silver boxesold ornamentssanta blobs

Yesterday we cleaned the house and put away most of the holiday decorations. I normally keep the tree up well past New Year’s but for some reason I wanted to have it all cleaned up early. This holiday season has been exhausting for me so I guess I’m ready to see it all end and have life be somewhat normal again.


Today we are going to see The Shape of Water and then run some errands. This evening we are going to a friend’s house for a New Year’s party. In all honesty, I’d kinda rather stay home and play Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The hubs and I bought a Nintendo Switch on Boxing Day and have been playing together each night. It’s been the one relaxing thing I’ve done over the past two days. Playing video games may not sound too relaxing to some, but it’s a sign of normalcy for me. Now that we are done playing Hollow Knight, we can immerse ourselves into Zelda and it looks like it’ll take us a very long time to complete.

birdszhivago bird

I don’t like making New Year’s resolutions, but I do like having a few goals to work towards. Starting them on New Year’s sounds fitting.

  1. Be better at money. There are several “last minute not necessary but I’m going to buy them anyway” items because it’ll help me clear my head for starting off fresh tomorrow. I’m not actually bad at money at all right now, but there’s always room for improvement. I need to figure out where I’m wasting the most money and develop a better system for my discretionary spending.
  2. Be better at pull ups and exercising in general so I’ll be in better shape when I get this effing boot off. Even after scrubbing bathrooms, cleaning floors, de-pilling sweaters, and cleaning the kitchen yesterday I still forced myself to work out. I did pull ups and have fallen back behind in my reps again because I’ve not exercised in over a week.
  3. Hone in on my style more. This year I was very experimental and a lot of my spending most likely came from that. I think I’ve gone to extremes and now looking at some outfit photos, I think my style right now is some degree of weird schizophrenic. I wear both fitted clothes and those that make me look like colorful potato sacks. I don’t regret any purchases because it’s been a learning experience for me and I’ve been thinking of ways to work with what I have to make some items work better for me.

I’ve read many blogs about style this year and I’m starting to get a better idea of what I like and what I don’t. Sustainable fashion trended a lot this year and being more selective of fabric types and construction also made lots of waves in blogs.

Many blogs talk about the importance of fabric and how natural fibers are the best. Looking at a few work horse pieces in my wardrobe say otherwise. If an item is well made and if I take care of it properly, then does the fabric really matter? I don’t think so. My acrylic sweaters may pill more, my polyester shirts might get a few loose strings on them faster, but in general those are not make-or-break problems for me when it comes to my enjoying them. Yes, natural fibers are very nice and may last a little longer, but I do think a lot of what makes clothing last is how I take care of it. I’ve been ironing clothes more this year and paying attention to how often they are cleaned and how they are cleaned.

After reading about where clothing was made and how that makes a huge difference in it’s quality, I went to the mall and decided to test this. The only sort of “high end” store near me is Bloomingdale’s at the mall. I went there and looked at the more expensive clothing designers available. Some of the silk shirts were amazing and made me think my Everlane silk shirt was more Wal-mart quality in comparison. The heft and drape of the silk was incredible and even the stitching made Everlane and Grana look horrible. I think I confused a few SAs who constantly asked if I needed anything because I was taking clothes off the hangers and turning them inside out to look at the stitching and tugging a little at fabrics and checking tags. I was a bit skeptical about the quality because I know that a lot of big name shops have designer clothing that’s specifically made for them: Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, etc….. Although what I gleaned from it all was a mixed bag. For example, the brand Theory had lots of items that said “made especially for Bloomingdales” on them. All of those items were made in China. The few items that didn’t have that notice were made in USA. I checked the stitching and tried to gauge the general fabric quality of both and both were well made. Another brand, Hobbs of London, had almost every item made in China and some clothes were well made with good stitching and some not so much, but the pricing was generally even.

The only thing I managed to get from all of this experience and reading was that being a conscious fashion shopper is nigh impossible. Yes, shopping at stores that have transparent policies and who use sustainable fabrics is best, but the likelihood of finding the best of both worlds like that isn’t all that probable. And for the few places it is, it’s not very economical for most people. For me, the best I can do is be a hell of a lot more discerning with my clothing choices and decide: do I care about the fabric type? Only if it’s well made. Do I care about the quality? Hell yes, the better made an item is the better it will last [caveat] as long as I take care of it. Does expensive clothing equal better clothing? Generally, yes. However, that’s not a set in stone rule. Clothing that has better construction will last longer and it does take longer to make an item that way so the pricing should reflect that. I’d much rather make sure the person who made my clothes gets paid properly for doing the extra work to ensure it’s durability.

I’ve never really meant for this blog to cover such heavy topics in fashion, but in some ways it’s unavoidable. The more I delve into what clothes I like and why, I need to be better informed about them.

Lastly-  item of note in this long, rambling post:


New handbag: top (showcased next to the most important item in the house – my lint roller) vs old handbag: bottom.

There’s nothing wrong with my old Coach bag. I still love it. My mom surprised me with the new bag from Dooney & Burke for Christmas. It’s not anywhere near the style of bag I’d choose for myself and the colors are not my cup of tea either. That being said, I’ve started using it and I really like it. The pocket placement inside the bag is awesome and I feel more organized than ever using it. I didn’t think I’d like the little hand grips because I’ve always been more a shoulder style fan, but I have found it easier to grab the little handles when necessary. At first, I was thinking I’d say “thanks, but no thanks” and have her return it, but now… it’s actually grown on me due to it’s practicality. I’m still not crazy about the color scheme, but maybe it’s exactly what I need to break up my black cycle lately. (My inner goth is harump-ing right now and saying: we’ll see how long THAT LASTS.)

I hope everyone has a happy and save New Year!

Style inspiration – Over-sized

I love boxy, big, voluminous looks with lots of layers. I hardly ever wear that style though. I do have one super large sweater I wear in the winter, but that’s it. I’ve been wondering why I don’t attempt to wear this style more.

Is it because it’s not the norm here? I don’t think any of the above looks are the norm anywhere, but they still make me want to dress that way. Most people want to show off their figures no matter what their body shape looks like. That’s always a given. Since I’ve lost weight I’ve also been in the “woohoo I can wear smaller sizes and look fab!” mode as well, which is why I purchased two pairs of skinny jeans and am rather meh about both of them. Am I reluctant because I’m used to being told I look frumpy or like I’m wearing a potato sack if I wear over-sized clothes? Have I not found the right kind of over-sized clothing that does actually “fit” well and drape in a way that while still looking “big” also look amazing? Am I too focused on showing off my figure instead of the clothes?

Several months ago I was at a Nordstrom Rack and saw a girl that took my breath away. She looked as if she’d walked straight out of a South Korean fashion shoot. She wore an over-sized v-neck tee in green over a voluminous brown skirt that fell almost to her ankles. A black floppy hat, Birkenstocks, and an enormous leather tote completed her look. She was different. I followed her throughout the store, hiding behind racks so as not to look too obvious. I personally thought she stood out, but most other people didn’t take notice. Maybe I was just so entranced with the fact that she wore the perfect summer combination of an over-sized look that I adored so I singled her out easily.

I’ve had my finger on a couple of items online I’m tempted to purchase that fall into this style. The key clearly is buying items made of good materials that drape in flattering ways, which means lots more $$$ than what I’m used to paying. I can always send them back if it doesn’t work out – right?

Most of the photos above are from collections from Exception de Mixmind, which is a clothing line from the Chinese designer Ma Ke.

“Staples” I don’t have in my wardrobe. Part 2

This portion of all my rambling thoughts on wardrobe “staples” includes items that I, as a woman, lack. I’m not saying women should all have these items. Again, this is just based on fashion/style/influencer blog sites I’ve read that seem to assume women have or need these items in their wardrobe. There are plenty of women who don’t. Power to all of us.

Despite my love of black clothing, I do not own the prized token of any woman’s wardrobe (or so people would say…), the Little Black Dress. In fact, I currently don’t own any dresses at all. Zero. Nada. None. Zilch. Last year I had three dresses. Two of them I’d worn only once and the third one I wore to a slew of weddings the year before. Since that time I’ve lost 17 lbs so none of those dresses fit me anymore. All three of the dresses were black, but not plain black.

In general, I’ve never been the type of person to wear dresses. I’ve always preferred jeans or trousers. I suppose one could say I’m a bit of a tom boy and that’s fine. There are plenty of women who cut a mean figure in a formal pants suit for special occasions. I’ve not done that because I always assumed I’d need to wear a dress for formal occasions. Maybe now that I’m entirely dress-less I’ll try that out. I do have two upcoming weddings to attend this autumn, so we’ll see. I’m not entirely against wearing dresses and perhaps I just need to find my own perfect Little Black Dress to change my mind.

So, based on the above information, what’s the likelihood of my actually having skirts, which tend to be another wardrobe staple for a woman? Yeah, not quite. I do have one skirt right now and it’s too big. It feels like it’ll drop off me so I’ve only worn it around the house when I’m washing all the jeans/trousers. I recently washed the skirt (it’s cotton jersey so it feels like PJs) and have tucked it on the shelf in my closet I usually designate to clothes on their way out of the wardrobe. So that means – zero skirts! Again, I’m not against wearing skirts, but I normally don’t reach for them or dresses (when I have them).

Another “staple” that is one of my least favorites, are high heeled shoes. I hate heels. Lots of women hate heels. Some totally rock the high heeled look and it does make for a flattering silhouette, but I am Queen of the Klutz People. There are many of us in the female realm and we simply do not know how to walk in heels without looking like we should be in some slap-stick comedy where we perpetually harm ourselves. I’m not talking about the 1-2″ kind or “kitten heels” on booties or boots or sandals. I’m talking about the 3″ and up crowd of heels. Barbie heels. Stiletto heels. Heels that make women sound like Clydesdale horses – and vaguely look like them while attempting to land each step they take in them. I have one pair of black wedge heeled shoes. I think they go up to 3″. All other heeled shoes I have are shorter. I’ve worn those shoes maybe 4 times for special occasions. I’m ok in those because they are a wedge and I’m not trying to balance my heel on a needle head. I’d be willing to try wearing more dresses and more skirts, but high heels are a big, fat NOPE.

Out of the three traditionally known items to be most women’s wardrobes, high heels are one I won’t budge on. I don’t care if I have a meeting with the god of the universe and need to look formal. I’m not doing high heels. I’d be willing to wear a skirt or dress if the need arises. But first, I need to have some in my wardrobe.



“Staples” I don’t have in my wardrobe. Part 1

A lot of fashion sites and blogs talk about wardrobe staples.  Perfect examples include: little black dress, white button down shirt, white tee shirt, the workhorse jeans, etc… Pretty basic stuff here, so why the hell don’t I have any of it? I realize this is a very subjective subject and “staple” is relative (hence the quotes) and not everyone has these items. I’m merely basing all of this on observations I’ve made of fashion/ style/ influencer blogs I’ve read.

I’ve got the jeans category covered, but white tee shirt? Well…. I’ve got a white tee with a little floral graphic on it. Does that count? Maybe? No? I have a white tank top, but I do not have a basic white tee. I also don’t have a white button down shirt. I have a short sleeve one in rayon, but as for the “staple” aspect of it being either cotton or linen – I have none.

Why are white shirts considered staples? Because they are “classic” or “timeless” in style? I see plenty of bloggers who rave about their favorite white shirts from x, y, and z retailers, but I’ve yet to find one I actually like. On top of that, if I do find a style I like, I’m more prone to looking at every other color except white. An example of this is the linen pocket v-neck tee I have from J Crew. I have 3 of those shirts and none of them are white. I don’t like sheer shirts. I know there are thick styled white shirts that are perfectly opaque, but then my second issue comes up – pit stains. Light colored shirts show pit stains almost as soon as the second wearing for me. I’ve gotten better about finding shirts that fit me better and don’t sit right under my arm pit, however, I do need to regularly wear antiperspirant, which rubs onto the fabric and stains it. I sweat very easily, which may be TMI, but it’s the truth. Light colored clothes appear dirty much faster in my wardrobe. Also, I don’t feel good wearing white. I’m much more self-conscious wearing it than I would be in a colored shirt. I get it – white is fresh and light (clearly) and classic, but I’m not a fan.

Anyway, most people seem to wear white and… wait a minute…. I just realized that my husband is the same way I am! He has white ankle socks and one white dress shirt for fancy occasions, but other than that there are ZERO white tees in his wardrobe and even in underwear. He actually hates white underwear. I don’t have white underwear either – it’s all black with one or two pieces of nude. One could say it all stems from my former goth days, but the hubs has no reason other than he doesn’t like white. And… I don’t like white much either.

The only reason why I even have a few white clothes are for one reason: summer. Oh, but what about light colors in general? Blush or nude (meh, same issues I have with white), pink (GAG, I FUCKING HATE PINK – inner goth is screaming), yellow (makes me nauseous and I look dead in it), ivory or cream (meh) and even pale blue or violet (okay-ish) colors make very rare entrances into my wardrobe. That’s not to say I don’t have items of clothes in these colors (except pink and yellow, which are permanently banned), but they definitely are the minority. Geez, for a 40+ year old woman I sound like a whiny, spoiled bitchy goth teen when it comes to clothes. In thinking of what I do have, it’s all black or dark colored.

So what’s my staple? Grey. All shades of grey. Any shade of grey. Light grey, dark grey, charcoal grey – any kind of grey is welcome. I would also say black because I think black is more classic than white. Will I ever get a white button down or basic tee? I won’t rule it out, but I’ve yet to feel like I need it.

Clothing items and styles I’ll (probably) never wear.

I’ve been reading a lot of blogs about what people wear. People post their outfits of the day or just for the work week and then sometimes mention items they want to add to their wardrobes or have on their radars, etc….

Many of them include styles and items of clothing that look really nice, until I read what exactly it is and then recoil back in horror. I say that I’ll probably never wear them because either I’ve already worn the style years ago and didn’t like it or didn’t get it, which means I’ll not go down those avenues again, or it would have to take some serious crow-bar inducing coercion to make me consider wearing it.

For instance, jumpsuits have made a huge comeback over the past 5 or so years. Or maybe they were always fashionable and I just never noticed until all these bloggers started wearing them and posting them. They are cute, fashionable and make dressing easy because you don’t have to worry about what top to wear with what bottom. I wore jumpsuits when I was little. There’s something about them that I didn’t like. The reason why I’ll most likely never wear one of these things is for one simple reason only: I don’t want to have to get 80-90% naked to go to the bathroom! Maybe it’s just because I have a little bladder and drink lots of water, which means I have to pee a lot. But seriously peeps, when you have to take take off that much of your outfit to use the toilet…. no. Nope. Nopity-nope.

The same goes for body suits. I get that some have buttons, Velcro, or some sort of clasp at the bottom so  you can undo them to go to the bathroom, but there are lots of them that don’t. So that means if you have a skirt or some sort of trousers on, you have to take those off AND THEN take off the body suit to go to the bathroom. Or if the top part is big enough, then take all of the top off. FUCK THAT SHIT.  I used to wear body suits in high school because there was a body suit craze going on at the time and I remember thinking – WTF am I even doing in other to pee? I’ve put myself in a really annoying contraption that’s making everything about wearing clothing awful!  Even the ones that have a bottom clasp of sorts…. I don’t want to have to feel like I’m undoing a diaper to get my clothes off. At some point in the future I’ll probably be doing just that for old-age “accidents”, but for now – NO.

Overalls are another clothing item that’s seen a bit of a comeback. Overalls aren’t as bad as the two above, but I still don’t like having to take off that much clothing when I need to use the bathroom. Also, I’ve never found any that didn’t make me look like a disgruntled 12 year old or hillbilly. Something about the style just makes me back away. I’ve seen plenty of other people pull off the look of a white tee/tank with overalls and look fantastic, but I am simply not one of those people.

The biggest NOPE item of all for me are flip flops. I hate them. I know that millions of people wear them – some year round – but I can never wear this particular item ever again. I used to wear flip flops when I was younger and I remember the years spent wearing band-aids between my toes while breaking a new pair in. Those blisters hurt like a mofo. I also remember how my foot would always slide off them and hit the dirt or pavement, which I didn’t like. If my feet got sweaty, which they do A LOT, then I’d be sliding around in them even more and feel utterly gross and uncomfortable. The worst part though is the noise. It’s bad enough when I see people dragging their feet around making that annoying scuffing sound with slides or even sneakers, but flip flops are their own brand of one-person-annoying-as-all-fuck-band. I’m not keen on the sound heels make either, but it’s not nearly as bad as flip flops. And you know when someone has sweaty feet when you hear them slapping around with that suction squeak-thomp added in the mix. I’ve also read about how bad they are for people’s feet in general because of the awkward way you have to use your foot in order to keep it in place. People wear flip flops in my office all the time during the summer. I’m surrounded by an army of slapping bands. It’s awful. I hate it. But I know that this is a war I’m never, ever winning, so my poor ear drums and nausea are held in check.

There’s also a way of styling clothes that I’ve seen lots of people wear and has me scratching my head about. It’s not that the styling is bad. In fact, most times it looks great… on other people. Meaning not me.

The biggest weird one in way of style I see is when people wear trousers or jeans with sweaters and… sandals or flip flops. Are their feet that hot? If I have on a sweater that means I’m cold and if I’m cold I want most of my body to be covered, especially my feet. I get that some people are totally fine with baring their feet and they probably have much better circulation than I do, but it still looks awkward to me.

In the same vein, people who don’t wear socks or wear open-toed booties/mules in winter. I live on the east coast of the US, which  means Winter. My feet get cold as well as my ankles. I’m not entirely against baring ankles if I know I’ll be going to an office or building where there will be adequate heat, but some styles show people totally babushka’d up in a wool turtleneck sweater, woolen trousers, high-collared woolen coat of some sort, a scarf, hat and then bare ankles and tiny little heeled shoes that barely do anything for the foot than lift it off the ground. Literally 60% of the foot and ankle are exposed to the cold. I feel pity and want to immediately take the person to the closest store to buy them socks. Again, I don’t have anything against the style because some people pull it off smashingly. But I know that’s simply not a look I can do nor want to do because keeping my footsies toasty is key to me being a tolerable human being in winter.

A style I’ve seen in dresses that I think is beautiful, but have never managed to make work for me is this:

I don’t know what style of dress to call this, but basically it’s a very open one with very little structure. I love this style, but I’ve never been able to make it work for me. Any time I’ve tried wearing a dress like this I just look like I’ve got on a fancy potato sack. I’m somewhat average-short (5’5″) so certain styles that tall women wear make me look like a child due to the proportions. That’s what happens when I wear something like the above style. I’d like to say that out of everything else mentioned in this post, the above style might be something I could wear. If I ever happen to find the one unicorn dress of this style that works for me.

That’s all I’ve got for now, but I’m sure there’s others. I hope that if anyone reads this to not be offended, but know that these are personal preferences. But I might still cringe if you walk past with your sweaty flip-flopping feet.