my pants. And that expression on my face? Smugness from a well-spent concert, not worrying about if my stuff was getting jacked because I left it with a friendly stranger. And, because I’m still pretty happy with the shirt, two years after I first painted it, I present you with a close up.

LOOK AT THAT SIGNATURE. No, I joke. I’m not quite that mad that I cherish artist signatures. Really! Still, it made me happy to make up for how shy I was the second time I saw him perform live, when I didn’t really know how to give my appreciation to artists. I was so dopey and kind of adorable back then(read: now). To further establish this dopeyness, I leave you with a picture about how I felt at the end of the concert: