Friday, February 12, 2016

Winter White, Winter Bright

Today I'm wearing winter white with winter bright(s):

Specifically, I paired a winter white sweater with a winter bright skirt, scarf and tights:

Sweater: Gap (similar)  Scarf: Nordstrom Rack
Skirt: upcycled Guatemalan dress  Tights: DKNY (similar)  Boots: Born "Sosie" (similar)

Because they pair well and they rhyme.  Win-win.

Happy Friday, All!


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Literary Stylings #24: The Library at Mount Char

Let me just start by saying that this is a fantastic book:

The Library at Mount Char, by Scott Hawkins

That being said, I don't think this is a book for everyone, in part because it was very different.  It wasn't like anything I had ever read before and I'm not even sure what genre it's supposed to be in.  One reviewer calls it "modern day hidden world fantasy" and that's a pretty good explanation.  Frankly, you can call it whatever you want, I just call it fantastic.

It takes place in an inter-dimensional (sort of) library (sort of) accessed through a house in a Virginia suburb.  There are twelve "librarians" in this library.  They were all selected by a man they call "Father" to study different disciplines at the library.  The main character, Carolyn, studies languages; all of the languages, living, dead, human and otherwise.  Other librarians specialize in war, medicine, travelling the lands of the dead and the animal kingdoms, among other disciplines.

When the story opens, Father is missing and the librarians are trying to figure out where he is and if he's even still alive.  In trying to do this, they have to venture out of the library into America for the first time since they entered the library as children.  Because they aren't familiar with America and it's social mores, they end up dressing rather peculiarly.  David, for example, the librarian of war, runs around covered in blood and naked except for a purple tutu.  And Michael, the librarian of animals, just runs around naked.

Carolyn, having spent more time in America than the others has a better concept of how to dress herself.  But, because they were all chosen as children, she doesn't necessarily have a better concept of how to dress herself as an adult.  Therefore her chosen outfit is a Christmas sweater and gold bike shorts.  Obviously Carolyn is my inspiration for today's Literary Styling what with the other options being nudity and tutus.

Now, I don't have gold bike shorts (I know, I too am surprised) or a Christmas sweater, but I do have a snow sweater:

And I figure camel and gold are in the same color family so I paired it with my camel skirt:

Snow Sweater: vintage Ralph Lauren (similar here, here, and here)
Skirt: sold out LOFT (similar here, similar longer version)  Tights: Target  Boots: Born "Sosie" (similar)

I added the white tights because white tights always feel a bit young to me.  And since Carolyn was a young child when she was taken to study at the library, I figured white tights fit the theme.  I mean, I know my 9-year old self would love this outfit.

But, enough about me and The Library at Mount Char.  What about you, Reader Friends?  What did you read last month?  Did it inspire you sartorially?  If so, please link up below!

Happy Tuesday, All!


Friday, February 5, 2016

So Cowl Me Maybe

Cowls are great.  And double cowls are doubly great.

See?  Doubly great cowl-ness.

Of course, as much as I love the sweater, it's really the scarf that makes this look.  It's just so darned cool:

Skipjack Cowl from Victory Garden Yarn

I layered the two cowl pieces over a black midi dress and added some fringed boots:

Scarf: Victory Garden Yarn  Sweater: v. old thrifted (similar)
Dress: Gap (similar)  Boots: Ralph Lauren Denim & Supply (similar)  Earrings: vintage (similar)

All in all, I think all of the pieces made for a look that was both interesting and comfortable.  And, for my money, those are the best kinds of looks.

Happy Friday, All!


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

What I Read: January 2016

Do you remember when I  said I read a lot of books in December?  Well, as it turns out, I also read a lot of books in January.

I think it's because I still don't really know anyone here in Pennsylvania, so my weekends are spent reading instead of going to see 80s tribute bands or thrifting with Alex or day drinking with Jodi or watching my sweet, giant nephews play basketball.  As much as I enjoy reading, I definitely miss my weekends with friends and family.

But, they're not here and books are, so without further ado, here's what I read in January.

America Pacifica, by Anna North

I hate to categorize someone's time and effort as hot garbage, but, man this book is pretty much deserving of that categorization.  I read it on a whim because it should have been right up my alley.  It's dystopian literature with what seemed like an interesting twist: the world ends due to a new Ice Age.  The freezing of the mainland forces people to flee to tropical islands where they immediately overburden the native ecosystem with too many people and industries better suited to the old world instead of the new world.

Oh, dear, I'm afraid I'm making this book sound interesting.  It's not.  It's terrible.  The author is not a very good writer at all and I can't help but think that this book was only published because of the popularity of The Hunger Games and other YA dys-lit.  But, unlike Katniss, Darcy is hateful and whiny and you spend most of the book hating her even when bad things happen to her.  Seriously, don't read this book.

The Heart Goes Last, by Margaret Atwood

If Margaret Atwood writes a new novel, I will read it.  And, in this case, as always, I am so happy I did.  Oh, make no mistake, this is a weird one.  And things are often hinted at rather than fully explained, but done in that Atwood-way that makes you think instead of just frustrating you.

The novel does take place in the future, like many of her novels do, but it's interesting because at first it seems like a less severe future than, say, The Handmaid's Tale or Oryx and Crake.  (Two of my all-time favorites, btw).  But, don't be fooled by the Utopian community in this dystopian future.  Nothing is what it seems, even  with the main characters from whose point of view the tale is told.  Especially Charmaine.  You're gonna wanna keep your eye on Charmaine.

Revival, by Stephen King

As I said in my Goodreads review, I used to read a lot of Stephen King.  I mean, a lot.  And then, after The Dark Tower series finished, I stopped because the way that series finished was so perfect, but so frustrating, but so very right, that I couldn't stand it.

But, I found a copy of Revival in my local Goodwill and figured I'd give King another shot.  And he's still probably the best at pacing that I've ever read.  And he's still smart and terrifying and I might need to read more Stephen King in the very near future.

Shanghai Girls, by Lisa See

I liked this book well enough, but I didn't love it because it also frustrated me.  It's about Pearl and May Chin, thoroughly modern Shanghainese women who have their lives absolutely turned upside down.  I thought the author did a great job with the historical stuff, especially in how the Chinese Exclusion Act impacted Chinese immigrating to the United States.  That part was fascinating.

The two sisters themselves though, were less fascinating and more frustrating.  I basically didn't like either one of them, thought they acted foolish more often than not and couldn't get invested in their relationship at all.  So, to recap, good historical stuff, bad relational stuff.

The House at Midnight, by Lucie Whitehouse

This book, while better than the hot mess that is America Pacifica, is also pretty bad.  The story is supposed to be a modern Gothic story, I think.  I mean, I'm pretty sure that the premise is that the house that one of the characters inherited is supposed to have a malevolent nature and drive its inhabitants to violence and horniness, but it just doesn't read that way.  Basically, one character is an asshole and has too much influence on another character and stuff goes awry and I can't see how the house has any impact whatsoever.
Really, the only thing that saves this book is that Whitehouse is a pretty good writer.  But, she wrote a pretty terrible book.

The Library at Mount Char, by Scott Hawkins

I'm not sure how I even heard about this book, but I basically loved it.  I mean really loved it; I think it might even be one of my favorite books ever.  I'm not saying it's the best book ever, but damn it if I didn't love it.  It's a bit hard to get into because the author forgoes any world building to just throw the reader in.  And that's confusing.  It is.  But it's so worth sticking with.

Seriously, this book is weird and wonderful and funny and sad and wonderful again.  It's also the inspiration for my LitSty look for this month, so I'll share more about it next week.

Speaking of LitSty, the link party will be live on Tuesday, February 9th and I hope to see you there!

Happy Wednesday, All!


Monday, February 1, 2016

Back in eShakti Again

I have a couple of eShakti dresses in my closet that I absolutely adore, so when they offered me the opportunity to select and review an item, I was thrilled.  If you've seen the eShakti site, you know that they offer a huge selection, but I eventually decided on this drop-waist, tile print dress:

And it's perfect.  I am sometimes a bit iffy on drop-waist dresses, but this one comes with a self-belt so that the silhouette better fits my style:

The knit fabric also fits my style as dropped pleats in a stiffer fabric don't always play well with my hips.

Happily, eShakti is all about making their clothes fit your personal style.  They always customize by height, and I also changed the neckline from a high crew to high scoop and extended the sleeves from short sleeve to bracelet length:

The height customization is offered for free and any changes to neckline or sleeve type are done for a flat rate of $7.50.  You can also customize the garment using your exact measurements, also for the flat rate.  And if you want to change the height of the hemline, from mini to midi, for example, that can be done for free.

Personally, I think the length of this dress is perfect and all I did was enter my height:

Dress: c/o eShakti  Cardigan: thrifted (similar)
Tights: Spanx  Boots: Franco Sarto "Eminent"

So, if you're in the market for a new dress, I strongly recommend eShakti.  They're always having sales and, they've provided a coupon code for 10% off for my readers.  Just enter the code "fashionforgiants" in the promotional code box when you check out.  The code is good through February 29th.

Happy Monday, All!