I’ve always had thick curly black hair, the worst for dyeing fun colors. I’m also a cheapskate, so I do it all at home. It gets crazy sometimes. Here’s my latest hair adventure in three easy steps, so you can try it at home. 😉
Bleach roots (and remnants of previous colors) using Splat Null bleach. Use it because it’s cheap and available at a store nearby. Use two boxes because it sucks. Be unsatisfied at how terribly uneven your hair still looks.
Resort to the internet. Order Manic Panic Flash Lightening and hope the touch-up process doesn’t ruin your hair. Be pleased that Manic Panic gives you more bleach and a nice plastic cap, but rush the job because you’re afraid that even more bleaching will turn your hair into brittle, untouchable bits of straw. End up with much better but still slightly uneven hair. Remind yourself to skip straight to Manic Panic next time.
You will ultimately want your hair to be bright stoplight red, but next week is “pool week” for your kids and you don’t want the chlorine to ruin a perfectly beautiful red dye job. Instead, survey your collection of half-empty bottles of fantasy colors and settle on Special Effects Purple Smoke. This bottle is pretty full and you’ve been wanting to try it. Spread it as evenly as possible on your hair, brush it in for better coverage, watch the color separate into a unicorn rainbow of lavender, pink, and blue (with bare blonde spots) for no particular reason. Sigh and decide to live with it. You’ve done enough hair adventuring for one week.
I can’t decide how I feel about this unicorn hair. I usually go for bright red or dark purple (or my classic natural black), but this is growing on me. Maybe I have an inner pastel goth trying to get out.
On rare occasions I splurge and order custom-tailored clothes from eShakti.* Custom tailoring from that distance is not the most precise thing ever, but over time I’ve gotten better and better fit. I don’t know if I’m measuring better or they’re becoming more precise in their tailoring or what (maybe both?) but this latest order came out pretty perfectly.
I’m not feeling up to a full Show and Tell post, and I feel awkwardly materialistic showing off a bunch of stuff at once anyway, so I’ll just slowly unveil my sweet new stuff as I get around to actually wearing it. Today is a bit chilly so I went with this witchy half-sleeved dress. The embroidery reminds me just a bit of Romanian peasant blouses, which reminds me of Dracula. This dress makes me want to put on some Dark Ambient music and mix magic potions. Or maybe dance in the woods in the pale moonlight. Or possibly grab a pitchfork and storm a castle. Whatever. I can do all those things now that I have the right outfit.
The “tree of life” necklace is from Etsy, but it’s old so I can’t remember the exact shop. Sorry.
*Sadly, I’m not famous in the slightest, so eShakti doesn’t sponsor me in any way. I had to pay money like a chump.
I’ve been looking at pictures of High Streets for half an hour, trying to figure out the U.S. equivalent. It looks like we sort of do–a lot of towns have cute semi-walkable “historic districts” and even more towns have long streets with lots of useful stores, though we often have huge parking lots between the stores and the actual street. But fashion-wise, it seems like shopping malls are the closest thing. That’s where H&M and Forever 21 and Hot Topic would be, as well as smaller niche chains, and in really nice malls you’d have designer labels as well.
I get most of my fashion either online or at craft fairs, but when I need basics I tend to use Target or J.C. Penney or, every once in a while, Dress Barn. So the top is J.C. Penney and the bottom is Target basics. I’m trying not to bitch about how little quality goth clothing there is, and how little of it is truly plus sized, but that’s a thing. And someday I will rant about it. The storm is coming . . .
There’s what I love to look at and what actually works with my life and budget. My favorite realistic brand these days is City Chic. Their stuff is decently made, fits me well and is basic without being totally boring.
My favorite brand/designer to look at is Alexander McQueen, may his soul rest in peace. I love his dark, fantastical style. I don’t usually go in for haute couture but McQueen proves for me that fashion really can be art.
Working Title/Artist: Alexander McQueen: EnsembleDepartment: Costume InstituteCulture/Period/Location: HB/TOA Date Code: Working Date: Digital Photo File Name: McQ1110_Cab_curious_SS99_Look42_023 1 f2.tif Online Publications Edited By Steven Paneccasio 10/28/13
Photo for the New Yorker Magazine, Goings on About Town, installation of the Alexander McQueen exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum, New York, New York, Martine Fougeron, New Yorker, art, fashion
I can’t think of one outfit I’m ashamed of or embarrassed by. I guess some people look back at old photos with a “what was I thinking?!!?!” attitude and some goth and alternative types are a bit embarrassed by their more “normal” pictures, but I don’t feel that way at all.
I, like most people, was really insecure about my looks when I was younger. I worried a lot that I wasn’t thin enough, not cool enough, didn’t fit in, didn’t stand out, whatever. I grew up before digital cameras so I don’t have a ton of pictures of those days, but when I look back now I wonder what I was so insecure about. I would still wear some of those outfits.
Since I don’t have any shame shots to post, I thought I’d show you
what I looked like before I got so old and fat. Again, I came up before digital cameras, so these are pictures of actual photos I keep in a box in my basement. Apologies for the quality; these were the best I could do.
My head must be larger than standard. I love a good hat and would love to rock a fancy Victorian number or a Roaring Twenties cloche, but most hats don’t fit properly on my head. They either squeeze my head or sit too high and try to fall off. And then there’s the hair issue–my hair is naturally curly and must not be touched once it’s finally dried into a nice shape. Pulling hats on and off makes for an unpleasant amount of frizz. (Sure, goths are known for big, messy backcombed styles, but a halo of frizz is just not the same thing.) So much as I love hats, I rarely wear them, relying on hooded jackets and shirts instead.
But enough of the whining. I do have a proper sun hat, and here it is. I took both bow-front and bow-back pictures, but it normally goes in the back.
This one was hard because, in a way, I don’t believe in mismatched outfits. At least not in the way I think the challenge suggests. To me, a mismatched outfit is one that is just not working in some way–the colors are close but not perfect, or the shoes or jewelry just aren’t popping right. Mismatching is a subtle, personal thing that doesn’t translate well in pictures.
What we usually call mismatches are really off, with patterns or colors that really clash or with radically different styles smashed together into one outfit. But I like that stuff a lot. In my opinion, really big mismatches have left the land of traditional fashion, blown right through the “slightly off suburbs” and settled right into Awesome Town. Stripes and polkadots? Totally. Leather bra with khaki slacks? Ooh, daring. Baseball cap and ball gown? Go for it. Not everything is for me, but everything works for somebody.
So I turned to Polyvore and put together some things that look crazy together, but part of me thinks they just might be crazy enough to work. I’d love to hear (or see) the “mismatch” you have a passion for.
It’s been a few days. Sorry. I think I mentioned I sucked at anything daily. I got distracted by my kids’ spring break and my awesome bathroom painting project (which I’ll show you soon) but I’m back on track to finish this challenge thing.
And without further ado, let’s talk shoes. I kind of do love these shoes–they’re cool and amazingly comfortable–but they obviously aren’t my usual style. I bought them for my youngest sister’s wedding. It was an outdoor summer wedding at the Flamingo hotel in Las Vegas, and her only request was that everyone “wear something colorful.” I’m not sure if the navy blue dress I wore counts as colorful but the shoes definitely qualify.
Now both the dress and the shoes sit in the back of my closet unused, but they bring back happy memories. This sister was the last of my siblings to get married and the second to have an Elvis impersonator officiate. I think Elvis might be a good luck charm–my two sibs who went with traditional ministers are divorced now, but both Elvis marriages are still going strong. If Mr. Robot and I ever renew our vows, we’d better get an Elvis involved. You know, just in case.
Since the next challenge is shoes I love but never wear, I’m taking “favorite” to mean the shoes I wear the most. I mentioned that I wear cushiony house shoes for my plantar fasciitis . . . I bought these shoes specifically for that.
They’re not much to look at but they’re soft and quick to slip on and off so I wear them pretty much every day at home. These Skechers have seen my feet through some hard times. I’d like to pretend I don’t wear them outside but sometimes I totally do. Especially when I’m tired or in a hurry.
So there you have it. I promise the next day’s shoes will be much cuter.
A couple years ago my friend Tammy went on a Mediterranean cruise and was nice enough to bring me some souvenirs, including this bracelet from Turkey. It’s supposed to protect me from the Evil Eye. I’ve had reasonably decent luck since then so it must be working, right?
You’ll notice it has a little elephant charm, which my mom would consider bonus good luck. She always had a small collection of lucky elephants, all with their trunks pointed up “so the luck won’t run out.”
I don’t much believe in lucky talismans but I am lucky to have good friends who bring me pretty things.