Monday, April 30, 2012

Ruffles & Frou-Frou

This weekend, I got back a bunch of repaired shoes & boots from the cobbler, so I built an outfit around these lovely velvet boots, newly re-soled. Which inspired a romantic outfit, rather well suited to the warm, spring day (sweater only needed for a bit in the morning & a few air-conditioned conference rooms).

What I'm wearing:
Black wool ruffled bolero sweater, Kohl's | Dark floral short-sleeve knit top, H&M | Black crinkle cotton skirt, Rampage | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Burgundy crushed velvet boots, bought from a friend | Chunky gunmetal & rhinestone necklace, random accessory store | Black with pink gems Victorian-esque earrings, random accessory store | Black roses cocktail ring, Icing

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Summery Winter, Wintery Summer

This outfit is perfect for the wacky weather we've had lately. The jacket & boots are for the off & on days of pouring rain, & the sundress is for the intermittent days of blistering sun. Spring isn't usually this sproingy.

What I'm wearing:
Purple print sundress, Target | Black military-style jacket, H&M | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Tall black leather boots, Clarks | Purple flower pin on jacket, random accessory store | Dangly earrings painted with bats, local artist | Gunmetal & jet cocktail ring, random accessory store

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


A friend mentioned that he likes how my CorpGoth outfits often have little quirky, fun elements hidden in them. Things like bat jewelry, punky stripes, a skull scarf, buckled boots. The whole outfit may appear quite corporate-friendly, but he admired how these touches were like little secrets in the middle of the work world.

I thought of his comment when I assembled this outfit, where I tucked a corset-like belt in with an otherwise subdued plaid skirt & sweater.

What I'm wearing:
Burgundy boyfriend sweater, Chadwicks | Black T-shirt, NY & Company | Black & white plaid skirt, H&M | Black corset-style elastic belt, Torrid | Black tights, Calvin Klein
Black buckled boots, Aldo | Black, silver, & crystal necklace, random accessory store | Pewter key earrings, made by me

Monday, April 23, 2012

Life Is a Drag

Last week kinda sucked for me, but I know this week will be better. For one thing, tonight is the finale of "RuPaul's Drag Race"! And the first gothic-punk drag queen on the show, Sharon Needles, has made it to the top three! Huzzah! She has been so much fun to watch, not just for her spooky style but because she has a great sense of humor & greets every challenge with a wicked smile & creepy yet "can do" attitude. I hope she wins tonight, but even if not, her making it this far is a victory for queer weirdos everywhere.

Today, I'm trying to serve up a little Sharon realness in a corporate-friendly fashion, but not too fishy, I hope ;-)

What I'm wearing:
Black & white stripe silk blouse, made by Donna | Black gear-print tie, Cyberoptix on Etsy | Black velveteen skirt, J.Jill | Black tone-on-tone stripe tights, Calvin Klein | Black patent square-toe pumps, unknown brand, possibly thrifted | Silver medallion earrings, random accessory store | Gunmetal cocktail ring, gift from Kendra | Chanel "Vamp" lipstick

What's your favorite TV show this year? Are there any celebs you particularly follow or admire?

Friday, April 20, 2012

New Shoes Always Help

Had a crappy week for assorted reasons, including (but not the greatest of which was) receiving an online order where not one of the three items fit properly. I've never had that happen!

But the next day, three pairs of shoes arrived & the two wacky pairs of shoes in fun colors fit great & the one plain pair of black flats was a bad fit. So huzzah for wacky shoes & forget the sensible ones! Yesterday, I wore one of those fun pairs.

What I'm wearing:
Dark grey denim blazer with belled sleeves, Newport News | Black sheath dress, Target | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Burgundy cut-out pumps, Soffit (via | Black & silver chunky bead necklace, Target | Silver filigree earrings, Target | Silver & garnet poison ring, eBay

Do you shop online for clothes & shoes much? How successful are you -- do you have to send things back?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cool Links

A few things I've found in my online wanderings recently...

Subtle Goth TV launched recently & already has five episodes online. This video series is an offshoot of the home decor & fashion blog, The Morbid Fashion. I particularly love that both these projects are aimed at "grown-up goths," showing that you don't have to be into wacky club-kid fashion & loud music to still express your essential gothiness. I may have to add "SubtleGoth" to my moniker along with "CorpGoth" from now on ;-)

Edward Penfield cover for
Harper's Magazine, May 1887
Speaking of grown-up goths, Stripy Tights & Dark Delights has a fascinating post about a Grandma Goth in Denver, Colorado, U.S. This senior citizen has been goth all her life, long before Bauhaus and Siouxie Sioux were around, again, proving it's not just about the music, it's a whole outlook on life.

On another topic, Sal of Already Pretty has a very useful post about managing pets & their hair when you're a stylish woman. It's not just lint rollers, try a Filth Sheet! Seriously, we cover everything upholstered with similar throw blankets & remove them when guests arrive. Read the comments for more great tips (acting like Mr. Rodgers is another one I do).

The Dashing Eccentric has an excellent take on how comfort equals style. One of my pet peeves is when people think only baggy jeans & T-shirts are comfortable. Not so! Elegant, attractive clothes in beautiful fabrics can be perfectly comfortable too.

Wardrobe Oxygen has a thoughtful post on when it's not worth trying to make it work -- that is, when to admit that a piece of clothing just doesn't work on you & in your wardrobe. I'm sure we've all bought something that seemed great in the dressing room, but then was too fussy or weird in real life.

And here's a fun one: Lyndar the Merciless has a cool-looking idea for glitter-tipped nails in the style of a French manicure. Doesn't hurt that her example uses black nail polish with gold glitter (OK, we'd use silver glitter, but still).

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Nothing Special Tuesdays

Took the bus. Clocked in time at the office. Put in time on the treadmill at the gym. Went home. It's just another Tuesday at CorpGoth Central. Ho-hum.

What I'm wearing:
Black knit military-style jacket, Macy's | Black long-sleeve knit top, Old Navy | Grey corduroy skirt, Newport News | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Pink & black stripe flats, DSW | Pink & black stripe knit scarf, Express | Pink filigree medallion earrings, Etsy

Monday, April 16, 2012

Homework Assignment: Pre-Raphaelites as the Anti-Steampunk

"The Crystal Ball"
by John William Waterhouse
This month's homework from Le Professeur Gothique* was "create an outfit, meal, photo shoot, art work, etc. based on your most favorite piece of visual art or your favorite artist." Oft beloved among goths with a Victorian aesthetic are the Pre-Raphaelites, a group of 19th-century painters & poets founded by Dante Gabriel Rossetti & friends. They are a favorite artistic movement of mine too, particularly because of how they rebelled against the "modernity" of the Industrial Revolution.

In some ways, the Pre-Raphaelites are the anti-steampunks -- where the current steampunk trend celebrates the retro machinery, gears, goggles, & steam that powered Victorian concepts of progress, the Pre-Raphs despised all of that & harkened back to a supposedly simpler time, where individual artisans hand-crafted everything. While the 19th century was a time of railroads & factories, the Pre-Raphaelites longed for more pastoral scenes. In an era of rapid scientific advancement, these artists placed emotional response & expression of creative ideas foremost.  All of this is reflected in Pre-Raphaelite paintings with visions of King Arthur's court, the Lady of Shallot, Romeo & Juliet, nymphs & satyrs, Dante & Beatrice, & other scenes from a rose-colored past.
"I Am Half Sick of Shadows,
Said the Lady of Shalott"
by John William Waterhous

Even the clothing imagery of the movement rejects the dominant Victorian paradigm. Pre-Raphs depict people, especially women, in long, flowing gowns of a vaguely medieval style, which is in direct contrast to the highly structured corsets & hoops or bustles of the time or even men's stiff suits. The ideal Pre-Raphaelite women wore long, luxurious hair flowing in the wind instead of the tightly curled, padded, & restrained hairstyles of proper Victorian ladies. 

The official Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood only lasted from 1848 to about 1860, but the artistic influence lasted up until World War I in Britain. In fact, my favorite artist John William Waterhouse painted most of his major works in the early 20th century. I also love Edward Burne-Jones, who was a later Pre-Raph painter. The movement's connection to nature had a strong influence on the next great style Art Nouveau in the 1910s, which I'm quite fond of too.

Today's outfit is about as far as I could go with an office-friendly Pre-Raphaelite look -- conveniently, this dress just arrived in the mail! I bought it with a gift card I got for my birthday from my mother-in-law. Not sure if I'll wear it to work often, certainly not if I have meetings. This is a bit too casual, imo (yeah yeah, I work in a casual office, but this doesn't suit my work persona ;-). It'll be a fun dress for hanging out with friends & my hubbi.

And coincidentally, my nails almost match the dress. I'd painted them before attending a costume event this weekend without even looking at this dress.

What I'm wearing:
Red crushed velvet dress, Macy's | Black elastic belt, NY & Company | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black lace-up, spool-heel boots, Target | Black, pearl, & crystal necklace, random accessory store | Jet hoop earrings, random accessory store | Silver & garnet poison ring, eBay

 *Yes, I'm turning in my homework late. Again. Let's just all agree that I'm getting a "C" this semester! My post-post-graduate work is totally on the back-burner compared to office work & other hobbies, sorry ;-)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Bataan Death March to Mt. Lassen

Mt. Lassen by Smack / Wikimedia Commons
Alright, I know it's not that hard by any stretch, but "training" for a relatively mild hike when you're essentially sedentary kinda sucks. But I'm doing it, so I should get a little credit, right? Coincidentally, the most recent BatFit challenge from Le Professeur Gothique was to "get outside," & while I'm not outside right now (this is Northern California's rainy season), I'm planning to go outside, & again, I should get some points for trying.

See, my husband & I are planning to hike at Mt. Lassen as part of a little roadtrip in July. We're driving up the coast to Oregon, making stops at NorCal breweries, visiting friends, & going to one of California's biggest mountains in between. He hiked Lassen as a kid, but I've never been.

To get in shape, I figured I should increase how much I walk, & the easiest (if most tediously boring) way is the treadmill at the gym in my office complex. I can do it during lunch for 20 minutes, set a steep hill pattern on the machine, & just go.

I hate it, but I hate all forms of exercise, so that's not new. I used to run, for about 3 years, even did a few 10k races, but I got bored. I've tried various dance classes & yoga & weights & Wii Fit, but I got bored. I had a ton of exercise tapes/DVDs, but I got bored -- although back then, there weren't anything like these spooky workout DVDs recommended by Stripy Tights & Dark Delights -- I'm kind of tempted.

I haven't been able to stick with an exercise routine in ages. They either make me feel like a hamster in a wheel or simply frustrate me & they ultimately bore me to tears. Unlike my hubbi, who loves the hell out of inline hockey & plays as much as he can. He's ready to take on that mountain; I need to catch up to him by July!

Well, I managed to hit that treadmill hard twice this week, & I got in over a mile of serious walking around the neighborhood doing errands (with a little rain, even). Let's hope I can keep this up.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Stripes on the Porch

Raindrops kept me out of any good lighting opportunities this morning -- and, of course, the rain cleared up by the time I got to work. Foo. Had to tweak the pix in PhotoShop. My batcave of a house has insufficient lighting for full outfit photography.

What I'm wearing:
Black & white stripe knit jacket, Marshalls | Grey sheath dress, Target | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black & white ankle-strap pumps, Ross | Victorian-esque silhouette pendant on silk ribbon, gift from Kendra | Victorian-esque dangly jet earrings, random accessory store | Black & hematite cocktail ring, random accessory store | Urban Decay "Gash" lipstick

Monday, April 9, 2012

Clearing the Monday Cobwebs

Starting the week is always hard, & this Monday is a little harder because I had a good, slightly busy, but enjoyable weekend. There was an exciting SCA event on Saturday (sorry, no costume pix, I'm getting really slackery about taking them!), & family Easter meals on Sunday (even tho' none of us are particularly religious, we'll take an excuse for some ham & chocolate ;-).

What I'm wearing:
Burgundy corduroy jacket, Kohl's with vintage jet buttons added by me | Black knit top, NY & Company | Black & white spiderweb skirt, made by me from a Target tablecloth | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Burgundy faux-suede boots, DSW | Black beaded waterfall necklace, Torrid | Pewter square earrings, local artist

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Another Dash of Floral

I knew you gothy types would like the black & white floral best, but I can't help mixing it up with floral colors. I had one more in me to round out the week! Just a splash of floral, plus some stripes & lace & velvet. C'mon, that's pretty darn goth.

What I'm wearing:
Plum velvet jacket, gift from Lisa | Black T-shirt, NY & Company | Black skirt with stripe & lace embellishment, thrifted, trim added by me | Purple, white, & blue floral scarf, Old Navy | Plum tights, Calvin Klein | Black & grey pumps, Target | Purple dangly earrings painted with tiny bats, made by a local artist

Ok, having seen Monday's burgundy floral, Tuesday's black & white floral, & today's purple floral, does the b/w still win?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Black & White Floral

This is outfit has a floral edge, but it didn't feel strongly enough of flowers to fit Sophistique Noir's monthly theme for me to wear it Monday. But I liked it enough to wear Tuesday! This is my very favorite sweater in my vast collection, I had to buy it full-price bec. I was so in love with it. And I just went with simple black all around.

What I'm wearing:
Black & white floral cardigan, White House - Black Market | Black T-shirt with beaded accent, Calvin Klein | Black skirt with lace accents, NY & Company | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black patent pumps with square toes, unknown brand, prob. thrifted | Black beaded vintage lace choker, made by Kendra | Gunmetal hoop earrings, random accessory store | Black & white beaded cuff bracelet, bought in Kauai | Black & white flower hair pin, random accessory store | Chanel "Vamp" lipstick

So, if you have a preference, which floral outfit do you like better: Monday's burgundy floral or this black & white floral?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Corporate Floral

Sophistique Noir notes: "Spring is here! I thought this would be a good time to break out the floral theme." So here's my interpretation of April's "flower" theme...

I started with this dark floral top, which totally (like, omg, totally!) reminds me of the big, cabbage-rose, floral prints I wore in the 1980s. Loved those! I was an addict, so I was thrilled to find this retro shirt a few years ago. I'd wear more florals if I could find more of these prints (& don't say "go thrifting" bec. I have, but I never find ones like I used to wear, or if I do, it's only in some far *too* '80s style, like Hammer pants or a cropped jacket with huge shoulder pads. Once around that fashion merry-go-round is enough for me, thx ;-)

When looking for a skirt to pair the top with, I was surprised to notice that this burgundy skirt matches perfectly. And we all know how much I love matchy-matchy outfits. I nearly paired my burgundy knee-high boots with it too, but that felt a bit bottom-heavy on the burgundy color. Then I saw these heels -- one of my very favorite pairs, but I hardly ever wear them as I consider these "dressy" shoes, only suitable for weddings & fancy parties. Maybe due to the very high heel. However, with this corporate silhouette, I don't think they read as party shoes.

And then there's the jacket. This holds fond memories -- it's the jacket for the "interview suit" my mom bought for me right out of college. Yep, I'm wearing a jacket that's about 20 years old! Admittedly, it doesn't button up the front anymore, but it was impeccably made, I could never get rid of it. The jacket fits beautifully in the shoulders & back, & we had the arms tailored to a perfect length. So I still wear it open (which I do with a lot of jackets anyway), & I believe it looks fine.

Add a few more floral accessories to go with the theme, & here's a gothic floral ensemble suitable (pun not intended) for the workplace.

What I'm wearing:
Dark floral knit top, H&M
Burgundy skirt, NY & Company
Black suit jacket, Macy's
Black tights, Calvin Klein
Burgundy & black lace pumps, Rampage
Silver rose necklace, vintage
Silver sparkly dangle earrings, random accessory store
Black rose cocktail ring, random accessory store
Burgundy flower hair pin, random accessory store
Make Up For Ever burgundy lipstick #48