Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve

Just a quick post to wish everyone a happy new year! This time of year is crazy for everyone; if you're not going to a dozen parties, you're still trying to find the perfect gift for your dad (but knowing deep down he still just wants socks). Then as soon as Christmas is over, you're thinking about New Year's parties or trying to come up with something "different" to do this year. A major part of the anxiety surrounding NYE is WHAT WILL I WEAR. In my head, I imagine fancy parties with lots of sequins and bubbly, but it never turns out that way. The important thing is to keep expectations in check. Beyond that, dress however the hell you want! If you're just going to be partying at your friend's house or going to a dive bar, I still say you should wear that crazy cocktail dress anyway. If not now, when? 

This year was going to be a quiet one for me and the boyfriend. His parents own a sailboat, so we decided to hang out there in the harbor. There's a huge aircraft carrier very nearby that always has a major (read: majorly expensive) party, so we figured we could jam to their music while avoiding the crowd (and the cost). It was very low-key, but I wasn't just going to wear jeans and a sweater! SPARKLES, DAMMIT. I NEED TO SPARKLE! 

That doesn't mean I had to be uncomfortable, though. An easy, long-sleeved dress, tights for a pop of color, and low-heeled boots meant I could traverse the docks without falling while still being festive as hell. That cardigan makes anything festive, though.
On the boat, named Firefly!
I almost didn't buy this pretty rhinestone headband, but I'm so glad I did. It looks great with just about everything.

Dress: by Dex. I found a similar style by DKNYC here, and a cheaper version on boohoo for $26.

Cardigan: Thrifted (but here is something similar, and here is another similar thing).

Tights: by Spanx. I bought them from Ebay, though. There's a Spanx store that sells their products. Seems pretty legit (and cheaper).

Shoes: Mudd booties. Similar version on clearance for $30 here, chunky zipper version here.

Accessories: Baublebar necklace. Hanging Rhinestone headwrap from Maurices. Chain belt was thrifted.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Party

Happy Holidays, everyone! Today I got to dress up for a neighborhood holiday party. Last year I won an electric drum set, so fingers crossed for that raffle this year!

This tux jacket is really special to me. A few years ago, as a Christmas gift, my boss sent me to a guy who makes suits and let me design whatever I wanted. I'd been really wanting a tuxedo jacket, but the ones that I really wanted (like this Stella McCartney version) were completely out of my price range. I showed the man a few different versions of the jacket in my head (definitely wanted it in black and navy, boxy-ish, double-breasted) and a few months later, I got this gorgeous baby in the mail in time for New Year's Eve! Total dream come true.

I wanted to keep my main-event jacket the star, so I kept the bottom half sleek (and tough) with faux-leather leggings and short black booties (also faux leather). 

I suppose I was feeling pretty tough today, so that how the outfit turned out. Like a chic biker lady trying to do a tux. It's the sparkly bow necklace as a bow tie that really does it for me. 

Wrist-wise, I went for double rose gold cuffs because my chic biker lady is also a Wonder Woman. Add my trusty Baublebar rose gold necklace for some lovely layering action, and I've officially made a theme. I never really even liked to wear gold until rose gold wooed me in. 

This tuxedo shirt falls into the "too big to have bra issues" category, so I just wore my smushiest minimizer to lessen the outward progression of the bust. A bonus of this kind of shirt is the button flap. Hard to see if any buttons are being pulled apart by your ample chest if there's a swath of fabric over the whole shebang! 
Anyway, because the shirt is large, I'm pretty much counting on the jacket to give me some shape. If you're wearing a blouse like this buttoned to the top and buttoned on the sleeve, you gotta keep the jacket on! Otherwise I'm just a big, red cube of a person; and most of us don't aspire to be cube-shaped. Say I've been dancing and working up a sweat and just gotta take the jacket off. In that case, I'd unbutton the first three buttons on the shirt, then unbutton and roll up the cuffs. Then I'd have the benefit of the open chest and my arms to break up the shape of the shirt. Easy-peasy. Of course, you can always just start out with the shirt that way. It just depends on the sort of look you're going for.

Jacket: By Ricky Kumar, by appointment only. You could forgo a couple months of rent for this Saint Laurent version. Alternately, in the real world, H&M makes a simple version for $35. If you're petite (like me), White House Black Market makes a nice version. 

Blouse: Thrifted. I'm telling you, thrift stores are the way to go for awesome blouses. Printed, tuxedo, lacy, thin cotton... they're all there waiting for your perusal. 

Pants: Hearts & Bows from Asos. I found a similar version here, a plus size version (with short lengths!) here, and a petite version in real leather here (mostly wishful thinking on my part).

Shoes: Mudd booties. Similar version on clearance for $30 here, chunky zipper version here.

Accessories: Baublebar necklace, Asos cuff set (found similar ones herehere, and here), Bow Tie necklace from F21 (found a cute one on Etsy by AlternateNormality here.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Proper Celebratory Attire

After my quiet birthday in Charleston, I drove the 3+ hours to my hometown of Greenwood to celebrate my big 3-0 with my best friends. We went out for dinner and went roller skating at the rink that's been around since I was a kid.

I found this Isaac Mizrahi for Target dress at a thrift store. I was on the fence about wearing it (since strapless! Hello!) until I realized I could wear a t-shirt under it! Luckily I had packed this tighter tee from Forever 21 for layering purposes, and I ended up loving the colors together.  It was so wonderful to be able to wear this lovely, festive strapless dress over my ugliest, most supportive bra.

Add some leopard print ankle-strap pumps (by Bamboo, found here on Ebay) and some toasty fleece-lined tights, and BOOM! Happy birthday girl! 

For Accessories, I wore a knitted headband made by my boyfriend and this gorgeous rose-gold necklace from Baublebar


Friday, December 13, 2013

I Made A Sweater!

I've only been knitting for a couple of years, so making my first sweater was a little daunting. First, finding the pattern for the perfect sweater is hard enough. The other thing about choosing a sweater is the size. 
I have a strained relationship with sweaters anyway, and I mean that literally. If you want a fitted sweater, that means that the top portion is going to be seriously stretched and showing whatever you have on underneath. If you want something that fits the boob area, it means looking more roundish than lady-ish. 
I was thinking about what kind of sweater I thought my wardrobe lacked (basically all) and decided I needed something cropped to wear with my high-waist things. I think this also helps to show more hips and remind people that there's a body under all that yarn. 

The pattern showed the sweater all in one color, but I went for a raglan effect with a deep red and charcoal gray. It was also supposed to be a turtleneck, but I think turtlenecks + boobs = one mammoth hunk o' fluff.
I don't know what it is, but I just can't pull them off. I need some neck space to open up that area and give the girls some breathing room. I'm not yet skilled enough to make a v-neck, so I just made a crew neck. I still needed to have some kind of V shape going on in that area, so I used this leaf necklace to achieve the look.

I also made the front slightly shorter... but my boobs are accentuating the rise in front, too. I think a vent on the sides helps to keep it looking intentional.
I did some experimenting with the sleeves as far as construction. One is normal and one is... not. But it's kinda cool, too! I'm telling myself it looks cool, anyway. A one-of-a-kind sweater with asymmetric details. Can I call it couture?

The weird, stitched-on sleeve.

The nice, normal sleeve.

Can you see my nails? Galaxy print nail stickers! I'm obsessed with space.
Jeans: Mine are high-rise with studs, but these are the exact same thing minus the studs. Here is a petite pair for $32, and a regular pair here for $24 if you want something cheaper.

Belt: Brown leather with brass crab claw, thrifted. 

Boots: New Look from Asos (I couldn't find the exact boots, but I found another pair of tan ankle boots in a wide size here)

Sunglasses: Ebay

Necklace: Leafing Town Necklace from Modcloth

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Happy Birthday To Meeeeeee!

I love my birthday if for no other reason than the perfect excuse to dress up. It doesn't even matter where I'm going or what I'm doing, my outfit game is going to be tight. 
This year I spent my birthday at home in Charleston with the boyfriend. We had a fabulous dinner downtown and walked around to look inside all the fancy store windows. 

For this momentous occasion, I chose this extra-fabulous long-sleeved black and gold shift dress. I've always shied away from dresses that don't have some kind of darting or seams to help define my waist from my boobs, but this dress is just form-fitting enough to avoid looking like a lumpy rectangle. 

To keep toasty, I wore some fleece-lined tights (so comfy and warm!), plus a shaping cami. Shaping undergarments totally count as a warmth layer!
I know you can't really see the shoes, but they're my go-to black heels, so I know you'll see them again. They're so comfortable.

 As far as accessories go, I like wearing my longer necklaces when I'm not wearing a belt, and I think this beaded tassel number is perfect. It makes the eye go up and down the body instead of sticking to just one part. I also have a bad nickle allergy, so it's also nice to not worry about breaking out. 

The headband is a little kooky, but I like to think you can get away with a little something extra on your birthday. It's a bow, but it kinda looks like bunny ears! Everyone should be able to have fun with their look whenever, but I feel like most people don't unless there's some kind of special permission. 
Phooey! Do what makes you happy!

Speaking of happy, let's discuss how happy my leather jacket makes me: I have a huge, throbbing crush on this thing. This is THE motorcycle jacket. Real leather, lined (so it's super warm), and it MAGICALLY FITS. I am a fairly petite lady, so to find a jacket that fits in the shoulders and doesn't swallow my hands is a miracle. To find a leather jacket that fits so well is practically impossible for less than a few hundred bucks. But BEHOLD! I found this sucker on Ebay, woke up at 7am to bid on it, and for a mere TWENTY DOLLARS it was mine. I still can't believe my good fortune. 

Jacket: Ebay (but if you're into faux leather, I found one here on sale for $45, and this cropped version here on sale for $29)

Dress: Nine West, found here

Shoes, Necklace, and Headband: Forever 21 (I know they have some shady ethics, but the accessories are awesome and cheap and I'm very weak in the face of those two things) These shoes are very similar in heel height and shape, though the toe is a bit more rounded and it's in patent faux leather

Friday, December 6, 2013

About Button-up Shirts and the Gaps We Love to Hate

I love button-up blouses, but these 36F puppies are hard to contain. The best I can hope for is an oversize fit to negate gappage. This isn't always possible, however. 

This particular blouse is one I thrifted back in high school, and because of its adorable fern print, I will never ever get rid of it. It does have the issue of being a little small, however. I make up for it by wearing a minimizer bra and a shaping cami, but even then that little gap will show up if I move around too much. 

Now, I could wear my super-flattening Enell bra under this blouse, but I have a feeling it would look like I was wearing a super-flattening sports bra. I could wear it opened an extra button with a tank underneath, but dammit, that's just not the look I'm going for. I'm afraid this is just one of those blouses that's going to gap a little sometimes.  

Blouses and A-line/skater skirts are one of my main uniforms, and lucky me, I can get away with wearing them almost year-round. Adding boots give me a couple more months of wear, and adding tights--well, shit. I guess I can wear this uniform year-round. This skirt is especially warm since it's made of mostly wool and lined. AAAAAAND it has pockets! Every lady knows a well-placed pocket adds 70% more value to any skirt/dress/pant/short.

You make me feel like daaaaacin'!
Hat: Teal Wool Fedora, Forever 21 (sold out, but there's a $10 here, one for $23 here)

Blouse: Thrifted, but I found a polka-dotted blouse on Ebay, plus this XXL unworn printed blouse here, and a super cute vintage floral cotton blouse here!

Skirt: Black/brown/pink tweed a-line by Walter

Belt: Leather and brass, used in the Korean War and given to me by my grandfather (one of my most treasured possessions)

Boots: Leather, by Barefoot Originals (purchased on Ebay ages ago), but you know I found something else for ya! Try these, or these, or maybe these!