Thursday, October 29, 2009

Style icon: Urban cowgirl

Here is how all this started. I went to a yard sale some time over the summer and bought a western style shirt with opalescent snaps and blue flowers on a white background. I don't usually even like florals but I do like snap ups (on my husband....) but somehow I had to have this shirt. so I bought it and promptly forgot all about it.

Then i came across a Calvin Klein denim skirt. I have a long time hatred of denim skirts. they always seem to look cheap and trashy to me. even when they made some kind of a hipster comeback a few years ago I winced internally every time I saw them and declared i would never wear one. But this CK one sort of called out to me. it wasn't too short. It wasn't wide at the bottom. It looked sort of sleek and......fashiony. so I bought it and promptly forgot about it. Somehow both of these items ended up in the same bag together in my closet and I pulled them out while cleaning. Magic. I had to wear them together. I love them.

I paired them with dark brown tights that have pinstripes which are sheer brown and my beloved boots that I seen to wear with everything these days.

In a way, I'm channeling Uma Thurman in Even Cowgirls get the Blues and Ariel in Footloose and maybe even a little of Thelma and Louise. I'm looking forward to see what else I can do with this skirt. Any suggestions?

I wanted to go kinda natural on the makeup for this but still be feminine. Peach and reddish-brown on the eyes, a reddish bronzer blush and a sheer red lipstick. Part earthy, part sassy.

Makeup details: Shallow by Benefit on the browbone, Swiss Chocolate by MAC on the lid, Dallas by Benefit on the cheeks, and Tropical Kiss by origins on the lips.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tangerine and Cobalt

For some reason these two colors, particularly together, have really been appealing to me lately. I think it's because I'm attracted to bright colors and these are the delightfully bright versions of navy and orange that autumn brings about. In general, I've been experimenting with making my summer dresses and other warm weather clothes more appropriate for the descending chill in the air.

This is a very thin vintage dress, definitely made for summer but the color is just so amazing and perfect for right now. A better picture of the dress is here. I've been wearing this boots almost constantly lately. I keep meaning to buy some new ones because these are very old but I can never remember and honestly, I haven't see much that appeals to me this year.

here's a picture where I added my brown corduroy jacket but I think it ended up being too many layers. I like the vest though. It has orange and yellow flowers on it which helps to tame the brightness of the dress, really making it look like Fall. here's a closeup of the pattern....

The background is grey and the trim is brown. I accidentally bought it too big and had to pin it in the back.

I took these pictures at work, so that clutter you see is wonderful vintage clutter and not my dim dark clutter house.

What are your favorite colors to pair together?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Daily Wear: Deconstructed tuxedo

I use to be more daring when it came to skirt lengths. I always wore those school girl style skirts, usually plaid, in high school and beyond and it took me a long time to out grown that look. I have a hard time with skirts in general, having a larger than average (judging by clothing dimensions) measurement difference between my waist and my hips/thighs. Classic pearshape drama. If a skirt fits in the waist, it is way too tight to move the rest of the way down, assuming I can actually pull it up over my thighs. I often have to put on skirts over my head and try to shimmy them down over my chest. But if I get a skirt to fit me in the thighs/hips, I have a huge gap around my waist. so these little a-line skirts were the best solution. They seemed to be the best style to ear for my body and I got getaway with wearing them low on my hips.

But not only is that completely boring, having basically the same skirt for years and years but then a funny thing happened. i got older. and I know, I know. Age is just a number. But tell me you've never seen a woman look inappropriate dressed as a teenager well beyond her teenage years.

So My skirts have to get longer. and they have been. They graze my knee now, sometimes a bit above, sometimes a bit below. Assuming I can find a skirt that even half way fits.

But, I digress. This tunic is way too short to wear out in public as a dress. But I've done that before. And I've done it without tights. I really had no idea the fine line between a bold 60s length hem and tacky white trash.

So now I know. But I couldn't help but love this look anyway. Hence the sunglasses to protect my identity.

Basically the same pose twice I know, but the other ones I took were all wrong.

Outfit details: Ivory tunic (I wear this endlessly), black tuxedo jacket, black tights, black/white spectator peeptoes) Do you care about brands? Should I list that info?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I'm feeling really old

I have the ever popular SAD, self diagnosed of course. I think everyone thinks they have it because it is so difficult to remain upbeat and cheery when the weather is so cold and dreary (I'm so sorry that rhymed.) But I typically have a rather gloomy disposition to begin with. I guess i've never outgrown my teen angst and it's a shame, really, as I've long outgrown being an actual teenager.

Usually, my winter doldrums don't flare up until closer to Thanksgiving what with all the holidays (which have been marred beyond repair by my upbringing) and my birthday in January and the new year which is never new, etc, etc, etc followed by months more of black snow and ice and sleet.

I've been feeling really old lately. Partly I guess because the average girl blogger is 22, uniquely stunning, and about 115 pounds. I'm getting the inferiority complex from the blogs I read, which normally would be reserved for celebrities of some sort. It's so much worse to know real girls look like this, without stylists, personal trainers, permanant airbrushing.

these things have made me feel old.....

* I was talking to a co worker about movies and mentioned Natural Born Killers. Which she had never heard of. Because she was in kindergarten when it came out. We have a completely different set of cultural markers.

* Vanity. People have been guessing my age at 25 when only last year they put me at 20. this means I have aged 5 years in the last year. I blame the economy.

*The clothes that i wore in high school, for which I was tortured and ridiculed, have come back into style. Teen angst on runways.

* Someone asked me how I met my husband and I was deeply ashamed to admit it was on myspace. Not because we met on the internet, but because Myspace now seems especially juvenile and embarrassing to me. Not like facebook is any better. I guess it justfelt like a dated reference.

*I rented Sweeney Todd the other night and realized that I've had an ongoing school girl crush on Johnny depp for...21 years. How is that even possible?

Interspersed in this rant, are some pictures of sunny days, from my vacation, mostly Paris, because London and Amsterdam look a lot like here. I hope these pictures helped to keep your spirits high as you read through all this junk.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall can be wonderful, you know

The temperatures are definitely dropping here in Pittsburgh. I'm really wimpy about cold weather, even though I grew up here. Every year I'm shocked and pained by how cold it gets. and when I here the weather man reporting that our temps are lower than average, i start to panic. I always feel like I can't stand it if it gets any colder and I fear this will be a particularly rough winter.

My little cream colored peacoat is cute but not very warm. My navy tights are also not as warm as i would want. It's ok for now but I fear that very soon I'll have to invest in one of those snuggies they advertise on tv.

So I'm trying to get excited and enjoy cooler weather activities. if I can trick myself into embracing a colder than average fall, maybe winter won't be so bad. I feel like people who celebrate holidays are lucky because it provides a distraction and the celebrations are to some extent weather related.

So i donned my thrifted sweater dress, which was warm as far as dresses go.....and pretty much stayed inside. I left to run some errands but mostly I spent the weekend working on my house and getting into Fall.

I'm not much of an activity person, so my fall fun (aside from going to a haunted house a couple of weeks ago) has been through food. My husband is a wonderful cook. He has been making amazing breakfasts. One day it was scrambled eggs and polenta with a side of those little multi colored tomatoes (I'm no gourmand. what are they called?) and the strangest yummiest weird consistency cheese stuff. I guess that doesn't sound too good. But trust me in was delicious. and then another day it was pumpkin pancakes with cinnamon apples on top and sprinkles of pomegranate seeds. This wonderful man HEATS my syrup for me.

We had a long talk about seasonal foods and vegetables and I look forward to eating upcoming meals. He can do almost anything with a butternut squash (last year it was cheesecake--hard to top!)

Oh, and here's a closeup of my collar. It sorta got lost under my hair in other pictures. I really like the colors of this dress. The fit could be better but that's what you get with thrifted clothes.

What do you love most about fall? For me it used to be the clothes but now it's definitely the food. What's the weather like where you live?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

etsy furniture finds

Killing time on etsy today, I decided to post a few pics of some cool vintage furniture. Enjoy sans my annoying commentary.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mixing black and brown

Mixing black and brown is not something I feel comfortable with despite having seen many many examples of this done well. I cannot do this well. In general I like to wear dresses because I don't have to worry about proportion or matching like I do with separates. But i live in a cold climate, rely on public transportation, etc and must wear pant in winter.

But when I shop, I have a search and destroy mentality. I grab anything that attracts my eye, size doesn't matter, and take it all to the dressing room. Inside, i try everything on, sometimes twice and slowly whittle down my selections to what I'm going to buy.

For some reason I'm unable to think it terms of what my wardrobe lacks, outfits I could make, etc and so I always end up buying weird random things. And since I grab whatever attracts my eye, i have a closet full of bright colors and patterns, not always very conducive to making outfits.

So behold....

This is my attempt to mix black and brown which I have done so very unsuccessfully. I've also managed to mix many textures and possibly patterns if you consider lace more of a pattern than a texture. Ugh.

As this unfortunate close up reveals, I am wearing black and tan check plaid pants (H&M how dare you!) , a cream lace blouse with black attached ribbon, and my brown corduroy vaguely military-esque jacket.

The worstthing is, I'msick of taking pictures in front of the white mantle in my living room but the teal walls of the dining room and the plum walls of the bedroom are murder on my poor pictures. they always turn out terrible and I don't think there is anything my poor digital crap camera can do about it. Suggestions?

sorry my bedroom is such a mess, another reason I prefer the white mantle.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Daily Wear: Dressed for Fall

I'm still hanging onto to being able to wear dresses for as long as the weather holds. It seems to be getting colder and colder so expect to soon see months and months of me in the One Pair of Pants That Fit!

But until then I brought out a dress i usually wear in summer because it's so short and made it cooler weather appropriate. It's in fall colors and had kind of a 60s vibe so I paired it with mustard tights and tall brown boots.

I haven't worn this dress in over a year. I kept having to pull it down to preserve modesty. I guess I got, erm.....taller...since last year. This may have just graduated to shirt status.

A brown cord military jacket provided a little warmth and coverage. I wore this to a super creepy haunted house with my husband, best friend, and her husband. Everyone said a ghoul would put their hand up my dress but none did. I guess I'm getting old.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Daily Wear: It suits me

I have to dress kinda corporate for work, so I rarely take outfit pics during the week. Not that those kinds of outfits can't be creative and cool. It's just that my work look is pretty repetitive. A lot of black suits and skirts. I just don't want to clog up my blog with a lot of dreary sameness. Especially since I like wearing so many bright colors and patterns. Definite work no-nos.

But I made an exception in an effort to present myself as I am. Which is why I've been posting more casual outfits lately too. It's important to me that I don't gloss the truth on this blog. I don't use photoshop. I don't exclusively wear vintage dresses. Sometimes I don't even wear makeup.

This is me in a work outfit.

Black pinstripe suit, which in itself is pretty edgy for the dress code. Outfit made further rebellious by wearing a black tunic t shirt underneath.

A close up of my necklace. This is a way that I can show my real personality and style. It's a faux pearl flower necklace. Not vintage but old and romantic in feel. On of my favorites though I rarely wear jewelry. i want that to change.

What do you have to wearfor work? Can you be as creative as you'd like?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Daily Wear: Electric Leather

Inspired by a call on Weardrobe for a contest (best leather look; alas I did not win) I decided to break out my favorite electric blue leather jacket. I decided to use it to remix a summer dress of mine, to make it more fall appropriate.

So this is how I wore it in summer....

Oh yay, I'm reposting couch mess. oh well

And here is how I styled it for fall...

I replaced the hot pink tights with some subdued grey ones. Patent black kitten heels became my neutral booties. And of course the cropped denim jacket was replaced with my leather jacket. It's such a vibrant color that i went with very dark and plain neutrals to go with it. It's the star of the outfit!

I get a lot of comments whenever I wear this jacket. My friends often hassle me about it and have called me Michael Jackson derisively (before his untimely death, those jokes would be inappropriate now). But strangers go wild for it, love it, have asked to buy it off my back. So I think my friends are secretly just jealous. I don't care anyway. I look forward to wearing it every year when there is a chill in the air.

Oh, and before I forget, here's a close up of the dress. i don't think I've shown the stars well yet.

Thanks for reading! I have to hurry and check up on the blogs I read before dashing off to work...running out of time....

Monday, October 5, 2009

Daily Wear: Vintage Girl in a Vintage Store

I worked a full day at the vintage shop last sunday (i usually work bits here and there during the week..sometimes a weekend) and I took the opportunity of a rare quiet spell to take some pictures of my outfit. When i go in for a couple of hours during the week, i tend to justthrow any old thing on, well still cute I hope but nothing special. But the weekends are the busiest time and when I'm there for a whole day, I try to make it special by dressing up. I usually wear something vintage I got from the shop but this time I wore an unusual dress that sort of felt at home there.

It's a party dress that I have no party for, alas. I don't know if you can see it, but the print of the dress is....dresses! It's so meta, I know. haha

It has cute little panel pleats that flair out when I dance and twirl. I love the little pink tulle at the bottom. The straps are pink too. I kept it dressy with black fishnets and my favorite ivory heels.

My hair was still soaking wet when I had to leave the house so I just put it up in a bun and tied a pink ribbon around it. It was a very good day and I like to think I had some influence over it by dressing the part. It really improves my mood and gives me confidence when I think I'm well dressed. Even if I'm dressed a bit unusual. Especially if I'm dressed a bit unusual. ha!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Daily Wear: Paris!

Well without further ado, a few of my photographs from my recent week in Paris. I don't think I managed to take any pictures my first day, at least none that included any outfit details. We took the Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris and between some confusion of how to get onto the metro from the train (when the ticket booth was closed for maintenance and the machines wouldn't accept our credit cards and we had no coins) and then arriving at the apartment we rent to find thatthe key had not been left for us, only to be rescued by the maid who didn't speak french or english, being half starved and headachey .....and where was I going with this? Oh! Not many pictures that first day, but I do have a few here and there of the rest of the trip....

And so these pictures are not in day by day order that my blogs on London and Amsterdam were. I'm just too tired and overwhelmed right now to figure it all out. But this his husband and I at Pere Lachaise, the cemetery with all the famous people, mostly frenchies.

Here I am posing in front of Oscar Wilde's grave with hundreds of lipstick prints, thousands. Many of the graves had signs of devotion like letters tucked here and there, candles, real and plastic flowers, messages written directly on stone. It was different for me, thinking about cemetery culture. I'm wearing my jumper again, remixed with the striped tee shirt and grey tights. This was one of my favorite outfits because the cuteness of it made me happy.

Here we are in Montmarte. We wandered around looking up scenes from Amelie, including eating in the little cafe where she worked. Some fellow tourists were kind enough to take our picture outside the basilica sacre coeur overlooking the amazing view.

and it was a long way up... Me in grey pants, green cardigan, green and pink floral button up. I lobe to layer short sleeved cardigans over long sleeve tops. Don't you?

Brunch at a little creperie. Absolutely delicious. It's near the Pompidou, which I think we visited afterward and were overwhelmed by the sheer volume of artworks of all varieties. But at this point we were pretty museumed out.

In the entryway of our rented apartment. Pink Satin dress remixed for the fourth time, i think on this blog that's only been around four months! I guess i just really really really like it. Shown here with black wrap cardigan and grey tights.

A super close up of me in the Jardin Luxembourg, my favorite place on earth. I think we spent at least two days there, though on our last trip we explored more of the gardens. This picture justreminded me of how awful my nose it. Next!

Sitting on the edge of the fountain. That's right. turtles vomiting onto horses. Wearing my favorite engineer stripe dress with hot pink tights and silver flats. One of the few pictures I like the looks of.

Eating out yummy sorbets! I can't actually remember what else we did on this day...wait! At least part of it was spent walking along the Seine where we buy our art prints. I distinctly remember regretting wearing heels.

Husband insisted on taking a picture of me in the stairway of our building. I'm wearing my grey/cream tunic with the black bows tucked into a grey high waisted skirt. Black wrap cardigan for the slight breeze coming off the water. I'm very wimpy about cold.

In the Luxembourg again. I feel like this was pretty early in our trip actually. I of course was not really asleep but dear husband was. He can fall asleep at the drop of a hat, is in fact, asleep right now.

Along the Seine, pretending to be a glamorous model and failing. Wearing wideleg jeans, pink/grey floral blouse, and trusty black cardigan...again...

My makeup look for the week consisted of a smokey eye, rose cheeks, and pinky nude lips. I played around with the eyeshadow shades to give more or less intensity for day or night. Fun and easy.

On the eyes: Lancome eyeshadow quad in Radiance (but only the lightgrey on the brow bone and the medium silver grey on the lid), Sephora brand matte black eye shadow, Benefit black eyeliner, and Estee Lauder mascara (it was a free gift mini, lost now, and I can't recall the formula...sorry)

On the cheeks and lips: cream blush in Shhhh, lip pencil in Lush, and lip gloss in Streakin'--all by benefit.

And this is how it looks all put together. I may have another post of some more vacation pictures, hope it won't be too boring for you!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

On Trend: Lace

So I'm trying a new thing where I actually pay attention to something going on in the world of fashion. Usually I just gravitate to certain things without knowing why and I tend not to put much thought into my outfits beyond "this matches...I think".

This time I thought I'd build an outfit around something lace (fitting as my name is Lacey). I like how lace lends a romantic touch but I didn't want to get to flowy and flowery and look like I'm still dressed for summer.

Being goofy for the camera! I layered this sheer cream lace top over a charcoal grey cami. The black bow belt adds to the femininity of the piece which is then toughened up with skinny jeans. I threw on my red flats cause I love them with everything. But something was still missing...

My beloved red cardigan picks up the red in the shoes and makes the outfit more appropriate for cooler weather. I could also have secured the black ribbon on the outside of the cardigan (but then I would have had to commit to not removing it).

I haven't forgotten about my paris pics, i'm just kinda putting off looking through it all. Soon, though....I think.