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.