Outfit of the Day: Peplumed and Booted in Black

We had a very satisfying day, the highlight of which was performing at an open mic of 20 talented songwriters in Duluth, Georgia (see Eddie Owen Presents).  It was a freakishly cold day and that meant only one thing — time to awaken the sleeping jackets!

OK. . . I look like a duck. Quack.

This jacket was a thrift store find. I bought it for 3 reasons: 1) it’s well made, 2) it’s velvet but matte, and 3) it has a peplum.

I love a peplum. I was unaware that it made a comeback recently but I don’t care much for trends. In fact, I love peplumed garments because they remind me of bustles, which will probably never be resurrected.  Sure, Vivienne Westwood made a go at it and they looked smashing on the runway. But I can’t see a modern woman sporting a bustle.  Can you? How would she drive her car without flattening the thing? Just imagine her making a grand entrance to a party with deflated bunched-up fabric against her bum. Sad.

Peplums are like demure bustles. They say, “I want to make your butt look bigger, but not too much, OK? Heehee!” Why exactly this excites me, I can’t say.  It sure does amuse me.  Maybe it’s because I like a little humor in what I wear.

I confess: I’m a little knock-kneed.

A view from the top!

And here are my vintage Dr. Martens 20-eye lace boots. I got them for a steal at Ebay from a very nice seller. They are unique because they don’t have the trademark yellow stitching DMs usually have.

Haha, I say that now but, to be honest, after I bid on them, I started sweating bullets when I noticed too late the lack of yellow along the sides.  “Fake”, my brain whispered.  Maybe . . .  Then Bronne pointed out another disturbing thing: the soles are not the usual transparent DM soles with the ridges.  “FAKE!!!”, my brain screamed.  As the end of bidding neared, I stared at my laptop and willed someone to bid even just a mere 50 cents higher than me.  But, alas, I won. And the evil shoe gods laughed with glee.

Then I did a little googling. OK, a lot of it. I learned that DM does produce non-yellow-stitched boots and their soles are not always transparent. In fact, these were Made in England and they have a registered no. on their soles that can be traced and thus proves THEY ARE NOT FAKE. So take that, evil shoe gods. Who’s laughing now, you cruel clog deities!

Anyways, I love these boots. I’m very partial to combat-looking boots. Probably because they remind me of my dad’s army boots. My dad is/was the best man I know and his choices and actions have shaped my life tremendously. He was a proud military officer, but a gentle man. He used to bring us to his barracks when my brother and I were kids and we christened his men, according to their physical appearances, after characters from the comic strip, ‘Beetle Bailey’. I was mesmerized whenever they did their formations. And their marching chants to the rhythm of boots against the ground were music to my ears.

Why I included this photo, I don’t know. I hate my face sometimes. Especially tonight. I thought I looked good but this photo, snickering, proved otherwise. But I’m posting it to memorialize my hair, to show everyone WHY NOT TO CUT YOUR OWN HAIR.

Yes. I cut my own hair. Back in the Philippines, my mom usually cut my hair. When I wanted to get pampered, I would walk to the next street and have our neighbor cut it. She ran a salon from her living room. It smelled of dye and burnt hair from hair dryers. No fancy salon sinks here. Clients bend over to get shampooed from a bathroom-type sink, their crowns often greeted by the faucet jutting out — bonk!  Anyways, my hair loved Nancy-the-friendly-neighborhood-hairdresser.  It thrived after she cut it.

So, because I can’t imagine anyone else cutting my hair here, I started doing it. It’s not so bad NOW. But there was a time I didn’t have my glasses on and I cut my hair. Hahaha. That was 2 months worth of hat-wearing.

And because Bronne wanted to memorialize his outfit, I’m including it here.

Look at him. His eyes are half-closed but he still looks great (grumble!). Guess who cuts his hair? (Evil grin.)

This is Bronne’s signature look: black top and red pants. It took us a long time to find him red jeans and I think we got these at Marshall’s or Ross, two of our very favorite shops. Actually, we call them our treasure haunts.  We go through the racks until we find a treasure and for a bargain, too. I got my first pair of Dr. Martens from a Ross.  Bronne found two very nice Ben Sherman button-downs for a song (“♪♫ Twenty Dollars! Twenty Dollars! ♪♫). Often we leave empty-handed, but that just makes the treasure hunt more exciting each time!

His red-striped Addidas sneakers. I almost typed ‘rubber shoes’ which gives you a clue how ancient I am.

Who am I kidding? I practically revealed it when I mentioned the comic strip, ‘Beetle Bailey’.

Bronne has a collection of belt buckles. This, I think is one of his top three faves. He’s Superman, my husband, and his kryptonite: belt buckles and British-branded shirts!!! This superhero goes weak-kneed at the sight of a unique buckle or a Ben Sherman shirt. On sale, of course.

And lastly,

Bronne sandwiched between red pillows, having a conversation with Ladybug. He’s telling her about our open mic experience, which was pretty good. But, boy, were we tired tonight.

I wanted to be in this photo but Katie refused to take our picture. What a diva.

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I am not Fatist

I am wearing pigtails, a scarf, a long-sleeved violet T-shirt, a thin knitted loose-fitting top, a necklace an ex gave me, and velvet-but-not-too-shiny yoga pants -- and all because it was all that could fit me. 😦

I need to lose weight.

I’ve slowly put on the pounds since I got here.  Can’t really give an exact number pounds-wise, but I guess I’ve been carrying an extra 25-30 pounds with me.  I hate it.

Oh, Man Hands Lizzie, you’re a fatist!  Fat can be beautiful!  Women come in all shapes and sizes! You should love yourself no matter how much you weigh!

How can I love myself when I can’t even go up a flight of stairs without wheezing?  Or wake up feeling slow and sluggish, and end the day feeling the same?  Or walk and feel pain on the soles of my feet because of how heavy I’ve become?

You can’t judge me until you’ve slipped into my skinny jeans, is all I’m saying.  And this is about me and my well-being.  So just to make things clear, I am not saying I have anything against fat people.  But I am saying that I don’t want to be one because it’s not making me feel healthy and happy.

This has become a real issue for me since I started performing as half of HE SANG SHE SANG.

First off, I’ve been having a torturous time thinking of what to wear.  I’m at that point where I can’t just suck in my gut and look better.  Now, when I suck in my gut, I still have some spilling out.  When I’m activating my diaphragm, as singers do when they sing properly, I get very conscious of my rolls of fat in full view of the audience.  I’m also no longer at that stage where I can bare my slender legs and hide my tummy because my stems have become just as padded.  Thinking of an outfit to wear for a gig is no longer exciting or fun.  I now dread it because I know I’m not going to find anything with which I’d be 100% happy.   I just come out “making do” with what I have, and that’s a really hard thing for me to admit.

When I was younger, a friend of mine watched me put an outfit together and remarked, “I guess you know yourself so well you can put on anything and be happy with it.”  I told her the only reason why I can “put on anything and be happy with it” is because I felt thin and healthy enough to feel that way.  What happened to me and where is that girl she admired?

Anyways, for the past two weeks, every-other-day, I’ve been brisk-walking for an hour.  I’m getting ready to run again.  Running is a passion of mine and I used to run almost everyday before my accident.  Since I’m too heavy to run right away, brisk-walking is a great alternative to building some muscle on my legs, especially my thighs, before I do actual runs.  Tomorrow, I believe my legs are ready.

I’ve also been careful of what I eat.  I’ve stopped drinking cola and eating chips.  I’ve been eating more veggies.  Saturday nights, though, I pig-out.  We get free food at Zen on Ten, this lovely Asian bistro and sushi bar at which we’ve been playing, and their food is fabulously delicious.  So after our gig, we feast on our complimentary meal at home as we watch a film on our laptop.  I sometimes also enjoy a bottle of Red Rock ginger ale.

I’m looking forward to running tomorrow.  My legs have been raring to do it since last week.

Anyways, hope you all have a great week!

Please LIKE the HE SANG SHE SANG Facebook page! Click me!

P.S.

Please visit our He Sang She Sang Blog and read all about our latest gripe: venue owners and festival organizers who ask you to play for free but never say “thank you”.

Pink, White and Blue

Look at me in pigtails and all smiley.

I don’t have a lot to say today.  I don’t know why.

Or maybe I do have a lot to say but I don’t know where to start.

Let me see… How to begin…

Can everyone leaning extremely to the left or the right raise your hands?  OK.  Good.  I have something to tell you.  Now come closer.  Closer…

SHUT UP.

I want to read about and listen to what’s happening in the world without your white noise.  Seriously, shut your yappers.  You’re all worse than children fighting in the playground.  Jeez.

White long sleeved-blouse with a pink camisole underneath.  Peek, peek…

Denims and white belt with keyboard buckle.  Very me.

Black Cyprus crocs.  Yes.

Take that, Tim Gunn. :|

Three Projects, a Steal, and an Outfit for a Sunny Day

Smile, lovelies!

*Click!*

It’s sunny today and B. and I are going for a walk around the campus to stare at the flowering trees and bushes.  I decided to blend in the flora’s purple and pink splendor with this outfit.  I finally get to show some skin and feel the sun.

There’s a downside to all of this warmth, though, and it is this: I can no longer hide my body under layers of clothes.  This means I have to face what I’ve piled on to my body during the winter (darn you, Persian and Indian buffets!).  All the flab and the lumps — arghhh!  I hate them!  I keep telling myself, tomorrow I will start working out again.  Do some running now that it’s warmer.  Maybe do some kickboxing.  Go to the neighborhood gym especially since it’s free.  But it’s sooooo difficult to take that first step.  Please, SOMEBODY SLAP ME so I can move my butt to the treadmill!

Anyways, I’ve been busy with three little projects.  I made two hats.  Well, I thrifted the hats then altered/embellished them to make them more ME.

First, the ombre berry hat.  It was ugly when I thrfited it back home.  Hideous, even!  It had all these leatherette cords and yucky brown flowers around it.  Plus it was wide-brimmed and really silly.  But I loved the color and it was good quality felt.

What I did:  I shortened the brim and used the cut material as a band.  Then I cut some leaf shapes and sewed them onto the band. Voila!

Second, the baby pink angora cloche.  I thrifted this hat from Goodwill for $2.59.  I bought it because I had an angora scarf with the same color.  When I got home, I realized that the wool sweater I bought for felting was the same exact color, too!  Talk about serendipity!  I had finished felting it and I knew I could use it to embellish the hat. 🙂

What I did:  I felted the wool sweater then cut out leaf and flower shapes.  Sewed them onto the cloche.  Tadaaa!!!

Now, the third is what I call the orchid cuff and it’s also made from the wool sweater that I felted.  Look:

Staring at it now, it looks more like an angel than an orchid.  It’s still a work in progress, though.  I’m trying to see what else I can add to it.

Then, a steal.  But first, a confession: I have a lot of sunglasses.  Aviators, angled and round ones, huge ones, tiny ones… A lot.  But when I saw these purple sunnies…

… and for $1.29 (brand new at the clearance rack at Burlington Coat Factory), I just couldn’t resist it!

As for my outfit, I’m wearing a blue-violet shift dress that I think I will shorten just a little.   Don’t you think taking two inches off it would make it flare out less awkwardly?

On top, I have on a very thin color-blocked cardigan which is quite fun, actually, because you can button it up in different ways.  I left it open today because it was very hot.

My necklace was given to me by a fellow musician, Bayang Barrios, who is also one of the most talented performers in my country.  She and I got to know each other during my theater days and renewed that friendship during my musical stint in Korea.  She surprised me with this handmade necklace when we got home.  Thanks again, Bayang! 🙂

And for my footwear: Dansko sandals, the comfiest pair you can wear on your feet.  I mean it!  They’re a bit expensive, though, ranging from $110 to $125.

But I got mine for $3 back home.  Thrifted and almost brand new!  I’m so lucky!  Woohooo!!!

Err… Don’t hate me.

Teehee!

Banned and Blue

I’m banned from browsing news websites and from watching The View. Or if I can’t stay away, I’ll try not to get upset by what I read or watch.   Or if I do get upset, not to let B. know about it.  He was the one who suggested I stop watching because I always end up telling him how irritated I am and he starts worrying.

Why do I get upset, you may ask?  News today is sensationalized.  It’s designed to rouse feelings because it keeps viewers tuned in.  And when they’re tuned in, the network continues to earn from advertisers.  It’s almost ridiculous sometimes how opinions are disguised as news, and how much brainwashing is done by people who should be delivering the day’s events without bias or color.  News delivery should be neutral — beige.  Let the viewers/listeners/readers respond to day’s tidings without help from you.

Oh, and The View.  Why that, you prod?  One particular panelist gets on my nerves.  I just can’t stand her voice when she goes on the defensive, and I don’t appreciate how she doesn’t seem to listen when she’s on the offensive.  (I was going to say “when she’s on the attack” but that would be coloring my words the way the news reporters do.)  It’s too bad because I think she’s a valuable member of the panel.  I wouldn’t want to watch a talk show where the whole panel agree with each other.  If only she’d listen before pouncing.  (Yes.  Pounce.  There, the negative tint was intentional.)  I think Larry King once asked her about how angry she was on the show.  And she said it wasn’t anger.  It was “passion with a purpose”.  Maybe.  Whatever it is, I do know one thing about loud and high pitched voices:  people tune out when their ears can’t take it anymore.  So, Elizabeth, may I say: if you want to get your point across, convey your message calm manner, OK?  Please do because I really like the show.  I watch it while I do chores, actually, and I don’t want to get agitated while I’m mopping the floor.

Anyways, that is why I am on current events and daytime talk show diet.

Outfit last Saturday:

I wore a ruffled vest over long-sleeved knitted blouse.   Black again, I know, but I had on light blue earrings and bracelets given to me by my man, B.

I really like the pattern of this jersey skirt so much that I wish it were longer so more of the design would show.  It’s a short skirt and I can wear it without worries because of my new blue opaque wool tights.  And to tie it all up, I wore the blue shoes I thrifted back home for $3.  These are Prada and I think they’re for men or boys because the size says 3 (I wear a seven).  Well, I didn’t care because it fit me quite well and I love ’em!

The light blue earrings and bracelets:  $10.50, Sears Outlet
Tights:  $3, Sears Outlet
Everything else:  thrifted back home

Spicy!

The sun finally chose to kick the dark clouds away and rule the skies for the whole day.  So I celebrated the warmth by wearing

  • my short frilly maroon dress that I thrifted back home,
  • semi-sheer maroon tights,
  • tall fitted black boots,
  • black straw hat,
  • and brown sunnies.

Shhh… you know, the maroon dress wasn’t really that short when I bought it.  It was above my knees and very loose.  It also had these holes in the front that I planned to fix.  But I when I got here, not having any idea what heat can do to wool when in the dryer, it shrunk!  The great thing about the shrinkage is that the holes shrunk as well.  In fact, they disappeared. (Magic!)

It’s the shortest dress I ever wore in my whole life but I felt secure because of the tights.  (Plus I wore B.’s black boxers on top of my tights — heehee!)  When I wore it last Saturday, B. liked it and I even got a compliment when we went shopping.

Short as it was, this dress was perfect for our plan to pig out at Shish Kebab, the Persian buffet near our place.  If you like delicious Persian or spicy food, you’d love Shish Kebab.  I know I do.  And just to show you how sweet my man is: he can’t stand spicy food but will eat there with me because he knows I love it.  Poor guy, he sweats and turns red in the face while eating but smiles bravely when I ask him if he’s having fun.

A lot of people get digestive problems after eating hot or spicy food, but not me!  I’m fine.  No problems alimentary or digestive problems AT ALL.  I think my tongue, stomach, and other digestive parts were really made for hot and spicy food.

My love for spicy and hot food is also very evident at home.  If you open our fridge, this is the first thing you’ll see:

When we bought this huge bottle of Jalapenos at Sam’s, B. asked: are you sure you’ll be able to finish that before it expires?

I finished it in less than a month.

MHL Would You Wear this: Donna Valettie Sweater

It all started with the Miu Miu shoes I posted here.  I looked at the rest of my shoes and clothes and realized I have a lot of pretty unusual ones.  This got me thinking about formerly launching (Wow!  That sounded so grand!) a new series called MHL Would You Wear This which will be posted — when, you may ask?  Due to my love for alliteration, Wednesday, of course!

So here is the item of the day.  Let’s call it the Donna Valettie sweater because that’s what the label says:

Pretty shade of brown, soft but not dull, scattered with those adorable yellow amoeba-like shapes.

I thrifted this sweater back home for less than a dollar.  It looks quite pretty, no?

I thought that, too, until (ta-da-da-daaaa!):

No. A cat didn’t mistake this for a scratching post.  It was inside out in the previous pictures.  It really has tendrils of yarn embellishing the yellow shapes.

I actually don’t mind the tendrils.  Yes.  I admit I dread comments from people when (or if) they see me in it (Oh, my dear!  Are you alright?  Did you just roll down a bushy hill?  Did you get attacked by a crazed squirrel?) but not so much.  What bothers me about it are the yellow shapes and tendrils at the shoulders.  You see, I have manly shoulders as well.  At least that’s what B. told me.  He wasn’t trying to be mean (he doesn’t have a mean bone in his body), just honest.  But for a time, I felt so self-conscious about my shoulders that I’d walk around feeling like a lumberjack.  I wish I had delicate and feminine shoulders.  Alas, no. 😦

(Ahem… But I can smash like a man at badminton because of these shoulders so I’m not really complaining.)

Because yellow is so eye-catching, having them along the shoulders and top of the arms would accentuate my lumberjack form.  The tendrils aggravate the situation.  They’re like mad tentacles pointing an arrow straight to my shoulders: “Look, everyone!  A lumberjack is wearing me!”

So, would you wear this?

Me?  Maybe.  Perhaps I would if I could…

  1. …wear it under a jacket or coat, and as long as I don’t have to remove said jacket or coat.  But that’s the coward’s way, methinks.
  2. …remove the label and wear it inside-out. I don’t mind the seams showing.  I think it adds character.
  3. …tuck in the unwanted tendrils using a crochet hook.  Maybe leave the ones not along the shoulder.  This requires a bit of labor but could be worth it in the end.

What do YOU think? 🙂