night of a thousand stars: the day after

I had a great time tweeting the Oscars last was my first "live blog" of any kind! Like I said in my last post, my roommates and I decided to dress up to watch, so I have a few pictures of our various versions of "glam." Claire bought suspenders and rocked the crossdressing that I've talked about before (in the interest of full credit-claiming, the tie and dress shirt she's wearing are both mine. Well, the tie is my dad's, but he gave it to my capable keeping, Sparrow got all colorful, and Kaitlin (who I have an exciting new project with...) and I both went with a classic little black dress. You can't tell in these pics, but Kaitlin's dress has some great embellishment on the shoulders, and I'm wearing my fabulous new blue suede peeptoe pumps.

The first thing I thought when I saw these pictures was I look like Godzilla, and the next thing was good. I love my heels, especially because I'm tall. People say tall girls should wear flats, hunch over, do whatever they can to take up less space. But I'm not going to compromise; I'm going to wear heels because I may be doing it up glam style, but my femininity is not for you. I do it for myself. And I think everyone should wear what they want to wear, what makes them feel great on their own terms.

night of a thousand stars

It's Oscar night! When I was younger, I would always beg to be allowed to stay up to see Best Picture awarded...I was always sent to bed anyway, so now watching the Oscars is as much a point of "I'm grown-up!" rebellion as anything else, but I do love the glamor (and the neat performances and such peppered through the show)

That's basically a long way to say that I will be live-tweeting the show from right here on the couch from my very very glamorous Pretty Clothes and Chinese Takeout party. It won't be an exhaustive recap by any means, but come follow along and chat with me if you're watching the pretty dresses and pretty people too!

An Oscar party is one of the easiest parties to throw -- the main event is being thrown for you! And I always love an excuse to glam it up on a night I usually wouldn't, like a Sunday. Now, I'm just getting together with my roommates and a friend or two, but if I were having a "real" party, I would probably set up a little photobooth (gotta walk the carpet!) and have champagne (or some sparkling cider!) ready to toast to our favorite films and stars.

Plus, Francaway!

Gif found/created here

fashionably artistic: claire

Today I have another lovely illustration to share! The first one came from my friend and roomie Sparrow, and now I have a piece from the no-less lovely Claire, who also happens to live with me. (Here's a tip: living with artists means free blog labor! But don't tell them that...)

Now, Claire isn't a fashionista like some of us, but she still includes plenty of great details. I love the scoop back of the top (I have a top that cuts down like that, and it never fails to make me feel deliciously dramatic), and the little puffs at the elbows! And, of course, the full skirt. If I had to pick one fashion element that I loved best, I think I would pick a nice full skirt. A good crinoline has been hovering at the top of my "To Get" list for longer than I can remember. There are very few things, in my opinion, that couldn't be made more fabulous with more poof!

But fabulosity aside, I like that this lady is doing something (playing a very long disappearing piano, as far as I see). Fashion doesn't necessarily have to be objectifying; Claire and I are both very interested in positive portrayals of women in every genre/medium, and I know she took that into account when making this piece for me.

You can see more of Claire's work on her blog, and please don't be shy to submit anything! Send it on over to

ootd: spring has (not yet) sprung

It was disgusting, gray, and wet here this week. But it was also over 50 degrees, which is what we like to call a Wisconsin Heatwave! I didn't want to let the chance to be pantless without feeling like my legs might fall off go by, so I whipped a quick outfit together before I headed over to work.

As I told my coworkers, this outfit represents the day that we had (gray, drab) and the days I hope come soon (full of vibrant color and life!) This is the first time I wore these tights as "real" clothes, not a costume (I originally bought them to be Poison Ivy on Halloween -- great success!). I wasn't sure what exactly to pair them with, since there isn't a lot of green in my wardrobe, much less lime green. So I figured I would go bright, because bright colors go with other bright colors, right? I went with bright lipstick to echo the colors and to add another one to the mix so I didn't just look mismatched.

Once again, I went with my trusty MAC "Kissable"! It's quickly becoming one of my favorites; it was the first "nice" lipstick I bought when I first started getting into makeup a few years ago, and I haven't really worn it since. For some reason, I remember it being a lot more neon than it really is? Either my memory is playing tricks on me or I've become a lot more brazen about my lipstick choices -- "Sure!" I say now, "Hot pink is totally a day color!"

You can't really see it in the photo, but I wore my flower cocktail ring as well: another wish for spring!

Is spring anywhere on the horizon for you? It's going to snow again tomorrow, so this brief respite was nothing but a tease.

Oops, just realized I never gave the stats for the outfit!

Dress: Target
Tights: Sock Dreams
Cardigan: Kohl's
Boots: Kohl's
Ring (unseen): Francesca's Closet

inspirational shots

Sometimes you just feel like looking at pretty pictures. And sometimes those pictures are more than just pretty...they're inspiring. They draw you in, through emotion or sheer beauty, make you want to live in the world of the photo instead of the real one. Also, English majors like them because you can write pretentious stuff!

Anyway, there's a reason that so many blogs spend time posting inspiration photos, and I thought it was high time I posted some. Actually, I was merrily making my way through tumblr and was struck by a photo. I see pictures I like a lot of the time, ones that make me smile or sigh or go "ooh," but this was the first picture in a long time that gave me that shivery feeling of wanting to live inside it.

American model Suzy Parker (1932-2003), photographed by Richard Avedon (1923-2004), 1956. Found on Historiful

I just love this. Obviously I have a huge affinity for vintage, especially anything from the 50s, but there isn't anything I can see in this picture that doesn't make me want. Love the dress, the little gloves, the heels. The discrepancy of this glamorous woman playing pinball, with those dapper gents hanging about. I love that chandelier, the flipped up chairs, the circles on the side of the machine. There's such a story here, so evocative, to me at least. An image that can do that is really special.

the bitter(sweet)ness of failure

Last night, I failed. I had been lustfully examining a recipe for Bronzed Sea Bass with Lemon Shallot Butter, and last night was the finally the night to attempt it. I had purchased a new ovensafe pan for the occasion, done a preliminary grocery run for my fish (I chose salmon...there is no sea bass in this city, I'm fairly certain), and a second grocery run for the shallots and lemon that my usual grocery spot didn't have. The recipe seemed incredibly simple, and the fish came out beautifully. But the sauce? Oh, the sauce. I killed the sauce. I demolished the sauce. I salted the sauce's bones and burned it, so no sauce would ever grow in its place.

This was my first real kitchen failure. I'd made things I wasn't wild about before, but it was usually a bad recipe selection. I'd made things that didn't turn out just how I wanted, but were fine anyway. This was the first time I failed so utterly that what I'd made was completely inedible.

It was disappointing. Perhaps a tad humbling. But...hey. It happened. And these things do happen. This doesn't seem super relevant to fashion until I ask you to think back...did you ever plan the perfect outfit, only to put it on and see how horrible it looked? Did you buy something that you just don't like anymore, so now it haunts you every time you open up the closet? Did you feel rockin' in the morning, only to catch your reflection later in the day and go What was I thinking??

Happens to me all the time. But what can you do? Shake it off, let it go, move on, make it work. My salmon was delicious, and I ended up having it with a perfectly lovely bearnaise sauce (...from a mix). Sometimes things don't work out the way you planned, and that's okay. Sometimes they're better! And sometimes they're not...those times, you just have to take a deep breath and keep on trucking. I definitely pouted over the pathetic charred remains of my sauce for a few minutes, poking at it with my whisk. How had my kitchen skills failed me thus? (I'm suspecting it was the electric stove which failed me thus, fyi, though that's no excuse since I've been cooking with one my entire life.) But standing there and being upset only accomplished one thing: me not having any sauce for my waiting delicious salmon. When things go wrong like that, it makes sense to take a moment to be upset, but there's no use dwelling on something that you're too late to fix.

And didn't it turn out marvelously in the end?

lipstick monday

I tweeted about Lipstick Monday this past Monday (surprise), and it was only afterward that I realized I hadn't actually mentioned doing it (or what I even meant) prior to then. Hence, a post was required!

"Lipstick Monday" is fairly self-explanatory: wear lipstick on Monday. It fulfills part of my New Year's "resolutions" this year: to Be a little bit fabulous every day (and very fabulous as many days as possible), which obviously grew out of my decision to stop waiting for a "beautiful life" and go out and live one. I took stock of the world around me and after hours of long deliberation, I realized two truths:

1. Mondays are not very glam.
2. Lipstick is very glam.

It was then that I realized these things must be combined! (Actually, I turned to my roommate and, apropos of nothing, said "Lipstick Monday! It's going to be a thing!" just like Barney from How I Met Your Mother.) I don't usually wear lipstick proper to class; it can be difficult to keep it fresh over a long day of academia and, really, I worry about "pulling it off." But that's a ridiculous thing to worry about. I quash way too many ideas because I think maybe I can't pull it off...this particular lipstick is one of those. I was seduced by it at a MAC counter, and it was the very first (and still the only) MAC product that I own. It has a special place in my heart, but for the most part, it just takes up space in my little vanity set-up. I'm braver about red, marginally, because red can be retro. Lots of glam people make a promise to themselves to wear more red lipstick. But bright pink? Purple? Who's championing them?

Lipstick Monday champions them, because any color works. The point isn't which one I (or you, if you want to do it with me) choose--it's that I chose to slather it on and take a chance. Maybe my classmates (who, for the most part, are clad in hoodies and ripped jeans) think it's ridiculous to wear lipstick during the day...who cares? If I think it looks awesome, then it's awesome. So I wore hot pink lipstick to class, and I did feel fabulous.

Reposted from my twitter | Wearing MAC "Kissable"


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