Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Who wears the pants

I don't know what to call this style of skirt that's split at the front and worn over pants (it's kind of a train, kind of a cape, and kind of a skirt), but I've been seeing it often lately.

There's been at least one at every red carpet I know of since the beginning of the year (that's Janelle MonĂ¡e at the Oscars, Kerry Washington at the Tonys, and Issa Rae just a few days ago at the Emmys), and this summer saw the advent of the romper version.

[Images from Popsugar, Refinery29, and eBay]

It was about midway through summer when I decided I had to have one, and I knew the perfect skirt to make it possible.

It's a sheer chiffon off-white skirt that I got in one of my first orders, but never really was happy with. It was too short to be a dramatic maxi, too opaque to do that see-through layering look I was so infatuated with for a while, and the black waistband made it difficult to color-coordinate.

To make it into a split overskirt (that's the name I'm going with!), I opened up the back seam, removed the entire skirt from the waistband, and reattached it so that the front 1/4 of the waistband was left open.

I finished the edges with a rolled hem (a really bad one—when am I going to get the hang of that technique!?), and I was finished!

Though I really wanted to try this skirt over shorts, I realized with the end of summer almost here, I might not have another semi-dressy occasion before the weather turns, so I decided to wear it to work, with pants instead. After all, I needed One New Thing for Wednesday, and my stash was finally running pretty low.

The skirt was a perfect match for my khaki pants. I tried it on with every top in my wardrobe, and decided the length was best on this pink and yellow one. Today's color scheme is almost identical to the one I used the first time I wore this blouse, but this time around, I switched up the colors of my shoes and earrings: yellow on the bottom, pink on top!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Oops, I did it again

I've been trying to grow out my hair since the beginning of the year. Not that you'd notice, because somehow it keeps getting shorter!

Early in January, I went to the hair salon for the last time. I told the stylist that I was trying to grow it out, so she should just clean up the layers and leave the length alone. But somehow, when she was finished, my entire 'do was an inch shorter, and the layers were still choppy and sloppy! I decided there was no point in throwing away 20 dollars every couple of months on inferior haircuts...if my haircut was going to be inferior, it might as well be free! So I started trimming it myself. Now, cutting your own layers is a sight more difficult than cutting your own blunt bob (which I was doing regularly from spring 2016 until last August), and every time I do it, I mess it up royally. Usually, my attempts to fix my mistakes result in me cutting off a significant amount of length; thus, in all the time I've been "growing out" my hair, it's been staying the exact same length, but getting progressively more mangy.

I promised myself that I would stop trying to layer my hair; I would just grow it out until it was long enough that I could trim off the uneven bits, but by the time I was due for a bleach touch-up on my roots, the back of my head was looking flat as a pancake, and I just couldn't resist the temptation to add some more volume back there. I had watched a ton of videos on cutting an angled bob, and I had high hopes that I would be able to get it right this time. It took me 2+ hours to divide it into sections, trim them one at a time with lots of breaks to check the back of my head with a hand mirror, and blend the ends into what I hoped would be some perfectly gradated layers. Well, when the hour was over, and I took down all the pinned sections, it became clear that I had once again failed miserably. My hair looked like I had hacked at it with safety scissors. The only way to even get it close to presentable was to lop a good inch off the front. Here I am, almost a year into growing out my hair, and it's shorter than it was when I first had it bobbed!

Well, when faced with the worst, we just have to do the best we can. I trimmed my bangs so they didn't overpower the ridiculously short front portion, I bleached and toned the roots, and I finally got what almost looks like a stylish flapper bob and not a total disaster (at least from the front—just don't look at the sides)!

I told you not to look!
But this is the end of the line! No matter how shaggy my hair starts to look as it grows out, I absolutely can not go anywhere near it with a blade! Ponytails are going to be my new best friend—I swear it!

So yeah, I made an oopsie with my hair again, but not all repeats are repeat mistakes. Sometimes they're just repeat color schemes.

For my first day at work with my new haircut, I made my hair (which still bears a hint of pink at the ends) match my shoes (my New Thing for the day). As I had an in-person meeting scheduled for the warmest part of the afternoon and wanted something professional but sleeveless, this purple blouse was the ideal top. And the only bottoms that worked well with both the top and the shoes were the black pants. As I was debating whether to blog this rather everyday outfit, a post from the past came floating to my consciousness: PP. Purple and pink isn't such an uncommon combination, but it's not often that I'm tempted twice to use the exact same title for a blog post featuring it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

It's Spring Somewhere

Yesterday, my strategy to combat the fall blues involved embracing the worst aspects of the weather as an opportunity to wear something new, but that's not the only way to face the incipient coming of winter. There's also straight-up denial. Sometimes, when fall approaches and it seems like all is darkness and nothing will ever be happy again, I like to pretend it's still spring and wear the most seasonally inappropriate ensemble I can concoct.

Today, I chose to deck myself out exclusively in the springtime hues of pink and green.

The pink comes from a pair of cropped pants I got recently from I know from a convenient article I found about their brand (Real Clothing) that these pants were manufactured sometime between 1985 and 2005, and were probably not designed for the young or hip consumer. So no matter how you look at it, these pants are not, and probably never were, very trendy. I tried them on and found them to be quite baggy and stiff, not at all flattering.

I was going to have to modify them to make them fit me better, so while I had that opportunity, I figured I would make them as up-to-the-moment as possible. After consulting (my new yardstick for what real people are buying, since Polyvore turned into some cerebral editorial site), I determined that the most achievable cut currently in style would be slim through the thigh and straight through the calf. It took so many trips through my sewing machine before I had wrangled these granny pants into something that would pass for current, and after all my effort, I still feel like they're a little too 80's to be quite right. Sigh...I'll try tailoring them again later, but I'm giving up for now.

The pants qualify as my One New Thing for this outfit, but another, much more exciting if I may, New Thing is my sandals. These shoes literally just arrived in the mail last week, and I've been itching to wear them, in all their strappiness and ridiculously summery tropical print, before the weather makes that impossible. I usually avoid printed shoes because they clash with most of my printed clothing, but I made an exception for these because the color scheme (green and pink on black!) is fairly well represented in my wardrobe, and I was captivated by the oversized not-quite-wedge heel, which seems like it might be my new thing. Plus, I have a soft spot in my heart for plumeria blossoms, as they remind me of one of the places I've never been sad: Hawaii.

Fall might be coming to cast its miasma of melancholy over Maryland, but it's always spring in the islands.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The cure for September sadness

September is here, in all its chilly, soggy glory, and the Unfashionista is depressed AF. We've had nothing but rain and gloom since last Friday, and to top off the general dreariness, it looks like there's a hurricane coming our way. The only thing in my life that's given me any solace is the potential for new and interesting clothing combinations to suit the weather.

First novelty of the outfit: One New Thing. Today's Thing is the skirt. With a solid dark teal color and a simple circle construction, it's more of a wardrobe staple than anything to get excited over, but I've never worn it before, so it counts!

Second novel element: short sleeves! That might not sound very exotic, but I don't wear short sleeves very often. My comfort zone for short sleeves is pretty narrow—maybe 72 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit when I'm sitting still. Anything warmer than that, and my shirts fall victim to armpit sweat; anything cooler, and my body starts to go into hibernation. So it's a rare occasion when I can count on the temperature being appropriate for short sleeves my entire day at work. Today, however, with the outdoor temperatures starting at 70 in the morning and forecast no higher than 82 (though they actually never passed 73), was one of them.

After my push to acquire a collection of solid-colored short sleeved shirts last year, this year I decided simplicity was great and all, but I wanted more work-appropriate short-sleeve shirts with interesting prints, to wear with all my solid bottoms. This tee is one of the results. The simple color scheme and modest V-neck keep it appropriate for a casual office, but to add a little spice, it also has a bird motif (to which I matched my earrings!). 

My styling choices were the third novelty of this outfit. For starters, I knotted the shirt, which, though I've done it from time to time, is still not one of my first choices for at work. Although part of me wondered if a waist-knot might convey a little too much casualness for the office, the larger part of me concluded that as long as I'm not revealing any midriff, it's OK. In this outfit, the waist knot served an invaluable role in correcting the proportions of the short skirt and too-long top.
Style Tip If your shirt seems too long or too loose, and your waistband is too high for an effective half- or quarter-tuck , try knotting the shirt at the front or side for a slimmer, higher-waisted profile.

The other novel styling choice, an option only afforded me by the in-between weather we've been having, was the combination of short skirt, ankle boots, and calf-length socks. None of my boots have seen daylight since I brought out my sandal collection in mid-May, but since boots are the only good thing about cold weather, I was fairly excited to finally bring out a pair. I don't usually combine such low-topped boots with such a high hemline, so today's outfit felt refreshing and new. Plus, I think the high crew socks added a punky edge to the outfit—just what I needed to express my September angst.