Friday, September 28, 2012

Sometimes I wish that I was a wrestler...

Sometimes I wish that I was a wrestler - 
A Mexican wrester in a red vinyl mask.
And I might grab you
And body-slam you
And maybe cause physical harm.

-- Jill Sobule, "Mexican Wrestler"

Feeling very nostalgic today in my baby tee inspired by one of my favorite songs from 2001. I was VERY upset to see that Emma Roberts now sings it on one of her albums. The original recording is just fine - why the need to slap a celeb face on it? Ugh...

Anyway, I like this outfit, and I'm happy that it finally feels like I can wear my baby tees again. Something about the way they pair with baggy pants. :)

Wrester tee - gift from DH
Aldo belt - flea market
Old Navy Boyfriend Capris - Old Navy
B. Makowsky bag - Ebay
Report Marks - Amazon

Hello Punisher

 Just a shlepping outfit - worn to the chiropractor, to pick up cat food, and to run other errands. Not much went into this except that I wanted to try the boots with the shorts again while I still could. DH gave me this Hello Kitty watch, and it demanded to be worn with my Punisher DIY tee shirt.

Sorry about the shorts hiked up on the one side. The bag didn't really do that to them the rest of the day.

Punisher tee - DIY
Makowsky Shimmer bag - Ebay
Lucky Brand silk cargo shorts - flea market

Frye Vera boots - Amazon
Hello Kitty watch worn as bracelet - gift from DH

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dressed to Dress My First Dress For Success Client

I recreated yesterday's outfit, worn to Dress For Success, where I was able to style my first client!

It is actually too warm in the DFS office for a jacket, especially running around hauling clothes, so last week someone suggested I plan to be without one. I also planned without a bag, since I neither wear one nor have one near my while styling. The top ended up being great for ease of movement, but the skirt was less so. The narrow skirt and non-stretch material slowed my walk considerably, and I barely caught my bus!

Hi-low seeveless button front - local junior's store
Donna Rae paisley skirt - flea market
Nixon wrap watch - flea market
Report Marks booties - Piperlime clearance

I had an AMAZING time at DFS yesterday - I stayed for a solid 6 hours! First, I got my feet wet by assisting another stylist, who turned out to be a retired real-life stylist who worked for 30 years. She was wonderful, and we put together 5 outfits for 2 different ladies who had recently been hired. They were totally sweet and looked very professional in their new clothes. I learned that my professional bias skews *highly* formal, even though I thought my last job was super duper relaxed - who knew?

Next, my mentor gave me the green light to take the final client of the day myself. She was an adorable blonde with an edgy haircut, getting ready to interview for a job that involved booking fashion-related shows. She said she needed to look fashion-forward in addition to being professional. How much more fun could I have with my first client??

We quickly determined that she looked amazing in Italian jackets, and she literally did a happy dance when she slipped on an olive and burgundy pinstriped pantsuit. We thought the rest would be a breeze when we found a killer cream ruffled blouse to wear under, but we hit a big roadblock when it came to shoes and PPL! We did not have tons of shoes in her size, and she said she could not even afford to pay a tailor to let the hems down. BUT! The hems turned out to be serged with a really low-contrast thread, so I let them down myself with a seam ripper and steamed out the crease right on the spot. The shoes fell into place, and unless any of her interviewers bent down to inspect the hems at floor level, no one would ever know.

Afterward, the veteran stylist showed me how to work various appliances, how they organize the hangers, and even complimented my work with the clients. I had the best time!

Which is a good thing, considering my current career goals. Now, if only I can get a job... ;)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

First Jeans Day of Fall 2012!

So it was still almost 80F yesterday, but I wanted to wear jeans, gorshdarnit! Plus, I wanted to try on that Lululemon jacket I'd been eyeing, and I wanted to try it on with the type of bottoms I'd likely pair with it. The result was my transitional variation on jeans and a plain white tee. A man at the gas station said my "image" made his day - and not even in a creepy way. I think. While I was at it, I took my Frye Vera boots out for their maiden voyage. The jacket I tried did not work out, but at least my outfit did.

This morning is also the first morning that Hank has demanded to occupy my lap since summer started. Change is in the air, people! My coats will be able to come out and play soon soon soon.

H&M studded tank - YLF swap party
Hudson Signature Bootcut jeans - flea market
Destroyed men's belt - flea market
Dana Buchman leather bag - flea market
Crystal Bullet necklace - gift from a friend
Frye Vera boots - Amazon

Saturday, September 15, 2012

90s Fashion... No, the other kind of 90s...

Once again, the heatwave rules the roost. This is almost the same formula as yesterday, only I was digging through swap meet piles so I could not wear boots. My nod to Fall is in the coloring: rust, black, and just a dab of white - for some reason black and white together always feel like F/W to me.

If anyone needs me, I'll be off trying tinkering with a DIY rain dance.

Rayon dress for ventilation - flea market hack job
Dana Buchman bag for dark coloring and a thin strap on my skin - flea market
Braided rope sandals for ventilation and more dark color - flea market
White watch to play off the black - gift from Mom

Cerulean Blue is a Cool Breeze

Any X-Files fans out there? I feel like The Pusher, trying to make it be Fall and about 20-degrees cooler by sheer force of will. This outfit was worn out to run some errands, check on some Gap items I'd been eying, pop into Anthropologie to see if I might want to interview there, and pick up rations at Trader Joes. Now *that* is a Friday!

For anyone who might be interested, I had gone out to try this Belted Waxed Jacket by Gap - I would have resold my polyester Cole Haan jacket for an even exchange and SYC preservation. A bunch of reviewers said it was big on them at 110 lbs... well, I'm at 125, and it's still big on me in XS. It was also way thinner than I'd thought and felt more like a cheap nylon jacket than a nice, waxed finish. No bueno.

Blue Rayon hi-low dress to combat 92-degree heat - flea market
Black bag with thin straps cross-body straps so as little leather sticks to my shoulder as possible - flea market
MIA boots as a manifestation of my denial - Amazon
Cuff photo watch for added weight and Fall feeling - DIY

Thursday, September 13, 2012

First Dress for Success Challenge

Dress for Success volunteer orientation was today at noon - and yikes, I've already been thrown a style curve ball!

The DFS website warns that there is NO reasonably-priced parking in the area, and they advise to take public transport to their office location. However, if I took public transport all the way there, it would take a solid 2 hours each way. So I'll be driving part way, walking, and taking a bus. In 95 degree weather - no guarantee of a shaded bus stop, no guarantee of an air conditioned bus, and no guarantee I won't get lost and wander the streets on foot for a time. Plus? As you know, all my work clothes are designed to keep me warm in the Arctic Office of Perennial Autumn.

I really had to work to get this outfit together:

black knit midi - for ease of movement and to disguise possible butt sweat
loose silk woven top - to promote airflow
walking boots - to wear from car to bus
blazer - to pop on indoors
pumps - also to pop on indoors

Whew, that outfit was work in itself! I hope it is up to snuff, and I hope I won't have to fight the weather as hard for long!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Old Navy Boyfriend Capris

I had been sitting on a low balance Old Navy giftcard for almost two years - so when these boyfriend jeans were on clearance with an additional 25% off during ON's anniversary sale, I took my chance to get rid of it without shelling out extra cash (shopping ban preserved this time).

I sized up to an 8 in the Old Navy version and the fit feels just like my Gap Sexy Boyfriend jeans. These feel like they have more stretch, but the weight is like my lighter weight Gaps, too. I see there aren't many sizes available right now, but it is early in the season, so there is a decent chance they will restock, maybe in a heavier weight. If I wasn't shopping my closet I'd check out the boyfriend khakis, too. :)

If you're on a tight budget, or if you're realllllly unsure about the trend, it might be worth taking a look at your local brick and mortar store.

First pic: Old Navy Boyfriend Capris (size 8, unbleted)
Second pic: Gap Sexy Boyfriend Jeans (size 6, belted)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Look for Less: Rick Owens Type Jacket at Bebe

When I bought my Bebe faux leather jacket, someone mentioned that it looked a bit like a Rick Owens. In my travels, I came across this jacket that is similar to mine and looks a lot like another Rick Owens style. Bebe's online photos are always pretty terrible IMO - looks way better in person and in the September catalog. Reviews say the same. $159 vs. $3,720.

Rick Owens:

PSA: Amazon to Charge CA Sales Tax Starting September 15!

So get that tax-free shopping in now, California. :0

I was going to hem and haw and try one size of boots at a time, but when DH reminded me about the new tax implementation, I just ordered both sizes straight away. They are also offering 20% off when you sign up for shoe/clothing emails. So for me it was kind of like a 30% off sale... who was I to argue?

The Unsung Benefits of Girl Math

"Girl Math" is a term that is usually reserved to mock the spendy tendencies of a stereotypical woman. "50% off means I can buy twice as much!" or "This speeding ticked will cost me two pairs of boots!" or "Since I've returned $100 worth of stuff, I have $100 more to spend!" are the most common examples I've come across. I've mostly heard it used as a derisive term to suggest that females spend money unrealistically and can rationalize all sorts of expenditures, unbound by pesky things like budgets, value, or... you know... REAL math.

BUT. I've been thinking about this in light of some of our moves to Shop Your Closet status, in light of La Francaise's time here on the forum, and in light of some of our forum conversations about investment pieces/less being more/and closet space. When MaryK announced her SYC status, she said something that really stuck with me: that if she added up all the things she bought over the past year, she could have bought some things that she thought she couldn't afford - underneath it all, isn't THAT the core of Girl Math? And isn't it a good thing?

"50% off means I can buy twice as much!"
Instead of a greedy statement, this can be looked at as a value-driven statement. What's wrong with getting more for the same amount of money? Not that you need to get twice as much RIGHT NOW. But what if you kept track of all the things you waited to buy on sale instead of pouncing on at full price... and then rewarded yourself at the end of the year by getting something really nice with the money you saved? Wouldn't that inspire you to weigh cost a little more closely, strive to find the best deal you can, and truly evaluate how much you want and need each purchase?

"This speeding ticked will cost me two pairs of boots!"
You could say this is a materialistic way to think, but what's wrong with translating money into practical terms? I use this thought process a lot myself, thinking, "The cost of this top would get me 1/3 of the way to that jacket I want." Most of the time, the cheaper purchase doesn't seem worth it. I think this kind of equation helps me stay goal-oriented. Period.

"Since I've returned $100 worth of stuff, I have $100 more to spend!"
Now, I'm NOT advocating buying and returning a bunch of stuff you don't actually want and can't afford just to trick yourself into an irresponsible splurge. But I think this little mental trick is super useful in that it makes it okay to return things if you suddenly find that what you have isn't what you want most in the world. Like in the previous section, I see this type of thinking as goal-oriented thinking. It forces you to make a choice and give something up if you want to get something else.

Of course, this only works if the full-price item, or the object of your goal, or the amount of those items to return are within your budget. I am most definitely NOT an advocate of living above your means or in a fog of fiscal denial. However, I do think that Girl Math is a powerful tool to use in *conjunction* with a budget.

I feel like I've been doing this a lot lately and, really, it's prevented more purchases than it's enabled. I returned 3 pairs of BF jeans in favor of a much-needed and long-wanted photo print sundress. And I'm giving up my current meetup budget for a pair of elusive, classic, walkable, heeled engineer boots.

Maybe I've lost my mind and crossed over to the dark side. But I think I like Girl Math.

Cross Posting

Hello out there in Blogger Land! A few of you have mentioned that it is hard to read and subscribe to my blog, so for now I will be cross posting the same content here and there. I hope this helps!

One recent development to note is that I recently quit my office job with the hopes of getting into retail in some way, whether as a personal shopper (my long-term dream) or even just as a sales associate for the moment (hopefully an avenue to bigger things). Right now, I'm paying my expenses by selling swap meet finds on Ebay. I have to say, I quite like being my own boss!

What this means for you and the blog is that my daily outfits will be a lot more casual for a while. I hope this doesn't feel irrelevant to those of you who work in office settings. The good thing for the One-Dollar Wonders perspective is that I very much have budgeting on the brain. I'm looking forward to sharing many more frugal ruminations.

A big thank you to those of you who took the time to critique the blog and encourage me to post here on Blogger again!