Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Oh Boy

WWWSC Day 4: Boyish look--Tuesday, 3/3/15

When I was looking for ideas for other ways to wear my brown pinstripe pants, I pinned a couple of photos of men wearing pinstripes.  What better inspiration for a "boyish look" can you get?  Well, I didn't want to go this route...

From etsy.com

...of, you know, baby boyish-ness, so I decided a manly look was a reasonable approach for a work outfit.

From overstock.com

Oh yeah, a light blue shirt with brown pinstripe pants...why didn't I think of that?

Brown pinstripe pants (thrifted, Chaps)
Light blue button up shirt (thrifted, Kohls)
*Brown/black microcheck blazer (thrifted, Ann Taylor)
Black suede oxfords (thrifted, Munro American)
*Gold/tortoiseshell necklace (Macy's)

I didn't have the appropriately mannish brown shoes, so I went with my black suede Oxfords, hoping the brown/black jacket would be enough to tie it all together.

And if not, fuck it.  I finally got this new necklace into the mix!  And with that I declare victory.

Verdict:  Men are the experts in how to wear pinstripes.  I bow to their sartorial acumen.

In other news, I was finally back at work today, and it wasn't as dire as I thought it would be (a cup of caffeinated tea when I arrived might have helped with that).  That said, I was really happy when it was time to come home.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Blanket Scarf

Trying This Out--Friday, 2/27/15

My cold was so very bad that I stayed home from work.  But I did not let this daunt me from making an effort with my outfit--I decided being home sick was the perfect opportunity to wear a blanket scarf.

Of course, I don't own a blanket scarf.  But I do own a blanket.

It's even an animal print blanket (that I stole from RB--sorry not sorry).

Is it just me or does he look very sad at the folly of humankind?

After taking these photos, I took off the blanket, put on my pink puffy vest, then sat back in my comfy chair with the tiger blanket worn like, you know, a blanket.  This was much, much, much better.

Verdict:  Blanket scarves--inferior to actual blankets even when they are blankets.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

With or Without Lumps

WWWSC Day 6: Wear the item you've been saving--Thursday, 2/26/15

It's so silly, but the item I've been saving is one of the most simple, versatile garments of all--a chambray button up shirt.  (Chambray is a lot like denim only lighter weight material.)  I had been thinking of getting one for a while, but never saw one in a store/online that just commanded me to try it, and I never saw one at Goodwill.  I got lucky that when I went to the 88 cent thrift store sale with my mom and her sister at Christmas that they had one in my size, and doubly lucky that my mom, who saw it first (well, technically her sister saw it first and showed it to her), decided that she didn't care for the ruffles.  Chambray + ruffles?  I'm on it.

There are approximately a gazillion pins featuring a chambray shirt on Pinterest.  This is just one of them.

From hello-gorgeous-blog.blogspot.com
I was attracted to the purple sweater, chambray top, leopard shoe combination, which I executed thusly.

*Chambray button up shirt (thrifted, LL Bean, 88 cents)
Purple pullover sweater (Kohls)
Black pants (thrifted, Lane Bryant)
Leopard smoking slippers by Clarks
Hammered silver necklace (JNY)

It only occurred to when I was ironing it that it might not actually be a true chambray shirt.  Perhaps it's just a light blue shirt with a slight white pattern that gives it a sort of chambray look.  Feel free to call the fashion police if you must, but I think they'll let me off with a warning--it's a really close match.  Maybe the ruffles should have been a tip-off?  In any event, I'm calling this my chambray shirt whether it's real chambray or ersatz chambray.

All is forgiven when I wear leopard smoking slippers, right?  Right?

Verdict:  The button up shirt with pullover sweater combination always looks oddly lumpy in the photos--it's a bit lumpy in person too because I can never be bothered to wear a camisole between the layers as a girdle for my bumpy button up, but not as lumpy as it does in the pictures.  Or well, maybe it does look that lumpy when I stand around with my arms up above my shoulders.  Note to self: don't spend all day at work with your arms above your shoulders or people will start to whisper to each other about how lumpy your sweater looks.  And we can't have that.

But what am I saying.  The cold I'd been fighting off hit with a vengeance late in the evening, so I'm achy and tired and sleepy (from trying and mostly failing to sleep on top of a mound of pillows to facilitate breathing) and could maybe, maybe raise my arms above my head if your pointed a gun at me.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Puffed Up

WWWSC Day 3: Go big or go home--Wednesday, 2/25/15

It was clear from the context of the prompt that they were talking about oversized garments, but I wanted to take this a different direction and wear my big puffy leopard vest to work.  So I found a pin of a dress and a blanket scarf and that ubiquitous J. Crew quilted vest and no tights???? as the basis for my creation.

From twentiesgirlstyle.com

Blanket scarves....I don't know.  They look nice, and they look warm, but I can't help but think that it would feel strange to have this big mass of fabric protruding all over the front of my body.  It seems awkward.  I mean, a female rabbit's dewlap serves the purpose of putting fur in a spot where she can easily pluck it out with her mouth to line her nest, and it looks like an adorable, natural thing, which it is, but....well, I guess everybody wants prosthetic plaid wool dewlap thingies on their real chests.  Or, I should say, everybody but me.  I'll wear a normal scarf with my giant puffy vest of doom.

Puffy leopard vest (Macy's)
Green dress (Lands End)
Black scarf (Target)
*Black fleece-lined leggings (Target--finally they had some!)
Tall black boots by Fitzwell

Can I just take a moment to say how awesome Lands End's knit dresses are?  They are comfy and made of really thick, wonderful fabric, and they have pockets.  Sweet, right?

Seeing this top down photo reminds me, Oh yeah, when I see outfits where somebody is wearing a green skirt and I'm like, Too bad I don't have a green skirt--well, I kind of do, if I wear a sweater or something over the top of my green dress.  Interesting.

Verdict:  A puffy vest can be a part of your balanced business casual wardrobe, if you live in the frozen tundra.  The challenge is fitting it underneath your normal wool coat that you wear to work.  Luckily mine fit the vest without difficulty.

So glad I made it through today without feeling too sick.  I had some bad moments at the end of a 3 hour meeting, around 12:30-1:00, but was feeling better after lunch.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Piling on the Warm Stuff

Who What Wear Style Challenge (WWWSC) Day 2: Mix at least 2 textures--Tuesday, 2/24/15

I knew I wanted one of my textures to be corduroy, so I searched my pins for something with a red skirt.  Here was my first contender.  I like the plaid shirt, but that's not really warm enough for our current weather.

From shealennon.com

Then I found another pin with the same red skirt, this time with a navy pullover sweater.

From shealennon.com

Now we're in business.

You may recall that I said my plaid pants were my only plaid item except for one scarf and a couple of plaid flannel shirts that I sleep in.  Well, here's calling on the Black Watch tartan sleep shirt (just a slightly big men's shirt) to do double duty. 

Red corduroy skirt (thrifted, H&M)
*Dark green flannel plaid button up shirt (Walmart)
Navy wool pullover sweater (thrifted, Ralph Lauren)
Red scarf (Target)
Navy leggings
Tall cognac boots by Sam Edelman

I've got some good textures going on here: corduroy, flannel, wool sweater, leather.  Overall, a very "fall has given way to winter and DAMN it's cold" kind of look.

Verdict:  Mixing textures is easy-peasy in winter.  Wearing a men's shirt that's a sleep shirt as a regular shirt underneath a pullover sweater works pretty well.  The shirt is actually the correct size for my shoulders and it fits over my hips just fine--the fact that it's way loose and baggy around the middle is OK because it gets smooshed in under the sweater. 

And yep, I'm following the style blogger law and wearing tall cognac boots. Because I can.

I felt very comfortable all day, except for one point in the evening when I was getting extremely frustrated with something and my body temperature rose by several degrees and I thought I would pass out.  But my annoyance dissipated and all was well again.  The annoying thing #1 was that I got some posters I ordered online in the mail today (yay!) but the way they wrapped and taped them meant that it was much, much easier to tear the poster itself than to get the stupid fucking protective death grip wrapping paper off of it.  What the hell, people?  It's OK, I don't think the small tear at the very top center of my 24"x36" poster is noticeable now that it's in its frame.  The annoying thing #2 was dealing with the frames themselves--I hate the cheap ass ones with the metal tabs you have to bend and unbend with your thumb.  My fingers were red and sore and pretty beat up, even though I started using a butter knife on it pretty quickly.  Luckily most of the frames were nicer, with less painful closures on the back.  Our walls are going to look spiffy once we get these things up--spiffy with the cuteness of a million buns.

At work, I've been finishing stuff faster than my manager could look at it this week, and I felt like a rock star. I'm also having an interesting little challenge figuring out how to deal with our odd program that runs year-round and hence has enrollments that cross years as defined by our regulatory agency.  I have to make adjustments for this program sometimes, but this one is a particularly interesting dilemma for which my approach is very straightforward conceptually but twiddly in the details.

Robert stayed home sick and was asleep a lot of the day. We both seem to have developed colds, but he's got it worse, and with a horrible sounding cough that I (knock wood) don't have.  But I'm getting tired of the odd accompanying stomach ache.

Oh, I also had a prolonged dream on Monday night that Robert and I were not finished with our move yet.  We were packing up the last few things at our apartment after the movers had done their job (like we actually did--stuff like my bag of medication, my delicate little cat table, etc.) when I found a room we'd forgotten about that had some stuff in it.  Then I thought, I should look outside to see what's there, and we had a bunch of crates, frames with art work (!), etc., out on our patio.  Because of course our apartment had turned into my parents' house at this point.  Then I was like, Oh no, we have a garage, too!  And looking in, it was like the worst extreme nightmare version of how full of stuff my parents garage has ever been.  My dad's tennis trophies had been reproducing like rabbits in there, for one, so there were like a hundred of them.  The walls were completely covered in tools that appeared mostly to be securely wired in to withstand the apocalypse.  And I was like, We have to have everything moved out of here in under 18 hours, how is this even gonna happen?  So I called my dad (god knows where he was) and he said, Maybe you can get [my cousin] Ben to help you.  It was kind of a relief to wake up and realize I only had to go to work today at my normal job and not move the mountain of possessions that had infested my parents' nightmare garage.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Another Animal and a Pop

But before I get into the new style challenge, I need to finish up this last pattern challenge outfit that I didn't wear when planned because I was sick last Thursday.

Pattern Challenge Day 23: Zebra--Monday, 2/23/15

My love for leopard print is legendary, but I have relatively few zebra print items in my wardrobe.  (Given the size of my wardrobe, this is impressive.)  This isn't because I don't like zebra print; I guess zebra is just a lot less common than leopard print.  But I was happy to run across this subtle zebra print cardigan at Goodwill for like $5.

*Grey zebra print cardigan (thrifted, Gap)
Black lace bottom T (thrifted, Coldwater Creek)
Light teal pencil skirt (JCP)
Grey leggings
Tall grey boots by LifeStride
Teal scarf (Target)

I also am glad to have two different shades of teal pencil skirt.  I mean, I recognize that it's kind of ridiculous, but I find that they fit different niches.  It helps that in addition to this one being a lighter shade, it is also a more green teal; the dark one is more blue.  My teal scarf manages to hit a blue-green ratio in between the two skirts, but I liked it better with this lighter skirt, and I thought the lighter shade of teal popped better against the dreary grey/black ensemble.

All the way up to 19 F in Coldville today.  Maybe soon it will warm up enough that the Mississippi River stops looking like a long flat field covered in snow.

The same day I wore this outfit, Jen on Fashionably Employed posted her own version of the bright teal skirt with grey and black outfit.  I've now gone from Audrey-Sally synchronicity to Jen-Sally synchronicity.  Next, I'm going to start doubling the outfits of some dude called Rick.  I need to be on the lookout for that....

From fashionablyemployed.com

Of course she wore hers with tall cognac boots because that is THE LAW.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

New Style Challenge + Pinspiration

I enjoyed creating my own version of the plaid/moto outfit I found on Pinterest, and I like seeing how other people interpret outfits they've pinned, so I decided to double up this time by following the Who What Wear style challenge while also using Pinterest to generate specific outfit ideas for the style challenge prompts. As usual, I have no intention of creating outfits sequentially to match the 30 (or whatever) days of the challenge, and I am quite happy to outright skip prompts like "Change out your handbag" (nope, I only have one and I like it that way!) and "Mix high-end with under $100" (almost everything I own is under $100) and "pair your favorite denim pieces together" (I cannot do the Canadian tuxedo, whether it is in style or not).

A while back, I started a Pinterest board with outfits that I came across on blogs I read, as well as searches for particular items on Pinterest itself, that was 80% motivated by my thought that I could use Pinterest pinning as a substitute for shopping during the long-seeming period that we were packing up, moving, and unpacking.  I've read some people get into trouble with Pinterest because they'll see a cute outfit and think, Oh man, I need to buy those items to recreate this outfit!  But I've found that it doesn't have that effect on me.  I will very occasionally pin outfits that I don't have any clothes that would match up with the pin if the outfit is just completely awesome, but I generally pin things where I have similar garments, or similar colors, or similar shapes, or similar something that goes with the pin.  If anything, even aside from the fact that time spent on Pinterest is time not spent on shopping sites, looking at outfit pins makes me less inclined to shop overall because I realize that there are so many ways to wear the clothes I already have.  And when I do get a desire to buy something because of Pinterest, it's more like, Yeah, I knew having a cobalt blue skirt would be awesome, and I've now seen 3 dozen outfits on Pinterest that I could make from my existing wardrobe if I had one.