Thursday, April 23, 2015

Fashion shmaux pas

Clever title, I know. But for a former fashion student I've never really cared about so-called fashion faux pas. Which isn't to say I dress like I don't give a fuck, but I mean I respect a person's right to wear ugly clothes without a brigade of jackasses led by Kelly Osbourne (don't think I'm impressed you quit) judging them.

And we really need to admit a lot of the fashion 'faux pas' come from some pretty tired fashion rules that should have withered into obscurity a long time ago, but instead have new life breathed into them every time someone who thinks they're doing Vogue's work passes them on like sacred wisdom.

If you live in a big city some of the ingrained rules listed below may seem old hat [Ed. note: Kudos to me for using that phrase], but let me tell you they are very alive and well in other regions of the country--and I would know because I'm writing a passive-aggressive post based on things people I know have said to me.

No white after Labor Day.

What is this shit? Really. What is it? I've heard people expressly discuss this too so I know it's a thing. It's like one of those rules that was maybe at one time based in something that made sense but now is just a thing people do because it's been repeated enough. If Time (guys, Time. TIME.) is telling you it's a dated custom then maybe we should leave it behind. Also, I was never sure about what counts as improper white and okay white after Labor Day. Is it all white? Is it only white pants? Can my uninformed ass wear a white sweater? I NEED TO KNOW.

You may never wear black with brown.

For the longest time I never wore brown purses with black clothes because this was instilled in me. But then Rachel wore a brown sweater with a black skirt on Friends and I knew everything would be okay.

Leggings aren't pants.

It's 2015. Leggings ARE pants. Get over it.

Skinny jeans aren't flattering on anyone.

Did you know there are some people who don't think skinny jeans are flattering? I know! Who are these people? Well, apparently Jennifer Garner for one. And other people whose opinions don't matter because they aren't famous. But for real, people who don't think skinny jeans are flattering--go home. Just go home. Skinny jeans look good on pretty much everyone regardless of your size and they make your shoes look 50x more stylish, so stop trying to mess with a good thing.

Something something about kitten heels. 

Lamenting about kitten heels is apparently the new "leggings aren't pants" cry, and I don't need that excess shit in my life. Take your dramatics elsewhere.

Only whores mix prints.

Okay, I made up the whores part but as if you haven't heard someone critiquing another person's outfit as "too busy." You know what's too busy? Your ass going on too much about another person's choice of clothing.

Honorable mentions: Designer products you think are ugly. 

Oh please do tell me about your opinion of Coach monogram bags and Lilly Pulitzer and how tacky it all is. You go on with your classy self.

So, what fashion faux pas are you sick of hearing about?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Little thoughts on a Monday night

To get out of a rut you're supposed to break your lazy habits and right now my lazy habits are telling me to sit down with some Lisa van der Pump-approved rosé and watch the Beverly Hills housewives talk over each other for an hour (also, what Bravo lovingly calls a "reunion").

So instead I'm going to write. But it's Monday and I'm feeling non-committal to any one topic, so I'm copying Kelly and her 'Memo' formats (again). Because doing anything else would require too much willpower and I just listened to Justin Bieber's "Baby" on Spotify radio for a full minute before turning it, so clearly I have none.

Game of Thrones disappoints again, because of course it did.

I'm not talking about the plot or whatever. Of course I'm talking about the lack of penis. The deftness with which they made sure all male nudity--besides butts, which don't count--was obscured during Sunday's premiere really raised the bar for all film editors tasked with adding shadows in post-production. Was I supposed to be impressed by that offering, HBO? Because you lost all my good will with the fifth prostitute's breasts you showed in plain daylight. I know showing a prostitute's breasts is about the righteous fight for historical accuracy, but still.

I saw Furious 7 and I didn't totally hate it.

My boyfriend dragged me to the latest Fast and Furious movie and I mainly wanted to go for the popcorn but I didn't hate the world while watching it, so that's something. I did hate the world while watching Crank though, which I also watched this weekend. I hated it enough that Jason Statham was on my shit list for the rest of the night. But then my boyfriend showed me this video and I'm slowly warming to him.

Drinks served in martini glasses are guaranteed to be awful.

This is my main epiphany of the night. I keep trying to like regular martinis because I'm all about martini-soaked olives but what I'm really learning is that I should probably just look into packaging martini-soaked olives. The best thing you can get out of a martini glass is a lemon drop, and lemon drops are awful.

"Animals" is a song that I love and I can't help it.

But I do have enough self respect not to link the actual music video, because I hear it's awful, so I linked the lyric video because those are things bands do now and I have that freedom. I'm only ashamed of how little shame I feel for loving this song.

Spotify's radio algorithm is terrible, and maybe sexist. 

It's one thing that songs start repeating only 15 songs in. It's another to have no hope of hearing a female-led band if I enter in a male artist or male-led band that isn't pop. Is my theory that it's sexist indisputable? No, okay it's not. Don't take me so literally, bro. But can a woman just hear some female folk artists when I turn on Avett Brothers radio?

I don't care how gorgeous a child actor grew up to be.

Why is my Facebook feed suddenly overrun with these stories of child actresses growing up to be oh my god you won't believe it gorgeous? It's wonderful that in 2015 all we still give a fuck about is whether you grow up to be attractive or not. Congrats, child actresses who never make it big in acting. Refinery29 still cares about you. Unless you grow up to be ugly.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The things I'm learning from obsessively watching Youtube make-up videos

I don't think there is anyone more obsessed with Youtube make-up videos at the moment than me. I'm just going to crown myself and let you all know that it's been decreed. The HOURS, people. The hours spent watching Youtubers I don't know putting make-up on their faces. I would be ashamed if I knew how to feel shame when it comes to things related to vanity.

And if there's anything I'm learning from Youtube make-up videos--besides obviously that my eyebrow game is lacking--it's that you can be a seemingly harmless person putting out free tutorials on smokey eye looks and people will still hate.your.fucking.guts.

Okay, no that's not it, totally. There's plenty more. Like:

1. How much people STILL like to say shitty things to strangers by first using the cop-out, "no offense." In the case of make-up videos, it's usually along the lines of:

No offense, but your make-up looks fucking hideous and you're not at all talented. Just wanted to let you know in case you were actually deluding yourself into thinking you were good at putting on make-up. No offense, though. :)

It's 2015, ya'll. If you want to be shitty, just be shitty. I think our society has gotten to that point.

2. How much people hate being called out for being shitty when they've said something terrible. There's this interesting dynamic on Youtube make-up videos (well probably all Youtube videos) where commenters think they can say whatever they want and the make-up guru just has to take it with a smile, and if they don't they're being assholes and and unappreciative of their subbies (worst word ever? Maybe). I.e.:

Commenter: No offense but this video sucked and you're totally uninspired, just like the lobster I had last night. 
Youtuber: Then don't watch.
Commenter: You stupid bitch--I was just trying to give you constructive criticism. 

I feel like these situations play out all the time in real life. I remember once in school a popular girl made a snotty, sarcastic comment to another girl who had the audacity to return a sarcastic comment and the popular girl almost lost her shit... when, really, what did she expect? Everyone needs to learn at some point in life that people respond in kind, so if you're being an asshole, just own it and don't be a dipshit about it when someone raises you one.  

3. How much people still think, "You know guys don't actually like that right?" is solid reasoning to not wear something. If you're not wearing your hair or doing your make-up in a certain way because of what Cosmopolitan or fucking GQ told you men liked, then you need to look in the mirror and tell yourself, "I am my own person. If I like red lipstick then I'm going to goddamn stain my coffee mug with the brightest goddamned lipstick I can find every goddamn morning."

4. How often men think their opinion on something trumps your own preferences. See above.

5. How much I like Jaclyn Hill. Sorry, Guru Gossiper, I think she's delightful.

Monday, April 6, 2015

How to get out of a rut

Here's what I've accomplished the past two months: jack shit. But I did think about accomplishing things. I mean, really, that's all I did. I've become that person who always talks in terms of tomorrow. 

Oh yeah, tomorrow, I'll start exercising again. Tomorrow I'll write something. 

But then work ends and all I want to do is sit on the couch and watch Netflix. I'm in a rut and the only way I know how to get out is to basically do the opposite of everything I've been doing.

That means:

Stop watching Gilmore Girls. And Friends. And Say Yes to the Dress. And every other dumbass show that has 4+ seasons available on Netflix. But most importantly, stop watching Gilmore Girls. Each episode I ask myself: Are you really ready for 42 minutes of Lorelei's monologues interspersed with Logan calling Rory 'Ace?' No, of course I'm not. But then Lorelei and Luke interact and all is right in the world.

Exercise. Or at least tell people I'm exercising so when anyone asks me what I do to stay active (though, really, what kind of worthless question is that?), my answer doesn't have to be, "uh well I have these Jillian Michaels DVDs but I haven't done them in awhile. Sometimes, I think about doing them though."

Stop watching Youtube make-up videos. But only because every video is a reminder that I've missed my calling. I want my full-time job to be sitting alone in my room talking to a camera! I want my full time job to include getting free make-up! I want the fine folk at Guru Gossiper to dissect every video I make while simultaneously claiming to not give a shit about me. But most of all I want to be able to answer: Do make-up collections stop existing if their owners don't make 30-minute long videos about them?

Substitute fresh-squeezed juices for wine. This is a tough one. Buy a $20 Bota Box cab or spend $500 on enough fresh fruit for a week's worth of daily juice. If you couldn't tell I don't actually know how much fresh fruit would cost for a week's worth of juice... because I don't juice. Ever. But I do know freeing the spigot from a box of wine takes way less time than blending a bunch of fruit. And is there anything more annoying than cleaning a blender? There's not. Except for maybe cleaning out your coffee mug each day.

Start running. I have this theory I'll like running because I like driving alone in my car while listening to music, and running's basically the same thing right? Alone time with music? The only downside is I'm super self-conscious about how I look running and everyone I know has told me have I have a reason to be.

Stop complaining. Or at least stop complaining about the same things over and over. Although really, the best reason to stop complaining is so annoying people who hear everything as a complaint stop saying, "stop complaining about everything!" to every statement that isn't blindingly positive so people are, I don't know, struck by what non-complain-y martyrs they are.

Get a hobby. Here's something I've noticed: I don't have a good answer to, "So what are your hobbies?" Granted I think it's as annoying a question as, "What do you do to stay active?" but I feel like I should probably have a decent answer that doesn't reference Netflix. Or reading. No one gives a shit that you like to read.  

Eat more greens. I mean this is like a given, right?

So, please, tell me how you get out of a rut. Because right now I'm going to go back to watching Friends on Netflix.

Monday, February 2, 2015

The realities of living with someone else

Let's just call this old piece the honeymoon version of what it's like living with your significant other, because now I have a glass of red wine in hand--it's boxed, duh--and that means it's time to really talk.

So let's talk, because it's not all waking up early to go to the farmer's market together (which, by the way, obviously Logan and I do every weekend because we're perfect).

Obviously this will be presented in list form because doing anything else would require too much commitment, so let's just drop all pretenses now.

The realities of living with someone else:

1. There's no such thing as being smooth about when/how often you poop anymore. Everybody knows okay.

2. You can't just turn on Netflix and watch whatever you want (Gilmore Girls--Lorelei and Luke stop being dumb and just do it already) without someone chiming in like their opinion is important.

3. They will always know the most inconvenient time to come in and ask to use the bathroom while you're using the mirror to get your eyeshadow game on.

4. You have to listen to so much Rage Against the Machine. So much.

5. It becomes really obvious when there's a discrepancy between how much wine you drink... and how much wine they don't drink.

6. You have a plethora of end tables because apparently that was a thing you both collected while single.

7. There's no covert way to shave your lady mustache. I mean, there is. But like you give a fuck anymore.

8. You can't just forego dinner anymore or heat up a frozen Lean Cuisine meal that tastes like shit--but only cost $2 so what are you even complaining about anyway--because having dinner together is a thing couples do.

9. It's called you have to agree on a coffee flavor because you're not fancy enough to have a Keurig and ya'll have to share a pot.

10. They know how not cool you are by like day 5 of living together.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Currently Loving: MannyMua, Beyonce and micellar water

It's a new week and new things to love. Of course, I'm usually 10 steps behind, so a lot of these things are probably stuff people have been loving for months (years?). No big deal, I'll just pretend they're new and I'm avant-garde.

with the Happy Type.

1. Youtube guru Manny Mua and this make-up look. I love finding new gurus to follow and this eye look is what I'm living for right now. As if I'm not weak for an everyday cat-eye.

2. XO by Beyoncé. Did ya'll know she dropped a secret CD? OF COURSE YOU DID. But I'm only  listening to it in full now that it's finally on Spotify. XO? Yeah, it's, easily, the most played. Followed by "Jealous." 

3. Micellar water. It's like cold cream but less greasy and I'd like to thank Target for having it and Lauren Curtis for mentioning it in one of the Youtube make-up videos I obsessively watch.

4. Broad City on Amazon Prime. Yep, it's that show everyone always talks about that you feel like you should check out too, and really, you should--what are you waiting for?

5. BOXYCHARM. How have I been wasting my life only subscribing to Birchbox?

Currently not loving: Meghan Trainor claiming she started the "booty song movement." LOLOLOL. Okay, girl.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Lilly Pulitzer and the concept of class

So, here's something that happened this month: The fashion label Lilly Pulitzer announced they were collaborating with Target and some classy, longtime Lilly fans lost their minds. And by lost their minds, obviously I mean they took to Twitter.

Which Refinery29 then cataloged for everyone else's amusement. Allow me to summarize the tweets for you:

But if the poors now have access to Lilly, how will anyone know I'm The Special? #LillyforTarget #whygod

While I think the protestations are snobbish to their core, they don't really surprise me. It's kind of like when a favorite but not very well-known singer gets catapulted to the spotlight and I have that moment of always wanting to be like "but I liked them first!"... minus, of course, the classist bit about hating that poor people might have access to the things I like. 

To me, Lilly Pulitzer--along with Vera Bradley--is the long-standing domain of sorority girls, which I was not, so it never really registered as a fashion option. That said, I'm all for their aggressively preppy accessories, like the tote/grocery bag I bought on clearance (yes, clearance) that has lobsters all over it and says something about buttering me up. 

I'd also be all about their iphone cases, if, you know, I had an iphone. 

The point is, though, it's not a label I dearly love, so I didn't really have a reaction, one way or the other, to the news that Target would feature Lilly. What really chafes my ass though (sorry, is that not a classy thing to say?) is that there are people who, without shame, think they are better than other people based on the clothes they wear and, not just that, but the cost of the clothes they wear.

So many of the arguments against Lilly for Target come down to the brand being too "classy" for an inexpensive mass-retailer, which basically translates to, "it's no longer special if poor people can wear it too." 

Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for people to make fun of designer labels that "slum it" by creating a cheap line that's sold at inexpensive retailers, like Oscar de la Renta at Costco. But why are we making fun? What's the issue? What's wrong with more people having access to designer clothing? Because A) Let's be real--there's clearly going to be a difference between what's sold at Costco and what's sold in a name-sake boutique and B) Is that $1,500 dress you bought really less special because someone was able to buy an Oscar de la Renta sweater at Costco that was cheaper and of less quality? 

It all seems to come down to the bullshit concept of class and what's classy, and, on the other hand, what's not and what's trashy or tacky. As in: "Oh my god, Oscar at Costco?! That's SO tacky!"

The term "class" is synonymous with good breeding and wealth and being of the upper crust, which is apparently what we're all supposed to strive for. As such, being called classy is supposed to be the ultimate compliment and anything opposite that is exactly what you don't want to be.

What's really being said when you call someone classy is, "You're like someone born with money. Good for you." 

And, you know, at 18, when I was incredibly insecure and in awe of Vogue socialites, I probably would've loved if someone complimented me by calling me classy. At 27, though, I only think of drunk Real Housewives shrieking about other bitches not being as classy as they are. 

And, while I'd desperately like to learn the secrets of "classiness," I feel like I'm getting mixed messages. 

Countess Luann, the self-proclaimed queen of class, tells me in her useful primer that money can't buy you class:

And yet, apparently, money spent on expensive Lilly dresses does in fact buy you class. So I don't know who to believe anymore.

But I do know that this bullshit worship of people born into money needs to stop. 

There is nothing inherently special about someone who had the good luck of being born into wealth regardless of how desperately Vogue wants you to think they're special. And you're not special because you spent more on a dress than someone else. 

Can we please find more interesting ways to differentiate ourselves?