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Pepper, that is the best. link. ever. I heart crazy socks...they're my signature accessory. My students love 'em, I love 'em, and they're a great conversation starter.

Duplessix, that's a gorgeous coat! I picked up a rust, orange, and gold brocade coat for fall that I can't wait to wear. It's a duster, and I got it for $19.99, marked down from $187.

It will go nicely with the carrot socks, methinks. Whee!!
me too! i have such a huge collection of ridiculous socks. i swear that's why those people at the bank were such wretches to me. couldn't stand to see someone happy and brave enough to wear freaky shit on her feet. too bad they couldn't see my underwear laugh.gif
Um. All my socks are black. Except the ones that are charcoal grey. I don't think very many of them match, either. Um...*cough*
oh girl. do you want i should send you some funky socks? i have a friend that i send crazy panties too every now and again. i thought after a while that she might think i was totally mental for doing it but it turns out those parcels thrill her like nothing else. i'd be happy to mail insane footwear your way. tell me where and i'll break out the stamps...

*makes the sign of the cross*

NOOOOOO funky socks!

Oh wait, I'm not a christian.

Seriously, though, thanks, but I'd just wreck them. I have raggedy feet, and I get holes in socks like people get holes in tights. Which is why none of my socks match. But thank you, seriously, that's very sweet! smile.gif
Aww, Doodle, I have leprechaun feet, and I still wear funky socks!

(clarification: "leprechaun feet" means that my big toes curl up, reminiscent of the pointy shoes elves and leprechauns are usually shown wearing. I get holes in shoes, socks, everything, after a while. but I am not deterred!)

Pepper, I got paid today. I'm buying out that site you linked to, as we speak1
I love funky socks!! That is great link pepper.

I must have this cardigan:

I am cardigan junkie.
ok, i just got a funky sock chain mail letter from my mom. i have to send it to 6 friends, i send one pair of socks to the lady who sent the letter to my mom and then i get 36 pairs of socks in the mail from the people who get the letter from whoever i sent it to. what the crazy? i LOVE IT!! i am so going out to find that lady a pair of magnifico socklettes right away, how wonderful! they are like one of my most favourite things, i can't believe i'm going to get 36 pairs of random crazy socks in the mail, wow!!
I'm jealous, Pepper! I want in on that action....

In other accessory news, I'm searching for a silly watch. So far, I'm loving Scooby, Spongebob, or some form of The Nightmare Before Christmas. I need it to have a metal band instead of leather--I break things easily.

Any watch recommendations?
Ginger, that IS nice. I love cardigans too; have had a background search on for The Perfect straight black cardie to replace my Valerie Stevens chenille for a while now. Hope springs eternal ...
I have an awesome jacket that is velour and is a really cool color red. I love it, but it's dry-clean only. Any suggestions on how I could clean it without dry-cleaning it and not ruin it?
Ok, so I'm having a MAJOR wardrobe crisis!

Tomorrow, I have a dinner date immediately after work. We're going for dinner (to a 'surprise' restaurant...), then to the International Film Festival, and then I have to go back to work and facilitate a post-production question and answer period with our cast.

I work for a funky-casual pro theatre company, so I can wear whatever to work (usually ranges from jeans and ironic tshirts to cocktail dresses and heels...), and this is date number three, so obviously I want to look cute.

Any ideas for an all-purpose outfit?!
question which i will cross-post in the general knowledge thread: anyone have any tips on making jeans stiffer? i have a pair that fit me like a glove when they come out of the dryer, but they were kind of cheap and after two wears i'm swimming in them, they get so loose. is there any way i can keep them fitting tight longer? maybe starch? do people even use that anymore?
Emtee, unless you have a dress you really like and think would go from work to evening, I'd suggest the perennial jeans, cute shoes and dressy top combo, ideally a sleeveless top but maybe not cotton. Do you have a smart-ish light jacket that could cover the top when you're back in work at night?

Otherwise bring makeup, jewellery (a necklace maybe, to dress up the top) and perfume with you and put on after work. Something I do sometimes if I'm going out right after work is hit a department store and spritz on my favourite perfume from a tester enroute.

In my experience people don't dress up *that* much for film festivals unless they're presenting at it, but I think I know the festival you mean... it's a biggie so feel free to wear a dress if you want. Have fun!

Mouse, no idea... that happened to some jeans I got in bangkok and I never could resurrect them. They were really cheap though. Try air-drying them maybe?
musicfit, have you tried Dryel? It's like dry-cleaning in your own washing machine. My mom swears by it.
eeh, thanks.......
i actually find that air-drying things leaves them looser than industrial dryers.
i mean, the worst thing that it means is that i have to wash my jeans more often than i'm wont.....which isn't necessarily a bad thing tongue.gif
or it means i'm free to get fatter!
ha! definitely, mouse, i think the solution is to eat more. biggrin.gif
My jeans are usually stiffer when I air dry them as opposed to machine drying.
i'd like some ideas on what to wear for a formal event i have coming up in november. i work for a non-profit organization, and i am the venue chair for our fundraising gala this year. i have NEVER done anything like this before, and anticipate being on my feet all evening. i am not sure what to wear....i know i want to be comfortable and look professional, especially because i am inexperienced and 10-15 years younger than the other chairs/organizers. i have a shiny, knee length, black skirt that i am thinking of wearing, but have no idea about the rest of my outfit. any suggestions?
jkat, don't be shy about asking other chairs/organizers (or folks who've done this in the past) what's appropriate. They will usually be flattered you asked, and happy to give you some advice. But make sure you ask someone who's always well-turned out for any event - otherwise they could be steering you wrong!

If it's a gala, maybe a long skirt is more appropriate? I don't know much about these things, though...
jkat, the nonprofit i work for has a fundraiser gala in october. last year i wore this tea-length sage green satiny dress, with ruched v-neck and rhinestone details, with heels and dainty, sparkly earrings. my boss wore the same outfit she wore to be a bridesmaid in her brother's wedding. you need to look pretty fancy for these things. i don't think a shiny skirt with a nice top would be dressed up enough. my dress last year cost like $100, which sucked because working at a non-profit usually means that you don't have much money. this year i am planning on scouring thrift stores for bridesmaid dresses that women got rid of after all of the summer weddings. or just wearing the same dress.
laurenann makes a really good point, about formal wear being awfully expensive...maybe if you do end up investing in a new dress, jkat, black would be a really good choice, since you can wear it over and over again. That's the best thing about black, I think.

Is there anyone you can borrow from, jkat?

Here are a couple of interesting articles from a link I posted a few months ago (scroll down):

How to Avoid the High Cost of Special Occasion Clothing

The Black Tie Test

ETA: I'm sort of cross-posting this with the Crimes of Fashion thread, but I could use some advice.

Last week, I went to the Legislature last week with a couple of younger feminists (ages 22, 23). They dressed in a way I would consider very inappropriate for the formality of the occasion. Basically, they dressed like rebellious young feminists. (A more complete description is in Crimes of Fashion.) This is not the first occasion where this has happened, but it's reached the point where I think I need to address it somehow. I realize everyone has the right to self-expression and to dress and look as they want, but on occasions like this, I think it becomes more self-sabotaging than self-expressive. You want people to hear what you have to say, not to be completely caught up in the way you look, or to outright dismiss you for it.

I'm thinking maybe of holding a workshop on dealing with media/public/government, that will include a section on "appropriate attire." BUT I'm not sure how I should go about this, or how to broach the subject. I think this needs to be done very delicately. The problem, IMHO, is that 1) activists are naturally rebellion-minded, and 2) feminist theory tells us that no one has the "right" to tell us how we "should" look. I agree on the feminist theory part, it's absolutely true. BUT in the real world, most people in power don't give a shit about feminist theory, and certainly aren't going to pay any attention to you if (at best) they think you resemble their children's schoolmates, or (at worst) they think you resemble a fringey-fanatical leftie. So how would you approach the topic? How would you integrate something as bizarre as "appropriate attire" into a discussion on feminist activism?
Doodle, what if you incorporate the mention of attire in a section on 'general presentation'? You could include tips on not speaking too quickly, catching people's eyes while talking etc, then smoothly segue into describing attire which commands respect.

I know what you're saying in relation to the bigger issue of the perceived tyranny of corporate dressing, but I agree with prettynpink in the other thread. It's about inspiring respect. IMO, it's also a way of illustrating the debate of changing the system from inside vs. not succumbing to patriarchal/mainstream/corporate logic. You can occupy the counter culture and still dress appropriate to the situation.

Easier said than done, I expect, but that's my 2 cents.
I think Sybarite's idea of couching this in a generality is a great one. Make the discussion about how to GET respect, and the show of respect in return will follow, without sounding like a directive on how to kowtow to The Man. If you want the people in a particular place to pay you due attention, speak their language. In the Legislature, that language includes a whole lot of nonverbal cues indicating your seriousness. Begging to be taken more as an exclamation point than a reasoned presenter will reduce the chances you will be listened to.

It's like bad grammar or ALL CAPS. People will dismiss certain things without so much as a first look. Don't allow anyone to dismiss you by playing into their prejudices.
Thanks for the input...I agree on the idea of making the topic part of something more general. It is about how to get respect. I think there are two aspects of the problem - they don't respect government (while I respect the institution - most of the time - but disrespect party politics), and they feel deserve respect no matter how they dress. And I do agree with that 2nd one in principle - one's appearance SHOULDN'T have any bearing on how one is treated, whether it's clothing style, skin colour, gender, or body size (tall, short, "skinny," "fat"). But in the real world it does matter, and clothing style, at least, is the one thing we have a choice about. Women, people of colour, and people who don't fit the "size norm" have all had to fight for respect (and are still fighting) because those things are unchangeable aspects of ourselves, whereas clothing and personal's totally about choice.

I think maybe part of the problem is the blinding idealism that accompanies youth and/or people who are new to political/social movements, which I'm sure I also had at one point. However, for my generation, I think that was expressed more by wearing shapeless clothes and no makeup (which was the path I followed for several years), which you could sort of get away with in conservative circles. Although I admit, I notice a radical difference in how much respect I garner when I wear better fitting clothes and pay even a scant bit of attention to my face and hair - I do it deliberately now, actually, to subvert people's thinking about what a feminist "should" look like...they don't make automatic assumptions about my ideology if I'm wearing a bit of mascara and I've got a blazer on.

Hmm....I wonder if that in itself is a good tactic to take...teaching young lefties about subverting the dominant culture by infiltrating it...? Dressing to blend in, like spies...they might enjoy that!

Empresses, where are you?!

I think I've fallen into a trap brought on by my personal "uniform." I've been wearing a lot of skirts lately and I'm really feeling like I've gotten myself into a rut. Problem is, I have such a hard time finding pants that fit and that I like.

How does one dig herself out of a fashion rut when it's of her own doing, all in the name of finding one's personal uniform and going with what works?
Ahh! I was JUST thinking this afternoon that I missed this thread, and thinking about bumping it! SO weird, raisin!

I think I've been in a slight rut, too, mainly b/c I haven't had any money to spend on new clothes since spring. I've sort of taken to staving off wardrobe boredom by mixing up what I have in different ways. Lately, I've been wearing some of my summery tops (i.e., low cut, cap sleeve, sleeveless, lacey, crochet, empire waist, etc.) over tight-fitting long sleeve black t-shirts. I also tried a black summer top over a striped long-sleeve tee, but that didn't work for me. It was probably cute, but I felt a bit old to be doing it - I worry that I'm a bit mutton-dressed-as-lamb when I do shit like that, but you have to try! And I'm wearing my grey pinstripe blazer a lot more, with different combinations than I used to. Lots of times with jeans.

I also think if you have a basic "personal uniform," you can jazz it up quite a bit by changing accessories or tops, or mixing up different pieces that you never thought of before. Just like at home when you move your furniture around and change up the accessories!

If you don't feel like you have a fresh eye for your wardrobe, maybe you could have a friend come over and create a couple of completed outfits for you to try on?

I'll be back, can't stay right now...but I feel yer pain!
Raisin, I wish I knew the answer to your question. I seem to have compiled a kind of minimalist wardrobe (in response to too much 'wacky' fashion I suspect) so now all I wear is a variety of thin-knit plain sweaters in different colours and either dark blue or black jeans. (And a fair amount of grey; I'm so on-trend dontcha know.)

Every time I try and break out with a dress it all seems to go horribly wrong. There's so many cute little dresses out but they all seem to fit oddly, so my one potential avenue of sartorial creativity is gone!

I'd love to get one of those cute little fifties coats but have no funds... maybe in the post-christmas sales.
raisin, definitely jazz outfits up with accessories! I find that investing in a lot of accessories can make several different outifits (especially when styles don't suit/don't fit/don't help bank balance).

syb, high street fashion is so good just now! my dress sense seems to be a littler wacky that normal (allthough there's some grey too!) but luckily this year's shapes seem to flatter mine.

can I ask some empress advice? do you like this dress or think it's frumpy?

Bunny, NOT frumpy at all. That is one of those cuts that tends to be very flattering on more than one body type, too. (Also - it looks snazzy *and* comfortable!! Bonus.)

Raisin, I've been augmenting the pants-side of my wardrobe, and it's gone well (I'm good at taking in waistlines on pants large enough to take my bootay), but there has been some frustration (today I was intolerable - heh) with the fact that it is impossible to tuck a shirt or blouse into a single style of pants being made today. I know the pants that hit at (*GASP*) the WAIST are all out of style, but damn my eyes, you could tuck shit INTO them, and I am sick to the teeth of having all sorts of pants and all sorts of blouses I essentially can't wear together.

Not to mention the fact that today's pants, which are so cute, and which look great with little sweaters I don't need to tuck in, turned out to be riding at least 2" lower in back than in the front, rendering today's attempt to tuck positively agonizing - I mean, damn near physically uncomfortable!! - through a very, very long day. GAR.

I so dig pants. I actually like the way I look in them. Why do they have to be so effing annoying??

Stupid pants.
Oh mouse, I agree about what's in Top Shop et al... I like a lot of it, especially the retro styling and the colours. I think I'm just exhausted by all that boho crap that went before.

I like the dress. Maybe wear it with boots to urban it up a little? (Though we've established I may not be the best source for advice!)

Now I want new clothes. *pouts*
*I* like your style, syb. but then it's similar to mine... although I too have dress issues a lot of the time.

raisin - accessories, definitely. scarves are great for that.

bunny, it's not coming up mad.gif

ok, empresses... mainly uk empresses, but... i need a dress for a black-tie ball, that I can wear more than once, and nothing too fancy (I've got fancy). I'm smaller on top, curves in right and wrong places and there's not a lot of boob going on. Oh... and teh cheap, please. the tickets alone are a small fortune. (I'm trying not to buy new shoes... so I have black, navy, gold, pale pink, and red formal shoes.). Suggestions welcome.

Sybarite, I like that look and wish I could rock it. But I don't have the right knees. I've tried, and I'm pretty open-minded, but hate that look on myself.

That said, Bunny, if you can, go for it! Minimalist and fab, the boots-and-dress thang.
I don't even try to wear dresses, b/c I've never found one flattering. For my own graduation, I had a two-piece outfit made - long skirt and simple long sleeve shell that was gathered at the hem on one side.

I would like to find a skirt that I could wear and not look dumpy. But then I need to find shoes, which sucks. With my big flat feet + small town shopping issues, I basically have a pair of crosstrainers, a pair of black slides, and a pair of black ankle boots.

Which all conspires to keep me as a pants person.
I'm so glad I'm not the only one that was missing this thread!

Doodle, how weird: Lately, I've been wearing some of my summery tops (i.e., low cut, cap sleeve, sleeveless, lacey, crochet, empire waist, etc.) over tight-fitting long sleeve black t-shirts. I just did the same thing today, wore basic black long-sleeved knit shirt under a cap-sleeve v-neck sort of summery dress. I figure there's not going to be too many other times I'm going to be able to do this before winter really arrives here. I looked a little kooky, and I did wear a scarf with it as well. All of you know how much we like our scarves here! rolleyes.gif

Syb, do you know how to sew? You could always make small alterations on dresses that don't fit you perfectly off the rack -- maybe? A la Maimy? I hear you on the wacky and basic gray clothes -- I have a fair deal of that as well. I love me some charcoal gray in the winter!

Bunny, I like that dress. The cut of it is nowhere near frumpy. Are you going to get it?

I'm sooooo jealous of those of you who can shop at Top Shop in person. They don't ship internationally. You know what this means, right? Weekend jaunt to London! I don't know when, maybe when I start earning some more money, I hope.

Maims, do you have a store that sells Theory or Club Monaco clothes? I hear so much about their pants and I don't know if they're good for people like us (actually, I have a fat tum, so maybe we have the opposite problem) or if it's a lot of hype, but I've been meaning to hunt down either of those brands to see what the big fuss is about. Why can't waistlines just stay oh, I don't know -- REGULAR?! Sheesh.

Mornington, black tie? I don't know, maybe you could try the charity shops (that's what you call them over there, right?) but you'd have to keep your eyes wide open so that you find something tasteful and not costume-y. You could get a gown in a solid color and then get a really nice wrap that could be used for other occasions. Maybe?

Anyway, as for my own woes, I think a reorganization of the closets is in order this weekend. I probably do just need to see things in a different light. I love dresses, I really do. I love jeans, too, but I haven't lost enough weight to fit into the older ones (WITH NORMAL NON-MOM, NON-ASSCRACK-REVEALING WAISTLINES!), so that's why I've been sticking to skirts.

I really need to go out shopping, too, to at least buy one or two thin sweaters (I'm all set on the bulky ones that barely fit under the winter coat) and a couple more shirts.

Tomorrow it will be denim skirt with knit top, only because I know I have nothing else I'll feel like wearing! Sigh.
God, I just read my last post and realized what a whiner I am! tongue.gif

Hmmm, raisin, maybe I'll add a scarf next time! You're a bad influence, heh. Do you wear a fabric one or a knit one? (I've also got a huge collection of funky outdoor scarves that BFF keeps knitting for me! And she makes them superdooper-long, the way I like them.) I also wear the "look" with one of my glass pendants...with the black cord disappearing against the black tee (I'd do turtlenecks if I could), so the glass stands out. I wonder if I look kooky? I thought I looked artsy! Uh oh. *peers out the window to see if Stacy and Clinton are hiding in the bushes* biggrin.gif
You'd think, seeing that I'm a knitter, that I would wear more knitted scarves. The vast majority of my scarf collection is made up of fabric-type scarves, not the knitted variety.

::hangs head in shame::

I was also going to say in my earlier post that there's a small part of me that thinks I'm a "bad feminist" for liking dresses and skirts and all that feminine girly-girly stuff. I've kind of grown into it, though; as a kid I wore overalls, as a teen I wore Doc Martens, in college I was all into grunge stuff... and now, I don't know, I don't own any flannel shirts, all my worn-out beloved Docs are collecting dust in a basement, and the overalls are long gone. I was going to make a point here, but I'm really too tired. Something like I wear dresses for me because they make me happy, no one else.

To be continued.
I already own the dress but hadn't worn it yet! the boy thinks it's hideous which is why I'm checking but I wore it yesterday (just over jeans as so cold out). I like it's flattering cut.
Aw, thanks mornington! You have great style yourself!

About the dress: Reiss always have nice stuff and you're tall enough to be able to carry off the detail their clothes usually have. I always think their clothes transition well across different kinds of events. However, they are not especially cheap. Have you tried Monsoon? I never liked them but lately their dressy stuff is simpler and in great colours, and doesn't break the bank (at least not here).

I'm in a similar bateau: I'm going to a wedding next month and need a dress. I went looking yesterday and found a LBD that has bombshell-making qualities, but I suspect I won't be able to eat anything if I wear it.

Raisin, I sew a little: I occasionally take in knit tops if they don't fit well, but I don't have a machine so leave things like hems to a tailor. (I too love the charcoal grey in winter! It's like saying: 'yes, my pale skin is deliberate, thanks.')

Maimy, I can't really wear boots with knee-length dresses or skirts either: my legs aren't long enough. I can just about get away with boots with a mini but I haven't worn a mini for a few years now.

Bunnyb (and others): do you find boys can have serious aversions to especially fashionable clothing? I've thought this for years, as bfs (past and present) have tended to look askance at the trendier aspects of my wardrobe. They like the wacky even less than I do.

Glad this thread is back up and running right in time for the tricky Christmas/holiday party season...
syb, definitely! my wardobe has gone through a (not too radical) transformation recently as I've really liked some of the fashionable items available and incorporated them into my everyday wear. The boy is quite fussy and doesn't like anything too "wacky" and has an aversion to leggings (on any shape - he says they are offensive on everybody) and to tights.

Black opaque tights are, like, a staple when I wear dresses during the winter.

It's not like he's the one wearing the tights.

That would be my dream guy, someone who has an appreciation for especially fashionable clothing. One of my favorite people in the world is reaaaaaaallllllly into fashion in her own way -- she's known for wearing outrageous and fun clothing (the stories I could tell you!) and her husband is a very straight-laced guy who's most comfortable in a suit and tie. On the surface they are polar opposites, but they have a deep sense of respect and love for each other; it's the appreciation (for the fashion, natch) that counts, IMHO.
no tights at all (not just my bright blue ones) but nude, black opaque, wooly... not good this season but it's not like I'm not wearing them! I respect his opinion but he has to respect my style too so I try to compromise (easier now that we're living in different cities as I can dress and pack clothes I know he won't mind/tease me about).
I don't know those labels, Rais, but will try to remember 'em next time I'm pants-shopping. (Of course, having bought about a dozen pair in the past few months, both casual and dress, it may be a while now ...)

I used to live in black tights, especially with moderately short skirts, but haven't worn 'em in some time. I have become one of those women who wear the iron-control shaper (beyond "control top" all the way to "contraption") hose. They do forgive a multitude of sins, but they never seem to be reliably available in tights-form. And for some reason I don't like tights with the either tailored or longer skirts I've taken to wearing. I like opaques best when more leg is available on view, and with very minimalist lines.

Ah, well.

I have grown a real affection for tunic style blouses and sweaters. They do not need tucking, and thus obviate my previously-bitched-about problems with top-tucking.

I just need more of 'em. (Suggestions welcomed ...)
I'm getting into thigh-high socks with skirts. I found <a href="">these</a>. Since I get hives from wearing hose, this looks like a great alternative for me.
On second thought, I do think that black opaque tights are more for casual outfits. I'd never wear them with a suit, as much as I'd like to.

Blanche, I bumped the underwear thread for you.
I like tights for outfits in which some amount of leg is to be showing, but I still prefer to present myself in "professional dress" than too-too casual. However, as my once-beautiful legs aren't what they used to be, my tights have been seeing no use for the past couple of years. *Sigh*

Blanche, try this!

Real vintage slips are wonderful, wonderful - I buy them for everyday use, as decent (or ANY) slips have become impossible to find ... but they also are lovely just on their own:
(Note along the left bar: you can choose eras!!!! And: CRINOLINES! Hurt me ...)

I've noticed "granny panties" becoming a fad again - and the right women can really make them sassy:
The ruffle panties and girdle panties are funkay ...

The wider ones are so cute - and, really, better than modern lacey ones with no structure at all.

Geez, I'm such an eBay whore ...
I'm going to London this monday for a, hopefully huge, shopping spree and I want to come back with a decent pairs of pants(finding nice pants seems to be impossible for me), but most of all a nice underbust corset and some fabulous shoes(I have my eye on some pink pixies)!
I need pants! I have decided. I am down to my last pair of hole-less jeans, and I have one decent pair of pants that are business environment-worthy, so it's time.

This is the kind of shopping I hate most.

I don't know when I'll get there - sometime this week - but I think I'll need some Empress support!
hydrochlorine, have you been to Fairy Gothmother in Kingly Court (off Carnaby Street)? They have gorgeous corsets.

on the tights thing... I want a pair of those woolen tights. they look warm.
Good luck to you, Doodle. You have all my sympathies. Just yesterday I was looking at pants (didn't buy any, or even try on any) and again rethinking the whole "all skirts, all the time" approach. I also looked at dresses, but didn't see any that jumped out at me.

Honestly, though, instead of shopping for new pants/jeans, I will be so happy when I lose maybe one stone (heh, sounds better than 14 pounds!) and can fit into another pair of old jeans.

Doodle, are you going to look for dressy pants or jeans or both?
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