This scarf caught my eye...because it reminded me of a kimono I owned when I was a kid. My father had taken my sister and me on a trip to New York City in 1974. I "remember" the year because we saw The Little Prince at the Radio City Music Hall. I was a bit disappointed, having read the book, but back to the kimono...we went to Chinatown. My sister chose a far more sophisticated design, but my kimono was this same bright blue. The scarf even features a chrysanthemum pattern.
Wound up buying the pink and cream version:
I'm sentimental, but not to the point of acquiring something I can't use. Hmm. The image doesn't quite capture the pink scarf's delicate beauty.
This is from Fashion for Nerds, and I'd been meaning to try these techniques. The pink scarf is sufficiently long for technique #1, if you wrap the scarf only once. You get a somewhat different effect: less scarf-piling in front, longer tails--but it works. Love the tutorial btw.
This image, likewise, is not very good. The charm of this skirt lies within its multitude of tiny pleats, and the untucked-in top obscures this. I have the black version, and they crank out new colors every year...which I like.
posted by Colleen Shirazi
at 10:43 PM (Pacific)
Hermmm...the week went by quickly, eh?
Thought this was interesting.
I tried these shoes...was rather disappointed. Had been going for an Alcoa Building effect:
Dunno, something architectural, line-wise. But the shoes were not really comfortable on my feet. The girder effect was okay; perhaps not as spectacular as I'd hoped. Shoes have to be comfortable. I've decided to return them.
On a cheerier note...
I like this skirt. It's an odd piece to own; a touch too long to be fashionable, though I like the high-waisted effect. What sold me was the anchor and rope pattern:
When did I last see such a design? thirty years ago? Were I not a total 'tard with a sewing machine, this skirt is the fanciful item I'd make myself. Some day I do intend to take up sewing. It makes too much sense not to.
posted by Colleen Shirazi
at 10:02 PM (Pacific)
This, strangely, did not fit. Only on the tightest setting did I see any real results, meaning it did not fit. A bra should fit perfectly at the loosest setting, otherwise it'll become useless as it stretches out with wear. Oh well. I could have gone down a band size on this same model, but it was also a bit on the thin side (albeit constructed of beautiful lace, even the back), so I've opted to exchange for this--at a smaller band size (knock wood):
I realize I'm winding down, wardrobe-development-wise. The short version is I'd never planned to have an endless wardrobe. It's a lovely thought, but not what I'm after; more is not always more.
That said, I still have a text file :D with the odd thing listed on it. I've done that for quite a while...when something catches my eye, I add it to the list. Or I'm thinking, if I bought x, I'd be able to wear y, in z number of ways. z can possibly justify the cost of x...or not. Do I need a brown sweater? Love this one, in the picture anyway:
But is there anything in my current wardrobe I can't wear, without buying something like it? Mmmmm...don't know yet. It looks useful. I have it in my text file, but it's not a priority.
These, on the other hand...
...should be useful right away. They're reasonably priced, but the greater consideration is whether they'll last. A $50 pair of shoes that wears out after a year is not a bargain. I didn't want heeled sandals...small heels might have done, but I need to be able to walk. I wanted something formal enough for work (business casual), must be stockings-compatible, yet also suitable for the weekend without stockings or socks.
I'm a bit cautious about the ankle strap...if you've ever worn stockings with ankle-strap shoes, the two don't mix. Eventually the strap wears out that part of the stocking. But in this design, it seems at least some of the stress would be born by the straps coming down from the front of the ankle strap. It's worth a shot.
Originally, I was going to dig up a video of an old "Underalls" ad for this post. Not because I ever owned a pair, but because it all seems so esoteric now. However, it is Friday.
This thing called love I just can't handle it This thing called love I must get round to it I ain't ready Crazy little thing called love
What I was looking for was simple: a pair of tights, or stockings, with a cotton top and nylon legs. Is it so difficult? I like cotton tights, but the weather has changed; the ones I have feel too heavy now. And I loathe anything pantyhose-shaped that's all nylon.
Aha! I have one of these on order. Not only a cotton top, but also cotton toes. Seems quite useful...only comes in black though.
I know this style is old school, but a navy blue dress with a conservative-ish print...anywhere from knee to calf length, with anything from no sleeves, to 3/4 sleeves...is actually quite useful. Even better if it doesn't require ironing. The fabric should be lightweight, but not flimsy.
I'm beginning to think this:
...is better than this:
I love the idea of a stretchy camisole that stays up at the neck, and stays down at the hem...but the original camisole just seems like so much fabric. If only they made a regular-length "ShamWow of camisoles" camisole.
And, the short version comes in only black or white. The long cami boasts 46 colors, for crying in a bucket.
I realize I've never gotten around to linking to other fashion blogs.
Partly because I don't see my blog as a fashion blog. I'm too lazy to take those nifty outfit-a-day pics, I don't bother listing where I got anything; in fact I post things I never got anyway. Moreover, this used to function as more of a beauty blog, and, before that, a personal meaningless blog. I've been blogging since the late 1990's iirc. This won't remain a fashion blog.
And partly it's too much work to do much else with this blog beyond porting it from its current, soon-to-be-deprecated FTP format.
But I do read other fashion blogs. In fact I've been a bit amazed at how many of them there are now...good ones.
I started out reading Fashion for Nerds, for obvious reasons (pretty sure I googled "fashion for nerds"). :)
From there, I began to follow academichic, which features a team of "Three feminist PhD candidates at a Midwest university, on a crusade against the ill-fitting polyester suit of academic yore."
Ah...that's it. I've been slowly trying the links on Fashion For Nerds' sidebar.
I read J.Crew blogs, but not religiously (I don't shop 'Crew enough to do so). They're incredibly useful, given how many 'Crew items are offered only online or in catalogs, and for the 'Crew Final Sale.
The above J.Crew Jackie Shell is on my wishlist. I have the Jackie cardigan:
At first I'd the notion of doing the twinset thing, but a twinset is kind of useless for my purposes. A nice idea, but far more striking when done in an unusual color, so the perfect match of the two pieces jumps out at you.
My Jackie cardigan is in the "Pearl" color pictured...it's next to the ideal item for our San Francisco Bay Area climate, once we shed the current chill and launch into what we call spring and summer. Typically the day begins cold...even in summer, I wear a leather jacket in the morning. Soon enough it morphs into something almost sweating hot, but then I work in an air-conditioned building where you can't open a window. A cardigan is necessary, but the psychological coolness of an off-white layer, preferably with 3/4 or bracelet sleeves, means hardly ever having to "put on and take off."
However, a Pearl twinset just doesn't seem thrilling enough to warrant the purchase of the shell. How it ended up on my wishlist is it looks terribly useful in its own right. An off-white shell (like the cardigan, less headache than white-white) would coordinate with just about any skirt, pants, cardigan or jacket. Wouldn't need ironing, isn't low-cut nor sheer, just wash and hang to dry.
The sole annoying factor: the shells aren't available in stores, which makes no logical sense. Wouldn't they sell more shells, were they stocked alongside the matching cardigans? (I'm not even sure what size to get, plus there's the morbid shipping charge.)
I'm...still working on the basics. It's just that the basics, for women, tend to be complicated.
Take your strapless bra. If you're built small, it may have never been a big deal. You get a bra with the silicone squiggles inside, and call it a day.
If support is a greater issue, there is nothing more intimidating than straplessness. You're thinking, if I bend over, is this thing going to pop? Or will it gradually slide down into a state of non-existence?
Yet, logic dictates that a good strapless should work as well as a regular bra. The dynamics are a bit different: you'd need a tighter band, along with the silicone squiggles. The band should not be too narrow. The one I'm contemplating (above) has two rows of hooks; three would be ideal, probably, but I'll settle for two if the rest of it works as well as they say.
The cup size has to be big enough...I read somewhere to go down one band size and up one cup size. Which actually should not be necessary, as the strapless manufacturer should adjust the sizes accordingly...I'm just saying.
This model features removable straps, so you can also do wide-set, racerback, or halter straps.
International Women's Day - Iranian Embassy - Ottawa, Canada March 8th 2010 (Pt. 1)
I got the skirt.
Mmmmm...even nicer than in the pic. I'd envisioned it as a "slap it on, it's Friday" thing, but it's actually formal enough to wear during the week.
The fabric is thicker than it appears; it's rayon but feels more like a fairly substantial cotton knit. The side "ruffle" is comprised of two pieces of cloth sewn together, engineered to fall as if it were a ruffle. The skirt is lined, with two pockets...and even the sides are interesting. The fabric is not lined up to match perfectly, but it doesn't have to be, because the pattern flows as if the sides were in fact lined up. In real life, the print is even more sprightly, as if some mad artist had scrawled it in a fit of passion.
Because the skirt is not flared (nor is it tight), you could conceivably cover the top part of it with a cardigan or pullover sweater, if you wanted a subtler effect.
All in all...sweet.
This is so cute!
Like the J. Crew Black Blossom Nico Skirt--based on the image alone, not something I'd normally consider. But, in person, the deep blue version of this is to die for.
The other colors...the pinky-red one was cheesy-looking, like bad lingerie. The lime green and orange versions...hm...not bad, particularly the orange. But the blue was dead-on; looked truly vintage, what with the antiqued lace and deep blue crinkly-ish silk. It reminded me of a vintage silk bed jacket I had when I was a teenager.
Why so many wardrobe posts? It is finite, you know. Once you have developed a skill, you move on.
In the meantime...
Ever wish you were twenty-two again? I can admit I don't, most of the time. It would be the ideal age for this jaunty heart-printed skirt. But when you're actually twenty-two, you don't have the money to spend on frivolity.
Likewise...this dress is printed with little colored horses. Yup, horses. Way pretty, but again, a tad too youthful for me.
I wonder if this thing works? It's touted as the ShamWow of camisoles (sorry, I seem to have ShamWow on my mind lately)--one size fits size 0 to 24. Supposedly it won't creep down, nor will it ride up. But...is it shapewear? Shapewear is 21st-century for "girdle"? Hm. I'd like to find out.
I couldn't resist this skirt. It's not the same as the stripes:
...nor the graph-paper print I've been turning over in my mind. Yet there is something graphical about it...and it's relatively long (20"). The sole concern I have is, it's rayon, which might be prone to wrinkles. But it couldn't be worse than linen, right? I have a linen skirt I love. It tends to get squashed, and I don't care.
When I embarked upon this working-wardrobe journey, I wasn't planning on buying a lot of skirts. Old school thought revolves around suits or dresses...but then this is based on the notion that working women are either executives (suits) or secretaries (dresses). Either you have a secretary, or you are a secretary.
I've found skirts more versatile than either. The same skirt can keep going, with any number of blouses, cardigans, pullovers, even a nice tee shirt; shoes or boots, stockings or tights. A good skirt can sort of span the seasons. I don't buy trendy skirts such as bubble or maxi, or anything I wouldn't want to wear five years from now (okay, I'm cheap).
I can admit I've been a bit mesmerized by the J.Crew website. It's not that the clothes are...different, in the obvious sense. They're not; in fact they're formulaic, classical if you will. They offer virtually the same clothes year after year.
What's eye-popping is, you'll be tooling along on the site, wondering just how many tissue tanks it is humanly possible to create, or cursing the 'Crew for not producing more non-dryclean items, then you'll suddenly bump into this:
Hold the phone! I don't mean the skirt (which is gorgeous). What the heck is she wearing, if it's not little socks and sensible oxfords? with this smashing silk skirt and office-friendly white top?
I love you, J.Crew! erm...it's not that I want to wear little socks, it's the idea of pushing the envelope.
I got this when they were marked down, in "Pale Blossom."
Hermmm...this shirt reminds me of a guy you like, who isn't particularly wealthy, not widely regarded as hunky, yet there's something about him that drives you crazy.
I mean it's not a great shirt by objective standards. 'Crew ditched the raw edge in the neckline, but the seams are not fabulously finished; the material is sheer-ish (not to the point you'd need a camisole). The neckline dips a bit too much in front for a boatneck, is a bit too wide to truly cover bra straps. You don't get straps in your face, just a slight edge either side. It strikes me you'd need a specific shoulder size to pull this off; small or wide shoulders might not work. And it's a bit tight on the bust.
Still, I couldn't wait to wear it. It's hardly a winter top, not the kind of material I'd normally wear to work...but, it's great. It's just right. Pale Blossom is a lovely very pale pink. Were the shirt a more substantial cotton, it probably wouldn't work...it's the sheerness (again without being horribly sheer), the sublime color and boatneck that all add up to "more than a tee."
Try a microfiber waffleweave towel < hair-dries-faster > 02/24 13:59:25
because it absorbs so much moisture before you start to dry
Yes sham wow or the car shamies < 1stchicagostyle > 02/24 19:35:45
These posts were in reference to a question about hairdryer performance...but it's something I've wanted to try for quite some time. You get one of those super-absorbent Sham Wow-type towels and use it to dry your hair in the morning (I don't like to blow-dry).
I realize I wrote something a bit stodgy the other day: Odds and sods, part 6, to the effect that long skirts are aging. I don't think long skirts are aging, but I am cautious about buying them...because it's easier for them to go wrong. They can be done well, like everything else.
Spring is...actually not here. Yet it's important to pull yourself out of any wintery slump.
J.Crew marked these down (for a magnanimous three days), so I decided to try it out. Not in the above shade--though tempting, I already have a cardigan in that exact lilac. A neutral boatneck would be more useful to me.
I 86'd the notion of trying LL Bean's boatneck (too casual) or Sunhee Moon's (sold out). A good boatneck is oddly uncommon. Oh well, let's see if the J.Crack version is all it's, ah, cracked up to be.
Once you delve into the sheer, something like this is essential. I was glad to spot a camisole with lace on it, and not some dreary miniscule edge o' lace. Here they've even nicely matched up the lace in the center. The only fuddling aspect is why they don't have cream or nude...yet, who cares, "nude" can mean more than your standard creamy brown. The light grey one would do it; the idea is any colorless color, softly blending rather than standing out.
This skirt is not going to be here until March. It looks ordinary--on me, it's not going to be that short, more a knee length (always check the measurements)--it sorta looks like a sewing project, the kind of thing you'd make if you weren't totally lame with a sewing machine.
Yet it seems ideal for what I want. Much as I like the idea of long skirts, I find them aging, on someone who's actually aging (they seem more youthful on the young). A miniskirt is aging as well, again unless you are young. Mid-length works best.
And, it's difficult finding prints that don't cost a fortune...I'm not against that, actually, makes better sense than mediocre prints...here I want a print that doesn't register as a print. If I could find something that looks like graph paper, so much the better, but stripes will do it.
Yup, I checked this out on our glorious three-day weekend. In the images, it appears tiny, not something I'd normally even consider. But my daughter spotted it, and liked it, so naturally I had to at least try it on.
By now, I've acquired several solid-colored skirts; they're by far more useful than prints, but then I have solid-colored tops...after a while, you really want a patterned skirt. "Black Blossom" doesn't seem too camouflage-y to me, but rather a handy combination of black and brown, neutral enough so the skirt doesn't wear you, and sure to coordinate with just about anything.
They didn't have the full range of sizes in the shop, so I grabbed the biggest mid-range size, and the biggest skirt altogether (you know, the lone one at the back of the rack). I figured a.) I'm not 5'10"+ like the model, and b.) the trick would be to get a big skirt. The "model height factor" adds two or three inches in length for me, and the large size places the waistband lower, lengthening another two to three inches.
Altogether, this falls six inches longer on me than in the picture. It's shorter than any other skirt in my collection, but not what I'd call a mini.
By the way, I appreciate the side pockets in this thing; they're unobtrusive, but a nice touch.
March 3, 2010: Edited to add: I decided to shrink this some in the dryer (it really was too big). It shrinks about one size that way. It got a bit shorter (still not a mini) and less belled-out, which is what I was after.
Oh when you walk by every night Talking sweet and looking fine I get kind of hectic inside Oh baby I'm so into you Darling if you only knew All the things that flow through my mind But it's just a sweet sweet fantasy...
On the wardrobe front--I've been seeking a boatneck top for quite some time. The trick lies in finding one that's not overly casual.
Not really sold on the J.Crew version yet. It's unavailable in stores (rolls eyes), so naturally I checked the J.Crew Addict blogs. Mixed reviews; some complaints about fit, and about the raw edge in last year's 'Crew model. Hm. I'd prefer one with a higher, narrower neckline, like this:
The sole drawback here is the limited color selection--three to be exact (light grey, deep grey and black).
The beauty of a good boatneck is that it's practical. Done right, it can function as business-casual, as well as casual-casual, and few necklaces won't work with it. Or you can skip the necklace; few earrings wouldn't pop against such an uncluttered backdrop. Looks terrific with any hairstyle, pairs equally well with skirts or pants.
I'm not in a hurry to buy one, just looking around.
Much as I fancy myself a total screwtard with heels, I can handle small heels. I had a pair of vintage heels when I was around fifteen that I loved, and haven't been able to replace since. These are actually not too far off, even with the Cydwoq-y cutouts...it's the vibe of the heel itself, and of the long, pointy toes.
Plus, I have been look for something like a cross between a sandal and a pump, with a closed toe.
I made this labradorite pendant necklace almost two years ago today (the vermeil beads in back counterweight the stone in front). Admittedly it has lain in a drawer, more often than not, since. Brought it out today...it's perfect. I've found making something, or buying something, years in advance to when you'll need it, is not a bad idea.
Supima cotton/Modal turtleneck, made in the U.S.A.
I'm pretty much turtlenecked out, thanks to some spectacular sales.
Originally I was seeking a deep red top of some kind, and wasn't too picky about the shade. Deep red has been one of my favorite colors since I was a kid: all kinds of deep red, such as a red-wine hue, or pomegranate, or a color veering toward dark purple, or a faded deep red approaching orange.
It's pima cotton, made in Peru, and while that sounds a bit unnecessary I've found pima cotton items made in Peru to be next to indestructible. They were sold out of this top in Large though...I don't mind buying any cotton top in Large, so long as the company doesn't produce mega-baggy tops, since the bust is sure to fit. If it's really too big I can always "cook" it in the dryer.
This one (far right)...eh...it's pima cotton and Modal, and likely looks more luxe in real life. But how versatile? When it's cold, I don't want a scoop neck; when the weather warms, will I be as obsessed with deep red? Probably not.
On the purpler end of the spectrum:
The one in front still has enough red to be of interest...it's described as a fine-gauge pima cotton top, with a subtle puffed sleeve detail. But it would have been $80.95 with shipping (assuming no sales tax). If I'd needed a lightweight pullover sweater, that would have been one thing, but I didn't.
I wound up with the first shirt. It went below $10 from its original $52, and they had it in my size. But I haven't worn it. It's stashed away, likely for next year.
Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Fortune Faded" (live)
Debated a bit whether to post the official video for this song. The official version has a unique lighting effect (created using glow sticks, according to the comments), but keeps getting pulled off Youtube. If the group is good enough, live is better than canned, anyway.
Everyone came back from our furlough today. It was nice, seeing them all again.
My daughter commented that my wardrobe development was pretty much over with; all I'd need were a few particular items. I should say she's been an excellent wardrobe consultant, having the artistic eye I so do not. It's one of the best ways to do it...find an artist. It's like in school, where you would find the mathematician.
Got one of these:
It was a splurge, but it's killer. It's just the thing if you have thin, annoying hair like I do. The teeth keep it from sliding around.
Been using this:
It's a deep pink lipstick I'd tried on at the now-defunct Elephant Pharmacy in Berkeley, years ago. I remembered liking it; but, when I bought it, I found it too much color and wondered why I'd liked it in the first place.
I must have tried it on in the winter, because it works now. So...winter might be a good time to bring out lipsticks that didn't work when you had more color yourself. It's counterintuitive, because you're thinking deeper color would look better against a tan of some sort, but somehow it doesn't, at least on me.
Daryush - "Dastaye To"
This is from a previous "What I've been into, lately" post, because the original was taken down. There was a time in my life when I listened to a lot of Daryush. I find I always return to the same things, the same people, the same concepts.
I did try the "soak sweater with hair conditioner" method (and have since read to use 1/3 cup of conditioner, more than I'd used before), and had gotten some results...but I've wanted to try the "soak with mild soap, don't rinse" method for some time now.
For this you are to soak the sweater in lukewarm water with a mild soap, then grab it out (no rinsing), blot excess water in the sweater with a towel, stretch the sweater back to its original shape, and dry flat.
I should say I've been avoiding sweaters that shrink in the washer to begin with. Finely-knit lambswool or merino sweaters don't shrink much, as long as you put them in mesh bags--when you take them out, you can gently stretch them back into shape and hang them on the line. It's those loosely-knit, fat-yarn wool sweaters that seem determined to lock up on you, even with the mesh bags.
I don't have much space to dry anything flat, and don't like hand-washing clothes for the same reason I avoid ironing: it's time-consuming.
Okay back to the sweater...I tried it today, using a gob-load of Johnson's Baby Shampoo (enough to make the lukewarm water a tad slippery). It did seem to relax the wool some, so I grabbed it and stretched the bejabbers out of it. Hm. It's a nice day, so I put it on the line to drip to its heart's content. It looks bigger, but I'll post back when it's dry and I attempt to put it on again.
Why so many laundry- and mending-related posts? Maintenance is always a bit more key than acquisition. Acquisition is the flashier, more glamorous topic, but where are you going to put it? How are you going to take care of it? How long is it going to last? These should all factor into the cost of the item.
I've dithered a bit over what to post here. Granted, it's an arbitrary date, but a new year is always special to me. I am one of those people who always make a New Year's resolution, and almost always keep it. (Last year was an exception, due to California's budget crisis...mumbles)
Today is the last of our mandatory furlough days. I don't think I've done this much laundry in years. lol Anything that can be washed has been washed. After a while it becomes scientific...what goes on the line and when (we've been blessed with three clear, mostly sunny days), how many times a combination of dryer sheets can be used, temperatures and cycles, minimums of different kinds of detergent; the whole shmeer really.
Now I just need to do my hair, some minor mending...and put a little E6000 at the base of a zipper on one of my skirts, the part below where it begins to zip. I discovered a rough place there after it got stuck on my tights.
I've had the above image sitting on the server since early last year. It is the most beautiful evocation of summer; what to look at when you start to wonder whether hot weather will ever return. To go with it, the lovely Eddie Cochran:
Hermmm...I see this sample pack is a bit over two years old. I've been using up each item slowly--the three creams are gone, the kids got into the Lavender bath oil; the Blackthorn body oil is something no one seems to want to use, so it's slated to be next on my list. I've just shaken out the last drops of the Rose Body Oil.
I wasn't particularly into body oils; they appeared simply a messier alternative to lotion, and the inner cheapskate scowled that a mixture of oils and fragrances had got to be more economical to make yourself. But, hey. The Hauschka rep was nice enough to send a plethora of samples, and I've liked just about all of them--the products are, in a word, engineered.
Rose Body Oil is no exception; you need a mere drop or two of this delicately scented oil to moisturize an area of dry skin. It produces a silkier effect than lotion, and doesn't feel greasy on. As evidenced by my poky use of the product, it keeps at least two years. A full-sized bottle could be a negligible expense.
On second thought, I've decided to replace my current Salux Beauty Skin cloth. Its lifespan would appear to be about a year and nine months. Its scratchiness had diminished over time--it never frayed nor developed a hole, making it a bit awkward to throw away, but it is noticeably less abrasive (this is the thing for keratosis pilaris, ingrown hairs, and even some prevention of acne).
"Fixing" a zipper
I had a horrific experience: the zipper on my handbag ceased to zip. It'd started out getting sticky; crossed my mind it would need some kind of lubrication, like graphite for a keyhole, but one day the pull simply wouldn't lock the teeth. You'd yank the pull all the way over, and the zipper would gape open.
Sometimes the teeth at the base of the zipper would lock for about an inch and a half; I theorized one of the teeth beyond that point was bent, throwing off the remainder of the teeth. Got out my chain-nose pliers, and looked for something to bend back...but after a close examination, I couldn't find any bent or otherwise damaged teeth.
Finally I googled to get some ideas. One article stated you should lubricate your zipper by rubbing a piece of beeswax on it. I actually owned a piece of beeswax, from way back when, so I got that out and started rubbing it along each side of the zipper. You need to do this several times to make zipping nice and smooth.
Weirdly enough, the zipper works now. It wasn't really damaged; it was the stress of sticky zipping that kept the teeth from aligning.
The morale to this story is--if you can't find broken teeth on the zipper, and the pull starts out working (isn't out of sync at the base), why not try this method?
Edited to add: I'm also not unzipping it quite all the way.