Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dear Daddy Likey: I can't find a damn dress!

I received these two reader questions via email at around the same time:

Dear Daddy Likey,

I'm 18 years old and going to a benefit for an organization that helps emerging young playwrights, and I can't find a dress online that I like, or that fits my needs. I haven't worn anything shorter then a three quarter length sleeve since a few summer's ago, and so I need a night-time dress that would also work with a cardigan/long sleeved top and tights. You probably would rather do something much more exciting then give me ideas, but since we have a similar style and body shape and you are a hilarious genius, I figured you would be the girl to help me out. Oh, and I'd need it to be fairly cheap. Girls got needs.


Short-Sleeved Shakespeare


Dear Daddy Likey,

I’m in a bit of a dilemma. I’m being forced to go to my high school’s winterfest dance, and I haven’t any idea in the slightest as to what to wear. I went to homecoming in a fringed pale pink dress by H & M, and, as much as I loved it, it was hardly figure-flattering, and not exactly a proper dress for the occasion.
Winterfest is generally just a colder version of Homecoming or Prom (instead of the customary football game no one goes to with Homecoming, there's a basketball game no one goes to). I'm thinking I have a rectangular figure, but perhaps it's a cone...I can't really tell...Could you give me a few tips?


Rectangle, or Perhaps Cone

Dear Shakespeare and Cone,

I thought I could group these two queries together because both of you are adorable teenage readers in need of formal dresses, and since one of you has a similar body shape as me, and my body shape could also be described as a rectangle, or perhaps a cone, I think this pairing will work out swimmingly!

I was actually out shopping today, and tried on a few dresses, and let me tell you: I hate shopping for dresses. I've realized that my problem is that since I'm so thick in the middle, wearing one piece of fabric makes me look like this rectangular mass, instead of a perfectly normal non-mass with legs, waist, and chest. I'm not sure if you guys are experiencing the same issue or if I'm the only mass around these parts, but here are some ideas for you, regardless:

Something like this would be so great for an emerging playwrights benefit--doesn't the model look just like a young tortured writer? This is something I would have worn when I myself was an 18-year-old tortured writer, so I can vouch for its authenticity. Other bonuses: it has sleeves, but the lace keeps them delicate instead of bulky, it obviously looks fabulous with tights, and you could totally wear it again with a slouchy cardigan and some flats.
Velvet Torch Lace Party Mini Dress, $54, nordstrom.com

I think this dress (or something like it) would be fantastic for both occasions:

The color is a stand-out, and the ruching across the waist is super flattering. It would work on its own or with a cardigan and tights, and can you believe it's from Sears??
Trixxi Ruched Glitter Dress, $79.99, here. If that price is a bit steep (seriously, WTF, Sears?), look for similar styles on ebay or at stores like Marshalls and TJ Maxx.

Completely Gratuitous Sidenote: I can't mention Sears without telling you about the time I was at a group job interview with a girl who used to work at Sears, and the interviewer asked us all to give an example of a time where we had a problem with a coworker and how we solved it. This girl told a story about how one of her coworkers was in a really bad relationship so she offered to let the coworker move into her apartment, on the condition that she stop seeing her asshole boyfriend, so the coworker moved in and they became best friends, but then she found out that the coworker was actually still doin' the nasty with the asshole boyfriend, so they got in a big fight and the Sears girl was like, "You can just HAVE my apartment, cuz I don't want it anymore, bitch!" and moved in with her mom, and this story went on for like fifteen minutes as the rest of the applicants and the interviewer grimaced and laughed nervously and sank lower and lower into our chairs. Finally, the interviewer interrupted the Sears girl and asked, "Wait, so how did you solve this problem?" and the girl was like, "I didn't. I hate her and she stole my apartment. That's why I'm applying here."

Moving on...

LOVE this:

And not just because it's my favorite color.
London Times Satin Pleated Tie-Back Dress, $50, overstock.com

Another great option for formal occasions when finding a dress proves hellish: try separates.
Just find a dreamy, dramatic skirt, like this one (which just sold for $20 on ebay!)...

(JC Penney also has a gorgeous purple one on sale for $50, here)

...And pair it with whatever feels comfortable and appropriate for the event. My young playwright might add a basic black sweater set and look absolutely dashing, while the lovely Winterfest attendee could try a sequined sleeveless top. The possibilities are endless, and dressing in separates can be easier and more flattering than scouring the earth for the perfect dress. I wore a poofy pink skirt and ruched brown tank top to my senior prom, and even though I eventually turned into a drink menu, it was a great outfit while it lasted.

Best of luck to you, and I hope you ladies have a lovely time at your prospective events!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Little Martin for Your Monday?

I've eaten a few pythons in my life. I mean, who hasn't?

If I'm being honest, some of my snake snacks have been, umm, less than ideal. And by "less than ideal" I mean I ate a dead, rotting snake I found in a dumpster behind an exotic pet store.
And it looked a lot like this:

Conclude from that what you will.


VBH Python Box Clutch, $875, netaporter.com

p.s. If you're new to Daddy Likey (welcome!), and you're all, "What the hell kind of fashion blogger talks openly about eating rotten snakes?" then you definitely need to stop judging me and read Martin's intro instead.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


When I think of the occupations where good listening skills are most important, doctor and hairdresser rank pretty high on the list. And yet, doctors and hairdressers consistently impress me with their abilities to not listen at all.

I've gone to different doctors for different ailments, and most every visit can be summed up in similar fashion:

A doctor walks into the room. "How are you?" I say. "Antibiotics," they say, and "Call me if the pills give you a rash." And then, like a deaf ninja, they disappear into the night, the only evidence of their presence a prescription slip rustling in the wind, and a substantial co-pay awaiting me at the front counter.

My hairdressers, when they're not french kissing me, usually aren't much better. (Would it be cocky to nominate that for Best Sentence Ever?) Sure, I've had some good ones, but not many.

The experience I had last week was especially bad. I blame myself, really, because I had let my hair grow out to that sad, awkward, in-between stage where you can do nothing but pile it in a frizzy knot on top of your head and hope people think, "Look at that cool bohemian girl" rather than "Look at that poor homeless girl." Not only that, but I was feeling crushed under the weight of a massive deadline, and cutting off a part of my body seemed like a drastic but necessary measure to free myself (I had to decide between my foot and my hair).

Throwing caution and logic to the wind, I called the salon geographically closest to my house and made an appointment for "15 minutes from now," despite the following warning signs:
  • They had an appointment available 15 minutes from now.
  • The name of the salon had a confusing and gratuitous accent mark, presumably to make it seem more French.
  • The receptionist thought my name was Banana.
Minor details, right? I told you I was desperate.

I arrived at the salon just in time to hear one of the stylists tell a client about how a witch had stolen her boyfriend. "I figured out that she was actually a witch," she said. "Can you imagine? A real witch, right here in the neighborhood! I always had the suspicion, you know? Cuz she, like, did spells and stuff, and she was ugly."

Minor details.

My normal-seeming stylist greeted me and led me to her station. "So, what would you like today?" she asked.

"Well, I just really hate my hair right now, and I was thinking--"

"Flat iron," she said, petting my hair.


"Flat iron. You need to flat iron your hair. It looks bad when you don't flat iron."

So, here's a fun fact about me: I have used a flat iron exactly three times in my life. All of these instances took place during my freshman year of college (didn't we all do a bit of experimenting?), and they all ended with a combination of acute boredom and seared flesh. I will never use a flat iron again. I just can't. It's boring and takes FOREVER and it makes my hair frizzy and I like my hair wavy anyway.

I attempted to explain this to the hairdresser, thinking it was sort of hilarious.

"Why would you not use a flatiron?" She seemed personally offended.

"I just...wouldn't."

"But it makes your hair so nice!"

"I just hate doing it. I think it's a waste of time. I would maybe, possibly consider doing it if a Russian terrorist kidnapped my family and demanded a straightening treatment as ransom, but even then I would hesitate."

"Your family is kidnapped by Russians?"

"Well, no."

"So you go buy a flat iron. Spend $100 on a nice one. You don't color your hair, so you have lots of money left over."

"Actually I'd rather spend $100 on anything else--"

"I could give you a really cute haircut if you promise to straighten it."

"What kind of haircut will you give me if I promise that I would never buy or use a flat iron?"

"A good haircut, just not stylish."

"Can I have some antibiotics?"


Monday, December 22, 2008

Good Luck With This One, Santa

I already posted this on my Tumblr blog, but it's too good not to share here as well.

This is my 13-year-old brother's Christmas list:

  • Hamster with top hat

  • Gun that shoots meatballs

  • Meatballs

  • Tay Zonday action figure

If you're lucky enough to not know, this is Tay Zonday:

p.s. If you haven't yet, see the post below for more funny commentary from my brothers.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hoofing It. (Literally.) UPDATED: With Five Men's Impressions!

OK, I know I said I was super busy, and I am, and I seriously shouldn't be spending time blogging, but LOOK AT THESE:

I came across them while browsing ebay (something else I shouldn't have been doing), and the starting bid is $625. For serious.

I tried to make a list of situations in which these shoes would make sense, and here's what I got:

1. If you were dressing up as a cow for Halloween.
2. If you were in a play, and your role was "cow."
3. ....

Any other ideas?

UPDATE: Thanks to the suggestion of an anonymous commenter, I summoned the Five Men for an urgent summit. Since they'd seen the post already, I wasn't able to get their true first impressions, so instead I asked them to come up with their own lists of places/situations where they thought this shoe would make sense. Here's what they said:

From my 19 year-old brother:
1. Rock climbing in mountain goat country.
2. To kick a child and/or dwarf in the eyes.
3. Chew your cud and wear these shoes to make yourself Kosher (Warning: may result in murder and consumption by believers of Leviticus)

From my boyfriend:
1. To put a cow at ease when preparing for artificial insemination.
2. To wear on a date with a centaur.
3. Perfect for removing nails from a piece of recycled plywood.
4. A good way to waste $625.

From my 21 year-old brother:
a. If you were a fugitive being chased through the snow and wanted to leave only cow prints to throw off the US marshals behind you.
b. If you ever needed to run exactly as fast as a cow.
c. Christmas/Chanukah gift for a cow.

My dad, of course, couldn't resist adding some social commentary to his list:
1. A significant threat to the "nads" from a well placed kick.
2. An aid to roofers who might find such a shoe useful for pulling nails. (actually this was my first impression)
3. They represent a particular form of excess often found in "fashion" that supposes to push limits and boundaries. Is it fashion or art or somehow both? Or is it an aspect of an Ego who's owner can only find validation in preposterous pricing to ensure a dangerous exclusivity?

And finally, from my little brother, age 13:
1. If a cow needed to wear shoes.
2. If you were born with cow feet, and needed a comfortable shoe.
3. If you want a better parking space, and your boss thinks your feet are disfigured, and you get a handicap space.
4. If you want to slowly painfully mold 5 toes into 2.
5. You need a new pair of shoes, and you order some nice ones, then you get these in the mail by mistake.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Blogback Mountain: Distracted Daddy Likey Edition

Hello my lovelies,

As I'm sure is pretty obvious, I've been so swamped with other work recently that this poor blog of mine has been a bit neglected. My schedule should be much less horrifying by the end of this week, but in the meantime I'd like to introduce you to a batch of AMAZING new blogs that I can sort of take credit for, since they were created by my friends who, instead of getting annoyed with me for saying "Aaahh you're so funny and clever! Start a blog!" every ten minutes, actually started blogs.

Awesome Blogs By My Friends

Apocalypstick Now: Maggie is brilliant and hilarious and knows more about makeup than ANYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD, except for the friendly transvestites who taught her all she knows (and yes, that story is as good as it sounds). Read her blog, and you will learn about awesome secret sales, the best mascara, and how to do your own pedicures. And you will laugh. A lot.

Dear Dave Lieberman: I knew I loved Catherine when she was eating a piece of birthday cake and delivered an impromptu speech on the melding of textures and flavors that was so impassioned and elequent that by the end the whole room was quiet, except for one guy who said, "umm...you should have your own show on Food Network or something." On her new, awesomely titled blog, she discusses food, funny stories, and DC restaurants, among other things. Hopefully someone from Food Network will read it and give her a show.

Wax Wendy: When I first met Whit, I was dressed up as a severely depressed Rudy Giuliani supporter, and she was a punk rock Princess Leia (it was Halloween, but still). I think we were destined to be friends. Her blog is a badass, frequently updated collection of funny videos, awesome pictures, and nerdy analyses (my three favorite things!).

And Two Awesome Blogs By People I Wish Were My Friends

Bread & Honey: Read this Portland-based food blog, and experience euphoria, envy, and significant weight gain. (All in a good way, of course).
Note to self: must score an invite to their next monochromatic party BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY. Oops, was that creepy? Yeah, that was really creepy.

Yes and Yes: Sarah is the coolest girl ever. I love her writing style, her humor, and her outlook on life, and her blog is OK too (I kid! I kid!). But seriously folks, it's become one of my favorite sites and I think you'll like it too--it's got intrigue, inspiration, and....another word that starts with I...hmm...impossibly awesome other stuff! Just trust me on this, and check it out.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy my friends (and wannabe friends), and, in the words of Arnold Schwartzenegger, "My name is John Kimble, and I love my car." What? Did you think I was going to say "I'll be back"? Why would I say that when I could quote Kindergarten Cop instead?

p.s. Also, just a note--I've been meaning to add these and a few other fabulous new reads to my link list, but my list server went psycho and froze, leaving me helpless to update my blogroll (the horror!). As soon as I get some time, I'm planning a major revamp.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Three Easy Steps to an Apartment-Sized, Recession-Proof, Patriotic Christmas Tree

1. Go to the discount grocery store down the street. Buy a potted mini tree for $4.95. Buy a box of mini ornaments for $1.98.

2. Decorate with necklaces, earrings, and leftover campaign buttons.

3. Put it on your windowsill with a snowstorm as a backdrop.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Affair of the Shrinky Dink Necklace

When my lovely reader Irina contacted me earlier this year to offer me a sample from her awesome jewelry line, of course I said yes, so she sent me this gorgeous tree necklace made out of a shrinky dink:

Yes, a shrinky dink. How freakin' rad is that?

The first time I wore it, my friend Katelyn squealed something along the lines of, "Oh my god that's sooooo cute! I'm a hippie and I love trees can I wear it?" Being the selfless, enterprising friend that I am, I offered her partial custody if she promised to model it for my blog.

Obviously, I have talented readers and beautiful friends with well-conditioned hair*.

Check out Irina's website, i love blocks, for more of her work, and maybe buy some for your friends for Christmas, to avoid having to make shady modeling deals.

*And vice versa, of course--Katelyn's very talented and you are beautiful and have amazing hair!

Update: To address the beautiful, well-tressed readers who were unfamiliar with shrinky dinks, they're shrinkable plastic toys that were hugely popular during my childhood. They come as big pieces of plastic, and then you paint them and put them in the oven and they shrink down to smaller pieces of plastic, and for some reason this was hugely entertaining. Irina's work is awesome because usually shrinky dinks look like this:

Although I could be into wearing that smiling rainbow robot as a necklace.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Blue Blogger

Remember when I said I was a little obsessed with blue?

So, what do you think? Too much?

p.s. Yes, those are Blublocker sunglasses on my head. And yes, they were necessary.

Outfit breakdown: Hoodie: American Apparel; Mini dress: Random sale rack find at Nordstrom; tights: We Love Colors, duh; purse: Hayden Harnett (I love you, Maggie!), shoes: Nine West, via an emergency trip to Macy's in Las Vegas when I was stricken with a massive blister while walking down the strip to the Spice Girls concert and had to buy replacement footwear ASAP.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

A Word (or a few hundred) About Ankle Straps

Ankle strap shoes are perhaps the most maligned footwear of the 21st century, with the possible exception of plastic clogs. Ask anyone from a powerful fashion editor to the line cook at IHOP, and you’ll hear similar sentiments: "Ankle straps are evil!" "Ankle straps make your legs look fat!" "Ankle straps were the second shooter on the grassy knoll!"

I've been seeing tons of supercute ankle strap shoes in stores lately, and I've just gotta say: I think they get a bad rap.

I think the
ankle strap is sort of like the really pretty, thin, tall girl in your high school class—sure, she’s intimidating, and standing next to her makes you look short and frumpy, but if you get to know her, she’s not that bad.

Here’s the thing: if you find a shoe you absolutely love, and it happens to have an ankle strap, I don’t think that should warrant an automatic re-shelve. Try it on. Does it make your leg look like a giant sausage stuffed into a too-small casing? Then you should probably put it back, but if not, or if only slightly, here are a few tips to help you rock those ankle straps:
  • Try tights. I know, I know, I always say this, but opaque tights, especially black ones, make legs look so long and lean that unflattering shoes hardly matter. Tights the same color as your shoes=legs for miles, ankle straps or not.
  • If you love the whole shoe except the ankle strap, wear them with slim pants that show everything but that damn strap.
  • The higher and thicker the heel, the longer and slimmer your legs look. This rule applies to all shoes, but it’s especially applicable when considering an ankle strap. There’s a much greater chance that a four-inch platform with an ankle strap will look fabulous on you than a flat shoe with an ankle strap.
  • Speaking of flats with ankle straps—the chances of these looking fabulous hovers at about 2%. I bought a pair of these about a year ago after I saw them on Nicole Richie (yes, I'm an idiot), and sweet mother of god, I had no idea my legs could do such an uncanny impression of...two giant sausages (I just seriously tried for ten minutes to think of a funnier, more creative analogy, but I've concluded that "giant sausage" is the best I can do right now). If you can rock 'em, rock 'em, but proceed with caution...
Shoe above: Via Spiga "Monique" Sandal, which would be SO freakin' cute with black tights in the winter, oh my GOD, $198, nordstrom.com

Update: A creative and enterprising reader just sent me this brilliant chart with another, slightly more brutal idea for dealing with ankle straps:

Super cute, right?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Comments of the Week: Anti-Romper Edition

With all due respect to my pro-romper readers, these comment regarding the post below were too hilarious not to share with the world:

"I all can think about is how epically difficult it would be to use the bathroom when wearing a romper AND tights. You'd have to completely disrobe to empty your bladder!"


"[My daughter] wants a romper but I have been encouraging drug use, smoking, and piercings instead."

Monday, December 01, 2008

Dear Daddy Likey: An Accidental Romp

Dear Daddy Likey,

I was just impulse purchasing at Forever 21, and I picked up what I thought were two cute dresses. Well, one dress is indeed very cute, and the other one turned out to be a romper--whoooops. Here it is:

It actually is pretty cute also, and I'm kinda glad I finally purchased a trendy romper, but I am not sure how to wear it. Should I do it with tights and heels for a night dancing? Could I wear it to class? Should I just save it for summer and romp around in it or whatever it is you're supposed to do in rompers?


Ready to Romp (albeit by accident)

Dear Ready,

This is too funny! Just a couple weeks ago, I was talking to my friend Lindsay, and she said, "I bought this thing at Forever 21, it's like, a complete outfit in one, but it's shorts on the bottom. What is that called?" and I was like, "Umm..what?" and she goes, "There's a shirt, and it's attached to some shorts. What is that?" "A romper?," I said. "No!" "A jumpsuit?" "No, no, no, it's like, shorts that look like a little dress." "A skort!" I squealed. "No! Eerrgghh I don't know what it's called, but it's really cute!"

And then, half an hour later, she sent me a text. "A ROMPER! It's a ROMPER!"

So you see, dear Ready, you're not the only one perplexed and enchanted by this saucy little romper.

Now, how to style it: while summer romping comes easy (hmm...that sentence came out more sexually charged than intended), working a romper into a winter wardrobe is a bit more intimidating.

Here's the best tip I can give you--pretend your romper is a cute dress, and proceed accordingly. Heck, for awhile you actually believed it was a cute dress, so this shouldn't be too difficult.

Cool hosiery is a must for winter romping. Have I mentioned my enduring love for colorful tights from We Love Colors? Oh, I have. Well, to reiterate: these are the best tights ever. Stock up on some eye-catching colors to pair with cute black and white dresses (hint: when I say "dress," I mean "romper!")--a rusty red color would be gorgeous.

I love the tights and heels idea for a night out dancing; also try some thick black tights and badass boots:

Ribbons and Bows Boots, $60 (enter code "blog" for 10% off!), modcloth.com

And since we're still pretending this romper is a dress, I'm gonna say heck yes, go for it, wear it to class! Try layering a long sleeve tee or a slouchy cardigan over it to make it a little more casual. Add some knit tights and ballet flats or small wedges and trust me, nobody will saying, "Who's the weirdo in the romper?" In fact, they might want to romp with you, and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

Any romper enthusiasts out there, feel free to leave other tips in the comments! Would you wear it to class? And what are you supposed to do in a romper? If I had one, I think I would go clamming.
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