Friday, September 28, 2012

Cost Per Wear

I love this sweater. When I bought it & first blogged it, I called this "the most expensive sweater," because I had never paid $80 for a cardigan before. Well, I've worn it 9 times that I've blogged in the past year & probably a few more. So the cost per wear is less than $9 right now, & that will go down because I haven't fallen out of love with this baby. I could easily wear it as many times in the next year.

What I'm wearing:
Black & white print cardigan, White House Black Market | Black T-shirt, Old Navy | Black corduroy skirt, H&M | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black kitten-heel pumps with tiny silver buckles, Payless Shoe Source | Silver filigree earrings, Target | Skull & black bead choker, DisneyLand

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Oh Pink & Black, My Faves

Truly my old reliable color combo -- maybe I never let go of '80s New Wave? Don't know why, but I adore hot pink against black. It rocks my little dark world.

What I'm wearing:
Black cardigan, Macy's | Pink ruffled knit top, Chadwicks | Black trousers, Target | Pink & black striped flats, Sugar | Pink & black beaded necklace (vintage) with black rose added by me | Pink crystal & black Victorian-esque earrings, random accessory store

Is there a color combination that you love above all others? Or is everything solid black?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Recommended Reading (Whilst I'm on Vacay)

I'm on a little break from the office -- spent last week indulging my TropiGoth side in Kauai! -- and I'm now relaxing at home, catching up on some projects, everything from renovating the backyard to working on costumes. Thus, no daily office outfits for a while. But I'm still reading your comments (thank you!) & reading all the fabulous blogs out there. Here's some things that caught my eye today...

Allie of Wardrobe Oxygen wrote an excellent post about why she promotes black as a wardrobe staple. Now, she's not goth, but she extols the virtues of this practical & always chic color choice for the working woman. I'm sure you'll agree & probably find some reasons you may not have considered for why you need even more black pieces in your closet.

Meagan of Coffin Kitsch reminds us to accessorize that waistline -- yes, belts! They're really a girl's best friend. A belt makes a shapeless sack of a dress or top into a stylish, figure-flattering garment. Bonus, belts are usually cheaper than a whole new dress or top too, so buy several styles & widths. Experiment & make more out of your wardrobe with belts.

Oh & I've finally joined Pinterest! It's a huge time-suck, but kinda fun in that way -- you can find me here. Feel free to pin from my blog (I know many of my photos already are pinned) or from my costume site. I have a CorpGoth board where I'm gathering inspiration for future outfits too.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Silk & Stripes

I recently realized that one of a longtime staple for my online shopping has essentially passed on -- Newport News has been subsumed into its parent company, Spiegel. Very little, if any, of its affordable, goth-friendly fashions survive. I used to get great jackets & skirts & dresses there every fall, so I was sad to see that this season, there's nothing much left. Ah well. I still have a few faves in my closet to remember them by.

What I'm wearing:
Grey & white striped hoodie sweater, Forever 21 | Black T-shirt, Target | Plum silk skirt, Newport News by way of Lisa | Black tights, unknown brand | Black & grey pumps, Target | Pewter & brass necklace, local artist | Pewter square earrings, local artist

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ruffles Upon Ruffles

What do you wear with a ruffled shirt? A ruffled skirt! Not according to some style mavens, but according to me -- well, at least if you don't go totally overboard on the ruffles, if you know what I mean ;-)

What I'm wearing:
Black knit ruffled sleeveless top, Old Navy | Black & white paisley ruffled skirt, made for me by Donna | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black wedge T-strap pumps, Kenneth Cole Reaction | Black beaded tribal-style choker, bought in Hawaii | Black shell dangly earrings, random accessory store | Black & white flower hair pin, random accessory store

Monday, September 10, 2012

CorpGoth Back-to-School Shopping

Dress from Target
I may not be going back to school (geez, this fall marks the 20th anniversary of my college graduation!) -- but I love to shop, & autumn is when more goth-friendly clothes start appearing in all kinds of stores.

So here are a few things I think would be great additions to a college (well, maybe a highly competitive graduate program) or work wardrobe this season. No, I don't make anything off these links, I just appreciate the styles. Enjoy!

High-low rayon knit skirt, also in petites sizes, at Target, $17.99, in black, deep blue, bright berry, & other colors -- The petites are available in all colors online, but for other sizes, you'll have to go to the store. I just adore a high-low hem, such a sassy style.

Flared jersey tank dress at Old Navy, $29.99, in black & white or black -- The style may not scream "autumn," but think of this for layering with long-sleeve tops, sweaters, leggings, tights, & such. Also, the estimable Sal of Already Pretty recommended this dress as being decent quality, so there ya go.

Ponte knit dress with pleather waistband at Target, $34.99, in red with black waistband, black with black, & other colors -- A classic sheath dress in an easy-to-wear knit. I especially love the contrast red & black.

Jewelneck cardigan at Chadwicks, $39.99, in black & white lace print & other colors -- I have several cardis from Chadwicks & have not been disappointed. They're wardrobe staples, so this one in a cool, versatile print is a must-have.

Shoe from Aldo
Tiered ruffle sweater dress at Chadwicks, $49.99, in red -- Yes, I like red! This dress is hot *and* cozy, how can you resist?

Lace & mesh midi skirt at Spiegel, $64, in black -- So pretty, you could dress it down with a sweater & boots for work or dress it up with a low-cut top & heels for going out.

Red silhouette pencil skirt at eShakti, $74.9, in black & red -- I still haven't bought anything from eShakti, but trustworthy IRL friends & respected bloggers all recommend the site. These gorgeous fall offerings may finally sway me!

Jacket from Express
Patent flat shoe at Aldo, $80, in black -- Perhaps the sexiest flat you'll find. Pointy toe, super-shiny black patent, this is a beautiful shoe that will spice up any office outfit without a high heel killing your feet.

Striped ponte knit one-button jacket at Express, $98, in black & white -- This might be my holy grail of stripey jackets, & if/when I can save up the money, it will be mine. Oh yes, it will.

Ponte/mix fabric zip-front jacket at White House Black Market, $118, in black -- Kind of sexy, but not too much for work, this is a gorgeous jacket that you'd probably wear enough to justify the price.

Friday, September 7, 2012

First Lady in Goth

Not quite the First Lady of Goth -- there's a few others vying for that title -- but the first lady of the United States showed a little bit of her gothic side on Wednesday night with a gorgeous dress that I sure as heck want a knockoff version of. For that matter, the grey manicure she sported all week at the Democratic National Convention drew references to "high school goth" (tho' admittedly that color has been one of the trendy nail colors for a while now).

Obviously, Michelle Obama is no Siouxie Sioux, I won't claim that. But Michelle does have fabulous style & is no pastel-clad Stepford Wife. While she favors classic shapes, she often chooses bold colors with interesting, intricate details & unusual patterns.

According to Twitter, this particular dress was designed by Thom Browne & is, of course, a custom creation. It's hard to tell from these pictures & from what I remember of the few shots I saw on TV, but the dress appeared to be a little longer than knee-length & fell in an A-line shape from a waist seam with two pleats in the front. The black lace gave a dressy touch laid over the grey in what seemed to be a menswear-style wool crepe.

I could easily see wearing this with a black cardigan & tall black boots for work or with a flashy statement necklace & pumps for a dinner date with my sweetie. That's everyday goth fashion I can believe in :-)

Thanks to Ernest Aguayo for rustling up these great photos after the TV appearance!

Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My Kind of Classic

I love a sheath dress. It's a classic style that works well on my figure, if I do say so myself. With a slightly high or empire waist & especially with a V neckline, this is the perfect dress shape. Any sleeve option will work, & the length can be to the knee or longer in just about any fabric, color, or print (I mean, colors & prints that I like, of course ;-). I'm always on the lookout for more, which is why I bought this one in three colors, black, grey, & this red.

What I'm wearing:
Red sheath dress, Target
Lace tights, Target
Black slingback pumps, Payless Shoe Source
Black & silver chunky necklace, Target
Silver & garnet poison ring, eBay
Black shell dangly earrings, random accessory store

Is there a particular dress shape you love? Do you buy multiples of it?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Summer Dress to Work

I usually think this dress is far too summery for the office. But I do work in a casual office & it was pretty hot out. While a cardigan can't make everything office-appropriate, I think this didn't do too bad.

What I'm wearing:
Black cotton tiered sundress, Coldwater Creek | Black & white floral-print cardigan, Black House White Market | Black kitten-heel shoes, Aldo | Painted-black shell necklace, bought in Florida | Black & white striped bead earrings, Kohl's | Black & gunmetal cocktail ring, Icing

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Someone Special

Sophistique Noir's theme this month is "someone special." It may be obvious, but I find it impossible to blog about anyone other than my beloved, my husband Thomas, for he is most special to me. I have dear, dear friends, & even our two cats are super-special, but Thomas is my best friend, my partner, my soulmate.

We've been together 20 years, married 12, we've had great ups & downs, we don't agree on everything, & we are constantly working on our relationship. But we care deeply about each other, & neither of us could imagine life without the other.

I always come back to these words I included in our wedding ceremony, paraphrased from the poet Rainer Maria Rilke:
A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.
That is, I believe, what we have. We are two unique wholes, different, separate, but sharing our lives completely & utterly together. That makes our relationship so terribly special to me.

And here we are at our wedding in 2000. We designed our outfits in a Victorian-gothic style & made them with the help of friends & family. They were taken by Erica Z. Connors, our professional photographer.

And then here we are doing what we love most -- travel. I'd only been to Canada before meeting Thomas, but together we have set foot on every continent including Antarctica. We're always planning another trip, whether to somewhere new or back to an old favorite haunt. And sometimes we combine my love of costume, our interest in history, & our passion for travel.

At a 16th-century manor house in England, 2010.
In New Zealand with the Remarkables mountains in the backgound, 2004.
In Florence, Italy, 2007.
At the Pergamon in Berlin, Germany, 2005.
At a cafe on Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy, during Carnevale, 2009.