Monday, December 12, 2011

Second Choice

Can second choice ever be as good as your first choice?

sweater — Talbot's (thrifted)
skirt — Max Studio (Marshalls)
shoes — Thom McAn (Kmart)

This outfit was a second choice — my first choice was what I wore here. When I realized that first choice needed to be hemmed before it could be worn, and that I needed to come up with something else on the spur of the moment at 5 am, I kind of freaked!

You see, that's the one bad thing about riding the train in the morning. I have to get out the door when I have to get out the door. There are no ifs, ands or buts ... Time and tide wait for no man, and neither does the train!

Getting out the door can sometimes be a struggle for me — a real struggle. And when things don't go as planned, I start getting stressed, and then anything that can go wrong not only seems to go wrong, but actually does go wrong. Before I know it, my head starts to spin, and I can't keep anything straight. I'll grab my keys just to put down them down a minute later, because I'm rushing around to find something else that I need.

And then it's, "Where are my keys? My keys! I can't find my keys!" I start turning everything upside down and right side up, and then I'm grabbing everything and anything because I can't decide what it is that I need, and what if I need this so I better grab this, and yes, I might need this too. Whew! And no, I'm not exaggerating. I wish I was, but I'm not.

The day I wore this outfit was the day I had convinced myself that I had forgotten to turn off my flat iron. By the time I got to DC, I was completely frazzled and frantically calling my son to see if he could go home and check to see if I had left it on. He did, and I didn't (leave it on, that is. I never do.)

Even though I almost had a meltdown trying to find something to wear, I was really happy with my second choice (except for the shoes — I couldn't decide if the clogs or the booties went better.) I got this skirt a while ago, but I couldn't figure out how to wear it to work (it seemed kind of dressy for work, or at least more dressy than what I would typically wear). Pairing it with this sweater was a flash of inspiration (I also wore the sweater here, where I also couldn't figure out what shoes to wear. That's a recurring problem for me.)

Linking up to Patti at Not Dead Yet Style for Visible Monday. I thought the color combination and the combination of the not so dressy sweater and the somewhat dressy skirt made me pretty visible. Besides, I think my second choice was pretty darn good.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Looking Edgy

How does one go about looking edgy?

sweater — Charter Club (thrifted)
dress — Good Show Tickets (thrifted)
belt — New York Studio (thrifted) / chunky necklace — thrifted
jacket — Limited (thrifted)
tights — Kmart (purchased new!)
boots — Empire by Mootsies Tootsies (thrifted)
necklace — thrifted

More about that later. First of all, did you notice that my entire outfit was thrifted? Well, except for my tights. If you were worried, you can rest assured, I buy my tights brand new. I do get them in a discount store, but nobody — and I mean nobody but me! — has wiggled their little toes into them.

I kind of impressed myself with this outfit. It may not have been a "Hot Damn, Girl" outfit like this one here was, but it was still a Damn Good one. LOL. The dress *was* a sleeveless midi — I cut about three inches off the length, and then hemmed it (for real! I used a needle and thread this time instead of pins, like I did here), and then threw the sweater on top. I still need to turn the hem under again and then use the iron on it to make it look really good.

But back to my original question ... How does one look "edgy"? I don't have a really good defined idea of what edgy looks like in my book, but I know that whatever "it" looks like, it's not me. You'll find my picture in the dictionary under cute or sweet. AGGGH! Growing up ... I'm the one who always got her cheeks pinched in the grocery store by some person I didn't know. Blech. I'm going to be 80 years old, and people will still tell me that I'm soooooo cute. I don't want to look hard, but sometimes I wish that I could look like somebody you wouldn't mess around with.

I was trying to look edgy here (like a secret agent man), but instead I just looked like I was freezing!


Looking "cute" has its benefits though. I think it makes me look approachable. People, really nice people*, will just start talking to me. It doesn't matter where I am — on the train, the metro, the bus, on line somewhere, or walking up and down the aisles in a store. Invariably, somebody will start talking to me. It's kind of nice, it really is. 

* I do attract my fair share of crazies. The worst of them all? The dirty old men who will say something off color just to try and see me blush. It doesn't happen that much anymore, but when I was younger? Oh, my! I'm blushing right now thinking about it. 

Today, I got this letter in the mail from a lady whose bracelet I had admired on the metro a couple of weeks ago. She had given me her card so I could call her and find out where she got it. I called her, reached her voice mail, and left a message with my name and number. I meant to follow up and call her again, but I never did. And then today, I get this letter from her! She had searched me out, copied all the information about her bracelet and necklace, printed it out and sent it to me.

And this picture? 

This picture is probably one of my favorite pictures of all time. It was taken a long time ago, by a stranger at Baltimore Airport. She took the picture (yes, that's a MUCH younger version of me with my kids) with her camera, and then mailed it to me! And this was way back in the days before email and digital cameras — back when you had to take the film to a store to be developed, and then mail the picture with a stamp in an envelope. I love it.

Sometimes it's not all that bad to be cute. 

I'll bet you're not surprised that with my almost 100% thrifted outfit that I'm linking up to Spunky Chateau and Thursdays are for Thrifters.

And because I'm dressed all in brown, I'm double dipping again and linking up to Keely at and Megan Mae at for Neutrals Week

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Out for Lunch

I treated myself to lunch yesterday wearing this outfit, and I felt like saying, "Hot Damn, Girl!"

white T-shirt — Levi's Red Tab (older than dirt, can't remember)
sweater — no label (older than dirt, can't remember)
skirt — L.L. Bean (thrifted)
wooly leggings — no label (but purchased new :-)
biker boots — Hayley Faded Glory (thrifted)

Not only did I wear it out to lunch, but I also wore it to work last Friday in lieu of jeans (read about how I used to always wear jeans on Casual Friday here). This was just a fun outfit — pure and simple. And it was such a simple outfit, but I really liked the way it turned out, and I think it shows.

I'm not sure what made it so fun ... the big baggy sweater? the bright orange color of my skirt against all the black? my jewelry? the wooly tights? the bad ass boots? or maybe ...

Maybe, just maybe, it was all of the above?! 

I did think that my necklaces were perfect — framed against the black sweater and the white top really made them pop* — even moreso than the rusty orange color of my skirt. The beaded one (on the left) was a gift from one of my South American boarders (I think the beads are Ormosia monosperma. I'm not sure what the common name is though. Anybody know?), and the one on the right was a piece of fused glass that my mom made and styled into a necklace.

*How is it that colors are always popping these days?

I had a feeling that my outfit was going to elicit some comments at work, and I wasn't mistaken. (Seriously, if I don't get some kind of comment about my outfit, I think I've failed somehow, and I have to try harder the next day.) Today's comments centered around my boots. "Whoa! Kari's a biker chick!" Yeah, they were teasing. I didn't mind. It makes me feel like I am part of the group.I even got a comment on my way home on the train about how colorful (in a good way) my outfit was.

So, where did I go for lunch? To Costco, of course. If you play your cards right (aka going at the right time), you can get the equivalent of a seven-course meal there — appetizer, drink, cheese and crackers, main meal, dessert, fruit ... you name it. It's funny how people line up in front of all the sample food carts. You'd think that they were giving away money!

I've been a big supporter of Costco over the years. I go out of my way to keep my membership there, passing by another big-box store that I could almost walk to. I love their shrimp (yum yum), and their grapefruit is pretty darn good as well. On top of some of the staples that I buy there, my understanding is that they treat their employees well — paying them a livable wage with health care benefits, as well as other perks. But they are a big-box store, so I've started to wonder if my impression is a valid one, or if they're just as detrimental to small businesses. Maybe they just disguise it a little better?

Linking up to Patty and Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style. Guess why?

And today, I'm a double dipper, because I'm also linking to Megan Mae at and Keely at for Neutrals Week.

Today's neutral color challenge was to wear black. I know. I know. The bright orange skirt is not exactly black. But I am wearing an awful lot of black, so I think it still counts. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Just Walk On By!

Keep reading if you want to see something even scarier than this outfit!

skort — Greg Norman (thrifted)
sweater — Bill Blass Jeans (thrifted)
booties — Blowfish (DSW)

This skort* was such a pretty cobalt blue color that I couldn't pass by the rack without snatching it up, especially since cobalt blue had been designated as an IT color for the fall. I tried the skort on and even though it was probably two sizes too big, I thought I could make it work. Hey, it stayed up under its own power, so it couldn't have been all that big, right? Besides cobalt blue is a good color for redheads and for erstwhile strawberry blondes like me. That's partly how I justified this purchase, but it had more to do with how I spend my money — I struggle with spending money on myself because I don't ever feel deserving of it. So I make do with what I can find even if it's not the right size, the right shape, or the right anything.

*skort: A skirt with a pair of shorts underneath.

I did actually wear this to work in early October — back when I was still commuting to DC and not through DC. It was a gray and rainy day out, and I thought the blue would brighten up the day. It's probably no surprise that that idea didn't work as planned. I ended up feeling dumpy and frumpy all day (note the pained expression on my face). It's kind of surprising that I have actually posted these pictures — it brings all those insecure, dumpy, and frumpy and not worthy feelings back.

And you know what? 

If anything is going to make you feel less deserving, it's those feelings. And that's my own damn fault — I inflicted them upon myself. I should have had the self-control and the wherewithal to pass up the pretty blue color and the thrift-store price, and just walked on by, secure in the knowledge that I was worth more than that.
If you see me walking down the street
And I start to cry each time we meet
Walk on by, walk on by

Make believe that you don't see the tears
Just let me grieve in private 'cause each time I see you
I break down and cry
And walk on by (don't stop)
And walk on by (don't stop)
And walk on by

I just can't get over losing you
And so if I seem broken and blue
Walk on by, walk on by

Foolish pride
Is all that I have left
So let me hide
The tears and the sadness you gave me
When you said goodbye
Walk on by
and walk on by
and walk by (don't stop)

I need to see the losers more often, so I can remind myself that I deserve to feel good in what I wear, and that I should love everything that I buy. And, for me, that means that it can be way more important to spend a little more money if it's going to change the way I feel about myself. Anyway .... enough psychoanalysis (for now anyway. I'm sure it's going to keep popping up, like a pimple in the center of your chin, when you least want it too ... AGGH!). 

But as promised, here's my really scary picture ...

What do you think about this critter? I was taking those pictures of myself, when I happened to look over, and this guy was just hanging out on the screen next to me! WHOA! I have no idea what kind of critter he was, but was he ever huge (and to put him in a better perspective, I'm not an insect phobe)! I don't think he was particularly dangerous — a stinging kind of thing, but after my episode this summer (read about it here), I didn't want to put a whole lot of faith and trust into what he could or could not do! Or what he would or would not do!

Thanks for sticking by me, through all my whining and moaning posts of late. I'll try and work on that. The holidays tend to be kind of a rough time of year for me, and then with the commute and my job situation — I just feel worn down and worn out. On a happy note, I do really like this picture of me ...

Linking up to Stacy at Spunky Chateau for her Thursdays is for Thrifters. My take on thrifting was a bit different this week, but my outfit wasn't a complete fail ... I liked my sweater, and I learned a valuable lesson (let's just hope that it sinks in).

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