Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Ultimate Perky CorpGoth

Victorian-esque blouse? Check. Straight skirt? Check. Striped tie? Check? Killer heels? Check. Matching lipstick? Check.

This outfit has all the ingredients of a super, mega CorpGoth outfit on the PerkyGoth side. Black & pink all over. Sometimes I just can't help myself.

What I'm wearing:
Black Victorian-style blouse with lace collar & cuffs, made by Donna | Hot pink skirt, NY & Company | Black & pink striped men's tie, vintage | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black & pink pumps, Irregular Choice | Gunmetal hoop earrings, random accessory store | Black & gunmetal cocktail ring, Icing

Monday, January 30, 2012

Fuzzy & Frizzy

Being an old-school goth gal, sometimes I just like to let my hair go its own way. Big & frizzy a la Robert Smith in his glory days. I don't even need to backcomb (altho' I really want to get some of this Backcomb in a Bottle stuff I read about! too bad it's only available in the U.K.). Mostly, I can skip the leave-in conditioner & smoothing products, & *ta da* my hair gets big. It could go bigger, of course, but that wouldn't be work-appropriate. Not that this hair would pass muster in a more conservative office, but I work in high-tech, so nobody cares.

The frizzy hair is a good match for this fuzzy sweater & corduroy skirt. I'm all about the texture today.

What I'm wearing:
Plum wrap-front sweater, gift from Lisa
Black long-sleeve knit top, Old Navy
Black corduroy skirt, H&M
Black tights, Calvin Klein
Black ribbon-tie pumps, Clarks
Enameled bat pendant necklace, made by local artist
Black with pink crystals Victorian-esque earrings, random accessory store

Friday, January 27, 2012

Morning Maintenance

It was just one of those days ... I put on this dress & the jacket, then I looked in the mirror & realized that the dress was totally wrinkled. Omg, must iron! I couldn't go out the door (much the less take photos) with the dress all crinkled up. So I took off the jacket & dress & ironed the dress. Put it all back on & realized that the jacket was covered in cat hair. Ugh. Took off the jacket & used the lint roller on it. Put it back on. Finally done! Felt like I got undressed a million times just to get finished once.

What I'm wearing:
Purple print duro dress, April Cornell | Black piped jacket, Spiegel |  Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black lace-up, spool-heel boots, Target | Silver medallion necklace, vintage Avon | Silver hoop earrings, random accessory store | Silver & faux-ruby ring, gift from Sarah

How long does it take you to get out the door in the mornings?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sweater Girl

This outfit makes me feel a bit girlish, less grown up, certainly not about-to-be-*gulp*-43 (my birthday is in less than a month). The sweater paired with a full skirt, flat shoes, a headband in my straight hair, the flower pin -- I think I look more like a college coed or twenty-something admin, not a seasoned professional & expert in her field. What do you think?

See, this is why I tend to be pretty careful about what I wear to work, how appropriate I look, how traditionally goth I go, etc. It's easy for me to be judged as too young & inexperienced by virtue of my short height & round face (& some might add, the long hair). I strive to be taken seriously at first impression, because sometimes that's all you get. But there are days when I am sitting behind my computer for hours, nobody sees me, & I communicate entirely by email & instant messenger. So my looks don't matter as much.

What I'm wearing:
Black puff-shoulder sweater, H&M
Purple/burgundy velvet tiered skirt, NY & Company
Black tights, Calvin Klein
Black T-strap flats, Aldo
Burgundy flower pin, random accessory store
Black & pink crystal Victorian-ish earrings, random accessory store
Chanel "Vamp" lipstick

Do you care about looking too young? Too old? Professional enough?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cute or Crazy?

This is perhaps the most pattern-mixing I've tried. Does it work or is it too much? I rather like it but I understand that the idea isn't for everyone. I think this is an effective shot at giving pattern-mixing a gothic flair, what with the damask *and* pinstripes *and* polka-dots, all in black, white, and grey. I'm open to opinions!

What I'm wearing:
Black & white damask-print knit top, Spiegel | Grey pinstripe vest, Newport News | Black crochet trumpet skirt, Coldwater Creek | Black & white polka-dot scarf, Express | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black & grey pumps, Target | Black & white African bead earrings, made by me | Urban Decay "Gash" lipstick

Do you mix patterns in your outfits?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Bling From the Vaults

This was an outfit I wore between Xmas & New Year's Day, but didn't get a chance to post then. My husband & I went to an engagement party for one of his distant cousins who was in town from London (along with a lot of extended family). I like to dress up for these things, even when I know most people will be in jeans & tees. This is *my* dressy casual.

What I wore:
Black T-shirt with corsage detail, NY & Company | Black & white striped cardigan, Chadwicks | Hot pink skirt, NY & Company | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black T-strap pumps, Aldo | Pink dangly earrings, gift from Sarah | Black cocktail ring, random accessory store

These earrings are super-cool but freakishly heavy. I can't wear them for a full day or they'd stretch out my ears!

Friday, January 20, 2012

I Fell Off the Clothing Diet

But I feel fine. Yeah, between Xmas & New Year's, I bought some clothes, thus breaking a challenge to myself I'd made since August to not buy any new clothes.

On 12/27, I went to Target with my husband to replace some household items & ended up getting myself three dresses -- a classic sleeveless sheath, one in black, in red, & in a grey herringbone. The fit was amazingly perfect, & the style is so simple & elegant, I can easily use these dresses as CorpGoth wardrobe staples (I wore the black one on the first week of January and the red one this week).

Later the same day, I headed to the mall to get my brows done. And, of course, I poked around to see if there were any tempting post-holiday sales. That's when I discovered that the local NY & Company store was closing (just that one, not the chain), & everything was 70% off. *Dun dun dun!* I tried on a bunch of things & found three lovely work-appropriate skirts that fit. The bunch of them cost less than one of them would have cost at full price. And, like the Target purchases, these are all staple items, nothing crazy, just good, practical CorpGoth pieces (I wore a black lace-trimmed one when I gave a presentation recently).

I had been contemplating buying new boots & other such fripperies. But I don't really need those things. I can simply take my pile of shoes-to-be-repaired to the cobbler & that will feel like I've gotten new boots. But you can never go wrong with clothing basics.

As I noted in my initial BatFit post, I want to be more mindful this year of how I spend money, especially on fashion items. Less "oooh, shiny! buy this now!" and more thoughtful & careful. Spending on pieces I'll get a lot of use out of is a good idea, but spending on silly things that just satisfy a current fascination that may pass isn't so smart.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lots of Walking

Time for the Clarks boots! I took the bus to work today, so that meant walking a few blocks from the house to the bus stop. Plus, my new cubicle is in a building at the very far end of the company's campus, so that adds a few more blocks to the walk at the other end of the bus trek. And then I hiked up four flights of stairs. Gawd, I love these boots.

What I'm wearing:
Black & grey print dress, made by Donna | Black long-sleeve top, Old Navy | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Tall black boots, Clarks | Locket necklace, vintage | Silver medallion earrings, random accessory store

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Red Army With Bonus Copyright Ramble

This outfit makes me feel like I should be in some kind of gothic Communist military wing. Or maybe a flight attendant on a dark, brooding Socialist airline. Either way makes me happy.

What I'm wearing:
Red sheath dress, Target (same style as this black one) | Black military-style jacket, H&M | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Red ankle boots, Aerosoles | Pewter square earrings, local artist

In ever-so-slightly-related news today, various U.S. websites like Wikipedia & Craigslist went dark today to protest the proposed SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act) legislation in the American Congress. As someone who's worked in the Internet industry for over 15 years (almost since it became a going business concern!), I find these bills draconian and unnecessary as ways to "protect" copyright and stop illegal online activity. The legislation could force online businesses into untenable situations, restricting free speech and spending far too much time and money tracking down possible abuse instead of actually producing useful or interesting tools and content. SOPA and PIPA are not scalable or technically practical, much the less reasonable in a free society.

This does not mean, however, that copyright protection is a bad idea. As a writer, I'm a big fan of having my work being respected and not ripped off. But a little education goes a long way and is generally a better idea than cracking down from above.

Which is why I finally posted an article I've been working on -- An Introduction to Copyright for Bloggers, Especially Costume Bloggers -- over at my costume website. While geared towards those who write about costumes, it should be pretty useful for those who write about fashion or goth topics as well. I've included lots of reference links so you can get more info, as needed. Please leave comments over there if you have questions!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Another Short Week

January is weird. It usually starts out with a short week, due to a New Year's Day holiday, not to mention a 12th Night celebration that makes me all distracted from work. Then, nary two weeks later, we have a holiday for Martin Luther King Jr. I'm not complaining, just pointing out how odd it is & how the confluence of holidays makes for a difficult readjustment after all the "big" holidays of December.

Add to that my continued head cold *and* the fact that my department moved to a different building today, & I'm all sorts of discombobulated. So the rather blah outfits continue. Sorry...

What I'm wearing:
Purple ribbed turtleneck top, unknown brand
Black jeans, Levi's
Black crochet duster, Coldwater Creek
Purple & gunmetal tiered necklace, NY & Company
Gunmetal hoop earrings, random accessory store
Black buckle ankle boots, Aldo

Also, I'm taking on LPG's latest BatFit challenge: Give up one bad habit & replace it with one good habit. This is specifically inspired by my office move, because the new cubicle is on the fourth floor of the building, whereas the last few cubes have been on the second floors.

My bad habit is that I'm extremely sedentary. I despise exercise! I'm a supreme couch potato, & I pretty much hate all forms of movement other than walking to actually go somewhere (aimless "walking around the block" bores me silly).

Some years ago, I did Weight Watchers & forced myself to take up running. I did stuck with it for a while, even ran a local 10k race a few times in a row. But I never enjoyed it & always resented the time it took away from things I'd prefer to be doing, which is, oh, anything else. I've tried dance-as-exercise classes of various types, I've tried yoga & tai chi, I've tried Wii Fit, & I cannot stick with any of them.

However, I can walk up the stairs. Not all the time. But at least once a day. Four flights of stairs. Just once a day means I don't have to force myself to do it when I'm carrying my coffee (the espresso bar is on the first floor), & it won't be a huge travail on days when I wear high heels (because I love my fancy shoes & I'm not going to switch shoes just for this). I already walked up the stairs once today!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Still Not 100%, But Trying

A tiny step up from yesterday. Comfy clothes, but better than jeans, I guess. This head cold is annoying.

What I'm wearing:
Purple peplum sweater, Chadwicks | Black long-sleeve knit top, Old Navy | Black knit skirt, Target | Black & white stripe leggings, American Apparel | Tall black boots, Clarks | Black & white stripe scarf, Express | Purple heart earrings painted with bats, local artist

Hope all of you are avoiding any winter colds!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I've got a bad, post-event cold. Or maybe it's just a winter cold that finally caught up with me. Dunno which, but it's kicking my butt. I was out of the office for two days & barely felt better enough to go in today (at least I kept to myself in my cubicle so my coughing & sniffling didn't spread to anyone else). Thus, not much of an outfit today.

What I'm wearing:
Burgundy peplum sweater, Anthropologie, gift from Sarah | Black ruffle-front sleeveless knit top, Macy's | Dark grey jeans, Calvin Klein | Black wedges, Dockers | Black socks, unknown brand | Silver filigree earrings, Target

Monday, January 9, 2012

CorpGoth at 12th Night

Trystan by TrystBat

Lady Violet Ruthvene, a photo by TrystBat on Flickr.
For those curious about my latest costume creation, it's finally done & I have pictures!

Last weekend was the Society for Creative Anachronism West Kingdom 12th Night, where I wore this gown. I'm rather pleased as it both looked good & felt good. Nothing I'd really change except for one accessory that didn't work out. More details & photos here.

Back to normal workaday outfits tomorrow.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Long Day

Yesterday, I gave a presentation to an industry meetup after work today, hence the delayed blog post. Also, this made me choose my outfit carefully. It had to be comfortable, yet professional, & something I wouldn't mind wearing from about 7:30am to 10pm, including a few hours on my feet. I even chose a reliably long-wearing lipstick.

What I'm wearing:
Black & grey striped sweater, Target | Black skirt with lace applique, NY & Company | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Tall black boots, Clarks | Sliver bead choker, Target | Gunmetal hoop earrings, random accessory store | Revlon "Raisin Rage" lipstick

What do you wear for really long days at work, especially if you'll be standing a lot? Do you have a go-to outfit or pair of shoes? These Clarks boots are definitely my most comfortable fall/winter shoes -- I can walk for miles or stand forever in them.

I like this subtle lace touch!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

BatFit 2021 - Joining the Bandwagon

I'm not, historically, a joiner (I'm a splitter), but Le Professeur Gothique had a good idea with this one. BatFit is a goth healthy living challenge for the new year, & how can I resist such a cute name?

First off, no, it's not a diet, & second off, no, it's not a New Year's resolution. Both are doomed to failure. But how about a restarting of some wise movements towards health that I know I should be doing anyway, with prodding from a like-minded group? Nothing wrong with that.

I'm not going to obsess about it, & most of my posting will probably be on the BatFit Facebook group. But some may sneak into this blog, thus, an introductory post now.
LPG has a weekly challenge for BatFit, & I may or may not post about that. For example, the first one was to create & write in a paper journal, & while part of me finds that idea charming, realistically, I know I won't keep it up. So I'm skipping that (see? splitter!).

However, I figured I'd share some of my personal goals for the project...

More Mindfulness -- In the yogic traditions, mindfulness is key to living a centered, less stressful, & more aware life. Being mindful & in the moment helps you enjoy what you have & who you are. There are three categories I specifically plan to be more mindful of this year: money, eating, & time.

Mindful money: Think twice before spending money & spend only on what matters. My husband & I have a lot of house repairs & maintenance to do this year, so our money must be spent more carefully & everything that we pay for should be in mind of these long-term goals.

Mindful eating: Eat with care, eat things that nourish & that feel good without overloading. Drink consciously & thoughtfully, sip slowly. Sensually savor each taste. Be mindful of quantity & quality.

Mindful time: Plan ahead & follow thru. Get things done that are important to me. Spend time with those I love, not those I merely tolerate. Schedule so I don't feel rushed.

Two To-Dos -- I have a couple specific things I want to get done this year which don't fall into any particular category, but they feel like cleansing, clarifying tasks & kind of fit into this post...

Reorganize my sewing room: First, get Kendra's old cutting table, & give my old cutting table to Sarah. Then go thru every box, bin, & shelf to sort out stuff & re-sort. Throw out things I don't use & won't ever use (ehem, patterns, fabric scraps!). Relabel all the boxes & bins, plus reorganize my fabric stash iPhone app to coordinate. Only then will I be set for a year of creative pursuits!

Upgrade my work-from-home wardrobe: Stop wearing PJs & at least switch to yoga pants or leggings & nice tunics. Yes, this will require some shopping (start by thrifting for tops at least). Get dressed to work at the home office, not a full outfit with tights & lipstick, but just something less slovenly than a freebie tech T-shirt. An outfit worth blogging about once in a while.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Back in Black at Work

Welcome to 2012. I really enjoyed my week or so out of the office, but at least I'm returning with some spiffy new outfits (more about the derailing of the clothing diet later, promise). Here, I'm showing off the skully scarf my husband gave me for Xmas. It's not quite an Alexander McQueen knock-off, just McQueen inspired (and a hell of a lot less expensive, whew!). I love it!

What I'm wearing:
Black sheath dress, Target | Black cardigan, Chadwicks | Black tights, unknown brand | Black & white ankle-strap pumps, American Eagle | White & black chiffon skull-print scarf, gift from my husband | Silver medallion earrings, random accessory store | Computer bag, Calvin Klein freebie my husband got as a gift-with-purchase from one of his colognes  (I had to run out to the studio, which is behind me in these photos, to get my laptop for work this morning)

I was offline a lot during my holiday break. Well, not totally offline -- I checked email & Facebook regularly & read blogs in the morning & before bed. Spent probably 2 hours online per day. I guess that's what normal people spend online, which feels like being offline to me! During a normal workweek, I'm pretty much online as long as I'm awake. The only weekends I'm offline is at an SCA camping event.

Anyway, because I was "offline," I apologize for not replying to comments or commenting on anyone else's blogs. I'll be back to normal from now on :-)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Xmas That Was

My family spends Christmas pretty much the same way most every year. On Christmas Eve, we gather at my husband's grandparent's house (about an hour's drive from our house). We have an early dinner with his family & my parents. Then on Christmas morning, my parents & his two sets of parents, plus his sister if she's in town (she lives in Italy), all come over to our house where we host brunch & open gifts. We give each other just a few homemade, locally produced, &/or charity gifts. By 2pm, everyone has left, & my husband & I have the house to ourselves with the cats to relax & enjoy some peace & quiet & eat some of the vast amount of goodies that have accumulated.

This year was no different, & I'm just fine with that! One little tweak was that I made brunch mostly gluten-free & dairy-free for my sister-in-law's new diet. And that worked out great, just made a few substitutions in recipes.

The gift I made for people was a hot pack covered in faux fur. It's filled with flax seeds & rice, you heat it in the microwave for a few minutes. The fur made it a touch luxurious. But my mom outdid us all (as usual! she's super-crafty) by crocheting gorgeous afghan blankets for each couple. We got a beautiful deep burgundy one that is sooooo soft.

On Xmas eve, I wore a black & grey dress (Macy's) with a black & white cardigan (White House, Black Market), burgundy boots (DSW), black tights (Calvin Klein), black/silver/crystal necklace, & a burgundy flower in my hair. My earrings were a burgundy pearl drop from Designs by Victoria with a real pearl stud & real diamond stud, the later two are gifts from my stepfather.

I also took a few minutes before Xmas eve to do my nails -- I used Sally Hansen nail decals in a red with black lace pattern. I've used these before & they're so fun! Faster than painting my nails since there's no drying time. Not much tidier than painting, but that's just user-error. Still, pretty cool.

On Xmas day, I wanted to be comfy while still looking good. This outfit was perfect.  Red & black striped maxi dress (Target), layered over a black long-sleeved shirt (Old Navy), black tights (Calvin Klein), black crochet long cardigan (Coldwater Creek), & black flats.