Monday, October 26, 2015

13 for Halloween

Seen around in a few places...

1. Favorite Halloween song? 
"Dead Man's Party" by Oingo Boingo -- Going to a party where no-one's still alive. 

2. Witch or Vampire? 
Vampire. Always. And, everybody repeat after me: Real Vampires Do Not Sparkle. Thankyouverymuch.

3. Favorite thing about Halloween? 
All of it? If just one thing, then finding extra-cool spooky-yet-classy things to add to my home decor.

4. Halloween party or scary movie marathon?
PARTY. Costume party, mandatory.

5. Skeletons or Zombies? 
Skeletons. The bones are so elegant and sculptural. I don't get zombies. They're dumb -- that's why they need to eat brains.

6. Favorite Halloween candy? 
Fun-size Hershey bars.

7. Favorite Halloween movie? 
The Nightmare Before Christmas.

8. Favorite Halloween costume? 
I've done a lot of good ones, but I have a strange fondness for Marilyn Monroe.

9. Favorite Halloween store? 
 Changes each year, but I usually love Pottery Barn's collection.

10. Jack-o-lanterns, yes or no?
I actually prefer uncut, whole pumpkins. They look so pretty. I love a mix of sizes and colors, including white pumpkins.

11. Bats or Black Cats? 
Both! I love bat decorations, but I love my little black cat Bellatrix most of all.

12. Is Halloween your favorite holiday? 

13. Pumpkin spice latte or hot chocolate?
Pumpkin spice latte, please :)

What I'm wearing:
Grey sheath dress, Target
Black & white cardigan, White House | Black Market
Black tights, Calvin Klein
Purple suede pumps, Aerosoles
Purple crystal choker, gift from Lisa
Purple painted-bat earrings, local artist
Gunmetal beaded headband, random accessory store

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Homework Assignment: October!

I'm back! Well, I'm trying for one post, anyway, because The Professor has a really good homework assignment. She says "show us what you love about this time of year," and of course, I love so much about October and fall that I had to come back to this blog to share. (I haven't been offline, though, oh no, I'm blogging up a storm at Frock Flicks, which is why I don't have time to blog here, sorry!).

October in Northern California is a tricksy thing. We may still be having Indian Summer, or as some folks call it, Earthquake Weather (which is a myth, but when the '89 Loma Prieta Quake struck on October 17, the day was bright and sunny). Or we might have delightful crisp fall days. It's a real crapshoot. The weather may swing between the two, and you won't get any notice. So while I *want* to wear sweaters and tall boots every day, it's a better idea to wear layers that I can strip off if the afternoon is sticky hot.

I do loves me a pumpkin spice latte, and if anyone calls me a basic bitch, I will smack them upside the head. I've always loved pumpkin flavors, real and imaginary. It's weird because my mom isn't a fan, so I didn't grow up eating much pumpkin. Sadly, my husband doesn't like pumpkin either, so I can't make or get a pumpkin pie or pumpkin curry at home unless I want to eat it all myself. So mostly, I enjoy the lattes and random pumpkin dishes at restaurants. And decorating with pumpkins too!

Of course, I love all things Halloween, whether or not we're hosting a party (which would be the Famous Dead Person's Ball, an event we do every couple of years). This year, we're trying to renovate our bathroom, so no party here, and the invites are starting to roll in. Not sure what I'll be doing on All Hallow's Eve, but there better be a costume involved :)

What do you love about this time of year?

What I'm Wearing:
Black piped jacket, Spiegel
Black T-shirt, Target
Black & white spiderweb skirt, made by me
Black tights, Haynes
Black cutout leather flats, Zappos
Black, silver, & rhinestone choker necklace, random accessory store
Gunmetal skull earrings, Walgreens
Prada bifocals

Monday, July 20, 2015

Did I Mention Stripes?

Yep, more stripes. I'm a stripes junkie!

I bought a few new things for my wardrobe, thanks to the new job, and almost all them are stripey. So there you go.

What I'm wearing: Black & white stripe knit top, H&M | Black skirt, NY & Company | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Silver grey wedges, Anne Klein | Black & pink crystal dangly earrings, random accessory store | Pink skull necklace, gift from Elisa

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Stripes, That's All I Got

I just have to admit that stripes have taken over half my wardrobe. It's beyond obsession, it's a way of life. I see work-appropriate clothing in black and white stripe, I buy it. No control. No regrets.

This is another White House | Black Market item. Irresistible. The neckline is very strappy (and you can barely see in the picture, but it's bejeweled), which I thought might not be quite right for work. But add a cardigan -- usually necessary for the air-conditioned office -- and this is perfect. Plus, it's a nice, thick knit, so it's comfortable for work too.

What I'm wearing: Black & white stripe knit dress, White House  Black Market | Burgundy peplum sweater, Anthropologie | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Burgundy suede cutout pumps, Soffit | Silver skull earrings, random accessory store

Monday, July 6, 2015

I'm Melllllllllting

It's officially summer, & I'm officially hot. This is impacting my ability to get stuff done outside of work (aka, blogging) because when I get home, I just want to flop about. We don't have AC at home, and usually don't need it, except recently we've had a run of 80 to 90 degree days. Blerg.

Add on top of this the annual CoCo Panic, meaning, this is the month before Costume College. I'm frantically trying to finish costumes (primarily my gown for the Saturday night dinner-dance known as the Gala, the one big, pull-out-all-the-stops dress-up event of the conference) and work on the three classes I'm teaching. Oh, and Frock Flicks is doing a special event, which I need to write stuff for and promote in advance.

Yeah, if I'm not melting from the heat, I'm freaking out over these projects. Plus my new job, which is great, is also keeping me super busy and doesn't have much downtime during the day. Eeek!

How's your summer going?

Monday, June 29, 2015

Five CorpGoth Interview Tips

In the past few years, I've gone on dozens of interviews as I've searched for my ideal job. What to wear to an interview is always a consideration -- not as crucial as writing the perfect resume and cover letter or making a great impression during the phonescreen and in the interview itself, but how you look will be part of that first impression, so it does matter, there's no denying it.

For goths and others with non-mainstream appearances, we have to ride the line between self-expression and fitting in to the desired job's requirements and company culture. The potential employer has to be able to see you as someone who already works there, and anything that distracts, whether in your CV or your fashion, is not a helpful.

You'll probably want to tone down the overall goth effect, but you shouldn't have to hide your true self entirely either. How you balance this will depend on what kind of job you're applying for, what industry you're working in, and how advanced you are in your career. But in my experience, these few tips may help...

1. Research the employer to find out what's appropriate. In Silicon Valley, most companies are business casual, but industries like finance and law will tend to be more conservative and (literally) buttoned-up. Retail jobs will vary wildly, and academic positions can have their own very specific cultures. Big corporations may have information on their websites that give ideas about what it's like to work there, and you get a lot of insider info about tech companies on Ask around, online and off. Be prepared! You don't want to be wearing suits when nobody wears suits or vice versa.

2. Reconsider all black. Yes, wearing all black is often a safe bet for goths, but it can appear too goth, too dark, too morbid for first appearances. Remember the Gothic Color Theory, and break up black with one other dark color or white. Or try a pattern like stripes. Mixing it up and avoiding all black can make you look more approachable and friendly in an interview.

3. Have one (but just one) personal trademark. Is your hair hot pink? Do you have full sleeve tattoos? If you have something permanent and visible, that's going to be your trademark, the visual cue people will remember from your interview. Try not to clutter up your style with anything else. Otherwise, pick one thing -- such as a great piece of jewelry or killer boots -- and let that be your trademark.

4. Dress one notch more formally for casual workplaces. Particularly with places like retail and high-tech, where it looks like everyone is dressed super casually, you may want to start off by interviewing just a smidge more dressy than what is standard on the job. Don't go super-formal, just a touch more. So if everyone is wearing jeans, wear trousers or a skirt, for example.

5. Remember that shoes and bags matter. You don't need to spit-polish your boots or carry a designer bag, just pay attention to your accessories. Having a cohesive, polished head-to-toe look will help give a professional first impression, gothic or not. Shine up an nasty scuffs on those pointy-toe boots, and swap out a simple tote bag instead of a backpack. You'll inevitably need to grab a copy of your CV out of that bag, so it should look as presentable as the rest of you.

In interviews for jobs I've gotten, I've talked about sewing historical costumes, and interviewers have complimented me on my bat necklace and skull earrings. I do let my freak flag fly, but subtly, and after I've gotten my foot in the door. Besides, if any potential employer Googles me, they'll find this blog and my costume website, so it's not like I can hide anyway!

What I'm wearing: Black cardigan, Macy's | Purple T-shirt, Target | Grey striped skirt, Nordstroms | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black flats, Aerosoles | Grey beaded necklace, gift from a friend | Onyx skull earrings, local artist

Monday, June 22, 2015

Sponsorship Woes and Wishes

While I currently run Google ads on this site*, I haven't done much in the way of monetization or sponsorships. But I do get contacted by companies every so often asking to do promotions of some kind. The problem I have with this is usually that they're the wrong kind of business. They just don't fit.

Mostly, businesses see the "Goth" part of "CorpGoth" and seem to think that I'd be up promoting the same old, traditional gothic-punk clothing on my blog. Clothes similar to what Hot Topic would sell.  Everything is far too tight, short, and bondage-y for any office I'd ever work in! Hello, have these businesses looked at the photos on my blog? I don't wear spandex skull-printed dresses, ever! Even in my casual weekend wear. Nope, not my thing, not even when I was a lot younger and actually went to nightclubs.

I'd be interested if some high-end, sophisticated gothic businesses selling unique accessories, jewelry, and shoes contacted me, even Etsy artists and designers making custom CorpGoth clothing. But there has to be a corporate edge, not just goth-in-a-box. People can find that anywhere, and that's not what I'm interested in. My blog and my fashion is all about making goth from the ordinary and putting a gothic touch on mainstream office style. Any sponsor has to fit within this aesthetic as well.

That's why the one sponsored post I've done so far worked well. eShakti contacted me and offered a free dress, and that was fantastic because their designs are very goth-able. I'm happy to recommend their products.

One company I really wish would contact me is White House | Black Market -- omg, that store IS CorpGoth! I've mentioned it before because several of my very favourite wardrobe pieces are from there. Everything at White House | Black Market is, as the name implies, white or black, and every season (or more often), another color is added.  Oh, and frequently used patterns include stripes and damask. So it's custom-made for goths. The clothing styles are tailored and a little bit feminine, which makes it an excellent base for going either sleek and sophisticated or extra fancy. Garments are pricey but well made -- they're lined, made of thick fabrics, and have substantial buttons and trims. My only complaint is that sizes stop at 14, and there are no plus sizes. Still, if anyone at White House | Black Market happens to read this, contact me!

(Other brands I'd be happy to sponsor include Calvin Klein for their tights, which I wear almost every freakin' day, and shoes and boots from Aldo, Aerosoles, or Clarks, because I can walk miles in them! Anyone out there listening?)

What I'm wearing: Black velveteen jacket, White House Black Market | White & black damask-print knit sleeveless top, White House Black Market | Burgundy skirt, NY & Company | Black strappy flats, Macy's | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Onyx skull earrings, local artist | Beaded bat necklace, gift from friends

*I'll probably take them down soon. The content is stupid, they don't make any money, they're ugly, it was just a random shot in the dark. But it's almost as much of a PITA to remove them as it was to put them up; that's probably why so many sites have Google ads even tho' they don't earn much.