Category Archives: Fashion and Style

Faking long hair without extensions

In the last two years I posted an annual blog on the hairstyles I’d created that year, 2016 and 2017. I just came up with a new style too fun not to share now. My hair is fairly long although I cut a few layers into it over winter. To do this you’d need enough hair to pull into a ponytail high on the back of your head. My photos, taken in the mirror, aren’t great quality, but you’ll get the idea.

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Wow! What long hair!

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So, here’s the “trick” to this illusion. When hair looks like it’s all pulled up in a high ponytail, it suggests there’s enough of it that even when pulled up, it is still very long. But this is a deception because what I did was separate my hair in 3 sections as if to make a simple braid. Instead of braiding I took the two outside pieces and pulled only them into a high ponytail, leaving the middle section untouched. You could put a band around the middle section or let it hang freely.
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NOTE: Folks, I have ponied up – although it kills my frugal “geez will you look at these prices?!!” self – for a month of decent internet. This means I’ll be around WordPress more, both posting and reading other blogs. I miss both more than you might know!

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How this adult wears saddle shoes without looking like it’s a costume

This is a clothing post I’ve wanted to put up for awhile. Last year I bought a pair of saddle shoes from Amazon for less than $10. I saw them and was like oh yeah those are for me. They’re not particularly well-made so I’m not sure how long they’ll last but since I won’t likely be wearing them A LOT that will help their longevity. I bought them however, without thinking too much about how I might wear them.

The key, I quickly realized, is to make sure the rest of the outfit doesn’t scream “five year old wannabe”.  I am not trying to dress like a toddler nor would that particular look suit my personality or body type!
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The shoes are paired with a charcoal, second hand Merona sweater (Target brand), and white New York & Co jeans bought new from Ross last year ($13 marked down).

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The soft 3/4 sleeve sweater has lovely detail on top

 

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The day I wore this I got a couple compliments on the shoes , including from a stranger who literally stopped her car in the middle of the road on seeing me walking. I promptly struck a pose for her benefit. I think I had an extra kick in my step shod in these!

Amazon has gotten it into their head that since I bought saddle shoes I must also want costume clothes since for awhile after my purchase they kept showing me poodle skirts and other 50′ style fare like you’d wear to a Halloween or retro party. Um, no. Just the shoes thanks.

Outfit for a drizzly day at the farmers market (bargain style)

I recently went to our local Sunday farmers market on a drizzly, cool day. My sister had given me a pale yellow raincoat (free) that was a bit big on her. Yellow is not a color I reach for generally but I’ve been trying to be more open-minded about it lately. The coat had shoulder pads which made the shoulders a bit too snug on me. Also, I have shoulders; I don’t need to add any with clothes. The key to removing shoulder pads from a coat – and I speak from having done this once the hard and wrong way – is to reach up inside the coat between the outer fabric and the coat liner in order to get the pads out. They are usually just stitched down in a few spots and removing them shouldn’t affect the integrity of the coat.

Although it’s short I decided to wear the coat like a dress.  I matched it with rain boots (the ones pictured are Sloggers brand and while I have purchased some from Amazon, I snagged these for $5 at the thrift store). The key to not looking like you’re wearing a short coat with nothing under it (not that there’s anything wrong with that if the occasion calls for it but the farmers market is not that occasion, ahem) is to have something, in this case, a black tank top, showing beneath. I also wore Old Navy exercise shorts which didn’t show.

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The bag was a recent $3 find at the thrift store. I thought the colors would go well with and not overpower the light-colored coat. I put my hair up in a high pony tail. Like this:

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My Hair “tricks and pics” 2017

Last October I posted My Hair “tricks and pics” 2016. I’d let my hair grow most of the year and during the summer had gone back to doing hairstyles I’d done years prior when my hair was long, plus created new ones. I’ve continued to let my hair grow this year – if it looks good I figure why not? It has to be in decent condition and flatter me; simply being long isn’t enough. These pictures help keep me honest since we often forget how other people see our hair which is from all sides; not just what we see when we face a mirror.

I kept doing the styles pictured last year but here’s a few new ones from this year too. Forgive the photo quality; these were taken in the mirror. And — the hair color(s) you see are all mine (I get asked this regularly). The lighting makes it look different from one shot to the next – my hair is very light on top (crown) and a lot darker beneath. If you remember (or look at) last year’s post, it is decidedly longer now. I’ve been having a lot of fun doing my hair this year.

As I am writing this post I’m at the library and realized I failed to take a picture of my hair as it is this moment, which is one of the ways I wear it most often, so I managed to get a picture now, by turning my head for a selfie.

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There’s a barrette under this

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French twist. Metal comb.

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Side view French twist.

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Bun on top, ponytail on bottom. Metal pin.

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Two braids, top one twisted into bun.

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Single braid twisted into bun.

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This starts with a simple ponytail. I pulled the ends of my hair back up through the elastic band & fanned it out.

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High ponytail. This requires long, one-length hair or it won’t all stay in the elastic band.

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High ponytail seen from side.

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Two braids, one atop the other. Metal pin.

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This was an experiment with chopsticks; I merely guessed how they’re supposed to be used in hair (must remember to google).

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Side view of previous shot

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Side view of previous shot with hair clip.

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A very recent “invention” I did which is not as tricky as it looks (but would be tricky to explain in words!) As with the others pictured, that’s a regular pin, the kind you’d use on clothing.

Bonus picture(s): The following is not my hair. I bought this “hair” years ago. To be clear, I’m not sure what it is as it doesn’t have clips. Perhaps it’s an extension meant to be “sewn” in? (I have no experience with hair pieces or extensions having only seen them being used on TV.) Why did I buy it? It was inexpensive (a couple dollars) and color-wise it was a perfect match! I wore it only once many years ago at a public event where I was a vendor. Not one person I knew said a word about it. Funny that. I enjoyed my “hair” and it felt swingy but since it has no clips and I’d kind of jerry-rigged it, I did worry about it falling out. (It didn’t but I bet people would’ve noticed that.) I put it in at home to show you now.

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NOTE:  Likely delays in responding to your comments but I will!

Walk this way (or that way)

A couple years ago I heard something about women’s shoes that really stuck with me. I don’t even remember where I heard this, maybe on a TV show. Anyway it was that in a bar men know the women in practical footwear are not there to get laid. True enough if you were to find me in a bar (you won’t but let’s just pretend) I would not be in stilettos or any kind of high-heeled, impractical, painful-to-wear shoes. I would also not be looking for a stranger to go home with. No doubt there are women that defy this theory but maybe not so many as uphold it.

I never did wear stilettos but earlier this year, in what felt like an act of defiance, I even got rid of my last two pairs of dressy pumps (for those readers unfamiliar that is a shoe with a block heel, not a skinny stick heel, one that still adds height of varying degrees). Maybe it’s a middle-aged thing. You kind of have a handle on who you are and what you like and what you don’t. I never liked uncomfortable shoes, no matter how cute. I remember awful times of being so wretched stuck in a pair of painful shoes. By the end of the event or the day all you can think about is getting out of them. This is why so many women take off their fancy shoes when they hit the dance floor at weddings. Let’s not even talk about how said shoes ruin women’s feet and give them physical problems later in life.

It really isn’t like me to ditch something when I don’t have an alternative but I did. In lieu of my last two pairs of dressy shoes, I am not sure what I am going to do when I next need “good” shoes. Before you suggest I get some kind of “walkable” dress shoe, I should interject that one of the pairs I let go of was indeed supposed to be a “comfortable” type. It wasn’t. Here’s the thing. I am tall. I don’t really need height. Isn’t that the point of a heel? Height? (Yes, I know too how a high heel is supposed to rearrange a woman’s posture thereby throwing her butt out to look more sexually provocative. I don’t remember any shoe doing that to my person – although some did make me feel like crawling.)

This doesn’t mean I’m giving up on cute shoes. Oh no. I like cute shoes. I don’t want to go around in boring, practical shoes with the sex appeal of drywall. Somewhere out there the not-too-expensive, wearable dress shoe of my dreams exists. It doesn’t have a substantial heel, it doesn’t have a pointed toe (MY FEET DON’T COME TO A POINT), it doesn’t have no support whatsoever, and it doesn’t make me think about it constantly because it’s causing me pain or makes me afraid of twisting my ankle or falling. It just walks around and looks good.

As my dressy shoes have gone by the wayside, my collection of inexpensive, cute sneakers/tennis shoes/athletic shoes (whatever you want to call ’em) has been building. These shoes make me happy. Let’s take a look shall we? (With a nod to Kate and her post.)

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Several years ago Payless had a promotion where if you filled out an online survey you could get a freebie item or discount (I’m a little fuzzy now on the details) so I kept filling out surveys and going in for free laces. It took awhile for the right shoes to turn up in my discount haunts but bam these look good.

 

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Picked up these co!orful and dainty Danskins for a buck at a big indoor yard sale last year.

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Laces again!

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I got these on Amazon two years ago. I REALLY wanted a pair of fun high-tops. They are a brand you/I never heard of. They also had neon green but these cost less so easy decision. They came with black laces but I switched to these; much better.

 

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Another no-name brand I found on Amazon for $6.50 this year. I was crazy about the design. Love florals against black.

What’s a post on shoes without a little modeling?

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Short Thought 184 (dressing your age)

I look at what other people wear, men and women alike. There’s an older woman I don’t know but saw occasionally. She was spirited and in great shape but I thought to myself that she dressed “too young” for her age. Then I learned her actual age. It was decidedly older than I’d have guessed, one that by the books is undeniably senior citizen territory. My judgment evaporated. If she looks like that at that age, I thought, she has earned the right to wear pink tutus and Hello Kitty barrettes or purple glitter nail polish and beanies with spinner propellers if that’s what she wants to do.

A trip to the fire house yard sale

On the weekend I went to a big indoor yard sale with many sellers at the local firehouse. They’ve been holding these for a couple years and I’ve found nice things in the past. I am increasingly particular about what I buy, new or not. I try to stay focused on things I truly need or want not just buy “okay-this-will-do items” or buy something so I don’t come away empty-handed. My commitment to de-cluttering and having things that add to my life is genuine.

Some of the sellers were aggressive (at these sorts of things I find that men and women and alike can be pushy or even rude) but I never let someone cajole or harass me into a purchase. I know they think if they can engage you in a conversation, even about an item you’ve shown no interest in, that you might feel obligated to buy it. (This technique may be geared more toward women buyers, I don’t know). If somebody rubs me wrong, I lose interest in ALL their merchandise and move on. There’s nothing I need that badly.

(One year in the fall, after I’d politely declined her baked goods for sale, an unpleasant woman waved some kind of brownie on a toothpick in my face and said snarkily and apropos of nothing to no one in particular, “she must not want to ruin her figure for the holidays.” I thought of many comebacks but it wasn’t worth the trouble. That said, I was ready for her this time when she snarked yet again in different circumstances.)

A word on the firehouse. It may seem an odd location for events but they have a large hall that is used for many functions. That said, I was carrying an item to the ladies’ room to try it on when the fire bell on the wall above my head went off. I jumped around like a sitcom character, then realized what the atrocious sound was, collected myself and moved on (but kind of hoped nobody had seen me).

I found this sweater, new with tags. Marked as $3, it fit me, but since I liked it but didn’t loooovvvve it , I asked the nice woman if she’d take $2 and she readily agreed. It is hard for me to ask for things (I was going to say “like that” but in reality it’s anything – but I’m improving) and her easy reply surprised me.

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I got this cookbook for a quarter. It has stunning photos and for that alone it was worth getting. I can always donate it later.

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On getting it home, I noticed something a bit different in the writing like this recipe for Minestrone which calls for a “swede.”

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Never saw THAT before. I hunted around and discovered the cookbook was Australian.

I happened upon the table of a pleasant woman I’d bought beautiful earrings from at a prior sale. She had many watches for $2 AND she’d put batteries in them too! I got this Milan one. I’m sorry the photo doesn’t quite show the detail. It even has the date, a feature I’ve never had. And I never know what the darn date is. My “system” typically involves figuring out the last time I knew the date for certain and counting forward. This is a sucky system.

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I made the rounds of the tables a second time in a more leisurely way as the first rush of shoppers thinned. The watch lady appeared with more watches from her car so I returned to take another look. I mean $2?! For a working watch? Splurge time! So glad I did. I found the most unusual watch I’ve ever seen. It’s like a little piece of art. The brand is Shiffon which meant nothing to me (a later Google search wasn’t very helpful, only suggestive of it being vintage – their word not mine). Look at this thing! The gray rectangle is metal and the small openings on two corners are cutouts. The right knob adjusts the time but the lower left one is decorative (I think).

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The ladies said it could be a “conversation starter”  but I’m not trying to start conversations; this just suits me

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I’m sorry it isn’t clearer but even the second hand is art – a bright yellow zig-zag line with an arrow on the end

As I wrote this I felt like I was forgetting something. I was – so I’m adding this after publishing the post. It’s a small metal wall shelf I got for a dollar. It’s about one foot across and 6″ deep. I’m not sure where I’m going to put it so I just stuck it on the wall to show it to you. Initially I figured I’d paint it but now I’m not sure.

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As you can see it is hollow and has two places to attach screws.