Friday, December 2, 2011

Goth? Merely lady like? Hmmm.

I don't know what this look is supposed to be. But I wore it almost exactly a week ago, liked it fine, neglected to take a photograph, and filed it in the Future Outfits Folder and voila.

  • Black/cream cardigan with a rosette on the breast $7
  • Ivory velour raised floral print mock turtleneck $3
  • Swingy skirt, gray/black tweed and black velvet with flowery ivory applique $5
  • Chunky black boots $10
  • Black patent leather wide belt $1
  • Lovely ivory flower clip ons $2
Not thrifted:
  • Old black lacey tights $0
What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • Well I wore it in its entirety twice in one week. I think I like it.
  • Wait. I think it's kind of boring. I don't know!
Total outfit cost: $28

PS: World Famous Dreadlock Sidebun Alert! I try not to wear it too often so it's always special.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

This is what people mean when they talk about thrift store clothes

You know how sometimes you pass someone on the street and their outfit just so screams of some particular store? I see Chico's a lot - kinda flowy, vaguely ethnic, braided, dangly things. Or Ann Taylor loft. Tailored, matchy, a little boring but with, like, a violet element. Around these parts, I also see a lot of Berkeley Lady. It's not one particular store (maybe Lilith?). Layers, a little wrinkled. An assymetrical jacket. Shoes that are part elf, part dansko clog. Arty, silver jewelry. Expensive as shit but trying not to look it.

So, I always wonder if people peg me as a thrift store type when I stroll down the street. Maybe, I dunno.

But, this outfit, yeah. This looked like a thrift store.

  • Brown heavy polyester oversized man blazer $5
  • American Red Cross Field Service t-shirt $2
  • Green plaid straight skirt* $5
  • White tuxedo style shirt $4
  • Brown doc marten's tstraps $5
  • Brown clip ons $1
  • White sheer scarf $1
Not thrifted:
  • White footless tights $5
What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • White footless tights (leggings? do we call them that?) are kinda ugly.
  • This is not an outfit. It is more like stuff you pull on while running late.
  • I am a little embarrassed to say that I did in fact assemble this outfit the night before.
Total outfit cost: $28

* Are all straight skirts pencil skirts? These are things I do not know. Hmmm.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Clip-on boy tie

I have all these ties. All different styles. Grown-up man ties with stripes. Beautiful skinny retro ones in fab hues. And, my favorite, clip-on ties that belong on 12 year old boys. Like this one!

It's gold with a little bit of green across the top and a tiny blue crest. Wonderful! Thing is, I haven't exactly figured out how to wear ties. I mean, if I could pull off the Diane Keaton thing with the loose tailored clothing, I would. But she's narrow and pointy and loose looks lush on her. I'm round and a little squat so loose and tailored looks like I need to put my red nose and big shoes on and do some pratfalls. Tailored, yes. But loose? No.

I digress! Back to the boy's tie! I'm wearing it! Whaddya think?

  • Brown cotton/rayon cardigan, nothing special, $5
  • Cream polyester vintage collared shirt $4
  • Gold clip on tie $2
  • Brown ratty belt $2
  • Blue cotton J Crew pencil skirt $4
  • Brown chunky boots $7
  • Blue clip-ons $1
  • Gold scarf $1
Not thrifted:
  • Lacey cream tights $5
What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the old-school mirror picture:
  • Belt? No belt? I dunno. Do you?
  • As usual lately, I liked this more in my head than in this photo, but I might just be seeing through fucked up lenses.
  • Hey! I tried a new thing! I like that!
Total outfit cost: $31

Monday, November 28, 2011

I don't think I've ever worn a long white cashmere coat before.

I mean, who wears a long white - cashmere - coat? I think that rich people do. Oh. AND ME.

I don't quite know why, but I have more coats than practically anything else. But cardigans. And skirts. And maybe boots. Oh fuck off. I have a lot of clothes.

This beautiful vintage - 50s or 60s I think - long white cashmere coat was $15 at a thrift store on HALF OFF day. So, yeah, it was $7. For $7, I can wear a white coat now and again, y'know?

  • Aforementioned long white cashmere coat $7 (did I tell you it is in PERFECT condition? It is.)
  • Mustard merino wool long sleeved sweater $4
  • Lovely Merrill 40s black wool pencil skirt $20
  • Black and gold punky style studded belt $2
  • Black chunky boots $10 (I'm bored with them too, but so easy!)
  • Gold/pearly clip ons $1
  • Pendleton anniversary scarf $5
Not thrifted:
  • Mustard tights $14
  • Cotton big hole tights $15
  • Yeah. I'm wearing two pairs of tights at the same time. It's nippy out!
What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • I'm not certain the layering of tights works. I like the idea of it but nothing special on. Maybe it would work better if the under-color-tights were less human colored. Like green or blue. Y'know?
  • I loved wearing that coat today. I felt grown-up.
  • Damn, I love autumn too. And autumn colors. Sweet.
Total outfit cost: $71. GEEBUS. Most expensive outfit I've worn in a long time.

PS: This was an accident photo. I hadn't backed up enough for my auto-photo-taker. But it looks pretty, yes?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I made a dress with glue, tape, and scissors. In my car.

25 years ago, my dear friends Jack and Kelly got hitched. I was a bridesmaid, and being how it was the 80s, I got to wear a really awesome dress. Royal blue shiny fabric in a sort of bo peep style with a blue hat. With netting down the back. And, I was about four feet taller than the rest of the you just know I was real, real pretty. Who cares? It was a wedding! It was fun!

This weekend, Jack and Kelly celebrated their anniversary with a dinner party at their house and I had decided to find that dress, or a reasonable facsimile thereof, and wear it to the party. But, I just didn't see anything that even came close in my thrifty travels. Saturday came along, and I resolved to leave the inn early enough to hit every thrift store on my way home and find something that would work.

But then the car in front of me got in a terrible accident - the driver is (I think) fine - and the ensuing helping out stuff put the kibosh on my plan for the day.

So, instead, I went to a fabric and craft store on my way home and bought fabric and supplies thinking I could get home and put it together. Unfortunately, traffic was dumb and I ran out of time and had to go straight to the party. That's how I ended up in the Raley's parking lot cutting up fabric and basically just gluing it together and to my body.

I cut one rectangle and wrapped it around my torso, securing it down the front with super glue and tape. I tucked the fabric into my brassiere on the top and into my skirt on the bottom.

I cut one large piece for the skirt, and tucked it into my existing skirt all the way around my waist.

I cut two small rectangles for sleeves and tucked them into my bra straps, securing with glue.

I added a bow at the waist and at the dip in my cleavage.

Then, I covered one of those weird foam/plasticy hats with the fabric using spray glue and then added the netting.

Okay, so it wasn't pretty. But I swear, it totally looked like the originally bridesmaid dress from the 80s! And, my friends laughed and enjoyed the silliness. Victory!

Even I am sort of stunned that it turned out so well. Hey, it was dark-ish at the dinner party! The sunny day here is not exactly complimentary.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

It's the little things

I feel an obligatory and trite thanksgiving blawg post bubbling out of me and I'm gonna try real hard to keep it down.*

Maybe some dry toast and ginger ale will help keep it down.

Ha ha! I'm vomiting gratefulness!

The True Fact is that I'm not feeling unusually grateful because of the holiday. I'm feeling unusually grateful because, I swear this is true, I feel unusually, painfully, overwhelmingly grateful almost all the freaking time. I wake up grateful for the weight of blankets and sun poking through the curtains - so cozy! I am grateful when I see the city from my bus on my way to work - it's unbelievably lovely! I am grateful when having a glass of wine with a client on the patio at Punchdown in Oakland - gawd, we're lucky! I am grateful when I'm sitting at a conference room table with a bunch of smart people trying to do something good - geez, how did I get this life! I'm grateful reading the sunday nyt with Sir Cardigan at Lanesplitter - pure bliss!

Sometimes, when I'm strolling down the street with pals on any ol' typical day, I can't actually help raising my arms up and doing a little spin, like mary tyler moore. She was just so damn glad to be there in Minneapolis that day, living her life. I totally feel that.

And then, wait for it, I'm grateful that I get to feel grateful. Not everyone sees life through sun-colored glasses y'know.

Good gawd, the gratefulness. It's almost as if I think that if I'm always grateful for every single little thing, I'll get to keep it.

I do think though, that because I am so grateful all the time, I tend to pack every minute of every day with stuff that I dig. Because I don't want to waste my good fortune! I have a responsibility to *really* enjoy it all, do it all, be it all, blah blah blah, because I can.

Of course, I'm grateful for the big things too. Of course. I have the great fortune to have won the world lottery, what with being born here and now and all that. And, naturally, that all feeds the responsibility to be grateful for all the little things too. And so it goes...

Therapy-types - go have a field day with all this! I'm too busy making champagne cocktails, working on my stuffed goat pattern, drinking my delicious coffee in the sunshine, cuddling with my dogs, watching Pieces of April, making pumpkin pancakes for breakfast, etc etc and so on and so forth.

  • Brown/green/black plaid skirt $6
  • Combat boots $15 (I now have two pairs - one at the inn, one at home(!) (I KNOW. LUCKY.)
  • Monster t-shirt $6
  • Perfect black cardigan $5
  • Black clip-ons $1
Not thrifted:
  • Brown tights $4
What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
Total outfit cost: $$37


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

This is what I look like if you squint your eyes

I don't know why my fucking camera can't take a focused picture. Sigh. Well, yes I do know why. I am cheapity cheap cheap and thus so is my camera.

So, if you're near-sighted and forgot your specs or if you squint your eyes or whatever this is what this is what this outfit looks like. Hey, it's not like your missing some awesome teeny detail, don't fret. But, y'know, sorry. Who the eff writes clothing blawg but can't take photos in which you can ACTUALLY see the clothes? Me! Ha ha!

  • Perfect gray cardigan $5
  • Mustard polyester mock turtleneck $3
  • Pretty swingy black skirt $5
  • Black chunky boots $10
  • Various jewelry $5
Not thrifted:
  • Gray tights $4 on saley
What I would change about this outfit now that I've "seen" the photo:
  • Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaa
  • I'm not in love with anything anymore. Well maybe my newish red bangs. Blah-de-blah. I mean, I still have fun with my cheap clothes and all but I'm not in love with anything on me. I gotta find my mojo again. Don't worry, I will. The sun always rises for me.
Total outfit cost: $32

PS. About 15 minutes after I took this picture, I saw a lady headed to the hot tub (I'm at the inn) in the pouring rain and decided to bring her a plastic bag for her towel. And.....fell/slid in the mud down the path. Committed, me.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Guest Cardigan Alert! Jenn!

You guys! Meet my colleague, Jenn. The first time I met her I was interviewing her for a job at our previous company and I knew I was gonna hire her because she had super sweet retro looking fluevog-ish shoes.

No! Of course I didn't hire her for her shoes! Gah! I hired her for her smarts. And we still work together, I don't know how many years later.

Anyway....I scored this 50s vintage irish wool plaid skirt at a thrift store for about $7. I knew it would never fit me, but how can you pass that up? I'm glad it fits Jenn cuz I love love love these fall colors, and it was (I think) in pretty great condition. Jenn has paired it with (I think) a black/charcoal sweater and shirt - almost a twin set - and boots. A perfect outfit for Chicago (where she lives), yes?

Don't you kind of dig how she matches her office?

I think I might want pearls and a belt on that getup but then, I want pearls and a belt on practically everything. Oh, and for the record, Jenn didn't know I was gonna make her famous on this here blawg.

Also, is that some wild bag under her right arm or what?

Fact is, Jenn has always had a mad style all her own (maybe since birth, actually. Did you know she was a baby model?). Kind of retro but with a very modern vibe. She styles up her really short hair with color swooshes like purple or red, and can totally butch it up - but really she's a girly girl.

She wears wigs. And lipstick. And great big sunglasses.

And, she's got what they call guns! Check 'em out in that photo over there. I think she's wearing a grand summer outfit - a modcloth dress and big jewelry. Oh, and she's almost always wearing clothes that show off her fab bod.

But, and this might be her most awesome feature, She. Can. Dance.

I just know she will be extra glad that I shared this picture of her strutting her stuff on the dance floor. She's on the left. Gawd, I love Facebook.

You're welcome, Jenn.


P.S. Aren't we a stylish pair? We have joked that we should use the one on the top left on our web site. With our bios. To scare people. Photobooths + drinkietimes = excellent pictures!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Oh hi Friday.

Whoa. That was one damn fast week. I have a backlog of outfits, and no time to throw 'em up on this here blawg.

I'm really digging collared shirts buttoned up with pencil skirts lately. Although, I think you notice how SHORT this skirt is more. Dang. Short. But, hey, I was okay with it. Oh shut it, I know it's not short for anyone else. But this isn't anyone else's blawg. It's mine.

  • Sweet pink/charcoal western style shirt with pearly snaps $4
  • Black nothing special cardigan $5
  • Blue talbots pencil skirt $4
  • Frye mo-tee-cycle boots $10
  • Pink clipons $1
Not thrifted:
  • Fishnets $0 on account of age
What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • I was kinda cold all day. I love this weather, but this outfit needed another layer somewhere to hang with it.
Total outfit cost: $24

Friday, November 11, 2011

I fought the cauliflower, and the cauliflower won...MY HEART!

Oh. Yeah. Sorry about the title.

In truth I have always loved cauliflower. But I made a thing the other night that was surprisingly delicious (involving the cauliest of flowers).

I only had arugula for salad. Fine for me, but Sir Cardigan requires a more complex feedbag so I had to fancy it up. I had cauliflower. But raw cauliflower with arugula is a damn bitter salad. Okay, but hmmm.

I cut up the tips of the cauliflower into little quarter inch dots and steamed it in the microwave for about two minutes with just a bit of Torani sugar free vanilla syrup. And then I tossed it with the arugula in some champagne vinaigrette. It was delicious! The sweet added the right amount of zany good. I claim victory!

In other news, here is your outfit!

  • Vintage Carol Brent black wool dress $5
  • Beigy nylon/silk cardigan $4
  • Doc Martens maryjanes (LOVE these shoes) (I am from the 80s). $7
  • Gold charm bracelet $3
Not thrifted:
  • Knit cable foot-less tights. $0. Old.
  • On sale anthropologie necklace with a bunch of different lockets $10
  • Gold hoop clip-ons $1
What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • This outfit really accentuates the fact that I have rather curvy bottom area. You can't see it. I don't know how feel about that.
Total outfit cost: $30

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Anatomy of a uniform

I went to catholic school for twelve years, and I loved the uniform. I mean, I loved wearing any uniform, because it made it possible to dress in five minutes. Oh, and by the time I was a senior and understood the ins and outs of a short plaid skirt, I loved our specific uniform. The skirt, the loafers, the short sleeved white button down. All good.

I still like wearing a uniform. La la la. So easy and happy-making.

It goes like this:
  • Tshirt, generally with something on it. Today, elvis costello purchased at the actual show, duh, remember? $30. I KNOW. Stupid.
  • Skirt. Always. Often girly. This one's a plaid pencil skirt. $4.
  • Tights. Usually. Today, old lacey hole-y tights. $0. Old.
  • Boots, preferably combat or motorcycle. These are my awesome $10 Frye motorcycle boots.
  • Man blazer. Plaid. Or sometimes a cardigan. This one is fantastic, vintage, teal-y blues, maroon and black. $10.
  • Sometimes a belt (usually the kind with rivets or studs). But not today.
  • Depending on my mood, a bunch of jewelry or none. You have to go there or just not. Today, not.
  • I have to mix up patterns. Not a little. A lot. Lace, plaids, print tshirt. Gawd, so effing 80s. Madonna. Y'know.
  • Special addition on this nippy morning: My fingerless gloves, made by Alice.
What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • Nothing. That's the thing about the uniform. It's always perfect.
  • Although. Let us be honest. There's nothing unusual about the uniform. It's not just MY uniform. It's the uniform of 67% of people in the Bay Area, yeah?
Total outfit cost: Damn rockandroll tshirt. $54. Usually the uniform isn't so spendy.

And now, because I know how much you like endless photographs, here are more examples of the uniform.

Oh wait. You still aren't clear? Yeah, okay. There's more.

Fun and Exciting New Photo Feature! With Exclamation Points and Unnecessary Title Casing!! And More!!!!!

You guys. You're funny. Also, nice. When I said that I've been bleching on photo posting lately because I have gained 9 pounds, you were all, "we don't caresies! more photo times! lovehugs!"

YOU GUYS. How many times do I have to tell you this here blawg is not about YOU and YOUR need for photo entertainment. It's about ME and MY need to not gain back 100 pounds. DUH.* I've been coasting on nice people my whole life. Now is my grown-up time for the tough love stuff. So the next time I hold myself accountable for weight gain, I'd appreciate a little "Lady Cardigan, please go eat more arugula and less tator tot nachos so that you can continue to please me with your thriftified clothings."

However. I do feel bad that you have had to suffer because of my troubles so I have created a New and Exciting feature. The Annotated Outfit! Fun With Photo Editing!

Let us note that I have conveniently photosliced off my bulging hip area. Trust and believe it is there. I felt like a lady allllll day. Here are my hips! And my belly! And The Ladies! I was feeling a little on display but I rolled with it.

Also, kind of springy when really it is suddenly winter here (hence the ability to wear one of my many many many fake fun fur coats).

*PS: WAIT. You do know that I am being all self deprecating and stuff, and truly do appreciate your kindness, right? Okay. Good. That is all.

PPS: And here's another thing. My weight/loss/and feelings about it on this here blawg is not my LIFE. It's a thing. A side thing. That I do here. Please, in all seriousness, know that I like myself just fine. Maybe too much even! Dear gawd I kind of think I'm the bee's knees and am actually trying not to be so fucking special all the time! But, see, gaining weight because of eating shitty is *not* me being my best Lady Cardigan. It isn't. Gaining weight despite eating mostly healthy - well, that would be a bummer and I would have to go all accept-y on my ass. But I just absofuckinglutely refuse to cut myself slack on eating poorly and gaining weight. Do I need to punch myself in the head and think I'm a bad person? Nope. Do I need to get clear on my goals and be on the path to reach them and hold myself accountable when I stray? Yep. That isn't me being unfairly hard on myself. It is Lady Cardigan being a grown-up. Something I very rarely am and am pretty damn proud when I can do it.

PPS: I have many other Important Issues to discuss on future posts. Including consumption and The Many Skirts of Lady Cardigan. Coming soon!

PPPS: This blawg thing is WILD. Thank you for caring! It's sort of unbelievable!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Where the eff is the photo?

Well hi.

I have been wearing some damn thrifty outfits lately but neglecting to take a photo because, umm, "I don't have time."


I have been neglecting to take a photo because, oh crap/gawd/shit, I have gained about 9 pounds since august.

I can't believe I am actually admitting this because I hate admitting weakness, even more than I hate boring ass weight loss blogs that chart every freaking ounce of this and taste of that.

But, the only reason I am doing this is to have some sort of accountability somewhere. So there you are. Or rather, here I am. Being accountable.

Monday, October 31, 2011

It'll make sense next year after the movie comes out

I dressed up like Katniss Everdeen for Halloween. You know. The heroine from The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. If you don't know her, it's cool. Nobody else did either. Whatevs. The movie will come out and everyone will dress as her next year.

Until then, know that she's the badass in a dystopian future situation and she rocks a bow and arrow. For some weird reason, my two colleagues and I decided to wear Katniss Everdeen costumes. Here's a picture of us. That's Katie on the left and Heather on the right. They are twenty years younger than me and it all seems ten thousand times more appropriate on them. Still, all of it is thrifted!

The best part? Heather added a totally perfectly topically wonderful sign to her costume. See it up there on the right? Occupy the Capitol! (The Capitol is the big bad in The Hunger Games). I know! Awesometimes! But then...check out the other side:

I have such creative envy of this brilliance.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I wish I didn't want things. I mean, I'm delighted that the things I want tend to fall into the category of junk for most people - thrift store clothes, used games, old highball glasses. Not even "vintage" really, cuz I'm too cheap to pay vintage prices. Just crap. But still, I want. Honestly I have 100 skirts. Maybe the same in cardigans. And I still can't resist stopping at another thrift store.

So yeah, I wish I didn't want things. It's nice to pretend that because I want crap it's not the same as wanting fancy things. But it's still want, and to me that's still weak. And I already have so much, so so much, so much more than I ever in life imagined that I don't understand why I still want. It makes me a little embarrassed.

(Hey! I should say that I'm on a plane after being away from Sir C and the dogs and the goats for three nights and that means it's time for crazy time airplane drinky time blogging. And I am watching Lady Gaga's monster ball on the tiny tv and you know what? It's so good. Did you know this? She's a freak and quite talented and it's kind of making me cry. Which isn't hard. Of course.)

I remember wanting a lot as a kid. So much so, that I spent a good portion of ages 10 to 12 shoplifting at the stores in my neighborhood. I was really, really good at it. (Also, HI FAMILY MEMBERS WHO LURK ON THIS HERE BLAWG. SURPRISE!)

I would ride my bike down to Payless. Remember Payless? I would shoplift little things, like boxes of jello (nope, can't explain that). In a generation-defining vignette, I sometimes would shoplift a Marathon candy bar and then go behind the Dairy Belle and scarf it down. Polish it off with a Suicide Slush for 21 cents. Dairy Belle, Payless, Marathon Bar - all gone now. Gawd I'm old! Whoa.

I worked my way up to shoplifting really big things in my puffy blue coat. Like: The entire Sunshine Family. If you don't know about the Sunshine Family, they were the hippie alternative to Barbie. The lived in a van and the lady wore a maxidress and the man had a beard and they carried the baby in a hippie backpack and had a vanagon camper thing and smoked marijuana. I loved them. You should look them up on ebay. (I don't think they smoked marijuana. I mean, I definitely think they did, but it's not like they had a little tiny plastic stash in the vanagon.)

I remember being in 7th grade (where I was TOTALLY the good catholic girl teacher's pet and wrote and then printed the school newspaper on a ditto machine) and the tough girls, kathleen rasch and yolanda cabral got in trouble for shoplifting on a school field trip. It only fucking made them tougher and cooler. And I remember thinking, about the stupid shit they shoplifted, "that? that's NOTHING. if they only knew..."

I never told anyone. So, no, I wasn't doing it to be popular. Who cares why I shoplifted? I don't! And then one day I got caught. Something stupid. Lifesavers maybe? I was at Payless, and a man grabbed my arm and took me to the Payless office. Searched my pockets. Found candy. I started crying, saying, "please don't tell my parents. please don't tell my parents." Over and over. He confiscated the goods, and told me to never come into Payless again. And sent me away.

I never shoplifted again. And I never went into Payless again. I remember Sir Cardigan and I stopping there on the way to my folks house and I made him go in and fetch what we needed because I was afraid to go inside. Fifteen or so years later. I know.

I'm glad my parents never knew. I would have hated to worry them. They had enough to deal with what with the nine kids, some of 'em truly troubled.

Whatever. I don't know why I'm writing this. OH YEAH. Airplane drinkytime melancholy.

Hey! Thrifty clothes time! I wore this to a bizness meeting. I've given up trying *not* to match my clothes to my hair at this point.

  • Gold silk cardigan with pretty sheer edging on the sleeves and bottom $6
  • Silk shirt with vaguely asian AND british characters on it. I KNOW. I LOVE IT too. $5
  • Lovely Merrill 40s black wool pencil skirt $20
  • Navy blue suede belt $2
  • Green suede maryjane wedges $10
  • Miscellaneous gold jewelry $10
Not thrifted: Probably something. Who cares?

Shoplifted: Nothing. Ha ha.

What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • Well, I think I just look like your basic garden variety business lady in this get up. But I still like it.
Total outfit cost: $53

PS: Right now the lady gaga is singing poker face. Which I really don't get as a song what with the silly words but you know? I've rewound it three times to hear it again. WTF.

PPS: Dudes. Lady gaga's yellow hair is very kinda like my bangs right now.

PPPPS: I am going to go ahead and publish this post even though I am fairly certain I will blush when I read it tomorrow.

PPPPPS: Or maybe I should LIVE BLAWG the rest of the concert.

PPPPPPS: Don't worry. I don't think I can do that.

PPPPPPPS: OH SHIT. Before I could publish, Lady Gaga put on the costume that I made for my darling stephanoodle last year for halloween. Can you tell the difference between the lady gaga and the stephanoodle?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Well. This happened.

Yesterday afternoon, I was carrying a pile of happy hour goodness into the lodge where Sir Cardigan was greeting some guests. He turned to me and said, "These folks are on their honeymoon checking in to [vacation rental we manage in addition to our inn] and guess what? She [pointing to the lady] reads your blog."


Me: [out loud]: BLAERG MUFFLE PIE.

Yes, Readers of Cardiganza. I met a reader of this here blawg that I don't even know. And the person she mentioned who told her about it - I don't know her either. So that makes two. Who knew? Anyway, she is cool and trying to do the low-impact-life-thing, hence the interest in thriftysauce.

As we were chatting, Sir Cardigan* pointed out that I have made a map of thrift stores between our homebase and our inn area. It's not actually complete, but still pretty damn useful. If you are in northern California and need chunky boots in any color, I guarantee success at any of these spots!

Go forth and prosperize. I will be making a halloween costume for my halloween gawdchild today from my thrift treasure. There is no cardigan, but a cape. Capes are honorary cardigans, of course, so there will be a photo (should I ever finish).

*Yeah, that's what I'm calling him now. I likey.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Power suit

To my nearly daily astonishment, I have what I believe they call a "career." It cracks me up. Who knew? Most of the time, I am surprised that a fuck-up* like me has a great big real job.

I'm not talking about the inn. Which is also astonishing and rather astoundingly real too. I'm talking about my (ha ha!) day job. In which I am ceo of a small company. I KNOW. WHAT??

Like (I presume) lots of career ladies, I have spent a fair amount of time going through all that shit that ladies' magazines say we ladies go through in the bizness world: feeling imposter-y, thinking that maybe I missed some class that showed you how to pretend you know what you're doing all the freaking time, thinking I'm an outsider, vague feelings that I don't deserve any of it. And so on and so forth. Stupid shit, all of it.

However. Somewhere along the way I decided to (mostly) not sweat it. I'm here. I'm gonna do my best. And my work - the challenges of having to do really good work for clients about whom I give a fuck - is real stuff that I ought to sweat versus wasting my sweaty time on silly things.

I've been thinking about that a little cuz I had a Great Big Big-time Bizness Meeting today and I had to settle up inside my skin and focus and nail it. Which I did. I think. We'll see.

And then I got in my car and drove up to the inn and had plenty of time to MULL and NOODLE and think about just what the heck happened somewhere along the way to make me feel like I am a-ok in this job and can nail a big ol' meeting when necessary.

So here you go, courtesy of a three-hour drive and two glasses of wine.


1. I am just about as good as anyone else in doing whatever the heck I am doing. Maybe not better. Maybe not worse. But just about as good as anyone else.

2. If I actually sit in a meeting and listen, really, actually, listen and be actually, truly present, I will probably be just fine. When clients are paying me to be in a meeting, that goes double. I try not to even check my phone. Which drives friends and colleagues nuts if I am in a long meeting. Because unless you are on fire, I am not paying attention to you while I am in a meeting.

3. I know what I'm doing. That is not to say that I am a know-it-all (although I kind of am). But, rather, I have done what I do a lot and that experience and knowledge counts for something. I trust that.

4. I really dig that I work with a bunch of smarty-pants over-achievers who will not let me get away with anything.

5. I think being friendly and kind goes a long way.

6. Letting my freak flag fly appears to be a good thing. I mean, I'm a little kooky. And clients and colleagues a like seem to appreciate that just fine. And when I am just myself in a meeting, what with the swearing and the dreadlocks and the blunt-ness, all is fine. Really, really fine.

7. Feeling good about myself physically matters. For me, that means slapping on the makeup and the hairdo and the power suit. Like today. I very thoughtfully put myself together in a way that would make me feel like I was the shit so that I could be my very most confident self. Hey! I'm about to actually write about clothes on this here clothing blawg, so listen up.

Today, I picked out my favorites so I would feel extra confident.
  • This hair do:

  • This cardigan:

  • This skirt:

  • These shoes:
The end. Or to be continued. Or whatever.

*Listen, I get that I'm not a fuck-up by most standards. But YOU GUYS. I lose things constantly. I avoid doing things I don't want to do (like a freaking five-year-old) (like my expense reports). I never met a late fee I didn't have to pay. One time, I didn't renew my driver's license for four years. I didn't have license plates on my car for nearly two years. I have bought plane tickets twice for the same trip like four times. HONESTLY. How do I function?**

** I function, in large part, because of Mr. Cardigan's rather remarkable attention to not just OUR details, but MY details. Lucky. Also, my assistant-type-dude at work is kind of scary and I don't want to disappoint him with my fucked-up-ness. Even though I do, all the time.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Turning heads! Well, turning one head that is.

What? What? Is that a handsome little man turning his head at this sweet getup? Why yes. Yes indeed.

Scout-y, the fine little man to whom I refer, apparently liked this outfit as much as I did. There's just something about a skirt with a lot of skirt to it. Girly McGirlyTime, yeah? My colleague Heather said I looked like candy. Ha ha.


  • Ivory cross-hatch pattern cardigan $4
  • Ivory tshirt with gray circles and funky ties across the front $4
  • Banana Republic pinks, ivories, and moss full skirt $5
  • Pearly time $3
  • Ivory wedge espadrilles with tie up straps $10 (These were brand new, never been worn. A little sandal-ly for my taste (I don't like toe showage), but drove me nuts all day with the straps moving and slipping and falling and doing whatever the fuck they wanted to do all day.) (Still, cute.)
Not thrifted: Nothing!

What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • So. I realize I sound crazy. But I am doing that thing that when I see myself I only see the previous me. A year ago me. So much so that I pulled out a pair of previous big lady jeans and put them on - in my head, I thought they were gonna fit. They didn't of course - way to big. But, I had to fucking prove that. What the shit is wrong with me and my head? Ay yi yi. The silliness!
Total outfit cost: 26

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I really really do love a parade!

In fact, I love parades so very much that one year for my birthday, my truly fucking creative amazing colleagues gave me one of those drum major hats with the feathers. And gloves. And boot spats. Oh, and also made me a freaking flag. I don't even have any pictures of it. But picture the most awesome handmade funny personal flag with glitter and rainbows and iron-ons and silly sayings and whatnot. That's my flag.

Anyway, my love for parades may explain why I can't resist paradewear. It's like sportswear but for parade people. I am quite certain that the white jacket over there was for someone's high school marching band. It's crappy polyester and either handmade or poorly made costumey stuff. But, you know, I love it.

  • Butterfly scarf headband $2
  • Turquoise Arrow manshirt $2
  • Drum major jacket $5
  • Navy polyester a line skirt with buttons in the pleat down the middle (I love this skirt!) $5
  • Red criss-cross practically flats $6
  • A necklace $2
  • Blue clip ons $1
Not thrifted: Nothing!

What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • I felt like a parade all day, but, not being critical here, this outfit is not a parade. It is fine. Just not a parade.
  • I have to say that I thought my color combination here was really rad. I don't think the photo captures that. But I know. I know!
Total outfit cost: $23

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The ladies

Hear ye hear ye. I would like discuss a rather sensitive subject about the ladies! If this kind of thing makes you a wee bit squeamy, that makes two of us. Hence the use of the term "the ladies" to discuss the ladies. Also, I appear to be writing in british today. Tally ho!

First, some facts:
  • Being a lady of ample proportions, I have a generous supply of ladies.
  • Having lost a goodly amount of weight (MANY STONES, PEOPLE), the ladies have also lost a goodly amount of weight (maybe even an entire stone!).
  • Yet, the skin remains.
  • Indeed.
I find that the result of the aforementioned facts is that my outfits spend an undue amount of attention accommodating and arranging the ladies. And, I do feel like they are always a "thing" in my outfits. It is not to my liking.

However, I am not fancy in the way of "lifting" this or "reducing" that. Mostly because: If I am lucky and get to live to be ancient, it is entirely likely that I will be spending too damn much time under the care of physicians...I don't want to use up my share now. I don't want to jinx it. Also, it costs money. So, I'd rather not.

So, what to do, what to do. Spend lots of money on a Very Dear Brassiere (or two)? (I made that up.) (There should be a brassiere company called that though, right?) Is that it? Or is there a skin shrinking cream of some sort? OR WHAT?

Meanwhile, thrifted:
  • Lined linen khaki skirt with brown stitching and brown grosgrain ribbon belt $5
  • Pink t-shirt with rosettes $4
  • Pale green cardigan with embroidered flowers all over it $7 (I can't believe I haven't worn this before...have I?)
  • Chunky brown boots $7
  • Bangles $4
Not thrifted: Nothing!

What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • I can't tell if it's me or not, but I'm not digging the way the sweater accentuates the ladies (maybe, really, I just need more better brassieres)
  • Umm, I forgot jewelry other than bracelets. Maybe simple is good, but I like the jingle jangle when I stroll.
  • I look weirdly girly here. I am not this sweet on the inside
Total outfit cost: $27

PS. Maybe I blawg once a week now. Maybe I don't. I don't know. Maybe I blawg whenever the fuck I feel like it.

PPS. I hope I take a picture of today's outfit. It's cute in a parade-like-way.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

These bangs were not easy. No they were not.

Oh I know they may not look all that special to you. But I will tell you that there are three different kinds of hair color in my bangs. AFTER the bleach part. But, I am perfectly happy with the results. They are the color I had in my mind's eye. Blonde in dim light, but with greeny tones in bright light.

Do you want more information? YES? I am here for you.

First I bleached the shit out of my bangs. Then I mixed up two parts Manic Panic Electric Banana with one part Electric Lizard and painted that on my bangs. Then I rinsed it out. Freaked my shit out. Went to bed. Endured kind glances the next morning at my 10th grade dye job. Then, added some Nice-n-Easy Medium Champagne Blonde. Voila. Crazy-ass-vaguely neon doll hair. But, that's what I was going for. I KNOW. Who actually goes for that? Me. I do.

  • (Yet another) Mustard short cardigan, Liz & Co, $5
  • Brown tank $4
  • Homemade wool pinky champagne a-line skirt with brown stitching $5
  • Pearl jewelry $4
  • Brown Dingo boots $20
  • Sheer ivory scarf head band $1
Not thrifted: Nothing!

What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • All I can see is the five pounds I think I've gained. That's all. I know, pathetic-pants. But there you are.
  • Also, though, I see a bag under my arm with goat cheese and artichokes and a baguette and Le Monde, and I am strolling briskly on a cobblestone street towards the Metro. Because, for god-knows-why-reason, this outfit seems french to me. It does.
Total outfit cost: $39

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Oh geebus I freaking did it again

Maybe you can't see this. Fuck, I didn't. But I effing matched my outfit to my hair again.

Today I put on this mod green, brown, and white print skirt and thought I was being all avant garde with my crimson cardigan. And then Mister Cardigan, when I said I needed to do something with my hair, said, "well, it matches your outfit, what more do you want."

HONESTLY. Matching an outfit to your hair is just silly.

  • Christie & Jill silk/cotton crimson cardigan $4
  • White t-shirt $3
  • Mod print skirt $5
  • Brown cowboy boots $10
  • Brown belt $2
  • Dangly white earrings $2
Not thrifted: Nothing!

What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • If I didn't have to do real work of a running around variety, I would wear platforms. Platforms are cool and mod like the skirt. But I had to run around today, so boots.
Total outfit cost: $26

PS. It has been brought to my attention that I am sometimes unnecessarily critical of my outfits. But you guys! That's the point! This isn't for me to say "hey look how cute and cheap my clothings are!" (Well, maybe a little.)

I mean, I already am writing a blawg, a fact about which I am so embarrassed that I can't even freaking spell the word correctly. Because, obvs, I can't bring myself to admit that I'm engaging in a past time so horrifically self-indulgent as this here blawg. So if I'm already going to go fishing for compliments every day, because that's what this ends up doing even if I don't want it to, damn, I'm gonna go out out of my way to really mitigate the self-congratulatory nature of it all. By finding the things that are wrong.

And even if this wasn't the case, well, damn, I hate how everything in the world is so "you're great!" I mean, sure, I'm all for self-worth and not beating yourself up. But there's always room for improvement. There is! I try to find that! That's all. So that's why I'm trying to be self-critical.

That is all. The end. Carry on, friends!

PPS. I am dying my bangs a citron color right this very minute. That is yellowish-green fyi. And, not kidding, I think it's going to glow in the dark. I AM RAD LIKE THAT.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Wow! I didn't recognize you!

Hey, miss me? Me too. I've been away on the bizness, part of which was a conference at which I saw a whole lot of people whom I hadn't seen in a thousand years. That is what conferences are for. You know.

A lot of people at this conference commented the likes of "Lady Cardigan? I almost didn't recognize you!" Or, "Wow. You look great. Not that you didn't look great before..."

My colleague asked me how I felt about that sort of thing, and the truth is that I feel weird about it. Weird. And I've been trying to put my finger on exactly why.

I mean, it's nice when people say nice things. And, hey, I write a BLAWG about CLOTHES so I damn well better be aiming to please, right?

But, and I know I sound ridiculous, but I almost don't want people to notice. Because noticing means...noticing. And just to be extra clear on this pile of terrified crap, it means that people will also notice should I regain all that damn weight. Blergahatightttwzzouasyg.

It's terribly embarrassing to admit this. That's all I'm gonna say on the subject.

In other news, I ate like a growing teenage boy all week (right down to being tempted to buy a box of cereal and a carton of milk at the cvs) (I didn't). However, I did not resist the totally worth it totchos (tater tot nachos). I'm not weighing in for a week so I can get things back in order.

In other other news, I really dug choosing my favorite past outfits and just wearing them this past week without a single extra minute of choosing and thinking.

That is all my friends. Happy Friday to you!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Skirt the 30th!

You guys, it's the end of skirt month. Are you extra sad? Don't be. I WILL STILL WEAR SKIRTS. I know! That's such a relief to you.

Get this: I'm headed to a conference next week and I strolled down blawgytimes lane and picked out my favorite outfits and am just wearing them exactly the same. Such a relief! Reaping of the blawging rewards!

  • Anne Klein charcoal full skirt with greens/ivory/bronze embroidery $5
  • White tshirt $2
  • Gray cardigan with embroidered flowers $5
  • Mess-o-pearls $5
  • Pearl clipons $1
  • Brown cowboy boots $10
  • Ivory sheer scarf $1
Not thrifted:
  • Belt. Old.
What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • The cardi is a bitty bit long and loose. I like 'em tighter.
Total outfit cost: $29


Thursday, September 29, 2011

My life in dreadlocks

Shortly before my mother passed away, I went to see her in the hospital. She looked at me. Looked at my hair. Looked at me. Then, waving at my hair, "Do you have some sort of ... illness?"

Yeah, so, about ten times a month, perfect strangers ask me crazy questions about my hair. Maybe you are one of them? If so, this right here is The Blawg Post For You: My Life in Dreadlocks.

(Just here for the daily get up? Scrolly downy, friend!)

1. I have had my dreadlocks for more than ten years. Before that, I mostly bleached my hair blonde and tried to make it have hair-dos. Mostly unsuccessful. No flat-irons then, or at least they weren't popular.

2. I have no idea why I got them. Seriously. I can't remember what the heck I was thinking. I can't even think of someone who had dreadlocks that I was copying. Odd, no?

3. I started my dreads with a "dread perm." Basically, they separate your hair into bits, twist each bit, rat the twisted bit, and then perm that ratted twist into your hair. Ta-da! Instant dreadlocks. I got mine from the great people at Hair Police (on their traveling "spread the dread" tour).

4. My dreadlocks were short and platinum at first. Cute, but I couldn't keep up the bleaching without my dreads breaking. So as they were growing out, I decided to bring the color to my natural brown. Except I accidentally colored them black. There I was with goth dreads. Ha ha ahaha. It's only hair!

5. I started getting additional colors and extensions maybe a year after I got my locks. Never went back. Love the craziness.

6. I don't use any product to keep my dreads dready. No beeswax, no gel, no nothing. Every so often I go see the Hair Police folks and have them pull all the loose hairs into the dreads and then tie a thread around the base of each dreadlock. Sounds crazy, but it works. When I first got my locks, I needed this "maintenance" about four times a year. Now I get maintenance about once a year but that's only cuz my schedule is crazy.

8. Many people seem to think having dreadlocks is a lot of work. It's so so not. I don't do anything to my hair but tie it up in various ways using only the locks themselves to secure it. Almost every style you've seen on my head is just done quickly with some pushing and pulling. Very very few bobby pins even.

9. I wash my hair about twice a month with tea tree shampoo. I wash my bangs about once a week. Hair takes a while to get used to being washed infrequently - but once it does, it's actually great for your scalp and hair. (Washing more frequently would un-dread the dreads, btw).

10. I have had nearly every color imaginable in my hair. The colors are just synthetic hair, and now I have a drawer labeled "dreadlocks" full of synthetic dreads in every color imaginable. Except purple. I don't care for purple.

11. Somebody told me once that dreadlocks are a "lifestyle" NOT a "hairstyle." Not for me. It's just a hairdo. I'm not rasta or anything else.

12. Some people think my hair do is cultural appropriation. I understand that. Imitation is a sincere form of flattery, I'm told.

13. I have no plans to ever NOT have dreadlocks. They are so easy, and so much a part of my personal brand!

14. If you think your hair won't dread, you're wrong. Hair Police can dread it. I swear.

15. People say all manner of inappropriate and/or just plain weird things to me about the dreadlocks. Like:
  • the woman shortly after 9/11 that sat next to me on an airplane, stared, and reported me to airline officials. kooky!
  • the mother who told her child that he could like me even though i have worms on my head.
  • the many many people who admire my "hair piece."
Do you have more quesions? Put 'em into the comments!


Today, thrifted:

  • Ann Taylor Loft black jersey skirt with ivory trim $5
  • Monster t-shiert! $6 (i got it at a thrift store, but saw 'em at target) $5
  • INC black cashmere tie-in-the-middle shrug $4
  • Chunky black boots $10
Not thrifted: Nothing!

What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • Every outfit ain't gonna be a stunner. This one...isn't. But hey! It's just for driving up to the inn! No makeup, no accessories, not much.
Total outfit cost: $24