Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Victorian Vampire

1) Cameo earrings, $5, Claire's
2) Vampire teeth, $12, Spirit Halloween store
3) Anatomically correct heart necklace, gift
4) Red velvet blazer, $20, Lucky via eBay
5) Black vest, $1.59, Goodwill
6) White tank, $10, Express
7) Black cigarette pants, $10, Express via eBay
8) Knee high leather boots, $60, JCPenney
9) Hat, $10, Spirit Halloween /store

Victorian vampire, at your service.  Most of this I already had in my closet, save for the teeth, hat, and vest.  It's a simple costume, but like every non skanky costume, it's too damn hot for a West Texas Halloween.  Especially that velvet blazer.  If I'm not careful, I'm gonna cook in that thing.
If you noticed that my face is paler than usual, that would be corrupt.  That's the magic of make-up, not grease paint.
That vest was originally a western style vest, with a collar, blue ribbon embellishment, pointed front tails, and buttoned up to the neck. I took a seam ripper to it, and the scissors, and made it into a vest I'd wear outside of Halloween.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Almost Pajama Pants

1) Cameo amethyst necklace, $20, local fair
2) Red lacy cami (under blouse), $5, Goodwill
3) Pink blouse, $3.59, Express via Goodwill
4) Navy wide leg slacks, $7, Ann Taylor via Goodwill
5) Navy with pink polka dot heels, $20, Payless
6) Hoop earrings, $6, Claire's

This is one of my fall back outfits, for days when I need to look good and be confident that what I'm wearing only amplifies what I have, while not being skanky.  As I had a job fair today (freaking lousy job fair), I wanted to make sure I looked good.
The pants are freakishly comfortable for slacks.  I could damn near wear these things for pajamas, they're so comfy.  But they look good and look professional.  These slacks and my wide leg jeans have convinced that wide leg pants are the best thing on the face of the earth, and to hell with the skinny jean trend!
While these heels are on the high side (3.5" without a platform), they are actually fairly comfortable and easy to walk in.  This is in large part to fitting really well (no rubbing or blistering) and being well balanced, for a stiletto.  My weight is relatively evenly distributed through the points of contact with the ground.  That one thing I've noticed about Payless:  If you get the house brand (Fioni), it's well made, solid construction, easy to wear and CHEAP.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Attack of the Ape Sweater!

1) Blue floral cardigan, $5, Target via Goodwill
2) Navy tee, $5, Old Navy
3) Jeans, $15, Old Navy
4) Ankle moccasins (not shown), (can't remember),  Minnetonka via ebay

I'm generally not big on cropped sweaters.  Back in high school, I called them "ape sweaters," because they reminded me of something a monkey might wear.  I'm still not a fan of the half sweater.  Every once in a blue moon, I find one where the shortness isn't distasteful, like this one.  I'd've loved it even better if it'd been hip length and long sleeved, but I still really like it.
As you can see, my midriff is trying to go into winter hibernation mode.  I'm fighting it, but I'm also aware that this is a native cycle my body's done my whole life.  Put on extra insulation in autumn, shed it come spring.  I will note that while I'm fighting it, I'm also still happy with my normal "winter body."  Vanity is what makes me want to keep my "summer body." 
I want you to be happy with your body as well.  None of this "stupid winter flub" or "I want a bigger booty."  I want you to accept your body as is.  Accepting it doesn't mean denying any changes that you want to make, it means loving it for what it is and what it can do NOW, not 6 months from now.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Picking Through the Trash

1) Headband, $1, Claire's
2) Scarf,  $0.50, Goodwill
3) Turquoise cotton sweater, $5, Walmart
4) Jeans, $30, Old Navy
5) Flat ankle moc boots, $20, Minnetonka via eBay

Are you surprised by the Walmart sweater?  I kinda am, too.  Most of what they sell is utter crap: tacky, oversized, hideous, or badly made.  Every once in a blue moon you'll find a rare treasure, like this sweater.  It's all a matter of picking through the wreckage to find something good.
In general, that's what you hafta do with many of my clothing sources. Ebay, Goodwill, consignment shops, junk shops all have one thing in common: you hafta sift through a lot of old lady polyester, scrubs, and stained tees to find something even remotely worth having.  Then you hafta pick through that and try it on (f you can.)
For me, shopping is the thrill of the hunt.  Unless I have something VERY specific in mind, I find it best to go in with a vague idea and see what I can find.  I can comb an entire shop and come up with 10 things to try on, only to find out in the dressing room that none of it's going home with me.  I'm used to that.  If you're used to knowing exactly what you want and paying an arm and 3 legs for it, try a change of pace.  You might find a hidden gem among the busted lamps, fuzzy tvs, and 80s prom dresses.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I Heart These Jeans

1) Anatomically correct heart necklace, gift
2) Long sleeve v neck tee, $5, Target via Goodwill
3) Jeans, $30, Old Navy

That necklace is one of my favorites.  My husband gave it to me for the first Valentine's Day we were married. Most people think it's just a fun pendant unless they look at it closely.
These jeans also had a defective button for the waist.  I put them on when I got home and the button broke off in my hand.  Then it sat in my sewing bin for 3 years until I got around to getting a sturdy button in the right size.  Because of that simple, forced upgrade, I now have fancy schmancy designer looking jeans without spending all that money.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Rules? What Rules?

I know, not what you wanted to see.  I also know that at least a handful of y'all follow my blog so you DON'T get featured a a fashion disaster like this gentleman.
That said, the beauty of know all the fashion laws is knowing when you can break them with impunity.  If you play it safe all the time, it's pretty boring.  It's kinda like cooking with only salt and pepper and only meals you know.  Eventually, something's gotta give and you crave difference.
Yes, there is a fine line between "damn, I'm hot" and "damn, I'm a hot mess,"  but you gotta walk that line occasionally.  Yes, you will flop and you'll know not to do that again.  More often than not, you'll find a damn awesome outfit or piece of clothing you wouldn't have ever thought to do without the experimentation.
I encourage you to experiment.  Find your own bounds.  Find what you'll never, ever do, and then step past it, just to make sure.  Detest your belly?  I dare you to put on a crop top (in the privacy of your own home) and laugh at yourself.  Always wear long sleeves?  Wear short sleeves, just once.  Always wear loose fitting, flowing clothing?  Go into a store and try on the tightest things (that fit) they have.
Give yourself permission to laugh.  Give your self permission to look at it as though your body were someone else's and say "that's not bad!"  Give yourself permission to change.

Da Bears

1) Chicago Bears jersey, $40, Reebok Outlet
2) Navy v neck tee (under the jersey), $5, Old Navy
3) Jeans, $20, Old Navy
4) Jaya shoes, $30, Vibram Fivefingers via Travel Country
5) Silver hoops, $10, Claire's

Why, yes, I am a Bears fan.  Couldja tell?  I know I broke a half dozen fashion "laws" with the jersey alone, but I really don't give a flying fuck in a high wind.  It's when you know the laws that it's perfectly okay to break them for the sake of awesomeness.  When I got the jersey (hell, yeah, I support Urlacher), I had the choice of jumbo, huge, or "it's a dress!"  I went with huge and claim it's tunic sized.  (Before you ask, no, they didn't have ANY of the jerseys for chicks.  I was pissed.  Chicks are fans too, dammit!)
And jeans, because I wasn't wearing this damn thing as a mini dress.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Blue Suede Shoes

1) Tortoiseshell sunglasses I forgot to actually put on my eyes, $20, HEB
2) Turquoise and silver bird necklace, $10, consignment shop
3) Blue polka dot tee, $3.49, Goodwill
4) White miniskirt, $2.99, GAP via Goodwill
5) "Wood" and blue suede peep toes, $25, Steve Madden via eBay
6) Beaded bracelet, $0.50, Claire's
The ground was actually still really soft in this picture, which is unusual for my part of Texas.  Usually, the ground is like bedrock with a small layer of sand to cover it.  I was trying to find a 3 point stance so the ground wouldn't sink beneath me and swallow me whole.
Yes, I actually own a mini skirt, emphasis on "a."  I'm usually really active and don't give much thought to ladylike posturing, so I've hesitated for a long time in buying a mini, figuring the world really didn't need to see my underwear more than it did when I was a small child.  I bought this one because it as a cheap experiment.  I can safely say I really won't wear this where there's a chance I'll want/ need to sit on a floor, play with a kid, or climb a tree. (All three of those happen in my life more than you would think.)  For going out to dinner and such, it's fine.  I can bend over without scaring werewolves, so we're good.  It's actually not as high as it looks, I was taking a step, so that's it's height when it rides up.
I bought these shoes as my first pair of "navy without polka dots" shoes. They're definitely in line with the mini, as walking much in them really isn't an option. I may eventually give them away, as I don't care for shoes that start to pinch and rub after a while.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Photos of Interest

You know that goal photo you keep around?  That one of some blonde beach babe or ski bunny or otherwise "encouraging" physique?  I know some of you keep it on the fridge.  I know others of you keep it somewhere else (if you're like me, you never actually downloaded the image.)  Unless it's a relatively recent photo of yourself (less than 5 years and no major life changes old), get rid of it. 
I know, it's supposed to encourage you to eat healthy, workout, whathaveyou, but it's discouraging to eat right and exercise and know you'll never get that Playboy bunny's figure.  You know why you won't get her figure? Because you aren't her.  You don't have her genetics, her bone structure, or her personal trainer. (You do?  That explains that missing model.)  You are you, uniquely you.
Don't get me wrong.  Goals are great.  Goals are awesome.  Goals get us from slob on the couch to where we want to go.  Basing your goal on a young woman that's never had a kid, has a personal chef and trainer, has a hair wrangler, or has never been heavy makes no sense.  She won't have your stretch marks, scars, or bones.  Don't go thinking you can swap it out for a more "realistic" photo either.  Unless it's a recent photo of you, it's not a goal photo.
I hate goal pics.  I truly do.  They make you aim for something that isn't there.
What should you have instead of a goal photo?  Well, there's two ways to go about it.
One is an old "before" photo of yourself, to remind you have far you've come.  This comes with a razor's edge, though, if you have made inaccurate associations with those days or that form.  If it'll only cause you to stare in the mirror and call yourself names, it's not a good idea.  If it'll only cause you to avoid the fridge because you don't want to see yourself like that, bad idea.
The other idea is a simple phrase to remind yourself of the goal.  "Will this get me there?"  "Does this help me?"  Stuff like that.  Spell it out on the fridge.  Write it on the mirror in dry erase. Get those cardboard letters and spell it out in your garage (or wherever you workout.)  Make it positive and make it resonate for you.  I've heard of people framing fortune cookie messages because they resonated so well

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Not Goin Anywhere

1) Swirly print tank, $3.49, Goodwill
2) Jeans

Yes, I'm barefoot.  Nope, no jewelry either.  I'm home and not planning on going anywhere, so no point in putting on the airs that I might be. 

What You Love, Part 1

If you woke up tomorrow with only the parts of your body you truly loved, you be missing some pieces.  I know I'd be missing my stomach and my heels.  Be honest with yourself.  If you suddenly lost the pieces of your body you don't love, what would you have left?  We're assuming internal organs go away if the outer covering goes away.  I know for some of you out there, all that'd be left is a pair of floating eyes and maybe  some toenails.  For others, you'd be a ghost with nothing left.
I want you to focus on what would be missing and figure out something positive about it.  I don't mean false positive, like "well, my thighs aren't as thick as tree trunks."  I mean real positive, like "my belly may be big, but the skin is smooth" or "my calves may be toothpicks, but they still work and get me from point A to point B." 
I want you to do this for every single thing that would be missing.  Write it down, tuck it away.  On days you don't feel so great about yourself, pull it out and read it.  You'll be amazed at how much reminding yourself that your body doesn't completely suck does for your self confidence.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Puppy Power!

1) Bead and chain necklace, $0.50, Claire's
2) Abstract swirly tee, $3.49, Target via Goodwill
3) Sequin waist maxi skirt, $20, BCBG via eBay
4) Jaya shoes, $30, Vibram FiveFingers via eBay

(Note: The Jayas in the link are not the same model as mine.  Mine were designed for indoors surfaces with a mostly leather sole and thin leather upper.  Same cut and style, though.  The new one is just designed to be more outdoor friendly.)
Every time I wear this skirt, I wonder why I don't wear it more often.  It's ridiculously comfortable, and VERY tomboy friendly.  I can do almost every movement and motion I can do in jeans.  It's also one of the very few maxi skirts I've EVER found without a drawstring and/ or  elastic waist, which is why I was willing to deal with the sequins and beadwork at the waist.  I may eventually rip it out, but for now, I kinda like it. 
For those unaware, I have a death warrant out for elastic waisted anything.  I wore it most of my childhood (Go, tiny toothpick kid!) and still despise it to this day.  I also associate with old people's clothes.  I don't care if it's a relatively adult looking design, or if it's integral to the design, the instant I find elastic in the waist, it goes back on the rack.
My puppy also played nice and behaved for this series of photos, actually showing herself this time!  (If you hafta know, she's wearing a blue harness from the cheapo Petsmart line.)

Bodylove and a New Turn

This one's geared to you. Yes, you.  The person sitting in front of the computer screen reading these words. You.  You see, I've been watching you. (No, not that way, I'm not a damned world stalker.) Whenever I crawl up on my high and mighty horse about loving yourself and your body, you mentally sigh and click away, because it's obviously not a true fashion post and you love your body just fine, thankyouverymuch. No, don't you click away now.  Stay with me.
I originally started this blog as a true fashion blog on how to be cheap and look good.  That's still the main focus, even if I can never give you exact links to what I'm wearing because it's not of this season (or decade, for that matter, sometimes.)  Listening to a few friends rant got me thinking.  You see fashion blogs all over the damn place about fixing things and making Trend o' the Moment work on your body. (Or, to be fair to the ones that royally piss me off, how to make your body work for the clothes.)  There are more bodylove blogs cropping up, but most are tumblrs.  I had yet to see anyone write about loving your body and showing it off each season without looking like a skankyho.
That's where this blog is headed.  I intend for it to be a meld of bodylove, selflove, and fashion, eventually.  Don't fret, you'll still get your (mostly) daily updates of me posing in front of the camera ("aren't you DONE yet, timer?")  You'll still get your seasonal updates on what hot, fresh, and new.  But there will also be injection of loving yourself first and not trying to mold yourself to whatever the latest schtick for clothes hangers or pregnant women or heavy armed or wasp waisted women is. 
There is a way to love yourself and love fashion at the same time, much the same as a good relationship requires at least a bit of self love.  Everyone has a way of doing it differently.  Everyone has that one fallback piece that makes 'em look awesome on a day they don't particularly love their body.  It takes baby steps. Very few women can look in the mirror bucknaked on day 1 and go "Hot DAMN, I'm looking fucking awesome!"  (If you can, congratulations!)
Each day, there will likely be two posts (or more) from here on out.  One of me clowning for the camera, one of me proselytizing about loving yourself or showing you how to do it or some other bodylove post.  I want you to love YOU, not you 20 lb from now, not you 40 lb ago, not you 6 months from now.  You and your body TODAY.  If you're having a bad day and just not feeling the body love, don't fret, everyone gets 'em.  Just let those be the minority, and let you loving you and your body for its awesomeness be the standard position.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Red Angel

1) Mother of pearl wing earrings, $5, Claire's
2) Red silk blouse, $4, Banana Republic via Goodwill
3) Jeans, $20, Lucky via eBay
4) red satin flats, Target

I actually really love this shirt.  I know I don't wear it very often, but that's because it sits in the pile of clothes to be handwashed half the time.
That's unfortunately one of the pitfalls of wearing natural fabrics, is that they all seem to want special attention and care (except my beloved jersey fabrics.)  I tend to do more handwashing in the winter because most of my sweaters are wool or cashmere, and therefore can't take the abuse of the washer without shrinking to barbiedoll sized.  I may be tiny, but I'm not THAT tiny, y'all. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Interview Clothing Tips

1) Sodalite earrings, $20, local Scottish- Irish fair
2) Silver heart necklace, gift
3) White chiffon bust tank, $10, Express
4) Teal button up, $20, New York &Company
5) Black blazer, $55, Tahari via Dillard's
6) Black slacks, $40, New York and Company
7) Knee high stacked heel leather boots, $60, JCPenney
8) Leather belt, $20, JCPenney?
9) Fauxligator business tote, $30, Target

An interview for a job is all about putting your best foot forward. Out here, land of the formal jeans, a suit is nearly unheard of, let alone worn.  Most people only own the suit for formal business meetings and to pull apart.  I tend to wear mine as a suit more often than not, mostly because I get cold really easily and tend to keep a black blazer handy for that.
At any rate, for an interview, even if it's not one you where hafta wear a suit, is about looking good and sounding like you already have the job.  Jeans are out.  I don't care if they're your formal jeans, don't wear 'em to the interview.  Low cut, skin tight, or revealing are all kinds of out, unless you're applying for a job with the local gentleman's club.  Polish those shoes.  Iron EVERYTHING  (ok, maybe not the bra and underwear. Understated jewelry, if you wear it: leave the huge, intricate bib necklace at home.  Cover that decolletage, all of it. Make sure your suit isn't still vent stitched.  While most website advocate white, a colored (as in, one solid, contrasting but not neon, color, leave the paisley at home) will stick in their memory.  If it has belt loops, wear a good, simple leather belt, whether you need it or not.  Run a lint roller over it.  Do that twice.  While a black suit is good, any dark colored, matching suit will work  (well, maybe not brown.)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Not People of Walmart

1) Paper/ cotton hat, $13, Dillard's
2) Graphic scarf, $10, Old Navy
3) Grey short sleeve sweater, $5, Maurice's
4) Brahmin red hobo purse, $180 (not a typo), Dillard's
5) Denim capris, $5, eBay
6) Grey rock star boots, $60, Kenneth Cole Reaction

What do others wear to Walmart? On a good day, pajamas.  On a bad day, they end up here. What do I wear to Walmart?  See above.  I needed comfortable, and I refuse to wear pajamas in public unless I'm THAT sick.
I realize that's a freakishly expensive purse.  It was birthday gift to myself a couple years ago.  I wear that purse pretty much EVERY day, because I'm too lazy to change purses for every outfit.  It's true leather and seems Jen proof, which is no small feat.  With all that, I'm willing to accept the price, given that it is a very sturdy purse that goes with everything I wear.
Also, I bought the capris with pretty much the express purpose of being tucked into boots without effort.  Tuck the capris into knee high socks, and no fighting with jeans and ankles!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Got It? Flaunt It

Most women concentrate solely on the parts of themselves they want to change.  They refuse to see their soccer player legs, their awesome shoulders, their spectacular boobs, and concentrate on why their arms are fat, their belly's flabby, or their [x] is [y].  I really don't like that.  A body is to be celebrated, whatever shape it's in.  The modern media has turned the average woman's body into something to be hated, something to be fixed and not loved.  I may not be able to turn that around on my own, but I can help y'all celebrate what you do love about your bodies.  Most articles on "celebrating" one's body parts rely on showing it off via skintight or nonexistent clothing, which I abhor.  If I wanted to see more Skankyhos wandering around, I'd go back to where I grew up.  Instead, I'll focus on how to showcase it without dressing like you belong on a street corner.
You love your face.  Those cheeks, those eyes, those lips, whathaveyou, it's farking awesome.
  • Wear your hair up, or in a very short cut.  With no hair to hide it, your face is front and center, ready for the world's adulation. (And if they don't love it, fuck'em.)
  • Play with makeup, subtly, to make your favorite features standout.  Love your eyes? Mascara.  Love your lips? Chapstick and lip gloss (lipstick if you have the giveadamn to bother.) Love your cheeks? A subtle dash of blush.
  • Wear scarves tied at the neck, higher necklaces with lower necklines, and/ or stand out earrings to call attention to what's right next to it: your gorgeous mug.
Your neck is long and gorgeous or suits your body just right.  Others may see theirs as a oddly vulnerable column on the body, you see yours as a proof God does exist.
  • Necklaces. Scarves.   Tie it near the neck and keep 'em short.
  • Low cut, but not revealing necklines will draw the eye to that area.
Your shoulders inspired Solomon and Shakespeare. Structural or well rounded, there isn't a woman out there that should be ashamed of her shoulders.  Even if you're heavyset, your shoulders are smooth and frame you out well.
  • Tanks and sleeveless tops draw the eye to the shoulder's by showcasing them without necessarily needing a strapless bra or showing off bra straps.
  • Shoulder detailing, such as lacing, lace, and crochet, show them off without putting them on complete display.
Tiny A's, Gimongo Fs, sedate Bs or stunning C's, if you love 'em, flaunt 'em!
  • Stay away from shirts so low cut that breathing threatens indecent exposure.  There are better ways.
  • A sweetheart neckline, scoop neck, or v-neck in a formfitting, but not clingy, style will show them off without running the risk of Skankyho.
  • I have yet to see a woman out of her teens that can pull off a tube top well without looking skanky.  No, not you either.  Put it down and walk away.
Arms You have guns bigger than my alma mater, or arms thinner than a hanger.  You love 'em.
  • Short sleeves, cap sleeves,  sleeveless: it's actually ok to show off your arms by not covering them.
  • Lace and crochet sleeves call attention without actually baring skin, for less casual occasions.
You have a back to die for.  Muscles for days, smooth, or just plain awesome, it begs to be shown off.
  • See above.  Put down the tube top.
  • Racer back, lace back, crocheted, these will all show off your beautiful back without going the dangerous route of completely backless.
  • Watch for shirt length. You want longer rather than shorter, or you run the risk of your shirt pulling up and exposing your back in a way that looks trashy.
You're pregnant, flat- bellied, or not quite flat bellied but proud anyways, and you'll be fucked if you'll keep it hidden.
  • Clingy is not your friend.  You'll find lumps that aren't there with skintight.  Form-fitting, on the other hand, will make you look like the goddess you are.
  • If you must wear a crop top, wear a full length tank beneath it.  No, I really don't care how good your abs are, wear a full length tank.  I'd really recommend staying away from the crop tops, though, and the tube tops.
  • Detailing on the stomach will draw the eye there as well.  Just be careful that you don't look pregnant because of the detailing if you aren't.
You've got lips, and hips, and you know how to use them.

  • Watch for whiskering and pulling at the crotch.  While they pull attention to the area, it's not flattering attention.
  •  In reality, these babies will pretty much call attention to themselves.  Pockets and detailing will draw attention, but just let them do it on their own.
Baby got back and her milkshake.. yeah, I'll stop there.  You have an ass to be proud of.
  •   Watch how your pants and jeans are cut.  You want them to cup your ass, but not strangle it.  You want your pockets to follow the curvature of your ass, not the other way around.
  • Go for minor detailing on back pockets, not too ornate.  Overly ornate and you start approaching teenager territory.
Pelvic Area
  Just don't.  There's no way to showcase this without looking trashy.

They're a mile long, or shorter than a 3 week old kitten.  They're thinner than Gisele's or heavily muscled and look more like Mia Hamm's.  Either way, you love your legs.
  • You'll contemplate short shorts and Daisy Dukes.  If you're legal, those aren't.  Put 'em back.
  • Skinny jeans and cigarette pants show them off without everyone knowing what kind of underwear you wear.  I love 'em for just that reason.
  • A skirt is your friend when you want the world to see your gams.  Just beware, much shorter than mid thigh can look dangerously skanky.
  • If you wear leggings, your shirt/ dress needs to cover your ass.  This is not negotiable.  Leggings are not pants.
  • Unless you're working out, put the yoga pants away.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sailor Moccasins

1) Necklace (unseen), gift
2) tunic style shirt with crocheted shoulders, $0.01, Wet Seal
3) Jeans, $15, Old Navy
4) Sew- Your- Own Moccasins, $24, Michael's

For those who've been asking a casual cheapass look, this is it.  Shirt, jeans, necklace, flats.  No, those shoes don't have a rubberized bottom, just a thin layer of leather.  I've been hunting for decent minimalist moccasins where I don't pay an arm and a leg. A trip to the local  craft store and 3 hours later, I got them.  (Granted, one of those hours was me cussing and swearing because the manufacturer had been kind enough to glue in the insole I wanted to remove, but that's neither here nor there.)
Yes, that's my puppy deciding not to pose for the photo. Getting her to look at the camera and not lick my hands is an idea we're still working on.

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Hairy Topic

Almost every woman loves their hair or wants to love their hair.  It's a woman's crowning glory, even when it's not there.  My grandmother, towards the end, would refuse to wear her chemo wig, stating that she was still alive, so to hell someone who thought she needed to be ashamed of her baldness.  I have seen ladies chop off waist length fried out hair to a healthy pixie and rock it out.  Find the style and color that rocks your socks off and wear the hell out of it. (Caveat: check with HR before you rock the purple 'hawk, to make sure you don't lose your job over it.)  I don't give two flying fucks in a high wind if the hot thing is a caramel bob.  If you like your waist length platinum hair (and it's not fried out), rock that shit!
That said, the easiest way to keep your hair gorgeous and a thing of pride, aside from finding the cut and color you love, is to take care of your hair.  Don't kill it with heat, product, and chemicals.  Wear it au naturel, whatever that is for you: curly, kinky, stick straight,whatever.  The quickest way to fry your hair is to use heat and chemicals to make it what it's not.
Black women: rock that 'fro, dreads, or braids; you don't need weave and straighteners. Please, ladies, I'm tired of seeing hair teased and tortured into something it's not.  Go natural. I realize it takes effort and time, more than weave, possibly, but I encourage you to step up and stand out for what is right for your hair and for your culture.
Curly and wavy haired gals, from tight ringlets to loosely curled: don't straighten it.  I've known entirely too many straight haired gals (I was one) that would kill to keep a curl in their hair.  I realize this takes time and effort, and a short cut on an extremely curly haired girl can go horribly wrong.  But, if you can take the time and effort to find a good hairdresser and/ or brush it out right, you will look damn hot, without fried hair.
Stick straight haired girls, my sisters who can't keep a curl even if they want to: let it be. A curtain of stick straight hair is absolutely just as gorgeous as a 'fro, bouncy hair, or a wavy mane.  Don't attack it with a curling iron when it won't stay anyways.  Rock it!
This all said, if you truly feel better in a style of hair that isn't your natural texture or color, find a way to do it with as little damage to the hair as possible.  Frizzy, fried out hair, no matter it's length or cut, is not sexy or good looking.  It's truly akin to skankyho hair.  Try demipermanent hair color instead of permanent, if you can. Try a less harsh relaxer.  See if there's a perm that'll take the heating elements out of your routine (no, not all perms make you look like an '80s reject.) Healthy hair looks a million times better than heated into a fried mess hair.
A special message to my chicas who have lost their hair for some reason (chemo, alopecia, etc.): Ditch the wigs and bandanas (unless you need the coverage against the sun.)  Rock the bald look.  Make it your own.  Have fun with markers and waterbased paints.  When people ask and stare, stare back and say "this is me, are you brave enough to do it?"

Friday, October 5, 2012

Oooh, Shiny

1) Sodalite drop earrings, $10, local mall merchant
2) White long sleeve button up blouse, $20, Express
3) Tweedy metallic navy blue cardigan, $15, Express
4) Studded belt, $5, Claire's
5) Jeans, $20, Lucky via eBay
6) Black suede ankle boots, $20, Minnetonka via eBay
7) Blue cameo necklace, $15, local mall merchant

This is a quintessential fall outfit for me: it looks boring but causes a double take.  This sweater is
cozy warm (as in, almost too warm for what passes for fall around here), but looks more polished than you'd think a frayed cardigan ever could. It's also shiny, and I have a minor thing for shiny silvery (just call me a magpie).  I added the belt because it looked a little too frou frou without it.  I'm actually wearing those boots without socks, believe it or not, because, damn, they're almost as comfy as house shoes or my Vibrams.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fun Links

Hiya folks!
I have the earache from hell, so today's post will be link love to some of my favorite fashion related places online.
Why Dressing Up Is Not a Crime of Fashion- I get asked on a regular basis in real life why I'm so dressed up, even if it's only jeans and a button up or a simple sundress.  I love Amber's take on it here and her defense against the Cult of Casual.
Vibram Fivefingers- The inspiration in my barefoot freak series and why most of my flats have as little sole as possible.
ShopStyle-  This and GoogleShopping are where I tend to hunt for the lookalikes to my outfits. If you're hunting for a very specific item, you want to hunt here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Shortcomings? More like Awesomenesses!

We all go through body transitions in life.  If you didn't, you'd still be the size and shape of a newborn, which would really  kinda suck. Some gain weight and fight to lose every agonizing pound.  Some can't gain weight for love or evil and wish they could. Some develop a belly after childbirth that they can't shake.  Some have scars that won't fade or shouldn't fade.Some are still growing; some are still shrinking; some are still hiding things; some want to let it all hang out.  There are clothes and fads that help you mask your insecure regions and clothes and fads to help you show off the parts you love.  Each article of clothing has stuff it can do for you or parts that are not your friend.  You've seen this trying on clothes, when the shirt looked great on the rack and looks a frumpy sight on you. Today's post is on the parts you want to camouflage, stay tuned for the parts you want to celebrate.
I don't want y'all running  through this list hunting for things to hate about your body. Huh-uh. No way.  This blog is entirely about helping y'all look good and feel good, not just in cheap clothes, but in your own skin.  Looking for flaws does entirely the opposite of what I'm trying to do here.  I refuse have any part in fat shaming, skinny ragging, or any other form of body hate.  Don't bother with hateful comments, they'll get deleted before they even get published.
A Thick/ Stout/ Wide Neck
Throughout the years, the long swan neck has been lauded as the utmost perfection on a woman.  It's also something you're either born with or not.  The neck is a balancing post and moving mechanism for the 10-12 lb (excluding hair) human head.  A thicker neck is actually more evolutionarily sound, from a physics standpoint.  Unfortunately, women with an evolutionarily sound neck generally can only see that they don't have the long, graceful, easily damaged neck fashion wants.
If you are looking to disguise a evolutionarily stable neck, there are a few hints I can offer you.
  • Long necklaces and scarves.  You want these at least  to bust level, may longer.  Keep any pendants and scarf knots around where your cleavage starts (yes, even AA bra size ladies have cleavage) or lower.  These draw the eye down, making the neck appear longer than it actually is and balancing out the width.  Play around with different necklace and scarf length until you find the one YOU like and you're happy in.
  • Lower that neckline.  I'm not saying you want skankyho cleavage, but we're trying to elongate the neckline, and the easiest way to do that is to keep the expanse of collarbone area open. Aim for a v-neck or scoop neck (it doesn't hafta be really low cut, just not right at the neck.)  And fer the love of god, avoid collars.  Turtlenecks, mocknecks, mardarin collars, and button up done all the way up just makes it look even thicker.
Broad Shoulders
Congratulations.  You were blessed with a set of shoulders that would make an NFL linebacker jealous. While these are great for shoving people out of your way, they don't exactly make for the dainty physique fashion calls for.
  • Avoid shoulder pads, teeny tiny straps, and epaulets like the plague.  These will only exaggerate your shoulders.
  • Aim for short sleeves over cap sleeves, and keep the shoulders on your clothes free of ruffles and things that'll draw the eye to it.
  • Also aim for an unstructured shoulder. Raglans, kimono sleeve, dolmans, sweaters... if there's no shoulder seam, it'll probably be really good on you.
Thin Shoulders 
While most designers want thin, shallow shoulders, you're sick of yours.  Straps always slide off, shoulder seams never line up,and fer the love of god, who designed this tee-shirt!
  • You're the person fashion designers love, even if they don't design exactly for you. Epaulets, shoulder designs, structured and (minimally) padded shoulders, lace laden... these are all things you can pull off really easily and well.
  • Still would rather hide it than pull it off?  Structured tops and minimal shoulder pads, or layer with a blazer instead of a cardigan.
Large Bust
Bazongas, knockers, porn star tits... I've heard most of 'em.  When your boobs are proportionally large for your frame, you're simultaneously  teh awesomesauce because you have the big tits every woman wants and every man wants, and you're irritated because dressing those fuckers could write a book in and of itself.
  • Stay away from high necklines.  They make you look like you shoved a pillow down your chest.  If you do wear a button up, unbutton the top buttons and wear something underneath it.
  • On the other hand, shy away from the overly lowcut.  With large tits, it's extra easy to look like a skankyho.
  • ruffles, frills, all that jazz on the bust just draw more attention to it.  If that's you thing, go nuts, just remember that the more jazzhands your bust has, the larger it looks.
  • Don't you dare wear baggy sack shirt.  Wearing something with no waist below the tits makes you look bigger than you are, both in the boobs and in the belly
Small Bust
Flatter than a dinner plate?  Believe it or not, you're what designers want.  I know it's a bitch to find shirts that don't need tailoring down.
  • Look for unstructured shirts.  Knits are more friendly for you than a shirt with princess seams, because a knit will work with your curves instead of the princess seams being too big for you. (No, I didn't phrase that backwards.  The shirt doesn't fit you, not the other way around.) 
  • A wrap shirt is also pretty figure flattering in you, bercause you can pull it as tight as you need to get a flattering cut.
  • Shirring, ruffles, sequins and all that jazz will draw visual interest to the chest area and give  an impression of more depth in the area (hence, bigger boobs.)
Belly Woes
In older, less affluent times, a woman with a Rubenesque figure was considered hotter than Mila Jovavich and Gisele whatserface put together.  She could afford to eat to excess in a world of people starving to death. Even evolutionarily speaking, a woman with extra fat (to an extent) is healthier and more able to birth/ rear children in lean times.
  • Put the potato sack down.  I mean it.  No shape makes you look shapeless.  Put down the muumuu, step away from the blouson top. You want shape.
  • You want at least some structure. An empire waist, a well fitted button up, a tunic with side shaping, something. Wrap shirts work well, too, as they're adjustable.
  • Shirring, ruching, ruffles and decorations on the belly can either be very flattering or very disconcerting.  Done right, people think it's all the decorations.  Done wrong, you're suddenly about to pop out a podling.
  • I know this should go unsaid, but I'll say it anyways: wear the correct size. Too big and you look like a bad lady.  To small and not only can you not breathe, but it's VERY unflattering.  Wear the right size.  If you wear an XL and the 2X fits better, get the damn 2X.  The number of the tag means NOTHING. It's how it FITS.
Hips with a Side of Hips
 You've got "wide, childbirthin'" hips. Large hips are an evolutionary blessing.  Extra fat in the hips makes carrying a baby to term easier and gives extra padding to protect the growing fetus.  That still doesn't change the fact that women are, according to fashion designers, all the same size hip and finding a pair of pants that fit is a pain.
  • Keep hunting.  You'll find that one manufacturer that designs for your frame.  For me, it's Old Navy's The Dreamer.  A friend swears by Cruel Girl.  It's a long, hard slog, and I won't tell you otherwise.  Find pants that fit? Buy'em in every color and a large supply.
  • Believe it or not, you can pull off skinny jeans. Wear a loosely fitted top (like a tunic) and you're "dead sexay."  Boot cut and wide leg pants are more friendly on day when you're trying to camouflage and not show off.
  • Pencil, straight, A-line, wrap, and circle skirts are your friends. The first two show off your curves in a very 40's/ sexy way, and the others are very forgiving on nearly any figure.  All 4 styles will show off your womanly curves.
  • In general, extreme rises are not your friend. Low cut provokes the dreaded muffin top, high rise can look like you packed 5 quarts into a gallon bucket.  Some higher rises can look ok, but those are definitely a case by case basis.
 Soccer Legs
That's what we've always called large or athletic legs in my family.  Your legs can do more than most people can with their entire body, but fashion designers apparently use toothpick as figure models for their pants and skirts.
  • Wide leg pants.  I can't say this enough.  On people with soccer legs, wide leg pants just look like regular straight leg pants.  When they come into fashion, clean them out.  I'm not even joking.
  • Skinny pants.  Thick, muscular legs look damn good in something tight enough to show them off.
  • Unless you have wide feet, most wide shank boots won't fit.  Get something that's meant to have a rainboot effect and love the fact that they don't do that on you. I'm also in love with shoe boots and shoes without an ankle strap, because they look good but don't obscure the view of my legs.
  • Shorts and capris, by and large, just aren't your friend.  No matter where they're cut, they will still visually cut off an already wide leg. No bueno.  Skirts, on the other hand, are, especially a knee length skirt.
  • Still want to hide your awesome legs?  Fine. Wear a maxi skirt. Comfort, maneuverability, nad coverage, while still looking chic and hot.  No hobble skirts or ankle length pencil skirts, though.  Neither one is flattering to anyone.
Figure? What Figure?
For you women with minimal curves wondering where you fit into all this, voila.  Ruler, stick, cylinder, boy... whatever shape you call it, it's generally treated very indifferently in the fashion community.
  • Wear shirts that create a waist.  Wrap tops, empire waists, rushing, shirring... these can all produce a waist where there wasn't one before.  Wear belts and scarves at the waist, it does the same thing.
  • You'll hafta hunt for jeans too.  Clean 'em out when you do find 'em.  Skinny jeans look AWESOME on you.  Hell, everything but a flare and a boot cut looks awesome on you.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

"Comfortable" Is a Four Letter Word

1) Silk faux wrap shirt, $3.79, Harold's via Goodwill
2) Wide leg jeans, $10, Express via eBay
3) Suede colorblock platform sandals, $35, Gianni Bini via Dillard's

Regular readers will recognize all 3 parts of this outfit:  one from a post in Chicago, one as a pair of jeans I wear a LOT, and one from a dress post.  Some of y'all were probably also wondering when I'd get around to rewearing more than jeans, pants, and shoes.  The reality is that I've been trying to make myself wear more of my wardrobe on a more regular basis and failing miserably.  I tend to reach for the same shirts, jeans, and slacks over and over, because.. well, because I happen to think they look damn good on me, aren't fussy, and are comfortable.  
I know in the fashion biz, "comfortable" is a four letter word.  You can't possibly be comfortable and fashionable, according to them.  I also know I live in the real world, where I hafta walk more than five feet to get somewhere and shit'll sit in my closet if I hafta keep tugging it down, pulling it up, rebuttoning it, or wondering what ungodly fabric combination it is.  So, I do my best to straddle the line.  Newest fashion is 20" hooker heels?  That's nice, I'll wear my old platform shoes.  Latest fad is taffeta (god forbid)?  Silk'll work.  (Another unspoken rule at our house: if it needs to be ironed or handwashed, it doesn't see as much daylight.  If it needs dry cleaning or handwashing AND ironing?  Forget it, it stays on the rack.)  
If I can't work a fashion trend or don't want to fuck with it, I'll ignore the hell out of it.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Lazy Pin-Up

1) Marcasite star flower earrings, gift
2) Red scarf, $1, eBay
3) black shirt with white Swiss dots, $20, Express
4) Jeans, $20, Lucky via eBay
5) Red flats, ancient, Converse One Star via Target

This shirt never fails to make me feel good about my body.  Tiny Swiss dots on my tiny frame, a neutral pattern and colors, and a fit that's perfect.  On a crappy day, I reach for this shirt.  I also love these flats.  I'd be happier with a more minimalist sole (these have the standard converse sole), but other than that, they're generally all I need to punch up a neutral outfit to something not quite so waitresstastic.  Well, that and what is rapidly becoming the scarf of the day.
It appears that I rotate between necklaces and scarves from summer to winter.  My necklaces (with a few beloved exceptions) tend to get a little dusty when it's cold or chilly out, and my scarves tend to sit in the closet unworn when it's hot enough to fry an egg on the hood of your car.