Laters

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.

snowmangarland

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:

handbags

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!

Butchering language in fashion

couple1couple2fashionfashion2

I love seeing photos of middle-aged/elderly people amazingly dressed. The couples kill me.

However, looking through pinterest makes me want to bitch-slap half of the people who post on there. More often than not I see the description “Advanced Style” associated with these photos. WTF does that even mean? Just because a person is older doesn’t mean they are “advanced” in the way they dress. I really hate and cringe at seeing “advanced” being equated to the word “old” as a result.

All images found on Pinterest.

Lounge wear conundrum

Gretchen brought up an interesting point in her outfit post today. Her style choices have made her more aware of how she may stand out to everyone else around her who wears workout clothes or the typical tee/jeans combination.

I had to admit that as someone whose uniform was very much a tee with jeans I knew that if I saw someone dressed as her around my neighborhood I would take notice as well. There’s nothing wrong with wearing a tee and jeans, but as I’ve expressed here before – I’m kinda tired of that same old look and actually want to put some more effort into how I look.

All of this got me thinking about how casually most people in the suburbs dress nowadays. It’s definitely a bit different in the city, where many people dress up more. Why is that? Why is it ok to dress up more in the city or is it just the fact that there are so many more people who live in the city, thus there are more types of personalities and within the throngs there’s bound to be several handfuls who deliberately make an effort to dress up? Is it due to the fact that the more eyes there are on the street then the more one feels the need to dress up as opposed to just throwing on a pair of leggings and a tee to go shoe shopping at the local suburban mall? Do people in the suburbs feel more complacent about their lives and therefore don’t feel the need to dress up or put a little more effort into dressing when they go out? Is it maybe due to the fact that more families live out in the suburbs and parents who have little time to deal with all their children’s activities mean they care less about how they look due to their busy schedules? (And to that extent – how many times have they used said business as an excuse for not bothering to dress a little nicer?) I definitely don’t have the answer to these at all. I’m not a parent, but I  do wonder how some of my friends with kids would respond.  I know that’s not the case for all parents though. There are several who do make an effort to be more presentable – the amount of fashion/influencer blogs I follow says as much – not just for the sake of people possibly looking at them, but because they want to feel better about themselves in general, which is really no different than my own reasons.

So does dressing up a bit more in the suburbs make one more…. pretentious/subversive/different? At any given moment in any store out in the suburbs here, I know I’ll run into women wearing athleisure clothing – leggings or yoga pants with tees and sports shoes or sandals. Then there’s the tee/jeans wearers (like myself) and…. that’s really it. The only other time is when you see someone wearing clothes for work, which might entail a suit or nice dress shirt with dress pants/ skirt. And here is where the I get to the point of the topic: is it really ok to wear lounge wear out in public? When I mean lounge wear, I mean the yoga pants, leggings, old jeans that 99% of the time rarely see the outside of the house, the stained or ripped or old tees that are too soft to get rid of, etc….  Also, have most people in the suburbs resigned themselves to more casual codes of dress that’s seen everywhere out of complacency, practicality, or because they don’t want to stand out too much since everyone around them is dressed similarly?

 

 

Routine colors

outfit

I seem to have a thing for wearing black and blue together. The bright shoes really throw this off, but I’m ok with that.

Shirt: Everlane – drop shoulder tee. Pants: Grana. Shoes: Lems Primal 2. Necklace: Swarovski – gift.

So looking through my pinterest over the past week makes me laugh a bit. I’ve gone from Eileen Fisher lagenlook chic to Rick Owens, Comme de Garcons, and lots of Yohji Yamamoto. Affordable (to a degree) lagenlook to…. high end fashion avant-guard that’s waaaaay out of my range. Yet I’m still coveting a lot of it and have even found some of it for prices that I could afford if I only buy one item – and then save another 6 months for the next one. I’ve always liked Comme de Garcons just because the designs were always so wildly amusing and the silhouettes are totally different from most other designers. If I had to choose one designer though whose clothes could be the only ones I’d ever wear for the rest of my life (assuming money isn’t an issue – more a mandate: wear only 1 designer’s clothes) then it’d definitely have to be Yohji Yamamoto. I’ll even pare that down further since he’s got two lines: Y’s and Y-3 collaboration with Adidas. Out of the two, I’d take the high-end Y’s range, but if allowed then sure, give me both.

I love his tailoring and the “unstructured” structured look of his clothes. The asymmetrical lines of skirts and billowing sleeves are completely beautiful to me. Also, he tends to dress women in a much more masculine manner and I’ve always been a fan of that look on women.

To the very few people who may (or may not) read this blog: if you could only wear the clothing of one designer for the rest of your life, who would it be?

Lagenlook

So a while back I mentioned how I liked the over-sized look. Well, it’s got a name – lagenlook. I learned something new! It’s apparently a German term and means “layering look”. From what I gleaned doing a basic cursory search on it lagenlook is about layering clothes that are loose and appear over-sized. Some might associate the look with peasant style (think medieval times), areas of boho style, Jane Austen style, mori style (forest girls in Japan), etc… It can be very frilly with lots of ruffles. But it doesn’t have to be frilly. Eileen Fisher is the best example of a put-together, chic lagenlook.

I really love this. It definitely wouldn’t work easily in really hot weather, but when cooler weather comes around I definitely want to work on making this look happen.