Monday, November 17, 2014

The Unexpected Hoodie

Trying the sideways glance again, and looking mighty pleased with myself. I call this shirt by Three Stones the Unexpected Hoodie:

I feel a little like Link from the Legend of Zelda games. The top is loose, so I did what I saw Carrie of Petal by Petal do recently: I added a skinny belt near my natural waist to look more streamlined. Woo hoo! What works for one Asian American martial artist evidently works for another. :D
I dig the little keyhole in the back. If the hood is down, it hides it.
Hoodie top: Three Stones (thrifted)
Overlapping waves skirt: Forever 21 (thrifted)
Sandals: Eastland
Belt: unknown (thrifted)
Necklace: Old Navy
Sage wrap bracelet: Foxy Originals
Earrings: Etsy shop
Purse: handmade (Sawdust Festival, birthday gift)

It was all about the accessories that day:
Oh, and the belt! I'm a huge fan of the comedy sitcom Community, and I cracked up when I saw that the belt tag reads "Streets Ahead"! I don't think it's a reference to the show, just an awesome coincidence:
Blown out shot of the skirt to show the cool overlapping layers:

I'll let you guys in on a secret: I'm not actually in Southern CA! I moved for a job and am back in the San Francisco Bay Area, but I took these outfit photos before I left so I could queue up some posts, predicting (rightfully) that I'd be overwhelmed and too burnt my first week or two here to do them.

I'm also living out of a suitcase and half of what I brought is conservative business casual because who starts a new job wearing outfits that shriek, "Hi! You know nothing about me except that I'm an outlier!"? I'm definitely waiting until at least my third day.

Not sure what I'm going to do for next week's posts yet. Here's hoping I get settled enough to get some thrifting in. I'm certainly in the location for it! :D

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Riders of Rohandmade

This dress looks like something a shieldmaiden would wear:
Dress: handmade (thrifted)
Sandals: Eastland Shoe
Necklace: gift
Bracelet: Paris
Ring: defunct Etsy shop

I overexposed myself (ha) to show the panels and the stitching on the dress that gave me this impression :
It appears to be handmade, fully lined, and made for someone almost my size, save the chest is too small so I feel like this:
I can't wait to have my own place where I'll have room to set up my sewing machine to let this out. There appears to be more than enough seam allowance.

How does one accessorize when preoccupied by thoughts of leaving Rohan and winning glory (and mebbe the heart of Aragorn) in battle?

A Celtic knot necklace, which was a gift from a friend for my 16th birthday:
A brass bangle that has a metal BB inside, so the chiming strikes fear into the heart of mine enemies:
And a silver ring of leaves! Looked very Tolkien-appropriate. Pardon the funky knuckles; we've been doing bagwork on Fridays and I'm not great at wrapping with my off hand yet.
Certain cuts of clothing, prints, or details can be really evocative. This is an extreme example. I know when I pulled this from the thrift rack in SF, I exclaimed the first line of this post aloud. Do you have any clothes that evoke a certain time period, genre, or character for you?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Shades of Gravender

I backed the camera up in an attempt to avoid the lens flare and backlighting. MISSION FAIL.
I made this outfit for Spygirl's 52 Pick-Me-Up challenge: layers. Also because it is freezing in my room. Man, I look so proportional when sleeves are the correct length. Japanese clothing all the way.
All the dangly pointy bits of cloth made me feel like curtsying.
I hope I did patron saint of masterful layering Shawna proud.
Where to begin?

Purple heattech undershirt: UNIQLO (gift from Mom, Japan)
Grey bamboo dress: Natural Life (Purre at The CAMP)
Double layer vest: MOUTH valley (thrifted, Japan)
Outermost long vest: LUX (clothing swap)
Wide belt: pellemelle (thrifted)
Jodhpurs as leggings: Ariat (thrifted)
Boots: ALDO (thrifted)
Cloisonne necklace and enamel earrings: unknown (thrifted)
If you haven't seen these before, that's right, jodhpurs! (Thanks, Excelsior Goodwill!) They are by the company Ariat and so comfortable and warm. They also have deep front pockets. Rich people really know how to live!

The wide leather belt is one I thrifted a few weeks ago in SF, by pellemelle. The end has a tendency to start slipping out of the buckle, but otherwise I am really happy with it. It's comfortable, the right size, and the soft leather has enough stretch that I don't garrote myself in the midsection when I sit down.

The outfit was so neutral that I tried to add a little color with the cloisonne jewelry, but overall I think it's still pretty "Look, ma! I'm greyscale!" That isn't to say I don't like it; purple and grey is one of my favorite combinations*! I'm just obsessed with trying to up my color game recently and I don't want to feel like I was backsliding.

* In fact, know what I'm gonna call it? Gravender. Shut up. Clever! ᕦ(_)ᕤ

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A weekend of San Franthriftco

I recently visited the Bay Area for the weekend. Thrifting was involved, so I'll report back on what I did there. :D

Here is my first successful capsule wardrobe:
Citizens of Humanity sweatshirt (thrifted)
7 for all Mankind jeans (gift from brother)
ANAC mesh top (eBay)
OCCO Paris teal top (free)
Nancy Giallombardo denim skirt (thrifted)
Fitzwell Laura sandals (

I also had my trusty New Balance sneakers. Everything went with everything else! First time I've been able to do that. (My usual method of outfit selection is 'waaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh I wanna wear thisandthisandthisandthis') I also figured since I'd be thrifting during my time up there, that I could add stuff if I wanted.

I actually went up to visit my favorite Joe (srsly. I have met no other Joes I like better.) for his band's show and EP launch. The band is called The Hangover Brigade, they have a folk rock sound, and they are immensely talented and fantastic. (Which is good, because it'd be really awkward if I thought they sounded terrible.)

You can listen to the entire EP on CDbaby (they are also sold on iTunes, Amazon, and other large vendors) and you really should. I had the first track stuck in my head for 48 hours after the show, and that's an endorsement.
The Hangover Brigade's last show!

Here's their cover of No Diggity, that they played as an encore:

Before the show, we drove into the city and walked up and down Haight St. looking for gig-type clothes and accessories for Joe. The only thing more fun than thrift shopping for me is thrift shopping for someone else. Even competing with the pre-Halloween crowd, we had great luck!

Here's what we found:
Exhibit A: grey 5 button vest from Goodwill
Exhibit B: Fuzzy black J's Awake shoes from Wasteland. The soles are red!
Exhibit C: Marshall Collins flatcap from Goorin Bros. Not thrifted, just awesome. I'm pretty sure flatcaps were put on this earth for men with van dyke beards.
We also found these low grey Alfani boots and the following day Joe found the sweet Olympique Marseille track jacket at one of my favorite thrift shops. Soccer's his favorite sport, so extra win. It was in great condition, with a plastic tag loop still inside. I think it was new! I found another picture of it online:
Happily, Joe dug my style suggestions, and the things I thought he could rock he totally rocked. I thought he looked great, he thought he looked great, happy shopping vibes all around.

The items are all multipurpose and can be used for music gigs, work, or everyday. There was a coat with tails briefly tried on at a Steampunk shop because when it comes down to it, I think everybody should wear Regency style clothes, but maybe for another time.

And because I had a few hours to kill during soundcheck before the show started, I tootled back to the Goodwill down the street and went shopping for myself this time. >.>

Whee! My haul from two thrift shops that weekend:
I've been looking for mustard skinny jeans or jeggings for a long time to wear with sweater dresses & boots in the winter. I'm slowly taking steps into the world of color. Thanks to style blogs, I know colors I'd never wear near my face because of my complexion can be worn on my lower half.

These jeans are by Margaret M, and still had the tag attached. I found out it's a Canadian brand that makes their products domestically. Any northerners heard of the brand?

The wide leather belt is by Pellemelle, and thanks to alert readers, I know 'pelle' is Italian for leather. :D Italian leather, it says on the inside, and made in the US.

The grey and black checked vest is from TRF, which I think is a collection within Zara. It's size L, but it has criss-crossing straps in the back that let me cinch it in to the correct width.

The Forever 21 Japanese print shirt shell was a go back behind the counter that I pointed to excitedly as we were checking out. Instant sell! I'm not sure how I feel about the red lace, but the print and the long square fire hazard sleeves absolutely do it for me.
Check out the luster on these fake pearls! I don't often have luck thrifting jewelry, but I thought I hit it big with these. I want to wear the blue pearls with the lace-feather-ribbons flower pin with my dark blue OzzOn dress.
Lastly, these Candie's green and brown platform boots fill another hole in my wardrobe- casual sturdy boots in the brown color palette. My thrifted Doc Martens chafe my Achilles tendon something fierce, so onto eBay they go.

I put so many holes through my October budget that it's curled up in a corner somewhere licking its wounds, but I regret nothing. Sometimes I've thrifted things and gone 'aww crap, that wasn't a good idea' but this time, all items feel like practical fits within my existing wardrobe. Vest, wide belt, shirt shell, boots, jeans... this is basically Couturgatory right here in one thrifted heap. What's your latest treasure or your latest 'aww crap' purchase?

Monday, November 3, 2014

20 Buttons

All these style blogs I see gals looking to the side instead of at the camera. I'ma try that shit, too:
Sailor buttons!
Military blazer: Bica Cheia (thrifted)
Camisole: Express
Sailor pants: Elevenses (thrifted)
Shoes: unlisted a Kenneth Cole production (thrifted)
Locket: Express (v. old)
Rings: Claire's, Brasil (v. old)

I've been wanting a pair of sailor-style trousers since I saw Megan Mae rocking them on her blog. I cackled when I found this like-new pair on the thrift rack in Daly City, and even though they were the wrong size, I factored in the tailoring cost as what I'd be willing to pay for a pair.
Goodness knows what to wear with them, though. They're higher waisted than I'm used to, and finally I hit on the idea of wearing them with this blazer, which also stops close to the natural waist. After all, what goes with 8 buttons better than 12 more buttons, amirite?

I always think this blazer has a hint of lavender in its grey. Am I crazy? Do you see it? I wore things to bring it out in case I was correct.

It's cooled off in a damn hurry here, and we even had a few seconds of rain! I feel kind of like a boor, always talking about the weather, but it really affects my outfit choices, just as much as my mood. I wondered if I'd just lost my passion for dressing for a few months there, but it's just because none of my SF clothes were made to be worn when it's more than 65F outside. :D

Saturday, November 1, 2014

A Slip of a Dress

I wore a vintage slip as a tea dress to brunch with friends!:D
Slip as dress: Vanity Fair (thrifted)
Cardigan: Alternative Apparel (thrifted)
Hat: unlabeled (thrifted)
Locket: Express
Sandals: Born (gift from Cathy)

I had a lovely time and I felt very feminine until my mother pointed out that the slip is somewhat sheer and that you can see my underwear. Sigh. Back to the drawing board.

I have a cropped wool sweater I wanted to use, but it's a) in storage with most of my things, and b) too warm for SoCal weather yet, so Alternative Apparel thin cardigan thingy it was!
I cannot help but notice no one else down here wears hats. I was pleased with my choice because the veil shaded my eyes while we were chatting outside the restaurant, but I stand out quite a bit.
Shiny designs on the bodice and near the hem!
I really like brunch because I hate mornings and it's a chance for night owls like me to eat breakfast foods at a reasonable hour, and wash it all down with cocktails in a socially acceptable context.

Lately, I've heard a backlash against brunch (specifically in dense urban areas like NY and SF) from folks who think it's part of the eternally childish and irresponsible privileged culture of today's middle class youth. I didn't realize it was an issue. Of course, if you asked my family to describe me, "eternally childish and irresponsible" would sum it up very nicely, hah. How do you feel about brunch?

This outfit may not have turned out as I wished, but I'm linking up with the lovely Judith of Style Crone's Hat Attack! I've missed participating. :D