Thursday, December 31, 2009

Friendly Reminder! Win Free Stuff! Don't Live the Rest of Your Life in Regret That You Didn't Enter This Giveaway!

Happy new year everyone!

I just wanted to let you know that I'm keeping my MEGA EXCITING CLOSET CONFIDENTIAL GIVEAWAY BONANZA open one extra day, until midnight tomorrow (Friday, January 1st). We're rapidly nearing the 1000 comment mark, which is unbelievably exciting, so please check it out and tell your friends!

Remember--the giveaway is open to everyone around the world, and you can score extra entries for tweeting, blogging, and facebook-ing about it, or emailing me a photo of you holding a copy of Closet Confidential. Good luck!


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Martin's Favorite Holiday

Here are a few things I love about this time of year:

1. Looking forward to a fresh new year.

2. Looking forward to finding five pounds of fresh smoked salmon canap├ęs in the dumpster on January 1st, like I did last year. Please god, let lightning strike twice!

3. Reflecting on the choices we've made in the past year.

4. Reflective jumpsuits, like this one:


p.s. Confused about our raccoon fashion blogger? Click here.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tuesday Top 5: Dresses To Wear To Very Specific New Year's Celebrations

1. I would wear this to a "Dress As Your Resolutions" party, if my resolution had something to do with losing my saddlebags.

2. This priestess gown is an absolute necessity for performing rituals at a "Awakening 2010" hippie fete. So are the following items: sage, astrology books, Tibetan singing bowls, and soy cheese.

3. An understated and classy lil' number perfect for NYE at a club with a sexual or astronomical name like "Skin" or "Stratosphere." Bonus points if the place has a handwritten sign above the bar that says "2010 = 2 for 1 jello shots!"

4. I'd probably accidentally wear it to some really low-key new years hangout where everyone was wearing sweats and playing Scattergories, but this spendy dress would be most at home at an exclusive penthouse party where the champagne is actually from Champagne.

5. Did I just categorize The Snuggie as a dress? I sure did. Because sometimes you want to stay home on December 31st, eating bite-size butterfingers and watching Criminal Minds reruns. And that's fine too.

What are your new years plans? And more importantly, what are you wearing?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Awesome Affordable Etsy Find of the Week: Banana Flashbacks Edition

Coming across these vintage banana beads stirred two of my fondest banana-related memories:

1. In 9th grade my best friend Rachel and I made necklaces out of metal spoon pendants we bought at the bead store. There was absolutely no meaning behind our spoon necklaces, we just thought they were random and cool. Then we wore them to school and everyone was like, "Are you on crack?" and I thought it was because our spoon necklaces were so random and cool, but actually it was because they thought we were, like, literally freebasing crack with our spoon necklaces.

2. One time a Verizon Wireless customer service representative asked me my name and I said "Winona." She said, "Hi Banana." And I said, "That works too."

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Blogback Mountain!

Surely you've all been too busy eating holiday cookies to notice, but posting has indeed been slow this week and is going to slow down even more for a long holiday weekend.

Speaking of the holidays, if you're out buying presents today (way to live life on the edge!), might I kindly suggest stopping into your local bookstore to pick up a copy of Closet Confidential? It's the perfect gift for your little sister or mother or cousin or best friend and you're welcome to forge my signature on the title page and pretend it's an autographed copy. That should score you some extra points. And maybe a little bad karma for lying. But on January 1st karma counts start fresh so I think you're good.

And for my fabulous readers stuck at work today, pretending to work, here are some fun links to help you keep up the facade:

Dear Sally, I love your outfit.

How to Settle the Eff Down: wise, wise words of advice for my fellow freaker-outers!

OMG OMG OMG exciting blogger pregnancy news! A thousand congratulations to Joanna, Alex, and their sure-to-be cutest baby ever!

Annie has an entertaining and thoughtful post about the 20 pounds of catalogs she received this month.

Did I mention that the mayor of Portland tweeted about my Mayor and the Mouse Shoes post? Yeah, he did.

A superchic "sweatshirt alternative."

Happy birthday, WendyB! I hope I swear as much as you when I'm your age.

Lady Smaggle has 10 Reasons Why Women Need Women. I need Lady Smaggle to be my BFF, like, now.

So exciting! An excerpt of Closet Confidential in Woman's Day!

Clare finds the best stuff at Target, like these tights. Sometimes I find good stuff at Target, but mostly I find awkward run-ins with my high school classmates.

Winter Wonderland! Beautiful.

Argyle tights! Beautiful.

Remember two days ago when I encouraged you to enter the As Good As Cake contest to win a signed copy of Closet Confidential? Well, you should. Seriously. Go do it!

And a reminder that my Mega Exciting Closet Confidential Giveaway Bonanza is open until the 31st! Thanks so much to those who have already entered!

Have a very merry Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah/Festivus and I'll see you back here on Monday!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tuesday Top 5: Style Lessons Learned in Colleen's Closet

My friend and coworker Colleen is awesome. She always has a smile on her face (even at 6 in the morning, when the most I can manage is an awkward grimace), she calls me Winnie, and she knows the lyrics to seemingly every song ever written.

Colleen is also severely fashion-phobic. When she found out about my book, she asked if I'd be interested in coming over to help her sort through her closet. "Sure!" I said. When she mentioned she would be inviting some friends over and making a cheese platter for the event, I said, "Can we do it right now?" (We settled for Thursday.)

When I got to Colleen's house I found out that after a recent life upheaval, her friends and acquaintances had given her bags and bags of clothes to help her build a new wardrobe, to help her build a new life. While this was a very generous gesture, she now had a closet full of beautiful pieces that didn't fit her, weren't her style, or that she simply felt no connection to.

We spent a few hours going through every item of clothing and deciding whether it would stay, be donated to a women's shelter, or sold at a consignment shop. I took mental notes throughout the night so I could blog about the experience (with Colleen's permission, of course), and here are a few lessons I learned:

1. It is better to have 10 things you love than 100 things you don't care about.

This is always a hard lesson for me to take to heart, as I am the kind of person who watches an episode of "Hoarders" and feels nothing but empathy and confusion--"Wait, what's so wrong with having 14 broken vacuum cleaners piled in your living room, on top of another pile of old magazines and medical waste? My living room looks a lot like that. I don't understand the issue here."

But seeing Colleen's clothing collection slowly shrink from massive to manageable, and watching her get more confident and less overwhelmed, was downright inspiring. You know that phrase "a full closet and nothing to wear?" A lot of times we have nothing to wear because we have an overflowing closet. Paring down your wardrobe--whether that means getting rid of a couple things that don't fit anymore or leasing a dumptruck to haul away two tons of old clothes--is always a good thing.

2. You get to define what you love.

Makeover TV show hosts are harsh and unrelenting in their quest to dispose of clothing that breaks fashion rules. In fact, they seem to most enjoy their jobs when their makeover subject is sobbing and pleading to keep a gnarly old college sweatshirt, and the host gets to ignore the earnest pleas, pry the beloved sweatshirt out of the subject's grip, throw it into a garbage can, and set it on fire.

There were a few times during Colleen's wardrobe makeover when she sheepishly pulled something out of the closet and began murmuring excuses, like, "I know this one probably breaks all the rules, but I really love it and it's so comfy."

In these instances I would say, "Colleen, do you really love it?" Sometimes she would think about it and say no, but whenever the answer to that question was yes, I'd say, "Then keep it! Duh."

So much of fashion is a visceral, emotional reaction. If you simply adore a piece of clothing, if wearing it makes you happy, then you shouldn't have to justify that with style rules and figure flattery equations.

3. You also get to define what you hate.

Colleen has a great figure, so a lot of clothes look good on her. There were multiple times during the evening when she would slip on a blazer or a dress and we would all gasp with amazement at how fabulous she looked. But if she looked in the mirror and obviously didn't feel the same way--her shoulders slouched or she tugged at the hem or she simply shrugged and said, "I don't think I would wear this--then it didn't matter what we thought.

Every woman of every shape and size can find a thousand things that look good on her--treasure the pieces that make you feel good, too. If you know that something isn't right for you, lose it. Throw it in a garbage can and set it on fire, if you want. Stepping out of your comfort zone is good. Feeling uncomfortable in your clothes is not.

4. Shoes are the anchor of your wardrobe.

By the end of the night we had come up with some rad outfit combinations. The problem remaining? The lack of a great, versatile shoe to pull everything together. I left Colleen with some fashion homework: find a pair of comfy, flat black shoes to wear with the jeans, trousers, and casual skirts in her wardrobe that are currently without a footwear partner.

5. While solo style introspection is important, don't underestimate the power of a brutally honest friend.

In this case that friend was Jill, who sat cross-legged toward the back of the room yelling "Death! Death!" whenever Colleen donned an unflattering shade of yellow.

When Colleen put on a particularly ruffly confection of a blouse, I mentioned that she sort of resembled a cake. Jill quickly took to bellowing, "Deaaaattthh caaaaake!" or chanting, "Yellow death cake! Yellow death cake!" Her criticisms might not have totally made sense, but somehow I always agreed with her.

p.s. Speaking of cake, one of my favorite blogs, The Big Piece of Cake, is giving away a signed copy of Closet Confidential! Please check it out!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

High Fashion Haiku!

These jeans are on sale.
They're still five-hundred dollars.
Yep, the end is near.

DSquared2 "Boyfriend" Jeans (yeah, right. My boyfriend refuses to spend more than $30 on jeans), original price: $775.00. Good god.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Alright people, this is it: the mega huge major super-awesome Closet Confidential giveaway bonanza I've been hinting at for a few months.

First and foremost, I want to thank you times infinity for welcoming Closet Confidential with such enthusiasm. Thank you for coming to the launch party and hosting giveaways and sending emails and posting reviews and driving for three hours to track down a copy. You guys rock, and I want you to know that your kind words and heroic efforts have helped make my 2009 an unforgettable year. Thank you.

Now let's get down to business! I'm giving away five signed copies of my book, but there are a few other prizes up for grabs that might interest you as well.

The Grand Prize winner of the Mega Exciting Giveaway Bonanza will receive...

A Butter by Nadia Signature Wrap Dress!

My favorite Portland boutique, Mabel & Zora (seriously, P-towners, check them out if you haven't yet!), were kind enough to provide one of the famous Butter by Nadia signature wrap dresses for a lucky Daddy Likey reader! This comfy and flattering dress can be worn something like 4,000 different ways and retails for $246.

So yeah, at the risk of sounding melodramatic, this dress is a religious miracle. It can be worn as a short-sleeve dress, a regular wrap dress, or with a halter top, strapless, or backless. It can be a shirt or a skirt or a tree fort or whatever else you can dream up. The particular version we're giving away is a gorgeous orange color, soft jersey fabric, and fits sizes 2-16. I'm thinking of entering my own contest under a pseudonym (What do you think of "Minona"?) just for a chance to win this.

And a signed copy of Closet Confidential:

Not only will I sign it and dedicate it to whomever you like, I'm also happy to include a personalized haiku/limerick/piece of erotic fiction on request!

And a gorgeous guppy necklace from Objects Found:

I've declared my love and affection for Objects Found before, and I think this necklace is especially striking: those trademark layered chains and perfectly detailed guppy pendant? Perfect!

And a sassy watch from Normal Watches:

This watch captures my feelings perfectly.

And a cookie:

Hopefully not with a bite out of it, but hey, who am I to play God?

First Runner-Up will receive...

A signed copy of my book:

And a majestic white unicorn necklace from Cupcakes and Mace:

Listen, I can't make any guarantees, but I can say that this awesome unicorn necklace will magically improve your life, guaranteed.

And a sweet journal from Love You Big:

This handmade map journal from Love You Big is perfect for writing about your glamorous travels, your dream vacations, and/or international incidents you've caused (hey, it happens!).

And a sassy watch from Normal Watches:

Yep, this is my life.

And a cookie:

Second Runner-Up will receive...

A signed copy of my book:

Remember: haiku or erotica included.

And a hydrangea headband from Bella Fiore:

Whenever I see this thing, all I can do is slobber "pretty pretty pretty!" Because isn't it pretty?

And a sassy watch from Normal Watches:

"Rebellion is essential." As is punctuality.

And a cookie:

Third Runner-Up will receive...

A signed copy of my book:

And a Spice World DVD:

The most underrated film of our generation: a gift from me to you! (Yes, I'm serious.)

And a cookie:

Fourth Runner-Up will receive...

A signed copy of my book:

And a personal consultation with the Five Men:

You get to email me a question. Any question. And I will record the Five Men's answers and send them to you. The photo above is my dad. He is ready to give you an answer, especially if your question concerns predatory seabirds.

And a cookie:

So, what do you have to do for your chance to win? It's simple: just leave a comment on this post.

If you'd like to earn extra entries, tweet about this contest, write a blog post about it, and/or link to it on Facebook--just leave separate comments here letting me know.

Another way to get a bonus entry? Email me a picture of you posing with your copy of Closet Confidential, like the beautiful Annie Spandex here:

Send me your best shot at

This giveaway is open to everyone around the world. I will choose the winners at random on December 31st. Best of luck to you, my lovelies!

p.s. A huge thank you to the companies and artists who made this giveaway possible!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tuesday Top 5: The Irony Creeps In...

Yesterday my friend Rachel and I were talking about the words and phrases she has deemed "irony creepers." For example, Rachel moved to southern California a couple years ago, and started calling frozen yogurt "fro-yo" as a joke, because a lot of people in WeHo (slang for "West Hollywood, and another irony creeper) call it fro-yo, but soon she was just calling it fro-yo all the time, because the word had somehow lost its ironic tone and crept into her permanent vocabulary.

I would say approximately 83% of my vocabulary is comprised of irony creepers: once upon a time, the phrases "mad scrilla" and "totes magotes" and "shmello" were silly things I said in silly voices, but now I say them often and unironically--yes, I very earnestly talk like a douchebag.

So anyway, this got me thinking: there are irony creepers in my wardrobe too, things that I first wore as a joke or as part of a costume, that are now on heavy rotation in the front of my closet. Here are five examples that immediately come to mind:

1. Furry trapper hats
I definitely bought my first trapper cap as a sort of "LOL what is she wearing on her head?" experiment, but then I fell in love with it. Now I own four.

This lady knows what's up.

2. My neon yellow jeans

3. Aviator sunglasses the size of dinner plates
In high school, my friend Carolyn and I delighted in a tradition we called "hoedowns," which basically meant that we went to Goodwill, chose the most awful, horrifying, ridiculous outfits for each other, and then wore them out in public. I once dressed Carolyn in a legendary jumpsuit made of floral burlap, and on one of these occasions an accessory to my lime-green polyester tube dress was a pair of huge aviators we found in the $1 bin. We laughed about how silly they were and took pictures and then I started wearing them everyday. And seven years later, I still do. They're even featured in my Twitter profile pic.

4. Sorel Snowboots

I asked for these boots for Christmas a couple years ago specifically because I thought they were ugly and utilatarian. But I also think they are totally awesome, and tend to wear them everyday when it gets cold. A couple weeks ago I wore them on a walk around a trendy part of Portland, and I was getting hit on so incessently that my friend asked, "Are you in heat?" I said, "No, I swear it's the boots!" I think their profound ugliness was attracting hipster boys like a moth to an ironic flame.

5. A large and varied collection of awful sweaters, featuring embroidered Santa Cats and random Korean phone numbers.

Do you guys have any irony creepers in your wardrobe? What about your vocabulary?

p.s. Big giveaway tomorrow! Come back soon, ya hear?

Don't Show-cha Your Chocha!

Ladies and gentlemen, it's chocha time! Don't Show-cha Your Chocha is the premiere destination on the internet for appallingly short hemlines and the tragic neglect of pants (and sometimes underwear, oh my!). If you're a new reader, please click here to read the very first DSYC post, and if you're a veteran of Operation Chocha Freedom, please read on, and stay vigilant!

Let's kick things off with a brazenly close call:

Says Devora: Oh man, she's not even trying to cross her legs! One wrong move and egads!

Sarah came across this picture of Mischa Barton lighting up a cigarette while lifting up her skirt hem:

In related news: "Mischa Chocha" is a great tongue twister.

Next up: Hermione, no!

Says Alicia: This makes me sad. I just think of her massive amount of fluffy hair in the first Harry Potter movie, and wonder if when she sits down, she gives a peek of "the curtains matching the drapes." Gross, I know, but that's how I think.

And Darcy found an even more incriminating shot:

She says: Emma Watson employs the famous "Awkward Tug" move to attempt to avoid showing everyone her Harry Potter.

Bridey was concerned about the "blatant promotion of chocha" going on over at a certain streetstyle photographer's blog. First there was this photo:

And then this quote: "The idea was this: forget to wear the bottom." Chocha propaganda, I tell you!

Fabulous reader Nikki sent in a London Fashion Week model who appears to be heeding that advice:

OK, let's see, we've got a bra, a trench coat, shoes...Yep, she forgot the bottom.

Michelle found a couple pics of Miley Cyrus, a repeat offender:

She says: Is it still wrong to show your chocha if you are at the ripe age of 17? I think so! At that age, your parent should not be allowing you to leave the house like this. But I guess it doesn't apply when said parent is also encouraging stripping on stage.

Speaking of repeat offenders, this picture of Sienna Miller has been featured before, but as the epitome of "Don't Show-cha Your Chocha," I feel it's prudent to post it again:

Says Liz: Frankly, I think she looks way too happy for someone that has obviously just had their trousers stolen.

Here's a picture from a Nylon party of someone who thought nylons can function as pants:

Says Lauren: Truly hideous all around, but WHY do leggings count as pants now?? Especially sheer ones! I don't get it.

Tiffany wanted to point out the dress on the left, but all of these outfits have their own chocha charm:

Here's my guess on this model's thought process, from left to right:

Pose #1: I have to physically hold down this dress to mantain my dignity. I hate my life.
Pose #2: Hey, this is kind of cute and an OK length. I look pretty cute. Go me!
Pose #3: Are you guys serious? Really? Because I'm not even gonna try with this one.
Pose #4: What time is lunch?

Brittany found an example of Vintage DSYC:

She adds that, in addition to the almost-shown chocha: This vintage advertisement is completely appalling on many levels, it's not lost on me.

Amy sent in this "Evil Monster Chocha!":

She says: It's not exactly Don't Show-cha Your Chocha, but it's certainly unsettling.

Elizabeth submitted another angle:

She says: It's one way to ensure you'll be left alone for a night out on the town...

And finally, let's all thank the lord for the strategic placement of these feathers:

Says Beth: I'm not sure words exist for this dress, but if they did, they'd go something like "Holy shit that woman bleached her merkin & then stapled it to the outside of her dress."

On that note, please check out this "merkin bag" that reader Jessica submitted. She thought it would be a perfect safeguard for potential chocha revealing situations, and I agree.

Spot a Don't Show-cha Your Chocha moment? Send it in!
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