Outfit Post: 10/26/11

Top: Goodwill (Luna Chix) — Camisole: Gift (Active Basic) — Skirt: Goodwill (George Stretch) — Tights: We ❤ Colors [Violet] — Shoes: American Rag Compagnie — Bangle: Thrifted

Happy Halloween, y’all! You’ll have to wait ’til tomorrow to see my costume, as I’m currently wearing it at work and trying SO HARD not to rub my face. In the meantime, enjoy these outfit pictures from last week, as well as a few links to some of my favorite spooky stuff.

+ Emily Carroll is an amazing comicker, and I love-love-love both last Halloween’s His Face All Red and this year’s Margot’s Room.

+ Smile, an Israeli short film by Noam Abta and Yuval Markovich, gives me chills every time I watch it.

+ Speaking of films, did anybody else have The Adventures of Mark Twain on VHS as a kid? It’s surprisingly complex for a claymation movie, and the Mysterious Stranger segment simultaneously terrified me and made me very sad when I was little.

+ I don’t know how I didn’t read this before Tito introduced me to it, but short story The Yellow Wallpaper, written in 1892 by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, embodies exactly the kind of thing I like in my scary stories: not so much jump-out-and-scare-you type stuff, but more of a creeping horror. (Thank you, Project Gutenberg!)

Other than that, all I’ve got for you right now is bright colors! Sometimes I feel a little self-conscious going to work dressed like this, but bright colors really do cheer me up when I’m having a crazy week. Also, one of my coworkers told me, “I want to dress like you when I grow up!” (Note that she’s probably twenty years older than I am.) I have to thank her for making me feel justified.

Quick review of my second pair of We ❤ Colors tights: they’re more of a bluish-violet compared to the warmer purple of my Hue tights, and are extremely vibrant. Unfortunately, like the maroon pair of We ❤ Color tights I wore a bit back, they manifested runs from the crotch to the inner thigh not more than an hour into wearing them. I also ended up needing to pull them up many times throughout the day, although the M/L size is rated through a height of 5’11” (I’m 5’7″) and a weight of 168 lbs (I’m 150 lbs or so). Perhaps I need to invest in plus size pairs next time? I do like the wide waistband, though, which meant that they didn’t roll down like a lot of tights do. All in all, I’m kind of disappointed in the fit and the runs, since I did pay nearly $13 a pair for the three pairs I purchased, but the colors are unrivaled. Maybe it just takes a gentler soul than me to wear them.

Outfit Post: 10/28/11 – Halloween!

So. Guys. Here’s a secret. This outfit was supposed to be a Halloween costume.

Unfortunately, if you are a hipster-type lady, when you crossdress as a hipster-type boy, no one will figure out that it’s a costume. In fact, even when you wear four bras to try and reduce your cup size, you’ll only get down from a D to a B, and you will still pretty much just be a parody of yourself.

Thus, mild consternation. Especially when I asked Braden what he thought, and he basically said that I looked adorable. Ah well, it was still fun to wear.

I tried, to moderate success, to reduce the taper of my waist by using the vest to obscure the narrowest point. My other hope was that it would straighten the chest-hip line, so that I wouldn’t appear as hippy. I think it helped, but then, using a unisex v-neck ended up having a too-femme appearence, I think.

Oh. Did I mention I saw Zoe Boekbinder perform last Wednesday? It was amazing. I ended up slipping and buying this shirt, despite my utter broke-ass self, because it was too neat. It’s a “unisex” shirt according to American Apparel, but…this is a medium. You can see that “unisex” means shirts for “men”: it’s stretched tight across the hips, baggy in the waist, and tight across my chest, where a true women’s cut shirt wouldn’t have quite so much bagginess in the waist.

Braden came down to campus because I forgot a piece of my project at home, and he slipped and brought his camera with him for these pictures. 🙂 I love fall in the midwest, and in particular on UIC campus: it’s just so damn pretty.

I suspect this might be one of the last days of the year that I’ll be able to wear a t-shirt outside with no sweater, so I enjoyed it thoroughly.



Outfit Post: 10/25/11

Shirt: Gift (M) — Skirt: Gift — Cardigan: Target — Tights: Sockshop & Shoe Co. — Boots: Gift (r2) — Pin: Hand-me-down — Ring: Gift

Sorry about the frowny faces here, people. I promise that I was only kind of in a grumpy mood when I took these, and the squinched-up expression is mostly from the sun in my eyes. Is my neck really that skinny? No wonder Michael likes me, I look like a giraffe.

So, yeah. This outfit is mostly an exercise in non-flattery. The boots hit my calves at the wrong spot and emphasize their chunkiness, while the swirly tights draw further attention to that region; the loose cardigan masks my figure; the full skirt adds extra volume around my thighs.

But, you know: I still felt cute. The important thing to remember is that you don’t have to look taller, or thinner, or curvier, or whatever in order to look nice! What I’m wearing here makes me feel great in other ways, so it’s no big deal if my calves look thick or my waist is masked. Flattery is a good place to start, but as long as you’re happy with what you’re wearing it doesn’t much matter if you’ve thrown out all the advice about what pear-shaped or ample-chested or short-legged ladies “can or cannot” wear.

Hahaha, I’m so serious while spinning. My brother and dad both have this really intense stare that can be a little unsettling if you’re not used to it, and it makes me laugh when I see a little bit of it in myself. (Also, no idea what is up with those hands. Hands! What are you doing!)

It also seemed like a good day to bust out my brain pin–I know I have a brain, and a good one, so sometimes I just need to remind myself to use it.

Non-calf-flattering but nevertheless kickass boots. Mumsey promised me a pair of boots as a gift some Christmases ago, and lo, these were what were chosen after it became evident that all the knee-high boots at Macy’s wouldn’t zip past my ankle. I just recently rediscovered them in a box of clothing finally rescued from a friend’s storage shed, and plan on wearing them absolutely everywhere.

These tights make me miss Santa Cruz a bit. More specifically, they make me miss going downtown on a weekend and spending twenty minutes digging through the bargain bin at the Sockshop. I’ve had a couple of good, inexpensive pairs of tights from them, and these ones always make me smile.

Happy Friday, y’all! If you’re going to Halloween parties over the weekend, have fun and take pictures! I’ve got book club with Tito and company tonight, and then lots of cleaning to do at home to make up for my lazy ways this week. See you on Monday!

How To: Paint Your Shoes

I’ll just save you the agony of anticipation and let you see what the shoes ended up looking like first. 🙂 Obviously, they’re not perfect, but I think they turned out adorable. I’ll talk a bit about what sorts of things you can do to help them turn out as I go through this how-to, but my first big hint is maybe use paint markers and not actual paints. Ha!

The first thing I did was masking tape the pattern onto the shoes. This probably would’ve gone much, much faster if the tape had been the width I wanted the stripes to be, instead of having to cut each strip of tape into four skinny strips. The taping process took about 2 hours, because I was watching TV as I did it and because it’s surprisingly difficult to translate a 2D design to a 3D shoe without messing up a few times. Do What I Say Not What I Do 1: get the appropriate width of tape.

After taping the shoes up, I waited three days until I actually had time to paint my shoes, ie: 10:30 on a Thursday night. I had acrylic paint in my stuff drawer from ages ago, so the only new purchase for these shoes was the shoes. That’s the only reason I didn’t use a more controllable medium for this project.  Do What I Say Not What I Do: If you can afford it, buy appropriate materials.

I stopped at this point, both to take a picture and point out that I suddenly got very confused on what to do next. I had the clear rainbow idea, but ended up a bit confused with how to tackle the transition from the toe box to the sides. I ended up translating the pattern vertically so that I’d still end up with rainbow argyle, but I did spend some time while painting wondering if I’d made the right decision. This is the trick to not getting paralyzed when things don’t quite work out right: go with it. Choose not to care. I had to just shrug and say “hey! This is a $7 endeavor, and no matter what, these shoes will be 10x more awesome than I think they are because I MADE them, yo!”

One of the things you can tell from this picture is just how little I cared about painting the tape. After peeling it off, I’d have to recommend: if you’re using acrylics, try not to paint on the tape. Acrylics tend to form skins, so if that skin is on top of the tape, you might pull off some paint with the tape. The entire painting process only took about an hour. I did have to lock Molly in the laundry room to get it done because she kept trying to get on the table. I left the shoes in the bathroom to dry overnight, just in case.

I am pretty happy with them. I’m going to choose to believe that it’s charming, not ugly, that the diamonds aren’t perfect, and that they are very clearly not consistently the same size. These pictures were taken from much more close than most people will ever have their heads anyway.

Yay for crafty times with Tia! I had a lot of fun with this project, and would love to do it again with a more free form design. Heck…the next time I have seven dollars, I may patronize walmart again and get a second pair. Anyway! That’s how I painted my shoes…I’d love to hear about any adventures you’ve had, or if you paint your shoes after this, what patterns you choose!



Outfit Post: 10/22/11

T-Shirt: Marty May — Jeans: Goodwill — Shoes: American Rag Compagnie — Belt: Thrifted — Earrings: Gift — Bangle: Thrifted

It occurs to me that I haven’t talked about the Read-a-Thon of the past weekend yet, and it’s already Thursday here! It really does deserve mention, too. Tito drove out last Friday night, and we got an early start at 5:30am on Saturday, half an hour after the ‘Thon officially started–I envy the lucky readers in London who got to start at a leisurely 1:00pm. Tea and snacks (hummus and bell pepper, mmmm) helped keep us going through the day and into night and morning again–that, and spending waaaay too much time on some of the mini-challenges.

I did end up falling asleep for about an hour at around 1 or 2 in the morning on Sunday, but Tito thoughtfully woke me back up so we’d be able to finish and then crash for real. If you want to hear our sleep-deprived ravings, start here and go forward. Despite being exhausting, it was as much fun as when we did it in April, and I’m already looking forward to my third Read-a-Thon next year. We even won a prize this time around! If you like reading at all, you really should check out the Read-a-Thon’s website–it’s lots of fun with a friend, and plenty of people use the opportunity to raise money for a good cause.

Tito thoughtfully took these pictures midmorning on Saturday, while we were waiting for Michael to get ready so we could go have brunch. (Don’t worry, we still read while we ate.) The rad earrings you see here were part of a birthday gift she gave me because she’s so sweet, and because I need more big earrings in my life. Aren’t they amazing? I feel so badass wearing them, and there’s not a lot in this world that makes me feel badass.

As for the rest of it, I dressed for comfort, since we still had a long day and night to go with lots of arduous reading ahead of us. This is the other shirt I got from Marty May’s booth at APE ’11 (you may remember  the first one I showed off), because c’mon! Buffalo! Look at that guy and his little fork feet. Plus, it fits like a dream and I’m a sucker for anything with a scoop neck. Thanks, Marty May! Thanks, Tito! Thanks, Read-a-Thon! Thanks, ghostwriter-who-took-over-after-V.C.-Andrews-died who made Rain so awful and hilarious! I’m so very grateful.

Outfit Post: 10/24/11

So I wanted to test these shoes out, make sure they were worth painting. Or I wanted to take advantage of yet another day of t-shirt weather in late October. Or, I wanted to put purple and green together because hey bright colors and these both have white accents so it made sense! Or something.

I actually like how this outfit came together a lot. Almost enough to be tempted to keep the shoes white, but not quite tempted enough.

This skirt has the super weird effect of always poofing out away from my body and making me feel like my butt is showing because there’s obviously nothing on it. This is not actually the case: my butt is covered, as you can see here. But it feels so naked.

Oh pretty white shoes. You would never stay white in my care, and thus you must be painted! I think, given all y’alls feedback, I’ll be painting them rainbow argyle. Hopefully, that will only take just shy of forever, rather than true forever. 😀

Oh god. I look a little too excited here. But that’s how it goes sometimes.



Outfit Post: 10/21/11

Top: Goodwill (Mossimo) — Cardigan: Thrifted — Skirt: From my friend Leah’s free pile — Shoes: American Rag Compagnie — Flower pin: Leah’s free pile — Bracelet & earrings: Hand-me-down

Oh, look! It’s Mia putting into effect her learnings from Academichic’s posts on the color wheel and analogous colors. Bless those ladies for leaving up all their great information–I miss having new posts, but the repository of their past has been very valuable to me.

Sleeveless sweaters are a little weird, aren’t they? For some reason, I got it in my head when I was probably 11 or so that sleeveless sweaters were the height of class and coolness, and that all fancy ladies wore one. That idea has been since discarded, but I still have a fondness for them. This cowl-neck sweater is thin, and as soft as Flat Tire’s tummy fur, which meant that it was nice and comfortable and not overly-warm for an uncharacteristically toasty October day. The wrap cardigan, which comes from some yoga-related brand whose name escapes me at the moment, kept my arms from falling off on the bike ride to work in the morning. And maybe made me feel a little like Mace Windu for reasons which are not 100% clear.

There’s something I love about wearing three or more analogous colors together–similar but not matchy. It’s sort of the same way I love ombre. I want to say it’s like wearing a little piece of a rainbow, but even just typing that makes me barf a little, so I’m not going to. (A RAAAAAINBOWWWW YOU GUYYYYYS)

So, I don’t remember if I mentioned it, but during my 30 for 30, I managed to get a big bleach stain on the hem of this skirt. I have eventual plans to get some ribbon or fabric and cover it up with some sort of clever design, but for now, I figured I could try to just cover it up and wear it anyway. Somewhere in my brain I thought that this flower pin matched the dusty purple of the skirt much more than it does, but it sort of goes with the steel blue of the top, so it’s okay. Being so close to the hem, the pin doesn’t look 100% intentional, but whatever. Whatever, I proclaim!

I kind of can’t believe I haven’t worn these earrings before. I was crazy about enamel and cloisonne as a child, and had a bunch of cloisonne bracelets and rings from Chinatown. They all got too small, or broke, or whatever happens to children’s jewelry, and now all I have is this pair of earrings that Mom passed along to me recently. Granted, they don’t go with everything I own, but still, they need a bit more love.