Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Fashion Fortress Two: Part Four (Conclusion)

Team Fortress Pooh from Fanboys
[click to enlarge]

Part OnePart TwoPart Three

Okay, I dig. Dressing up in homage to your favorite video game is not for everyone. "Fashion? In my video games?" It's more likely than you think. But if my outfits seem too close to cosplay for you, don't go reaching for the cheesy official merchandise quite yet. (Don't kill me Valve, I almost bought the Soldier shirt!)

The above unofficial merchandise has a certain level of class to it. For one, it doesn't say "Team Fortress Two" all over it, a label which sadly may cause poor uninformed souls to automatically think something along the lines of "that's a video game, isn't it? This person must be a failure who lives in his/her parents' basement and can't get a proper job". On the other hand, the unofficial designs are about aspects of the game that only the experienced would understand--that is, people who will appreciate your geekiness. And perhaps a curious civilian may ask a question about said shirt, thus starting a conversation. Bonus!

My favorite item above is this Demoman shirt available from J!NX:

Super awesome according to my gamer soul, but also super easy to work into a stylish wardrobe. Just my cup of tea...or bottle of scrumpy!


Daily Outfit + Links Catchup: 26 December 2008

That's right, no Christmas day outfit...that's because I stayed in my pajamas all day! On the day after, I wore this to my aunt and uncle's friend's house for a dinner party. Another one of the guests was the great-aunt of someone I went to high school with (on the other side of the country). Neat!

  • Dress: Marshalls
  • Shirt: H&M
  • Leggings: Thrifted
  • Boots: Thrifted
  • Scarf: Just a reused piece of gold lamé
  • Watch: Casio
  • Regular glasses
Earlier in the day, another friend showed up at my aunt and uncle's house with a late Christmas gift for me: cashmere wristwarmers. This is a woman I've known for less than a week, but I can say that she is the most interesting, kindhearted, accepting, and zany person I have ever met.



Fashion Fortress Two: Part Three

Tactical TF2 Spy by Boltstriker

Part OnePart Two
Too much caffeine? ADD? Whatever the reason, this Boston native is always in motion--running, hitting heads with his baseball bat, and of course trash talking.

This friendly, curious, and well-educated Texan designs, builds, and maintains a variety of helpful buildings...well, helpful for his team, anyway. You don't want to be caught on the wrong side of his heavy caliber tripod-mounted sentry gun.


This international man of mystery can disguise himself as a team member and become invisible to sneak past your defense. After his business is done, your buildings are destroyed, your teammates are dead...but he'll kill you quickly if you promise not to bleed on his suit.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Daily Outfit Catchup: 24 December 2008

  • Tank: Marshalls
  • Long-sleeved shirt: Express
  • Jeans: Hot Kiss
  • Boots: Thrifted
  • Gloves: Army/Navy store
  • Hat: Army/Navy Store
  • Necklace: Vintage
  • Watch: Casio
  • Regular glasses
Bonus picture:


I make really random faces while taking outfit pictures...


Daily Outfit + Links Catchup: 23 December 2008

  • Sweatshirt: Thrifted
  • Shirt/dress: French Connection
  • Jeans: Hot Kiss
  • Socks: Hanes
  • Sneakers: Saucony
  • Necklace: NY State Fair
  • Regular Glasses

Daily Outfit Catchup: 21 December 2008


This was my airplane outfit. It's one of my favorites, and SO comfy--two qualities which help when you're stuck in holiday travel hell!
  • Hoodie: Marshalls
  • Leggings: Express
  • Socks: Marshalls
  • Boots: Thrifted
  • Watch: Casio
  • Regular glasses

Daily Outfit Catchup: 16 December 2008


I knew I'd be stuck inside packing all day, so I decided to dress insanely to prevent boredom (I can't be the only one who does this). I admit, the colors were loosely inspired by the Warden from Superjail (seriously, I have been watching this like a maniac). The purples match better in person, but whatever. That's not the point!
  • Hoodie: Marshalls
  • Tank: Old Navy
  • Skirt: Express
  • Necklace: Hand-me-down
  • Shoes: Converse
  • Socks: borrowed from Mom
  • Gloves: The Icing
  • Regular glasses
Eye-searing color closeup (with bonus ridiculous posing):


More on the way!


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Things I Love Thursday: 25 December 2008

Photo by Akfirebug

Hello darlings! I apologize for my unannounced absence--I thought I'd be more able to keep up with blogging over the course of my travels. Hope your holidays are going swimmingly. And never fear, I have several days of daily oufits I will be posting soon.
  • Christmas! Trees, lights, cooking, caroling, decorating...the list goes on.
  • Listening to classical music. I'm with my family, and they truly appreciate it so I play it more than I am inclined to around other company.
  • Superjail! This is the trippiest (and also one of the most violent) animated shows you will see. But it is hilarious! I recommend it to those with a healthy, slightly sick sense of humor.
  • Airport food. You probably think I am insane right now...but in many of the bigger international airports, there is a fabulous selection of eateries. Stuffing my face was one of the saving graces of spending 15-ish hours on various stopovers.
  • This song.
  • Online communities. Sometimes they really are like a second family.
  • Making music. Every time my West Coast family gets together we form our famous (okay, not really) family band. Loads of fun!
  • Being in a new town. Ashland, Oregon, is a hotbed of arts. Once my extended family leaves, I am just looking forward to exploring. Much of is in walking distance (and it's not as cold here as in Connecticut or Ohio!)
  • Chocolate.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Fashion Fortress Two: Part Two

:awesome: TF2 classes by PropMedic/Wossname

Part One of this article can be found here.

A sadistic German doctor with a “trembling enthusiasm for plunging needles into exposed flesh”. He's the primary healing class in Team Fortress 2, but still admits “ze healing is not as rewarding as ze hurting”.


You WILL help Soldier defend his point and capture his intelligence, or you are not welcome in his world. Famous (in his own mind) for his rocket jumping abilities and mastery of The Art of War.


This Aussie is polite and efficient, but surely has a plan to kill you (which is probably by way of a headshot). Solitary, steady-handed, but not a crazed gunman. (He’s a professional assassin. There’s a difference.)

Monday, December 15, 2008

15 December 2008: Daily Outfit + Links

Today I went and saw my hometown's community orchestra play. I love seeing amateur musicians having such a great time (rather than conservatory students who stress about everything...not that I disapprove, I totally understand that too, since I've been there). And GOD, I am such a geek for Sleigh Ride (it's totally all about the trumpet whinny at the end). ANYWAY. It was at the local retirement community, which made it a good opportunity with to chat with older people and show them that some young people do have manners. ;) Plus, there was a really cute violinist...

...Enough of my babbling! Here's what I wore.

  • Sweatshirt from Marshalls
  • Tank top: Old Navy
  • Pants from Marshalls (I still love gauchos; I don't care if anyone says they're over...)
  • Boots: Report
  • Scarf was a gift
  • Bullet necklace: Vintage
  • Dog tag necklace: NY State Fair
  • My regular glasses
Bonus smoochyface!

  • If you have an appreciation for Mario games and Christmas music, you absolutely NEED to download this song. (Click on the "download" tab.)
  • While searching for bags to use in Polyvore sets, I found this one on CafePress. I chortled. People make the most random things.
  • Don't lose your sense of childhood wonder.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Fashion Fortress Two: The Article Where I Live Up to the “Geek” Part of my Name: Part One

Team Fortress Two is a wildly popular online multiplayer first-person shooter and personally my favorite video game. The class-based gameplay is incredibly thought-out and balanced—trust me, I could go on about it forever—but this is first and foremost a fashion blog, so I’m going to concentrate on the aesthetic aspects of the game.

Heavens knows fashion inspiration can come from the most unlikely places, and TF2’s retro art and character direction is hard to ignore for any geek with a sense for style. Sure, we could express our fandom through overpriced licensed merchandise, but it’s much more fun to do it without the aid of a logo on a t-shirt. The fictional worlds in video games give us ample opportunity to profess our undying geekdom through allusions only the similarly amorous will understand.

That being said...it’s time to Meet the Team.

Hailing from the USSR, Heavy is big and has a tendency to punch people’s blood out. Don’t get between him and his Sandvich and don’t touch his gun.

Everyone’s favorite black Scottish cyclops also happens to be armed to the teeth with explosives. And alcohol. Oh no, can’t forget the alcohol.

Not much is known about Pyro…except that he (if he even is a he) likes to burn things.


Part Two

Nota bene: Those who are interested in learning more about TF2 can read about it at the TF2 Wiki. I highly recommend everyone (interested or not) watch the Meet the Team videos; they are a comedic goldmine!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Daily Outfit + Links: 13 December 2008

Once again, my plans decided to change. I was on my way to a roller derby, but the driving instructions Google Maps gave me were completely wrong. :( Since I got there late, there was no parking and the place was packed. Instead, I went and saw the remake of The War of the Worlds. Definitely not as good as the original--cheesy '50s sci-fi is the best! It did give me the chance to pose in front of a Watchmen (!) poster...

  • Hoodie from Marshalls
  • Pants: Hand-me-down
  • Boots: Timberland
  • Coat: Hand-me-down
  • Scarf: Hand-me-down
  • Neckace: Vintage
  • Regular glasses

Friday, December 12, 2008

Daily Outfit + Links: 12 December 2008

Today I went out for Chinese food and meant to go shopping...but I forgot all the lists and coupons that I needed. Hurr durr. Oh well, some other time. (But not tomorrow...I'm probably going to a roller derby!)

Looking a little bored, Private.
  • Sweatshirt from Marshalls--I've been wearing this quite often.
  • Top from Walmart--you can't see it, but I customized it with the FOXHOUND logo. Yeah Metal Gear!
  • Jeans: Hot Kiss
  • Boots: thrifted
  • Hat from the army-navy store
  • Scarf borrowed (stolen?) from parents
  • Socks from who knows where
  • Regular glasses
Detail shot of the stuff around my neck:

  • Bullet necklace: vintage (probably my favorite piece of jewelry.)
  • Dog tag necklace from the New York State Fair when I was 5
  • An awesome fan-made Mega Man movie trailer.
  • This jewelry line pairs bullet casings with gemstones. The results are stunning, but out of my price range.
  • Fun date idea from a beautiful webcomic.
  • Twilight, in a nutshell.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Things I Love Thursday: 11 December 2008

Things I Love Thursday

  • Planning trips. Next week, I'm going to visit my college friends and then fly to Oregon to stay with my aunt and uncle for a few months. Figuring out all the details (and what to pack) is a little overwhelming, but it's going to be so worth it! My aunt keeps e-mailing me about exciting details, like the fabulous friends I'll be meeting and the play for which she bought tickets.
  • My friends. They are so eager to help me out with finding a place to stay, even though they're in the midst of finals.
  • NOT having finals! Taking a break from school has its perks...
  • Haiku wars. My friend Robin and I talked for about an hour in haiku, including teasing and ridiculous insults. She's my favorite!
  • The Olive Branch shower gel from Lush. I seriously can't get over it...too bad the scent doesn't linger for very long. I'll just have to get the matching fragrance.
  • Sketching. Recently I've been getting back into it. What I'll do is draw a random face, then invent a personality to go along with it. Will I do anything else with my characters? I don't know!
  • Team Fortress 2. Forever and ever! It belongs on here each week. It's my favorite video game (and fandom and ADDICTION).
  • This song.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Daily Outfit, Purchases, + Links: 9 December 2008 and 10 December 2008

  • Biker-styled cropped sweatshirt from Marshalls
  • Hanes wifebeater
  • Velvet gauchos (gathered and tucked at leg) from Marshalls
  • Socks from Marshalls
  • Thrifted boots
  • Dogtag necklace I got at the New York State Fair when I was 5
  • Casio watch
  • My regular glasses
Here's a (not-really-detailed) detail shot of those pants:


Gauchos converted into a harem/Hammer pants-like creation. Do you like my recessionista ingenuity? *rolls eyes* I think that term is already overused! Oh well. For those of you wondering how to do it:
  1. Take a hair elastic and tightly gather the excess pant leg behind your knee.
  2. Tuck the gathered section underneath the rest of the pant leg.
  3. Repeat on the other leg.
In other news, my article on thrifting got me in the mood, so yesterday I went for a quick shop. Not much luck though; I forgot to bring my offering to the thrift gods (donation)! I did score a couple of things, though:


I've wanted this Threadless shirt for a while, but not enough to actually get it. Yay for thrift store prices!


Eureka! Stirrup leggings that don't give me cankles.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Style Soldiers and Fashion Fighters; or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Military Chic

It’s no secret that I love military inspired fashions. Despite basically being a pacifist, there’s something about the armed forces that fascinates and excites me. Perhaps it’s the strange (erroneous) sort of glamour that’s been attached to it by Hollywood and video games; perhaps it’s because my dad harbors the same affections; maybe it’s because I crave the rigid discipline that I briefly experienced in my high school marching band days. (I told you I was a geek, and I meant it. Oh, the joys of being the drum major of an award-winning band…) But I digress. Whatever the reason, I am obsessed. I seriously can’t remember the last time I left the house without either wearing my dogtag necklace or a pair of stompy boots.

Yes, military chic is often covered as a trend in mainstream fashion media. As with most looks, articles advise not to go overboard lest you look like an actual soldier. Oh noes! Not. Wear what you want to. Own it, homefry. Hey, no one’s gonna beat you up if you look like you’d win the fight.

Exhibit A: Military Style to the Max: Style Soldiers and Fashion Fighters

Exhibit B: Toned Down: But I Want To Look Normal!

"Normal" is overrated! Okay, fine. There are many ways to inject just a tad of military style into your look. Here are some suggestions:
  • One word: boots.
  • Base outfits around a palette of neutrals--greys, army greens, tans, blacks and browns.
  • Look for military/combat inspired motifs, like fighter jets, guns, grenades, and bullets.
  • Wear items with rugged details including buckles, utility pockets, and epaulets.
  • Look for details inspired by military insignia--e.g. crests, brass buttons, and chevrons.
  • For authentic pieces, shop at army surplus stores! It's the real stuff so you know it's made to last.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Links: 8 December 2008

I covet these pants!

No outfit photo today since I didn't actually get out of the house. I was super-productive yesterday so I don't really mind. Having a relaxing Monday for once is wonderful! I did, however, receive a package of goodies I ordered from Lush and take a shower with a few of them. My new favorite is The Olive Branch shower gel--it smells kind of masculine and very sexy. (I love smelling like a man, is that weird?)


Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Stylish Geek’s Guide to Thrift Shopping

As far as I am concerned, buying from thrift and charity shops is the ultimate form of shopping therapy. You can potentially find anything—current styles, vintage items, designer threads, or even custom-made clothing—at extremely low prices.

Even so, I understand the misgivings and difficulties that some have with the task. The first time I went into a thrift store, I definitely didn’t want to be there! (All I could think about was how it smelled like old ladies.) But now that I’ve seen the light, I do know a few tips for making trips less tricky.

  • Prepare.
As with any shopping trip, it is a must that you go on a full stomach. Hungry shopfests never go well—you will probably run out of energy before you find something good or end up buying a ton of clothing you will never wear. I also recommend taking a small snack to the store with you. Even if eating is not allowed, nip a few bites in the fitting room. Don’t leave crumbs and I won’t tell! Trust me, when you’re three-quarters of the way through the clothes, empty-handed, and fading fast, you’ll want it.

The allergy-prone should take their usual preventative measures before shopping. Thrift stores are filled with hundreds of people’s old stuff, which also means hundreds of allergens! You don’t know what pet they had, what perfume they wore, or what laundry detergent they used, and that’s going to be ALL OVER the store. Sneezes and sinus pain are a definite trip-ruiner. If you have very sensitive skin (or are a germophobe), you may even want to wear gloves.

  • Bring a donation.
One should always bring an “offering to the thrift gods” with them to the shop, or else they will surely be cursed with poor luck! Insider’s secret. (Wink!) But superstition aside, it is a kind gesture. Charity shops can’t operate without charitable donations.

  • Know what you want.
Although some are better than others, thrift stores are notorious for being poorly organized. Reviewing a list of your “dream items” (whether it be on paper or in your mind) before heading through the door will keep them fresh in your mind and easier to spot on a jumbled rack.

  • But keep your mind open!
Thrift stores are a great place to try out clothes that you’d categorize as style risks. If anything on the rack catches your eye or looks vaguely interesting, pick it up and try it on. While I don’t advocate making haphazard purchases, better to put a two-dollar investment on that crazy piece in a thrift store than splurge on a passing trend at the mall. If it doesn’t work out, you can recycle the fabric and try your hand at a DIY project.

  • Check every section.
Definitely check the opposite gender’s clothing area as well as the children’s. (I swear I had a prophetic dream once the night before a thrift store run. It told me to look in the little boys’ section first, and I found one of my favorite shirts there!) A lot of times it is difficult to tell where an item belongs, so the perfect leggings may have been categorized as girls’ pants. Misplaced items happen all the time, too. For example, a lot of stores put all t-shirts that aren’t obviously fitted in the men’s section, regardless of color or print. Don’t miss out!

Never trust the size on the label, either. These clothes are of innumerable brands and makes, and every sizing chart is different. So different that in this setting, the size is almost irrelevant. Just eyeball it (duh,if it’s baby-sized but says it’ll fit, don’t trust!) and throw anything that looks vaguely promising in your basket to try on.

  • Clean up afterward.
After making your purchases, clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer as soon as possible. If, by any small chance, something icky did get on your hands from an item, this makes sure nothing unpleasant will become of it. This is especially important if you have allergies.
Obviously, you should launder the clothes you bought before you wear them. Synthetic sneakers can be thrown in the washing machine as well. The inside of other shoes can be cleaned by wiping them down with an all-purpose cleaner like Lysol.

A note to those especially concerned about cleanliness:

Yes, some thrift stores are dirty. Many are not. If you find one particularly skuzzy, just don’t shop there! There are plenty more that are excellently maintained. Although most don’t, some stores even launder all the donations they receive.

I know it can be difficult to sort, try on, and purchase clothing of unknown origin, but remember that the majority of items at a thrift store come from average people’s closets. Much of it has little to no wear, but worn-in stuff does have its perks—it’s trendy and comfortable! If you are still skeeved out (no judging; I have a lot of germophobe friends), you can wear gloves or even try on clothes over a unitard. But unless the idea of trying on other people’s old clothes causes you to have a panic attack, I would still recommend giving thrifting a try.

And the washing issue—I know people who say you should dry clean everything you purchase at a thrift store. Personally, I disagree with this. If an item isn’t dry clean only and doesn’t have any noticeable stains, a simple machine wash with detergent should suffice. The chance that any “icky stuff” would remain afterwards is miniscule, and quite honestly about the same as if you had purchased a new item!

Final thoughts

Thrift shopping is often a hit-or-miss experience. Although there is an influx of clothes at the beginning and end of seasons (when people clean their closets), there is no guarantee that you’ll find anything to your liking. It’s happened to me many times, but I’ve also had times when I’ve come back with multiple bags of great loot. Prepare, but don’t expect to find your dream item right away. It’s the thrill of the hunt that makes it worth it!


Daily Outfit + Links: 7 December 2008


I wore this to go to church with my parents.
  • Dress from Marshalls [it has hideous pink-jeweled gold swans on it that I adore!]
  • Top (underneath) from H&M
  • Thrifted leggings
  • Thrifted boots [leather and so comfy]
  • Necklace (not visible) received as a gift
  • Casio watch
  • My regular glasses
  • "Livemocha blends self-paced lessons, a vibrant community, and interactive tools to help you talk to the world." I'm going to use it to brush up on my German skills before I go back to school.
  • Safe sex and Star Wars: these are a few of my favorite things! This guy seems to appreciate them too.
  • Steampunk DIY: A slightly disturbing, comical video.
♥ Anna