telerib: (Default)
Transitivity: The property such that if A > B and B > C, A > C.

Transitivity does not apply to clothes. Just because the shoes go with the pants, and the pants go with the shirt, it does not follow that the shoes go with the shirt.

This is not always obvious at 0530 before coffee.
telerib: (sca)
I field tested my new red veil on Saturday. The "straight edge over the crown" look seems to suit me better than the "oval gathered onto the forehead" look.

I think most of the weight was being held by the fillet for most of the day, and it wasn't uncomfortable. I had an auxiliary strap which was supposed to pass from the nape of my neck over the temples and then up the crown, to secure the veil in the center and help support the weight. That didn't work so well. As has been my experience with modern elastic circular headbands meant to be worn the same way, the thing slipped off the back of my head repeatedly. Didn't matter if I fastened it over or under my hair. I wasn't careful about pinning it to the fillet at the temples; maybe that's the trick.

The obvious options are 1) try again with better pinning, 2) do away with it or 3) use a chin-strap/wimple instead. I'm not sure when the wimple starts showing up, but I believe Walton Rogers shows it in her book (which covers the era up to 700 CE) as a possibility. I believe I will try options 1 and 2 first, as I am not a big fan of things on my neck, particularly in the heat.

Upon an amblere esily she sat,
Ywympled wel, and on hir heed an hat
As brood as is a bokeler or a targe.

- Chaucer describes the Wife of Bath on her horse, wearing a wimple and a hat as big as a small shield
telerib: (Default)
I haven't actually made a "style board," which is (so I am told) a sort of grown-up craft project where you clip and save pictures of Things You Like to Look At. All kinds of things - nature things, clothes things, portraits, whatever. Then you're supposed to examine it to see what themes there are.

I have tried to pay attention to what floats my boat, sartorially. I have found two main influences:

Drapey Gossamer Goddess - the big, flowy, floaty scarfs and tops with hanging sleeves and palazzo pants, all very pre-Raphaelite. I like the smooth lines of the flowing fabric, but I'm also concerned that, at my height, it would be too easy for me to be mistaken for a walking fabric stash.

Retro Adventure Chic - I want knee high boots, khakis and a tailored white shirt! Jewelry that looks like it came from my latest adventure to Far Off Places, Marion's hat from the finale of "Raiders of the Lost Ark," a frock coat, a brass pocketwatch and did I mention the boots? My main worry here is coming in to work looking more like a movie extra than an engineer. I have a hard time translating "costume" into "style."

What I actually wear is Worker Drone Casual: slacks and blouses or sweaters, sometimes a shell/sweater or shell/jacket combination. My suits are bog-standard off the rack at Macy's. (I had one in white and beige that played into my shirt-and-khakis image, but it got lost coming back from Hawaii. At least I have one in bright red - it's a skirt-suit, which isn't my preference, but I love the color.)

Every so often now, I'm picking up pieces that fit into one or the other style, though - a drapey wrap for when the office is cold, or the pinstriped vest that got a good bit of comment. And of course, I've got my Luchesse boots back, hurrah!
telerib: (Default)
I dropped off some shoes at the local leather shop (English riding to motorcycle to re-enactment... "if you can draw it, we can make it") for re-heeling and re-soling and went to pick them up yesterday. Hanging on a rack, waiting to be repaired, was a leather coat.

I coveted it immediately. Double-breasted, with frock coat-like ornaments at the collar and cuffs - also done in leather, to match the coat. Warm, brown leather. I promised the coat that if it had a cousin in something slightly larger than a size 6, I would hug it and love it and call it George.

The tag said "LAMB" (but showed a pirate ship?) and "Fall 2005." That sounded all fashiony and stuff, but the other tag said, "Made in China." So... designer knockoff?

To the Google Engine!

L.A.M.B. is singer Gwen Stefani's line of clothing (and the logo for 2005 was indeed a pirate ship). The only images from her 2005 collection I can find are of some over-priced tank tops on eBay. I am somewhat solaced by knowing that, even if I could find a cousin to that jacket on eBay or similar, it would not be my size - L.A.M.B. tops out at a 14.

Sigh. When I find the magic machine that gives me infinite time, I need to learn to really sew.

Yay shoes

Jan. 14th, 2010 07:51 pm
telerib: (Default)
Yay for pretty low-heeled pumps!

I've just decided - no more heels higher than 2", maybe 2.5" for me. I require my shoes to be suitable for walking in, and anything 3"+ just isn't for me. Alas, low to no heeled shoes are often, well, dowdy, ugly, or fine but not fine for me. I don't object to ballet flats on principle or anything, but I don't like to wear them.

So a shoe that has a bit of interest to it, that goes with my wardrobe, and I can walk in for a solid hour and not feel it? YAY!
telerib: (Default)
I finally look like a professional woman in a suit instead of a college student trying to borrow authority with my clothes.


Mar. 26th, 2009 09:24 am
telerib: (Default)
Is it just me, or would this tunic make pretty nice garb?

...okay, no it probably wouldn't. I think the Doupioni texture is probably wrong, the neckline may not correspond to anything real, and neither may the side slits. I'm just really digging the trim, though. It would pass, especially if you wore it over a white undertunic.

Maybe if it comes down in price a bit more...

W. T. F.

Mar. 8th, 2009 10:58 am
telerib: (Default)
So I go to Lane Bryant's website, now that I know my RightFit size, to see about ordering some more pants for work. Oh, score! 30% off sale this weekend! That's a better deal than the $25 off $75 coupon I've got, since I was planning on getting 3 pairs of pants ($90 at sale prices) - not enough to qualify for the $50 off of $150 coupon. Quick, quick, order pants!

Their website - the one I assume is hooked up to Lane Bryant Inc's warehouse facilities all over the country - is sold out of the Houston pant in my size, in at least three colors.

The Houston pant is, by the way, Lane Bryant's workhorse dress pant. It's a staple in their stores; it does not go out of season and is not rotated in and out of stock.

And apparently every woman size 14+ in America has bought one this weekend.


Nov. 16th, 2007 11:09 am
telerib: (Default)
From late high school on, I have intermittently had short hair. Usually, this sort of mushroom-looking cut that always seems flattering in the mirror but looks awful in pictures.

I have always thought about going really short. Maybe even really short and a little spiky (although I have my doubts if hair gel would work on my notoriously unstylable hair).

Of course, my face looks nothing like Hepburn's or Ryder's. And my current stylist gasps in horror whenever I mention going super-short. Now, I overall trust her judgment, because the long, layered cuts she's given me have been fantastic. My hair has body and movement now. It looks good.

Short cuts are more expensive to keep up, but easier to care for. Money is snug, although I could probably pay for it out of my allowance.

I tend towards thinking, "Try it! It'll grow back if you hate it!" As they say, you'll regret what you didn't do. And if it's awful, the Spud is too young to be embarrassed by his mom's ugly hair.

Do I try to convince my current stylist to cut it or (gasp) go elsewhere?
telerib: (Default)
If I had the time, and expertise, I would start a blog for sci/engg women. As I've ranted about before, we get all the usual "women in business" dressing confusion (Neckline too low? Heel too high? Looking too attractive or not attractive enough? The wrong kind of attractive? How do I dress to flatter my body type but still look professional, if classical professional styles look like ass on me?), plus the "Are you the secretary?" confusion we get if we do wear a pencil skirt, heels, and makeup, compounded by... well, most of us are geeks, with no better fashion sense than the male variety.

On a lark, I Googled to see if such a blog already existed. "Geek fashion" returned either 1) T-shirts or 2) advice for geek men on how to dress well to pick up women. "Geek girl fashion" located an enterprising MIT student who's doing her own fashion line. "Engineer woman clothing" returned the secret mystery prize: an answer to the vexing question: WTF is up with women's clothing sizes? What the hell is a "size 8," anyway? 8 what?

Women's clothing sizes make no sense because they were originally designed by government committee in the 50s and then, in 1983, utterly abandoned anyway. (And NIST, WTF is up with that pear-shaped silhouette? Exaggerated much?)

But check it: Originally, NIST recommended a sizing system with three parts: a bust measurement, a height measurement (petite, regular, tall), and a "hippiness" factor. Does this seem a lot like the new Lane Bryant Fit Right jeans system? Why, yes! Fit Right has a sizing number (arbitrarily starting at 1, but correlated to waist measurement), a color that indicates "hippiness," and they come in petite, regular and tall. 1-Red-Petite gaps on me at the waist, but 1-Blue-Petite are possibly the best-fitting jeans I've ever tried on.

What this web page does not explain is why this rather sensible-sounding, three-measurement system was not adopted, and we were stuck with 8-10-12-14, etc., instead.
telerib: (Default)
Is the three-piece suit universally flattering to men? If so, how is this possible?

Is it their uniformity? By making their wearer appear more or less "suit-shaped" rather than "Joe-Bob shaped," do they efface any irregularities in Joe-Bob's form?

Certainly, it is not easy for every man to find a well-fitted suit. Tall men, short men, barrel-chested men, long-armed men: they must search the specialty shops or else hire a tailor, or else they risk a suit with a too-short or too-long hem, or a too-tight jacket, or too-short sleeves.

And there are subtleties of suit design that escape me, as a non-suit-wearer, but I do know that not every man ought to wear a double-breasted suit, unless he is in the cast of Guys and Dolls. But it is hard to find a man looking actively bad in a suit that fits him moderately well. Perhaps only those with unfortunate necks - either too long or far too short - end up looking weird in a collared shirt and tie.

Is this because the suit covers all but the hands, neck and head? Again with the suit-shapedness of it.

But... certainly for women, there are those of us who look awful in anything that comes right up to the neck, like a collared shirt and tie, or a turtleneck. Is it the breasts that do it? Why can men achieve this look, nearly universally, whether they be skinny or plump, boxy or narrow? Men have different body types, too, yet I have never looked at a man and thought, "There's someone who shouldn't be wearing a suit."

Am I culturally conditioned to accept anyone in a suit as looking good? That seems like an odd proposition - shouldn't I also, then, accept anyone in a designer gown as looking good? The Fug Girls show, on a daily basis, that this is not true.

I keep leaning toward the uniformity of the suit as an answer. As long as it visually presents itself as "a suit," its mission is accomplished. The wearer is responsible only for making sure the shirt and tie match the jacket and pants, that his face is clean, and that his hair is well-done. (Because I have seen men in suits and wondered, "Who let him play with the hair gel?") The benefit is a certain surety of fashion - wear a suit and you will not go wrong. This is appealing, when compared with trying to balance the variables of women's wear (e.g., skirt or slacks, skirt length, blouse neckline, fabric choices, closeness of fit). On the downside, there is little room for personal expression, and you have to wear a tie, which I am reliably informed is a hell which bedevils men nearly as much as high heels bedevil women.

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