Saturday, July 23, 2011


I wrote a post last night about how I felt about yesterday's events in Norway. I then took it down, because my words didn't capture what I wanted to express.

Barbro Andersen at the Personal Style Diary did. Her post is here. I urge you to visit her site and read her post.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

100% Thrift

dress -- Maggy London (thrifted)
boots -- Laredo (thrifted)
bracelets -- (thrifted)

It's no secret that I wear a lot of thrifted clothes. I have been shopping in Goodwills (Goodies), Salvation Army's (Sals), flea markets, garage or yard sales (is it a garage sale or a yard sale?), and so on pretty much all my life. But probably what you don't know is that I didn't always like it. In fact, I really hated it when I was growing up. I was terrified that I was going to go to school one day, and somebody would say, "You're wearing my clothes."

My mom, who got lost driving anywhere outside a 25-mile radius around our house, would see a sign for a garage sale, and off she would go. Homing pigeons had nothing on her. It didn't matter what errand she had to run, it would wait until we followed those god-forsaken signs* -- to the end of the earth if that's where they took us. And of course, there was never any good stuff at those sales (at least not from what I could see)! Oh no! Never. But the worst was when there was a sale right around the corner from my house. Because then, horrors of all horrors -- somebody I knew might see me. I would slouch down in the car and make myself as invisible as possible. No way was I going to get out of the car.

*You know the signs I'm talking about -- the ones that are sideways on a telephone pole, the ones that you can't tell which direction the arrow is pointing, the ones that look like they have been up for months, the ones that you can't even read ...

Of course, now that I'm older and wiser I realize that it wasn't all junk. In fact, most of it was actually pretty good stuff. Unique. One of a kind. Interesting. But also weird. Or strange. Or something that would make you go, "MOM. Why? WTF?"

Okay, I didn't actually say WTF? but you know what I mean.

Although my outfit was 100% thrifted -- my bracelets, my dress, and my boots -- my boots were the real score. (They're not really my boots, they're my daughter's, but I was with her when she got them.) They were in like-new condition -- no scuffs or flaws, and they weren't stretched out -- for $12.50! Honestly, they didn't even look like they had ever been worn outside.

I thought the dress was a real find as well (I think it was $7.97), except that it's dry clean only -- I love the beadwork on the yoke. (Pet peeve: Why is something that is 100% cotton dry clean only?) I put it in the washing machine, hand-wash cycle, and crossed my fingers.

I wasn't all that enamored of the final look though. In fact, I was kind of disappointed. I thought this would be the perfect dress to wear with the boots, but I dunno -- something just seems to be off. Maybe the dress is too short? I seem to be able to wear other skirts that are that length though, so I'm not sure if that's the problem. Maybe with a pair of cropped leggings underneath it, and then a pair of flats?

What do you think?

Today Every Body Every Wear is thrifting.
Take a look at some of the amazing outfits that have been put together from thrifted goodies.

I'm also linking up with Spunky Chateau's Thursdays Are for Thrifters

(a two-for-one day!)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fill in the Blank

shirt -- Covington (thrifted)
pants -- Ann Taylor Loft (thrifted)
sandals -- Camille No Boundaries (thrifted)

It's too hot to _____________! Fill in the blank. For me, it's too hot to wear long pants or really to do anything that entails movement. Seriously, don't I look positively wretched in the picture below? I don't have air conditioning at home,* so I am just positively sweltering (and I ask you this -- why am I not losing weight? It's not like I have much of an appetite in this heat! That is just adding insult to injury.). I know that I could probably go somewhere -- to the mall, to the library --anywhere would be cooler than my house at this point. But I don't have money to spend (at the mall or at a coffee shop), and besides I really need to keep chipping away at all the clutter in this house, so that I can hopefully put it on the market come fall. Besides, a brief respite from the heat is not going to cut it right now -- they are saying that no relief is in sight.

*I do have a/c in my bedroom. I am able to work up until about 3 pm in the house, and then I just have to escape to my room. I can't do anything more in the house at that point. It is just too hot, and the temperature keeps climbing all day inside.

Anyway, you must be wondering why on earth am I wearing long pants?Well, this outfit was donned for Day 4 of Megan Mae and Keely's Summer Trends Fashion Challenge (last week -- yeah, I know I'm really late. I move really really slow in the heat). Day 4 was Eclectic Print Day, and this shirt fit the bill perfectly.

The pants were just way too perfect of a match to not go for it. You would have done the same thing, wouldn't you?

I had actually been regretting the impulse to buy this shirt. I thought that the print was just a bit TOO eclectic for me to be able to wear it. But I like this, and I'd definitely wear it again! Once again, thanks Keely and Megan for thinking up challenges that really made me stretch. Head on over to the Fashion Challenge to see how you can have fun with wearing eclectic prints.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

They're Ba-a-ack

shirt -- Nine West (thrifted)
skirt -- Bentley (thrifted)
sandals -- Camille No Boundaries (thrifted)

Maxi dresses were all the rage when I was in high school in the 1970s, and boy oh boy did I ever want one. Who cared if they were really kind of ugly?

I entered high school as a seventh grader in 1970 (I think I was all of 12 years old). At that time, my high school was overcrowded, and the students were on split schedules -- students in the seventh, eighth, and ninth grade went to school from 10 am to 4 pm, and students in the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grades went from 7 am to 1 pm. (Or something like that -- I can't remember the exact times.)

Along with the split schedules, we also changed classes at different times -- students in the older grades changed classes on the half hour, and the younger grades on the hour -- to relieve the overcrowding in the hallway. That also meant that the older students did not have that much interaction with the younger students -- it was as if we were in two different worlds. As a very impressionable and young seventh grader (I was hopelessly naive -- still am in some respects), I would catch glimpses of the older girls in school wearing them in the hallways. They always looked so stylish and so mature and so old, and I wanted to be just like them.  

But by the time, I had the money to get one of my own, the maxi dress was out of style, and I wouldn't dream of buying one. Flash forward forty years, and the maxi dress is back in style again. You'd think that I would have been excited, but the thrill of wearing one was gone.

What's the first fashion trend that you remember? 

I really like the way this outfit ended up looking, but even so I still feel kind of silly wearing a maxi. It still seems to me to be somewhat formal. or hippyish. or something.

Acting goofy

I actually got this maxi skirt to wear as a dress. I went shopping in May to find a new dress to wear to my kids' graduations, and I kind of went crazy and bought every dress that I found that fit. (I couldn't make a decision, so I just bought them all -- definitely not a good habit to get into).

Stay back, I say -- you don't need to take my picture from that close!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Wack-a-Doodle Day

shorts -- Fabulosity (J. C. Penny)
shirt -- Adrianna Papéll (freebie from Freecycle -- yes, I am a scavenger)
shoes -- Chuck Taylor All Star (Zappos)

So, I warned you that my Day 3 of the Summer Trends Fashion Challenge was bad. And now here's the proof -- the proof is in the pictures (but not in the pudding). This is bad -- I mean, really, really bad. I both look and feel completely and utterly ridiculous. I can't think of anywhere that I would actually wear this outfit, except for maybe to a Halloween Party, and even then I don't know what I would tell people what I was dressed up as. 

In case you don't remember (or can't tell by my wack-a-doodle outfit), Day 3 of the challenge was Sparkle for Day. The top half of me was sparkles and my bottom half was day.

Let's break this disaster down, shall we? (Don't I sound like Gracey over at Fashion For Giants? You need to stop by her blog and say Hello if you haven't already.)

Anyway, my top half and my bottom half are each fine on their own, but together? No ifs, ands, or buts -- it is a disaster. I may have been able to wear the sequined top as a day look, but it probably should have been paired with a pretty flowy summer skirt. My shorts (capris, or as Doreen at Northeast Chic calls them -- weird pant-like things) and Chucks were also fine ON THEIR OWN, but again, maybe I should have paired them with a much looser top.(On a side note, these shorts are really comfortable, but I haven't quite figured out how to wear them so that they look good on me. I bought them last year when I decided that I needed to have more color in my wardrobe. I don't regret that decision, but I'd love to figure out how to make them work.)

One trick that I did in this outfit, which I would definitely use again, was to use a bandeau (growing up, I always called these things tube tops) underneath my sequined top to make it a little longer. My shorts were a little low, so when I just had the top on -- it exposed way too much of my belly fat for me to be comfortable. Being 53 years old, I am well beyond the belly-baring age! I tried to wear a camisole, but it was just too bulky (for the top and for the heat), and I didn't like having three sets of straps on my shoulders to worry about. So, I just slid the bandeau down around my waist, and voilà!

The top is really quite pretty. The woman who gave it to me said she got it for a New Year's Eve party, but then felt it was too low cut to wear.

One last note -- I wore sparkles to work one day over the winter. And I don't know why, but I also wore my Chucks on that day too. I don't know what it is about sparkles and Chucks, but for whatever reason I seem to like the way they go together. I don't think that I succeeded all that well on that day either, but what the heck ... that's one of the reasons why I'm doing this blog. You can see more of those pictures here.

Once again, I want to thank Megan and Keely for sponsoring the Summer Trends Fashion Challenge. It's definitely been a great way to get out of my rut of wearing boxer shorts and t-shirts. Head on over to Megan Mae Daily and find out who else was crazy brave enough to wear sparkles for day.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Double Dose

top -- H & M (borrowed)
shorts -- Mossimo Supply Co. (thrifted)
shoes -- Crocs (Dick's Sporting Goods, and yes, I bought them brand spanking new)

First off, let me apologize right away for giving you a double dose of me. I am so far behind that I sort of have to double post to get caught up. Day 2 in Megan and Keely's Summer Trends Fashion Challenge was to pair a military style item with a more feminine piece. I originally was looking for something kind of lacy and ruffly, but after hunting through my closet and rifling through my daughter's closet, I opted for this top from my daughter's closet. I think she should let me keep it, don't you?

I was late in hopping on to the military style train, but I have to say these shorts (from the men's wear department) have fast become a favorite pair of mine. They are so comfortable (and can you ever fit the crapola in the pockets -- you don't even need to carry a purse)! And even though they're camouflage patterned, which I abhorred when I was younger, I like them. A. LOT. I'm not sure that I would have liked them as much in a solid color. I could even see wearing a pair of these as long pants (the same style). 


Once again, I am indebted to Megan and Keely for coming up with this idea for the summer fashion challenge. I've worn these shorts a lot this summer, but I always paired them with a plain black tank top. This was a lot more fun and a lot more interesting.

Day 3 of the challenge, which I will post tomorrow (but wore yesterday), is Sparkles for Day, and I'll warn you -- that one was a doozy. Just you wait.

Short Skirts

 camisole — Express (borrowed)
top — Poof! (borrowed)
skirt — Bongo (thrifted)
scarf — borrowed

My wardrobe choices lately have been abysmal. On most days, my go-to outfit has been a pair of boxer gym shorts and a muscle T tank top. What can I say? It's a conspiracy -- the heat on the East Coast coupled with my employment status has given me zero motivation to dress in anything but something cool, easy, and comfortable.

But after a couple of weeks days of dressing in boxers and a tank, I have to say that I miss getting dressed up in something fun, or in something pretty, or in something just plain crazy. So when I heard of the Summer Trends Fashion Challenge that Megan of Megan Mae Daily and Keely of Casual Chic Kiki came up with, I figured what better way to give me some incentive to put some real clothes on. And what's really good, is that I don't have to worry about being pulled into my boss's office and told that my outfit is inappropriate for work, so I can really stretch myself right now. (I knew there would be a silver lining to being unemployed.)

Monday's challenge was to wear stripes and florals.

I'm surprised at how much I liked the way this looked. I love the colors, and I just really like the effect. I think that I was cheating a little bit, because I still can't really figure out how to wear a scarf. How do you possibly wear a scarf in the summertime? But I still like the way the patterns and the colors played off of each other.

I'm a bit nervous about wearing a skirt that's so short. You know what the fashion gurus say about old ladies (me) and mini skirts -- they go together like oil and water, or in other words, they don't! But I kind of like this length on me (actually, I think mini skirts are shorter -- yeah, that's it). In fact, it's one of my favorite lengths. I'm not saying that I would ever wear this particular skirt with a pair of stiletto heels, but definitely with a pair of flip flops, my trusty Crocs, or even my Birks.

But today, since I wasn't going anywhere, I just opted for bare feet.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Looks Like Spiders

dress -- Lilly Pulitzer Worth (thrifted)
shoes -- Madden girl (Marshalls)
belt -- thrifted 
earrings -- (borrowed) / bracelet (thrifted)

I groaned when I heard that yellow was this month's theme over at Everybody Everywear. That is the one color that I have always stayed away from, and I mean I avoided it like the plague! Even so, I put on my happy face and my thrifting shoes, and last weekend hit all the thrift stores in my tri-state area (okay, I only went to one, but still ... I was prepared to go to them all! I was on the hunt for something, anything, that had a touch of yellow in it that I could use for Yellow Day. 

And let me tell you, I scored. I hit it big. I found this 100% silk dress within minutes. Even more amazing, it was my size. I put it on, and it was a perfect fit, and even though it was nothing like what I would typically wear, I loved it! I pranced out of the dressing room to show my daughter, and she was like, "Eh. I guess ... " I swear her lip was curled under and to the side, which meant she really really didn't like it. At all. 

"I kind of like it," I said, smoothing the sides down, with a little smile. 

"Oh, that is the perfect summer dress," said a woman who was walking by. "If it was in my size, I would buy it in an instant. What size is it? I'm always looking for summer dresses that look like that." I thought she was going to run over and rip the dress off of me.

"I really like it too," said another woman. And with that comment, I was sold. I knew I had found my yellow outfit.


I could really see wearing this dress to a garden party (to reminisce with my old friends), with a floppy straw hat, and sipping piña coladas.

I wore these big yellow earrings (well, they're big for me -- I don't usually wear earrings that make it look like I am wearing earrings. I tend to wear small dainty posts or hoops ), a bracelet (I wish I had a better picture of my bracelet -- it's so sweet and old-fashioned looking.) 

a black belt, and black sandals.

I'm not so sure about the sandals with the dress. Or maybe it's just that my legs are so pale for such dark sandals. My footwear always stumps me. I also threw on a black cardigan, just to see how it would look.

Now I really need to find another job so that I can wear this beautiful dress out somewhere other than the hallway. Or maybe I can get casted on the Real Housewives of Newark, Delaware, and wear it to a garden party. Nah, I don't think so.

I know you're all wondering what's up with the spiders. When you first glance at the print, it looks like the legs of spiders! Really, it does. I'm not kidding.
Now scurry on over to Every Body every wear and see some new ways of wearing yellow. 

Yellow | Everybody, Everywear

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Open Doors

Wow! What a difference 24 hours can have! But before getting into what's changed, here's the outfit that I wore on Monday, June 27, 2011.

 sweet and innocent  . . .

 dress — Old Navy
camisole — Route 66 (Kmart)

I'm barefoot (but not pregnant! snort) in the top picture because, once again, I had trouble figuring out my footwear. I liked the idea of wearing boots, but they just didn’t look right on me (they looked a whole lot better on my much younger daughter!). I’m also not keen about how the dress looks on meI’m not sure if it’s the empire waist that I don’t like or if it's because the length accentuates my fat knees (that’s probably what it is). Or maybe it’s because my legs are so fish-belly white?

boots — Laredo (thrifted)

So what has changed? Well, on Monday, June 26, I got all dressed up for work (I did wear a sweater to make my dress more work appropriate), I raced to work sedately drove the 45 minutes to work, and then shortly after walking in the door, I was laid off. Yep. The ax fell. That's why my pictures are outdoors instead of in front of my usual blank wall. And I had to take them myselfa rude awakening! It really made me appreciate how hard it is for all of you who take your own pictures! I was really spoiled by my friend who would take my pictures for me.

My bright and cheery sundress was inspired by the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state of New York on June 24, 2011. I was happy to hear that the bill had cleared the last hurdle in the New York Senate and was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo shortly before midnight on Friday night. The law takes effect 30 days later on Sunday, July 24th. (I got tears in my eyes when I saw that the city clerk’s offices in all five boroughs will be open that Sunday so that couples can wed immediately after receiving their marriage licenses.)

Even the Empire State Building was rainbow colored on June 24th!

Image by zennie62

The passage of the bill did not impact me as directly as it did some of my friends—I am not gay, so I have always been free to marry whoever I wanted and to then be afforded all the rights, privileges, and respect that our society bestows on a married heterosexual couple. However, when we deny a large segment of our population* the right to marry the person they love, we have not only legally sanctioned discrimination but also encouraged the hatred and fear of our brothers and sisters, and that affects and hurts us all. Legalization of same-sex marriage in New York won't solve everything, but I can’t help but believe that it’s a huge step forward. I’m excited and hopeful to see what tomorrow brings.

*An April 2011 report by Dr. Gary J. Gates, the Williams Distinguished Scholar at the Charles R. Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy, estimates that 9 million Americans—a number roughly equivalent to the population of New Jersey—identify as LGBT. The Williams Institute is a research center, located at the UCLA School of Law, whose mission is the advancement of sexual orientation law and public policy through independent, non-partisan research and scholarship.

I swear that I'll get much better about postinglast week, well suffice it to say that I was kind of up and down and all around! Even though my lay off was expected, it takes some getting used to. I'm definitely a bit worried, but I'm trying not to let that be the overwhelming thought, and instead look at this as an opportunity for me. I wonder what doors are going to open for me and whether they will swing wide to let me through or will I have to force them open, inch by inch?

I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed that they'll be swinging wide!

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