Thursday, March 28, 2013

Subtle Pattern Mixing - Stripes & Cats

I love this dress so very much, even tho' you can't see much of it in the photo. It fits like a dream, which it should, being custom-made. But also the fabric is perfect, a mystery blend with the tiniest bit of stretch. I got the fabric from a friend who was de-stashing & just giving it away. Then my friend Donna made it up into this dress so perfectly.

The grey-brown color with pinstripes picks up the off-white tone of the cats in this scarf very well. Again, not something you can probably see in the photo, so just trust me. While I do blog these outfits, I just wear them to make me happy. And the combo, all set off with a little pop of burgundy, does exactly that.

What I'm wearing:
Grey pinstripe dress, Original Sin Designs
Burgundy velveteen jacket, Kohls (with vintage jet buttons added by me)
Black tights, Calvin Klein
Black ribbon-tie pumps, Clarks
Black & white cat-print scarf, Etsy, gift from my husband
Black & gold earrings, Forever 21
Revlon "Raisin Rage" lipstick

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Purple & Stripes

I kind of wish I'd bought this dress in black also, back when it was on sale. It's so flattering & so comfortable. But then again, short-sleeve dresses are more versatile -- I won't get as many seasons of use out of this one. I'm only wearing it with a cardigan because it tends to be chilly in my office. Still, I do love the dress.

Do you buy multiple colors of an item if you really like it?

What I'm wearing:
Purple knit dress, Lands End | Black & white stripe cardigan, Chadwicks | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black & white peep-toe pumps, Marshalls | Pewter "Success" key necklace, gift from my husband | Silver & amethyst earrings, gift from family | Silver celtic ring, gift from Lisa | Purple lipstick, Sephora

Monday, March 25, 2013

Time for Tea, Part One

Earlier this year, I went to a tea party to bid a dear friend farewell as she left us to return home to the U.K. -- tho' luckily she plans to come back later this year, so the bon voyage party wasn't totally sad.

This was a proper high tea at a frou-frou restaurant filled with old-fashioned china & such. To me, that calls for a fancy outfit & a hat, of course. This hat was a gift from a friend & features a real vole skull. I trimmed it with more ribbons & feathers.

What I'm wearing:
Black & silver pinstripe jacket, custom-made by Original Sin Designs | Black jeweled T-shirt, NY & Company | Black knit skirt, Target | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Tall black boots, Clarks | "London" necklace, Claire's | Black & white stripey bead earrings, Kohl's | Black hat with skull, feathers, & ribbons, gift from Ghislaine

This wasn't the only tea party I went to this year, so watch for another one with a different hat, coming soon.

Have you gone to a fancy high tea? Did you wear a hat or otherwise dress up?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pink With Damask

Nothing much going on here, just another CorpGoth day at the office. Tho' this outfit is a classic example of mainstream brands used in a gothy fashion.

What I'm wearing:
Black velveteen jacket, White House Black Market | Black & white damask-print knit top, Ralph Lauren | Hot pink skirt, NY & Company
Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black kitten-heel pumps with buckles, Payless Shoe Source | Silver filigree earrings, Target | Black & gunmetal cocktail ring, random accessory store | Chanel "Vamp" lipstick

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Professor's Homework Assignment: Spring

What does "Spring" mean to me? That's actually a tough one, because I'm not much in tune with the natural seasons. I don't garden (I have a totally black thumb -- plants come to my house to die!), I don't eat with the seasons (frozen Lean Cuisines are a mainstay), & I only barely have to dress for the seasons since I live in temperate Northern California (snow is something we drive 4 hours to visit). So Spring as a time of year simply means that it's light when I finish my workday, & the rains are less likely.

But the calendar *does* effect my projects -- because from April through October, that is, the dry-weather times, it's costume-event season for me! About two weekends most months, I have some kind of historical reenactment event to attend, often a Society for Creative Anachronism tourney or renaissance faire but sometimes an 18th-century picnic or party. They all require complete historical costumes that I make or assemble for myself, from shoes to undergarments to gowns to wigs.

During the winter, I plan out what events I'm going to in the upcoming year and decide if I need new outfits or can repair/revamp old ones. I look through my fabric stash and make any purchases to fill gaps. By the time spring rolls around, I'm ready to rock 'n roll in the sewing room!

That's where I am right now, deep in Project Land. Spring means getting a jump on the year's costume to-do list, and this year's list is BIG. I'm essentially making a new 18th-century wardrobe for both myself and my husband because we have a big event coming up in May. I've drafted patterns, purchased materials and accessories, gotten help draping one gown, and even farmed out the sewing of a few items to a friend. My current progress is documented on my costume blog here. The deadline is May 1. Wish me luck!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Iron Red

I'm irritated by knits that need to be ironed, like this red dress. It's due to a cotton or rayon mix in the material (can't tell with this dress because there's no tag). And I do prefer natural fiber content because it feels better on the skin & has a prettier drape. But it's just more a bother to care for than 100% synthetic fiber. Ah, the price we pay.

Being a knit, I can't hang the dress in my closet because then it would stretch out. So I have to fold it in a drawer, & it gets wrinkled. Thus, before each time I wear it, I have to give the dress a light ironing so I don't look like a mess. Irritating, but necessary!

What I'm wearing:
Red knit dress with high-low hem, Macy's | Black elastic belt, NY & Company | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black knit military-style jacket, Macy's | Red Murano glass heart on black glass bead necklace, made by me | Jet cross earrings, vintage | Silver & garnet poison ring, eBay

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Status Report: March Foward

Work shoes! Sure, I have tons of shoes, but what shoes do I wear mostly at the office? They have to be both comfortable & stylish, & the shoes must look professional while not being too boring. I've zeroed in on the ideal model in today's pair: a squared-toe, ankle-strap pump with a blocky heel of no more than 2" height. I have similar shoes with rounded toes or spool heels or louie heels as well.

Basically, they're all not too pointy in the toe, not too spindly or tall in the heel, & I prefer an ankle strap to secure them, due to my wide foot/narrow heel. I can wear this kind of shoe all day, I can walk 4 blocks to/from the bus stop or out to lunch, I can walk up & down stairs, & the shoe looks great with anything in my closet, whether skirts or pants.

I also wear a lot of dressy boots to work, such as ankle boots with a low heel or tall, flat boots, in fall & winter, of course. And I have quite a few kitten-heel pumps, which are practically as comfortable as flats.

What I'm wearing:
Black knit dress, Target
Black & purple stripe cardigan, Old Navy
Black tights, Calvin Klein
Black pumps, second-hand
Black, silver, & crystal necklace, random accessory store
Gunmetal hoop earrings, random accessory store

What's your favorite shoe to wear to work?

Friday, March 8, 2013

When All Else Fails, Stripes

Dressing for the office only once or twice a week is actually harder than dressing for the office every day (or three times a week, as I often did). I have a harder time remembering what I've repeated, plus I've weeded down my work wardrobe a little to just things that I really love (& what really fits!), & this all means I tend to want to wear the same things over & over again.

Or in this case, more stripes. It seems like all I have in the closet are solids & stripes. Not a bad selection, but it does make me wonder if I just wore this last week!

What I'm wearing:
Black & grey striped sweater, Target
Black skirt, NY & Company
Black tights, Calvin Klein
Red ankle boots, Aerosoles
Red wool scarf, thrifted
Silver filigree earrings, Target

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Fave Color Combo

Tis a well-known fact that I love burgundy & grey together. Dark & edgy, yet soft too. Also supremely flattering & flexible -- works well in spring or fall, winter & maybe even summer.

This outfit even got a compliment from my manager at work :)

What I'm wearing:
Burgundy peplum sweater, Anthropologie via Sarah | Black knit top, NY & Company | Grey corduroy skirt, Newport News | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Burgundy faux suede boots, DSW | Silver chunky bead necklace, Target | Silver hoop earrings, random accessory store | Chanel "Vamp" lipstick

Friday, March 1, 2013

Sophistique Noir Monthly Theme: Purple

March's theme from Sophistique Noir is SO perfect for me -- PURPLE!

I have a ton of purple clothes, shoes, scarves. jewelry, & makeup. I even painted our bedroom purple with a purple faux-finish border to coordinate with a purple hanging we bought in India, & most of our bedsheets are purple. I've made plenty of purple costumes in the past & am working on a few right now. I worked for 11 years at a company whose corporate color was purple. Amethyst (purple) is my birthstone. This was a perfectly easy theme for me :)

And I even had a new dress that I hadn't worn to work yet, so I decided to premiere it for this theme with some special purple accessories. Plus, below is a roundup of my favorite past purple outfits on the blog & a few of the aforementioned costume & home purple pieces.

What I'm wearing:
Purple knit dress, Land's End
Black tights, Calvin Klein
Purple velvet pumps with roses & ankle straps, Rocket Dog
Purple & black necklace with scissors medallion, made by Lisa
Silver & amethyst earrings, gift from family
Purple flower hair pin, random accessory store
Purple lipstick, Sephora house brand
Purple eyeliner, Nars

More purple!