Work, B*tch

My sister is stepping in to do a guest blog. Isn’t it cute how she *’s out the “i” in Bitch in her title? Ha – I think she forgot she was writing for my crass, whiskey-saoked blog. Goes to show that we have pretty different, ok … very different styles. Some of you are a bit more classically stylish like she is though, so I always love when she gets a chance to write.

It’s pretty funny she’s the one that’s blogging and that she’s blogging about work, seeing how I’m currently unemployed and technically should have all day to write, but instead I’m … looking … constantly … for jobs. Or watching The Voice. So you know. 

I hope you enjoy this post by her. Especially if you work in an office environment where business casual (is that what this is?) is the way to go. Me? I only find myself looking for jobs now where I have the freedom to wear whatever I want. I’ve been spoiled and won’t ever back! 

Enjoy! Happy Monday! xoxo, Lou

When I first started my office job in the fanciest building on campus at my alma mater, I was Jazzed about wearing Office Clothes. Visions of me dressed like this were dancing in my head:

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Sometimes, I’m not far off this mark. BUT, suits are crazy expensive, and one can only come up with so many clever combinations of suit-top-heels before one gets a little bored with office attire. After only a short time at my office job, this is how I felt about wearing office clothes:

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As previously mentioned, I work in The Fancy Building on campus. The university president works in this building. There is definitely a dress code. (Side Bar: We have actual Casual Fridays and people really do say “T.G.I.F.!” It can make life feel a lot like a quirky sitcom.)

Needless to say, I’m on the younger end of the employee spectrum, and most people in the building tend to walk the conservative line when it comes to work wear. So I realized I had two choices: Fall into the same habits of my coworkers, and try to blend in, OR, be true to myself and my love of clothes, and have as much fun as possible within the parameters of Looking Professional.

I never thought I’d be a Blazer Girl. But I LOVE My Blazer. Investing in a great Blazer is so worthwhile when you need to wear Work Clothes on the regular. It polishes up any ensemble, for example:

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Without the blazer, that outfit is super casual. It’s a cotton turtleneck, relaxed-fit skirt, and some booties. But add the blazer, and voila! Polish.

Another great work staple is the Pencil Skirt. I commute by bicycle most of the time, so this item is reserved for carpool days. Be Forewarned: pencil skirts have a volatile magic. You will probably not open a single door for yourself all day, but it’s likely because the door-holder is enjoying the view:

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It’s easy to fall into Pin Up Girl territory here, so pairing the magic skirt with a simple cotton top and cozy shrug gives it some balance.

Speaking of inappropriate office outfits, I’m pretty sure this dress was way too short for me to wear to work:

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I wore that white cardigan over it and somehow decided that made it more modest, but looking at this picture I’m kinda surprised I didn’t get sent home to change. Hello, legs!

Which is not to say that dresses in general can’t be Work Appropriate. Do you have a spirit animal? I do, and her name is Taylor Swift. One morning Swifty ran into some Joan from Mad Men inspiration to create the following work outfit:

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I really wanted to wear the Ray Bans all day, but they made it hard to see my computer screen.
T-shirts can also make for a good work ensemble, so long as you apply the requisite Polish.

Example One, The Tee / Cardigan Layered Look:

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Example Two: The Button Down / Tee / Cardigan Combo:
(I have no clue what I’m doing in this picture, but I like my outfit)

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It’s important for my office steez to be bicycle friendly whenever possible, so I’ve invested in a lot of good Pants over the last year and a half.  The goal is always slim cut, ankle or capri length, for the ease of hopping on the bike to G-O! These wine colored gems are one of my new favorite pairs (shown with a little daytime sparkle!):

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I also decided awhile back that toothpick cords are completely work appropriate, and no one has ever contradicted me, so:

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(you better work, b*tch)

Clearly we must now segue into Sweaters. It’s fall, and I love sweaters. Let’s enjoy this one again:

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This is what I’m wearing today, and so many people have commented on “the chicken” on my sweater, to which I can only reply, “Chickens don’t wear berets.”

Remember how we have actual Casual Fridays? Well you still don’t want to look like a hot mess, especially when your university prez is on the TLC tip. He don’t want no scrubs.

Casual Friday Example One:

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The shorts were a gamble, but the polish here? Oxfords and a cute, simple sweater. Nautical theme!

Casual Friday Example Two:

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Jeans and some school-spirit red plaid, with more oxford polish.

See? Dressing for work can be – and should be – fun. Even if your office has Professional Polish Parameters (yay, alliteration!) there are always opportunities to be creative. Find your spirit animal and let her shine! Then, if your sister has a fashion blog, you can take lots of mini work breaks by creating a catalog of outfit selfies which will one day become a What to Wear at the Office post. Cheers, Lou!

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I Did Something Crazy

To many of you, it’s not that crazy, but I bought two pairs of shoes in like, the last month. Whoa.

You see – I finally have a job that pays me an amount of money that allows for expendable income. It’s completely exciting. Up to now, my wardrobe consisted of hand-me-downs, swap steals, the occasional thrift find, and cheap ass shit.

I still really appreciate all of the aforementioned sources of appropriation, but to finally have money that I can spend to build a closet with wardrobe staples that are entirely ME is pretty damn fun. Plus I’m almost 30. Now that the college degrees are out of the way and I scored a great job, it’s time I buy myself some of my own damn clothes, right? (See, I still have to ask as I try and rid myself of the weird feelings of guilt over spending my own money. Being formerly poor is weird like that.)

So anyway, I bought shoes. I’ve always had a hard time buying shoes. Because with shoes, unlike with say, sweaters or leggings or whatever, you can’t get by on “cheap” as easily. I’m still am not spending a fortune or anything, but let’s consider spending more than $45 on a pair of Vans a step up.

Pair #1 – Doc Martens 

Yeah, yeah, I get it. The dream of the 90’s is blah blah blah … but let’s be real here. This fashion phenomena is not just hitting Portland (it just never left Portland) and I would way rather walk around seeing 90’s fashion flashbacks everywhere than say, the 80’s. The 80’s are just not my steez.

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I’ve been talking about how I just really need some new boots. In Portland, where it’s rainy and cloudy for 9 months of the year, investing in boots is kind of a must. Just so happens that for the past year or so I’ve also been swooning over Doc Martens. Especially those Oxblood red numbers.

So here I am, walking to work the other day, in a pair of flats with no socks or anything, and it’s pissing rain and I’m like MAN I really need some BOOTS. The time is NOW. And then I see the Dr. Martens store as I cross Burnside and I’m like, mmmm Dr. Martens.

And then bam! It hits me. Duh. Dr. Martens are fucking BOOTS. Going to look on my lunch break can’t hurt, right?

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Best purchase I’ve made in a long, long time. Practically wore these puppies out of the store. And I went with black knowing that if I loved them (which I do) I could always go back and pick up a pair up in Oxblood. Black is more a staple item. And that’s my thing with what I’m actually willing to spend money on – collecting staples.

 

Item #2 – Phew. Deep breath. Jeffrey Campbell Soiree Heels

Ok, ok. What the fuck was I thinking? Who am I? Will I ever where these?

I don’t know the answer to any of these questions – well except the last because yeah – I have to wear these. I’ve had my eye on them for a few months now. Mainly because I saw this girl’s picture over on her tumblr The F Word (follow her – she’s too fucking cute) and was like damn. Give me those.

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Then. Well. They went on sale. At Urban Outfitter of all places. And I got an email saying SALE SALE SALE. You know?

And then I was like, well it can’t hurt to click the link and look, right? WRONG.

It hurt my bank account. But only by $87.50. Which, for these … not bad. And now I own a pair of nice heels! They’re different and edgy, sure, but they’re also a really classic silhouette when all the trend is stripped away. And I stray pretty far from straight up classic fashion aesthetics. So, it was meant to be. I just … I had to splurge.

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Sorry I’m not sorry.

I’m still crafting my perfect first outfit with them, so you’ll have to wait for that 🙂 TBC …

Until then – don’t let me buy anything else! Unless I’m buying it in THAILAND!

xoxo, Lou

 

Get Your Hands On Some DEAD THINGS

Guess what, bitches?! It’s October. Which means I should spend the entire month talking only about spooky fashion, right? Because I don’t do that enough already.

Well, here’s a special one for ya. A longtime reader of CWPL, Miss Sarah Moeding, got in touch with me a few weeks ago because SCORE, her beautiful, hand-crafted jewelry is now available for sale on her Etsy site. Guess what it’s called?

Dead Things By Sarah.

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I mean, COME ON. Not only are her pieces perfect for yours truly on a year round basis, they also happen to be seasonally appropriate for those of you looking to delicately tap into your dark side.

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And that’s just it. These pieces manage to stay delicate and pretty, without sacrificing their edge. I played around with a couple pieces to see how they would look with my favorite color – black, as well as with some more feminine ensembles too, just to demonstrate the versatility of her work. As she describes it, her aesthetic is “Victorian Hunting Lodge”. If that doesn’t drive home the juxtaposition, I’m not sure what will.

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She made her first bone brooch from some mink skeletons her sister gave her for Christmas in 2009 and has always been fascinated and collected “dead things”. Her sister remains supportive of her hobby and to this day collects bones for Sarah and thinks of her when she sees dead stuff… (I really like this since my family has the same special connection with me. They LOVE it …ahem).

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So anyway, Sarah began by making the pieces mostly for herself and for her friends, but as she tells it, “only in the last couple of months have I started to branch out into making earrings and necklaces, and selling them to the public. It’s exciting, the response has been resoundingly positive and supportive, and I took part in a craft fair mid-August that found me selling about a dozen pieces in less than a few hours.”

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Fuck yeah! If you read this blog on a regular basis, you know I’m all for supporting talented, hot babes in their creative endeavors. Sounds like Sarah’s is really taking off. Must be in part because her unique pieces “straddle the line of being pretty and even ornate, but also somewhat masculine in form and feeling.”

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Aside from that balance in her work, I also really love the uniqueness of her jewelry. I mean, come on. My mink bone is from my very own little mink! No need to share this little guy or gals curvature with anyone else. All mine!

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If you want to really GO FOR IT when placing your order – she also offers gift wrapping for like, major cheap. Which is TOTALLY worth it because look, just look (genuine, bonafide, Texas armadillo skull not included):

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(genuine, bonafide, Texas armadillo skull not included)

Now how cute is that? And that is a box you can keep forever. Even if you buy a piece for yourself, I vote you still go for the gift wrap. You won’t be sorry when you get this little package in the mail that is so evidently prepared with care and artistry. I know that I was really gleeful as I unwrapped my goodies and I have no doubt you will be too.

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There are a ton of ways to get in touch with Sarah and places to check out/purchase her treasures:

She has a really great selection of pictures showcasing her work on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/objetsdelamort

Ready to buy? Etsy site is where it’s at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/DeadThingsbySarah

Questions? Custom Orders? Fan Mail? Email a girl: deadthingsbysarah@gmail.com

And let the countdown begin … 30 days to Halloween! Send me all your spooky post ideas. Please and thank you.

Oh and a very special thank you to Sarah! I fucking love my readers … Now go check out her steez stat.

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xoxo,

Lou