Friday, January 13, 2017

Black and White and Red All Over

"Long Jeans, Snowy Days"--Friday, 1/15/17

In a review of some JCP pieces from September 2015, this black and white top, maroon cardigan, and jeans outfit caught my attention as an autumn casual Friday option.


Instead of a long duster cardigan (because my eye has not adjusted to how a very long cardigan looks with jeans), I wore my cascading cardigan instead...and the White Rabbit watch for extra awesomeness.

And I hoped that by delaying wearing this "fall" outfit until mid-January that I hadn't totally screwed myself over.  Luckily it was only -6 F this morning instead of the -15 F that had been forecast, eh?  Anyway, when I got ready for work, I put on a red peacock feather infinity scarf that my sister had got me for my birthday and relished that little bit of extra warmth.  It looked fab, too.  (I've worn this scarf twice now without photographing it but just you wait...)

Black and white striped top with shoulder patches (Chaps/Kohls), $3.18/wear
Bootcut jeans (thrifted, Target), $1.25/wear
Drapey maroon cardigan (Coldwater Creek), $2.14/wear
Black wedges (thrifted), $0.26/wear
White Rabbit pocket watch pendant (Zad), $2.15/wear
Not pictured: Red peacock feather scarf (gift from my sister)

Outfit total: $8.98/wear

And yeah, I know, this cardigan looks better with skinny jeans.  I'm just enjoying this season's resurgence in popularity of bootcut/flared jeans, and since these are reasonably fitted in the thigh (not ultra tight but also not baggy like wide leg jeans), I think the effect is "flattering enough." 

This black-and-white Dutch rabbit is a seeker after truth and treats, probably not in that order.

In other news...This evening in desperation I took a Pokemon walk around my apartment building.  I have walked the halls before, but today I also tried walking the perimeter of the parking garage, which allowed me to get to the edges of the building and thus access Pokemon on the streets outside and the river better than I can from the hallways with apartments between us.  It was pretty worthwhile, Pokemon wise, and I got in some steps and hatched an egg.


To Coin a Phrase--Thursday, 1/12/17

In the post accompanying this outfit suggestion, Bridgette talks about column dressing--i.e., in which you "layer a topper piece, like jacket or cardigan, in a contrasting shade over a monochromatic base."  In the right outfit, she shows adding another color to bring greater excitement to a grey dress and burgundy blazer.


I started with a pseudo-dress consisting of a closely matching dark grey skirt and top, then added the burgundy blazer, tights, and tall boots so I resembled the left photo above.  Rather than go with a strong pop of color, I added a scarf with colors that blended in with the grey and burgundy but also had a brighter color to stand out a bit.

Burgundy tipped blazer (JNY), $6.81/wear
Dark grey long-sleeved top (Kohls), $1.87/wear
Dark grey skirt (Walmart), $2.40/wear
Grey leggings
Tall grey boots by LifeStride, $6.67/wear
Grey/pink/blue paisley scarf (Target), $2.00/wear

Outfit total: $19.75/wear

What should we call this idea of adding an item with similar colors to the outfit but also one or more colors that differ from the outfit and are a bit more prominent and eye-catching?  Maybe..."cohesive brightening"?  Brightening of all kinds is welcome in this gloomy season.

I checked the phrase "cohesive brightening" on Google and it's an impressively little-utilized term (5 entries).

Here's some more brightening for our day, courtesy of fall color in my neighborhood in October.  (Note the juxtaposition of plum + yellow on a grey background, just as in our outfit inspiration photo.  Damn.) 

In other news...A Game of Thrones DVD arrived from Netflix, so that was pretty much my evening.  Because I can't get enough of watching people walking around in seriously sub-zero temperatures with no hats.  I accept that in this universe, technological advances are rudimentary, but you'd think someone would have figured out that if you put something on your head, you won't get as cold.  (OK, to be fair, there are a few crowns, but that's it.  Nothing that actually covers the top of the head.)  I understand that they want us to be able to see the actors and have a hope of distinguishing them from each other, but I think we could still do that if they were wearing small woolen caps occasionally.  (Sometimes it would be easier to identify the characters if they kept the hats consistent--"oh, it's that black fur Russian style hat guy.")  But I guess half the female audience would bail if they couldn't see Jon Snow's curls. 

However, since the show regularly gives me an excuse to say "People are not wearing enough hats," I suppose I can live with it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Strong and Awesome

"Moto Hound"--Wednesday, 1/11/17

This outfit from November 2015...


was transformed into this blue + black + subtle pattern mixing ensemble.

Cobalt blue pullover sweater (Macy's), $6.67/wear
Black space dye skirt (Old Navy), $1.25/wear
Black moto vest (JCP), $2.43/wear
Black and white houndstooth scarf (Target), $1.90/wear
Black tights
Leopard smoking slippers by Clarks, $1.79/wear

Outfit total: $14.04/wear

A strange thing--I got a scarf from Robert's mom for Christmas that looks identical to the scarf in the inspiration photo (though mine was from Gap and hers was from Target).  But mine is voluminous enough that it makes a better wear-outside-with-a-coat scarf than a wear-in-your-office scarf, in my view.

And for a fun Reverse Inspiration photo featuring a column of black with blue "arms", an East India Black Duck shows off the blue in his wing at the state fair.

In other news...What the hell kind of world is it that someone as amazing looking as Serena Williams regularly takes crap from people (men) about her appearance?  She's one of the greatest athletes of all time in part because she is strong as fuck and, contrary to basically every SF movie/TV show you've ever seen, physically powerful women look, you know, muscular. Grrr.

We had a user training today, which meant I got to listen to people talk about how awesome my dashboards are.  Not a bad way to get through a 3 hour meeting.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Scraper Symphony

"Brushstroke Layers"--Tuesday, 1/10/17

In this outfit, a black sweater vest is layered over an almost-too-sweet blue printed top with a bow tie, which definitely ramps up the librarian chic factor.


Shockingly, my version of this doesn't incorporate a black sweater vest...but hey, it's too cold for that around here.  Instead I thought I would layer a black pullover sweater on top of a blue printed dress, turning the dress into a skirt (but warmer).  It's a nifty trick--something I don't think I would have thought to do on my own.  Thanks, style bloggers!

Blue/black faux animal dress (JNY), $7.11/wear
Black pullover sweater (thrifted, Macy's), $1.50/wear
Black/blue/orange floral brushstroke scarf (Kohls), $1.86/wear
Black leggings
Tall black boots by Fitzwell, $2.39/wear

Outfit total: $12.86/wear

Since my dress is a faux-wrap dress with a V neckline, I don't have a bow tie to hang over the top of the sweater.  Enter this lovely, vibrant scarf to cover the double V necklines and add a subtle bit of pattern mixing (plus warmth to the neck).

In the spirit of the brushstroke scarf pattern, I present this magnificent tricolor broken mini rex.  She seems as unimpressed with the "going to work on Tuesday" concept as I was this morning.

"Work, another stupid human idea"

In other news...I don't use Twitter, the platform that I now almost 100% associate with Donald Trump, but I enjoyed this opinion piece on why one writer has quit it.

And the laugh of the day--Patagonia catalog copy revised to better reflect real life.

We had snow today...snow that initially melted on contact with things so that there was a layer of ice underneath the snow, everyone's favorite.  I first realized this as I walked across the parking lot to my car after work and heard the sound of ice scrapers being used.  At least the traffic along my short route home was moving pretty much normally.

Tonight Robert and I walked the 3 blocks to the corner where there are two Pokestops so we were able to continue building up to our 7 day streak--you get extra points as you catch your first Pokemon of the day and collect goodies at your first Pokestop of the day, and these values increase the more days in a row you do it, maxing at 7 days.  Anyway.  It was actually not very cold earlier in the day (20s at least) but it was 8 F by the time we were making our short 6-block round trip trek, and the cold with the wind that had picked up was painful.  The mall Pokemon walk we did last weekend is seeming even more genius to me now that I've had a taste of the horribly freezing alternative.

For some reason, the winter is really kicking my ass this time around.  I'm done with it.  I'm ready for spring!  (Only 4 months to go.  Sob.)

Monday, January 9, 2017

Pokemon Crawl

"Red Moto Chic(k)"--Monday, 1/9/17

Fonda at Savvy Southern Chic came through again with some work outfit inspiration featuring a red sweater.


Red sweater, grey tweed bottoms, and a black/grey/white scarf--got it.

Red pullover sweater (Macy's), $5.33/wear
Black/beige/grey floral stained scarf (Kohls), $3.40/wear
Grey tweed skirt (thrifted, Ann Taylor), $1.25/wear
Grey ribbon flats by Louise et Cie, $3.33/wear
Grey tights
Black moto vest (JCP), $2.83/wear

Outfit total: $16.14/wear

But I just had to add a vest to the outfit #thirdpieceaddict.  A moto vest is a nice choice to toughen up an otherwise pretty much prim and proper outfit.  I like the way this scarf tie turned out.  It's a new one to me--it's what I get when I try the "knotted necklace" from this set of tutorials.  I'm not sure what I'm doing differently from the tutorial but whatever, I like the result.  Can I also just say I get a little frisson of pleasure from how the black and grey shoes finish off this outfit?

This little rabbit is all, What's up, human?

Monday.  Monday, I tell you.

In other news...For your back-to-work Monday reading, an article that makes the case that you shouldn't work at your full capacity.

It's been too cold to Pokemon walk lately, so I had the bright idea on Saturday for us to go to a mall to Pokemon. It's indoors, it's an easy place to walk, there is a lot of foot traffic (which drives Pokemon availability), and I thought there might even be Pokestops inside.  Robert found a suburban mall just to the north of town that had 4 Pokestops closely clustered inside (he found a site online that superimposes the location of Pokestops on a map), and so we tried it out.  It worked out great!  Of course the mall had quite a few mall walkers doing the rounds, so it wasn't a big deal that they got a couple of mall stalkers (of Pokemon) as well.  However, next week it's supposed to warm up, with temperatures more like what people in the south think of as "really cold"--highs in the 30s, which we have determined is an acceptable level of chill for Pokemon walking--so maybe we will be able to give the mall a miss.  But I really like having a backup Pokemon plan for the weekends.

We had about 2" of snow today and the traffic coming home from work was horrible.  Accidents and whatnot.  I asked Robert what the hell was up and he said that 2" of snow is a tough thing because it's too little snow to plow.  Oh, I said, so basically what we were seeing today was that Northerners can't drive in snow either--I guess they normally get by (as I certainly do!) because the streets get plowed so quickly.

The traffic on the last mile of my drive--an unavoidable stretch that leads to my apartment--was moving so slowly today that the Pokemon app thought I was walking and hatched 3 eggs.  The eggs contained 2 Ekans and 1 Weedle--boo.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Teal Vest Revisited

"Under $20 Apiece"--Saturday, 1/7/17

As always, I'm a sucker for stripes, so this combination of black + white stripes with that teal purse (a lovely color to be re-purposed) caught my eye in this collection of outfits composed of items costing under $20 apiece.


Strangely enough, my outfit is NOT made up entirely of under $20 pieces.  This hiking skirt from REI (purchased specifically for the Yellowstone trip a couple years ago) was a somewhat ridiculous $60.  But I am apparently more willing to pay for "performance" clothing than I am other categories.  And I've worn it 25 times since the Yellowstone trip (where it was a total champ), so it's working out pretty well for me.

Black knit hiking skirt (Patagonia/REI) [$60], $2.40/wear
Black and white striped long-sleeved T (Kohls) [$5.09], $0.64/wear
Teal puffy vest (Walmart) [$9], $1.80/wear
Mint/black/white floral scarf (thrifted) [$3.99], $1.33/wear
Black fuzzy boots (Walmart) [$20], $2.50/wear

Outfit total:  [$98.08] $8.67/wear

Even with the pricey skirt and only one thrifted item, this outfit worked out to an average purchase price of $19.62 a piece, within the range of the original outfit.  And I think it was incredibly snuggly and cute with the bright teal vest and the pattern mixing and the goofy fuzzy boots.  So I declare a job well done.

This Polish rabbit is also working this color combination, thanks to a teal-green mat and beige wood chips in his cage.  A tipped over light pink food dish adds an extra dimension of carefree chic.

In other news...I enjoyed these 15 quotes from Carrie Fisher.  RIP.

This post on how often women repeat outfits to work (in professional offices) kind of cracked me up as I am going strong on no repeat outfits at all for at least a couple years now.  Though I did come close over the Christmas holiday as I wore the same red bird print top and black tuxedo jacket (with different jeans and necklace) two times--once at my parents' house and once to visit Tam.  But I think that I do have it easier than women who have to dress business professional--I feel that it's easier to mix and match things when you're going for business casual.

As far as noticing unique outfits goes, there is a woman in the HR department at my workplace who wears the same bright floral print top + black and white striped maxi skirt + black cardigan pretty much every week during the warmer part of the year.  I like that floral + stripes combination too (hah, see above for evidence of that!) but I think wearing such a specific memorable combination of items so often is not a great idea, unless you want that outfit to be the thing people think of when you come to mind...and I think most of us are wanting our workplace associations to be a little more related to our actual work.

The comment thread was fascinating in that some women (who read a workplace fashion oriented blog) are reporting having like 6 tops + 6 skirts or 8 outfits they rotate between or other hard-to-imagine streamlined wardrobes.  My favorite is the commenter who reported that she knew a (female) accountant in London who only had two work outfits--she switched between two blouses, ironing one each evening for the next day.  Now, I'm not opposed to ironing, but I am pretty happy these days to be in a groove where I might iron 1-2 items per month.

I also just realized that I'm writing about repeating outfits/items of clothing while I am wearing the same vest that I wore two days ago.  Hah, so apt.  But I think we can agree that today's combination with black and stripes is a very different outfit from this one with brown corduroy...right?

Friday, January 6, 2017

Thankful for the End of a Short Week

"Purple Leopard Overlord"--Friday, 12/6/17

This inspiration photo from October 2012 (!) has a lot going on, but I used it as a starting point for wearing a pair of long bootcut jeans that I wear with my black wedges.  Purple + grey leopard print were bonuses.


I made my outfit a little bit warmer by wearing a jacket and a quite snuggly scarf over a lightweight silk top.

Purple silk shell (JNY), $5.00/wear
Grey leopard blazer (thrifted, Macy's), $0.83/wear
Bootcut jeans (thrifted, Target), $1.67/wear
Grey scarf (Target), $2.00/wear
Black wedges (thrifted), $0.28/wear

Outfit total: $9.78/wear

As you may know, I prefer wearing a scarf to a turtleneck because I can get the neck-warming effect while not committing to keeping it on all day long.  Another warm and cozy option is to settle yourself down into your own furry dewlap, should you find yourself to be a female bunny like this lovely Rex rabbit.

Bringing chic snuggly goodness everywhere she goes

In other news...This comic shows my mom's Christmas nightmare.

When I left work today, I was about 2/3 of the way through an interesting project--one that hits that sweet spot of a bit novel and a bit challenging but building on things you already know how to do.  It's kind of nice to think that when I have to return to work on Monday for 5 days in a row that I have a desirable project underway.