Monday, June 13, 2011

Rodents, Style, Fashion, Shopping, and Online Fashion Services

So, things have been happening here.  There's been a sad proliferation of furry little woodland creatures scurrying about, digging in the garbage, terrorizing the villagers of this peaceful (though beleaguered) little apartment complex.  I called the Health Department, and they came to investigate.  Hopefully something will be done.  I don't fear much in this life (or out of it), but the rats have got to go!

I've also been studying psychopaths, so between the rats and the psychopaths, frankly I think I'm doing pretty well in maintaining my sanity.  I'm only afraid of two things:  imaginary demons (I do a good job spooking myself) and rats.  Psychopaths are a little scary, too, but I'm used to them.

In fashion news ... well, there's a whole lot of fashion news.  Last week, Avenue had a 10% off 1 item/40% off 4 items sale, and I cleaned up!  I bought two sundresses, one in turquoise and one in brown, two white camisoles, which I don't think I'll be needing, but you never know, a multicolored beaded necklace, to go with both dresses, and low cut socks.  It came to $50, total, which I think was pretty good.  I wore the brown sundress with the necklace on Thursday to dinner and the movies with a friend, and she complimented me on it.  I wore the necklace Saturday to the SI Children's Parade and Festival, which was fun.  I wore my black LL Bean Perfect Fit Crop Pants and crystal blue sleeveless shirt and Coldwater Creek light wash denim jacket that day with the necklace.  My friend Patty, my outreach partner, complimented me on my outfit.  Patty always looks good, so I was pleased.

In accessories news, I purchased 3 sunhats:  One from Lands End, which I'm returning because it is, frankly, a POS, another one from LL Bean, which is cute, but untried as I haven't worn it yet, and my favorite sunhat so far, a straw Panama Fedora, that I bought from Amazon.com from a company called UltraPortofino.  I get a lot of compliments on that hat.  I did an outreach with my friend Patty at the SI Pride Festival last Saturday, and that hat was very popular.  So that's a keeper.  It fits perfectly, too.

Undergarments and exercise wear:  I bought two pair of Fitness Pants from LL Bean - they're a little snug.  One is a crop pant and the other is boot-cut.  They're not so snug as to look bad or be uncomfortable, but they are form-fitting.  I ordered tops from Champion, because for some crazy reason, LL Bean did not see fit to offer Fitness tops in Plus sizes.  Go figure.  They have a Fitness jacket, but no tops.  I do not comprehend ... do Plus size women exercise topless?  All we need is a bra, a warmup jacket, some pants, and we're good to go!  "Wait a minute, honey, aren't you forgetting something?"
"What?"
"A shirt???"

Anyway, Champion to the rescue.  Hopefully it will be a good Internet shopping experience and not a horrible one, like I had with Jockey.  I ordered a bra from Champion, but I took one look at that thing when I got it out of the package, and I was like, "No way is this going to support me."  Sometimes I think the people who make clothes honestly have no concept of what it's like to dress a woman's body.  I mean a WOMAN'S body, not a 12 year old boy's body, which seems to be the fashion ideal.  Not that there's anything wrong with 12 year old boys, but they aren't women.  So please stop trying to dress us like we are 12 year old boys.  Cuz we're not!!!  As evidenced by the fact that most of us do not walk around carrying skateboards, with bugs in our pockets and smelling funny.

Yes, I'm sure Karl Lagerfeld is reading this blog with bated breath, the realization suddenly hitting him square in the brain:  "Merde!  Women are not shaped like boys!  Mon Dieu!  Alert the media!  I must redesign my entire collection!  Someone call a Plus-size modeling agency!"

Well, he'd be SOL, because plus-size models are like what, size 10?  12?  They're not really plus-size.

But anyway, getting back to my undergarments (because I know you're fascinated, LOL), I bought 2 pair of Spanx power shapers, which fit like a glove, once I got it on, which took about 30 minutes of huffing and puffing and stuffing, but hey!  I looked great in that sundress!  The other undergarment is a pair of white boxer briefs that I bought from Junonia, a company one of my friends introduced me to.  They have a great selection of Activewear for Plus-size women, including a line called Quik-Dry, which is a moisture-wicking fabric suitable for exercise, whether it be yoga, biking, hiking or working out at the gym.  However, they also have a line of undergarments that guard against that most evil of all evils that plague larger-sized women, especially in the summer months:  chafing!  They have the boxer briefs, which have about a 5" inseam and a comfort panel, and they're made of Quik-Dry fabric to keep you cool and comfortable.  That's what I bought.  They are NOT shapewear, so they don't hold you in and keep you smooth; but if it's a hot day and you can't stand the thought of being stuffed into your Spanx, and it's not a terribly dressy occasion, it's a good alternative to pantyhose (who wears those anymore?), or the more prosaic boxer shorts (let's face it, we've all done it - stolen the guy's clean underwear to wear under a dress or skirt on a hot summer day so we don't have to deal with THE CHAFE.)  I haven't had occasion to wear them yet, so we'll have to see how it goes.  They also have longer-length bike shorts with light support, with an 11" inseam, which was too long for my purposes.

In other news, other online fashion style services have come to my attention:  Dressing Your Truth, with Carol Tuttle, and Fabulous After 40.  My humble opinion is that you should save your money, but hey, if you look into these style services and decide you want to plunk down $300 and up for some badly produced reading material, that's up to you.  I personally prefer MissusSmartyPants, not because I follow blindly, but because I've seen what's out there, and so far she's the only one that I see offering anything substantial for the money, at a very reasonable price.  And the more I see what's out there, the more reasonable her price seems.

Carol Tuttle's Dressing Your Truth system is a kind of blend of New Age philosophy, the seasonal colors system, esoteric and metaphysical elemental symbolism (I know this because I'm a witch, and I studied the heck out of that stuff), some Asian philosophy and some Christian philosophy as well.  If that works for you, fine.  Me, I'm confused.  She lost me at the elemental symbolism - I couldn't figure out where I fit in.  I had attributes of this one, but some attributes of that one, and sometimes I feel like that one over there, and other times ... aw, heck, I couldn't figure it out.  But I bought the $39.99 dealio, which was a book, "Discover Your Personal Beauty Profile," two DVD's, and an online course, which I finished in 3 hours (one night similar to this one, when I couldn't sleep).  Maybe when I finish reading the book and watching the DVD's I will have a better idea of what my Personal Beauty Profile is and what "season" or "element" I am, but until then ...

Fabulous After 40, a website fashion service created by "The Glam Gals," JoJami Tyler and Deborah Boland ... great idea, terrible execution.  I mean, ladies, proofreaders are YOUR FRIENDS!!!!  Spellcheck is a wonderful invention!  Editing is a great thing!  Please read your work before you present it to the world at large!!!  Because really, if you're going to ask me to spend $9.99 on a 12-page e-book - you damn well better blow me away!!!  And give me some kernel of new information, not something I've read a few dozen, or hundred times before.  Give your readers, who are willing to shell out their hard-earned cash, which is not easy to come by in these times, something new and fresh to read, and something that they can actually READ, not something they have to work to piece together from the mismatched sentences and paragraphs that blight your work.

So yeah, I was not a happy camper.  Hey, ladies, you may be fashionable and thin, but at least I proof my blog.

Those were my Adventures in Fashion.  It's 6 AM and I haven't slept at all tonight.  The pdoc will not be happy.  I'm going to eat breakfast, take my meds and try to go to sleep.