It's All About The Dress

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It appears that I've bought myself another yellow dress. I would say oops but that's would be a lie because I stalked it, loved it in theory, and then nabbed it on sale when it proved to be as wonderful as I wanted it to be.

I also found out via these pictures that my skimpiest bikini is apparently not all that skimpy, lol.

Dress: Mara Hoffman ~ Shoes: Target ~ Necklace: Banana Republic (old) ~ Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters (old) ~ Bracelets: Kate Spade Saturday, Etsy, Gift

May/June Clothing Recap

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Well here we are, the halfway point of my challenge. I'm determined to keep these recap posts going,
even if I don't feel like they're actually helpful for people, lol. June was my no-buy month, and except for one misstep during the last week or so, things went ok. I think ultimately I'm finding that while I don't always succeed at buying nothing, the attempt every-other-month at least keeps my shopping habits significantly down, and I spend a lot more time considering what would be a worthwhile addition to my wardrobe.

Instead of listing what I bought for this recap, I'd like to spend some time talking about how difficult it is when you're in a fashion shift to figure out what you want to wear and what fits your lifestyle. Lately I'm drawn to more solid colored pieces and less prints (except for florals apparently, lol) and am willing to push myself on necklines when the trade off is something comfortable I feel like I look good in. I.e., they are suddenly a lot more dresses with cleavage bearing necklines for night and day, which is actually only a problem for one thing: work. None of that stuff is appropriate for work, and I keep purging things I don't want to wear, even if they are appropriate, which is shrinking my closet in a really awkward fashion.

I've tried to brainstorm solutions based on what I think I want to wear instead and it appears that my major hurdle right now is the online bubble. The boxier, slightly cropped neutral tops that I'm leaning towards at the moment, seem to primarily be offered at retailers that either 1) don't do returns outside of store credit 2) don't do sizes except OS/OS Minus/OS Plus. I DON'T LIKE BEING CONFINED OK?! It's actually super intimidating to face expanding the price point you're used to for well-made pieces from more ethical companies when you have no idea if it's going to fit and can't return it if it doesn't. And unfortunately I'm not finding the help I need via the internet and other bloggers, because the women who are wearing these pieces right now don't have a shape similar to mine. They're either significantly smaller size-wise, or comparable in the 12/14 sphere but shaped differently, which doesn't end up giving me much of a clue regarding how it would fit on me.  I guess the only solution would be to throw caution to the wind and just BUY SOMETHING, but it almost feels like I'd be throwing $200 out the window, which is honestly awful to think about. 

Is anybody out there having similar problems with their style at the moment? Tell me I'm not alone!

summer time best

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I've seemed to have accidentally put together a post of a bunch of older pieces! Before this year's every other month adventure, wandering through the sale racks of my local department stores was a very regular activity for me. Surprisingly Bloomingdale's has been the biggest hit by far, with a couple of wonderful swimsuits and this dress. Which I tried on slightly for sh*ts and giggles, but was amazing and only $60. $60 people!

 Dress: Parker (old from Bloomingdale's; this season's) ~ Shoes: Banana Republic (old, similar in suede) ~ Purse: Anthropologie (old) ~ Sunglasses: Kate Spade (old) ~ Earrings: Lou Lou Boutiques (old)

blerDCon 2017: A Con For And By The People

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Well I had a different post entirely on the docket for this week, but I think in the end it would be a disservice to the incredible weekend I had at blerDCon not to mention it here first.

blerDCon - black nerd con - happened for the very first time this past weekend in Crystal City, Virginia. It was an incredible amalgamation of not just black culture, but a variety of different minority representations across the spectrum of ethnicity, culture, age, gender, sexuality, physical (body) types and abilities, etc. And I have the absolute pleasure of sharing just how well done it all was.

I honestly didn't even know what type of expectations to have going into a first year convention, though hearing the founders speak at AwesomeCon gave me the impression that it was going to be bigger than I had initially envisioned.

Still, going down the escalator to immediately see the large swath of people, arcade machines, tables by T.A.G. Labs, MAGfest, a variety of cosplayers and minority nerd groups, etc. was simply amazing. To be able to see the huge number of artists and vendors that filled their Merchandise Hall made me proud. People of color had come together to put on the all-encompassing nerdfest that generations had waited for, and had done it in a way that clearly showed the commitment and the professionalism of those behind the scenes.

Was it perfect? No, but even big cons have room for improvement (Anime Expo and the lines of death anyone?) and the chance to be there at the beginning made the small hiccups worth it. Because the one thing I haven't even touched on yet was the panels. THE PANELS Y'ALL. The community showed OUT for this con, and the panels I was able to go to might not have been the big name authors and celebrity led ones of DragonCon's ilk, but each one was obviously a passionate expression of the panelists, which made the important topics they covered even more meaningful. Just a few of the ones I attended include:

  • Closet Cosplay
  • Fandom Diviserfied: Changing Dynamics of Nerd Journalism
  • Cosplay in Japan 101
  • Cosplay in Non-Canon Bodies
  • A Transgender Journey in Cospositivity
  • Anti-Blackness in Fandom
  • Asian-American Nerddom and the Quest for Cool
  • The Search for Latinx Geekdom and Diverse Nerd Culture
  • Plus Size Cosplay and Confidence
  • Blerdlesque
  • True Life: I'm a POC Cosplayer
  • Size, You: Perfect Fitting Costumes 

Like, do you see that list though?! And that was just some of the 150 panels provided, where only about 10% were actually initiated by blerDCon staff.

I feel privileged to have been able to attend the first year, to chat with staff, volunteers, other attendees in a way that is just not possible when there are 50,000-100,000 people. If you have the means I encourage you to put next year's dates on your calendar (*cough* July 27th -29th, 2018 *cough*) because I'm sure that what I experienced is just the beginning, and soon enough this little offshoot of DC is going to have its own downtown parade.

sometimes simple is best

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As I spend more of this summer experimenting with my style (& emptying my wardrobe), there are a few pieces I'm leaning towards more - namely pants and dresses. I picked these up last month and while linen and its inevitable tendency to wrinkle is annoying, the weight of the fabric and overall look is exactly what I want right now.

Tank Top: Banana Republic (old) ~ Pants: Talbots* (on sale too!) ~ Purse: Patricia Nash (old) ~ Shoes: Seychelles ~ Sunglasses: Kate Spade (old) ~ Necklace: Kate Spade

*Fit Note: I sized up to a 14 and had the waist taken in. I preferred the length and fit in the hips of the 14, so I considered it a worthwhile expenditure. 

Dr. Dennis Gross C+ Collagen Vitamin C Serum Review

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Well looky here - a review of a skincare product without a picture of my face! Sorry friends, but while this *is* actually doing great things for my face, I just wasn't in the mood to sit and pose and look totally enthused, lol (probably why I'm a fashion blogger and not a skincare one).

Thanks to a generous giftcard from my job, I've been slowly adding a few products here and there that are slightly more experimental than my usual (i.e., brands that I don't branch out to usually). I like to put the bulk of my skincare dollars into serum. They tend to have the highest concentrations of ingredients that actually do something, lol, so I consider it money well spent. After spending way too long looking at everything (and horrifying the Sephora associate by telling her I just haven't been impressed with Sunday Riley) I settled on this Dr. Dennis Gross serum.

According to Sephora's website, the C+ Collagen Brighten & Firm Vitamin C Serum...

"This energy-generating serum combines vitamin C with a proprietary energy complex—featuring CoQ10, superoxide dismutase, carnitine, and niacinamide—to recharge skin. Maximize the power of vitamin C to help support natural collagen and brighten skin, while experiencing an improvement in visible skin firmness and the look of dark spots over time. "

Sounds pretty good right? And to be honest, in spite of the strong vinegar smell upon application, this has quickly become one of my favorite serums ever. In addition to having a positive impact on the frequency of breakouts (aka they slowed down), my skin has just started to look better overall. Brighter, moisturized, and while lightening post-acne hyperpigmentation isn't a fast process, I do think I see some improvement in that area as well.

In the end I consider it well worth the $78. I use one pump all over my face in the evening, and while I've made a visible dent in the product, it does seem like it'll be hanging around for a while before I have to buy another one.

all you need is love

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I love how the battle with myself this year seems to be "will I let myself go and take pictures at the most overly-Instagrammed locations in DC?" So far the answer seems to be yes, but only if it's an aside to the main purpose of the day, and I don't have to lug my tripod with me.

 Dress: H&M (old, very similar dress at Anthropologie) ~ Shoes: Seychelles ~ Purse: Anthropologie (old) ~ Necklace: Kate Spade ~ Sunglasses: Kate Spade ~ Earrings: World Market