Tag Archives: Sex and the Single Girl

Professional Pirate

Anyone’s who’s ever had a movie conversation with me knows that I love Cutthroat Island.  So much so that I follow Matthew Modine (William Shaw) on Twitter, only because Geena Davis isn’t on there.  

In the opening scene of the movie, Morgan Adams (Geena Davis) having just finished boning some gross looking soldier, gets dressed to go off and be awesome.  She puts on a vest with no shirt, and it looks amazing on her.  Then she makes a dick joke and goes off into the sunrise/credit sequence.  I swore that when I was an adult, I was going to wear a vest as a shirt, because at 13, my mom wouldn’t let me.

But, like becoming a Broadway actress, I never quite lived up to that dream…until now. 

ImageThe vest is from Bebe, a gift from my office for my 30th birthday. The jeans are American Eagle and it’s the first time I’ve ever rolled jeans, because I have this weird thing about my ankles.  The tank top is scoop-neck to mimic Geena Davis’, umm, treasure chest, and this outfit also allowed me to finally mastered the low-slung belt look.  The secret to dressing like a pirate is to not look like a pirate, because that would just be silly.

For makeup, I went with something I once read about Geena Davis, that her makeup artist uses a lot of browns and pinks on her, so I went with brown eyeliner and pink glitter eyeshadow in a very subtle blush.  

You can’t see it in this picture, but I’m also sporting a skull cuff that I made from a tee-shirt, and bitchin’ skull earring’s Ian’s mother brought me back from Mexico.

This outfit was a good chance to try out styles I’ve been wanting to attempt for awhile.  I’m really surprised at just how many permutations can come out of my closet; I almost forgot I had that belt (it came with a pair of shorts) even though I only have five belts.  One of the biggest things I’m learning throughout this whole year, fashion wise, is that being a clothes horse is not necessarily an asset.  There’s something about having to put together an outfit with only a few basic pieces–it requires your imagination, a new way of looking at the clothes in your closet and forces you to experiment with new looks rather than just running out and buying a new one.  

Let’s All Go to the Movies

“Don’t just admire…study beautifully-gowned women”  Helen Gurley Brown, Sex & The Single Girl.

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I, too, like to relax in my lemon costume

I never leave the house in just any old thing.  For me, fashion is such an art, a way of saying “This is who I am today.”  It’s a trait I share with Olivia, the fictional pig in Oliver Falconer’s children’s books. And much of my fashion inspiration comes from beautiful women (and occasionally, men) in movies.  It’s hard not to feel glam when you’re pretending to be, say, Geena Davis.

My first outfit for this stunt week of dressing in the study and style of others is inspired by the late, very beautiful and very darling Brittany Murphy in Sin City: The Big Fat Kill.  Now, putting aside the fact that I used to refer to one of Catch’s girlfriends as “The Barmaid” (as in “The one who never shuts up,” to which he would, with equal parts affection and irritation, reply “Damn it Gail, not now”) I have always liked Shelly and alwaysImage felt a little sorry for her, even if I liked Gail more.  However, I cannot go out dressed in a series of belts and assorted pieces of fishnet, so Shelly it is.  

The cowgirl shirt my dad bought me for Christmas is my essential white shirt, just barely covering the very tiny shorts underneath.  I am also wearing a Siouxsie and the Banshees tank top (rather than just a bra) and the fedora rounds it out with a little playfulness.  If you get a fedora, ladies, make sure it is a full fedora and not one of those weaslely little short-brimmed ones from Hot Topic that guys wear to announce the world, “I am a date-rapist & Reddit misogynist”

This is a specific variation on a uniform of mine; with dark eyeliner and pale lipstick it has a certain “Up All Night With a Man” vibe to it.  If you can borrow one of his shirts, well, all the better.  And if he won’t let you borrow his shirt, well, then, why are you even with him, what a jerk!

Shelly Outfit

Scents and Sensibility

“Into my underthings…I tuck a cotton ball scented with my favorite perfume” Arlene Dahl, Always Ask a Man (although Helen Gurley Brown recommends it too)

I approached this one with some trepidation–after all, it required me to wear a bra, which I hate doing and because I was worried about being that girl with the stink cloud of perfume, setting off allergies and smoke detectors wherever I went.  But I went ahead and doused a cotton ball with Love’s White Vanilla, crammed it into my bra, and went off smelling sweet.

And boy, did I smell sweet!  It was nice to have that little whiff of yummy just under my nose.  Especially because, in my race to get ready on time and smell lovely . . . and this is so embarrassing . . . I forgot to brush my teeth.

So it was gum and perfume all day, and I’m happy/disappointed to report that no one commented on either.  But hey, I liked smelling nice!

Slinky Thing

“When we were first dating, he said to me, “Get into something slinky black.  We’re going over to meet my friends Jackie and Ernest.”  Naturally I wanted Jackie and Ernest to like me, so I got right into something slinky and black.  Well, everybody was out by the pool in wet swimsuits and faded denims and there I was–Vampira at high noon.”  Helen Gurley Brown, Sex and the Single Girl

ImageIan and I haven’t been out to a nice dinner in awhile, and we had a few things to celebrate under the auspice of our 7 1/2 year anniversary.  I also haven’t gotten dressed up since New Years, and one the things this project has really gotten me back into is LOOKING FINE.  I was just going to wear my LBD, but one accessory lead to another, and soon I was wearing a hat, dark lipstick, a scarf and a pair of my grandma’s white gloves.  Ian was wearing shorts and a black button down.  He looked at me, lets out a sigh and went back upstairs.  I was overdressed, and it was cramping his style.

Like HGB illustrates, being overdressed next to your mate can make all parties uncomfortable.  Ian’s reasoning for not wanting to get dressed up was that it was hot and muggy, and he’d be miserable, ruining the whole evening.  And I understood that.  He apologized for groaning at my outfit, put on black pants and a black shirt, I took off the gloves and we went to Jay’s Place (our favorite) for a lovely time.  And it was air conditioned, so he was comfortable even in long pants.

Maybe we were a little overdressed for the occasion, but we didn’t care.  I like to think it added an air of mystery to us, so that other diners wondered what fancy party we’d just come from .  . .

 

Saying No To New Clothes

“Don’t buy anything you don’t adore.  Yes, this could easily mean fewer clothes!” Helen Gurley Brown, Sex and The Single Girl 

I love clothes and always have.  My first apartment had a walk-in closet, so I used to buy, alter or make clothes on a whim.  I doubt that in my freshman year of college, I ever wore the same outfit twice!  

But my tastes are in the process of changing, and that means admitting that I will never wear that long black lace Lip Service dress from Hot Topic or that pleated skirt I’ve had since 9th grade (and still fits!)  So into the garage sale pile they go, to make me a little extra cash to spend on, say, a new Betsey Johnson dress.

The other side of that is that I’m less impulsive about what I buy.  I’m now buying less on what I think I “should” have or what “might” work.  It may look good in a magazine, but I am not a paper girl!

The other day, I was at TJ Maxx and I saw this beautiful blue peplum dress.  I thought “I bet I could wear that to work,” and, even better, it was only $16 …but when I tried it on, I didn’t gasp in wonder at what was looking back at me in the mirror. 

Would it have worked?  Yes.  And I would have gotten plenty of compliments on it too.  But I didn’t adore it, which meant it had NO PLACE in my closet.  I barely have time for the clothes I wear–why waste time on ones I don’t love?*

 

*If you have tee-shirts, don’t throw them out–instead, pick up Generation-T and make them into cool skirts and housewares!

 

Dieting During a Tragedy

So Monday I epically failed my glamour-girl diet.  Not just because I failed to pack any real protein, but because as I watched the bombing aftermath unfold, I realized that life is too short, to precious, to waste feeling like crap for the arbitrary goal of beauty.

No one should have to wait for a text that says their friend is okay.  No one should ever have to try and figure out who they know who might be running so they can try to contact and make sure they’re not dead or lying bloody in the streets.  

As a reporter, I not only had to worry about my own friends, but I had to call around for local leads on what might be the worst day of somebody’s life.  We got a Facebook message hinting that one girl, who’d been at the finish line, was in the hospital, and I got charged with calling her mother at 9 at night and asking what happened when all I knew was that her kid might be dead.  She wasn’t, luckily, and while she had indeed been at the finish line, she left 20 minutes before the explosion for a doctor’s appointment at the hospital.  It was a happy ending to an otherwise grim day, but that’s not something you can do on an empty stomach.  It just makes a world that’s already scary even more terrifying.

Being a reporter means that you’re in the middle of all the tragedies but there’s nothing you can do, and that in itself can be emotionally trying.  You just have to stand there, writing down every moment of the Worst Day Of Someone’s Life.  But because it’s not your tragedy, you feel bad about feeling bad.  People tell you “others had it worse” or accuse you of being a grief thief.  And sometimes, there’s nothing to do but suffer in silence, because there’s deadlines, there’s work to do and there’s always another lead to chase.  This is the second Really Awful story I’ve had to do in the last two months (the first was a murder-murder-suicide where the woman killed her boyfriend, the dog, then herself and set the house on fire, and the cops found the husband had been stuffed into a barrel for three years). In addition to covering City Hall and Community Profiles, I’ve got the Awful Beat.

There’s a reason there is “comfort food.”  Carrots and yogurt are awesome, but they don’t bring the same emotional soothing as a real meal at the end of a long, long day.  There’s a reason we bring food to the grieving.  No one eats non-fat yogurt after a funeral. 

You Can Donate to the Victims Here.