Tartan it up

Photo on 1-10-14 at 9.55 AM #2Thanks to the polar vortex, from Saturday-Thursday last week I wore basically the same uniform of scarf-turtleneck-sweatdress-skinny jeans-snowboots every day. But then on Friday, the universe thawed out just enough for me to try something a little different.

  • Plaid jacket, Christopher & Banks, thrifted by my mother-in-law, handed off to me December 2013.  This jacket is an XL. Not quite sure how that works, except as an object lesson that sizes are meaningless. I did look up Christopher & Banks, though, and it looks like they have lines for misses (what are misses, exactly? I’ve never really understood that) and petites, so maybe that’s what this is. The sleeves are a touch short…
  • Blue ponte fit’n’flare dress, Old Navy, Janary 2014. My favorite fit and fabric for casual dresses in the universe. So comfortable, so flattering. Basically I buy one of these every time I walk into Old Navy.
  • Yellow belt, neighborhood yard sale spring 2012. I think I paid $.50 for it. One of the few belts I really like to wear. What do you do with dresses and belts, though? How do you stop the tail from flapping around?
  • Black fleece-lined tights, Meijer, fall 2013. Just buy a dozen of these for yourself and everyone you know.

Photo on 1-10-14 at 9.54 AM

  • Red suede boots, on clearance at DSW, January 2014. Originally priced around $100, they were 50% off, and then another 30% off of that. As marched around DSW like I owned the place, Sam said, “$35 for something that makes you that happy? Seems like a good deal.” He doesn’t like shopping and he doesn’t like spending money and he doesn’t care for shoes. Which is why I usually go to DSW by myself. So we just hit on a lucky day, I guess.
  • Unfortunate flipped out hair. Sigh. 

What’s your kryptonite?

Yet another color/texture of my favorite dress. Don't mind the crappy plastic belt.

Old Navy is my kryptonite. Sigh. It has been this way since I was but a wee thing.

I keep telling myself I’m going to stop, going to be strong.

That from now on, I’m going to do right by myself, fashion, the garment industry, small business, and, I don’t know, the sheep in New Zealand. From now on, I will only buy high quality, classic investment pieces. From now on I will only shop at Goodwill. From now on I will only buy vintage.

But sometimes I need tank tops in every color. And affordable jeans that just freaking fit on the first try.

And once I’m in the door? Well…..have you seen these sweaters? Continue reading

Chameleon in Boots!

ImageI’ve lived in Michigan for close to 7 years (and in Illinois all the years before that), and just bought the first actual snow boots of my adult life. I’ve been (not) getting by with hot pink galoshes with a threadbeare fuzzy lining, courtesy of Meijer, since 2006.

These are Ahnu Northridge boots, 30% off today at REI. On the pricey side, but the whole idea is that these will carry me through the next 5-10 years.

Here’s what I like about them:

  • Purple!
  • Lots of nylon and rubber, so I actually believe that they are waterproof (unlike all the Keens and Merrells I looked at. I believe them when they say those will keep your feet dry, but not that the leather won’t soak up the water and salt and rot away….)
  • No ridonkulous giant furry trim around the top.
  • They come up high enough. We have about 10 inches of snow on the ground right now. We’re getting 12 more tomorrow. Why do they even bother selling “snow boots” that barely cover your ankles? What’s the point?
  • They supposedly have “eVent” technology to efficiently wick sweat away from your feet. We’ll see.
  • Promising traction and very comfy for walking.

As a bonus triumph, these were the last pair on the clearance table. I snatched them on sight and even though they appear to be a half size too big for me, they fit perfectly (especially if I happen to be wearing very thick socks, which I usually am).

We’re supposed to get a foot of snow tomorrow, so the timing couldn’t be better. Bring it on!

OK, going to take the dog out for a walk now and test them on the rugged sidewalks (no, really) of our gentle city. Happy tromping, one and all!

Post-walk update: These are the best! My feet are toasty and dry, I walked through the deepest snow I could find and it didn’t reach the tops, and they even braced my stupid ankle, which I twisted two and a half weeks ago, but which still hurts when my foot flexes a lot trying to walk over the snow.

On Getting Hustled

We saw American Hustle over the holidays. I just don’t get what the big deal about this movie is. I feel like maybe it really should have been called Americans Getting Hustled. In which we are the Americans.

This film limped along on crutch after crutch. For example, we came into the theater when the credits from the previous screening were still rolling. I saw the soundtrack listing rolling by, and at first I thought, “Wow, that’s quite a soundtrack…” and then it kept rolling….and kept rolling.

How could this movie pack so many familiar hits, from Chicago to Elton John to Paul McCartney to Santana, into a couple of hours? By slipping into musical-montage-with narrative-voiceover mode whenever it feels like it. Dozens of times. And filling in the gaps between the montages with disco scenes and drunken singing in bars. The music was applied with such a heavy hand that it felt like it was trying to cover up something weak, rather than enhance something strong: “WE ARE IN THE 70S! REMEMBER THIS SONG? DO YOU HAVE FEELINGS ABOUT IT? DON’T LOOK AT THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN”

And speaking of voiceovers…. Continue reading