Thursday, January 18, 2018

Jailbird


I don't know if you remember my first black-and-white striped top, but I do. I loooooved it when I first got it, and I loooooved it right up until it bit the dust. It was a sad day when I finally decided the collar had lost all hope of its original shape, and the holes had gotten too big too ignore any more.

Since this beloved shirt and I parted ways, I've been waiting patiently for something similar to replace it, but consistently I've just come up empty. Nothing compared to its perfect fit and its perfectly sized array of stripes. That is, until Monday.

On Monday, I went to the thrift store for the 50% off Martin Luther King Day sale. I was just about to head to the checkout when my eyes fell on this sweater. The black and white stripes were about one inch wide, just like the old one! The shape looked tailored and the size looked fairly form-fitting, just like the old one! In short, it was a very acceptable substitute for my long-lost shirt!

I had already been to the fitting room once and had no desire to go again, so I threw this top into my bag untested, and crossed my fingers. I am pleased to say it was a great fit! It's not quite as cool as the old sweater (the white is not as white, and I'm not crazy about the henley collar, or the fact that the stripes on the bottom hem are askew), but after years of waiting, I'll take what I can get.

To commemorate my old sweater and celebrate the new, I decided to take a trip down memory lane, and do a modern take on the original's last hurrah.

ThenNow
I no longer have the teal skirt I wore in that look (I decided it was too short for work, and it, too, was showing the signs of age), but I recently acquired a new one! I put the same boots on my feet, but wore them pulled up instead of folded over. I still have the jewelry I wore in the original look, but I also have some cool new jewelry, so I chose to wear that. I figured a bird in a cage would be a great companion to the prison stripes on my shirt.

Friday, January 12, 2018

The temperature is swell, but the earrings are stupendous!

It may be damp and dreary, but look! I'm posing outside in January!
At least once a winter, we are blessed with a warm spell that turns our sad northern landscape into a semblance of spring, and every time, I'm compelled to celebrate like it's never happened before. Apparently, I really like to celebrate this occasion by wearing green pants, since I did it in 2016, and I did it again today.

These are some new pants I got from Swap.com, one of several straight-legged pairs I purchased to expand my work wardrobe. In an homage to the spring-like weather, I chose a floral color for the top—a purple shade that, sadly, clashes with my hair.

For the shoes, I went with velvet ballet flats that I got for just 5$ at Shoppers World. I haven't been going there much recently, but this shoe purchase reminded me that it's an excellent store for the occasional great bargain!

Although the last two weeks have seen me accessorizing mostly with scarves and necklaces, today I decided instead to go with my old standby—statement earrings.

And what a statement these ones make! Sporting huge plastic gems in every color of the pastel rainbow, and dangling all the way past my collarbones, they are the biggest earrings I've ever worn for this blog (although I do have one bigger pair that I don't think I've ever pictured)! A little outré for the office, but hey, it was a Friday!
 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Book Look


The skirt is new(ly thrifted) and very brightly colored, but with its cut and ankle length, it's not exactly at the height of fashion. It's also wrinkled and slightly see-through. For this reason, I had to wear the blouse over it rather than tucked in. Sadly, the blouse is also slightly see-through, and combined with its too-large fit, I ended up looking decidedly frumpy. The only good thing about this outfit is the scarf. I managed to tie it in a cute bow with the tails dangling down to just the right length. If only the blouse had been better-fitting or tucked in neatly. If only I didn't have so many issues with transparency. If only! I would have been the very picture of fashion.
 
Earlier today, I couldn't wait to ditch this outfit. I told a friend, "I need to shower and change out of my librarian clothes," and for some reason, that changed everything! My outfit was still a little dowdy, but compared to your stereotypical old-fashioned librarian, it was a paragon of boldness! 

I decided I had to blog it, so I tugged the blouse back and hid as much of the extra fabric as I could, to fake a better fit, and took a few pictures! Shhhh! Don't tell everyone my secret for making the frumpiest outfit look photogenic!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A little lavender


I finally got around to dyeing my hair a pastel purple, as has been my dream for two years at least! While I'm mostly happy with the effect (it took me two attempts), the color ended up darker and slightly more bluish than I'd envisioned. I think I've been a little too conservative with the bleach, which has been keeping my hair darker than the platinum base required for a truly pastel color. I'll figure it out. By the time pastel hair is a relic of the 2010s, I'll have it down to a science! In any case, while I have this shade, I'll make the most of the unevenly tinted periwinkle!



While dressing for one's hair color might be a little restrictive on an everyday basis, I do like to make sure my outfit complements my hair on the first day after a new dye job. When I colored my hair pink in October, I matched it with pink jewelry and shoes. The previous summer when I went green, I wore green shoes.

For this new lavender hue, I decided to build my outfit around, not purple, but a color that goes well with purple: green. Since the hair isn't a dark shade, I made sure my green was equally pale, choosing a top in a muted seafoam hue. Then on my feet, where darker colors are a logical way to ground an outfit, I went with my trusty old teal shoes. The color combo looks weird in the picture, but it was just right in real life.

Confession: I originally wore a royal purple necklace, but it kept getting stuck on the collar of the shirt, so I took it off, and I'm glad I did. Sometimes simplicity is best, and I like how the only pop of dark purple in this outfit is the earrings, which just occasionally peep from behind my hair.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Bluer Velvet


My blue velvet dress is one of the oldest things in my wardrobe (not necessarily by actual age, but the thing I've had the longest) that I still wear in public. It was out of style even when I got it (which might be how I was able to score it new with tags for just five dollars, if I remember correctly), and by the beginning of last winter, I was getting ready to send it out to pasture when the velvet trend struck. So I kept it around, but honestly, I can't remember if I wore it at all that winter.

This year, fortunately, velvet is still going strong...and I happen to have recently acquired a pair of blue, crushed velvet, thigh-high boots!

When this outfit idea occurred to me, I thought long and hard about whether I really had the guts to wear a blue velvet dress over blue velvet boots. That's a lot of blue velvet. It might be overkill. But then I decided overkill is what the Unfashionista does best!

I wore the velvet dress and the velvet boots! I briefly contemplated also wearing big blue earrings, but I decided enough was enough. Since my clothing was kind of bizarre, I'd just go conservative with the jewelry. I put on a classy silver necklace, courtesy of my boyfriend (he's pretty much the only reason I have any jewelry at all that's not outlandish!) and some subtle silver drop earrings.

The more I looked at the getup, the more I liked it. It has a lot of things going for it. The monochrome look is always polished—something about the outfit reminds me vaguely of a suit, the epitome of class! The modest dress and the completely obscured legs make for a weirdly anachronistic vibe, but velvet and especially velvet boots are both styles of the moment, so it's got a contemporary appeal. Although I'm not sure I'll look back on this outfit a few years from now without regret, today at least, I'm wearing it with pride!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Sock boots and backup stash


I set a little Fashion Challenge last week, to wear something new or refashioned every day for work. It was a four-day week, so it couldn't be so hard, right?

Tuesday it was my Ultra Violet shirt, Wednesday the green blazer, Thursday the navy sweater, and so all was well, right up until Friday. Friday, I had big plans to wear a cute casual outfit featuring my new burgundy velvet sock boots.

If you have been keeping up with my long-winded years-in-review, you know that both sock boots and velvet boots have been ruling the footwear roost for a while now. I craved a pair of velvet sock boots over a year ago, yet by early this fall, the closest I had come was a suede sock boot (still never worn). Getting desperate, I searched Google Shopping for the term, and finally found a slick burgundy pair just under my maximum price at Forever 21.

 
I was fairly surprised when the entire month of December afforded me zero opportunities to wear this classically Christmas-colored shoe, so for the new year, I resolved to get it out of its box and onto my foot as soon as possible.

Cut to Friday, the day I'd selected to finally wear these boots! I won't bore you with the details of what I originally chose to wear with them, because I didn't wear it. When I got to the office, I realized my wardrobe was malfunctioning in a major way!* Although it wasn't the too-revealing type of wardrobe malfunction, I looked unkempt and completely below my standards. I was annoyed with myself and sad, for a minute, until I realized that this misfortune was the perfect opportunity for me to showcase my Backup Stash.

Backup Stash? You ask. What's that? Well, let me tell you!

Years ago, I started keeping extra clothes at the office in a side drawer of my desk. At first, it was basically just workout clothes, back when I used to sometimes visit the gym after work. Over time, I realized it might be helpful to keep an extra pair of socks and underwear. Maybe a sweater, in case I get cold. A blazer, in case I have an unexpected meeting. Flat shoes, for unplanned across-campus walks. Etc. Etc. Over the years, I have completely filled that drawer with clothes and shoes that might come in handy in an emergency situation. They are usually things that I have retired from everyday wear, so they tend to fit poorly or be out of style, but better that than walking around all day with a huge stain on your pants, right?

The backup stash saved the day for my Fall Florals post a year ago, but I've never before worn garments from the stash so prominently as I did on Friday. What a momentous day!

I was already wearing leggings, so it made sense to wear a dress—I keep a black-and-white sheath dress in the stash. The dress has no sleeves, so I topped it off with the blazer from the stash.  A little too large, a little wrinkly, but still better than my original outfit!

I deliberately limit my stash to mostly black items so they'll look OK with almost anything else I might be wearing, and it paid off for this outfit. My burgundy velvet sock boots didn't look out of place at all, in spite of being worn with clothes that were completely unplanned! Fashion Challenge, complete!

*I told you I wouldn't bore you with this, but if your curiosity is too much for you (as it was for me when I read this post through the eyes of someone else), here's what happened: I wore a black dress that I'd cut up and trimmed with lace on the bottom. The cheap lace edge was clinging to my leggings and causing the whole dress to bunch up around my thighs. The previous night, I'd attached weights to the hem to keep it down, and while this helped, I only tested it out over my pajama pants, which were apparently a much less snaggy texture than the leggings. When I got to work, I found that not only was the dress still bunching up, but you could see the weights very clearly through the lace.

Friday, January 5, 2018

I refuse to be cowled


I got my first cowl-neck sweater in early 2011.

I had decided that I hated cowl necks pretty much by the end of that same year. The drape is almost always sloppy, rarely flattering, and it utterly precludes wearing both necklaces and long dangling earrings! 
When I acquired a hand-me-down cowl-neck sweater sometime last year, I was tempted to donate it—except I've recently developed a desire to get more tunic-length tops, so I can wear comfy leggings without having to worry about what might be showing—and this one was the perfect long and baggy fit!

Off went the cowl, lickety split!

I lie, of course. First I agonized over the best way to remove the cowl. Should I just cut it shorter and make a sort of mock turtleneck? 
Slice it down the middle for a more standard collar? 
I tried both, and neither satisfied, so finally I just cut several notches down to where it was attached, folded the flaps underneath, and sewed it down.

It's what I would call a temporary solution, since the remaining portions of the original cowl tend to work their way out from underneath, and they'll probably start to fray with time, but at least I can wear it for a while and get a feel for whether it needs any further alteration.

With the cowl removed, my sweater was now ready to wear, not with just a necklace, but the biggest type of neck decoration out there—a scarf! My scarf collection doesn't get a whole lot of use, but I've been really digging this multicolored floral one I got free with a JustFab order. It has so many colors, it basically goes with everything that's monochrome, so I thought it would be great for spicing up the vast expanse of navy blue. While the green boots weren't initially even a contender for wearing with the navy sweater, as soon as I saw how they looked next to the scarf, they became my first choice!

Fur boots, textured leggings, a scarf, and a chunky sweater dress: the perfect cozy combo for this bitterly cold winter weather we've been having!