07 June 2010

Summer Black-Out, Day 1: Fun With Sleeves

Thank you so much for all your sympathetic comments and helpful suggestions on my last post, Fabulous Readers. I'm still struggling to get my wardrobe mojo back in gear, though a break in the weather has helped a bit. So, too, has a style challenge: I often find that when free-form creativity lets me down, a bit of structure can help me direct my energies.

Therefore, I'm participating in the Already Pretty Summer Black-Out. Sal's going to try to not wear black until sometime in August. I recognize and respect my Gothy roots, so I'm taking the lesser form of the challenge: no black all this week. Workout clothes are excepted, as are accessories and black in patterns (as long as it doesn't dominate). I'm also going to give myself a free pass for any funerals, job interviews, and ninja expeditions* that may occur this week.
*None of which are all that likely, but I like to leave my options open.

Will this be a challenge? Oh yeah. With black skirts outnumbering all other colors two-to-one in my closet, a ratio that is pretty consistent across all my clothing categories, I'll be stretching the boundaries of my outfit-making skills and pulling out pieces that don't see the light of day that often.

Like this one:
today's outfit, Natori top, kimono top, suede skirt, Fluevog mary janes
Kimono-sleeve red top, Natori, TJMaxx
Orange scarf, TJMaxx, remixed
Webbing belt, thrifted
Suede skirt, Daisy Fuentes, thrifted
Socks: depths of the drawer, remixed
Shoes, John Fluevog, "Mini: Dollface," remixed

I love this top, with its sleeves cut like a traditional kimono's (including the opening under the arm!) Not only is it buttery soft, the sleeves are a lot of fun to wear...

kimono sleeves, hanging sleeve

...even if theyare prone to getting in the way whenever I try to do anything. Cooking becomes an adventure!
Fortunately, traditional Japanese clothing gives us an answer: a long cord called a tasuki can be tied across the shoulders, holding the sleeves back. The scarf I'm wearing is long enough for that, and also changes the shape of the top's boat neckline a bit into something a bit more flattering.

Up, up, and away!

I almost feel like I might take flight if I flap my arms hard enough!

Fluevog shoes, Mini Dollface, mary janes with socks

My cute Loli-ish Dollfaces continue the quasi-Japanese theme, picking up on an entirely different aspect of Japanese fashion culture. I love the aesthetics of Lolita fashion, with its over-the-top ruffles and bows, although I wonder about the psycho-sexual connotations of a movement named for a literary target of pedophilia that encourages young women to dress like little girls - or life-size dolls. Despite my fondness for frills, lace, and voluminous petticoats, I don't think I'll be sporting any full-on Loli looks any time soon...

Summer Black-Out 2010


  1. Your shoes and your kimono top are AMAZING. I just thrifted a pretty amazing Kimino top/(dress?/coat?) and I've been afraid to wear it because it sort of gets in the way but you make me want to break it out!

    xo Jenny

  2. love the top! love!

    there is no way i could do the Black-Out with my current closet!

  3. This is such a cute outfit! It looks like the structure of this challenge will motivate you out of the self-professed fashion blahs.

  4. What cool sleeves! Also, I know red + tan is a fairly common color combo but I think this particular red and this particular tan are so perfect together!

  5. wow no black - my knees are knocking!

    but you look absolutely fabulous!


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