Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Casual Goth Slacker

I'm back! Feeling the most normal I've been in weeks, so let's start the day off with a blog post.
Velour jacket: kimchi & blue (thrifted)
Cami: Express
Gloves: Ozzon Japan (Japan)
Choker: Foxy Originals Sage Bracelet
Black slacks: Banana Republic (thrifted)
Boots: ALDO
You guys see what I meant about looking like a sturdy ninja now, don't you.

This is my first try at styling my new-to-me black pants. This may be the first set of slacks I have ever found that required no alterations whatsoever. I was so amazed I promptly bought them without considering what I'd do with them, thus this challenge.

I love the little split at the bottom of the legs to show off boots. I was trying for Everyday Steampunk, what with the velour blazer, but I think I ended up Everyday Goth, instead.

In the top photo, you can see the chalk marks I made. This blog made me realize many of my jackets are visibly straining at the shoulders because I buy size small to fit my waist, so now I'm trying size m and taking in the waist or moving the buttons. It's hit or miss; sometimes the jacket looks totally distorted after, because the buttons have to go at an angle, or because I mess up princess seams and get frustrated. Go go inverted triangle body type! d=

Here's a side-by-side comparison:
I haven't decided if I want to keep it this way or try the more frustrating and complicated business of pinning and taking in several seams (the blazer is lined) to keep the ruffle look and points intact. What do you think?

Either way, size m feels amazing. I can lift my arms more than 45 degrees in a jacket now! I'm annoyed because this means I'll now have to alter all of the jackets I buy, in addition to altering all of the trousers (except for these! :D), but having experienced the ability to move my shoulders, I cannot give it up.

This is also a change in that I'm trying photos inside. I wanted to see if the lighting works better, and I won't have the balcony railing shadows that always make people think I have cool stripes on my pants. I haven't done it before because I don't wear shoes inside, but I'm moving in a few weeks, so I've loosened up. Any thoughts on which looks better?

Personal stuff after the break, so if you're uninterested, you can skip!

I've been reading everyone's blogs but not commenting for a few weeks until I got back on my feet. I never thought school ending would be more stressful than going to school and working, but it took a long while for my mind to stop freaking out that I was oversleeping, missing deadlines, slacking on getting research/papers/projects done, never getting into graduate school, never starting a career, etc. no matter how much I told myself I had already finished my degree. The worst were the panic dreams, but I think I am done with those now. :D

Reading a book about the human genome to pass the time may not have helped my rather genetic deterministic outlook. >.> So note that Matt Ridley's Genome is an ok read (not as good as The Red Queen) but if you're freaking out that you will to never, ever be successful, competent, or happy in any thing you do in life, maybe read The Joy of Living by Tibetan monk Youngey Mingyur Rinpoche, instead.

It's a very nice accessible book about Buddhist meditation and philosophy mixed with the author's interest in Western neuroscience with a little bit of Newtonian physics. I have practiced martial arts for 13 years and the way I finally started understanding and internalizing it, several years in, was from an anatomical and neuroscience approach so it is right up my alley. I recommend it a lot! :D


  1. Beautiful blazer. And I corroborate your insight that, to fit right, a jacket needs to fit us in the shoulders. You can't enlarge one that's too small there, while you (usually) can tailor the waist.

    Love the gloves.

    Indoor photos are a welcome change-of-scene. Their difficulty usually is lighting. In most (as here), there's a single light-source which leaves part of you unlit (like the dark side of the moon). You can fix that with another artificial light-source but it takes effort and some trial-and-error to get it right. (I'm still experimenting with it.)

    Nature/nurture and our genetic propensities... wow, that's a whole new subject to explore. I come from flawed genetic stock and often wonder where my ability to overcome that deficiency comes from. I have strong will-power but is that something I can take credit for or is it, also, genetically-determined?

  2. You look like you could be a fighter from the Matrix or something with those cool armbands.

    I have to admit you lost me at neuroscience and physics. Science and math being my least favourite subjects.


  3. Hmmm, looking at meditation and martial arts through anatomy and neuroscience. Sounds interesting, if it's written in an accessible way. Sometimes it does help to understand why things work the way they do.

    Your jacket is cute - definitely keep it. I can't tell for sure (the light is not as good inside), but it looks like the alteration hasn't distorted it. Steampunk goth ninja?

  4. Alterations seem to be the name of the game for me too. Only I don't have the skills to do it myself! I am enamored with your gloves! And fascinated by your many interests!

  5. That is one gorgeous jacket! I love the button detailing on the lapels! I do a lot of sewing, and I have to admit that I find doing alterations more work than sewing, so I totally hear your angst about taking in this jacket...and potentially other jackets. I,for one, didn't notice the alteration until you pointed it out. So, that's a good thing! It's true that the points are not aligning they way they were intended, but if it doesn't bother you, then I say let it be. Is the back view with the new button arrangement? It looks like it fits really well from the back view.

    When I quit a high stress job many years ago, it was like my body and mind gave out. It was weird, I knew I was stressed but assumed when I stopped working that I'd be all zen like. It kind of went the other way though. It took me awhile to rebalance my life.

    And Aya...I totally see you incorporating plaid into your cool outfits!!! Do it!

  6. I love the jacket, I have a thing for velour. Especially purple! I used to do the same, buy a size to fit my shoulders and then move the button but nowadays I just wear oversized things :)

  7. Same kind of thing happened to me when i lost my previous job - took me couple of month to get back on the zen wagon! I guess when you are use to something you body has some kind of withdrawls going on ...not a neuroscience expert! but i know what you talking about ...
    About the jakcket, i say, if it's too complicated to fix, just get rid of it, you will find another one at the thrift shop that will fit!

    Glad you are back Aya! Take it easy


  8. Gorgeous jacket!!! The best thing about thrifting is you can practice and enhance your tailoring skills on the cheap. I alter tons of stuff--it's easier to buy too big and take in then buy too small and let out!!

  9. I like the asymmetrical (not quite the right term) front of the blazer after your alteration. I like the lines better with the point in the center.

    And 'Sturdy Ninja' is such an awesome... I won't say 'look'... it seems like it's more a 'state of being', and you definitely rock that!

  10. Wonderful blazer, and yes, shoulders are crucial. One can always belt the waist if one is lazy (heh, like me). You are totally a sturdy ninja!

  11. Taking jackets in seems like such a lot of work... I like your alteration by moving the button, and I didn't notice the asymmetry at the front until you pointed it out either. The back detail is gorgeous. We probably all have quirks to our shapes and find it hard to find pieces which fit exactly, I think; I am similar to you in having a smaller waist relative to my hips so trousers are difficult, and jackets that fit my boobs look too wide and boxy at the waist. Ahh well, the hunt goes on.
    Change of any sort, even welcome change, can be stressful. It will ease, I'm sure. xxx

  12. For me the jacket looks wonderful, love its texture and colour. And honestly, until looking at those two photos "before" and "after" I didn't notice anything wrong, it looks like it was made that asymmetrical way.

  13. I love the jacket, but it looks like it suffers from the same problem I had with a velvet vest I thrifted. I wound up donating the vest because I have nearly no patience for altering, but I think if you would wear it MORE with alteration, then consider it. Otherwise, just rock it as is. It's still super cute.

  14. I think finishing school is one of those transitions that it's easy to be unprepared for. Especially when you expect that you're going to feel free, giddy and relieved and it doesn't quite work out that way! The high gloves look great with the spaghetti straps - very strong sexy badass, which I think is the definition of sturdy ninja! ;)
    Love the jacket - the ruffle detail in the back is lovely.
    Your book recommendation is timely! I was just thinking about looking up a meditation book, because I am failing miserably at meditating everyday and my usual response to any life problem is to read a book about it. ;) I'm not sure how much of the neuroscience I will understand but I'm adding it to my reading list.