Friday, April 30, 2010

Springy again, and sewing

Springy again, originally uploaded by Cohabitating_Closet.

First, thanks for all your thoughts on my culture rant yesterday. My thoughts are still in flux, because I'm no scholar of culture (I do law, international stuff, and economic related stuff. But I'm not an economist. I'm what a crude Marxist might call a "Base" person). Yesterday I was overdressed for the weird, windy, 65 degree weather. Today I am layering up and brining a tote bag in case I need to carry my clothes home again. The subway is A/C'd, but school is hit or miss.
I don't teach on Fridays (although Blokey does), but I'm going on in today for a research talk, which I hope will inspire me to do my own. Fridays at work definitely call for stretchy, knit jersey dresses and separates that feel like pajamas, but the denim jacket hopefully gives it more "structure." I was inspired by Audi to layer skirts and dresses, and Erin to bring back my hoodies.

LinkI'm dreaming about the end of the semester

Angie on YLF posted recently about boots in summer. I am a huge boots in summer fan, especially cowoby boots but black boots with florals work for me as well, until it gets really really hot. I hate how mean sandals are to feet. Do you folks wear boots in the summer?

On the creative front, I've been making progress on the "Oktober dress" in the Built By Wendy Dress book. I bought quite a bit of super cheap coral Swiss dot fabric (really sheer, but I didn't think about that while in the fabric store months ago).

Don't most sewists (or in my case, wannabes), like to read about financial crises and central banks?

Before finishing the seams, I tried it on and I decided I hated the cap sleeves and odd wider neckline. So I took my tailor's chalk and went nuts, designing a new neck and chopping of the sleeves. Then I added my homemade bias to the neckline, without trying it on first. Oops. This may be another "learning experience" (or Blokey says I can wear it when I'm preggers, one of these distant days). Reminder to self: when learning to sew, remember you can't screw around like when cooking.

But I am proud of the gathered skirt and how evenly I attached it to the bodice. I have enough fabric to redraft the bodice but I may abandon Wendy's pattern to use one of my others (I have many).

Unrelatedly, the birds in Bed Stuy have been ignoring my awesome (wedding gift) bird feeder for a month now. I know there are birds here. I see them eating off of abandoned fried chicken bones (ew?) and the bread that local folks throw on the ground for them. Are the Brooklyn birds like American children who would rather eat McDonald's then kale and brown rice? I filled it up with millet and seed blend. Sigh. Any advice, fellow urban bird watcher wannabes? (I'm not picky. I'll take pigeons!)

A lonely, top of the line "Squirrel free" bird feeder

Dress: Zara (via Beacon's Closet)
Hoodie: H&M
Socks: Gap
Boots: Palladium (via Heavenly Soles, Minneapolis)
Jacket: Levi's
Skirt: Urban Outfitters

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Korean-American Country Western Professor

Blazer: Esprit
Shirt: Old Navy (Swap)
Jeggings: Hue
Boots: Durango (via Beacon's Closet)

So I thought I'd try to wear all thrifted clothes today, as a way to appreciated my second hand gear, but the weather is wonky so I'll save that until tomorrow. I just threw on the jeggings, Western style shirt, and cowboy boots at home, and I put on the "Office blazer" so when I have to leave my office to go to the toilet (and possibly run into students). In this picture, I look like I've been riding my horses all day.

It's comfy, casual, but hopefully not to "Student" like (even if it is, I'm too old compared to them too care that much).
I am jumping on the cultural appropriation discussion bandwagon (see Academichic, Threadbared, Jesse.Anne.O, and jezebel, to name just a few). I have nothing to add to the discussion about Native/First American/Indigneous styles that have been prevalent in "hipster" styles. I think many great ideas have been circulated and I neither consume these styles nor claim to know much about the politics. However, because of my darker skin that tans easily (compared to like my mom and the Korean "ideal") and my mom's cheekbones, the few times I ever wore anything vaguely Native American style (and this was limited to a play in 2nd grade), everyone called me Pocahantas or raved about how "Indian" I looked. Including teachers.
I do want to talk about my own position as a "person of culture" (for reals) and my own types of cultural appropriations. First, as an "Asian-American" (a term that means nothing to any one living in Asia), I don't care if you wear Buddhist beads, get a Chinese character tattoo, or wear a cheongsam. I just think that most folks (including Madonna and NBA stars) look rather silly doing it. I do mind if a person fawn all over my "culture" and "exoticness", because I am ordinary middle class professional lady, and I think my class positionality is more relevant to my life experiences and tastes than anything else. I find it creepy and weird if someone starts telling me about their fascination for the East. I guess this is my long way of saying that I like who I am and I am proud of my heritage, but my different outwards looking appearance should not open to door to "other me."

I love the beautiful hanbok, worn by my beautiful mom here last weekend, but it is only ceremonial dress.

As for my own appropriations, I am neither white, living in the western United States, nor having family that is either of these, I love Western/cowboy styles. I also like prairie looks as well, and neo-Edwardian styles. I even want a bolo tie (How rad would this outfit look with one? OK, maybe that's just me). Part of this relates to my time in Minnesota, where I started to really like the prairie midwest (still do), and then coming to NYC, where I don't particularly like the uber-serious, all black high fashion looks that emphasize drama and thinness. I don't know if I were be drawn to western styles if I lived in the Southwest, but for some reason, I really wanted a prairie dress for my wedding. I guess I think it's fun. Perhaps this offends people, but there isn't a political movement or a community that claims significance over these looks that can articulate these concerns.
In addition, my sister-in-law (brother's wife) comes from another culture, and I have been invited to participate in it before. I have friends who say, "You shouldn't wear another culture's clothes," but I don't believe that cultures are natural or essential. I think that fashion choices should be more conscious and respectful, and I wouldn't wear South Asian dress if I wasn't invited to do so. Rather than strict rules, I think that "borrowing" dress from various communities should be a dialogue.

Me, my cousin-in-law, and my Jackson Heights shalwar kameez, at a party

What are your thoughts about this? I am thinking about it too much? Am I wrong not to believe that any cultural appropriations are offensive. I am not offended that easily, but I did spend much of my college years (at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign) protesting the Chief Illiniwek mascot. I felt that the small Native American community had clearly articulated reasons for the getting rid of the Chief, which it did. I know my brother, roommate, and many others disagreed (but I must admit I used my Chief opinions as a litmus test for dating).

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sizing issues?

sizing issues?, originally uploaded by Cohabitating_Closet.

Anne convinced me that green and purple is a great color combination. I agree. I also like green and brown, but I'll try that another time.
I really liked this skirt, but now trying it on at home, I think it might be a smidge to small. But the medium was just significantly too big. Plus this size gapped at the waist. I guess this was meant for someone a bit more columnar shaped. I wanted to wear something more springy but since it's 45 degrees today, I'll keep that for another day.
Does it look noticeably too small? It shows some bum shape on the bag, and I can tell if I look down that there is some tummy clinging (I do have a tummy. I like it but not when a skirt clings to it in a weird way).

Thanks again for your thoughts about my phantom skirt. Someone said on the Flickr page that "Blade Runner" was a big 1980s does the 1940s cultural moment. I wonder if that spurred trends or reflected trends? I also got a lot of compliments on the sleeves so I am thinking I may just keep them on.
In somewhat style related news, Blokey was rough housing a bit vigorously with Lula, and when I woke up from a too long nap yesterday, he had a diagonal scar across this right cheekbone. He's all worried about a scar, although I told him that the Inigo Montoya look is very hot. He seemed displeased with this statement.

Have a happy Wednesday! I am intensely jealous of my prof friends who are almost done with the semester. I have 4 class days after today. I need to just finish this with a modicum of dignity.

Skirt: Tulle
Belt: Presence, Chicago
Tights: Hue
Jacket: Gap 2007
Shirt: Loft
Shoes: Aerosole, thrifted

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Clothing Swap: May 22 in Brooklyn

It's a little far off, but since I am no good at planning and I have a couple Brooklyn readers, I thought I'd share this before it disappeared in my inbox forever (forward from a friend, originally from Green Party of Brooklyn). If any locals would be interested in attending with my weirdo self, let me know. Cheers.

Spring Clothing Swap
SwapSat, May 22 11AM-3PM
All Saints Catholic Church
115 Throop Avenue, Williamsburg/Bushwick

Clean out your closet...Shop in our closet...And keep clothes out of landfills! Bring your clean and usable women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing to the swap. Anything left over will be donated to charity. Brought to you by Greener Gotham Events.

Directions: Near intersection of Broadway and Flushing. J/M train to Flushing Ave or G train to Lorimer St.

1940s via 1980s?

1940s via 1980s?, originally uploaded by Cohabitating_Closet.

While in Chicago, C. and I popped by a vintage shop on Lincoln Ave, and of course my eye was drawn to this very red dress that my mom (and probably most mothers of people my age) had likely worn during my early childhood. Since I have a soft spot for all things that my mom wore at one point, I tried it on (it was on sale) and it fit pretty well. The waist even hit in the right spot. It's a softer polyester, and there is a little bit of staining, but it's pretty slight. This may not be obvious in the picture but the skirt is a wrap cascading style.
I was curious about this style of dress. It seemed a bit reminiscent of a 1940s style dress I've seen in vintage dress patterns (although they usually have a slightly below the knee hem). I found this pattern and it does seem to have a resemblance. I have seen a number of 1980s/late 1970s items on Etsy and Ebay that also seem to have a 1940s or 1930s style. Was this an actual trend back then? Vintage mavens, have any clue?


For some reason, I wanted to go 1950s with styling this, hence the cardigan, hair scarf and the brown oxfords. I am not teaching today, but I am going in to attend a panel discussion for a colleague's book (the same awesome colleague who gave me a positive evaluation on my teaching). Not only to support him, but also because I offered it to my students as an extra credit. (Somehow all my generosity will not stop a few cranky evals from popping up at the end of the semester. Eh, my recalcitrant students will appreciate my efforts after they've been working a few years).

Dress: vintage shop, Lincoln Square (Chicago)
Belt: thrifted
Oxfords: Tahari via ebay
Microfishnets: Daffy's
Scarf: swapped

Monday, April 26, 2010

Professional Jeggings

Conference look 1, originally uploaded by Cohabitating_Closet.

I have a confession to make. I totally fell off my shopping diet wagon. I think I knew that it would happen. I haven't bought clothes since returning the Ben Sherman dress earlier this month, but I did snag a couple vintage patterns (about a total of $10) throughout the month. However, Anne and some old friends from Chicago (our friendships are old, they are young) planned to shop a couple hours and I almost did not break the pledge of no new clothes (other than accessories and shoes) but definitely broke the budget.
But luckily I can be self-forgiving. This is a pledge, not a prison sentence. I don't endorse self-flagellation, just learning experiences. I have to limit any more spending for a while. I have spent to the extent that I can't buy anything new until the second half of May (and I can't just change the rules just because I keep getting Korean wedding money from my parents' friends).
One thing that Sal told me in comments was that any kind of controlled shopping plan would help me learn about why I shop. So considering the context in which I bought more than I planned, I can identify the following conditions:
1) I was with old friends, and we were trying to cram in quality bonding time. We've shopped together in the adorable local shops in their neighborhood during this exact conference before. They help me be more adventurous.
2) I was enjoying their company and the fun of collective shopping
3) I was there for a professional conference, which tends to make me feel nervous about my abilities as a scholar (also, it makes me wonder how interesting looking graduate students end up looking so dull and boring in a decade or two?)
4) I really really like Chicago, and I justified the purchases because they were all in local and independent shops (although about 1/2 of them were in secondhand stores). I used to shop in smaller boutiques in Minneapolis, and I did not mind paying more than at a high street because I like going local. These stores, Alamo Shoes and Presence (both in Andersonville) have been around for a while, and they both rock.
So it seems I shop when when I'm happy with friends, and when I'm a little nervous, or excited. Luckily, my friends were very good about only recommending pieces that very versatile and wearable, so I will definitely use what I bought (and try not to be too guilty). I even got a second hand dress that will require some alterations but is very "me" (even Anne's fella thought so). Blokey knows that I've done some shopping, but he never judges or gets mad.
I'm a pretty lucky gal to have good friends like Anne, M, C, and K (who couldn't come but has been responsible for other great choices). They're honest and encouraging. Also, I realized while shopping that historically, my wardrobe has been very timid, as these ladies have been encouraging me to figure out a personal style that matches my weirdo personality more for years. Thanks for not giving up, ladies! (And we did not just shop, we also ate a lot of food at Anne's house.)

Finally, this is what I wore when I did my presentation. Which was the last panel slot of the conference, so I thought I could pull of jeggings. Even though the majority of folks (men) wear boxy, Washington bureaucrat suits, I was quite pleased with this outfit. I also liked the renovated decor of the hotel.

Jeggings: Hue (via Alamo Shoes, Chicago)
Striped top: Rodarte for Target
Jacket: Banana Republic
Shoes: Eastland
Nametag: Conference folks

(and for those wondering how I professionalized the Thursday plane outfit, here is another awkward hotel shot. This was Thursday's hotel room. I had to move around a bit. I got good mileage out of my old interview blazer).

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Conference bound

Conference bound, originally uploaded by Cohabitating_Closet.

Thanks for all the great comments, bloggy buddies! I am frankly happy that anyone reads my little thoughts on style in cyberspace, and always flattered. Blokey has happily agreed to joint custody of the vest. I noticed that it is a simple design and I am thinking about trying to make different versions, one for spring/summer as well (the corduroy was a bit warm yesterday).
I slept only a couple hours after a day of teaching because I have to catch a cab soon, to catch a plane to Chicago (again), so I can actively participate in one of the biggest professional conferences in our discipline (but not THE conference). Americans tend to dress up more formally at conferences than Europeans (I was the most overdressed person at a conference in London once), so I take a "European approach" to dressing for conferences. As in, I'll probably replace the sweater with a blazer, add taller shoes and call it "conference ready." I'm not there to get a job, and I'm confident enough in my abilities that I don't think I need to look like some kind of Washington bureaucrat to be taken seriously (although there are differing opinions on this. Some have counselled me to be formal at conferences because of my age/gender, but I usually still do my own Rad thing. I went uber conservative for the job interview, but since I do unconventional research, so why not?)
Oh, and by the way, the evaluation of my teaching went swimmingly. But then again, my colleague is very supportive and nice (he was my first year mentor). His only critique was that I talked too fast. I am aware of this. I am trying to slow it down.

Tunic/dress: H&M (2008)
Leggings: Target
Belt: Not Just Vintage
Cardigan: Loft
Flats: Ecco

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Earth Day Dressing (or recyling D.Keaton's style)

Today is Earth Day. I am tying this into my lessons by teaching the Kyoto Protocol (but not the stuff since Kyoto) and the Millennium Development Goals, which include environmental sustainability. I am by no means a very green fashion consumer/producer. I probably would not even call myself green in general. Not because I dislike being environmentally friendly, but rather I am often too lazy/busy/silly to be bothered to take the extra step. I engage in a lot of green sins, and I have guilt. But here are some ways that I try to include environmental concerns into my daily life and style.
The most important goal that I have is to use what I can afford to buy most effectively and for the longest possible time, and to minimize what I contribute to landfills. (I actually think that some "fast fashion" can be worn for many years. I have Old Navy pants that are [almost] a decade old, and H&M tops that are still strong after 8 years! Maybe cheaper retailer often put out trendy pieces that look dated very quickly, and thus get disposed of months later). Other goals and actions include:
1) Second hand consumption: I can't know exactly how everything I buy is produced (whether it was environmental friendly or labor friendly) but it's good to know that waste and costs associated with initial production aren't reproduced for me to acquire a second time. This includes swapping items with friends. I also donate and swap any clothes/shoes that I no longer wear.
2) Minimizing the purchase of new goods made of certain synthetic fibers (polyester, PVC, and other polymers are made from petroleum. Certain rayon, lycras and viscose are not, however), which tend to break down slowly.
3) Repairing the things I do have (sewing on buttons, patching, fixing seams, and becoming uber friendly with the local cobbler. I am very hard on my shoes)
4) Refashioning "out of style" goods into more contemporary silhouettes
5) Borrowing from the Blokey (if he's not wearing it, I can)

Lula doesn't think only Blokey should be able to sport that rad 1970s liner

6) Don't use the dryer, but instead air dry your clothes. I don't wash things after one wear.
7) Being conscious about the political economy (and ecology) of textile and clothing production, including both educating my students about this and having it inform my decisions about consumption.
8) This may seem silly, but I ride my bike or take the train/walk to go shopping. I don't have a car, but this means I can only buy what I can carry (often in a crowded subway car). I also try to use my own canvas bags.

I am aware that this cheap bag I picked up in a Frankfurt Tengelmann is on the arms of skinny ironically dressed youngster in Brooklyn. Darn it.

This outfit was strongly influenced by a pattern that Gertie showed on her blog (as I read through her archives) that was so 1970s Annie Hall. It seems I am embracing menswear in an exuberant way lately. I have to travel and be professional again this weekend, so who knows what I'll pack.

Sorry so professory. I hope that you have/had an excellent Earth Day.

Vest: From fella's wedding suit (supposedly vintage 1970s, made in Poland, no tag)
White button down: Loft
Pants: Old Navy, 2001
Boots: Born, via Ebay

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"Formal" suit directive!

I got an email reminding me that I had agreed to participate in a recruitment evening yesterday (for today). I asked (because I think I knew the answer) what the dress code was. I was told "formal." Oh, the most dreaded wardrobe designation for this academic. I hate hate hate my proper interview suit. It is so 2007, and the skirt is a relic of my past habit of always buying up a size. The waist band does not even sits about 2 inches above my hips. What was I thinking? (It was good enough to give me my job offers, I suppose).
I spent last night trying to figure out ways to fake a suit, but I don't want to piss off the administration. (This included an Annie Hall like get up made from pieces of Blokey's wedding suit). I thought about bloggers who have posted on making a standard corporate suit more creative, such as Sal or Gina. But since I don't work in a corporate setting, I haven't invested in a lot of these pieces. Plus, I have no jewelry to speak of.
But at the last minute, I mashed together a jersey dress from a previous outfit, followed Angie's advice of rolling up sleeves, and added colored tights. Since the skirt is too big and lined, it works OK with the dress. I still feel like a tool, but a slightly more comfy and relaxed one.
Would you trust your bright child's higher education with this peacock colored lady?

Suit jacket and skirt: Banana Republic (2007)
Jersey Dress (worn as a shirt): Uniqlo
Tights: Hue
Shoes: Reaction/Kenneth Cole (2005)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fake three piece suit

fake three piece suit, originally uploaded by Cohabitating_Closet.
(What I look like after traveling all weekend)

Eek. Today I am getting observed by a very respected colleague. I am not too worried, but in order to prevent being unnecessarily nervous, I put together my faux three piece suit, the traditional power outfit of the traditionally dressed. Plus, I am jealous of Blokey's. To give it my own spin, I went with skinny jeans and a sort knit cardi rather than a vest. This is an outfit that might go better in theory than in practice, and the non A/C'd, non-windowed classrooms may necessitate that I strip off various layers, but I am going with this for now.

I had a lovely weekend in the West Burbs of Chicago (although we never made it to the vintage fair). I loved spending time with my baby sis, who is more than a dozen years my junior and still in high school. Unlike her peers, Baby Sis ignores annoying trends and makes clothing work for her. She's always been edgier and more creative with clothing (and early adopted of skinny jeans) and she's encouraged me to be more adventurous. I hope that being a cool older (OLD is the emphasis. She can not fathom being 30ish) sister can help her develop positive body image, but I also realize there's only so much I do hundreds of miles away.

Look at how cute she was at the family wedding! (You can't see well but there is red in the graphics of her dress skirt. She actually went bared legged during the wedding but threw on jeans afterwards to hang out with us. She also cut her own hair. Such a B.A., which she taught me stands for Bad A$$. Ah, young people these days).

Wish me luck and I hope that everyone has a lovely Monday!

Jeans: Express 2007
Knit cardigan: Billabong
Jacket: Esprit
Button down: Loft
Booties: Me too, via DSW

Friday, April 16, 2010

Life as a draft

In graduate school, my very famous advisor once told us that we need to approach scholarly writing understanding that "everything is a draft," and that things are never "done", they are must "due." This was great advice (and probably explains why my dissertation, publicly available, feels so "drafty.") Like many academics, I need writing motivation and there's nothing like a due date to get me to produce. A group of us in g-school adapted the motto that "life is a draft." There's no finality or need to get obsessed with perfectionism, because we're always learning, evolving, etc.
I thought that this "due date" might work with sewing. As you might remember, I made (drafted?) this 1958 quasi-shirt waist dress in magenta-ish silk/satin crepe (or taffeta? Or shantung?) and it needed fitting work. I did end up getting a bunch of fit books from the library but I was too impatient to fix the top, so I pulled out seams and decided to turn the skirt into a stand along piece, and fiddle with fitting on the top separately. I have a wedding to attend this weekend (Chicago suburbs, maybe I can meet Anne to go to the fair?), so I thought I'd wear it there. It gave me 10 days to create some kind of finished waist seam, and I wanted to add pockets and belt loops. But I should have consulted my new (in 1980 something) Reader's Digest complete guide to sewing instead of veering off into Rad-self-teaching category. Oops.
The invisible zipper and pockets were fine, but the belt loops- why didn't I study my own belt looped clothes. I ran out of steam last night, and decided to wear something else. I am not discouraged, but I think I've learned that sewing should not be treated like academic writing. Sometimes, things are just not done.

The loops are too big and crooked. I'll fix them next time.

(How I imagined the outfit, minus the emo cow hair. It still needs significant hemming)

I am still pretty happy with my progress. That invisible zipper kicked my butt but I ended up victorious in the end (maybe not exactly).
Hope that you have a lovely weekend!

Scarf: originally from discount store (MPLS), DIY into circle scarf
Scoop neck tee: Uniqlo
Black cardigan: Uniqlo
Skirt: DIY, Built by Wendy Pattern, fabric from Modeani
Socks: Target
Shoes: Aerosoles

Modern Vintage Chicago - This Weekend!

Attention Chicagoland readers!  This weekend, the organizers of the Randolph Street Market are hosting the Modern Vintage Chicago Spring Clothing and Jewelry Explosion at the Journeymen Plumber's Hall in the West Loop.  This event includes a Vintage Dealers Show as well as an Indie Designer Show.  You'll be able to shop for clothing, home furnishings, fashion magazines, jewelry, handbags and accessories. 

(image from

(image from

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The Market hours are this Saturday (04/17) from 10am - 7pm, and Sunday (04/18) from 10am - 5pm.  Tickets are $10 at the door, or $8 if you buy them online (via PayPal).

The Journeymen Plumber's Hall is at 1340 W. Washington, near the Ashland-Lake stop of the Green and Pink lines.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ditsy Floral

I was so excited to see Sal's post about ditsy florals last night because I received a beautiful ditsy floral dress in the mail yesterday!  Not long ago, I finally started browsing for clothes on eBay, since so many much more fashionable ladies have been finding great clothes and shoes there.  How could so many stylish women be wrong?  I bought a few nice dresses, but I think the ditsy floral might be my favorite.

Why do I love it?  So many reasons.  First, the thick fabric helps conceal exactly where I need it, and its wide empire waist (which ties as an adorable bow in the back) is extremely flattering.  I think almost all of the dresses I own have some kind of an empire waist for this reason.

Pardon the kitchen shot - it's hard to find good lighting in our apartment!

Second, the full skirt!  I had my reservations about it at first, and it might even add some width, but it's just so fun and cute!

Third, the floral print is just perfect for spring and summer.

Jude would've been more excited about the dress if he hadn't been busy devouring a giant tree branch

I went extra simple on accessories because of the print, which is probably another pro for this dress.  I paired it with my favorite Etsy locket (which matches the print perfectly!) and some great gold flat sandals.  I hardly ever wear heels in the summer because we walk just about everywhere, so I'm loving how polished these sandals look while still being comfortable.

Dress: Shristi, LLC (via eBay, but they also have a shop on Etsy)
Necklace: Etsy
Shoes: Target

Preppy western

Preppy western, originally uploaded by Cohabitating_Closet.

Today, I have many many non-teaching duties, including yet another extra credit opportunity for students. They can go and see a panel presentation on sexual violence during war and conflict (uplifting, I know, but important). I would wear something crazier (like my recent goal of dressing in the colors of animals, since I am so color shy), but they need to check in with me to get some of the extra credit points. I am also "experimenting" with "jewelry," namely an earth toned shell short necklace, which I think may work with the wider crewneck/smaller U neck/confused, but deflated boat neck deal that this shirt has going on.
I am of the belief that anyone can wear (proper) cowboy boots almost all the time. Even those who dislike country music and George W. Bush. For some reason, I think the width and cut of the top flatters most figures. And the best thing is that you can find cowboy boots for less at most thrift/vintage shops. These camel colored puppies were $25 at Beacon's closet, but I've seen plenty more at the local charity shops. (I paid $16 to have the soles fixed, and now I don't stumble on them when I clomp around NYC).

These things are lethal weapons- against cockroaches and other forms of NYC apartment vermin

Also a brief interlude and contribution from a good friend, who know how much I've been paying attention to clothes lately. She sent me an email explaining how she went on a nice date with a nice dude. However, this was his look*:
She'd like to you know that the grey trousers are cut at a capri length.
As she is a European-turned Midwesterner recently relocated in Oregon, her only explanation was "Oregon is weird."

I think chimney sweeps and general Victorian raggamuffins are quite popular in Brooklyn as well.

*It wasn't a dealbreaker though.

Skirt: Uniqlo (2008)
Shirt: H&M (2008)
Tights: Uniqlo
Shell necklace: street vendor, Hawaii, 2005
Boots: Durango, thrifted via Beacon's Closet

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Angus, originally uploaded by Cohabitating_Closet.

I was inspired by E. from Academichic, who said last week that she was interested in a shorts suit. Since I hacked up these pants to be teaching appropriate, and it's supposed to be 70 degrees today, I thought I'd give it a go. I thought I'd look serious yet nonchalant. But after looking at the photos, I think the monochromatic look is more reminiscent of Angus Young, of AC/DC.


image 1 source,

image 2 source

We've even got similar length hair. But hey, he's a real rock icon, so if I can unwittingly channel a famous musician dude's most famous costume, that's just might be a fashion win.

Blazer: Esprit
Shorts: Dillard's, tailored and shortened by me
Belt: Gap
Shirt: Uniqlo, thrifted
Shoes: 9West, 2004

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Shopping my closet: spring trends

Since I have a shopping diet, I can't really follow the spring trends. But since they often repeat themselves, I can find them already in my closet. I've had this military styled skirt for a while now, and it's difficult to figure out if it's OK for less casual settings. It's made of a beautiful, somewhat heavier brushed canvas, that almost feels slightly light no whale corduroys. Also, denim tops are back in again too. Blokey has given up this shirt having shared custody, although he wears it more than I do. Here I am, hitting two spring trends with one outfit.

Of course, my favorite part of this outfit are the suede elbow patches. They're hard to show, but luckily my cat Lula (named after the soon to leave president and famous trade union leader from Brazil), demanded to be let in and seemed to want to be part of a picture (being held for 15 seconds is a record for this one).

I'm off to run a bunch of errands, hopefully jog (Erin is helping inspire me on my fitness goals), and attend a public lecture tonight on human rights, mostly because I am letting my students get extra credit points by attending public lectures in the city related to class. See what an awesome prof I am?

Skirt: Muji (2006)
Belt: from an H&M pair of pants, 2008
Shirt: "borrowed" from Blokey, elbow patch DIY, GAP 2003
Tights: Uniqulo
Striped tank, H&M
Shoes: Thrifted, Aerosoles