Monday, January 31, 2011

Reality vs. rock star

The reality of these boots, on me, is a bit different from what I had imagined when I ordered them. You might wonder why I imagined that I would have skinny rock star heroin addict thighs when these boots arrived. You might wonder, but I have no satisfactory answer to give you. Not only did I imagine toothpick legs emerging from the top of these boots, I imagined denim clad toothpicks. The reality is that there is no way a single additional fiber of anything is coming between my legs and these boots. I actually didn't think I was going to be able to zipper them over my calves when I initially tried them on.
Last quarter a group of students in my lab/discussion section conducted a research project that examined students' perceptions of different styles of shoes. They included an image of a boot similar to these in their survey. The survey results indicated that the boots in question were not a big hit at my university, especially with male students. I particularly remember one quote from a male student who said something to the effect that the boots looked like an item that would indicate that their wearer was "not from around here." I imagine that he probably meant that "around here" people wear regular stuff and not weird stuff like over the knee wedge boots. But I prefer to think that when people here see me in my rock star boots (even with out my having rock star legs) they think I must come from some wonderful faraway place where everyone wears totally awesome boots all the time. (Even if that place only exists in my imagination, much like my rock star skinny legs.)
Who cares if I have thighs like tree trunks? My boots kick ass!
Fantastic news- today there were ten!!! photos that I was willing to post to the blog. I actually got to pick my favorites rather than just select the ones that made me cringe the least. This might be good for me after all.
Not a great photo of me- but the boots look great!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Today I am a lazy blogger.

Just a quick outfit post for today. It was a very long day and I find I have very little patience for posing- or posting. A better blogger than I would have photo-shopped out the banister in the photo. A better blogger would have at least something to say. I have some notes for some much more insightful (I hope) upcoming posts, but today I'm afraid I'm just phoning it in.
Today I wore:
black boat-neck top: gap
embroidered black A-line skirt: ann taylor loft
black tights: not sure
shoes: second-hand

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Apparently, not everyone sees what I see.

When I was bidding on the pin I wore today on eBay, I thought it looked very mid-century atomic modern. I was thinking of the Jetsons and Tomorrowland and sputnik inspired design.When I showed it to my friend and fellow graduate student, Nan, she remarked that it reminded her of images of the 1939 World's Fair. This made me like it even more. Then, after I won my auction, when I showed it to Chris he said- "I'm surprised you like that- It's very Star Trek." Too late, I realized he was absolutely right. Now, when I wear the pin, although I still envision Formica dinette sets and kidney shaped coffee tables, I realize that plenty of people must think I'm wearing a Star Fleet communicator badge.
What do you see? Is it "Beam me up, Scotty"?
It's a good reminder that even though we might carefully select what we wear to create a particular impression, what we intend may not always be exactly what gets communicated (no pun intended.)
Sometimes, I think this must work in my favor. I'll be going about my day second guessing my choices, wishing I'd done something (everything) differently, convinced I'm a tragic mess, horribly boring, frumpy and completely without style, and out of the blue a compliment from a friend or stranger will remind me that I am often my own harshest critic.
Today was one of those tragic mess days for me. I ran out of the house in a hurry and wasn't pleased with how I looked all day. But now that I see these pictures I can see that I look pretty much like I always do. So now I have photographic evidence that I should lighten up a bit and cut myself some slack.
I try to lighten up a little
Today I wore:
black long sleeve shirt- gap
grey cardigan- gap
jeans- gap
silver pin- eBay
purple patent leather flats- nordstrom

Thursday, January 20, 2011

It's casual

Today was supposed to be a library day but ended up being a work-at-home-and-not-get-much-work-done day. I went super casual because I wanted to be comfortable in the library although I never actually got there.

I'm including a shot with my glasses on because as I was intending to go to the library I had planned to be wearing them today. They are essentially a prop. I don't really need them to read and when I'm reading or working at the library, or somewhere else public like a coffee house, they make me a little sick to my stomach because they make everything blurry when I try to people watch. But wearing them makes me feel like a serious smarty-pants.

The *peter pan* pose that Chris said I would never post

Very comfortable shoes today to soothe yesterday's blisters

Possibly the greatest Valentine's gift ever!

navy sweater: gap
stirrup jeans: gap
tan suede boots: nine west via piperlime
(holy crap- you would think I had stock in the gap)
razor blade heart necklace: gift from chris

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I love these shoes.

Let’s just start with the fact that I adore these shoes. I think they’re very film noir. They are going to need some serious breaking in time (I brought some flats along with me today too, or I’d be crippled by now) and some of those sticky-cushy things to keep me from walking right out of them once they are broken in.

These were acquired Monday evening, on sale, at Anthropologie. Chris and I were out shopping for a new food processor and I suggested we pop in to Anthro- “Just to look.” I don’t know why Chris continues to believe this lie, or why I continue to suggest that I’m merely on a reconnaissance mission rather than indulging in a full scale operation to procure. Chris took my deception in stride, offering- “If you love them, then you should get them. But what would you wear them with?” I was ready with my response- “A brown pencil skirt and my leopard coat.” But unfortunately said pencil skirt is actually a figment of my imagination; I own no such skirt. So I ended up in this today, which really doesn’t do these shoes justice.

Even when this dress fit me well, which it no longer does, I had mixed feelings about it. It used to flatter my figure and whenever I wore it I received compliments on it but I think the style is a little too sweet for me. At my current weight it’s certainly not as flattering and my increased width makes the skirt shorter than I would like. 

To focus on the positive, in addition to these shoes, I’m loving my new shorter haircut, the bird necklace, and my curvy calves. My (fifteen and a half inch!!!) calves make boots a challenge sometimes but I love the way they femme up pumps and a skirt. (As if pumps and a skirt really needed femme-ing up.)

I hadn't intended to wear the cardigan all day, I just wanted to have it on hand because it can be really cold in the buildings on campus sometimes, and in our lab especially. But then I ended up leaving home without my coat so I never actually took off the cardigan.
knit dress: nordstrom
pink cardigan: macys
brown tights: no idea
brown crocodile pumps: anthropologie
bird necklace: from a store in Seattle that features local designers

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

This is harder than it looks.

I had planned to enter my first blog post on January 1st. I even wrote my first post that day. Chris proofread the post I had planned and remarked that he thought I sounded too self-deprecating and insecure. That insecurity is something I’m actively trying to fight- and this blog is part of that- so I went back to the drawing board. And came up with nothing for weeks; nothing to say, and no outfits that seemed worth the trouble of posting.

All of the reasons why it has been difficult for me to begin this blog are also the reasons it must be done. I believe that fashion affects everyone and that everyone participates in fashion. That fashion is not the exclusive province of the young, the slim, the wealthy, or the genetically blessed. I believe this because I’m none of these things, but also because I see the impulse towards adornment, in some form, in almost everyone.

I’m undertaking this project in order to highlight what I believe about fashion and personal style. I believe that our choices help the world to see who we are. And I believe that it takes work and discipline and thought and savvy to develop and maintain personal style. I’m in my forties, I’m overweight, I’m a graduate student living in a small town (with all the budgetary restrictions that go along with studenthood.) And I have the audacity to believe that I am every bit as entitled to indulge in and enjoy fashion as a twenty year old stylehound with a label filled wardrobe and razor sharp cheekbones.

I’ve never been a beauty, but there have been times over the years when I’ve been pretty stylish. This, unfortunately is not really one of those times. I haven’t been happy with the way I look for a while. This blog is my chronicle of my moving towards a style, an image, and a reflection in the mirror with which I am really, truly and honestly happy. I want the world to see me at what I believe is my best.

This is, of course, easier said than done. These first outfit photos have taken the wind out of my sails a bit. It was all I could do not to go upstairs and change into a sweatshirt and jeans after seeing them.

But that would negate the whole purpose of doing this. So I stuck it out. My outfits will get better, my photos will get better, and my blog will get better as I go on. This is what I looked like today. And I'm okay with that. 

blue dress: gap
black long sleeve undershirt: gap body
black tights: not sure
black wedge over-the-knee boots: lucky brand via piperlime
rhinestone star belt: bebe (years ago)