Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Jelly / Fish

With a brand-new fish-covered dress in my wardrobe and a brunch cruise down the Potomac River on my social calendar, I knew I had to combine them for a cheesy, aquatic-themed Sunday afternoon.

Subtlety is not my middle name. That's why I chose a very large pair of earrings shaped like fish!
If the flashy dress and outsized thematic earrings weren't enough indication that I was trying to make a spectacle of myself, the shoes should have ended the question. I wore my my pastel pink jelly shoes with glitter inside for only the second time. 

When it comes to pink and glittery, my motto is the more the merrier, so for my inevitable need for sun protection, I employed a matching pair of shades.
That's my handsome brunch date enjoying his bottomless mimosas with me.
I feel like this is the kind of outfit Ms. Frizzle would wear for an undersea adventure. Sadly, my own adventure never took me off the deck of our luxury riverboat, but did you know Ms. Frizzle's first name is also Valerie? Maybe a magical schoolteacher career is still in my future! Until then, I'll just have to settle for the shores of Washington D.C.
I'm on a boat!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Flowers for Drupalcon

Being the web developer that I am, I attend a lot of conferences relating to Drupal—usually about 2 a year. By this time, I've established a sort of conference "uniform" that typically comprises a pair of jeans, some sensible walking shoes, and a T-shirt or sweater depending on the climate. Usually I don't find my conference uniform remarkable enough to blog about (except this once), but occasionally I do make an exception and try to wear something a little more refined (like last year's refashioned floral tank top).

This year, the summer conference (Drupal GovCon) took place during a pretty intense heat wave, and there was no way I was going to be wearing anything with sleeves for weather like that, so every day of the conference, I wore some kind of tank top over my usual jeans, except on the third and final day, when I decided to mix things up a bit and wear a brand-new dress.

Alone, this dress isn't too special (except that I got it as part of a 3-for-10-dollar deal!), but since I just happened to have a perfectly coordinating pair of sunglasses (an even better deal as they were a gift!), well, I had to take a picture.

It doesn't hurt that I also got the opportunity to wear a new pair of shoes (summery, stylish, and still sensible for walking all at the same time!)...

...And that my conference badge was a pretty great match for the dress as well!

Sunday, July 17, 2016


When wearing an enormous red bandanna-print skirt, it can be hard to take your outfit very seriously. You can be reasonably certain that the average passerby is going to make mental jokes about your being an extra from Oklahoma! So you might as well embrace your extremely countrified image, and wear a red bandanna around your neck as well.

Then, since white and red is the name of the game, top it all off with your earrings made from reclaimed Coke cans, and you're practically an all-American poster child!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Brown Beige and Blingy Reprise

Early on in my Unfashion career, I posted a look I called "Brown Beige and Blingy." Five years have passed since then, and since today's outfit could easily be classified under the same title, let's look at the new with an eye to the old!

Blast from the past
Back in 2011, my outfit featured a ribbed wife-beater-style tank top (I am sorry that I don't know a less insensitive term for this type of shirt, but that's what the boys called it back in 2000, and that's the most unambiguous term I've ever heard for it). That was the predominant type of casual tank when I posted that look (I remember Old Navy once held a big 2-dollar sale event for them, and sold out before I got there). Nowadays, if you must wear a tank top, it is generally billowy near the bottom, and certainly not ribbed, so I wouldn't be caught dead wearing a wife-beater in public. In today's outfit, I have chosen a sleeveless button-up blouse, sensible and work appropriate. Because the top is extra long, I've left the bottom two buttons undone to better let it conform to the flared shape of the skirt underneath.

Speaking of the skirt, that's where most of the "blingy" portion of this outfit comes from, as it is heavily embellished with sequins. Oddly enough, my stance on sequins has completely reversed. In 2011, I stated that the sequins on my tank top made it "a little too flashy for my style"—these days, flashy is my bread and butter, and I almost can't resist every iced-out garment that comes my way. The skirt in my old outfit was the plainest part of it, and in fact, is still a staple in my wardrobe today, though the sandals and tank top long ago left my service (sandals broke in Indonesia, tank top probably got sold?).

In today's outfit, I am not wearing sandals (although I considered it), but a pair of brown ballet flats. I have had these flats for years—long enough that they are starting to look a little shabby, and I can't believe that I've never pictured them in my blog. Here, take a good long look.

As you can see, they bring their own bling, in the form of jewel-studded buckles on the toes.

The shoes are an interesting symbol of how my tastes have evolved since starting this blog. Five years ago, flat sandals like the ones in my original post were a diversion from my usual non-work footwear: flip flops (Today, flip flops are scorned, and I am proud to say I have purged my collection of dress-up flip flops, replacing them with nicer buckled sandals). At that time, high heels were a novelty deserving of an entire post about the thinness of their heels or the height of their platform. By 2016, high heels are such an integral part of my daily wardrobe that I feel like I have to defend my decision every time I wear flats.

But the times, they are a-changing again! Even though I try not to do too much walking in my stilettos (I commute to work in flip flops or sneakers and keep a pair of nicer-looking flats at my desk for midday errands), I'm still concerned it's not enough. I can't help but keep reading things about how bad heels are for your overall structural health, even if you don't wear them that often. So, not wanting to end up with hammertoes, bunion surgery, painful corns, or prematurely blown-out knees, I'm making a conscious effort to wear flat or low-heeled shoes (with a 2-inch rise or less) twice a work week. 

Last topic! Although unrelated to my mostly jewelry-free past,   I do want to share one unique feature of this outfit—another necklace hack!

Another way to shorten your necklace

Just as you can use a collared shirt to hide the way you've extended your necklace, you can also use it to hide the way you've shortened your necklace. This is a good temporary fix that is less labor-intensive and bulky than knotting it.

Just use a safety pin to attach the two pieces of necklace together at their desired length.
Then twist the trailing ends around the joined chain a few times, maybe loop them back up into the safety pin if they're long enough, then...
Tuck the whole mess under your collar. Admittedly it's not gorgeous from the back, but it makes for a perfect front view!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Red, White, and Blue

Monday was the 4th of July, and that means that last Friday was the beginning of IndepenDANCE weekend, and that means it was time to party! A bunch of friends and I were going to an Above & Beyond concert, and I wanted to wear something patriotic.

Normally for an occasion like this, I'd plan a spectacular outfit days in advance, but I was still settling into my new house and just ran out of time. So the evening of the concert, I got off work, rushed home, and scoured my closet. I had various items with stars, others with stripes, and many that were red, white, and blue, but nothing that cohesively produced an Americana vibe.

So I decided to let my makeup be the patriotic focus of this look—once again choosing to wear complicated eye makeup for a dark concert! The last time I made this mistake, I promised myself I'd add blacklight body paint to the mix, and this time I did, drawing hearts and stars and messages all over myself in invisible ink. I don't think it ever showed up at the concert, but if it did, I hope someone appreciated it!
I also wore the same sequined shoes as that time (and for the last time, because I just sold them yesterday) and then decked the rest of myself out in various white and blue items (and star earrings, of course!). The necklace lights up—a required touch for any EDM concert.

The red-rimmed glasses were an especially fortunate accessory, as my boyfriend bought them for me the last time we went to a concert (they make everything you look at sparkly and rainbow-y) and they just happened to coordinate perfectly with this concert's ensemble. Unfortunately, I won't be wearing them again either, as I lost them at the show, along with my credit card, 40 dollars, one of my invisible-ink pens, and most of my dignity. 

At least I looked put-together when I stepped out.