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Monthly Archives December 2015

Extravagant for New Year’s Eve – Ringing in 2016

My last post was about being cute for Christmas, but I think for New’s Eve, one should be extravagant and over the top. It is one of the few times that you can do so and the fashion world applauds it.

I am a fan of anything shimmery and shiny, particularly sequins.  Sequins draw attention because they attract light, but oddly sequins can be forgiving.  I have a few photos of variation of sequins outfits that you can consider for ringing in 2016.  One thing you want to consider, of course, is the venue you are heading to. This first outfit is a favorite. It is a colorful sequin dress that I have paired with a faux pearl choker and a velvet electric blue dress coat.  This is for going somewhere a bit more upscale.IMG_2407

The next outfit is much more edgy – an all-black sequin double breasted coat with shoes to show gorgeous legs or high boots to add a bit more vavoom .  IMG_2510 IMG_2701 IMG_2685Do wear some black shorts underneath a mini so you feel secure.  I would wear this on a date, but not when going out alone.  And, this outfit would have to be approved by my significant other.  I love the idea of showing great gams.It is also quite possible to wear sequins pants to a  New Year’s Eve event – either skinny leggings that are shown here, or loose flowy pants. Here Criscia is in skinny leggings with a brown and black jacket with faux fur embellishments.  The pants speak volumes and they are great for accenting legs and a nice posterior.  IMG_2886 IMG_2876

I know by now most of us have our outfits picked out, but if you don’t have any sequins in the outfit, try adding some in the accessories area.  Try sequin earrings or sequins embellished pumps. I suggest you ring in the new year big by bringing it in with some bling.  Be Safe and enjoy.  Happy New Year!

Here I am at the Goodwill Rescue Mission pre-New Year Event rocking a sequin skirtPic 2

Cute for Christmas

imageDressing for the holidays is actually easier than people think. When I think about dressing for Christmas, I think about the colors and the festivities. The colors of the season are Reds, Green, White. I put this assemble together because it combines my love for vintage with the colors of the holiday. I ordered this Pendleton skirt set from a vintage shop on ebay. I paired it with an existing hat and gloves that I already had.
Christmas Cape

I also wore vintage this Christmas. Here I am pictured in a vintage cape, with cream-colored skinny jeans, and beige/cream pointy toe boot. The cape, in red and white, is festive, but a cape always, always adds flair to an outfit.

Christmas in New Jersey

Christmas in New Jersey

Lastly, keeping with the Christmas theme, I wore a red vintage leather and faux fur lined coat and my gift to myself – a pair of marbled Christian Louboutin pumps. Certainly, they were right for the holiday.

Black Shoppers Don’t Matter – My Experience with Bergdorf’s and Black Invisibility

Black Shoppers Don’t Matter – My Experience with Bergdorf’s and Black Invisibility

image Nothing kills a shoe shopping buzz like racism. Now, I think we can all agree that up until now I have done a rather good job of keeping my theories about race and class oppression separate from my theories about how to get the best deal on clothes. Yet, it was only a matter of time before my knowledge of both intersected in a blog post. My next post was supposed to be about sequins and holiday fashion. Unfortunately, my experience at Bergdorf Goodman’s begged a blog post to address how even in a place where beautiful shoes and Chanel handbags reign supreme, racism persists.

I had gone to Bergdorf’s as part of what has become a ritual. I, like most visitors, ohh and ahhh at the legendary window displays and the fabulous items inside. I was thrilled that they were having a sale of up to 50% off in the shoe salon on the second floor. I perused the items earlier this week and had determined to go back on Christmas Eve. Today, I went in and saw hordes of shoe lovers vying for deals on shoes. I had my eyes on a pair of Christian Louboutins that were about 40% off. I grabbed the shoe that I wanted asked one of the shoe stockers for a mate. I was told I needed to see an associate. However, in associate land, those very associates asking patrons if they needed assistance passed me time and time again. I was finally given an uncomfortable smile by a man who I’d later ask for help. He brought me the shoe and in the middle of asking me how it fit, a white woman interrupted (sans an “excuse me”) and began asking questions about her shoe needs. He immediately engaged her. In academia, scholars have termed this Black invisibility. It is the privilege of the dominant white culture to believe their inquiries and needs supersede anyone else’s. The ideal thing would have been for the male associate to say, I’m sorry, I am helping this young lady… When he did return his attention to me, I said one of the shoes is too small. Fearing that I may not purchase anything, he left the shoe and while walking away he said, “well let us know what you want to do.”

You may argue that that is not racism, it is rudeness. Unfortunately rudeness is embedded in racism in many instances. But to witness the courtesy with which the associates engaged with other patrons who did not happen to be Black like me, one can only assume that anti-black racism was at work.

Some would argue that the associates are like that with everyone, and that you have to be aggressive and flag them down. That general assessment however dismisses the knowledge that the most effective racism is the kind that morphs to seem invisible – See Bonilla-Silva’s work Racism without Racists. Then pose that argument.
Additionally, those who explain away racist experiences as minor or trivial are themselves practicing microaggressive behavior (See Sue’s work). And Coleman Young addresses such dismissive microaggressions – “the victim of racism is in a much better position to tell you whether or not you’re a racist than you are.”

We know that spaces have racial attachments – there are certainly places that go out of their way to make people of color feel that they don’t belong. Usually, I deal with those quite well, but today, Christmas Eve, I just wanted the wonderful experience of buying Christian Louboutins. I could have done without the racism.

Dressing for the Holidays – Use Common Sense first

Dressing for Holiday Parties (Part 1) – Use Common Sense

Of course I have my own ideas about holiday party apparel, but in preparation for a forthcoming blog post, I read a few articles in magazines and on Twitter to see what other fashion bloggers and writers were posting. Now, if you’ve ever watched shows like Fashion Police, or even more recently Fashionably Late with Rachel Zoe, you already know that fashion is in the eye of the beholder. There are a few universal things that we agree are fabulous or horrible, but for the most part fashion is subjective and very much contingent upon people’s individual tastes – mine included. In fact while shopping with my older and younger sisters over the Thanksgiving holiday, I saw a very cute pale pink knit shawl with fringe on the bottom, but after showing it to my sisters, their visceral reactions made me hesisitant. Even though I joked around and told them that they don’t know anything about fashion, when my little sister likened the shawl to something Vicki Lawrence from Mama’s Family would wear, I caved.

photo credit: Google images. Any item of clothing that conjures up Mama's Family is surely problematic

photo credit: Google images.
Any item of clothing that conjures up Mama’s Family is surely problematic

Turning to holiday dress and holiday fashion advice, I want to caution my readers not to be so swayed by opinions whether it is fashion advice given by high profile magazines or famous bloggers or someone on the street. Instead, use common sense first and foremost. I say this because of what I read in one of the articles in Marie Claire on Twitter from a few months ago. I thought it may be relevant. It focused on how to be the “coolest” girl in the room. It listed 6 things 2 of which I disagreed and 1 of which I vehemently disagreed.
Mess it up on purpose photo... What would fashion police say?

Mess it up on purpose photo… What would fashion police say?

Look at this picture screen shot from Twitter. The advice was – Mess it up on purpose. Huh?! Look at that outfit. Those pants – flood like that on purpose? Tap on the photo so you can get a closer look; they are not even capri, or ankle pants. That is horrible – and you don’t have to have a degree in fashion design or merchandising or anything to make that assessment. Frankly, it’s a shame.
You could get beaten up for wearing stuff like that in grade school. And, as we get into our 40’s I think showing up anywhere and especially at a party dressed like this would cause people to question our sanity, or senility at the very least. For me, the explanation that followed the picture did not provide a good rationale for the style to take it seriously. It reminded me to be okay with my own opinion – and to remind my readers to take all that you read about holiday dress and fashion in general with a grain of salt. As my mother used to say, common sense goes a long way. Thoughts? Comments?