Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Overheated Frustration

"Watery Stripes"--Tuesday, 7/26/16

I am always a sucker for the striped top/dress + patterned scarf combination.

From howtowearit.com

I'm glad for short-sleeved cardigans that makes wearing a sleeveless dress to work appropriate and yet not too hot (an issue for those of us outside of the ultra-air-conditioned regions of the south).  My new fan purchased last night at Target did make a difference--and my office mate admitted that she really liked having a fan to herself today, too. 

Aqua/white striped dress (Old Navy), $7.50/wear
White short-sleeved cardigan (Nordstrom), $1.66/wear
White/blue/green paisley/floral scarf (Target), $0.75/wear
Chambray flats (Payless), $2.83/wear

Outfit total: $12.74/wear

These chambray flats are quite versatile (I mean, they are like jeans for your feet, no?) but I seem to gravitate toward wearing them with shades of blue and teal.

In other news...Today I was so grumpy after work because the fob that lets me into the parking garage and apartment building died, so I had to park on the street, walk seemingly forever in the heat carrying approximately a million pounds of crap back to the apartment building (and of course I first went to the wrong one that doesn't have the leasing office in it), get a new fob from the office before they closed, walk back to my car, and park in the garage.  Today's heat index was "only" 95 F but some combination of the walking, carrying too much stuff, and the frustration put me over the edge.  I was literally dripping sweat by the time I was done.  It didn't help my mood that I've been operating on under 6.5 hours of sleep today, too.  So all I can say is: Grrrr.  And soon: Zzzzzzz.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Big Star and Small Fan

"Lookin' Good in Floral Reeds"--Monday, 7/25/16

Looking for floral top outfit inspiration for my new t-shirt, I came across this interesting pattern mix + bold cardigan, a look that was styled for our blogger by another blogger as part of a "paper dolls" project.

From shealennon.com

She noted that she felt like a "big star" but failed to make any Alex Chilton references.  Oh well.  As usual, I guess it's up to me.  I don't have long brown hair, a mini skirt, a low cut gown, jewels, fur, or high heel shoes.  But I'm still lookin' good in my own way...where that way is pattern mixing and bright pink in an outfit acceptable for a summer business casual workplace.  Also as usual.

*White/purple/pink floral top (thrifted, JNY), $3.74/wear
Black and white geometric reeds skirt (JCP), $3.77/wear
Bright pink short-sleeved cardigan (JCP), $5.10/wear
Black and white floral necklace (Kohls), $2.00/wear
*Burgundy suede flats (thrifted), $6.99/wear

Outfit total: $21.60/wear

I'm even doing a triple floral today with the necklace, top, and flats.  I am unstoppable.

I was very pleased to find these shoes on a recent Goodwill trip.  They have a bit more support than a ballet flat (as you can see from the sideways photo, they aren't completely flat), they are in a color I don't already have, and they sport a fun flower on the toes.  I love how the flower consists not only of the petals but also those middle bits where the flower's work gets done.

In other news...Today my office reached the level of unacceptable warmth--about 82 F by 11 a.m.  It was warm enough that my office mate finally wanted to put the fan on oscillate, so I lost my "personal" fan (by which I mean that I had it blowing only on me, not that it is my fan; it is actually a fan loaned to us by a co-worker who had an extra one in her office) and overheated.  This evening Robert and I went to Target and bought me a fan of my own to take to work tomorrow so my office mate and I can both enjoy full-on fan action.  The way our desks are arranged, we each got the very end of the oscillation cycle, while most of the time the fan was cooling our imaginary visitors standing in the doorway area (and the occasional real visitor). 

After complaining about the inadequate air conditioning, I also found out from my office mate that there once was a time that our building was normally air conditioned, but that some years ago, they changed air conditioning practices as a cost cutting measure.  So in some ways, it's even sadder--we could have reasonable indoor temperatures, but we don't.  They did the same to the heating in the winter, but I haven't noticed that to be much of a problem in my office, though I know people on the floor above us routinely wear coats and fingerless gloves on cold days.

Migraine Day

"Orange You Ready for Wonderland"--Sunday, 7/24/16

Seeing this adorable owl sweater outfit last spring made me wish I had a work-appropriate orange skirt of my own...and an owl sweater. 

From tresfly.blogspot.com

But having neither, I re-purposed this inspiration for an extremely simple summer weekend outfit instead.

I historically have almost never worn orange--it's not really the best color for my complexion and hasn't been a favorite color of mine anyway.  But somewhere along the way, I started wearing coral (which is somewhere between a pinkish-orange or an orange-ish pink, depending on the shade), and that was like a gateway to orange.  One nice thing about this orange skirt and ballet flats combo is that the bright orange color looks just fine when worn away from my face.  I think I will probably stick to shades of coral and coral-ish oranges on the upper half and retain the true orange for the bottom half.  Saying this, I will buy a neon orange t-shirt next time I visit Goodwill, of course.

*White Rabbit "Wonderland" tank (Disney Alice/Kohls), $24.00/wear
Orange skort (thrifted, Walmart), $0.29/wear
Orange flats (Payless), $1.00/wear
Black/white faux infinity necklace from Mom

Outfit total: $25.29/wear

In other news...I woke up with a sinus headache that had developed into a migraine by lunch time and stuck with me until bedtime, so most of my day is kind of a blur to me now.  But given my recent kidney stone suffering, a migraine wasn't too bad.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Two Graphic Ts

Inadvertent Substitutions--Saturday, 7/23/16

Jeanane paired a bold floral print with a pink top and light blue cardigan.

From designingfrommycloset.wordpress.com

I did a version of this outfit with a recently-purchased Alice-themed T and what might be the last wearing of this floral skirt.  I actually like the skirt just fine, but it's a distinctive print that I'm getting a bit tired of wearing--I wore it a lot more when I was in my PhD program than I have recently.  What can I say?  I'm feeling a bit meh about it.  I was curious how I'd feel about it after putting it in this outfit.

...And oops!  When I gathered my pieces, I picked up the wrong skirt!  So instead of trying out an old standby, I'm wearing this new skirt for the second time.  Oh well.  I'll try my old skirt another day.

Light blue "Important Date" graphic T (Disney Alice/Kohls), $7.20/wear
Pink/beige/blue floral skirt (thrifted, Villager/Kohls)
White/pink/blue floral skort (thrifted, Walmart), $0.44/wear
Bright pink flats (Payless), $0.68/wear
Bright pink floral necklace (Kohls), $1.02/wear

Outfit total: $9.34/wear

In other news...Last weekend's Target ads in the newspaper featured a bunch of men's graphic Ts, including one that Robert knew I would be interested in as a sleep shirt.  I ordered it and it came in yesterday's mail.  No, it's not a rabbit, it's...

...the mascot character from the Fallout computer game series!  I thought he was called the Pip-boy, but of course that is the name of the electronic interface that stores your map, inventory, geiger counter, etc.  As pointed out here, this is a common misconception (that even occurs in one of the Fallout games--a game that is considered non-canon due to inconsistencies with the main Fallout universe).  This character is actually called the Vault Boy. 

Well, that was a nice "inadvertent substitution" of names, in keeping with this outfit post's theme.  Damn I'm good.  Not good enough that I had happened to have planned to wear a blue and yellow jumpsuit today...but that would have been kind of scarily weird, really.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Gingham Again + Blushing

"Skim Milk and Cream"--Friday, 7/22/16

It's highly unusual for me to find personal style inspiration on Memorandum, a fashion blog that features pricey, ultra-professional clothing (and the occasional very trendy casual wear).  But this simple outfit struck a chord with me.

From memorandum.com

I'm not going to wear rolled jeans (the few times I've attempted it, I looked like a fashion parody) or really high heels, but I can do denim + purple button up shirt + floral shoes.

*Light purple gingham button up shirt (thrifted, Kohls), $3.00/wear
Denim skirt (thrifted, Great Northwest Indigo), $0.42/wear
Cream floral flats (Payless), $1.30/wear
White open weave cardigan vest (Kohls), $3.68/wear
Purple gumdrop necklace (Target), $2.40/wear

Outfit total: $10.80/wear

Those pieces could have stood on their own (well, not literally--I don't starch the hell out of my clothing), but how can I resist the opportunity to layer on a cardigan vest?  It's an open weave so it shouldn't kill me in the office today with an expected high temp of 95 F.  Wearing that lightweight cotton gingham shirt yesterday was really perfect--with my fan blowing on me, I could feel the breeze through the shirt to my skin.  I hoped that this shirt + vest would have a similar effect, and it did.  There was a warm period for about 15 minutes around 3:00 but it passed and all was well.

The oddness of the pure white vest and cream shoes is getting to me a little bit, I admit.  I'd like the shoes better if they were white (both in general and in the context of this outfit) but I can handle it.

And it's a sign of how much kidney stones still loom large over my life that thinking of milk and cream, I'm like, Those are good high calcium options to bind oxalate in the intestines!

In other news...Seeing a blog post of a woman wearing a "blush" pink top reminded me that last weekend at Target, going through the women's section looking for a beige t-shirt, we came across a clearance rack completely filled with blush pink t-shirts.  So even though "rose quartz" was a Pantone color of the year, Target customers weren't buying it...at least not this version of it.

The specific pink of those Target Ts was...I don't know.  Like in the eerie valley of white person skin tones (especially those of us whose heritage puts the north in northern European).  Robert was like, is this the color of a very white person's skin with a mild sunburn?  It was odd.  I think a lot of these "blush" colors don't have enough pink in them to work on pale skin.  But as you can see in the post I linked to, the ultra-pale color looks great on darker skin.

I did add two "rose quartz" pieces to my wardrobe this spring/summer from Goodwill--a light pink blazer (definitely pink) and a light pink short-sleeved cardigan (which is close to having not enough pink, actually, but is just this side of eerie).  But these close-to-my-skin-tone shirts are a no-go for me.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Barbie of Oz

"Barbie Meets Dorothy"--Thursday, 7/21/16

When I found a pink gingham button up shirt, it was a no-brainer how I'd wear it for its debut.  This Reverse Inspiration gets at the fundamentals of the matter--pairing it with a bright pink bottom half!  This one went back four years so I guess there is a lot of power here.

From xoxo-pinkandgreen.tumblr.com

In my case, the complementary component was my trusty bright pink pencil skirt.

*Pink gingham button up shirt (thrifted, Company Ellen Tracy), $4.49/wear
Bright pink pencil skirt (JCP), $1.29/wear
Bright pink flats (Payless), $0.72/wear
Pink drops necklace (Outfit Additions), $1.86/wear

Outfit total: $8.36/wear

I kept up the monochromatic theme with pink ballet flats and necklace, too.  Other than the overwhelming pinkness of it all, this is a fairly restrained outfit by my standards.  (Note: a co-worker did say to me, brightly, "That's a lot of pink!"  It sounded fairly approving.)

In other news...I brought out an outfit with a loose, lightweight cotton top, a skirt, and no scarf for a day with a forecast high of 97 F and sunny.  Walking across the parking lot after work was quite hot.  It's hard to believe this used to be a way of life.

Angie talks about "seasonally confused" outfits in this post--specifically, cold-weather looks for fall and winter featuring warm-weather shoes.  She is not a fan of this type of outfit, though she likes warm-weather looks featuring cool-weather shoes.   I have to agree.  Perhaps the most idiotic type of outfit I've ever seen was the Austin winter favorite--coat, hat, gloves, jeans, and flip flops.  I mean, GODS NO.  I do not have much/any interest in wearing either ankle boots or tall boots with bare legs but I do not cringe when I see people doing it.  But I admit that I'm biased against any kind of sandals so a fall/winter outfit with sandals is a double crime.  I also think that open toed booties just look dumb period--like a seasonally confused individual item.  Would you wear sandals or open toe footwear with an outfit that's a bit bundled up?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


A Popular Predatory Piece--Wednesday, 7/20/16

I have to agree that Nordstrom's Halogen seamed pencil skirt is a winner.  I only have the burgundy one but I love it.  I was disappointed that they only came out with a black and a camel/beige version this year--if they'd had any nice colors not already in my pencil skirt collection, I would have been tempted to buy one during the Anniversary Sale.  Oh well, that saved me about $45.

The pencil skirt that I have in multiple colors is Worthington/JCP brand--bright pink, dark teal, light grey, aqua, red, and purple.  I wish they were ever so slightly longer for wearing to work with bare legs (the Nordstrom one is that little bit longer that is perfect) but that's more an issue of personal preference that professional acceptability.  Today's outfit features the aqua one, inspired by this aqua skirt + black and white top ensemble.

From ladyinviolet.com
This top is one of the small set of "bought to wear with my interviewing suit" shirts I purchased a couple years ago and am trying to get a bit more wear out of this year.  Because it's sleeveless (which is great for no awkward bunching underneath a suit jacket but isn't on for wearing by itself), it's the white short-sleeved cardigan to the rescue again. 

Black and white circles drapeneck top (Calvin Klein/Macy's), $8.40/wear
Aqua skirt (JCP), $4.00/wear
White short-sleeved cardigan (Nordstrom), $1.81/wear
Black tooth/claw necklace (Outfit Additions), $1.08/wear
Black buckle flats by Me Too, $2.68/wear

Outfit total: $17.97/wear

And you can't go wrong with this predatory tooth/claw necklace and matching flats with gold buckles.

This tooth/claw necklace continues to be a popular choice...and was tied for Work the Wardrobe Challenge Necklace MVP #2 with 8 wears.  (It surprised me a bit that it wasn't #1 but then I remembered that my gold tassel necklace came into very heavy rotation right after I bought it because it was my only long necklace for a while.)

I managed to stay cool in my office wearing this (and running a fan), despite the 90+ F day.  Tomorrow is going to be like 97 F...eek!

In other news...It was surprisingly to learn that hair shampooing "rinse and repeat" is legit.  You only need to use half your normal amount of shampoo on each wash.  The first wash loosens up all the dead skins cells/grime/etc., the second one washes it all away.  Do you rinse and repeat?

In the no-kidding social science finding of the week, a study of software engineers found that "men are seen as confident if they are seen as competent, but women are seen as confident only if they come across as both competent and warm."  The author concludes, "To us, this study suggests that if women are to succeed in a biased world, encouraging them to be more confident is not enough. To get credit for having confidence and competence, and to have the influence in their organizations that they would like to have, women must go out of their way to be seen as warm."