Monday, October 20, 2014

Sublte Geekery

I've never been shy about flying my freak flag, even at work. I've talked about historical costuming during interviews, and I wear my studded leather cockring every single day. After all, if you google for images of me, you're going to see everything from me in 18th-century male drag to my boobs inscribed with "CorpGoth" calligraphy. Not subtle!

But this outfit is a more tasteful version of geeky CorpGoth. I got the T-shirt at the new Diagon Alley in Universal Studios, where my husband and I indulged our love of all things Harry Potter. Of course, I went for the spooky side with the Dark Mark. Which coordinates nicely with my everyday wardrobe.

Do you try or have to sneak your geeky or fandom faves into your work wardrobe?

What I'm wearing: Black velvet jacket, White House Black Market | Grey "Dark Mark" T-shirt, Wizarding Worlds of Harry Potter at Universal Studios | Grey striped skirt, Nordstroms | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black T-strap flats, Aldo | Silver filigree earrings, Target

Monday, October 13, 2014

CorpGoth Status Report: Office-Friendly Skulls

When I think of how one an incorporate a touch of goth into a corporate-friendly wardrobe, I automatically think about this skull-print scarf. Yep, that's right, skulls. Now this may seem contradictory to some of my advice like "minimize references to death & religion" in your outfits. But this specific style of scarf is an exception.

See, it's an interpretation of the iconic Alexander McQueen skull-motif scarf. Not an exact knock-off, but it's close enough to pass as "fashionable" or even "trendy" instead of "morbid" or "creepy" to mainstream eyes. If you work at an office where you have to keep your gothic style on the down-low, this sort of accessory could be a nice way to save some of your personal aesthetic while blending in just a little.

I don't have to worry too much, even though I work at a more conservative employer right now. Still, I paired the skulls with a purple dress for a little contrast.

How are you wearing skulls at the office for this report? Is your workplace OK with it?

What I'm wearing: Purple knit dress, Land's End | White & black skull scarf, | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black & white T-strap flats, Zappos | Black & white stripe bead earrings, Kohl's

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Five: Growing Up, Moving On

1. How many schools and colleges / universities have you attended in all?

Eight (that I recall). A little bit of switching around in the grammar-school era, but after that we lived in mostly the same neighborhood. Plus I stayed in one university and did my portion of grad school in one place.

2. How many states have you lived in? How many countries?

Two states, just the one country ... so far :)

3. Have you ever seen the hospital where you were born -- where is it/what's it's name?

Drove past it once, it's in Florida, don't recall the name and not sure if it's still there!

4. Do you plan to live in the same state in which you were born or somewhere else?

When I was little, I wanted to live back there, but I quickly realized the benefits of staying where mom had moved us.

5. Do you still talk to people from elementary school, middle-school, high school, college?

I have exactly two friends from junior high / high school who I still talk with (mostly through Facebook) and one good friend from college who I still talk with. Otherwise, I've drifted away and moved on. Funny, I've stayed physically in the same place a whole lot more than I have socially or, I guess, emotionally.

Questions culled from The Friday Five on LiveJournal.

What I'm wearing: Purple ruched-shoulder cardigan, H&M | Black crochet skirt, Coldwater Creek | Purple & black stripe tights, WeLoveColors | Black flats, Aerosoles | Black & silver crystal earrings, random accessory store | Skull pendant on velvet ribbon, Jewels by Olivia

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wednesday Wondering: Major Impact

Prompt: What was your college major? Do you use it for your career?

I majored in English Literature at the University of California, Berkeley, and I nearly got a Master's degree in the same subject. All during my undergrad years, people would say, "English major, so you're going to be a teacher, right?" And I said, hell no.

But I struggled to find a decent-paying job fresh out of college and quickly went back to school for an M.A., somewhat resigned to that teaching career. I loved the academics but did not relish the idea of grammar or high-school level teaching, which was where the vast number of jobs were, especially in California.

Then, a little thing called the Internet came along. A local newspaper was trying to get itself online, right when I was playing around with teaching myself to build webpages in my spare time. That was the beginning of something ... I combined a knack for learning software with writing and researching skills honed in academia into a online journalism career and never looked back.

I've been writing for the web since 1995, about everything from digital music to the environment to hard drives to Medicare. So yeah, my college major has been pretty useful in my career after all.

Questions culled from the discontinued Writer's Block feature on LiveJournal.

What I'm wearing: Red sheath dress, Target | Grey color-blocked cardigan, Macys | Grey tights, Target | Silver grey wedges, Anne Klein | Black & red glass bead necklace, made by me | Silver hoop earrings, random accessory store

Monday, October 6, 2014


No, not one of those cat-suits -- totally wouldn't be work-appropriate and you wouldn't really want to see me in that anyway. But this outfit is a little suit-like and it has cats. Because my husband and I finally got kittens after a hiatus that felt too long (but was really just long enough since we had some house projects to finish up first).

We adopted three, female, 2.5-month-old liter-mates from the local shelter, and they are freakin' adorable! My chances of getting anything done outside of work have gone down by at least 80% but my overall happiness has gone up by at least 120%. Fair trade.

The black one is Bellatrix, the stripey one is Hermione, and the stripey one with ear tufts is Luna. No, their names were not at all inspired by our recent trip to the Wizarding Worlds of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. Nope, not at all :) Let's face it, we're geeks, and these three are cute little witches who've cast a sweet spell on us.

What I'm wearing: Black piped jacket, Speigel | Black T-shirt, Old Navy | Black, white, & pink cat-print skirt, Etsy | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black perforated d'orsay flats, Target | Black & white beaded necklace, made by me | Silver hoop earrings, random accessory store

Friday, October 3, 2014

Friday Five: Yay, Shoes!

1. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
I had to count 'em -- 64 pairs. That includes *everything* not just my regular everyday shoes, but also my slippers, several pairs of flip-flops, the rubber boots I wore in Antarctica, shoes that are waiting to go the cobbler for repairs, & over a dozen shoes that only go with costumes. Kind of sad, because that's down from a few years ago when I had at least 80 pairs of shoes *not* counting the costume ones.

2. Why or when do you buy shoes?
I buy shoes for particular needs or when current shoes wear out. For example, my current job is a couple blocks from public transit, so when I started, I needed more office-appropriate flats suitable for walking since I only had one pair. Every summer or so, I buy cheap new sandals because they wear out so easily.

3. What's the most expensive pair of shoes you've ever bought?
Black suede thigh-high flat-soled pirate boots for $100, sometime in the late '80s or early '90s. Sadly didn't wear them too often, so I eventually sold them on eBay for half that. I have one pair of knee-high riding boots now that originally cost that much but I bought them on sale. Most of my  shoes are in the $60 range these days (which is up a bit from the past, see below).

4. Carrie Bradshaw -- whimsical fashion diva or fool who wastes money on shoes?
A bit of both! I used to call myself the Carrie Bradshaw of Payless Shoe Source (since I used to buy SO MANY of their $15 shoes), so I can understand her passion for cute shoes, but I do so on a lower budget. $400 Jimmy Choos? Not my lifestyle!

5. Describe your fantasy perfect pair of shoes & where you'd wear them.
I dream of something like a wacky Irregular Choice pump with an 18th-century curved Louie heel & flared vamp, in a purple damask with a giant black silk satin bow. Gothic & gorgeous for everyday, but just enough historical style for costumes.

Questions culled from The Friday Five on LiveJournal.

What I'm wearing:  White & black pinstripe jacket, Macy's | Red bow-tie top, Target | Black skirt, NY & Company | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black Union Jack pumps, gift from my husband | Pewter key earrings, made by me

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

CorpGoth Status Report: Skulls

Subject: To prep for Halloween, let's get spooky -- but office-appropriately spooky. Add a skull or two (or more!) to your work attire. See how CorpGoth you can go.

Due Date: Monday, October 13 to Wednesday, October 17

How to File Your Report:

1. Post to your blog on or around the due dates.

2. Include the following code in your post so the This Is CorpGoth Mid-Month Status Report graphic will display (if you're using Blogger or WordPress, switch to the 'HTML post' setting & then paste this code in):

<a href=""><img border="0" src="" /></a>

3. Comment on my Monday the 13th post including your blog link.

4. Read everyone else's reports via their links in the comments!