Sunday, September 14, 2014

A little bit of news

Guess what?

Ali and I eloped in June... surprise! We did it quietly in the desert with just two close friends as witnesses, and surprised our friends and family with announcements send via snail mail. We struggled a bit with how we felt about marriage as feminists and queer women (complicated, but we still want do it), and what to wear (not twin bridal dresses, but... what?). Here's what we came up with.

(PS: watermarked photos are by our amazing photographer, Kristin Chemistruck from Chemistruck Photography. She made us feel comfortable and amazing. Thanks Kristin!)

If Ali had her druthers, her entire wardrobe would consist of silk shirts from Everlane. When we were thinking about what to wear, we knew we wanted to keep thing simple and avoid actual wedding attire. We set out shopping one day, determined to find Ali something plain, simple, but well-made and beautiful. I think this dress was quite the find, although it wasn't entirely clear at first. 

Ali came out of the sale rack at J. Crew wielding this royal blue silk maxi-dress, which was being marketed as a beach cover-up. Here's J. Crew's idea about how to style it.

As you might imagine, at first I had a hard time understanding why Ali was wielding a full-length swath of silk at me, and what kind of human would purchase a silk beach cover-up and proceed to wear it with a baseball cap and Converse. When she explained her vision-- to lob off a foot and a half from the bottom of the dress-- it started to become clear to me. The result was a beautiful silk dress, completely plain (per Ali's request) that cost about $40 plus the cost of hemming. Take that, wedding industrial complex. Her shoes are black suede sandals from Kate Spade Saturday

I opted for this be-jeweled Anthropologie dress with 1940s style reproduction wedges from Re-Mix. I like that it alluded to a white wedding dress without being a wedding dress per se. 

My earrings are also from Anthropologie, and the lipstick is Stila Valentina (be warned, this stuff is amazing but lipliner is nonnegotiable; Ali swears by this stuff by Cargo which is reverse lipliner that can be worn with any shade. It works great, but as far as I can tell only comes in two colors that are meant for white skin, which is problematic). My favorite beauty find of late is Benefit Brow Zings, which is the best thing ever; my brows haven't been this happy in a long time.

Ali is wearing a gorgeous pair of Collette Ishiyama earrings that she purchased for the occasion, by the by. They're called the Chrysler Tower earrings, and have an amazing deco design, and are accented with stingray leather besides. Collette makes beautiful things and offers amazing customer service; we can't recommend her enough.

 In the end, we were incredibly pleased with our quiet ceremony, relaxing time in the desert, with with our sartorial decisions which we felt matched what we think is special about marriage, and shirked the traditions that didn't work for us. Yay!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Under the desert sky: Santa Fe thrifting with Meg & Cara

On Cara: silk cami that was her mom's, H&M skirt, Dansko sandals (can't find the specific ones, but there are some great Danskos on sale over at!)
On Meg: Bar III dress, Birkenstock Madrid sandals, flower crown from the Melrose Trading Post
Femmes & friends, can you forgive me for my extended absence? Instead of groveling, I'm going to jump right in with these photos from my trip to Santa Fe with Cara, my oldest friend (we met in the first grade!).

On Cara: Gap pants, Anthropologie top (Meg's)
On Meg: 90s romper from Savannah, GA, J. Crew denim shirt
 The great things about going on vacation with your oldest friend include a) a second suitcase to pillage, and b) guilt-free thrifting day to get things off to a good start. We hit Double Take (a kind of local version of Buffalo Exchange, so a little pricier than true thrift stores, but Cara scored some amazing finds!), Salvation Army, Goodwill, a hospice shop, and St. Vincent de Paul. Perhaps the most amazing find of the day was this incredible jumpsuit that Cara found. It's a little sexy, a little bohemian, and in this pose looks like it could be Cara's signature super hero costume.

I got my Isabella Stewart Gardner on with this floor length maxi dress originally from H&M. I would have never thought to try this on in a retail store because of the old fashion rule that short people shouldn't wear long things, but all of the rules evaporate in the calming and familiar embrace of the thrift store...

I kind of love the super-high slit and the ease of the loose armholes. I didn't get a shot of it, but the back dips a little low and in a nice triangle. Not bad for fast fashion!

H&M dress via Salvation Army, Target sandalsMadewell earrings, belt pilfered from another thrifted dress.

Generally I find that setting specific goals for a thrifting endeavor, like "I want to find an amazing romper" sets me up for failure. Instead of looking at each piece for what it is and its possibility, I look at every piece thinking "why are you not a cool romper in exactly my size?" Fortunately, when Cara and I discussed rompers and how she was in the market for one, it didn't lay a curse on our day. I managed to spot this incredible lace one pice that fit her great and is maybe the most versatile garment in the world. Thanks for making our dreams come true! I also need to make a bit of a humblebrag about these Remix Vintage Picasso wedges (retail for $172!) that I spotted for Cara for a cool $19. That said, Remix is a great local LA company that I completely encourage supporting! 
Thrifted romper, Remix Vintage Picasso wedges (thrifted from Double Take)

More Santa Fe style soon-- our suitcases were definitely bulging by the end of this trip!

xox meg

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Friendspiration: another Femmestagram update

Hello femmes and friends! Back again with another quickie post because I just cannot seem to get it together for an actual shoot right now. I'm not sure I've worn anything especially blog-worthy recently, but the same has not been true of the lovely femmes I've been lucky enough to spend time with this summer. So, here we have it—my IRL friendspiration from the end of June (pride season!) and early July.

First up, we have Elizabeth absolutely crushing her fashun for the Dyke March & Pride.  You fellow "Orphan Black" fans out there might recognize her eyeliner inspiration for the following looks. I couldn't get enough of this floral "BITCH" t-shirt, which she paired with this tough statement necklace, impeccable makeup, and adorable cut-offs.

Looking fine with her boo at dyke march.

For the next day, E. remixed the necklace & cutoffs with this amazing boy scout uniform shirt that she tied at the waist (that part was my revelation while we were thrifting together—I have to take at least a little credit for how perfect this look is). She was pretty much a bigger showstopper than anything happening on the corporate sponsored floats. She must have been stopped at least 4 times by onlookers marveling at her ensemble, and one person even suggested that we all show up as a matching crew next year. I think we'll probably hit the beach for the next pride, but it's still a good idea!

shirt: thrifted from ltrain vintage (vice versa) / lips: sephora cream lip stain in always red

Nowhere near as exciting, but okay, since you asked, readers: I wore this 90s crop top that I picked up at a Goodwill recently, paired with this leopard-and-sunglasses printed scarf, my trusty "feminist killjoy" necklace & a coral lipstick that I borrowed from E. The next day, I wore my very first romper, picked up at Beacon's closet—which is also where K. found that amazing cut-off.

homemade popsicles with shannon & k on the way to the train!

The following weekend, Fuchsia and I got to hang out before one of K's drag shows, and snapped a photo of our best 90s dream girl ensembles. I was having a lot of strong feelings about Fuchsia's whole look—I mean how brilliantly is she pulling off that little mini jumper/dress thing with those fabulously frump danskos and the layered necklaces? I want the whole outfit. But mostly I just want to tell you that these photos of us are brought to you by bike shorts. In fact, I think my whole summer of 2014 is sponsored by bike shorts, which are finally allowing me to shorten my hem lines while maintaining my comfort.

dress, backpack & hat: thrifted (various savers locations) / shoes: danskos mary jane / necklaces: by fuchsia @ metal and rocks & erica weiner / lips: nyx soft matte lip cream in ibiza

floral dress: goodwill / purse: estate sale / shoes: reebok lifestyle freestyle hi-tops / lips: nyx xtreme lip cream in dolly girl

And finally, I couldn't help sharing this outfit of Shannon's with you, even though I wasn't present for this actual moment because she was out of the city on vacay. But this is the beauty of femmestagram; modern technology was fortunately able to allow me a glimpse of this magical onesie moment shared with her beautiful friend Jeannie. You know it's a great photo when I can't tell if I have more outfit or ice cream envy.

happy summer! hope your days are filled with as many soft serve cones & babes as mine have been.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Femmestagram update: Melina's May & June

Hi femmes & friends! It's obviously been a while since we've had a post here on Femmepirical Evidence, but I wanted to catch up with you and share some outfits from some recent significant events in my life.

First: I passed my orals exam! After months of stress and worry, the experience proved to be exactly what I hoped it would be: a fantastic conversation about things I care about with three faculty mentors I felt honored to work with. From chatting about the body in Frances Burney's novels, to a discussion about empathy and Loren Cameron's Body Alchemy: Transsexual Portraits, to analysis of Susan Sontag's positioning of herself as cultural critic (rather than feminist queer), it was amazing. I'm feeling really excited about my future in the program. 

Now, on to what I wore: my go-to basic black dress from Ann Taylor loft (super soft and comfy but sturdy enough to stay professional) with a floral print cardigan & a sea foam green belt with textured polka dots from J.Crew Factory. My lip color was "Babe" velvet matte by vmv hypoallergenics. My margarita was delicious. 

Two days after my orals exam, I suddenly had another reason to celebrate--K. surprised me with an engagement ring in the middle of our drag show! Could he be any more wonderful? You can watch a video here. Thanks, Ilana!

Our friend Deborah snapped some great Instagram shots (above) and BFF Fuchsia was there shooting the show, so the surprise was very well documented. Fuchsia and I had done some major thrifting damage earlier that day, so my femme-cee look was everything I'd dreamed of and more. I felt so pretty as a blonde in this flowy 60s-inspired pink gown with beading that I picked up for $8 at Vice Versa. K's shirt is from J.crew factory & the tie is from Topman. Shout out to Meg and Ali for sending us a champagne toast all the way from the west coast!

By the way, the bling is the hexagon ring by Satomi Kawakita sold at Catbird -- I've been in love with it forever. We're deep in the process of wedding planning right now, and I can't wait to share more details about our budget-friendly/super queer/karaoke/BBQ/drag show nuptial extravaganza with all of you soon. For now, I'll just offer this shot of me trying on my mother's wedding dress, which she made by hand in 1980. 

Finally, I want to share my first outfit from Pride season! K. and I missed out on a lot of pride stuff last year when we were planning for our big trip to England and I was frantically perfecting my conference paper. So this year, I wanted to be back with a vengeance. I took the opportunity to debut this oversized sun hat that I thrifted with Fuchsia in the fall, pairing it with this dress, which is a reclaimed Hot Topic piece from high school. That's right--you know the dress. With all the black tulle sticking out of the bottom? I found it while cleaning out my closet at my mom's, realized the shape was rocking, and with a few quick snips, went from a angsty teen to femme pin-up queen. I completed the outfit with my trusty Sanita Dawn sandals from last year & my "feminist killjoy" necklace, obviously. Oh, and my le specs "runaway" sunnies, which look good with everything.

Shout out to Shannon, who I hope will be contributing to the blog sometime soon!

That's all for now, friends! How are you? What are you looking forward to this summer?


Friday, February 28, 2014

Witchy winter floral

photos by elisabeth fuchsia photography
The idea of this outfit is pretty preposterous today, readers; it's 25 degrees here, and feels even colder. But a few weeks ago, we had some warmer days & my BFF Fuchsia snapped these shots of my new outfit, which is brought to you by an H&M coupon code I received in the mail, a two year old Piperlime gift card that I rediscovered while K. and I were re-doing the apartment, and a truly lovely birthday gift from the aforementioned BFF (be sure you check out her jewelry at metal-and-rocks!) Faced with a 25% off code, I couldn't resist this dark floral print dress. I paired it with tights & over-the-knee socks/boots here for warmth, but its lightness will easily translate to spring & summer—I am eager to wear it with platform sandals in a few more months.

Right now, getting dressed is more about survival and comfort than looking cute, but I'm wearing lots of pink shades in lip color to get me through this never-ending winter style lurch. What are your strategies for dealing with winter blues, east coast femmes? I think I'm just going to stay inside with my sweatpants & books until at least May...

dress: h&m  // boots: chinese laundry via piperlime (similar) // over-the-knee socks: asos // necklace by fuchsia (metal-and-rocks) // lips: ilia neon angel


Monday, February 3, 2014


We finally had a warm day in my city! It was almost 50 degrees today, and K. & I took advantage of the heavenly temperatures by taking Griffin on a long walk during my reading break. I wore this favorite thrifted coat of mine over skinny jeans I borrowed from Fuchsia & added my favorite witchy boots from Call It Spring. Although this oversized coat is one of my favorite clothing items, I've somehow managed to never blog about it before now. I picked it up from my vintage hook-up in my hometown last year, and I always receive a lot of compliments from strangers when I wear it, so I think that means it's pretty good. Once, before my teaching practicum last year, a woman approached me in the hallway, told me she loved my coat, and asked what department I came from. When I replied that I was in English, she nodded knowingly. "The artsy coat gave it away," she said before disappearing into the elevator.

I was also wearing this amazing necklace that K. gave me for my birthday. You know you need it, too--in case your feminist killjoy status is not already apparent by your carefully honed withering glare. I tossed my phone & keys into this soft leather envelope clutch that I picked up a few months ago from the Gap. 

jeans: madewell, borrowed from Fuchsia / coat: vintage, thrifted (get the look) / sunglasses: cole haan via / clutch: gap / boots: call it spring / lips: e.l.f. mineral lipstick in "party pink"


Monday, January 27, 2014

Melina's Six Natural/Organic Makeup Must Haves

As Meg once remarked to me when I was raving about whatever new facial scrub or moisturizer or lip color I'd been obsessing over at the time: "You love products." It's true; I tend towards the fanatical about whatever products I get attached to, and sometimes it's hard for me to resist proselytizing about them on the street to perfect strangers. Especially when it comes to skincare products. I have sensitive & acne prone skin, so whenever I found something that seemed to have promising results, I was so ecstatic that I'd start chatting about its life-changing impact with random women on the subway.

Fortunately, two major things have changed since then: 1) now I can just write about these things on a blog instead of approaching strangers who probably don't care about my overwhelming enthusiasm for skin care and 2) I've switched over to natural products for my daily make-up routine that have significantly minimized my skin drama. When I was growing up with my hippie parents, my eyes literally couldn't roll hard enough when they tried to lecture me about all the nasties in cosmetics. However, most of my resistance came from the fact that natural makeup just wasn't good makeup back in the day. But that's changed drastically, and now it's possible to avoid exposing your skin to harsh chemicals without sacrificing the coverage and rich, bright pigments I crave in cosmetics.

So, without further ado, here are my current make-up must haves for my daily face:

1. 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Tinted Moisturizer

I've been using powder/mineral based make-up for a while, which does give great coverage, but I recently switched to this creamy tinted moisturizer & I have not looked back. It's makeup that doesn't look like MAKEUP, but it also offers sufficient coverage for my blemishes/uneven skin tone. It has built- in SPF 20, and gives my skin a healthy glow that has never come "naturally" to me. However, most significantly, I've seen a big reduction in skin irritation and acne since I've used it--so check this out if you need a detox from your usual tinted moisturizer or concealer. My skin is on the oily side, so occasionally I brush some mineral powder over it, if I'm really worried about shine. Faerie Organic has some that I absolutely love--with a great airbrush finish.

2. 100% Pure Pink Grapefruit Glow Lip & Cheek Tint

I always break out when I use powdered blush, so this creamy cheek tint has been a lifesaver. It can double as a lip tint, which is great because it's filled with shea and cocoa butter so the moisturizing factor is on point. Like the tinted moisturizer and the mascara, it's colored with fruit & vegetable pigment instead of synthetic dyes, and it comes in several different shades.

3. ZuZu Luxe Liquid Eyeliner in Raven

Really rich, dark color, easy application, and lasting wear. This is my daily eyeliner, but I have also been able to use it for more dramatic looks with fake eyelashes, etc. I'm even wearing it in my last post. ZuZu says that it is "Enriched with vitamins and herbal extracts to gently smooth and protect the delicate eye area," and I definitely find it to be easier on my eyes—and my skin.

4. 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Mascara

I seriously get complimented on this mascara all the time. It's pigmented with berries and black tea, and the brush is fantastic so it truly lengthens lashes. A disclaimer: It smudges just slightly more than conventional mascaras, but not enough to keep it from being my favorite.

5. Ilia Lipstick in "Neon Angel"

I have this lipstick in Femme Fatale too, thanks to K., and I've been loving the colors as much as the creamy moisturizing feel. About halfway through December, my lips became officially too dry for most of the matte lipsticks that make up my standards, and Ilia's nourishing formula, which contains rose hip oil and aloe leaf juice, has been an essential part of my recovery. And no parabens!

I have posted about Tillie Polish before, and everything I said still stands. I love this stuff! Golden Goddess is my current fav, even though it is part of their summer collection.

What are your favorite cosmetics, femmes?