Saturday, January 30, 2010

I think I need a change.

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about whether or not I want to continue doing this blog. It is kinda fun and I enjoy having a hobby albeit one I don't talk about in my real life. Most people I know have no idea about this and even those who do, like my sweet husband, don't really hang out here. I like being able to connect with the girls (mostly) behind the blogs I read. Having a blog makes me look like less of an obsessive stalker and more of a colleague. I hope.

But I also don't want this blog to just become an exercise in narcissism. Truly, I'm not that confident or vain to think that people just want to look at pictures of me and my constantly under construction home. So what do I want this blog to be about? Well, vintage stuff, mostly. That's my passion. So while I do have lots of vintage dresses I could photograph myself in, I'd like to do more photo stories of other vintage bloggers and actual vintage photography. And since my rehab house is often a subject here, I'd like to do more with vintage and retro design and decor. And makeup being my first love, I can't leave that behind but perhaps I'll do more how-tos instead of show offs and focus more on retro/ or even runway looks.

And in order to set myself apart from other bloggers, I need to ask myself, what, if anything makes me special or different from them. As a redhead, I find myself fascinated and drawn to other red haired bloggers, models, and actresses. I want to do features in that area. And though I wouldn't exactly call myself a full figured gal, I'm often a far cry from the girls in blogs I read who have such petite frames. I have such a struggle finding clothes that fit, let alone flatter. If even one girl comes here for tips and advice to help them dress around an oversize ass or above 125 pound frame, I'll know I done good, as my dear friend Jenny would say.

But what would you like to see here? I welcome all tips and advice as I'm really still so new to all of this.

outfit details: grey skinny pants (Urban outfitters); white ruffle cardigan (Kensie); pink and grey floral blouse (Kensie); silver flats (payless, of course!)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

100th post? Woo Hoo!

I know some bloggers post every day (and those are some of my favorite blogs) but I never thought I'd make it to one hundred posts, even if it has taken me three seasons to do so. I'm starting to wonder why I stick with it on some days. I'm really not confident or vain; I don't like having my picture taken. I don't think I'll ever be famous with ten thousand views a day and invitations to exclusive events. Ultimately doing this has to be just for me, cause there's no guarantee of even continuing the 25 views a day I do get. I wonder what people would even like to see in this space, should they come to look? Perhaps I should seek out newer bloggers and befriend them a bit so they won't feel so overwhelmed. Do bloggers even feel overwhelmed? haha who knows. Here some typical pictures of me, in bright colors, being silly at home to tide you over while I think things over.

This is what happens to my hair if I do not brush it immediately after washing.

I think I have the oddest shaped face in history and not in a good way.

Not sexy, just silly.

Outfit details: seafoam dress (Kensie); tangerine cardigan (H&M); dove grey hights (Hue); taupe ankle boots (payless, of course).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New Year, New Neutrals

I think we've come to expect that MAC will always be on trend for makeup but they've really hit the nail on the head with all of their neutrals lately. Some people view neutral makeup as a no make up look but that's not true. And it isn't a bland or blah look either. Neutrals are perfect for winter. They are multi dimensional without calling too much attention to themselves.

The released Warm and Cosy the day after Christmas with rich warm neutral colors that made for a very romantic look ready for snuggling in front of the fire drinking hot coca. And then in January they released All Ages, All races, All Sexes, a collection of neutrals so full there are truly perfect colors for everyone. Finally a company that understands that "nude" doesn't mean beige, it's different for everyone!

Released the same day as Warm and Cosy, was winter's counterpart Love Lace. This collections had some lovely frosty pinks and blues. And one strange fellow- a sort of purple, grey, brown eyeshadow that was color and neutral all at once. Add to that the smokey eye pigments from x-mas and I knew I had to wear all these colors.

So my look has been to experiment with doing a smokey eye without relying on the cliche black and grey and silver. You can do an equally lovely, glam smokey eye with browns and a bit of the purple curiosity.

On the eyes: Frosted grey-purple all over lid to crease (Hypnotizing-MAC from Love Lace); chocolate copper-bronze in outer corner and above crease, also used as liner on loxer lashline (Chocolate Brown-MAC from Sexpot pigments); Brown Mascara (Benefit's Bad Gal); Benefit's browzing eyebrow kit in Light.

On the lips: nude lip pencil all over lips (Benefit's Posh); pink brown gloss (Liquer- MAC from All ages, etc).

On the Face: Mac's Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 foundation in NC15; MAC's Mineralize Skinfinish Natural powder in Light; Benefit's ten powder bronze and highlighter; Benefit's Erase Paste concealer in Light.

And finally, Blissed Out nail polish from the Warm and Cosy collection, a beautiful creamy light beige.

This was fun but I'm still looking forward to bright and brash spring color.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Tale of Two Sundays

I think in general people tend to be down on sundays, thinking of them only as a boring bumper to the dreaded Monday morning and back to work for most. They don't have the party allure of friday or saturday nights. Lots of smaller shops close but the malls are full of the after church crowd elbowing their way back to the sale rack. But I like Sundays. Sometimes my husband or I have to work over the weekend but usually we get to spend it together.

And saturday tends to be so busy! There are chores to do and errands to run. And recreation leans toward the stressful side of things because shopping can be so tiring. It just feels as busy as a work day. It's even more complicated when you have plans for the evening. You never get a break!

But sundays can be so blissfully relaxing and rejuvenating. We almost always go to a lazy brunch at our favorite little place where we can indulge in sweet crepes or french toast or savory omelets and quiches. Sometimes we skip this if we did it on saturday, like when mom comes to visit. And then we barely get out of bed!

It's nice to laze about and lurk around on the internet. Or reading books or watching movie after movie. Sometimes we'll bake or make a more time consuming but delicious meal for dinner. If only Morrissey were right about everyday being like sunday!

The first outfit is from the birthday brunch I mentioned from a couple weeks ago. The second is a bit older and was a day spent blissfully in bed!

outfit details: #1 black zip up leggings (macy's); Crosshatch dress (kensie); white short sleeve cardigan (Kensie); #2 grey pants (urban outfitters); yellow cashmere sweater (thrifted); stripe floral vest (scrapbook)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What I want for Spring

This isn't really a wishlist or a trend prediction. These are just some things I've been thinking about to help hone my vision of what I want my spring wardrobe to look like. If any of this ends up being really trendy, I reserve the right to pretend I've never heard of it.

1) White. But not just as a background neutral. I want to focus on white pieces and white outfits. This is a color that intimidates me and so I must conquer it.

2) Jewel Tones. I love deep rich colors especially after seasons of wearing loads of neon/brights and pastels.

3) Simple Separates. I tend to wear a lot of patterns or heavily detailed pieces. I think it can be distracting to have too much goin on at once. So I'm gonna try to tone it down a bit. sometimes.

4) Menswear. I really hate how my body looks in pants but I think this is all the more reason to keep trying until I get it right. Structured pieces are probably more flattering than anything floaty and bubbly anyway.

5) ethnic jewelry. I rarely wear jewelry but I want to try. I'd like some pieces that have a sense of history as though they have a story to tell. But without being super big and showy.

so what about you? What are you going to try for Spring?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Grey Days

I took some pictures next to my partially renovated kitchen wall because it's this lovely aqua blue and I wanted to punk up the blue tones in my clothes. I wish I had someplace interesting to take photos. Half my house is in shambles all the time because I'm working on one project or another and I live in a kind of depressed urban area. The best bit of nature is a cemetery and I feel really weird about hauling my tripod up their for vanity shots amongst people's dear dead loved ones. Pittsburgh is an exceedingly gloomy gray town anyway. I really can't wait until spring.

My life is all rather routine. Is yours? I have a work schedule and a chores schedule and I go to the same place for brunch every weekend. I have a couple thrift stores I frequent, a couple of places I order take out from. I watch a lot of movies on Netflix. I guess it's partly the weather, I tend not to want to do much when it's grey and cold. But I can't but feel that there isn't much to do anyway. What am I missing? It's hard to know if I'm bored or just boring.

Somebody send me some excitement! I guess I'll clean out my closet and get rid of anything that doesn't fit or I just don't care for anymore. I wish I had someone to give them to. I think that would be more enjoyable, to see someone love them, than to just drop them off at a charity shop.

I'm still feeling preppy casual these days. It's a nice break from dresses all the time.

outfit details: (wide leg jeans-Macys; argyle sweater vest-thrifted; blue stripe top-thrifted; and silver flats-payless of course)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Birthday party frock

My birthday was last weekend! I usually dread my birthday, holidays in general make me depressed but this year I managed to have some fun. My actual birthday was on Sunday but I did most of my celebrating on Saturday. My mom came to visit me and we went to Brunch and did some shopping and hung out a bit.

And then I went to an estate sale with my boss at the vintage store and bought some kitchen wares. They had a ton of vintage clothes but were not my size. It was still really fun to look though and there was a ton of vintage home wares and furniture and art of all varieties. The only downside was that I fell down the stairs. HARD. (I was hurting for days, badly. I still have a bruised bum but at least my left arm works again).

My super sweet husband took me to my most favorite fancy pants restaurant for course after course of sushi. Melt in your mouth delicious and world's better quality than I've ever gotten anywhere else. Afterward, we went to a bar near our house to meet up with friends for a dance party called Fight: soul vs funk vs mod rock vs disco vs power pop. I love dancing but couldn't do much because of my fall. It was still lots of fun. I didn't stay too late and so I got to avoid the disco. Not really my thing. But no matter what you can't say anything against soul music. Everyone seems to gravitate to it. It's fun!

On Sunday, birthday proper, I went to a brunch with friends and it was lovely yummy vegan food. And my dear husband bought me a tripod so I can stop precariously balancing my camera on shelf edges and boulders. I had mentioned wanting to learn to knit or crochet and so he took me to the store where I got a beginners crochet book and some hooks of various sizes and some yarn. I want to make myself a scarf but right now I'm having some difficulty getting started. I have a difficulty learning from reading manuals and looking at diagrams. I really wish I had someone who could sit down with me for half an hour and just show me how to do it. I'm trying not to get too discouraged.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I love armloads of thrift store finds!

I've gotten back into my thrifting habit lately instead of just looking for vintage or new items off the sale rack. It's really fun to have something catch your eye and rush over to it hoping it's in good condition and fits. And when you have a clothing addiction, which I think anyone reading this would have, thrifting is really the only way to go.

I'm still exploring some rock and roll looks but I can never manage ot make them look very tough. I still end up with cutesy details marring up the whole thing because I just like really soft girly clothes. I've been focusing more on preppy pieces because I don't feel like I have enough classics. I've managed to find some staples that have a little twist like a bright color or cool pattern to make them more my own.

What it is: An argyle v-neck sweater vest.

What I'd wear with it: a classic white button up shirt and a black high waisted pencil skirt.

What it is: tangerine cardigan.

What I'd wear it with: uh, well, a classic white button up shirt. The perfect one is really hard to find. I've yet to succeed finding something so basic and obvious. And a pair of 1940's style high waisted trousers.

What it is: a cream colored vintage handbag, found at Good Will, with a tag from the vintage store I work at. I rescued it even though I really didn't need another purse. But now I love it and take it anywhere that I don't need to carry much.

What I'd wear with it: Well anything really but I'll take this opportunity to imagine a dream outfit. I want a pair of tapered flat front black trousers and an edwardian jacket with lace at the cuffs and collar.

What it is: a wonderful bubblegum pink sweater.

What I'd wear with it: A zippered black mini skirt and hot pink suede booties. Because I think that's rock and roll.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Jumper Dress and Leggings--3 ways

When I thrifted a plain black little jumper dress a couple months back I had no idea how much use I would get out of it. At first I wore it proper slipping dainty little blouses underneath. But as it got colder, I craved thicker fabrics and had to start wearing my tops on the outside. Coupled with the leggings I bought, despite hating the trend (I guess I needed to try them to understand), I can keep wearing this poor dress all year long.

First I tried it in the grungy rock and roll way I've been reclaiming.

I have a snug black and blue check button up and my faithful houndstooth flats (also receiving much wear)

Then I tried to make it preppy.

I wore a black and white striped button up. I like how the cuffs upturn to reveal some pink and yellow stripes.

And then the third is my favorite. A cute and sassy look.

I love my new bubblegum pink sweater!

What do you think? Is there an article of clothing that you can't stop remixing?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Across the Universe

I just watched Across the Universe the other night. You know that musical that uses all the Beatles music. I've talked to a few people who have seen it and they all seem to give it mediocre reviews but all for a different reason. I guess there's a lot not to like?

I really really really like musicals. But i was turned off by this one at first because I found the use of popular song to be kind of distracting to the process of settling in to get to know the characters which is so important in the first fifteen minutes of film but I'm glad I stuck it out and watched the whole thing.

I liked this movie but didn't love it. I'm not a huge Beatles fan and this film confirmed for me what I already thought. They have some really good songs but I don't think they are end-all be-all of music. If you aren't already a Beatles fan, I don't think you'll come away from this movie one. I might even be a little sour towards the Beatles. A boyfriend once cited them while breaking up with me. Apparently love was not all he needed.

I thought this film was lovely to look at, a cool idea, but ultimately a bit overambitious. The plot was a bit weak in spots and some characters seemed to have been written in so they could have the same name as a song. This is particularly true of Prudence who didn't move the plot along like other minor characters and just kinda popped in and out without reason. This was disappointing really because they set her up to be a main character by featuring her as with Lucy and Jude in the very begining of the movie.

I was also kinda put off by the over psychedelic scenes. When it began to look a bit too much like a music video, it took me away from the plot. I was also annoyed by many of the cliches. In general I find psychedelics to be the least interesting thing about the 60s and find it really irritating when it is linked to a moral superiority. I'm anti-war too but I don't think frying your brain and claiming yourself as artist is a political statement. I'd rather be one of the squares.

So yeah, I wasn't very impressed by this movie. But I do like the 60s and I do like watching attractive people break into song without a moment's notice.

I'd recommend this though if you are a Beatles fan or are curious about seeing what Glee might have looked like in the 60s.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Daily Wear: I wear this every time she comes over

Sometimes I feel like the world's oldest, well, I don't even want to call myself a style blogger, but you get the picture. If you're like me and you follow an ever expanding list of style/fashion/beauty/vintage blogs, then you will have noticed that most of these girls are so delicate and young and almost unnervingly lovely.

Self-esteem, meet floor.

And admittedly, I'm participating in what can be a rather shallow endeavor. I don't really think that clothes make the woman.

But I'm certainly not critiquing the lovely blogs I read or the many many wonderful ones I don't even know about yet. It's just sometimes I get embarassed that my hobby is actually posting pictures of myself online, that I awkwardly take myself. And they aren't even the sexy kind! haha

Well, if you haven't guessed it by now, my birthday is coming up and it's all too much with my seasonal blahs. I don't want to be older. And admitting that I care can also be received as shallowness.

And since I'm always so upfront about my insecurities and flaws and never photoshop a thing.....

I have lots of grey hairs. And looking at that picture, all I can think is that I wish I would have put on makeup before taking that picture.

Anyway, rant over. These are just a couple of pictures of my navy sweater dress again, that I posted about when I was being a grunge princess. I guess I'm having that phase. Again.

I wore a red button up with tiny white pinstripes, twisted up brown tights and my brown maryjanes. I guess this is my business casual grunge look.

My hair is usually as flat as a young girls chest. It's a bit bigger in these picks because I started using Lush's veganese conditioner. Now it has more body and it has more of it's own shine so I don't need a serum. Still grey though.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My Evolution

I've been thinking about clothes lately.

Yeah, I know. Duh.

So I guess I'll start over. I've been thinking about style lately. In clothing, interiors, attitudes.

No, that's still not quite right. While all of it is true, I guess what I really mean is I've been thinking about myself lately.

And before I get too self-conscious and apologetic, this is a blog, right? Land of self absorption and navel gazing. But this is what I've been thinking.

When I was little, and well past the age of embarrassment, my mother picked out my clothes. Well of course that's completely normal and expected when you are very young but there comes a time when most girls want to start having a say in what they wear. My mother was still playing dress up vicariously through me into high school. I wanted desperately to pick out my own things, mostly in an attempt to fit in at school and with friends. One of my most awkwardly embarrassing moments was when I was 12 and brought some neighborhood friends inside to see my room. My mother had laid out "outfits" complete with costume jewelry all over my bed and draped over surfaces. I can still hear my friend asking "your mom picks out your clothes?" in a mixture of disbelief and disgust.

I love my mother.

She has no sense of style whatsoever, now or then.

So in my great rebellion in the tenth grade I threw away all the clothes I had except for a few things I actually liked and what I could find on the cheap at thrift stores. The summer before eleventh grade I actually bought back to school clothes that I felt a connection to. I was finally able to express myself.

And my expression, while very risque for my particular high school, was not original either. I did the babydoll t-shirt thing, thrift store finds, flannel and overalls. I wore vans sneakers and knock off doc martens. Costume jewelery was casy usunder in favor of safety pins and chains.

It quickly evolved into a goth look. I died my hair black and started wearing purple lipstick. I alternated between the tomboyish look of black jeans and concert tees and black slip dresses and fishnet stockings. I did this for too long.

Eventually, say age 20, I started to crave more variety, more color, but I had no idea how to go about it. Then came a phase of greys from dove to charcoal, not black but not color either. I bought blue denim jeans. I tried to evolve a style but really had none. I held onto to a lot of black clothes and ended up wearing purples and burgundies and I'm more embarrassed about this anti-style than any other phase of my life. It only worsened as i incorporated more colors and variety.

Then I had my semi-single bar phase. I wore skinny jeans and form fitting tees, black tall boots tucked under the pants. I got interested in jewelry and wore big earrings and other chunky pieces. I rarely wore dresses or skirts. I ended up with a lot of trousers in pinstripes and greys. I did a casual girly menswear look if that makes any sense. This slowly evolved into a black and white stripe obsession. Then to general black and white combination, in any pattern. Jewelry became bold but minimal. I started wearing shift dresses and leaned toward a 60s mod style.
I loved getting dressed to go out but felt too much like I was going with the crowd and what was popular then.

Then I moved South for grad school. I was beyond sick of black and white. I had a lot of personal problems and clothing and style were on the bottom of my list of concerns. I was kind of living out of a suitcase. I threw together whatever was handy, that I had brought with me. I had less than zero to spend on anything new. It was hot in summer and I wore capris and tank tops and felt poor and bland. To make matters worse, my then boyfriend's friends were all hip art students with cool creative style so I felt even more bland by comparison.

I went through a short lived career phase (back when I thought I would have one). It started with a month long seminar I attended. In an effort to impress I wore suits, or skirts and blouses. I had limited suitcase space and mixed and matched a lot of separates to make a new outfit everyday, including outside events (bars). I never repeated once. Unfortunately this business casual followed me home. I wore a lot of jeans with button up shirts and blazer combos. But I was also single again so from time to time I threw on a dress.

And it's kind of a blur from there. Around that time I met the man I would eventually marry. Maybe my style evolved partially to catch his eye, to become the type of girl I thought he would like. Perhaps I had just gotten my groove back, in the parlance of our times. Somehow I got to where I am now. I like to wear dresses a lot. I'm not much for jewelry. Makeup is often what makes the outfit. I love color and pattern but sometimes I get intimidated by texture. My sources of inspiration are more diversified. My confidence is growing.

Tell me your story, love. How have you evolved?

(I'm seen here in my dining room playing with neon brights and structured menswear; blazer-vintage, neon blouse-Macy's, blue jeans--Macy's, brown maryjanes--Mudd)