Friday, November 29, 2013

November’s Books & A Link Up Reminder

I did a bit of traveling this month so I picked up some easier reads than in previous months.  And because I spent quite a bit of time in planes and cars, I was able to get through five of them. 

Heart-Shaped Box, by Joe Hill

I have a confession to make; I like to read Stephen King.  I know he doesn’t tackle women’s issues like my beloved Margaret Atwood, but I like him.  I re-read the Dark Tower series every few years and remain a huge fan of It, The Talisman and The Stand.  Well, Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son and that’s how I ended up reading this book.  It is a horror story and it wasn’t bad, but I definitely prefer his father’s work.  That being said, if you like horror and think King is overwrought (he is NOT, btw), you might like Hill.

Bangkok 8, by John Burdett

This is a mystery novel set in Bangor, Maine.  Hahahaha, just kidding.  It’s a mystery novel set in Bangkok, Thailand and is a quick, easy read.  As long you don’t mind the narrator telling you all the things you don’t understand because you’re a spiritually unenlightened Westerner.

Bangkok Tattoo, by John Burdett

This book is the sequel to Bangkok 8 and is narrated by the same Thai police detective who thought Westerners were unenlightened jerks in the first book.  He still thinks Westerners are unenlightened jerks.

Boomsday, by Christopher Buckley

Wow.  Okay, the premise of this book is horrible, but given the current issues facing Social Security, you can see why the author came up with it.  It being a plan to incentivize baby boomers to euthanize themselves by a certain age to keep the Social Security Administration, and the Federal Government, from going bankrupt trying to pay social security to the millions of boomers set to retire all at once.  It was... interesting.  Buckley is, of course, the author of Thank You For Smoking, so it’s very much a satire, but it was still a disturbing one.

Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins

I'm guessing there is not a lot I can tell you about this book that you'd don't already know.  Unless, of course, you've been on an ice breaker in the North Pole for the past five or so years without any access to the internet or a library.  In which case, welcome back and read this book.  Start with The Hunger Games first though, okay?  As for me, I just re-read this book in preparation for watching the movie sometime over this long holiday weekend.

I'm not sure which of these book will be my inspiration for my Literary Stylings Link Party, but it is definitely still on for Tuesday and I hope you all can join in!  Want to learn more about it?  You can find the rules, such as they are, here.

Happy Friday, All!


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, All!


And best of luck in your Annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Race!


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Pet Leopard Lady Tie

As most of you know, I love me a good lady tie.  I find them amusing and cheeky and fun to wear.  And my latest lady tie find is no exception:

Is that not the most fabulous lady tie ever?  The print is pet leopards on chains with what I’m assuming are diamond collars.  


I thrifted the tie this summer and have been waiting for it to get cold enough that extra fabric around my neck would be welcome and not make me a hot, sweaty mess.  And today, My Friends, is the day:

For the lady tie’s inaugural outing, I paired it with a mustard sweater (thrifted, similar), black skinny jeans (a.n.a via JC Penney) and riding boots (Born Crown “Sosie,” similar).

But, really, a pet leopard lady tie goes with everything.

Happy Tuesday, All!


P.S. Don’t forget to enter my giveaway, here!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Tea Stained Lace Giveaway

Do you all know Dawn?  From Suitcase Vignettes?  Come on, you know Dawn.  Best head of hair on the interwebs?  Vintage lover?  Awesome person?  This Dawn:

Yes, well Dawn also has an Etsy shop, called Tea Stained Lace and because she is awesome she's offered the chance for one of my readers to win a $20.00 gift card to her shop!

Have you seen Dawn's shop?  It is a delight.  She has fun, wonderful items, but my favorite thing about Dawn's shop is the little vignettes she creates to display the items:

Do I need a vintage noise maker?  No, of course not.  Do I want one based off this display?  Yes, very much.

Do you want one too?  Well, then make sure you enter to win!  And it's easy too.  All you have to do is favorite Dawn's shop, Tea Stained Lace and leave an comment below saying you've done so and providing a valid email address.

Yep, that's it.  That's all you have to do.  So, go "favorite" Dawn (you won't regret it) and leave your comment below.  I'll pick a winner in three days time (i.e. contest closes at 6 pm, Wednesday, November 27th).

Bon Chance, All!


Friday, November 22, 2013

11 Things You Should Never Wear to Work

Who What Wear posted 11Things You Should Never Wear to Work and provided this handy infographic as a reminder:

The thing is, after looking at this, I can’t say that I agree with all of these choices.  Or maybe even any of them. 

I understand the inclusion of body-con on this list because the idea is not too look too sexy at work.  But, are we talking my idea of body-con or somebody else’s idea of body-con?  Because my idea of body con is a sweater dress:

Old Navy Snakeprint Sweater Dress

And sure, it’s a bit risqué, but I'd totes wear this to work.

However, somebody else’s idea of body-con might be a latex catsuit:

Darque "Rubber Look" Cat Suit via

This, this is probably NOT okay for work.  I won’t say definitely because I don’t know your life, but probably.

Like latex body stockings, fishnet body stockings are probably not okay, unless your work involves you starring in a Lady Gaga video.  But, as Jess from Animated Cardigan said on Pinterest, there is a classy way to do fishnets so I wouldn’t give up on them.


Is this you?

Are you Daisy Duke?  No?  Then leave the cut-offs at home.   

What’s that?  You work in the Florida swamp as a gator-wrangler and cut-offs are not only accepted, but encouraged?  Well, then, by all means, please proceed.

Panty Lines
Here’s the thing about the office.  They want you to wear proper underpinnings (see # 11) but they don’t want to knowyou’re wearing proper underpinnings.  Your underthings should be like rebar in a bridge; it’s there keeping things in place, but no one sees it.

Flip Flops
Tim Gunn says no one looks sexy in flip flops.  And he’s right.  But we’re not supposed to try to look sexy at work (see # 1) so I say wear flip flops.  It’s better than having your boobs out!

Wet Hair
What?!!  This is bull$#&+!!  I go to work with wet hair all the time because I don’t use, or even own, a blow dryer.  Clearly this “rule” is meant only for people with an interest in using modern technology. 

But, if I don’t wear hats I could catch cold from riding my bike with wet hair!

Hot Pants
I personally don’t see anything wrong with Hot Pants:

I mean, I understand that inflatable clothes aren’t the most professional, but they do help to slenderize those problem areas!

This makes me laugh because sheer was a pretty big trend last year and all of the fashion magazines were full of advice on how to make sheer work for the office.  Apparently those halcyon days have passed so put it away, kids!

Oh, Isabel Marant is going to be so sad about this one.  She “invented” these:

Image via

 (Please note that if I spend $700 on sneakers, I’m wearing them everywhere so I don’t look like the ass who spent $700 on shoes that are appropriate only for the weekend).

Strapless Bra
What if I like strapless bras?  What if I like the thrill of knowing one or both of the girls could just pop out at any time, without warning?  What if I like having to hike my bra up every 10 seconds?  What then, huh?  

As you can see, I don't exactly agree with everything on this list, and there are actually a couple of items I think they left off.  One is bare midriffs and two is overalls.  These two items are never okay in the office.  Well, they're not okay unless, of course you wear them together because you miss the 90s.  That pairing is obviously okay and completely work appropriate.

How about you, Reader Friends?  Do you agree with these “rules”? Anything you'd like to add to the list? 

Happy Friday, All!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

MarketPlace: Handwork of India

The other day I was contacted by a company called MarketPlace: Handwork of India with the offer to review one of their products.  I had never heard of this company so I did a little research and they’re pretty amazing.  They are a nonprofit Alternative Trade and Development Organization that works with 480 women artisans around Mumbai, India, to produce clothing and home décor items showcasing authentic techniques such as hand batik, ikat and hand embroidery.

The women work in supportive, non-exploitative work environments in the form of 14 cooperatives around Mumbai, which the women organize and manage.  And, addition to the much needed employment, MarketPlace works in conjunction with another nonprofit organization in Mumbai, SHARE, to provide social programs to the artisans.  And the women in turn use their own social program, Social Action, to get involved in their communities, tackling everything from garbage collection to domestic abuse.  

So, yeah, pretty amazing.

And so are the items they produce.  Like the Majuli Tunic:

Here is a close-up of the hand printed pattern and the hand embroidery at the yoke:

I don’t wear a lot of purple, but I love the dusty plum of the tunic.  And I love that the embroidery inspired me to pair the tunic with a mustard scarf:

Really, what's not to love about a company that empowers women and inspires the wearing of mustard?!  That's right, nothing.

To share in the love and learn more about MarketPlace: Handwork of India, please visit them here.

And have a Happy Wednesday, All!


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Kiss, Kiss

After Friday's all black challenge, I felt a return to color was in order:

I'm not saying this is better than head-to-toe black, but it's definitely more me.  I'm, somehow, more comfortable in an indigo dress and bright red, kiss print scarf than I am in black on black on black.

That's probably due to the kiss print scarf.  Kiss print scarves make everything better:

Tasha "Hot Kiss" Scarf via Nordstrom

Or, at the very least, they make me smile.

And it's not as if I'm banishing black from my wardrobe all together.  No, I just prefer it in smaller doses, like tights and a belt with an otherwise colorful look:

Dress: thrifted  Belt: Nine West, similar  Scarf: Tasha via Nordstrom  Booties: Nine West, similar

What about you, Reader Friends?  Are you more comfortable in color or in neutrals?

Happy Tuesday, All!


Friday, November 15, 2013

Black on Black on Black

The lovely Fashionista Next Door has challenged us to wear all black as part of Style Me Friday.  And y'all?  This was crazy hard for me.

That's right, I had trouble putting together leggings and a tunic.

The thing is, I don't wear black from head-to-toe.  I pretty much have to have a pop of color; scarf, earrings, something.  Or something shiny.  I had to force myself to back away from my Foxxy Anubis brooch this morning.

However, I (sometimes) like a good challenge so I bit the bullet and resisted the urge to add color or shine, depending instead on different textures to (hopefully) add interest to my monochromatic look.

I, apparently, also wanted to show how it was possible to wear head-to-toe black and not look sleek and cool.

But, enough about my enduring fluffiness.  Let's get back to the texture:

Yes, my sweater is texturally interesting.  And yes, I do have to make that face when providing a close-up of this tunic. Rules is rules, folks.

Happy Friday, All!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

How It Works

My sister looked at today’s outfit and said “I don’t get it”:

I said, “What is there to get?  They’re both plaid.”

She responded with, “I don’t think that’s how it works.”

I responded by laughing really loudly and saying “That’s exactly how it works.”

The thing is, I honestly do think this outfit makes perfect sense.  I’ve had the skirt for a while but the sweater vest is a recent thrifted acquisition.  But, when I tried the vest on, my immediate* thought was that I would wear it with this skirt.  

For me, a plaid with a plaid is nothing but good, especially when the other rules of pattern mixing are followed; these pieces have a similar scale and they share a predominant color.

Vest: thrifted vintage   Skirt: thrifted vintage  Tights: Spanx  Belt: Gap, similar  Shoes: Naya "Jada", similar

Okay, so I guess both pieces being plaid isn’t what makes these pieces work together, but I still maintain that they do work.

Happy Thursday, All!


*Okay, that’s not entirely true.  My actual immediate thought when trying this vest on was “holy side-boob!” as it’s open basically to the waist.  But, my second thought was to pair it with this skirt.  I swear.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Dress Like A Wasp's Nest

I feel like a cocoon today.  Or a wasp's nest, what with all my gray, lumpy layers:

Which isn't to say I don't like this outfit.  I actually really do.  It's cozy as hell and it's as comfortable as pajamas. And it's successful deployment of a maxi dress in cooler weather, which is something I've struggled with in the past.

What it's not, is figure-flattering.  I know as a blogger I'm supposed to be demonstrating how to dress in the most flattering way (Right?  Isn't that what I'm supposed to be doing here?), but I just can't do it.  You want to wear something that swallows your shape?  Go for it.  Dress like a wasp's nest, if you want.  I totally support that.

Happy Tuesday, All!


Friday, November 8, 2013


I guess this cardigan could be called "red" but red is boring and I grew up looking at J.Crew catalogs, so I'm calling it cranberry:

Dress: c/o eShakti  Cardigan: thrifted   Tights: Spanx   Boots: Nine West "Darsy"

I know it doesn't seem like enough for cold November weather, but it's a lovely wool/silk mix and is warm as heck.  I thrifted it a couple of years ago and don't wear it nearly enough, I think because the proportions are a bit difficult to work with.

Then I remembered that I have trouble with proportions anyway so I just slapped it on over my eShakti sheath dress and some tights:

In case you were curious, the dress is oatmeal with an ink trim and the tights and boots are ebony.

Happy Friday, All!


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Growing Up Tall

Quite some time ago (longer than I care to admit, actually) a reader asked me to talk a bit about growing up tall, including how my personal style evolved as a tall girl.  It took me so long to write this (sorry, Terra!) because I wasn't sure I was the right person to do so because growing up tall wasn't really a struggle for me.  But, then, I realized that maybe that's why I am the exact right person.  Because I didn't agonize about fitting in or adopt terrible posture to seem shorter or worry about being taller than all my friends.

And why didn't I?  In a word, sports.  I know it seems cliche and I understand that not all children are athletic but I believe very strongly that sports are good.  Especially for girls.  And especially for tall girls.

Sports were great for me for several reasons.  One, being long of limb can often be awkward; sports helped me be more graceful and to feel more confident in my body.  Two, playing sports was a great way to meet other tall girls.  Not all of my friends are/were tall, but many of them were/are and I met many of them through playing sports.  It was definitely nice to know I wasn't alone.  And three, sports gave me confidence.  Not just in my movement, but in my height.  I was able to walk down the hall without slouching because of the confidence I gained from being an athlete.

In fact, I'd say fashion and style was one of the few issues I had with growing up tall.  And even then, I don't think it was as bad as it could have been because I was an athlete.  Athletes, for better or for worse, often get a pass when it comes to style because they're so often in sweats coming to or from practice.  A lot of athletes take advantage of that and just wear sweats constantly because, especially for women, finding anything other than sweats that fit properly could be a nightmare.

Especially back in the day.  I don't recall a single retailer that offered tall sizes when I was growing up.  Al Gore hadn't invented The Internet yet so your only hope was to stumble upon a pair of Levis that seemed slightly longer than most.  At which point you counted yourself lucky and bought them in multiples.  Shoes were difficult as well because there were never larger sizes in youthful styles.  You could sometimes find up to size 12, but they were more suited for grown women than teenage girls.  Back then, shoe designers apparently thought that tall women wore a size 9 until they turned 30 and then suddenly their feet grew to a size 12.

Now that I think about it, the same was pretty much true for pants and shirts as well.  You couldn't find them in youthful styles or brands.  If you did find tall items they were almost always more office-appropriate than high school-appropriate.  Again, retailers seem to be laboring under the impression that tall women didn't actually become tall until their first day at the law firm.  Like having a job is what makes you shoot up to six feet!

So, how did I develop any personal style at all given the dearth of available stylish clothing?  Well, the first thing that I did was stop worrying about being trendy.  Even if I could find Guess jeans long enough, I couldn't afford them so I looked for alternatives.  Like wearing a lot of skirts and dresses.  Especially once I got through middle school.  I was a tomboy until then when my final growth spurt made it impossible to find pants that were even remotely long enough.  Once I got over the need to wear what everyone else was wearing, I began shopping thrift stores to find pieces that appealed to me in color and fabrication the way retail offerings didn't.

Today, I still wear a lot of skirts and dresses.  And I still do a lot of thrift shopping.  But, happily that's because I want to, not because I have to.  

What about you, Reader Friends?  Did you grow up tall?  If so, how did you cope with the clothing shortage?

Happy Thursday, All!