Sunday, April 25, 2010

How I wore it: kicking it old school

Once upon a time, there was a girl who worked out so often that she had no problem showing off her arms and shoulders. Although skinny pants weren't the norm back then, she didn't feel the need to balance out her body by pairing tight pants with big boots. She didn't even like boots that much in those days! The horror!

Hi, folks. Today my husband and I joined other Greeks for their Independence Day Parade (or, as I call it, Greek Pride Day) and lunch. The weather report promised rain, but not till late, and the weather was mild and humid: too warm for jeans and boots. So ... I pulled out non-jean pants. And flats. And then I didn't know what to pair them with. So I pulled out an old favorite combo.

I present to you...

... one of my beloved tube tops with a generic pair of ill-fitting pants! 

I'm gonna be honest with you: however trashy it may be considered, I. Love. Tube tops. For real. I don't know why, considering that my arms are, bar none, my least favorite parts of my body. I constantly have to keep hitching them to keep them in place. I own four, in four different colors. Which are different from the tube tops I used to own. However, I just love them. They're a simple summer staple for me and used as layering basics during the winter. 

I first was fascinated in the halcyon days of 2003, when I was about to graduate from college. I was in Baltimore, visiting my then boyfriend, and we passed by a Gap. On a whim, I tried on a tube top for the first time. It had such a constricting support system that I scratched my face badly trying to wrestle myself out of it. The way it looked, though, lingered in my brain for some years.

Fast forward to early 2006; I'm in grad. school, and off to the library with a good friend of mine, gossiping on the way about an intriguing Greek guy with whom I was in contact (soon to become my boyfriend, then fiancé, then husband... aww); we stopped by the on-campus American Apparel to see what was up. I found some cute cropped tube tops and went to try them on. When I got out of the dressing room, my friend approved and informed me in a wail that she "looked RANCID in a tube top" (words that, naturally, I've never forgotten), and I never looked back. Those particular tops (I bought them in bright green, bright red, and black) have fallen out of favor with me, as they were quite short and non fitted... hmmm... I now kinda miss them...

... Anyway, I fell in love with Express tube tops because of their strong support and length and fit, and those are the ones I now wear constantly, as my "modesty tops" under low-cut dresses and by themselves with summer skirts and pants.

Apart from the fact that they have an awesome retro kitsch factor to them, I think that they're the most casually sexy of tops. There's something quite naughty in wearing a shirt that doesn't have anything at all going on with the shoulders, that just starts at the breasts.

What do you think?

Happy Sunday!

Swirly-dotted tube top: Express
Navy pants: Gap
Buffalo plaid flats: American Eagle, via Payless 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The closest I've been to science in thirteen years


I am thrilled to be able to tell you about a very official science experiment I performed at my home last night. I've been hearing about dry shampoo for a while now [i.e., shampoo for not having to get your hair yet] and I'd been interested for a while: I tend to wash my hair every other day, but now that I have heavy bangs that might get oily, I'd been recently washing my hair every day -- but it also made me nervous, because I was raised on stories by my mom that washing one's hair every day is bad. So I saw on the internets that Julie over at Orchid Grey uses TRESemmé dry shampoo and she has the best hair on the internet, so that was my sign. It took me a while, but I finally found the product I wanted after some days of fruitless searching. I decided to test it out last night.

Side note: since I wake up at ass o'clock AM every morning, I shower and/or wash my hair in the evening. So I washed my hair Monday -- it looked nice yesterday and also yesterday evening, but I knew that today during the day it would probably look oily and stringy...or slightly more so than I wanted.

Here I am on the phone. You see how my bangs are starting to separate? That's just what I wanted to avoid for the entirety of today (Wednesday). Here's another picture, pre-shampoo:

Ugh. More of what I wanted to avoid. So I spritzed some on my hair, especially my bangs, and here's what I came up with:

See? I approve! I know these pictures are blurry and unorthodox, but don't my bangs look better, shinier, and more unified? Then I slept on it. Here I am this morning:

Love. So how did it hold out all day? Awesomely. My bangs separated a little bit, but throughout the day my hair looked much better than it usually does after skipping a day of washing. Since I know that this stuff works, my next step is just to spray it on on the morning that I want my hair to look good, instead of sleeping on it from the night before -- it literally takes about three minutes to deal with.

So TRESemmé's Fresh Start dry shampoo for dry, oily hair? I'm a fan.

(And, no, I wasn't compensated for writing this)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How I wore it: Tuesday, Tuesday

Man, I wish every week could start on Tuesday. Last night I slept like a baby. Tuesday is my easiest day at work. The sun was out. It was great. More three-day weekends, world, please!

That being said, I was so bummed to go back to work that I went in mourning:

HAHA! No. I just basically hadn't worn this skirt since the first time I blogged about it, over a month ago. And...I wore it almost the exact same way -- black v-neck t-shirt, check; glasses, check; green cardigan (not pictured here)? Sigh. Check. What can I say? Some pairings work well together for me.

I did, however, bust out my spring shoes. Polka dots! I last wore these shoes in early March as well, on my husband's and my four-year anniversary. I got these shoes years and years ago (no, really, in the summer of 2006) and I've worn them religiously since then on nice, warm-ish days. I've worn through the heel once (they're scary-comfy and have, literally, traipsed across Philadelphia a couple of times) and now the sole is dying. I think that I'll have to retire them during the move across town coming up.

Look how cute they are, though!

Isn't that darling? The sides are open. My job has rules about women wearing open toes and open-backed shoes, but they never said anything about open sides! I love the heel, the way it cups the foot from the front. I have to admit, I have a complicated history with polka dots: my mom loves them on anything and so naturally I'm predisposed to consciously hating them, but subconsciously I love them and I always go for polka-dot patterns. Great minds, y'know? One of my colleagues also noticed that they were "mixed media" shoes, what with the satin body and the patent leather trim:

Adorable. I'll be sad to see them go.

Anyway, here's a desk shot:

See that white speck under my right shoe? That's the sole wearing thin. It's time for them to go, in the immortal words of Al Gore (...anyone?)... God, I look so sullen.

Here's something better...

Uh, yeah. My face looks better, but when I sit at that angle, I look like a linebacker who can't keep his legs closed. Almost mid-action shots are amazing! Thanks, self-timer!

Stay tuned for a thrilling science experiment!

Black v-neck t-shirt: Gap, remixed
Black pencil skirt: Elie Tahari, by way of Saks Fifth Avenue, remixed
Black stockings: L'eggs, via CVS
Polka-dot shoes: Nine West, remixed

Monday, April 19, 2010

How I wore it: busman's holiday

So although I had the day off for the Boston marathon Patriots Day, I still had to "work," in a sense. My husband, who is teaching a course on Modernism, asked me to guest lecture his class and talk about some literature. So off I went on my day off to speak about some of my favorite writers, Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot. Although I try not to wear dresses during my days off, especially "good" dresses that I might wear to work (and plan to again, this week), I didn't want to look too schlumpy in front of my husband, his students, and his boss, who was observing my lecture. So I went with an old favorite -- I said I wear this dress all the time. I also wore my grey Fryes, as I wanted to look professional but also arty and individual. Similarly, I didn't want to seem too weighed down by too much jewelry, so I only wore the seashell necklace, for which I really don't have any matching earrings.

Y'all, I have a confession to make. Remember how I confidently stated that my Athenian boots were my favorite boots in my collection? I think I lied. If they're not my absolute favorites, these grey boots are at least tied for first place. I just love them: I love the braided detail on the top; I love that they're so durable and tough-looking while still looking sleek; I love that they hit my leg at a more favorable spot... and who are we kidding? I love that they're grey!

Another thing that I love is this black dress. As I've told you a bajillion times, I wear this dress all the time. It's a year-round staple, from the sweatiest days in Athens to the coldest days in Boston. It's simple, black, and for the most part I forget about it once it's on. It does have one thing that's very against its favor, though: an empire waist. Now I'm one of those women who actually has a pretty decent waist-to-hip ratio and I know I look my best when I show it. This dress has a tie right under my bust. From the front it's all cute, but when I'm viewed from the side, I look as if I were with child:

... as evidenced when seen here, nerding it up with Patrick Olivelle's Early Upanisads. Yay, Sanskrit!

Black dress: Gap, remixed
Grey boots: Frye Paige Huaraches, via

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I love houses!

So I'm celebrating a lot of things this weekend, not the least of which is that I have a long weekend. Massachusetts celebrates something called 'Patriot's Day' and that's tomorrow and I don't have work and I'm super-psyched about it. It will be a bit of a busman's holiday, though, as you'll see if you tune in tomorrow. 

Other cool things on the agenda? Some wonderful contacts in Germany found me an apartment for my 18-day stint in Hamburg for dissertation work this summer. It's in a very cool neighborhood right in one of the hearts of the city, so I'm very excited about that. 

Oh, and the last thing -- MY HUSBAND AND I ARE HOMEOWNERS! We closed on our new condo on Thursday (I was, um, *too sick* to go to work) and went over to check it out. We'll be moving gradually over the next month. 

So yesterday we went over to the new place to take some clothes over and buy some necessary supplies, such as toilet paper and trash bags and whatnot. Unfortunately, despite some nice-ish spring-esque weather we've been having (the weather hasn't been exactly mid-April-like yet), Friday, yesterday, and today are raw, cold, and rainy. So I had to dress for lugging suitcases and rainshowers.

Not feeling it, am I? This was after hours spent in the windy rain, buying supplies and food and dragging suitcases around the T. However, I'd worn dark colors throughout much of the week, so I really wanted to brighten it up a little. You've seen some elements of this outfit before, such as the tunic and boots. But I haven't yet featured these jeans yet. Meet my grey jeans:

These are, bar none, my favorite article of clothing that I own [not counting boots, of course]. I bought them from Urban Outfitters about two years ago and they were the first pair of skinny jeans I ever owned. Unlike some other jeans I've bought there, these are extremely thick and sturdy and can take a lot of action. It's only recently that I've started noting some subtle signs of wear and tear, which makes me heartbroken. I'll hold out on retiring them for as long as decency allows. I don't think any replacement pair will be as awesome as these. I love their color: light grey -- a wonderful color for jeans. They can be worn with any color shoes and any color top. This is actually the first time I've worn them with the blue boots, which I tend to wear with dark boots so as not to be too overwhelming with blue shoes. But I liked the contrast yesterday of royal blue with light grey. The only thing I have issue with is that they've stretched a bit since I first bought them and they threaten to literally fall off me when I walk up stairs or bend over. I took them on my first trip to Hamburg, where I lost so much weight (I wasn't eating much for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which was that I was living in a completely residential neighborhood that had almost no food stores, so my grocery shopping had to be strategic) that these jeans almost fell off my ass while I was sitting in the subway. It was an interesting hitch when I stood up again: I think I permanently scarred a German businessman. Anyways, because they ride so low, they create a classic muffin top, which is... upsetting.

Oh, well! I own a house!

Tunic: American Apparel, remixed
Grey jeans: Bulldog by Urban Outfitters
Blue boots: Frye Veronica Slouches, via, remixed

Monday, April 12, 2010

How I wore it: ow

So I've had a headache for a little over twenty-four hours. It threatened to turn into a migraine, but didn't. It's just a dull ache. I've had Peter Griffin's "I'm a tumor" ditty stuck in my head all day. And I think I just got a paper cut on my tongue from an envelope. Look how sad I look! PITY ME!!

I was really happy with my outfit today, though. I've worn this dress super-often to work in. I bought it a couple of years ago, as it's a perfect dress to wear with boots as a fifth-year graduate student [which is what I was when I bought it]. At work, though, where I can't wear boots, I've tended to wear it in only one way: with a black or olive tank underneath (what my best friend calls my "modesty tops"), grey-ish tights, the same shoes, and gold jewelry. And it works like a charm. I always feel pretty in this dress.

However, the weather is getting nicer and my "usual" accessory choices seemed boring, so I decided to lighten it up by putting on nude hose, a white lacy modesty top, and pearls.

Sidebar to talk about my pearl jewelry: the tiny, delicate earrings, and the honking big necklace (with its super-fancy clasp!) were gifts from my paternal grandparents upon my birth. They thought that I would have my ears pierced at birth, like any good South American girl. My mother, despite being Argentine, thinks that this is a barbaric practice, so I didn't have my ears pierced till I was fifteen. These were the earrings I wore when getting them pierced. They're very small and I tend to go for a little bigger these days, but I do love wearing them, especially with the dramatic pearl necklace (which I, as you can see, wear looped most of the time). I didn't have much of a relationship with my paternal grandparents: I lived in New York, they lived in Santiago (de Chile); my grandfather died when I was eight or so and my grandmother a few years ago after many years of senility -- I hadn't interacted with her in at least a decade before that. Because of all these elements, it's nice to feel a connection to these people who were connected to me and who sent newborn me jewelry.

And, let's be honest: they're also stunning pieces.

Anyway, I was very happy with my outfit renewal. I felt more spring-like and, more importantly, I was glad not to be in my usual rut with this dress: after all, I wore it last on Good Friday [April 2nd], which was only ten days ago. It's almost like getting a new outfit!

Cranberry dress: Gap
Modesty tank: gift from Switzerland from my parents
Nude hose: L'eggs, via CVS
Mustard-y flats: Nine West, by way of DSW, remixed
Pearl jewelry: gift from my late grandparents in Chile

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Union of the Snake

I feel as if my weekend just flew by. I didn't even have time to take pictures! Amazing! I did snatch a moment or two last night after a long, but nice, day of hanging out with cousins-in-law. I was revisiting my stockings/boots grellow combination, but with winter shorts. Behold!

And, if you want to see me awkwardly perching on my desk with a quarter of my head chopped off, well, it's your lucky day!

Those are some bright-ass tights.

So, as you may have realized, I get kind of obsessed with things from time to time. Recently, it's been snake rings. While I don't shriek and run every time I see a snake on TV or at the zoo (like, say, hypothetically, my husband), I wouldn't like to be confronted with a wild snake. But I do like them. I think they're cool animals. I read The Jungle Book a little too much as a small child. And as a half-Chilean kid, I grew up playing with wooden snakes, all named after Kipling/Indian snakes: Krait, Nag, Nagaina, and Kaa. Anyway, snakes = cool in my book. 

I recently started getting into snake jewelry and, of course, these animals lend themselves really well to ring form. And I really want one. I was scouring the internet and here are some conclusions of rings I like, in order of least-favorite to favorite. 

This ring is from Etsy, from the vendor beyondtherockz [photo from the shop site]. I think the ring is lovely, but I have neither the desire nor the funds to buy a ring with a real diamond in it. I already have my beloved engagement ring. I'm set for diamond rings. I think, though, that the ring is a beautiful showcase for a marquis-cut diamond.

This ring is also from Etsy, from vendor AnomalyJewelry [photo from vendor's site]. It's sterling silver with the eyes made of Swarovski crystals. The more I look at this ring, the more I like it. It's pretty groovy, no? And for $60 dollars, the price isn't too bad, either.  

The next ring is from Lalaounis and I've linked to it: a golden snake ring! Could life get any better? I think not! I obviously don't know the price, but being made of gold and having the detail that it does, and being from the Lalaounis store, I'm not guessing that it's so much in my budget. It's gorgeous, though, no? I don't wear much gold -- well, I wear gold, but not as often as silver and/or platinum, so I'd have to make more of a conscious choice to wear a bright gold snake ring.

This ring, by Jules Kim, is my absolute favorite snake ring that I've found [photo from Denimology]. It's a three-finger ring of, I believe, black gold. [Despite what I've said about yellow gold, its yellow gold counterpart is HAMAZING] Isn't that amazing? I'd love to wear that. Last Friday was a grey, dull day and that would've added so much pizzazz to my dull green and silver-based outfit. Too bad I can't find it for sale anywhere yet: I haven't done much searching yet, but once I find it, it shall be mine

Sigh. Pretty rings. My animal love in life is actually the walrus, but they don't lend themselves as sinuously to jewelry as snakes do. What about y'all? What kind of animals do you like seeing represented in jewel form?

Charcoal sweater: Gap, remixed
Black tank top: H & M
Tweed shorts: Gap, remixed
Yellow tights: Gap, remixed
Grey boots: Frye Paige Huaraches, via, remixed

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

How I wore it: warm Tuesday

So while the temperatures today didn't go up as high as we were promised, my work place is still an oven and I have to dress for the temps at work rather than the real weather outside.

Although I bought this skirt on a ridiculously warm spring day some years ago and always associate it with super-hot weather, its heavy linen is actually quite comfortable for a day like today. I added just a plain black t-shirt and some pops of color (the famous "mustard-y" flats and the blue turquoise ring, unseen) and went with it.

I feel as if a lot of people have this skirt. It is the one item of clothing I own that I see most regularly on other people. I even had a colleague last year who had it -- fortunately, we never coincided on it.

I fear that this skirt's hem hits at a non-flattering place on my leg, as evidenced by the photo above. However, the fabric is so swingy and twirly that I think I can get away with it, as the whole skirt moves well and shows a more flattering length to my leg when I walk around, or even stand in a different way (as evidenced by the first photo).

I even got complimented on my outfit today, by one of the people who also complimented me yesterday. In fact, she told me that I had "two great outfits in a row," making me wonder if I look like a troll every other day.

Scandalous pose! See also: unflattering leg picture.

I was really worried about these shoes when I got them. I thought that their mustard color could only really go with clothes in the brown/orange spectrum and only in the fall. However, I've gotten a lot of wear out of them. I do like them as accessories with an autumn palette (brown tweed skirt; orange sweater; beige skirt, etc.), but I also tend to wear them a lot with reds and burgundies and they were the ones I chose for my otherwise black and white palette today. Yay for versatile shoes.

Black t-shirt: H & M
Striped skirt: Gap
Nude stockings: L'Eggs, via CVS
Mustard-y flats; Nine West, by way of DSW

Monday, April 5, 2010

How I wore it: Easter Monday

I will admit that it was hard to go back to work today for everyone. My husband and I were exhausted after a weekend spent cooking and cleaning. All the Christian Orthodox students at my school were tired from all the church / eating / cooking / cleaning activities, including myself. I was not feeling it this morning, let me tell you. So what better time to bust out an outfit I'd been planning for over a week?

That grey sleeveless top is really a "dress" from American Apparel that I've almost always worn as a tunic over skinny jeans. I couldn't really think of any other way to wear it, but every once in a while, one of the Wardrobe_Remix ladies will wear a long top/dress under something else, as a layering piece, and I think, "Hmmm........." Right before spring break, I wore this very same "dress" underneath a rather high-waisted shorter grey wool skirt and I loved the look. I decided to replicate it with some brighter color and pulled out this skirt, which I've owned since I was twenty. I was more hesitant about this iteration of the outfit because my skirt is tighter than the other skirt, making it seem obvious to me when the tunic underneath was bunching up and adding unnecessary bulk to my waist and hips. My other problem was that, while I am quite proud of my feminine waist-to-hip ratio -- and tucking in often emphasizes that ratio -- I was self conscious about my bum and the fact that the skirt puckers weirdly at the belly area. See, this skirt has been with me through countless weight fluctuations and over the course of eight years, it has formed a rather strange phantom pot belly where my stomach is, making me look to have more of a pot belly than I do? See that outward crater there at my belly? Not really me.

The funny thing is that my husband loved the look while I was leaving the house and two different colleagues complimented my outfit today, as soon as they saw me, so I felt pretty confident about it all day.

Looking at my pictures tonight, though, I realize that I could've cinched my waist in a little more. Perhaps a nice contrasting belt (like a leather obi?) would've made me look a little more polished and emphasized my waist more while masking the tummy issues.

Of course, to celebrate the lovely weather and my bright skirt, I had to go with a bright shoe as well!

I really enjoyed the outfit today, I must admit. I felt pretty and young and more like myself than usual. Let's hope I have equal luck for the rest of the week (guys! I haven't chosen a Friday outfit yet!!!!)...

Grey top: American Apparel (dress)
Red Skirt: Dickie's, via a now-defunct [I think[ store in Philly called Guacamole
Nude stockings: L'eggs, via CVS
Red wedges: CL by Laundry, by way of DSW

Sunday, April 4, 2010

How I wore it: Easter Weekend edition

So it's been a week since I posted and I'm sorry about that. It was the first week back to work after spring break and it was kind of tough to get back into a normal groove. Plus, this weekend was a big one for me: it was Easter, not just in the Western Christian tradition, but also in the Greek Orthodox Church. And maybe y'all don't know, but Greek Easter is a big deal: we went to church on Good Friday evening and on Saturday evening for midnight mass and hosted people and cooked and were awesome.

This is what I wore yesterday evening, complete with contacts!

This is the same dress I wore on my four-year anniversary. But what a difference a month makes! I'm rocking my bangs and no stockings and ... wait for it -- HIGH HEELS.

I don't really do heels. I like boots, as you all know. And for nice shoes, I prefer flats. But I can barely toddle in heels. I totter around like a baby foal. I bought these shoes last year for a fancy consulate party and I've worn them about once since then. I decided to fight the good fight last night, though, and wear them to church: I figured since I'd not only gotten married but also had dancing lessons in spindly, spangled high heel sandals, I could handle Easter mass in these puppies. The other thing I like about them? They're black and grey -- my favorite neutrals!

(And I have to admit something: as much as my feet ached last night, I totally felt pretty and long-legged and slim with them on. I guess there's something to be said for heels!)

Today we cooked more food and hosted some family. Since the weather was totally summery, I went with one of my favorite semi-casual summer sundresses:

Simple and easy. Didn't even change into real shoes.

I wore the same necklace from Friday through today: my baptismal cross. I got baptized into the Greek Orthodox Church this summer and my godmother gifted me this cross as a baptismal gift: it was from a jewelry store in Sparta -- it matches earrings that my father-in-law got me from the same store as a New Years 2009 present:

You can barely see the cross here, but the hanging vine pattern of the gold earrings is pretty, no? And the awesome green-finger-inducing "turquoise" ring is pretty key.

Anyway, it was a nice weekend to dress up in dresses i couldn't wear to work without panty hose! Not very conducive to a productive work week ahead, though.

Happy holidays! How did you spend your spring holiday?

Saturday night:
Purple dress: Calvin Klein via Macy's, remixed
Patent leather shoes: Impo (?), via DSW

Blue dress: Ann Tayler
Flip flops: Urban Outfitter

Cross and earrings from both days: jewelry store in Sparta