Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Other peoples' weddings II

Recently Ali and I attended our second wedding of the summer, this time a bit closer to home on the water in Newport, RI (you may remember the first one in Michigan earlier this summer). This summer has been full of freelance work done in pajamas, bathing suits, and sloppy clothes for packing and DIY projects, these weddings have been great for reminding me how much I love getting gussied up. For this nautical affair I chose an old favorite from my closet, this strapless, bird-covered number procured on sale from Anthropologie in 2011. I probably don't need to remind you of the now-famous "Put a bird on it" sketch from Portlandia, but whatever, I have no shame. To go with the classic shape of the dress, I drew on some wings & puffed my hair up so that I looked more or less prepared to go to the Grand Ole Opry, and felt fantastic enjoying seaside cocktails and the nuptials of some really lovely people.

I was accompanied by Ali, of course, as well as her hilarious/gorgeous sister Julie. Ali is looking nautical and fresh in another Anthro sale find courtesy of my closet, and these 1940s style kicks from the 80s, which emerged out of her mom's closet at the perfect moment to compliment the look. I asked Ali if she'd like to comment on her ensemble, and she responded: "It's a dress. That fits me." Thanks, boo.

Jules recuperated from an early morning flight to look lovely in a floral UO dress & more importantly, a pink flower crown purchased by her bff in LA. This, of course, led to me promising Ali (much to her chagrin) that my first act upon arrival on the west coast would be seeking out said flower crown. Extreme force must be taken when it's a matter of a femme procuring a flower crown, friends. I convinced her to pair this look with my favorite Make Up For Ever lip color because a) I'm an evangelist and b) sharing is caring.
sisterly love, y'all.
Julie didn't want this picture to happen but guys, the flower crown! 

Thanks for inviting us to your beautiful wedding, Maddie & Justin! Congrats!

Dress: Anthropologie (2011)
Shoes: Kork-Ease, Deborah in natural (2011 but still available here)
Lipcolor: Albeit, Claret

Dress: Anthropologie (bought by Meg for a wedding in 2010)
Shoes: Caressa, via her mom's closet
Lipcolor: Stila, Outrageous (borrowed from Julie)

Dress: Urban Outfitters
Sandals: Franco Sarto
Lipcolor: Make Up For Ever 41 (Meg's)
Flower crown: Melrose flea market, via her bff

Birthday adventures

K's birthday was on Sunday, and we had a full weekend of celebrating with friends. Each event required its own distinct wardrobe choices—and was accompanied by appropriate birthday treats. Friday was the drag show (and I baked funfetti cupcakes like a good femme), on Saturday we hit the beach for the day before indulging in some very delicious locally made ice cream, and on Sunday, before going out to a delicious dinner with friends, we made a pilgrimage to satisfy a very particular Twin Peaks-induced craving. Sidenote: I think Twin Peaks has officially been mentioned enough times on this blog to merit its own label. No apologies.

from late night sleaze to summer sun
In short, we needed doughnuts. As any devoted viewer of TP knows, you can really only go so long without being overcome with a pathological need to consume some of that doughy, sugary, heavenly goodness.

Exhibit A
Fortunately for us, supplies weren't hard to come by.

Because we were planning on taking our treats to a local park to hang out with the dragon pup, I wanted to wear something light and easy. But I also wanted to make sure I'd be dressed up enough for dinner later with our friends. I opted for this great pencil skirt that I snatched on sale at Loft a month or two ago. I love wearing it because A) it is an amazing cut and color with a fantastic textured print and B) I got it for 50% off sale price ($15!!!).

I also made a second attempt at no-heat curls, this time with self-grip rollers. They work really well on my hair when I roll it while it's still damp. These self-grips from Ricky's NYC are the ones I used, and they are both inexpensive and easy to apply. I was really happy with the result—it made the whole ensemble feel a little more celebratory!

Shot of the birthday boy looking dapper in the park.

shirt: gap (via Meg during our clothing swap!)
skirt: ann taylor loft (sale rack, may 2012)
necklace: covent garden vintage market (london, summer 2013)
shoes: worishofer 811
lips: e.l.f. mineral lipstick in party pink
nails: e.l.f. in fire coral

It was a great weekend of celebrating someone really special to me. Now, back to work. Till next time, friends!


Monday, July 29, 2013

Suiting up

Real talk: finding a bathing suit can be a far from pleasant experience. Fit, style & pricing can all present formidable obstacles on the quest to becoming the bathing beauty of your dreams. There are no easy solutions, but patience & willingness to deal with a lot of trial and error can result in unexpected victories. Remember, if something doesn't work for you, it's not your body's fault; move on, explore other options, and never let bathing-suit-shopping angst stop you from enjoying some waves & summer sun!

 Here are some of the suits I've rocked in recent years:

1. Beach Blanket Bingo Two Piece in Soft Black (Esther Williams via Modcloth)

This high-waisted two piece is definitely a favorite. The bottoms offer great coverage, and the top works for a variety of sizes; as a small-chested femme, I feel great in this, but it also looks fabulously pin-up-y on those with more to support. For me, the suit offers exactly what I need—coverage for fuller hips and thighs, and a top that won't leave me feeling flat.

2. Beach to Bikini Briefs & Top (Simply Be - similar)

For similar reasons, this striped two piece was a hit for me last summer. Purchased on a whim when I received a coupon code for SimplyBe.com, the high rise bottoms and matching top made me feel like a total beach babe. After years of only purchasing swimwear in solid black, it was exciting to start embracing prints in cuts that made me feel awesome about my body. Best of all, the pricing was substantially lower than I'd expected!

3. Navy One-Piece (J.Crew, summer 2010 - similar)

When opting for the fuller coverage of a one-piece suit, consider one with a plunging neck-line like this J.Crew number I snagged on sale several years ago. I didn't feel like wearing a bikini, but I liked the fact that this piece still allowed me to show some skin. A one-piece doesn't necessarily need to feel matronly! Since J.Crew is often pricy, I suggest stalking the site for sales, utilizing student discounts, or checking for similar styles (with more sizing options) by other retailers.

What are your favorite places to find swimwear, readers? Share your tips & tricks with us by commenting on this post!


Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Dream Away

Fuchsia has been promising me a trip to The Dream Away Lodge for years now and taunting me with stories of this magical and bizarre place, and during a recent visit, we finally a double-date of it. Words escape me for how to describe the Lodge, so I defer to their website which proclaims that it is "part restaurant, part bar, part music venue and all theater." After dinner, we wandered through the beautifully lit forest, made s'mores over a conveniently located bonfire, and played on the grass until we were exhausted. Perfect night & the best way I can think of to say goodbye (for now!) to Western Mass.

Fuchsia looks stunning sipping a cocktail in an Acne dress that she thrifted from the Salvation Army & milkmaid braids.

Dusty's turquoise short-shorts were a showstopper.

Ali in crow

Top: Target
Skirt: J. Crew, approximately ancient
Shoes: Swedish Hasbeens
Purse: Thrifted from Savers

Dress: Acne, via Salvation Army
Bra: via Journelle
Sandals: Born

Shorts: heaven.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Femme-spiration Friday: Sherilyn Fenn in Just One of the Guys (1985)

"Look. What a fox. Dresses like Elvis Costello, looks like the Karate Kid...I'm gonna get him."

So Sandy (Sherilyn Fenn) vows upon first glimpsing Terri, the new kid in school, in the 1985 classic Just One of the Guys. There's just one catch; Terri Griffith is actually a frustrated aspiring female journalist, dressing in drag in order to prove that she was denied an internship at a local paper because her teacher is a misogynist douche canoe. For what it's worth, she's right.

Sandy is really into Terri's dapper drag makeover. But, while dodging Sandy's rather aggressive advances (there's a scene where she's touched that Terri felt like he needed to put a sock in his pants to impress her), Terri is busy falling in love with new best bro, Rick. It's a feminocentric revision of Tootsie (1982), with a plot at least as old as Shakespeare's As You Like It (1600), where Phebe falls in love with Rosalind-as-Ganymede while Rosalind is totally digging Orlando.

Despite containing a recuperative "reveal" and an attendant heterosexual union that attempts to stabilize the queer chaos of the narrative, this movie is pretty fucking perfect. K. first introduced me to these delicious 100 minutes of fine 80s film-making when we started dating five years ago. Unsurprisingly, it had been a favorite of his since high school, long before he had ever come out as trans. Perhaps even more unsurprisingly, it became an instant favorite for me, too. The gender bending and heavily homoerotic undertones folded into a campy comedy plot would have been enough. But when you add young Sherilyn Fenn into the mix and a truly swoon-worthy protagonist with some swagger, a slammin' skinny tie, and some Ray-Bans, I'm literally in femme heaven.

SWOOOOOON. amirite?

Fuchsia already paid homage to Sherilyn Fenn on Femmepirical Evidence, in an amazing post dedicated to the inimitable Audrey Horne of Twin Peaks. But Fenn is such a babe that I think a second love letter on this blog is more than warranted. Plus, Sandy's predilection for loud, bold prints and fantastically oversized head adornments offers an interesting contrast to the muted tones of Audrey Horne's early 90s/Pacific Northwest palette. I can't get enough of her leopard print/red bow combo in this scene where she finally convinces Terri to meet her at the cave for a picnic that night (read: beer & makeouts).

For her nighttime look, Sandy moves the print to her headscarf, opting for solid black in the outfit and adding some dangly earrings. Voila! The ideal ensemble for discovering what your desired partner might be packing in his jeans on a given evening.

Even in the face of continual rejection, Sandy's hair always remains gigantic & triumphant.

Sandy is also a master of pattern mixing, as this colorful ensemble demonstrates. Who else could pair this red and white striped vinyl/pleather mini skirt with a loud, cut-up graphic tee featuring creepy little cupid cherubs and make it look this flawless? In the abstract, it seems implausible. But here, it is clearly the perfect outfit for eye-fucking the crap out of that hot butch/transmasculine man of mystery in your life.

But, in my humble opinion, the real pièce de résistance of this film is the look Sandy dons for her final and most aggressive attempt to seduce Terri. Her voluminous locks pulled up high & her bangs as teased and mighty as ever, a sexy lumberjack Sandy shows up at Terri's house with a gift: some "kissing fish" in an appropriately bow-adorned bowl. Oh, and this:

Yep. Just sliiiightly upstages the kissing fish.

Of course, a panicked Terri gives Sandy the slip, trying to push her off on her sex-crazed little brother, while she slips out of drag to go on a date with the douchebag fratboy boyfriend she will soon ditch in favor of Rick's loving embraces. And so Sandy's bold, unapologetic desire for Terri is never satiated—the single greatest tragedy of 80s teen film, and perhaps of all time, if you ask me.

At least there is this. Terri & Rick finally express themselves--at prom.

But even though Sandy never "gets" the Elvis Costello butch of her dreams, this film will forever remain a distinct site of pleasure and celebration for me, and, I imagine, countless others. Within a mainstream culture where representations of the identities, aesthetics, and relationships that I find most tantalizing still remain scarce, the fleeting moments of sexual tension between Sandy and Terri are much more than the opportunity for a cheap laugh.

They are tender, valuable, erotic, and, in some small way, sustaining. Even if I'm left forever fantasizing about an alternate ending—one where Sandy's discovery of that ill-fated sock crammed into Terri's skinny jeans is just the beginning.


It's a bow! It's a plane!

I promise that I have been getting dressed lately, even if I keep running out of time to tell you about it, dear readers!

To atone for my negligence, here are some femme-stagram shots of my favorite outfit this week. Neither the lighting nor the hair situation was ideal by the time these shots were taken (you'd think I would have learned a thing or two by now about post-happy-hour shoots), but hey, instagram filters can work miracles, right? Plus I think the filter especially works here because I'm wearing two of my favorite vintage items -- this 60s green & white bow dress that I thrifted in my home town last year (one of my best ever Salvation Army finds) & this new airplane necklace that I picked up at an estate sale a few weekends ago. Since I spotted a real Pan-Am bag at the same sale, I suspect that this charm might have been part of some old school flight attendant accessorizing, which really only adds to its appeal for me.

I'm also wearing some new shoes that I snagged on sale last week—could anything be better than pairing this shade of green with bright fuchsia Worishofer sandals? I've been coveting a pair of these forever (Meg has some great red ones), and when these babies got a $20 price cut on Zappos, I decided it was time to take the plunge. 

I was pretty enthused about this new matte lipcolor in these photos as well. Earlier in the day, I finally hit up the e.l.f. store that opened recently in my city, and I picked up this shade that I have been craving, probably because it reminds me of Meg's favorite Makeup Forever shade, which always looks so gorgeous on her.

dress: vintage (thrifted, spring 2012)
shoes: worishofer 811
necklace: vintage (estate sale, summer 2013)
earrings: vintage market @ covent garden, london (summer 2013)
lip color: e.l.f. studio matte lip color in coral