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. 


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 →


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 shoe sort-out, pt. 2 (moving edition)

I posted a few weeks back that I was re-evaluating my shoe collection, in preparation for moving (again). It now looks like I'll be in the UK in mid-late November, and then back to Australia in March-May 2014, then back to the UK. So the current seasonal rotation is: Spring-Winter-Autumn-Summer. 

The upside to that schizophrenic seasonal structure is that I can move in pieces and I don't have to winnow quite so much. I intend to leave my summer clothes behind, and then wear that when I'm back in March, then take it with me when I leave in May.  Some of this travel will be via the US, where I have every intention of shopping. :) 

Photo 1 is the entire shoe collection, as it stands. I notice that I don't get quite as much rotation from it as I'd like. 

Photo 2 is the shoes I plan to leave behind in Australia. 

Photo 3 I'm on the fence about. The black shoes I generally like, are comfortable and walkable, but I've been leaning away from such rounded toes lately. But I think the amount of wear they're getting is from the hole they fill, rather than my love for them. The flats I like, but they don't love me back--the leather tears up my feet. I may try to work with them some more and soften them up before I let them go. The 'vogs aren't as comfortable as I'd like, as well. I'm not sure if I'd keep them or re-sell them. 

Photo 4 is what I think I'm going to leave in the US. I have barely worn the navy mary janes, and the outfits I wear them with would be just as fab with the brown heels that remain. The other brown shoes get more wear, but most of my neutrals have shifted over to black in the past year. I don't want two pairs of brown heels, and I like the remaining pair more. I still love these, but don't want to wear them right now. They can be retrieved and worked back into my wardrobe at a later time. 

That leaves photo 5. These are the shoes I wear most frequently (with the sandals in #2, which are being left behind)...I'm feeling a couple of holes here: tall boots and fashion sneakers. Both of which I'm going shopping for in the US. I'm trying to not shop for the sneakers here--I'm really feeling the pinch on that one. 

Thoughts? Any holes you see? Anything you'd move over to the "take to Scotland" pile? 


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


Thoughts on style: what's in a name?

Work's been crazy this week, and has left little time for shopping, posting, or much of anything really, so I've been doing some thinking about the words I want to describe my style. Begin navel-gazing in 3...2...1..

I think the wardrobe shift I've been experiencing over the past year has only a little to do with the weight I've lost, but more to do with internal changes that have been happening. It's convenient that nothing fits physically, as it certainly doesn't fit mentally. Moving from the US to Australia has shifted my perceptions (as I expected it would), and has made me a little more experimental in my choices. As I'm getting ready to move on to Europe, I know it'll shift again, so I'm trying to leave room in my wardrobe (and budget) to accommodate that.

I've done some thinking, and reading of the archives, and trolling individual blogs, and it looks like one of the first questions is "Well, what do you want to look like? What speaks to you?"  And the first question is easy. I want to look like me. The second--well, I've found some inspiration, mostly among the arty/eclectics here, and others off-site.  

But on the first question...me. I don't feel like the words that I'd use to describe my wardrobe (durable, practical, plain) are really the words I would use to describe my personality (smart, creative, adventurous--but practical, too). Perhaps when I first chose these clothes, I wasn't feeling very adventurous? Looking back, in the weeks before I moved, I was a little scared. I think my choices reflected that. 

I really like the description that floats around here--the urban warrior princess. But I wouldn't use them to describe me. I'm not really a warrior. My personality veers more toward "protector" and less toward "enforcer". After some thinking, I realized that my sartorial inspiration has been on my hip (in tattoo form) the whole time--Bastet. She's the Egyptian goddess with the head of the cat, who was known for defending the home, and was also associated with art, music, and dance. 

So what does Bastet dress like? To me, she's interesting, eye-catching, feminine. Probably a bit playful. She doesn't put up with b.s. (she's defending the house, after all), so there's some leather around.  Her festival, by all accounts was decadent. Hedonistic, even. So, there's probably a little bit of allure there.... :) 

So what does this all look like to me, as far as a descriptor goes? Modern Adventurer Goddess. I'm living in the here and now, and want to keep it with the times. Adventurer captures my situation, and the words that describe me. I need some practicality, and I want to incorporate bits of style from everywhere I'm going. Goddess--a nod back to bastet. This is where shape comes in for me. Allowing for the fact that I look good in those classical shapes (defined waists, full skirts), and I am a big sucker for lushness. Fine materials, elegant construction, rich colours, and warm sunshine. 

That's the look I'm going for. Modern Adventurer Goddess. 


Winnowing for the next overseas move

So, I'm headed to Scotland (from Australia) in 3 months. This will start my "nomad time", where I'll be doing a lot of travel back and forth. I've been in Australia for the past year, and I will be in Scotland for 4 months, then back to Australia for 2, before finally returning to Scotland for a year. It seems like I've just gotten settled here and now it's time to start thinking about how I'm going to cram everything into a suitcase again, what's useful, what can stay in Australia, and what it's time to let go of. 

I'm starting the process with shoes. They are the easiest in that there's not so many to deal with, but they also take up the most room and weight. They're also the most expensive to replace, at least here in Australia. I'm travelling through the US on my way to the UK, and I intend to do a bit of shopping there. I also don't have to take everything at once--the hops back and forth means I can move in shifts. 

Starting with the front row, on the left:
-The gym shoes go, without question.
-The hiking boots stay here as field shoes. They'll go on the second trip.
-The thongs/flip flops are tacky, but a girl's gotta keep her feet protected in showers. They don't get worn in public, and don't take up much room. 
-The black flats are quite plain, and aren't as walkable as I thought they'd be. As such aren't getting worn very much as I thought they would. I don't think they'll stay. 
-The leopard flats are cute, and new, but they've rubbed blisters. I need to see how they soften up. (They're leather, they will.)
-The black heels are cute, and walkable. They can probably stay, but I haven't worn them that much. 
-the mary jane 'vogs are also new, and also not very comfortable. I don't want to give up on them..they might be deposited in the US. 
-The black boots get a lot of wear, but they like to pull my socks down and irritate me. They'll go for now. 

Second row, from the left (this gets harder): 
-Brown 'vogs...I love them and have worn them..only a couple of times since I've been here.
-Black toms: stay for now. They're horribly tacky, but they're comfortable. I wear them out wakeboarding (not in the water, but to the water)
-blue 'vogs. Haven't gotten as much wear as I'd like. They're good to walk in, though. 
-Multi-booties: Worn exactly once. They're getting cut. 
-Sandals. Are a little beat up, and probably need replacing. But I"m not buying anything new here in Aus, and won't need anything for a year. They'll stay in Aus, then be donated.
-Brown 'vogs. They've gotten a ton of wear. They're warm, and a bit roomier than the blue ones (which are on the same heel style). 

From a thematic perspective, I feel like I'm missing the walkable sneaker (like a converse), a tall boot, and color. I see too much neutral here, where colors would add some pop. I feel like I've got too many fluevogs (there, I said it). I don't want to get rid of them...I'd mail them to my parents for storage. 

Thoughts? What deserves the axe?