Monday, January 28, 2019

Cozy 2.0

In 2014 (I know, because I found an old Tweet about it), Body Central was selling a style of sweater they called their "Cozy." It was a pretty cool concept—a long-line open-front cardigan that could be worn 10 different ways. Naturally, I never even knew the Cozy existed until Body Central went out of business and, I'm guessing, sold off all its inventory to outlets like, where I have purchased a number of new-with-tags Body Central products over the past couple years.

Well, perhaps I went a little overboard, but I bought 4 Body Central Cozies last year. What's weird about all this Cozy-collecting? I don't even like the way they look on me!

I've tried hard to hide it with artful posing, and by pinning it into an entirely different shape the two times I pictured a Cozy in the blog, but, to be perfectly honest, the Cozy does not really suit me – it just dangles off my huge shoulders like a huge cape. I feel like a Roman Centurion. There's just too much fabric to look graceful when draped over my disproportionate frame.

However, all was not lost! I made a few tweaks that made my first Cozy look slightly better on me. I have done this twice now—the red one was my first attempt, then I repeated the process on the yellow one.

I find that my oversized shoulders generally look better when defined by crisp, straight lines without a lot of attention-grabbing detail. The shoulder seams on the original garment were actually not shoulder seams at all, but angled up from a point in the middle of my chest. So my first trick was to return the shoulder seams back to the area of my shoulders!

In the picture, the left side is finished, while the right still shows the angling original seam.
I just lifted the fabric until the seam was parallel with my shoulder line, then pinned and stitched the front to the back. (Did this all inside-out, of course!)
Here's an inside view of the new seam.
Here's an outside view! I accidentally sewed a little offset from the original seam, but it turned out to be a happy accident, because I liked the look of the resulting double seam.

With the shoulders now duly defined, I turned my attention to the drape of the garment. Another trick I've noticed for getting clothes to look OK on me despite my shoulders, is to make sure that they give some hint of a waistline beneath. It's a clue to the observer that even though my shoulders take up a lot of space, the rest of me is not the same.

There was no side seam on the Cozy, so I decided to let it drape from the armpit, and picked a point that was directly below that to serve as my new bottom edge. Then I connected the armpit to that point with a curving seam to mimic a waistline. 

Here's a side-by-side of an unaltered Cozy (yellow) next to one I modified (red). The differences are subtle. Nearly invisible. Possibly completely invisible. But at least I tried.

My first newly refined Cozy looked marginally better than the old one, but still not good enough to warrant the purchase of more! But I'd already bought a second one (the aqua one) at the same time. Then I found a leopard one for only $1.80. I could see it still had the instruction tag on it, and I wanted to be able to learn the 10 ways that the Cozy is supposed to be worn (maybe I'd be able to make better use of the two I already had)! Also, I might have gotten sucked in by all the hype around leopard print.) So I bought the third one. Once armed with the knowledge of 9 additional ways to wear a Cozy, I saw the golden one for sale, and I felt confident I'd be able to style it in lots of exciting ways. So suddenly I found myself the proud owner of four Body Central Cozies.

After modifying the gold one in the same way as I'd done the red one, I finally branched out and wore the Cozy in one of its nine alternative stylings—jauntily wrapped over one shoulder like a huge scarf!

*Note that wrapping things around one's shoulders without defining one's arms or waist is probably the last thing one wants to do if one is sensitive about the size of one's shoulders, but I really had to try something new. Maybe I look huge, but I do like the asymmetrical result. The side seam that I added in becomes clearly visible when worn at this angle, which I think adds a little visual interest!

The sweater also brings out one of the accent colors on this new pair of bold floral boots, which put a literal spring in my step in these dark days of winter!

Friday, January 25, 2019

The modded knotted vest

You might have heard it before, but I have a special love for open-front vests. They're so useful—both for covering up bare shoulders in the summer, and breaking up large expanses of fabric in the winter. Over the past couple years, I've been making a concerted effort to expand my collection of vests to encompass a wider range of colors, so I can have a vest to suit any outfit!

One color vest I recently acquired is this, in faded magenta.
I appreciated the color, but not the fit. I prefer a more traditional up-and-down look to my vests, and didn't like the way the front panels curved to the back and bulged back there like a sack. So I fixed it!

I detached the front panels almost the entire length, and then reattached them so they hung straight down! 
Sounds simple, but it took me a number of tries to get the alignment right. At left is one of many try-ons in the mirror.

I didn't need to finish any of the raw edges, since the knit didn't look like it was planning to fray any time soon, but I felt the front panels would look more refined if I sewed the open parts shut again, so I turned them inside out, ran a seam along what would be the back and bottom edge of each, and then flipped it right-side-out and finished the remaining few stitches by hand.

I thought about shortening the front panels, but I like the long draped look in front, even if it makes the back look paltry by comparison.

This way, the panels can hang down, or they can be knotted at the front, which creates a cute effect!

I decided to make the vest the focus of today's outfit—a veritable study in magentas. I have the lilac blouse, the reddish vest over top, the burgundy boots and matching earrings...and then black pants to prevent color overload!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

So much to say

I have so many talking points on my outfit today! Are you ready for an epic read? Here we go!

1. Skirts in winter

In yet another sign of my gradual succumbing-to-wimpiness as I get older (the first was my admission that I now prefer low heels to high ones), I have almost completely given up on wearing skirts in the winter. When I first started my job, 10 out of my 18 outfits in the month of January featured a dress or skirt. This January, all of my work outfits that I can remember have included pants (and if I did wear a dress, it was with comfy leggings underneath!). Almost every time I reached into a closet and pulled out a dress or skirt (from my much smaller selection than last year), I put it back again with a cringe, thinking how complicated it is to wear a skirt in cold weather.

You basically have 4 choices:
  1. Wear the skirt with nothing on your legs and freeze.
  2. Wear the skirt with tall boots and freeze less—a challenge lately since the winds of fashion have been blowing towards low boots
  3. Wear the skirt with leggings and deal with loads of static cling
  4. Wear the skirt with tights or pantyhose, and deal with marginally less static cling, but instead have to deal with pantyhose!
None of these choices are very great, so usually I just pick Option 5: Wear pants.

But I'm back to doing One New Thing a Day with my winter clothes, and One of my remaining New Things was this lavender midi skirt.

2. This skirt

I purchased this skirt on September 9th, and it is no reflection of my lack of love for it that I haven't yet worn it. In fact, I'm not sure why I haven't worn it, other than the fact that it's winter! But this skirt is a fine specimen of skirt. Although the tags look like it was made in the 80's at the latest, it is still in great condition. Although the sizing is petite, meaning it runs the risk of being too short, its hem actually hits my legs at that most flattering point where my calves narrow below the knee. And while I initially worried it was too tight around the waist, it still buttons (thank goodness for the elasticized waistband!), and the rest of it skims my body like it was made just for me!

I have to alter at least half of my new clothes just to make them look decent, so it is a rare treat to get something new that looks perfect with absolutely no tailoring! And it's a good thing it didn't need tailoring, because that half-pleated trumpet silhouette would have been ghastly to work around! But since it is a perfect fit, it's the perfect skirt! It reminds me of something Kate Middleton would wear. The question now is, can I style it to be worthy of its royal connotations?

3. This outfit

Upon examination of my closet, I realized there were plenty of tops I could wear with this skirt, but they were all more or less the same, in that they were all a single solid color. I'm not much into wearing solid colors when I can wear graphics instead, so maybe that's another reason I haven't been wearing this skirt. However, given the lack of other options, I eventually settled on a plain cream sweater.

Although I would have liked to keep my legs warm in a pair of boots, one of my least favorite outfit formulas is solid-color top + different-solid-color bottom + different-solid-color boots. All those colors stacked on top of each other make you look like a striped flag! I had to settle for a neutral pair of pumps. Hello, frozen legs! I brought a pair of sheer ivory hose to work with me, but when I got to the office, I just couldn't stomach the idea of wearing nylons all day. I went with bare legs and a space heater! To further mitigate the striped-flag look, I decided to use a scarf to transcend the borders between strips of color.

4. This scarf

By far the most well-used scarf in my sizable collection, this butterfly scarf has been an essential part of my personal style since 2013. I wear it as a belt, as a head wrap, as a shawl in the summer, and, today, as a regular scarf in the winter. And this in spite of its very seasonally inappropriate motif! Or perhaps because of it—wearing spring themes in winter is a favorite subversive pleasure of mine.

Today I'm practicing a new way of tying the scarf at the neck—the figure 8. I made sure it had uneven tails so that the asymmetry would make it appear more jaunty, and so that one of them would dangle far enough to overlap my skirt. Style Tip When wearing two different-color items on top and on bottom, literally connect the two with a vertical line—such as a scarf or vest. The physical link will help them seem more related. Striped-flag look? Not today!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Tiny Tunic

Since it's now 2019, I think it's safe to say definitively that leggings and skinny jeans have defined the current decade. I was a little slow to warm up to both of them, but once I figured out how to wear them tucked into boots, I became much more of a fan. In the past year, I've more than doubled my collection of leggings (thanks, in great part, to my boyfriend, who came home from shopping one day this November with a bag full of 6 pairs of fleece-lined leggings in various colors and patterns). 

But new clothes beget more new clothes, and having all these leggings around means I have been feeling the need for a greater variety of tunic-length tops to wear over them. Just my luck—a friend donated some old clothes to me this summer, one of which was none other than this tunic-length top!

The length was just what I needed, but the width, alas, just wasn't sufficient for my body type. The bottom half was too narrow at the hem and gave me an unflattering bubble butt, while my shoulders were about to bust the buttons on top! Fortunately, I had fixes for both.

To make it flow more smoothly over my hips, I gave it two side vents, unstitching the side seams to the top of my hipbone. I did the old zigzag-overlock-and-stitch-down to finish the edges of these vents (i.e. they're not really very finished and I'll probably have to do them again after a wash or two!).

The fix for the top half was even simpler—I just wear it unbuttoned! This necessitates a tank top underneath, but so do the side vents, so it all works out.

One more last-minute finishing touch remained! The tunic has roll-tab sleeves, which are cute in theory, but in practice, it's January, and I want as much arm coverage as I can get! When I wore the sleeves at their full length, the tab kept hanging out and driving me nuts! 
In five minutes, I hand-sewed a tiny button to the inside of each cuff (right next to where the visible outside button is attached) so that I could hold the tab in place and out of sight.

My first outfit featuring the newly remodeled tunic coincided with a rare in-person "sort-of client meeting" at work, so I decided to keep my color scheme subtle and inoffensive. I wore dark green skinny jeans and slightly lighter green wedge boots, and a matching set of dark green jewelry.

I'm excited that the tunic is such a neutral color, because I'm looking forward to pairing it with many more colorful pairs of leggings in the future!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Down! Heel!

I only noticed that one of the boots had lost its heel tip after I took this photo. It's off to the cobbler for me!

Some people refer to their feet (rather tongue-in-cheek, I hope!) as their "dogs," so it's quite appropriate that I've decided to apply some commonly used dog commands to my shoes.

Steady... Steady...

"Heel! Down!"

I am, rather tongue-in-cheek, of course, telling my heels to get down, because I've had it up to here with the ridiculous levels of elevation.

I have not always been such a disciplinarian with my shoes. Quite the opposite, in fact! Since high school (hehe), I've associated height with style, so whenever I could get away with it, I was wearing the tallest platforms I could find. My first fashion post ever featured a chunky mary jane with what had to have been a 5-inch heel. I wore those shoes to work. At a grocery store. Where I was standing and walking around all day. How I ever survived such an ordeal, I don't recall, but my unwillingness to do so nowadays is the reason for this post.

For many years, I felt like heels were literally and figuratively the height of fashion, and higher equaled better. I invested in them heavily, even casting aside my preference for chunky heels and experimenting with stilettos. By 2015, I would say that 90 percent of my shoe collection had heels over four inches.

And then something changed. I began to realize that woman can't live on heels alone, and that if I wanted my feet to survive into old age, I would have to give them a break once in a while. Well, I gave them a break, all right—I fell out of bed that December, fracturing a toe, and inspiring the purchase of a flotilla of flats.

By the middle of 2016, I had implemented my shoe-height rules, which state that at least 2 days out of every work week, I have to wear low-heeled or flat shoes. I originally defined low-heels as 2 inches or less, but those are actually quite hard to find, so I relaxed the rule to allow for up to 3 inches.

By the end of 2016, I had noticed that low block heels were a legitimately fashionable footwear option, which really ramped up my desire to wear them more and painful stilettos less!

I can't say for sure that it's just the increased availability of low heels, or my own aesthetic preferences changing, or my internalized desire to inflict less damage on my feet, but over the past two years, I have found that I not only require myself to wear low-heeled shoes, but I actually prefer to wear them. I've come to realize that they're not any less cute than high-heeled shoes—in fact, they're cuter than high-heeled shoes! When I wore my towering stilettos, one of my coworkers always used to stare at them and yell, "Sexy shoes!" which was never really my goal. I want to look pretty, but sexy is taking it a little too far, especially for the office. I find that low-heeled shoes fit better with my image of myself. And they're also so much more comfortable!

So I've been, over the past year, replacing many of my insanely high shoes with more sensible ones. Remember the red pumps that I wore on the Thursday of my week of pants last spring? I think that's the first and last time I wore them. I always felt they were better suited for a Halloween costume than everyday use, so in December I replaced them with some cute comfort pumps with a 2-inch heel.

Remember the blue boots that I wore with everything since I resized them in 2013? I also replaced them in December, with some slightly darker boots made out of real suede, with a 3-inch wedge. So comfy to walk in, and much higher quality!

Once upon a time, I categorically shunned all kinds of flat boots (by which I mean boots with no heel, or with a tiny wafer heel) as I associated them with Uggs and found them too hideous for words. But over the past year, I've acquired 3 pairs, flat as pancakes all, that I actually adore (pictured at top of the post)! One of those pairs is replacing a pair of 4-inch heeled boots that I retired this year.

I probably will never completely purge my closet of skyscraper heels, but I'm slowly but surely reducing my shoe collection's average height by almost 3 inches, and I'm actually pretty pumped about it (pun totally intended)!

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Unsure Dress

Since I dyed my hair bright yellow & orange last week, I've been religiously coordinating my clothes to my locks. I've worn my hair with a matching yellow sweater, an orange daisy sweater (to much amusement by everyone who noticed the color scheme), and a rainbow striped top. I'm surprised at how much of my clothing actually looks pretty decent with this Technicolor dye job, but I'm beginning to run out of options that include one or both of the hair colors. However, there's still one thing in my wardrobe that does, and is also new, unworn, and therefore exciting! It's this shirt dress.

In all the years I've been fashion blogging, I've never once blogged a shirtdress. There was this one red thing I called a shirt dress back in 2012, but I don't think that really counts since it doesn't button up. It's a polo-shirt-dress at best! So I've never blogged a shirt dress...I've never really even worn one!

I can't say I've avoided them for all this time; I just haven't had much interest in them. The baggy-on-top-but-cinched-at-the-waist (more concisely described as "blouson") look isn't really my thing; and button-down shirts have an air of stuffy uniformity that does nothing for me.

But what kind of Unfashionista would I be if I never even dabbled in this very classic style of garment? And what kind of Unfashionista wouldn't want her first experience with a new style to be one couched in lots of whimsical ornamentation? So of course, no one should be surprised that my very first real shirtdress ended up being a slightly shimmery silky one with a smattering of colorful, fluffy-looking flowers. These features alone would probably not have been enough to sell me, except that one of the flowers in the design happened to look (intentionally or not) just a little like a tiny round yellow baby chick! Too cute! 
The price was right at only $3.90 (thanks,!), so I went for it!

I'm still not certain about shirtdresses. Though this one doesn't make me look as bulky and shapeless as I had feared, the flipside is it strains across the shoulders and rides up when I move my arms. It wasn't warm enough to wear without leggings, but of course that made the material cling to my thighs all day. And it sprouted wrinkles over the course of the morning, from nothing more than draping across my lap.

Altogether, I'd say that this particular shirtdress is a little too high-maintenance for my taste, but I guess if I can find another one in a stretch knit, I may give the style a second chance.

Friday, January 4, 2019

How to wear neon yellow hair

Let's just jump right in and answer that burning question that I'm sure you were all wondering about: what do you wear with neon yellow hair?

The answer is simple—a neon yellow sweater!

The question of why I have neon yellow hair and a neon yellow sweater is a little more complicated to answer. If you don't already know, I'm not a big fan of fluorescent colors, so to be featuring them in both my hair and my clothing is more than a little out of character for me. But it can all be explained—I promise.

In November, I made a order that included what I thought was a green sweater. In the photo, it looked to be a muted poison green—rather along the lines of my long-retired witchy skirt, or a slightly darker hue than my springtimey polo shirt. I was wrong. It was a saturated, eye-popping, neon chartreuse, almost more yellow than green. My first instinct was to return it, but everything else about the sweater was perfect, and sometimes I just don't want to abuse the return policy lest they take it away from me. So I kept the sweater and vowed to get at least a few uses from it before listing it on eBay.

Now to explain the hair. While my hair has been cycling between blonde and pastel shades of purple and pink for over a year now, I have been steering clear of intense color since I dyed it dark green in 2016. At this point in my life, subtlety (or at least, subtlety by Unfashionista standards!) seems like the right approach. After several months rocking the pale coral color, the next phase in the evolution of my coiffure was to be a light orange-yellow gradient. I usually buy cheap-beauty-supply-shop hair color, but because I had a very specific yellow tone in mind, I splurged on a jar of Manic Panic. I diluted it 1:1 with white conditioner, then added in some water to help the mixture go farther. I washed it off just a few minutes after I was done putting it on, thinking that so short a dye time, combined with all the dilution, would reduce the color's intensity to equal the faded orange hue left at my hair's tips. Again, I was wrong. After rinsing, my hair came out just as described on the bottle: electric banana.

Well, this was not what I intended! But after years of cutting and dyeing my own hair, I'm used to disappointing myself. What I get is very rarely what I planned...but what I've noticed is that no matter how much I hate what I've done to my hair, someone else is guaranteed to love it! So I run with it. I re-dyed the bottom half a darker orange so that the yellow wouldn't be totally overpowering, and strutted my stuff. Sure enough, I got a compliment on the new color within a day.

The thing with neon is, it is made to be noticed. To do your neon hair justice, you really have to coordinate it to your outfit much more intentionally than you can get away with when your hair color is pastel. One way to accomplish this is to wear it with all black, all white, or both, so that the hair is clearly the focal point of the outfit. That's what I did on my first day with neon hair. But by the second day, my need for colored clothes was clawing to get out! The only remaining solution was...more neon!

Fortunately, the aforementioned overly bright sweater was almost the exact same color as my hair. Problem solved, with surprisingly little effort!

Style Tip Saturated colors go best with other saturated colors or "pure" neutrals – white or black. So I turned to black for my pants and shoes.

The shoes are another thing that's out of character for me. I prefer a more refined look on my feet even when the rest of my outfit is casual, so I rarely wear athletic shoes outside the gym, and almost never at work. But everyone needs a pair of basic black sneakers (for airport shoes, if nothing else!), so I got these Reeboks on Black Friday. Of course, I couldn't settle for truly basic black (I'm not an animal!), so these have a shiny finish and faceted texture just to keep things interesting.

They were interesting enough that I thought them worth pushing the boundaries of my personal dress code for. Why not play around with sporty shoes and out-there hair? There's never been a better day for it than Friday Funday!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

The Trends of 2018

If there's one thing certain in life, it's that my end-of-the-year trend report will get longer every year. That's likely because I am continually discovering more fashion publications and consequently spending more time reading them. In turn, that means I'm starting to get a skewed perception of what's actually trendy. One article telling me that something is "going to be in," doesn't necessarily mean it actually will be. Likewise, a lot of the styles that fashion geeks wear with pride never actually get seen outside the pages of blogs. This year, I'm going to focus my attention on trends that are actually observable in the real world. So either I must personally see people wearing them in public, or I must see them significantly represented in the shopping venues where real people shop. Got it? Good.

This year, my listing is ranked in order of how "important" each trend was, based on The Unfashionista's Special System. "Important" doesn't necessarily mean ubiquitous; it can also refer to something less common, but much more specific to this year. Don't think too hard; just enjoy!

10. Split overskirts and pants

As I mentioned in September, I felt like every awards show in the first half of the year had at least one person rocking the strange combination of a cape-like (dare I say "mullet?") skirt and pants. By summer, the look trickled down to the masses in the form of skirted rompers. This is a trend that I haven't seen much of since winter hit, but I'm hoping for a revival in the coming year!

9. Tropical leaf motifs

Over the entire last year (and much of the previous one), huge leafy designs dominated everything, not just clothing, but also decor! One specific type of leaf seemed particularly overrepresented. It took me until June before I learned its name was "monstera."

8. High-cut swimsuits

I enjoyed the (early 2000's) era of boy-short bikinis immensely, but it seems that over the past 18 years, the leg holes in swimwear have just been going up, up, and away! I myself am not a fan of the high-cut look, but who am I to control the tides of fashion? I just ride them out in my slightly dated swimsuits, and hope one day that the Baywatch look will go back out of favor.

7. Tie-back boots


It's a little detail that could easily be missed, but when you're shopping for boots and almost every pair that pops up has it, you start to pay attention. I'm talking about laces in the back. Nearly every boot I purchased in 2018 had this detail, even the vintage boots that were probably not of this millennium!

6. Leopard Print

Animal print has never been so much a trend as a perennial favorite. I'll be honest, I haven't seen any more people wearing it this year than any other time, but the fashion mags just couldn't stop gushing about it (leopard in particular), and I found enough of it online to concede that they just may be onto something. I have never been much into the stuff (I think it's overly sexualized and don't much fancy the idea of wearing animal skin), but after months of being bombarded with claims that it's the next big thing, I weakened enough to buy both a leopard- and a zebra-print sweater. So even if the trend never really takes off elsewhere, it at least made it into my closet.

5. Ankle boots

Ankle boots have reigned supreme as fall and winter footwear for more years than I can count. They made their way up the list so insidiously that I never even thought to mention them as a trend until this year. While over-the-knee boots have held their own for a few years, I hear they're now on the way out. The ankle-high variety, on the other foot (har har), proves a lot more practical, and people are wearing them with everything. When the girls in my college town go out at night, I never see them wearing pumps—it's black mid-heeled ankle boots all the way!

4. Cropped Pants

What better way to show off your ankle boots than with a pair of high-cut pants? Since I first observed culottes making headway into the world of everyday fashion, the above-the-ankle length for trousers has continued to grow in popularity. We're now at a point where "cropped" is pretty much the de facto choice for anyone who wants to wear pants—including men. Men's fashion moves slowly relative to women's, but I recently read one article claiming that cropped pants are the norm for males right now as well. That's how you know a trend has fully taken hold.

3. "Guillotoe" Sandals

"Guillotoe" is a word I made up to describe the type of sandals with hardly anything holding them on except for a lone toe strap so skinny, it might as well be the blade of a guillotine, ready to slice your toes off at a moment's notice! This style has been the reigning champion of the available options at all my favorite shoe-shopping websites over the past year. Pair them with the already ubiquitous around-the-ankle straps (which are, if possible, even more prevalent than they were last year!), and you have a shoe that is quintessentially 2018.

2. Leggings as pants


Among the fashion publications I read, a debate rages: are leggings pants? The old-school among us still say no (I assert that anything that runs the risk of revealing panty lines and camel toe in one fell swoop is a little too chancy!), but it's clear that popular opinion is not on our side. Around my campus, almost all the female students head to class in a veritable uniform of leggings and a short loose top. Supermodels get photographed running errands (or whatever it is that rich people do) in skin-tight pants and crop tops. No one bothers to cover their butt. It's a new world out there.

1. Wearing a fanny pack as a cross-body bag

And now, my pick for top trend of 2018! It's bizarre, unflattering, highly impractical, and strongly features an accessory that was the butt of many jokes over much of the last two decades. It is one of the top identifying characteristics of the mythical "hypebae," but I have actually seen it on real people on the street and in the airport! It's a fanny pack! When I first heard that fanny packs were coming back (early 2018), I made a beeline to my thrift store and purchased the first one I found. 

I hate carrying things on my shoulders (makes my whole arm ache after just a few minutes no matter how light the load, so I generally try to distribute all the weight-bearing work to my hips. When I go hiking, I suspend so much stuff from my belt, I look like a dancing hippo!), so I was thrilled when I found out fanny packs were expected to become a socially acceptable alternative to the backpack!

Unfortunately, it never really panned out that way. Instead, everyone who wore fanny packs wore them slung over their chest and shoulder, totally defeating the purpose! I still have my fanny pack, unworn. Maybe people will come to their senses and start wearing them the way they were meant to be, in which case I'm standing ready with my stash of embellishments!


Last year, I bet that fashion flip flops would make a big showing in the near future. I wasn't totally off-base—I did see one pair of wedge flip flops for sale on one shoe site, but that's hardly what I'd call a huge trend. A stronger indication that I was on the right track was the fact that, apparently, New York Fashion Week attendees turned out in droves wearing your standard-issue beach sandals with their avant-garde ensembles. Perhaps dressy flip flops are next! I already have one pair in reserve and I'm planning on buying more, if I find them at the right price!

As for this year's look into the future, I'm once again foreseeing a footwear trend. This time, I'm banking on tall socks. To wit, mid-calf, sporty crew socks! Partly this is wishful thinking, because that was always my favorite style, and I feel it looks much better with short shorts than the present ankle-high or no-show options. But also, I think it's a fair likelihood. Low-cut socks have been pretty much the only option for women's athletic outfits in many years, and it's about time for a change. With sock boots saturating the market last year, and ankle boots still going strong, I feel like people might be primed for the mid-calf silhouette. Also, I've been hearing that designers are pushing the socks-and-sandals aesthetic, which would lend itself well to a higher style of sock. I'm going all-in on this future trend—I have crew socks on my shopping list, and I'm just waiting until I find them in a cheap multi-pack!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

In Living Coral

The only color I ever saw fit to write a whole blog post about was salmon—the pastel hue that lies somewhere in the no-man's (but not, apparently, no-fish's!) land between pink and orange. In that post, I also mentioned that its darker, more intense sister is commonly known as coral. I complained, in fact, that my personal idea of what the color coral should look like seemed to differ greatly from the more popular usage, which reserved coral mostly for deep, orange-tinged reds. Well, the debate is finally over, because in 2019, Pantone's color of the year is "Living Coral."

Pantone describes this color as a "coral hue with a golden undertone," which is a not-so-helpful circular definition. But if we go beyond words to analyze the color swatch and the background hues on Pantone's color page, I can say pretty confidently that coral – at least this shade of it – is a slightly reddish orange that leans ever so slightly toward the pastel end of the tonal range. Eat that, all you product peddlers who've been using the term without my approval to describe a deep vermilion!

As in 2018, this year I wanted my very first outfit to feature Pantone's Color of the Year; and, as in 2018, I waited until the second day of the year to actually do it. The only really coral thing in my closet Рa pair of crisply creased cr̻pe slacks (tongue twister not intended!) Рwas much better suited to the office than a New Year's Day breakfast.

Whatever could not be coral in today's look had to be neutral, so I donned a flesh-toned sweater and matching nude shoes. For jewelry, I chose the only other truly coral item in my collection: my 3-D filigree necklace. I like to think the swirling, branching design somewhat resembles the structure of a live coral colony.

The sweater is slightly see-through, and I'm glad it is, because it forced me to add a camisole underneath. That opened an opportunity to diversify my color choices! Since the pants and necklace were more on the pink side of things, the soft orange hue of the cami helped realign my color palette closer to its Living Coral theme. And of course, a touch of sequin is never unwelcome!

Once again, my hair quite coincidentally participated in the theme—while yesterday I claimed that it had faded to pink, in full-spectrum lighting, it clearly still sports an orange tint. All this time I've been calling my hair "orangey-pink," and I could have just called it "coral!"

I was about to finish off the look with some unobtrusive gold stud earrings when I noticed these goldfish on the rack nearby. My mental gears started clanking: my color scheme was orange; so were these fish. Fish live in the ocean; so does coral! I had unwittingly stumbled on the cleverest accessory to complete my ensemble, representing the theme not only in color but also motif! What luck!

I said it yesterday, and I'll say it again—2019 is going to be a great year!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year

I don't blog many of my "going out" outfits, for a lot of reasons including the fact that usually I'm scrambling to get ready until the last minute, which means photography tends to fall by the wayside. If I remember it at all, we're usually already at the venue where the lighting is too bad or it's too crowded to get a good picture.

But I'm happy to say that my New Year's outfit is a rare exception! My boyfriend and I were attending a huge hotel party and our admission time was quite late, so we checked into a room at the hotel, where I had a ton of time to get ready and get a few photos in the corridor by the elevators before joining the party. The lighting still wasn't that great, but I think you at least get the idea.

The focal point of the outfit was a short off-white dress covered with layers of delicate fringe. This dress is one of the most expensive items in my wardrobe, costing something like 45 dollars at a boutique in Nashville back in April. I wouldn't have ordinarily bought such a costly dress, but my boyfriend seemed to really like it, so I yielded to his encouragement. Besides, I was on vacation! I've historically used that as an excuse to splurge on new clothes, and once in a while, it's nice to have an up-to-date piece in your wardrobe.

The dress had a bit of a 60's vibe to it, so I paired it with matching go-go-style boots (These boots have graced my wardrobe for a long time, making their first appearance almost six years ago to the day, but I fear they are not long for this world...RIP in advance!). I almost went full-on mod with this outfit, but as the accessorizing progressed, I realized that I didn't want to dress like I was in costume, so I veered instead towards an ultra-modern, slightly artsy aesthetic.

I carried a furry pink purse I got over a year ago in Japan, and I'm glad I waited this long to use it, because it was an excellent complement to the furry-looking fringed dress.

It also happened to match my hair, which was a bonus that wasn't entirely intentional. My hair has been various shades of orangey-pink for months now. A few days ago, I freshened up the orange dye and followed it up the next day with bleach to the roots. I was feeling kind of mopey and unmotivated yesterday, so I almost didn't get around to bleaching, but I'm glad I did it, because it produced an exciting gradated effect with pale roots and pink ends (the yellow component of the orange color washes out really easily, which is how it ended up pink instead of orange). I don't think I've ever got so many compliments on my hair as I did at the party!

My whole "look" also received its fair share of praise, so by the end of the night, it's safe to say I'd lost the last of my mopey-ness! Nothing like a few positive comments on her handiwork to put an Unfashionista back in a good mood! I think 2019 is going to be a great year!