Outfit Post: 1/13/16

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Top: Thrifted (Chaps) — Cardigan: Thrifted (no label) — Skirt: eShakti — OTKs: Sock Dreams (Extraordinary Thigh-Highs in Navy) — Earrings: Gift

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I don’t use the “navy” tag on this blog very much, since navy isn’t usually my first choice for neutrals and I don’t have much of it in my closet, but I guess I really should use it in reference to this shirt. I think of it as blue, but isn’t it navy?

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Where’s the line for navy, anyway? Is it a question only of shade or also of saturation? I guess I could look it up, but I’d rather ask you.

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(Please to ignore the my phone; the sticky note just has a to-do list on it. I make to-do lists on my phone, on my computer, on Habitica, and it still isn’t enough. It’s a wonder I get anything done.)

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Anyway, I find myself grateful that this blog doesn’t have a “mustard” tag in addition to “yellow,” or I’d be here all day.

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Outfit Post: 1/11/16

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Sweater: Thrifted (Tulle) — Pants: J.Crew — Camisole: Gap — Boots: 6pm.com (Diesel) — Earrings: QuellyRue — Necklace: Gift

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After six months of wandering astray, I return like the prodigal daughter to Gracey’s Literary Stylings! Momentous!

I had a good handful of books to choose from this time around, and after much (okay, some) deliberation, I went with Nalo Hopkinson’s Midnight Robber. It’s a hard book to summarize, but basically: girl, Tan-Tan, grows up on a Caribbean-colonized planet as the daughter of a mayor; mayor commits a felony and escapes with Tan-Tan to a parallel dimension used as a prison world by the main planet; Tan-Tan grows up among hardened criminals; and things progress from there.

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It’s a really excellent novel–possibly one of the best I read in 2015, actually. Hopkinson creates two rich, vivid worlds in Toussaint and New Half-Way Tree, and a complicated young protagonist in Tan-Tan. The book is written in patwah and has a gorgeous rhythm and poetry to it, and many pieces of the story–including the relationship between colonizing humans and colonized alien species–are done with what feels like a great deal of thought and care. I would like to give a strong content warning about the sexual abuse of children; it’s a deeply-entwined part of the story, and I wouldn’t recommend you pick it up if that’s going to affect you adversely.

It’s hard to do the book justice with one outfit, especially when it’s winter and that outfit doesn’t feature any feathered crowns from the Miss Universe pageant, but I did my best. The boots and pants are meant to represent Tan-Tan’s survivalist teenagehood, since I couldn’t really wear a dhoti to work in January; the sweater is at least close to saffron yellow, Tan-Tan’s favorite childhood color; the earrings are a nod to the Afrofuturism of the novel (although I’d like to acknowledge that wax print is not as strong in Caribbean culture as, say, madras); and the wee skull necklace is for the Midnight Robber persona that pops up repeatedly around the book’s Carnival scenes and which Tan-Tan eventually adopts as her own.

Ultimately, Midnight Robber is an intense book that I very much recommend if you feel up to the things I mentioned above; Tan-Tan doesn’t have an easy life, and her suffering is not shied away from. I think there’s a lot of reward if you can forge on through, though. Now go check out Gracey’s Literary Stylings post, and those of the other folks who’ve linked up!

Outfit Post: 9/4/15

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Shirt: Target — Skirt: Thrifted (Maurices) — Shoes: Earthies — Earrings: Gift — Bangle: Thrifted

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First off, I would like to offer a correction to yesterday’s post: I know very well and good that the portion of America’s Next Top Model Cycle 22, Episode 3 dedicated to animal-themed neck poses was, in fact, a teach and not a series of TyTyTips.

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For this error, I am truly sorry.

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However, I’m decidedly unsorry for talking about ANTM in and of itself. Since Cycle 22 began in August, my sometime blogging partner and I have been immersing ourselves in the wonderful garbage world that is Tyra Banks’ special brand of reality television and we couldn’t be happier.

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We have our favorites (Nyle, naturally) and our most-hated (Mikey, also naturally), and we spend a lot of time gushing to each other about the incredible absurdity of the whole thing. Why not wrap models in skinny belts and fake hair? Why not give someone a beard weave? Why not consistently and willfully misunderstand the concept of something “going viral”? In the world of ANTM, God does not exist and everything is permitted.

Outfit Post: 8/17/15

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Dress: Hand-me-down (Casual Corner) — Belt: Thrifted — Sandals: Dansko — Earrings: Charming Charlie — Ring: Jewelry shop Hallstatt, Austria

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Is this dress what they mean when they (you know, “they”; the Fashion Police, who I imagine are an army of terrifyingly orange Michael Kors clones) talk about something being boatneck? I love the height it hits when I’m standing, although sometimes when I sit down it creeps a little close to the jugular notch for my comfort.

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I mean, I assume most boatneck garments don’t have the lower V in back, but the front seems about right from what I’ve seen. I’ve never owned something boatnecked before; I didn’t even know what it meant when I was younger, but it sounded very fancy and related to cashmere sweaters.

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This dress is decidedly not cashmere, which is just as well, since it hit 104F on my bike ride home yesterday. It’s such a short ride these days that there isn’t really enough time for me to suffer from the weather, so I continue to shock and confuse my coworkers by biking in.

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They think I’m being hardcore, but really, I’m just too cheap to shell out for a campus parking permit. It’s not like I’m riding Badwater!

Outfit Post: 7/8/15

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Top: Thrifted (Chaps) — Pants: Thrifted (LOFT) — Shoes: Thrifted (Born) — Earrings: QuellyRue — Bangle and necklace: Gifts — Ring: Target

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I feel like this getup was pretty meh until I added the bigass earrings.

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Bigass earrings help everything! Everything except for earlobe sensitivities, I suppose.

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Anyway, getting the idea to add them to the outfit transformed it from “dangerously close to patriotic” to “lots of bright colors, why not,” which is really my preferred way of being.

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Will I ever tire of Too Many Bright Colors? It’s hard to say. Maybe someday I’ll go pastel! Or goth! Or pastel goth!

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It’s good to know that if I do, my modest collection of skulls will be able to carry over.

Outfit Post: 7/7/15

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Top: Thrifted (Ann Taylor) — Skirt: Thrifted (Banana Republic) — Shoes: Earthies — Earrings: Gift — Bracelet: Gift, from Greece 

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Apparently I haven’t worn stripes since January? Weird.

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Or maybe I’ve just been lax about tagging my posts accurately.

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Mia? Forgetting to do something?! Nawwwww, I can hear you say, and bless you for your misguided faith in me.

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I can’t say it was a good idea to hitch your wagon to this scatterbrained star, but I’ll do my best to make us all proud, or at least not overly embarrassed.

Outfit Post: 6/11/15

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Button-front: Thrifted (Ann Klein) — Pants: J.Crew — Shoes: Earthies — Earrings: Freehand Fig Jewelry

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I missed Gracey’s Literary Stylings roundup last month, so to make up for my failing, my June offering is based on two books. TWO.

Well, okay, that would’ve happened anyway. All the pieces just came together so fortuitously! The two books in question happen to be A College of Magics, by Caroline Stevermer, and In the Land of the Long White Cloud, by Sarah Lark. They have some similarities, in that they’re historical novels mainly about women and they feature some great female friendships, but from there they diverge. A College of Magics is a fantasy about a young woman in a slightly-altered Europe who attends, unsurprisingly, a college of magics, and then returns home to the country she one day hopes to rule; In the Land of the Long White Cloud is the epic saga of two young British women who immigrate to New Zealand in the mid-1800s and their families’ lives there.

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The characterization in College of Magics is dense and beautifully done–Faris is so wonderfully and deeply drawn. She’s tall and not particularly pretty, and stubborn and loyal and duty-driven, and I was so sad to leave her when the book was over. (I’m currently reading the sequel, A Scholar of Magics, and was a little disappointed at first to find that it follows her friend Jane, but Jane is written with just as deft a hand and I completely adore her as well.) The characters and plot balance each other well and things clip along. The story is fairly light on magic, actually, until the denouement, so if you’re leery of fantasy novels because of the “sorcery” part of swords n’ sorcery, I urge you to give a go! (There’s not a whole lot of swords, either.)

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Things don’t so much clip as they hurtle in Long White Cloud. I’d originally purchased it (and its two sequels) thinking it would be an interesting historical romance–not sure if that was my mistake or a result of an inaccurate marketing angle–and it turned out to be more of a sweeping generational tale with a fair amount of murder, adultery, attempted and actual rape, and star-crossed lovers. A little bit V.C. Andrews-ish, almost, if slightly less bonkers and featuring better metaphors. I felt for the two main characters, Helen and Gwyneira, as they both went through a rather astonishing series of hardships in their lives as colonists. Not for nothing, it does dedicate a significant number of pages to the Maori people affected by all this bananas white-person drama and also the ways they got fucked over by colonization, which is at least a start. Long White Cloud was originally written in German and I found the translation to be pretty good. There were times when I forgot it was a translation, although there were also times where I was pulled out of reading by a strange turn of phrase or some stilted wording. I can’t speak as to its historical accuracy, as I know nothing about the 1850s OR about New Zealand–some of the dialogue read a little too modern to me–but it did keep my attention and was…fascinating, I guess. I do plan on reading the sequels, for the record.

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As for my outfit: both books feature a lot of dresses and gowns in silk, velvet, and merino; it’s too hot to even think about the last two, so I picked out a silk shirt in a blue shade similar to what the redheaded Gwyneira is forever wearing and paired it with some pants that echoed Faris’ favorite moss-green dress. Both books also feature sizable estates, so what better way to reflect that than with my own “Wisteria Estate” earrings? I think they evoke a sort of grand, sprawling manor, anyway. Rust-colored shoes equal rust-colored hair–Gywn again and also Faris–and my black ring is a little bit witchy-looking, even if the witches of Greenlaw in A College of Magics don’t need jewelry to do their work.

So, here we are! I highly recommend A College of Magics if you enjoy historical fantasy and family politics, and I moderately recommend In the Land of the Long White Cloud if your DRAMA LLAMA needs to be fed. I enjoyed them both in very different ways, and am interested in seeing where the sequels go. (Perhaps they have more in common than I originally thought.)