Thursday, February 28, 2013

Status Report: March Forward

Subject: For this March, let's show off our shoes (get it, march, shoes? hah). Our office-appropriate shoes, that is. Whether you're on your feet all day working retail or you sit behind a computer, if you walk eight blocks to the subway or bike for your commute or you have to appear at court or you're curled up working from home, the shoes your wear at work are probably different than the ones you wear for weekends or dress up. Share your favorite or most typical workaday footwear.

Due Date: Wednesday, March 13 to Friday, March 15

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

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

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

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

CorpGoth Works From Home

CorpGoth sans makeup!
My current job allows me to work from home even more than before -- tho' let's get real, I can write & edit from just about anywhere in the world, I don't need to physically be in the same office with my coworkers. Also, so often, I'm working with people who are spread out around the U.S., if not the world, so it doesn't matter where I'm sitting. That's life in the Internet Age. For years, I've had a few work-from-home days, now they're just more frequent than not.

Which creates a bit of a sartorial challenge: What do I wear when I don't have to go into an office?

I've often been lazy & worn an assortment of black yoga pants, big black T-shirts, & black hoodies or baggy black sweaters, along with flip-flops or slippers, depending on the weather. Well, I want to up my game when three or more days of the week will be spent working at home. I don't want my entire wardrobe to be *that* sloppy! Besides, I occasionally converse with coworkers over Skype, so turning on the video conferencing means I should look presentable (at least from the waist up!).

So I've been strategizing about how to dress, both incorporating what I already own & judiciously adding things that fit better into my home office routine. Here's what I've realized so far...

1. Comfort counts -- OK, I said I'm not going to work in yoga pants (or PJs) every single day, but I still want comfort because, unlike at the office, I may be throwing in a load of laundry between edits or I might have a cat in my lap while on a conference call. Structured skirts, fitted jackets, & high heels just aren't appropriate in this situation. Knit dresses, leggings, long sweaters, tunics, ponte pants, city shorts in warm weather, & layers are all great.

2. Think color & pattern, instead of accessories -- For the office, I love scarves, statement necklaces, lipstick, & other splashes of color & texture. But not at home. To make outfits more interesting, I need to incorporate more colors (all black gets mighty dull) & more prints (stripes, plaids, florals). Can also use more texture, like ruffles & pleats, as long as it's not in an overly fussy garment (see #1).

3. Re-asses my current wardrobe, weed through, add selectively -- Based on the first two points & knowing my new schedule, I realize I may not need quite as much of the structured, fitted clothes that I have owned. And frankly, my closet & dressers are jammed full! It's tempting to buy a ton of new stuff (& I have bought more leggings & tunics, heh), but first, I went through what I have. Things I don't love are gone, along with anything that didn't fit perfectly. Now I can look for wardrobe holes & fill them accurately.

4. Do my hair -- I'll never be someone who wears makeup around the house, but since Skype video conferencing is a part of my home-office mix now, I should make a point of doing something with my hair. I used to pile it up on the top of my head while at home, which I can still do, but in a tidy & smoother fashion. And especially since I trimmed my hair, I might try sleeker styles.

5. Go a little more goth, but not all punked out -- Since I don't have clients or meetings (other than from the neck up re: Skype), I can dress a little more edgy than I might at the office. Little touches, such as batty T-shirts & Halloween socks. But I still want to look like an adult & a professional writer, not a kid shopping at Hot Topic.

Examples of clothing that feels right for my home-office wardrobe:
Do you work from home? If so, what do you wear? Share in the comments!

Related Links:
Nine Ways Not to Look Like a Slob Even if You Don't Dress for the Office These Days - Lisa at Privileged has some excellent tips for looking elegant yet casual (remember, sloppy clothes cost the same as neat, so why not go for neat?).

What to Wear When Working From Home - Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen shares her buying guide (& what to avoid) for wfh wardrobe workhorses, which I pretty much agree with completely.

What Do You Wear When You Work From Home? - Interesting thread at Offbeat Home in response to the question, lots of great opinions.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

CorpGoth Online Garage Sale

I buy a lot of stuff, so occasionally, I clean out my closet. What better way to do this than online, where more people can potentially enjoy the goods? I've used eBay in the past, but the fees have gotten too high. Now I'm just selling direct.

Take a look at my online garage sale here for a variety of gothic-vintage clothes, costumes & accessories, fabric & crafting goods, dress & casual shoes, historically themed books, & goth-medieval household gear.

Please note that I can only ship within the U.S. & accept PayPal. Sorry, but it's just really hard for me to do otherwise (unless you're local). Thanks for shopping!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Stripes & Such

This year wasn't a significant birthday (no zeros, not a fiver, & I've passed both the hobbit coming-of-age & the Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, & Everything). And the week leading up to my bday had some particularly rough patches, so I wasn't feeling super-festive.

So I wore a simple outfit with favorite stripes to feel comfortable & polished. And I wore this out to a simple dinner with my hubbi at a little neighborhood restaurant.

What I'm wearing:
Black sheath dress, Target | Black & white stripe knit jacket, Marshall's | Black & white ankle-strap pumps, Marshall's | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Silhouette pendant on black silk ribbon necklace, gift from Kendra | Black & white beaded earrings, random accessory store | Black & gunmetal cocktail ring, random accessory store

Thursday, February 21, 2013

CorpGoth Style on WNTW

If you're familiar with the U.S. TV show "What Not to Wear" (not to be confused with the short-lived U.K. version), you've seen the makeovers of frumpy ladies into fashionable women wearing more modern wardrobes. The gist is often that the makeover targets tend to put themselves last in their lives or are generally dissatisfied with their bodies, & all of this leads them to avoid shopping for & wearing clothes that fit, flatter, & show off their features & create a cohesive sense of self & style.

As reality TV goes, the show is actually rather positive & personally affirming. It has a formula, but there isn't the hugely exploitative feeling that so much of that edu-tainment has.

Yes, I've watched quite a bit of this series, particularly since it has thrived where the U.K. version floundered. WNTW-U.S. had a rocky start, but it persevered until the hosts gelled & the self-improvement themes emerged over the catty, bitchy tone of the U.K. version (sure, it was fun, but that didn't translate, & I suspect that's why it didn't last more than a few seasons either).

Most interestingly to me, there have been several episodes over the 10-year course of WNTW where the makeover candidates began with an alternative fashion sense, albeit always stunted/misshapen & being used to hide self-perceived flaws instead of express inner beauty. In these episodes, the hosts didn't make over the women to look boring & mainstream, but they encouraged the women to create more sophisticated (often more mature & less teen-ager-y), strongly defined styles that took advantage of modern trends to flatter the individual's features & personality.

image from
I stumbled across an excellent example of this just the other day in this season of WNTW -- the makeover target was Heather, a 26-year-old woman who manages a "youth retail store" that I easily identified as Hot Topic in the clips.

She's worked there since high school & tends to buy a lot of what she wears there, but mostly jewelry & big, ill-fitting T-shirts with animal cartoons printed on them. Her wardrobe consists of said shirts, leggings, & the occasional shapeless black dress. As a plus-size gal, she's uncomfortable with her body & doesn't want to try on clothes to fit.

By the end of the episode, she not only has a fantastic CorpGoth wardrobe all in black, jewel tones, & graphic black/white prints, they even dyed her dirty blonde hair to jet black & gave her a sharp bob! She looks fab & is wearing clothes that fit & show off her curves in an attractive fashion for work or play.

This episode is proof that neither alternative style nor size are excuses for a person to not have great wardrobes that will get them taken seriously at a job while letting them have fun & express themselves.

Check out the video clips online & watch for the full episode in repeats on TLC!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Status Report: Love What You Do

It's taken a long time, but I've pretty much managed to carve out a career that I like, if not sometimes really & truly love. I write for a living, which was always my dream. I don't necessarily write about my favorite topics, but I get to write & that's better than not.

In my 20s, I paid my dues by working tedious clerical jobs & testing out various different things. I even went to grad school to attempt to get into teaching. But finally, I got a job working at a newspaper's website, then a music website, then Yahoo!, & now a high-tech manufacturer. All of these have writing for the Web at the core, & that makes me happy.

But one thing I love most about my current position is that I work from home more days than not! Because writing is easier to do in my own element, not a noisy open cubicle arrangement. The collaborative parts of my job are easy enough to do by IM or on the phone or in a few meetings once or twice a week. The majority of my job is better done solo where I can concentrate. While I kind of miss dressing up each day to go into the office, I don't miss commuting or sticking to a strict schedule.

Best of all, I get to see my husband all day, since he runs his business out of our home office studio, & I get to work with our tabby cat.

Here are some of your status reports so far:

Share links to your reports in the comments!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Coffee or Tea?

A friend mentioned this on Facebook this morning, & it got me thinking ... while I feel like I *should* enjoy tea, I really like & practically need coffee. I can easily take or leave tea as a drink, but coffee is my personal savior in the mornings. There are times when I joke that I need a lake of coffee in order to wake up & feel human before noon.

I'm a little bit of a coffee snob, in that I can't stand instant or diner coffee or any of that K-cup nonsense. I enjoy Starbucks & Peets on an everyday basis, & I absolutely adore Jamaican Blue Mountain (one of the most expensive coffee beans in the world, so it's a rare treat, but sooooo tasty!). I'm not super picky about coffee bean origins or roasts, but I have definitely gotten over my juvenile affection for flavored coffees & vast amounts of sugar. A nonfat latte with & 2 sugars is plenty, anything else is dessert.

Tea just doesn't cut it in comparison. I do collect fancy varieties, & friends often send me samples of exotic teas because I seem like someone who would drink tea (what, is it because I have cats? or is it my love of history & costumes?). Invariably, when I make a cup of Earl Grey or Darjeeling (my favorite varieties) by itself, I'm a bit disappointed.

Now, tea as a meal, that I adore. Add little crust-less sandwiches, scones, cakes, serve it all on fine bone china & sterling silver -- I'm in heaven! I'll drink gallons of tea then. In fact, I *have* a ton of those tea accoutrements. The china set for 12, the silver tea strainers, the damask tea cozies, the tiered trays. But in that setting, the drink is secondary.

Which do you prefer -- coffee or tea? Why?

What I'm wearing:
Purple & black stripe sweater, Old Navy
Black knit top, Old Navy
Black twill skirt, MetroStyle
Black tights, Calvin Klein
Black heeled ankle boots, Aerosoles
Pewter nail-cross pendant, bought at Mont St. Michele, France
Silver teardrop earrings, random accessory store

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wednesday Reads & a Cool Pin

Just a few things I've found around the net recently...

From the Pins & Needles blog, I was utterly absorbed by this post on Fashion, Reconsidered that compares how fashion is belittled but professional sports are valued, among other things.

Peter at Male Pattern Boldness talks about Sewing and the Creative Process, another topic dear to my heart.

Skepchick has a thoughtful post about The Great Face-Paint Debate, specifically addressing geek girls who enjoy wearing makeup but get flack for it.

Something different -- I stumbled across the site A Practical Wedding & this post on When One Is Not Enough. Don't let the title fool you, it's about fulfilling relationships & having a life outside ones marriage.

From my Pinterest -- who doesn't love Helena Bonham Carter? I'd wear this whole outfit!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Status Report: Love What You Do

You got a break with no January report, but I'm giving everyone a challenge for February. Because Valentine's Day is in the middle of the month, let's talk about love...

Subject: Love What You Do. Describe and try to show what you love about your job, career, school, or vocation. Few jobs are perfect, but most jobs have something that keeps you hanging on. Whether it's a decent paycheck, reasonable hours, fun coworkers, being able to wear what you want, what makes you appreciate your line of work? Tell us about it & include a picture to symbolize that. If you're studying something you love, share the details. Or maybe you just left one career & are striking out on something new? Do you love that prospect? Why? We spend so much of our lives working, we better find at least one thing to enjoy.

Due Date: Wednesday, February 13 to Thursday, February 14

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 Wednesday night post including your blog link.

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