Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The end of an era

Folks, something of huge import happened this week at the Boots household: I ran out of my trademark green eyeliner.

For ever.

Remember how, when the internet first became a big thing and those questionnaire e-mails were huge, one of the questions (at least for girls) was something like, "What would you never leave the house without?" or something like that? Well, in my case it was green eyeliner. This green eyeliner, to be precise:

With some products, like mascara, I'm blithely fickle: I pick out whatever I've heard good reviews about, and have only recently become faithful to one particular brand. However, when it came to my eyeliner, I was (and will continue to be, I hope) stubbornly faithful to one brand and one brand alone: Urban Decay. I don't know how it started - I think my high school best friend (*wave*) had some cool eyeliners at home and we began playing around with different colors. I fell in love with this metallic green shade (called "Thames"), seen above, and I bought my own tube. This was the summer of 1999. That summer, I graduated high school and went on to start college. By the time high school ended, in June, the only make-up I ever really wore on my eyes was some powdered eye shadow. By the time I entered college in September, I had become a master at applying my green eyeliner with a retro cat's eye swoop. I wore Thames eyeliner in that very fashion every single day (well, the ones I left the house for something other than the gym) until yesterday. My only exceptions were for my brother's wedding, for my baptism, and for my Greek Orthodox wedding ceremony.

When I first started wearing it, I was a repressed seventeen-year-old who did everything that mommy and daddy told her to do and I could barely apply the slippery liquid liner on my eyelids. The first few times I wore it, I would put it on shakily in private last-minute before leaving the house and flee to more open pastures. I don't know when I stopped hiding it from my parents - it was definitely at some point that same summer, by which time I'd gotten quite adept at quickly tracing the exaggerated line over my eyelid. By the time I entered college, a couple of months later, I was ready for my green eyeliner to be my trademark. And it was. Through thick and thin, through long hair, college, grad. school, short hair, boyfriends, more boyfriends, fiancé, husband, jobs (and job interviews), travel, and more. I've had students use it in a game of "veo, veo;" I've had a student ask me if my eyeliner is actually a tattoo; I've known a little Bengali boy to describe me to his mother as "the Didi with green on her eyes:" it's become such second nature to me that I don't realize, when meeting someone new, how odd a thick line of green eyeliner might look, applied in such a retro manner.

In this picture, from early 2007 (growing out my hair!), you can see how I lined my eyes every day for over eleven years. Fun fact: as I type this, I'm wearing the exact same t-shirt as I am in this picture. Also: I miss Philly. 

I don't know how many tubes I've gone through of Thames: each one lasted me almost a year. However, in late 2007 or early 2008, I noticed that Urban Decay decided to discontinue Thames. This was a tragedy for me. I took advantage of their sale on soon-to-be-discontinued products [what they call R.I.P items] and bought four more tubes. The last one ran out yesterday. Truth be told, there's still a little left in that tube, but it's getting hard to apply and pointless.


So a couple of months ago, I decided to be an adult. I went to Sephora and bought a new tube of Urban Decay eyeliner - because ain't no way I'm stopping wearing liquid liner: I literally cannot apply pencil eyeliner on my face. This time in pure black (called "Perversion"!):

They've changed the shape of the tubes now, so that they're a little bit like an inkwell, and I'm still not used to the new shape of the brush/cap. The good news is, since black liner is a little more traditional, I can play around more with painting my eyes and even be more bold with my lip color, since lipstick will no longer be battling it out with something GREEN on my face for attention. So today, in honor of the new occasion, I decided to line the entirety of my eyes, including the bottom lash line, and hey - I kind of liked it!

It gives an even more retro flair to my make-up, if possible, and I think it'll be a cool look to go with for the future.

However, a little part of me cannot believe that I won't be wearing green eyeliner ever again. Godspeed, Thames. It's been a pleasure and an honor.

Perversion? Let's have some fun together.

Monday, November 29, 2010

How I wore it: take a drink from his special cup

So today I had a very exciting day: my annual physical! But, since I haven't had a physical since, um, early spring of 2009 and this was my first time with my new doctor, it was kind of exciting. Just a little, though. From years of having this drilled into my head by my mother, I always feel the urge to "dress properly" for the doctor's - even if those clothes will be strewn across a chair for the majority of time I actually see the doctor. And because I wanted to mix up my palette a little bit, I decided to go something a little more conservative:

Oh, hi, Preppy Boots. I haven't seen you around in a while. This blue button-down shirt is a twin of the pink one my mother bought for me two summers ago. The shirt (and its twins) fits almost perfectly, except in one rather important way: across my, err, bosoms? I am wider of rib cage and broader of bust than I used to be, so I have some unattractive gaping and straining on the buttons of my shirts sometimes.  While you can see some strainage in the photo above, it's nothing compared to when I first put on the shirt: I eventually put on a modesty top below it and unbuttoned the button that hit at boob-line. Otherwise, you (and my doctor) would've gotten this:

And that's with me holding on to the shirt hems! Otherwise it's all Busty McChesterson up in here. Can we also take a second to discuss how HOT I am in this picture? Thanks.

While I've found it hard to define what my personal style is, wearing a collared shirt isn't always the norm for me. However, I felt kind of fun in this today. I felt a little as if I were dressing up as an adult in order to do "adult" things, such as getting blood drawn and answering questions about my medical history.

Then I came home, changed into pajama pants and a David Bowie t-shirt and proceeded to work on my dissertation, so, y'know, back to student mode. Phew.

Blue (striped) shirt: gift from mom, Brooks Brothers
Navy pants: Gap, remixed
Moccasins: Minnetonka, by way of Lord and Taylors, remixed

Sunday, November 28, 2010

How I wore it: caught her!

Today I had no better plans than going to the Gap and buying socks because Lord do I need socks without holes. After a reeeeeeeeally late start, I finally made it out my door in order to go sock-hunting. I didn't plan on wearing anything special (nor even to post, unless I found some hidden treasure while shopping), but I ended up wearing an outfit I kind of liked. And, as is always the case with these jeans, while I kind of liked it, my husband SUPER liked it. So here you are, lucky readers!

I like this photo way better, but I cut off my shoes. Also, how bright is my sweater?!

Since I was in the neighborhood, I decided to stop by American Apparel. I have a very mixed philosophy toward that store. When one opened in Philly really near my old apartment, I went constantly and bought the majority of tunics that I wear today. I'm sometimes startled by their ad campaigns, although not really offended (most of the time). However, I really do think that something is fishy with their hiring practices and sometimes people who work there have kind of a snotty attitude toward "normies" like me. I don't know. It's very hit or miss for me when I go in and I had kind of decided not to seek out any clothes from there anymore. However, because I was on the quest for socks, I decided to go all out and look into thigh-highs. Just for fun. At the store I went to, I couldn't find any of the ones I wanted, but I did find something I'd been craving for years and thought was no longer produced...:

... a floppy wool hat! Although I'm not a hat wearer, I'd been lusting after these hats for years. So when I got my paws on this light grey one, I went to town, immediately dropped my pervy sock search, and bought it. I don't know if I'll ever wear it, but I want to be the kind of girl who wears hats. I mean, Julie I'm not, but I want to be. Or Winona, but I have less panache. And humor. Argh, dammit.

Anyways, in my mind's eye, this hat is to be worn over drapey layers and scarves and cool boots (I do have those), for long walks in deserted parks. And without glasses, at least in the beginning - there's too much going on in my face for a novice hat-wearer, no? I don't know. I have to figure this out, somehow. But I think I'll have a heck of a good time trying.

[READERS, if ever I needed suggestions, NOW'S THE TIME! How would you style this awesome hat?]

Now one of my childhood heroes was Carmen Sandiego (and I mean vintage, 80s Sandiego, not this trashy red-trench-coat-ed sex bomb I found while doing a Google image search on her), and, while mugging for my computer, I suddenly realized it: I have Carmen's hat!

Oh, no! What if people mistake me for that criminal mastermind?!

Orange sweater: Gap, remixed
Jeans: Gap Outlet, remixed
Grey booties: Aldo, remixed

Saturday, November 27, 2010

How I wore it: the winter of my discontent*

*Did I ever mention that before I fell in love with Sanskrit/Indology I dreamed of being a Shakespeare professor? I'm cool.

Folks, it's officially Cold. I have to start remembering to have gloves with me when I leave the home and I'm starting to think wistful thoughts about hats. Dammit. It's okay. Now that I don't have a dress code, I can wear boots (and pants) every damn day of the week and actually keep warm, as opposed to strategizing the best possible tights+skirt+shoe+temperature combination.

(I keep meaning to write a post about my previous job's dress code and why it made us so antsy. One day, people...)

Anyways, today was a super low-key day. My husband and I decided to meet up with one of his colleagues and her husband and child (who happens to be one of my tutees) for Mexican food (mmmmmm...) and chatting. With my outfit, I opted for comfort rather than pizzazz:

WHAT could be so interesting in my husband's closet?!

There's...really not much to say about this. I still love wearing leggings (the corduroy ones from HUE are so awesome and WARM), but once I look at the photographic evidence, I feel self-conscious about my thighs. In person, I look down and feel sassy and good about myself, but once I take my pictures, I'm all, "Hi, She-Hulk, thanks for stopping by." I also think I need to take a class on proportions. 

Also, I'm feeling a bit in a rut. Because I really don't leave the home that often, I've been really relying on my comfort clothes (tunic+skinny pants of some sort+boots) when I do leave the house, because my outings tend to be quite banal. I think it's time to fancy it up a little for next week's tutoring sessions. Right on! 

That being said, as mentioned earlier, I did like my outfit quite a lot "in person" rather than on camera. I know that this happens quite often to me: fellow bloggers - and people who document their outfits - do you ever get that as well? I really was comfy and mobile and, in the end, it was the perfect outfit in which to curl up while watching the "Great Migrations" walrus (and other animals) episode a few hours later... 

[This might be a good moment to mention that I adore nature documentaries. And walruses are my favorite animal. When you combine these elements, plus show a mommy walrus giving her one-day-old pup a swimming lesson, you get a perfect Saturday afternoon.]

Scarf: Urban Outfitters, remixed
Green cardigan: gift from mom, by way of Lord and Taylor (New York), remixed
Black shirt: Tony's, a boutique in Philly's Old City, remixed
'Putty' corduroy leggings: HUE, by way of Lord and Taylor (Boston), remixed
Grey boots: Frye Paige Huaraches, by way of endless.com, remixed

Friday, November 26, 2010

How I wore it: blue jay way

I hope all of my American readers had a nice Thanksgiving! I did as well, although it was a super-tiring day, waking up at 6 AM and going to bed at 2 AM this morning. With lots of travelling (and eating) in between those hours. Mmmmm...

Anyway, I wanted to dress up a little for the holiday festivities at my brother's, so I decided to wear my cold weather fancy (yet snuggly) outfit:

Nuts, the colors came out funky again. Damn my poor photography skills! Anyways, guys, this is literally the same outfit I wore at work last year when I desperately wanted to wear pants and/or boots but wasn't allowed to because of the dress code: I'd wear this warm, flannely skirt, warm tights, and these particular tall black boots. The skirt length hid the fact that they were boots (although it was pretty obvious anyway) and I'd be comfortable and warm-ish.

This is what my legs looked like yesterday (and all the other days I sneaked boots to work under that particular skirt). These are currently the oldest boots in my closet. I bought them my third year of graduate school, when I decided to dress a little more professionally and invest in a nice pair of boots and some skirts. I TAed a Hindi class in a classroom where another grad student taught a German class right before me. She had awesome style, including a nice pair of tall brown boots. I asked her, rather wistfully, where she had gotten them and she said that she had bought them at an Aerosoles store and that they were having a sale. I went that weekend. This was in the fall of 2005, people, and they're just now starting to show some wear and tear on one side. Since they're from Aerosoles, they're super-comfy and, as you can probably tell, they're my most conservative pair of basic boots. I made the mistake of wearing them to the interview for the job I worked last year, not knowing that boots were verboten, but no one said anything.

And today? Well, I left the house in order to do my weekly French tutoring and host some friends for dinner. Here's how I looked:

Shocker! Grey on grey with (blue, this time) Frye boots! It's funny. I love wearing grey together, but looking at this picture, I don't like this particular effect at all. [DO YOU THINK MY JUNIOR HIGH-SCHOOL STUDENTS JUDGED ME?!] Maybe it's because the pants and the tunic are too close in color? I don't know. Thank goodness I broke it all up with a purple cardigan and blue boots, no? I dunno: I think in the future I'll definitely try for a more contrasty look when wearing pale-ish colors like this grey.

Wow. Can I have been wrong all these years of wearing grey on grey? *shudder*

I hope you all have a good weekend!

Thursday's outfit:
Black sweater: Gap
Blue & black skirt: Gap, remixed
Blue tights: Gap, remixed
Black boots: Aerosoles

Friday's outfit:
Purple cardigan: gift from mother, via Lord and Taylors, remixed
Grey tunic: American Apparel, remixed
Grey jeans: Bulldog by Urban Outfitters, remixed
Blue boots: Frye Vernoica slouches, by way of Zappos. remixed

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How I wore it: boots in love

People, I'm so tired and it's just 9:30 at night. And before I go to bed, I have to finish making a gluten-free dessert for my family Thanksgiving tomorrow (we're going to my brother's), as well as a GF stuffing that I stupidly offered to make. I might fob that one off on my husband. Hmmm...

Anyways, today I had my Spanish tutoring gig, shifted a day, again, but this time for the Thanksgiving holiday. Since the weather was sunny (and FREEZING - yesterday I was wearing a t-shirt and shorts for my outdoor run! Today I needed gloves for just walking home from the subway station!), I decided to wear my beloved grey Fryes out again to honor their return to their rightful place in my closet:

The newly-placed soles are leather. And really slippery. Hence my clumsy Elvis pose.

People, I think these boots are the reason I bought leggings. I got to wear pretty much my favorite color palette and just felt very me. Fun times. Now that I'm getting more and more into wearing leggings (the shame, the SHAME!), I'm very much enjoying the proportions of skin-tight "pants"+boots+voluminous top. Yeah-hah! 

And now for a Very Special Message. My husband is a BOSS, people. Yesterday I went on Zappos in order to check on "my" Frye red boots that I want for Christmas. They were sold out in my size. I gasped and went straight to endless.com, where I bought my grey Fryes, above. They still had my size, but one pair left! The Frye site also has the boots (and throughout the holidays has free standard ground shipping! So, um, go get on that!), but I started freaking out. So I asked my husband what to do with big eyes (and maybe some fluttering lashes). That wonderful Greek, my friends, offered to order the boots IMMEDIATELY so that I'd be sure to have them for Christmas. So we went back to endless [I preferred them to the Frye site because their return shipping is also free, JUST IN CASE] and ordered my Christmas gift. And, um...

They. Are. Amazing. [MOTHERF*CKER, OW! I burned my thumb on the oven rack when removing a cookie sheet. I'm such a klutz - I've been baking successfully for over twenty years and never hurt myself. OW. Sorry. Back to boots.] AMAZING, people. I tried them on to make sure they're the right size and I almost fell to the floor weeping with joy. They're COMFY, people! Like a tall, sexy, red cloud! I cannot wait to wear them. But it'll have to wait till Christmas, because I put 'em back in their box and hid them in the second bedroom closet so that I won't touch them again for another month. And day. Grrr. 

But my husband is a prince, y'all. He refused to even consider paying for some of them as a gift. He insisted on buying the whole shebang. He's gonna get such a great gift from me that it's not even funny. Any suggestions? Anyway, I just keep on being reminded how lucky I am to have someone who so indulges my debilitating boot habit. 

(And I think he's starting to get the picture. While I was tromping around the house wearing one grey boot and one red, he looked at the new boot and exclaimed, "Wow, those are really an investment!" He's a fashionista!)

Striped cardigan: Banana Republic, remixed
Striped tunic: American Apparel, remixed
Black leggings: HUE, by way of Lord and Taylors, remixed
Grey boots: Frye, by way of endless.com, remixed

Monday, November 22, 2010

How I wore it: reunited and it feels so good!

Yay! Today I got to go pick up my beloved grey Frye boots again! It was such a glorious reunion! Actually... it was kind of a crazy day because I had to run lots of errands that I didn't expect, including dealing with my husband's green card status. He has a conditional green card for the moment, but that's supposed to expire in January, so we just sent in all the info to prove that we're still married, living together, and in love. Lots of photocopying yesterday, lemme tell ya. Anyway, since I was gonna do a lot of walking today for my various errands - and the weather was actually kind of pleasant - I decided to wear comfy shoes and go for one of my favorite color combos of all time, red and black:

Although you can't see it so well, I even went as far as to venture out of my house in red lipstick! And I actually really liked it - I think if you just put it on and kind of forget about it instead of freaking out that your LIPS are RED(!) it helps a lot. At least it helped me. It also makes for a dramatic look when welcoming home your most prized boots:

Hee. I'm such a dork.

Anyway, my boots are back and I can't wait to wear them out and about again. Ten days of going without was a little hard to handle. It looks like the cobbler did a great job on them and he also rubberized the heel, so they'll be even more awesome. When I was paying for the work, the woman behind me in line gushed over how beautiful my boots were. I thanked her profusely and explained that they were my faves (um, sorry Athenian ones!). Ah, shoe-repair bonding!

Anyway, the rest of my day was pretty low-key apart from the running back and forth between Davis Square and my home. Because we had a buttload of junk food left over from Saturday's party (from which we still haven't recovered - does growing up mean that you can no longer inhale a bag of chips without awful repercussions?), I can't stop myself from eating chips as a substitute for a meal. I did it yesterday and learned my lesson today. But once the afternoon hunger pangs hit? It was back to the tortilla chips. DAMMIT!

Thank goodness for loose shirts...

Red shirt: From Tony in Old City, Philadelphia, remixed
Black jeans: Bulldog by Urban Outfitters, remixed
Red wedges: CL by Laundry, by way of DSW, remixed

Sunday, November 21, 2010

How I wore it: sexy party!*

*Anyone else a big fan of 'Family Guy'? Do you burst out laughing every time Stewie has a sexy party?

Moving on...

On Thursday night, out of the blue, my husband suggested that we throw an impromptu party this weekend. I immediately had him e-mail his proposed guests and, lo and behold, we had about work associates (students/assistants/colleagues) of my husband come over last night for drinks, snacks, music, and chatting. It was a lot of fun.

Although I usually try to channel "comforting faculty wife/mom" to my husband's students (whom I ADORE), last night I just wanted to try something new, something a little edgier for those who just know me as a faculty wife:

Voilà! Leggings, booties, and a one-shouldered tunic dress (the blue twin of the pink one I've worn in the past). It was fun, although I was very unsure about my outfit. I kept on asking my husband if I was too curvy/"bulgy" to pull it off, but he really enjoyed it. I would've worn different boots, though, looking back at the outfit. As versatile as my dark grey booties are, they do have a pretty hard-core stumpifying effect on my legs (they really create instant cankle!) and I just need to learn to wear them with pants or a very long skirt. Maybe I should've been a little more conservative and covered up (I did wear a long cardigan for most of the evening), but I like experimenting with bolder looks every once in a while, and where "safer" than in my own home?

In the course of wearing my black leggings, I've learned a few life lessons: the longer the tunic/shirt, the happier my thighs and I will be; when in doubt, wear taller boots; maybe even go for wide-shafted boots so that there can be a clear difference between leg and boot definition. Any other life lessons learned the hard-way, legging-wearers out there? Share them!

Blue tunic: American Apparel
Black leggings: HUE, by way of Lord and Taylors, remixed
Grey booties: Aldo, remixed

Friday, November 19, 2010

How I wore it: my name is mud

So I landed another tutoring gig a couple of weeks ago! And the second one started today. It's for two middle-school students in elementary French. Yay! Yup, I now have two lessons per week to prepare and two excuses per to put on clothes and mascara. Victory!

Because the weather got rather cooler today than it had been, I decided to snuggle up to my corduroy leggings, which I've worn before, but not documented. One thing led to another, and I put on a shirt that matched a little too well. The next step was obvious: silly suede boots! Although it's not really the case, I always like to gravitate toward suede boots in cold weather - because suede always seems warm, I subconsciously think that my suede boots are warmer than my leather ones. Could this be true or is it a weird myth I made up?

Can you believe I used to be a full-time middle-school teacher?

Whooooooah! What is going on with those boots?! Let's take a closer look:

Silly, right? I have a sneaking fondness for these boots although I probably wear them the least of any others I own. These boots actually started my passionate boot-collecting habit, believe it or not. In the winter of the 2007-2008 school year, I decided that I wanted some cool flat boots that I could tuck skinny pants (which I still didn't own!) into, so I went shopping in NYC with my mom. Inspired by this blog post, I envisioned something very much like my most recent pair, the Steve Madden Intyce (can you imagine? If I had found them back then, I might have never bought boots again! Quelle horreur!). Anyway, the perfect brown boots were not to be found in Lord and Taylor and I showed my mom those suede fringy things and said, "If it weren't for the stupid fringe, these would be perfect!" [this was before my horror of suede - while I like suede boots for their perceived warmth, I really don't like scanning the sky for rainclouds before putting them on] My mom, the same woman who constantly buys clothes for me at Brooks Brothers and wishes I acted more like a lady, LOVED the boots, especially the "stupid fringe." Nothing doing, I had to try them on. And take them home. That same pair of boots, my friends, led me to buy my first pair of skinny pants. And here we are today, wearing them with corduroy leggings. The circle of life, man. 

Anyways, because it was cold, I had to throw on a sweater over the whole shebang:

That is a lot of muddy brown/grey. Anyway, although I know it's not the most flattering outfit I could've worn, I felt snuggly and cuddly and? Just funky enough to meet two seventh-graders and convince them that I'm gonna be the most awesome French tutor of all time. EVER. 

I think it went well.

Grey cardigan: my husband's, from H&M, remixed
Grey tunic: American Apparel, remixed
"Putty" corduroy leggings: HUE, by way of Lord and Taylors (Boston)
Suede boots: Steve Madden (Tanglee?), by way of Lord and Taylors (New York)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How I wore it: a riot of blah

Greetings! I'm back to my old computer! It got returned to me today, good as new. I can actually play CDs on it and the keyboard is all new and bright and shiny and oooohhhh... Let's hope the reason for which I took it in to be fixed doesn't start up again, but so far so good.

Today (Wednesday) I went to tutor, as my tutee has some conflict with her usual Thursday day/time, so this week and next we're meeting on Wednesdays. As always, it was a good excuse to leave the house.

Would you trust your young kids with this lady? I originally wanted to wear a different pant, a grey pinstripe, but those pants were thrown away in a fit of rage don't fit at the moment, so I went with my khakis. I liked the idea of wearing an office-wear pant so that I would totally have a whole geeky vibe (note the necklace!), but the best-laid plans, my friends...

Not much more to add - I'm just a bundle of neutrals, what with the white, black, and khaki. Because I had envisioned the outfit differently from the beginning, I found myself a little underwhelmed by what I actually wore out. And, of course, I started feeling pouty about how stuff doesn't fit. But, y'know what? Whatevs. My life is good, my computer is working, and I have a cute necklace and hairband. Who could ask for anything more?

No, really. Who could ask for anything more?

White t-shirt; H&M, remixed
Black sweater vest: gift from my mother, from Brooks Brothers, remixed
Khaki pants: Gap, remixed
Black flats: Me Too by way of DSW, remixed

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Let's talk about specs, baby

After yesterday's wonderful walk around Davis Square, I decided that I wanted to go back today and buy myself a little somethin'-somethin' from a cute store in the vicinity. I saw this item yesterday and it immediately drew my attention, because I'm actually not one to  be tempted by novelty jewelry: I like it classical and "real," y'know? But...tiny glasses!

Yup, I bought myself a glasses necklace. When I saw it yesterday at the store, I immediately knew that I'd seen it before, and, indeed, it's for sale at Etsy. I like that Magpie buys things from Etsy for us to see in person before buying - I don't know, it was a thrill to recognize a lot of the pieces for sale at the store. Anyway, I still have no earthly idea what I'll pair this particular necklace with, but I like the bit of fun that it pokes at my geek-chic love.

Speaking of geek chic, I've been thinking a lot about my own glasses. As I've said before, I've worn glasses for quite a while. Since I was six. And for a long time, over ten years, I barely wore glasses and opted for contacts because I didn't like the way glasses looked on me. It took a very special tortoiseshell frame that changed my mind in the spring of 2008, and the Ray Bans I purchased in January only cemented my love for spectacles. And while I still love my square Wayfarers, I've recently caught myself fantasizing about what kind of pair I'll get the next time I need to get new glasses (which might not be for years or years, so, y'know, I'm not being that fickle). I've recently been drawn to the very classic horn-rimmed look: I've seen a few youngsters out and about in my neighborhood wearing them and they look awesome. Here's an example of the kind of thing I'd like:

They're called the Clubmaster! How can I resist that?! (I would also be open to the tortoiseshell frames in the same model)

My only hesitation is that I'm very much drawn to the heavy black frame generally, so it would be a very big change in aesthetic to go for something like this (I mean, I would have to try them on a dozen times, make my optician stroke my ego, and they would have to blow my mind the way no other specs have ever done so before). On the other hand, something I've found with my Wayfarers is that the bottom (i.e., the part of the frame that rests on my cheekbones) is getting rough with too much make-up/washing/rubbing. Even if I don't wear foundation/concealer in that neck of the woods (which I don't tend to), I still powder my face and the combo of powder and sweat/oil and plastic glasses ain't a good one. Wouldn't it be wonderful to not have to deal with that? Anyway, all of this is a moot point, as I don't have an eye exam scheduled till January and the odds of needing new glasses are slim. But my eye guy is a cool dude: maybe he'll let me try some stuff on...

(Oh, and I don't really subscribe to the idea of owning more than one pair of glasses at a time: I need them to go with EVERYTHING)

My preoccupation with all things glasses - including a new necklace - may strike some as precious and hipstery...I know that the kids have taken over cool, old-timey glasses, especially in the shapes that I cherish. But I refuse to apologize for my unashamed and unironic love of all things geek-chic. I've needed corrective lenses since I was six years old. SIX! That's twenty-three years ago! For so many of those years, I was told by society, the media, and Dorothy Parker (never by my parents, though, thank God) that glasses made girls look ugly and unattractive (granted, I also chose some questionable frames in my callow youth). When, in my 20s, I started noticing celebrities and models in very cool, nerdy, Buddy Holly-esque glasses, you can imagine that it made me sit up and take notice. For me, geek chic is the assurance that I can still be beautiful while retaining something that makes me very me. When, last year at work, I found out that I was known to some of the students as "The one with the Ray Bans," I couldn't have been prouder. 

Also? Dorothy Parker was wrong. Ha-HA!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Boots, boots, boots (what else is new?)

Hi, all! Today I want to do something a little different and talk about something I know almost nothing about: men's fashion. My husband has very specific taste and since we come from two quite differing backgrounds, I can't always understand what he's on about ("So what if your shoes haven't been shined lately?!"). But I do appreciate his eye and his aesthetic; also, he always has the most awesome shoes. So today, when he asked if we could go to a certain shoe-centric store in the area to look at cool boots, I jumped at the chance. And whaddaya know?

He bought his first pair of Fryes!

He's sorry he can't model them for y'all: he's busy cooking me dinner.

These Fryes (in black), to  be specific. Aren't they wonderful? I love that they have the rough-and-toughness of men's Frye boots, but a slightly narrowed foot, giving them a great shape. Also love the zipper. 

You have no idea how happy I am for my husband. I couldn't be more excited about his new pair of Fryes than if they were mine. 

Speaking of which (nice segue, eh?), at that store, I was able to try on the Fryes that I covet. The ones I want are red, but the only ones in the store were black, which - weirdly enough - is not a color I love in tall boots. They're pretty plain in person, and not at all scary OVER-THE-KNEE looking, y'know? I was pleased to see that the ankle looked trim and fitted and not, say, like my grey Fryes, which - while I adore them whole-heartedly - are a bulky boot. To my horror, though, my husband did not like them at the store: as you can imagine, I was freaked out, as I'm counting on his help for Christmas to buy these babies. However, I decided to try them on and see if he felt any differently. Although he didn't like the plain black color too much, he did concede that they were quite awesome on the leg and that red would probably be pretty kick-ass. Phew. That's how it works with him most of the time - I have countless stories of outfits/clothes/shoes he loathed before seeing them on. Anyway, I plan to show him a picture of the boots in red and see what he thinks.

Oh, I also wore boots today:

Yup, same boots as yesterday. And I realized something: I wasn't a big fan of the proportions of yesterday's outfit. While I liked all of the elements of the outfit separately, they didn't come together as well as I'd've liked. I think the issue is that my thighs are quite broad (and muscular, I hasten to add). So if we add that element to the fact that my shirt wasn't all that long and that my Madden boots are quite slim, I sort of felt that my outfit was all thigh, y'know? I think a wider boot would've made me feel a little less exposed. Note that in the picture above, I'm wearing the same boots and my winter shorts are quite short, but - since the widest part of my thighs are covered by the even wider shorts - my legs look slimmer and more proportionate. Look, I didn't feel hideous yesterday, but if I were to repeat the look, I'd definitely choose other boots or a longer top. See? Learning! 

Happy Saturday night, y'all!

Black top: H&M, remixed
Shorts: Gap, remixed
Patterned tights: Gap, remixed
Boots: Steve by Steve Madden, remixed

Friday, November 12, 2010

How I wore it: inadvertent vacation

So my new favorite picture-taking place has been invaded, forcing me to take refuge in my living room in front of my bedroom door again. BOOO. You know why?

Cuz we got a piano! It arrived yesterday afternoon and my husband is in love. I might continue to take more pictures perched precariously (I love alliteration) on the piano bench just to remind you all of the day I used to take pictures on my desk in my old apartment. Ahh, good times.

So, today's outfit. I've been wanting to put these boots together with the new black leggings since I bought the new black leggings because a) I love these boots and, because they're tall-ish, I thought they'd look kick-ass with the leggings, and b) I LOVE the combo of black + caramel leather. Done and done. I did like how the boots looked with the leggings, but, since I was wearing a long shirt rather than an actual tunic, I felt a little more...pantsless than I did the last time I wore leggings. That said, though, I was super-comfortable for the whole day and night.

And what a nice day it was, too. Because I have to take a forced, almost guilt-free break from dissertation-writing - what with my computer being in the hospital and all - I took the day with a lot of leisure: I went for a run, yes... but at 11 AM (as opposed to yesterday's 7:30 AM jog). I made some important health-care phone calls I needed to make; I took a nice walk in the neighborhood; I went to one of my new favorite bookstores and bought a novel on sale; I had my best friend from last year's job over with her husband for gluten-free pizza at our place - a lovely day. It was also lovely objectively, with temperatures hovering in the high 50s. Autumn is not really up there on the "seasons I love" list, but today was the perfect fall day: warm sun, blue skies, crunch leaves, and a slight bite to the air. While I constantly bitch and moan about "having" to live in New England, there was really no place else I wanted to be this afternoon while kicking through some leaves and getting to know Somerville. Bliss.

Oh, and I had to send another prized possession to the "hospital" today, too. My beloved grey Frye boots (you know, my favorites?) developed a hole in the sole, on the left one. So I looked up good shoe repairs on the internet and found one on Davis Square that everyone swore by. I took my babies to him today and he promised to have them safe and sound for me in twelve days. It was a wrench to leave them in the store, let me tell you, but I did appreciate that the guy took one look at them and said, "Frye? The BEST!" 

You have no idea, mister. You have no idea. 

Black shirt: From Tony's, a boutique in Old City Philadelphia, remixed
Black leggings: Hue, by way of Lord and Taylor, remixed
Boots: Steve by Steve Madden, remixed

Thursday, November 11, 2010

How I wore it: computer blues, part II

So today I had to leave my home in order to tutor my student and take my computer back to the Apple Store (more on that later). Because I spent all of yesterday in leggings and a Lady Gaga tank, I decided to go fancy-ish. I might've gone overboard: my student's dad asked me if I was going to a formal event. Oh, well.

I heart this long-ass skirt. I bought it about a year ago because I realized that I didn't have any warmish skirts for the New England winter. I would sneak tall black boots underneath it and get around my job's dress code (no boots!) warmly and stylishly. As you can see...

See? Boots and warm tights! Sorry the picture came out so shoddily (well, both pictures for that matter). Dammit, flash!

So I won't have my computer for a week or so, meaning that posting might become sporadic. My husband is being very sweet and letting me use his, but we might not be able to always rely on that. Anyways, I'll do what I can, but I thought I'd give you "all" a heads-up.

Happy Thursday night!

Black top: H&M
White t-shirt (underneath): H&M, remixed
Black and blue skirt: Gap
Blue tights: Gap, remixed
Boots: gift from my husband from a shoe store on Ermou Street in Athens, remixed

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How I wore it: computer blues

Today I found myself, alas, leaving the house unexpectedly again. My computer started displaying some of the alarming things it started doing over the summer, so I took it to get it looked at. Nothing seems to be wrong with it as of yet, but I might get it shipped off to have a deep-cleanse rehauling. Anyway, I must be some sort of masochist, because I decided that rainy, gross weather merited a skirt:

Oh, and lots of blue! I knew I was gonna have to wear my blue boots, and I decided to pair them with my blue tights. I originally had planned to wear a dark brown turtleneck with this outfit, but it was too short (remember: this skirt is very loose and I like being able to yank down a shirt's hem while wearing it), so I decided to just give it all up and wear the exact same shirt I wore less than a week ago. I, um, wasn't planning on remixing so quickly, but it just happened. I have to admit, I kind of enjoyed this whimsical little look. Blue is by no means a favorite color of mine, but I thought it was fun to have an all-blue palette with just the neutral beige of the skirt to give the eye a rest.

Well, let's hope that tomorrow I can get back to "normal" productivity and can spend the day not getting rained on!

Navy shirt: was father's from the 70s, remixed
Beige skirt, Gap outlet, remixed
Blue tights: Gap, remixed
Blue boots: Frye Veronica slouches, via Zappos, remixed

Monday, November 8, 2010

Boots fantasy wishlist

So in honor of today's weather, which was rainy and cool in the Boston area, and of my kind of crappy and unproductive day (I ended up going unexpectedly to the doctor's to see why my skin is all of a sudden FREAKING OUT), I thought I'd share with you the things - specifically boots - I would buy if I had unlimited funds. In order from least favorite ("I'd like these as a gift!") to favorite (*SNORT*droooooool), here goes.

First off, we have these, from Fluevog:

These are the Radio RTP in purple. I first noticed them when I went fantasy Fluevog-shopping back in August, but after falling in love with my eventually-purchased yellow babies, I discarded these gorgeous violet guys. I also figured that, hey, I already have blue motorcycle-esque boots, so purple would just be overkill, yet...everytime I go on the site, my eye always falls on these. They're super cool, no? When I was dithering over the yellows and had to go back to the store to see if the bigger size fit me, I thought about trying these on, but I didn't and now I kind of regret that. I think these would probably be more comfortable for me (and cheaper, at $285!). Anyways, while I really like these boots, there are still more. STILL MORE!

Oh, hello:

These are also Fluevogs, the Earl of Warwicks Lancaster in petrol blue. I honestly don't know why I'm so attracted to these booties, but I can't stop checking them out. And at $249, they're dangerously in the "Well, I can technically afford these, even though I know I shouldn't" category. In theory I'm not a big fan of ankle boots, but I've noticed that I really wear my grey booties a lot, so I know how versatile ankle boots can really be with pants or skirts, and I like that these unisex booties are a little rough and tumble. Me-ow. 

And then we have the boots that I check up on periodically, just to see how they're doing:

Oh my God, Frye, marry me now. These are Frye boots, the Shirley over the knee riding boot in burnt red leather. People, I think I would do vile, unspeakable things for a chance at owning these boots. Because at $448, I'm not exactly racing to slap down my credit card for them, y'know? But at the same time, LOOK AT THEM! That color! That shape! That height! Other advantage? I already own two pairs of Fryes and I heart them wholeheartedly, as opposed to my ambivalent feelings toward my Fluevogs. I have daydreams over what I would wear with these boots (think of it: a long black shirt, black leggings, and over-the-knee red boots! Did you just drool a little? I know I did.)...it's sort of getting to the dangerous "I WANT THESE!" level. The kicker of it all? A certain tall, bearded, Greek bird told me that he would consider helping me pay for these as a Christmas present. So tune in on December 26th, people, because I might be wearing these (AND NEVER TAKING THEM OFF). 

Plus, isn't 10 a nice, round number for number of boots? 

Look, a debilitating drug habit would be way worse than a debilitating expensive boot habit, so stop judging me. 


Anyway, what I noticed in looking at these different pairs of boots is how different the aesthetics all are here. And sometimes I wonder what exactly catches our eye when we're (fantasy) shopping: is it the image of us as we are or the image of us as we want to be perceived by others? I mean, all of these boots are different heights and different colors and different styles, so I wonder if they're all facets of my personality or if any of them are the "real" me and the others the me I want to be. I can't tell you the answer to this question, since I don't really know. I mean, I know that I've taken more risks in my own clothing choices in the past few years and that having fun shoes/boots really helps with that, but I don't even know if any of these screams me or if none of them do. Hmmm... 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

How I wore it: Sunday socializing

So after a very fun Saturday of seeing movies and friends, my husband and I had someone over for dinner tonight. The guest was a dear friend of mine from college/grad. school (he did the same thing that I did and continued at the same place for graduate school after college) who is now in the Boston area also. I haven't seen him in a good five years, I don't think. Anyway, as he knew me in my younger and slightly wilder days, I didn't want to get all poshed up in a dress, but I dearly wanted to wear my Fluevog boots, as I'd been maligning them recently. I was unsure as to how to make this combination work, though, but after just a few minutes of thinking, I remembered that I had a great model for combining unusually colorful boots with pants: I think that La Historiadora de Moda rocks her (ah-mazing) Fluevogs with cuffed jeans (and the second picture from that entry is one of my favorites of her of all time). So I worked with that...

Although my jeans aren't as cuffed, I like that the shoes are still the focal point of the outfit. I mean, look! Yellow shoes! They're right there! I definitely don't think I would've even thought to put together these elements into an outfit, say, a couple of years ago, but thanks to the blogging community, I have a lot more confidence in pairing things that please my eye, but that may not seem to go together at first thought.

As mentioned, though, I really liked that I was dressed so basically, but with an unexpected pop of color that kind of upped the fanciness without me looking as if I tried too hard for what was just a nice evening at home with home-cooked pastitsio, lots of red wine, and gluten-free chocolate-chip cookies. Mmmm... Having heels (which is rare for me) also made me feel more confident, shapely, and warrior-like, giving a big boost to my self-image, which had suffered a little from over-indulging this past weekend.

Side note: I've owned those cuffed jeans since 2003, my senior year of college. I lost some weight and a dress size between my junior and senior years of college and because of that, my older clothes were quite a bit big on me (I also tended to prefer a looser silhouette). My boyfriend at the time really wanted me to buy pants that were more flattering, not flared, and of a lower rise, which was all the rage at that time, so I ended up going shopping with a good friend at Express. I fell in love with these jeans and, to my eternal amusement, saw that they were rung up as "novelty denim" at the register. What's so novel about striped jeans with little flowers at the hem?! [Sorry for not having a detail shot: next time!] Heeeeeee... novelty denim...

Anyway, it was a nice end to a nice weekend, although...and I'm gonna be honest - it was a relief to unzip those boots and take 'em off my legs. Sorry John...I think my heart still belongs to Frye!

Your boots are still damn cute, though.

Black top: Tony's, a boutique in Old City Philly, remixed
"Novelty denim:" Express
Yellow boots: John Fluevog, Operetta Mirellas

Friday, November 5, 2010

Kaun banega crorepati?*

* That is the Hindi title for "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" The title literally translates to: "who will become a crore [10 million rupees] master [or just "who will be a really, really rich guy?]?"

Aaaaaaaaanyway, today has been kind of an odd day. I've been feeling a little under the weather lately, but I forced myself to get up and go to the gym because I skipped yesterday and I didn't want to start any more bad habits. However, I'm distracted and sulky and my work has been kind of suffering. Because I wanted to be comfortable, I decided to pull on another salwar-kameez. This is how I've looked all day:

This outfit has been perfect for lying around, feeling sorry for myself, inhaling gluten-free pretzels, taking a nap, working on my dissertation, and lounging on the couch to watch today's installment of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?". Why did I watch this, you may ask? Well, one of my college friends (acquaintance? I dunno. Friends during undergrad, but we haven't talked since then but we're Facebook friends. Get it?) was on it today! And he did really well! He won $28,600 and will be back to play again, presumably on Monday. Woooooo!

Oh, so back to my outfit. This is another Fab India purchase from Pune, bought on my second (of three) excursions to the store. When I first went shopping there, I bought the salwar-kameez you saw last week along with another, fancier, kurta for special occasions. Because I was in India during monsoon season, I wanted to buy a more utilitarian salwar-kameez that would hide the wet mud stains I got every day on my rickshaw ride to school and back, but I didn't want to sacrifice quality, so I chose Fab India again and purchased this bad boy. I love the earth tones of this palette: the olive green salwar with the russet kurta. However, being broader of shoulders, fuller of bust, and brawnier of arms than I was when I was twenty-two going on twenty-three (and sick as a dog, since I had the traditional Delhi belly as well as undiagnosed Celiac Disease), the sleeves and chest of the kurta are a little tight on me, though nothing a good dupatta can't fix!

I didn't choose this dupatta. I make no pretense of having a sketchy idea, at best, at how colors and patterns go together, so whenever I chose a kurta in Fab India, I had a sales associate advise me on which salwar and which dupatta went the best. This time, with a rather drab, earthy color palette, my saleslady offered this choice:

Isn't that pretty? It's so subtle, because the colors are so light, but it's really a gorgeous (maybe even my favorite) dupatta and I love how it goes with the salwar-kameez. It's so unexpected, too, its vibrant pattern only visible from up close. And I especially relish how the only real color and pop of my outfit is the dupatta, which would be relegated to the place of an accessory in a Western outfit. The pattern detail you have up there is of the border and the main scarf. Here's how the dupatta looks when draped and natural:

Notice how it doesn't look that graceful on me. Oh, well - as I've said in the past, my draping skills do need work. Alas.

So that's my super-exciting Friday, folks. Just some more Indian clothes, dissertation-writing, and hanging out with the cat! I love Fridays...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

How I wore it: rhapsody in the raaaaaaaaaainnnn!

... So, anyone else out there a big Lou Christie fan? No? All right, then, let's move it right along.

You get a twofer today, people. Last night I was too tired from my raucous social life (hahahahaha!) to post my outfit and so it's gonna be a long post. Buckle up!

Yesterday I went into the city to return a library book, pick up some treats for the cat, and swing by my husband's office to accompany him back home. However, fate had other plans in store for us and we ended up seeing a Ligeti concert at BU.

Serious face! Anyways, I wanted to be both bundled up and very colorful, so I matched my red skirt with a navy wool top. That top, my friends, was my father's. From the 70s. He never wore it because he thought it was too tight and unmanly (I think my mom might've bought it for him) and I inherited it in the 90s. It's lived in New York for some years now, but it made the trip back with me last week. It's super-warm and very fitted, but since it's technically not my size, I don't feel self-conscious in it because it's not tight, just fitted. Love. With this outfit, I would've loved to have gone all color-blocked and worn my yellow Fluevogs, but I knew I'd be doing a fair amount of walking [and quite frankly? I haven't yet found my 'Vogs to be like walking on a cloud, the way everyone says they are, so that's why you haven't seen them on more often. I don't know if it's a question of breaking them in or just manning up...], so I went with the potentially-stumping grey booties (*ugh*) that matched my stockings.

I, um, also went shopping yesterday. Yes, I know that I pinky-swore that I wouldn't shop for unnecessary things and so far I've done quite well. My last credit card statement was laughably small. But...I broke the rules yesterday. I'd been reading good things about Hue's corduroy leggings, so I decided to check them out at Lord and Taylor's. I generally like Hue's opaque tights, so I decided to buy two pairs of leggings - one corduroy and one classic black cotton - and screw the shopping ban:

The color of the corduroy ones was called "putty" at the store. I liked that neutral shade that could go with almost anything: I once had a pair of corduroy pants that was a very similar shade, so...old habits die hard. I'm looking forward to wearing them out. So, yeah, I did break my shopping ban? But I'm not gonna beat myself up about it; I mean, I went into the store looking for those leggings and I left with them and, you know, yeah. I broke a pinky-swear, but I did it with feeling and conviction.

Also, I débuted the black leggings today and people? I'm a convert. As much as I love my Gap ones, I don't wear them out of the house that often because I bought them too big and they bag and wrinkle unflatteringly. Also, although they're usually covered by boots, the legs end at my lower calf, making me rather muscular calves look huge. These leggings go all the way down to the ankle, and, being black, there's a total slimming effect that I love. However, you can't see that cuz I wore boots cuz the weather was AWFUL today:

Not bad, right? I felt totally cool and with it on my tutoring trip today. despite the weather. I mean, I'll definitely always cover my butt (and probably wear boots) while wearing leggings out, but I just loved how comfortable I was. I think the blue Fryes also gave a nice bad-ass look to the whole thing. Anyway, I firmly believe that you can combine all shades of one color, so I had no problem mixing my sapphire boots with a turquoise tunic/jewelry. It's all in the blue range, right?

So the weather got cold and rainy and I really don't enjoy the rain. But with my trusty blue boots and oversized cardigan (not to mention a wool coat and a chunky, hand-knit cowl), I was nice and comfy. I also really really liked the proportions on this outfit:

Who knows? I may never go back to wearing pants again! Leggings for everyone!

What do you guys think? Are leggings appropriate bottom-wear? Are there stipulations (mine for example: cover the bum and maybe look into boots)? I'd love to hear!

Wednesday outfit:
Blue top: Vintage; was my dad's, from Sak's Fifth Avenue
Red skirt: Dickie's brand, from a store called Guacamole on South Street in Philly, remixed
Grey tights: Gap, remixed
Grey booties: Aldo, remixed

Thursday outfit:
Striped cardigan: Banana Republic, remixed
Turquoise tunic: American Apparel
Black leggings: Hue, by way of Lord and Taylor's
Blue boots: Frye Veronica Slouches, by way of zappos.com

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

How I wore it: rock the vote

Hey all!

So this morning I woke up and it was cold. Very, very cold. Since I had gone out for a morning run in a hardcore Runner Outfit, I thought I still had to bundle up for my afternoon errand-running with my husband. Which included voting!

As it turned out, I was overdressed and overwarm for the feeble autumn sun that did end up shining. And it's no surprise: that sunset-colored sweater is one of the warmest I own. I'm glad I got to pull out the big guns, though. I really love that sweater because it reminds me of a good college friend of mine, with whom I lived my senior year of undergrad. We also lived down the hall from each other in our respective first apartments out of college when I was starting my Ph.D. program and she finishing her MA. Anyway, near the end of the academic year that we lived together, I noticed a sleeve of this same sweater draped on her floor. Thinking it was some sort of awesome scarf, I exclaimed over the color and asked her to show me the whole "scarf." She immediately pulled out the sweater and foisted it on me. Turns out it had been a gift from a family member of a friend who had bought it for herself but didn't like the fit. She gave it to my roommate who didn't really like it either, and that's how I ended up getting it, despite it being too big on me, too. I wore it a fair amount when I first got it, although it was spring in Philadelphia [perfect for chilly nights, even in the spring!] and it's become a constant winter staple for me, despite the fact that I look at these pictures and realize...it's maybe not that flattering:

I think it's that rise right in the middle of the hem. No matter. I'm still faithful to it, droopy, overlong sleeves and all! I know Halloween was already two days ago, but sometimes it's fun to continue dressing in orange and black, no?

I hope all my American buddies voted today! I seriously believe that every Election Day is an important one, even if it's not the big presidential election. It took me a few years to figure that out (I didn't register till I was, oh, 23), but now I'm pretty firm about rocking the vote. Happy Election Day!

Orange sweater: Gift from a friend, Bulldog by Urban Outfitters
Jeans: Bulldog by Urban Outfitters, remixed
Boots: Gift from my husband, from a shoe store on Ermou Street, Athens