Tag Archives: clothes

Stylin’ it up (or not)

Yesterday, my inability to get dressed reached a disastrous peak, resulting in an entire futon covered in clothes that I will probably never wear, my running around the house in a pair of tights, a pair of shoes, and a vest (and that’s it), and a few realizations. Before I tell you about my realizations, please enjoy a glimpse into my morning:

Turtle: Oh. My.
Me (panicking because of her tone… did the cat, who we thought was all better, throw up everywhere?): What?!
Her: You really did explode all over the study.

Point being: I really did cover the ENTIRE FUTON in clothes. Stacked clothes.  It’s impressive, you guys.

Anyway, I gained some general insight into my life in the process. Realization number one: I have a lot of clothes that I just don’t need.  And that don’t fit me or aren’t appropriate for pretty much any situation I need clothes for.

Number two: my style, in its natural, unselfconscious-state, seems to be much dykier than my conscious state often allows it to be. While maybe the dresses that I have do look pretty on me, I feel ridiculous in them.  I feel like I’m playing dress up; I feel sort of silly and floofy and like I’m “faking it,” and at any moment someone will be like, “You! You’re not a real grownup! Go sit at the kids table with your frilly sleeves.” But put on a button down shirt with a sweater over it? Nice.

For example, this dress does look pretty on me! But I felt ridiculous in it. REE-DICULOUS.

But! Look how cute I look in my little vest thing here! So cute! Also, so comfortable.

Number three: I need new clothes. Because apparently it’s not comfortable or really appropriate to wear my wedding suit for every semi- or formal event I go to.  Hence the vague panic last night.  Part of the challenge, though, is that I don’t know what I want, and I don’t know what I need it for.  I could find something I like… but is it for an interview? For hanging out with friends? Can I really justify that purchase?

I feel like I showed up late to the game that all the other kids learned the rules to a lot time ago.  It seems like everyone else can just get dressed and – shazam! – they look good.  And they make it look comfortable and easy.  I, on the other hand, spend an hour and half throwing clothes around the room and end up wearing the only outfit I had in the first place.

my best wedding outfit: shirt untucked, pants rolled up, CHACOS. And the best friend who occasionally helps me clothe myself via Google Chat. Thanks, friend.

I feel stuck.  Where do you get your clothes? Does anyone else have an impossible time getting dressed on a regular basis? And, um, does anyone want to go clothes shopping with me?

Advertisements

14 Comments

Filed under other

Silly Saturdays, or How to Dress Your Dog

A couple of days ago, Megan (aka Mrs. Guinea Pig!) posted about her sister’s cute dog and her awesome (um, somewhat shark-like?) cats.  She made a neat video of her cats “foraging” for food, which is a kitty entertainment and weight loss technique that we often suggest to people at the cat-only hospital where I work.  It’s awesome to see it in action; it seems to really work!

Anyway, Megan’s cool video inspired me to try to use the iMovie on my computer, which I never really considered before.  Here is my choppy video, which is not very high quality but is high entertainment (for me, at least).  Warning: the language in the music is not safe for work or for children, so either mute it or just consider yourself warned.

Some background: The first winter I had Daphne, she did not adjust very well. Her paws cracked and bled in the snow, leaving a trail of little bloody specks everywhere she went, and she spent a lot of time shivering. That said, she loved playing in the snow.

I know, she doesn't LOOK maladjusted...

Solution? Dog booties and, of course, a jacket.  She adapted pretty well to the booties, and we’ve had to use them a couple of times since then when she cut her paws (on glass once, on rocks another time) and we needed to keep them clean and dry.

Hardcore dog boots, with the same soles as Merrells. Seriously.

The jacket? Well, it did not go over so well:

A few months later, we tried a t-shirt…

She did much better then, but maybe because she appreciates higher education.

Anyone else clothing their dog?  Anyone else embarrassed about it?  I have to say, we got a lot of flack for our dog booties at the dog park…

10 Comments

Filed under Menagerie

On clothing and not standing around in one sock

We are having a thrilling evening this evening.

First, I could not find the keys anywhere for a petsitting job, so 2 hours went to searching for them. Yup, two hours, just searching for keys.  Did I mention that this is not my week? Also, my check engine light came on.  See, again: not my week.

But right now – right now, folks, I am sitting on the couch while my lovely fiancee flits around setting things up for the big event: trying on wedding dresses.

What? you say. Didn’t you already do this? you wonder. Oh, silly you, just because we already bought one dress (each) doesn’t exclude the option of buying another. Or four others, if you are Turtle.

We got our dresses all altered up and Turtle does not like her dress. If she can’t find something else then she’s stuck with it, and that’s the deal we’ve worked out.  In the meantime, some giant J Crew boxes showed up at our house today, and Turtle washed her hands and feet so that she didn’t dirty the dresses.  Once her appendages had been thoroughly cleaned, we began the process: she with the opening and on-trying, and I with the bemused watching and faithful documenting.

open the box! out will pour hope and glory!

um, maybe instead of hope and glory there's just tissue paper?

box inside a box!

hope and glory? is that you?

Dress #1 - not so much with the glory. interesting back, but it didn't fit quite right.

pretty fiancee! All mine!

dress #2 - so pretty, but way too big, and a little stiff. I got tired of taking pictures, if you couldn't tell.

Neither of these dresses was *the dress* – whatever that means.  So we dug around in the boxes to find dresses #3 and #4, and lo and behold – they were not there.  Turns out they shipped separately.  So with under three weeks to go, the additional dresses will be arriving soon.

In the meantime, something else arrived in the mail!

package for me?

a vest you say? why, this is the wrong color...

Okay, readers, maybe some of you are thinking that you already saw me in my muslin fitting.  So the truth is that I was so excited about my *actual* suit’s arrival that I did not document the thrilling unwrapping process. Sorry to disappoint, but moving on:

I got an email last week that this was done:

photo by MacheteNSons, click image for source

I got it in the mail a day or two ago, and this morning we had a little photo shoot in the sun:

glorious!

beautiful lining! is that mild satisfaction on my face?

There are a few things that need to change, so I’ll be parting with my new-found suit to send it back for alterations.  Guys, I cannot say enough good things about A.J. and Lianna at MacheteNSons – this whole experience has been overwhelmingly positive, and I have been really impressed by the customer services. That, coming from someone who works in customer service, is saying a lot. THANK YOU, A.J. & Lianna.

So the struggle to dress the future Bird-McTurtlesons continues, but we are making progress! Yes, my friends, I truly believe that progress is being made! And I am thoroughly impressed by the ability of some tailors to fit you over the internet. Amazing.

Have you/are you in the process of the/did you struggle with clothing yourself and/or your future spouse?  Did you consider driving all the way to NY in one day just so your beloved could try on a dress she found on the internet? Did you consider scrapping the whole thing and showing up in jeans?  And is there anyone who reads this who is looking for a tailor? Cause, seriously, I love the ones I found.  Lastly: how hot do I look? And how pretty is my future wife? Discuss.

5 Comments

Filed under Marriage/Wedding/Engagement

Bridal bulge

Last night we went back to David’s Bridal. Oh, David’s Bridal, why do you and I never quite get along? Is it the airbrushed matching families in your giant window ads, your oh-so-hetero marketing, despite the legalization of same-sex marriage in both MA and NH, or the fact that every time we show up your employees seemed 1. perplexed by us (two dresses? both for the bride? confusion), and 2. annoyed that we don’t know where to go, despite the fact that they never told us?  Perhaps a combination of all of the above.

We were told to go back for our dress pickup at 8pm last night, so we did.  We thought ahead enough to bring our shoes – maybe they would want us to try them on?  It was called a pickup, and while last time they mentioned specifically that we should bring our shoes and our undergarments for the fitting, this time they told us to bring the pink slip with our info on it, and that was it.

So we arrive, and, as usual, the staff are annoyed at us for looking around and not knowing where to go.  Thanks DB’s staff, you’re so sweet!  We make our way through throngs of wedding parties – apparently Wednesday night is a big night to find your wedding dress – back to the alterations area, where someone comes to help us pretty quickly.  She’s blond, cute, upbeat, and cannot for the life of her figure out which one of us is Bird and which one of us in Turtle, nor how to pronounce our names.  This is sort of a theme for the rest of the evening.  I spend a good period of time worrying that they will actually alter my dress to fit Turtle, and then we’re really in a bind.

So they give us our dresses, we put them on (should have brought that bra, oops.)…and I bulge.  That is to say, my eyes bulge, because I can’t breathe.  Really, my dress is so tight around my ribs/waist that I am physically in pain.  I have Turtle unzip it until it absolutely must be zipped again.  And then – and then! – the alterations woman seems offended.  “We just took it in an inch and now you want us to take it out! Did you have dinner before you came here?!”

To which I, of course, respond, “Yes, I did have dinner, and I do plan to eat on my wedding day!” One meal should not make my dress asphyxiate me.

So then our alterations expert has to go get her manager, because apparently there might be more charges, and it’s all probably because I didn’t wear my bra, and they keep implying that I’ve gained weight.  A little part of my is afraid that I have, but before that I lost 8 pounds, and really a pound or two would not make my ribs fat. Ugh.  So I’m feeling guilty about being the “wrong size”, my dress is ridiculously uncomfortable, and they’re talking about charging us more money.  Where’s that nice woman who was so happy for us last time we were there? Can we have her back?

And in the meantime… Turtle hates her dress.  Not really my story to tell, but we are now on a 4-week countdown to “Woo hoo let’s get married” and “Quick let’s find a dress you like!”  If we don’t find one, she’ll wear the one she has…

At one point last night, the alterations manager said, “It’s a wedding dress.  It’s not supposed to be comfortable.”  And I thought to myself, “If someone had told me that six months ago, I’m not sure I would have bought one.”  My suit is going to be comfortable.  If we hadn’t already paid for all this stupid dress stuff, I would just scrap the whole thing.

I think maybe I’m approaching wedding zen? As more things are getting not-done or going not-quite-right, I can let go a little… yes?

What would you do with four weeks down and dress dissatisfaction on the rise?  If you did this all before, did you have the most wonderful dress-fitting experience ever?  If you work at David’s Bridal, how are you going to make us uncomfortable little lesbians happy again?

2 Comments

Filed under Marriage/Wedding/Engagement

The Other Clothesline Project

We are back from vacation!  I love having vacations one right after another… even if they are only 2 days long.  For this one we visited one of my most favorite people in Woodstock, NY.  We spent two nights camping there and days exploring my former wonderful hometown – Po-town, NY.  We visited town sites and our alma mater and even stalked a campus tour so that we could break into my old dorm.  Fun!

That, however, is not the kind of fun I have broken my internet-silence to tell you about.  This kind of fun, my friends, is truly thrilling.

It’s line-drying.

beautiful racks surrounded by greenery

Okay, maybe my life is not that exciting, but I am seriously loving line-drying.  We don’t actually do it on a clothesline, as you can see; instead we have a couple different racks that we set up on the deck in the sun, and then we collect our clothes and they smell wonderful.  You know those fabric softeners that are scented with delicious things like Lavender and Fresh Breeze?  Guys, this is for serious fresh breeze scent! All natural!

I recently found on someone else’s blog this preview for a movie about clotheslines.  It’s a bit of a long preview, but fascinating.

One big thing I learned (but honestly haven’t checked up on) is that using a dryer is the single biggest energy-suck in your house.  Since we have no money, I would love to eliminate what is costing us the most – and since we have the backyard space and our clothes smell delightful, it’s even fun.  I hate doing laundry, but suddenly I’m finding something almost meditative about lining each article of clothing on the rack and then folding it as it dries.

I admit that this isn’t the most inspiring thing I’ve ever written, but coming back from a nice, slow camping trip with good people made me slow down, and I love that.  And drying my clothes on a rack makes me slow down too.  With all this wedding stuff, not to mention the fact that I need to have a to-do list running all the time and I am always reviewing it in my head… something to slow me down is a good, good thing.

What do you do to slow down?  Did you actually watch that long preview, and if you did what do you think?  What are your clothesline-y thoughts?

*If you’re wondering what the original clothesline project is, you can find info here: The Clothesline Project.

5 Comments

Filed under Home

Blue Bridal Brigade

To be perfectly honest, bridesmaids’ dresses are not something in which I am willing to be terribly invested. You have all heard plenty about how much trouble I have dressing myself – and you expect me to dress a bunch of other people? Who all have different styles and different body types?

Um, H to the L nooooooo thank you.

That said, we did want to have some coherence in our bridal brigade – the people we asked to be in our bridal brigade are super important and incredibly helpful, and we wanted them to be recognizable.  We also wanted them to be comfortable, and, especially given our current relationship with money (read: we have very little and are still trying to be alive, keep our pets alive, and plan our wedding), wanted them to spend an appropriate amount of money for them, whether that meant a lot o’ monies or a little bit o’ monies.  This meant having a lot of flexibility.

First, we narrowed it down as far as colors go: navy.  That was easy.

Then we emailed out pictures of dresses we liked, and then various people emailed us back. Simple, right?

Well, yeah, except their emails said things like, “What about this dress in brown?” or “Hey, when are you going to be sending out your invitations?” or “I am thinking of wearing a pantsuit.”

Okay, the pantsuit would have been fine, but no, not that dress in brown.  All we picked was one color! Do everything else however you want!  After struggling with my frustration and guilt for a few minutes – we really weren’t asking much, right? Was it wrong of us to dictate a color? Should we be offering to buy our brigade’s dresses? – I realized that it was not that big a deal.  So I wrote back, said blue only, and rumor has it people have dresses.

Here are some dresses we considered, modeled by my lovely Moh:

Are you really making me stand here so you can take pictures for your blog?

Fine, Ill tolerate your crazy Seahorse antics.

effortlessly beautiful, with me looking, ahem, casual in the background

looooved this dress! loved it like a dinosaur. Hi sister! It looks like you're trying to be a dinosaur here! Safe to say this one's a no?

uh, if i hold my breath and arch my shoulders it stays on...

I’m pretty sure no one got any of these dresses, and I’m pretty sure at least two people have their dresses.  And I’m just not willing to be stressed out about it.

Steel City Bride said something interesting today about bridesmaids’ dresses:

I don’t necessarily think bridesmaid dresses need to be re-wearable. I think they should fall soundly within a reasonable budget (however “reasonable” is defined for the women in your party) and I think they shouldn’t be something that the bridesmaids would be embarrassed to wear again (a highly unflattering cut or material, for example), but other than that, I dunno. Wearing a dress that the bride chooses, even if it’s not necessarily something you’d choose yourself, is kind of a hallmark of the bridesmaid experience, I think, and it’s one that I didn’t feel compelled to revolutionize.

I think there’s a lot of freedom in that.  And if I was the bridesmaid, freedom for me: hand me an outfit, I will wear it and try to look good in it.  But for us, now?  It was wayyy less stress to let people do what they want.

Where are you on the spectrum?  Do you want your options, or your dress handed to you?  Do you even notice bridesmaids at weddings? Tell me about your favorite dress! Readygo!

5 Comments

Filed under Marriage/Wedding/Engagement

Adhesions and Alterations

I suppose now that I’ve declared myself “back”, I should act as though I’m back. I’ve decided that once you convince more than four people to read your blog, it’s sort of your responsibility to give them something to read.

oh, uh, hey there, readers. come here often?

Two things have made our wedding seem more *real* than others: our invitations and getting our dresses fitted.  And since we haven’t sent out our invitations yet (I’m sure the Knot would disapprove… as would my grandmother), I will tell you about our dress fittings.

We bought our dresses at David’s Bridal, and picked them up a few weeks later.  I’m not entirely clear on why they have you going back to the store so many times, but here is my understanding of how the process works.  Please tell me that you also think this is a bit ridiculous:

  1. Try on dresses. Pick one.  Pay for it, but don’t take anything home. (Your dress = somewhere mysterious… possibly at the actual store?)
  2. Get a phone call weeks later that your dress has arrived. Go pick it up. (Your dress = at home)
  3. Go in for alterations. Leave your dress and measurements. (Your dress = at store)
  4. Pick your dress up, take it home. (Your dress = at home)
  5. Bring your dress back for steaming. (Your dress = at store)
  6. Bring your dress home. (Your dress = at home)
  7. Wear your dress at your wedding.

I had no idea it was this complicated.  Why can’t they fit you when you pick up your dress, then hang onto it and steam it for you before you pick it up?  There’s probably a reason, but I declare it a silly reason.

Anyway, they called us last week to confirm our alterations appointment, and to be sure to bring the dresses, shoes we would be wearing, method of payment, and undergarments.

Uh, undergarments? I think I forgot to think about those with all the other stuff that’s been going on, like, you know, life.  I start to panic a little – my MO these days – and Turtle reassures me that it’s fine, she’ll go buy us some undergarments the day before our fitting while I’m at work.

You guys, this is so not what I think of when I think “bra”:

click for source, where you can buy your own non-bra!

First, that is totally not my body. Just in case you were wondering.  I’m pretty sure that body has no bust, and I have quite a bit of bust.  This contraption looked pretty silly on me.  Second, the way it works is that it adheres using your body heat. TOTALLY CREEPY.  And third, it works. Also totally creepy.  So you adhere these two cups to your bosoms, and then once they’re on there pretty well, you clip them together.  You can use the clasp to achieve a bit of a push-up effect. You can also use this contrapment to feel like someone is walking around groping you all day long. And not in the sexy-time way.

Anyway, we arrive, dresses (big, heavy dresses) in hand, and no one is there to help us.  We have no idea where to go.  Finally, someone shows up and says, “Are you here for alterations?”  When we affirm that we, the two women carrying giant bags of dresses with shoes in our other hand, are looking for alterations and do not know where it is, the clearly-offended salesperson helps us find it.

At this point I am really, really anxious.  I definitely did not shave before this appointment.  I am looking pretty dykey today, and I am here with my lady – the one I am marrying.  I have had a few not-so-great experiences with David’s Bridal, and I am bracing myself for another crappy experience, a la, “Those are your shoes? You are going to shave your legs before your wedding, right? Aren’t you going to grow out your hair?”  I admit that not all of these fears are entirely rational, but they are fears.

Never fear, dear readers: our alterations person was the sweetest person ever.  Turtle was nervous about what was happening and she kindly told us about her past thirty years of sewing experience.  She heard our concerns about length and bustle and comfort and she addressed them happily and calmly.  Mary Jo of David’s Bridal – you are wonderful.

Halfway through my alterations, another woman came in to have her bridesmaid dress altered.  Let’s just say that she was definitely straight, and there we were, a pair of lesbians in our wedding dresses, hanging out.  I’m always a little nervous in these situations – how will people respond? It’s not that I felt unsafe at David’s Bridal getting fitted with this stranger next to us, but it is not fun to bear the brunt of someone else’s biased disapproval.  Point being: I was nervous and a little bit antsy and couldn’t figure out if it was better to ignore her (awkward, since she was two feet from me) or make small talk (awkward, I’m nervous and don’t know her).

So at one point she says, “So, are you two friends? Are you getting married close to each other?”

And my lovely, calm, beautiful Turtle smiles and says, “Same day.  To each other.”

My world froze for a minute.  Would this woman storm out? Would our alterations lady from Brazil suddenly refuse to work with us?  Would we have to get new dresses, would we have to leave quickly, what was going to happen?

That woman smiled, and said, “Oh my goodness, THAT’S GREAT. Congratulations!”

And Mary Jo said, “Wow, congratulations, congratulations, good for you!  That is wonderful!”

And then we all stood around smiling.  And then went back to the alterations.

My dress, which is at the store, feels more like my dress.  And wow, I felt pretty in it.  I declined the fancy poofy slip, I declined the enormous breast cups, and insisted on making sure it was comfortable.  And I can’t wait to wear it.

For your entertainment, a few non-dress-giving-away pictures:

forcing your fiancee to wear pretty head things is fun!

see? she loves it!

The whole process feels a little silly to me, but I admit that the bigness of it, the little steps all becoming one big thing I check off the list, is making it feel closer, more real – in a good way.  Wearing the dress and looking at myself in the mirror made me feel amazing – not because the dress looked good (though it did), but honestly because I knew that the next time I wore this dress in front of a bunch of people they would be people I am really, really looking forward to seeing, people I love, people I can’t wait to be surrounded by.

I can’t wait to get married* in this dress, to this lady:

photo by Ellie Leonardsmith

*Ahem, after we send out invites, write our vows, etc. Really, I can wait, if only so I have a little more time to plan.  Don’t worry, Grandma, we’re still getting married! Invite coming soon, I promise!

2 Comments

Filed under Marriage/Wedding/Engagement