Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dharma Lady

Blouse: LOFT
Jeans: Gap
Shoes and belt: Target
Scarf as headband: Inherited from grandmother
Earrings: Missions fair at First Lutheran Church of My Town

The jeans are back! Yay! I had planned to wear them tomorrow, and I had a really cute dress picked out for today. Then I woke up to this:

Okay, I'm lying; it wasn't exactly a hurricane. But it was a lot of rain, hence the indoor pictures. So I scrapped my cute dress plan and put on the World's Best Jeans! Yay again!

When I wore the Jeans on Monday (I think they deserve a capital letter), I had a leopard print shirt and felt a little Charlie's Angels, kind of late 70s disco-ish. Today, I went more Dharma Initiative, with the peasant blouse, scarf, and big earrings. I could totally see myself living on a mysterious island, communing with my fellow man and conducting secret time travel experiments.

That's it; I need to go rewatch Lost. Namaste, y'all.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Comfort/Social Appropriateness Scale

Dress: LOFT
Cardigan, leggings, and belt: Target
Shoes: TOMS
Jewelry: Bead for Life (Necklaces: Katogo Long, doubled, and Katogo Short. Bracelets: Bangle)

Well, it did not get sunnier today. The day started gray and quickly turned to black. It poured all afternoon, apparently; I have a windowless office so I have to rely on the relative dryness of the students who come to see me to help me gauge what's going on outside.

All this rain and chilliness made me want to wear sweatpants and stay home with a cup of tea and good book. Unfortunately, the university and I don't see eye to eye on this particular rainy day plan, so I had to go to work, but if I was going, I was going in leggings. Leggings are just a step above sweatpants on the Comfort/Social Appropriateness Scale (yes, it's a real scale. Yes, I just made it up. The only thing below sweatpants is naked.). They're comfy like sweatpants, but unlike sweatpants, you can wear them outside without looking like you're about to get ambushed by Clinton and Stacy.

Then again, I kind of want to get ambushed by Clinton and Stacy. I think we could be BFFs. I would be their best client ever because I would really, really want the clothes. I would never argue with them or insist on going back to my original hairstyle at the end. So maybe sweatpants are the way to go for a little while. Y'all would nominate me if I started posting sweatpants pictures, right? Please?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Not the Jeans, but Almost as Good

Scarf as belt

Shirt and pants: LOFT
Cardigan and shoes: Target
Scarf as belt, necklace, and earrings: Inherited from grandmother
Bracelet: Gift from Cary

As you can see, I opted not to wear my jeans again. It was a hard decision because I was sad when I took them off last night. My mom says that when I was little, I slept in my patent leather Mary Janes because I was so happy wearing them, so apparently I haven't changed at all in the last 25 or so years.

What I am wearing is a pair of pants that didn't fit a month ago, and does now. Yay! I felt inspired by their navy color, so I added Breton striped espadrilles and a nautical scarf as a belt. Unfortunately, you can't see them very well in the pictures, because the early morning rainy day light was weird and washed everything out. Hopefully tomorrow will be sunnier. I'm not in love with these pictures, but the outfit was nice, and I'm one day closer to being able to wear my jeans again. All is good.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The War of the Hem

Yay jeans! I feel this psyched in them all the time.

Shirt: LOFT
Jeans: Gap
Shoes and belt: Target
Necklace: Inherited from Cary's grandmother
Bracelet: Gift from aunt

So I've been seeing these jeans pretty much everywhere in the blogging world. I wanted them, but debated and debated until I realized that I had to go to a social function this past weekend that was going to be both long and emotionally draining. Then I sprang into action.

This may be a coping mechanism that I need to look more carefully at, but having something fabulous to wear always helps me get through difficult days. On Friday night, I went to Gap and did two things I never do: 1) buy clothes that are on-trend before every college girl in this town does, and 2) pay full price for anything at Gap. The jeans were expensive, but this is the third day in a row that I've worn them, so I think I'll get my money's worth over time.

When I got home, I had to hem them, because the designers at Gap seem to think that all women are about 5'10". I found a website that explains how to do an invisible hem on jeans. The writer promised that it would only take half an hour. That is probably true for people who have ever hemmed anything before and own a sewing machine that was produced less than 50 years ago. Sadly, I'm not those people. My mama or a paid tailor has hemmed my pants up until now, and my grandmother bought the sewing machine I currently have around 1960.

After four or five hours of sewing, ripping out bad seams, sewing again, crying, and calling my jeans names I'd rather not publish on a blog my parents read, I had hemmed jeans. And now that I have won the War of the Hem, I love them. I would wear them again tomorrow if there were any way wearing the same jeans for more than half a week weren't kind of obsessive. Then again, I literally put blood, sweat, and tears into these jeans, since I stabbed myself in the foot with a pin while determining length. It wouldn't be weird just to keep wearing them, right? Right?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Welcome Back, Trouser Jeans, and Friend Friday

T-shirt: Target
Trouser jeans: LOFT
Shoes: Rack Room
Scarf as belt and necklace: Inherited from grandmother
Earrings: Gift from parents

So first, the news: I have been eating healthy and going to the gym in order to fit back into these pants, and now I do! Yay! I celebrated by wearing them with one of my favorite t-shirts, and in one of my favorite color combingations: red, white, black and denim. And I felt great in this all day, which is my main litmus test of a good outfit.

And now, the reflection. I have been aware of, but haven't participated in, Modly Chic's Friend Friday questions before now, but I thought today's questions about feminism and fashion were really thought-provoking and wanted to join in. Feminism and academia are linked in a lot of ways, and I think the idea of feminism has taken on an ugly meaning with some people. The word conjures up images of women who hate men and want to see them brought low. In academia, those images are of women who are devoted to the study of hating men and bringing them low.

I am, and always have been, a big fan of men. I've been blessed to be surrounded by good men who respect women my whole life - first my father, now my husband - so I've never felt abused or oppressed by men. I recognize that not all men are like that though, and that some societies systematically abuse and oppress women. I consider myself a feminist because I believe men and women were created equal by God and deserve the same opportunities and respect.
  1. Do you think there is an incompatibility between feminism and a love for fashion? No. To me, the end goal of feminism, is for women to be able to choose what they want and be given the same respect as men would be given for those choices, for better or for worse. Those choices include fashion. If a woman wants to dress like Audrey Hepburn or k.d. lang or Lady Gaga or Cinderella, or if she wants to cover her hair or dye it purple or shave it off, that's her choice.
  2. There is more to each of than a love for fashion, how do you incorporate every aspect of yourself into your blog? What I decide to wear is affected by the rest of my life, so I talk about the rest of my life. I talk about my family, my career, my interests, and how I spend my free time. That stuff is my life. What I wear is a creative outlet.
  3. With the fashion industry still being a male-dominated profession, how do you think it would differ if women played a larger role? I think more clothing would be suited for the average woman's body, and it would probably be more comfortable. Women are uniquely able to know what other women need from their clothes, in terms of both figure-flattery and comfort.
  4. How is your self-image and the way you carry yourself informed by your beliefs? I'm a Christian, and I believe God loves me. I've believed that since I was little, which has given me a lot of self-respect. When you think the same Person who made the stars cares about you, you tend to like yourself more. I haven't always loved my body, my hair, or my skin (hello, adolescence), but knowing that I was created the way I am intentionally has helped me maintain an overall positive view of myself. That doesn't, on the surface, appear to have anything to do with feminism, but I believe it actually does. I respect myself, as a woman, because God values me as a woman. If he chose for me to be female, why should I feel any less than a man?
  5. Do you think clothing/makeup/hair helps communicate the truth about yourself or are those things superfluous add-ons? I see my wardrobe as a way to express myself creatively, so I guess in that sense, I use it to communicate the truth about myself. I don't see my clothing/makeup/hair as superfluous, but rather as a means to let the way I see myself on the inside show through on the outside.
    In the end, for me, being a woman is part of who I am, and liking clothes is part of who I am, and wanting other women to have choices and opportunities is part of who I am. I don't see any conflict between all those parts of me. And if feminism has achieved the goals for which I believe it exists, I don't think there should be.

    Thursday, March 24, 2011

    Maximus! Maximus!

    Dress: Vintage, rescued from the dress-up bin at Cary's aunt's house
    Jacket: LOFT
    Shoes: Tiny shoe shop in Melk, Austria
    Belt: Target
    Earrings: Gift from Cary
    Necklace: Brian Moody

    I love love love this dress, not least of all because I found it in a dress-up bin amongst 80s prom dresses. I wore it about a month ago with pearls and red flats, but today I wanted to make it a little tougher-looking, a little less June Cleaver.

    So I added the denim jacket and necklace from Brian, which seemed a little tougher than pearls. As the pièce de résistance, I put on gladiator sandals, because nothing says tough like shoes you might wear while you are fighting/being fed to the lions. And I think it worked - I mean, what gladiator didn't wear a dress from 1960 while fighting for his life in the Colosseum? Right?

    Wednesday, March 23, 2011

    White Heat

    You can't really see the ruffles on the front of this shirt in the other pictures, so here they are!
    Blouse: LOFT
    Pants: Anthropologie via consignment shop
    Shoes: Target
    Scarf: Inherited from grandmother
    Earrings: Bazaar in Turkey
    Bracelet: Gift from Cary

    There's a lot of white going on here. There's this white blouse that I would wear more often if ironing the ruffles weren't such a pain in the butt. The pants are actually white with grayish-blue pinstripes, but they photograph white. And then there's my skin, which will never be tan no matter how many Southern summers I live through. Add in the fact that daylight savings has put the sun in exactly the brightest spot for picture-taking before work, and and there's just a lot of white going on here.

    I like it though. I felt a little vacationy all day, especially with the nautical scarf and the wedges. And I was cool, which is important, as the Deep South is already inching toward summer. It was 85 degrees today - a little warm for March, but not too far out of the realm of normal. My poor students keep complaining about how hot it is. Bless their hearts, they don't even know.

    Tuesday, March 22, 2011

    Orange Blossom Special

    T-shirt: LOFT
    Skirt: Urban Outfitters via consignment shop
    Shoes and belt: Target
    Necklace: Inherited from Cary's grandmother
    Earrings: Gift from student

    I told you the musical interludes were here to stay. Y'all, my father is an engineer by trade and, as he puts it, a musician by everything else, so I can probably keep coming up with music-related blog post titles for a while. The first song I ever remember hearing is Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, no joke. Today's honorary song, Orange Blossom Special, is a bluegrass classic. You can check out Steve Martin (yes, that Steve Martin) and the Steep Canyon Rangers playing it here.

    Anyway, Orange Blossom Special got a shout-out today because I started putting on citrus hues this morning and couldn't stop. I started with the skirt, which is pretty non-citrusy on its own, but once I added the pink shirt, I just had to keep going. I went all out with yellow shoes, a coral necklace, and lime earrings. I look a little like the inside of a grapefruit, but I feel happy (and much sweeter than a grapefruit, yuck). I feel the way an orange blossom smells, and if you've never smelled an orange blossom, you need to get yourself to a grove like, yesterday, because it's that wonderful.

    Monday, March 21, 2011

    Oh Laundry Day

    Shirt: American Eagle about a million years ago
    Tank top: Old Navy, also about a million years ago
    Pants: LOFT outlet
    Shoes: Target
    Necklace: Brian Moody (This necklace isn't in the Etsy shop, but a lot of others are!)
    Earrings: Thrifted

    So, y'all are familiar with gospel music, right? You know that Friday's post was named after a gospel song, and that today's post is a less-than-creative twist on Friday's. But just in case you are not all experts on this lovely musical genre, go here (yes, that is Whoopi Goldberg as a singing nun. You need to see both Sister Act movies ASAP if you haven't already.). Then imagine these lyrics instead:

    Oh laundry day (oh laundry day)
    Oh laundry day (oh laundry day)
    Nothing is washed (nothing is washed)
    Nothing is washed (nothing is washed)
    Nothing is washed (nothing is washed)
    This is a shirt from 12th grade

    I think the lyrics speak for themselves. Tomorrow's outfit will be a little more inspired. The musical interludes might be here to stay though, because channeling my inner Weird Al is just fun.

    Friday, March 18, 2011

    Oh Happy Day

    Blouse and jeans: LOFT
    Cardigan and shoes: Target
    Pin and earrings: Inherited from great-grandmother and grandmother
    Bracelet: Gift from Cary

    Reason #354 why I love my job: I spent part of my afternoon taking a student to see an apartment. And then we got ice cream and chatted for an hour. And then I went home at 2:45. So I guess that's three reasons, but all of them contributed to the awesomeness of today.

    I had no idea that today would rock so hard when I got dressed, but I feel like this outfit matches my mood. (Rock so hard? Who am I?) It's a happy outfit. I'm wearing the comfiest jeans I've ever owned, a bright red blouse, which is just inherently joy-inducing, my new favorite shoes, and a giant rhinestone pin that was my great-grandmother's. And my white cardigan that seemed too boring with yesterday's outfit got a second chance today, and second chances always make me happy. I can only think of two outfits that would make me happier:
    1. My wedding dress. It was beautiful and I was happy in it.
    2. The dress that Cinderella wore to the ball. I'm on a lifelong quest for that dress.
    This afternoon, the happiness rolls on. I'm going to help my friend Brian house-hunt, and then it's girls' night with Suzanne and Adrienne. The outfit of happiness rolls with me. I might even wear it tomorrow.

    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    Lecture O' the Irish

    Dress and cardigan: LOFT
    Shoes: Target
    Belt: Vintage, thrifted
    Necklace: Gift from grandparents when I was 12

    One of the best parts of teaching international students is getting to make a big deal out of cultural celebrations like St. Patrick's Day. I can wear green, play bagpipe music, and talk about the origin of the holiday all I want, because it's all new to them. And that's just one of cultural lessons I get to teach that no American student would want or need to listen to. I can talk at length about things like the word y'all, the rules of American football, and what people mean when they say, "Debit or credit?" Since I love to talk in general, having an audience going, "Really? So what happens if you don't move the ball 10 yards?" is kind of a dream come true. And almost no one ever falls asleep.

    So naturally, I needed green today. I pulled out my favorite green dress, but since it's short-sleeved and it was a little chilly this morning, I wanted to add a cardigan (and when don't I?). I had a white one at first, but it felt a little boring. So I went with fuchsia, and used the belt to tie everything together. I felt great, and I even got a compliment when I was in line for breakfast at McDonald's. (It was that kind of morning. Don't judge.) And one student even asked me to keep playing the bagpipe music on my computer. That might have been because he didn't want to talk about irregular verbs anymore though. Maybe.

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    Jeans and Genes

    Shirt and shoes: Target
    Jeans: Levi's 545s via JC Penney
    Tank top: Old Navy
    Scarf and necklace: Inherited from grandmother
    Bracelet: Gift from Cary

    After all the skirt-wearing I've done this week, today felt like a jeans-and-button-down day. Jessica at Monster Cakes talked about this yesterday - flip-flopping between girly-girl and simple jeans and a shirt. I think everyone, with the possible exception of Barbie, does this. And there's probably a theme Barbie for dressing down, like "I Haven't Shaved My Legs Barbie" or "I'm Tired of Dressing Up Barbie."

    To make this a little more interesting than jeans and a shirt, I added the yellow shoes (again - just go with it, y'all) and multicolored scarf I inherited from my fashionista grandmother, who was at various points in her career a model, a hotel manager, and a women's boutique manager. When she passed away last year, I got several dozen of her scarves and quite a bit of her jewelry. She had so many accessories that my mom, my aunt, my sister and I were all able to take what we wanted, and there was still a lot leftover. She was always stylish and I think about her when I blog. I think she would have enjoyed seeing this.

    Finally, my good friend Brian Moody, whose jewelry I have been wearing on here for a week or so, got his Etsy shop set up! Yay! You can see it here. I'll start linking to it whenever I wear his jewelry from now on. Yay Brian!

    Grandmama and me, circa 1988. She was in her 60s, and look how chic!

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    Uniform Policy

    Blouse: LOFT
    Skirt: Anthropologie via tiny consignment shop near campus
    Cardigan: Vintage, childhood gift from older lady at church
    Shoes: Target
    Earrings: Brian Moody

    The yellow shoes made an encore appearance today. That's usually how I do with new shoes - I wear them with everything until I get over my initial infatuation. This is my "how many outfits will these go with?" stage. Bear with me; I'm pretty sure these shoes will keep reappearing for a while.

    I feel so retro in my $24 Anthropologie skirt. I wore it with a pink top and gray cardigan on its first outing, so today I decided to remix it a little. I liked the end result - the simple white blouse and vintage cardigan made it feel very 50s to me (one of my favorite fashion eras), and the yellow shoes kept it modern by not being matchy-matchy. I think that if I had a uniform, this would be it: a-line skirt, tucked-in blouse, cardigan, and flats. In the summer, just subtract the cardigan. Since our summer in the Deep South lasts from May to Thanksgiving, I'm going to wear the crap out of my cardigans while I can.
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