Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pink With Ruffles & Stripes

Because that's how I roll. This is Springtime With CorpGoth (which somehow makes me think of a highly inappropriate, yet, funny song). I like a pop of color mixed with classic goth elements like stripes & black ruffles.

What I'm wearing:
Grey & white striped hoodie sweater, Forever 21 | Black ruffled tank top, Newport News | Dark pink skirt, NY & Company | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black patent square-toe pumps, unknown brand, thrifted or swapped | Black & pink thrift-store necklace with black rose added by me | Black & pink crystal Victorian-esque earrings, random accessory store

Do you seasons inspire you to wear colors? Are there any inappropriate songs you can't help but love?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Back at It

Trying to get back to the swing of blogging, after a week's absence plus a holiday weekend (which I spent sewing, sewing, sewing like a madwoman to get ready for the first renaissance faire of the season this coming weekend!).

Summer is somewhat here, & I did the ritual change from the black velvet down comforter on our bed to the lighter-weight purple matelasse bedspread. But I'm still wearing cardigans & light jackets to the office, just taking them off around lunchtime.

What I'm wearing:
Black knit military-style jacket, Macy's | Black three-quarter sleeve knit top, NY & Company | Black & white stripe skirt, White House Black Market | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black wedge mary janes, Kenneth Cole Reaction (thrifted) | Black & white skull-print scarf, gift from my husband | Black & white stripe dangly earrings, Kohl's | Black & gunmetal cocktail ring, Icing | Black & white flower hair pin, random accessory store

Do you make any changes around the house for summer?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Repeat Policy

Worn Monday, without shirt
underneath or boots
I haven't blogged my outfits this week for a couple reasons, mostly boiling down to lack of time. In the morning, I've been waking up late due to health reasons, so I've hastily thrown on simple dresses. In the evenings, when I usually assemble blog posts, I've had a bunch of tasks to work on for upcoming costume events. So fashion blogging has been squeezed to lowest priority this week, sadly.

And when I wear repeat outfits, I just don't feel like blogging them. It's boring for me & probably for you! Sure, I repeat items & parts of combinations here, but I try not to blog the exact same outfit (& if I've done it, that's accidental). But I certainly do wear the same stuff over & over again. I'm not that sartorially creative on a daily basis, & I just don't have that much time to put into it.

Worn Thursday without belt,
with a cropped jacket & different
pumps & jewelry (but same hair)
My favorite repeats are to wear a comfy dress & cardigan, then add some favorite accessories. That's mostly what I've done this week. I have a bunch of empire-waist dresses that are easy to throw on & spiff up in a hurry. Just dresses 'n stuff.

Coming up is a three-day holiday weekend here in the states, which I'll be using to sew, sew, sew on my costumes. While the following work week will be short, I'll try to blog those couple of work outfits.

After that is Sophistique Noir's second-annual Red & Black Week, which I'm really looking forward to! Right before she announced it, I'd bought a couple new red items & was about to wear them. But I've carefully saved them to premiere during the first week in June. Hope some of you will join me in the theme!

Friday, May 18, 2012

CorpGoth's Care & Feeding of Velvet

Image: Pyramid Collection
As the weather warms up here in the Northern hemisphere, it's time to put away the velvets for the season. As we move these lovelies toward the back of the closet or into a storage space, it's a good idea to clean them carefully so the garments are fresh & in good condition when the temperature drops & we're ready to wear them again.

So I've resurrected & updated some advice I wrote eons ago for the original, which I was the original mistress of, back when the Internet was shiny & new & the most social we got was on Usenet.

Care and Feeding of Velvet
Velvet can be a very delicate fabric that requires special care. It is more difficult to care for than an old T-shirt, but it looks so pretty that it's worth it.

Types of velvet: 
Velvet, crushed velvet, burnout velvet, devoré velvet, velveteen, stretch velvet, panné velvet, and velour are all types of velvets used in clothing. "Velvet" typically refers to cut velvet, that is, a fabric with a thick pile (that's the little 'hairs' that stick up, perpendicular from the fabric), which faintly resembles fur.

The highest quality of cut velvet is made of silk -- this can be somewhat hard to find and is always  expensive. Most velvets used in ready-to-wear clothing and found in fabric stores are made of rayon or another synthetic blend. Velvet is also made of cotton, which has a more matte look, and that is often heavier and stiffer than rayon or silk velvets.

Velvet should be dry cleaned to preserve the lush, thick feel of the pile. Some cotton velvet can be machine washed, but check the label first and beware of shrinkage.

Crushed velvet is regular velvet that has been embossed with an irregular, crumpled texture. Crushed velvet should also be dry-cleaned.

Burnout or devoré velvet is regular velvet that has patterns etched into the fabric, which dissolves and removes part of the velvet's pile. This velvet should be dry-cleaned.

Velveteen has a much shorter pile, which gives it a dull, soft look, and it is often made of cotton, which can make it heavier and less drapey. Velveteen can sometimes be machine-washed (as long as the fabric has been pre-shrunk -- remember, cottons are prone to shrinkage). Dry cleaning is always a safe bet for velveteen.

Stretch velvet has an extremely short pile and a matte appearance. It's made of synthetic fibers, which gives it stretch, and can usually be machine-washed.

Panné velvet is stretch velvet with a shiny, slightly crushed appearance. Panné velvet is sometimes also called "crushed velvet," so when shopping online, be careful to look for "stretch" in descriptions and "lycra" or "spandex" in fiber content. Panné velvet is made of synthetic fibers and can usually be machine-washed.

Velour is a stretchy, velvet-like fabric with a very short pile and a dull, soft look. Velour is made of synthetic fibers and can be machine-washed.

Image: eBay (sold!)
How to treat velvet: 
Because most velvet must be dry cleaned, you want to do as much as you can to keep those velvet items looking and smelling fresh as long as possible.

Air it out -- When you remove a velvet garment, air it out for at least 24 hours. Do not immediately stuff it back into the closet or drawer. Put it on a hanger and hook that on the back of a door or chair, somewhere the garment will not drag but will get a bit of air circulation.

Use a spray -- If the garment is sweaty or smoky, turn it inside out. Spray all the smelly areas (armpits, neck, crotch, wrists, feet, etc.) with Febreeze, BioKleen Bac Out (or similar enzyme-based odor eliminator), or a three-to-one mixture of vodka and water (this is an old theater technician trick). Lightly mist the garment with one of these cleaners, don't soak it. Let the cleaner dry and air out for at least 24 hours, and then store the garment as usual.

Spot clean -- Carefully inspect velvet garment for spots and stains. Remove by patting (not rubbing) with a clean, damp cloth and a gentle soap. Once the spot is dry, you'll have to revive the velvet pile with steam and a stiff brush (see next section).

Never iron -- Don't press velvet with an iron at all -- you'll crush the nap. If your velvet garment gets wrinkly, you can steam it with a travel steamer or a steam iron held near the item (see next section). While you shouldn't need to, definitely don't iron stretch or panné velvets, primarily because the synthetic fibers may be prone to melting under the heat.

Wash carefully -- If a velvet garment has a "dry clean only" label, your best bet is to have the garment dry cleaned. If you must wash a velvet garment at home, do so in cool water with gentle detergent and lay the garment flat to dry (the big exception is stretch velvet, which can be treated like any delicate washable item). After washing, you'll need to revive the velvet's pile (see next section).

What to do about unintentionally crushed velvet: 
If the velvet's pile is crushed down from wear or washing, you can revive it. You will need a steam source and a small brush.

Get a steamer -- The most affordable and portable steam source I've found is a travel steamer. You fill this small appliance with water, then turn it on, and once the steam starts, you can point it directly at the fabric. A steam iron will also work, but you must be careful not to let the iron touch the fabric at all. In a pinch, you can hang a velvet garment in the bathroom and take a really hot shower to steam the velvet.

Brush out the velvet -- Once the garment is soft and steamy (but not damp), use a small brush (like a nail brush or a clean toothbrush) to gently lift the pile up. Do this very softly and always in brush in the same direction. The whole process should restore the look of the velvet.

Use velvet-on-velvet or a towel -- Another way to revive velvet is to use a scrap of velvet or even a very thick terry towel on your garment. Steam the creased section of the garment, as above. Then lay the scrap of velvet or towel down on an ironing board or other padded surface. Next, put your steamed velvet with the creased portion, pile side down, onto the velvet/towel. Hold a hot steam iron over this velvet "sandwich" (without touching the fabric) for 30 seconds or until the steam penetrates both pieces of fabric. Check the creases, and repeat the process until the creases are eased out.

If you find your velvet garments are often getting crushed, or perhaps you love rescuing damaged vintage items, you can invest in a needle board, Velva-pad, or velvet ironing mat, available at specialty fabric stores. This expensive tool will allow you to perfectly iron velvet while also preserving the nap. (Note: I don't have one, I just use a brush or a scrap of velvet; but I'm adding this to be thorough ;-).

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Last Velvet?

This may well be the last time I'll wear velvet to work until fall. The weather has changed a lot in the past few weeks, with very hot weekends & weeks that range from warm to sunny but breezy. Spring is rapidly changing to summer in Northern California, & velvet isn't appropriate day-wear for me. I may bring out a dress or skirt for an evening ensemble (& costumes are an entirely different story!), but no more velvet to work except in accessories. I still have velvet shoes & suchlike that could add a nice gothic flair to an office outfit.

In fact, at lunchtime, I switched this up because I got a bit warm. I took off the belt & jacket, hung up the jacket, & put the belt on over the dress. I figured if I got chilly, I could wear the jacket open over the belted dress.

What I'm wearing:
Black cotton full-skirted dress, ModCloth | Plum velvet jacket, from Lisa | Black studded belt, Macy's | Black fishnets, unknown brand | Black slingback pumps, Payless Shoe Source | Silver filigree earrings, Target

Do you dress for the seasons? Or do you dress the same all year-round?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Kitties (also Shoes)

Who doesn't like cats? Don't answer that, because I don't want to know you if you don't like cats! Sure, I can be friends with dog people, & I have even loved a dog or two in my lifetime. But really, cats are where it's at. I've almost always had a cat in the house, wherever I've lived, most of my life. It's just better that way. I claim that I was raised by hippies & cats in a silicon wilderness.

So of course I had to get this cat-print skirt. Also, it's edged with perhaps my favorite color: pink! Can't get much better. Well, you could go check out the new Pompadour 18th-century style shoes, available for pre-order from American Duchess. They come in black or ivory silk & have a gorgeous Louie heel & pretty pointy toe. While the black ones would be a perfect compliment to any goth outfit, I'd like to get some in ivory & dye them purple. Or hot pink!

What I'm wearing:
Black knit top with bow at neck, Target
Black, white, & pink cat-print skirt, Flirt on Etsy
Dark grey denim blazer with belled sleeves, Newport News
Black tights, Calvin Klein
Black round-toe pumps, Target
Pink filigree earrings, Etsy
Pink & black flower in hair, random accessory store
Black rose cocktail ring, random accessory store

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

DIY Jewelry Repair

Today I'm wearing a couple pieces of jewelry that I made myself, & this reminded me that jewelry making is just a few steps advanced from repairing jewelry. And learning to repair your jewelry is a handy skill to have, so I thought I'd share a few tips...

The most common jewelry break that I've found is a pendant falling off a chain or an earring piece coming off the ear wire. What happens is that a jump ring (a small metal ring that has a break in it) that connects the pendant or earring to the chain or wire comes apart. The ring usually falls away & gets lost.

To make this repair, you'll need a tool called needle-nose pliers. These are not very expensive (under $10) & can be found at hardware stores & craft stores. You'll also need a new jump ring, which is not expensive either. Jump rings are sold in bags of 10 or more at craft stores & online at places like Fire Mountain Gems. They come in different metals & all kinds of sizes -- pick whatever matches the jewelry you're repairing. I find it's handy to have a bag of 7.5mm silver jump rings around for future repairs.

Take a jump ring & hold it between your forefinger & thumb of one hand. Hold the pliers in your other hand, & use the pliers to gently pry open the jump ring at its break. You don't need to open it too much.

Pro tip: You can get two needle-nose pliers, & hold the jump ring in the tip of one pliers & then open the ring with the other. If you plan to make your own jewelry, you'll want to master this technique, but it's not necessary for occasional repairs.

While you have the jump ring open, hook your pendant or earring onto the ring. Then hook the jump ring onto the chain or ear wire. Now, use the pliers to carefully close the jump ring back into a complete circle by pressing on the sides of the ring. You may need to press around the different sides of the ring to keep the circle nice & round while also getting that break in the ring completely closed & flat.

That's essentially it. You can start making jewelry by doing this same thing & add different pendants to chains or velvet ribbons or put charms on ear wires to make new earrings. That's the simplest form of jewelry making, but it yields tons of possibilities. You can scavenge through old, broken jewelry, or buy new charms & pendants to assemble into different combinations. Go wild!

What I'm wearing today:
Black knit dress, Target | Burgundy peplum sweater, Anthropologie, gift from Sarah | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black buckle boots, Aldo | Burgundy & silver charm necklace, made by me | Pewter key earrings, made by me | Silver & garnet ring, bought in Jaipur, India | Black knit headband, random accessory store

Do you repair or make your own jewelry? Are you interested in trying?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Homework Assignment: Prized Possessions

This month's homework from Le Professeur Gothique is: "Feature whatever you consider your most prized possession, which can be anything and everything from articles of clothing and jewelry, to books and dolls.

I had a hard time thinking of what my most prized possessions might be. Traditionally, you ask yourself "what would I grab if the house was on fire?" But there isn't much other than my husband & the cats. People often say they'd take their photos, but SO many of my photos are digital these days, & if they're any good, I upload them to one of my websites or at least Flickr, so in case of a fire, I'm covered. Even our wedding photos, well, we put the negatives in a safe-deposit box at the bank (tho' I think we lost the key, oops).

The other thing I value most is my costumes. But I'm at the point in my art that I feel like I could recreate any of those things, if necessary. Heck, I could probably make most of my costumes better the second time around (tho' some of the fabrics are awfully nice, & I'd be sad if they went up in smoke).

I love all the beautiful & sentimental things in my house, but frankly, every one of them could be replaced. And if that exact item couldn't be replaced, I still have the memory of it or what it meant to me -- such as souvenirs from our many wonderful travels, which really just served to remind me of the trip itself. The few family heirlooms we have, those are mementos of family, & we both try to remember our family all the time. If the item goes, the memory does not. The things surround me mostly for their beauty & the sentiment.

Finally, I reframed the topic as "what items do I prize most for their uniqueness & personal meaning." That lead me to these two, which may or may not be the tops of even that category, but they're what came to mind, so I'm going with it.

1. Paperback copy of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" signed by the author, Douglas Adams (now deceased). This is the beat-up old book I read religiously as a 12-year-old & was beyond thrilled to have Adams sign around that time. I also had him sign a towel (because I'm a hoopy frood who knows where her towel is). However, that towel remains in a sealed bag in my mom's garage.

I don't know what I can say about this book. You either know it & love it, or you're not one of us. It's hilarious, sublime, & just freakin' brilliant. Perhaps the best description might be Monty Python in Space, but even that falls short. It has been supremely influential upon me.

2. The award ribbon & certificate for Best in Show at the historical masquerade of Costume-Con 26 in 2008. Eight friends, plus me & my husband, created costumes & performed as the Empress Eugenie & her maids of honor being painted by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, based on the painting of the same name. The project was several years in the making & culminated in a mere 30 seconds of stage time. But we won the biggest award of the night!

Creating the costume for that project pushed me waaaaay out of my comfort zone & really challenged me as a costumer. I grew as an artist & technician. Wrangling nine women who lived all over California & Nevada for several years was a huge challenge too, & the project strained friendships, but we all survived. We brought a vision to life in front of the audience, & they loved it. That was pure magic.

If we had not have won, I guess it would have still been OK. The stage show was pretty amazing. We slayed 'em! But receiving the award was perfect proof that we really did it right, we weren't fooling ourselves, other people saw what we'd achieved. So I'm very proud of this award. The certificate is framed with a photo of our group, alongside a picture of the inspiration painting, with the award ribbon hanging below. This is mounted above my sewing machine, so I will always remember how I stepped up to that challenge.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Almost a Repeat

This outfit is a twist on this outfit from earlier in the year. Similar striped top, but instead of a sweater, I'm wearing a light knit that's more suitable for the warmer weather. Same skirt with lace details. Boots but not tall boots, again, due to the weather. Plus different accessories, & I wore my hair down for a change. What can I say, I love black & grey & stripes, I have a lot of these in my wardrobe.

What I'm wearing:
Black & grey striped knit top, Macy's | Black skirt with lace at the sides, NY & Company | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black lace-up, spool-heel boots, Target | Black & silver chunky bead necklace, Target | Gunmetal hoop earrings, random accessory store | Silver Celtic ring, gift from Lisa

Btw, I want to give a shout-out to Sal of Already Pretty for graciously featuring me, along with two other fashion bloggers, in a post about dressing within a defined aesthetic. Not only was it a lovely treatment of my blog, I found two new blogs to read! Plus, the comments are wonderful, including one person who said that my interview "erased [her] viewpoint of goth as weird. I have appreciation for this style now." Awwwwww :-)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Casual Silicon Valley & the Hoodie

The public radio show Marketplace had a piece on the buzz surrounding Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wearing a hoodie during his company's pre-IPO roadshow this week (for non-finance-watchers, the "roadshow" is a series of presentations to important people on Wall Street in advance of a company's initial public offering).

Mark Zuckerberg
Zuckerberg is 28 years old. Facebook is based in Silicon Valley, California. As I've mentioned frequently, we are very casual here, especially at technology companies. Hardly anyone wears suits. It's not an exaggeration to say nobody under 30 wears suits. Even chief executive officers of companies valued over $40 billion.

Still, the guy was meeting with potential investors & big-wigs, shouldn't he show some respect? Marketplace pointed out that, just a few months ago, the hoodie was held up in America as a symbol of outsiders, marked by violence, & a TV host even victim-blamed a hoodie for the death of Treyvon Martin. Certainly a hoodie isn't appropriate clothing in the corporate world then?

Maybe it is. At least when you're being authentic to your own self by wearing it. The Atlantic Wire points out that Zuckerberg has worn hoodies & other casual clothes at various conferences & interviews, as well as in non-business settings. This article concludes: "the hoodie shows the real Zuck and therefore the real Facebook -- isn't that what investors want before buying in?"

CNBC actually went as far to say a suit would make Zuckerberg look younger, "like a teenager nervous about the prom" (which is kind of true; take a look at the photos the Wall Street Journal assembled showing that Zuckerberg does indeed wear a suit & tie sometimes).

Steve Jobs
Both the Atlantic Wire & CNBC compared the hoodie to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' typically casual wardrobe -- jeans & black turtleneck, only a few suits when he started out (& those were non-traditional with vests, bow ties, & long hair). In Silicon Valley tech culture, casual clothes can mean authenticity & credibility. You're someone who does the work, not someone who just runs the business.

Of course, I prefer a somewhat dressier style for myself at the office, even tho' I could wear jeanss, T-shirts, & hoodies. While I work at a tech company, I'm not an engineer, I'm a writer. Plus being female, I have to work a little harder to be taken seriously (c'mon, you know it's true). There's a fine line between dressing so casual that I'm seen as a nobody & too formal that I get "going for an interview?" jokes (of course, few people wear suits to interviews here, so it really is a joke!).  I certainly can't read advice from places like Corporette & dress like that without taking it down a couple big, fat notches.

But if I'm making a presentation, I'm not wearing a hoodie. A cardigan & a skirt or nice trousers, sure. Probably not a suit, tho. Not in the Valley.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Back to the 21st Century

It's not much of a joke when I say in my bio that by day I'm a writer & editor at Yahoo! & on weekends I'm a historical aristocrat. Because a couple weekends each month, I portray mostly Lady Violet Ruthvene in the Society for Creative Anachronism and occasionally Lady Constance, Viscountess Mourdant of Avalon, in the Société des Lumières, or, starting this year, Faustina de Castello with Bella Donna Venetian Courtesans at various Renaissance faires.

Last weekend was the SCA's Beltane, perhaps the most lovely & enjoyable event of the year. I'm having a hard time settling back into the office grind after spending a few days in a green valley surrounded by friends, music, games, pageantry, good food & wine, all in fabulous costumes -- including a new gown for me (pictured below), made by my dear friend Sarah. The gown & hair are based on historical images, & I'll be tweaking the hairpieces I made to get an even-more historically accurate look.

Today's work outfit is strictly CorpGoth, to help force me back into the work world. Sleek grey with a touch of stripes. This is what it takes to slave away in the pixel mines!

What I'm wearing:
Grey sheath dress, Target | Black & white stripe sweater, Chadwicks
Black tights, unknown brand | Black & white peep-toe, ankle-strap pumps, Ross | Hand-painted skull pendant on black velvet ribbon, local artist | Black & white bead earrings, Kohl's | Erase Paste concealer by Benefit | Pressed powder by MAC | Black liquid eyeliner by Nars | "Fresh Linen" & "Vintage Violet" eyeshadows from Too Faced's Matte Collection | "Rosary" lipstick by Kat Von D

Lady Violet Ruthvene in a Venetian gown at Beltane

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Velvet, Lace, & Bling in the Office

This outfit combines a lot of not typically work-friendly elements: rich velvet, dark lace, & a very sparkly necklace. Now, as I've stated frequently, I work in an extremely casual office where people wear T-shirts & jeans far, far more often than suits, so I can get away with wearing most anything I like. But, as I've also stated frequently, I prefer to project a somewhat serious professional image (mixed with a gothic aesthetic, 'natch) to back up my work credentials.

Still, how can you get away with such wacky materials & blingy accessories in a corporate-appropriate ensemble? Imo, the key is the silhouette, & that starts with the jacket. While this one is made of black lace (backed with solid black fabric), the jacket is shaped in a very traditional style. Three buttons up the front, long sleeves, portrait collar, fitted waist -- nothing too extreme, no wild details, just a classic feminine jacket. With a black pencil skirt, this would look like a fairly typical suit.

The skirt is more unusual because of the full, tiered shape. But the jacket style tones it down. Also, the plain black tights & simple black pumps further neutralize the outfit. The rhinestone necklace is pretty ostentatious, but when surrounded by all these dark colors, it gets softened a bit & becomes a smidge less loud. Notice how I went with dainty little earrings & soft brown-red lipstick so that everything else around the necklace was simple.

While I don't recommend wearing so many atypical elements together all the time (& probably not at all in a more conservative work environment), I do think it's possible to incorporate velvet, lace, & bling into office wear in a way that's appropriate yet still fun & even gothy.

What I'm wearing:
Black lace jacket, Macy's | Black T-shirt, NY & Company | Deep purple velvet skirt, NY & Company | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black pumps with buckle, Kenneth Cole | Pale pink rhinestone necklace, random accessory store | Burgundy pearl earrings, Designs by Victoria | "Raisin Rage" lipstick by Revlon

How casual or formal is your office? Can you wear things like velvet, lace, or bling without raising eyebrows?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Silk & Fiber Snobbery

Today's silk-based outfit got me to thinking about fabric & what me & my historical costumer friends jokingly call "fiber snobs." Some of us (bec., yes, I'm a bit of one now) are rather picky about what kind of fabrics we use in our costumes -- they must be as close to historically accurate as possible. This means natural fibers, no polyester, no synthetics, no blends. And the farther back in time you go, fabric choices get even more limited. For example, while cotton is a natural fiber, it was only sporadically used in Europe during the medieval & Renaissance period & didn't become a common & fashionable fabric for clothing until the 18th century. You have to do your research to understand what was used when & where.

However, I'm a cheapskate & have varying income available to spend on my crazy hobby. So for a long time, my motto was "nothing over $10 per yard!" Which can rule out a lot of really authentic fabrics. About 5 years ago, when I was buying materials for a big group costume project, I literally hyperventilated in the store over the $15/yard embroidered lace, on top of the $12/yard silk, both of which I needed 10 yards of for a huge hooped skirt! But my friends held my hand, I made the gown, & our group won Best in Show at the final competition.

Since then, I've been less reluctant to buy the good stuff. I know how much it matters to use accurate fabrics, even when they cost more. This year, I bought $38/yard raspberry damask silk for a Venetian courtesan gown, but it is the most amazing fabric I've seen, the sheen & drape are fantastic, & I know the gown (which my friend Sarah is making) will be absolutely perfect for the period.

What does this have to do with everyday clothes or gothic fashion? Well, quality fabric matter here too. I'm just not a fan of 100% synthetic materials next to my skin anymore. They're sweaty & sticky & can feel gross. A natural fiber or a blend is more comfortable throughout the day. They drape beautifully & reflect well on you. I also prefer leather shoes over PVC & other plastic materials bec. they will fit better as the leather conforms to my foot. Leather shoes last longer & can be repaired more easily.

Funny coincidence, Sal of Already Pretty wrote today about fiber choices in clothing, & she hits on some of these points too. Worth a read!

What I'm wearing:
Black & grey striped dupioni silk jacket, made for me by Donna | Black cotton T-shirt, Old Navy | Plum silk charmuse skirt, Newport News via Lisa | Black cotton-spandex tights, Calvin Kline | Black leather ribbon-tie pumps, Clarks | Plum glass & gunmetal tiered necklace, NY & Company | Black & gunmetal cocktail ring, Icing | Silver cross earrings, Berkeley street seller

What type of fabrics to you prefer to wear? Do you care at all?