Wednesday, August 27, 2014


To start, I'll warn you in advance and apologize for not exactly producing the most helpful how-to post here, but to prove I really am capable of making and remixing, I have titled it with the most multi-layered portmanteau I could invent! Now read on to find out what makes this post so unhelpful!

Remember when I told you I'd do a DIY post on the sad cat shirt I got at Urban Outfitters? I don't blame you; it was over half a year ago!

Since then, I actually did the DIY, and all that remained was to do the post. Well, here you go! A fascinating tutorial on turning a plain old T-shirt into something an Unfashionista might actually wear!

What I started with was your typical oversized men's T-shirt. Even at a size small, it was way too big for me to look good in! It needed some serious help.

I started by removing the sleeves (usually my first response to any T-shirt) and giving it its first trial. Classy muscle-tee look? Check!

Then, using the neckline of another, slightly more stylish T-shirt as a guide, I cut off the collar. The other one had a raw hem there, so I figured that would be good enough for this shirt!

This is what I ended up with.

Now for another trial run.

Whoa, almost looks like it has ears!

Now, this is the point in every DIY where I get frustrated by trying to get decent photos of tiny pins in black fabric in the terrible lighting of my bedroom at night and suddenly stop trying. You should be able to figure it out from here, right?

Well, in case you haven't, I'll give you a brief synopsis and one more pic.

I did leave the neckline raw, but I hemmed the shoulders.

Then, because the shirt still fit like a sack, I tailored it a bit. Normally, I tailor shirts to fit by taking in each side by a few inches. But because this shirt was so big and I'd have to take in so much of it, and because the best part was the front, and I didn't want my side seams to infringe on that, I put two equal darts in the back instead. You can kind of see them in this picture.

After putting additional seams up the back of the shirt, I had to re-cut the neckline in the back so it looked smooth again.

Then, I waited several months until I finally had the time to snap a picture of the shirt while it was on me (I wore it at least twice without this happening) as part of a reasonable everyday outfit (not as part of a "crazy cat lady" costume, which was its first public appearance).

But finally, one recent Saturday, I pulled it out of my closet, threw some leggings on under it, snapped a photo, and wore it out to Ikea.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

He liked it so he put a ring on it!

My boyfriend will be so annoyed if he reads this title—he hates that song, and we have certainly not gotten engaged...but he did buy me a ring for my birthday.

That was a pretty bold move, considering how much I've complained about being unable to wear rings....But a very well timed move, considering how I've so recently revised my ring stance. Maybe he really does read my blog after all! This ring might be one of the best ones out there for knobby fingers such as mine, because it can be bent to fit tighter once it's fully on. Plus, it's beautiful. I love it!

I promised I would blog about it the first time I wore it (whether he reads or not) and so I assembled this outfit around it.
Normally when I want to call attention to a piece of jewelry, I would try to choose clothing in a neutral or contrasting shade, but this outfit was going green all the way. With the leafy green ring and almost matching leafy green earrings, green dress, green beaded belt, there's little on it that isn't green. I almost wore it with green shoes, but ditched them at the last minute because I didn't like the way the different shades clashed.

With all that green, it's not the ring but the royal blue sweater that steals the show, but you and I know this outfit's real reason for being.

As a finishing touch, I wore my little silver kissing birds necklace. I thought it nicely reflected the silver in the ring, was a cute way to tie together the nature-y theme of green and leaves...and serves to signify the love that went into my boyfriend's gift to me! Awwwww....

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Rave-ready Rainbow

One of my favorite color schemes in the whole world is...rainbow! I have a saved eBay search dedicated to it and everything!

Yet in real life, I don't get as many opportunities to dress in rainbows as I would like, because they can be just a little too flamboyant for everyday wear. But one occasion that's perfect for my colorful penchant to show its stripes? An EDM concert!

In celebration of my birthday, I went to the Cosmic Gate concert on Saturday, and I got decked out in as many colors and as much bling as I could cram into one outfit.

A rainbow sheer tank top! Cutoff shorts with sequined pockets! Sequined shoes (conveniently flat-soled for a long night of dancing)! Gym socks? Maybe not the coolest choice, but I had to wear something to keep the sequins from cutting up my feet!

When I was done dressing, the outfit was looking pretty fly, but the accessorizing had yet to begin.
Rainbow unicorn necklace! Caviar-textured heart earrings! Cuff bracelet with – what else? – more sequins!

And then, the high point of my outfit, rainbow eye makeup! At least, I thought it was the high point until I realized (for only the millionth time) that no one can see your makeup or your excellent color choices in a dark crowded place. It's a good thing I snapped some pictures for my blog in advance. Next time I'm going with blacklight body paint. 
At least I had LEDs in my hair, to make up for the fact that no one could see the artistry on my face!

By the way, here's what my boyfriend wore. I really liked the tank top and his color coordination, so I felt I had to share it.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Same shirt, different day

You might recognize this tank top from last week's courtroom getup. This is the outfit the way I originally intended to wear it, complete with white cardigan and matching white shoes.

These shoes were "so last year" when I bought them (last year) and their trendiness has not improved with age. So I'm a little late to the heelless high heels game, but this is only my second time wearing them, and they're still too new (to me) for me to let popular opinion ruin my fun. I love the unconventional shape, and on this pair in particular, I'm really fond of the white-stained-wood effect of the platforms (that's really just a printed vinyl coating, but a girl can pretend!).

My other favorite thing about this ensemble is the pants. They are fully reversible, so while one side looks like totally ordinary dark wash blue jeans, the other side is a completely wild purple snakeskin design. Naturally I haven't found many ways to wear the snakeskin side, but with this outfit, it works perfectly just peeking out of the cuff, since its pattern and color are so similar to that of the tank top.

The earrings just appeared on my coffee table yesterday (literally—they are hand-delivered hand-me-downs!) and they turned out to be the perfect complement to my purple color scheme.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

You be the judge

Stop in the name of the law!
In planning my clothes for jury duty this week, I had two goals:
1) Adhere to the dress code, which requested "anything that you would wear to an office that presents a professional appearance" and "no shorts, cut-off jeans, halter, tank or tube tops or other attire that revealst the abdomen or lower back, spandex or mesh garments."
2) Look as unprofessional as possible within those bounds, so as to make a poor impression, be seen as an irresponsible person, and hopefully minimize my chances of actually getting selected for a jury.

The more I think about it, the less I am sure that that is the most effective way to avoid jury duty, but nonetheless, it produced the blog-worthy outfit you are now seeing!

I started with jeans, because nice jeans can totally be worn to an office (on casual Friday, at least!) but they are definitely not the kind of pants that scream "businesslike!"

I already had one outfit in my advance-planning arsenal that involved jeans, and I thought it would make a nicely lackadaisical impression in a courtroom. It featured a purple tank top, covered with a short-sleeved flowy cardigan. Sure, the tank top is covered up, but the dress code explicitly stated that tank tops were forbidden, which is the genius of this subtly subversive element. It also means I can take off the cardigan when the day is over and achieve an instantly different look. The semi-sheer fabric is a nice touch, I think. Yes, you can see through it, but only in certain light, so it could easily be interpreted as an honest mistake (which it actually was) or a deliberate attempt to test the limits of the court.

Originally, I planned this outfit with a white cardigan and sandals, but since I didn't want to wear sandals in a place that was likely to be cold, I revised a bit and chose the same light green cardigan I'd worn the day before and a pair of kitten heel pumps in a similar hue.

In the end, I was dismissed before ever appearing in the court room, so the big questions remain unanswered. Is trying to look unreliable the best way to get struck from a jury? Would this outfit have helped me or hurt me? I don't know. What's your verdict?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Watermelon Jane

I got this lovely pink and green dress on clearance for 7 dollars last fall, and waited with infinite patience for the perfect summer occasion to wear it.

And came! My birthday! A splash of watermelon shades was just what I needed to commemorate the summer day of my entry into the world!

To make the sundress a little more office-appropriate, I covered the top with a flowy short-sleeved cardigan in yet another shade of pastel green and added pink sandals.

A few dots of pink and green in my earrings and necklace, and I was all set. Decked out in pastels and ready to party!

Or, as it happened, to go to work. The real party comes later, but I don't know if I can top this outfit.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Gypsy, Hippie, or Both

When I bought this dress on eBay, the photo had a rosy cast that made me believe I was purchasing a pale pink dress.

Turns out I was not, and the garment I received was as brown as the earth.

Being a color lover, I was mildly disappointed, until I realized that the dress was the perfect complement to this coffee-and-copper scarf that I've had for two or more years and been unable to wear with anything!

In keeping with my head-covering mission, I wound it up into kind of a modified turban (I tied the tails with a rubber band so they could hang down in all their metallic glory instead of tucking them into the wrapping as seems to be more customary).

Then I added enormous gold earrings with a sort of leafy, sort of ornate design that I felt reflected well the embroidered details on the dress.

I felt I had a good bohemian thing going, so I put on my most hand-painted sandals and had a good frolic in the grass.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Geek chic

One of the announcement emails for the conference I attended this week stated: "Attire: This is a tech event. Unless you are planning to be at a meeting, jeans and a T-shirt are acceptable attire. You will be moving from room to room and where necessary and possible, playing with code, so be comfortable."

Ha! An Unfashionista laughs in the face of jeans and a T-shirt!

I was determined to raise my attire bar a little higher, so I spent hours before and on the first day trying to find the right mix of clothing that would be comfortable (for walking and for sitting, both in excessive air conditioning and outside in the heat), yet stylish, yet not look like I was trying too hard. Yeah, I spent hours trying to not look like I was trying too hard.

Even more ironic, my most successful outfit of the 3-day event was on the last day, when I finally jeans and a T-shirt. While the other outfits didn't garner any comments (other than "you look comfortable." Ugh! Poisonous words to the stylish!), the simple and lazy outfit I wore on Friday was a hit (garnering a whopping two favorable comments).

Apparently the jeans, DrupalCon tee, and sneakers say, "I'm a complete computer nerd," while the heels say "Well, maybe not a complete one." So now you know how to be a successful (Un)fashionista at tech event.

I was fortunate enough to have a husband-and-wife team of brilliant iPhone photographers take pictures of me in this outfit, so here it is from a variety of artful perspectives!