Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Some stuff to read

While you're waiting (with bated breath, I'm sure) for my next outfit post, there are a couple of clothing-related stories on my other blog that might interest you:
Until later...

Thursday, February 20, 2014

One Skirt, Four Seasons: Winter

Not too long ago, I got this skirt. It's a fake leather, deep purple, pencil skirt. It's not something I consider quite my style, as I'm not big on pencil skirts, nor on leather and its lookalikes. But leather has been everywhere lately, and it's hard to avoid getting a little interested in the trend. I was also pretty intrigued by the unconventional purple color, so I bought it. At three dollars, it wasn't going to be a big loss even if I never wore it.

And, as it turns out, that is exactly what happened. It sat in my closet for weeks while I rejected it for outfit upon outfit. Finally, one day, I set myself a challenge to find clothes in my closet that I could wear with this skirt. And what I came up with was a surprising wealth of possibilities! I have now planned a different outfit featuring this skirt for each season of the year!

This is the winter look. It features a purple and forest green theme, tied together by a pair of cozy legwarmers with all the colors. I was especially excited when I found two bracelets in more of the same, which I stacked on my wrist for a fun bracelet-heavy look that I don't often sport.

Originally the winter look for this skirt was going to feature my gold sweater, but I got stumped as to how to keep my legs warm without resorting to black leggings, which wouldn't really complement the other colors, so stay tuned...this skirt has 3 more seasons to go, and possibly another winter showing as well!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

How to stretch your shoes

Though I've mentioned before that I am none too thrilled about pointy-toed shoes, they're not going anywhere for a while, and I would like to share a trick I've found for making them more comfortable.

Sure, they sell shoe stretchers, if you want to drop 10 to 20 dollars, but you can also do it the Unfashion way (which is not, by the way, putting a bag of water in them and then putting them in the freezer, despite what the Internet would have you believe). All you'll need is your shoes and a few pairs of socks.

I used the below process on the shoes in my Arctic Ocean post, and I found I was able to wear them all day without too much discomfort in my toe region.
  1. Heat the shoes. I'm not kidding. I think warming up your shoes first softens the material and makes this process a lot easier. I've done it in the oven at the lowest temperature setting (170­°F), but I prefer to put them in the direct path of the blower when the gas heat is on. Once they are warm...
  2. Put on some socks
  3. Put on a thicker pair of socks over the first pair.
  4. Put on the shoes.
  5. Wear them for a few minutes. Walk around a bit. Put some pressure on the parts that hurt. You can do this for as long as  you want, but I recommend waiting at least until the shoes have cooled down to room temperature before taking them off.
  6. Take off the socks. Now your shoes should be marginally more comfortable than before!
A few caveats as always when doing things the cheapskate way: This process works extremely well on leather (to the point that I actually made a pair of shoes too big the first time I tried it) and less well on synthetics. It will stretch your shoes uniformly, so if you only want to gain width but not length or vice versa, or stretch just one part of the shoe, this may not be the best method.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

It isn't easy wearing green...corduroys

The fashion authorities seem to have mixed feelings about corduroy pants, always assuring you that they're not tacky any more, you can wear them; and advising you to throw away your notions of huge corduroy bell bottoms from the 70's. I, for one, never had that notion, but reading all the cautious advice makes me feel like wearing corduroy is taking a fashion risk.

Nonetheless, how could I resist corduroy when it comes in the color of a beautiful spring day? I've had these pants a while and worn them a couple of times, but mainly in outfits that involved throwing a sweater over them and running out the door.

This is the first time I've worn them in a carefully composed, blogworthy outfit. And how do I wear them? With a tunic and a long pendant just like a hippie who would have worn huge corduroy bell bottoms from the 70's! Sigh. I'm so bad at taking advice.

Nonetheless, I like my the hippie aesthetic, and I played it up with rainbow beaded bracelets, colorful earrings, and a braid. The only sad thing about this look was that the poorly made medallion had sharp metal bits that kept snagging on my shirt, and I took it off before lunchtime to preserve the fabric.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Lace Monstrosities

I admit that the moment I bought these shoes, I knew they were not going to be very practical. Ivory lace? It's just going to get shredded, muddy, discolored, snagged. But I took one look at that towering heel and lace-up vamp and there was no turning back.

Once they arrived, I admired them with awe, then spent several days trying to plan outfits to wear with them. My cigarette pants ended up looking dumb (too much gap between shoe and pant). My dress worn as a skirt (yeah, I was originally intending to wear it with these shoes) ended up looking dumb. Khakis looked dumb. White tights looked dumb. Long pants would have looked OK, but they would have covered up the shoes!

Finally, I wore them with this green dress and black tights, which I think works because the pattern on the dress kind of has lacy characteristics, and the black details work well with the black (actually very dark brown) in the heels.

I felt this was another look that makes my ankles look awkwardly skinny and reminds me of ostrich leg, so after several attempts at softening this effect with various types of socks, I eventually settled on the leg warmers.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Just kidding, it's a dress!

Do you remember this skirt? Probably not, because the last time you saw it, it wasn't a skirt!

I decided I like it much better floor-length than awkwardly skimming my ankles, so I pulled it down to my hips and topped it with a black tank and cranberry sequined thing-a-ma-bobber (what do you call a blouse that's not quite a blouse, not quite a sweater, not quite a bolero, and not quite a shrug? I'll let you know when I find out!).

There. Yet another way to think outside the box.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Two by two

I don't often blog my outfits on the weekends—typically because my weekend uniform usually consists of lounge pants and a mismatched T-shirt—but I put a little more effort into this one because I wanted to impress my boyfriend for his glorious homecoming!

I don't think he noticed, because the combination of jetlag and a number of delays probably rendered him fairly uninterested in what I was wearing, but at least you, dear Internet, can appreciate it!

I was taken by the combination of a blue-green sweater and a just-slightly-different-blue-green tank top worn underneath...combined with brown jeans and just-slightly-different-brown boots over the top. Two almost-identical-color garments worn side-by-side next to two other almost-identical-color garments! I feel like there's all sorts of mathematical extrapolations that can be drawn from this! Or not.