Underfed Badass....and rant.

Hello Fabbers!

Sorry I've been silent for a while. Life has intervened and kept me glued to my work and tending to lots of visitors!  

That being said, I'm feeling very frustrated with my wardrobe right now. I'm SICK AND TIRED of jeans. Which is not a good feeling for me, going into autumn, where I'll need to wear something warmer for the next 8 months or so. I feel like I'm caught up in a frump rut, and a lot of the clothes I have don't represent my style or the direction I want to head. 

I've gone digging through my closet, and I feel like my wardrobe is all over the map. Part of this is due to the fact that I haven't had a proper 4-season sequence in about a year.. (from 9/13, I've done Spring-Winter-Autumn-Summer, now back to Autumn) and looking forward for the next year, it's going to be Autumn-Winter-Spring, Autumn-Winter-Spring. 

And colours...I'm sick of neon (fortunately, I didn't go too far down that path). And I'm sick of pastels. (mostly because I feel like I've been wearing them quite a bit for the past year) I'm really starting to see the appeal of a more limited colour palette for my lifestyle. 

And I feel like my inner badass is underfed. 

I like refined...but I think, right now, it suits other people more than me. I like *not* looking like a overgrown grad student. But the reality is that I *am* a grad student, and if I go too far down the 'sophisticated' path, I stand out (and in an odd way). I have a casual lifestyle, and things need to be washable.  The other reality is that my neutrals have shifted from brown to black over the past year, but I still look best in navy. I'd like to experiment more with deliberate mixing of black/navy. 

I think I want to restrict my colour palette to...black, white, blue (navy/denim), red, and purple. 

The good things: 
The plantar fasciitis has mostly resolved itself, so I'm a little less restricted in my shoe choices (but still, no flats, no cheap shoes. 1/2"-1" heel is best)

I feel like my 'business-wear/conference wear' capsule is pretty well set.

If you've read this far...thanks! I'd love to hear comments, and ideas on how to express badass-ishness. 


Paris Fashion Report

Hi YLFers!

Inspired by the other travel reports we've had lately (London, Buenos Aires…), I thought I'd give you the fashion low-down from the City of Light.  Photos at the bottom, as well! 

Spring was everywhere in the shops, but it was still winter on the streets. I think I was there on the first properly warm weekend--about 20C/68F and sunny. The locals on the street were a sea of neutrals (mostly black, a fair amount of navy, and only a little bit of brown), but that may be the way that Parisians dress most the year. The silhouette on the SWTs (Sweet Young Things) trended toward skinny jeans with bulk on top. I couldn't make out tops very well because most people were in coats and scarves for the better part of the day. Scarves were lighter weight, but still dark/neutral in colour. I mostly saw brighter colours (reds, pinks, bright blues) on other tourists and children. As far as shoes, I saw lots of booties with low-medium heel. I saw one older woman (in her 70's, perhaps) rocking a tweedy suit with a skirt that fell to her knee and a low bootie. She looked fab. On the jacket front, it was black, leather, and in some sort of moto style, generally. This might have been the season--it was too warm for anything heavier. Some people were wearing hip-length pea-coats in the mornings.  

In the shops, I saw several varieties and colours of leather moto--a couple pinks (mostly bubblegum), one pretty ice blue (but 180 Euros was out of my budget), a couple of white ones, and some medium browns. Not much in the way of mixed-media on the jackets. Didn't see many boyfriend jeans, or any bootcut. I wasn't looking for those items in shops, so I don't know if they were carrying them. The spring skirts I saw were mostly short (above the knee), with some volume and of a floaty material. I also saw several of the floaty tapered pants (which you all soundly rejected my oui/non. good call). I did buy something else, to be debuted in another post.    

I was a little amazed at how easily I was able to play "spot the American tourist" (white tennis shoes, "mom jeans", poorly fitting t-shirt, and trying to find the bus stop, rather than walk 10 minutes to their destination.). I'm not sure if I still "look American" or not--I asked my German travelling pal, and she said she couldn't answer b/c she knew me, but my willingness to go up and talk to darn near anyone was very American.  

Picture 1 is inside the Louvre. Part WIW, plus there's some people in the background. 
Picture 2 struck me as totally French--a woman sunning herself (in fab heels) while her dog chills out under the table. I think she was the shop owner. 
Picture 3 --shop window
Picture 4--gratuitous shot of the Eiffel Tower 


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


Seasonally Confused 2014 world tour (or, what I'm packing)

When I have a band, that's what I'm going to call my first tour. 

Okay, the world is not seasonally confused, and hopefully my dressing won't be. But..it's time to pack up and become nomadic again. I figured, rather than my previous plan of "throw stuff in a suitcase", I'd actually plan a little. Here's the schedule:

End of March-Beginning of June: Australia, half my time in Sydney, and half my time in Cairns/field. 
Back to UK for 3 weeks--can re-pack. 
End of June: Spain for 1 (maybe 2) weeks. 

I'm trying to pack lighter than I normally would, because I've got some things in Australia that I'm planning to bring back with me. So far, here's the list: 

Jeans: 3 pairs in 3 washes. the lighter 2 are boyfriend, the dark is bootcut. I've got some printed harem pants in Oz to add to this. Also 2 or 3 pairs of shorts. They're on their last legs, so may get donated rather than bring them back. 

Shirts…I'm really not feeling the love here. There's 3 on the "definite" pile, and the rest…just not sure about. I'll toss in a couple layering tees, but I'm really jonesing to add a couple fluid tops to this. Most of my tops are still fairly fitted, and after wearing cozy jumpers all winter, I'm really not warming up to this idea. I still love the black tee with white stripes (in the corner of the shot), but I've absolutely worn it to death. I'm kind of tired of looking at it right now (to be fair…that tee has definitely done well!) 

Jumper/sweaters…It's going in to winter, but it won't be all *that* cold when I leave. I've got a lightweight jacket in Oz, so I won't bring one with me. I think I'll bring one, and if I get cold..I don't mind getting something down there and bringing it back. It'll get worn up here. 

Skirts: another place I"m not feeling much love right now. I really want to expand my skirt wardrobe. I've got a knit tube skirt in Oz, and I think another black skirt that I wasn't particularly in love with anymore, and was thinking of passing on. 

Toppers…I'm not sure yet. I've got a denim jacket in Oz, but I'm not a double-denim fan. And a red knit moto jacket (more like a cardigan). I've also got a printed bomber that could work. 



Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


WIW: coffee date

Ah! the first WIW from me in ages! A few spring things. With a hefty dose of winter remaining. 


Time for a shearing?

Hello Fabbers! 

I'm starting to wonder if it's time for a haircut. I've been feeling lately that my hair is a bit "blah". It's just…there. I don't know what to do with it. I keep it down, I put it in a ponytail to go to the gym…and that's that. I've posted some pictures of my hair at different lengths--the first one is the current length (forgive the bare shoulders--I'm in workout gear). The current length is about the longest it's ever been in my life. I've had a pixie cut before, but don't think it works so well for my face. Also, it curls in humid/rainy weather. There's a lot of that in Edinburgh, so I kind of try to accommodate that. I've included a shot to show just how curly it can get. 

If I don't take off length..I still feel like maybe a change in shape is in order. Thoughts?

Yay: Cut it off!
Nay: No, do something else!


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


WIB(ought) for Spring

Hi Everyone!

I've been silent for a while, school has been keeping me very busy. But after going through two hemispheres of winter, I'm just about to jump out of my skin to put on some lighter colours and fresh looks! 

Spring is starting to appear in Edinburgh, in fits and starts--some of the earliest flowers are starting to show their heads and, *gasp* it's no longer dark at 4pm. Of course, I'll miss the best of it--I'm headed back to Australia for their autumn. 

Because of this, most of my spring shopping is coming in the form of accessories. I found some Clarks oxfords (in a cream colour) to widen my shoe collection (which was decimated by plantar fasciitis), and a scarf and necklace from Next. I'm in love with the shoes--they are SO comfortable. I think the necklace and scarf will go well with some of my cream sweaters. 


Observations from Scotland

Hi Fabbers!
I made it to Scotland, and am freezing to death, but I've learned a few things already. First...I think I've found my sartorial look. Where in Australia I would shop and shop and never find things I really loved...I've ducked into a few shops and wanted to try on All The Things. I'm not quite settled in a place to live, so that curbed my impulses a little bit.... :) 

As far as what I'm seeing on the streets, it's mostly coats and boots. :) Not seeing much in the way of rounded shoulders or man coats (on the street), though there's a few in the shops. Also not seeing much white, but again, there's a little bit in the shops. Mostly water-resistant or water-proof, with hoods edged in fur (fake or otherwise). Lots of puffer coats/jackets, and some quilted ones as well. I can also see I won't make it very long without getting some boots. 

I did end up getting myself a coat, too. Olive green puffer coat. It's a start, and will be warm in January/February. Possibly a quicker shop than I'd have otherwise done, but I needed a coat right away, so I didn't peruse too long. 

More observations (and pictures!) to follow!


Where I've been-moving

Hi everyone, 

Wanted to check in with a quick hello. Moving day is fast approaching--tonight is my last proper night at home. The weekend is filled with social activities (wakeboarding, and an outdoor concert at the Opera), then it's off to  Far North Queensland for one last field trip, back to Sydney for a day, then off to Scotland. The US part of the tour got cancelled, which is a bit of a disappointment (I need to see my family and friends), but is also a blessing in disguise--it simplifies the packing. 

I haven't taken photos of the packing process, because it's come down to "throw everything I can't bear to be without into the suitcase". I'll take photos as I unpack--see what survived. 

Anyway, just wanted to let you know I'm keeping an eye on everyone's fabulous adventures, even if I'm not able to chime in as much as I'd like. :) 


Surprise move--3 weeks early. How do I plan to shop?

Hello fabbers! 

Sorry for the silence lately--I've been out in the field (the rainforest) over the past week, where the style is "comfortable with a side of DEET insect repellant". 

I"m in a bit of a panic, though, and was hoping you might have some advice for me. I thought I was leaving Australia in 5-6 weeks--enough time to plot out what I have, what I need, ID wardrobe holes, and make a shopping list. Well, due to governments working efficiently, I will actually be leaving in about 3 weeks. I don't feel ready at all! My schedule is roughly this: 

2 more weeks in Sydney, where it is Spring-Summer. I have a few events to attend still (concerts, 2 evening/indoor, one afternoon/outdoor). 
1 week in far north queensland. Field grubbies and DEET. 
1-2 days in Sydney 
5 days in Texas (November. Haven't checked the weather yet)
5 days in North Carolina (again, no weather knowledge)
Scotland (this is mid-november)

One of my plans for time in the US is to go shopping. But I thought I had more time to plan and figure out what I thought I might need. Do I just toss what I have in my suitcase and hope for the best? I'm taking pictures and an inventory of what I have as I pack, but I"m not sure if that's enough, since I really don't have time to start building winter capsules at this point. 

I did a bit of a random shop last year when I moved here, and that didn't really work. I need more of a plan than that. Help? 


The incredible shrinking violet pants

Dear fabbers, I just wanted to say you were right on the money by calling my new printed pants "diva pants". I did keep them, and wore them and loved them. Then I washed them. And my love changed a little bit. 

The instructions say to hand-wash cold, line dry in the shade. The pants are made of 100% rayon. A little fussy, but not a problem. I put them in the washing machine with 2 other fluid tops of similar colouring, put them on the hand-wash cold setting, line dry. All is well. 

At the end, they were a bit wrinkled, so I ironed them out. They looked a little bit small, so I put them on to see if the fit had changed. THESE PANTS WENT FROM LOOSE TO TOO SMALL TO PULL UP. I couldn't believe it. I've sewed for 20 years, and have bought hundreds of garments. Short of machine felting, I've never encountered that much shrinkage in the wash. I pondered what to do about it (take the darned things back to the store they came from), and read the label a bit more closely. This is what it said: 

"Despite hand-washing, this garment may shrink. Restore to original shape with steam iron on med. heat. If you have any questions about the garment, please call #phone number." 

Has anyone else ever encountered a garment so fussy the manufacturer thinks it necessary to put their phone number on the garment tag, so they can give you specific instructions on restoring a garment to its original size???