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pick up the pace

maura @ 6:18 pm

The weather, everyone’s talking about the weather. Jonathan keeps reading me these statistics from the interwebs, hundreds of days since the last time the temperatures went below freezing in Central Park, predictions that it’ll be in the high 60s on xmas eve, etc. etc. etc. It seems boring and repetitive to complain about the weather, but seriously, this weather is getting me down. I like seasons, and I really like winter. I’m more sensitive to cold temperatures than I used to be, though I’d still rather be cold than hot by a fairly wide margin. Snow is just plain magical.

Mostly what I’ve missed this extended fall that won’t turn into winter are opportunities to wear my winter clothes. I don’t have all that many clothes and it gets boring to wear the same thing when there are lots of things that I want to wear but can’t because it’s not cold enough for them. Also the apartment tends to be hot, and work tends to be hot too, most especially when it’s in the 40-60 degree range outside. Which it has been since October.

I miss:

– my magenta + other colors striped sweater, which is a pullover so I feel like I really need to commit to it when I wear it, unlike, say, cardigans which can accommodate temperatures that vary throughout the day.

– my gray wool pants, a great find at a thrift store years ago when the narrow cut was sort of out of style, but since I’ve kept them around they look okay now, *almost* modern, and are a nice pants option for work in the winter.

– various turtleneck sweaters for work, a bright blue one as well as a new to me purple one that used to belong to my mother in law which I’ve not yet had the chance to wear.

– I have worn my oatmeal heather wool skirt, another thrifty find from years ago, to work this semester because I love it, but I had to turn on the fan in my office that day so I haven’t worn it since.

– all of the amazing wool socks that folks have hand-knitted for me: 3 stripey pairs from my mom, 1 charcoal from my pal Abby, and 1 multicolored from my father in law’s artist’s coop shop.

– my ugly green + brown striped writing sweater with the weird cowl neck, which I got for free at a swap-o-rama maybe 6 years ago in the park right next to where the kid would end up going to middle school (though I didn’t know that at the time).

Okay, I’m wearing the ugly writing sweater right now, because it’s actually been wintery this weekend and I am, in fact, writing. The weird cowl neck means that I can pull it halfway up my face or even kind of create a hood for when I’m really chilly or just need to take a break. It’s reversible (because I say so) and stretchy and cozy, and makes me feel like writing. I think I’ll need to get another item of clothing to infuse with magical writing powers because global warming. Also because my research partner and I need to deliver the manuscript of our book (!!!) on September 15, 2016, which means lots of spring + summer writing next year.

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cause nobody can do it like mix master can

maura @ 8:02 pm

Today I went to Manhattan to do a presentation (which went just fine, despite my nerves, phew). I wore my new (to me!) pea soup-colored wool skirt, which is now one of my favorite items of clothing. Winter has suddenly descended upon us here, though, which led this morning’s revelation. To plagiarize my facebook status update from earlier today: I finally understand the purpose of legwarmers! I think the next time I’m at the goodwill I’ll hunt for an old sweater so that I can cut the arms off to refashion into my very own pair. Get Jennifer Beals on the horn, I’m a maniac!

(I know that many ensure calf warmth in the winter by wearing boots. And those boots look lovely on those ladies! But I’m not really a boots kind of gal, short + stumpy as I am.)

To get to my destination I had to stroll down 34th St., past many of the fine clothing -n- shoe establishments of NYC (or any old mall): your Gap, your H&M, your Anne Taylor Loft, your Banana Republic. And as I’m walking by these stores, calves shivering, I can’t help but notice that they’ve all got the fancy duds showcased in their display windows. That’s logical, with the holidays approaching at breakneck* speed and all.

* First I wrote “whipneck,” apparently wanting to conflate the cause + the effect.

But as I’m looking in the windows it starts to dawn on me that all of the male mannequins are appropriately attired for the season in fancy (long-sleeved) shirts, toasty (suit) jackets and warm (wool) pants. And what are the lady mannequins wearing? Sleeveless silk dresses, sequined gowns w/spaghetti straps, etc. Stupid fashion! No wonder it’s so hard for women to simultaneously look a bit fancy AND not freeze to death in the winter. Bah.

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keep on pushing

maura @ 5:36 pm

It’s Friday night, and I’m still at work, because I have to teach a class @ 6. Last night I was here teaching a class until 8:30, and I am tired. And also feeling a bit blag spent, since I maxed out my fashion-blagging last night.

So! I will leave you with the fashiony things that I want for xmas:

A new robe from LL Bean, because my old robe is older than Gus. And this robe is a) green and b) covered in lobsters! What could be more fun?

Some slightly fancy shoes to wear to work in the winter with skirts. I tried to get a pair from ebay for $30 earlier this week but was denied, so I might have to wait for santa to score me some new ones.

Tights in many colors! You can never have too many tights, esp. if you’re wearing skirts to work in the winter (see above).

Big ol’ rain boots, again from Bean, because when my tendonitis is finally healed I want to get back to walking to work, and if it’s rainy I’ll need boots!

That’s all for tonight! Tune in tomorrow, when I complain about composting (seriously!).

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fashion crisis hits new york, part deux

maura @ 7:43 pm

(because French is the fancy language of fashion!)

To continue: last night I was saying that lately I seem to be completely unable to dress myself. Not in the mechanical sense, though I would love a machine that comes out of the floor to dress me in the morning (like Robert Downey Jr. had in Iron Man). No, in the looking-put-together way.

(I should mention that the title is a song by Irish pop band the Frank and Walters, and that it pops right into my head on mornings when I’m standing in front of the open closet and having a particularly rough time of it.)

Problem #1 is, as ever, my unreasonably high expectations. I want to wear clothes for work that fit me well and that are fashionable in a classic yet interesting way. I like colors (and plaid and stripes!), but I like black/gray/brown, too. I guess the look I’m going for is quirky yet professional. And a bit dressy, because that’s the way we roll @ MPOW. I also want to be able to get most of my clothes secondhand, for ethical + thrifty reasons.

So. Usually I shop at my local Goodwill, which has a surprisingly great selection of clothes. I always say that it’s like the rich people from the adjacent neighborhood just dump all of their slightly used stuff at this store, because I often score clothes from Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, etc. I’ve been able to find a lot of great pieces at the Goodwill, and supplement them with a few things from real stores (mostly H&M and Old Navy). And if for some reason the item of clothing just doesn’t work out, it’s only $5 max down the drain.

The problem comes down to matching. Lots of my clothes match easily, but I can’t seem to find appropriate things to wear with many others. Which is frustrating, because I don’t have time to shop often, so the unmatchable items end up sitting in my closet for ages, despite the fact that I love them. While shopping I’ve tried to think about what I already own that matches things I’m considering buying, but that hasn’t worked. And I’ve seriously considered taking pictures of every piece of clothing to bring with me on my phone to the store. Which is just crushingly nerdy, and probably wouldn’t work anyway. Sigh.

The solution is clearly uniforms. Librarians for uniforms — who’s with me?

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fashion crisis hits new york

maura @ 10:53 pm

For our anniversary Jonathan surprised me with the new backpack I’d been coveting. And, while it looked PERfect in the catalog, IRL it was not exactly right. There are too many straps (sternum *and* waist) and there’s a built-in laptop liner + very seriously padded back + straps that add lots of weight to the pack even before it’s full. It made me very sad, because I love love love the jaunty, comma-shaped outer pocket, but we had to return it.

Rather than send it through the mail, we all took a field trip to Soho last weekend to return it in person. Which also provided us with an excuse to go to Shake Shack. Even though the two locations are nearly 30 blocks apart. The burgers were calling to us!

Is there an economic downturn? Because if so, someone forgot to tell Soho. The streets were PACKED, and people were buying buying buying. While I lean mostly anticonsumerist these days, it’s hard to resist the pull of new + pretty things when you are surrounded by them. Venders all over Prince St. were selling cool blue graffiti- and street-art-inspired paintings (that I’ve been thinking about all week) and neato tshirts silkscreened with the silhouette of a leafless tree. Our post office from when we first moved here has been taken over by an Apple Store! And did you know that there’s a Camper store here, too? Swoon.

Okay, this was really meant to be a post about how I am a complete idiot at dressing myself for work lately (the above was just the intro — yes, I am verbose!). But then my dad called and now it’s late and I want to watch last night’s House. So let’s pick this up again tomorrow!

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