Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Perfect Boyfriend


Boyfriend jeans. Another thing that you can add to that list of things (like skinny jeans and block heels - also pictured here) that I thought I would never, ever wear. I held off for a while when boyfriend jeans first became popular, but when they appeared to be going nowhere any time soon, I caved-in and gave them a try. Okay, I get it now. They're pretty gosh-darn comfortable, and look cute rolled-up to showcase whatever shoe you're wearing; a look that has sort of come to define the second decade of the 2000s. However, I think it's madness that anyone would spend more than the $5 it cost me to grab this pair of "boyfriends" off the rack in the local thrift store (during my last trip to the USA). The boyfriend jean is essentially a sized-up version of the "mom" jean, and we all know how rife with such things thrift shops can be.

I wanted a pair in white because I wanted a second white pair of white jeans (my other ones are skinny), but find that white can really look quite "dressed" if the denim isn't distressed in some way. I figured the boyfriend style would be a good alternative to a distressed jean. I'm not opposed to distressed white jeans, but they aren't as wearable, and doubly-so in Scotland, where summer is more of a theoretical construct than an actual season.

This preference for a more casual white pant most likely stems from my many years working for a cruise line and having to wear crisp, perfectly turned-out white skirts. Those days are long gone; the uniforms of most cruise lines have gone the unfortunate way of the corporate polo shirt and a pair of Bermuda shorts. Eew.

But I digress. Still resisting the boyfriend jean but secretly want to give it a go? Don't spend a lot of money! Here are a few things to look for in your local thrift shop the next time you're out that way.

How To Not Spend A Lot Of Money On Your Boyfriends. 
Insert your own joke here. 
  1. Look for that 80's cut; larger in the hips and thighs, tapered at the ankles. 
  2. Size up; one or two sizes from what you usually wear should do the trick. Remember that clothing from several years ago fits a lot smaller than same-sized clothing nowadays, so make sure to try everything on. 
  3. Choose a pair that has a flat front - no 80's front-pleats - bleah!
  4. Look for a waistband that is medium-high, but be careful; super-high waists can look strange once you size up…the crotch of your boyfriend jeans might be dangling between your knees in order to achieve that perfect loose-fitting look. 
  5. Make sure you choose a pair that still flatters your posterior, even in the larger size. Check for droopy rear pockets, baggy "crotchal regions" (to quote Ron Burgundy), and big gaps at the back of the waistband. 
  6. Do not fear wearing a belt, although they should fit well enough (before wearing them all day long) that you feel like you could get away without one. 
  7. Don't worry about the inseam. Boyfriend jeans are meant to be worn rolled anyway. Just be sure to try them on to make sure that the "roll" works at whatever length they are. 







Thrifted boyfriend jeans, similar / Gap tank / H&M shoes (last season), similar, similar (bargain) / Judith Ripka hearts ring / sterling feather bracelet (old), similar / sterling star earrings (old), similar



Sunday, July 26, 2015

Madam, I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to leave.


All of you regulars know by now that I love a bit of prep in my wardrobe, but I like to subvert its nice clean appearance by pairing it with something that would most likely get you booted out of the country club.  I just feel more like myself when a look is somehow less than perfect.

I found this pink flamingo shirt at Target on my last trip to the US, and while it's not a color I normally gravitate to, I fell in love with its kitchy, prep-derivative appeal. Paired with a distressed denim skirt, it's almost as if I started getting dressed for lunch at the golf club, got halfway there, but then just couldn't bring myself to put on the club-approved, white, knee-length Bermuda shorts.

"That's it" I might have said to myself, "I'm tired of living this double life", and instead grabbed this skirt out of the dirty laundry basket, still smelling of stale beer from the seedy bar that I was in until 3am. "Screw the dress code. Screw capri pants. I'm wearing this" I would have said, as I gave the skirt a quick sniff before shaking the last of the body glitter off of it and spritzing it with Creed Vetiver Geranium. "There. Now probably no one will even notice".






Target flamingo blouse (no longer available online), similar / thrifted denim skirt, similar / slingback shoes (old), similar / 14k sea life bracelet (old), similar / 14k gold stud earrings (old), similar



Thursday, July 23, 2015

Some Super Sneaky Beauty Finds


You'll have to forgive the hasty post-workout shower selfie, but we've got a friend coming to stay, and I spent most of my day cleaning the extra room, which hasn't been used in a while. The last thing you want or need is for your guest to discover a secret pile of cat vomit. Luckily, there wasn't any, but you just never know. Because cats.

The reason for the hasty photo is that I'm wearing all three of today's sneaky beauty finds, so it seemed appropriate. So lets have a look, shall we?

Circa Beauty Ultrasuede Cream Blush - $13
I didn't realise it when I bought it, but Circa is Model/Actress Eva Mendes' makeup line. It got an absolutely rave review on Elle.com, and it's easy to see why, even though this is the only product I've tried to date. I purchased the shade "Portofino", which is a peachy apricot that I liken to Nars' "Orgasm", if you're familiar with that shade (remember the 90s). It is light as a feather, goes on easily with a sort of eggshell finish, and has good staying power. I also pat it on my lips for a subtle tint.  I totally bought this on a whim because I wanted something small that I could take in my terrorist-proof small ziplock bag on an airplane, and not need to also take a brush to put it on. I liked it so much the rest is history. You can get it at Walgreens.com and Drugstore.com. Non U.S. Customers can get their hands on it through Drugstore.com - the site gives you directions as to how to go about it on their shipping info page.


Revlon Age Defying CC Cream - $14.99
As I quickly approach my mid-forties, I just can't stand the look of too much makeup, so this product really suits me well. Revlon's Age Defying CC Cream is one of the most natural "not quite foundation" products I have tried, and I have my mother to thank for it; she always seems to be on top of the whole drugstore makeup scene, and this just underscores that. The shade selection is really great (I wear light medium…maybe regular medium if I'm pretty tan). It's a respectable SPF 30, reflects just the right amount of light to make you glow without being too shiny, and boasts a host of helpful antioxidant skin ingredients in the formula…what's not to like? You can find it just about anywhere in the USA, UK customers (and beyond) can find it on Drugstore.com and Amazon.com.





Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion - $20
I have my sister to thank for this find.  A makeup artist used it on her once, and she loved it. I have never been a fan of primers; not that I haven't experienced firsthand the wonders that they can work, but I just don't like the feeling of having layer upon layer of product on my eyes, or anywhere else on my face. However. 
This product locks in your eye makeup. So much so that if you screw up your liner after you've put it on, you may have to get creative. I use this nearly every day, as do my mother and sister. Even when I am not wearing any other eye makeup other than a whiff of liner and maybe some champagne-hued light highlighter on the lid, I wear it. It works like crazy. You just need a tiny bit, and it settles and dries down into a nice dry finish that doesn't feel sticky. Since I got my last tube (they last forever), Urban Decay has come out with a zillion different formulas (variations on the theme; apparently this product was a popular one). I use the original formula, so if you want to give it a go, I recommend you start with the original- the one that started it all. US customers can get this anywhere they sell Urban Decay: Macy's, Sephora, etc. UK and International customers can try John Lewis or FeelUnique.



Monday, July 20, 2015

Aloha


Don't be fooled. It's not really warm enough here to be dressed like this, but seeing as though everyone else around the globe is sweltering it out in hot, muggy conditions, I thought I'd share my hot weather dressing formula. Not that it's particularly complicated. As I've said before, a loose-fitting shift is really just one click away from being naked, which in stiflingly hot weather, is exactly what feels right.

This is yet another $5.99 thrift store find from my last trip to the U.S. It's a bit big on me, but I kind of like that in a shift dress. I think in hot, beachy weather, wearing tight clothing just looks kind of try-hard and out of place. I thought this dress would be a great wardrobe extender, and would work equally well over a bathing suit as it would belted with a skinny summery belt and worn out to dinner.

I had a dress like this years ago (these were popular in the 90s), but it had more of a flippy skirt. At the time, I was working for the cruise lines as a musician, and wore the dress for a deck party the band was playing at. It was customary for a lot of the ships' officers to come out for the deck party back in those days (cruise liners were a lot smaller in the early 90s), so quite a crowd of officers and staff had gathered at the bar behind the bandstand by the end of the night.

After the gig, I was packing up my instrument, and a gust of wind came along, blowing my flippy skirt up in the air, revealing my bright purple lacy panties (don't judge…they were the last pair I had clean). Naturally (for optimum embarrassment) I had my back to the crowd at the bar, so the entire ships' complement got a full view of my purple posterior. So much so that a round of applause erupted. Total mortification. The skeevy magician guest entertainer even came up to me and thanked me afterwards, which made me die inside all over again.

But this one's not a flippy skirt, so that can't happen again, right?…Right!?

That reminds me, it's still not too late to enter that Wardrobe Malfunction Essay Competition, which will close at midnight GMT on the 31st of July.






Thrifted aloha dress, similar / Target sandals / 14k sea life bracelet (old), similar / gold plated rose quartz ring / 14k twisted hoop earrings (old), similar

This post has been shared with Style Nudge's Shoe and Tell linkup


Thursday, July 16, 2015

You're Not the Boss of Me


There has been a lot of ridiculous sh*t slung at women over the years, but there is perhaps no fistful of dung that is hurled in our general direction more frequently than those "age appropriate dressing" articles you see on those click-baity, photo-rich, prose-light blogvertorials. Often written from the point of view of helping our feeble minds navigate the rocky moonscape of fashion, many of these articles are in essence nothing more than a reinforcement of the status quo circa 1956; that women after a certain age should trade in fun and sexy quirkiness for mature and sedate respectability.  This week, both Catherine from Not Dressed as Lamb and Patti from Not Dead Yet Style shared one such "article" (a term I'm using quite loosely here), and for the life of me, I could not stop thinking about it.  Read the RantChic.com article here for yourself. I dare you not to laugh. Then when you're done with that one, try this one - it's a real belter. But whatever you do, make sure to wash it all down with this little gem. It takes ageist petty condescension and turns it up to eleven. In fact, it's probably best while you're reading these to not drink anything that might come shooting out of your nose.

Yet the aforementioned diatribes are but a mere sampling of what's out there. Let me tell you my friends, the internet is rife with articles that are more than comfortable calling us cougars while simultaneously urging us to cover up our offensively middle-aged body parts, so the pickings of such material are rich (dung is after all, the most naturally abundant of fertilisers). While these articles are certainly not the only examples of what is becoming a seemingly acceptable level of contempt for middle-aged women, the RantChic articles were indeed some of the worst offenders I came across in my searches. Okay, full disclosure…my search - in the singular.

The age bar against which all of our offences are measured has been set astonishingly low by RantChic at age 30; the symbolic age when we are apparently all expected to curl up into our shells and die our social and sartorial deaths. Hell, my tennis outfit that I'm wearing in the photo above breaks at least twelve of their rules just by being on my decrepit body! But what is perhaps saddest about all of this is that this drivel is published on a site for women, written by a woman, who apparently has quite a bit of contempt for…you guessed it, other women. Or at least those over 30, because as we all know, that's just gross.

But never mind that. Not one to miss an opportunity for snark, I would like to seize upon this moment to heighten public awareness to this most laughable of conspiracies against my gender with what I'm calling (in a bit of a stretch) a photojournalistic essay. And yes, my explicit intent is to mock these articles relentlessly until they run home in floods of tears and throw themselves prostrate onto their Justin Bieber duvet covers. In other words, you can eat it RantChic, you're not the boss of me.

The RantChic Book of Quotes:  A Guide to Fashion and Life For Your Disgustingly Withered, Sorry-Ass 30+ Life. 

by Highland Fashionista, age 43
(nearly 44…which by my calculations is pretty nearly dead)












And perhaps my personal favourite…


The management would like to extend an apology to any of you who may be experiencing any lasting undesired effects following the recent photo of a hint of over-30 cleavage. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Power of Green and White


I don't know what exactly it is about a kelly green and white print, but to me, it's like catnip. Sure, green is a healing color, the color or nature, representative of spiritual this that and the other thing, and about eight million other things that you may or may not choose to believe, but at the end of the day, I just like it because it looks cool. Or I think it does, anyway. I suppose knowing that you only paid $5.99 for your green and white printed jersey dress at the local Goodwill back in your hometown, USA probably has something to do with it. Yep, again. $5.99. It was a really good thrift haul for summer dresses, what can I say?

Green and white. That reminds me of a story (dubious segue alert). I was in Glasgow last week for a dental appointment. On my way back to the multi-story car park where I had left the car, I stopped at Starbucks for the ubiquitous coffee, which naturally comes in their signature green and white cup. Upon leaving the car park, I had a sudden realisation that I had left my brand-new Starbucks coffee on top of my car and drove off; the oldest trick in the book! "Ah well" I thought to myself, "that's that then". It's not like after driving down four stories of steep, corkscrew parking ramps and over speed bumps that the coffee would still be sitting on top of my car. Clearly it was not meant to be.

As I wound my way through Glasgow rush hour on my way to the M8, this guy in a black SUV pulled up next to me. After some rather amusing gesturing, I understood that he wanted me to roll down my window.

Yep, you guessed it.

"You've got a coffee on your car."

It was still there. No foolin'.

"Oh my GOD, it's still there!?!? Holy cow, I thought I'd lost it!" I shrieked.

I pulled-over (sort of) right there in the middle of traffic, retrieved my Starbucks cup (which was still warm), toasted the guy in his SUV (who was slumped over the steering wheel over laughing), took a giant swig, and continued on my way.  One of life's small victories!

Green and white. For me, they are officially the colors of lucky.

So thank you random Glaswegian guy in the SUV for your good citizenship, and thank you Starbucks for making such aerodynamically sound receptacles for your coffees.





thrifted jersey dress (originally Old Navy), similar / Naturalizer shoes (old), similar / gold plated coin ring (old), similar

This post has been happily shared with Style Nudge and Happiness at Mid-Life


Thursday, July 9, 2015

LWD x 2


I arrived back in Scotland earlier this week, and pretty much from the moment I landed, the weather has been doing this sunny one minute, chucking-it-down with rain the next minute routine. It's been impossible to try and get photos done, between the alternating super bright light and the rain (sometimes at the same time). But then, that's what we're famous for here. Well, the rain part anyway. The super bright light seems like an afterthought thrown in to mock us.

They apparently had "summer" in Scotland while I was home in the States last week. It was last Wednesday to be exact, and temperatures got up into the 80s Fahrenheit. Yep, one day. Funny, normally people are always pretty quick to tell you how great the weather has been in your absence when you return from a trip, although this time, you have to admit, it's a bit of a hard sell if the whole of summer is going to amount to one day. So far that seems to be the case.

However.  Not only has that not dissuaded me from obtaining summer clothes, it has actually made me become all the more obsessed with them. Take these two easy cotton shift dresses. I found these in the sale pile at Old Navy, someplace I rarely frequent, yet someplace that always seems to have some nice once-season options that you can wear for a summer and not worry about when they die. Which is also why you can clearly see that I have no designs on ironing them. These dresses are easy, cute, and if you are going someplace warm (someplace that has a consistent track record of actual summer. You know…someplace that's not here), you could easily get away with packing nothing but these dresses, a few pairs of shoes, and a light jacket or cardi and call it good.







dresses both Old Navy, similar / Sam Edelman for Target flat sandals (last season), very similar / thrifted gold leaf leather pumps, similar / 14K Sea Life bracelet, very similar