Monday, September 29, 2014

Dirty Little Secret

You want to know why I love wearing dresses so much? It's not that they're pretty or feminine or figure-flattering. Sure, that's a nice side-effect. But the number one reason why I wear love wearing dresses and will go for them more mornings than not is because they're easy! One-piece dressing (no pun intended). Put on a dress, tights, shoes, a sweater or jacket or even just a scarf, maybe some basic jewelry, and *bam* I'm out the door.

No need to coordinate what top goes with which bottom, no fit issues wondering if the top should be tucked or how does the bottom balance the proportions of the top or vice versa. I don't have to worry about color coordination among two or three pieces -- many of my dresses are solid colors so I can throw on a print sweater or jacket for pizzazz or a solid one for a simpler look. If I have a teeny bit more time / energy, I'll add a scarf or fancy necklace.

Really though, dresses are my lazy-day, can't be arsed to think about it, wish I could have slept in, not feeling up to making a decision, omg just throw on something and run for the train to work option. I have a lot of dresses, even multiples of the same dress in different colors, and I'm always on the lookout for more. My most frequently worn dresses tend to come from basic shops like Target and Macy's, but I love my eShakti dress, my custom-made dresses, and a ton of dresses I find all over the place.

Do you wear dresses? Why or why not?

What I'm wearing: Black sheath dress, Target | Black lace tights, unknown brand | Purple velvet pumps, Rocket Dog | Black skull scarf, gift from my husband | Black & purple crystal earrings, random accessory store

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Five: Love & Marriage

1. How many times have you been in love?Three & a half times till I got it right.

2. When is the appropriate time to first say that you are in low?
When you are. There's no point in holding back.

3. Do you think it is a good idea to live with a significant other before you are married?
Abso-fucking-lutely, to quote Mr. Big. I'm all about the test-drive.

4. How soon is too soon to move in together?
Never too soon. Just do it.

5. When do you think you will get married? OR Favorite Vegetable? :)
Done on 3/26/00. And potatoes. I reallyreallyreally love potatoes.

Questions culled from The Friday Five on LiveJournal.

What I'm wearing: Blue knit dress, | Black cardigan, Chadwicks | Black corset-style elastic belt, Torrid | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black flats, Aldo | Silver & purple crystal earrings, gift from Lisa | Silver book locket necklace, random accessory store

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wandering Around the Web

  • If you're in the New York area, mark this on your calender: Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire, October 21, 2014–February 1, 2015, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. On October 31st, check out "Death Becomes You," a special program as part of this exhibit, featuring dramatic readings of Edgar Allen Poe, an illusionist, costumed performers, and more.
  • Offbeat Home has a much-needed open letter to the fashion industry, re: plus-size representation. The comments section well worth reading too.
  • I found The Everyday Goth's review of the Restyle bag she bought very helpful. I've looked at their bags and purses longingly but really wondered about the quality. I love it when people give careful, detailed product reviews like this!
  • FastCompany reported on the exact amount of time you should work each day. It's not 8 hours straight -- Quick, someone tell our bosses! I will say that this article reminds me why I'm more productive when I can work from home & take more breaks away from the computer (which I can't now, foo).
  • My sewing machine can do embroidery & I've used it for costume projects, but I still haven't done any everyday clothing embellishment. Well, seeing Madame Mari Mortem's first shot at using Urban Threads embroidery patterns with her machine has totally convinced me! Fabulous work.
  • This NPR analysis is a brilliant read about a story written in 1957 about 1912, describing how to build cultural panic. Perfectly suitable to yesterday, today, or tomorrow, showing how nothing changes.
  • Finally, do keep checking in on my Halloween for Sale 2014 Pinterest board -- I've been adding more goodies as I find them, plus stuff keeps going on sale as Halloween gets closer.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Matched Set

I wouldn't usually wear a matched set of earrings and a necklace. But these aren't perfectly matched, and also BATS! They were made by the same artist, but several years apart, so while they're the same shape and style, they aren't exact (and nothing she makes is ever exactly the same).

My skirt and stockings are a darn near perfect match though. Quite by accident, but I am terribly fond of matching items in my wardrobe, and I don't just mean black + black (saving the topic of 'blacks that don't match' for another day).

Do you have any matched sets, of jewelry or anything else?

What I'm wearing: Black lace jacket, Macy's | Black T-shirt, Old Navy | Plum silk skirt, Newport News via Lisa | Plum lace stockings, Target | Black two-strap pumps, Bandolino | Silver & purple bat necklace & matching earrings, Jewels by Olivia

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Five - Nom Nom Nom

1. Do you or someone you live with cook your own meals at home or tend to buy frozen dinners/eat out?
Hah. If you look inside my fridge, you'd think that my husband & I live like two male, possibly gay, bachelors -- we have beer, old condiments, Lean Cuisines, & an air of desperation in there. We eat too much takeout food, punctuated by the aforementioned frozen food. When I remember to, I'll make a meal like pasta or chicken.

2. What is your favorite dish to cook? Or if you don't cook, what do you wish you could cook?
When I bother, I make a pretty lovely wine reduction sauce with chicken & pair it roast veggies. I *wish* I could make one of the delightful 3- or 4-course meals my BFF's sig.other treats us to whenever I'm at their place.

3. The best experience you've ever had at a restaurant?
Hard to say - the best experiences tend to be more about who I'm with & the restaurant being a good backdrop. There aren't any pure food experiences that stand out (hence, I'm no foodie). My very favorite foods are all homemade, usually by mom or her side of the family.

4. The worst experience you've ever had at a restaurant?
Gah, so many. I attract bad service or things like the restaurant being out of whatever it is I've ordered (esp. if I had my heart set on it). But the classically worst would be the restaurant at the SCA 12th Night 2009 hotel out in the middle of nowhere where they would.not.serve anyone. OMG.

5. If you had to give up one of your favorite foods for the rest of your life, which would you choose and why?
UGH. That was chemo. At one point, I couldn't drink coffee because it hurt my stomach, & that made me cry. I already couldn't drink alcohol because it made me feel icky. Thank goodness the only thing that *did* taste OK during chemo was chocolate -- I ate pounds of it. If I couldn't have had that as well, geez, I'd have given up.

Questions culled from The Friday Five on LiveJournal.

What I'm wearing: Black knit dress, Target | Black & white stripe knit jacket, Neiman-Marcus | Black leggings, American Apparel | Black socks, unknown brand | Black & white cat-print wedge sneakers, PlasticLand | Black glass bead necklace with Murano glass heart medallion, made by me | Silver hoop earrings, random accessory store

Monday, September 15, 2014

CorpGoth Mid-Month Status Report: A Suitable Jacket

This month's status report is about suits, including blazers and suit jackets. Since I work in perpetually casual Silicon Valley, I don't actually own a suit -- check out The Oatmeal's hilariously accurate depiction of the differences between wearing a suit to work on the East Coast of the U.S. and the West Coast.

However, being a fancy-pants goth gal, I tend to dress a little more formally than my coworkers, and I have lots of suit jackets. Today, I wanted to feature one with a few twists on the ordinary.

First, this blazer is made of stretch denim, so it has a more casual vibe. Second, it has romantic belled sleeves. While I'm sure this was intended as a casual, weekend-wear piece, I love pairing this jacket with work-wear, dressing it up for a "suit" that fits in with both the Valley's mellow attitude and my own aesthetic.

Do you wear suits or suit jackets to work? Share your status report in the comments!

What I'm wearing: Dark grey jacket, Newport News | Black sheath dress, Target | Black stripe lace stockings, unknown brand | Purple suede pumps, Aerosoles | Black bat necklace, Walgreens | Black & purple crystal dangly earrings, random accessory store

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Five: Random!

1. Name one place you volunteer? Why?
Can't limit it to one -- I have (& in some cases, continue to) volunteered with the Greater Bay Area Costumers Guild, Costume College, BayCon, CostumeCon, & the Society for Creative Anachronism bec. I'm a geek. Also I volunteered with the Yahoo! Employee Foundation, which is my former employer's nonprofit arm to raise money for the environment, education, & community projects. And during election years, I volunteer for the Democratic Party because that aligns most closely with my beliefs.

2. Name one book you'd like to see made into a movie? Why?
Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey, the first of the Dragonriders of Pern books. Movie special effects are finally good enough for realistic dragons (for example, Ramoth, the queen dragon, should be about the size of a jet plane & yet have a friendship with a human). I want to see it done like Lord of the Rings & for the same reasons. Supposedly there's a film option on it right now, but books get optioned all the time and it takes decades before anything comes of it.

3. Name one creature (living, extinct, or mythical) you'd like for a pet? Why?
A unicorn because, hi, I'm a 12-year-old girl!

4. Name one place on Earth you'd like to visit? Why?
That I haven't already? That's hard ;-) Maybe Easter Island because I read Collapse by Jared Diamond & that made me curious about fallen societies.

5. Name one talent or skill you'd like to develop? Why?
Singing. I admire it in others so much, but I can't carry a tune if it had a handle.

Questions culled from The Friday Five on LiveJournal.

What I'm wearing: Black knit top with fabric roses, Newport News | Hot pink skirt, NY & Company | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black & pink pumps, Irregular Choice | Black & pink crystal dangly earrings, random accessory store

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Statement Earrings

With my new short hair, I'm trying to look for bigger earrings to wear. It feels like a way to dress up my face and distract from the severe style of this unpleasant-to-me fashion. I have a few pairs of larger, flashy earrings, and I've been searching for more.

I picked up these earrings at the vendor room at Costume College, the annual costume conference I attend and teach at in Southern California. The earrings are made from metal sewing-machine bobbins, so a little crafty-nerdy and relevant to my interests.

What I'm wearing: Black lace-topped T-shirt, H&M | Black skirt with lace, velvet & stripe embellishment added by me, thrift-store | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black & grey pumps, Target | Beaded bobbin earrings, Costume College

Monday, September 8, 2014

Monday MemeDay: 30 Cool Things

We can spend so much time getting down on ourselves or reflecting on things that aren't going well, or might not go well. Why not take a moment to chronicle some of the cool things you've done or experienced in your life? Don't add any disclaimers, like, "Well, this was actually dorky" or "This didn't last very long" or,"That ended badly." Just list cool stuff, and only in cool terms. Because it's good to do that sometimes. So there.

Try it and post it!

In my life, I have...
  1. Set foot on all 7 continents.
  2. Married the love of my life.
  3. Swam with wild dolphins.
  4. Tripped George Takei (not on purpose ;-).
  5. Voted in every major election since I turned 18.
  6. Dyed my hair pink.
  7. Donated to the local humane society for 16 years and counting.
  8. Played violin.
  9. Ran 5k in under 30 minutes.
  10. Touched an iceberg.
  11. Slept in a 16th-century canopied bed at a Tudor manor house with a moat.
  12. Fixed a leaky faucet.
  13. Gotten my writing published & read by millions.
  14. Spotted a whale from a beach.
  15. Gave money to friends in need.
  16. Crawled on my belly thru a pitch-black cave.
  17. Told door-to-door solicitors to bug off.
  18. Cooked a medieval feast for royalty.
  19. Worked three different jobs I loved.
  20. Rode in business class on an 8-hour flight.
  21. Marched in an anti-war protest on the Bay Bridge.
  22. Eaten sea cucumber.
  23. Won a $40 payout in nickles at a Vegas casino.
  24. Lived alone.
  25. Sang Christmas carols at a hospital.
  26. Won "Best in Show" at a world-class costume competition.
  27. Bought a house.
  28. Hosted Christmas morning for my family.
  29. Hiked on two different volcanoes.
  30. Survived cancer.

What I'm wearing: Purple floral-print dress, April Cornell | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black perforated d'orsay flats, Target | Pink skull necklace, gift from Elisa | Pink medallion earrings, Etsy

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Stripey Obsession

With August's Mid-Month Status Report, I could have just said "stripes," but I wanted to mix it up & give myself a real challenge. Stripes would have been too easy. I have a lot of stripey items of clothing. In fact, I made a little inventory. As of this moment, I own:
  • 1 pair black & white striped leggings
  • 4 striped long-sleeve knit shirts (black & white, black & purple, black & red, black & pink)
  • 1 black & white striped blouse
  • 1 black & white striped knit maxi skirt
  • 1 black & red striped knit maxi dress
  • 2 striped non-knit skirts (black & white, black & grey)
  • 2 black & white striped dresses
  • 4 striped cardigan sweaters (black & white, black & purple, black & pink, grey & white)
  • 2 black & white striped knit jackets
  • 1 black & white striped non-knit jacket
  • 2 pair striped flat shoes (black & white, black & pink)
  • 2 pair striped tights (black & purple, black & burgundy)
  • 1 black & white pair striped earrings
  • 3 striped scarves (black & white, black & purple, black & pink)
I also have a bunch of stripey knee-high cotton socks I only wear with historical costumes, & I've made four 18th-century costumes in striped fabric (black & purple, black & white, pink & white, black & red). I've also owned a couple black & white Victorian bustle costumes in the past, made by others.

Addiction maybe? If it's wrong, I don't want to be right.

What I'm wearing: Black jeweled-neck T-shirt, Macy's | Burgundy tiered skirt, bought in London | Black & burgundy stripey tights, WeLoveColors | Black patent pumps, thriftstore | Black & silver skull bead necklace, DisneyLand | Pewter key earrings, made by me

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

CorpGoth Status Report: Suits You

Subject: Let's get a little formal -- show off your classic CorpGoth style with an outfit featuring a blazer or suit jacket. You could wear a complete suit, if you like.

Due Date: Monday, September 15 to Wednesday, September 17

How to File Your Report:

1. Post to your blog on or around the due dates.

2. Include the following code in your post so the This Is CorpGoth Mid-Month Status Report graphic will display (if you're using Blogger or WordPress, switch to the 'HTML post' setting & then paste this code in):

<a href=""><img border="0" src="" /></a>

3. Comment on my Monday the 15th post including your blog link.

4. Read everyone else's reports via their links in the comments!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Sophistique Noir Monthly Theme: Makeup

I nearly didn't join this theme because I don't do tutorials or anything clever with makeup. But I do love makeup, so I thought it was worth a quick post. Specifically, about my very favorite item of makeup: Lipstick!

I used to be so addicted to lippie that I wouldn't leave the house without wearing any. These days, I'm older and lazier, and I'll go to the grocery store or a doctor's appointment without lipstick. But nowhere else! A touch of lipstick (or, let's face it, full-on dark lipstick) is generally required before I feel acceptable for public appearances.

Lipsticks on my (very messy) dressing table.
Accordingly, I buy a lot of lipsticks. I love them! I'll buy drugstore brands (Revlon Colorstay is an old fave), but I have a special soft spot for Sephora's house brand and can't seem to leave the store without whatever's the newest dark berry or purple shade, even if it's only a teeny bit different than what I have at home. Consequently, I own over 30 lipstick tubes at the moment.

My go-to shade is Chanel's Vamp because it looks great and goes with every outfit, from casual to dressy. I also like to match my lipstick to my outfit, and I have bright red lippies that go with red clothes, pink lippies that go with hot pink clothes, and purple lippies that go with purple clothes. I usually wear a different lipstick each workday, so by the end of the week, I have 4 or 5 lipsticks collected in my purse.

Some related links:
My review of Make Up For Ever's Aqua Rouge (a super long-wearing lipstick)
My review of four high-end black lipsticks (not the crappy Halloween varieties!)