cream belted jacket by Guess, crochet skirt from Wet Seal, brown sandals from The Walking Company, Lacoste polo
I just realized that we will be in London on Sept. 8, which is when they are having Fashion’s Night Out! Hmm, do you think I’ll be able to get in line early enough at Chanel to get a free manicure featuring their new Khaki polishes?Pray for my poor unsuspecting husband.
shirt by Free People, shorts by Calvin Klein, shoes by Miss Sixty, leather cuff from Shopbop
A summer casual outfit for your weekend! I love any excuse to wear these platform shoes, they make me uber-tall and are comfortable for about four hours. Then they must come off. Which I learned the hard way when I took them to Vegas.
Angelina Jolie. Linda Hamilton. Sigourney Weaver. Jada Pinkett-Smith. Hilary Swank. Milla Jovovich. Michelle Rodriguez.
These actresses portray my movie tough-chick heroes. Their alter-egos will beat up any alien, assassin, or whining rom-com character and look beautiful doing it. I admire them. I wish I could be them. They’ve got brains, brawn, and style that doesn’t stop. Here are some commonalities in their fashion choices:
• Bare arms. Sleeves get in the way and you’ve gotta show the bad guys that you, and your biceps, mean business.
• Leather. There’s no room for rayon in the near, possibly post-apocolyptic future. The extra layer of skin protects against zombie bites and stray sword cuts.
• Aviator sunglasses. Because you can shoot a Remington 870 Police Combat Gun with Folding Stock and pilot a helicopter…at the same time.
• Short hair. A shaved head is even better, and if it’s long, it’s always pulled back and outta the way.
• Tall boots. Footwear separates the warriors from the damsels. Boots are a requirement for soldiers, both male and female.
• Black clothing. Perfect for hiding in the shadows before delivering some justice and saving the world.
Have you ever been talked into buying a shoe online? Not by your friends or by a glossy magazine, but just because of glowing reviews you read on the internet?
My case study today is the Calvin Klein Parma shoe from 2009. This shoe’s good reviews ran far and wide. Zappos alone had almost 50 reviewers rating them 5 stars and raving about how comfortable they were, how they own them in three colors, how they danced all night in them, etc., etc.
Hmmm. Looks pretty. Amazing range of colors and textiles. Sturdy heel. Platform turns a 4.5 inch heel into 3.5. Doable. $120? No thanks.
But this shoe lingered on in my mind, like so many do. I visited it once in a while.
One day I encountered Parma in person, at DSW. They weren’t in my size, but I tried them on and tripped around the store, feeling like a giant. I took them off and thanked God that I had never bought them. They were way too high, and I couldn’t think of any place I’d wear them. I felt a sense of relief.
I wish the story ended there, my friends. However, eBay is a proven weakness of mine. And I shouldn’t have even been looking. But when I did, and I saw them there, new, in my size, for $40, it was all over. With no competing bids, these non-returnable wonder shoes were on their way to me.
I regretted my purchase soon after they arrived and I put them on. Why did I ignore my DSW test-walk? What was wrong with all those girls who wrote such faithful reviews of praise?
It’s not that these shoes aren’t comfortable. I guess they are. But they are so steep, my foot becomes vertical in them, and since this shoe has no back, I become a deformed bent-kneed AT-AT walker*, clop-clopping around as my heel smacks the insole with every step.
Sadly, this is where my story ends. Parma has never been worn out in public. They look so cool and strappy as they sit in my closet. I have hope that someday, I’ll be able to wear them, like with a Halloween costume or something. Maybe I could go as a Fashion Victim.
This was the only piece from Alexander McQueen that I’ll ever own. It was from the collection Lee McQueen did for Target, and it was $20, but still, allow me to get a little bit sentimental and repeat: the only piece I’ll ever be able to afford from this famous label.
It was a shirt. Not just any shirt, but a nude, button-up cotton shirt with roll-tab short sleeves. The kind of shirt one can wear to work. The coolest part about it was the hot magenta buttons and accents. In this photo, the last photo taken of it before its demise, I wore nail polish to match it (Zoya Mieko).
90% of the time, I do the laundry at my house. But when my husband has a day off, or gets really zealous on a Saturday, he wakes up early in the morning and does all the laundry. And I really appreciate it, believe me!
However, when I do it, I go through all my husband’s pockets to search for ink pens. You see, he carries a pen on his person at all times, and there have been a few days that he forgets to remove it before throwing a pair of jeans or shorts in the hamper. So I am very careful to do a pen shakedown. My husband is not as careful, and this is the reason a few weeks ago, I opened the dryer on a husband-did-laundry-day to see an ink pen. And blue ink marks. Lots of marks. On most of the clothes and all over the inside of the dryer. And all over my McQueen for Target shirt.
While he can sometimes salvage ink-stained clothes (and if he can’t, he’ll donate them to Goodwill, in case some one else likes wearing ink-stained clothes), I cannot, unless it is very minor. In this case, the case of ink marks on a light-colored shirt, I said goodbye to McQueen and threw it away.
striped sweater by Calvin Klein, navy cotton skirt by Calvin Klein, cream patent slingbacks by Stuart Weitzman
I have a few nice pieces that I paid a lot for and they have lasted me many years. I love this sweater and skirt, bought on the same day, at least seven years ago. The skirt has a denim color and texture but is very lightweight. The pale blue and grey striped sweater is very thin but has no pilling or pulls in the thread. The shoes I paid almost nothing for when I found them at Marshall's, but since they are Weitzman, I expect they will last even longer than the clothes! This outfit almost matches, but not quite. Click for larger photos.
I have the highest arches this side of St. Louis. My arches are so high, you could drive a large order of golden french fries under them. When I leave a footprint in the sand, the ball and the heel are not connected, if you know what I mean. And I mean that.
No, I’m not talking about my eyebrows, my friends, I'm talking about my feet. And as such, I have to purchase shoes with caution. Shoes that go over the top of my foot may rub, like gladiators and mary janes. Sling-backs or low-sided shoes are my arch-enemy.
My arches don’t cause me any pain. But I do wish I could find a brand of shoes that were designed with a high arch in mind. Maybe the high-arch architect of the shoe world. Can you relate?
blouse by Lela Rose, skirt from Banana Republic, strappy wedges by Circa Joan & David
Do you remember The Outnet's Birthday Sale last April 16? It was a sale in which The Outnet allowed some of its designer clothing and shoes to be sold for $1, but you had to wait for the email, and you had to be quick! There was limited stock and a secret start, the sale was only accessible by email, and you were only allowed to purchase one item.
This was a much-anticipated sale, to say the least. And when the U.S. sale started, around 4:30 or 5:00am, it was a mad online rush. I was one of those girls waiting by my email that morning, and I was shocked that I scored anything. But here it is, a cream cotton Lela Rose blouse, normally $650. When it arrived, it officially became the most expensive thing in my closet. Since I got it for $1, you better believe I'll spend the money to get it drycleaned when the time comes. So I can wear it for the rest of my life. Click photos for closeups.
Lacoste polo shirt, embroidered skirt from Ann Taylor, leather knot flats by Belle by Sigerson Morrison
I never sported a Lacoste shirt when I was younger, it is only recently that I've become enamoured with the little crocodile, the fantastic colors, and the quality pique fabric. I'm not preppy enough to pop the collar like the cool kids did in high school, though! Worn here, a tad too small, as Nina Garcia recommends, to the office with a khaki-colored skirt. Sorry there's no detail of the skirt's embroidery, but there is green in it that matches the polo.
Man's days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed. Job 14:5
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16
Have you ever had a near-death experience? Perhaps you have been in an accident, or had a medical problem, that you are amazed that you lived through. I know people with incredible stories; people who say they should have died, and are mystified at why they are still here.
Or how about this: have you ever known someone who was supposed to live, but did not make it? Some seemingly inconsequential illness, or random action, resulted in death, and those familiar with that person are left in shock.
I have a theory. I’ll try not to get all Final-Destination on you, my friends. But my theory is simply this: we each have a set number of days to live, and there is nothing we can do to change it.
This theory is based on scriptures like the ones above, and a belief that though he gives us free will, God is in control.
I cannot prove this theory. Perhaps it is a simplistic view of life that conveniently resolves questions as to why one person survives a plane crash, while another dies while sitting in the safety of their living room. But I like to think that no matter what I do, whether I wear my seatbelt or not, whether I exercise every day or not, whether I jump out of a window or not, if it’s not my time to go, it's just not my time to go.
I often hear about unsuccessful suicide attempts. I often hear of athletes who are in perfect health--dying. People often call it a stroke of luck, or a freak accident. But what if it is neither of those?
I am not advocating reckless living here, please understand this. However, instead of exercising and eating right and going to the doctor to prolong my life, I do these things to increase the quality of it.
This theory could release some people who carry a guilty burden with them, who wonder if they could have prevented the death of someone they love, perhaps someone they are responsible for, like a child or family member.
And it becomes more difficult to believe this theory when a large group of people die at the same time, due to genocide or epidemic. I don’t have an answer for that.
But as for me, it helps me not worry about how I am going to die someday. It helps me not worry about my loved ones when I die. It helps me to live life freely and focus on my relationship with God, because I will die some day and stand before him. I may not know the day, but he does, and my security will rest with him.
pale blue sweater by Calvin Klein, crochet skirt from Wet Seal (circa 1995), cream patent slingbacks by Stuart Weitzman, Death Star Debris necklace by Deka Ray
khaki crochet vest from Express (circa 1995), white t-shirt from Banana Republic, white ankle pants from LOFT, leather flats by Belle by Sigerson Morrison, handbag from Dooney & Bourke, Death Star Debris necklace by Deka Ray
I read that crochet is a current micro-trend. It must have also been a trend in the mid-1990s, because both crochet pieces I have, I have had for a long, long time. The crochet skirt is a favorite of mine, though it is a little loose, it has shades of blue, green, and gold in it, and I can wear it with many different tops. I happened to wear one of my favorite necklaces on both of these outfit days, I mostly bought it because it was inspired by Star Wars, but I like it for many other reasons too!
Some people have peer pressure. Some people feel pressure to perform or succeed. I often feel another kind of pressure, so odd that I can’t categorize it. Let me try to explain.
I feel pressure when I walk into a bookstore or library. I suddenly feel overwhelmed with the need to read everything there. If I don’t, I will be missing something important that could change my life!
I feel pressure when I look at my ever-growing collection of cookbooks. I received no less than five cookbooks for my wedding, after owning…zero. And people still keep giving me cookbooks, or if they don’t, they give me magazines with recipes in them. I feel pressure to make almost every single recipe I come across. As a result, I mark each recipe in my cookbook when I use it, so I don’t make the same one twice in my pursuit to cook everything between its covers. It’s a special kind of torture.
I also feel pressure to use every single lipstick, eyeshadow, and nail polish I own, on a regular basis, year after year, until they go bad, melt, or get smashed.
Now I think for the average makeup-wearing girl, this wouldn’t pose a problem. But for some reason, even though I wear a full face of makeup every single day of the year, the only makeup I ever use up is foundation, mascara, powder, and blush. The rest of my makeup lives on. And on. And on.
I’ve never purchased eyeshadow. Almost all the eyeshadows I own were given to me by people who received them in their department store brand’s Bonus Gift bags. They didn’t want them so now I have them. Imagine the pressure I feel to use up these free shimmering pearls of color!
Now here is a lipstick I am really excited about. It’s Lancome’s Rouge Magnetic in Smooch, my fave red lipstick. I think I’ve had it for more than five years. They don’t make it anymore, the line has been discontinued. Do you see how it’s almost used up? The day it’s gone will be a giant victory for me, in about about two years.
Do you see this concealer? I remember when I purchased it because it was the year my sister got married, 2002. I wore it in her wedding. I’m still trying to use it up.
I hope some day I will be able to break free of all these strange anxieties. Especially since I know all this makeup has (had?) expiration dates. Until then, my friends, please, please don’t give me any more lipstick.