Tag Archives: personal style

I’m In Chains: The Dress That Has Come to Represent My Early-Mid 20s

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Dress: Lazy Oaf via Nasty Gal. Faux fur vest: gift from my brother. Necklace, ring, bracelet: gifts from family and friends. Earrings: vintage. Tights: DKNY. Shoes: Ann Marino (these are ANCIENT).

The dress from the front.

The dress from the front.

The dress from the back.

When I first saw this dress, my first thought was, “OOOOOooooOOOOOoooo. So many colors…” Like most days, I was checking out Nasty Gal (don’t worry — I’m almost always just checking) when I stumbled across this funky number by Lazy Oaf. The colors, the bold chain print, and the form-fitting, figure-flattering, flirty, feminine cut were enough for me to click on the picture for a close-up. What did me in, however, were the “Lazy” tags that were part of the print. This dress reminded me of what life had been for me up until now: I had been chained by what many had perceived to be laziness, but what I knew was actually fear of failing miserably.

I recently came to the realization that anxiety over the prospect of failure is not my only problem, nor is it my biggest problem. My greatest issue is fear of commitment. I’ve come to understand that, like many people, I am not a talentless loser who fails at everything. Rather, I actually have many talents and, if anything, I’m overwhelmed by opportunities for tremendous success. However, being that I’m afraid of commitment, I’ve shied away from many opportunities for success precisely because of the presumed commitment to continued good work in that particular area in which I would have realized success. In a nutshell, if I decide to pursue taxation and I become successful in that field, I am afraid that I will be locked into that field forever without any way out.

You must understand that this realization is a huge step forward for me. Not only have I accepted my real shortcomings, but I’m beginning to accept my talents. Let me tell you, it’s been extremely liberating and empowering to finally look at myself in the mirror and see the reflection of someone capable, rather than someone who constantly fails. I’m finally freeing my true self from my old, toxic self-loathing self. I’m sawing off the rusted chains and shackles that have kept me from soaring into space! Needless to say, I bought the dress, and am thrilled that I did.

Anyway, back to the dress. Now I know what some of you might be thinking: “Umm, hello? Is anybody home? It’s made of polyester, and you’re not supposed to buy anything unless you need it.” Well, smartypants, I have news for you all; I did need to buy this dress. I was in need of one club/lounge dress at the time of purchase because I didn’t own ANY.

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Anyway, I wore this last Saturday night under the faux fur vest my brother gave me. I wore it with some of my mom’s jewelry from the 70s: a colorful silver scarab on a silver chain, and the “shield” ring with her first initial on it. I also wore a silver coil bracelet with brass balls threaded through it that was given to me by a family friend eons ago (pictured above).

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vegetable picnic earrings

I mustn’t forget my favorite earrings! I had purchased these a few years ago at some thrift store on Orchard St. I had to haggle with this loaf of a man with Jerry curls for about ten minutes before reaching an acceptable price, but I got them. I love their whimsical design; the flourishes and the dangling “carrots” are so magical!

I think that I looked great. I did, however, make one major rookie mistake: I layered a form-fitting polyester dress over a Spanx slip over tights. My dress was riding up my thighs for most of the night. Also, my shoes kept on slipping off of my heels as I walked. Sigh. It turns out that wearing this dress is like wearing the chains that were keeping me from living my life until recently!

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Quick Tip: Tights on Tights

Living in a cold weather state can be nice (there’s nothing like a nice cup of hot cocoa after a cold walk), but it also comes with some problems. For the fashion-conscious, winter is like a dangerous game of Would You Rather in which style and comfort are constantly pitted against each other. If you’ve ever chosen a stylish, flimsy jacket over a warm (but inelegant) puffer coat for a night out in February, you definitely understand how cruel the fashion gods can really be. In recent years, however, I’ve begun to really grow tired of sacrificing one thing for the other, and I’ve been trying to blend the two elements together. Although some attempts don’t yield a harmonious marriage of style and warmth, others have been pretty successful.

Take, for example, hosiery. Not all tights or stockings are warm enough for the winter, but there is a way to make them so, and it’s SO. EASY. All you need to do is layer tights over tights. That’s it! It’s a trick I picked up a few years ago from a friend of mine, and I’ve been doing it ever since! Just take two pairs of tights, like this black pair and this blue pair….

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and layer them to make navy… I wish that the picture had turned out better, because the result is really cool in person…

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You can even try this with textured tights for a more funky effect. Again, I apologize for the crappy lighting of the photos.

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The photos can’t properly demonstrate just how awesome the effect is. I encourage you to try it yourself! Not only will you be warm, but you’ll be adding a little bit of freshness to your style.

Black and blue tights: Hue
Black leggings: Guess
Black fishnets: Marion

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Merry Christmas, Ted Baker!

Hello, hello out there! I’m very sorry that I’ve been M.I.A., but I’m in the midst of a blog tool upgrade (I’m looking for a tripod so that I no longer need to rely on my youngest brother, “Twigglezip,” to photograph me when he’s around — which is to say, once every three weeks or so), so I will be posting about three times a week FROM NOW ON. I pinky promise. Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye.

Anyway, I wanted to share with you my AWESOMELY AWESOME Christmas Eve dress.

Dress: Ted Baker, shoes: Via Spiga, Spanx: you betcha

A few posts ago, I predicted that I’d find this dress only hours before I was expected at my Aunt Sheila’s house. Lo and behold, I was right (I found it at Bloomingdales two hours before the party started). Talk about having “una botta di culo” as my Zia (Aunt) Nina would say (that’s just a “less refined” way of saying that one has luck on their side); I seem to pull off the drive-by dress hunting pretty well (meaning, I usually find something I love the day of the event). Yay me! I happen to love all of the dresses I’ve found this way.

I had already decided to buy this dress when a salesperson approached me and told me how much he loved it. “It’s so Jetsons!” he said. Indeed. Check out the sleeves in the next photo! Very “Jane, his wife!”

This is the PERFECT cocktail dress. Why? It’s a classic and very flattering shape for one (yes, it is, Judys and Elroys!). The black and white contrast makes it appropriate for most events, and it gives the shape a very modern flair and some drama. I also like that it’s conservative in all the right ways (I wanted to avoid the side boob and exposed cleavage for a family party) but a flattering and sexy length, which still communicates that I’m 23 and I belong at the not-so-kiddie kiddie table in the sun room (where all the cousins who are too old to be at the kiddie table, child-less and/or unmarried get to hang).

Strangely enough, I didn’t opt for anything sparkly for Christmas. In fact, nary a sparkly accessory could be found anywhere on me. I kept it simple: pearl earrings, smoky eye. That’s it. But, but, but…! I did stick with one Christmas-y theme: shoes with bows!

Shoes: Via Spiga

These were the shoes I wore to my senior prom, and they’ve been my go-to shoe for many a non-professional event since. Even though these are simple black satin shoes, the bows make them so flirty and girly and fun! Perfect for when you want to be more old-school classy than glamorous.

I did make sure to add a pop of color to the otherwise monochromatic palette, however, with this lovely bag I got a little over a month ago. You’ll also notice that I ended up slipping on my brother, “Pandorino”‘s new Michael Kors watch for fun (I love men’s accessories, especially watches).

Watch: Michael Kors, bag: Tory Burch

Watch: Michael Kors, bag: Tory Burch

I also love these pictures because my butt looks AWESOME. I’m definitely in love with this dress and my Spanx. Hell, let me even throw in another photo of the entire dress (seriously, I’m really pleased with my choice — I couldn’t have given myself a better gift if I had tried).

Dress: Ted Baker, mood: pleased but PARTIED OUT

It even looked good after five or six hours of celebrating and filling up on fish and fudge!

Merry Christmas, Ted Baker!

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