Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Clothing Collective: Beach fun!

Who am I kidding? I haven't been to a beach in probably two years. Not since I lived in Australia, where gorgeous beaches are everywhere you turn.

But beachwear is basically just going-to-the-pool wear, so I'll pretend expertise on the matter.

My bathing suit top is a bandeau with a halter, but it's a little fussy in design, so I can't wear tight shirts over it without my chest looking totally misshapen. Consequently, blousy tops and halters are my best friend.

Shorts from Cotton On, Belt from American Eagle, Shirt from Urban Outfitters, Tote in above photo from Fossil.
This blouse has been my go-to top since I bought it more than two years ago. You have no idea how many times that sucker has been tucked into one of my favorite high-waisted skirts. (The answer is a-fucking-lot!) By now, it's seen better days, which is why it's perfect for a beach day shirt.

People seem to have strong feelings one way or the other about blue-jean shorts (or maybe it was just one of my good friends who absolutely hated them), but I fall squarely in the camp that nothing beats a nice pair of denim shorts.

To keep it casual, I only tucked in the front of the shirt. On a related note, I did that with one of my shirts in high school once and I heard one of the popular girls make a snide comment about it to one of her friends.

On another related note, gah, it's nice not to be in high school anymore, isn't it?

Sometimes I want a do-over because I was so cripplingly shy that a I missed a lot of opportunities, but then I remind myself that high school is not the time to peak.

But, yeah, um, beachwear?

Truth-be-told my swimsuit bottoms have a ruffle around the top of them (since I am actually 5) which have to awkwardly hang out underneath my shorts. So there's another reason to wear a blousy shirt.

Earrings from local boutique, Bracelet from Maurices.
And, of course, you have to wear jewelry if your plans are simply to soak in the sun and not go in the actual water. I mean, what are you, a farmer?

You can check out Crystal's post here. She just went on a 10-day vacation to the Philippines (lucky bitch!), so she has multiple, awesome beach looks!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

An ode to nail polish

My nail polish collection.
Look, I fucking love nail polish.

I'm not going to make any bones about it.

Last time I counted--which was months ago, so who knows now--I had 72 bottles of nail polish. And you know what? If the Duggars can keep popping out J-named kids, I can keep growing this collection.

Essie is where my heart is because their colors are always so perfect (minus the runny reds), but my collection encompasses several brands, including the cheap Sinful Colors polishes--which are completely hit-or-miss in terms of quality and longevity--and other drugstore brands, like Revlon.

I don't spend more than $10 on a bottle, since I honestly don't even have the option to in the town where I live, and also, I have no need to, when Essie runs $8 a polish and can be found in any Walgreens.

People (guys) like to make comments asking what the point is, when guys don't even notice (see here) what you do to your nails, but I can honestly say I've never once painted them hoping a man would like it.

Which is apparently insane to some people (guys). To not dress for men. To not live to be attractive to men.

I used to be more into nail art. Which, by the way, takes fucking forever.

I bought a booklet of gold leaf (GOLD LEAF) to adhere to my nails, per this gorgeous suggestion, before realizing it was never worth the effort.

But not once did guys factor into it. "Oh man, I wonder if (insert guy's name) will find these nails sexy?!"

Hah. Please. 

My dresses may not always be for me, but my nails are.

Some bottles are useless pieces of goop now, but I don't want to get rid of them, because I bought the color because I loved it and have a useless hope that it'll figure out the right consistency once again.

Other bottles are used every chance I get (hello Big Spender!). Some are years old, but still hold up.

And some are recently purchased, celebrating the new season.

Painting my nails is not so much an interest as something I like to do to relax.

My routine?

1) Cut any needed nails.
2) Even nails.
3) Buff nails.
4) Apply Revlon Quick Dry base coat.
5) Apply color of choice. (Big Spender, just do it!)
6) Apply second coat.
7) Apply Essie "Good to Go" top coat.

It takes, maybe, 30 minutes in all, if you really drag it out.

The perfect time to rewatch an episode of Parks and Rec or 30 Rock.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

You go girl?

I love when songs pretend to be empowering in some way, and they just aren't at all. But I guess not everyone can take a page from Beyonce's "Irreplaceable."

A few of my favorites (because what else is there to ruminate about on a Tuesday?):

Sk8er Boi (by Avril Lavigne)

Look at me, I won’t even comment on that stupid fucking spelling.

(Oh, wait.)

Can I admit to kind of liking this song when it came out? It’s catchy! And it teaches you important life lessons like ballerinas are from Venus and punk rockers are from Mars. And also, if you reject someone in high school, you end up a loser with a baby.

Clearly this song was Avril staking her claim as a guy’s girl (if that dumbass “Complicated” song didn’t get it in your head). She’s so cool and not a dumb bitch, like—while we’re on the subject of dumb bitches—the one who rejected her super hot boyfriend in high school. 

And now him and Avril are super happy together and the ballerina is a single mom (nice plot point, Avril) who mournfully comes to sk8er boi’s concerts to watch him like the dried husk of a person she has become. 

And then at that same concert, Avril and sk8er boi sing a song they wrote about her and it’s AWESOME!!! 

Wait, what?

Oh, Avril. You’re dating a guy who’s still writing bitter songs about that girl he used to date five years ago? Ouch. 

Never Again (by Kelly Clarkson)

“Does it hurt/ To know I'll never be there/ Bet it sucks/ To see my face everywhere/ It was you
/ Who chose to end it like you did.”

Wait, I’m sorry Kells… are you taunting a guy who ended things with you with the fact that he’ll never see you again?

You can’t even throw in a line about how he wants you back or something?

So no, in answer to your question, it doesn’t hurt. It feels like good riddance.

Special video mention: “Since U Been Gone”

I know it's supposed to be fun, but the video to "Since U Been Gone" is beyond annoying. The song itself doesn’t bother me and is empowering enough, I guess, but the video takes any power the song has and kills it.

I know, I know—the video is supposed to be all "yeah, get it girl!" and I’m over-thinking it and being a fun-sucker.

But, really, Kelly? While her voice-over sings about “so moving on,” her video shows her tearing apart her ex’s apartment. So by “so moving on,” she means fucking with all of his stuff because that’s what people in a better place do. Got it.

And instead of him saying, “aw man I saw Kelly the other day and she looks so great, it’s too bad I messed up and lost her,” he’ll be saying to friends, “so that crazy bitch I used to date…guess what she did to my place.”


Better Than Revenge (by Taylor Swift)

Oh, Taylor, way to attack the problem at the source. I mean, I know you play fair and that this guy (Joe Jonas, yes it's about Joe Jonas, I know this fact) probably has five songs dedicated solely to him and his terribleness, but you know what’s really better than revenge?

Having self-awareness.

Stealing boyfriends is totally YOUR thing. Is that why you’re so mad? 

Cry Me a River (by Justin Timberlake)

"You don't have to say what you did/ I already know/ I found out from him/ Now there's just no chance for you and me/ You're not with me/ Don't it make you sad about it?"

No, it doesn't make me sad that I lost a guy who's creepy enough to break into my place while I'm not home and/or showering. 

Gives You Hell (by the All-American Rejects)

Ugh, the bitterness reeks. Oh wait. I meant I'm in such hell for what I've "done" to you. 

"And truth be told I miss you/ And truth be told I'm lying." 

That's cute.

Pray for You (by Jaron and the Long Road to Love)

"I pray your brakes go out runnin' down a hill/ I pray a flowerpot falls from a window sill and knocks you in the head like I'd like to/ I pray your birthday comes and nobody calls/ I pray you're flyin' high when your engine stalls."

Cool. I'll pray your shitty lyrics choke you as they attempt to leave your mouth in the middle of your next concert.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Clothing Collective: Summer fun!

I think I am supposed to open this post with something like, "finally! Summer is here!" but I'll refrain because.. well.

1) Spring is 100 percent superior.

2) Summer is kind of meaningless when you have a full-time job and no money to go on some fancy getaway.

In reality, summer is hot, sticky and humid.

And to combat the hellish heat, you wear stuff like this:

Pale girls unite?
Even though you'll see girls in shorts just as short and you'll make a snide comment, because, um, her buttcheeks were totally sticking out, and you can say something because yours aren't THAT bad.

But really? When else can you wear tiny red shorts and get away with it? (Answer: in the fall, when you wear them with tights.)

Hanging out on my mom's back porch.
To me--someone who doesn't go on vacations often--summer fun is about hanging out with friends and family in somebody's backyard, preferably holding some fruity cocktail involving vodka and citrus juice.

When I do take off from work, it's typically to come home to Colorado for a few days, and while Colorado lacks the humidity of Kansas, it still gets HOT. So wearing jeans while relaxing for any length of time outside is not an option. (Just let me justify my tiny shorts, okay?)

Sunglasses and earrings from Target.
On another note, I don't like to be a jealous person because I think it's a waste of energy, but fuck if I'm not jealous of girls who are made for summertime. The ones who can wear their hair in its natural texture and look great, who get deep tans after a few hours in the sun and can pull off strapless swim tops with cut-offs and something stupid like a gold band around their upper arm.

When I lived and worked in Australia for seven months after graduation, these girls were everywhere along the east coast. It was fun feeling inadequate for a month. Oh, and also feeling really old.

I was only 23 when a friend and I decided to travel for two weeks up the east coast from Sydney to Cairns (okay, I never vacation these days!), but the trip is an apparent must-do for U.K. students during their gap-year from secondary school to university... so there are 18-year-olds everywhere you turn.

Which isn't a bad thing, except that a few of them seemed to think anyone in their twenties was getting past their prime.

Or maybe I'm just projecting?

UGH, summer.

But, you can find Crystal's summer fun look here! Isn't it adorable?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Clothing Collective: Garden party!

It's summertime which means you should be outdoors as often as you can, particularly for such events that combine drinking and eating--and that's why our latest outfit for the Clothing Collective is something perfect to wear for a garden party.

I guess you could just call it an outfit for an outdoor party, but that doesn't have the same ring, does it?

First things first, I chose this floral dress because if you think I am going to get upstaged by real flowers at my own garden party, you thought WRONG.

Dress from Bettie Page Clothing. Wedges from Nine West.
Plus the dress blows nicely in the wind and is long enough not to expose your lacy thong/granny panties/lack of underwear if a gust blows through your party.

I decided to go straight retro with the t-strap wedges and a necklace that used to belong to my grandmother.

Beyond the retro look though, the wedges were also a better option for grass and dirt than heels, because a) I hate when you get dirt caked around your heel and b) like I want to be teetering on heels when I am concentrating on not dropping my plastic cup full of boxed white wine and and my plate full of potato salad and BBQ.

Obviously this is how you should stand if you don't want anyone to approach you:

My grandmother's necklace.
(If you freckle, it's only downhill from here this season. AM I RIGHT?)

I wore my hair wavy because nothing says "effortless, outdoor chic" like spending a fucking hour curling it so it can fall out in the humidity of Kansas and become a mass of blah by the end of the night. 

But without further ado, Crystal's look can be found here!


Next up, summer fun!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Clothing Collective Series: Anniversary Dinner Date!

So, Crystal and I discovered that we have the same anniversary date: May 28! Of course, hers is her wedding anniversary while mine is my one-year with my boyfriend, but DETAILS.

Obviously our first Clothing Collective post had to be about the perfect outfit to wear for anniversary dates.

This is what I wore to mine: 

Dress from Modcloth, clutch from local boutique, shoes from BCBGirls.

I knew I wanted to wear this dress for awhile. It's approximately two years old and I've worn it only twice--once to Crystal's going away party when she moved to Korea and for New Year's 2012.

While I love the dress, it's a bit dramatic and way too dressy for normal nights out where I live and though I love to dress up, who wants to be the person who looks like they are trying too hard?

Plus it requires a super awkward bra that tapes to your skin under your armpits. While a certain company claims the bra should be good for 25 uses, the sticky adhesive wears after only a few uses,  so you're left to constantly be worried that your bra is about to slip. Also, it itches. There's that too. 

But, really, what is the point of anniversaries if not to get dressed up? Surely it's not just about celebrating your relationship with another person.

I got it in my head that I wanted to do an all-black thing because I thought it would be sleek, and though I have a pair of black, patent stilettos that would have been more fun, I chose my tried-and-true BCBGirls heels because a) they wouldn't make me taller than my boyfriend (yes, I know, it's silly) and b) they would keep the outfit more casual than stilettos and I didn't want this outfit to scream SUPER.DRESSED.UP.

Ring from Dillards.
I also got it in my head that I wanted black and gold accessories but I am nothing if not a procrastinator so I didn't actually go out and look for any accessories until the day of, and goodness knows when you are shopping and actually willing to spend money, nothing is appealing.

If I'd had more time, I probably would've found some pretty jade and gold accessories, but as it was, I settled on this ring and thick-ish gold hoop earrings to warm up the outfit.

And let me tell you, the earrings were a bitch to put on. It took at least ten minutes on each ear because you didn't simply have to stick the point through your ears, you then had to navigate the point into a loop. Not just press it down à la something like this, but stick the point into a closed circle. I was repeatedly cursing myself and the designer in the mirror by the time I was done. And my ears still hurt days later. 

Apparently I decided to go sluttier than Crystal, but her adorable look can be seen here

Here's a preview:

Next up, outfits for a garden party! You go to lots of those, right? I mean, who doesn't, really?