Friday, January 29, 2010

Dear Daddy Likey: Dressing for Your High School Reunion

Dear Daddy Likey,

I recently received a Save the Date for my five year high school reunion in July, and I need a little assistance. In high school I was, in short, a loser. Not the like get-beat-up-for-lunch-money-and-had-hygiene-issues type of loser, but more the girl with a very insular group of friends that may or may not have dressed up like an elf for the Lord of the Rings premier.

I've left my Frodo days behind me. However, I know that my reputation probably has not faded all that much, due to a pointed lack of interaction with most of my graduating class. In fact, my sister works with a classmate of mine that I don't remember ever speaking to, and he recently asked her if I was still as weird as I was in high school.

My college years have left me with a wardrobe full of sweatshirts, t-shirts and bar shirts. None of these seem to echo the youthful yet sophisticated, psuedo-professional (gotta love this recession) woman I have become.

Please, please, please help me figure out a reunion-worthy outfit that will help me to break free from the chains of my nerdy past, as I fear that this whole event may turn into a straight to video Romy and Michele sequel.

Frodo, Five Years Ago

Dear Frodo,

So, how unfair is the 5-year high school reunion? I mean, five years is not nearly enough time to heal old emotional wounds or accomplish anything that will make anyone jealous:

"So, what have you been up to?"

"Working at Starbucks and going to school."

"Oh yeah? Me too."

"Cool. Remember when you poured a bucket of pig's blood on me in front of the whole school?"

"Oh yeah! That was funny."

"No it wasn't."

More importantly though, a person's undergraduate college years is not exactly the phase of life when you're focused on amassing a wardrobe of good quality, chic-yet-professional clothing. As our dear Frodo says, it's a time of jeans, sweatshirts, and free t-shirts from bars near campus.

I’ve put together three outfit possibilities that I think you’ll be able to replicate with affordable pieces from places like Target, Old Navy, and Forever 21. But take my fashion advice with these words of caution that my mom imparted to me after her own high school reunion: "Guess what? The people who were dickheads in high school are still dickheads."

So don't try too hard to win over the dickheads--they're a lost cause. Just be your awesome self and see what happens. Good luck! And here's some style inspiration:

I call this one the “I just came from my vaguely intimidating corporate job and didn’t have time to change but don’t I look fabulous anyway?” This look involves pretty minimal accessorizing, but focuses on great-fitting basics and colors. I'd be totally impressed if I saw a former Legolas-wannabe strut into the reunion wearing this outfit, wouldn't you?

Next up, we have a more formal option:

This shows that you put some effort into looking good for the night, and wow do you clean up nice. I kept my example simple, because I think an outfit like this screams for some awesome personal accessories that come with brag-worth back stories. As in, "Oh, you like my earrings? I got them while studying abroad in Spain. I'm pretty cultured."

And finally:

If I were gonna be really lame/clever I would title this outfit “Too Cool for School” or something like that. Basically, I think your third option is to just dress yourself up like a total badass and act totally nonchalant about the whole event. Then get burgers with your friends afterwards and shriek and giggle about how quickly the hot quarterback transformed into an Artie Lang lookalike.

How about you guys? Did you go to your high school reunion, or do you plan to go? What did you wear? And most importantly, were the dickheads from high school still dickheads?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Top 5 Obvious Problems with the Outrageously Long Lashes in Mascara Ads

1. I'm not sure how I feel about eyelashes mingling with eyebrows. I mean, we could look at it like a peas and mashed potatoes situation and I shouldn't complain because it's all going to blend together in my stomach anyway, but I think I'd just feel better if they were kept separate.

2. A large spider might try to mate with your eye.

3. If your eyelids can't bear the weight of your mascara, you'll be forced to close your eyes for long periods of time, during which bandits could make off with your purse or write "Loser" on your forehead.

4. Mutant lashes like these could easily get caught in a car door, and good god would that be messy.

5. They look weird.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Awesome Affordable Etsy Find of the Week!

A couple months ago some friends and I were discussing how easy it is to confuse the "Lady of Shalott" with the "Lady of Shallots," the latter of which we decided would be some kind of goddess of ground vegetables. I think by the time our conversation ended, I had been crowned the "Lady of Oregano," but that's another post for another time.

But if there were such a thing as the "Lady of Shallots," I think she would delight in wearing this "Lady of Shalott" vintage locket, with this picture tucked inside:


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Edible Inspirations

I love food. I love fashion. Here are the top 5 foods that inspire my sense of style, for one reason or another:

1. Iced Caramel Macchiatos

One of my favorite Starbucks drinks, the ICM's deliciousness is almost overshadowed by its aesthetic appeal: I can barely glance at one without getting the urge to drape myself in a similar color scheme of flowy white skirt and cozy brown cardigan.

2. Shiny apples

While the produce section is full of beautiful colors and textures, there's something about the beautiful variety of apples that seem especially trendy right now: Bright, saturated reds and yellows with a high shine finish? Yes please. In related news, I want these shoes:

3. Marble Rye

Marble Rye makes me want to go get a Ruben at Kenny & Zuke's, watch Seinfeld, and put on a psychadelic print skirt. Marble Rye is basically my life coach.

4. Meringue

The sumptuous texture of meringue is hard to beat. For eating or for wearing.

Does this look like a death cake to you?

5. Guacamole

I am incapable of making or eating guacamole without getting it all over my clothes. Perhaps this is a sign of simple clumsiness, or perhaps it's a subtle message from the universe to bring more bright green into my wardrobe. Let's go with the latter.

What unexpected places inspire your fashion sense? The zoo? The library? Fabric shops? Dog shows? Civil war reenactments? Janitorial supply stores? I'd love to know your style secrets!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sponsor Lovefest: KDikio Vintage

I'm so excited to welcome my new sponsor, KDikio Vintage, the cutest vintage accessories shop in all the land. Here are a few of my favorite pieces from the site (all of which happen to be just 13 bucks), along with detailed discussions on how I would wear them:

I would wear this with a khaki jumpsuit while working on a paleontological dig in Arizona. I would rub it for good luck and then a rich entrepreneur would stop by in a helicopter and ask me to be a consultant on "Cretaceous Park." I would accept the offer.

Just lovely with a vintage yellow dress for high tea with the queen in the royal garden, no?

I would wear this awesome bracelet with a tie dye skirt and a chunky sweater to a rickety beach house meeting with a mysterious fairy lady to get a 3-hour tarot card reading and astrological consultation. This scenario may or may not be my actual plan for spring break.

Banana Floats Earrings, $13
I would wear these everyday. You guys know how I feel about banana-themed accessories.

This ring would be perfect for frolicking through the forest in an expensive ballgown (one of my favorite pastimes). Isn't it gorgeous?

Also be sure to check out the KDikio's adorable original art pieces and fabulous fashion blog, and remember: free shipping on everything!

Thank you so much, as always, for supporting Daddy Likey sponsors!

p.s. I have sponsorship spots available for February, March, and beyond! My rates are super affordable and I love to support independent artists and designers. Please send me an email for more information!

Back in Action!

Allow me to apologize for my blogging absence last week. My laptop battery let out a death rattle early on Wednesday and it took me awhile to recover both logistically and emotionally (that battery lived in DC with me, it helped me write a book, it counseled me through some tough times--that laptop battery was basically my best friend).

This week I plan to be back on a healthy blogging schedule, and I'm so excited to kick things off with another excerpt of Closet Confidential featured on the fabulous Woman's Day website. Please check out my Style Guide to High Heels to learn everything you need to know about every kind of heel.

p.s. My Field Guide to Denim is there too, if you're interested!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Tall Order: Where to Buy Women's Shoes in Size 10 & Up

My friend Katelyn is tall. I am short. Usually this is not a significant issue in our relationship. I mean, yeah, she has to crouch a bit for photos and I have to be vigilant about dandruff, but otherwise, everything's cool.

OK, I lied. Shoe shopping together isn't cool. Shoe shopping is a significant issue.

You see, I have a pretty generic size 7 foot, so it's easy for me to find cute, comfy shoes in a variety of styles and prices. Unlike, say, dress shopping, which makes me feel like a bloated mutant, shoe shopping is a joyous and stress-free activity for me.

Ask Katelyn to describe shoe shopping, and she will not use words like "joyous" and "stress-free." She will tell you harrowing tales of heartbreak and horror. She will describe wandering into the rickety aisles of the "10 and over" shoe sizes, cold and dark like ghost towns, inhabited only by the occasional tumbleweed and a few mismatched orthopedic clogs.

The few times we've gone shoe shopping together, I've gallivanted through the store, insensitively singing out, "Ooohhh look at those! And those! And these! Well, I have to buy these! How can I not? Aren't they cute? Should I get two pairs of each? There are too many choices!" while Katelyn sighs and asks if it's too early to have a drink.

I promised my dear friend that I would look into online stores that stock cute women's shoes in larger sizes, and although the expedition was tough (I ran into a lot of those orthopedic clogs, and god knows they're unpredictable in the wild), I came back with these five favorites:

Barefoot Tess
This awesome site's slogan is "Because style doesn't stop at size 10," and their designer shoes and boots in sizes 10-15 are certainly stylish. Prices are a little on the spendy side, but they seem to have sales going all the time and there are good buys to be had.

Dolce Vita boots, sizes 11-13, $99.

I just adore this site and sort of want to buy their entire collection. How can I not? Aren't they cute? Should I get two pairs of each? JK, Katelyn--now you get to say that!

With over 2,000 shoes in size 14, and hundreds more in sizes up to 16, this is a great resource. I'm loving these ombre peeptoe pumps:

Shoes Got Sole
Yes, you have to sort through quite a few shoes that look like this, which is really upsetting, but I swear the search is worth it. I unearthed these babies within a minute or two:

Epic selection. Free shipping. Awesome.

What about you guys? Do you have small feet, big feet, wide feet, narrow feet? Do you have any tips for finding cute, larger size women's shoes? I'd love to hear from you!

p.s. Companion post about shopping for small shoe sizes coming soon, so feel free to comment with those tips as well!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Advanced Fashion Quiz: Unexpected Price Jump Edition

The fact that Amazon has a pair of fringed moccasin boots listed with a price range of $34.95 to $3,895.00 means:

a. A select few of these boots were handwoven with Robert Pattinson's hair, so they're totally worth the extra cost.

b. The world definitely will end in 2012.

c. Someone misplaced a decimal point.

d. All of the above.

p.s. I'm actually not sure.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Awesome Affordable Etsy Find of the Week!

Vintage Hat, $10

When I see people on the street wearing hats like this, I'm automatically intrigued, excited, envious, and intimidated. The ability to conjure up such a complex mixture of emotions for just 10 bucks, and keep your head warm and dry? Now that's a sweet deal.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Don't Show-cha Your Chocha!

It's time for 2010's first edition of Don't Show-cha Your Chocha!, the recurring feature in which Daddy Likey readers submit examples of fashionistas who have taken the short hemlines trend a bit too far (in some cases up past their bellybuttons). Please click here if you want a more detailed explanation, and if you feel ready for your daily dose of chocha, read on...

As much as I appreciate the bold pose, this makes me very nervous:

Says Liz: A few more buttons would help.

Vigilant reader Joe captured this candid chocha photo:

The story: I was out shopping when I saw this in the window of (where else?) American Apparel. I'm fairly sure it's meant to be a top rather than a dress, but the decision to put it out with just leggings quite frankly terrifies me.

Love this one from reader Dijana:

She says: When you see this picture you just know that when she let go of that t-shirt the photographer got a straight shot at her 'chocha.' At least we'll save money not buying pants this season.

Ellie sent in this great example from the Balmain spring 2010 runway:

Since it's Balmain, this lil' ensemble probably costs approximately 700 million dollars. Showing your chocha? Priceless.

From Sara:

I love her eloquent description: This "tubular cowl neck" really draws the eyes to every woman's treasure.

Sometimes I wear an outfit like this to bed. And then I get nervous that there will be an earthquake and I'll have to wear it outside:

Nancy puts it perfectly: Just one gust away from "I see France."

Ah yes, here's Whitney "No Pants" Port:

Anna says: If she's cold enough to wear a coat, maybe she should also put on some pants!

Sarah was depressed to find this offender at Banana Republic:

She says: It makes me sad that Banana Republic, on whom I've relied for years for affordable work basics, is venturing into chocha territory. They couldn't have taken all that extra fabric at the cowl and applied it where it's needed?

Alana found this gem:

I named the file "Red Chocha," which is like "Red Dawn," but way scarier.

From the lovely Liz:

She says: Poor model, she doesn't have pants, is wearing a see-through top, and it's falling off of her! No wonder they don't show her face!

Ummm, yeah:

Says Antoinette: This Rick Owens outfit is special in a different way, as though he decided to offer a not-so-subtle hint. I mean, really.

And finally, Mazie sent in what she calls "A conglomeration of chochas," shown below (click the picture to enlarge):

Seriously, how great is that phrase? Conglomeration of Chochas. It kind of sounds like a political affiliation from Star Trek. I'd join.

Find a chocha? Pass it on!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

High Fashion Haiku: Handpainted High Heels

Two favorite things:

Sponsor Spotlight: Alice & Isa

I'm delighted to welcome a new sponsor to the Daddy Likey sidebar! Alice & Isa is an indie designer boutique, style blog, and love letter to San Francisco rolled into one. It makes me want to dress cuter, support independent artists, and move to San Francisco. Basically, it's very motivating.

The product selection is great, with everything from jewelry to handbags to beautiful, one-of-a-kind belts and jackets from our very own blogger/seamstress/Daddy Likey sponsor extraordinairre Sourdough:

This jacket will be in style for approximately 400 years. So classic.


I need it because my middle name is Rose. And my last name is Scarf. OK, that was a lie, but seriously, what a stunning piece of wearable art. Love it.

Please show some love to these talented designers and check out Alice & Isa!

p.s. As an added bonus, San Francisco readers get free shipping! Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Tuesday Top 5: Shopping For Relationship Lessons

While shopping at Marshalls yesterday, I had an epiphany. This isn't an uncommon experience--I often wander the aisles of my suburban Marshalls when I'm feeling lost or confused, eventually leaving with a pair of $10 clearance Steve Madden ballet flats, a box of expired gourmet sandwich cookies, and spiritual clarity--but yesterday I felt particularly moved by my Marshalls moment.

Here's what happened: I came across a chunky fair isle cardigan that was very nearly perfect--it was beautiful and kinda nerdy and super flattering and almost exactly what I was looking for. The only problem? The colors--muted grays, pinks, and greens--did nothing for my skin tone. I thought about wearing it with a brighter shirt underneath, or even putting on more blush to compensate, but deep down I knew this sweater just wasn't right for me.

As I put the cardigan back on the rack, I found myself getting genuinely emotional, thinking, "If I can't accept this sweater just the way it is, then I need to move on. Someone else, maybe someone with olive undertones, will come along and love this sweater the way it deserves to be loved." I caressed its pearly buttons one last time and I said goodbye.

Then I bought some cookies and $10 ballet flats and went home and wrote this list:

Top 5 Tips That Can Be Applied to Shopping and Relationships

1. You can't change a person. (You can sort of change a pair of pants. But not that much.)

If something's not right, don't force it. I could have bought that fair isle cardigan and spent years trying to make things work. Eventually we'd just get resentful of each other and I'd take him to Goodwill.

Sure, you can shorten pants and alter jackets, but altering humans is way tougher, especially if you've never done surgery before, so please, just move on. Wait for the guy or girl or shirt or suit that fits you perfectly, without massive alterations. I swear, you'll find it eventually.

2. Don't limit yourself with rigid rules and expectations.

I've had friends who have refused to get to know potential mates because they were too short or too tall or they didn't go to college or kind of looked like a squid, and I think that's a sad situation. Those guys could have been totally awesome and compatible with my friends, but now we'll never know.

The same is true of clothes: people tend to approach shopping with rigid ideas of what does and doesn't work for them, and ignore everything else. If you see something on the rack that intrigues you, even a little bit, I encourage you to try it on and see what happens. And if you meet a squid man, I encourage you to at least meet him for coffee. I bet he has some great stories to tell.

Now that's a fun guy.

3. Invest in quality.

A string of shallow, unfulfilling relationships is not unlike a "Buy 9 get 1 free" earrings sale at Claire's. You get the instant gratification but later have little to show for it and there's a chance you'll get an infection.

Quality clothing takes a little extra money and care, and quality relationships take a little extra work, but in the end, it's worth the investment.

4. Trust your gut.

I rarely do serious shopping with a friend. I trust my intuition when it comes to clothes, and it can be confusing to come out of the fitting room wearing a dress that makes me look and feel like a sausage only to have my shopping partner be like, "That is AMAZING. You HAVE to get it!"

Maybe your friends are all head-over-heels for your new beau while you're lukewarm. Listen to what they have to say and try to be open-minded, but in the end you will be the one wearing that sausage dress or dating that sausage salesman, so you have to decide. And deep down, you always know the right answer.

5. Choose a partner (or an outfit) that makes you feel comfortable.

A skirt that's too tight is no better than a man who's too uptight. You can do better.

What about you guys? Have you ever encountered any of these lessons in the shopping or dating world? Have you ever dated a squid man? Should I stop eating expired sandwich cookies?
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