Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Men in Black

Tuesday, April 11, 2011

"You know the difference between you and me? I make this look GOOD." 
                                                                                                                -- Jay (Men in Black)

cami -- Express
shirt -- Talbots (thrifted)
pants -- Gap boy fit
shoes -- Thom McKan (KMart) 
belt -- (thrifted)
cool shades -- (borrowed)

This is another one of those days that I had trouble figuring out how to pull together a cohesive look out of my separate pieces. So, this is going to be a little of this, and a little of that, and maybe it'll be easier the next time. 

First off, we have the choking necklace and my "genuine leather," "made in China," boxing belt. (It's not *really* a boxing belt, but that's what my photographer thought it looked like, and as soon as he said it, I had to agree.)

A bit overpowering wasn't it? So my wide boxing belt was a definite no go. I switched it out for a skinnier belt, and my choker for a non-choking necklace. Much, much better if I say so myself.

I also tried wearing my belt in the traditional fashion, with my shirt both unbuttoned and buttoned. Wow. Talk about wearing something so that it'll accentuate your gut! Pay no attention to the fact that I have my eyes closed -- I think I shut them so I wouldn't have to see myself! 

I can really see the attraction in cutting off my head for my pictures. Not only does it make me much more anonymous, but also it makes my shut eyes much less of a dominant feature in the picture. Well, obviously you're not going to see my eyes if I crop my head out.

What I mean though is I think that most of us can be so overcritical of ourselves that when you look at a picture of yourself with something like shut eyes, which is so visibly apparent -- boy, can we zero in on that one flaw and obsess about it until we can't see anything else about our picture. And even when it's not something as apparent as my eyes being shut, I can still find something to obsess about and criticize about myself. Oh, and by the way? I think my shoes were all wrong for this look.

The real inspiration behind this outfit was Gracey over at Fashion for Giants. I have been wanting to try my hand at mixing prints and patterns, and she said to try mixing very subtle prints and patterns. So I took this kind of swirly black and gray camisole and paired it with a black and white gingham check patterned shirt.

I also wore this camisole here.

See Gracey's post on mixing patterns and prints here.

J: "Did you ever flashy-thing me?" 
K: "No." 
J: "I ain't playing, K! Did you ever flashy-thing me?" 

Today's factoid: Most people probably associate the phrase Men in Black with the 1997 science fiction comedy about two men who keep an eye on aliens in New York City, after the aliens threaten to blow up the world. However, the phrase was initially used in the 1950s, and refers to any unusual, threatening, or strangely behaved individual whose appearance is linked in some way to a UFO sighting.

Do you believe in extra-terrestial life?  

Addendum: My son just burst my Men in Black bubble and told me that my sunglasses looked like what old people would wear. I was crushed! 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Goddess of Victory

Friday, April 8, 2011

Writing a blog is hard work! It's fun and rewarding, but there's more to writing it than meets the eye. And for a person like me who obsesses and worries about every little thing and has a perfectionist streak a mile long and can find more things to procrastinate about than you ever dreamed possible, it can be the biggest time suck around -- even bigger than Facebook (I bet you didn't think that was possible) -- and keep me from doing something important (like my taxes -- hey, I still have 24 hours before they're due, it's early yet!).

Take this post, for example. I've been agonizing over it for over a week. Nothing I wrote was good enough or interesting enough to satisfy me. Well, I finally decided that enough was enough, and that I needed to take a page from Nike's book, and just do it (and for the record -- I have hated that slogan with a passion ever since it came out!).

shirt -- Once 1 Again (thrifted)
jeans -- Delia*s
belt -- Dockers (thrifted)
shoes -- Dansko (outlet)

Once again (haha -- do you see who made my shirt?), I did the jumble of necklaces around the neck. I edited said necklaces once I saw my first few pictures. Since my pictures are taken at the end of the day, it can be somewhat horrifying to find out that I was walking around all day long with what, in effect, was actually a piece of toilet paper stuck to my shoe!

I also played around with the tucked-in vs the untucked look but this time, I actually think the tucked-in version was better. You can see how awful the tucked-in version was here.
untucked version
talk about gritting your teeth and bearing it ...

I did kind of like this -- for a jeans look, that is. It was really comfortable, and I think I looked "nice" even though it didn't have the "wow" factor that I was aiming for. Dressing up jeans is hard!

The top was a much prettier sparkly copper color than what is showing -- I tried to pull out the color by taking a close-up picture, but I still don't think that I got the color all that right. And for a change, I also had an easy time of deciding what shoes to wear -- my sparkling Danskos were almost a perfect match!

I bet you're wondering why I hated that Nike slogan so much. The Center for Applied Research, a consulting company in Philadelphia, PA, and Boston, MA, said it pretty succinctly, "Nike responded to [Reebok] by releasing a tough, take-no prisoners ad campaign that practically shamed people into exercising." I never thought that people should be shamed into exercising or, for that matter, into doing anything. Sometimes you "can't" just do it (whatever "it" may be), and I thought the slogan and the ad campaign minimized people's struggles. That ad was a trigger point for me whenever I saw it.

And this is being said by a girl (woman) whose first pair of real running shoes were a pair of white Nikes (with a red swoosh) from Rockaway Sporting Goods in Denville, NJ. I got them way back in 1973, when there were not a whole lot of girls in NJ who ran cross country. We had to run in the boy's JV races because there were no girl's teams to compete against.

I had very conflicted feelings about those shoes. My parents bought them for me, and they were a real treat -- it was one of the first things that I remember getting that I really really wanted, price be d*mned. But I also remember feeling strange about them. Nobody else on my team had such expensive shoes, and why did I think I deserved them?

blazer -- Old Navy (thrifted) 

Did you know the following:
  • Nike is the Greek goddess of victory, and is one of the most commonly portrayed figures on Greek coins.
  • In 1945, Bell Laboratories developed Project Nike, an anti-aircraft missile system contracted by the U.S. Army. 
  • Ever since the 1928 Summer Olympics, Nike is on the face of every medal. She holds a palm frond in her right hand and a winner’s crown in her left.
Do you remember the Nike slogan?
Did you like it? 

And are your taxes done?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Today was Maxi Day, sponsored by Liz and Linda over at Every Body Every Wear (EBEW), where fashion bloggers everywhere, myself included, set out to hide some of their best features underneath a maxi dress. Can you guess how I really feel about maxi dresses?

 dress -- Kathie Lee Collection
cardigan -- Take Out (thrifted)
boots -- American Eagle (Payless)

I almost didn't join in on this challenge, because I wasn't sure if I could make this work for me. I'm not a big fan of the maxi, and on top of that, and my office is just so conservative. To me, it's the kind of dress that belongs at a luau or something.

But I had so much fun doing the EBEW challenge on the last go around -- (you can see my entry for the polka dot challenge here). So I put my thinking cap and decided that I would cheat. Yes, I cheated, but not in the way that you think. I actually did wear this dress to work today -- all day. I have absolutely no idea where it came from -- my mom may have gotten it for me. I liked the colors in it, so I never got rid of it. 

So what I did was to hoist it up around my waist, and put a belt on to keep it up there. When everybody had gone home for the night, and it was just my photographer and me left, I undid the belt, and voilĂ  -- a maxi dress was born! Boy did it surprise my photographer! 

Here's how it looked during the day.

 cardigan -- Carolyn Taylor

I wasn't completely crazy about the white cardigan, but I couldn't wear the purple because it was too short. That was the hardest part -- trying to decide what to wear with it! It was sleeveless, so I had to wear something, but yet everything I pulled out was way too wintery or too lacy for work. (It looked like a tornado had hit my room by the time I left -- I had to spend two hours hanging up and refolding everything that I tried on!)

I agonized over what to wear on my feet as well. I have trouble, in general, matching footwear to an outfit, but it's even worse with a maxi dress. 

So what do you think? Was it okay that I cheated?
Does my maxi dress still count? 

To see how the other ladies rocked their maxis, head on over to EBEW!

Maxi | Everybody, Everywear

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Celery Stalk

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Today, I decided to dress up as a celery stalk. I didn't plan on it -- it just kind of happened when I pulled this shirt on over my head, and my daughter burst out laughing when she saw me.

shirt -- Rafaella (thrifted)
pants -- London jean (Victoria's Secrets)
shoes -- Dansko (outlet)

Since one of the hats that I wear is that of an editor, and to me, a "celery stalk" and an "editor" are synonymous, I actually dress as a celery stalk every day. I know you're probably wondering how a vegetable and a person who plays with words could possibly be related.

I belong to a wonderful on-line community of editors, called the copyediting list -- CE-L for short, and nicknamed the celery patch. Each of us is a stalk in the patch, and we rely on each other to get us through some pretty hellish manuscripts.

Most of us are self-employed or we are the only person doing our job at a larger company. We don't have the benefit of colleagues who can help answer questions (is it online, on line, or on-line? one word, two words, or hyphenated?), to commiserate with (who else is even going to care about the intricate subtleties of comma usage?) or to simply vent about editing-related issues (yes, there are lots of editing-related issues that we are very passionate about -- Web site, website web site, for example).

I was lucky enough to stumble upon the copyediting listserv about 10 years ago, when I was feeling especially isolated and insecure at my job, and I have made many "real" friends in this virtual community.

So maybe there's an underlying reason why green is turning out to be my color -- maybe I'm turning into a real editor? Yep, I also have this amazing ability to read between the lines and infer amazing things about the most innocuous of happenings.
The fringe on this top was really kind of cool -- it's also kinc of reminiscent of the leafy part of the celery. I'm not sure if you can see it in my pictures, but there was also fringe around the neck.

And my earrings -- I can't remember where I got these from, but I know that I've had them for a long time. As an aside -- another reason why I like doing this blog, is that I'm pulling out things that I have had for a long time, and I am using them! Instead of just saving them. 

A couple of facts abut celery ... 
  • Some people think celery is an aphrodisiac because it is thought to contain androsterone, a metabolic product of testosterone.Oh, if only!
  • Eating celery results in negative calories. 
  • Per capita U.S. consumption of celery is about 9 to 10 pounds per person annually.
  • Pascal celery was first cultivated in Michigan.
  • Celery seeds are a good source of calcium.   
I gave this outfit a thumbs up. Nothing really special, but it was just so comfortable,
and that's got to count for something.

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    Tuck or Not Tuck

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    I'm wearing a flamenco skirt! Or at least it looks like it!

    skirt -- Briggs New York (thifted)
    shirt -- trnka
    tights -- xHilaration (Target)
    shoes -- Steve Madden (DSW) 

    I have always associated flamenco dancing with Latin America, Spain, and Argentina. But when I started poking around for background on this post, I found out that the dance can be attributed to the cultures of four different ethnic groups who lived together, in peaceful coexistence, in the Andalusian region of Spain --
    • the gypsies, who are believed to be the "untouchables" in India. They migrated from the northwestern part of India (the Punjabi region) into the southern part of Spain between the 9th and 14th centuries. 
    • the Moors (Arabs) who occupied this part of Spain; 
    • the Jews; and
    • the indigenous people of the Andalusia region.


    In 1492, not only did Columbus sail the oceans blue, but the Muslims and Jews also were expelled from Spain. Prior to the conquest of Granada, the groups coexisted peacefully throughout the Andalusia region and created a unique culture. With the fall of Granada, the groups were persecuted by the Christian conquerors, and flamenco music and dance was born as a form of cultural and emotional expression by these social outcasts.

    The flamenco dress also has a story behind it, and was designed to enhance a woman's figure -- cinched at the waist and flares out below the hips. The heavy ruffles and frills emphasize the sway of a woman's hips as she walks. The low-cut or scoop neck creates the look of a long, thin neck, and this is emphasized when the hair is pulled back in a bun. Another tidbit -- the classic flamenco dress shape is actually guitar shaped (now that I've read that, I can see the guitar shape in the dresses).

    Obviously, my skirt was not even close to being a flamenco skirt. For starters, it probably needed to be longer and  have more ruffles: 

    But that's okay!

    I just loved the way this skirt  flowed
    and moved. In fact, when I was walking
    in to work, the wind caught my skirt and
    blew it up. And honestly? I kind of felt
    like Marilyn Monroe in her famous picture.

    You can tell by looking at my pictures that my smile was from the inside out -- it wasn't forced. I was having a blast!


    I didn't realize until I was looking at the pictures that my skirt was lopsided. Oh well ...

    Here's a funny picture. A few years ago, I tended to tuck all my shirts into my pants or skirts. I would even pull them out a little bit after I tucked them in so they would be a little puffy around my waist. 

    So when I was getting dressed, I played around with tucking my shirt in. I was undecided about whether to tuck or untuck. And yes, I did this in front of a mirror. Thank heavens, I went with untucked, because words cannot express the tucked-in version. hahahahahaha ... I'm so happy that my photographer does not mind me playing around with different permutations of my outfit. I don't think that I would've realized how the tucked-in version looked without seeing it up close and personal (let me say again -- hahahahahaha). Oh my, sometimes I really am clueless!

    My tights were this gray-and-black stripey print ... pattern? Whatever you call it, I thought they were kind of cool. And I tell you, I am having a love affair with Target's tights. I have never worn tights that were so comfortable, and that did not get a hole or a run in them after wearing them once! These tights -- wow! I can snag them on my fingernails when I'm putting them on, and they still don't fall apart (and no, Target is not paying me to say that!). I'm not sure if the print went with this skirt, but I didn't really care a whole lot.

    I wish I could say the same thing about my shoes! They are really, really cute, but boy are they miserable to wear! Uncomfortable!

    This outfit got a thumbs up from me!

    Saturday, April 9, 2011

    All Thumbs

    Tuesday, April 5, 2011

    Thumbs up? or Thumbs down?

    I tried to find something interesting to say about thumbs up or thumbs down, because the rest of this post is pretty dull, but no could do. People aren't sure as to how the thumbs-up hand motion began to represent something positive -- some trace it back to the ancient Roman gladiators, while others say it was a medieval custom for sealing business transactions. Thumbs up may or may not have negative connotations in some countries of the world.

    Anyway, on to the meat of my post. Ever since I got this outfit, I had been looking forward to wearing it -- I got the dress first, and then when I got the cardigan, I couldn't get over how the colors were such a perfect match. Bingo, an outfit was born.

    dress -- Sag Harbor (thrifted)
    cardigan -- Ann Taylor Loft (thrifted)
    boots -- American Eagle (Payless)

    That fateful day finally came when all the planets were aligned, and I said, "By gosh and by golly, I'm going to wear that dress and cardigan outfit!"
    Oh my. Where do I start?  

    How about with that collection of necklaces around my neck? Or the pile up of bracelets on my right arm? Obviously, I couldn't decide on what to wear, so I grabbed everything that I thought was in the right color family and put it on. AGGGH! Thank heavens, I had the good sense to change things up a bit after I saw the first few pictures!

     I don't even know what it is that I don't like about this outfit, but there's just something about it ... I didn't even realize how much I didn't like it until I saw the pictures, and then I was the one who was horrified.

    Oh my, is right!

    I even tried switching out the boots. Yeah, I will actually carry a couple of pairs of shoes into work with me, if I can't decide which ones to wear at home, and yeah, I have issues.

    These boots weren't any better. So anyway, I don't know if the colors just don't look good on me? I don't know if it's the length? Maybe the color of the pantyhose? Maybe the cardigan is to form fitting for the dress? Maybe it's because the boots hit me at the wrong height -- at the widest part of my calves?

    What do you think? Should my thumbs be going in the other direction?

    True confession time: I know that this doesn't look as bad as I have made it out to be. But I am serious that I didn't like it AT all. Maybe if I had added a belt? Or jazzed it up with either gold- or mustard-colored tights, I would have liked it better.

    Thursday, April 7, 2011

    A Block of Color

    Monday, April 4, 2011

    I did it! Woot! Woot! Hip, hip, hooray! I am now an official color blocker, and I can say that I have climbed fully on board with one of the fun spring trends! At least I think I did it. You be the judge.

     skirt -- Anthony Richards (thrifted)
    sweater -- Delia*s
    tights -- xHilaration (Target)
    shoes -- Mia (DSW)

    I was so proud of this outfit -- from remixing the skirt/dress to the colors to wearing my peep-toe shoes (these are the highest shoes I've ever worn!). And yet, it really elicited some really strange reactions at work. One guy, a friend, after indicating to me that he liked my outfit -- asked me if the people at work give me strange looks with how I dress sometimes. I laughed, and said all the time. I work in a very conservative office -- most of the guys who I work directly with have stopped being surprised when they see me, even though they still tease me on the occasion. It's all good -- I deserve it most of the time, and I can give it back pretty good.

    The second guy, however, I was really looking forward to his reaction. I thought I had put together this really cool outfit, and even though it was a bit outside my comfort zone, I thought it was pretty good. He is this very sweet older man, and I always ask him for his opinion because I can trust what he says. Well, he took one look at me wearing this, and he practically started shaking, he was so horrified! Oh my, he didn't want to say anything to me -- I had to force it out of him.


    He was literally horrified by how I had put this together. LOL! He didn't like the necklace, the shoes, the color combination ... I don't think there was anything that he really liked about it. Oh my -- it was funny. He usually likes what I wear, and pumps me up and makes me feel better about myself. I did swap out the necklace for a different one after I talked to him, but I don't think he liked it all that better. 

    I think these are the tallest shoes that I have ever worn -- the heel is 4 inches! That got a whole nother reaction from all the guys at work, as I either towered above them or was the same size as them!

    Here's the other way that I wore the skirt/dress. Ignore the horrible look on my face -- I was having a fight with my photographer about politics. Suffice it to say that we are complete opposite sides of the spectrum. We usually don't talk about it, because we've found out that it's better for our friendship if we don't.

    Here are other ways that I have worn the cardigan.

    Now, head on over to Pretty Shiny Sparkly and see how Bloggers do Color Blocking better!

    Popular Posts