Friday, May 30, 2014

Another Week in Which Clothes are Worn to Work: Part 2

Back to Faux Denim -- Wednesday, 5/14/14

Back in the office, back in fuschia.  This is not a color I've worn very much historically, but I keep being drawn to these pieces that I see at Goodwill -- and once you have some bright pink items, other bright pink items start being more practical as it's easy to imagine combining them into outfits.  I really like the bright pink with navy or denim, so I pulled out the dark "denim" colored trousers for this outfit.  (I bought this scarf at the same time as the fuschia/grey scarf worn on Monday.  I think it's bright and fun and stays just this side of Barbie Goes to Work as long as it's styled with somewhat duller tones.)

Dark "denim" pants from Kohl's
Burgundy knit shirt (old)
Purple striped jacket, thrifted
*Hot pink scarf from Target
Purple suede pumps, thrifted

Simple Pastel and Black Outfit -- Thursday, 5/15/14

I've said before that I like having pastel-and-black tops because they help make sense of wearing light colors and black together.  But this doesn't mean I'm not willing to do a straight up pastel and black colorblocked look on occasion.  I think the interesting textures of the black/grey socks and shoes, along with a nice necklace, made the outfit feel right to me -- with plain black socks and shoes and no necklace (or scarf), I'm not sure I would have liked this combination.

*Light blue/lavendar pullover sweater, thrifted
Black pants, thrifted
Grey with black ribbon flats (
Black/grey argyle socks from Sock Dreams
Silver hammered necklace from Jones New York

Actual Denim Again -- Friday, 5/16/14

Maybe it was wearing jeans and faux denim earlier in the week, but I was finally ready to try wearing my denim skirt to work.  (I had no meetings, so that helped my comfort level as well.)  And it was a no-brainer that I would try it with this marvelous knit blazer I bought from Target but had not figured out how to wear yet.  A blue blazer with white polka dots seems like it should be more versatile than it has yet proven to be for me -- it doesn't go with navy or black or grey, my go-to pants colors, and I don't wear light colored pants.  (Perhaps with the coming of true summer, and my recent purchase of a white skirt, making outfits with it will be easier.)  But even if I have to accept that it's mostly going to get worn with denim or "denim," I still think it was well worth the approx. $20 I spent on it.

*Blue with white polka dot knit blazer from Target
Jean skirt, thrifted
Navy blue tights
Navy bow shoes (Zappos)
Blue/white floral scarf from Target

All right, Mr DeMille, I'm ready for my scarf close-up.

This week's posts were sponsored by the colors fuschia and blue.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Another Week in Which Clothes are Worn to Work: Part 1

As I think I've mentioned before, I don't like to talk too much about the specifics of my job or (especially) my organization on this (hopefully anonymous) blog.  So there will be some potentially unsatisfying vagueness when I talk below about my colleagues at the training I took.  Who are these people? you might wonder.  Well, I think my regular readers either know or can easily determine from FB who my employer is, so if you consider what role is by far the most numerous at my organization -- not at my administration building, but out providing direct services to our "customers" across the city -- that's who I'm talking about.  I'm just trying to avoid using the obvious word on this blog.  Capisce?

Not Even Dressing in the Dark -- Monday, 5/12/14

Monday and Tuesday of this week, I had an off-site training course (taught and attended only by people employed by my organization, though I was one of a very few people from the administration/headquarters building).  The instructor was someone I had done a data analysis for a couple weeks earlier, so at the beginning of the day, when we were raising hands to indicate our affiliations with various parts of the organization, he looked at me with sudden recognition and said, "Oh right, you're the new data analyst!  The work you did for me on [topic] was great."  I admit, I liked starting off my week with a public compliment.

It was a cooler, rainy day so I went with a skirt and tall boots combo.  (I had worn this skirt and scarf together before and loved it, so I just switched to a different sweater, added boots, and I was done.)  It wasn't until afternoon that I realized I had put on navy blue rather than dark grey tights -- it looked OK (the scarf has hints of blue that tie it in) but I felt kind of dumb.  I couldn't even use the excuse I was dressing in the dark because I picked out the items the night before.  Well, I knew the lighting in my bedroom isn't great in the evenings, and here's yet more proof.

By wearing this outfit, I was more dressed up than anyone else in the room, other than the instructor (a man in a suit), by far.  The most common outfit was jeans, sweatshirt, and tennis shoes.

Fuschia/grey skirt, thrifted
Grey cardigan, thrifted
Fuschia/grey scarf from Target
Navy blue tights from Kohl's
Tall black boots by Fitzwell

Wearing Jeans to Work -- Tuesday, 5/13/14

After seeing how casually everyone dressed on Monday, I decided to wear jeans on Day 2 of our training.  It was somewhat warmer than the previous day, and people dressed even more casually, so there were several women wearing t-shirts, yoga/exercise pants, and plastic flip-flops.  I did not note anyone who I feel 90%+ confident was wearing actual pajamas, but they might as well have been.  Not everyone dressed this casually or this sloppily (or with less clothing overall than seemed would be comfortable for the A/C conference center we were in) -- for instance, on Day 2, one woman wore dark skinny jeans, dark ballet flats, a striped long-sleeved knit shirt, and a wonderful lightweight turquoise scarf with big black bicycles that made me think of the best kind of "American tourist in Paris stopping for a brioche and a coffee in the afternoon" look -- but it was perhaps a good thing we did not have a Day 3 to this training because I cannot imagine how much further the group could sink.  Visible sports bras?  Stained t-shirts?  Ripped sweat pants?

OK, this sounds a lot snarkier than I really mean -- I was just mostly surprised to see people in a work setting (not doing a physical/dirty job like cleaning carpets or whatever) dressed so casually.  Working in the parks/wildlife world, I was not surprised to see people who worked outside the headquarters wearing more casual clothes, but that tended toward hiking boots, cargo shorts, and t-shirts at the most casual end (and of course a lot of people in our parks wore uniforms), not "threw on clothes to drive to the convenience store for a cup of coffee and a newspaper on Sunday morning" outfits.  I asked my officemate about it later (the very casual dress, the wearing of flip-flops), and she said that many of these people work in buildings without air-conditioning.  When I combine that (the horror) with the fact that a lot of them spend their days chasing after a roomful of children, I guess it's not surprising that their local workwear culture places comfort over "professionalism" or style.

I wore this outfit with my lightweight black moto jacket but within a couple of hours, I had taken it off.  It was a cloudy but warmer day.  (Still too cool inside for flip-flops and sleeveless t-shirts, though!)

Oh, and the training itself was great.

Light blue/black striped pullover (old)
Aqua blue paisley scarf from Target
Jeans from Kohl's
*Bright aqua socks from Target
Black mary janes

My scarf is not as cool as the one with the bicycles on it, but I was pleased by how well it coordinated with this top -- picking up the darker turquoise stripe and mirroring the black and hints of yellow.  Matchy-matchy good times, people.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Dressing for the Winter/Spring Crossover

Now back to our regularly-scheduled business casual outfit documentation project.

Yet More Leopard Print -- 5/5/14

One of the few items I did not have in leopard print was a jacket, so I was of course pleased to pick up this knit blazer at Goodwill.  I took a stab at hand-hemming these pants to a wearing-with-flats length and it was pretty simple to do and turned out well.  (But I have been too lazy to do any of my other pairs of pants that need shortening, despite the relative ease of accomplishing it.  I guess doing nothing is even easier than hemming the pants.)

*Black check (that look basically grey at any distance) pants, thrifted
*Grey leopard knit jacket, thrifted
Red knit shirt (a gift from Robert's mom from several years ago that seems to always be the same size as I am -- magic)
Red and black patterned flats by Ivanka Trump
Black/silver necklace, gift

A Green Leopard? -- 5/6/14

Basic neutral pieces make a nice background for my silly green leopard scarf.

*Cream pullover sweater, thrifted
*Brown and beige striped pants, thrifted
*Brown flats by Frye ( -- they have a kind of interesting ombre coloration (i.e., graduating from a medium to dark brown color)
Green leopard infinity scarf, thrifted

Shirt and Jacket Redux -- 5/7/14

If it ain't broke...wear it again.  So on a night I didn't want to put much effort into thinking of an outfit, I pulled together some items I had worn together successfully during my pre-job era.

Black pants, thifted
Coral and black shirt from Kohl's
Grey-tan ponte blazer from Target
Black buckle flats by Me Too
Double-stranded black/sparkle necklace from Kohl's

Warming Up -- 5/8/14

For our first warm spring day, it was easy to pull out one of my short-sleeved tops with black in the design to go with other black items (and in this case, all neutral colors).   I started the day with the lightweight black knit cardigan but was down to my t-shirt by afternoon.  My officemate tells me that our room tends to be cold in the winter and warm in the summer.  Since I am not directly next to the window like she is, my side of the office is a bit more temperate, but I'm already feeling that she's right about how sensitive the indoor temperature is to changes in the outdoor temperature.

Dark grey pants, thrifted
*Tan/grey floral t-shirt, thrifted
Black t-shirt knit cardigan from Walmart
Black tooth/claw necklace from Outfit Additions
Tan captoe flats by Clarks

The Stripe and Floral Mix is a Classic, Y'all -- 5/9/14

This outfit happened mostly by accident.  I had decided to wear this dress, so I pulled it out and hung it up so it lay over the closet with my tops and jackets.  I had planned to pull out a black jacket or cardigan to wear with it, but it was laying right next to this bright floral jacket and I simply could not resist the combination.  Leggings got added when I realized that the dress was just ever too short for me to feel comfortable wearing to work.  A fun outfit for a Friday.  And note, two days of sockless feet in a row!

*Black and white striped dress from Target (damn that their dresses are often just an inch or 2 shorter on me than I prefer wearing with bare legs to work!)
*Pink/black floral jacket, thrifted
Black leggings
Black flats by LifeStrides
*Silver pendant, thrifted (Goodwill Boutique)

UPDATE:  Looking at these outfits, I think we could say this was an "in like a leopard, out like a flower" kind of week.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


On the topic of "inequity is caused by favoritism toward ingroup members, not just discrimination against outgroup members" that Tam and I started discussing in the comments of my previous post on white privilege -- Robert just emailed me this link to a Slate blog post about this very idea, pointing to a recently published literature review in American Psychologist that is summarized at the University of Washington website for those of us who do not (any longer) have access to the academic literature.  (It's too bad, I'd like to read this one.)

(Note: It feels a bit funny to realize that in a slightly different version of my life, one in which I'd decided to go to a different one of the PhD programs that accepted me, I could be right now slaving away for one of the authors of that article...and possibly have all the interest in this topic sucked out of me thereby.  I'm much happier blogging about this stuff in my spare time than trying to produce publishable experimental work on the subject.  Or any subject.)

I agree with Tam that this is a particularly invisible form of white privilege, and I agree with the authors of this paper that favoritism is a very powerful force.  And it's a tricky thing -- it seems easier to stop being an asshole [to that group of people] than to stop being nice [to this group of people].  I mean, we're all taught the value of niceness, helpfulness, generosity, etc. -- unfortunately it's easier to apply those values toward people in our ingroup.  We are also (seemingly) pretty much wired to have ingroup preferences from extremely young ages (I particularly like the research on babies' preferences towards people with accents that match their ingroup; the accent preference in infants is apparently stronger and more robust than even racial preference) and we are explicitly taught to privilege and support (at least some of) our ingroups.

In my more cynical moments, I suspect that many college professors who do not treat their students with inequity have closed that gap through shitting off all of them who do not contribute immediately and directly to their own current work (restricting the ingroup to include basically no undergrads).  Can the rest of us work toward being equally nice to all groups of people?  To going out of our way to do something nice for somebody who isn't like us?  Is it possible to work against our unconscious biases in at least some cases by knowingly going against our gut? 

As you probably know by now, I take a pretty pessimistic view of the idea that people can compensate well for biases by knowing about their biases, and the literature is pretty consistent with this.  (For example, I especially like work on blind spot bias.)  But perhaps these outcomes are dependent on some particulars of the process -- for example, perhaps most people assume that knowledge is going to somehow automatically lead to corresponding action and thus reduce their vigilance much of the time, going on auto-pilot expecting that they will automatically correct for their biases, ultimately leading to no improvement (or even detriments) in outcomes. 

I think that this might be part of the value of actively working against the fantasies/pretense that we live in a color-blind, post-racial society and insisting that we deal head-on, explicitly, regularly with concepts of race, sex, etc. -- that perhaps by pushing ourselves (those of us in the majority/in privileged positions) to engage in controlled, conscious processing, questioning our reactions to people and situations with "Am I favoring this person because they are white / male / share my religion / support the same baseball team I do?", we have a better chance of treating people fairly.

I'd also just like to be clear that I think this line of psychological research is a fascinating and important supplement to, but not substitute for, the sociological research and theorizing around institutional racism and white privilege I blogged about earlier.  I think it's easy (and tempting) for a person in a privileged group to read the psychology stuff and think, "See, everybody inherently favors their own ingroups, so black people / women / etc. do the same thing for their groups.  So I'm no worse than anybody else!" and thus absolve themselves of any guilt that the idea of unfair treatment might bring up and decide that there's no need to pay any more attention to this issue.  I personally find this take on things to be both intellectually and morally lazy and think that even if it's hard and uncomfortable, we (those in privileged groups) can all do better than that.

Hah, now how's that for a bit of optimism bias about my ingroup from an unlikely source!  :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Rigged Game

Debbie recently posted a link to a commentary about a TED talk given by a psychologist about research on the effects of economic inequality, the feeling (or fact of) being wealthy, etc.  If you watch the video, he shows clips (which surprised me -- I guess he got participants' permission) from a study he did in which two participants played Monopoly under patently inequitable conditions and the people in the "rich" condition (started with more money, got more money from passing GO, etc.) attributed their victory in the game to their own actions and not the unfair advantage that they had over their opponent.  (The commentary she links to also has a written summary of the research if you don't feel like spending 16 minutes on the talk itself.)  Depressing stuff, to be sure.

Toward the very beginning of the video, the researcher uses the phrase "a privileged player in a rigged game," and that phrase stuck with me as I watched the video and thought about his audience.  Because my quick estimate is that the vast majority of the audience for that TED talk and, to my knowledge, all readers of Empirical Question are privileged players in a rigged game.  It's called Being White in America.

I know, I know.  Many of us believe we are "color-blind" and "post-racial."  We don't (for the most part) believe in making Negroes drink from different water fountains and other such nonsense.  We have a black President, so clearly race is no longer a barrier to accomplishment in our society, etc.  (Somebody call George W. Bush so we can put up the "Mission Accomplished" banner.)  If you have any doubts that a hell of a lot of white people are very strident in their belief that racism is not (any longer) a major factor in people's experiences and outcomes in our country, start reading the comments on that last link.

I don't want to start a competing victimization Olympics tryout forum here, but I am struck by this interesting societal disconnect -- that many, probably most, middle class white people seem broadly accepting of the idea that the privilege of wealth is unfair and has important effects on people's lives (unearned positive outcomes for the rich and unearned negative outcomes for the poor), but the same people are (it seems) largely resistant to the idea that the privilege of whiteness even exists, let alone that this unearned privilege makes a difference.

That wealth privilege is easier (for middle class white people) to understand and get upset about isn't super-surprising.  Economic inequality/wealth privilege exists along a continuum, and it's easy for most of us to see people who are richer than we are and thus more privileged, to think of times when having more money would have made life easier for us, etc.  From comments of friends on FB, it's clear to me that I know people I'd consider very well off who nonetheless have a lot of negative energy toward rich people and support policies (like higher taxes) that would separate the wealthy from some of their excess money and redistribute it to people with less money.  But in many cases, it seems that people operationalize "rich people" as "people who have more money than I do."  Hence the brilliance of the whole 99% movement.  The majority of people can view themselves as "not privileged" by virtue of upward social comparisons (compare yourself to Bill Gates and we can pretty much all feel poor and unprivileged) and unite against the small rich elite. You can be quite rich indeed but still feel a sense of grievance that you do not own your own island or whatever.  Boom: you're part of the 99%.

White privilege doesn't have as much of this continuum thing going and is not as easy to game with strategic definitions and social comparisons.  Most people in this country are white, period (as race is understood/constructed in our society).  I do not mean to minimize the issues of people who are multiracial or to suggest that there are not differences in status among different non-white racial groups, etc., but there is not nearly the ambiguity around "white" that there is around "rich."  It does not seem likely that the typical white person in the US has any sense of somebody else being "whiter" and hence more privileged than they are, or thinks that things would have gone differently in some situation if they had only been "whiter," or anything along those lines that would give them a personal experience with being on the short end of the racial stick.  White privilege can be pretty much invisible to you if you are white.  The solutions are also a lot less obvious with white privilege than wealth privilege -- for example, because race is not fungible or exchangeable the way money is, I don't see how it's feasible to transfer "whiteness" from a white person to a person of color -- so the whole thing can easily feel really awkward, like it's an intractable problem (that we might as well avoid to spare us the discomfort).  Also, it's pretty threatening to realize that the average white person is the racial equivalent of the uber-rich "1%" elite.  There is no "help people of color by taking the white privilege away from people whiter than me" to hide behind.  But hey, one of the advantages of being in the "72%" racial elite is that white people can use their (our) numerical majority in combination with their social power to create an environment in which people don't talk (as much) about race.

If you're not totally clear on what white privilege is all about, I strongly recommend Peggy McIntosh's Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack (1989).  (That's a 5 page document, so it won't take all night to read, and it's very conversational in tone, not stereotypical academic jargon.)  It includes a set of white privilege effects (that has been modified into white privilege surveys like this one) that supplies a bunch of concrete examples of situations in which race makes a difference in one's lived experience.  I think she makes it clear that she is talking about institutional racism, a societal power structure that confers advantage on people due to their race, and not about individual white people holding prejudicial/stereotyping beliefs about people of other races or about the racist acts of individuals.  I mean, obviously the Archie Bunkers of the world still exist, and still have their negative impacts, but racism is about more than that. 

And for a bit of extra scholarly goodness, let me also recommend taking a quick look at this under-one-page summary of the stages of white identity development (Helms, 1990) (and as a bonus, black identity development by Cross).  White commenters on mainstream web sites like Slate appear to cluster in the stages of contact (marked by cluelessness), disintegration (marked by cognitive dissonance), and reintegration (marked by overt racism).

This is not easy stuff.  Peggy McIntosh discusses in her paper how she (a white person) struggled with these concepts as well.  It is definitely more comfortable as a white person to take the path of pretending to live in a color-blind, post-racial society than to admit to being a privileged player in a rigged game.  These ideas can really shake you up, start you questioning things, make you feel uncomfortable or angry or depressed or scared, but I don't think the head-in-the-sand option is viable for me as a person who cares about the truth.

Sunday, May 18, 2014


This past couple weeks, with the coming of the warm(er) spring weather, has been hell on my allergies, and I've just been wiped out.  There's been a nice Matisse exhibit in town, and today is the last day of the show, but there is just no way I can do it.  I get tired just going up or down the flight of stairs in the condo so the idea of milling around at an art exhibit is very unappealing.

I used my nasal rinse last night and noticed that it did not give me that immediate feeling of being flushed out that I usually get.  I think I need to start doing it every day in order to get some relief.

So my life has been:  Schlepp my tired ass to work and back, crash onto my comfy chair, sleep like the dead for not nearly long enough, whine to myself about having to get up early for work, repeat.  Last week was particularly tough because I woke up earlier than usual for 3 days without getting to bed any earlier.  It's surprising how even 15 minutes can make such a difference.

It sucks but fortunately I had gone into my new job with the expectation that I would be exhausted and pretty much worthless for all other things for about the first 6 months--that's just a trade-off I knew I was going to have to make as I adjusted to the rhythms of getting up early and going somewhere and being "on" for hour after hour and not getting enough sleep--so I'm not worried or unhappy or feeling cheated or anything.  (I typically get over 7 hours of sleep, but this isn't a good substitute for the luxurious 8-10 hours of sleep I used to get every single night.  And unhappily for me, it's not a simple matter of going to bed earlier.  Even if I was willing to cut my evenings short enough to be in bed that early, I can't really make myself fall asleep at that time.  My sleep cycle easily adjusts to a late bedtime, but I'm not successful forcing myself into an early bedtime.)

The possibility that kind of scares me is that I might still be knocked out all the time even after that 6 month period is over.  I hope it doesn't come to that.

Note: Being exhausted is the aspect of my current state that is placing the most serious limitations on my activity level, but do not fear--I am also on Day 3 of massive sinus headache and have other annoying symptoms like sore throat/ears/teeth and all the other goodies that come along with an allergy attack.  I also think I would feel crappy even if I didn't have a job, but the relatively short sleep and forced daily activity (such as sitting in front of a computer all day is) is just amplifying it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mysterious Button

I'm still learning how to use the technology in my car.  A few days ago, I noticed that the part of my navigation screen that usually shows the current time, the radio station/song information, the distance from my destination, and expected arrival time had disappeared.  Fortunately with just a couple minutes with the owner's manual I figured out that I had pushed the big-ass button on my console while the nav screen was active, turning off that information, and all it took was pushing the button again to make it reappear.

But this morning was really confusing when a few minutes after leaving work, a strange rounded-corner square with some contrasting edging appeared on my navigation screen.  It looked so much like some kind of control button that I actually pushed the screen before I remembered, Um, duh, my system doesn't have a touch screen.  (Robert's car does, and I've used his system more than mine, so it's an ingrained habit.)  I couldn't figure out what it was for.  A minute or so later I looked again, and the "button" had changed position on the screen.  Huh?  So I looked at the position of the "button" on the screen relative to the map on the screen, and looked out the window at where this "button" would be if it were part of the map, representing a real world object, and not some part of my information system floating over the map (like the time/radio information discussed above).  Oh, hello.  It's the football stadium they've been rebuilding.  It hadn't been represented on my map before, but I guess it's done now (yep, it's done, according to the team's web site) and it's back on the map.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Blessed Cool

The weather has finally warmed up enough in Snow City that the apartment A/C system was turned on today -- hoorah for the coolness coming up from the vents!

Since we put in the exercise bike this winter and moved my comfy chair against the wall, my chair is now right next to one of the vents on the floor so I can feel the breeze on my arm as I sit there. 

Life is good.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

So Where Are the May Flowers?

Wildflowers may still not have made their appearance, but I have been seeing robins in the residential neighborhood around my work this week.  Spring is finally within our grasp!

Thursday -- 5/1/14

I developed this outfit around the idea that it would be great to wear my leopard smoking flats again.  (I wore a pair of my all-weather Lands End shoes to commute to/from work to spare these delicate hair shoes from the elements.)  Very subtle pattern mixing of leopard print with black-on-black striped pants...and of course the claw/fang necklace.

I then realized that I was dressing too much like it is not still kind of wintery outside and added this jacket that I had bought over the weekend at Goodwill.

*Black 3/4 length sleeve sweater/knit top (thrifted; Liz Claiborne)
Black striped pants (thrifted)
Leopard smoking slippers by Clarks
*Brown and black jacket (thrifted--originally part of a 3 piece suit according to the tags but I definitely prefer the idea of wearing this as a separate and not part of a matching suit)
Black fang/claw necklace from Outfit Additions

Friday -- 5/2/14

I picked the top of this outfit with the plan to test run casual Friday denim by wearing a denim skirt, but I sort of chickened out at the last minute as I realized that I was going to be in a meeting with our CEO.  I'm still not sure about my comfort level with wearing denim to work, and this did not seem like the right time to try it.  I substituted my 88 cent navy pants at the last minute and felt perfectly reasonable.  (I mean, it's not like my jeans are significantly, if at all, more comfortable than these pants anyway; I just like the idea of wearing denim on at least some Fridays to mix things up and to have a subtly different vibe on Fridays.)

It only rained a bit on Friday -- whoo -- but I was still glad to have worn my Lands End mocs to work so I didn't have to get my fabric shoes damp in the parking lot.  Anyway, even when it hasn't been raining, it's probably good to spare my nice and somewhat delicate shoes from the dirt, gravel, and general nastiness of the parking lot.  (I park a bit far from the building, and one of my most common spots is easier to get in and out of if I walk on the dirt and grass of the raised curb area.)

Blue pullover sweater (thrifted)
Blue and green floral scarf from Target
88 cent navy pants (thrifted)
Navy bowtie flats by Rocket Dog

Oh, and Friday night, I totally crashed, exhausted.  Unfortunately I also didn't drink enough at work or after coming home (I had made tea but was almost too tired to remember to drink it) so I went to bed dehydrated and woke up in the middle of the night with the grandfather of all calf cramps.  It took me most of Saturday before I could walk normally on that leg because it was so stiff and sore.

Saturday -- 5/3/14

A high of 60 degrees and sunny weather means being prepared for mid-70s temperatures inside the apartment in the afternoon, so I thought it was a good opportunity to pull out the Alice t-shirt...which has that ridiculously low V neck that shows like the upper half of my bra unless I wear something under it.  Today I tried layering with a camisole -- leopard print, of course.  It was quite comfy.  I was actually feeling pretty crappy for most of the morning and afternoon -- tired, achy, sleepy, with a headache and stomach ache -- and I kept varying between feeling too hot and too cold.  At one point, it was 75 degrees and I was wearing a wool hoodie over this outfit and still shivering as I sat on my chair with a heating pad on my belly and a cold headache pad on my forehead.  I had spent some time going over my insurance and retirement investment options from work with Robert in the morning, and that had pretty much did me in energy-wise.  A lot of people were sick during the last half of this past workweek, so perhaps I picked something up. 

In any event, not fun, but I started feeling a lot better in the evening.  I had planned to watch Monsters University, which arrived from Netflix today, but instead I did a couple of hand-sewing projects, including shortening a pair of pants using a hand-sewn blind hem (a little time consuming but so easy), played Words with Friends against my mom, played Bejeweled Blitz, and, well, wrote two blog posts (including this one that I will put up tomorrow--Sunday).  I'm still really excited about Monsters University, though.

Alice in Wonderland t-shirt
*Grey leopard print camisole from Kohl's
Trouser jeans (thrifted)
Grey Skechers
Mixed stone necklace from Outfit Additions

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Yet More Rain

This past week at work was the fastest yet, probably because it was the busiest.  I'm getting tremendous use of my new trench coat and my tall boots due to the cool weather and daily rain.  (It actually didn't rain today, but it's going to rain again by midweek.)

Monday -- 4/28/14

Last weekend, I never got around to figuring out any outfits in advance, so I did a last-minute Sunday referencing of the Ready Outfit list and chose #6.  The (female) head of our department complimented me on my "cute" outfit.

*Red 3/4 length sleeve dress from Kohl's
*Cream with black polka dot blazer (thrifted; Target new with tags)
Black leggings and tall black boots
Red bubble necklace

Tuesday -- 4/29/14

Because I keep thinking every day is going to be the end of the cold-ish weather, I'm motivated to wear my warm stuff one (more) time before spring really starts.  I was surprised I had not thought before to pair my forest green pants with this dark grey with purple and dark green subtle flower print sweater before.  (The photo is crazy dark; you're gonna have to trust me on the colors/patterns involved here, I guess.)

Over the weekend, I cleaned and weather-proofed a few pairs of suede shoes, including these that I had purchased at Goodwill on Sunday.  I wore my Hunter boots (with the pant legs tucked in) to work so that I did not have to test how well the treated suede shoes stood up to the puddles of water in the parking lot at work.

I have a particular fondness for pointy-toed suede pumps with a heel of about 1.5"-2" that have some kind of strap or high vamp.  I had two other (ancient) pairs (black and a light olive green) but I ditched the green ones because they were starting to crumble inside.  The black ones, though, look smashing now that I've cleaned them up.  There's probably some rule about what parts of the year you're supposed to wear suede shoes, but fuck it.

*Dark grey with floral pattern pullover sweater (thrifted; Talbots)
Forest green pants from Kohl's
*Purple suede shoes (thrifted)
Double-strand pearl necklace from Macy's

Wednesday -- 4/30/14

And it's back to boots and a wool sweater as the cold, rainy weather continues.  And an owl scarf, because there's never a bad time to sport owls.

Bright blue cashmere pullover sweater from Macy's
Navy blue owl scarf from....Nordstrom, perhaps
*Brown skirt (thrifted; Target)
Brown leggings and tall brown boots

I was very pleased to come home on Wednesday evening with the energy to watch TV (catching up on some DVDs from Netflix that had been waiting for me forever--I didn't watch much TV while I was ensconced in Skyrim and I finally realized that I missed it) and to do the treadmill with a minimum of grumbling.  It might sound insane to talk about needing energy to watch TV, but I guess I really just mean that I was not so exhausted that I couldn't find the energy/will to set myself up to actually watch TV (which involves moving stuff off/around on the sofa so I can find a comfortable, multiple-pillow-supported position, and moving the TV itself into sofa rather than treadmill orientation).  A lot of nights, I've come home and as soon as I've put my things away, brewed iced tea, and gotten dinner together, just flopped out for a long time in my comfy chair, reading whatever book was at hand (this week, Black Powder War, in that Napoleanic War dragon series), zoning out, and dreading the necessity to get up for any length of time to exercise, cook, or even take a shower and wash my hair.  I've been even too tired to go to bed early, if that makes sense.  But this week was my fourth week of work, and it is getting easier.