Monday, April 25, 2011

Winter Wardrobe's Last Stand

The end of the season is a great time to get cheap clothes. The sweater featured in this post—original price (I can't remember), marked down to six dollars—is a prime example. Okay, so it has two flaws in the knit. But you can't see 'em, can you? Can you? Anyway, for six dollars, I can just patch up the holes and no one but a hawk would be any the wiser. I haven't gotten around to that yet, but next season, my sewing kit will be at the ready!

The wondrous thing about about this sweater (I actually have two—one in purple, which I bought with a 20% off coupon back when the winter season was far from ending) is that it comes with a "new scarf" (so the tag calls it) which is basically a long flat scarf joined at the ends to make a circle. I couldn't decide whether to wear it with or without the scarf, so I tried it both ways. What do you think?

I got to wear this outfit exactly once before I put my winter clothes into storage. That's the other exciting thing about shopping end-of-season clearance: when you pull out the clothes next fall, they still feel fresh and new, and you don't have to be quite so depressed about wearing long sleeves again.

Fortunately, the day I wore it, it was warm enough that I didn't have to worry about freezing my knees, as I did in my military getup this winter. That meant I got to try out the new brown skirt that I bought so impulsively on my last trip to the thrift store. Although originally I complained that it fit unattractively, I found that a long sweater hides its flaws nicely, making it quite a cute addition to my wardrobe.

And lastly, the boots. Well, I have a confession. These boots were designed by Ralph Lauren. We're talking brand-name merchandise. Even half-off at an end-of-season clearance sale, these boots were an exorbitant 80 dollars. Eighty dollars! Never, EVER, would an unfashionista like me dream of spending such a sum on a pair of footwear. Fortunately, this unfashionista did nothing of the sort. She accepted them—a generous gift—and wears them proudly. They unfortunately lurk in the shadows of the photos and are thus hard to see, but I give you my word, these are the most splendid pair of lace-up (with a hidden zipper - phew!) knee-high boots I will probably ever have the pleasure of wearing (though the balls of my feet may say otherwise). Even die-hard unfashionistas appreciate an overpriced gift.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Art of Portraiture, I have sinned.

You know that silly photographic trend wherein people post endless pictures online of themselves posing in the mirror with their camera phone in their hand? This is probably the only thing worse than conjoined-faces-shot-at-arm's-length. Don't you just love looking down your nose at the narcissistic fools who do that?

Well, stop. Because I'm about to do post photos of myself posing in a mirror.

You know, it's hard being an unfashionista.You want to have a huge supply of pictures of yourself to post online (it's for the greater good, really!) but you don't want to constantly bug your friends, housemates, and random passersby to take said pictures! You can put your camera on timer mode and a tripod, but that gets a little tiresome, especially when you have to keep running back and forth, checking whether the shot came out as desired. So sometimes you take the lazy route and produce something like this:
Sure, I'm using a real camera, so that puts me a marginal step above the kids who pull this stunt on a regular basis. But still. How much lower could I go?

Well, at least this much lower:
See, now I've even stooped to using a camera phone (to my credit, I only resorted to this measure because the batteries in my camera were dead), which, as you can see, produces terrible quality photos that aren't even worth sharing online.

So why am I sharing them? Well, the blurry picture of me and my iPhone is just one more example of what I've found to do with my tiered skirt from the discount store. This is probably as close as I'll ever come to goth, what with the red and black shirt, black skirt, and black boots with studs in them. Too bad you can't see any of those details from the picture.

In stark contrast, the photo above is everything bright, sunshiney, and childish I could put together in one outfit. I've had that white blouse for just about forever (probably because I wear it just about never). The skirt was my one and only completed attempt at sewing clothes from scratch. I made it out of an old comforter whose stuffing had become unsalvageable. And I got the socks at WalMart for 3 dollars, specifically so I could complete this outfit.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Choir closet

Last week, I sang in a choir concert.

In a long digression from the actual topic of this blog, I will now tell you all about dressing for choir concerts. We singers have each been issued a hideous polyester blouse with huge ugly collar and the world's biggest and most obviously cheap plastic buttons. But on the bottom, we get to choose our own long black skirt. Now, when you're just one of several dozen women in ugly white blouses, you at least want your skirt to stand out a bit, so I've been on a hunt for the perfect choir skirt ever since I've been a member (2 years). I look at the other ladies in the choir for inspiration, but none of them has anything that I really want. Some wear straight skirts, which I find so boring as to potentially cause death. At least one wears big fancy pants. But that's not my style either. My skirt must be flowy and twirly and flared, and long enough to sweep the floor.

When I started, I had a suede skirt that I had bought at a thrift store a year or so back. Eventually I grew tired of it (mostly because it was real leather and I would have had to get it professionally cleaned if I were to keep wearing it) and replaced it with a tiered gypsy skirt of the sort that was in fashion a few years ago. Before we even held our next concert, I realized that skirt was just not long enough, so I sprang for a different, slightly longer tiered gypsy skirt. The zipper on that one popped open right before our last Christmas concert and never would stay zipped after that, so I set out in search of a different skirt.

A few weeks before the last concert, I found a pretty rayon skirt with embroidered poinsettias at the bottom. It was the longest skirt I'd found yet (still not floor length), and flowy and twirly, just the way I like them. The flowers added a unique touch. But when I wore it to the concert, I discovered it's slightly shorter in the back than the front, making for an extremely undignified profile that's too unique, even for me.

Today while perusing the thrift store (where I bought a very cute brown skirt that I totally forgot to try on, and only discovered when I got home that it fits, but it doesn't fit attractively...), I found on the 3$-a-bag rack, a long black skirt! I picked it. It is pleated the whole length, which should be hell to take care of, but that makes it so cute! It is also even longer than the last one. I see floor-sweeping almost within my reach! Unfortunately, I didn't find anything else on the 3$ rack that I wanted, so I filled my bag with things that I thought I might be able to resell for a profit.

But all that wasn't what I came here to talk to you about today. It was what I saw while walking into my choir concert. An old lady in a genuine fringed dress, like she'd just walked straight out of the twenties! All of a sudden, I want nothing more than a fringed dress! Why isn't fringe in style!? Where can I find it? And how much will I have to pay to achieve this look I suddenly covet? I'll keep you posted.