secret shame: milkmaid chic?

I have a secret. A passion for an article of clothing with no real world wearability, no useful features, historically steeped in silliness. You may be shocked (or you may not, since I've mentioned them twice in the past two blog entries), but I love dirndls. I remember watching the ladies in their beautiful dirndls passing by at Germanfest when I was a little girl (and when I went this past Friday), longing for their beauty. Every year I insisted that for next year, I would have a dirndl of my own, but I've never had one. I've never even tried one on (I'm afraid of those collapsible box-and-sheet dressing rooms they have on the festival grounds.). The trouble with them is, in fact, everything that makes them fabulous. A dirndl is an undeniable fashion statement. (This post may be a bit image light because most of the ones I'm finding are of actual people having fun in their dirndls [curses!], which are sort of creepy, costumes that are no doubt entitled "Sexy Barmaid," which are not really relevant, and Sims wearing dirndls, which is...sort of unexpected.)

Things I Love About Dirndls (A Brief List)

Bodice I considered writing about my love affair with corsets, but these days even the PTA seems to be all aboard the corset express (I'll share when I have a really great pile of pictures for you). I do love them, but I also enjoy bodices of many kinds! The dirndl bodice is festooned with laces, buttons, gorgeous embroidery--sometimes all three!

Color This applies pretty well to the photo above as well. Traditional German folk dress comes in a number of lovely colors, but dirndls for fashion and joy come in a veritable rainbow of colors! I lived fairly exclusively in black during high school (not in a cool Goth way, in a "black t-shirt and jeans + seasonal black hoodie" sort of style-challenged way) and still wear a lot of it--it's a go-to and a safety net for me, definitely, so really gorgeous colors are still alluring yet forbidden, like a rare bird or really expensive chocolate.

Accessorizing My last post was sort of an ode to my love of and utter failure to accessorize. As much as I love dirndls, I love all the pretty things that go with them: those pretty poofy blouses, socks (!), oftentimes little black kitten heels. I feel like it would be hard not to look cute in a dirndl--you can't just throw it on over a sports bra and some old Vans. The dirndl gives you so many options (should your blouse be more poofy, foofy, or lacy?) that some good old German style is unavoidable.

Statement Like I said before, a dirndl is pretty much unwearable in the "real world"...and that's why I love them. A lot of the styles that I love are over the top, perfectly crafted, and way more at home in photoshoots than in class or on the street. (Examples: Steampunk, pin-up/vintage, cyberpunk, Renfair, any number of gorgeous cosplays I see) I like dressing up. I wish I had the guts (and, in many cases, the gams) to pull off any of those looks in my every day life. It probably won't happen any time soon, if ever; I'll just have to wait until Germanfest next year.

Semi-related, but I'm listening to it and it's close enough it gets included: I highly recommend this Elvis-heavy duwop cover of "Hey There Delilah" by German band, The Baseballs.

coveting: all of the socks

The outfits I imagine for myself generally have very little relation to things I actually wear because a) I'm fickle, b) I'm lazy, and c) I'm a student with limited income. One of the primary differences between them are the socks.

I love socks. I like to imagine myself in a romantic flouncy skirt, maybe with a creamy cardigan and some perfectly matched vintage jewelry, with a pair of patterned socks that go just up to my knees and never slide down. And instead I either go buy a 12-pack of Hanes (the long kind so I can scrunch them down) or go sockless. The trouble with socks is that they're stuck in the accessory category, and I have trouble with accessories. I would rather buy a new shirt than three new pairs of socks, especially when the socks I fall in love with cost as much as a shirt, and I know that they'll never stay up the way I want them to. Socks only want to break my heart.

Still, that doesn't mean I can't admire them from afar. Let's take a tour!

I would wear these with my cranberry heels, to add a little splash of color.

These come in so many colors--I need to get at least five pairs and wear them with everything I own.

Okay, these are legwarmers, but still! Buttons!

For the days you feel like Heidi: do your hair in braids, throw on your cutest dirndl, and pull up these socks!

All of the above are from the fabulous Sock Dreams, but I have to admit that my current true passion are the tattoo socks by Etsy seller post.

Needless to say, I'm in love with them all and need to make them mine. Also, to prove my point, while the lovely Sparrow is sporting black-and-turquoise striped toe socks, I am wearing no socks at all. But I promise if I had socks with an octopus on the side, I would be wearing them right this very instant.

PS: I am so happy to back to the blogosphere. This past week was spent in a terrifying place where I had to put my hair into a ponytail everyday and they made me wear khaki. Never again the burning times!

shopping list: facepaint for big girls

After waxing rhapsodic about coats I'll never buy and shoes that I should have bought, I thought it would be good to talk about some things I am going to buy. From those posts, I might appear to be like the lovely Maria (pre-VonTrapp) in the Sound of Music, making myself drapery dirndls and frolicking through the Austrian countryside with nary a care for the state of my nun-short hair, the picture of cheerful deprivation. While I do love a dirndl and a good frolic, I also like to buy myself presents (and also get birthday is coming up! So maybe someone will give me these!)

Naked Palette | $44, new from Urban Decay

I love Urban Decay. When I got an e-mail announcing that the Fall 2010 line was up I made an actual sound somewhere between "ooh" and "unh." My passion for it is about 40% love for the products and 70% love for the packaging/styling (I am 110% in love with this brand). I am the perfect product of consumer culture: I love branding and packaging. Slap a cute name and pretty label on something and I've got to have it. BUT, not only does Urban Decay have cool packaging, but it has great products. I'm a big fan of strong (read: red) lips with neutral eyes, so I use a lot of neutral eyeshadow; obviously, this palette was made for me. It has three of my favorite shades and nine new ones! And it's so tiny! So cute!

120 Pro Palette | $28.95, available at multiple retailers. (This one is from Sedona Lace Cosmetics)

I can't even count how many times I've peered into my Book of Shadows Vol II (I told you I love Urban Decay) and lamented, "Why do I not have red eyeshadow? Only one ridiculously bright green? How can I be expected to work under these conditions?" Enter the pro palette. I first saw the 88 version of this palette on another reselling site and my heart skipped a beat. So many colors! So inexpensive! I will admit that, though I don't regret paying for the quality (and packaging), I shy away from too much experimentation with my nice makeup. It's expensive enough that I don't feel right playing around with it. But these palettes are not only inexpensive enough that I could play around to my heart's content, they come with such a variety of colors that it really is face paint for big girls.

Are there any products that you're planning to get soon? Comment and let me know!

never trust a man about shoes: a tragedy

This is a very sad story.

This past December a group of friends and I decided to make the trek down to Chicago for the day to have a Christmassy adventure (and sort of a last hurrah for one of my friends, who would not be returning after break). I, of course, was most enthused for the shopping.

Our group split up, and I ended up with the aforementioned friend. We had a grand time, wandering the streets looking at all the decorations and exploring Christkindlmarket (the German Christmas market that sets up in Daley Plaza). But I wanted to do some real shopping, so I dragged my compatriot off to the land of stores. We moved through the shops, not finding much of interest (I was looking for a military-style jacket, which I eventually found a month later at my own hometown mall) until we entered Nordstrom Rack.

It was my first time inside, and I was overwhelmed by the amount of things as well as some of the pricetags ($50 is really the bargain basement price for scarves? Ouch.), but I gravitated to the shoes like a confused little gnat to the screen of my laptop. And that's where I saw them.

Via Spiga "Sorina." Blue (though it was really more teal in real life) suede. Buckled. Beautiful. $80. I was smitten, and they were IN MY SIZE, which is rare in nicer places. Apparently big-footed girls should wear clogs and like it. My friend checked the pricetag for himself and scoffed. We weren't even done shopping, and I intended to blow my money on a single pair of heels? "That's a lot of money for shoes," he said, solemn. My desperate "but, but, but" was countered with another, "That's a lot of money for shoes." I knew that it wasn't really a lot of money for shoes, not nice shoes, but I didn't own a pair of shoes that cost more than $30, so who was I to protest? I put them back. I walked away. I consoled myself, telling myself that Old Navy was right on the corner (my manfriend was in need of boxers) and what a bounty I could reap there for $80! I would come home with armloads of new clothes!

I left Chicago empty-handed. Sorina haunted me, demanding to know how I could put her and her beautiful soft suede back on the shelf to be snatched up by some fashionista who couldn't love her like I could. I knew I'd made a terrible mistake. I had listened to man's opinion (not merely a man, a Minnesotan!) about shoes instead of trusting my own instincts. I knew I had to right this wrong! I would find my shoes and I would bring them home to me, at last.

I discovered that Sorina retails at $198. $80 was pushing my budget...that blows it out of the water. I had to give up on my shoes, like Rose let go of Jack's hand.

Now, digging her up from the depth of the internet again to write this post, I see that has them for around $110. Cautious hope is rekindled. Drop down just a little farther, my beloved Sorina. If you reach $80, I swear to snatch you up, and nothing will ever keep us apart again.

help, help, i'm falling in love with designer coats!

I do not wear designer clothes. This is partially (mostly) due to the fact that if I bought designer clothes I could maybe buy one piece of clothing a year and would be forced into nudity and wearing old ripped up t-shirts from middle school on all the days I wasn't wearing my Designer Piece, and partially (somehow also mostly) due to the fact that I can't even comprehend a few odd yards of fabric being worth $500 and into the great beyond. Do you even know how much Mountain Dew and Urban Decay I could buy with that? (I would tell you if I wasn't an English major and could do math) I've only recently started to appreciate the value of good clothes and become willing to spend $100+ on a piece (willing, but generally not able).

So my ill-timed decision to start looking for a winter coat (in July! Who does that?) was made even iller (and not in the Beastie Boys sense) by my decision to check I found a lot of the sort of things that I enjoy about Fashion--jumpsuits! harem pants! Things that I can guarantee none of my friends (probably no one I've ever met) would actually wear, even if they didn't go for $700 a pop.

But then I saw

Available here

Oh my goodness.

It's like Shelli Segal (I'm not sure if this is an actual person or a brand, but it doesn't really matter) looked into my soul and took everything I would want out of a coat (dark, wool, double-breasted, collar, that lovely silhouette, BUTTONS) and made it into something gorgeous and far too rich for my blood.

And then...

Available here

To take everything previously mentioned and then add BUCKLES and a FUR-TRIMMED HOOD? Now that's just not fair.

This fashion story will probably not have a happy ending. I will probably carry on for another year (and quite possibly several more) with the boring black peacoat with black buttons that often seems to have more of my hair on it than my head does. But I can make moony eyes at the coats of Laundry by Shelli Segal.

a salute to america (with fabulous nails)

I don't paint my nails nearly as much as I ought to. They're long (well, half of them are) as you can see, and I'm mostly good at typing and not hand-eye coordination/doing things left-handed. But my sister was in the mood for patriotic mani-pedis, and I thought "What better way to show my love for my country than a symbolic reproduction of our flag on my fingers?" (My toenails are also painted, but I don't think it's appropriate to show your feet on the first date.) (Also: the picture is blurry because a) my camera is terrible and b) it's hard to take a picture of your own left hand. Harder than it might appear. Or maybe I'm just a terrible photographer.)

American flag manicure = kitsch. Welcome to Fickle Kitsch, a blog about fashion and puns and other things I like.


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