Tuesday, September 19, 2017

It's Flowtime

I've been on a rather unsuccessful search for wide-legged pants since the beginning of the year, but every pair I acquire has something wrong with it. There were pants that weren't wide enough (such as the dramatic looking flares I ordered from China, only to find they hardly flared at all—when will I learn!?). There were multitudes of pants that weren't long enough (including the ones with butterflies, which I ruined by trying to raise the crotch so I could wear them lower). There were pants that were too thin and clingy (I sent them back), pants that were too flashy (I'll find a way to wear them in spite of being bright orange and covered with sparkles!), and there were these.

These were probably the most successful purchase yet. They are long, long, long enough to wear with high heels, and they're a color that actually coordinates with real clothes. However, after all my complaining about wide-leg pants not being long enough, these ones might actually be too long! I kept getting the heel of my shoe caught in the fabric, and running the hems over with my wheeled office chair. I ended up taking my shoes off and sitting on my feet for most of the day. While I firmly believe that, just like flared pants, wide-leg pants only look good if they skim the ground, I may have to accept that ground-skimming clothing of any type (including maxi skirts) is just not appropriate for an environment in which you spend a good portion of the day rolling back and forth on a chair.

Execution challenges aside, I'm pleased with this outfit. Every element is perfectly coordinated in teal and navy. I feel like a winding river in my aquatic colors and graceful, flowy fabrics. Even my earrings get into the flow, cascading to my shoulders like beaded waterfalls!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Spring Ahead

Fall is just digging its traitorous nails into a perfectly good summer, but the Unfashionista is paying that no mind...she's already looking forward to spring!

Since that last unseasonably cold day in August, we've had a few days where the weather just squeaked past 80 degrees—today being one of them. So I took my chances on shivering in my office all morning, and wore my thinnest, most sleeveless, most vernally colored lavender dress with a tulip hem!

I happened to have a new floral statement necklace and earring set I bought recently on eBay, and since there was a bit of green in the necklace, I took that as my cue to wear bright mint-green sandals. The overall look is the pastel version of my favorite grapevine color scheme!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Black Olive

Here's a color combination I don't think I've ever tried before: olive green and black.

I'm glad I was able to inject some novelty into my outfit somehow, because overall, today was a sad day for an Unfashionista—drab, grey, rainy, and ... not even 70 degrees! In August! What is this world coming to? These last few days of August have all been unseasonably cool, and today's weather just takes the cake.

But I digress. Novelty. I was talking about novelty.

The olive sweater is by no means novel; I think I've had it for around a year or maybe even two, but I hardly ever wear it, because it's so boxy and baggy; it generally has the effect of making me look like a huge hulking blob. I kept it out this summer when I put most of my cool-weather clothes away, because I thought I might like it better paired with shorts. I never got around to wearing it that way, but when I looked at today's bleak forecast, I realized it was time. Since I don't wear shorts at work (except that one time), I decided I'd wear it with a short skirt instead, which amounts to basically the same thing, but is for some reason more office-appropriate.

It was just my luck that I had recently purchased a new pair of olive green shoes that would coordinate perfectly with my olive drab cardigan. What's the difference between olive green and olive drab? Well, as with most color words, it is frequently up to the person who uses them, but in my book, olive drab is just a desaturated (i.e. grayish) version of olive green. The shoes just barely squeak by as "green" instead of "drab."

Once I had decided on what to wear, the next step was to make it all actually wearable! As is common in my fashion life, what started out as simply assembling an ensemble morphed into a sewing extravaganza. First I decided I could fix the boxy-and-baggy problem of the sweater by giving it a more tailored shape. So under my sewing machine it went. I freehanded a couple of generous curves into the side seams, and ended up with a slightly more fitted version of the original. I took before and after pictures, but the difference is so subtle even I can't see it. Oh well, at least I feel better about wearing this sweater!

Second, the black-and-beige lace top needed some refinement. It was originally a too-short dress, which I wore once as a dress and regretted all evening, then started wearing with the bottom folded under as a top. Finally I decided to make the change permanent and cut it to shirt length sometime over last winter. It has a slippery beige liner and a tight lace outer layer, and I found after a couple of wears that the liner would always start peeking out the bottom as the outer layer rode up. So my final alteration to this top, made last night, was to tack the two layers together at the side seams, to hopefully prevent any further wardrobe malfunctions.

My final additions to the ensemble were a pair of earrings—a brighter green than olive, I'm counting on them to add sparkle and lightness to the somewhat dreary look—and a headband.

In case you didn't notice in my last post, I changed up my haircut again—to my shortest bob yet!—and that means it's time for me to start experimenting with new ways to decorate my hair. I found that with my last hairstyle, which I started blunt-cutting myself around March of last year, the most flattering look was to just leave it alone (though occasionally I had some luck with spiral curls, that never happened unless I had an event to attend and a lot of time on my hands in the preceding hours). But now that it's shorter, rounder, and just plain different, it may lend itself better to ornamentation...and dare I say... a new dye job?

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Perfectly Practical


Remember that outfit—the one that was dark and melodramatic and which I almost wore to work but decided it was inappropriate? I was able to work it into my life successfully less than a week later—today!

The fun thing about this outfit is it takes two different garments with a mandala print and a grey-on-grey color scheme, and joins them together! That's really all you need to know about this look, but if you're interested in stories, I can tell you tales about how every garment got to where it is now!

The top is an oldie but goodie, having been a part of my wardrobe since I apparently thought military fatigues would be a good thing to wear to the office. The top was originally a baggy, flowy affair, which might work for some occasions but certainly didn't look great over this skirt, and since I knew I was going to wear them together, I took some time to take in the sides and make it more fitted. Easy fix!


The skirt is actually a skort (it has built-in shorts underneath), which, combined with its stretchy, synthetic fabric, makes it quite the athletic piece of apparel. My boyfriend got it for me at Costco, and I originally thought it would be a nice casual-and-comfortable-but-nice-looking piece that I could wear for traveling or for low-intensity activity. What I neglected to realize at that time was that I never engage in the kind of activity that's low-intensity enough to wear a skirt (even a skort) but high-intensity enough to warrant the kind of fit and fabric that this skirt has. As you know, I've never preferred to go around in public in my workout clothes unless absolutely necessary (despite the popularity of athleisure), so the skirt sat in no-man's land at the back of my gym clothing drawer for most of the summer. Finally, I decided today would be a good day. I planned to be out most of the morning running errands (one of which I would travel to by bike, and one of which would involve loading stuff into a vehicle), so a somewhat cute, but still practical outfit seemed like a good choice.

In the morning, I wore sneakers, but in the afternoon, I just couldn't resist any more and broke out my furry pool slides, which I've been jonesing to wear ever since I learned they were trendy in the spring. They might be a little too black to really look perfect with all the greys, but they're furry sandals! Sporty looking skirt and top, combined with the "fashion" version of locker room shoes? That seems good enough for an Unfashionista to wear to brunch!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

So Long, Summer

I get a little maudlin when I sense the approach of autumn. The first evening I hear cicadas singing, the first morning I wake up to a chill in the air, the first day the high drops out of the 80's... these all strike a chord of melancholy in my heart...and drive me to melodramatic gestures like, on the final day that the temperature is predicted to top 85 (today, with a forecast high of 93), insisting on going "sleeveless, short, and sandaled." In other words, wearing all my most summery styles of clothing at once, to make the most of the (probably) last really hot day of the year. I came really close to getting even more over-the-top; I had planned on dressing in downright funereal hues as well, in a statement of mourning. But the world was spared my melodrama, because I decided the black-and-grey outfit I had chosen was inappropriate for the office. You'll just have to wait for another day to see the darkly monochromatic concoction I cooked up.

Instead, I wore this dress. As far as office-appropriateness goes, the dress toes the line, with its narrow straps and dangerously short skirt. But its ladylike floral pattern gives it a hint of the classic and demure...and hey! It's the last day of heat! It's my last chance!

In the spirit of milking every last summery drop out of my outfit, I decided to wear the most brightly colored sandals I could get away with. That ended up being fuchsia platform wedges. Although I've historically been wary of wearing high heels with short flared skirts (this short flared skirt in particular!), I've discovered that part of the reason they look so weird together is they make your legs look strangely long. Flat shoes can mitigate this, but they're not the only option!

Style Tip  If your short skirt looks weird combined with your tall shoes, visually cut your legs off at the ankle with an ankle strap, to get your proportions back to a better balance.

Once I had chosen the perfect shoe, I picked some pink jewelry to match it, and then it was off to work in the sweltering heat!

Monday, August 21, 2017

What to wear to an eclipse

I've had these earrings for around 2 years and worn them many a time, but somehow they've escaped ever being pictured in this blog! Odd, because I really adore them!

Well, today was the perfect day to finally put these sun and moon earrings front and center, because today was the day of a solar eclipse! I hadn't originally been planning to dress for an eclipse, but a few weeks ago, I stumbled across an article with suggestions for things to wear (er, spend your life savings on!) to celebrate the occasion. I needed no further prodding. The Unfashionista likes to dress thematically for every holiday, and she might as well do it for every notable natural phenomenon as well!

So when it came time to plan the outfit I would wear on the day of the eclipse, I scoured my closet for anything with a celestial theme. I have no shortage of stars, but even though the sun is technically a star, I wanted something that's more instantly recognizable as the sun. That left me only one thing—these aforementioned sun and moon earrings—which were indeed perfect for the occasion, as a solar eclipse would be nothing without the moon.

Usually when I wear these earrings, I take advantage of the aqua stones and wear them with clothing of a similar hue. But it occurred to me that, for a sun-centric event, I should be wearing warm colors. So I worked with the other color of stone, the pastel peachy one, and wore my salmon-striped sheath for the second time. 
We have reached the part of summer when I've mostly run out of new things to wear and I have to start repeating major outfit elements. I don't prefer to wear the same dress twice in 3 months without doing something drastically different with the rest of the outfit, but since this dress is so hard to coordinate, there wasn't a whole lot I could do, sartorially, to add interest. I would just have to work with what I had, which was basically some pretty cool jewelry and a penchant for puns.

First step: make the earrings the stars of the show. Not only would this allow me to work a feeble astronomy pun into my blog, but it would also serve to strengthen the theme of the outfit. So, instead of allowing my hair to fall in front of the earrings, I pulled it back behind my ears with a couple of barrettes. 
Second step: figure out just one more way to represent the theme. I briefly thought about disassembling some of my many moon necklaces and attaching them to the barrettes, but I decided that would be too hard, not to mention, might look like I was trying too hard!

In the end, I realized my outfit had all the eclipse references it needed, thanks to the barrettes. Now, you might not think that these two ordinary accessories have much to do with astronomical phenomena, but they totally do! They're totally clips of the hair!

Thank you, and good night.

Friday, August 18, 2017

The ocean in the sky

I tried on a lot of outfits in preparation for yesterday. It was no big occasion; I just needed a spiffy outfit to give my mood a lift. I actually had many successes in this process (not always a given when planning outfits), but ultimately, the one that spoke to me was the one you now see! The teal vest is no stranger to my wardrobe; I've been wearing it loyally since 2014 and have apparently owned it since 2012, but with stats like that (took me two years to wear it for the first time!?), it's not surprising that I haven't worn it in a while. 

Yesterday was the day to break that streak! On a whim, I tried it on with something else that I haven't worn in a while—a blue-striped tank dress that was part of the 3-for-10$ deal that gave me my Flowers for Drupalcon dress. It was a match! The two garments' shades of teal and blue complemented each other well.

The lines of the vest lent themselves to a long necklace, and I had the perfect one: A light blue waist-length necklace dangling with abundant silver seashell charms. To go along with it, I wore some bohemian sandals with cork wedge platforms and straw-and-canvas straps.

With my aquamarine clothes and aquatic animal necklace, I looked like I was on my way to a beach. The weather, on the other hand, was anything but beachy—overcast all day, developing into heavy rain in the afternoon. I had dressed for a day near the water; the water obliged and came to me!

Selfie with a storm drain. The stormdrops are already making their mark on the ground.