Thursday, December 20, 2012

Interview Outfit Redux

For my last day in the office this year, I decided to wear my interview outfit for this new job. Especially since I didn't have time to blog it when I actually interviewed. I went for something not terribly goth, but definitely me. Also, comfortable, not fussy, & creative-professional. It must have been a winner since I got the position ;-)

What I'm wearing:
Pink print cardigan, Chadwicks | Grey sheath dress, Target | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black ribbon-tie pumps, Clarks | Silver filigree earrings, Target | Chanel 'Vamp' lipstick

I work from home tomorrow & then the company has a holiday shutdown between Christmas & New Years, so no more office outfits after this one. I may post some winter outfits, but I also have a bunch of non-CorpGoth projects to work on too (maybe I'll blog those at my costume site). Enjoy the non-apocalypse tomorrow, & have a great holiday if you're celebrating something!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Mid-Month Status Report: Holidays at the Office

Today, my department at my new company had a holiday luncheon, so I dressed up a bit. We were walking down the street to the restaurant, so I wore practical shoes & a warm jacket (since it was rainy out), but still festive colors with gothy touches.

I also got a quick iPhone pic of some office decorations. The lobby has a big Christmas tree decked in the corporate colors of teal blue & silver with matching centerpieces on the tables & reception desk. Around the office, people have put up twinkly lights & garlands, & they've been bringing in homemade cookies & treats. Quite festive!

What I'm wearing:
Red knit dress with hi-lo hem, Macy's | Black & white stripe double-breasted knit jacket, Marshall's | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black patent square-toed pumps, thrifted | Black, rhinestone, & pearl choker, random accessory store | Pearl stud earrings, random accessory store

Here are some of your status reports that I saw this morning:
Please add more in the comments below -- you have until the end of Tuesday!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Stripes & Plaid for One Office Day

You might have noticed fewer daily outfit posts from me lately (or maybe not -- who's paying attention?). This is because I only go into the office at my new job once or twice a week, so yeah, not much to report on the CorpGoth front. I have some thinky posts brewing, but the holidays & an annoying earache are distracting me, so that might wait until the new year. For now, how about a little pattern mixing?

What I'm wearing:
Dark grey denim jacket with belled sleeves, Newport News | Black long-sleeve knit top, Old Navy | Black & white plaid circle skirt, H&M | Black & white stripe scarf, H&M | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black kitten-heel pumps, Aldo | Gunmetal hoop earrings, random accessory store

Don't forget, next Monday & Tuesday, your CorpGoth Mid-Month Status Reports are due! The topic is holidays in the office, so show us how you might dress for an office holiday party or even how your workplace decorates for the holidays. My department is having a holiday luncheon on Monday, so expect to see what I wore, plus the lobby Christmas tree, posted that night.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Gothidays 5 - DIY Giftmas

To close up the Professor's theme, I thought I'd share some holiday tips. My immediate family decided some years ago that, instead of buying a ton of gifts for each other at Christmas, we would give handmade gifts &/or charitable gifts, & just one each or one per couple.

Now, we don't have any kids in this group, so maybe this wouldn't work for your family (I know I loved getting toys when I was little!). But there comes a time when adults just realize we don't need more stuff cluttering up our homes, & the holidays are made more stressful by spending so much money & running around buying things that people don't honestly need. And yet, it's still a great deal of fun to unwrap presents on Christmas morning & share some little surprise with those you care about. We can get that same experience by making something & donating to favorite causes.

Of course, this does add the complication of "what to make?" (Charities are pretty easy to select & give to.) Our family is kind of creative, & my mom, in particular, pulls out all the stops, so we've had a wide range of crafty, homemade goodies.

The old standby that everyone loves are food gifts. It's hard to go wrong there -- breads (sweet or savory), cookies, candies, seasoned nuts, granola, infused cooking oils, sauces, you name it! Even better is when someone includes the recipe or suggestions on how to cook with an ingredient, in the case of oils, sauces, etc.

Food "kits" are popular & fun to receive too: You assemble all the non-perishable ingredients for a dish & print out the recipe, then put it all together in a basket, bowl, or maybe a pot. This is easy to do with bean soups, hot chocolate, cookies, & breads, anything where the recipient of the gift only has to add one or two more ingredients, like water, milk, or an egg.

Finally, here are instructions for crafted things similar to gifts I've given in the past. I tend to gravitate towards sewing projects, because that's easy for me, but I only do ones that are fast straight-stitching. And none of these projects require special tools, & they don't cost much in the way of materials. Set aside an afternoon, get crafty, & have fun!

You can always goth-ify these gifts by choosing dark colors for the materials, adding bats or skulls, & such, as appropriate to the recipient. For example, the sachets are great made in Halloween cottons, & last year, I made the heating pads with faux-fur covers so they were wonderfully luxurious.

More DIY gift ideas from Offbeat Home, make sure to read the comments too!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Gothidays 4 - Sentimental Favorites

More from the Professor's theme...

While I do goth-up most of my holiday decor, some things must remain the same as when I was a kid. Certain traditions, a few foods, but mostly, the special ornaments. I treasure my small collection of Christmas tree decorations made by my mom when I was little, way back in the early 1970s. She gave them to me when I moved out after college. Here are a couple faves...

A Winnie-the-Pooh decal Mom added to a blown egg. So fragile!
All the other egg ornaments she made have broken.

Totally psychedelic partridge in a pear tree.
I didn't even understand what this one was as a kid.

Slightly multicultural Santa Claus. It's because the wood was a dark color,
but, as a kid, I figured this was just our hip Santa.

Do you have sentimental favorite holiday decorations? Share the memories in the comments.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Gothidays 3 - Decking the Halls

And the Professor's challenge marches on!

Every year, I debate with myself about whether or not I'll hang the garlands. It's a hassle to do so -- they always come out of the box tangled, it takes an hour or so to fluff them back into shape, I have to get up on a step ladder to hang them, & they shed little bits of noxious plastic everywhere for me to hurriedly sweep up before the cats eat it.

But the effect is SO pretty, I can't deny it. That's why I almost always do it, unless I'm absolutely, entirely pressed for time. Everyone who comes into the house compliments me on them, even tho' they're the same garlands I've had for 10 years now. Just plain old plastic greenery that I wrapped in with purple or white mini-lights, burgundy wired ribbon & silver wired ribbon (both rescued from our wedding decorations), & silver star-wrapped wire. Seriously not rocket science when it comes to crafting. But great results.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

New Look for an Old Fave

An old favorite outfit is required on rough mornings -- the days when you wake up on the bad side of the bed due to insomnia or other problems, but you have to force yourself into the office anyway. The dress I'm wearing is much loved & made for me by a dear friend.

I've blogged it before (here, here, here, & here), but I realized that this styling of the dress makes it look more like a skirt, so it feels less repeat-y.

What I'm wearing:
Black, grey, & white print dress, made by Donna | Black camisole, Old Navy | Black wool ruffled bolero, Kohl's | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black T-strap wedges, Kenneth Cole | Silver filigree earrings, random accessory store | Black & silver skull bead choker, Disneyland | Grey flower hair pin, random accessory store

Monday, December 3, 2012

Gothidays 2 - the Angel

Continuing with the Professor's holiday theme ... While we haven't gotten an Xmas tree yet, I know what will top it. About a dozen years ago, I made this gothic angel to top our tree, & here are some photos from past holidays.

I wrote up the instructions for how to make her for my Gothic Martha Stewart site -- you can easily make your own! The materials are inexpensive, & by using different scraps of fabric & trims, you can customize the angel to fit your decor.

If you have a tree at the holidays, what do you top it with? Is there a story behind the tree-topper? Share in the comments!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Gothidays 1 - the Gargoyle

The Professor has a holiday challenge this year: "Show us how you celebrate or don't celebrate the holidays. Do you completely 'goth-ify' the season or do you opt for a more traditional holiday? Show us what you celebrate and how you celebrate it."

I love this idea! However, I rarely get my holiday decorations up this early in the season -- too busy &/or lazy. I've never been one of those people who decorate for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. I'm lucky to have everything decorated the week before the holiday! But oh yes, I do mix up a liberal dose of Halloween style with Christmas, always have, so this week, I'll share some pix of years past...

This gargoyle watches over our living room year-round.
At the holidays, he gets a Santa cap & watches over the stockings. With care.
Just a little example of how my everyday gothic decor gets a touch of Christmas sprinkled around. Do you add holiday touches to things that are always in your house?

Sophistique Noir Monthly Theme: Maxi Skirts

December's theme from Sophistique Noir is maxi skirts! I really do love this theme, even tho' it's troublesome for me. I adore the look of long, sleek maxis, but since I'm only 5'2", it can be hard to find maxi skirts that fit me correctly. Most of them are too long & drag on the ground -- no good. And it's a known fact that I hate hemming (yes, even tho' I can & do sew entire historical costumes :-). I've had to hunt around for petite-sized maxi skirts, which means I only own a couple, & I wear them a ton, all year round.

What I'm wearing:
Black & red stripe knit tank maxi dress, Target
Black ruched-sleeve cardigan, H&M
Black studded belt, Macys
Black tights, Calvin Klein
Black patent square-toed pumps, unknown brand, thrifted

Had to grab a quick snap while my husband & I were out seeing a friend's play, & I didn't get a chance to post until late in the weekend!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Status Report: Holidays in the Office

Let's wrap up the year with one more status report! And if you have suggestions for 2013 status reports, please drop me a line by email or in the comments.

Subject:  Holidays in the Office. Show what you wear to work to get into a holiday spirit or what you are wearing to the office holiday party. Does your workplace have any holiday decorations, whether tasteful or tacky? Let us see. And while you're it, do you get time off for the winter holidays or are you taking a vacation? Share a few details in your report.

Due Date: Tuesday, December 18 & Wednesday, December 19

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=" status report"><img border="0" src="" /></a>

3. Comment on my Tuesday night post including your blog link.

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

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Suit-Like, but Not

Went into the office for a meeting, but it was cancelled. Considered leaving to go work at home since the office setup (where I don't have a proper keyboard & monitor, just a laptop) is painfully un-ergonomic. But then a different meeting was scheduled, so I stayed. Such is the wacky schedule of my new job!

What I'm wearing:
Dark grey pinstripe jacket, made for me by Donna | Black T-shirt, Target | Plum crushed-velvet tiered skirt, NY & Company | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black & grey pumps, Payless Shoe Source | Silver filigree earrings, Target | Plum flower hair pin, random accessory store

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

In Praise of the New Tripod

I've often admitted that my photos for this blog are kind of crappy. It's just me & a tripod with five minutes in the morning before I head out to work.

I don't have a fancy studio with lights & a backdrop, & I don't have anyone else to take photos for me & say "honey, remember to stick your neck out so you don't get a double-chin" or to wait until the wind doesn't mess up my hair or scarf. I take pictures outside because the lighting is marginally better there than in the bat-cave of my house. I use the 10-second timer on my camera & hope for the best. I'd been using a cheap old tripod that wasn't exactly steady & was very crooked -- things I'd have to fix in PhotoShop every night.

Well finally, I bought a new tripod, & wow, that sure helped! I still have weak lighting, the timer, solo photoshoots, & minimal time in the morning, but at least the camera is held up sturdy & level. Every little bit helps.

What I'm wearing:
Black & white stripe sweater, Chadwicks
Black long-sleeve knit top, Old Navy
Black skirt, NY & Company
Black tights, Calvin Klein
Burgundy faux-suede boots, DSW
Black skull-print scarf, gift from my husband
Pewter square earrings, local artist

How do you take photos for your blog? What equipment do you use? Does anyone help you out?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Short Week

This is a short work week due to Thursday being the Thanksgiving holiday here in the U.S. Plus I'm working from home Monday & Wednesday (which will probably be a short day as my boss has said that most people log off early, again, for the holiday). So Tuesday was my only office outfit -- and I'm even posting that late, sorry! Rainy mornings also forced me to take photos on the porch.

What I'm wearing:
Pink cardigan, MetroStyle | Black & white damask print knit top, Spiegel | Black corduroy skirt, H&M | Black tights, Calvin Klein
Black laced-top flats, Miz Mooz | Black & pink crystal Victorian-esque earrings, random accessory store

Thursday, November 15, 2012

November CorpGoth Mid-Month Status Report: Winter at Work

The report subject this month is: What do you wear to work in winter?

Now, I don't live in a very cold climate -- winters in Silicon Valley are mild but can be wet. Still, I love sweaters, boots, scarves, & coats because I get cold rather easily. So I have a lot of winter-appropriate office wear. And as I've mentioned, the building at my new job is a little chilly inside!

So this outfit is a standard Trystan CorpGoth winter work outfit: a cardigan layered over a top (just in case I get too warm, I can remove the sweater), a scarf to fill in the neckline, a skirt, & boots in case of puddles. For my commute, I add my classic trenchcoat which is water-repellant & has stood up to some mighty strong storms. Plus some black leather gloves to keep my hands warm.

I'm looking forward to seeing what those of you with harsher winters wear to the office!

What I'm wearing:
Black wool ruffled bolero sweater, Kohl's
Black long-sleeve knit top, Old Navy
Black & white striped knit maxi skirt, Nordstrom
Black tights, Calvin Klein
Black tall boots, Clarks
Red scarf, thrift store
Gunmetal hoop earrings, random accessory store
Silver & garnet ring, bought in India

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Most Expensive Jacket

As a companion to the Most Expensive Sweater, this jacket stands as the most I've spent on a jacket ever, at least one that isn't leather (& I don't count full coats; I mean jackets here). But isn't it gorgeous??? I couldn't help but pay full price for it in the store. And it fits beautifully, aside from the sleeves being a little long -- I should take it for alterations, but it's wearable right now, & I couldn't wait.

Like the sweater, this is also from White House Black Market. It's a stretch velveteen with princess seams, making the fit perfectly snug without being tight. It has beautiful details like a notched collar & tiny inset ruffles that add subtle texture (which were impossible to photograph). And I shockingly did not have a black velvet/een jacket in my closet anymore (after having gotten rid of ones that didn't fit or were an unappealing style). I foresee a low cost-per-wear for this beauty.

What I'm wearing:
Black velveteen jacket, White House Black Market
Black & blue print knit dress, Target
Black tights, Calvin Klein
Black ribbon-tie pumps, Clarks
Black & gold disk earrings, Forever 21

Sweater Season

Well now it's not just cold inside the office -- it's cold outside! This weekend, the temperatures started dropping noticeably. OK, cold for Silicon Valley, not like there's snow or even frost in the mornings. But we had to turn on the heater in the house at night, & I'm wearing a coat to work. Which is a good reminder that the next CorpGoth Mid-Month Status Report is about winter office wear, & reports are due later this week on Thursday & Friday!

What I'm wearing:
Black & grey stripe sweater, Target | Burgundy skirt, NY & Company | Black tights, unknown brand | Black lace-up, spool-heel boots, Target | Silver filigree earrings, Target | Silver & garnet ring, bought in India

How cold is autumn where you live? Have you been wearing sweaters & coats for weeks now?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Forgetful Pants

I seem to forget about wearing pants. I have two pairs of black trousers like this, plus several pairs of black jeans. They all fit well & are the correct length -- quite an achievement when you're a petite plus size gal. Yet I gravitate towards wearing skirts & dresses the vast majority of the time.

A lot of the reason is that I think skirts & dresses look more flattering to my figure. If you're a bit curvy, pants can emphasize your curves in unappealing ways (no matter how well they fit). Pants make my butt & gut look bigger, whereas skirts & dresses, especially A-lines & straight skirts, gracefully skim over those areas & draw attention to my small waist or shapely calves. Always play to your assets!

Still, pants can be comfortable & even warmer (see previous post). And they're not horribly unattractive on me, I think. Just have to remember to wear them.

What I'm wearing:
Purple & black striped cardigan, Old Navy
Black embellished T-shirt, Macy's
Black trousers, Target
Black trouser socks, Target
Purple pumps, Aldo
Gunmetal hoop earrings, random accessory store

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


I realized that the cubicle I sit in at my new job is directly underneath an air vent -- no wonder I've been so cold at work, despite the Bay Area experiencing an unseasonable heatwave! So today, I dressed for inside temps, not outside. And I felt much more comfortable.

What I'm wearing:
Black sweater with ruched sleeves, H&M | Grey sleeveless sheath dress, Target | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black kitten-heel pumps, Payless Shoe Source | Purple & grey floral scarf, Old Navy | Silver cameo earrings, vintage

It was amusing when a coworker said, upon noticing my pointy shoes in the elevator, "I wouldn't want to get kicked with those."  I laughed & replied, "Well let's make sure I don't have to!" Yeah, I think I'm going to get along with this team.

Does the temperature inside your office vary greatly from the temps outside? How do you cope?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Blue State

I live in California, one of the bluest of blue states when it comes to American presidential politics. I even live in that most liberal enclave of the San Francisco Bay Area (altho' Silicon Valley can be more conservative & libertarian than San Fran or my college alum Berkeley). So on this Election Day, I wore my blue dress. And of course, I voted right after work. Before that, I flashed a "V" for "victory" or at least a peace sign, because we can all use that.

What I'm wearing:
Blue knit dress, | Black camisole, Old Navy | Black & white floral sweater, White House Black Market | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black patent square-toed pumps, unknown brand
Silver filigree necklace, vintage | Gunmetal hoop earrings, random accessory store

Monday, November 5, 2012

New Job & Blogoversary in One

This week marks the second year anniversary of me starting This Is CorpGoth, & I also started a new job today. Quite a momentous occasion! My first outfit on the blog was November 3, 2010, & I celebrated my first blogoversary on November 7, 2011.

The past two years have seen the peak and fall of my satisfaction at my previous job, & sometimes it felt like this blog was the only thing that kept me getting up & going to the office in the mornings. When I was dragging & feeling totally uninspired by what my career offered, I knew I could at least put on a snazzy outfit, post it, & maybe someone would comment. *You* really helped me get through the tough times, all of you, each & every one of your comments. I may not always have the time to reply, & I wish I could go comment on all of your blogs (I do read them, oh yes, I do, religiously!). But knowing you're out there in BlogLand really means a lot to me.

I'd like to thank a couple people specifically:

Shelia of Ephemera -- Your blog is a delight to behold! Every outfit is something creative & unusual, even if it's not something I might wear. I admire your style so much. And I enjoy the appearances of your kitty & sidelines into the beautiful Canadian landscape. Thank you for your comments on my blog, & thank you for being such a great inspiration to keep it colorful & rockin'!

Franny of The Professor's Various Blogspots -- Hee, I can't help it, I make fun because I love! Your transformation over this past year has been awe-inspiring & lovely to behold. I adore your posts about gardening & cooking & camping, even tho' I only comment on fashion. I want to read your dissertation as soon as it's done! I wish we weren't on opposite sides of the country because I'd love to sit over coffee & talk literature & old-school goth music with you for hours.

And also my champion regular commenters, particularly from Lennea pa Landet & Cuz I Said Sew -- showing up with a kind word or clever insight, time & again! And with fantastic blogs of their own -- go read them :-)

Oh yeah, what did I wear for my first day at a new job, the first new job I've had in 11 years? Something gothy but with color so as not to freak the mundanes too much. Gotta ease my way in, y'know.

What I'm wearing:
Burgundy boyfriend cardigan, Chadwicks
Black knit top with floral ruching, NY & Company
Grey striped skirt, Nordstroms
Black tights, Calvin Klein
Black pointy kitten-heel pumps, Aldo
Silver filigree earrings, Target
Silver & garnet ring, bought in India
"Raisin Rage" lipstick by Revlon

Friday, November 2, 2012

November CorpGoth Mid-Month Status Report Subject

It's time for the next Status Report!

Subject: What do you wear to work in winter? Showcase a cold-weather office-worthy outfit, either for a chilly commute or to bundle up in a breezy workplace. Do you have a fabulous coat & scarf? Do you rock sweaters & boots? How do you fend off the rain or snow while still looking appropriate for work? Show & tell! (And if you're currently experiencing summer where you live, why not show your summer office style? Then next year, we can reverse it :)

Due Date: Thursday, November 14, through Friday, November 16.


How to File Your Report:

1. Post to your blog on the due date(s).

2. Include the following code in your post so the This Is CorpGoth Mid-Month Status Report graphic will display:

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

3. Comment on my Thursday post including your blog link.

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

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sophistique Noir November Theme: Hosiery

This month's theme is a great one: Hosiery! From fishnets to stripeys to spiderweb tights, every goth gal loves some legwear. I have one & a half drawers full of different kinds of stockings, & I couldn't pick just one to feature, so here's a rundown of my faves.

1. Black tights by Calvin Klein -- These are my absolute favorite everyday hose. I buy a dozen, & they last two or three years before any pairs get holes, stretch out, or anything. Nearly indestructible. Plus, they come in a slightly wider range of sizes than most brands, meaning they fit my petite-plus self quite well. Call me one satisfied customer!

2. Colored tights -- I really like soft colors for tights. The purple & grey get worn most often because I think they add a sophisticated touch to an otherwise dark outfit. These ones are also a great contrast to an occasional pop of color.

3. Fishnets, especially colorful ones -- Black fishnets are classic & are even acceptable in many not-super-conservative workplaces now. But color fishnets are even better for work, imo, because they read less "sexy" & more "fun" & "hip." They're a little unexpected, yet they can blend in at the same time, if you choose shoes & skirt carefully.

4. Stripes -- Of course, I have stripey tights, tho' I don't tend to wear them to the office that much. I mostly save them for weekends & party time. But if I can tone them down in an outfit, the stripeys come to the office. I like 'em in lots of colors (sensing a theme here?) & even vertical.

5. Spiderweb tights -- Oh yes, the spiderwebs can work at work! They're subtly spooky.

6. Lace stockings -- I love lacy tights! But these seem to be the most prone to snagging, tearing, & generally not lasting very long. So I never have more than one pair available at a time, foo. But I'm always on the lookout for more, & they can't be very expensive because I know they'll rip up (even the pricey brands). Ah well, they are so pretty.

What is your favorite kind of hosiery? Best brands? Where do you shop? Let me know in the comments!