Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Now I know why...

... I stopped posting so much the first time I tried doing this daily fashion blogging thing. All the damn photos and almost none of them look good. The camera and I were not friends today, but here are three somewhat acceptable images of today's outfit:

Sweater: Splendid
Dress: Splendid
Tights: Anthropologie
Shoes: Indigo by Clarks

A little bit about my favorite knitwear company, Splendid. The clothes aren't cheap, but you can find them on eBay for pretty good prices. That's where I scored both the sweater and the dress. I confess, I feel conflicted about this dress... When I look at myself in a mirror, I love it. When I see photos of myself wearing it, I think it looks an awful lot like maternity wear. But it is comfortable, and guess what? Splendid knits almost never pill. Worth the investment, IMHO.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Tiki Party Attire

Dress: Vintage Betsey Johnson
Shoes: Vintage
Earrings: Betsey Johnson
Necklace: Modcloth
A friend of mine described this dress as "hellacious," which, trust me, was a compliment. I love wearing this dress! I walk into a room and everyone stops what they're doing and picks their jaws up off the ground. 

It is stretch velvet, so it is comfortable (and pettable) which makes it my favorite dress to wear for cocktail parties or nice dinners. I don't know about anyone else reading this, but I have serious issues with bloating (related, I'm fairly sure, to a gluten sensitivity which I stubbornly refuse to acknowledge) so I can change dress sizes in a single sitting of dinner. One memorable meal had me putting on a dress that was too big for me before I started eating, and by the end of the meal, I had to unzip it and wear a shawl for the rest of the evening because I'd bloated so badly. Yes, I have been tested for food allergies. No, they did not come back positive for anything. Thanks for asking.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Another post! Sweet!

Full disclosure: Bottomless mimosas at brunch today.
Dress: Old Navy Women's Belted Jersey Maxi Dress
Bag: Vintage
Shoes: Vintage
Lipstick: NARS Cruella
I think we should all rejoice that I have managed to 1) put on clothes; 2) take a decent photo of me wearing them (after roughly 292872 non-decent photos); and B) am now uploading said photo of said clothes to the interwebal interface. Also, I didn't adjust the contrast in the photo. I am just that white.

So, this dress. I have high hopes for it. I got it the other day from Old Navy because I wanted a maxi dress that I could throw on after a hard day of wearing corsets n'stuff (my other hobby is reenactment) and not worry about whether or not I remembered to shave my legs in the last, oh, forever days.

The material is light, but not too light. I have some trepidation regarding the fact that previous Old Navy knit dresses have eventually abraded* after several washings, regardless of how careful I am, but for now, so far so good. It is 100% rayon, which, depending on the quality, could mean it survives being washed without pilling, or it will pill like a mofo after one washing. We shall see.

Despite it being a "petite" size, however, it is too long for me. I stand 4'11 barefoot, so this was hardly a surprise. I'll eventually hem it so I can wear it with flats, but today I wore it with 3" platform sandals and still had to worry about tripping on the hem if I wasn't careful. Also, I have the waist tucked up under the waist-tie a few inches, so if you're "petite" (as in, not really petite but according to the fashion industry, you're under 5'10") you should be fine. If you're Shorty McShortstack like I am, it's gonna be long.

Tonight: Tiki Party! Stay tuned for the clothing update in about 6 hours...

*Fancy word for "pill."

Friday, September 6, 2013

Banana Republic Gemma Wrap Dress

This. This right here is my everything. Let me tell you a story about my 4+ years of grad school... I have gained 30 lbs since I started, and I have given up on doing anything about it until after I graduate. Which, because my degree program is so bloody awful, has gone from a 2 year plan to a 4 year plan, going on 5 years. So, here's the deal: I have given up on structured garments without stretch. Being under-employed and in triple figure debt because of grad school, I really can't go around replacing my clothing every time my body decides another 5 lbs around my waist seems like a great idea. So, that's where the Gemma dress comes in... It's a classic, BR always stocks some version of it, and even though it ain't the cheapest knit dress out there, it is made with good quality materials, which means my return on investment is pretty decent. 

My extensive knowledge of fiber and textiles means clothing manufacturers have a high bar to clear with me. I will not tolerate fabric that pills. This does not necessarily mean that I avoid cheap labels, because I have items from Forever 21 that have lasted me years with nary a pill, and items from Anthropologie that have pilled horrendously after the first wearing. In general, Banana Republic has a pretty good track record with its textiles, but because they are pricey, I am judicious about my purchases, sticking to basic pieces.

The Gemma can be dressed up or down, but it always looks classic. Total score. 

Giving this another go

Photo by Lady Lovelace
I started this blog a couple of years ago to complement the fashion blog that my BFF Trystan started. She kept with it, and I uh... Didn't. My biggest problem was that, unlike CorpGoth, I didn't really have a style, or any particular thing to define me fashion-wise. And being a grad student meant I was sitting at home a lot, wearing pajamas. So not really exciting fashion-y stuff from a blogging standpoint.

Then I had a revelation tonight. I really love knitwear. Like, no, you don't understand, I LOVE IT. I have given up on wearing almost anything but knits these days, owing to a couple of different factors, not least of which is that I'm in my mid-30s and I am done with being uncomfortable in clothing. The other thing is that I am a fibre nerd- my undergraduate degree is in clothing and textile design, so I am relentlessly picky about the sort of fabrics I wear. So many knits just don't stand up to wear, and I am on a mission to find the best ones.

Sounds a little dry, I know, but hey, it's MY thing.

So, let's recap a little about me for those who are new to Ms. Mascara's Blogporium, aka Un-Nonconformity The Blog, Take Two:

  • I live in Silicon Valley, with Mr. Mascara, and my cat, The Noodle. 
  • My house is fucking rad. It's a 1920s Craftsman. I love it.
  • I swear a lot.
  • Un-Nonconformity is what happens when you're an Individual, just like everyone else.
  • I'm short and curvy, which is more of a fashion challenge than you might imagine.
  • I wanted to be a beatnik when I was a kid. For years I dressed in black and tried to convince people I wasn't Goth, but then finally gave up and just accepted that people didn't want to grasp the finer nuances between the two subcultures. 
  • I actually can't stand beatnik poetry despite trying desperately in my teens to like it.
  • I currently work in social media marketing and I really enjoy it.
  • Oh, yeah, that grad student thing? Almost 5 years at a major university in Silicon Valley AND I STILL HAVEN'T GRADUATED. This is by no means my own fault, I assure you. 
  • My degree (ha) is in Art History & Visual Culture. 
  • I have a very macabre sense of, well, everything. Weird shit, creepy shit, freaky shit... I eat it up. Probably has a lot to do with my otherwise boring, bourgeois life.
I could go on, but I'll just stop there. Welcome!