Saturday, July 30, 2016

Blue Havana

"Another Blue Princess Weekend"--Saturday, 7/30/16

Today's Reverse Inspiration is a sort of mysterious photo that I saw on Pinterest.  When I attempted to visit the site where the photo originated, my browser blocked it.  Eek.  OK then.  All I know is that other than this accessorizing with ankle boots on bare legs and a wide-brimmed hat, the basic idea of dress and sweater length dress in shades of blue came through. 

Mystery photo from

This outfit became a weekend outfit for me because the dress is just a tad shorter than I prefer to wear to work (without tights).  I'm pretty conservative about skirt/dress lengths in the workplace.  At least in my workplace.  If you're a professional go-go dancer, conservative skirt lengths would be inappropriate.

Dark grey-blue short-sleeved dress-length cardigan (thrifted, JCP), $2.62/wear
Light blue dress (Kohls), $6.67/wear
Medium blue flats by Sofft, $4.37/wear
Blue/crystal necklace (Baublebar), $8.67/wear

Outfit total: $22.33/wear

I enjoyed wearing this semi-monochromatic look in different shades of blue.  I even resisted the urge to put a patterned scarf with it to alleviate the overwhelming solid blueness of it all.  Instead I wore this necklace that kind of makes me want to name any outfit including it The Something-or-other Princess.  I didn't resist that at all as you can see.

In other news...This morning I purged 10 shirts from my wardrobe, after trying on perhaps 20 candidates.  I'm trying to get serious about getting rid of things where I don't like the fit or the item is a clear inferior substitute for something else. 

Robert and I have gotten back on a crossword puzzle kick this week.  Today was both too warm and too allergy-prone for a birding outing so it was a good day to do last week's Sunday newspaper crosswords--our paper has 2 every Sunday.

Tomorrow is the first day of August, which is state fair month!  I'm really excited that this year Robert and I are visiting on two Fridays (Aug 26 and Sept 2) to see (1) the 4H rabbit show and then (2) the open rabbit show.  In the time in between, when no rabbit show is occurring, they are having a Hop, Flop, and Sniff exhibit with a variety of rabbit breeds available for viewing.  So instead of all rabbits being present during a 3-day period, they are stretching out the buns across the fair.  This will be great for us because we will have two different occasions to view and photograph rabbits.  Really, the number of 4H and open show rabbits is almost overwhelming even for me!  Even seeing half the rabbits we saw last year in one day is a lot of buns!  I will enjoy the opportunity to experience rabbit overload twice instead of only once.

Also sporting a monochrome blue look is this blue Havana rabbit.  The blue color occurs when two dilute (dd) genes are present in a rabbit that would otherwise be black, softening the color from black to blue.  The solid shading occurs when two recessive agouti (aa) genes are present so that the typical "wild rabbit" banding on the individual hairs is turned off, leaving only the blue color--this is called a "self" coloration.

Not to be confused with Blue Havana cigar shop.  Rabbits disapprove of smoking!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Shower Songs

"Happy Friday Bunnies"--Friday, 7/29/16

I'm confused by how I seemed to lose so many of my inspiration/Reverse Inspiration photos for this blouse with white rabbits on it.  Well, I suppose White Rabbit and confusion go hand in hand.  "If I were a rabbit, where would I keep my gloves?"

So I found a different Reverse Inspiration photo for this outfit.  It was interesting/strange to see what a high percentage of white blazer + jeans outfits have a white top as well.  How boring is that?  This was one of the few that didn't.  I guess when you're wearing tragically distressed jeans, like in this photo, you keep things simple.


My jeans are very ordinary trouser jeans, so my outfit can withstand the non-contiguous/disjoint print mix of frolicking bunnies and stripes.

Navy rabbit blouse (Disney Alice/Kohls), $13.20/wear
White blazer (Nordstrom), $3.93/wear
Trouser jeans (thrifted, JCP), $0.56/wear
Navy striped flats (Payless), $2.43/wear

Outfit total: $20.12/wear

In other news...Inexplicably this morning in the shower I started thinking of this song, which I would be shocked if I've heard in 20+ years.  I was surprised by how readily the first part came to mind, but then abruptly cut off at "She is---"  Something expression?  No, something umbrella.  A few minutes later, Shaking her umbrella.  But then, nothing.  So I had to watch the video before work so I didn't lose my mind to this all day.  Did you recognize the song from the line "She is shaking her umbrella"?  Here is an interesting timeline of the development and proliferation of the song.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Politician Style + Hare

"A Fan of the Mint"--Thursday, 7/28/16

One way in which most fashion bloggers and I differ (other than my unique ability to create sartorial echoes backwards through time and my inability to cuff/roll/etc. my jeans without looking like I've just stepped out of the late '80s) is that I do not own a white polka dot top.  I have several tops with white polka dots but the background fabric is the darker color.

In this Reverse Inspiration instance, I can see why Claire used such a top to complement the blue bottoms and mint cardigan.  Not because she was having a blonde moment...


...nor because this inspiration traveled 2 and a half years into the past.

Because really, it's likely that she (like most people) does not have a navy/mint shell top with a fan print.  Strange, isn't it.  (I checked and yes, I did have this top at the time she wore that outfit.)

Mint-aqua 3/4 sleeve cardigan (thrifted, Studio Works), $2.62/wear
Navy/mint fans shell (Nordstrom), $9.75/wear
Navy skirt (thrifted, Liz Claiborne), $1.25/wear
Blue/green/pearl statement necklace (Target), $3.29/wear
Light grey wedges by BCBGeneration, $5.83/wear

Outfit total: $22.74/wear

OK, yeah, it's not so strange that this is not a popular item, nor is it considered a wardrobe staple.  Because it's actually kind of a bitch coming up with new ways to wear it.  It is not the most difficult thing I own to remix (thankfully I do have many navy colored items) but it's up there on the list. 

After wearing it today, I realized that in almost any situation I'd wear this shirt, I'd rather wear its sister the navy/teal birds top or my new navy rabbit blouse.  So farewell, mint fans--I hope you find an appreciative purchaser at Goodwill.

In other news...I enjoyed this article about how female political leaders like Angela Merkel, Hilary Clinton, and Theresa May are redefining power dressing.  (Note: my cardigan today is almost precisely the same color as the jacket they show Angela Merkel wearing.  I love the leopard kitten heels Theresa May is wearing.)

Also this essay from The Economist's sister publication, 1843, on Donald Trump and the downfall of the men's suit.

AND the airport security essay that had Robert and me laughing while I tried to read it to him.  "The fishing-vest fiasco" and the "Marmite meltdown" are priceless.

I didn't see any articles on politician hair styles (though, hello, Donald Trump, you look like the ass you are!), so I thought I would share this visual on hare styles.  Even when rabbits are the identical unusual, gorgeous color, the texture of the fur matters a lot.  Compare the jersey wooly on the left with the mini rex on the right.  Hare as different as can be.

Wild and wooly (left) and a smooth operator (right).
I think these buns have the lilac otter coloration.  The solid dark fur with white showing underneath (the "tan" pattern of tans and otters) is from the recessive at gene.  The lilac color comes from the recessive bb genes that make a rabbit brown instead of black and the recessive dd genes that dilute the brown to lilac.  So pretty! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Useful Rain

"No Replicants"--Wednesday, 7/27/16

This is one of the looser interpretations of an inspiration photo lately, but it's not very easy to find outfits that incorporate a navy/blue/beige faux giraffe print, you know?  So I take my inspiration where I can.


I took from her outfit the idea of the blue patterned top, blue cardigan, beige (or, in my case, light grey) skirt, and blue flats.

Navy/blue/beige faux giraffe print drapeneck top (Calvin Klein/Macy's), $6.30/wear
Light grey skirt (JCP), $2.58/wear
*Cobalt blue short-sleeved cardigan (thrifted, Lane Bryant), $5.24/wear
Blue pointy-toed flats (Nordstrom), $2.38/wear
Hammered silver necklace (JNY), $2.22/wear

Outfit total: $18.72/wear

I thought about wearing a navy cardigan like the inspiration outfit but I decided to try this short-sleeved cobalt one that is going to be a nice warm-weather option.  (Yeah, I have a long-sleeved cobalt one, too, but even in Coldville it gets too warm to wear a long-sleeved viscose/polyester cardigan, you know?)  I liked how the color popped against the pattern in the shirt.  So there you go.  One inspired-but-not-replicated outfit.

In other news...All week I've been thinking how much I need to wash my car.  We've had several pitiful dribbles of sprinkles a few times lately, just enough to make your car dirtier, you know?  But today we had a serious downpour during the afternoon, and now my car is looking pretty good again.  Thanks, Mother Nature!  Also it wasn't nearly as warm today, which was a true blessing.

Today I also finished a set of reports that were due tomorrow, so I'm feeling less pressured than I have been all week.  I still have another set of reports to do with this over-one-month-late data, but there isn't a set deadline for it, so I can work on it in a conscientious but leisurely way tomorrow.  It'll be nice to intersperse working on that with some other duties so that I can take a break from staring-at-Excel-all-day and the consequent obligatory headache.

Looking forward to taking it a bit easier tomorrow, mini lop style.  Only with less literal lounging.

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.


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.


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. 


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.


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.


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 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.


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.

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."

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Disapproving of Medical Bills

"Paging Dr. Giraffe"--Tuesday, 7/19/16

In this inspiration photo from last spring, the blogger is actually wearing a pair of culottes, but they looked enough like a skirt to provide an idea for my cobalt skirt.


In place of a sequin-decorated top, I wore this blouse that I call my "faux giraffe" print, retaining the sparkle in the necklace.

Navy/blue/beige faux giraffe print top (Calvin Klein/Macy's), $8.40/wear
Cobalt blue skirt (eShakti), $7.00/wear
Cream cardigan (Kohls), $1.00/wear
Nude wedges by Cole Haan, $9.99/wear
Blue sparkly necklace (Kohls), $1.06/wear

Outfit total: $27.45/wear

Is it just me or does this cardigan (a surprising WtWC Cardigan MVP #2 with 7 wears) resemble a white coat a bit here, to give the outfit a doctor vibe?  Perhaps I should have worn a white blazer like the inspiration photo, but I thought the cream color worked well with the beige in the shirt.  Oh well.

In other medical news, I sat down with my bills from my kidney stone adventures, and man, that was a really expensive thing.  Robert and I could have taken a nice vacation for that amount of money.  The only upsides are (1) yeah, I do have insurance, though they seem to think that my emergency room visit wasn't necessary and are charging me a ton for it and (2) because of aforementioned ultra-expensive emergency room visit, I did hit my $2,000 deductible somewhere in the middle of my surgery that occurred 2 days before the end of my plan year happened and the deductible reset.  So it could have been worse.  I could have had this happen one week later and had to pay a lot more money.

Remember, friends don't let friends get kidney stones!

Not feeling the approval.  Nope, not at all.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Reeds and Studs

More Geometric Reeds--Monday, 7/18/16

My love of a tipped blazer is becoming legendary (in my own mind) so of course I was attracted to this black and white with brights outfit.

And it was a great way to get my new black and white striped skirt into the workweek rotation.  When I went to add this skirt to my Excel spreadsheet, it seemed to me that its print was "geometric reeds" (for whatever bizarre-ass reason--it's very flowy and not obviously "geometric" at all).  So that's how it shall be known for all time.

Isn't this skirt fab?  See why I wasn't eager to split my wears with a pair of black and white pants?  I had forgotten that the great length was due to my being able to purchase it in a Tall size.  Plus, it has pockets!  Real, usable pockets, too.

Black tipped blazer (JNY), $4.54/wear
White V neck short-sleeved T (Lands End), $1.50/wear
Black and white geometric reeds skirt (JCP), $5.65/wear
Aqua scarf (Target), $2.34/wear
Black floral flats (Payless), $1.63/wear

Outfit total: $15.66/wear

I love the studded flats she's wearing in the inspiration photo, but I have somehow managed to resist buying a similar pair for myself.  I think mostly because I don't think I'd like how the strap around the ankle would feel.  Also, did you know that the original Valentino Rockstud t-strap flats cost $975?  They even make a version that costs $1,275! Luckily there are now a lot of knockoffs across a range of prices.  So while I admire this style on others, I went with my warm-weather standby, the ballet flat.  Because nothing complements geometric reeds like a floral print, there we go.

Of course, looking up the info to link to above, I came across this post with a review knockoffs of the Rockstud style without the strap.  OMG, I never realized they made that kind.  Even Kmart had a version for $14.99 last summer (now sold out)!  I may have to get a pair of the ballet flat version knockoffs.  Of course, I'm a couple years late to this train.  Now all the cool ballet flats are lace-ups (ugh).  It might be a challenge to find a pair in this style that peaked in popularity a couple years ago...or not because Facebook just served me up an ad to these shoes.  I don't think of Amazon as a place to shop for clothes/accessories but they do have a wide variety of options.

If I were doing this over again, I might have picked a scarf (perhaps my bright pink one) that is long, not an infinity style.  With this scarf bunched only around my neck rather than flowing down the front, I felt like there was a kind of oddly large expanse of white that made my torso look very long.  But it was also a warm day (mid-80s) so from that perspective this very lightweight scarf was a win.  It was so sunny today that I got overheated in my office and removed the scarf.  Ugh.

This outfit featured two standouts from the Work the Wardrobe Challenge:  the black tipped blazer is tied for Jacket MVP #2 with 5 wears and the white V neck top with tied for Shirt MVP #2 with 6 wears.

In other news...I spent all day formatting data into this giant matrix and got a terrible headache around 3 p.m.  Boo!  I'm feeling a little bit better now that I've had dinner, but I still think I need to make it an early night.  All weekend I stayed up late and woke up early and couldn't go back to sleep, so I'm suffering a bit already.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Inspired by Classic Children's Literature Outfit

"The Cheshire Tock"--Sunday, 7/17/16

Today's outfit is an Alice/Phantom Tollbooth mash up wherein the Cheshire Cat plays Tock. 


You will see the absurdity of this if you remember Tock's role in the book:

"Tock is the secondary protagonist of The Phantom Tollbooth. A wise and protective yet friendly biomechanical watchdog, he saves Milo in the Doldrums and accompanies him throughout his entire adventure, giving him answers to his questions and advice to fix his problems and keep him out of trouble throughout the story. He acts as a voice of reason."

So yeah, he is fundamentally the opposite of the Cheshire Cat.  I pity the fool who travels to the Lands Beyond to find Cheshire Tock as their companion.

Black Cheshire tank (Disney Alice/Kohls), $12.00/wear
*Black open weave shrug (thrifted, Westbound Petites), $0.88/wear
Black knit hiking skirt (Patagonia/REI), $3.16/wear
Brushstroke flats (Payless), $2.00/wear
White Rabbit pocket watch pendant (Zad), $3.23/wear

Outfit total: $21.27/wear

According to the Wikipedia article, Norton Juster had not read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland before writing The Phantom Tollbooth.  How is that even possible?  However, he was a huge Marx Brothers fan as a child, which explains a lot.

Saturday Shopping

"Tiger In the Jungle"--Saturday, 7/16/16

I'm always on the prowl for style inspiration for my coral tiger graphic T, so I decided to try it with olive and black as in this blogger's photo.


As a bonus, I also wore my olive cardigan and olive leopard flats, both of which could use some love during Operation Cost Per Wear.

Olive cardigan (Kohls), $8.21/wear
Black knit hiking skirt (Patagonia/REI), $3.33/wear
Coral tiger graphic T (Kohls), $2.58/wear
Olive leopard flats (Nordstrom Rack), $5.00/wear

Outfit total: $19.12/wear

In other news...Although the style blogger favorite Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (in which they discount hundreds of new fall items for the upcoming season) is happening this weekend, that's not the shopping I was referring to.  Instead, yesterday morning Robert and I went to Goodwill, where I bought 1 blazer, 1 top, 3 cardigans, 1 pair of pants, 1 pair of shoes, and approximately 1 million scarves.  Hand-washing and ironing all those scarves is going to be a big job.

We also made stops at Walmart and Target, in part because I am still looking for a light beige t-shirt (which is apparently impossible to find).  One thing I discovered from that--while it's great shopping at the Goodwill in a prosperous suburb, and it's great shopping at Walmart and Target for groceries in a prosperous suburb, shopping at Walmart and Target for clothing in a prosperous suburb is a mistake.  The women's clothing sections in both stores was maybe 1/3 the size that I'm used to and both stores sold only very casual clothing, lingerie, and exercise wear (not that this helped me find a beige t-shirt).  I didn't see a single pair of pants, skirt, cardigan, blazer, dress, etc. at Walmart that you would wear to even a generously casual business casual workplace.  Target had some pants you could wear to work, if you can get away with cotton ankle pants, but that was about it.  Crazy, no?  I guess even young people living in prosperous suburbs don't shop for work clothes at these kinds of stores.

Target had the cotton ankle pants in maybe four different colors.  Amusingly, I had just tried on a pair of white-and-black ones (a print they didn't have in the store) at Goodwill, and I had seen a pair of identical white ankle pants in my size at Goodwill as well.  Anyway, I immediately fell for the floral print of these pants.  (Note: I didn't try them on but if they fit like the black-and-white ones, they would have fit perfectly.  I only didn't get the black-and-white ones because in the end, I wasn't crazy about the pattern, and in every use case I imagined, I'd rather wear one of my black-and-white skirts instead.)


However, I am not going to get $28 worth of wear out of such a distinctive pair of pants.  Had it been a skirt, I would have had to think about it harder because (1) I wear skirts a lot more often, (2) skirts can be worn year-round in Coldville but ankle pants cannot, and (3) my weight tends to fluctuate in ways that make pants not fit right but I can wear the same skirt across a broader range of weights.  So instead I'm going to hope that someone else my size falls in love with this floral print, buys these pants, wears them 0-3 times, and quickly donates them to Goodwill.

As for what I did buy, these items will be coming soon to an outfit post near you.  But for a teaser, I couldn't believe that I lucked into a blazer, new with tags, of exactly the kind that I have been wanting for the last couple of weeks as everybody in the style blog world is wearing one.  That was nifty.

I racked up about 7,000 steps in the process, which is shocking but awesome.  (Note that I didn't wear these support-free ballet flats for our shopping outing; I wore the sort of worn-out but still functional athletic mary janes I still have from walking 2 miles each way to the university.)  This is funny because we had initially planned to get up and go hiking/birding but my allergies were acting up so badly that we had to scratch those plans.  Walking around indoors, in air conditioning, was not a bad substitute at all. 

It's sad that because of the whole kidney stone fiasco, I was out for the best 8 weeks of spring/early summer birding in Coldville.  When we walked out of the Goodwill around 10:30, Robert commented on the heat and sun and how we'd be starting to feel miserable by now if we were out on the trail.  Too true.  If we're going to do any birding this summer (and I hope we are!), we're going to have to plan to be on the trail very early indeed to make it back before it gets too warm.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Wrong Season Again

"Halloween in July"--Friday, 7/15/16

I needed to wear something festive today for my sister's birthday!  But I think perhaps I ended up dressing for the wrong holiday entirely.

This Reverse Inspiration from May 2012--called Orange and Grey Dressy Casual--captures many elements of my outfit, down to the orange ballet flats--but by using grey rather than black, it doesn't have the Halloween effect.


But this orange/black blazer I bought with my mom at the 88 cent sale last December is pretty much made to wear with black, right?  At least the linen fabric gives it a summer-time texture.  It's really too short for me, I discovered after wearing it today, so I think I will get my 88 cents out of it today and send it back to the thrift store.

*Orange/black linen blazer (thrifted, Audrey B), $0.88/wear
*Black short-sleeved top (thrifted, JNY), $5.24/wear
Skinny jeans (JCP), $0.74/wear
Orange flats (Payless), $1.11/wear
Gold fish charm necklace (Ann Taylor), $3.48/wear

Outfit total: $11.45/wear

I guess you could argue I am dressed up as a Halloween fish tank for Jen's birthday.  That is basically insane but's Friday!

In other news...Continuing the seasonally-inappropriate holiday theme, you must check out this post on When Your Child Hates the Easter Bunny.  The photos start out really funny/sad, but by the end, magic happens.  Real bunny is better than scary human in a rabbit suit every time!