FLOTUS and cleavage

I’m just asking for bizarre Google searches with two posts that mention boobs in one day, but I had to throw this up here.  Apparently Glenn Beck and Matt Drudge are trying to cause a kerfuffle because they believe Michelle Obama is disgracing America with her slightly-cleavage-revealing attire at a recent state dinner.  Before you go assuming she looked like J.Lo in that Versace dress, here’s what FLOTUS wore that has caused the uproar:

Image via the Examiner.com.

Beck said on his radio show: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen the first lady with her breasts all smooshed up, I mean, what is that?”

My first thought was, really? Does Glenn Beck even know what the fashions were in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries, back when his heroes, the Founders, were still around?  Because seriously, get a look at the racks on some of these first ladies:

First Lady Dolley Madison, with her “breasts all smooshed up.” Image via womenshistory.about.com.
Thomas Jefferson’s daughter, who acted as official hostess while he was in office, wears a pretty low-cut gown here. Image via womenshistory.about.com
This is Helen Taft’s inaugural gown. I’d imagine it showed some cleave. A Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from kubina’s photostream
Even Eleanor Roosevelt got into the deep-V action! Image via womenshistory.about.com
Is that some cleavage I see on Mamie Eisenhower? Image via womenshistory.about.com

I mean, I know it’s not even necessary to bother to point out how ridiculous Glenn Beck is, but geez. C’mon.

dear vickie b.

Work should be cancelled on spring’s first sunny and 65 day.  Since I’ve yet to get this passed into law, I had to make do with a lunch break spent outside in the sunshine, in a little sculpture garden near my office.  I picked up the latest issue of Glamour and just relished some free time on a beautiful day.

The lovely Lizzie Miller. She makes me want to hang out in my underwear and a tiara. I need a tiara.

One reason I continue to support Glamour, even though I’ve slowly cut most fashion mags out of my life (why is the subject of a post for another day), is that they seem to actually be trying to include a wider variety of beauty and spread a more empowering message, and I like to vote with my dollars to encourage that.  Indeed, this issue featured a shot of plus size model Lizzie Miller, made famous by her naked photo that appeared in Glamour.  It also featured an ad that says “YOU are beautiful” that I’m thinking of taping to my computer monitor.  Other things I liked seeing included a letter from Eve Ensler encouraging readers to embrace themselves as emotional beings, and advice from Ellen DeGeneres to “Find out who you are and be that person. That’s what your soul was put on this earth to be. Find that truth, live that truth, and everything else will come.”  Stuff like that almost makes up for ads targeting me for 0 calorie jello snacks (God forbid a woman consume a calorie!), ads for SlimQuick supplements (yay quackery!), and ads for tobacco products (can’t we just say no to accepting money from companies that peddle death?).

Anyway, this month’s cover girl is Victoria Beckham, with an adorable spread featuring her looking glamorous while cuddling with puppies and schlepping groceries and trying to seem “normal” as a pop star turned fashion icon with a soccer hottie for a husband can seem.  And, as I read through the interview, I found myself wishing Glamour had maybe edited Posh’s interview a bit. Because reading that Posh said this made me mad: Continue reading “dear vickie b.”

by my own bootstraps

I’m a fan of the skinny jeans tucked into boots look.  In the summer I’m all about skirts and dresses with bare legs and ballet flats, but in the winter I don’t want even one inch of ankle to feel a bit of a chill.  (Hell, I don’t want one inch of anything to feel one bit of chill, and so you’ll see me bundled from head to toe out at the bus stop in the mornings, though that didn’t stop THREE people from honking at me this morning!)  It’s hard to find any shoes that look cute with socks, so the solution is to just wear boots over pants, preventing anyone from seeing my socks, and preventing frigid air from making its way up my pantlegs.  Not to mention, you get to show off your cute boots, and I definitely want to show off my boots if I’ve made the investment.  The problem is that the pants scootch their way up inside the boots and I end up with baggy knees and annoying bunches around my ankles.

I thought one solution might be tighter jeans, and for a minute, I contemplated some jeggings (jean leggings), but was assured by my friends that there’d be an intervention if I dared to make the purchase. Then, via Consumerist, I learned that people are making little straps for turning normal pants into stirrup pants, keeping them from riding up when tucked into boots.  However, these straps cost from $9.99 (jeanstraps) to $25 (stirrupz). (Seriously? $25? INSANE!) And I could have a whole pair of jeggings for that cost…

I mentioned my problem to my sister, and she said she uses those straps made to keep sheets on beds to keep her pants in her boots. GENIUS.  They’re only around $5, and I found a set of four in the bedding section at Target. Way cheap and no shipping.  They’re a little too long for my purposes, and if I weren’t so low class I’d probably cut and sew them properly, but instead I shortened them using folding and safety pins.  I tried out my new style tool with skinny jeans and a pair of Frye boots I scored for the unheard of price of $70 while on Christmas break, and THEY WORKED.

So there ya go kids. This durn librul is telling you to pull yourself up by your homemade bootstraps.

Edited to include: I also found these jodhpur clips (for horseback riders) for around $3 on Amazon if you can’t find the sheet straps at Target or Walmart.

rude and j.crew’d

Sometimes I get the feeling that I am the target of a very specific market research campaign waged by gurus at J.Crew.  You see, they send out emails, and, I believe, count the seconds between my receipt of “ADDITIONAL 20% OFF” and my arrival either at the website or in the store, which happens to be a hop, skip, and a jump down the street from my office.  They send out these emails and then rub their hands together like DANCE, MONKEY, DANCE.  And usually I do.  I’m addicted to their swimwear and their knit dresses and their sweaters, especially, but really?  If I had my choice of only one store, and unlimited funds, all my clothes would probably come from J.Crew (a close second would be Anthropologie, but I only own one dress from there, as they are SO DANG EXPENSIVE and less conducive to my mix-and-match style.  Plus, who am I foolin’?  I may wish I looked arty but I’m really some flavor of laid-back prep).

Anyway, it’s been, oh, a week since I last purchased something from J.Crew, and like clockwork, the new catalog just arrived to make me drool over things I can’t afford until they are at least an additional 20% off clearance.  So I figured instead of shopping, I’d just post a few of the things I’m coveting here on the ‘ol blerg.

Silk Frances Cami, $88.
Silk Frances Cami, $88.

I love this cami.  But I would never be able to own it because a) OH FOR THE LOVE OF SWEATING and b) I’d NEVER get it dry cleaned so it would never be worn.  But how gorgeous is it? SO GORGEOUS THAT’S HOW.

Slub cotton swirling flowers tee, $45.
Slub cotton swirling flowers tee, $45.

I wear a lot of t-shirts.  I have an entire drawer full of t-shirts.  They go with my skirts and jeans, and I pretty much don’t wear shirts that aren’t of the t-shirt variety, unless they are tank tops, which really, how different is that?  This isn’t just an ordinary t-shirt though.  It’s pretty and flowery and feminine and special.  Anyway, I’m sure this shirt cost them $3 to make with child labor in some East Asian country, and there is absolutely no reason for it to cost $45 except to TAUNT ME, you cruel J.Crew jerks.

Dressy Jersey Ruffle Neck Dress, $88.
Dressy Jersey Ruffle Neck Dress, $88.

Ok, this?  This I will buy.  When it goes on sale, of course.  This dress is exactly my JAM.  I own, I believe, 7 knit dresses from J.Crew, and have been wearing them 99.9% of this spring and summer. They are my wardrobe.  They’re comfy as heck and yet I don’t actually LOOK like I’m wearing a nightgown, which is exactly how comfy they are.  (Key here, though, is that belt, as I need a defined waist or I look like I’ve got a bun in the oven.)  I’m counting down until I can get my hands on this for less than $88.

Also?  If I could order that model’s hair, I so would.  I confess, J.Crew models’ long, naturally-wavy-looking hair was a major inspiration for growing my hair out and embracing my natural texture, allowing me to sleep many more minutes a day.  So thanks for that, J.Crew!

Flutter Scoopneck Dress, $78.
Flutter Scoopneck Dress, $78.

I would also wear the heck out of this dress.  It has all the things I love: made of t-shirt, fun details, defined waist, pretty color.  But thanks to my cheap cheap cheap mama, I would never ever pay full price for something like this.  It’s a curse.

Silk Sirrah Dress, $148.
Silk Sirrah Dress, $148.

This is beautiful.  I want it in the dark blue color.  And I promise I wouldn’t be ridiculous enough to wear it with SHOOTIES.  I really dig that it’s SPOSED to look wrinkly, because I refuse to iron.  It also has a skirt cousin.

Nottingham tall suede flat boots, $250.
Nottingham tall suede flat boots, $250.

I’ve been looking for the perfect tall boots for YEARS.  Alas, I have ridiculously skinny (13″) calves, and all boots flap around my calves and look ridiculous.  I really love these, as the gray color would eliminate worries about black vs. brown, and they don’t have a heel, which is crucial, as I’m like a drunk baby giraffe in heels.  I’d have to call them or go in store to figure out the calf issue though.

Kelcey crackle-metallic ballet flats, $125.
Kelcey crackle-metallic ballet flats, $125.

I could almost justify these, as I wore my last pair of silver ballet flats until the sole I re-glued on finally refused to stay glued, part of the silver had rubbed off the toes, and the inside lining was ripping out.  I wear so many ballet flats that my husband’s family refers to them as “Sarah shoes.”

Dominique gown, $2850.
Dominique gown, $2850.

Let’s end with something totally fantastical, shall we?  Every time the J.Crew catalog comes, I ask Jon if we can have another wedding so I can have another wedding dress.  I was not all that into wedding planning, but man do I love wedding dresses.  I ride past a couture wedding boutique every day on the bus and drool over the dresses, which have a similar aesthetic to J.Crew’s.  Anyway, my three-year anniversary is tomorrow, and the ONLY thing I’d do over again is I’d get my dress, and my bridesmaid’s dresses, from J.Crew.  (And lest any of you think I’m insane, no, my original wedding gown did not cost this much.  Try $350 at David’s Bridal.)

So, maybe I should go buy a lotto ticket if I ever hope to have even one of these things?  Curse you J.Crew and your endless temptations!

flashback/flashdance what a feelin’

Ok, you guys, I had to share this.  I walk past that mecca of hipster fashion, American Apparel, on my way to my office every morning.  And what I saw took me back to 1992.  I swear I had this dress, and wore it with leggings and a side ponytail and a hairbow made of neon shoelaces.  If you’re a girl, born in the 80s, I bet you had something similar.  My question is, why do hipsters want to look like me, circa second grade?

Perhaps there’s no use questioning it, though.  Afterall, this is the same company that also makes see-thru mesh dresses, and a strange assortment of neon spandex horrors.

Exhibit A:

In college, I took “Aerobic Dance” as a P.E. class.  It involved watching a very old VHS workout video with a woman who would have been right at home in that shiny pink-and-mesh leotard.  Heaven help me when the first hipster college kid comes into my office wearing something like that.  I might roll my eyes so hard they get stuck.

Exhibit B:

SERIOUSLY?  The crotch of those “harem pants” is more like “I pooped my pants.”  That is one high-wasted, tapered leg, poulterwang-inducing FREAKSHOW of a garment.

celebrate independence

So, tomorrow is Independence Day, and I figured, what better way to support independence than to support an independent artist?  Especially in this economy, supporting small business owners is downright patriotic.  So…. I indulged my Etsy browsing hobby and came up with a few things that seem apt for the 4th of July holiday weekend.  Check ’em out!

I almost wish I had a kid so I could make him wear that onesie on Saturday. How cute is that?  Like a lil baby politician! $11 by rocknrags.

I live in dresses in the summertime.  I’m really wishing I had this one to wear on Saturday.  $60 by wingandwendy.

Even more than the sundress though, I wish I had this suit for hanging out on the beach (or on a lake!) on the Fourth of July.  SO cute. By FablesbyBarrie.

I have a thing for old barns, so I love this photo.  $35 by buckscountyframes.

I sorta want this letterpress print for my kitchen RIGHT NOW.  $12 by cindytomczykart.

Sailor Tote! By banyanhippo, whom I’ve bought from– quality bags, and quick shipping all the way from Turkey! $27.

If you’re more of a small purse gal, this one is adorable.  $28 by nonsuch.

Letterpress print, $10 from letterpress.

I’m not cool enough to know who Minus the Bear is, but this is a great poster. $30 by SleepOp.

Print by YeeHawIndustries, $25.

OMG OBAMA BIDEN FINGER PUPPETS.  Is it weird to like these SO MUCH?  The seller, mullishmuse, has lots of other awesome finger puppets as well. $16.

I’ll take this vintage pitcher full of lemonade, plz. $14 from CsRetroChicBoutique.

States United poster.  Wish I could afford it.  $75 by beauchamping.

Cute necklace, $18 by BRadleyBB.

i have baggage

So, I involved you, the Internets, in a quest for my new work tote.  And you voted.  And then I picked something else that wasn’t even in the original lineup.  And then I waited for it to get to me, all the way from Turkey.  And it arrived! And it was beautiful!

And alas….

It was too small.  My lunch bag wouldn’t fit in it, and it’s not like I have a giant lunch bag.  It pretty much just holds one small tupperwear or sandwich, a yogurt, and maybe an apple or orange.  So, my beautiful all-the-way-from-Turkey bag will have to be a purse used on non-work-days, leaving me again in need of a new work tote. Continue reading “i have baggage”

votes and totes

Thanks for all the help choosing my new bag!  Considering that Option 1 seemed a major favorite, and that I wear a lot of both blue AND green and should not get a bag that clashes (per Orlande and MundaneJane), and considering CuteCheapStuff‘s advice to get a bag with a cross-body strap, this is the one I ended up ordering:

Daphne in the Garden II, 19x14, $33
Daphne in the Garden II, 19x14, $33

Now I just have to wait for it to get here all the way from Turkey!

HELP! mama needs a brand new bag

So, one of the things about riding the bus is that I need to carry a certain number of things with me every day.  First and foremost, for the event of rain, I carry an umbrella and a folds-into-a-pocket raincoat with me every time I ride the bus.  The rest of my Every Day Carry is a book, a composition book, a couple of pens or sharpies, cell phone, wallet, keys, sunglasses, way more lip products than I’ll ever need, a lunchbag, a stainless steel water bottle, a thermos, and a cardigan or a pashmina because my office is generally freezing.  Bottom line is: I carry a lot of stuff every single day.

Currently, I’m using a ginormo tote that is a black burlap-y material, with leather straps that are reinforced with

My current clothes-ruining tote.
My current clothes-ruining tote.

grommet things.  It has a zip closure, which is nice in the event of rain so my books don’t get ruined.  It’s about 18 inches wide, 12 inches tall, and 5 inches deep.  And it’s ruining my clothes.  Apparently the weird burlap-y material rubs against my cardigans and jersey dresses and causes them to pill like crazy.  And I can’t have that happening.

So, I need help picking a new tote.  If possible, I’d like my money to go to an acutal human instead of someone like the Gap (though I like this tote), so, after browsing like 100 pages of totes on Etsy, I found a great seller: banyanhippo.  Only problem is I like SEVERAL of the bags.  Want to help me choose?  Just leave me a comment and tell me which one you like. Or if you have seen other great ginormo totes somewhere recently, tell me about it!

Option 1:

Daphne in the Garden 16x10.5x5, $34.
"Daphne in the Garden" 16x10.5x5, $34.

Option 2:

Plane leaves in blue sky, 15x12x5, $25.
Plane leaves in blue sky, 15x12x5, $25.

Option 3:

Fora II, 15x12x5, $25.
Fora II, 15x12x5, $25.

Option 4:

Elegant and Handy Everyday Purse, 15x12x5, $25.
Elegant and Handy Everyday Purse, 15x12x5, $25.

Edit: did some more looking and found a couple more that I like.

Option 5:

Stockholm Messenger Bag, 17x12x3, $39.
Stockholm Messenger Bag, 17x12x3, $39.

Option 6, for fans of Option 1:

Same as above, different fabric.
Same as above, different fabric.

So, what say ye, internets?

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