Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Time To Get Real With Myself

It's almost been a year since I started Glad Racks. 

You'd think that working from home would mean I'd have plenty of time for dressing up, putting on make-up, and doing my hair every day, but with my schedule, mostly I end up in my PJs, no make up, and my hair in a top-knot. I make an outfit maaaybe twice a week, and usually that's to go someplace really casual, like hanging out with friends or family. I end up having to put in more effort than a lot of bloggers who do it more often and better than me. 

I really wanted to find a niche for myself, but it's been elusive. What do I have to offer that no one else can? There are 22.2 million other people telling you how they dress, how you should dress, and what they think is cool. The really good bloggers are making money on their carefully curated photos and advice, and somehow have the cash or influence to score the most expensive, coveted clothes and accessories. 

I don't have a lot of time. I don't have a lot of money. 
I just have me. 

Is that enough?

I want to do and be something unique... I just have to figure out what that is.

Here I leave you with my last documented outfit from last month's pumpkin excursion. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Time Is Nigh For Wicked Things

Just two more weeks until Halloween! It's one of my favorite holidays, in no small part because I love to dress up. There are usually lots of fun, scary things to do, like haunted houses at the old plantations, live performances of Rocky Horror and Young Frankenstein, and zombie walks/pub crawls. 

This year was my first time dressing up as a zombie, but I wanted to do something different from your average brain-snacker. My hometown has a lake that is host to lots of pontoons with drunk rednecks, speed boats carrying skiers or intertubes (and drunk rednecks), and general grossness. I thought it would be fun to be a drowned mid-90s zombie from that lake.  

I'm sad that you can't see the water plants I have pinned in my hair, but I have real plants in there, trust... not to mention the 12 ounces of hair gel to keep that "wet look" going all night.

I spray painted my roots and my skin with colored hair spray, and dabbed white paint on me to look like mold. 

My buddy, Christopher, did a tennis zombie.

Fierce zombie fashion shoot!

And here's a behind the scenes application shot!

I have another costume in mind for Halloween proper, and I am pretty excited about it. Stay tuned!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Finding Inspiration

The night before I went to the zoo with my friends, I stumbled upon this great photo from The Sartorialist

I love the juxtaposition of the patent leather and the beat up uniform shirt, and the brown sunglasses instead of the expected black. I wished I could have seen her shoes. I then realized that I had an approximation of all of those pieces in my closet, and quickly made an outfit for the next day.

I did a watch instead of a scarf, added a necklace and a brooch, and went with a knee-length cotton skirt for comfort (and to look better with flats) rather than my faux leather midi skirt. Given the choice, I'd probably omit the choker the next time, though.

Wearing this shirt with a regular bra is almost impossible, so I went for my Enell sports bra. It was comfortable enough for 8 hours, but by the 12th hour, I was hurting. It was worth it, though, to be able to streamline the look of the shirt so much.

One of my favorite parts of the day was the Lorikeet enclosure. You could give them little cups of nectar to drink! I had this little guy with a foot on my hand while he was lapping from my cup. He's so pretty!

We also saw some fishes. That's my buddy, J. Rhett Butler.
The Riverbanks Zoo also has a botanical garden. It's very pretty.
This is my friend, Melissa! She's a photographer.

How cool is this shot that Melissa took of the penguins? They were so much fun to watch diving into the water, swimming with each other, and then popping back up onto the rock.

There are lots of lovely statues all around the zoo. There are usually three or four kids climbing on them at any one time.

The botanical garden ends in a trail that goes to a small river surrounded by trees draped with Spanish Moss. 

Look how big these leaves are! Enormous!


Shirt: Army/Navy thrift store. Here is a plain version, a vintage Boy Scout shirt, and an oversized version here.

Skirt: eShakti.

Accessories: Brooch, Born Pretty. Choker, SheInside (nicer, rose gold version on sale at Lord & Taylor). 

Shoes: F21. Similar style at Wet Seal, silver version by Vans, and a slip-on, quilted version by Steve Madden.

Bag: Thrifted. Similar (cheapie) styles by F21 here and here, nicer Topshop version here, and really nice Stella McCartney Version here.  

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

To Heel Or Not To Heel?

When I'm trying to decide on what to wear for a night out, usually the last and most difficult decision comes down to shoe choice. Do I choose the comfortable flats or the sexy, leg-lengthening heels?

After many, many seasons of designers and fashion magazines pushing platform stilettos and single-sole stilettos (the worst!), the powers that be have finally succumbed to their aching feet and started pushing flat shoes, boots, and sandals. Praise be. I don't know how those fashionistas walk around in NYC in 4.5 inch stilettos all day and still stomp out a fierce runway walk without their toes falling off. Practice, I guess?

Even the heels nowadays are tamer, featuring thicker, shorter heels and more strap support. I have a few pairs that fall into that category and I can honestly say that I can wear them for 8 hours straight and still be able to walk, dance, and otherwise enjoy my night without thinking about my feet. 

That being said, the heels in question are my most severe, tallest, pointiest, and sexiest heels I own. They just beg to be worn with my navy and black tuxedo, to sex it up a bit.

This jacket is one I've had for years and can be seen in this post from last year. It had it made for me by a tailor who received some pictures of a Stella McCartney design to base it on. I didn't get any pants at the time, but I really wish I had. I've been searching for the perfect pair of navy tuxedo pants ever since. 

I found these pants at Target while I was shopping the Altuzarra collection and I am just THRILLED. They're perfect. 

The heels certainly lend some sex to an otherwise "menswear" look and streamline the legs.

I am so very blue. 


Now on to the flats. One of the main reasons I bought these StyleMint flats is because they're navy and black and I thought they would compliment my jacket. The navy isn't quite as blue as I hoped, but they still look pretty great regardless. 

Obviously these are way more comfortable than a 4" stiletto, but I also think they just look cooler. When you're comfortable, you're relaxed. When you're relaxed, you're confident--and the confidence is the key that's going to pull together just about any look you throw on.

The MK bag and my rings.

Matching lipstick not required.

Yeah, these feel much better. It's not that I can't walk in a pair of heels, but if you're doing a lot of walking, you (and whomever else you're with) are going to resent walking slowly and daintily down whatever uneven sidewalk you're on. 

Moral of the story: wear flats if you're going to be walking a lot; they're cooler anyway. If you REALLY wanna bust out those heels, save yourself from walking in your bare feet and stash some foldable flats in your bag.

Sidekicks come in LOTS of colors!
Or try Back Up Soles...
Or maybe you want something nicer... try Yosi Samra!


Jacket: Bespoke. Cheap version from Target, nice version from Rag & Bone, GORGEOUS (expensive) version from Alexander McQueen.

Pants: Target. I couldn't find the exact version, but here is a navy pair for curvy ladies, and a version of navy/black tux pants by Kate Spade.

Top: StyleMint

Shoes: heels by Qupid. Flats by ShoeMint. Similar styles by Tod's and Dolce Vita

Bag: Michael Kors. Similar style by the man himself here, similar (cheaper) styles from Asos here and here.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Waterfront Dining With His Parents

Figuring out what to wear for a dinner out with your S.O.'s parents can be tricky. Even when you've known each other for years (technically 13 years in my case), you still want to seem put together, comfortable, and classy. For a nice dinner outside overlooking the Shem Creek harbor, I chose a simple iteration of a jeans + tee outfit. 

I could have done a skinny jean with this look, but I think the trouser-cut of these Gap jeans lend themselves nicely to the general 70s vibe I've got going on in the rest of the outfit. Plus they dial down the sex appeal a bit and up the parent-friendly appeal.

Yes, I totally did wake up early and snag one of the Altuzarra x Target blazers. There was hardly anyone there, so I had my pick of the lot. Sadly, the orchid maxi dress didn't work for me (and my lifestyle if I'm honest--when would I wear it?), but I also grabbed one of the faux-croc waist belts that are now sold out and going for twice the price on Ebay.

I love wearing hats, but I find it's usually best to shop men's hats. They run a little bigger and therefore fit better on my large, Irish noggin. This cheapie from F21 just kind of perches precariously on my crown.

This is what my hair does when it air dries: nothing.


Jacket: Altuzarra for Target Velvet Blazer in Ruby Hill. Sold out! Modcloth will have a similar version soon, and J. Crew makes a velvet version of their popular Schoolboy blazer. It comes in lots of colors, sizes 00-16, and has petite and tall sizes!

Shirt: StyleMint Classic Crew.

Jeans: Gap 1969 Long and Lean Jeans

Boots: Mudd. Other (better) options from Rag & Bone, Target, Carlos By Carlos Santana (Rosannadanna [old SNL joke; ask your parents]), and ECCO

Purse: Michael Kors Sloan shoulder bag

Necklace: BaubleBar. Here are some other options I really like: Pinup Fringe Sapphire Strand, Azure Layered necklace, and the Bud Gem Collar

Sunglasses: Vintage via thrift store. Consider these other cat eye sunnies from Wildfox, Dolce & Gabbana, and Quay.

Hat: F21. Similar (men's) style here and here. Ladies styles here and here.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Little Biker Girl In A Southern Town

So the other day I showed you my list of favorite motorcycle boots, inspired by my new Fryes. Today I show you the outfit I've been wanting to wear for years now (basically since I got my leather jacket). I'm hoping there will be some Madewell denim in my future to really complete the look in my head, but these black Seven7 jeans are doing their job nicely in the meantime. 

This is basically as cool as I'm ever going to get.

They make such a satisfying jangle when they walk. It's going to take some time to really break them in, but for now I'll wear 'em with thick socks as much as possible to speed up the process.

This hat was hand-knit for me by a dear friend. Unless it's cashmere or a teeny-tiny gauge knit, I feel guilty wearing store-bought knits. Almost all of my knit accessories are hand-made by me or someone I love.
The hair starting to look a little teal these days, no?

With a shirt this low-cut, it's best to steer clear of your full-coverage bras, and opt for a t-shirt bra, plunge cut, or demi cut bra. No, you won't be as supported, but you won't run the risk of flashing bits of your bra to everyone, forcing you to fiddle with your shirt all night instead of having a good time. Trust me on that.

Remember the show What Not To Wear? One of the things I learned from Clinton and Stacy were to always make sure you can close your jacket. That seems like such a basic thing, but busty ladies are often faced with having jackets that fit everywhere but the boob area, and simply resigning themselves to never closing their blazer or jacket.

I got pretty lucky with my leather jacket; it just zips over my boobs. But I honestly would have just worn it open and never closed it if it didn't fit... but then I'd still be searching for my perfect leather motorcycle jacket. Fit above all else!

There's my butt! We must be at the end! Later!

[Happy Birthday to my BFF Kathryn!]


Jacket: Vintage via Ebay. Super-cool version with tonal hardware at Madewell, fantasy leather versions at Choies and Torrid

Shirt: Abbott Kinney StyleMint tee. The Classic V is very similar.

Jeans: Seven7 jeans. Similar styles here, here, and here.

Boots: Frye Veronica Short Zip boot. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

So Kelly Osbourne Has Her Own Line Now...

Remember when Kelly O. was just Ozzy's little girl? She was the cherubic-faced teen, active on her family's reality show, and even tried singing for a minute. Now that she's all grown up, with a successful run on Dancing With The Stars under her belt and co-hosting Fashion Police since 2010, she's ready to try her hand at designing.

I've been impressed with Kelly's style for years now, and she's just getting better. Everyone else had blonde hair! She went lavender. Everyone else got pastel-colored hair! She shaved the side of her head. Everyone else started shaving the side of their head (or braiding to fake it)! Kelly went full-on mohawk, and still looks like a lady.

Her line, Stories... By Kelly Osbourne, reflects the edgy, capital-L Lady within while also making a point to add thoughtful details, like snaps between the buttonholes of her button-up blouses, and a pencil skirt with a large removable bow. Not only thoughtful with her designs, she also made sure to cut three patterns for each garment, allowing for sizes 0-24. The extra pattern cutting means the plus sizes will fit like they should on a body, and not just a blown-up version of the straight sizes.

This is the blouse with snaps at the bust! Genius. Why don't ALL blouses have this feature?!

Bow Pencil Skirt, $79.90

This skirt has built-in paneling for extra tummy control. Plus, when I'm having a fluffy tummy day, I can just be like, "What pooch? This is a bow!" I like clever camouflage. I want to wear this with a fuzzy pastel sweater and some t-strap flats.

Floral and Plaid Ponte Dress, $79.90 (Sold out! boo!)

I LOOOOVE this dress. I bet it would do amazing things for your curves. 

Graphic Print Tee, $49.90

The cheeky bustier print on this ultra-luxe tee is screaming my name. Kelly says she used the same shirt fabric as another designer who is selling their version for $1000. I do love the feeling of a fancy t-shirt...

It has a removable collar! This could be worn with just about every bottom in your closet, and a great layered look when it's just not cold enough for actual layering.

Those are my favorites! You can check out the rest left for sale at HSN's site.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Fall Boots: The Short Motorcycle Boot

Now that we've officially buried summer and started putting away our swimsuits and sandals, it's best not to dwell on the things we're leaving behind and instead focus on all the great accessories and outerwear that comes with a new, cooler season! 

Because I live in the south, I only have a few short months to use heavy coats or jackets, but BOOTS will take you through at least half the year (or more if you're stubborn like me!). It just makes more sense to invest your wardrobe in a great pair of boots that will not only be versatile enough to wear throughout the year, but will last through many, many years of constant use without falling out of style.

Finding the perfect boot is a quest on which I've spent many a dry-eyed hour at the computer. Deciding what you want is almost as hard as finding it! The options out there are truly staggering. Chunky heel or stiletto? Bootie or shootie? Knee-length or over-the-knee? Leather or faux leather? What about fringe, buckles, metal plates, studs, or laces?

The Frye brand is as classic as it gets. The brand was started in 1863 by John A. Frye and a partner, and there are still boots from the 19th century and early 20th century that sill exist today in museums. They're pretty high quality boots and shoes, and the company offers resoling for life for a very modest fee.
When a girl friend let me try on her pair of 12R Harness boots, I felt like a total badass babe, and I wanted that power for myself. Soon after I bought a pair of my own (in tan).

When it was time to expand my boot collection, I wanted a pair of short motorcycle boots. Knowing the pair their boots can possess, the first place I looked was Frye. You may remember my trip to the Frye flagship store in Boston, where I bought the oxfords. I made sure I tried on all their motorcycle-style boots (they have a lot) and found the perfect size... and then bought my perfect pair for 60% off on Ebay. hahahaha I'm the worst! I think that's why I ended up buying those oxfords in the store: out of guilt.

But behold! Frye's Back Zip Short boot!

I think they are the epitome of easy-sexy-cool. I can't wait to wear them with my skinny jeans and motorcycle jacket all season. 

But in case you want to see some other kinds of short motorcycle boots, check out some of my favorite iterations from across the interwebs!
If you're looking for a bootie to get you through just about every sartorial situation this fall/winter without breaking the bank OR your ankle (and don't mind if it falls apart soon thereafter), try these!
Forever 21 Classic Faux Leather Booties, $27.80

If you're looking to go cheap and a little on the wildside, I wouldn't hate you for choosing these zipper-lined booties from F21. They'd look killer as a dark foil to your flippy floral skirts.
Forever 21 Metal Moment Booties, $39.80.

Who needs an arm party when you're wearing these? I bet these Dolce Vita booties make a nice, satisfying jingle-jangle when you walk.
Dolce Vita Yazmina Boots, $259
The quilting on this Stuart Weitzman pair gives a luxe air to your bad-assery.
Stuart Weitzman, $498. 
These are very similar to the Frye short harness boots, but for way less.
Silence + Noise, $99.
These Miu Miu boots have zippers, buckles, AND metal plating, yet it still looks refined and restrained. Impressive.
Miu Miu, $950.

Kate Spade puts her signature adorableness in her take on the motorcycle boot. The little bow! The tiny spade! The bitchin' black leather! 
Kate Spade New York Sabina boots, $398.
Super classic, super cool, but not your average buckle straps.
Rag & Bone, leather, $595