Wednesday, November 30, 2011

[DAILY OUTFIT] The Little Goth Girl That Use to Read in the Corner Never Grew Out Of It

The title is inspired by a comment by girlfriend made about the outfit having the feel of old school Goth - maybe it was the black and purple combo or the lace peaking from under the skirt. That's another thing I've been trying lately: layering skirts for that pettycoat effect and added warmth since the temperatures keep dropping (yay!). I think a lot of people (especially here in the States) don't really understand wearing a pettycoat for cuteness rather than fetish, but that's a blog for another day.

My daily jewelry has started featuring a necklace made recently by Alex to hold my quartz pendulum. I like to think we all have our pendants and talismans that we keep close for protection, inspiration or courage - mine are the pendulum and a garnet bracelet.

Pictures have again been edited on Pixlr-o-Matic because I have yet to use all the filters, borders and effects.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

[TOP 10 TUESDAY] What Xena Taught Me About Life and Style

Lately, I've been permanently attached my laptop in our living room, working long hours on homework and a website gig. We don't have cable but we have Netflix has given us the gift of Xena, also known as a lesbian "must-see." Well, I haven't been watching as much as I would like but Alex has been playing it regularly as I work. She was my hero in my early teenage year, and peeking out from my laptop lately has reminded me.

  1. Be Bold, Be Aggressive
    Xena was by no means meek - she was the Warrior Princess after all. She was aggressive, in your face, and she was unapologetic about it. Some people would describe their personalities or personal styles this way, and that's not a bad thing. People like Xena are the ones who get things done, set trends and move civilization along. Even if you don't feel like a complete warrior, you can still try to do or wear something bolder than usual.
  2. Don't Be Afraid of Higher Powers
    As a Warrior Princess, Xena challenged and was challenged by a lot of people, including the Gods. These weren't easy battles as Gods tended to be all-powerful or pretty damn close. In life, we come across people that we see as "all-powerful" but it's important to remember that everyone has a weakness. And just because a "Higher Power" (like a magazine editor) says it, doesn't always mean it's right. You have to do (and wear) what feels right to you.
  3. You Can Fight Hard and Still Be Feminine
    Speaking of battles, Xena fought a lot of them - 6 seasons worth actually - and despite her tendency for bashing in heads, she was still actively portrayed as a seductress. She proves that femininity does not equate to submission.
  4. A Little Cleavage is Not a Bad Thing
    Sometimes I get the feeling that fashion has no room large, prominent breasts. Models all have tiny cleavage and anything bigger gets categorized as obscene. But why are breasts considered obscene? I don't think that a woman's body should be kept hidden but there has a happy medium between modesty and sexual freedom. Xena's outfit confirms you can show a little cleavage and still go about your day (kicking ass, taking names or just having an adventure).
  5. Everyone Has Critics
    During the series, Xena rescues a lot of people while others criticize her and throw her out their villages. It's a phrase we all heard at one time or another, "Not everyone is going to like you." But that never stopped her from doing what she thought was right, and, most times, those people apologized for being antagonistic. Some people may not like your volunteer job or your outfit or your hair but that shouldn't stop you from doing what you think is right.
  6. Don't Let Your Past Govern You
    When we first meet Xena, she's got a bloody past and a thousand lives on her conscience. Though this weighs heavily on her, she doesn't let it hold her back. It's true that we are shaped by our past experiences but we shouldn't let them drown us. A fashion faux pas shouldn't keep up from trying new styles the same way a bad grade shouldn't make us give up in the class (and I speak from personal experience on this one). We are more than our mistakes.
  7. No Matter How Great, You Are Not a God
    Maybe it was her dark past but Xena was very humble about all the lives she saved. In life, a little ego can be good for you but don't take it overboard or you'll annoy people. And just because you get accolades for some things you did right, it doesn't mean that you are incredible at everything. Normally, when we get a big head we miss our own shortcomings and fail.
  8. When Taking on a Big Task, It's Better to Have a Plan
    Some of my favorite Xena fight scenes are when she's taking on a small army but she wins because she pre-rigs her environment. She lays out traps and funnels the fight so she can stay in control. In real life, it's not that easy to stay in control of a big project or situation but it's good to go into it with some kind of plan and a catalog of your on-hand resources.
  9. It's All In the Company You Keep
    Finding people who compliment you is just as important as finding a style that compliments you. Xena had Gabrielle, whose naivete and open heart was the perfect balance to her jadedness. She also inspired Xena to keep her dark side in check. In a similar way, we should try to keep those who inspire us close.
  10. Don't Judge Too Quickly
    This isn't anything new - I just wanted to reiterate something we'd all heard before. In the show, people judged Gabrielle as small and weak although she could defend herself quite well. Xena, on the other hand, looked tough and angry but episode after episode showed her softer side.
Pictures via

Monday, November 07, 2011

Is Feminine Fashion Frivolous? Why Can't Manly Men Wear Skirts?

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I've watched plenty of fashion seasons come and go that feature "borrow-from-the-boys" trends in women's wear - everything from small, tailored details to full on gender-bending. And while I'm a complete fan of gender-bending, lately I've been wondering why it doesn't go the other way around. Why isn't menswear cited as inspired by women's wear?

"Girls can wear jeans
And cut their hair short
Wear shirts and boots
'Cause it's OK to be a boy
But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading
'Cause you think that being
a girl is degrading..."
~ What It Feels Like for a Girl, Madonna

When guys have "feminine details" on their clothing, the overwhelming mainstream response is "gay" - as in these guys are weak, submissive, feminine and, overall, bad. But when women wear ties, blazers and men's button-up shirts, they are aggressive, dominant and sexy. It feels like an imbalance in gender power. If a girl wants to look like a guy, it's only natural but if a guy wants to look like a girl, there's something wrong with him.

Dressing in "girly" clothing, a guy can be perceived as silly, not to be taken seriously, like in the cases of Halloween costumes and drag queens. Years go, women, however, had to don power suits and wear loafers to be taken seriously in the business world (which is often referred to as a Boy's Club). Does that mean then that clothing typically reserved for the female gender is frivolous?

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A few years ago, Hot Topic started carrying Tripp's "One-Legged Pants". Anyone could see that it was a maxi skirt - with chains - for men. But why not call it a skirt?

Mainly because their target market for these "pants" are men and men would never wear a skirt. I teased my boyfriend in high school about his one-legged pants - not because he was wearing a skirt but because he would not admit to it. He told me skirts weren't manly.

Is it really so wrong for a man to be wearing a "skirt" while women walk around everyday in pants? Makes you wonder if there is something dirty about femininity that must be kept away from men.