12 May 2010

Things I Love

Cold, rainy days always seem to get me down - especially in mid-May, when I'm ready for warm, sunny spring weather.

I've got a couple of ways to get myself going when I'm feeling down, but chief among them is wearing comfortable, cozy, and flattering clothes. I've been feeling a little isolated from the world right now, so I wanted something that not only felt like an all-day hug but was a tangible reminder that I am loved.

today's outfit,heart sweater, Kenar skirt, John Fluevog shoes, Sock Dreams thigh-highs
Heart sweater, Absolutely Creative Worldwide, thrifted, remixed
Wide black belt, Aldo, thrifted
Black A-line skirt, Kenar, thrifted
Grey and Charcoal Super Stripes, Sock Dreams
Shoes, John Fluevog, "Listen Up: Jade"
Hematite and rose quartz necklace, gift
Watch: Stuhrling, TJMaxx
Silver heart bracelet: gift

This sweater is rapidly becoming my bad-mood-begone piece. It's cheery, with the heart pattern, but the grey hearts keep it from being too obnoxious when I'm feeling down. It's also soft, cozy, and fits me perfectly - just what I need when I'm not feeling my best.

I decided to play up the hearts theme with a necklace a dear friend bought me at a street fair in Manhattan approximately forever ago, and an even older heart bracelet - if I'm not mistaken, it was a gift when I became bat mitzvah.

The watch is terribly oversized because it's actually the Fabulous Husband's. He forgot to put it on when he left for work this morning: it's an auto-winder and won't keep running if it's not worn, so I did him a favor and wore it today. I kind of loved the solidity and weight of it on my wrist, even if it's so big that it slopped around a bit even on the tightest setting. I've gotten out of the habit of wearing a watch, but I really enjoyed having his on today. Maybe I need to keep my eye out for a nifty oversized chronograph of my own.

Heart sweater, wide belt, A-line skirt

I'm still Dressing My Best with the academichics (and others), and this outfit highlights what is perhaps my favorite part of my appearance: my curvaceous hourglass figure. My bust and hips are within two inches in diameter of each other: my waist's about a foot smaller. Playing this up with a fitted sweater and a wide belt is almost a no-brainer. I've never minded having relatively big hips - they just make my waist look smaller in comparison!

heart sweater, heart necklace, hourglass figure

Do I need to mention that even naturally curvy figures don't look like this unaided? Every style blogger harps on this occasionally, but for a good reason. Small-busted or large, you need good bras - ones that support, shape, and smooth your bust. I stopped bothering with Victoria's Secret a while ago: massive ad campaigns notwithstanding, their quality's hit-or-miss (miss, more and more often); their sales staff receive inadequate training, and what they do receive is inaccurate ('sister sizing,' the insistence that because a 36D and a 34DD have the same size cups means that a woman with a 34DD bust can wear a 34D bra, is a pretty obvious ploy to sell more product to women outside the 'standard' size range without all the inconvenience and bother of creating a wider size range); and the bras are terribly overpriced for what they are. Instead, go to a specialty lingerie store with experienced fitters and a wide range of manufacturers. I go to Orchard Corset on Manhattan's Lower East Side (they also sell online!).

Yes, there are downsides to the dramatic hourglass figure. Classic collared shirts are hard to find with enough shaping: so, for that fact, are most trousers. Given my predilection for retro-styled clothes, it's not hard to cross the line from figure-flattering workwear to "naughty secretary" (or, as the New York Times once called it, "Library Spice") if I'm incautious about my skirt length or neckline depth. I developed a quite aggressive and standoffish attitude when I was younger, the result of being hit on, whistled at, and leered at far too often (although I've since discovered that most catcalling men are completely disarmed when you respond with an cheery grin and "Thanks!" - they really, honestly don't know how to respond).

I'll take it, though: I love every inch of my curves. They make me feel feminine and womanly both.

John Fluevog Listen Ups Jade, heels with ribbons, stripey socks

And then there are these shoes, which are just flat-out girly. Hourglass heels, a micro-platform, and big, floppy velvet bows? I love these, but I don't wear them nearly often enough. I keep wanting to save them for fancy parties and special occasions, but those roll around all too seldom. So I wore them grocery shopping instead.


  1. Love the combination of patterns. As for watches -- the bigger the better!

  2. I love the heart sweater! Very Marc Jacobs-y, and it fits you perfectly--that's half the battle.

    I remember working for VS and being told that 34B and 36A are basically the same size. Really, VS? Really?


  3. Man, I LOVE that sweater! It does amazing things for your curves and has such a fun print. Back at you about loving the curves, despite the problems. I wouldn't have my body any other way!

  4. Rock on Alex! Thank you for pointing out that a woman doesn't have to have a 3 foot long wash-board (digitally enhanced) torso to look sexy and feel good about her self. Tragically many of us don't even know how to dress ourselves if we don't fit the 6ft 115lb ideal.

    Oh, and cute sweater & shoes! =)

  5. what a cute cardigan--that would cheer me up too!


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