Saturday, August 31, 2013

Vintage Bohemian Fairy

My friend called my personal style "Vintage Bohemian... Fairy" today. It was accompanied by vague hand motions trying to help the definition along. I love the title very much!
Peach frilly tee: TRF t-shirt collection (thrifted)
Blue-grey lace vest: Odille (size 6 available on eBay)
Lacy pink tank: Express best-loved bra cami (old)
Skirt: Rebecca Taylor (thrifted)
Sandals: Eastland Lagoon sandal (product link)
Locket: vintage (etsy store feltinmyheart)

  Fall weather is here in the SF Bay Area! For those not in the know, fall is the time of year we get clear sunny days. It goes from September through October, and it is my favorite weather of all. You can tell I have no experience shooting on sunlit days. Hope you all like lens flare!
  I love the little ruffle and lace on this tee. It feels soft and fun without crossing the line into 'frippery.'
  This skirt has a bit of history. Some months back, Sheila at Ephemera posted about a Steampunk style skirt she found while thrifting. It looked glorious and I, being the possessive copycat wench that I am, thought, "I want a Steampunk style skirt, too!"
  And a month later I found this! It was beautiful! Couldn't believe my luck! Brought it home and hung it up for two months because I couldn't find anything that looked okay with it until today.
  It may not show up because of the backlighting, but this is the locket I am wearing. It's shaped like a pale gold basket of flowers, studded with rhinestones and pearls. The hinge opens and there is room for two photos inside. I call it my rage locket (purchased while rage shopping!) and I love it. I had been looking for something like my Express locket for a very long time.
  The bureaucracy and headache at my University has made my week one long Kermit arm flail. I'm going to have a nap, and I hope all of your weekends go beautifully. (:

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Chicago Outfit

  One little fedora and suddenly I feel like a 1930s mobster.
Fedora: Stacy Adams (product link)
Vest: Heritage 1981 (thrifted)
Button-down: BCX (thrifted)
Jacket: promod (thrifted)
Pinstripe trousers: Banana Republic (thrifted)
Shoes: Dansko (thrifted)

  It doesn't hurt that at this angle the fedora makes me look bald. :D

  I wanted something with a lot of flexibility of movement (I can do a split in these trousers!) in case either of my labs Monday turned out to require it. It's the first day of fall semester, so I should probably wait until at least the second week to bust out something highly unusual. On the other hand, life is too short to wear boring clothes, and I frankly hate what a lot of students on this campus wear, so this here's my pushback.

  I tried shooting for nice and possibly grad student material without trying-too-hard, with a foot dabbling in costume.
  My little star pin is actually a vintage screwback clip earring. I'm plotting how I can turn them into pins so the purple rhinestone heart faces the correct way up.

  I feel like I'm learning to put together outfits I like -top, bottom, and jewelry- but when I try to add a jacket or hat I can get totally thrown off, as is the case with this fedora. I like it, I just don't think it quite fits my other clothes. I hit the same problem with jackets, despite having SO MANY of them. More experimentation is needed.

  Is there an item, such as jewelry, jackets, or hats that you have difficulty getting to work with an outfit?
  I hope your weeks are going well!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Pink Pantser Pet Peeving

Blazer: Triple Five Soul (thrifted)
 Boxy Top: Language (thrifted)
Raerback Under-tank: Sparkle and Fade (thrifted)
Wide Tassel Buckle Belt: River Island (old)
Trousers: Unionbay (eBay)

  I have a pet peeve. Clothing distributors often label their clothes obscure Pantone swatch colors, but if you search through a clothing aggregator, it mucks things up. If I'm looking for grey things while everything has names like "foggy dew" and "fossil", they don't turn up in the search. Maybe it's so you can look up the exact shades and they don't have to worry about photographing everything in white light, I dunno.

  So here's my idea: every item in this outfit is going to be labeled something totally useless and you can play along at home. Drop a link in the comments if you do a post like this and I'll post everybody's pics and links next week. Alternately you can pick any page or image you want from the 'net and write up some made-up color labels or text in comments. Everyone's welcome!

  Decidedly not my pet peeve is pink pants! I love them. I love them even better when they have ridiculous pockets and fit correctly. My last pair are only one for two, unfortunately. After losing a bunch of weight to school stress over 3 years, they fall down even when fastened and zipped. That's right, I get pantsed by my own pink pants, so I'm going to donate 'em.

  I'm super pleased with these, though! They're a lighter Grandma's bathroom décor shade than my old Guess pair, they have 7 pockets, and there are satin stripes down the sides. They also have little buckles at the waist so they can be taken in a little for a better fit. Love. Love love love.

  So I got replacement cargo pants, set out to create a new outfit around them, and... basically recreated the same thing I wore the last time I wore pink pants. I am so internally consistent I show up in my own Google image searches when I'm looking for outfit ideas*.

  I wanted the intellectual challenge of styling this thrifted Language shirt, featured here in albino blueberry. It's size large, and clearly designed to be boxy/slouchy, so it's essentially a smock:
  I suspect the previous owner was very busty, because there are two grommets punched in the shirt, so one can tie the sides back a bit for shaping:
  I don't have the goods to hold the shirt up in the same way, so I layered it over a thrifted Ron Paul colored Sparkle and Fade racerback tank top. Even after adding my wide tassel belt, I need to do something about the massive neck opening, because there was some Flashdance nonsense going on all afternoon. If I shrug, the shirt falls down**.

  Before I take a big ol' dart out of the back (and hem the bottom and the sleeves, who LIKES these like that? argh!) I thought I'd put my slouchy ragamuffin outfit up here for you wonderful readers to give me suggestions! You can use terms like 'fullback in the National Hobbit League', it's okay.

* This really happens.
** This also really happens.

  I'm really looking forward to reading your ridiculous color names!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A sash by any other name

Shirt: BKE boutique (thrifted)
Skirt: Ann Taylor Loft (thrifted)
Sandals: Laura sandals by Fitzwell (, old)

  This full length Ann Taylor Loft skirt is new-to-me. I got it on the same thrift trip in which I found my shrug/cropped blazer.
  I was all, "Sweet, TWO things I've been looking for! Thanks, SF thrift store!"
  And the thrift store was like, "Don't worry about it, Aya. Congrats on summer school. See you next month."
  "Hey do you think I could also get-"
  "You're pushing your luck, kid."
  I might alter it to be narrower, more of the straight skirt look I want to wear with AZN tops like this one, but it was $5.50, lined, and the correct length for me. O.O  The plastic tag connector was still in it, so I suspect it's new. I think there is a well-off woman (or man!) in San Francisco with a 25" inseam who donates to that store. I donate some of my things in the hopes that s/he may find them and like them, too.

  I fell in love with this shirt when I found it a few years ago, but I haven't worn it much. I really, really like the sash because it looks kind of like an obi. Trouble is, it sits on my lower ribs, so I can't get it to lie smoothly. It's too tight when I inhale and sags when I exhale. It can be cut off and moved, but it sits on a full circle seam around the shirt's empire waist. I'm used to my wide belts sitting at my natural waist or just below it. Can I consult with all of you and get your suggestions? Sheila? Megan Mae?

   I'm mostly bed-bound for a few days due to an illness I put off for a month to smash through my chem courses. Don't worry, yesterday a wonderful PA-C took care of me and told me in no uncertain terms to never do that, and to take myself to the emergency room on Sunday if I haven't improved by then. Then she said my shirt was really pretty. I would have hugged her if I thought I could get away with it. So if I look a little stiff in photos, we can blame my kidney and not my camera shyness. :D
  I'm wearing my stash of soft, stretchy shirts while I am on the mend, because I can't physically do all the stuff involved in designing new outfits. I'll just sketch out new ones in my head to try later. :D

  Patti of Not Dead Yet Style tweeted this link, a tutorial titled DIY kimono, and I like the looks featured, but I gotta say I disagree with the nomenclature the author used. In fact I believe the first words that came out of my mouth were, "Dude, that's a robe."
  I don't mean they aren't lovely ways to style the item, and I understand you'll probably get more hits and it sounds cooler to say 'kimono', but seriously, I think that there is a robe.
  You're welcome.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Take a bow... or six

  This simple-looking outfit took some thinking. Also, it was sunny today! I was so happy.
  This is my third styling of these trousers for Anne Bray of Spy Girl's triple play challenge. I realized when trying to think of a third that I always wear these trousers for Asian or Asian-ish outfits.
Japanese | AZN goth-punk | urh??
  I wanted to come up with something different, and it was tricky. If I'm not wearing my zero-point clothes (jeans and a graphic tee) I'm wearing something sort of costumey in either AZN punk/goth, fairy princess, or Ye Olde theme. I tried something vintage* and cute, but I think I came out more Tomb Raider than perky 80s throwback.

* Evidently the official definition of vintage means things 20 years or older. Which means 1993 is now vintage. What is this I don't even.
These bows! I find them irresistible.
  Have I mentioned the sun was shining today? In the triple photo above you can see the contrast between everyday weather here and sunny weather. Whee! So, so happy. I'm makeup free for a while because a handful of days after summer session ended my entire face was covered in lumps. While inconvenient, they mean my immune system is on the mend.
  You've probably heard of people getting sick the first or second day of a long overdue vacation. That's because your body can't stay on Red Alert forever, so your immune system gets exhausted. When you finally rest, it starts to recharge.
  I tried pairing it (the outfit, not my immune system) with my new-for-me cropped blazer by Isaac Mizrahi for Target. I was on the lookout for something this length since Michelle suggested it would suit my Japanese print dress. The thrift shops of San Francisco came through again! (For $2.25. Craaazy.) ... but these shoulder pads have got to go. I'm V-shaped with a short neck as is, I don't need extra help. Also someone told me I look like a ninja today, so my attempt at a non-AZN/punk outfit may have failed.
  Actually it really failed. I felt so RRGH I AM BACK in the sun today that I thought the perfect accessory to this outfit was a Southern saber. (I did not take the sword with me on my daily errands.) I haven't practiced this weapon for a long time, but when you are feeling HAHA YEAH I AM ME AGAIN in the sun, there's no substitute for a sword the size of your shin.
 I felt like an adventuring archaeologist or other video game heroine. I wish I could go through more parts of my life feeling that way. Then I visited a dear friend and ate a pound of mac & cheese and fried chicken. Today was a good day. Much love, everyone. I wish you all good days in which you feel like the heroes, rather than the villains, of your own life stories.
  Links, as always, are not profit, just a secret hope someone will buy the same clothes as I have and then TWINSIES.

Black crop tank: unknown (etsy store Bombshellshocked)
Red undertank: Express best-loved bra cami (Express dot com)
Black shrug blazer: Isaac Mizrahi for Target (thrifted, same jacket size 4 on eBay)
Trousers: Nike dri-fit (very old)
Platform shoes: Candie's (thrifted)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Quoth the raven, "Never worn."

  I never wore this shirt.
  I thought it would go well with my well-loved Nike dri-fit pants for Spy Girl's triple play challenge. I wore them with a kimono in my last post and I went for a goth/punk look here. One more outfit featuring these trousers to come this week! (Fortunately I have laundry night tonight so the outfit procession can continue unhindered.)
  I think the problem is the three holes in the midsection. Sexy and subtle enough in my mind when I bought it, but it made the shirt totally inappropriate for work and too risqué for daywear. So, the club. Except I don't like most dance music, loud noises, or strangers, and I have to go to bed early for work/class. And it's constantly foggy and blustery where I live so I have no need of extra ventilation holes. (Sunny today, though! Whee!) So yeah, never worn.
  Fortunately I no longer think a lot of stuff I thought mattered matters, so casual daywear it is. The midriff is coming out! I paired it with my old visual kei blazer.
I got distracted by sight of the fog rolling in
  Ever have something you love and love and then it just falls out of rotation? So it was with this blazer years ago. It has a lot of unique details, I got tons of compliments on it, and I just haven't worn it in years. Both items have been teetering on the edge of the donate/sell bag for a while.
  This fused glass necklace reminded me of cherry blossoms. Bought it when my friend Cathy and I were in Paris several years ago. Would still love to go back.
  I am a little blah right now because I'm still filling my energy meter from that insane summer session. I know in a few days I'm going to spend some time just being mean. Does that happen to you? When I've been utterly wrecked for a long time and start coming back, I spend a few days just being pissed off and mean. I warned my roommate and friends already. Mostly it comes out as angrily judging people wearing stuff like skin-colored jeggings as pants (WHY) without any of my normal devil's advocate and acceptance of others inner monologue.
  I imagine myself as the Fashion Police, rolling up on my segway and being all, "Ma'am, I'm sorry, but your terrible fashion choices violate the terms of the Geneva Convention. Please put these on." *hands a pair of trousers* And she'd be all, "Up yours, pig!" and take off running. And I'd be like, "Well that was uncalled for. And my insurance doesn't cover pursuit of war criminals. Time for my tea break."

Tank top: anac (eBay)
Trousers: Nike dri-fit (very old)
Platform shoes: Candie's (thrifted)
Blazer: Punk Rave (eBay, Little Chili's Lolita Shop)
Fused glass necklace: unknown (Paris)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Discount Kimono

  I understand why people get excited about vintage clothing, now.
  I found this kimono for a ridiculously low price at Trendy Boutique in Berkeley. I'd never even seen kimono on sale in a shop before. The nice gal behind the counter asked if I was going to hang it on the wall as art. "Nope!" I announced in my voice that I never remember to modulate for delicate social situations, "I'm going to wear it!"
  Ever since the amazingly fashionable Judith at Style Crone posted a photo of herself in a kimono here and Megan Mae mentioned owning one, I started thinking, "Why don't I own a kimono? I want one." I'm normally shy of vintage or ethnic clothing, and this is both, but whatever, it's my ancestry! I'm throwing caution to the wind! I don't know which side goes on top! I don't have an obi so I'll use a scarf! Etc.!
  These are my old Nike dri-fit athletic pants that I bought because they reminded me of hakama. How appropriate. I've had them for about 10 years and I sure hope they don't wear out, because I have no clue how I'd replace them.
  I am linking up to Patti of Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday, because a kimono is pretty visible. I am also going to try styling the trousers three different ways in a week for Anne Bray of Spy Girl's challenge. I was contemplating trying the challenge with the kimono, but then my brain tried to crawl out one of my ears.
  These are Laura sandals by Fitzwell, along with tabi. The short, blocky platform looks a little like the platform on traditional Japanese footwear. I think I'm going to keep an eye out for something like these Hush Puppies sandals (they come in wide and extra wide! whee!) that have something of the traditional footwear shape with more modern support, because I'm not wearing geta and walking three miles a day.
  It is an older woman's kimono, because the sleeves are short. The pattern is a subtle one of bamboo leaves, some flowers delicately outlined in gold, and here and there, a hint of peach.
  I am determined to make a functioning outfit so I can wear this to school, because while this is clearly not the fashion equivalent, it is the comfort level of a bathrobe. Also, and I want to say this with the proper emphasis of someone who has been shivering miserably since 2005- wearing a kimono and an extra layer of silk wrapped around your waist is warm. It is so warm.
  I'm kind of at a loss for what to use as a jacket over this though, save another kimono. I probably need to look into an actual belt rather than scarf, too. Any suggestions you have for the outfit are welcome.
  Do you have vintage or ethnic pieces you like to wear?

Kimono: vintage (Trendy Boutique)
Athletic pants: Nike dri-fit (old)
Laura sandals: Fitzwell (old,
Scarf: etsy store
Tabi: Ichiban-kan, San Francisco

Monday, August 12, 2013

Fine and Edwardian Dandy

  I figured out something valuable today. If ever you find yourself falling out of your beloved wardrobe, just start adding more layers until something fits and holds everything under it in. Bay Area fashion is all about layering, right?
  I see a lot of style blogger ladies cuffing trousers/jeans over heels. Then they don blazers and smile down and to the side. I never understood this style choice*, but now I do! All sorts of style lessons for me today! I love my Naya Lightning boots and didn't want them covered up. I don't know if anybody cuffs bootcut pinstripe trousers, but if not, it is a thing now.

* I think it's to show delicate ankles. Totally cool. For my personal taste, ankles of steel that can kick through anything up to and including submarine doors. Boots will help with this. Your taste of course may vary.
  I wore the shirt tips/collar tips I featured in a tutorial here. I'm enjoying them a lot. The hardest part about wearing them is figuring out which two flaps of clothing I want to attach them to. I'm also digging this zara basic pinstripe shirt. I last wore it in another Steampunk-ish outfit. It's versatile, so far as Ye Olde outfits go.
  Have you figured out what this outfit has in common with yesterday's outfit yet? ... it's the ribbon from the box of chocolates again! I took it off the dress and made it a skinny tie.
  This reminds me of button bracelets from that time. Maybe I just have a thing for button bracelets in general.
  I hope you all have a fine week. I am linking up to Patti's Visible Monday because if you can't be seen in a Fitzgerald-era Steampunk inventor outfit (my roommate's description) what can you be seen in?
  I also took a picture of myself squatting in a most unladylike fashion so I could mentally hear my long-suffering mother's resigned sigh. It's good to start the week off with a smile. :D

Shirt: zara basic (thrifted)
Vest: FANG (thrifted, size L online)
Collar clips: DIY (tutorial here)
Skinny tie: Recchiuti chocolates box
Hat: Nine West (DSW, old)
Pinstripe trousers: Banana Republic (thrifted)
Boots: Naya Lightning (zappos, old)
Bracelet: CostPlus Word Market (old)