Saturday, May 24, 2014

After all that...a little black dress

Getting dressed can be a challenge. Last night, I went out to Town, DC's largest gay dance club, and I shamefully admit that I spent the past 3 days agonizing over what to wear.

Typically, for a club, I'd wear a somewhat shiny or lacy dress and be good to go, but I like to be sure, so I checked out their website. The photos show mostly a bunch of guys in disheveled polo shirts (hardly dressy), interspersed with drag queens and guys in no shirts at all. This was hardly helpful for a woman who would not show up anywhere in a polo shirt or shirtless.

Party Earth, my go-to guide for dress codes and insider info, revealed that, despite what the pictures indicate, people who go to Town are generally well dressed, and that girls wear "short dresses."

Well, all right, I guessed that settled it. I decided to indeed go with my clubbing clothes, but frankly, I am tired of my short dresses. I've worn them all before, and I had a couple new dresses in longer lengths that I really wanted to try.

By the morning of, I was all set to wear the purple one with the high-low hem when I remembered that purple is a color of significance to the gay pride movement, and I did happen to be going to a gay club. I didn't want my dress to be misconstrued as a political statement, and besides, I think my purple hair is making all the statement I need.

I have a simple black dress that was less likely to call attention, but with a deviously fringed bottom edge. The only catch was, I was afraid that if I danced in it, I would tangle the (very long) fringe. Not to mention the difficulties it would pose while getting there on Metro and my bike.

All the mental wrestling came to a complete anticlimax when I finally decided to wear a little black dress—the signature look of the indecisive and the uncertain. However, I was still excited to wear it, because the simple backdrop made my hair stand out, and I got to wear a new pair of gold earrings that I really dig.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

International Fashion Week: The USA

You might have noticed that my "International Fashion Week" has been pretty heavy on the Asia.

I set out to rectify that on Friday, dressing myself in the stereotypical American outfit of jeans, cowboy boots, a blouse knotted at the waist, and pigtails.

Monday, May 19, 2014

International Fashion Week: China

I was out sick on Thursday, so I nixed the outfit I would have worn that day to represent India. It was a pretty poor representation, so you aren't missing much.

You might recognize Thursday's particular Chinese-style dress, as I blogged about it  two autumns ago. Since then, I have removed the sleeves (as I do with much of my clothing) to make it better fit my massive shoulders. I also got up the guts to wear it as a dress instead of a shirt.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

International Fashion Week: Japan

Last year, I saw this nifty print on a dress on eBay. Actually, numerous dresses. It was being sold by bunches of different sellers in bunches of different styles, but after several months of watching and waiting, I finally saw it in my price range (only $11). I especially liked this version because it had a pastel background that really emphasized the wave.

I have always enjoyed this classic piece of art, so I am delighted to have it on my very own piece of clothing! Oddly enough, even though I've seen this picture oodles of times, I never noticed it contained boats until I got the dress. So today's outfit is not only a fashion statement, but also an educational experience!

In case you were unaware of all the details, as I was, the picture on the dress is "The Great Wave off Kanagawa," a woodblock print by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

International Fashion Week: Indonesia

Last Sunday night, feeling uncreative but wanting to celebrate the first really warm work day of the year, I grabbed a dress out of my closet I'd never worn, and set it out to wear on Monday. It was a simple blue batik dress that my boyfriend had brought me from Indonesia.

Later in the day, I started mulling the possibility of doing a themed clothing week (I do that sometimes, just to amuse myself and see if anyone notices), I originally thought I'd go with all blue outfits (again). But then I decided that would get boring. So I thought,  a rainbow! Different color every day! But then I decided that should really start with red. So then I thought, Indonesian dress? Why not feature clothes from different countries? Seeing as I don't really have a lot of "traditionally Insert_country_name_here" clothing, I knew I might have to stretch the definition a little.

How did it turn out? Well, stay tuned, because I'll be sharing one of each of the week's outfits over the next few days!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A novel use for a scarf

Scarves. They're so lovely. Long, flowing shapes, colorful designs, silky luxurious fabrics... I love everything about scarves—except wearing them.

Every time I try to wrap one of my gorgeous fashion scarves (I have 4) around my neck, I immediately cringe and take it off again. Far from achieving the glamorous, flowing-in-the wind appearance I imagine, the scarf usually makes me look dowdy.

Here are some ways you are supposed to wear a scarf, which I borrowed from another blog.

None of these look good on me. Actually, to be objective, I don't think they look particularly good on anyone. Scarves bunched up around one's neck just add a lot of volume, resulting in a top-heavy, graceless appearance. Scarves draped down one's front seem somewhat sloppy. And my scarves, at least, always seem to expand to their full width once thus draped, evoking images of a toddler in a bib.

So the most common function of my scarves is usually to sit in a corner of my room and be the object of my wistful gazing.

I gave my butterfly scarf another go recently, but this time, rather than wearing it up top, which always seems to result in resounding failure, I wrapped it around my hips like an especially wide belt. I'm always in favor of adding more volume to my bottom half, and I like the way the tails of the scarf dangle down in a skirt-like way.

Friday, May 9, 2014

All white already

There seems to be an unwritten rule among fashion bloggers that an all-white ensemble is something you must do at some point, if not regularly.  Wearing all white was on my fashion bucket list, but it wasn't supposed to be so soon!

This outfit was originally going to be a very proper and prim affair in pink and white, anchored by a pink and white houndstooth blazer. But when I put said blazer on in the morning, I realized it had a ripped seam down the back, which kind of put a damper on the properness of it all.

So, thinking fast, I traded in the blazer for a white cardigan, and suddenly I found myself wearing the all-white ensemble of my imagination!

I decided to enhance the look with a somewhat huge rhinestone-studded flower (thus knocking another of Grandma's brooches off my to-wear list), the green stem making this outfit technically not monochromatic any more, but definitely more fun!

The matching clip-on earrings were only worn for the duration of this photo shoot, as they give me a headache something fierce!

Monday, May 5, 2014

24 (Give or take)

I hate winter for many reasons, but one of the biggest ones is the clothes. With the exception of boots, winter clothes just don't make me happy. They come in duller colors and bulky, unflattering shapes—and it doesn't help that fewer winter clothes take up a lot more space. I have to make a conscious effort, full of struggle and strife, to find enough new winter clothes every year to satisfy my need for variety. Summer clothes, on the other hand, seem to just magically appear in my closet. At the end of winter, I always seem to have a significant collection of never-worn clothing, just waiting in the wings for the weather to warm up. This year, I somehow managed to have no less than 24 summer garments by the time the temperature had hit 60 for a week (my cue to put away my winter wardrobe).

I acquired them in various ways, from wishful shopping mid-winter, to hand-me-downs from a friend, to a gift or two, to a couple that I actually bought last summer, but didn't alter to fit in time.

The photo depicts 23 articles of clothing, all tops and dresses, but I have a few more virgin articles already hanging in my closet.

I'll be the first to admit that this collection might be overkill, but that doesn't mean I'm not excited about it! I have almost a whole month's supply of clothes ready to wear! I can't wait for the next phase in wardrobe switching (tank top weather) to arrive!

I only wish my winter clothes were so fun.

Epilogue: This post reminds me of the last time I laid out a pile of clothes on the floor like this—when I documented my spending spree of early 2012. Of the 30 garments and accessories pictured in that post, I only have 16 today (and 2 of those are, respectively, on my to-sell list and in my spare clothing box at my boyfriend's house). I like to think this means that I am responsible about acquiring clothing, keeping the total number of possessions down to acceptable levels.

Saturday, May 3, 2014