Sunday, February 28, 2016

Curls' Night Out

Every late winter for the past 3 years, I have enjoyed attending the Monte Carlo Night gala put on by a friend's business school. It is probably the most formal event I ever get invited to, so I gleefully look forward to the opportunity to get dressed to the nines each year (Here's what I wore last year, and here's the year before).

The event was especially momentous this year, since it is the first Monte Carlo night I've attended in a full-length dress, and the first I've attended with short hair, and  it might also be the first time I've managed to get all of my hair to curl successfully!

Sure, you've seen spiral tendrils here and there (trotted out mostly for Halloween), but to get a full head of well formed curls has been out of the question for pretty much my whole life. I gave up on my Magic Leverag spiral curlers when my hair got too long for them and donated them before I moved to the apartment, and my hot rollers met the same fate a month or so ago, but giving up completely is just not in my nature.

Remembering the pretty nice set of ringlets I had achieved with Magic Leverag (I since concluded it must have really have been magic, because I never got the same results again), I bought another set by a different cheap-knockoff manufacturer and tried them out! Magically, again, they worked! It took me a few trials to figure out how to deal with the way they only spiral in one direction, which produces rather drastically different results on each side of my head, but eventually I found a technique that worked! Internal curlers, you are my new best friend!
Modeling my 'do before the...
...big to-do!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Tunic fix

Recently I bought a lot of 5 tunics on eBay for 10 dollars.

They were all in some state of disrepair, but only the blue one was so damaged that I didn't feel it was worth repairing.

The other four were subjected to varying amounts of tailoring, and I can now say I'm the proud owner of 4 beautiful 2.50$ tunics (one of them is long enough to be considered a dress)! While I've always enjoyed having a few extra-long shirts for wearing over leggings, I can now say that tunics are a staple in my wardrobe!

It's clear from the construction of these that they were probably cheaply produced, and somewhat the worse for wear (even after my repair job), but they are made of such luxury-looking materials and with such luxury-looking ornamentation, I rarely fail to get a compliment when wearing one. Today's tunic earned an "I love your dress...thing!" 

It was actually one of the simpler fixes on the list.

Some of the seams were frayed on the inside (probably should have been overlocked) and were coming open, so I had to fix those.

The fit wasn't that flattering, so I decided to take in the waist. Since the fabric is woven and not stretchy, I had to come up with a solution that would allow me to pull the already-small tunic over my head and then fix the waist to fit. I chose to do this with a simple ribbon tie.

Side-ties are a fixture in one-size-fits-all clothing, and seemed to be extremely popular a decade or two ago. Many of the fashion blogs I read deride these features as unflattering or simply outmoded, but I love them because they are easy to install and easy to adjust to fit you perfectly.

For this tunic, I kept things really simple by inserting a safety pin on the inside of the side seam so that only a 1/4-inch length of metal showed on the outside.

In the space between this metal strip and the fabric of the garment, I threaded a pink satin rope with beads on the ends. (I remember exactly where it came from—it was a decorative belt that came with a pair of shorts I bought sometime around my high school graduation!)

I then did the same to the other side, using the other end of the satin rope. 

Now I can pull the rope to adjust the waist and tie it to keep it in place!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Change of plans

I bought this dress at the thrift store in early fall. Not because I really liked it, but just because it was cheap and looked like it came straight out of the 90s, and the 90s are cool right now. I planned to wear it with combat boots and sheer tights, but the weather got away with me.

Since that time, though, I've acquired knee-high lace-up boots, which are like combat boots but better. I will save the full-on 90s grunge look for another day (when it's warm enough to show off the iconic trapeze neckline), and today take advantage of the perfect color coordination of my favorite pink striped sweater and the figure-flattering effect of a skinny belt around my waist.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

What to wear for Valentine's Day

You're not really an Unfashionista if you don't dress up for the holidays—red and green for Christmas, pastels for Easter, orange and black for Halloween, and so on. For the past several years, my Valentine's Day outfits are the ones that stick out in my mind the most—thanks, no doubt, to my ever-rotating collection of pink clothing. Ready for a retrospective?

2012: I wore a chunky fuchsia sweater dress to work during the day, and traded it for a brighter pink tank dress for my dinner date with the BF.

2013: I can't remember why I was in such a bad mood when dressing myself that morning, but I chose to channel my inner Rizzo with a tough-girl outfit and pink cropped sweater. In the evening, I wore the same pink tank dress as the previous year to an anti-Valentine's Day singles party. Here's the dress, though not exactly how I wore it that day.

2014: Weather notwithstanding, my short-sleeved red dress carried me through work and even the drive through heavy snows to our cabin in the woods for a weekend ski trip. Fortunately we had a blazing fire to keep us warm once we arrived.

2015: Another Valentine's Day, another ski trip! Although I spent most of the day in a blue athletic top (trapped at the ski lodge for hours because of a snow storm—did I ever tell you that?), I changed for dinner into a pink sweater and jeans. I'd actually worn the sweater much more festively the previous week.

2016: Finally, after a needlessly sporty two-year hiatus, I actually had plans for Valentine's Day that would allow me to get dressed up! My boyfriend and I had reserved a table at a V-Day Sunday brunch. And, as I discovered 3 days before the event, I had nothing to wear!

By "nothing," I mean 20+ Valentine's colored articles ranging from dresses to accessories....but most of the key pieces are things I've worn so many times, I'd risk putting myself to sleep if I put them into my outfit! I actually spent two days straight (I exaggerate; I may have occasionally stopped to eat) trying to invent a great new V-Day outfit from these clothes.

In the end, I decided my pink pants were the newest and most exciting thing I could wear. I briefly considered pairing them with purple for a less overdone take on the holiday's traditional colors. But I ended up looking like I was wearing pajamas, so I scrapped that plan!

Finally, I decided on my black tank top with the magenta lacing and trim, and those newish pink shoes. As cute as that tank top is on its own, with temperatures in the low 20s, I didn't have high expectations for warmth, even inside a restaurant, so I grudgingly topped off the outfit with a black blazer.
Before the blazer
Fortuitously, a pair of earrings I had ordered online from China just arrived yesterday, and they happened to match the pinks in my clothing admirably! They also happened to be enormous! I had expected them to be around an inch in length, but they dangled to just about my shoulders in a show-stopping display of size! The colors of the outfit also happened to match my hair, which I had re-colored with the last dregs of my Punky Colour Pink Flamingo hair dye for the occasion.
Altogether, what with the pointy-toed stilettos, skinny pants, blazer, and monstrous earrings, I think I might have achieved an "80's Valentine" look. What do you think? 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Squirrel and Suit

I like to buy suits because they look sleek and cool, even though they don't really fit in with the casual dress code at my office. So it's rare that I actually wear a suit in its entirety (instead usually choosing to wear the separates separately, as I did the last time I blogged this pink dress).

However, lately I've been having a hankering to just wear a suit. So I went ahead and did it. But to prove I'm not too serious, I decorated it with my squirrel-and-acorn pin—rakishly positioned a little asymmetrically.

I intended to wear the skirt with white tights and boots, but, opening up my sock drawer, the first thing I noticed was my pink and burgundy legwarmers. Why not? The more ways you can dress down your stuffy business suit, the better! Interestingly, the last time I wore them  was exactly one year prior!

The final thing on the menu to de-professionalize this suit was my crazy textured hair. The helmet-like layered bob that I've been sporting in my recent posts is not exactly at the height of fashion, so I'm trying to find ways to wear it that don't evoke the image of middle-aged politicians. Being short, it responds to my efforts differently than it did when it was long, but I'm still mostly failing to get it to curl.

At least, after several attempts, I have managed a pretty decent textured wave (Achieved with 9 or so tiny buns all over my head, set when slightly damp and unpinned right before bed so they could loosen up overnight). While rattier than I would prefer, it's not too far off from the styles I see on short-haired celebrities...and at least with the pink tips and the clear dishevelment, I will never get mistaken for a politician!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Wishful springing

We've had a pretty mild winter here in Maryland, but then we were hit by freezing temperatures followed by a blizzard halfway through January, which kept us buried in snow for almost a week. Winter arrived late, but it certainly arrived! As you surely know, I hate winter, so I was pleased when the temperatures rose back up into the 50's this week (it's supposed to be 65 tomorrow!). I'm sure it won't last, but today's outfit is a celebration of the early arrival of spring!

I started with a desire to wear something green. And because I have a lot of skirts and dresses planned for the rest of the week, I thought it would be a great day for my green corduroy pants. With such a punchy color on bottom, I usually feel it's wise to go muted on top. So I wore my beige blouse.

The feature that probably makes this outfit is the addition of yellow as an accent. I have a pair of yellow shoes that I bought in the fall, during a sale-shopping spree I immediately regretted (four pairs, at 20 dollars each, my maximum price, what was I thinking!?). I had yellow shoes once. I found I hardly wore them, but then once I sold them, I wanted yellow shoes again. This time, I'm hoping the lower heel, lack of satin, and absence of ankle strap will make them more wearable. To prove that they are, I decided to pair them with my green pants—if the pants weren't punchy before, just take a look at them next to lemon-yellow shoes!

Of course, yellow and green pants and shoes can mean only one thing: yellow and green jewelry! It is just my luck that I have this yellow and green butterfly necklace, which came with matching earrings. It was the perfect accessory to tie the whole outfit together!