Outfit Post: 8/29/12

Polo: Old Navy — Skirt: Gift — Shoes: American Rag Compagnie — Suspenders: Thrifted — Necklace and earrings: Hand-me-downs — Ring: Monterey Bay Aquarium

Nothin’ like suspendies (and a brar) to keep things cheerful, right?

I know I’m not always the most chic or fashion-forward at times, but I’ll be darned if I don’t try to have fun with my clothes.

Bright colors and sometimes-silly accessories put a smile on my face, especially when I’m starting to fall into a dressing-myself-slump. (When will summer end? When will sweaters be a possibility again? When will I stop complaining? We may never know.)

Also putting a smile on my face: cuddling a certain kitty, who is being extremely adorable today. Maybe she’s trying to make up in advance for planned misdeeds?

She’s got a pretty long rap sheet as it is: stolen earrings, bitten ankles, scarfed broccoli. She’s a bad seed, all right, but somebody’s gotta love her.

Outfit Post: 8/8/12

Polo: Old Navy — Skirt: Blacklist Vintage (Lilly of California) — Flats: Thrifted (Born) — Belt: Goodwill (Target) — Earrings: Quelly Rue Designs — Bangle: Thrifted

So, I told you guys about how I visited Blacklist Vintage during my trip to Minneapolis, right? Well, this 1970s skirt is one of the items I picked up! I’ve been wanting a skirt that buttons down the front for a while now, and while the light-blue color isn’t something I’m immediately drawn to, I saw it as a fun, inexpensive challenge and figured, why not?

It also doesn’t hurt that it has pockets big enough to fit at least a mass-market paperback in, if not a trade paperback. Book accommodation used to be my number-one priority for clothing selection, and, really, it’s high time I returned to my roots. I spent a good portion of yesterday toting around The Murder of Roger Ackroyd like it weren’t no thang, and it felt gooood. (Side note: my mom is a die-hard mystery fan, and I grew up watching Poirot and Miss Marple on PBS with her all the time, but I never really read many of the classics, so during my last visit she lent me her copy of Ackroyd. And thus I start in earnest my mystery education!)

What were we talking about? Clothes? Right. A couple weeks ago one of our readers (and, not-so-coincidentally, Tia’s aunt–hi, Amy!) gave me the outfit prompt “fire and ice,” and this is my response to that. Although I guess in practice it looks a little bit more like “sunset and ice,” or maybe “two scoops of sorbet.” Still, sorbet is icy, right?

I wasn’t actually super-confident about my choice of accessories when I got dressed in the morning, but looking back now, I really like it. The bright variegated colors of the belt and earrings jazz up the lighter pastel-y colors of the skirt and top.

Pluuuuus, I probably would’ve just gone with it anyway, because these earrings arrived from Etsy while I was gone and I was super anxious to wear them! They came nicely packaged with a really lovely handwritten note from the seller–honestly, I kind of want all of her ankara earrings, but should probably stick with just these for now.

A few things to note: the earrings seem to be composed of hollow, curved metal tubes wrapped in fabric, and the post is rather long and appears to be made from an open eye pin. All that to say, be aware that the post is slightly thicker than a traditional earring post, and long enough that the earring will probably sliding forward and back through your ear throughout the day. I didn’t find it to be much of a bother, honestly, and I think they’re pretty damn sweet, so you’ll be seeing them again!

Outfit Post: 6/11/12

Polo: Old Navy — Skirt: Goodwill (handmade) — Shoes: Goodwill (Target) — Bracelet and earrings: World Market — Belt: Thrifted

Boy, there’s just something about this skirt and polo shirts to me. I wore it with my orange polo back in April, and now it’s the green one’s turn. You gotta play fair with your polo shirts. (Sad note: the blue one–yes, I have three of the same ombre polo shirt in different colors, shut your pie hole–got some weird green splotches on it in the wash. I still haven’t figured out how to salvage it, so if you have any suggestions, sing out, Louise!)

I’ve discovered that I really like hiking up this skirt and sort of paperbagging the waist, which isn’t something I can do with a lot of my garments. Actually, it’s something I can only sort of do with this skirt too, because hiking it up involves keeping it up all day, and usually the belt isn’t 100% up to the task so I end up fidgeting with it every hour or so. I don’t mind so much, though, because it’s not as involved as some other tricky outfit maintenance I’ve unintentionally had to do before.

Where’s the line for you? Do you mind adjusting every so often, or is it too much of a pain? Most of the time I just like my outfits to stay the way they’re supposed to, but once in a while I don’t mind hiking or shifting or re-tucking.

On a side note, I had to skip out on today’s Everybody Everywear because I really, truly own nothing in neon. Brights and bold colors, yes; neon, no. (Well, except for one sweater, which isn’t exactly suitable for ninety-seven-degree weather.) But I’m looking forward to checking out other people’s outfits! Are you participating? How do you feel about this whole neon thing? Me, it hearkens me back to my wee childhood in the early nineties, and is a bittersweet reminder of just how much I wanted to be a Fly Girl, before I realized that I can’t dance. Sigh…

Outfit Post: 4/24/12

Polo shirt: Old Navy — Skirt: Gift (made by Tia’s mom!) — Flats: American Rag Compagnie — Belt and bracelet: Thrifted

Ah, I finally got to wear the pineapple skirt Tia’s mom made for me back in September! It was too cold before, although I suppose in coming years I can practice styling it for non-tropical weather. But it was very appropriate and pleasant on this bright, sunny day, and I felt like the pineappley-est. (And the hibiscusy-est.)

(Excuse my distraction. I was looking at one of those big black bees that you see around here at this time of year…perhaps a Carpenter bee? I know not.)

I know lime green seems like a weird color to choose in combination with the reds and navies of the skirt, but it just popped into my head and I went with it. It works, I think? But I like to shoehorn lime green into many things, so maybe it’s just me.

Outfit Post: 4/6/12

Polo: Old Navy — Skirt: Goodwill — Tights: SockShop Santa Cruz — Shoes: Thrifted (Born) — Bracelet: Goodwill — Earrings: Etsy

I really do love that Fridays are school spirit days at work–it’s fostered my love of orange and encouraged me to add more orange garments to my wardrobe than any one person needs. It makes me feel bright and cheery, especially on days where I could use some cheering.

I wasn’t feeling so great on Friday, I have to admit–I’d just gotten some bad news about a family member’s health–but I find in situations like that, it really helps me to try and do my usual things instead of sitting on the floor and crying. Or, at least, not just sitting on the floor and crying. In any case, I took some pictures because it was a beautiful day that it seemed a shame to waste, and had a quiet thinky-thoughts type evening at home, and felt more philosophical about the whole situation the next day. (And I called said family member to let them know and give them 110% more pom-pom waving than I was able to do on Friday, because really, this isn’t about me, and when does someone need support and positive thinking more than after they’ve gotten a crummy diagnosis?)

So, y’know. Hug your peoples, folks! Or call/text/email your peoples if they’re too far away to hug. And wear your favorite color.

Outfit Post: 4/4/12

Polo: Old Navy — Leggings: Ross — Boots: WomanWithin — Bracelets: World Market and thrifted — Necklace: Made by my grandma — Scarf: VintageCoat [below]: Thrifted (Tulle)

This is kind of a goofy outfit. Nothing really matches, does it? I do kinda like it, though, and I got away with wearing semi-leggings at work. Note to self for next time, though: next time wear semi-leggings with higher boots or just go with flats. They were pulling out of the boot tops all ding-dang day.

Anyhow, I was mostly excited to wear the scarf to work, and the rest of the outfit was hastily constructed around that. It was the birthday of one of my most favoritest coworkers, and she loves it when I wear super-bright colors so I tried to dress as a tribute to her. Some of the other ladies in our department and I took her out to pizza and had lots of fun and garlic sauce.

Bonus shot: me looking moody in my coat. The weather has still been kind of weird here, all cold in the mornings but then toasty in the afternoons, so I’ve been sticking with layers–especially since I’ve convinced myself that bike-riding needs to be a priority in my life again. I gotta say, those leisurely rides home in the warm afternoon beat the pants off biking to work in the cold at breakneck speed every morning. Remembering the afternoons keeps me going, though.

Outfit Post: 9/22/11

Polo: Old Navy — Capris: Goodwill (French Cuff) — Shoes: Ross (Sag Harbor) — Ring: Gift

HOOAH. Why do I have my war face on, you ask? Because I rode my bike to work and back, betches! And you can bet I’m absolutely patting myself on the back all out of proportion to my achievement. I’ve been intending to start riding my bike to work since before we moved to our new place, but ended up lazing out every time. Until! Until someone here at the university decided to close off the free lot to cars for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of this week. Since all the other parking areas on campus require a couple-hundred-dollars-a-year permit, Mike and I looked at each other and were like, “so, bikes, then?” And bike we did.

It’s not nearly a bad ride, either–it takes me roughly 15 minutes, almost all of it riding through residential areas, from hopping on in the backyard to coasting up to the bike rack at my building at work. Mike makes it in about 8 or 9, I think, but he has a nicer, more road-appropriate bike than I do. That’s what I’m going to keep telling myself, anyway. Regardless of my inability to keep up, riding my bike to work feels like a good step. A good, sweaty, butt-hurting step. (Seriously, my butt bones are not happy with me. Do I need a new seat? I probably need a new everything.)

As far as clothing was concerned, I wanted to err on the side of caution since I wasn’t sure how sweaty and/or disheveled I would be upon arrival–so I went with minimal jewelry/frippery, as well as bright capris and a bright polo that I figured wouldn’t hurt my visibility factor as a new cyclist on the street. It was only after I got to work that I realized that I had pretty much created a work-appropriate copy of this weekend outfit. Oh well. The grey belt is different, right???

Can you tell my hair is growing out? The back is starting to do that thing where it flips out cheekily instead of laying flat against the nape of my neck like I kindly ask it to. On the plus side, my sideburns are growing in enough that I can sort of fashion them into little spitcurls. I’m no Louise Brooks, but it makes me feel cute.

See? Belt=different! (And by different I mean beat up. That’s what I get for trying to go all macro on a Goodwill belt.)

Here it is, the bike that did it all. Yeahhh, Schwinn, totally hardcore. It doesn’t really have a name or a gender; somehow it’s avoided me anthropomorphizing it, like I do most belongings. I feel like I’ve had this bike forever, and it’s been to Washington state and back, and through a couple of different moves. I’m pretty jealous of Mike’s sweet new road bike, I gotta say: mountain bikes are definitely heavier in the frame, and my friend here isn’t really made for the kind of ride that I’m doing. Maybe if I keep this up I’ll invest in something more suited to my needs, but, y’know, for now, good enough is good enough.

As a sidenote: happy fall, y’all! I hope you’re celebrating the new season in the same atumnally appropriate way that I am: decapitating gummy bears. It’s a tradition!

Outfit Post: 9/6/11

Polo: Old Navy — Skirt: Goodwill (Yili Ren) — Shoes: American Rag Compagnie — Belt: Goodwill — Bracelet & Ring: Hand-me-downs — Pendant: Grouse and Badger

I’ve been so excited to wear this skirt since I got it at Goodwill. It’s so high-waisted! (Which means it’s a skirt that goes on over my head rather than over my hips.) Plus, it’s got a weird belt loop detail you’ll see a shot of down below, which means it’s also like a mysterious puzzle as well as a piece of clothing. I like my garments multifunctional.

“Hmm, oh yeah, just posing for my camera–oh my god, how many cobwebs are up there??”

Look at that! Two stacked belt loops! Is double-belting the wave of the future? Or should I just remove the middle seam so I can wear bigger belts?

For once I managed to get a picture of all my accessories together without it looking too crazy awkward. I wasn’t sure about the ring when I rescued it during my mom’s Great Jewelry Purge, but now I’m kind of loving it. It’s so weirdly shaped and retro and glittery. I’ll have to do a super-duper close-up sometime.

Shoes! New shoes! I went to the mall over the weekend because my Ross flats are starting to get kinda rough around the edges and came away with these beauties. They still need a little breaking in, but it’s easier to ignore the rubbing when I’m wearing little socklet things. I plan on wearing them a lot in the winter with fun tights, and they appease my soul’s fervent desire for a pair of oxfords for the time being.

Why, hello there!

Give us a kiss. Or not.

You see the little speckles floating in the light above my head? That’s the shower of tree bits and bugs that’s about to rain down upon me, very effectively ending the photoshoot. Not to repeat myself, but nature: so grimy! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go seal myself in a clean room and not think about bloodsucking insects crawling down my shirt for a while.

Outfit Post: 8/31/11

Polo: Old Navy — Skirt: Goodwill — Shoes: Goodwill (What’s What by Aerosole) — Bracelet: Gift — Necklace: Self-assembled

I really need to start checking the tags of my previous night’s clothing before I start writing these posts–70% of my wardrobe is from Goodwill (and basically the other 30% is gifts), so it would be more interesting to actually list the brand of the garment, but alas, I’ll have to come back and add it later. Even if nobody’s interested, I like to be obsessive-compulsive consistent.

When I put this on Wednesday morning, Mike rolled sleepily over in bed and told me, “You look like a Popsicle.” Later on he told me I looked like “a lemon curd or something.” So I guess whatever I look like, it’s sweet and tasty, so that’s good, right? Ever since I thrifted this skirt at Goodwill’s fabulous $1 bottoms sale, I’ve been dying to wear it. Look at that shade of canary yellow! I’m in love! The skirt even still had the tags on it, which means some soul out there bought it and donated it without ever even wearing it. I’m going to say a little thanks to that person now for sending this skirt into my life.

I do wish it hadn’t wrinkled in the stomach/crotch area quite so much over the course of the day, but a garment’s gonna do what a garment’s gonna do, and it still looks pretty fab, if I may toot my own horn. It took me a little while to decide whether to pair it with the blue ombre slub knit polo from Old Navy or with the green one (they’re triplets with my much-loved orange polo), but ultimately decided that the green would look a little less Sesame Street than bright blue with bright yellow. (Plus, I painted my toenails orange the night before, and I liked the orange-yellow-green progression from bottom to top, because I’m a dork.) I guess it worked, because a student yelled “I like your outfit!” to me on my way back from lunch, and I’m a sucker for random compliments.

I never know what to do with my hands in pictures.

Outfit Post: 8/4/11 (12of30)

Polo shirt: Old Navy — Skirt: Goodwill (New York & Company) — Shoes: Ross (Sag Harbor) — Belt: Ross [from a pair of pants] — Necklace: Self-assembled — Earrings: Target?

If I look smug in these pictures, it’s because I’m happy with how this outfit turned out. I dressed both for my anticipated evaluation at work (which didn’t end up happening) and for Pages & Squires, the book club I go to in Berkeley. I wore my turquoise-teal-peacock-blue-green skirt because that nebulous color always makes me think of my awesome friend Jessica, who originally invited me to join this book club that she and her friends were starting. But then she wasn’t able to make it at the last minute, and I didn’t have time to stop by her place afterwards. Next time, Jessica, I will pay tribute to you in person!

I knew I wanted to do orange and blue-green, and fiddle-farted around with belts for a while before ending up with this. I feel so much more put-together when tucking in shirts if I can put a belt on to mask the line where the skirt overlaps the shirt. On my body, I feel like beltless shirt-tucked-into-skirt outfits have such an uneasy relationship, and then the belt marries things together into a blissful, cohesive union. (Not sure what’s up with the wedding metaphors; I’ve been reading a lot of Offbeat Bride today, I guess.)

On the downside, wearing a belt on top of everything guarantees I will be messing with the damn thing all day long, pulling things up and down and tucking and adjusting and I never get anything else done. But it looks good for the five pictures I take! I always have to remind myself that other fashion bloggers, even the most fabulous ones, probably have to put up with Wandering Belt Syndrome too (and Gracey has totally proven me correct–thank you, Gracey!). Normally I wouldn’t be happy about how low the belt had to sit on my torso to make things work, since this doesn’t really do any work to shorten my long torso or lengthen my legs, but hey, I’m not going to argue with the photographic results.

The necklace I ended up with was the result of a last-minute costume change in the car on the way to work (thankfully, Mike was driving). This little enameled, jointed koi fish keychain used to live in my other friend Jessica’s car (the Jessica who is no longer with us, not the Jessica who couldn’t make it to book club). I’m pretty sure she even named him, although I couldn’t tell you what the name was. Somehow the fish ended up in Mike’s car after Jessica passed away. The morning of this outfit, I had put on a necklace I’d swiped from Leah’s nigh-infamous free pile at game night, which consists of a very long chain and a silver heart. On the drive, I had a glimmer of an idea, so I pulled the heart off the chain, removed the fish from his larger keyring, and joined koi with chain to make a pretty necklace. I have to admit it made me tear up a little once or twice during the day, thinking about Jessica and thanks to PMS, but I think I’ll keep wearing him.

Speaking of jewelry! These earrings are slightly less meaningful but still momentous in that they were the first pair of earrings I ever purchased. Not only that, but I bought them three or four years before I ever got my ears pierced. I’m fairly certain I was at Target, shopping with my mom sometime between the ages of 11 and 13, when I saw these and knew that I must have them even though my ears weren’t pierced yet. Somehow I held onto them over the years, and I’m still quite fond of the colors and drape. Good taste, pubescent Mia! Do y’all remember the first pair of earrings you ever bought for yourself?

What happened to my face?! OH GOD, I’M HIDEOUS. Okay, okay, no, this is just what I made for dinner to take to book club, continuing my long-standing tradition of unphotogenic meals. But I promise this isn’t old rubber bands rolled in toddler puke as it appears to be; rather, it happens to be green tea soba noodles in spicy peanut sauce with grated carrot and cucumber for some vegetative matter. I command you: make the spicy peanut sauce. Michelle at Thursday Night Smackdown knows what she’s talking about. It only takes a handful of ingredients, and is like 90% stirring shit together in a warm pot, which is my favorite kind of cooking when I don’t want to stand around for three hours lovingly hand-crafting individual meatballs. I’ve put this sauce on Chinese egg noodles, spaghetti, whatever. Usually I include bell pepper but this time I forgot. Throw some spinach, cabbage, and tofu or chicken in and it’s a pretty good approximation of pra ram long song, which is one of my favorite Thai dishes. Okay, that’s a lie, basically every Thai dish is my favorite Thai dish. I can’t help it; a person becomes partial after her mom works in a Thai restaurant for nine years.

Anyway, shut up my face, shut up your face, and make the peanut sauce. Unless you’re allergic to peanuts, in which case, I’m sorry. Go make meatballs instead?