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in defense of Taylor Momsen’s borderline-pornographic outfits.

14 Nov

I don’t watch Gossip Girl, so I don’t really know anything about Taylor Momsen. What I do know is that the entire internet is freaking out because she is seventeen and wearing more eyeliner than clothing.

While I realize that Taylor’s outfits are pretty inappropriate for someone who isn’t old enough to vote, I can’t be offended by this. Why? Because this is exactly how I would have dressed at seventeen if I had only had the money/lack of parental supervision.

At seventeen, more than anything, I wanted to look sexy and tough, probably because, at seventeen, I wasn’t either of those things. I was a breastless string bean whose parents once punished her by taking away the book she was reading.

You may remember from earlier posts what happened when I got to college:

I can only assume it is natural for teenage girls to wear bras as shirts.

Cut Taylor Momsen some slack, because you know your teenage self would kill for those boots she’s wearing in the second picture.


13 Nov
  • When shopping online, avoid purchasing items described as “granny,” “grunge,” or “boyfriend.” These words are code for “can be found at most thrift shops for less than five bucks.”
  • Vegan leather? Back in my day, we called that shit pleather, and it was cheeeeap.
  • Your outfit deserves better than flipflops. If you’re gonna wear boring shoes, they should at least have arch support. Exceptions: beaches, dorm showers, hot hot days.
  • If you are going more than a block away from your house, you need to take off your pajamas and put on some real clothes. The whole world isn’t your damn living room.
  • Gold shoes go with everything.
  • If you can’t find pants that fit, you’re not alone. Your body is not weird. OK, maybe your body is weird, but pants are the worst.
  • If you have big boobs and you find a bra that fits for under $15, BUY IT IN EVERY COLOR. You’ll regret it if you don’t, and if you try to go back to the store the next day to buy more, some smarter big boob lady will have gotten there first.
  • Don’t wear anything with the Playboy bunny on it. It just makes everyone feel sorry for you. Exceptions: anyone 80 or older.
  • Wear shorts under miniskirts so you can go up stairs and not worry about creeps looking at your butt.
  • Wear a coat; it’s fucking cold outside. Didn’t your mom teach you anything?
  • Tights are awesome, especially when they are thick and warm or have cool patterns on them.
  • There’s a whole universe of socks out there for you to explore.
  • Fingerless gloves are adorable, but so are mittens, so get both.
  • You look fine in that swimsuit, so shut up and go in the water. Everyone else is just worrying about their own body anyway.
  • Althea’s tip: Always have a defined butt. I agree. Jeans with a saggy rear make you look like you have a saggy rear. Butts of any size look good in tight pants, and the world will be a better place if people’s butts look good.
  • Nobody ever looked bad in a plaid shirt. OK, probably some people looked bad.
  • You can’t have too many beat up old band tshirts.
  • Get a purse big enough to carry a paperback, because sometimes parties are boring.
  • If you are wearing makeup, why are you wearing sweatpants? What the hell? This combination is so weird. Knock it off. It takes so much longer to put on makeup than it does to put on real pants.
  • Speaking of sweatpants, your ass is not a billboard.
  • You need to wear a shirt under your hoodie. You’re gonna lose a nipple in that zipper, and I’m not going to have any sympathy.
  • Giant logos are tacky.
  • You’re never too tall to wear heels.
  • You’re never too short to wear flats.
  • Head to toe designer clothing is not a substitute for actual personal style.
  • Don’t wear anything uncomfortable (unless it makes you look totally hot).
  • You can mix gold and silver jewelry as long as you try really hard not to look like a middle schooler.
  • Doc Martens are worth the money. Mine have lasted twelve years, and I still wear them all the time.
  • Fancy purses are probably not worth the money, but I wouldn’t know, since I got mine at the L.L. Bean outlet and had to rip someone else’s initials out of it.
  • If other people don’t like your outfit, they’re wrong.

Halloween #1: when will we lead a normal life?

2 Nov

In the shower Friday morning, I decided to be an alien for work. Every year, I get so excited about Halloween. I love candy, crunchy leaves, and cheesy horror movies, but most of all, I love costumes. Every year, I come up with about 17 ideas about what I’m going to be. Every year, I change my mind at the last minute.

It wasn’t hard to find alien-appropriate attire in my room full of clothes. The hardest part was deciding between a kelly green lurex minidress or my suction-cup shirt. I figured I should be a modest alien at work, so I went with three layers of ripped tights in blue, green, and yellow for a scaly effect, a knee-length gold skirt from Find, and my suction-cup shirt. I’ve actually gotten a surprising amount of non-costume wear out of that shirt, which I got for $15 a decade ago when I worked at Filene’s Basement. It’s a nice black t-shirt with six suction cups (each of which are embossed with the words “KISS THE FUTURE!”) on the front and a detachable long right sleeve.

the suction cup shirt, not Halloween, 2009. photo stolen from Bryan Bruchman.

I wore rhinestone earrings that are so large that they have a post for the earlobe and a clip at the top, and fan out like little branches. I painted my face with a mixture of white foundation and shimmery purple and green eyeshadow, then added a shit ton of turquoise and green eyeshadow. I pinned a disposable camera flash to a sequined headband, slipped on some sensible shoes, and headed to work.

Nobody else was wearing a costume. Okay, sure, there was one lady with a pretty sweet sparkly witch hat, but I knew that thing would be crammed into her locker by lunchtime. This is not the first time this has happened to me.

Halloween at work, 2004

one other girl was wearing cat ears

All day long, despite my shimmering green face, people asked me if I was a flapper.

I mean, I know the headband is a classic Halloween-flapper thing, but come on! Green face! Suction cup shirt!

After work, I went to Ferdinand to visit Diane.



“Don’t you wish people dressed like this all the time?” she asked. I do! I totally do! Diane is the best.

Later that night, I greeted my boyfriend’s mother, Kristy, at our front door in my alien costume, then wiped off my makeup in the kitchen so we could go to dinner. We went to see Mike’s new band, Sunset Hearts, and his less new band, Huak, at Slainte. Kristy and I danced up front. It was a pretty great start to the Halloweekend.

let’s all obsess over Kate’s boots.

27 Oct

Here’s my friend Kate, her boyfriend, and her amazing boots.

Kate is probably sick of people talking about her boots, but whatever, everyone loves them. Here are some pictures.

I love the red zipper

Today, Kate bought a necklace from my Etsy shop, and suggested we start a joint blog called “Kate loves stuff Kate loves.”

Adlai Stevenson is my style icon.

21 Oct

I loved my gold oxfords. They were simple but shiny, comfortable yet dressy. I loved them even though the soles were smooth and I slipped and fell in the middle of Congress Street.

I was going to wear them to Tara’s wedding on Saturday, because they would be perfect for dancing. I was also going to wear them out to a concert on Tuesday. But I guess I loved them too much, because when I put them on Tuesday night, my left foot went right through the sole.

Goodbye gold shoes.

Oh, who am I kidding, I’ll probably try to glue them back together.

What Would Light-Up Jesus Do?

9 Oct

Today, Beth and I went to Rise Photography‘s backyard vintage sale (which is still going on if you are reading this before 5pm on October ninth!). They’ve had these vintage sales before, but they always happen to be on days when I’m working, so I was happy to go shop and hang out with cool folks like Mandy and Diane and Hannah. Beth and I also checked out the bicycle tire taxidermy exhibit inside the gallery. All kinds of great stuff is happening there today!

When we first showed up, Mandy was trying on a gorgeous dress that fit her perfectly. I neglected to take a picture, but I did tell her that if she didn’t buy it, I would THROW UP.

Mandy took a picture of my outfit: Continue reading


6 Oct

Polyvore user HistoryChick has been cranking out some seriously gorgeous sets inspired by influential women, and she was nice enough to let me share some of my favorites on this blog. You should totally click on all of them, because each set includes information on the subject in addition to a lovely outfit. She’s definitely taught me a few things about fashion AND history.


"What a brave man she was, and what a good woman."

“What a brave man she was, and what a good woman.” by HistoryChick featuring short shoes

It was hard to choose just a few; HistoryChick has so many of these sets that she’s had to split them into four categories: Women Scholars & Activists, Women Artists & Entertainers, Royal Women, and Women Warriors & Athletes.

Continue reading

cute stuff you might actually be able to afford: stay warm

6 Oct

Happy Wednesday! I am frozen. Everything here is fifty dollars or less, except for coats, which are one hundred dollars or less.

cute cheap stuff: stay warm

cute stuff you might actually be able to afford: back to school

1 Sep

For me, one of the most exciting parts of fashion has always been back to school shopping. Hell, back to school shopping has always been one of my favorite parts of school. After staring at the September issues on the magazine racks at work, I was inspired to create a set full of items that both the current and high school versions of myself would love.

How do I not already own that Misfits shirt?

cute cheap stuff: back to school

crazy stuff I can’t afford

11 Aug

Here’s what I’d be wasting my money on if I were a billionaire.

crazy stuff I can't affordFashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore

more crazy stuffFashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore
crazy assortmentFashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore

When I am filthy rich, I will wear the bow-front blouse, black underpants, and silver rain boots from the last set and stomp around my mansion.