The Air You Wear

Coco Chanel said, “A women who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.”  I don’t agree with that, especially not in this age of environmental allergies, but I do love a good scent.  I don’t have a signature fragrance.  I wish I did, sometimes.  A signature fragrance, like a strand of good pearls, a camel colored, cashmere twin set paired with a tweed skirt and kick pleats, and Cole Haan loafers equals class to me.  Alas, I rarely wear my pearls, cashmere makes me itch, Ross doesn’t sell Cole Haan, and my taste in perfume changes with my mood and the weather.

Maybe since I started wearing all my favorites back in the 80s and 90s, they count as signatures?

Today I am wearing Tresor by Lancome, which I love because it is feminine without being powdery, and has some weight to it–it’s not too girly to be professional.  It is a good office perfume.  It pairs equally as well with a flirty dress, a suit, or cigarette pants and kitten heels.  For me, it’s the Audrey Hepburn of perfumes.  Thor likes this one best, too.

For a date perfume, or a womanly-wife perfume (hubba-hubba) I prefer Amarige by Givenchy.  It is spicier and richer, but has class and grace, and dresses up a LBD like nothing else.  Given how much Audrey H loved Givenchy, this should remind me of her, but it doesn’t.  Amarige reminds me of New York’s winter elite-nightlife.  Nothing girly about it.  I was wearing this on my first date with B.

In the summer, I have come to love Harajuku Lovers G by Gwen Stefani.  Yes, I originally bought it because I thought the bottle was adorable, but I really love the scent.  It is a light, coconutty fragrance that smells like Exotic Beach to me.  Again, not girly, not powdery, and not at all what you would think might come out of that bottle.  An adult woman can wear it without feeling like she needs knee socks and pigtails.

Hypnose, by Lancome, is another fragrance I’ve grown to enjoy wearing.  At first, this smelled like old lady to me.  It is a heavy, sticky scent, and originally I associated it with decaying country club doyenne, but I couldn’t stop myself putting it on.  I kind of love to hate it.  I can’t say I love the scent.  I can’t say I think it smells really good on me.  But, I can’t stay away from it.  I’ve decided to wear it on days when I need to feel powerful, when I need to take control, and when I want other people to be a little unsettled around me.

I have been wearing Tatiana, by Diane Von Furstenberg, longest of all.  This is absolutely my go-to fragrance.  When in doubt, I spritz myself with this one.  I love, love, love how light and sweet it is, and also love that it has some heavy undertones.  That makes it wear easily, and allows it to go summer to winter without a blink.

Style, Uncategorized

Hot Mama

Anyone who has ever done the school run in the morning can tell you that some moms look like they have just given up on life.  Anyone who has ever tried to get a child to school on time has probably felt like giving up on life, so who can blame them when their sartorial choices reflect having had to chase a child around the house cajoling, begging, issuing warnings and threats until finally shuttling them into a vehicle to transport them to school?
I am sick.  Sick, sick, sick.  Swallowing feels like I have hemorrhoids in my throat.  So, for the second time this year already, I have given up on getting dressed to drive Thor to school.  Please note my outfit:
I am wearing B’s windshirt, which is 4 sizes too large, over my green nightgown, over cropped leggings, with a pair of children’s Hungry Caterpillar socks (so stretchy!), black ballet flats, and Birth Control glasses.  I look hot.  Hot like I am running a fever and need to be quarantined.
Untitled #32
This is one of the things I love about Polyvore: No matter what I am wearing, so long as I can find a picture of it, I can build a set to show you what I am wearing.  It’s like paper dolls, only you are your own doll.
2the9s, Style

Mixing It Up

Want to see what I am wearing today?

Stars and Stripes. I am almost obsessively into mixed prints right now.  And yes, that is a maternity skirt, but NO, I am not maternitized.

Let’s talk clothes.

I’ve been mixing prints for a while now.  I grew up in a world where you wore print as an accent, and always with a solid, never mixing stripes with dots, or plaid with florals, but I think all those cute little, mixed-print dresses you see in the Zulilly type ads for girls seeped into my brain and suddenly, I find myself actively seeking prints to mix.

I mixed Thor’s prints at my cousin’s wedding a few years ago, and I was inordinately proud of myself for having done. Plaids and stripes–see his little collar and sleeve cuffs? So GQ. I just wanted an excuse to post this picture because it is a favorite of mine.

For me, the trick to mixing prints is color and size of print.  Your colors have to match or blend impeccably, and your prints need to be of very different sizes.  For example, I wouldn’t match a big floral to a big plaid.  I would match a tiny floral to a big plaid, or a big floral to a tiny plaid.  I probably wouldn’t match florals and plaids at all, actually, unless I was using the floral as an accent on the plaid.  I could see a floral necktie, or waistband/belt on a plaid jumper dress, but not a floral top with a plaid skirt.  Chloe Sevigny?  She can see that, and it looks good on her.  Not on me.

The other night, to the play, I wore a mixed-stripe cardigan over a floral dress.  I liked it.  Thor approved of it.  It certainly got some looks.  Whether or not other people liked looking at it is up for grabs, but I was happy wearing it, and that’s really what matters. 

Wide and narrow stripes with a tight floral. It made me happy.

Fit, when you’re wearing prints, is also very important.  If it is a rosebud, you don’t want it stretched out to the point it looks more like a carnation.  (I used to have this glorious gored skirt–it was white with huge pink rosebuds on it.  Apropos of nothing, other than that I love rosebud prints.)  Now, I am not one of those “never wear horizontal stripes unless you are thin” people, however I am a “wear white whenever you want to” person, so take my opinion for what you think it is worth.  If you are going to wear horizontal stripes across your hips, make sure the fabric drapes smoothly from the widest part of your hip, otherwise you can end up looking like you have big rubber bands wrapped around your body. My look, today, comes courtesy of teensy stars and chevron stripes, and the Misses and Maternity section–my skirt is a maternity skirt.  No, I’m not pregnant, I just like some maternity clothes.  I think it is actually a well kept secret that the only difference between maternity pants and skirts, and regular pants and skirts is the waistband, and the ease across the hips and thighs.  There is some cute stuff in the maternity section! Maternity pants/skirts are cut to fit an expanding belly (by offering stretchy, often fold over waistbands–think about your favorite yoga pants), and wider hips and thighs (by offering a more relaxed cut across the bum.) Thus, if you’re looking for a fit that accommodates some junk in the trunk, and you don’t mind a more casual waistband, the maternity section might have something for you.  This is especially true if you aren’t quite big enough to fit well into a Plus Sized cut, but are a skosh too big to be comfortable in a Misses Sized cut. (Now, if someone will just make a button down shirt that fits a big bust without looking like a button down tarp…)

etiquette, Lancient History, Style

Getting Dressed

In one of my offices, when I worked for the church, I sat in a cubicle as a gatekeeper to the corner office and the office next to it.  Three walls of my cube were solid (one of them made up of the wall of the secondary office), and the third was glass.  As the light fell, if you stood outside the glass, you had a great mirror view of yourself.  But, because of how my cube was situated, you would never know this unless you were a frequent visitor to the Corner Office–and most of those visitors weren’t thinking about their hair.

There was a smaller office to the other side of the corner office, and the guy who worked in that office was notorious for being late to work, flying in like his tail was on fire.  To save himself some time in the morning, he would wear his tight, white undershirt (yes, I noticed) and bring his dress shirt and tie on a hanger, rush in, then stand in front of the glass of my cubicle and use it for a mirror to put on his shirt (unbuckling his belt and undoing the top button on his trousers so he could tuck the shirt in), and tie, and brush his hair. 

Now, he was a really, really good looking guy (and a really nice guy outside of this one thing), so it isn’t like the view was bad.  There are worse things than Brad Pitt getting dressed in front of you, right?  But it annoyed me.  Maybe because Brad Pitt isn’t my type?  If it had been Sean Connery…never mind.  That would have gotten me fired.

I was annoyed.  I was annoyed that this guy was standing fewer than 3 feet away from me, putting on clothes that he should have had on before he walked in the door.  I was annoyed that this guy was standing fewer than 3 feet away from me, undoing his belt and trousers.  I was annoyed that this guy would come out of his office to preen in my window.  I was annoyed at his refusal to take his reverse strip tease into the men’s room–where there was a real mirror.  And I was annoyed at his suggestion that the reason I was annoyed is because I was tempted to sin* by his show, and how pearl-clutchy he became when I asked how he would deal if I stood in his door in my slip and proceeded to put on my dress, jewelry, and fix my hair. 

After literal months of this behavior, I finally printed out a sign that read “No Preening Zone” and taped it to the glass at his eye level.  He lost his mind over that and we had a rather heated argument.  One of the hottest arguments I’ve ever had in a workplace, actually.  Though he never did stop checking out his reflection and using my glass as a place to fix his hair and check his eyebrows, he did start getting dressed in the men’s room.

My advice for the day:  Get dressed before walking into the office.  No one wants to see your underclothes, be they tshirts or tighty-whities.

*The only sin I had been tempted to commit was using God’s name in vain to tell him to take his g-dd-mned morning routine out of my face.

Friends of Mine, Style

Sweet Treats and Heavy Metals by GreyGyrl Star Makers

I met Amber when I was working at the nation’s largest video game retailer.  She, Amy, and I were all expecting at the same time.  Three months apart each, Amber had Breanna, then Amy had Bel, and I had Thor.  And ping, ping, ping, we came back to work.  Then, Amy left, I left, and Amber left, and we’ve all been doing various things since then.  One of the things Amber has been doing, is making jewelry with Breanna.  Creative and amazing on her own, when you add Breanna to the mix, you get a duo of fantastic artists, making one-of-a-kind jewelry.  I love it!

The beautiful Breanna and her red crab resin pendant.

I asked Amber to write up the story behind GreyGyrl, the name of their Etsy store, so I could share it with you all.  I think you’ll love the jewelry!  It ranges from sweet-enough-to-eat, to truly sentimental.

Great advice. Great jewelry.

GreyGyrl – Star Makers is a mother daughter team Amber & Breanna Barnes (age 34 and 7) creating and
designing jewelry pieces.

The idea behind it was to find something fun to do as a hobby that both mommy and daughter enjoyed.
More times than they will actually admit, involved trips to Michaels & Hobby Lobby for weekend art
projects. It was actually Breanna (age 7) who asked the question maybe we can try to make stuff people
wanna buy. Then we can have more money for even more art stuff.

Stuff people might want to buy. I love this one–I think it looks like tattoo art.

So then Amber (age 34) began surfing the world of Google and researched some ideas. Starting
with Resin seemed the most fun. Both mommy and daughter looked at the various charms, shells, and
ideas and began designing. Once a few of the pendants were made with only a dozen or so causalities,
next step was to set up an Etsy Store. Breanna named the store and up went the listings of handmade
pieces for sale. The first few sales however did come from Grandma but the mother daughter duo was
not picky! Now random strangers are finding the little shop and more and more items are being added
all the time!

Some of Amber’s metal stamping work.

Also the types of pendants include Custom and ready-made metal stamped pendants, the latest favorite
etsy style scrabble tiles turned charms, resin and more. It’s a great hobby and a way to make a few extra
bucks while being home with the kids, but the best part is hearing how much someone loves the piece
designed by Breanna (age 7).

I know you know someone who would love to have this one!

Check out GreyGyrl.  These are wonderful people, and lovely jewelry.