Sunday, July 30, 2017

Operation Comfort and Joy

Before I get to outfit details, it's probably time I introduced my style theme for the year: Operation Comfort and Joy.

In previous years, I focused on wearing everything in my wardrobe at least once during the year (Work the Wardrobe Challenge) and driving down the price per wear on my garments (Operation Cost Per Wear).  I also tried out new things like mixing patterns, testing new silhouettes, and wearing items in a variety of ways.  This level of experimentation was fun but I did a lot of preparation on the weekend to have outfits ready for the work week, including trying on and photographing everything in advance to make sure it worked (well enough).

But you know what?  I've gotten to where I have a good sense of what I like and don't really want to spend as much time with outfit prep.  (This is part of why my outfits get posted so late--I don't photograph anything until the morning I wear it, and I get behind.)  I'm also feeling less urge to seek novelty for the sake of novelty--I am just fine wearing items in a similar (not identical) way from outfit to outfit once I've found something that works and makes me happy.

Another strong preference that's come into play lately is that I have lost patience for wearing uncomfortable clothes.  Individual items that are too tight, too constricting, too stiff, too scratchy, too fiddly, too short, too long...things that don't want to stay where I put them...outfits that are too warm or too cool for the matter how nice or attractive or whatever these items/ensembles are, I don't want to deal with them anymore.

There are entire categories of garments that are becoming very rare for me now, such as cotton button up shirts.  They can look sharp and professional or cute nerdy librarian, etc., depending on how they're styled, but they are almost always stiff, frequently constricting, and require futzing with, so most of the ones have moved from my closet to the Goodwill bag.  In their place, I have started leaning toward soft blouses with a good drape (like the rabbit blouse from Loft).

Another problem item--stiff pencil skirts that are a bit on the short side.  It's kind of sad because I have such a nice selection of these, but the thing about a pencil skirt in unforgiving fabric is that you gain 10 pounds and suddenly they are like 3" too short.  Bah.  We'll see if any of these get back in the rotation during the tights season (or in the strange and unlikely event I lose 10 pounds), but for now, I've switched to super-comfortable and well-fitting colorful ankle pants (as you have seen and will continue to see), and I am growing my collection of more forgiving knit pencil skirts (that have the advantage that they are basically as comfortable as pajamas and can be worn on weekends as easily as at work).

When reflecting on my sartorial priorities, I realized that I basically wanted to dress with comfort and joy.  So there we go.

Grape Limeade--Monday, 6/26/17

I bought a new pair of purple (blurple) pants to replace my old pair that was a bit tight on me, so I could revisit one of my favorite pants/scarf combos, only this time with a lime-colored shirt.  The diamond pattern on this tipped sweater is so small that it sometimes doesn't work like I think it will in a given outfit, but in this case, with the mix of textures and only a bit of subtle pattern mixing against the bold scarf, it was just right. Verdict: I loved this one! 10/10 would wear again.

*Purple pants (JCP), $16.09

Outfit cost per wear (OCPW): $24.33

Coral/Floral--Tuesday, 6/27/17

Yet another great sleeveless top from my Goodwill run, which happens to be perfect with these coral pants.  I enjoyed being matchy-matchy with my accessories, all the way down to the bright blue Fitbit.

*White/blue/coral floral sleeveless blouse (thrifted, Walmart), $2.24

OCPW: $23.22

Light Metal/Pop of Pink--Wednesday, 6/28/17

Black and white on top with bright bottoms is a classic in my book, and I liked using my new tuxedo jacket and metallic accessories to fancy-up this otherwise simple knit shirt and cotton pants outfit.

OCPW: $17.07

"Pep"py Leopard--Thursday, 6/29/17

OK, I look a bit pregnant in this loose peplum top (I am not pregnant).  But whatever--I love how comfortable it is so I deal.  (Remember: comfort rules!)  I added a big flowy scarf which may or may not have distracted from the somewhat-pregnant silhouette of this outfit but it was a nice "third piece" to bring the colors together.

*Black peplum top (Lands End), $11.93

OCPW: $23.10

Le Moto--Friday, 6/30/17

I am not ever going to be confused with the mythical effortlessly stylish French girl, but wearing a silk scarf knotted at the side of my throat makes me feel as chic as I ever get.  It was fun to be able to wear this stretchy moto jacket another time before the weather got seriously hot.

OCPW: $14.41

Are you ready for the most silly bit of Easter swag I got this year?  OK, here it is.

Yes, it is a bunny puff that wraps around a dining room chair.  I only bought one (I mean, really, with this intensity of cuteness, a little dab will do ya), and I placed it on the chair that is set against the dining room wall (next to my own chair) with a bag of enzymes, vitamins, etc. on it.  This way the bunny butt sticks out where I always see it, and I don't have to worry about knocking it lose when I sit down/get up from my chair.  (The wrap is a perfect fit only when it is arranged at the very top of the chair.)

In other news...Dude, do you or do you not have a functioning frontal lobe?

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Not Posted?

I'm confused because I thought I posted this some time ago.  OK, I guess better late than never...

Ahhh, a cool week with highs in the low to mid 70s F.  How you are missed.

Not-Quite-as-Summer Blues, Monday, 6/19/17

Back on 6/8, I had to create a new outfit with these pants and ballet flats (Summer Blues) because my originally planned outfit was too warm for the weather.  Well, with this cooler week, I was able to wear the long-sleeved blouse and vest as I'd wanted to...and with a big-ass sparkly necklace to top it all off.

Outfit cost per wear (OCPW): $8.64

Olive Pink, How About You?--Tuesday, 6/20/17

I had started to lose hope that I could make this cardigan and scarf outfit work before the later summer/almost fall season struck, but the cold front helped me out.  That and the fact that I had bought a new white top that is sleeveless so that the whole thing wasn't quite as warm as it was with a t-shirt.  I had ordered somewhere in the range of a gazillion different white tops from JCP (most in two sizes) and am happy to report that my summer white top supply is now in excellent shape.  This one is pretty visually interesting with rows of lace ribbon down the front and the peplum hem.  It was kind of funny walking into JCP at the Pokemon Mall with a giant box for the return desk, but the young guy at the counter really dealt with it like a professional (e.g., no mocking me to my face; he must have waited until he was on break to regale his co-workers with the Tale of the 1000 White Shirts).

*White sleeveless peplum top (JCP), $6.99/wear

OCPW: $16.19

White a Maroon--Wednesday, 6/21/17

I was going to call this outfit "What a Maroon" but serendipitously typed an even better title, one that befits the debut of this ultra-basic but really great (and cheap! I should have bought two!) t-shirt.

 *White short-sleeved T (Boutique/JCP), $5.59

OCPW: $13.17

Dotted Floral Redux--Thursday, 6/22/17

Yeah, I've worn this top + cardigan combo before, but when I decided to purge the other polka dot shirt I had planned to wear because it wasn't comfortable enough (I don't know why I bought a petite sized shirt, it was always too short so I had to futz with it like Picard without the gravitas), I went with this known-quantity substitution.

OCPW: $10.81

Still Working the 88 Cent Purple Blazer--Friday, 6/23/17

Its cost per wear is down to 18 cents and it's still going strong.  I thought I'd try bringing out the hint of purple in this paisley top with the blazer and necklace--it's a little overpowering, I think, but not in a bad way.

OCPW: $6.67

I forgot until just now that I was still in the process of sharing my Easter swag, but let's just hop back to it, OK?  Here are a set of small glasses with silly bunnies (we are using them as tooth brush glasses) and a ball ornament with Romantic rabbits.  Attempting to access the Christmas ornament supply out of season is more than my life is worth, so I have put  Perhaps in Robert's dresser-top organizer?  Well, we'll see if I find it again in December, I guess.

In other news...Finally, an excerpt from the new book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series (i.e., Game of Thrones novels) is released!

In closing, please enjoy these inspirational words from Inspirobot.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Tribalism Sucks, Y'all

By mid-June, it was feeling like actual summer with highs into the mid 80s to low 90s, and I broke out some more of my new summer items.

Weekend Geometry--Sunday, 6/11/17

I don't usually bother photographing my weekend outfits, but I liked how the bold stripes and chevron patterns mixed here.

In the Floral Navy--Monday, 6/12/17

I really like this short-sleeved cardigan I bought from Loft.  It's a very traditional style with the round neck and buttons, which isn't necessarily my go-to favorite, but in this case, the simplicity makes it very versatile.  I also like the elbow-length sleeve, which makes it fit over a greater variety of short-sleeved shirts than many short-sleeved sweaters do.  The somewhat-more-interesting-than-usual neckline on the top is also helpful for days when it's warm enough (88 F and muggy) that you don't even want to mess with a necklace, let alone a scarf.

*Navy short-sleeved cardigan (Loft), $20.00

Outfit cost per wear (OCPW): $23.56

Patriotic Bohemian Floral for Flag Day Eve--Tuesday, 6/13/17

Another JCP skirt that I was able to buy in a Tall size, continuing to rock my world.  (And that sale price was awesome!)  There are so many color combinations that would work with this skirt, but for this very special holiday, clearly red and navy blue was the way to go.  And of course I had to match the red/gold flats with a red/gold White Rabbit pocket watch pendant, set to 4:55.

*Navy/pink/teal floral skirt (JCP), $7.69

OCPW: $12.69

It Starts With a Wild Ball Necklace--Wednesday, 6/14/17

I toned down the drama of the dark aqua/burgundy combination with a black cardigan, and let the exuberant colors of the necklace and floral ballet flats stand out.  This stretchy lace sleeveless top has already proven itself a workhorse in my summer work wardrobe. 

OCPW: $7.69

New New New--Thursday, 6/15/17

And sometimes you just want to throw on a collection of newly purchased items and be done with it.  That's easy to do when you use black and white as your base and find a Fitbit and necklace combo that matches your new pants.

*Aqua ankle pants (JCP), $17.49
*Black and white diamond top (Kohls), $8.40
*White short-sleeved cardigan (Loft), $20.00

OCPW: $49.73

Orange Sorbet or Peaches and Cream?--Friday, 6/16/17

Although I usually go with something denim-y on Friday, I thought this creamy confection of an outfit worked very well (and basically I didn't want to wait to try my new items).  I can't entirely decide what delectable summer treat I resembled, but this is one of my favorite outfits to wear in a while (against some stiff competition).  I am absolutely thrilled with this top!  Finding a white top that is opaque enough to wear on its own to work can be very challenging, but this one worked because it's a layer of lace on top of a layer of knit fabric.  And even though the back is only a single layer of knit fabric, it's thick enough (without being too warm) to be entirely appropriate.  I also liked that it was a bit loose and drapey without being complete humongous.

*Coral ankle pants (JCP), $17.49
*White lace top (JCP), $21.00

OCPW: $41.53

In other news...This report from The Economist on Trump's America is an absolute must-read.  (Note that this article is only the first in a series.  See the left side of the screen for links to the rest of the articles.)  This introductory article makes some distressing but important (and to social psychologists, not very surprising but still significant) points about how much political belief is about choosing a team and believing what your team believes and how little it's about picking a candidate/party that aligns with one's own values.  Here are some data points (quotes):

  • 30% of the electorate does not have a good sense of where Republicans and Democrats stand on the most fundamental question about the role of the state.
  • 16% of Clinton voters and 24% of Trump voters were not sure which party was more conservative.
  • It is hard to think of two more different candidates, in temperament, style and policy, than Mitt Romney and Donald Trump, yet more than 90% of those who voted for Mr Romney in the presidential election in 2012 also voted for Mr Trump this time.
  • Right after the election, and more than two months before Mr Trump took office, Republicans told pollsters that their personal finances were in much better shape than they had been the week before the ballot. Democrats said the opposite.
One thing I liked about this series is that it is not merely painting Trump voters as idiots who aren't paying attention, yadda yadda, while implying that Hilary voters are paragons of rationality.  There are not enough people pointing out that plenty of Team Democrat voters are just as clueless, biased, and driven almost entirely by social/identity concerns as the pro-Trump people.  It's easy to not-notice/forget this when the Democratic candidate also happens to be the only adult in the race, but it's not like America sorted itself into the pro-Trump Moron and pro-Hilary Brain groups here at all.  Imagine that Bernie Sanders was the Democratic candidate and eventual POTUS, and think of the high level of reflexive support from Democrats he would be getting for the really stupid shit he would be proposing/doing. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

80 F Pants Week

Yep, yet another pants week. 

Summer Dark Floral--Monday, 6/5/17

It is seriously proving hard to go wrong with the bright pink pants + chambray blazer combo.  This is the first of approximately 815 ways I could wear this new top featuring a bunch of great colors.  Although I'm not typically a polyester-for-summer person, I couldn't resist it for the price, fit, and fabulous print.  I loved how this outfit turned out.

*Navy/olive/pink/red floral sleeveless blouse (thrifted, Walmart), $2.24

Outfit cost per wear (OCPW): $10.08

Serendipitous Paisley--Tuesday, 6/6/17

Another newly thrifted sleeveless top, 100% cotton this time.  I bought it on the same trip as these new black-and-white check pants (which is one of my favorite patterns for pants, so I was happy to find them, even if they are just too long to wear with flats unless I hem them), and when I saw the two items sitting together in a stack, I decided to listen to the universe and wear them together.

*Black and white check trousers (thrifted, Kohls), $5.24
*Purple/green/aqua paisley sleeveless top (thrifted, Eddie Bauer), $5.24

OCPW: $19.59

Red Sailor--Wednesday, 6/7/17

Floral and stripes is a pattern mixing favorite of mine, so naturally I was thrilled to wear this scarf with its helpful red/navy/white color scheme atop this outfit.  When the high temperature is around 80 F, I can still do a normal scarf at work as long as I wear it loose or tie it lower on the body (not right around the neck). 

OCPW: $11.67

Summer Blues--Thursday, 6/8/17

This is an outfit that ended up almost entirely different from what I had initially planned.  I think the matching blue pants and shoes were the only pieces that I kept.  If I recall correctly, my original idea involved a shirt that was clearly too heavy/warm for the weather, but this sleeveless knit tank, short-sleeved cardigan, and lightweight scarf were spot on.  And I don't think that's just because the cool blues make me look like a refreshing drink.  If you look closely, you can see that the aqua cardigan and mint scarf almost exactly match two of the blue shades in the shirt, which is very gratifying, of course. 

I ended up donating this shirt because I'm not entirely happy with the fact that it's tight around the hips (it's a knit, so it still basically works, but the whole thing was cut for someone with a much straighter frame than mine, and I am increasingly unwilling to deal with anything that's at all too tight feeling, especially in the summer), but I think I gave it a nice last hurrah (with a final cost per wear of $0.75 too).

OCPW: $5.08

Casual Friday With a Twist of Lime--Friday, 6/9/17

I had a great streak of good luck on that thrifting trip I mentioned earlier; I bought this textured lime green sleeveless top at the same time.  (I don't routinely check the sleeveless section, but because I was wanting to spruce up my summer wardrobe, I did this time and hit the jackpot.)  Of course, I absolutely had to wear it with this lime-dominated silk scarf for its debut. 

*Lime sleeveless top (thrifted, JNY), $3.74

OCPW: $8.20

In other news...Tam sent this article about the new clothing company founded by the same skeevy guy behind American Apparel.  Because what the world needed was yet another company churning out uncomfortable, giant unisex t-shirts that will obviously bunch under the armpits and have zero drape whatsoever.  (Well, maybe if you wear these t-shirts, he won't sexually harass you?)  One unfortunate aspect of this is that, like American Apparel, the new company is positioning itself as a supplier of blank t-shirts for companies that want to sell shirts with their logo/character/design on the front.  I already have one huge, stiff (now fading) unisex t-shirt with a great design silk-screened on it (a disapproving rabbit) that I can only wear as a pj top because it's ridiculous; I don't need more. 

Weather in the 60s Revisited

Oops, this one got out of order.  Oh well, it's still all ancient history now...

Man, it's tough looking back on the gorgeous weather we had in late May.  (I conveniently have a record of my outfits and the weather forecast for each work day that I originally used for planning purposes and that I now just torture myself with.)  But let's muscle through this.

A Strange Sartorial Start to the Week--Monday, 5/22/17

I'm the first to say that this is an odd color combination, but I just wore two subtle colors from the top in darkened form--pink became maroon, aqua became dark teal.  Not my most successful combination, but it was, as they say, different.  And I think the silhouette of drapey cardigan and skinny ankle pants worked just fine.

Outfit cost per wear (OCPW): $6.80

Paging Dr Jewel Tones--Tuesday, 5/23/17

This white jacket doesn't exactly look like a lab coat, right?  I mean, it could be a waiter jacket.  But I like the tuxedo jacket idea best, especially when worn with my trusty "black pants + black shoes for the rain" combo.

*White tuxedo jacket (JCP), $13.99

OCPW: $23.03

Spotted in Red--Wednesday, 5/24/17

Wearing these tan flats with the black captoes just made me incredibly happy with this outfit.  It's like a little callback to the black top half after that long expanse of really red pants.  You'll take what you can get to carry you through your work day, right?

OCPW: $10.41

Sometimes You Hit It Out of the Park--Thursday, 5/25/17

Colorful, perfectly fitting pants? Check.  Chambray blazer? Check.  Pattern mixing floral and leopard? Check.  Long scarf? Check.

I was thrilled with how this combination turned out.  One of those rare outfits that is even better in reality than it was in your imagination.  Hence I am giving you a gigantic photo so you can view it in its fully Sally-esque glory.

OCPW: $11.73/wear

...And Sometimes You'd Rather Just Be at the Park--Friday, 5/26/17

This is a pretty casual Friday outfit, even by my standards, and it's not very interesting (though the metal-studded collar of the t-shirt, which isn't visible in the photo, makes it a little less boring).  But I was happy to find that this cream t-shirt is the exact same shade as the cream stripes in the t-shirt cardigan.  So there's that.  Plus Friday.

*Cream short-sleeved T (thrifted, Liz & Me), $6.74

OCPW: $12.02

OK, people, we're starting to get a little caught up!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A Week of Warming

The week of May 28 started with a high of 60 F on Monday but reached 88 F by the end.  So pretty much in like a cool glass of iced tea, out like a half-drunk can of Dr Pepper that has been left sitting in the car on a late spring weekend and is found on Monday morning like, ugh, gross.  But Memorial Day is the traditional start of summer, right?  So I guess the rising temperature wasn't poorly timed from that perspective.

Stripey Chambray Summer--Tuesday, 5/30/17

Yep, I am totally doing the bright pants + chambray blazer + pattern mixing scarf and shoes again already.  But to usher in summer, I think adding mixed stripes and a red and blue fish print is hard to outdo.   I mean, I guess I could carry a purse with an anchor or maybe a crab on it or something, but failing that, this is as start of summer as it gets around here.

Outfit cost per wear (OCPW): $11.15

Mossy and Dramatic--Wednesday, 5/30/17

I saw this olive + magenta color combination on another blogger, and for whatever reason, I decided the beginning of summer was a good time for it.  After the previous day's totally appropriate outfit, I suppose I had to bring some kind of balance back to the Force my seasonally questionable self.  This scarf has such a wonderful rich sheen to it, it has a slightly elevating yet emotional quality, like it's ready to toss its loose ends over my shoulder and lead me out of the room on a devastatingly witty remark.  (This did not in fact happen on this Wednesday work day that was, as far as I can recall, pretty ordinary.)

OCPW: $10.41

Wild June Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit--Thursday, 6/1/17

When you've got a shirt covered in rabbits, a rainbow-bright wild ball necklace, and shoes with metal studs on them, but your outfit still looks just fine for a business casual workplace, things are going well for you.  The navy pencil skirt definitely helps to ground the look, as they say.

OCPW: $9.12

And a Bunch More Rabbits--Friday, 6/2/17

Oh, it's Friday and the bunnies are frolicking happily, surrounded by soft light green grass(y sweater).  If one day of rabbit rabbit rabbit is good, surely two in a row is better!

OCPW: $6.55

Striped shoes (two different pairs) twice in one week?  Yep, it's summer.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Hello World

June was a truly wretched blogging month, but I played so much Pokemon that I thought my Fitbit would pass out (but it took the miles like a champ).  But now it's July and it's often way too freaking warm/humid to want to go out in the evening.  So that would bode well for getting back on the blogging train, right?  Well, let's give it a shot on this sunny and unpleasantly steamy evening.

A perfect time to take ourselves back to mid-May, when it was blissfully not summer yet.

Fall in Spring--Monday, 5/15/17

This cardigan/skirt/shoes combo is like an instant "just add almost any shirt and go" outfit in the making.  I get bonus points since the dots on the turtle's back include both brown and the dark aqua of the lace top.

*Dark aqua lace top (thrifted, Kohls), $5.24

Outfit cost per wear (OCPW): $11.29

Pastel Sailor--Tuesday, 5/16/17

Sadly I spilled iced green tea on my skirt at work.  This isn't a terribly uncommon experience (even though I work in a physically stable office environment and not on an actual ship), but I'm not usually wearing white, which I have now empirically demonstrated will take a stain from a beverage that is basically urine-colored.  (Mmmm...that's an appetizing comparison.)  I have gotten the stain about 90% out, but that last 10% is frustrating!  But I haven't given up yet.  I mean, I did win the Army award at the regional science fair for my project on stain removal, after all. 

OCPW: $13.17

Foresty Pseudo-Dress--Wednesday, 5/17/17

When my outfit looks too dark/woodsy to be spot on for spring/summer, adding a big dose of white or cream is a good option.  Or I just rock my seasonally inappropriate color scheme as I did on Monday.  Either way.  I think back on weather that supported wearing this somewhat open weave but not really lightweight jacket and want to weep. 

*Olive skirt (JCP), $10.77

OCPW: $26.08

Black and White and Burgundy All Over--Thursday, 5/18/17

My classic "it's raining so I'm going to wear these black pants with black shoes that will ignore the water" combination in action again on a day with a high of about 55 F.  SIGH.  But it was quite lovely to be able to wear this peplum sweater once more before the onslaught of summer.

OCPW: $10.44

Golden Bunnies--Friday, 5/19/17

What a simple outfit, and I loved wearing it.  This shirt, this jacket, and these jeans are some of my favorites (which is reflected in the low cost per wear reported below), and you know I'm a sucker for wearing a gold necklace and shoes to match my hair (hare?).

OCPW: $7.50

Look at all those jackets and sweaters!  Goodness.  I miss you, month of May.