A Recent Date Night Outfit

I wore this recently, to a party with the BF.   It may be a little over-the-top, but it was COLD outside - at least, cold in my opinion. I always run a little cold.    My apologies for the low-rez, yellow quality of the photo.   I snapped it in a hurry while I was waiting for the BF to get the car.

With the exception of the tights, skirt, gloves, undergarments, and the earrings (which you can't see here, but are small pearl studs), most of this outfit was thrifted:  shoes, bag, scarf, hat, blouse (which you can't see, but is beautiful black lace) AND the black suede moto. 

With the exception of the boots and the gloves, I paid less than $6 per item. 

With the exception of the blouse and the gloves, which are vintage, every one of these items was either new with the tags still on, or in pristine, impeccable condition.

What does this say about our society, I wonder, that we buy and discard clothing items and shoes so quickly?

I am not complaining! 

Just noting.

(Please ignore the mess in the background.   We had our student dance show earlier that day and I threw down everything when I got home).

I'll Take the Mink.

"The things a girl will do for a mink coat." ~Elizabeth Lane

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend!   Mine was, as always, a mixed bag of delicious food,  shameless binging, lots of laughs, watching holiday movies, dodging invites to swing by Wal-Mart on Thanksgiving night (HELL NO), and, as always, a minty hint of family drama.

For the most part, I ignored the Black Friday sales.   I am very happy with my wardrobe right now.   My thought is that if something comes along that is well within my budget, useful, will see a lot of wear, and is unique (i.e., not a wardrobe repeater), I will consider pulling the trigger.   But for the moment, I would rather put my money towards dance classes and a new pair of pro flamenco shoes.    

This year, I have noticed something new - at least, new to me:   many of these Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals are final sale.   What the whaaaaat?  And a lot of the sales inventory seems to be the summer crap that retailers have been unable to unload.   Very disappointing.   (Schutz, I am looking at YOU).

I did go to Sephora.   I always swing by Sephora on Thanksgiving Weekend, because my birthday falls around that time.   So I get my free gift, and I stock up on whatever I am low on, or want to try out.  Otherwise, I've mostly stayed out of the stores.    

While I was at the mall, I popped into Macy's.  I had a coupon and some birthday money burning a hole in my pocket.  A dear friend of mine always finds the nicest things there, and her style is very similar to mine, so I thought I would have a look. I found myself very tempted by a beautiful black military-style blazer.   With the store discount, plus my coupon, it would have come to around $60.   Ring-a-ding-ding!   

Then I tried it on and saw that the buttons were sewn on crookedly.   I just stood there and laughed at my reflection, while considering that I own at least six black jackets, coats, blazers.   At least.   (Wait.   Mentally counting now.   Five blazers.   Four coats.   Two jackets.   Not six, but eleven.   This, without even getting up out of my chair to go look.  There are probably more in the closet. )   Yeah.   I didn't need this blazer.  I put it back. 

I wound up visiting one of my favorite small consignment shops - Cici's Twice Nice in Dunnellon.   I spent my $60 on a lovely champagne-colored mink jacket.   I have wanted a mink since the first time I ever saw "Christmas in Connecticut".    Ahhhh.... Barbra Stanwyck.  I love her.

I also bought a  beautiful black leather Furla bag.   Both  are in mint condition.   I am already using the bag, but of course, when we got back to Atlanta on Saturday, the temperatures were in the upper 60's.   I will just have to be patient and trust that eventually, Atlanta will become ridiculously cold again.

So yeah.   Black repeater jacket, or glam mink jacket?   I'll take the mink.

I am headed back to Dunnellon at Christmas, and I plan to swing by Cici's again.   I have my eye on a pair of vintage, heeled boots in oxblood leather, that fit my calves like a glove, but they were priced a little high, and need some TLC.   If they are still there in a few more weeks, I will make an offer.   That's the beauty of small second-hand shops - you can often bargain with great success.  

Overall, I felt very good about this weekend, about my mindset, and my purchases.   I feel like I have entered into a healthier relationship with shopping these last several months.   It is a nice feeling to look in my closet and see lovely things that are useful, and being used.

So how was your holiday weekend? 

Baby, it's COLD outside.


Some observations this week, so far...

Late Monday night:   I pulled up the Weather Channel page for downtown Atlanta, and read off the numbers to the BF.

"35 degrees.   Feels like 17.   Right now!   Guess I'm wearing my boots tomorrow".   Ah.   Another day I won't get to wear my beautiful new wedge shoes.   Stupid bloody weather.

He just shrugged.   He claims to dislike the cold, but he's from Toronto, so in the end, he seems to be able to just shake it off in a way I never could.   I'm from Florida, so when the temperatures dip into the upper 70's, I've already got a jacket on.

I sat for a moment, pondering what sort of cruel universe this is, that sent rain, and then a "feels like 17" coldsnap, when all I want to do is wear my new wedge shoes.  Then I remembered that I waited anxiously for six months to wear my new boots.  So I can't complain.

Then I looked over at the BF, who was busy playing some racecar game (Forza?), and thought about what he would wear in "Feels like 17".   Dress shoes, slacks, socks, dress shirt, sweater, coat, scarf, maybe gloves.   He's Toronto-tough.   He doesn't seem to need gloves.   My mind drifted back to the dress shoes, and that was when I realized...

Most men don't really wear boots, at least, not in Atlanta.   Oh, don't get me wrong:   you see men wearing workboots, bikers and rockers wearing combat boots... but men's boots aren't really mainstream here.

I find this strange.  If there is one thing men's style seems to be all about, it's practicality and usefulness.   Boots are useful - even in Atlanta, where fall didn't really hit until last week.   I live in boots from mid-November to about mid-March.   

I thought about how, in my perfect world, men would walking around in glossy black or brown knee-high leather boots and sighed wistfully.   I guess the world isn't ready for that kind of hot-ness.


Tuesday:  Part One:  The Fabulous Fur Cape.   I don't remember what the temperature was, except that it was below freezing.   26, I think.   It felt much colder, with the constantly streaming little wind,  but I couldn't quote you a number.   Pretty much anything below 40 feels like "OHMYGODAREYOUKIDDINGME?".   

So I broke out my new-to-me fur cape.   I thrifted this beauty during the summer, intending to re-sell it.   But I made that rookie mistake of hanging it high on the bedroom door, which meant that every time I walked past, I paused to stroke it.   It is so soft and pretty.   So of course, within about three days, any thoughts I had of getting it appraised and re-selling it were gone.   GONE.   This lovely item was MINE.   I admit, sometimes I go into my closet, and pet it, and talk to it in a manner not unlike Gollum.   My precioussssssss.

There are people who say fur is cruel -and I believe in many cases, they are right.   I also say fur is practical.   My fur is vintage - some of it from the 1950's and 60's.  I have wool coats and leather coats, but I can say, honestly, that wool and leather do not keep me warm like my fur pieces do.   I wore a 60-year old black fox fur collar and cuffs over my leather coat in Toronto at Christmas a few years ago, and it made all the difference in how I viewed the world - I went from a haze of general, shivering misery, to feeling pretty chipper.

And yesterday morning, walking four blocks to my car yesterday, bundled up like Ralphie's little brother, the only place I was not cold, was where that fur cape was covering me.

Let me note here, that, somewhere in my soul, lives an expensive, European Bond Girl, who really only exists in ABBA songs, and who sails around the Mediterranean on a yacht, and gambles in Monaco.   I felt like that Bond Girl yesterday, in my black over-the-knee boots and my fabulous fur cape.

Part Two:  The Jaguar.  I was in my car, driving to acting class, and marvelling that the 'Check Tire Pressure' light hadn't come on in my Honda, as it normally does when the temperature drops below about 40 - when I came up on a gorgeous black Jaguar convertible.   I don't really know models, but this was the sort of car that makes you sigh at the sleek beauty of it.   A model that hasn't yet been effed up, and made to look like a regular, uninspiring American car.   This one had the top up... and the windows down.   What the heck??   The driver was going around 68-70... in icy weather... with his windows open.   Was there a malfunction, because of the cold?   As I passed him, I turned and got a good look...

The man was smoking.   He was smoking in his incredibly gorgeous car.   I guess he was laboring under the delusion that all smokers seem to have, that the smoke stench won't soak into all things made of hair, bone, flesh, fabric, leather, plastic, permeate the pores of everything, and perpetually linger for the rest of Eternity... so long as you are sitting near a window.

This man was driving nearly 70mph in 20-something, feels-much-colder weather, with his windows open... because apparently he couldn't wait to get to his destination to light up.   That's just crazy, in my universe. 

Let me note that I got a good look at his face, and it wasn't a happy one.

Tuesday Part Three:  In Which My Teacher Saw My Fabulous Fur Cape:   My acting teacher is an old-school glamour girl, who could, at any point of her life, have passed for Mae West.   Voluptuous, platinum blond, even into her 70's.   She was wearing her black mink coat to class, which she has had for decades.   I had previously sent her photos of the cape, and she thought it might be mink or fox.   I mentioned that I had considered re-selling it, but - "Don't you DARE", she interrupted - and I continued - but I had fallen in love with it.   The jury is out - but she thought there was a possibility that it is beaver.   I am going to take it to a fur store at some point, get it cleaned and re-sealed or whatever they call it, and make arrangements to store it for next winter.

Today:  It is a positively balmy 41 degrees as I write this.   I am going to take my wedges out for a spin today.   With tights underneath.   


Get Up and Dance!

Best. dancing. shoes. EVAH

Yesterday, I went with friends to Riverside Park for a live concert.   It was a great time!   Typical summer concert, everyone brings chairs, food, wine, and we all hang out for a few hours listening to music.

You know, when I go to events like this, or weddings, or at a restaurant with a dance floor... I always tap my foot, and wriggle around a little in my chair.   I want to dance, and I don't.   I always feel very self-conscious about getting up and just dancing,  in front of strangers.   Why this is, I don't know.   Onstage, I'm a dancing fool.   Onstage, it is choreographed, I am not myself, but the character I am portraying.   And I have always viewed the audience as friends, not strangers.

In a public social setting, there is no escaping myself.

But at these events, I always feel a little regretful, when some fantastic tune starts playing... and I remain in my chair.   I disappoint myself.

So back to Riverside.   Last night, towards the end of the concert, a small group of people wound up standing in front of the stage, dancing.   I had noticed one older gentleman earlier that evening, kind of grooving in his chair.   Now he was up there with a half dozen other people of assorted ages, shaking his moneymaker.   I sipped wine, and watched the dancers idly while I chatted with my friends.

It was a good ten minutes before I noticed... that older gentleman who was out there having such a fine time... had a prosthetic leg.   

And in that moment, I felt so ashamed of my fears.   My fear of being judged.   My fear of falling on my ass.   This man was out there showing all us wallflowers up, and taking joy in his dancing!   He completely ignored what would be, to many of us, a tragic misfortune.  This man was totally fearless.   Totally fierce.   Totally free.

I decided, late last night, that that is the last time I ever sit something out again.   I am going to remember the joy in that man's movements, and in his face, and I am going to get up and dance, goddammit.

So here is a little something for you all to dance to....  GET UP AND DANCE!


Celestial Cavalli

I bought this Roberto Cavalli skirt several years ago on eBay and never wore it. I kept saying I was going to have it shortened - but never did.   And I never could figure out what to wear with it, that didn't make it even more over-the-top than it already is.

Brown denim, with a celestial print.

And a little mermaid-pleat

It has loveliest pale aqua-green and ivory-white nebulae, gold stars and script, gold hardware, and leather zipper pulls

The pattern makes me think of The Golden Compass, or Sting's The Soul Cages

For the past several years, I have vacillated between selling it, and keeping it.   I could not bring myself to sell it.  I love the cut of the skirt, and I LOVE the print. Oh I do love me a celestial print! 

I finally decided that it was ridiculous to keep this skirt, when I could sell it and use the money for something else.   So a few weeks ago, I took pictures and wrote the listing for an eBay auction.   I had it all done, and previewed the listing...

And I thought, "Nope. I'm going to get it shortened, and I am keeping it.... and I am going to wear it if it kills me!"
I took it to my seamstress last week and asked her to shorten it, and she refused. She thought I should leave it as-is, so I did.

Yesterday, finally, I wore this skirt. My happiness factor - like the pattern on the skirt - was out of this world!

I am SO glad I didn't shorten it!

The rest is not fancy or high-end:  Gianni Bini bag (thrifted), Limited Cropped Sweater (thrifted), Nine West pumps, Guess Sunglasses, Rose-gold watch (gift).  The hat is from a boutique in the Blue Ridge Mountains.   And my trusty pearl studs, bought in Tokyo.

I now have a few Cavalli pieces in my wardrobe (all hunted down relentlessly on eBay), and they are all like this - sexy, quirky, imaginative, over-the-top. This is definitely a brand I can get behind!

I'll Be Watching You...

I stepped off the elevator at JC's condo on Monday night, to find this... watching the elevator door....

What the actual f*ck. 

Creepy f*cking clown doll.   When the elevator doors open, this thing is actually lined up to make eye contact with the person on the elevator.

JC has recently acquired  new neighbors in the units on either side of his.   I'm not sure which neighbor this belongs to, but she keeps putting out awful stuff on the windowsills, apparently under the mistaken belief that this common area is free range for her decorating leftovers.

I shudder to imagine what the inside of the actual condo looks like.   If I had to guess, I would say it involves a LOT of Precious Moments figurines, and probably a hundred more dolls like this one, on wall-mounted shelves around the bed, watching their human owner sleep.

Since this photo was taken, she has put out more awful sh*t.   JC got caught up in the excitement of this, and I found him yesterday, heading out the door with my toy accordion (this is another story for another day), to put with the as-yet-unoccupied windowsill.   I made him bring it back.  I pointed out that we did not want to be awakened by someone testing the accordion at 6am, to see if it works.  (Pothead Neighbor Across the Hall, I am looking at you).

I am planning a series of fun little signs for this doll to hold:   

"I'll Be Watching You"   
"We all float down here"
"All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy"

Of course, I am always open to suggestions.

Otherwise, I am not going to rock the boat on the toy collection.   I figure at some point, the issue of my practicing flamenco footwork for 30-minute stretches is going to come up.   Or my singing for 30-minute stretches.   I like to choose my battles.

Yup. I got it at Goodwill.

I started shopping at the local Goodwill last year, when I needed to find props and costume pieces for a show.   Since then, I have found so many fantastic things at this particular GW, it's just ridiculous.   And I admit it, this GW has become my treasure-hunting habit.   

Last week, I was looking through racks of dresses, when I noted a full-length, one-shoulder BCBG maxi dress.   I considered it for a moment, then shrugged, and kept going.   Two days later, this post appeared on one of my favorite blogs, Sisters in Black Frocks.

So of course, all I could think about was going back to see if the dress was still there.    I stopped by this morning because I needed a costume piece for my acting class, and lo!   The dress was still there.   And it is mine, precious, mine.

Let me take a moment and point out the obvious:  I take selfies.   Sure, I could wait for JC to get home, and dig out his posh camera with the four-figure lens, and then have him tell me to just wander around, and then tell me I'm too stiff.   Or, for a fraction of the time and quality, you can get the general idea with one of my blurred selfies.

Also, wow.   I need to go over the mirrors again.   I swear, I just did them in, like, January.   Yeesh.

The dress is a thin jersey, and in person, doesn't look nearly so formal.   I need to have the top taken in, the length shortened, and I also need to wear a strapless bra (I tried to cleverly hide the bra strap with my hair).

Also, I need to get off my can, diet down, and get rid of the last two weeks of post-show self-indulgent laziness.   I have a wedding to attend in two weeks, and there is a pale pink vintage Versace dress that I am determined is going to fit over my ass.

Blurred.   I have a shaky trigger finger.  But you get the idea.

Speaking of Goodwill treasures, here is a purse I found there last week.   $15.91, and in pristine condition.   Normally, I am not a fan of Coach, at all.   In North Georgia, every woman my mother's age is walking around with a metallic jacquard logo bag, and it's usually accompanied by bad footwear, and too-long toenails painted some obnoxious color that shouldn't be allowed outside South Florida.  

Maybe it's the old Italian woman of my soul, but I saw this bag and really really really liked it.   The lens really picked up the logo, but in person it is far more subtle.   And the detailing on this bag is beautiful.

Four Closets, Three Armoires, Two Condos.... and One Hoarder Room.


Now that WONDERLAND has wrapped, my music room looks like an episode of "Hoarders" - at about the 25-minute mark.   You can see parts of the floor, but the amount of stuff left is still horrifying....
We had to do an unexpected fast load-out of the show right after our closing performance (we got everything except the backdrop and furniture loaded into cars in about 30 minutes), and all of it - ALL OF IT - is at my place.   Costumes, accessories, wigs, props, furniture, backdrop.

And like the Cat in the Hat, what started out as a small pink bathtub ring, is rapidly becoming pink snow EVERYWHERE.

Here is what I hope to get done in the next month:
  • Set pieces, furniture, and props are going to a storage 'facility' (friend's garage)
  • Costumes and accessories laundered, sorted, and catalogued
  • Costumes and accessories from previous shows need to be sorted and catalogued
  • I need to finish listing a bunch of clothing and DVDs on eBay.
  • I am still culling clothing from my existing wardrobe.

All of this is taking place across four closets, three armoires, and two condos....

The armoire contains lingerie and undergarments, my swimwear capsule, dance and loungewear, some of JC's things, belts, packaged hosiery, and my jewelry box.

I tossed out all undergarments that didn't fit, or were faded or worn-looking.  It has been a fun week, wearing all my pretty things.

Having finished with the armoire, I tackled the closet.  It now contains my fall and winter wardrobe, a few seasonless pieces, plus hanging lingerie pieces.     The bulk of my summer wardrobe is at JC's, because I spend the bulk of my time there.

The wallpaper inside the closet is a little bit of awful, but I ascribe to The Donald's philosophy that a renter should not put money into someone else's property.   I would rather have the ivy leaves and put my money towards other things. 

I am waiting for the right occasion for that rubber chicken purse.

Once I got these shoes out of the boxes, (last week), I have worn a different pair nearly every day.   Out of sight, out of mind.   I have since unearthed a pair of Givenchy booties, and some other boots (they were hidden away at the boyfriend's).   I don't expect I will wear them until late September.   It is too hot in Atlanta.

One armoire + two of these hanging sorters replaces a huge dresser and tallboy the ex took in the divorce.   

I let JC park a couple pairs of his sneakers.

I am amazed at just how much fits in this closet.

I included this photo, because those two hat boxes contain stockings and tights, sorted by special occasion, versus everyday.

I still own a lot of clothing and shoes.   Too many clothes and shoes - but I love them all.   I culled a lot of stuff, but I did sneak a few items back in.  Once I finish the greater task of getting all the theatre stuff catalogued and squared away, I am going to return to this closet, and start curating like a boss.


And here is your special bonus look at my Hoarders room.   The yoga mat was not actually part of the show process, nor was my flamenco skirt, crumpled up in the foreground.


Yes, yes, yes... I know....

It has been a very long time since I have written anything - here.   Believe me when I say I have written about two hundred posts for this blog... in my head.

So what have I been doing since my last post?   Theatre, theatre, and more theatre!   Calo' Theatre, to be precise!   We (Malita and I) have written, choreographed, and produced three full-length original musical shows in the span of two years.   This is a rehearsal photo of our latest, WONDERLAND, which premiered May 17.   It is a flamenco adapation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland", and "Through the Looking Glass".   Our website is somewhat under construction at the moment, as yours truly, the non-techie, figures out how to make changes and additions to a real website.    So for now, I will be posting additional photos on our blogger site.

The show is concluded, but we plan to re-stage it next year.   This show really has been a pivotal point in our company's development - and personally, it has been a dream come true!
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