Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bookworm basics

You know, Ali might have already succinctly described this outfit in her last guest post—it's the thing to wear to teach bright young upstarts about the tyranny of patriarchy. I think that if I suddenly became a cartoon character of a queer femme teacher type, my closet might be filled with endless duplicates of this cozy mustard colored sweater and my go-to polka dotted pencil skirt from J.Crew. These perfect fall standards work for any occasion during my work week—from teaching, to reading, to going to meetings with my advisers, and reading again, and reading some more,  and—well, you get the picture. The print gives the look some visual interest, and the bright yellow is a great reminder that just because it's autumn, it doesn't mean I get to default to boring blacks and grays.

Plus, in a great pencil skirt like this, I can be assured that I won't end up running late to the subway for a meeting with the fly of my skinny jeans wide open. Like I did yesterday. NBD. That's just how I roll. It happens to the best of us. Right?

pencil skirt: j.crew factory (get the look) / sweater: j.crew factory (get the look) / boots: vintage / tights: h&m / acorn necklace: bust craftacular / bracelet: vintage (estate sale) / bag: spitalfield's market, london


Sunday, September 22, 2013

stay pissed and keep comfy: an outfit for mid-menstrual errand running

Looking for advice on what to wear to a festive summer BBQ, or to teach bright young upstarts about the tyranny of patriarchy? Melina's your girl. Need a good outfit for a swanky-casual academic soiree, or for mingling with 40-year-old virgins and Dungeons and Dragons enthusiasts while sipping mead and talking about Carolingian architecture? Consult Meg, who will doubtless throw something at me later for that (painfully, almost abusively accurate) caricature of her field. I'm here to discuss a very different sort of outfit, appropriate for a very different sort of day.

Here's the scenario: You need to go to Target, and you don't want to put on any pants. This happens to me almost daily, so let me throw in a plot twist to spice things up: you're on your period, and are 70-90% convinced that your uterus is slowly eating itself and all of your other vital organs like a parasitic alien. If you're the kind of lady with a uterus, as I am, you probably know what it's like to have twin baby tigers playing tug-of-war with a flame thrower inside your stomach approximately once every 28 days. If you're not, I hope my vivid descriptions have sufficed to jog your imagination.

Anyway, this was my real life on Saturday. I was tired, bloated, riddled with fiery fiery uterine cramps and generally furious re: being alive. But I needed to go to Target, because I had joined a couponing website that morning and was maniacally focused on claiming all of the bargains I had culled from the far reaches of the internet. Also, we were out of half-and-half, and Meg prefers to buy her coffee accoutrements from establishments that also sell nail polish. So I had to get dressed.

...Or did I?

This, friends, is my cat suit. 40% cotton, 50% spandex, 10% fluffy pink marshmallow shoes. No zippers, no buttons, no smoke and mirrors designed to give me a "waist" or make my "ass" look like anything other than the sad, flat expanse of Caucasian abyss that it is. Most importantly, of course, are the cats. Angry cats on top, space cats on bottom. Cats. Everywhere.

First of all, this is my favorite shirt in my personal shirt history. It is soft, it is black, it fits loosely, and it expresses a sentiment with which I identify at nearly every moment of the day. Exceptions include at birthday parties or funerals, during and immediately after (good) sex, on Christmas, Thanksgiving or Halloween, while eating waffles, or at the point of any major election at which it becomes impossible for your candidate to lose. These, as far as I am concerned, are the only moments at which mild to severe irritation is wholly uncalled for, and I'm glad to have a shirt that not only backs me up on this point but that also features my favorite animal.

Second of all, my cat suit is a good reminder of what dressing myself is all about: me! This cat suit is a big, unhinged "fuck you" to the internalized misogyny behind the nagging thought that "I really shouldn't go out like this." Why the hell not, exactly? Because I don't look attractive to others? Because people won't necessarily enjoy the sight of my legs sausaged into spandex casings covered in space cats? Fuck 'em, ladies. When you are cranky and uncomfortable and you want to prioritize the feeling of wearing pajamas over the feeling of looking like a put-together, functioning member of society, please remember that you don't owe anybody anything and wriggle right into those stretchy pants. After all, you're just going out to buy some coffee creamer and peruse a wide selection of dog treats for dental health. Even if you're a stylish femme at the pinnacle of high fashion (read: not me) you deserve a day off once and a while, whether or not you have a mutinous uterus. Hold your head high, strut right through those sliding red doors, and refuse to let your cat suit define you.

Or maybe let your cat suit define you. Whatever.

On my face:

Absolutely jack shit nothing, because I ran out of fucks to give and didn't have enough money to buy more after my trip to Target for half-and-half turned into an hour long shopping spree.

On my body:

Space cat leggings: Freeze, procured during a different trip to Target, literally given to me for free by an employee who either forgot to ring them up or was sent by God for this express purpose. Possibly because they weren't for sale. I can't find them anywhere on the Target website and am starting to wonder if in fact they were simply left there by someone who knew they couldn't appreciate them like I do.

Stay pissed shirt: A Girl Is A Gun, New Orleans

Watch: Topman -- which apparently doesn't sell watches on the US website..?

On my feet:

Osiris NYC 83 Ultra Skate Shoe, bought of my own free will from a Journey's at a suburban mall, unaccompanied by any child of the appropriate age to be wearing such shoes

Friday, September 20, 2013

Femme-spiration Friday: Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis in Thelma & Louise (1991)

Callie Khouri and Ridley Scott's 1991 film Themla and Louise has long been heralded as a feminist classic. An adventure film that values female experiences and relationships between women, the narrative also exposes the many dangers of modern American rape culture by celebrating the rebellion of two badass heroines who officially refuse to put up with even one more second of macho, sexist bullshit. Plus that kiss between Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis (it was unscripted, by the way—but Susan knew what was up), occurring just before the two women drive directly off of cliff instead of being taken down by The Man, has made the movie an equally lionized entry in the ever-too-sparse queer and feminocentric film canon.

But chances are, especially if you read this blog, you already know all of this. The goal of this week's Friday Femme-spiration post is 1) to remind you how awesome this movie is and 2) to inspire you to try out one of these spectacular man-eating looks during the next few weekends of transition between summer and fall. So cancel your weekend plans, readers: find your nearest DVD rental place, curl up with your boo and some popcorn, and take notes, because you are about to get SCHOOLED on how to smash the patriarchy with five easy outfit basics. Oh, and big hair. You're going to need big hair. Get out that teasing comb, femmes, because remember:  if your hair is flat, the patriarchy wins.

As a frustrated housewife with a controlling husband and a strong waitress who doesn't take any shit, Thelma and Louise set off for a much needed girls weekend—but not before taking obligatory road trip selfies. With a giant Polaroid camera. Forget all this Instagram crap; Thelma and Louise do not fuck around. You can rock Louise's look by pairing some cat-eye tortoise sunglasses (like these by Vince Camuto on with your favorite vintage scarf wrapped effortlessly around your hair. Complete the look with a red lip and the uncompromising desire to send all rapists to their deserved end in the fiery depths of hell.

When the two friends end up on the run after Louise blows Thelma's would-be attacker away, the drastic change in their situation comes with a drastic change in wardrobe and attitude. It's in this new, revised state that they blow up a trucker's vehicle after he refuses to apologize for making obscene gestures at them. Though I never made the connection until recently, it's clear to me now that my favorite pair of Batman: the Animated Series villainesses echo this moment in one of my favorite scenes of the famed Harley & Ivy episode.

To achieve this look, thrift some light or acid-wash high rise jeans like these by BDG and pair with a plain tee shirt, tank or a cut-off muscle tee. You can complete the ensemble with your newest fall ankle boots, western boots, or you can update the look with some buckle-heavy boots like Scoundrel by Seychelles (I'm currently coveting these like crazy but lack the dollars).

OR, consider rocking this amazing Canadian tuxedo. Keep the silhouette flattering like Thelma does by tying your denim button down at the waist.

But however you choose to be sartorially inspired by Thelma & Louise, always remember to have your best friend's back. Because nothing compliments a pair of great fitting jeans like an unwavering commitment to the safety and well-being of fellow women. And also, you know, the unapologetic expression of love between female friends who choose the fleeting sensation of holding one another while soaring to their inevitable demise over submitting to the control of the men who threaten their freedom. Oh, and also, a gun. That too.

Until next time!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Femmestagram: weekday femme brunch

This week on a rare day off from teaching, I met with Elizabeth (who you might remember from this post) for a work date. It was an absolutely perfect fall day, and after walking around my neighborhood with Griffin, we decided to get delicious bagels at this amazing new spot on my street. They are seriously homemade; the cream cheese featured scallions from the owner's garden. The cafe also has this magical backyard with croquet set up--I'm thinking a full out Heathers themed photo shoot needs to happen soon. 
Leopard, black, and denim is a foolproof combination for a casual femme ensemble in my book (see another example here), so it's no surprise that I chose this outfit for my date with E.
Elizabeth was rocking this beautiful early fall look. I'm obsessed with this bright red denim/chambray shirt combination. Especially after seeing Meg's recent post in gorgeous bright pink denim! I might need to break out my pink pants again soon. 
jeans: bdg high rise (get the look) / shirt: thrifted (get the look) / jacket: gap factory (get the look) / boots: madden girl dolo boot / lips: nars dragon girl (stolen from e.)

jeans: j.crew matchstick (get the look) / shirt: lucky brand (get the look) / bag: collective market on bleeker street / shoes: madewell / lips: nars dragon girl


Mixing and matching

Good morning! Here are some photos taken hastily before fleeing the apartment yesterday to avoid an awkward encounter with/being poisoned by the exterminator. Things are really starting to come together in our apartment- the living room finally feels complete, and the bedroom is getting there as we slowly acquire furniture from the thrift stores and flea markets we've been visiting.

This outfit is a combination of some old favorites, like this heavy denim dress from (now defunct) Ralph Lauren Rugby, purchased with gift money a couple of days after my graduation from college. My red Worishofers are soon in line for a replacement, but still make me happy when I put them on. This Anthropologie cardigan was something that I've only worn with jeans in the past, but I was pleased to realize that it's the natural pairing for dresses nipped at the waist-- I didn't manage to get a shot from behind, but it hit at the perfect place to emphasize my waist.

One style hang up that I have a hard time getting over is a slavish need to match, and wearing this grey and green cardigan with red shoes felt sort of wild to me, even though it's pretty low grade clashing. Wearing a sort of hodge podge of things I like feels bizarrely liberating-- if the proportions work, color will follow.

Home is where you hang your gilt cow skull, right?
Dress: Ralph Lauren Rugby (get the denim look with this cute H&M dress) / Cardigan: Anthropologie / Shoes: Worishofer 562 / Necklace: Santa Fe souvenir shop / Ring: Ali's mom's high school class ring

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Looking for autumn in all the wrong places

School starts in a week and a half, so we've been squeezing in the rest of the unpacking and moving things we need to do to settle in our new home; today that involved spending some quality time at the DMV to change our licenses over, buying hardware to hang stuff at Home Depot, and tackling the mountain of laundry we've accumulated over the past two weeks. As a reward for checking a bunch of things off on our epic to do list, we decided to take a little picnic to a local park.

I'm a little homesick for autumn-- the summery west coast September is pretty magical, but I'm about ready to throw some layers into the mix. I tried to jump the gun on fall a little by pulling out these bright J. Crew Factory jeans, which were perfect for rolling around on the grass with Harper, in spite of my general aversion to pants.

The weather shows no signs of cooler temperatures to come, but I'm excited to re-imagine my fall clothes in lighter looks for the heat, and start dressing for school-- there are some dresses I'm looking forward to debuting soon on less Harper-centric days. In the meantime, enjoy fall wherever you are!

xo meg

Top: Target / Jeans: J. Crew Factory (get the look) / Sandals: Target (get the look) / Headband: World Market / Rings: Madewell & vintage / Bag: Linea Pelle / Lip color: Urban Decay Crush

Monday, September 16, 2013

Pleasing paisley

It's getting to feel a lot more like fall around here! After two stormy days where we hit 90 degrees, the air is suddenly much cooler, and I'm able to start breaking out my fall teaching wardrobe just in time to receive my first batches of essays to grade. The new chilly temperatures have also been making for some blissfully cozy mornings of orals reading, wrapped in blankets with a warm mug of coffee--made even better by the fact that I'm reading 18th gothic page turners like Ann Radcliffe's The Italian. I can't complain.

This silk paisley dress is one of my favorite vintage pieces. I don't usually wear vintage for teaching because sometimes 18 year olds just don't get it, you know? But I think this dress is timeless, and so even though it's a slightly fuller, softer silhouette than what typically gets identified as "women's professional attire," I love wearing this to work and school. I think it's important to both of us at Femmepirical Evidence to constantly challenge this notion of femininity as somehow incompatible with strength, intelligence, confidence and authority. Plus it's just like sooo pretty, guys. The skirt is so swishy.

dress: vintage (thrifted in Toronto, summer 2012 - similar)
belt: j.crew factory (similar)
earrings: kenneth cole
necklace: nina kuna
shoes: urban outfitters
bag: vintage (etsy)