Thursday, August 28, 2014

T-Shirt Week

I had a short week at work and filled it with lightweight skirts and t-shirts as summer wears itself down.

Painted Waste Canvas Skirt -- Wednesday, 8/20/14

The last (only) time I wore this skirt was to my cousin's wedding a year ago in June.  I guess it was time to wear it again.  One of my other cousins got married a couple weeks ago, so even though I was not there in person, I did wear my skirt that looks like somebody used it to remove extra paint from their paintbrush.  And if anything says Summer Wedding Festivities better than a skirt that appears to be made from (color-coordinated) rags salvaged from an artist's loft, I don't know what it is.

* Turquoise t-shirt (thrifted, Kohls)
Blue/black/white paint print skirt (thrifted, Christopher & Banks)
Black short sleeved cardigan (thrifted, The Limited)
Hammered silver necklace (Jones New York)
Black pointy-toed flats (Nordstrom)

Beige & Gold -- Thursday, 8/21/14

I hate wearing beige pants (beige Dockers or, oh god, beige crop chinos are the worst!) but I am really enjoying this beige skirt.  I wish the Snow City summer were going to last another couple of months so I could get more use out of it before we're all covered up in tights.

* Brown t-shirt (thrifted, Kohls)
Beige pleated skirt (thrifted, Old Navy)
Gold chain link necklace (Ann Taylor)
Gold pointy-toed flats (Nordstrom)

Yet More Gold Toes -- Friday, 8/22/14

This skirt is surprisingly versatile.  Here I picked out the light blue in the pattern (it's the outline of leaves to accompany the flowers, not obvious in the photo) with another recently thrifted t-shirt.  It was too long to wear with the skirt, and the skirt is too big in the waist so tucked in it looked very wrong, and I didn't have time to futz with trying to hem the shirt shorter---hence my lazy man's "tuck the shirt under and pretend it's hemmed shorter" look here.  This is a hit-or-miss approach.  In this case, it worked simply OK.  I got through the day but I had to rearrange the shirt more than I'd prefer.  I think I probably want to hem it for realz if I plan to wear it over a skirt in the future.  Or, you know, wait for it to warm up 10 degrees so I always wear a cardigan or jacket over the shirt and can tuck it into a big waisted skirt without it looking wonky.  Smart money is on the latter plan.

* Sky blue t-shirt (thrifted, JCP)
Beige floral skirt (thrifted, Kohls)
Cream captoe flats (Anne Klein)
Fish charm necklace (Ann Taylor)

Note:  I don't know how I managed to have identical poses for all three photos here, complete with hand on the hip.  By which I mean, the button on my camera requires a really surprisingly large amount of pressure to be applied in order to take a photo (even Robert has noticed this), so I'm often not even able to take a one-handed mirror photo without shaking the camera as I squeeze down hard on the button at the awkward angle, thus blurring the photo terribly.  I guess my arm and hand were atypically rock solid when I took these pics because the one-handers look OK.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Skirting the Issue: Part 2

She Wore Blue Cotton -- Thursday, 8/14/14

...with brown linen, an easy summer outfit.

* Light blue ribbon-front knit top (thrifted, Po Pori -- I am not familiar with this brand, and there is little online about them, but I love this shirt and am glad I did not pay $20 for it on eBay)
* Light brown linen pencil skirt (thrifted, Ann Taylor)
Light blue bowtie flats by Sofft
Turquoise bead necklace by RB

All in the Golden Afternoon -- Friday, 8/15/14

The denim skirt returns to my Friday rotation and all is right with the world.

A subtle double dose of gold in the shoes and the buttons on the shoulder of the top.

* Coral knit top with gold buttons (thrifted, Talbots)
Denim skirt (thrifted)
Wild bead necklace (Macy's)
Gold pointy-toed flats (Nordstrom)
--Worn with a white short-sleeved cardigan in the morning (Nordstrom, unpictured).

Does it seem that an outfit post with this title should feature flowers and/or take place in June?  Yeah, me too.  Well, at least the necklace has a madcap Wonderland feel to it, right?  It was an unbirthday present to myself.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Skirting the Issue: Part 1

What To Wear To a Community Meeting -- Monday, 8/11/14

One of my performance goals at work is to attend a community meeting once a quarter.  There was one at my building (super convenient; many of them are at different places around Coldville) on an interesting topic so I decided to stay late at work to attend.  I found it worthwhile to do, but man, I was tired when I got home at 8 p.m., and that tiredness kept dogging me all week.

* Beige linen skirt (thrifted, J. Jill)
Black t-shirt (thrifted, Talbots)
Black shrug (Target)
Leopard flats (Nordstrom)
Black tooth/claw necklace (Outfit Additions)

In Bloom -- Tuesday, 8/12/14

This skirt is extremely full, which makes it swishily fun to wear.  (But the zipper broke after I wore it once, and I'm just not into it enough to try to fix it -- back to Goodwill it goes, where maybe a more talented/patient/industrious shopper will take an interest.)

* White cotton blazer (thrifted, Liz Claiborne)
* Purple t-shirt (Hanes; shortened by me)
* White/purple/green floral pleated skirt (thrifted, Target)
Radiant orchid flats by Born
Silver pendant (thrifted)

Channeling the 1990s -- Wednesday, 8/13/14

Something about this embroidered midi skirt feels very 1990s to me.  (I thrifted it; perhaps it is from the 1990s.)  I decided to go all-in by pairing it with a cotton blouse that has subtle brown embroidery along the button placket.  Midi skirts are in fashion this season, but, seriously, not this way.  Nevertheless, I enjoyed this throwback outfit -- the lightweight fabric of both pieces made it cool and comfortable, and it felt very summery despite the dark colors.

* Brown cotton blouse (thrifted, JCP)
* Brown embroidered midi skirt (thrifted, Kohls)
Brown flats by Frye
Mud bead necklace by RB

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Fair Thee Well

Yesterday Robert and I went to the state fair where we took hundreds of rabbit photos and petted two sweet mini rex rabbits.  They did not have the usual gamut of buns for petting because we happened to be there during the 4H rabbit show, so the obliging kids and bunnies were very busy.  I was a little sad to have less pet time than usual, but I got to spend enough time with my hands on a crazily soft mini rex to be satisfied.  Aside from the rabbits, we looked at the state wildlife area, the crafts area, and the youth art section where my officemate's daughter had a painting on display.

We got a bit hungry during the morning and stopped around 11 a.m. to eat a coconut macaroon (Robert) and a "sweet dream peach" (me) from the organic fruit stand that has become our traditional fair snack choice.  As we were leaving at 1 p.m., my hunger had returned with a vengeance but I decided to go home and eat a normal lunch instead of trying to find something at the fair.  Shock of shocks, I even bypassed this impressive food offering.

My parents were in Snow City for a couple days last weekend on their way home from Canada, and they reported seeing this stuff in restaurants all over the place.  They didn't try it, though, so as tempted as I was to try it myself (ahem), in an act of solidarity, I didn't try it either.  The sacrifices I make.  Really.

As far as the rabbit photos go, I now have enough bunny pics to post a rabbit a day on Facebook for the better part of a year.  Prepare yourself.

UPDATE:  Oh, and it was absolutely lovely weather for the which I mean, overcast with cool breezes and temps in the 70s.  No heat stroke, no sunburn, no sweating through my clothes.  Fab.  The bunnies seemed to be enjoying the cooler weather also.  It was not until after noon that anybody put frozen water bottles in with their bunnies, and I'd estimate seeing only maybe a dozen bottles in total.  In the morning, we did see one little rabbit sleeping with his eyes open (always creepy!) in a labored manner, with a stiff position...just an overall something's not quite right way.  We reported his cage number to the rabbit people to check him out (which they did).  We looked in on the little guy again a couple hours later and he was still asleep, but seemed more relaxed and was breathing in a gentle/normal way.  That was a big relief.   I hope he's doing okay today and that his  new owners (he was for sale and was sold during the fair) are taking good care of him.

The one downside was that walking and milling and standing for all those hours made my feet and knees pretty tired by the time we got home.  I shudder to think what condition I'd be in if I'd worn flip flops (like people do) instead of my trusty hiking shoes.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Living is Not So Easy As All That: Part 4

Funky Friday Flats -- Friday, 8/8/14

Wow, my legs look disturbingly pink in this photo, like I've just come out of a really hot bath, which is not the case.

I think this sweater might be the oldest thing (as in, how long I've owned it; I have some vintage items that are older) in my wardrobe.  It's weird how it seems to fit across a wide range of body sizes, but I'm not complaining.  I wish more of my clothes would have this magical expand-and-contract quality.

* Beige pleated skirt (thrifted, Old Navy)
Coral/beige striped sweater (old)
Seed pearl necklace by RB
Cream glitter-toed flats (Anne Klein)

Weekend Bunny Belly -- Saturday, 8/9/14

Continuing the magenta/pink stripe theme from Friday...only with a rabbit!

Striped rabbit t-shirt (made by me)
Black hiking skirt (REI)
Black mary jane flats (Wal-Mart)
Pink necklace (Outfit Additions)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Something to Shout About

The white pleated skirt survived its encounter with lunchtime guacamole unstained after treatment with Shout and then a wash in free and clear Purex detergent. 

And why yes, I did win the Army award at my regional science fair in 9th grade for my "stain removal" project.

The Living is Not So Easy As All That: Part 3

This was an exception to the "all skirts, all the time" theme because I attended a conference for work and didn't want to deal with potentially cold air-conditioning at the university where the conference was being held.  (Not my grad school university here in Snow City -- a crappy little private university in Coldville about 2 miles from where Robert works, which meant that he dropped me off and picked me up, saving me from a lot of anxiety and no little inconvenience given the parking situation on site.)  I went with pants with some stretch in them and a ponte knit jacket for comfort.  The flats are pretty cushy, they're very workable in damp conditions (like walking across dewy grass on a college campus in the morning), and I have demonstrated I can walk in them (moderate distances) with ease.

Of course, given the industry I work in and what I've said before about the way people often dress, you will not be surprised to hear that there were attendees in shorts, cargo capri pants, flip flops, sundresses, and so on.  One woman I was about 95% sure was wearing a swim suit cover up.  There was a lot of variety, but the super casual end of the spectrum was well-represented.  A good sized contingent was prepared for that tricky to dress for yet so commonly experienced work-conference-immediately-followed-by-summer-lake-party transition.  Because my own situation was the work-conference-immediately-followed-by-Oh-my-god-can-we-stop-at-Outback-because-I'm-starving transition (for reasons elaborated on below), a simple shirt/pants/blazer/flats combo was spot on.

It turns out that I chose wisely with this outfit -- I had the jacket on and off during the course of the day, depending on just how chilly the A/C in a given place was.  I also had the pleasure of eating lunch outside in the warm but not hot sun, where the jacket was definitely off.  I had the added pleasure of eating with an interesting woman who joined me and provided the conversation I needed to distract me from the disappointment of my gluten-free macaroni with olive oil, green beans, and tiny green salad (that I didn't quite trust because I wasn't sure of the salad dressing).  I give the conference organizers/caterers props for being ready for people with special food needs, but they were not prepared for someone who does not eat wheat, dairy, or citrus.  (And man, that nut-crusted chicken thigh looked so freaking good, too -- why oh why must everything be marinated with lemon juice??)  Actually, the gluten-free pasta was less repulsive than it often is.  It helped that the chef cooked it while I waited, so it was both freshly done and not overcooked. Of course, I did not bother to ask if the gluten-free pasta had corn in it (which the better tasting ones often do, I've found) because I was just too desperate at that point.  (If it did have corn in it, it was OK in that form and quantity -- I didn't have any negative reactions to the meal, thankfully.)

As for the content of the conference, it was mostly fine.  One of the sessions had a seriously thrown together at the last minute and oh shit, we have only used half the allotted time and we're totally through our material problem.  I did have the opportunity to listen to a woman (a math professor at the university) give one of the speakers (who has a position in the same kind of research department as I do, only in Snow City) grief for over 5 minutes (not an exaggeration) after his talk about how wrong he was to present a box plot with the mean rather than the median.  His basic situation was, Yeah, I get it, but my peeps like to see the mean in these graphs.  But she went on and on and fucking on.  It was hard to understand what she wanted out of this thing.  At one point, she said, If one of my students did that, I'd blah blah blah, and I fully support her in that decision, but um, this isn't your classroom...?  I give the guy credit for not saying, Fortunately I already have a PhD and am not an undergrad at your crappy school, so your views are of zero interest or relevance to me.  I overheard this conversation because I was waiting to ask him about something regarding some data visualizations.  So yeah, I was standing there waiting, and eventually made a comment myself hoping she'd get the message it was time for her to STFU, but she kept at it.  I was definitely thinking at one point, Holy fuck, please gods do not allow Tam to turn into this woman 15 years from now, teaching at a shitty little school and correcting speakers ad nauseum at conferences that have no immediate connection to her own position/field because there is not enough of a research presence at the college for her to have a normal outlet for grandstanding at talks.  It's funny, she had actually sat next to me during the session, and while we were talking before it began, she seemed pretty smart and normal -- I did not have any inkling that she would get all "I need to correct this person at great length" after the talk.  (I mean, I guess I should at least acknowledge that she did this after the session was over, not during the Q/A period immediately following the talk.  She was doing her thing mostly privately, so it does not qualify as true academic grandstanding.  Still, it was awkward and weird.)

Comfy Conference Day -- Thursday, 8/7/14 

Purple plaid shirt (thrifted)
Grey 5 pocket pants from Rafaella
Grey bead necklace by RB
Black ponte blazer from Target
Black LifeStrider flats

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Living is Not So Easy As All That: Part 2

I'm on a lightweight skirt run because it's warm enough to justify it, not because it's so warm as to be mandatory.  I realized, Oh crap, it's already August, summer isn't going to last forever, I better wear the cotton/linen/etc. skirts that I don't think easily pair with tights now while I still can!  Winter is coming!  (Well, autumn, anyway.)  So skirts and more skirts it is.

Yes I Did Get Lunch on This White Skirt -- Tuesday, 8/5/14

I mean, I was really careful, but somehow I did get a glob of guacamole on the front of the skirt.  I washed it off as best I could, then Shouted it when I got home -- here's hoping that the faint green dots come off in the wash.  Although if you're going to ruin a white skirt on its very first wearing, doing it to a $5 skirt from Goodwill is not a bad choice.

And no, your eyes do not deceive you -- I am wearing this top sans necklace.  I figured the navy embroidery trim was decorative enough.

* White pleated skirt (thrifted, Chaps)
* Navy and white paisley knit top (thrifted, Jones New York)
White short-sleeved cardigan (Nordstrom)
Blue pointy-toed flats (Nordstrom)

If a Watermelon Were a Flower, It Would Be This Skirt -- Wednesday, 8/6/14

There is something thirst-quenchingly summery about the color combination in this skirt.  (A pencil skirt that fits me is astonishing in itself, but one in such a cheerful bright pattern at Goodwill prices is a major score.)

* Pink/green/black floral pencil skirt (thrifted, Talbots)
* Pink flutter-sleeve knit top (thrifted, Banana Republic)
Black short-sleeved cardigan (thrifted, The Limited)
* Beige wedges by Cole Haan, featuring their cushy Nike Air technology
Black claw/tooth necklace from Outfit Additions

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Living is Not So Easy As All That: Part 1

Well, it is easy in the sense that I am not having to dig my car out of a snow pile when I want to drive home from work, but I'm still squarely in the "going to work is basically wiping me out" mode.  I am a 12-month employee and do not automatically get time off in the summer, so even though some people in my industry are enjoying their last opportunities to sleep in, hang out by the pool/lake/whatever, and all that, I'm still dragging my ass out of bed every morning.  It's a good morning when I do not wish I were drinking a gallon of caffeinated tea.

But I suppose one thing that is relatively easy is picking out clothes to wear in 80-85 degree weather.  No trying to find coordinating tights or figuring out how to put together 3-4 layers while still having room for a coat on top.

Lazy Summer Kitty Cat -- Sunday, 8/3/14

Staying at home, curled up in my comfy chair next to the A/C vent, I found that wearing a long-sleeved t-shirt was a good idea.  And wearing it with a somewhat short skirt made it a classic compensatory dressing moment.

And yep, these old Skechers bicycle style slip-on sneakers are just about my favorite weekend shoes.  I wear them (and their white/tan brothers) all the time.  I've also found that their sleek shape makes them really good for wearing (with socks) while using my recombent exercise bike -- go figure.

Grey leopard knit top (Kohls)
Black hiking skirt (REI)
Grey Skechers
Grey big-ball necklace (Macy's)

Thank You Ann Taylor Customer -- Monday, 8/4/14

Ann Taylor is currently having a $30 off skirts sale.  But instead of $50 for a discounted Ann Taylor skirt from their site, I spent around $6 for this skirt at Goodwill.

I enjoyed pairing it with my silly beaded necklace with lion charms from the Goodwill boutique because: Lions. 

Also, am I the only one who now finds lions extra appealing because I associate them with the utterly handsome and charming Tyrion Lannister from the TV version of Game of Thrones?  That actor is way, way, way, way too gorgeous compared to how the character is described in the books, but I can't even care.  He is just so awesome.  And I am able to make his devastating good looks work within the context of the story -- I mean, all the Lannisters are beautiful, so it makes sense that he would be beautiful, too.  The whole idea that he is ugly is just a reflection of society's prejudice against his small stature.

* Magenta paisley skirt (thrifted, Ann Taylor)
Black knit top (thrifted, Anne Klein)
Black LifeStrides flats
Beaded lion charm necklace (thrifted)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Blouse Week: Part 3

Sally the Sword Swallower -- Friday, 8/1/14

It wasn't until I was going down the stairs of my apartment in the evening, past where I have various prints from Matisse's Jazz series hung up, that I realized that I was dressed to coordinate with the sword swallower.

Matisse's The Sword Swallower

But one thing Sally has that the Sword Swallower does not is a goofy necklace to wear with all this bright pink and blue.

*Blue and pink shift blouse (Nordstrom)
Pink Dockers
Blue pointy-toed flats (Nordstrom)
*Wild bead necklace (Macy's)

Lazy Saturday -- Saturday, 8/2/14

Although we had tickets to go to a soccer game, we stayed home because Robert had injured his neck and couldn't sit in the stadium seating for a couple of hours.  I didn't mind.  I was pretty wiped out and grumpy and generally not feeling like doing much of anything.  But I did get dressed and take this photo.  So there's that.

It's a testament to how mild the summer has been that this is the first time I've worn a skirt or skort on the weekend instead of jeans.

Blue floral tank (Kohls)
Blue-green short cardigan (Old Navy)
Black hiking skort (REI)
Beige Skechers

The good news is that Robert's neck is doing a lot better now.  But it was really weird that during Robert's week o' neck brace, we saw two TV shows where a protagonist was wearing a neck brace -- Patrick Jane on The Mentalist and Sgt. Hathaway on Inspector Lewis.  All the cool kids were doing it!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Blouse Week: Part 2

Pattern Mixing: Florals and Stripes -- Wednesday, 7/30/14

I was happy to find this blouse at Goodwill because it's short enough that I think it will go nicely with my brown skirt.  But first I wore it in a simple pattern-mixed pants outfit because it's not just blouse week, it's pants week.  I'm surprised how much use I've already gotten out of this coral colored necklace; I would not have guessed that this was a common color for me to wear, but I suppose so.

*Yellow bow-tie blouse (thrifted, Loft)
Brown striped pants (thrifted)
Brown flats by Frye (
Coral swag necklace (Kohls)

Fishy Fishy Fish -- Thursday, 7/31/14

Yep, I built this entire outfit around this necklace.  I kind of liked the effect of the gold flats with the gold necklace and my gold hair. 

And while there are things sillier than this fish necklace, this is definitely at the silly end of my "stuff to wear to work" range.

*Blue embroidered knit top (thrifted)
88 cent navy pants (thrifted)
*Gold fish charm necklace (Ann Taylor -- the other one I bought at the 50% off sale recently)
Gold flats (Nordstrom)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Blouse Week: Part 1

I'm rather inexplicably tired this afternoon, so I am going to present last week's outfit parade with little fanfare.

A Casual Outfit -- Sunday, 7/27/14

I've gotten out of the habit of photographing my weekend outfits, but this is a pretty typical one for this summer.  Jeans and a t-shirt.  No big deal.

Coral striped t-shirt from Target
Black jeans (thrifted, Talbots)
Black mary-jane flats

Revisiting Lavendar & Grey -- Monday, 7/28/14

Hoorah for pants hemmed to a flats-compatible length.

*Lavendar ruffle-front shirt (thrifted, Target)
Grey 5 pocket pants (Rafaella)
Grey leopard flats (
Big grey ball necklace (Macy's)

Black, White, & Gold -- Tuesday, 7/29/14

It doesn't get much easier than this.

I had been wanting to buy a gold chain necklace for a while, so when Ann Taylor had a 50% off sale on their jewelry, I got this piece.  I liked pairing it with the gold-buckled black flats.

*Black/white striped shirt (thrifted)
Black 5 pocket pants (Rafaella)
Black buckle flats
*Gold link necklace (Ann Taylor)