Category Archives: Fashion

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.

Outfit for a warm Feb day (bargain style)

I haven’t shown you one of my bargain outfits in awhile. I wore this on an unusually mild late February day.

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The 3/4 length Fragile brand jeans were a thrift store find. The length at half-calf is flattering and the cuff adds an interesting accent. The Heart & Hips brand  top I got last month at Ross for.99!

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It may have started at higher than the listed $5.99 since there is another sticker below the first. However, my efforts to peel it back to see were unsuccessful

 

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It has a subtle stripe

I’m going to break blog tradition here because the virtues of this great top can’t be appreciated without seeing it worn. I have always thought off-shoulder tops were very cute but I have none. Frankly, when you predominantly rely on thrift stores for your clothes, you can’t be very particular – and I can say I’ve never seen a top like this in one.

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Chic no?

 

I got the Teva shoes for $3 in the Fall from a local church thrift store. To be honest, years ago I’d seen a friend in shoes like these and didn’t think they were very attractive. I’d never had shoes like them – in fact, my footwear in general was very limited till about 10 years ago when I started branching out and accumulating more shoes (in no small part because I had gotten rid of my car and now considered shoes the equivalent of tires).  Anyway, these shoes are outrageously comfortable. They feel like tennis shoes. I work them with black footie-type socks that don’t show.

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I don’t know what color that is exactly but it’s a great match for the top

 

 

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The quarter is for size reference (not what anything cost!)

 

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How cool are these?!

A word on the accessories. I just treated myself to the cat’s eye sunglasses which I found on Amazon for $5, which is honestly the most I’ve ever paid! I made the earrings; they were initially just the triangular pieces and I added the other parts. I also just got the watch from Amazon for $6. The watch face is huge! I love it.  (I haven’t had a proper watch in years – instead I have a couple old watch faces, one of which I attached on a key ring to a zipper on my “everyday”purse).

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Pullover conundrum

When I’m watching a TV show or movie and a character is putting a shirt on they first sort of roll up the shirt and stick their arms through the sleeves and then pull the neck opening over their head. Once I started noticing this, it seemed the predominant method for donning any kind of pullover UNLESS the scene was being played for comic effect (whereupon the character gets the shirt stuck on his or her head and proceeds to stagger around crashing into walls and knocking over lamps). Usually it’s a smooth two-step move though, and the character hardly breaks rhythm. They make it look cool.

This is not how I put on a pullover. First I pull the shirt over my head and then I wrestle into the sleeves. I’d have never given it a thought but for noticing how actors do it onscreen. It made me think there are two distinct schools on the proper way to get into a pullover – and maybe an adult just does what they were taught as a child. (I know my mother had me put the shirt over my head first).

It further occurs to me as I write this that the onscreen method is probably deliberate so that the actor’s head is visible most of the time and he or she can go right on talking. In any event whenever I see someone do the arms-then-head method I think to myself “I should try that” but invariably I forget to and I remember only as I am contorting into the sleeves. And no, I am not so demented as to take the shirt off so I can start over doing it the other way.

So. How you YOU put on a pullover? If you’re not sure feel free to get back to me on this after the next time you put one on. I’ll be here.

Making earrings to go with necklaces

This is a little project I undertook earlier in the winter. Like a lot of women I have a variety of necklaces. In my case they are all inexpensive “costume” pieces, almost all secondhand,  with a few unusual vintage costume ones. However I find that I don’t wear some of the jewelry even though I like them very much because no earrings match. So they just sit there.

I got an idea to make earrings from the necklaces themselves. I posted my first one hereThis can be done with a pair of pliers and a packet of ear wires that you can buy online or from a craft store. In some cases I made earrings using only parts from the necklace ( you’ll see they’re not missed) and in others I added beads or other parts I have in my craft supplies.

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This is the first one I posted last November

 

 

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I maintain that women don’t wear their jewelry when they can’t find it or see it. I’m no different. I hang all my necklaces and earrings. After making these sets I made a simple wood piece with screw-in hooks to display them. I wasn’t sure what color to paint the wood but decided to match it to the wall which I think worked well. Having these particular necklaces stored with their earring partners is a big help. No wasting trying to figure out which earrings to wear with them any more!

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The little white hook rack came from Dollar Tree

 

I’ve posted a picture of this corner before. Here’s the newest addition in context.

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“New” bag

I wrote about finding  the carryall bag of my cheap dreams several months ago. I was so pleased to snag an inexpensive bag that could hold a lot of stuff  (purse, library books, an umbrella, etc) and still look stylish. Before finding that bag I was relying on cumbersome backpacks a lot. As is often the case with things I want, I’d had the idea of such a bag in my head a long time before I found it at a price I liked. Since then I use that Leeds bag all the time.

My luck continued in late 2016 when I happened on this brown bag at a local church thrift store. It had been $2 but was on a rack that said half-price. I think the reason it was marked so cheap was because the polka dots looked dingy when I found it. But I was able to scrub them with soap and a toothbrush (my go-to small cleaning instrument) and then the dots popped. This bag isn’t quite so large as the black one but still big enough to hold several items, including my purse. It has a large pocket on the opposite side too. The brand is Jack!e (Jacqueline Savage McFee). I never heard of it before but just found that she has a website, blog, and Facebook page, all of which seem to emphasize fabrics, i.e. not cute accessories like this.

Between the two colored bags – black and brown – I now have carryalls that go with everything. I can’t tell you how organized and pulled together this has made me feel – like a grownup lady person!

 

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It even has a detachable shoulder strap