10 June 2010

Summer Black-Out, Day 4: Oceanic

Tea with the ever-fabulous Jen Kiaba on a cool, rainy day meant a dress and heels for me today.

today's outfit, H&M dress, Ann Taylor Loft jacket, John Fluevog shoes
Aqua dress: H&M
Military-style jacket: Ann Taylor Loft, remixed
Green lace-up pumps: John Fluevog, "Teapots: Darjeeling," remixed
Larimar pendant, purchased from artist in St. Thomas
Orange bangle, thrifted, remixed

This dress, which I've had for ages, has always reminded me of the ocean. I picked up the olive tones in the pattern with the jacket and shoes, and the aqua ones with the pendant.

empire-waist dress, hip-length jacket

With the atmosphere so watery and dense, it felt a bit like we were underwater all day, so the oceanic theme was apropos, at least.

aqua and coral, accented analogic color scheme

Of course, what's the natural choice for a hit of contrasting color? A bright, coral-y red-orange in the bangle and my eyeshadow. The aqua and green are an analogous color combination, while the red-orange is the aqua's compliment, making this an accented analogic color scheme.

John Fluevog shoes, Teapots Darjeeling

I promise that I really didn't intentionally wear a pair of "Teapots" shoes to go out for tea! We had Lapsang Souchong, not Darjeeling...

pigtails, pigtails and bangs
photos: Fabulous Husband

My hair was terribly uncooperative after I washed it this morning. I do my best to only wash it twice a week or so, because it's really at its nicest two or three days after a shampoo - right after I wash it, no matter how aggressively I blow it out, it's far too feathery and poofy for my tastes. Years of having super-long hair taught me to go easy on heat styling and products, so I usually resort to some sort of updo on wash days.

I was going to go for double French braids, but I didn't like the effect with this dress. Instead, I went with one of my old Goth-girl standbys, high pigtails. I wonder, sometimes, if I'm too old for this style, but I'm still in love with the way it looks on me.

The hair made me think, though. I define myself as a Goth, at least in part, despite the fact that I wear bright colors and have been on a no-black shopping ban for months. For me, being Goth is more about a mindset - a darkly romantic sensibility, a somewhat morbid sense of humor, and a loving acceptance of death as a natural part of life - than it is about wearing any particular hue or style. I've had an idea in my head for a black-free Gothic bellydance ensemble for a while. Today, I'm wondering if I could come up with a street-style outfit in the same vein:* Gothic without black. I may try for it tomorrow.
* Vampire pun unintentional. Promise. Apparently that's just where my head is today. My deepest apologies.

Do you consider yourself part of a style-identified subculture? If so, do you always dress in that subculture's style? Do you think that style or philosophy is a more important factor in aligning one's self with a particular group?

Already Pretty Summer Black-Out 2010


  1. Right with you in the Goth vein. I discovered myself style-wise with Goth fashions in middle school - before that I wore whatever people handed down to me :)
    After I watched "The Matrix" at age 14 and started reading dystopic futuristic sci-fi, I started wearing black, painting my nails silver or black, and wearing eyeliner :)
    I'm far more on the Ruby Gloom/Addams Family side of the Goth fence - cheerful outlook, etc.
    Do I wear all-black all-the-time - no. But a good part of my wardrobe is black, and eyeliner is one thing I rarely leave the house without. :)

  2. By the way, you've inspired me to post over on my blog - drop by if you'd like!

  3. Love the hair, love the dress - you look fab! And I have a very similar relationship to Goth - been in that state for many years. So you are not alone!

    I'm old enough to have been what I call a proto-Goth, because some of the things Goth claimed were big in the no-name primordial culture before Goth was defined. (Well actually, at my high school it did have a name - "freaks." But not all of us freaks were into all the same things. I preferred cloves to cannabis, f'rinstance - still do.)

    Doing a Goth outfit without black would be really fun...I find that one of the things that can force my Goth to be internal-only is location though - I am currently in the Midwest where the mainstream rules (though I am from the east coast and am soon bound for the west coast). I would LOVE it if I could dress more like Myself in my new home. We shall see...

  4. First and foremost: lapsang souchong always tastes like 'bacon tea' to me. It's the smoke, I know.

    Second: I used to dress much more goth-y than I do now, but I think I was born a goth. I *loved* ghost stories as a kid and I still need Sisters of Mercy at regular intervals. And I still have about 12 floor-length skirts, which I love and treasure and wear.

    Third: Ponytails are great and you are *never* too old for them.

  5. I was really struck today by the second photo that you posted. You look very beautiful in those colors and I like your hair in the ponytails. I too wonder if I am too old for ponytails even though I like the way they look on me. Most of the time I figure if I like the way they look that is good enough for anyone else.


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