Monday, February 28, 2011

How I wore it: the doldrums

I am happy to announce that I'm feeling much better. My cold last week wasn't THAT bad, but as I get sick so rarely (seriously: I got colds all the time as a kid, but once I started working out a lot in college, I just...stopped), when I do - even with something relatively mild - it just knocks me flat. I would've loved to have gone to the gym today, but my cold is migrating into a hollow cough, especially when I do anything more strenuous than sit down, so... maybe tomorrow?

I did, however, reward myself with a nice walk in order to run some errands. The weather was crap again today, but I fortunately was outside while there was NO RAIN (dum duh duh DUM..."All I can say is that..." Okay, never mind). It's funny, StyleNation, but I feel myself in the biggest style rut right now: I hate my hair, my clothes, my face, my make-up - everything. I think because I'm so close to getting a haircut (Wednesday!) that I'm getting just impatient with my normal fare. So with that impatience in mind, this is how I dressed myself today: as basically as possible:

Oh. Huh. I kinda liked this. I think I'm reluctant to showcase all-black outfits because they're not that "creative" and sort of a fallback, especially, I feel, on the online community, but - as I always realize - I love how I look in black. And I actually felt pretty during my walk while I rocked out to Duran Duran on my iPod. Because my camera apparently hates blue boots, you can't see that my boots are actually not the same color as the rest of my outfit. Despite my obsession with black, I don't own any appropriate black boots, so I necessarily contrast my all-black outfits with my shoes in the winter. And it was nice to wear blue boots, too. Always an unexpected touch for people. 

So, friends, what do you advise? How do I get out of my rut? New outfit combinations? New make-up regimen? New hairstyle? Well, the last one is actually going to happen, but a lot of what I'm hoping for depends on what my stylist says - I may just end up getting a trim. If so...what then? Any suggestions most appreciated.

Black sweater: Saks Fifth Avenue, remixed
Black jeans: Bulldog by Urban Outfitters, remixed
Blue boots: Frye Veronica Slouches, by way of, remixed

Saturday, February 26, 2011

How I wore it: my brain hurt like a warehouse

So, today. Not only is it the day after George Harrison's birthday and the birthday of one of my good friends, today specifically is the five-year anniversary of the day my husband and I met in person after e-mailing for some weeks (remember, we met on the internet). So I've officially known my husband for five whole years. Crazy.

Anyway, not only were we reminiscing mushily about our past, but we also hosted some family members for dinner: my big brother, my pregnant sister-in-law (I'm gonna have a nephew in July!), and my five-year-old niece. We totally ordered pizza and ate blondies for dessert. It was marvelous. I wanted to look polished, but comfortable for home. And, though I don't tend to like grey-on-grey in photos as much as I do in person...

And you see my vacuum cleaner in the foreground: glamorous!

... I couldn't resist! I thought the black cardigan (and earrings!) would help break it all up, but I gotta say: photographs don't always agree with your mental imaging. I'm looking down at the hemline of my tunic and the legs and feet below all "Yeeeeah, contrasting greys! I rock!" And then this photo just gives me "...meh." That being said, this photo is way more flattering than its thumbnail-sized counterpart.

(Hee - and I just noticed that my sweater's batwing-sleeve effect makes me look like I have T-Rex arms! Heehee!) 

Oh, well. I was comfortable and since I'm still hacking and sneezing, that's the most I could ask for.

In other news, I picked up my Ray-Bans this morning with their new lenses. Since I had forty-five minutes to make it from North Cambridge to the North End (I was called at 1:15 and told that my glasses were ready: the eye place closes at 2 on Saturdays and doesn't open again till Tuesday), I dashed out of my house without make-up and in my new blue glasses. I still love them, but ... I gotta admit: I was very self-conscious about wearing them out. I think if I were with someone (a friend, my husband), I'd be totally blasé about it, but since I was alone (AND WITHOUT EYELINER), I was very timid. I gotta get over that, especially before I wear those suckers in Athens, where female judgment can be deadly. That being said, the receptionist and helper at the counter LOVED them and told me that they looked to be of awesome quality! So I felt a lot cooler. I still wore my black ones home and throughout the rest of the day, because I might have no problem wearing blue glasses in the streets of Europe, but in front of my big brother? HELL, no.

Charcoal cardigan: Gap, remixed
Grey tunic: American Apparel, remixed
Grey jeggings: HUE, by way of Lord and Taylor, remixed
Grey boots: Paige Huaraches, by way of, remixed

Friday, February 25, 2011

I'm a Pisces fish and the river runs through my soul

Happy February 25th, everyone! I've been celebrating this day of the year for many years. No, it's not my birthday. Or my husband's birthday. Or the birthday of anyone in my family. Or any of my friends.


Today is George Harrison's birthday. He would've turned 68 today if he hadn't died almost ten years ago.

I'm a Beatles fanatic. It's kind of sick, people. I have only met one other person who knows as much about the Beatles (who wasn't directly involved with them) as I do. We tell Anthology jokes. It's ridiculous. Anyway, George has been my favorite for about 20 years and I blame his memory for my being a Sanskritist today.


(Just kidding, George. I love you. CALL ME! Only don't. Because I'd be freaked out.)

ANYWAY, the way I celebrate Beatles birthdays, particularly George's (am I sounding like a weirdo yet? I'd hate to disappoint.), is to just dress up a little nicer in memory. I've slacked off in the last few years, but I decided to step it up today for the couple of hours that I ventured out of my house. Contacts and mascara were involved. I know, right?

Fate didn't want me to leave the house today. I was feeling a fair amount better and decided to schlep across town in order to leave my Ray-Bans to get their new lenses, but the mere effort of taking a shower and drying my hair exhausted me. When I put in my right contact lens, it shattered in my eye as soon as it got in there. Fortunately, I got all the pieces out and moved on (and I wear disposables). The weather was awful today - pouring and disgusting. The gross. It was tough going, I got goin':

Due to weather, I couldn't wear whatever I wanted, but I thought I'd work with my blue Frye boots; you can't see from the dark photo, but I wore my warm blue footless tights and my comfy black jersey dress. A neutral modesty top and my dark purple cardigan completed the simple outfit. Do you see that forced smirk up there? This shows more of what I felt:


It's the sarcastic thumbs-up! Is it weird that I like this photo better? I think it shows more of my natural sunny personality. 

So there ya go, people. Now you have a clearer look into the deranged corners of my mind. Lucky you! Happy Friday!

Purple cardigan: gift from my mom, via Lord and Taylor, remixed
Olive modesty top: Express, remixed
Black dress: Gap, remixed
Blue patterned tights: Gap, remixed
Blue boots: Frye Veronica Slouches, by way of remixed

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I put on make-up for you...

So today was another day of lying on my couch, downing Ginger Ale like it's my job, and watching "Toddlers and Tiaras" in fascinated horror. Proud of me? I also canceled my tutoring session for today, meaning that I don't have to see another student till next Thursday, for which I'm super grateful.

In other news, my Warby Parker glasses arrived today! As I told you the other day, I ordered two pairs. However, changes have already been made, mentally.

So...while people were pretty split on these, I knew I wanted this pair. And I still love them:

Yes, I now own light blue glasses (celeste is the name of the color in Spanish - is there a nice English equivalent?). I heart these so much, people. I dream of wearing them on the Greek islands. Also, importantly, my husband loves them. FUN! Now I need to figure out when to wear them when not in the summer mode!

The other pair I ordered were...*dum dum dum* NOT the Zaggs. Sorry, people. I know a lot of you liked them and you made me think long and hard, but at the end of the day...I didn't love them. So I ordered another pair of Roosevelts, but in a dark tortoiseshell. I was really excited to receive them and was already dreaming of these being my main glasses, and wearing them the entire week in Spain and yadda yadda yadda...

... but you know what? I don't like them as much as my current Ray Bans. When I first put them on, I was underwhelmed. But I still loved the blue ones. So after putting them on over and over again, putting on eyeliner to make sure, taking pictures, and showing my husband ... I've decided to return this pair. I just like my current specs way more, in shape and in frame size. So the others gotta go. It's not about the money - it's just...I'm a little OCD about this kind of thing, and if I won't wear them (which I won't), I just don't want them in the house. You know what I mean?

So sorry for teasing y'all, folks. It looks like the only pair I got were my fun pair. You'll have to continue seeing me in the black frames for a long time yet.

In other news, I have a haircut scheduled for Wednesday - still don't know what's gonna come of it, but I know what I want. We'll see if I can get it done!

In other other news, I still haven't heard from my awesome school, but ANOTHER awesome school in the area has posted a vacancy for an upper school Spanish teacher (and it's a school I've been faintly obsessed with for about three years), so I'm trying out for them too. Eeeee! 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011



Hi, all.

*Hack, sneeze*

So... I had a nice weekend in New York. And I'm sick.

I rarely get sick.


So I'm really milking this for all it's worth. Unfortunately, my husband, too, is sick, so... the good news is, though, that since I rarely get sick, I'm really freaking my husband out. He's done all the dishes since last night. Yee-ha! Yay for being sick!

*Sneeze, shiver shiver shiver, SWEAT*

Oh. Yeah.

I missed you guys a lot. Did y'all miss me?

I promise I'll have real content when I either leave the house or something amazing happens. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

How I wore it: trumped up spring

Folks, the weather here has been glorious the past two days. Granted, it's supposed to be cold again tomorrow, but for now I'm going to seize the (warm) day and enjoy the higher temps. I mean, it's almost midnight and it's still in the 50s! Life is good.

Anyway, today I had to leave the house in order to tutor my French students. I'd been dreaming of an all-blue outfit (funny - I often turn to monochromatic blue, don't I?) for some time and I went for it:

Of course, I also put on a cardigan because I don't believe it when I'm told that it's in the mid-50s in February. Do other people agree that green and blue is a totally awesome combination? I've always liked mixing those colors. we notice anything about those pants? Yeah, what about those hems puddling around my ankles? These pants have always been long on me, and now that they're quite loose on me, they drag even more. They were not the right choice for splashing through melting-snowbank-puddles. Gross. I tried to take another picture with better light and after hiking up my pants:

Slight improvement. Anyway, because my pants kept threatening to fall down (and I don't own functional belts), I was pretty ill-at-ease most of the day, but super comfortable. That being said, the hems of these pants are very ragged from years of being stepped on - is it time to toss them?

In other news, I'm going to announce a very slight Chalkdust and Boots hiatus. I'm going to NYC tomorrow to spend the long weekend with my family and I'm not planning on packing my computer or camera with me. I know, crazy. The earliest I'll be able to post is Tuesday, so stay tuned for my return then.

Bye, all!

Green cardigan: gift from mother, by way of Lord and Taylor, remixed
Blue tunic: American Apparel
Navy pants: Gap, remixed
Grey booties: Aldo, remixed

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How I wore it: interview (#1?)!

Hi, all! Today I spent a little over seven exhausting hours interviewing at Awesome School (Dream Job? Not sure. Most likely.); it was a whole lot of fun and a whole lot of talking about myself and a whole lot of tiring. Because my last job drilled the concept of old-fashioned professional dressing into my brain, I wore something very, very safe:

How I felt at the end of the day. Don't worry, my hair was neater at the school. Thankfully.

It's the return of the button-down! What Chalkdust always wears when dressing to impress potentially stuffy potential employers! I don't think I've ever featured this skirt on the blog before, but I've owned it since the fall of 2005. I bought it with another skirt in order to appear more professional for my undergraduate Hindi students. It's one of my faves. It has a nice swing and movement to it and never fails to lift my spirits when I wear it. 

(I also wore a cardigan over this outfit because I was cold, but it was so depressingly "harried, flustered Spanish teacher at a New England private school" that I couldn't feature it. God. No.)

You guys wanna hear the kicker? When my husband and I came home tonight, I got a call from ANOTHER school's Spanish teacher to test my skillz - and there's a chance I might interview elsewhere, too! Yay!  

Pink button-down: gift from mom via Brooks Brothers, remixed
Grey tweedy skirt: H&M
Grey stockings: Gap, remixed
Black flats: Me Too, by way of DSW, remixed

PS - I haven't really visited or commented on blogs today because of the busyness, so forgive me! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chalkdust and Boots' first interview!

Greetings, all! Welcome to my 200th post since starting this here little space on the web. Way back in October, I had the brilliant idea to get in touch with a good friend of mine from college who has a very interesting job. Naturally, because I had this idea in October, we finally got it all together in early February. And I'm FINALLY putting this together on the blog in mid-February. Because I'm awesome. So without further ado, meet Kate:

Kate and I celebrating her (24th?) birthday in Philadelphia in 2005

Kate and I met on our first day of college in September of 1999 - we lived down the hall from each other and instantly connected. We lived in the same apartment our sophomore year and hung out constantly for years after. 

Kate and I on a Princeton (not where we went to college, so there, stalkers!) tiger in summer of 2000

After graduation, she and her wonderful boyfriend (soon to become fiancé and now husband) stayed in Philly, where they were my touchstone with reality while I started grad school. Unfortunately, they eventually moved to Pittsburgh and have recently relocated to San Francisco (le sigh), where Kate does something pretty damn interesting: she works for ModCloth! Rad, huh? 

Kate in the Salty and Pepper dress, If It Ain't Got That Bling Heel, and True Love watch; photo courtesy of ModCloth, by Creative Photographer Kristin Cofer

So as you can probably tell, the text in purple is my questions and the answers are, um, Kate's. Yay for logic!

For those who don't know, can you tell us what ModCloth is? 
ModCloth is an online fashion retailer. We specialize in vintage-style clothing and pieces from independent designers. We've also got a lot of cool decor items. But what really makes ModCloth special is the emphasis we place on the user experience, our customers, and community. Shopping on ModCloth is fun - there are vignettes for each product (written by our fabulous writers - some of whom were fashion bloggers before they started at ModCloth), great photography, and new products launched every day. We've got ModStylists who answer clothing- and outfit-specific questions, and our customer service people are super nice & helpful. We also pay a lot of attention to feedback we get from customers.

Can you explain what your job is at ModCloth?
I'm a business data analyst. Basically, I conduct tests & interpret data to help teams at ModCloth (Marketing, Merchandising, Sourcing, Creative, etc.) make better decisions. For example, we've got a program called Be the Buyer, where we show samples of possible products and our customers vote on the ones they'd like to be sold on our site. I've been helping to figure out how to interpret votes and comments so that we choose the samples our customers really want to buy. It seems simple on the face of it - just pick the items with the highest percentage of pick it votes. But when you dig down, you find that people sometimes vote yes because they don't particularly care either way - so you need to figure out how to identify the pieces that people really care about.

Were you familiar with them before you started working for them? 
Yes! I was a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon (CMU), and I first heard about ModCloth because the founders, Eric and Susan, were featured on the CMU website. They're a husband and wife team who were high school sweethearts and attended CMU together as undergrads. Susan started out selling vintage dresses online - from her dorm room - and Eric and Susan worked together to build ModCloth to what it is today. When I first visited the site, I loved the vintage/indie vibe - I'm a huge fan of 50s style dresses, and there's often a great selection of those at ModCloth!

Kate with Marcos (a software engineer and analyst) and Gabby (the cousin of the ModCloth mascot Winston), wearing the Frankly I Don't Give a Dress, Cheery Cherry heels, and Magicicada earrings; photo courtesy of ModCloth, by Merchandise Photography Manager Danielle Bouchette

I remember you as always being my shopping buddy when we both lived in the same city. And later, around the end of those years, I remember that you started doing a fair amount of online shopping for vintage dresses and other clothes. Would you say you were always attracted to a life/career in the fashion world or is it something that grew over time?
I definitely didn't think I'd have a career in the fashion world... somehow is just happened! But there was a time when I was thinking I'd start selling some vintage dresses - mainly because I liked buying them so much. :) What really drew me to ModCloth was the opportunity to work with fashion (my hobby) and analyze online interactions (my passion).

Could you share a little bit of your educational background (major, graduate studies, etc.)? Did you ever think, while you were in college / grad school, that you'd end up with this career? Did your studies train you for this? In other words, what did YOU think you were going to be "when you grew up"?
In college, I majored in Philosophy & Psychology, and minored in Fine Arts and French. I spent a semester in Paris and loved the fashion scene there. :) In grad school, I studied Psychology & Behavioral Decision Research... definitely no fashion scene to speak of! Professionally, my interests steer toward analysis of social behavior & decision-making - which is why my job is such a good fit! But I kind of felt my way along to a career - figuring out what interested me, rather than having a set goal in mind early on. And I'm still growing up! [editor's note: hear, hear!]

Wearing the Garden Club dress, Belt It Out in white, and Postulate Pump; photo courtesy of ModCloth, by Danielle Bouchette

Now the only clothes shopping online I've done is for shoes (with companies with whose measurements I'm familiar). What are your favorite ModCloth pieces (any that you own?)? Which pieces would you recommend a novice like me to investigate? 
My personal faves are 50s-style dresses. Hips are my problem area, so the a-line & full skirts are so easy... and if the waist is a tad big it's not a problem because I often like to pair dresses with belts. A couple of my favorites on the site right now are 'Frankly, I Don't Give a Dress' [editor's note: the awesome red dress she's wearing in the photo above with the cutie-pie pug. And engineer] and the 'Guest of Honor Dress' [editor's note: pretty!] - which is actually a printed jersey knit & super comfy! I also adore the 'Still Life Photographer Dress' - but I *just* ordered it, so I can't pass on a review yet. [editor's note: Kate's review is on the dress' page itself now!] Lots of people love our 'Tour' dresses (for example, the 'Cable Car Tour Dress' and the 'Coat Tour Dress') - but they're really short, so they should be worn with leggings if you're taller than 5'3".

ModCloth has free domestic returns, so it's easy to order a couple of styles or sizes and just keep the ones that fit well. You can also get in touch with our ModStylists if you have questions about fit (there's a "Chat with a ModStylist" link on every page).

We've got a bunch of awesome decor items & accessories, and you don't really have to worry about size for those. I bought the Positively Phototropic Lamp in Magnolia [editor's note: boo! I can't find it!] and I absolutely love how cheery it makes my work area!

Even though I haven't done much clothes shopping online, I've been aware of ModCloth for, oh, a few years now: I feel that they have a huge online presence. What do they actively do to be so well-connected with the online fashion/style community? 
Staying connected with the online style community - and just online communities in general - is a big priority for ModCloth. We've got a couple social media gals who focus on things like Facebook and Twitter and seek out for other ways to interact with our customers - and encourage them to interact with each other. They also look out for feedback on other sites & pass that on so we can figure out what we're doing right and what we need to work on. Our writers keep an eye out for fun fashion blogs and other creatively-oriented blogs and sites that our customers might be interested in.

A lot of us were engaged in online communities before joining ModCloth, and we're passionate about connecting with people online. We also love to engage our customers in fun activities... whether it's a contest to style outfits on sites like Polyvore or a scavenger hunt on our own website.

What might be my absolute picture of Kate, with handsome Rocky, wearing the Absinthe dress and holding the Rocky mug (wait, Kate - your DOG has its own MUG?!); photo courtesy of ModCloth, by Photo Project Coordinator Dee Larsen

Wow, that was pretty awesome, huh? [Oh, it's C&B again] Kate has an awesome job and she's an awesome friend for agreeing to do this for me. Folks, I hope you enjoyed this super-special 200th post and reading about my buddy. 

Let's all say it together: THANKS, KATE! 

Monday, February 14, 2011

How I'm wearing it: Night and Day ( are the one!)

Hi, folks! As I'm typing this, I'm waiting for my husband to come home from work so that we can enjoy our super-special Valentine's Day dinner. He works late on Mondays, so instead of doing anything like going out (although two friends of ours were performing at a jazz club in the South End), we thought we'd prepare a special dinner at home instead. I'm still dressed up, though. Please.

(Oh, on the menu? Gluten-free pasta with lobster! And CHOCOLATE FONDUE! Yes, PLEASE!)

Today dawned sunny and balmy (for our standards). I went out for a disastrous run and the weather was lovely. [But on that note, runners? LHdM? Allison? Anyone? Why can't I run anymore? After a month and a half of travelling over the summer, I was still able to come home and run 2.5 miles (which is a good run for me anyways). Now I just...can't. And I'm still working out. The most I took off because of travelling/holidays was, like, a week and a half. Any hints? My symptoms are that I get tired/crampy faster and my endurance is just shot. Any help would be appreciated.]

Okay, back to normal. Because the weather was so nice, I took advantage of a relatively idle day (my husband hasn't finished proofreading my intro draft and I have all day tomorrow to plan my mock lesson) to take a short walk to get supplies for Amalía. This is what I wore:

Ooh! Blurry! 

As I told you all on Halloween, I...kind of like dressing up for holidays. So I couldn't help but put on my pink pants. Add a grey tunic and a purple cardigan and I'm a mass of color! Flower jewelry just made me feel even more romantic! 

For the special part of the day, tonight, I decided to up the ante a little bit with the colors. Check me out!

Kitty head!

BOOM! How 'bout that, folks?! Oh, pay no mind to the Flintstones-esque hair. back to planning to chop it all off. So I knew I wanted to wear my favorite red dress and my Fluevog boots. I thought that if we went out for drinks, I'd put on more subdued legwear to pair with the boots, but in the safety of my home, I was curious to do something I'd never done before: yellow tights with yellow boots. I don't know if it's as leg-lengthening as everyone says, but I LOVE the look! Hee! I'm like a colorful Valentine's duck! I...will probably do this again. 

So there you have it, folks. The above outfit is what I'm wearing RIGHT NOW. My husband should be coming home soon and then...sweet, sweet dinner...

... We won't even be eating it in front of the TV!

Day outfit: 
Purple cardigan: gift from mom, via Lord and Taylor
Grey tunic: American Apparel, remixed
Pink pants: J. Crew, remixed
Moccasins: Minnetonka, remixed

Night outfit:
Red dress: Calvin Klein, by way of TJ Maxx, remixed
Yellow tights: Gap, remixed
Yellow boots: Fluevog, remixed

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Dreaming of travel

Guys, I'm out of the groove. I was too lazy today and yesterday to take pictures of my outfits - plus, all you would've seen was black, grey, and more black and grey. AWESOME. I'm stressing about my interview next week and trying not to stress about that by thinking instead about my trip to Spain in a little over five weeks.

... On that note, the folks at CSN Stores - purveyors of everything from office furniture to stuffed animals (trust me, I've combed through their selection) - have offered me another gift certificate in exchange for a review and I'm very much thinking of spending it on this guy:

[picture of Pan Am Originals Explorer Bag from the CSN site]

This bag is supposed to hold everything for a weekend getaway, or perform as a decent-sized carry-on bag for an intercontinental flight. 

Plus, it's not hipster posing if you've actually flown (and gotten some of your stuff stolen while on) a Pan Am flight, am I right?

Good weekend, y'all!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

How I wore it: my boots ruined my color scheme

... but it's okay. I don't blame them.

People, thank you for all your help choosing glasses. I just put in an order for two frames (and I will still be re-lensing my current black Ray-Bans, so I'll presumably have THREE pairs of glasses from which to choose every day. WHO IS THIS WOMAN?!). And I'll show you which they are when they get here!

Ooooh, surprises.

Today I had to go out to run an errand (return the home try-ons) and tutor my six-year-old student. Man, I can't wait till I can tell her family that I'm never coming back. There. I said it. Anyway, I wanted to be comfy and wear items of clothing that I really missed in my favorite color palette. And the skies smiled:

Oh, happiness with my OTK red boots with a black and grey outfit! You can see the new thigh-high grey socks peeking out over the top of my boots. Dudes, I'm really into these socks. I know it's a tiny thing to be super-psyched about, but... what can I say? It's the little things. 

Also, be prepared to see my favorite cardigan a lot in the next few days. I didn't wear it at all last week, so... there's some compensating that will be happening in the next few days. 

So I've been waffling a lot on things recently (seriously. THREE pairs of glasses?! WTF?!), but I'm gonna drop another bomb on y'all. I'm gonna hold off on cutting off my hair for now. I still want to take the plunge eventually, but since I've been going back and forth so much on this, I don't think it's the right thing to do at the moment. I need to be super-sure. I do need a trim, though. 

(And this has nothing to do with a guy at a recent party telling me that I looked like Zooey Deschanel)

So I have another fun announcement: my husband and I are going to Spain next month! A certain airline was offering cheap not cripplingly expensive round-trip tickets for Madrid. And we went for it. We'll be going during my husband's spring break. (Jealous, LHdM?) Each of us has been to Madrid twice, but never together. Apart from Greece, we've only been to Germany together (and not for romantic reasons); this will be the first trip we take together to non-Greece! AAAAHHHH! And I haven't been to Madrid (one of my favorite cities) in ten full years. Expect gloating and pretty backgrounds. YAY1 

Wow. Is there anything else I can fit in this post?!

Striped cardigan: Banana Republic, remixed
Grey tunic: American Apparel, remixed
Black leggings: HUE, by way of Lord and Taylor, remixed
Grey thigh-high socks: American Apparel, remixed
Boots: Frye Shirley OTKs, gift from husband, via

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The girl with kaleidoscope eyes

Guys! After hours and hours of tracking my Warby Parker home try-ons, they finally arrived after I had despaired of them getting here today, while we were eating dinner. And watching "Arrested Development," because that's all we ever do in my home.

So, first impressions - I'm not blown away by any one frame and I'm actually wondering if I should just replace the lenses in my current Ray-Bans. I forced my napping husband to look at all the pairs and he also said that he didn't like any one frame as much as my current glasses, but that he'd also give his opinion later when he was more alert. So, with that lukewarm introduction, let's get to it! First I want to give you a base picture:

Me in my current glasses

First, because they were the most similar and I didn't think I'd like them for that same reason, I tried on the black Roosevelts:

Well, whaddaya know? I actually really like them! If they came in a dark tortoiseshell frame, this conversation would be done. When I tried them on, my husband exclaimed, "Coooooool!" These were the only frames that elicited this reaction. Thoughts?

Then, because I'd already tried on the black, I went with the light blue Roosevelts:

Not as life-changing as I'd thought, to be honest, but still fun and kind of Elton John-y (which is a good thing, in my book). I might end up buying this frame as my "fun" frame. Thoughts?

I then went with the Fillmores, since I had a feeling I wouldn't like them on:

Not as hideous as I'd anticipated, but still not an option. They're pretty in an old-school way; I kind of felt like singing "Marian the Librarian" to myself with them on.

I then went with the frame chosen by the company, the Zaggs:

Huh. I kind of like these, despite the fact that they're a little shallow. My husband had a good reaction to them as well. Thoughts?

Finally, I tried on the first contender, the Huxleys of my dreams:

I like them, but I'm underwhelmed. On the site, they looked bigger and boxier and I was surprised by how dinkily small they looked in real life. My husband didn't really have much of an opinion. I asked him if he'd like them if they were all dark tortoiseshell, like these, but he wasn't sure. Thoughts?

So there you have it, folks. Here is my wrap-up: I'm still ambivalent on the Huxleys, mostly because I'd liked them so much in pictures that I'm hesitant to say they're not an option. I would consider getting them in pure tortoiseshell - I think that would be cool, too. In pictures, I really like the Roosevelts, but I don't want to buy a frame that's so similar to my current ones, that will cost around the same amount. If there were a dark tortoiseshell, that would be the frame, but the closest they come is with this striped version, which I don't adore. The blue ones? I kind of like them for their silliness and might end up buying a pair for fun, whatever I end up doing.

So here goes, StyleNation. I need your help. I want any and all sorts of opinions. Tell me what you think! I'm dying for help, because there's a certain sleeping Greek on my couch who isn't being much help. Leave your comments NOW!

(PS - I've been invited to an all-day interview at the school I like (the one where I thought I'd bombed the interview) next week. I'll be teaching a low-level Spanish class and meeting everyone there and their mother. Yay!)

Monday, February 7, 2011

How I wore it: fancy appointment

People, today was a pretty beautiful day. The high got up to 42 degrees, practically balmy by recent New England standards. I even considered going for a run outdoors this morning! Of course, that plan was nipped in the bud upon remembering my walk yesterday through my usual cold-weather running trail, to find it liberally dotted with lagoons. Yeah, I went to the gym. Anyway, because today was a nice day and we're supposed to be hit with yet another snowstorm tomorrow, I decided to overdress for my dentist:

After enjoying my long grey socks last week, I decided to pair them with bright, contrasting stockings. I always like pairing my bright yellow tights with a red dress; I had thought it would be too silly to wear a dress to my cavity-filling, but you know? Why not? Why shouldn't I dress cute? I really think that being forced to wear a dress/skirt every working day last year kind of froze my mind into thinking that my dresses should be worn only to "professional events." But I need to remember that in the summer you won't find me in a pair of pants, and before this particular job, I used to wear dresses out all the time. So there you have it. Return to my old self. Woo-hoo!

And now for something completely different:

This morning, I got an e-mail saying that my Warby Parker Home Try-On order had shipped. Yay! Something even cooler was in that e-mail. Remember how I chose my four frames for this? Well, since you're entitled to try on five frames at home, Warby Parker put an extra frame in my order that - based on the ones I had chosen - kind of went with the general vibe. Enter the Zaggs in Tennessee Whiskey:

Cute, huh? I obviously love the tortoiseshell/crystal look, as I ordered two frames in that style. I didn't choose these because the lenses are not as deep as the other ones - my favorite pair of glasses, which were tortoiseshell, were kind of this shape, which I loved. However, I've gotten used to a deeper frame for my eye, so ... who knows, though? Maybe these'll be the surprise winning contenders! Either way, I can't wait to get my hands on these frames!

Cranberry dress: Gap, remixed
Modesty top: Express,remixed
Yellow stockings: Gap, remixed
Grey thigh-high socks: American Apparel, remixed
Boots: Steve Madden, remixed

Saturday, February 5, 2011

How I wore it: Businesswoman's Special

Guys, is there anything more miserable than leaving for a hiring meat market at 6:30 on a Saturday morning?

Getting up at 5:30 for the privilege of doing so...

To go to ONE interview.

No, that's not true. I actually had a productive day. I had my one interview, which went well, but - unfortunately - I don't think that school would be right for me. However, I did run into my contact person from the company and she said that the guy from the school that I really liked (the one whose interview I still maintain I flubbed?) said that he'd had a really good interview with me. So all hope isn't lost! I decided to skip out early (there are only so many times you can listen to "Pou'nai ta Chronia" without singing along, public or no) and grabbed a GF snack at a Starbucks, read a little, bought a friend a birthday present, and came home to immediately change into my PJs.

This is how I looked/felt when I came home:

Fancy librarian! For today I envisioned a sleek, simple silhouette: a classic pinstriped (though you can't tell) pencil skirt and a crisp button-down, tucked in. Although you can't tell from my photo, both top and bottom have stripes. I'm firmly of the belief that a grey pinstripe is a solid neutral, so it's okay to combine it with another striped article of clothing, even if the stripes aren't the same. What do others think about this?

For fun, I decided to wear my light grey studded flats. I'm a serious teacher! But also a BADASS! Whose feet hurt. Ow. 

So although I don't feel as if my actual travelling was much needed, I was happy to hear that the school I liked is back in the running (or so I hope). It was also nice to take a good hour or so at a bookstore, have a snack, and a read a stupid book. Ahhh, Saturdays.

MUCH sassier! Too bad you can't see my shoes.

Blue button-down: gift from mom, via Brooks Brothers, remixed
Grey pinstriped pencil skirt: Banana Republic, remixed
Grey stockings: Gap, remixed
Grey flats: Adi designs by way of CSN Stores (bought for with a gift certificate from the company in exchange for a review), remixed

PS - Folks, for those of you who are anxiously awaiting news about my future glasses, never fear. I went on the Warby Parker page on Facebook and asked about the status of my sample frames. Allegedly, they'll be shipping out Monday and arriving Wednesday! Squee! 

PPS - If you're interested in WP glasses and are on Facebook, you should totally "like" their page. People post pictures of themselves trying on frames and the company gives its opinion. And makes announcements. And is awesome. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

How I wore it: it's only your future

Woof. It's 8 o'clock Friday night and all I want to do is sleep. I had a very long and tiring day. If you're a private school teacher, you probably know about these hiring fairs that are held in the late winter/early spring each year to match teachers with schools. The company which has found me my last two jobs is based in Boston, so they always have a Boston conference and I went this year. Because of the economy (I hope) and the fact that I have to limit my options to the greater Boston area, I only had two interviews today (it's an all-day event) and one tomorrow. The school that I was really interested in before granted me an interview and it went okay, but I don't think I did my best and the interviewer pulled kind of a dick move on me. Another school, which I'd kind of mentally eliminated, I had a great interview with, so... we'll see! Either way, although I had to wake up at dawn, it was kind of nice to shimmy on my "professional teacher (please trust me with your students)" look:

When meeting people you're trying to impress, I think it's nice to physically show how erudite you are

There isn't much to this outfit. The grey dress is my favorite professional dress and it's pretty much only job-appropriate, so I was pretty happy to pull it on for the first time since last spring. Grey tights and black flats completed the ensemble.

I'm so paranoid about dress code now (last year I had to wear hose, a dress/skirt, and no BOOTS every single day of the school year) that I made sure to wear an outfit that my old job wouldn't find objectionable, just in case. That being said, there were SO many female teacher hopefuls wearing boots that I'm excited for the possibilities of going a little wild tomorrow! Woo!

Also, can I just say? Teachers are a fashionable bunch. There were so many awesome outfits/hairstyles/glasses in the conference today that I regretted not having my camera with me.

Also? This is embarrassing, but I totally asked my interviewer (at the school that I'm super-interested in, for which the interview didn't go THAT well) about dress code. What? Better to know these things before finding out too late that you have to wear stockings in June!

Grey dress: Banana Republic, remixed
Grey tights: Gap, remixed
Black flats: Me Too, by way of DSW, remixed

Thursday, February 3, 2011

How I wore it: screw you, winter

I'm so sick of winter, y'all. I can't deal with the icy snow banks and the lakes of slush. I can't deal with constantly wearing non-cute boots because it's all too snowy/icy/slushy/salty in the greater Boston area. I had a great (okay, maybe "great" is subjective) outfit planned and I had to shelf it because of the -

- you know what? NO. I decided to stick it to winter and wear the cute outfit I'd planned for some days. Screw you, winter!

Winter, I will wear tweed shorts! I will wear weather-unsuitable tights! I will wear cute boots!

Screw you, winter.

Plus, I totally bundled up by wearing tall socks over my unsuitable tights. Did you notice?

When I was in Philly, I ventured into American Apparel to buy the thigh-high socks of my dreams. There were a few colors available, but I, of course, chose grey. I didn't wear them all the way up - I just scrunched them down at the knee. I look forward to wearing them again in a more hard-core fashion. Like, with contrasting colors, even. So .., Anyone have cool tall-sock suggestions?

I will admit to being quite bundled and warm today. I was all smug about my cold-weather shorts and how I felt fine and not too cold. Of course, my six-year-old Spanish student looked at me in shock when I got up to leave and exclaimed, "Are you wearing SHORTS?!" I lamely responded, "They're winter shorts!" So, um, yeah. I told her.

Anyway, because tomorrow and Saturday I have to dress up all professionally (private school hiring fair), I thought I'd just play today with my winter shorts and cute boots and side-braid.

Tomorrow, of course, it will a whole different Chalkdust.

Black top: H&M, remixed
White top (underneath): H&M, remixed
Black patterned stockings: Gap, remixed
Grey thigh-highs socks: American Apparel
Boots: Steve Madden, remixed

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pippi Longstocking goes eyeglass-shopping

As you've probably heard, Boston is getting walloped with yet another snowstorm and I had to go out for my eye exam. If I wear a hat (which I need to these days), I either need to have my hair down or in some sort of style that doesn't create a bump on my crown. Enter two long braids. I looked like a goofball at my optometrist's office.

So here's the scoop. My right eye hasn't changed at all, but my left eye's prescription has shifted a bit. And my insurance doesn't cover new frames till next year. I could be all frugal and just pop out the left lens on my current Ray-Bans and replace it with a new one. OR...! I could go to Warby Parker! My eye doctor wasn't too thrilled with the concept of ordering glasses on the internet and he gave me some scary scenarios of the lens quality not being that great. I don't know. He did scare me, though. Do any Warby Parker-wearers (Vanessa?) have any opinions about the overall specs' quality? Especially for someone who wears glasses pretty much every day? The good news is that I could just get new frames from WP and have my current doctor put in the lenses, so... that's probably what I'll end up doing.

But in the meantime ... I ordered four pairs for free at-home trying on!

(And, people, you will be put to WORK when they come in!)

So here they are:

These are my top choices, the Huxleys in Tennessee Whiskey. I'm super in love with this frame and pray with all my heart that they look awesome on.

This frame, the Fillmore in Tennessee Whiskey, is the first Warby Parker frame I fell in love with. I don't think they'll suit me very well, but I want to try them on just to be sure. They're cute though, huh?

This pair, the Roosevelts in Revolver, are among the most popular frames out there from these guys. I don't really love that almost perfectly horizontal line across the top, but - as other photographs on Facebook have tempted me - I'm willing to give them a try. They're a little too similar to what I have now, though. 

Finally ... Chalkdust just wants to play, people:

I ... never thought I would even want to look at a frame in a non-traditional color, such as these Roosevelts in Bondi Blue. However ... I just want to see what they're like on. Vanessa looks so great in her tangerine glasses that I just wanna give it a try. Who knows? I might finally own a back-up pair. If I do want them (which I doubt), I'll probably just get them through the website and then compare notes. 

So... any of them look like winners right off the bat?