Wednesday, 28 July 2010

saucy sailor

(Yes, of course that's a Steeleye Span reference.)

Yesterday I finally attained a long-held clothing dream: double-buttoned* wide-legged sailor trousers! And for three dollars, too; not bad at all. Rue 21 has really excellent clearance racks, especially if you go every couple of weeks to canvas the shop and to keep an eye on certain items you want to buy when they get cheaper -- because they can get pretty cheap. It's also really nice if you're me-shaped, because I run from medium to extra large (depending on the style and item), and the larges and extra-larges tend to be what gets left for the clearance racks more often than not. Thank you, copious bosoms; you are good for something I suppose. 

* Can you call it double-breasted when it isn't breasted? 

I also snagged this owl ring, which isn't my ideal -- it's rather big for my tastes, but happily it's also quietly silver and not too ostentatious despite its size. I'd like to get up a decent collection of quirky rings, but they are difficult to find (in a small town with limited shopping opportunities) and the good ones always seem to get bought up before the clearances, leaving me with ugly large-cut plastic jewels, very boring flowers, or rings made entirely out of plastic in a vulgar colour. But: owl! Owls have been my bird since I was a tiny be-spectacled lassie poring over books about birds of prey. 

shirt // Goodwill
vest, trousers, and ring // Rue 21
shoes // Goodwill
necklace // Kyra (Forever 21?)

Now if you'll excuse me I have to go watch Steven Moffat & Mark Gatiss' Sherlock again.. ^-^

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

i do actually own trousers: see?

Today I ran off on a borrowed bicycle (my tire's flat and I can't find my kit) to see Inception, which was pretty splendid (I love you Christopher Nolan and your psychotic brain and your editing and scene cuts my lord), but awkward to dress for, because... I am used to going to films in costume. I KNOW. IT IS A THING I DO OKAY. And the amusing bit is that I never have to buy anything special; I've dressed for Sherlock Holmes and Alice in Wonderland and Half-Blood Prince and two Lord of the Rings marathons recently all out of my closet. Um. Anyway when it's a contemporary psychological thriller there really aren't any costumes, so that was sad. In retrospect I could have dressed like Joseph Gordon-Levitt if I could have located my tie but really where am I going to find shoes as gorgeous as his on such short notice?

Anyway, I just dressed normally, in a polished sort of way. Which for me is sort of like this.

blouse // Goodwill
bodice // Value Village in Alaska, from Kyra
jeans // Ross Dress For Less
boots // Goodwill (a recent purchase; I wore them for four days straight ^-^)
necklace // Goodwill
earrings // Kyraaa <3

Monday, 26 July 2010

i dress for my inner seven-year-old

The week before last, the warehouse for our regional chain of Goodwills had a sale, so naturally Mum and I went. (It was a Saturday afternoon! I'd just had the worst week ever! WAREHOUSE SAAALE! We really love Goodwill, okay?) They didn't have nearly as much selection as we'd hoped -- they didn't actually open up the warehouse, just carted out stuff on racks -- but everything was ridiculously cheap, even for Goodwill, so I snatched up several gems (including a vintage silver-plate sugarbowl and creamer set, huzzah!). It was sort of fun trawling through racks (and long lines of furniture) outside, though, and there was a beautiful moment when a velvety great black and blue butterfly landed, quivering, on an old television set right beside me, close enough that I could see the orange glints on its wings before it flew away again.  Another magnificent large butterfly went winging through the clutter when I was rummaging through the book boxes hopefully. Anyway, finds: this dress was one of them, fulfilling a dress dream I've harboured since early childhood, when I would pour over the American Girl catalogues and wish Samantha's Victorian era clothes could be mine. I hadn't worn it except to try it on, though, because the fabric's a bit heavy, and it's been so humid these last weeks that one could probably knit things out of the air. Fortunately we've had some nice thunderstorms bring us cooler weather, and I ended up wearing it out to another Goodwill trip. (My town is so dull and I have so few opportunities for any sort of event that I do sometimes overdress a bit so I actually have a chance to wear things.)

If I'd doubted the allure of this dress before, I recieved ample confirmation today: one middle-aged lady was in raptures over me (and told me I looked like Xena? what? which one of us is confused? is there a weird Xena episode in an alternate 1910s universe? or is she confusing names? I DON'T KNOW), and, much more heartwarmingly, a seven-year-old girl caught sight of me and whispered, awe-struck, to her mother, "That lady is so beautiful!" (My favourite, though, was when I wore a long tulle skirt to the mall and a small girl of similar age asked her mother in a whisper if I was a princess.)

I really do dress for my inner seven-year-old quite a lot of the time.

dress // Goodwill, $2
lace slip // Mongomery Ward, thrifted
boots // from Kyra
beret // Rue 21 clearance rack
bow // Claire's clearance rack
cameo bow necklace // birthday gift from Kyra
skeleton key necklace // the key is actually a re-appropriated Walmart keychain, with a long chain borrowed from another necklace

Saturday, 24 July 2010

inspiration: tinytoadstool


4273328206_0536baccff_z_largeI am in love with this lovely lady's Flickr stream -- there are far too many bits and pieces in her outfits that are on my list of eventual must-have staples: floral stockings! petticoats! my dream boots!

I'd like to make a detachable fur collar like this sometime; it probably isn't too hard. also: yellow doc martins!

I do mean to get some soft ribbons for neckties and things soon.
these are my absolutely perfect dream boots. also love the layering of lace.
for some strange reason I really, really love bowties right now. bowties are cool. :D


I feel I ought to warn you lot early on: I may appear to be a GunneSax-wearing lass of the moors on occasion, but I also have black ribbons tied around my heart. In short, my gothic streak is pretty wide. I mean, it's only fair to warn you. My wardrobe is sort of like my iPod on shuffle: two outfits next to each other sometimes make no sense at all -- it's all little white dresses and floral stockings one day, eyeliner and stompy boots the next, lady-of-the-vampire-manor in sweeping lace skirts and black bodices directly afterwards, and then I might just lie about in dark jeans and a quirky t-shirt the day after that, So, you know. If you fancy a nice regular style blog you may want to go elsewhere.

Anyway, this morning I got a BOX from KYRA, my best friend, who fate has decreed to live in Alaska, for some reason. Kyra packages are always the most magnificent things ever, especially when I think I know what's in them. She found these granny boots for me, so I knew she was sending those, as well as some records (I got a gorgeous turntable for my birthday, eee!). Amusingly, they turn out to be the exact same ones I just threw out last week for having been loved actually to death, except these are, um. Well, a size that actually fits me, so I suspect fate will be a lot kinder to them. (The old ones were 7 1/2s -- how on earth did I get my feet in those? I am a 9). I had those for years and wore them everywhere until the heels kind of... broke, and the zippers got full of mud in Canso, Nova Scotia, where we attended the Stan Rogers Folk Festival and nobody told us to bring wellies. Fortunately, me being me, I had packed three pairs of boots, though none of them properly waterproof and two of them high-heeled. They kept my feet drier than my sneakers, anyway: but the zippers of my too-small already-battered granny boots never did recover. 

Anyway, not only did Kyra's package contain boots and records (Chopin! Suzanne Vega!), but also an assortment of lovely knick-knacks, and I was sorely disappointed that I could not actually wear all of them at the same time, but you will see them cropping up in future outfits no doubt. 

And then I traipsed off to the library, where... nobody even gave me an odd look, because they are all used to me, apparently.

Drink Me shirt // JC Penney; gift from Kyra
vest // Rue 21
skirt // Bonton
striped thigh-highs // Rue 21
boots // Kyra <3
lace gloves // Claire's, and... I totally bought these at full price with birthday money but love them too much to regret it
button earrings // Claire's
bat necklace // Hot Topic; gift from Kyra
hair bows // Icing? Hot Topic? I forget which; they were in Kyra's birthday parcel

Friday, 23 July 2010

a hobbit dress

I wore this dress several weeks ago (and then several times afterwards; definitely one of my favourite dress finds this year) -- I feel like Rosie Cotton in it. Absolutely want to bring this one to the next folk music festival I attend. It's light and comfortable and just flowy enough.

dress // Goodwill, probably about $5
lace blouse // Goodwill, ages ago -- $3?
belt // Rue 21, $4
earrings // Rue 21, $3
necklace // gift from best friend
bow // Claire's clearance rack, probably $1
boots // Plato's Closet in Anchorage, AK, $12

I probably won't price everything in every entry -- for one thing my memory for insignificant details is sieve-like (unless, of course, it is a detail I have no desire to remember and no use for whatsoever!), and for another it might get a bit awkward if I ever get a real proper job with, like, real money. But here it stands as proof that when I say budget fashion, by Jove I mean it! ^-^

greetings, salutations, et cetera

Hello, internet, and welcome to my eccentric little corner of it. (Well, okay. If each little scrap of internet one maintains is a corner, my personal bit of internet is a polygon-shaped room.) Here, I intend to catalogue my strange assortment of outfits, and, I hope, offer useful tips on dressing on an extreme budget.

I may have expensive tastes (oh, for a ModCloth or Anthropologie shopping spree!), but my budget is strictly Goodwill, clearance racks, and occasionally eBay, and I'd like to demonstrate that it is possible to approximate the sorts of outfits one might admire without having to spend very much money at all (though often it is required to spend vast quantities of patience).

Also I just really enjoy clothes, and since I am always taking photographs of what I happen to be wearing, it's high time I actually set my mind to doing it properly.