December 23, 2012

Festive Fashions, Take 1

The semester is over and done, and the holidays are upon us.  Time to dress festively!  There have been three occasions in the past week that were particularly fun to plan for: a church Christmas party, a theater outing, and a swingin' night on the town.

Occasion: homegroup's annual White Elephant Christmas party
Tunic: thrifted | Jeans: Kohl's | Flats: Target
The sequins smattered on the neckline and cuffs of this shirt are so sparkly, I glitter like a disco ball (and I love it!).  Also, I'm convinced that the color of these mustard-y flats goes with everything.  This was our second year at this 15+-year party, and quite a hoot -- the mister secured for himself "the Khan," a coveted recurring gift, and my contribution of a super dooper reindeer pooper (plus jelly bellies, natch) was fought over, finally ending up in the hands of a precocious preschooler. 
Dress: option C, thrifted | Jeans: Kohl's | Booties: b.o.c., thrifted | Belt: (my favorite!) thrifted | Scarf: thrifted
As an end-of-the-term treat, we got tickets to see The Lion King.  I ended up taking a six-hour exam (ugh -- but, now I'm done with my Master's!) earlier in the day, so being dressed up was a pleasant boost.  The show was amazing, and dinner beforehand particularly notable for a sighting of my little sister's favorite minor internet celebrity at the next table over.

 Occasion: dancing the night away
Lace top: Ross | Bustier: Frederick's | Skirt: thrifted | Belt: thrifted | Stockings: Modcloth | Dancing Shoes: Nature Breeze via db shoes, self-glittered
Thanks for your input for my dance party indecision!  I went with option A, but changed things up a bit: a bustier rather than a tank gave coverage while getting the bombshell feeling that the elf-y version hadn't; taking in the skirt a couple inches let it sit at my waist, rather than below it; new fancy dancing flats (that sparkle!) just make me happy; and those tights...oh, those tights.  Ladies, these stockings are major win -- really good quality, sassy and unique.  I was asked if the ribbons were tattoos, they're so convincing in person.  (And while I couldn't/wouldn't ink so much skin, I have to admit that these would be some pretty rocking tattoos.)  The band was excellent, the venue was perfect, I felt incredible in that twirly, shimmery skirt, and had a wonderful evening [swing]dancing with my handsome husband.  Swanky party = success!

I hope your world is full of so many reasons to celebrate -- may your days be merry and bright!  (And all of you who are actually getting a white Christmas, my heart is with you.  I miss it so much...)

December 16, 2012

Holiday Party - Help!

Here's the deal:

I decided I needed a swanky-fun party to dress up for, preferably one involving [swing] dancing.  Amazingly, I found just such a party, featuring one of our favorite local bands.  Now, I can't decide what to wear.  Help a betty out?

Given the dress code of "vintage, cocktail, or red & green," my need to dance comfortably, and my wish to avoid my more-frequently-worn fancy bits, here's what I've come up with:

Option A:  Black lace blouse, green cami, and a lovely floaty, silky red skirt.  Oh, and that sparkly belt.  The skirt is amazing, but all the red and green makes me feel a little bit like an elf going to a ball.  Maybe a camisole in white or gold instead?

Option B:  The skirt part on this dress is stretchy, so it's great for dancing -- and while twirly skirts may be more fun on the dance floor, nothing makes you look like hot stuff better than a pencil skirt.  It's actually one of my "professional" dresses, but with the sparkly belt it's appropriately festive and retro, right? 

Option C:  Black chiffon and cotton-lace dress, sparkly red belt...I can't articulate exactly how, but this is *such* a lindy-hopper getup.  Even more so with my dancing shoes, which are white keds.   

Option D:  This feels the most vintage-reminiscent, with the black lace blouse under a sweetheart-neckline strapless dress in dark green.  This may also be The World's Most Perfect Bridesmaid Dress, as it has been worn in one wedding, as a guest to another, and for two formal parties.  (Not bad!)  The longer length gives a formality that's at odds with my shoes, though... 

So -- help!?  Thoughts?  What should I wear to my holiday bash?  What are you wearing to yours?

And now, bonus twirling picture:
Told you that skirt was amazing...

December 12, 2012

Winter fashion statements

Due to it being a mind-meltingly difficult week last week, I missed katie's winter challenge.
But better late than never!

Wisconsin is known for its long, hard winters.  Scarves, hats, mittens and thick coats are necessities; sometimes, you can be bundled up well into April.

Since you spend so much time in this thick layers, why not use them to make a statement?
Step away from the basic black coat!
Dig out those Nordic patterns!
Accessorize with a brightly colored scarf!

Winter is dull enough as it is.  No need to make it worse by pulling on something ho-hum.  If you need to be battling the elements, best put your best foot forward.

I fully embraced this philosophy in 2010, when I bought this yellow coat on eBay.  It doesn't fail to make me smile, and feel sunshiny on the bleakest days.

Coat:  eBay
Scarf:  H&M, in Germany
Mittens:  Ragstock

Do you have winter accessories that brighten your day?

December 9, 2012

Survival Mode

Finals week: that not-so-wonderful time of year when I obsessively ignore everything except studying.  I have actually told my husband "I have to banish you now" at least twice in the past few days.  Facing down seven(!) exams in four days, it's full-on Survival Mode.

Occasion: treading water

Day when I have to go to campus and pass for a human being have been variations on this formula, but home days have seen me never bothering to abandon the PJs.  However, a necessary run to the post office -- because not only is it finals week, but it's the holiday season, too -- meant reverting to no-brainer basics.  I may not be the most fashionable person in Berkeley, but at least people aren't crossing the street to avoid me, like the other crazies. 

Turtleneck sweater: thrifted | Jeans: hand-me-downs, originally from Gap | Shoes: Marshalls | Necklace: a gift

Bonus: not only did my necklace highlight the layered colors, but it kind of looks like Christmas lights.  So, that's a plus. 

So, how do you get through rough weeks -- psych yourself up and go in swinging?  Stick to a tried-and-true routine?  Desperately tread water?

December 2, 2012

Sick Days

And now, for our very first challenge week at Phenotype: fabulous...winter!  Here by the SF bay, it's been raining nonstop for days, and I've been dreaming about how much delightful snow that would bring if I were back home in colder climes...bundling up for outdoor [mis]adventures, cozying up inside by a fire -- there are so many things I love about winter!  One thing that I definitely do not appreciate, however, is being sick.

Even worse: being sick (and miserable!) on a day that you absolutely cannot stay home.  When all you want to do is burrow under the covers and sip hot tea while re-watching Sherlock but you *have* to go out and be part of the real world, what's a girl to do?

 Occasion: an at-school sick day =/

My approach is to wear clothes that are as comfy as my pajamas but more put-together (trying to get some of that "look good, feel good" going for me).  Here, [adventure] boots that wear like sneakers, leggings and a stretchy skirt, and my cuddliest sweater.  You'd never even know that I felt like I'd been run over by a bus.

sweater: J.Crew, thrifted | skirt: Target | leggings: Target | boots: Kalso Earth

I liked it so much, I'm going to do it again when I'm feeling even better.  What's your go-to when winter's got you down?