breaking blog rules

Preen dress, Zana Bayne harness that I seriously wear EVERYWHERE, it's kind of obnoxious. Photos by Tyler.

Breaking a major blog rule of mine: no party photos allowed. This will probably be the first and last time party photos appear on my blog, mostly because I am a midtwentysomething hermit and I never leave my apartment and the outside world scares me and I have no friends and #foreveralone and whatnot. But I really liked how I looked that night! I'm really into clothes that utilize some kind of negative space, whether its through sheer fabric or cutouts. Also, I still can't over how much I love my new everyday glasses. I've met my eyewear soulmate and am absolutely smitten. It's kind of nice to wear glasses that aren't necessarily spooky on their own, but fit perfectly with my spooky wardrobe. Good design, my friends.


some things never change.

on my phone, as of late...

first nice day of the year/ insanely jealous of my boyfriend's ride shirt/wake-up pup/ sometimes i actually leave my house/ for your many sins/ a good shopping trip at quimby's/ chickpea/ chicago or mordor?/ where were you?/ a very miu mail day/ fever ray at zombie prom


"lady talk/times" over vanilla ice cream and stuff

I'm still here! And if you are reading this, you are too! Was kinda looking forward to chillin' in da afterlife with my crew and your crew and meeting up in heaven's bar around 2 (Biggie reference, showing off my ~culture and ~good music taste) but sadly (?) that was not meant to be. Which was a good thing because really great people like Tavi are around to hang out with on unexpectedly warm and always expectedly windy Saturdays. Chicago = Windy City is no fucking joke. We sat on a park bench for a while talking about lady things but the wind kept blowing our hair into our moody gothy girl lipstick, which is a Real Problem facing goth girls in America today. Equally difficult is eating food, so we blotted as much as we could and the result was kind of lulzy:

(some of these photos are on her blog but I want to post them anyway so uh, deal with it? INTERNET.)

Wearing spooky lipstick is really enjoyable but not so conducive to normal human biological things, like consuming food. 

 (Comme des Garcons for H&M jacket, Comme des Garcons shoes, AA mesh blouse, UO skirt, thrifted bag, spike necklace from a fetish shop)

Still dressing like it's Proenza Fall 2010. That collection has sunk into my consciousness so deeply, I don't forsee myself being unable to shake its influence anytime soon. Leather and black and blue and green and babydoll dresses and collars and pleats and spooky schoolgirl moods are all things that = me. It touched me so profoundly for a multitude of reasons which I should probably write about at some point.

Tavi looked incredible and riotous as per usual. Floral prints everywhere, a sight for sore eyes after a seven-month-long Chicago winter. 


~*something takes a part of me*~

So the folks at Laundry Magazine invited me to Growing Works, a fashion show that they were hosting. It was billed as a presentation of "emerging Chicago designers". Admittedly, I don't follow "emerging Chicago designers", so I figured this would be a good chance to learn about who's making clothes in the city that I live in. Plus, what midtwentysomething can resist the lure of free alcohol and an excuse to wear a new Risto dress? Surely not I!

The event was held at the Garfield Park Conservatory, which is really just a big glass building with lots of plants inside. I attended the pre-show schmoozing event alone with the intention of conquering my social anxiety, if just for a night!, and making an honest attempt to mingle. Yet, none of the other attendees said a single word to me. None. They were clad in Birkin bags and dripping blood diamonds, and I was the recipient of forced smiles and awkward stares. Going into the event I jokingly assumed that I would be ignored, but was kind of irked when it actually happened. The only other human being who acknowledged my presence in any sort of friendly a manner was a cocktail server who took sympathy upon my situation, and proceeded to keep my plastic cup flowing with mid-level champagne precisely garnished with a sprig of mint. A moderate buzz ensued. Not content to wallow in my wallflower status, free booze in tow, I set about exploring the artificial winding paths through the flora.

The sun shone just perfectly and the entire place was bathed in a soft, inviting light.

(aa mesh long sleeve and leggings, risto bimbiloski dress, spike necklace, chloe boots)

I got this spike necklace from a BDSM shop in Lakeview. I plan on wearing it all summer long.

This Risto dress was hunted down from Filene's by way of Jamie. It was marked down to almost 90% off retail price. I picked up the falcon face print and another dress in the same style in a plaid print. I love being able to purchase clothes by my favorite designers at a price I can afford!

My outfit was inspired my 15-year-old mall goth self. In 1999, I was your typical suburban angsty psuedo-goth who shopped at Hot Topic and snuck out to raves and voted daily for KoRn to be on Total Request Live. I got into that lifestyle as a way to rebel, sure, but not in the way that you'd think. I was going through some heavy shit at the time and that was the only I knew how to, like, "deal" with it. It was a way for me to proclaim my disaffection from the suburban Abercrombie & Fitch zombies that trolled the halls at school, but also a way for me to create a visceral world that allowed me to escape from the real-life problems I was dealing with at the time. So the mall goth thing, while kind of pathetic (and hilarious, to me, at least), it is also a very associative. It reminds me of how I dealt with those issues at that time, utilizing what little emotional maturity that I had access to, what little life experience and subsequent resilience I had come to possess.

So it was a little disconcerting to be completely ignored in a grown-up social setting simply because I was wearing an outfit that poked fun at my awkward teen years. I mean, it's one thing for preppy high school Plastics to make fun of me because I was wearing Kikwear jeans...it's entirely different in a conservatory full of adults who supposedly like fashion and embrace dressing in unconventional ways. I wasn't simply ignored - I was actively gawked at and the questions "who is that girl? and why is she here?" were splashed plainly across their faces. Fuck, these were adults! And I wasn't even dressed that ridiculous! IndeedI was quite disappointed at the lack of maturity on behalf of the other guests. And suffice it to say, I won't be attending another similar event. Free booze or not. I can drink at home with my puppy and my boyfriend and dance to OMB records in my living room wearing my Rodarte shoes, and not be judged.

I am praying that New York Fashion Week isn't like that. Praying. Lighting Jesus candles in hopes of not dealing with that kind of bullshit.

Because my experience at the event was so negative, I don't believe I'm in any sort of position to offer an unbiased review of the clothes.* Here are the photos I took. You can make up your own mind.

*I will, however, mention that I thought the model's makeup was a complete miss. Not pretty, not complementary to the clothes, and garish in comparison to the lighting of the venue. So there's that.


now that's just how shit goes in the struggle.

I get asked a lot of questions about my thrifting and ebay hustle. It's true, I have gotten some incredible deals on designer things (god, I hate saying the term "designer things". ~*~*~A SHOE/GARMENT/OBJECT IS ONLY IMPORTANT WHEN IT'S DESIGNER*~*~, uhhh excuse me while I projectile vomit in your general direction.) that once retailed for stupid amounts of money. I am not in possession of stupid amounts of money. Therefore, I've developed by necessity some pretty good skills with regards to buying stuff for way cheap.

I'd estimate that about 85% of my wardrobe is secondhand. I rarely buy anything new, and even more rarely buy anything new that isn't heavily discounted. I simply don't have the money for it. Most people don't. Money is always a really uncomfortable subject to talk about, but let's have that discussion! Let's talk about how ridiculous it is that Alexander Wang charges $300 for basic cotton tank tops that are made in China. Or how jacked-up retail pricing is extremely classist. And since white people tend to be of higher socioeconomic status, how it is racist as well.

I derive a bit of glee in subverting some of the more evil parts of the fashion industry. And today, I'm going to share (some of) my secrets with you.

eBay requires patience and discipline. It's much like watching a plant grow. Nevermind the fact that I have killed every single plant I've ever had! Even brown thumbs can partake in the fashion Eden that is eBay.

-Everything pops up on eBay at some point. You just have to wait long enough. On eBay, I've seen several pairs of triple-lace Ann D boots, Miu Miu cat collars, Mcqueen show pieces, current-season Christopher Kane space-print stuff, and that's how I eventually got my Prada eyebrow glasses. If there's a particular thing you've been lusting after for a long time, be sure to check eBay daily to see if someone has listed it.

-Sometimes the thing you want may not be in the colorway or exact style you were hoping for. Make mental sacrifices or take it to a tailor/cobbler. Or DIY it or something. It's not the end of the world.

-When it comes to shoes, don't buy them unless you know they will fit you perfectly. They could be the the most cat-printed, crystal-studded, highest platforming shoes ever, but if they're even half a size too small, you will never wear them. I can promise you.

-Rich ladies often clean out their closets to make room for even more highly expensive things. Must be nice, right? You can often tell if it's that kind of seller by viewing all of their listings at once. Because they are rich, money is of no consequence to them and they will list stuff at very low prices. TAKE ADVANTAGE.

-Place your bid within the last 50 seconds of the auction close. It's very hard to be outbid with so little time remaining on the clock. It can happen, of course, but this method makes losing a little less likely.

-Along those lines, it's very common for the price to double in the last 2 minutes of the auction. Don't bid more than you can afford just because the clock is ticking down. Fight the adrenaline. That item or something similar will be listed again one day.

-Bid in odd amounts. Never bid with number that ends in 0 or 5. I have the best luck by bidding with a number ending in 7.

-Know your sizes! I can't stress this enough. Often times, shoes and clothes will be listed in international sizes, so be aware of what your different sizes are. Brands very between sizing so much that it can be impossible to keep track sometimes. Be That Person and go to Nordstrom or Barney's to try on designer stuff to find out what your size is, so there's no question when you're bidding on eBay.


-Thrift stores in rich neighborhoods. Thrift stores in rich neighborhoods. Thrift stores in rich neighborhoods. That is all you need to know.

-Oh, and avoid polyester. Unless you like wearing it, don't buy anything made of polyester because it will sit in your closet forever.

Good luck guys! So tell me: what's the best thing in your closet that you bought from eBay or thrifting?


20/20 in 2012

A category that is often sadly overlooked, yet is immensely important to those unfortunate souls as myself who must wear them everyday, is eyewear. I am a firm believer that eyewear should be one of the most important considerations a four-eyed person can make. After all, glasses are worn every single day on the most visible part of your body. They should be as obscenely excellent as possible. Think of glasses as facial decorations. Um, I mean...uh, yeah. Erasing that unfortunate mental entendre from my brain now. But if that's your thing...! That's cool I guess!

Anyway! Let's take a look (herp derp see what I did there) at those designers who made glasses that did not suck. Note that not that many designers sent eyewear down the runway to begin with. The bespectacled: always ignored, #foreveralone, sad panda, etc.


Prada has been a serious roll with their eyewear lately. Not that they were ever off the roll to begin with. Is that the proper way to diametrically oppose that first statement? Do I care? With last year's not-commercially-produced bitchface eyebrow glasses to this spring's next-level baroque madness, they have been one of the few designers putting serious thought into creating interesting eyewear. For fall, they have continued their trend of creating glasses that are big enough to have their own orbiting celestial bodies. These science lab glasses in autumn-y colors consume a good 33.33% of your entire face. Their sheer size is balanced by medium-tinted lenses that are just transparent enough. The kind of nerdwear that you could rock on the subway train if you wanted no one to speak to you. Which is not a bad thing, considering the unacceptable things that creeps like to say to women on mass transit. PS: if you are interested in fighting against sexual harassement in public spaces, please visit Hollaback! for more information. We DON'T have to put up with it.

Miu Miu

Miuccia, again, though we really surprised? The grandmother of cat-lady fashion brings us more awkward stuff for your eyes. These glasses are oddly flattering, considering the choice of an unusual trapezoidal frame. The sharp, slanted edges really highlight the cheekbones while the arched brow makes up for the fact that the frame hide your real actual brows. The old-timey hardware prevents the glasses from looking like something you'd buy as a joke at Spencer's, and instead classes them up with some old-school sensibility. Humor and refinement in one pair of glasses? The styling possibilities are endless with these. 


But by far the biggest winners of the eyewear this season is Givenchy. These glasses are MAJOR. I am extremely reticent to use that word because everyone and their mom and cousin and puppy says it to describe something that oftentimes, well, isn't. BUT THESE GLASSES! They are the ultimate cat-eyes because they contain actual perching cats. The idea of lounging animals on the arms of glasses seems so blatantly obvious, but Givenchy is the first to do it. I mean, the arms of glasses are uncharted territory, ripe with possibilities for other perching objects. Take note, eyewear designers! The purple, velvet, and yellow frames are all so pleasing on the face, but that yellow color is especially killer. I'd be lying if I didn't say that I am actively concocting various harebrained schemes to obtain these in the fall.


if you're a foot/shoe fetishist, you will probably love this post

(marni via ebay with uo socks , comme des garcons via ebay with uo socks, thrifted acne pumps with aa mesh tights,  rodarte x repetto oxfords with aa tights and a really stupid teen vogue jump)

A bit (a lot?) of narcissistic quick post, I'm aware! But I had a rare moment of free time and decided to figure out some ways to wear my summer shoes before summer actually comes. Transitional footwear, I suppose.  

I found these blue suede Acne pumps at a thrift store a few weeks ago for dirt cheap. They aren't in perfect condition, but mostly I'm just happy to give them a good home. You never know what you're going to find when you go thrifting! 90% of the time I leave empty-handed, but that 10% when I find something incredible makes the 90% so worth it. I can't really stress the stylistic/ethical/environmental/economic value of thrifting and secondhand shopping enough.