Tuesday, July 30, 2013

This one is for Mom

  A quick midweek post because I miss blogging and because I didn't have lab today. (YAY NO LAB)

  I was perusing eBay when I came across a skirt that simultaneously captures my delight and everything my mother could hate in a garment, ever:
  I've never had an antagonistic relationship with my mom, so you may wonder why I go into a paroxysm of belly laughs every time I see clothes she would hate, and I think the reason is that a person from Japan being aghast is about the funniest thing I've ever seen.

  It starts with a very blank look, followed by an eyeblink, then a gentle distressed cry of "Nooooo. Aya! Nooo. aaaaaaaaaa" with subcurrent of 'why do you like these things? what did I do wrong? is it my fault?' I'm pretty sure this is the exact sound she made when I cut my own hair at age eight.

  Then I roll around on the ground laughing for several minutes, hug her, and reassure her I will never wear the skirt in front of her again. But really, if she keeps doing this hilarious thing, she is reinforcing the wrong behaviors because I want more skirts that look like this.

  I've started a new tag for my posts in honor of this moment: 'Mom hates this' and it will mark all of my long ragged-hem boho skirts. :D I love you, Mom!

  Also I think I genuinely love this skirt, despite my boyfriend reporting that it is hideous and the hippie homeless vibe makes his face hurt. Every now and again I think we all have items of clothing where we're like, "Yeah!" and our friends are like, "No." and we're like, "Yeah! :D" and our friends are like, "... whatever makes you happy. (weirdo)"

  What is your special item?

  And there's a whole line of 'em! (eBay link, the sizes appear to top out at XL, but I'm not sure which sizes are available for which items.)

Edited to add: Hot damn, there is a shirt! Not that I'd wear the two of them together. I apologize for the mannequin's lack of decency. She just refuses to understand these things.

Monday, July 29, 2013

OzzOn Outfit

  I miss sleep.
  Evidently my clothes also miss the iron.
   Many Japanese brands make their clothes in one size, a Japanese M, so there are clever things like stretch fabrics and laces on the skirt to adjust a little either way.
  I don't often do matchy, but these pieces are really difficult to style with other things in my wardrobe, so I took the easy way.

  OzzOn uses the same fabrics, buttons, and piping to make their clothes I notice, just in different colors and in different garment designs. Saves on materials in bulk and make a coordinated "look" in all of their outfits of a house brand.
  Zippers in the front and back let you let it out to a fuller skirt or zip down for kick pleats/trousers look.
  Yay, my hair is under control today. Go Giovanni volumizer spray.

  I wore glitter eyeliner today because I love how the light catches it so you see shimmers in your peripheral vision. It's like a little personal sunlight. Also, it's sparkly. I am all about the sparkly makeup.

  I hope you all have a smooth and restful week.

Skirt and top: OzzOn Japan, Ozz Croce (Japan, old)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Brown Coat

  I don't know if it was Salazar's comment about beloved defunct show Firefly the other day, but today I felt like going for a little Ye Olde and a little Western in my outfit. It's my way of breaking up the jeans every day pattern and having something comfortable enough to get my car serviced and study all day in.

  Today's shirt thingy (Diesel, thrifted) is a tunic, I think, so I also wore my thrifted Diesel coat. If they're the same brand, they have to look good together, right? I think this also counts as mixing black and brown. I hear that's a style thing. Do my eyes plus hair also count?
  I had all the fun of a dramatic thigh slit without any of the stress of having a slab of my thigh hanging around in public. I love my quads more than anything, but the world is not ready for that much wushu power just yet.
 I also wore a big square scarf because when Diesel says xs, they are not messing around. I can only fasten two buttons of the coat. This tunic is also defies any attempt at covering bra straps. I'm starting to think these clothes are intended for lanky European models making duckfaces so they can cut glass with their cheekbones.
I did my best, but the coat was not fooled.
  I really liked these buttons and how it looked like I could adjust the strap length so as not to get armpit-garroted. Alas, the button holes below it are tiny and decorative. Easy fix with a seam ripper, though.

  Thank you guys for reading and blogging. It's my pick-me-up during the superlong days of chemistry all week. :D

Coat and tunic: Diesel (both thrifted)
Pinstripe trousers: Gap (thrifted)
Platform shoes: Candie's (thrifted)
Sage wrap bracelet: Foxy Originals (item link)
Scarf: H&M (old)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Subtle Blue Leopard

  A perfect storm of events Friday kept me on the other side of the water. There was a Justin Timberlake/Jay-Z concert in Candlestick, an A's game in Oakland, a Giants game in the Dogpatch, and Critical Mass was taking place, because spite is a great reason to do things. Oh, and the police found a suspicious package on the Treasure Island exit, so the entire bridge got shut down for a while.

  Luckily for me, I was keeping an eye on the 511 website, and I chilled out in East Bay all day and went to dinner. But I look forward to blogging all week long long long long long, so here are two blurry photos of me after I drove home at 11pm.
  That's right, I found a jacket with sleeves the correct length that doesn't garrote me under the arms! My secret? Husky kid clothes.
  The best fit for adult me off the rack has always been XXL boys' clothing. Jackets and trousers, both. I'm going to use the line "I have the physical dimensions of a fat male child" to make someone go away someday, just you wait.*
  It looks like a bustier, but it's actually a stretchy tank top! The extra seams give it a little reinforcement, and it's form-fitting, but there's no boning/underwire, and it's smocked in the back, so super stretchy and flexible. AND there are built in pads in the bust. So comfortable! I love it so much.
  The description called it leopard print. I never thought I'd own anything leopard print before, but it is a blue-grey and very subtle, I think. So this is subtle blue leopard, coincidentally the name of my new fictional band. I think we'll play lounge music covers of trance songs and have a rivalry with my other fictional band, Husky Boy Dimensions.

* This is not me body-slamming, this is me thinking this is a fantastic line.

Jacket: GapKids (thrifted)
Bustier tank top: Olé Olé (eBay, size L)
Pants: unknown (clothing swap)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Opera Scura

  I've wanted to do a post for a bit now about my friend Mo's shop, Opera Scura.
  Mo is a dance instructor and an amazing craftswoman, among many other things. She makes all of her own patterns for her crafts, and the pieces I've bought from her have all been of excellent workmanship- durable, functional, gorgeous, and unique.

  She's starting a new set of patterns and crafts and is currently making awesome hats, and I encourage you to take a look! I will likely post again when I see something particularly ooh-worthy. You can contact her for sizing if you are extra large or extra small hat size. Her prices are in the super-low $20-30 range, and she currently ships within the United States (sorry, international readers!)

  The etsy shop is Opera Scura

* This is not a sponsored post. Mo just makes awesome things.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Lab Fashion

  I think I've figured out a lab-appropriate outfit with some personality!
  The shoes don't match, but I don't have many shoes I can walk in for 13 hours.

  Around mid-July in the SF Bay Area, weather turns humid, grey, and windy and stays that way until September/October. Adding insult to injury they ventilate the lab something fierce, and I'm numb and shivery after 4 hours in there.

  I need something layered and warm, something I can walk miles in, and fabric that won't dissolve/burst into flames if when I sweat (the school is a mile uphill from the train station.)
  I love this cropped cardigan by BIZZ. It's got a flattering crop cut for the long of waist, slightly princess sleeves for the broad of shoulder, and a warm stretchy collar that turns up against the wind.

  And check it out, the embroidery goes all the way around! I love it when that happens.
  I didn't realize the back seams of the two garments would line up like that, but I like it.

  I am also wearing a stretchy bamboo fabric dress. It's big and made of that useless super stretchy style cloth that's too thin to wear on its own, so it's always an underlayer. I'll admit it does make a great underlayer. I'm almost certain you can't see my midriff through it, but in case you spot it, please let me know and I'll make sure it gets packed safely away.

  Whatever happened to the bamboo fabric trend? I have a few pieces, and some sets of sheets that are bamboo, and I really liked it. Then it all went away.
  The bottom button was missing, but I kind of like the twin points it makes at the bottom. And I can always move the top button down, since I've never buttoned it up to my nose before.

  Random question: do you find yourself noticing how you resemble family members as years go by? I look at a lot of photos of myself for this blog, and I feel like I'm seeing it more and more.

Cropped cardigan: BIZZ (thrifted)
Dress underlayer: Natural Life (shop at The CAMP)
Skinny jeans: ZARA Basic
Shoes: Hush Puppies Hatha (old)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Governess-esque and an aya scarf

  As promised last post, I took some closer photos of my new scarf. It's a gift from one of my dearest friends, who found custom-dyed yarn named 'aya' at a local shop. :D She knit me this gorgeous scarf out of two skeins. It is a scarf made of aya for Aya, and it cannot be beat for niftiness. I love the colors more each time I look at it.
  The foray into fancy things has been hella fun (there is a NorCalism for you all) but I've been feeling the call of a Ye Olde outfit (fantasy, not history) more and more this weekend. And some mornings you wake up and want to dress like a governess. The endless fog has put me in the mind of Heathcliff and Catherine walking on the moors. Odd, since I didn't even like that book.
  Does this jacket scream 'governess' to you? It does to me. I was surprised to find a Twenty one label when I pulled it from the thrift rack.

  I think it would go best with a long tapering skirt with a flare/bustle at the back, but I don't own one of those*, so I went with a stretch denim mermaid skirt. I love blue and brown together.
  Bare calves look kind of odd to me in Ye Olde outfits, so I added some leggings. The side lace is saucy enough that I guess I am a rebellious governess that has a pint and maybe goes dancing after work. Or a prostitute, since my hair is uncovered. Um, that got uncomfortable quickly.
  I wouldn't worry about a scandal, though. These blasted buttons are such a pain to unfasten I suspect it's the reason this garment was donated in the first place. The little loops for them are so undersized I had to yank at them with my fingernails. I've shoved pens in them to stretch them out.
  My trusty jeweled locket from Express strikes again! Strange that if I hold onto it long enough, this thing designed to look vintage will actually become vintage. Is there a term for old things that were made to look even older?

  It's another long week of huffing uphill with a giant backpack for me, but I've queued up a post for Wednesday so I won't feel left out from all of the fine folks style blogging during the week. I hope you all have a lovely week, and if your week is unlovely, that your weekend comes soon.

* The trouble, I've found, with looking for certain cuts of clothing online is that it crosses over into 'costume' territory and from there into 'fetish' really fast. I don't want to be a Victorian dominatrix, but power to anyone who does.

Governess jacket: Twenty one (thrifted)
Blouse: edme & esyllte (thrifted)
Skirt: realities (thrifted)
Jeweled locket: Express (very old)
Suede hair clip: unknown (Taiwan)
Side lace leggings: cheap junior store
Lightning boots: Naya (zappos, old)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Mullet Skirts

  I have a confession: I like mullet dresses.

  At least, that is what I have been calling this cut since they made their appearance:
  This one is from Doublju, a Korean clothing company that sells some items through Amazon. I've recommended it to a few male friends of mine because they have some interesting urban pieces for men. Tricky in that the clothes tend to be cut for Asian proportions, though.

  I haven't decided how I like the look on me, yet. You may find this odd, seeing as how I've owned this dress for like four months, but that's my other confession: clothes that enter my wardrobe get worked into outfits slowly.

  I think my conclusion is I love how the color matches my scarf (a handmade gift from one of my bestest friends Meghan), and the cut is all right, but I hate the fabric. It's that cheap very stretchy thin fabric that seems to make up all junior clothing nowadays, that is good for draping and nothing else. You can see the lumps of my leggings waistband outlined under the material, and this dress is not in any way tight.  It also means in the back, where I feel this cut should fall in a graceful curve, it hangs limp and folded. It will probably be made into a pattern.

  It was fun to layer under, though. I went with a black lace tank top under the back cutouts and black side lace leggings because the front of this thing is cut pretty high.
  I am linking up to Patti of Not Dead Yet's Visible Monday. It was great fun meeting folks last time, and I hope this week I'll have time to check out more personal style blogs.

  I ran out the door for a ramen appointment with friends and did not get close-up photos of my gorgeous scarf. I'll put some in my post tomorrow.

  How about your wardrobe turnover? Do new things get used right away, or does it take time to integrate?

  Also, if you want to know why outfits take time for me to figure out, it's because the process involves making this:
  ... so I have to make sure I have some time free after getting dressed to put everything away again. This is why every outfit gets logged in a notebook and on this blog now. I'm hoping there is a better way.

Scarf: handmade (Meghan)
Dress: Doublju (Amazon)
Black cincher belt: unknown (thrifted, Japan)
Black lace tank top and leggings: cheap junior stores
Lark boots: Naya (eBay)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sparkly Shirt Magic

  Today I'm digging deeper into the special occasions box, and I'm sure glad I did, because I found one of my favorite (albeit wrinkly) garments of all time. That's right, folks: of all time.*
  When I found this shirt, appropriately in the "special occasion" section of Nordstrom, I had one of those little indrawn breath moments, followed by a happy puff of exhalation and delight. It is the first time I thought to use the word "confection" to describe a piece of clothing, but it seemed to fit: airy, translucent silk that felt as delicate and immaterial as spun sugar.

  I was a training athlete, weighing two stone more than I do now, most of it muscle. If anyone told me back then there was a shirt that would make me feel light and magical, I would have scoffed, then probably threatened to arm wrestle.
  Now that I look at it with more self-awareness of my personal style, it's no surprise I loved it. It has all of the usual Aya elements that show up over and over in my clothes: fluttery impractical sleeves, curving hem, corset-shape, even a shirt shell! Good find, 20s me!
  I thought for an 'evening out' look I could wear it with dark wash jeans and a pair of low-heeled sandals. That's a thing, right? I totally think that's a thing I have heard of. Only instead of an evening out, it's a spinster day in, playing with bicyclic compound models and looking at reaction mechanisms. Crazy thing is, I can't even complain. I'm enjoying the subject material. :D

  Here are my shoes. I bought them for my friend Meghan's wedding. I thought I should wear some nice shoes, even if only out on my balcony.
  You can see how accustomed I am to wearing narrow heels. Graceful!
  And here is a selfie I took when trying to get a closeup of the beadwork. Turned out odd because of the light difference indoors/outdoors, but I decided I like it.

*And to demonstrate how much personal opinion can fluctuate, my mother finds it merely 'meh.'

Magic shirt: Rimini (old, Nordstrom)
Jeans: 7 for all Mankind dojo cut (gift, brother)
Necklace: Claire's (very old)
Shoes: Kenneth Cole Reaction (old)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Style Imitating Art: Lighthouse

  This wasn't consciously designed as a Style Imitating Art outfit, but this happy coincidence saves you from  another one of my terrible titles for outfit posts. This morning I ended up pulling these items out without consciously planning it, and realized later that with the red piping and style in back, this is the closest garment I have to the painting, and I was even wearing the correct color trousers.

  Today's pick from the "special occasion" box is a cut and sew velvet tank top from a Renaissance Faire of many years ago. Part of why I bought it was it also fit neatly into a running Princess-Leia-gold-bikini joke between an old friend and me.
  The drapey double vest has buttons on both layers so it can be worn in a number of ways.
  My not-so-secret ambition is to be the quirky old lady with the fabulous outfits in another 40-50 years.

  I realized I last wore this shirt at a party eight years ago. Geez. Fun fact: beloved reader and commenter Michelle was at that party, too:
  Sometimes the trouble with unique items is you have no idea what to wear them with, because you have not seen any precedent. Also they might be low cut with a big transparent mesh panel over the midriff.
  I used Carrie of Petal by Petal's tip about lengthening a necklace with a bracelet, lengthening a long necklace I folded in half.

  This weekend went by far too quickly. I studied a lot though, and I had a blast making outfits and blogging about it. Thanks to all of you so much for reading- writing this blog is a lot of fun and a big stress reliever for me. I can't wait for next weekend already. :D

Velvet tank top: NorCal Renaissance Faire (v.old)
Double layer vest: MOUTHvalley (thrifted, Japan)
Pants: unknown (clothing swap)
Necklace: crystals- unknown (Mom) sunburst bracelet- Jeanne by CJ (Paris, old)
Faux leather bracelet: Foreign Exchange (old)
Edeen wide calf boots: Fitzwell (6pm.com)