Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Scavenger Chic

I had a name for my go-to look in college (black flats with several holes in the soles, various thrifted black dresses, teased hair, night make-up during the day). I called it: "shabby chic." Meg called it "disgusting" and snuck into my dorm room one night to throw away those flats. R.I.P., old friends. It was for the best.

Anyway, these days, as a wise, aged adult balancing grad school with a teaching gig, I prefer a more refined version: "scavenger chic." I think this outfit manages to encapsulate this concept pretty well. I recently thrifted this great dress at 50% off the original price of $15—yes, a whopping $7.50. I paired it with some old favorites, and I'm happy with the result. Of course, the knowledge that I achieved this totally new-to-me look by spending money that did not exceed single digits doesn't hurt!

Strangely, even though I have been blogging about teaching clothes, I haven't yet mentioned my go-to "teacher bag"—a great vintage find gifted to me by my mother when I began teaching this past fall. She found it on etsy, and it's one of my favorite items. It makes me feel professional when I use it to carry my lesson plans, student papers, and books, but it also feels true to my personality and aesthetic.

Blazer: Anthropologie (40% off sale last fall)
Dress: Buffalo Exchange (50% off - $7.50!! similar style)
Belt: J.Crew Factory (similar)
Bag: etsy (gift from my mother -- thanks, mom!)
Necklace: thrifted (Uncle Margaret's in Northampton, MA -- now defunct)
Lipcolor: e.l.f. Mineral Mineral Lipstick in "Beautiful Berry" (my new favorite)

I couldn't resist including this hilarious shot of Griffin giving me stink eye.



Saturday, February 23, 2013

Splitting Hairs

A while back, Meg posted about using a tutorial from she lets her hair down, an amazing hair blog we both adore. I recently found another blog with tons of gorgeous tutorials—bobby glam. Warning: it will make you want to buy extensions. Or maybe that's just me. I'm pretty sure I spend 80% of any given day plotting ways to get a weave. Unfortunately, my life as a femme bookworm probably won't result in any reality show castings in the near future.

I don't usually have much success with hair tutorials, since I never really learned how to french braid, and my fine, straight, layered hair can sometimes look unforgiving in up-dos. But last weekend, I decided to try out this side braids into a messy bun look, and I was happy with the results. It was a fast look to achieve, with the most time consuming part being the light backcombing to create body on the top. I wore this on a rainy Sunday full of reading, but I might even try to substitute this in for my usual simple low-pony or bun for teaching.

 I might as well show you what I was wearing, too!
Jeans: Urban Outfitters High Rise Cigarette in Berry
Shirt: J.Crew (thrifted fall 2012)
Boots: thrifted (spring 2012)
Watch: Fossil
Earrings: estate sale

hanging with Griffin post semi-successful bath

Friday, February 22, 2013

Femme-spiration Friday: Amy Winehouse

We've been debating about whether Amy Winehouse is too obvious a femme-spiration to highlight here, but to go any farther without remarking on her style doesn't seem right- after all, on both my and Melina's pinterest boards, Amy makes the most frequent appearances.  She's kind of the femme-spiration on which all other femme-spiration is based.  Her signature look has been a constant source of inspiration for me since she emerged, really for the second time, as Back to Black Amy.  I've been known to say that Amy Winehouse is my spirit animal.  This might be a little exaggerated since I don't have quite the relationship with drugs and alcohol that she did, nor am I rail thin, but I think the fact that I can make a very respectable beehive with my natural hair is a pretty good first step.  

I don't even know where to start with this picture.  Amy had a really timeless quality: when she was at her best (and least like a shitshow), she modernized the 50s and 60s in a way that few others have.

I could talk all day about her amazing cat-eye makeup, which is an inspiration to both me and Melina.  In some ways, it feels like the femme holy grail, and even though Amy wasn't queer (to my knowledge), she managed to embody an aesthetic that I think is most relatable to femmes.

Amy was an enormous talent, and one that died far too young.  Going through images for this post has been a reminder of how much Amy achieved, her tremendous beauty, and also how troubled she was; a Google search renders a slew of photos of her in the darkest of days, but also so many beautiful shots like these.  Amy at her best is perhaps the femme-spiration that rings the most true for me.

Drag night

A few weeks ago, my birthday weekend coincided with one of K.'s drag group's shows. I couldn't have been happier for an excuse to wear one of my wigs out to celebrate. The deal was sweetened by the fact that Meg & Fuchsia were here to join me in donning fake eyelashes and tons of makeup! What more could a girl want? Just to recap: 1) amazing drag performances, 2) wig time, 3) glamorous BFFs, 4) fake eyelashes. These are definitely some of my key requirements for a memorable weekend. Not necessarily in that order. But, I'll be honest. Wig time does rank pretty highly on my list.
Femmes manning the door.
K. and his friends (Britt, Olivia & Jack) performed a choreography-rich boy band number to a mix I made of "If You Want It to Be Good Girl (Get Yourself a Bad Boy)" by the Backstreet Boys, "When the Lights Go Out" by 5ive, "Bye, Bye, Bye" by *NSYNC, and (for good measure) "What Makes You Beautiful" by One Direction. Studly boy band drag? My dream come true. Best birthday present I could ask for.

Perhaps one of the biggest highlights of the night was the front-row attention Meg got from Crimson Kitty, one of our favorite performers at our drag nights, and one of my personal she-roes. Just look at all of this fabulousness!

After the snow we, of course, took a few more quick shots in the basement—this time joined by our friends Emily & Julie!


dress: thrifted (Fashionista Vintage & Variety - stolen from Meg)
headscarf: estate sale (summer 2010)
lipcolor:  e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color in "Rich Red"

dress: 1960s (?) vintage from Donnaland Vintage Variety by way of the amazing Brimfield Fair (summer 2012)
cardigan: Banana Republic (2005?)
lipcolor: NARS Barbarella



shirt: Madewell linen drop sleeve (spring 2012)
skirt: American Apparel (winter 2012)
shoes: ASOS alarm chelsea boots (now on super sale!!)
lipcolor: Mac chili layered over NARS red square velvet matte pencil 
neclaces: pocket knife by with care and maple seed by twigs & heather


scarf: stolen from Meg
blazer: J.Crew
earrings: from an aunt whose massage client paid in jewelry
t-shirt: urban outfitters


Dress: American Apparel 

thanks to elisabeth fuchsia photography!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fast Sally’s Speakeasy

Meg & I love a good theme party. We definitely knew how to do them right at our undergraduate institution, and I still look forward to any opportunity to don something on the costume-y side of the sartorial spectrum. So, deviating slightly from our typical posts, I offer you some shots from a birthday party I attended over the weekend for my friends Rachel and Josh. It was a roaring 20s themed party; the invitation suggested that we all don our "spiffiest glad rags (feathers, fans, pearls, or dresses for flappers, and bow ties, pinstripes, vests, or fedoras for fellas)" and they transformed their gorgeous apartment into "Fast Sally's Speakeasy" for the evening. It was awesome.

K. & I were catching up on Downton Abbey before we left for the party, and I thought I'd pin my hair into something Mary-like at the nape of my neck. But my hair wasn't co-operating, so I decided to use this opportunity to wear one of my wigs. Although in this case I think maybe I ended up looking like some crazy combination of Marilyn Monroe and Lady Edith, we still had a great time drinking some "hooch" with our fun & stylish friends.


Dress: Kenar (stolen from Meg)
Pearls: inherited from K.'s grandmother
Feather pin: vintage, from my mother
Shoes: Aerosoles (spring 2010)


Shirt: H&M
Bow tie: thrifted
Cardigan: J.Crew Factory

I'd be remiss if I didn't include some images of the gorgeous bday girl, Rachel and our dapper friend Olivia! Rachel's ensemble for the evening was incredible, and she even managed to create her own headband from a feather she'd found at a local park. And Olivia was really bringing the 20s swagger.


Dress: Calypso outlet
Tights: Brooklyn Industries
Shoes: Stuart Weizmann booties (borrowed from her sister)
Headband: Goody elastic headband with a feather attached (found in the park- thanks to whichever bird lent it!)


Pants, vest & tie : J.Crew
Shirt: American Apparel
Shoes: Frye James boots

Thanks again to Rachel & Josh (not pictured) for being born—and for being such lovely hosts!


Saturday, February 16, 2013

It's a mod, mod world

This week I received these new cat-eye sunnies in the mail from ModCloth, and I couldn't wait to try them out today. They had me in a vintage state of mind, so I put on this dress—one of my favorite vintage pieces that I thrifted in Toronto's Kensington Market last summer. This gorgeous coat I stole from Meg a while back, and these pretty red leather gloves (a Valentine's gift from my mother who arrived this morning) completed the look. I wore this on a trip to the farmer's market and the park, before heading out to do some more thrifting. I think this dress functioned as a good luck charm, because I managed to find some great deals today!

Dress: Vintage (Toronto, CA)
Coat: Theory (stolen from Meg)
Gloves: gift from Mom (thrifted, winter 2013)
Lipcolor: e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color in "Rich Red"


Friday, February 15, 2013

Femme-spiration Friday: Jamie Luner in "Confessions of a Sorority Girl"

By now, my frighteningly vast love for low culture has probably become clear through my contributions to Friday Femme-spiration posts. B-rated? Made for television? Cult classic? Totally obscure? Pulpy, campy, practically unwatchable? I'm so there. Further, as you've seen from all of our posts so far, Meg & I share an infatuation with the aesthetics of two eras in particular: the 50s and the 90s. Well, today's post manages to combines all of the above elements. Allow me to introduce you to Jamie Luner in "Confessions of a Sorority  Girl"—a 1994 made-for-television misadventure set in 1950s California.

Luner (later of Melrose Place fame) plays Sabrina—"a hot babe, with a cold heart," as the trailer so subtly puts it. Wealthy, self-involved, and dangerous, Sabrina arrives at her new sorority and is roomed with Rita Summers, the friendly, smart, and popular sorority president (played by Alyssa Milano). Luner immediately sets her sights on Mort, Rita's boyfriend (a bar owner & aspiring medical student). But when Mort isn't interested, all hell breaks loose, with Sabrina's escalating seductions & manipulations culminating in attempted murder. Yeah, it's bad.

Although Milano, as the film's goody-two-shoes heroine, has a largely bland wardrobe, she deserves a shout-out for this look. Obsessed with her short curls & that Rosie-the-riveter headband!
The plot's deficiencies are more than recompensed by Luner's ensembles. Since the film is loosely based on a 1957 flick called "Sorority Girl," Uli Edel clearly wanted to find a way to visually reference his source material. I love seeing the way the film chose to re-imagine a 50s femme fatale through the aesthetic lens of the early 90s. Bright colors, exposed midriffs, and loud leopard prints abound. Not to mention red lips, winged eyeliner, and red hair in perfect, loose, face-framing curls!

Luner's appearance in this beautiful yellow bikini creates quite a stir at the pool—one of the film's most memorable moments!
No sorority film would be complete without a toga party...
Hands down, my favorite look is this leopard print number, which Luner dons with perfect red nails and red lips as she lounges on her floral print sheets, smoking and leafing through magazines. Too perfect.

So there you have it! More than you ever thought you'd want to know about a truly terrible 1994 made for television disaster on a Friday afternoon. Fortunately, I've saved you from needing to watch it in its entirety in order to capture the highlights of Luner's style. Don't worry, no need to thank me. I know that providing style Cliffs Notes to various unbearable forms of obscure media is my sacred duty to the world, and I perform it gladly.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Bird friends

On this Valentine's Day, I have a rare day off, and I'm taking a break from lesson-planning to get extra intimate with my own course reading. Everyone keeps posting really cute things on the internet about their pet being their Valentine. I guess Griffin could be mine, too—but he should work on his gift-giving skills. Vomiting on the bed this morning wasn't really my favorite thing he's ever done. Fortunately he's feeling better this afternoon! Still, with him passed out next to me on the couch, I felt like I needed some extra company on this lonely day full of reading, so I wore a dress with some built-in bird friends to cheer me up.

This dress was my first purchase from Eshakti, a site that allows you to custom order dresses. I was psyched to find out about this site, since I often have a hard time finding dresses that are long enough for my frame! When I ordered this dress, I must have made a mistake in filling out the form. I entered my height at 5'11" and requested a calf-length garment. Imagine my shock when I received it in the mail, took it out of the box, and found that it was ankle-length! As they say, when it rains, it pours. Fortunately, my mom helped me do some much-needed altering, and I'm really happy with the result. Today I tried some pattern-mixing with my scarf (below), and added a bright teal cardigan for some extra color.
Welcome to my first, largely unsuccessful attempt at using a tripod!
Feeling better on our afternoon walk!

Dress: Eshakti Birds on a Wire Dress
Belt: Gap (2013, 40% sale price!)
Dotted scarf: made by my mom
Cardigan: Gap Factory (fall 2012)
Lipcolor: e.l.f. Studio Lip Stain in "fashionista."