What I Wear… to the Vet.

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Gothic Fashion Meets Parental Responsibilty

One of our little darlings, Perseus (aka “Naughty Kitty” from My First Outfit Post) has some chronic ear issues.  He’s become good friends with a very sweet and well-paid Small Animal Surgical Specialist in L.A.  Determined to thwart me in my plans for early retirement, Perseus will need another surgery.  This is what I wore to take him to his consultation.  I don’t like to dress too Goth when going to appointments with highly professional people, so this is almost an outfit I would wear to work on a Casual Thursday.

I thought the gray top with a print was a good choice for hiding the massive amounts of silver and white Maine Coon hair that I would inevitably be saturated in by the end of the trip.

This top was actually a dress from Body Central (or Venus; I can’t quite remember…).  I thought it looked a bit too short in the catalog, but I figured the model was probably 5’8 or so and on me, at 5’3″, the length would be decent.  I was wrong.  It was even shorter than on the model!  To convert this dress to a top, all I did was add some ruching on the sides.  Now it has a flattering gathered look and makes a comfortable but somewhat elegant top.

Ironically, the sleeves are far too long…

The necklace is handmade by me from jet glass beads purchased at a bead show.  The bracelets are also jet glass beads, but purchased from a little shop on Melrose Blvd.  The shoes are Dr. Marten’s Mary Janes.  I love that they have a heel but still retain the legendary Doc Marten comfort.  I haven’t worn Dr. Marten’s since college because they are generally too casual for my adult tastes, but their new women’s lines have some wonderful dressier styles.

As predicted, Perseus’ brother Prometheus finally decided to get in a shot.  This is him putting me on a guilt trip for getting ready to take his brother away for the day.
He does match my top quite nicely, doesn’t he?

Fashion Friend Friday – In the Beginning…

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:  In the Beginning…

So far, what have been the 5 hardest blogging lessons you’ve learned during this process and have helped make you a better blogger as a result?

I’m still fairly new to blogging, so I can’t say I’ve learned five lessons yet!  I’m sure I will make plenty of mistakes and learn hard lessons over time…  🙂  Here are a few things I have learned, so far.

Don’t Market Without Content
I was so excited to start my blog that I started marketing it when I really didn’t have much content to share.  I think this might have cost me some followers early on.  I guess it makes sense that not everyone could envision where this was going to go, just based on the concept of Gothic Fashion for the Mature.  I’ve had better results since I got a few good posts under my belt.

Save Your Posts Elsewhere
After about an hour of work on one particular post, I hit CTRL+Z to undo a change I didn’t like and it suddenly cleared the whole post.  Everything disappeared, and of course the post auto-saved immediately so there was no way to retrieve the previously-saved version.  I Googled in hopes of finding a Revision History or something, but there is no such thing.

From now on, I will type my posts in Word and save them on my computer.  Then I can paste them into Blogger when I am ready to schedule the post.  At worst, I might lose a few last-minute tweaks, but the bulk of my work will be safely stored (at least until my hard drive crashes).

Oddly enough, we have created some HTML-based editing systems at my work and I have always advised my users to originate their stuff in Word and then just paste it in.  I guess I have learned to take my own advice!!

Toss the iPad
iPads are okay for video games and very basic Web browsing, but pretty much useless for doing business online.  The browser runs super-slow, has a plethora of functionality limitations and is extremely quirky!  Not to mention I would need to shell out $100 for a decent bluetooth keyboard.  I nearly went insane trying to make the thing work for blogging.

I only have an iPad because the boss bought it for me “to evaluate potential business use.”  For me, there is no business use.  And I don’t play video games, so mine is just a very pricey paperweight.  lol!

Blue is So Goth.

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Yes, I know it’s St. Patrick’s Day, but I don’t have a single green item anywhere in my wardrobe; not even an accessory.  Please accept today’s outfit with a hint of blue instead.  I do promise to eat lots of potatoes tonight in celebration of my Irish heritage.

For some reason, blue has never been one of the common alternate colors in the Gothic fashion world.  Sure, red and burgundy and purple and magenta, even grey and white, are fairly typical.  I rarely see blue, and I am not sure why.  I hope this post will help change that.

Today’s sweater, from New York and Company, features a large floral accent on the left shoulder and rhinestone buttons.  The skirt is from Forever 21, and has lots of ruching down both sides.  The belt is Forever 21.  I think the blue tank top is also Forever 21, but I cut all of the tags out of my clothes because they make me itch.  It’s difficult to remember where each piece came from.

I felt like wearing lots of bracelets today.  Actually I feel like that every day, but today I succumbed to the urge.

A close-up of today’s shoes.

I wasn’t thrilled with a single photo I took today.  One little detail seemed to annoy me about each and every one.  I nearly decided to forgo posting today because of it.  But then I reminded myself that I am neither a professional photographer nor a professional model, and here I am attempting to do both at the same time.  And I’m doing it in my spare room at home with relatively inexpensive equipment.  Every day is a learning experience.  So why should I let a little imperfection stop me from doing something I enjoy?  I promise to do better tomorrow. 🙂

To the other fashion bloggers out there, do you ever get self-conscious about your photos?  If so, how do you stay motivated to keep trying?

A Little Bit of Dark Elegance

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I’ve never been afraid to go a little bit overdressed for the office.  I’m the one who refuses to wear jeans on Jeans Thursday and always wears a blazer for important meetings.  I don’t know if today’s outfit would really be considered “too fancy” by the average office worker (no one has commented either way, so far), but something about it makes me feel fancy.  And I like that.  Maybe it’s the drape of the cowl-neck top, the silver scarf, or the flowing asymmetrical hem of the skirt.  Most likely it’s all of those things working together.

I realized that my shoes can be quite understated when paired with black tights every day; so today we have nude stockings for a change.  And I like that too.

The highlight of this outfit, for me, is the wonderful brooch.  This belonged to my husband’s mother who, sadly, I never got to meet.  She was a young woman in the 1940s, so not only is this brooch true vintage, but also feels good to wear just because it was hers.

I love the way this skirt drapes when I am seated.
Does anyone else out there like to dress extra-nice for the office sometimes, just to feel pretty?

A Few Clubby Things…

Gothic Club Clothes

I had written a clever and witty post to go along with these photos.  I saved it as a draft, then went back later to make some finishing touches and post it.  In doing so, Blogger ate my post.  Wiped the whole thing clean and left me staring at a blank white screen.  Of course, it was kind enough to auto-save immediately after doing so, leaving me no way to retrieve my masterpiece.

Rather than attempt to re-write the whole post, I’ll get straight to the point.

We have reluctantly put the Goth clubs on the back burner for a couple of months for several reasons (not that we normally go out every night, or even every week…).  I didn’t want to leave such an important part of my blog totally empty, so here are some semi-recent photos taken by our local club photographers to fill the void until we’re back in the scene!

Ultimately I will be doing studio shots of my club outfits so you will be able to see them much better than these “wearing black in the dark” shots.  🙂

Goth Club Fashion
Goth Corset
Dark Vintage Fashion

My Five-Year Anniversary

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This past weekend, my husband and I celebrated our five-year anniversary.

This is not only one of my favorite Stop Staring dresses, it’s also the dress I wore when we got married.  We didn’t really have a wedding; just us and my parents at the County Clerk’s office.  We didn’t want a huge, stressful fuss, and we figured our savings were better spent as the down payment on our house.  So it was a three-minute ceremony and a few signatures followed by a wonderful lunch at the Odyssey restaurant.  It was magical and perfect.  And it was just a year and a half ago.  So how does that make this our five year anniversary?  Well, we prefer to celebrate the day we met.  After all, it was love at first sight and the paperwork was really just a formality!  

I thought re-wearing the “marriage” dress would be a romantic touch even though this was not actually our marriage anniversary.

The satin clutch was a gift from my husband purchased on our first “together” trip to Canada, his home country.  The hair flower with just the right amount of glitter is from Claire’s (I only shop at the best accessory stores – lol!).  The necklace was my anniversary gift.

Gothic Fashion for the MatureI styled the dress a bit differently on our marriage day, with a veiled vintage hat (eBay) and updo, long sleeves (homemade) and nude stockings. And a lovely locket pendant, also a gift from the man, on a necklace handmade by me (shown below).

I’m pretty sure this “Pin-Up Goth” look is one of my husband’s favorites.  🙂

Fashion Friend Friday – Finding the Balance

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:  Finding the Balance

I think this is one of the hardest things for us as bloggers to deal with. How do you do it all and still live, work and play as you should?

When it comes to prioritizing your life, in what place does blogging fall? 

My order of priority is Marriage, Family, Cats, Job, House, and then Blogging.  🙂  So definitely after all of the really important stuff.  I’m still not sure where this whole thing will go, so it’s mostly just for fun right now.

We all wish we had more free time to dedicate to blogging and all it entails. What are your tricks for taking advantage of the time you do have to be as productive as possible? 

Mainly, I utilize my lunch hour at work.  I work a 4/10 schedule, which means 10-hour days Monday through Thursday.  Add in my one-hour unpaid lunch, and I’m stuck away from home for 11 hours those days!  The only free time I have during the week is lunch, and I prefer to eat in my office rather than spend money on restaurant  food, so this is a perfect time for me to do my blogging.  I also use the time to do whatever marketing I can think of to spread the word about my blog.

Using my lunch hour also allows me to keep my Fridays free for catching up on chores and errands, and most of my weekend time free to dedicate to my husband and family; the number one priorities!!

Have you discovered any short-cuts that make blogging easier or more time efficient? 

Not yet, but I think right now the needs of my blog are pretty manageable.  I am very interested to read how other Friday Friends will answer this question, so I can learn from them.

Do you have an editorial calendar or something similar that helps you plan ahead? 

I just post when I am inspired.  I try to post about three times per week: one work outfit, one weekend outfit, and one general interest article (such as Fashion Friend Friday).   I plan to just go with the flow; if I’m not particularly excited about anything I wore to work during a given week, I won’t post any work outfits that week.  I don’t want to set up schedules and expectations for myself that will take the fun out of it.

If time wasn’t an issue what you would be doing on your blog/for your blog that you aren’t doing now?

Daily outfit posts, and maybe more general interest articles on Goth lifestyle.  Also more networking with owners of complimentary blogs, in hopes of more interaction and maybe some cross-posting.  Perhaps someday!  🙂

Comfortable and Feminine; Just How I Feel Today!

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So I see that my camera is still too dark on the blacks.  These photos are corrected in Photoshop, but it sure would save me some time if I could use them straight off the camera.  The focus issues are somewhat corrected using the lighter-colored backdrop, but I’m not crazy about the white.  I’ll have to find something in between…

This cute skirt was a bit of a project.  It was originally a dress, ordered from Newport News.  The dress was a terrible fit on me, but as usual I never got around to sending it back.  Three or four years later, I finally converted it into a skirt.  Now I just love it!
The necklace and bracelet are handmade by me from Swarovski components.  I absolutely adore their glass pearls.  They come in so many colors, and are much higher quality than any other faux pearls I’ve seen.  I’d like to get some in a more natural pearl color, for the classic vintage romantic look.  I’ll have to keep my eyes out for the next Gem and Bead Show, as they usually have the best prices!

The shoes are Newport News as well.  You can barely see, but they have a little patent bow on the front.  The top is New York and Co.  I don’t think it’s my most flattering top, but I love the feminine details of the chiffon rosettes and the little chiffon drape in the front.

Custom Car Show Saturday

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Classic car shows are one of our favorite weekend activities.  I never really appreciated classic cars until I met my husband.  He picked me up for our first date in a 1962 Chrysler Newport, and I fell in love with the car immediately (and the man very shortly thereafter).  I am thankful that his tastes run toward the vintage, custom and unique.  I’m just not the type of girl to go for a guy in a red Mustang.  😉

This is a fairly typical car show outfit for me.  It differs from my work attire in that the heels are higher, the skirt a bit too snug for the office, lots more jewelry and makeup, and PIGTAILS!  I was too lazy to put in the contacts this time.

Usually there are other girls at the shows who like to dress up a bit, so I don’t feel as out of place as I do in other settings.  I’m still usually the only Goth, but at least there are others with an artsy sense and a bit of vintage class.  I think it goes hand in hand with the custom car mentality; aesthetics are an enormous part of that world.  I love it.

Sadly, while my husband did take photos of me and photos of our car, he failed to take any photos of me with our car.  That will give my readers something to look forward to for the next car show post!

Someday he’ll buy me a 1936 Ford coupe and we’ll paint it eggplant purple… 

Anyone else out there have a classic car, or an appreciation of them?

Fashion Friend Friday – Beauty Products

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:  Beauty products 

What’s your favorite drug store makeup product and your favorite higher-end product?

My favorite drug store makeup product is, by far, L’Oreal HiP (High Intensity Pigment) Lip Gloss (color: Tainted).   Living in the desert, I find that lipstick dries out too quickly on my lips and constantly needs refreshing.  L’Oreal’s HiP line has tons more color than typical gloss, but is far more hydrating than lipstick.  Best of all, somehow they managed to find a way to keep it from bleeding into the fine lines.

My favorite high-end product is Ben Nye’s Luxe Eye Shadow line.  Ben Nye is more of a makeup artist/theatre brand, so sadly it isn’t available in most stores.  The Luxe line has just enough shimmer without full-on sparkle, and the colors are intense!  They can be played down for day or built up as bold as you want them to be, making them extremely versatile.

Is there one type of product that is your go-to, can’t live without? 

My Bare Minerals powder foundation.  Amazing stuff.  It feels like I’m not wearing any foundation at all, but does a fabulous job of smoothing out skin tone and small flaws.  And for some reason they actually carry a shade that is pale enough for my fair skin.  🙂  Although occasionally I do add a bit of zinc oxide powder to make it a hint paler, while adding additional UV protection.

What’s the best hair product you’ve ever used? 

BioSilk Hair Treatment.  It really does make my hair feel like silk, and drastically reduces tangles.

Fess up, what’s the worst beauty look you’ve tried to rock and look back at now with a little shame or apprehension that you actually did that? 

This is a tough one.  Not because I think every look I’ve ever tried has been a winner, but because every look was a part of my evolution.  I try not to feel shame for anything as long as I was trying to look my best.  I guess the closest for me would be back when I was a teen and was trying to “fit in” with the popular, trendy girls.  I wanted so badly to hide the fact that I was creative and original and just plain different, because teenagers make fun of those qualities in their peers.  This led to teased hair, acid-washed jeans, and other 80s fads that were popular at the time; things I attempted because it was expected, but never really felt good about.

When it comes to beauty products, we all use the same basic products. What do you use that helps show off your personal flare and personality? 

Probably the Ben Nye products mentioned above.  Because being into the Goth look inevitably brings out a little bit of the theatrical in us.  🙂  Also, I am a huge fan of the single, thick liquid eyeliner line on the top lashes.  Nothing on the bottom.  This is a departure from the typical “black all the way around” eye look, while still being “dark” overall.  And it gives me just a tiny hint of the 1940s glamor that I so admire.