The Thread Count is In

A couple of years ago when Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion came out I quickly downloaded the book to my kindle and tore through it.  Partly because I hadn't heard the phrase "fast fashion" previously and I was curious about all things fashion, but also because I HAD noticed the quality of clothing available was going down. There were a lot more options to shop but the t-shirts, and fabric weights in general, were getting thinner. Now I will admit, when some of the newer stores came on the scene I was pretty happy with them. I like to shop and suddenly there were stores like Forever 21 that had a lot of variety to choose from and some cute retro-inspired styles that I wasn't seeing in other places.  But that was also back when a "layering tee" - a t-shirt so thin you have to wear another tee or tank underneath it - was it's own category and you could still also buy a regular weight t-shirt on the next shelf over.      

Now EVERYTHING is as thin as a layering tee!  At some point the demand for quick turnaround "fast fashion" became more important than the quality of that fashion. And honestly I'm not sold on the "fashion" part of that either because I'm seeing an awful lot of basics sold in stores, with nothing special to recommend them. Not to mention how the whole industry has changed and what it's doing to the environment.  I'm really at a point where I'd rather pay more money for good quality, interesting styled clothes that will last, than another cheap tee that will have holes in it in a few months.

Of course I started ranting and raving about these trends and most of my friends looked at me like I was speaking gibberish.  So I'd like to share this lovely video that encapsulates the major concepts of fast fashion and its impact all in under two minutes. 

 

Created by OnlineMBA.com

And if anyone out there has some good sources for good high thread count clothing, please let me know. 

             - the weirdgirl

 


Swimwear Must Die 2013

Oh yeah, it's swimsuit time again!  For those of you just joining us, I feel compelled to make fun of the swimsuit industry every year - the photos, the styles, the posing.  I don't know what it is, but the mockery just bubbles up inside me until it has to come out.  Plus, some of these shots are silly.  (Or maybe it's just shopping for swimsuits make Hulk mad!)

You want more? Just click under the category Fashion Rules According to Me.

This looks like a brothel lineup from Game of Thrones.  Sports Illustrated didn't even bother to use real bikinis, just CGI'd those suckers.  I'm waiting for a direwolf or dragon to pop up.

2013 swimsuit Sports Illustrated

In Mother Russia the hats keep you warm but the swimsuits give you very interesting tan lines.

2013 swimsuit furry hat

Dude, I don't care how hard you partied the night before but when you get up in the morning you still need to put on your swimswuit, not your girlfriend's.

2013 swimsuit men

Side view, so you can really see the floral and the satin trim. What?

2013 swimsuit Logan_Taylor_Rufskin

Gingham and bonnets?!  Holly Hobby is all grown up!

2013 swumsuit Holly Hobby

One glove is back!  FINALLY!!  I don't know how I lived going to the beach without a glove.

2013 swimsuit one glove

These ones would be cool if the faces weren't so tortured. Like, do I want a drug-addicted morning-after teen on my swimsuit?

2013 swimsuit faces

This isn't even a swimsuit, it just made me laugh.

2013 swimsuit skiny-banner

No risk, no buns!  (But plenty of horns.)                        - wg


Flying

The summer flew by.  And I don't mean that in the usual way where you go, oh wow, where'd the week go? in a general attempt to deflect from the fact that you spent too much of it playing Cleopatra's Pyramid on your tablet and being summertime flaky. I mean as in this summer literally went by faster than any other summer I can remember!!  Short, fast, over.  Some would say, "Hey! That just shows you're living life!"  But I don't feel so much like I'm living as I'm getting sucked through a cosmic time warp like a root beer float through a straw.  And the ice cream chunks are my squishy bits.

I think the universe is speeding up as the punchline to some joke that I'm not going to get until it is much, much too late.  Awkward silence.  Delayed chuckle.

Anywho, school starts next fricking week!  I've decided that for the remainder of summer I will wear short shorts, oversized jewelry, and spray tan (short, fast, over!) as if I jetted off to fabulous sun-shiny locations with lovely shiny people.  I'm sure that will go over well as I uniform shop at Target (navy pants: check; white polo: check; yawn: check).  Because I figure if you blink and accidentally miss summer you might as well fake it like you were awake. 

I bet I can carry that look into September before people start talking.                - wg


Swimwear Must Die 2012

It's time for swimsuits!  2012 Edition!  Woot!  It's just too much work (i.e. I'm lazy) to link all the previous years' swimsuit editions so if you want to see more, just click under Fashion Rules According to Me in the Categories section.  Because I am a fricking expert!

"I've got this magic feather and if I flap real hard I can fly!"

2012 swimsuit adriennebailon-miami

"I'm feminine all the way down to my ruffly cootchie-coo."  Warning: may droop when wet. (heh heh heh)


2012 swimsuit adriennebailon-miami

"When I'm biking at night I don't even NEED reflectors!"


2012 swimsuit adriennebailon-miami

What you always knew went on behind the runway. Now smile for the camera!


2012 swimsuit adriennebailon-miami

What's black and white and red all over? This guy's face after his suit dissolves and floats away. (Come on, tell me you didn't think of that immediately?)


2012 swimsuit adriennebailon-miami

And under the garden is a swimsuit. Please take your antihistamines before wearing.


2012-Swimsuit-BluMarine-Spring--BLUMARINE-SPRING-2012

And for the finale... I stumbled across this hilarious page of hand bikinis like the one below.  Check them out and give the guy's page a round of applause.  Ha ha. Shit, I'm funny.

"Hey, pull my finger!"


2012 swimsuit adriennebailon-miami


Stop Them Cold

Thanks to Walgreens for underwriting this post. I was paid as a member of the Clever Girls Collective, but the content is all mine. Visit http://www.discoverbeautywithin.com/

This opp came up to write about Winter beauty and I got kind of drooly. See, over the years I have amassed a good amount of knowledge about everyday beauty and I have no one to talk to about it!  Most of my friends don't really wear makeup. As a teenager I had, and still have, skin issues (pimples! at my age!) so I learned all about good skin care regimens and makeup and all that jazz just for my own self-esteem.  And you know, if you're going to put all that work into your skin, you might as well have some great clothes to go along with it. As well as shoes, of course. I'm just saying.  Anyway, I have friends who know where to go now when they have a beauty question or just want to raid my extra stores of makeup (don't ask) but I don't often get a chance to lay down some general guidelines for the Good Of All.  (This is awesome! I'm like a beauty philanthropist!)

The most important thing I can say about Winter beauty is moisture!  This seriously cannot be stressed enough.  Winter weather is ironically drier than Summer, even with all the snow and rain. The cold just sucks moisture right out of your skin. Then, of course, you're also moving from cold environments into heated indoor environments and that puts stress on your skin as well.  Those two are bad enough alone but then throw cold and flu season on top of it and you could seriously wake up one morning with a preview of the wrinkles you'll have in ten years. (That happened to me with this last flu I had because I got so dehydrated.)  So here are my tips...

1. Drink a ton of liquids. I know this is harder when it's cold but switch out your usual cool drinks for warm ones (I personally love hot lemonade) to keep up hydration. This is not only good for your skin but it'll flush toxins out of your body for overall health during flu season. The same rules also apply if you go out partying... if you drink alcohol, drink water to replace your fluids!

2. Use a toner.  A toner can be your best friend. It resets the

Neutrogena

pH balance of your skin to neutral so you don't get too dried out from soap or too oily in reaction to the dry elements. (Yes, that does happen!)  I recommend splashing toner on after you get out of the shower or wash your face and before you do the rest of your skin regimen.  Neutrogena has a great non-alcohol based one (which is perfect for older or sensitive skin) that I use over my whole body.  I simply put it in a spray bottle and spritz every place that feels dry.

 

3. Use moisturizer!  And not just your face. Remember the rest of your body and lips, too. My legs get super dry in the Winter so I have lotion just for them and my feet.  I know a lot of people don't want to bother with multiple products (one for the legs, one for the face, etc.) but if you're going to invest anywhere, invest in your skin.  It's healthier and your body and your mirror will thank you later.  Which brings me to another point, do not forget SPF!  Even in winter your skin needs protection and the vast majority of products include it anyway so you really don't have an excuse not to. Olay has a wonderful line of face creams (that I think are comparable to high-end moisturizers) that can fit almost any skin type, and they've also expanded into body lotions as well.  You might have to experiment a bit before

Olay

you find moisturizers that are right for you but shopping at a drug store won't break the bank.  Many lip balms also come with SPF specifically for Winter conditions.  If you're really money tight here's a saving tip... find a face lotion that you like but comes in a larger bottle and use it for your whole body.  You can even dab a little on your lips at night (eye cream works great on lips!).  It might not be perfect for every dry bit of you but some moisture is better than going without.

 

4. Cover up.  Lots of people are shy about accessories, so Winter is the perfect time to try them out!  It's important not only to moisturize your skin but to keep it as unexposed to the elements as possible.  Gloves, hats, and scarves are practical and fashionable!  If you're new to accessorizing try picking one item that you love at first site, like a soft scarf or pair of gloves. Start with neutrals and then build up to bolder colors as you get used to the way these items look on you. Or, if you're already a hat and scarf person, jump into one in an unusual color.  However, with all those extra items piled on for Winter there is a trick to balancing your look.  Basically you want an emphasis on one area (or two areas that are far apart).  Say you're wearing a neutral scarf and hat, then you could wear red lipstick for a pop of color. If you like to dress up your eyes, wear bold colored gloves.  Wearing bright lipstick, tons of glittery shadow, a rainbow scarf, and a hat goes over the top. 

Rainbow scarf

 

The general rule is you pick one area of your face to emphasize, either lips or eyes, but in Winter you do have to take your accessories into account.  Because I already have bright red hair and glasses I tend to keep my day makeup pretty neutral, especially if I'm wearing a hat, too. (BTW, if you're going out for a night on the town, you could totally break this rule and vamp it up. Nighttime always allows for bolder colors. However, I still wouldn't recommend the rainbow scarf with a party dress. But a boa? Sweet!)

Thanks for listening!             - wg

[image 1 | image 2 | image 3]


Swimwear Must Die '11!

OK, so I didn't quite get the flooding stream of comments about how much you all can't live without the swimsuit edition. But I did get people sending me links!  To swimsuits!  Really awesome ones.  And as one notable person pointed out, I was really leaving out the guys.  So for the first time ever the swimsuit edition is going co-ed!

Attack of the male models. Prepare to get bitch slapped!

2011 swimsuit bracelets

For that bikini that was missing something... now both sections are furry!  (Or... true accessorizing means the carpet matches the drapes matches the throw pillows.)

2011 swimsuit bracelets

For when Wonder Woman wants to change out her magic bracelets for something a little more "beachy."

2011 swimsuit bracelets

What's that in your banana?  I mean, your... um... hammock? Your satin hammock.  No! I'm not looking at your "i"!  I love you for your banana. Mind! I mean, mind. 

2011 swimsuit bracelets

That Spiderman is such a gentleman! And he never lays a finger on me.

2011 swimsuit spiderman visits

You know what's hot? Big ass veins snaking down towards snakeskin. I love men with themes.  ("Live your dreams, face your fears... of my gigantic snake!")

2011 swimsuit bracelets

"For my wedding I just wanted to find the perfect combo of chess plus floral because it so screams 80s' innocence. Not that I remember the 80s but that's what Frankie was singing about, right? Plus they say that multiple lines and patterns are always super flattering."


2011 swimsuit bracelets

Sometimes you just need a girl who's all-terrain.

2011 swimsuit bracelets

Smile! You've got boobs!  (Yes, this is actually a bikini.)


2011 swimsuit bracelets

And finally, we have... wait for it... monster themed bikinis!  For these two I really think we ought to have a caption contest because seriously, SERIOUSLY! Look at these things!


 2011 swimsuit monster2011 swimsuit monster 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never say I don't leave you with something you can sink your teeth into.             - wg


Experimentality

So I made the first of my sewing projects!  Wanna see?

This is very basic t-shirt surgery but I cut down one of Keen's ringer tees into this:

  002 

It was my practice piece. See if a project takes more than a couple of hours I'm probably not going to do it, because I've realized I can only break my life down into two hour segments, tops.  Just reality.  Anyway, the tee was a little stained (with one particular mark right on the nipple!) so I wrote the first stanza to one of my favorite poems, The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock, across the front and one additional line across the lower back.  I like the back lower than the front effect, it makes it all swoopy.  It came out pretty cute, huh?


006 

This was another experiment... that came out very, very wrong. Theoretically it looks like it would be cute right?

003 

Until you see where I sewed the top half on inside out!  And the back waist gathering is pretty much a hideous mess.  As soon as you put it on it screams bad home ec.  That's what I get for trying to remember skills I learned as a high school freshman.  What is this thing you call patterns?


004

I'm tempted to try and redo it... but I'm not holding out any great hope.

In the room the women come and go

Talking of Michelangelo.


Sew anyway

Now that Keen has lost so much weight he has this pile of clothes that are waaaay too big.  Literally, it's a pile because I was all, "Hey, can I have some of your t-shirts that don't fit anymore?!" And he was, "Uh, why?" And I was like, "Because I can cut up your shirts into tank tops and things!" And then we stopped talking like teenagers and he pulled out way more clothes than I expected into this huge pile of recyclable materials that I could dumpster dive into to my heart's content.

(OK, I didn't really stop talking like a teenager.)

So I've been really into the whole idea of recycling/reusing clothes. I've seen some amazing, creative work by other fabric artists (they're called that, right?) and I think it's a perfect solution when you get bored by your wardrobe (like I do) and it's environmentally healthy (bonus!) and you also increase the chance that you'll make a cool, unique article of clothing, which I love.  You know me, in general I really like clothes and designers. 

Except... I'm a little scared of sewing.

It's not that I'm terribly, horribly bad at sewing, but I'm not very good either and it makes me nervous.  Or at least, working up to the actual sewing makes me nervous, and threading the needles make me nervous, and cutting the material makes me nervous, but once I actually start working on a project I'm OK.  Sort of.  Kind of like doing math.  However, I'm also frequently gripped with an intense desire to MAKE something, with my hands, which usually involves materials other than, well, material.  Like metal, so it's OK.  I get my making fix elsewhere.  Also at the moment I am trying NOT to shop, because I want to save money for BlogHer (hello! New York!)

But at the same time I'm going to BlogHer.  Hello? Want new outfits!  (What? At least, I admit it.)

So here I am... trying not to shop, a little bored with my wardrobe, an itching desire to MAKE SOMETHING (and oh my god, this feeling is totally why Frankenstein was created) that just keeps building, and a big pile of usable material right in front of me. See?

  Keen's clothes 003

Sooooo... I'm going to try some projects, attempt some cute tops, maybe even wear them to BlogHer. Even though I'm scared (a little) that I will crash and burn.  That could be a totally new button for them... "I'm going to BlogHer in DIY clothes," or "I went to BlogHer as a craft project gone wrong."  Whichever.  I'm sure it'll be fine.  Even though I love clothes and designers, I have no pretension of actually being a designer. I was thinking more that I could cut down some of Keen's old tees into this shape...

  Keen's clothes 001

...which is a $15 dollar drapey tank from Forever 21 that I love! Seriously, it's all soft and flowy and versatile, and as you can see the material conversion should be pretty close. So I figure if I can get a couple more of these out of his t-shirts I'll be pretty happy.  Maybe I'll also try a tank I saw at Anthropologie that was the same shape but done in panels of different materials.  And then I'll get cocky from my success and I'll try something else that may or may not work (but I'll probably think it works because of my inflated sewing ego) and I'll keep tripping merrily down a path of textile danger and YOU will get to watch the whole accident-mesmerizing journey.

I'm sure it'll be fine.  

But if I come up with something really hideous for NY, you'll tell me right?

              - the weirdgirl


Swimwear Must Die '10

I'm late this year for the annual swimsuit wrap up, but better late than never.  However, I've got to tell you I am disappointed in this year's batch of designer swimsuits.  Really disappointed.  Swimsuits haven't been over the top, there have been no ridiculous embellishments, no poses with french poodles and feathers.  They have been tame, in traditional shapes and fabrics, even wearable... and that's no fun at all.

(Though it does make my prospects for finally finding a pair of 50s style full-cut bottoms a smidge more realistic.  Oh come on, with a halter?  You know that would be HOT!)

However, there are always a few that need mentioning.  Especially this disturbing trend...

Boys be warned!  Vaginas equal DEATH!  Oh, that winking boob might try to lure you in, but don't be fooled!  Clearly any fraternization with said vaginas may result in serious injury, as indicated by the oh so helpful warning label and skull.  

  Death bikini

This trend was obviously started by Ed Hardy's Swimsuits Love Kills Slowly line that showed up last year and continues today, despite the numerous unreported abuses that I'm sure occurred. Men, don't be afraid to come forward.  (How much more grief are you going to cause in the world, Ed Hardy?)

Hardy love kills
 slowly swimsuit

This one uses a hypnotherapy lure to suck you in. Or maybe vertigo.

  Hypno swimsuit

This one's a bikini!  No, an applique project!  No, a patriotic statement!  I'm so confused! VAGINA!

  Applique swimsuit
  
Honey, usually floss swimsuits are worn the other way. (poor girl)

    Maxim suspiro swimsuit

That headband there? That headband speaks volumes!

  Warrior princess swimsuit

But if you are going to chance the dangers and hook up anyway, try this one. She's got bandages.

  Bandage swimsuit

For more swimsuits, check out:

Juicy Must Die

Swimwear Must Die & Swimwear Must Die 2

Swimwear Must Die '08

Swimwear Must Die '09

(Yeah, I got a lot of time on my hands.)             - wg


Getting back on the horse

The problem with horses is... they move.

I was on a runaway horse once.  I was about five or so.  The farmer leading me, Queen of farm animals, and the horse dropped the lead for a minute, see.  The horse, recognizing the opportunity, weighed its options... run back to the farm for chow OR listen to an inexperienced girl child with high falutin' ideas about what she's capable of yanking on the reins.  Food won and in a split second the horse bolted through a fruit orchard with me on its back, pigtails a-flying.  (Mine, not the horses. Pigtails on a horse would just be silly.)  

You know what?  Branches hurt.  After it was all over, it didn't occur to me to be afraid of horses.  Which means I'm either brave or stupid, your choice.

There's a life metaphor in there somewhere.

Snarky fucking metaphors.

Anyway, I'm getting back on top.  (Heh. That's what she said!)  (Wait, that doesn't make sense because that is what I said.  hmmm) 

Anyway redux, I've got a post on MC Hammer pants over at Culture Brats!  I know you all still wear them.  And I KNOW, I just know, that someone out there is going to tell me, "But they're so comfy!" and/or "You're just jealous that you can't wear them!"  Because every single time I do a post knocking fashion someone tells me I'm just jealous.  

You know what I'm really jealous about?  I found these after I posted over at Culture Brats!

  Shlong harem pants farfetch.com

These must have belonged to a horse. 

(Can't ride this.)

              - the weirdgirl