Last Chance for Sweaters

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So, supposedly spring is in the air.  We here in sunny Southern California have had nothing but rain and cold wind…  But that’s likely to change at any time.  So, I figured I had better get one more wearing of this awesomely Gothic Victorian sweater in. The occasion: dinner with the parents to celebrate Mom’s birthday.

I saw this sweater in a catalog and absolutely had to have it. I can’t remember which catalog; I think it was Victoria’s Secret… Anyway, when it arrived it fit perfectly, but the turtleneck on it was MUCH bulkier than it showed in the photo. It rode so high up on my neck that it looked like my head was about to be swallowed up. So I packed this away at the bottom of my Trunk of Sweaters and forgot about it for two years.

Recently, I found this massive cameo brooch in the Steampunk Couture Etsy store. Somehow my brain realized it would go great with that sweater, and it dawned on me that perhaps the large pin would help tame the killer turtleneck. Sure enough, it solved my problem and worked out very nicely. Now this is my favorite sweater.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the center of the cameo to photograph without being washed out.  🙁

I’ll miss you and your puffy sleeves, my perfect Gothic Victorian sweater. See you in the fall!

An extra fun thing today:  Emilina Sassperina tagged me in a  handwriting quiz (thanks for thinking of me, Emilina!). Sadly, my writing is usually atrocious because I get impatient…  I mean, writing is SO much slower than typing. (lol)  Here are the results of my best effort!

The rules:

  1. Write your name & blog name
  2. URL
  3. Write, “A quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog!”
  4. Favorite quote
  5. Favorite song
  6. Favorite bands/singers
  7. Anything you want to say
  8. Tag some other bloggers!

    Color Brigade: Burgundy, Black and Mauve

    So yes, I joined the Color Brigade. Sounds ironic for a Goth girl, doesn’t it? It is, but I like a good challenge! Goths do traditionally wear mostly (if not all) black. I’m no exception; solid black always has been and always will be my favorite look. And while it’s not uncommon for Goths to add an accent color for the sake of variety, anything more than black + one accent is almost unheard of (at least in my Gothy Outfit Repertoire).

    The rules of the Color Brigade dictate that at least one outfit a week must have a minimum of THREE colors. I sure hope black counts, because working with two accent colors will be strenuous enough on my dark little brain… 🙂 I think I’ll be able to handle it, on work days, at least for a while…

    So here is my first entry!

    There are a couple of people around my office who will most likely hope that this new color experimentation is the beginning of a transformation toward normalcy for me…  And I will giggle inside knowing that they are oh so wrong.  My husband recently described me as “Goth at the core.”  His meaning was that Goth is just the style that I am meant to be; it looks “right” on me and nothing else would fit (he’s truly perfect for me!).  With that kind of support and acceptance from my soulmate, my best friend, the only person whose opinion really matters, there’s no way I’m changing a thing.

    And truthfully, while playing with color is fun, it also makes me appreciate black even more.  😉

    Color Brigade is brought to you by:

    Rule-Breaking Monday: Goth Girl Goes Pink

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    Those of us who are secure in our Gothiness are not afraid to take an occasional break from the dark colors.  For my first official participation in Rule-Breaking Monday, I will shock and horrify Goths around the world with this baby pink sweater.

    Actually, I think I’ve broken three rules here (if not more).  In addition to the pink, I’m wearing a knee-length skirt.  It seems that the “rules” say the skirt should always be above or below the knee, but I happen to like knee-length sometimes.  

    Best of all, my heels seriously exceed the 3” guideline for my workplace.  That’s what they get for making it a “guideline” and not a concrete part of the dress code.  😉  Even I don’t usually wear such tall platforms to work, but I love these shoes and they go so nicely with the sweater.  While I was putting this outfit together and debating the shoe issue, my husband said, “Wear the shoes to work.”  So I did.  Making today all about breaking rules.

    A close-up of today’s fabulous shoes:

    Rule-Breaking Monday is brought to you by:

    A Word About Corsetry

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    This corset is one of my treasured purchases from Gallery Serpentine.  This Australian-based company makes high-quality, comfortable corsets.  Their prices are amazingly reasonable considering the construction of these garments.  I’ve worn one of their pieces literally a hundred times, at least, and it shows no sign of giving in.  

    Despite the nasty reputation that corsets have gained due to media melodrama, a quality corset that fits properly and is laced/tightened properly really is very comfortable and not damaging to the body, when the wearer behaves in a ladylike manner.  I don’t “tight lace” but I do semi-tight lace.  I dance, eat, sit and do just about everything else in a corset with no discomfort.  Of course, overeating and slouching are out of the question!

    So why do I love corsets?  No, it’s not a “fetish” thing of any kind.  I simply love the shape it gives – a dramatic hourglass figure is very visually appealing to me on a lady.  And I love that it makes me stand tall and have perfect posture.  That’s it.

    This silk skirt was a steal on eBay.  It has three ruffles at the bottom and is longer in the back than the front, which I find too charming!

    I fell in love with this silver brocade patterned fabric on the Gallery Serpentine Web site.  It makes a great contrast panel in the front of the corset.

    Food Trip Friday: Anniversary Cake

    Ok, so I am going to go a little off-topic on Fridays and do a quick food post. Because everyone loves food, and I wanted to participate in Food Trip Fridays with my fellow bloggers.

    5-Year Anniversary Lemon Amaretto Mini 3-Tier Cake

    I found this super-cute miniature 3-tier cake pan set on Amazon a while back.  I was saving it for a special occasion…  Then I forgot all about it.  🙂  I finally remembered on our anniversary, so I surprised my husband with this adorable little cake.

    The hearts are made from a cookie cutter and an hors devours cutter.  I used the extra batter to make a tiny, thin sheet cake in a little toaster oven pan, then cut them out and dipped them in the glaze.

    Such a fun project!!

    Food Trip Friday is brought to you by:

    Fashion Friend Friday: Feminism

    Fashion/Beauty Friend Friday was created by ModlyChic.  Visit her blog to participate, or to view other responses to this week’s questions!

    This Week’s Topic:  Feminism

    Do you think there is an incompatibility between feminism and a love for fashion? 

    No way!  Feminism gives us the freedom to be whatever we want to be and express ourselves in our own way.  It doesn’t mean we can’t be feminine.  It means we have the same rights, freedoms and independence as men have.  It means our work deserves the same pay as a man doing the same job at the same skill level.  It means we don’t have to choose to stay home and pop out babies our whole life long.

    Actually, I would say that feminism gives us more freedom to love fashion by breaking down old stereotypes about women.  Combining fashion and feminism helps us to show the world that they can’t judge us by our appearance, that hot girls aren’t necessarily dumb, and that a girly girl isn’t necessarily a useless ornament.  If feminism meant that we all had to look and act more like men, it would be the same as saying that we have to be more like men in order to have the same value as men.

    There is more to each of us than a love for fashion, how do you incorporate every aspect of yourself into your blog?

    My blog is still a baby, but I try to address social issues I have encountered throughout my life and how those influence my wardrobe choices on a daily basis.  Naturally, since how I dress at work is part of my blog, my career choices and success as a graphic designer and Web developer will come up from time to time.  My family values will also come into play as I discuss the support I get from my parents and the ways in which my husband encourages me in everything I love.  Things I like to do will be discussed as I present outfits I wear to various events.  You’ll see my craftiness in outfits that need alterations or added flair.  My passion for photography will be evidenced by my outfit photos.  And I will probably randomly talk about chocolate and kittens a lot.  Can’t help it.

    With the fashion industry still being a male-dominated profession, how do you think it would differ if women played a larger role? 

    I don’t think it would differ much.  It’s the women wearing the clothes who drive the market.  Initially I wanted to say that perhaps there would be less emphasis on sex appeal or something, but I really don’t think so.  I think many women embrace the confidence (and sometimes power: yes, I said it) that comes with being attractive to the opposite sex and women who exploit that do so because they choose to, not because the male-dominated industry somehow forces them to.

    How is your self-image and the way you carry yourself formed by your beliefs? 

    I hold myself up to a higher standard because I believe that how you present yourself to the world around you shows respect for yourself and respect for others.  I see many people doing their grocery shopping in stained sweats, pajama pants, thrashed gym shoes, etc.  There was a time when things like that were for home only.  I feel there’s something to be said for putting together a classy presentation when you go out and make yourself part of society.  “I don’t care what anyone else thinks” is a brave mantra to a point, but it is disrespectful when it reaches the point of total sloth.

    Do you think clothing/makeup/hair help communicate the truth about yourself or are those things superfluous add-ons? 

    A little of both.  🙂 Definitely, my look expresses volumes about my personality!!  At the same time, how important is that, really, to anyone outside of myself and my most-loved ones?  Not very.  But if it matters to me, it’s not superfluous.  And if my husband happens to find it attractive (which he does) then that is a HUGE  plus in my book.  I guess this ties in with my answer to the previous question, because how I present myself to my husband shows that I respect him, care about his opinion and have a desire to remain attractive to him throughout our years together.  Would he love me any less with no makeup and grungy clothes?  Of course not.  But does he appreciate the effort I go to?  Most definitely!  Perhaps that makes me not a very good feminist, but it makes me happy.

      A Personal Challenge

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      As a good little Goth girl, I really love long skirts.  When I saw this white one in the Body Central catalog, I thought it would be a nice change.  I happened to have the black and white top (also from Body Central, I think).  I figured if I top it off with a black shrug (from random mall store) I’d have a decent balance of black and white.  Did I pull it off?  I don’t know…  It feels like an enormous amount of white to me!

      The skirt was supposed to be a crinkle skirt (No, I don’t know the technical term.  They were broomstick skirts when I was in high school, but I never hear that phrase any more.).  I just didn’t bother to re-crinkle it after I washed it.  But I think it would have looked better that way.  Next time!

      The cool bits of hair sticking out in the back are Magic by Easihair.  My hair is long and awesome for wearing straight down, but it’s thin and slippery and not too easy to style.  When I don’t feel like wearing it down, and am not in the mood for just a boring bun, I really love fun hairpieces and chignons!

      And here I am trying to be creative with my posing.  Looks like I’m auditioning for the part of Ophelia or something.  lol!

      “There’s rosemary; that’s for remembrance…”

      Yes, Another Vet Outfit

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      When your cat has a chronic health problem, you get to make lots of trips to the vet.  If you are really lucky, you’ll need to go to a specialist who is located more than an hour away (more than two hours in traffic).  With all of these stressful vet trips, I’ve found that it’s essential to put thought and effort into my outfits.  Planning a nice outfit helps take my mind off of the issues we are dealing with.  And feeling good about my appearance helps me keep a positive attitude throughout the day.

      Here we have the outfit I wore to pick Perseus up from his surgery last weekend.   I didn’t get to post it that day due to lack of time, so you get it today.  🙂

      The satin blouse (from a random mall store) was a lucky sale find.  I just love the embroidered detail, plus the lace and velvet trims.  It was a bit slouchy on me, so I added some fairly drastic darts to the back and now it’s just right.

      Hello again, Prometheus!  If you are going to crash my photo shoots, 
      you could at least hold still so you aren’t blurry.  🙂
      You won’t often see me in pants, as I have a very hard time finding pants that fit.  I usually wear skirts because I can easily alter most of them if needed.  Pant alterations are a mystery to me.

      This iron cross pendant is one of my very favorite things.  I found it at a little store on Melrose years ago.

      PS:  Perseus came through his surgery wonderfully, and is now well on his way to recovery.  🙂

      Learning to Layer

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      I’ve had this brocade blazer from Macy’s for years and have never worn it once.  The cropped length was a challenge; it just didn’t go with anything I owned.  I often thought of getting rid of it, but love the fabric so much I kept wanting to give it a chance.  

      While picking out clothes for the workweek last weekend, it dawned on me to try it with a longer top underneath.  I think I heard once long ago that it was a fashion no-no to let the top underneath show at the bottom, but now it seems, from what I see at the mall, that “layering” is currently all the rage.  

      I’ve always found it odd how frequently things that were once total fashion faux pas become huge trends later on.  That’s another reason why I am so thankful to not feel constrained by “the rules.”  I get to decide for myself what looks good, and I don’t have to throw things out after a year because they’ve gone “out of style.” 

      I really like the way this outfit works.  And when it once again becomes a sin to let your lower layer show, you can bet I’ll still be doing it.  🙂

      The necklace and bracelet, from New York & Co., are not really things that I would wear on my “own time” but I thought they would be great as feminine but bold work-appropriate pieces.

      Fun Weekend Goth, “Over 35” Version

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      We are hanging out at home most of the weekend caring for a post-op kitty cat, so I wore this outfit just to the grocery store and then for a few hours flouncing around the house; making lunch, doing a few little projects and just generally feeling cute.

      I think one key to exuding refinement as a “mature” Goth is age-appropriateness.  It can be difficult to achieve this while going for a young-at-heart, old school Goth look, but not impossible.  This outfit succeeds by showing just a bit of fishnet, paired with a short-but-not-too-short (nor too tight) skirt and a full-coverage top.

      I adore the ruched sides and sleeves on this top from Arden B.  Plus it has just a bit of gathering at the shoulders: so cute!  I think overall this look is a little bit flirty and still tasteful.  It’s a style that definitely turns my husband’s head but is modest enough that I wouldn’t be embarrassed if I ran into a colleague while out shopping.

      I have to admit, one of the things that attracts me most to the Goth style is the jewelry.  I do so love the “more is more” philosophy… And the SPARKLE!!!