Monday, December 31, 2012


Tights under shorts is a big fashion thing. It's been big for months and months if not years and years, and every time I have a gander at Lookbook, I see at least a few people sporting the look. I wanted to try it. For months and months, if not years and years. But I wasn't sure how to pull it off or when (since I decided it was too casual for work, and since I usually just dress in pajamas for the weekend).

Today, however, I went to work only to find it was closed (and I even double-checked the calendar over the weekend to verify—don't know how I got that all wrong), so I went home and promptly changed into an edgy ensemble of black blazer over graphic T-shirt, a pair of shorts, black pantyhose, and sneakers, and a winter hat that didn't really match, but needed to stay on my head because my hair was all flattened.

Ta-da! I did it! And then I went shopping, so the whole world could get a dose of my fashion finesse.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Snow Bunny

Remember last winter, when I had the big-time crush on the white fur-trimmed stripper boots? Well, despite their being completely impractical for my needs, I couldn't get them out of my head, and eventually I splurged on a slightly more sensible pair for 22 dollars in March—after the weather had turned too nice to be wearing fur boots. So I waited.

And I waited. Winter weather has certainly taken its time to arrive in my corner of Maryland, but it snowed yesterday morning! Of course, it had all turned to mud by the time I got dressed, but even melted snow is a good excuse to wear a new-to-you pair of winter boots!

This outfit had been sitting in the back of my mind for a couple weeks now, and it turned out every bit as adorable as I'd imagined! I got to make use of the long white sweater that I have so much trouble wearing. This time I wore it at its full length, with a long black tank top and black leggings underneath. With a monochromatic underlayer, the partial transparency of the sweater was not too much of a problem.

Without even realizing it, I wore the same earrings I had on the last time I wore this sweater. I guess some things are just meant to be together.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Black and Blue

Pants are kind of the ugly stepchild of my clothing collection. They're what I wear when I'm feeling lazy or cold or don't have any better ideas. It's not very often that I put together an outfit involving pants that I actually feel is worth blogging about.

The exception, of course, is when I'm wearing snazzy velvet pants with a satin belt. What isn't blogworthy about pants like that? You'll recall I wore these once last year for "The Recital Look," but today's outfit is more inspired, more refined (and velvet is making a comeback, so I look less like a lost performance artist wearing it).

The pants are unbelievably long—they almost sweep the floor even when I'm wearing my highest heels—which naturally makes them cool because they make me look taller. Since black is a depressing color, I paired them with the brightest blue tank top I have, tucked in to give the belt top billing.

The necklace is a new acquisition. It doesn't quite go with the shirt, but it's close enough. It's also too long. I cannot for the life of me understand why 18 inches is the golden standard for necklace length. Every necklace I have that's around 18 inches ends up dangling right underneath the neckline of my shirt. I have to perform all kinds of artistic feats to get my necklaces short enough to actually wear.

The bolero on top was kind of a throw-away. I would have preferred something a little more sumptuous, to go with the pants, or nothing at all, but alas, it is winter, so I wore this plain-looking top to keep my arms warm.

All in all, I think I like this outfit because of the dramatic color contrast. Even though it involves pants.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Black for Christmas

I seem to have a knack for inadvertently wearing red for Christmas parties. I had planned to wear this dress yesterday, but I got sick in the morning, went in to work late, and decided it wasn't worth getting all dressed up for just a partial day. So I saved it for today instead, which happens to be the date of our department's holiday party.

The dress came in a very cheap lot of 5, so I got it for a total of a whopping 2$, which makes it hands-down the bargainest dress I own. It's a lightweight cotton and strapless besides, which technically makes it a summer dress, but then, almost all the dresses I find are summer dresses, and I can't just wear pants and sweaters all winter! At least the colors in this one are dark enough to pass it off as a winter frock, provided it's covered with the proper sweater.

The sweater is an old one I've had for years. Last year, I kind of stopped wearing it because I felt it made me look frumpy, but I kept it around because it was so sensible. With all its chunkiness, it is the perfect article to tone down an overly fancy silhouette. I ended up wearing it buttoned at the middle, which reduced the chunk factor just a bit.

And on my feet, you'll see I'm doing that thing—that thing where you let your socks peep over the top of your boots. This thing isn't my favorite trend on the books, but I decided to embrace it just this once to give my red Christmas socks a chance to shine.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What you don't see is the staples

When you first glance at this outfit I'm wearing, you might come to the conclusion I'm an Ohio State fan (I'm not). You might guess I'm going to an office Christmas party (I am, but that's just a coincidence). You will probably not postulate that it is held together by staples (it is).

I set out this outfit on Sunday night, but on Monday, the forecast was just too warm to wear long sleeves! On Tuesday, I had to do a presentation and wanted to look a little more professional. Finally on Wednesday, I was ready to wear my outfit. And only then did the problems start!

The neckline of the dress was too low and showed my bra. I pulled the dress up and hoped for the best. Then, when I got to work and took off my coat, I discovered the necklace had fallen apart and 2 of the three strands had disconnected from the clasp. Meanwhile, my dress had slipped down again and was showing more of the bra than ever!

In a moment of sheer genius, I decided to staple the necklace back together. That didn't work, but by bending the staple a few times around the errant strands, I was able to make it functional again.

I was on a stapling roll, and decided I might as well staple the dress to my bra to keep it from sliding down! That didn't work either, but forcing the staples through with my hands and bending the edges into place with some pliers did.

Style Tip Staples! The quick fix for any wardrobe malfunction!

Now, just a quick once-over of what you can see. I bought this dress on eBay for 12 dollars, and as soon as I got it, I was appalled at how boring and grey it was! What was I thinking!? Fortunately, I had the brilliant idea to spice it up with red tights and a red necklace. Now I have to say it's one of the most interesting outfits I've come up with this fall.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Shopping Hood: Woman in Tights

I've made it abundantly clear that I don't like skinny jeans. However, it looks like they're sticking around for a while (fortunately, wide-leg pants are still an acceptable, though less-chosen, alternative), and I have realized there are some circumstances under which skinny jeans are the ideal item. OK, one circumstance: when you need something to wear under your boots.

Now, I love me some good knee-high boots, and any type of clothing that will allow me to wear them more often is OK in my book. I've already discovered that leggings are very useful for this purpose, but leggings, being somewhat thin, are limited to wearing with skirts or tops that cover your bottom. There are some girls who do not feel bound by this nicety, but I for one prefer to keep the contours of my butt and underwear a more closely guarded secret. Jeans are a thicker material that I feel safe to wear as a top layer.

Unfortunately, there's still a problem. All the skinny jeans also have a low-rise, which is fine until you sit down. Then they tend to have no-rise, and – just like leggings – reveal more of me than I care to show. Sigh...the tribulations of having high standards.

And all this narrative, to introduce an outfit that I would have worn with skinny jeans if I had them—My green and tan striped sweater and brown walking boots. I call these walking boots because I bought them specifically to wear on outings where I'd be doing a lot of walking. They allow me to be trendy without wearing heels. Sadly, they also are too big and require me to wear outrageously fluffy socks to keep them in place. I promise I will lay off the online shoe shopping!

In the absence of skinny jeans, I chose to wear this outfit with brown leggings underneath. I'm not really thrilled with the way the colors interact, but it was either that or the tan leggings that make me look like I'm wearing nothing on my legs and additionally have become incredibly anemic below the waist.

I wore this outfit to do some shopping. The forest greens and browns, plus the tall boots, put me in mind of Robin Hood, hence the rather silly title of this post. No, leggings aren't technically tights, but I think we can all get past that.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Color Me Two-Toned... Sort of.

It seems like every time I come up with a new color scheme, I like to claim it's my favorite color scheme. I've proclaimed my love for monochromatic schemes in several posts, and I've extolled the virtues of purple and green at least twice. Another one of my favorites is to wear all black, with one item in a bright color as an accent. Hence, today's outfit.

It was warm today - in the 60's - which, for December, makes me very happy. To celebrate, I wanted to wear light and bright clothing.

My green cropped sweater with 3/4 sleeves was an obvious choice, although what to wear with it proved more of a challenge. Black? White? A combination of black and white? Long skirt? short skirt? Pants?

After many try-ons, I settled for what you see here: A long black pleated skirt, a black tank top underneath, and black ankle-strap shoes. I wasn't sure how the ankle straps would look with the long skirt, but in looking at the photos, I can conclude that it wasn't a bad idea.

This skirt is a size 14, in other words, much larger than my usual size. It sometimes slides down a bit, but mainly it fits just fine, which has taught me a lesson.

When too big isn't

Most of the time, wearing clothes that are too big for you is a no-no (if you are built like a runway model, you might not have this problem). The one exception I've found is skirts with elastic waistbands. Go ahead and buy these as large as you want. You'll get more fabric for your money, meaning a more dramatic and flowy skirt, and the elastic will probably hold it up on you anyway.

The last piece to this outfit – and the one that turns it from just another green getup into a piece of art – is the necklace. I bought this recently on eBay, thinking black jewelry would be nicely versatile, and it is! It's actually a long, multistranded bead necklace, but it was just the right length to wrap around my neck twice and make into a chunky choker. Interesting effect.