Monday, January 18, 2010


Perfume is a problem. It smells, and a lot of it gives me a headache (ages ago a rather nice sales-woman at a counter somewhere suggested I might have an allergy to 'white amber', whatever that is, and I don't know how true that could be). Despite this, I am fascinated by it. I love hemming and hawing over the little bottles. I'm fascinated by solid perfume, and the more cute, whimsical, or twee and charming the container the more smitten with something I am (although if it doesn't smell good there is no saving a delectable bottle).

I tried Vera Wang's Princess for a while, but I think it's just a tad too sweet for me. My mother wears Chanel No. 22, which is not easy to find (especially since we do not have a Nordstrom here, which I heard carried it) although she has been making do with all kinds of versions of it ordered via ebay. I once had a strange green vial of perfume that was supposed to smell like tea (it did not, but it smelled good anyway) but once it was used up that was it.

These days I'm yet another wear-er of Coco Mademoiselle. I'm not sick of it, it doesn't give me a headache, and sometimes when people smell me I get compliments. It's not too sweet, which I like, and it has the kind of iconic what-have-you lurking behind it that makes me feel like a grown up. Like when you finally figure out what your haircut is (I have yet to do this).

This has become slightly tangential. The point is I have grabbed another perfume that I can't stop loving all day. I picked it up because I liked the product's packaging (I don't care. I do judge books by their cover, I like packaging and prints and lettering and all of that) and the little moisturizers, tiny bottles and pastels. Plus, testers! Testers are really gross because everyone touches them, and I am sure they fomites of the highest degree but I love smelling and smoothing. 

Alright, the bees were not the only reason. I love things in miniature (especially tiny farm animals, but small dice or elephants or impossible small containers are also delightful), and it smelled just divine. Sweet, certainly, but not overly so and sort of spicy. I keep smelling it all day, at random moments on my hand or wrist, or in my hair (on my scarf) and being thrilled by it. I recommend it (I also don't mean for so many of my recent posts to be focusing on products, but you know. Sharing the four-one-one of favorite cosmetic items is nice, and helpful, and I like stuff).

Apparently they are carried at Anthropologie, a store which my humble little city does not have (much to my dismay/disappointment/heartbreak), but they're being carried in a funny little boutique type place in a shopping center in my area. I will eventually have to go back to get the larger size, instead of the miniature one even if the tiny little bottle endears itself to me.  

I have very strong feelings about the color red. To be general--I don't like it. I am fond of it in food (strawberries, raspberries, spaghetti sauce, ketchup, candy) and lipstick (occasionally I find it acceptable to add a red accessory, such as a bow or the tiniest of patterns). In general I cannot wear red in large doses, dresses, blouses, etc. I try but it just feels so wrong! Also, I don't mind other things that are red, like couches (if they are velvet), walls, or the covers of books.

This is why it's really kind of funny that I have piles and piles and piles of red lipstick. Especially since I don't wear it all that often--I tend to eat it off my lips--but I can't stop buying it.

I mentioned last week, or whenever that was, that I'm trying to wear red lipstick more often. I am rarely happy with my eye makeup and so have reduced that regime back to concealer, a paint pot, and mascara. A few years ago I bought MAC's Russian Red because I read about it somewhere, and I wore it occasionally when I wanted to make a splash or just felt like it (I really like applying lipstick. Sometimes I put piles of it on at night before I wash my face and walk around looking totally insane in floral PJs and red lipstick).

I really like MAC's matter lipsticks. They stay in place with minimal liner, don't end up smudging to high heaven, have great saturated colors, and don't over-dry my lips. This week I went and snagged myself some Ruby Woo because I wanted to feel really awkward walking up to the slick salesperson and saying the name (or not), and because I'd heard good things about it. I like it. It's like a cartoon red, a scary splash. I have tiny lips so I feel a bit self conscious about it sometimes, like there is too much fleshy face, but I've decided it doesn't matter.

However, I'm relatively low maintenance with makeup. If you can't apply it with your fingers, mascara aside, I could care less. Because of this, I'm a dedicated lover of Stila's convertible color in Poppy--I'm wearing it two posts down in the picture with the mustard sweater--even if it doesn't give the same stark look of a stick. I like it though, it's got that pressed-on, edge-fading look that's kind of romantic and debauched.

I have a tenuous relationship with red. On the one hand, I can't stand it. It needs so much attention. On the other, it's kind of right sometimes. And despite my grumblings towards it, my dastardly glasses are red.

The leaves fell off the trees and I lost all interest in getting dressed. My hair is uncooperative, except right before bed, and I am uneasy and nonplussed at most of my wardrobe. I suppose it is because this change in weather (that drab, sad period after there are no leaves and it is cold but snow has yet to grace us with its presence) coincides with terribly busy work schedules and Really Scary School Things (term papers and thesis proposals).

On the other hand, something about the kinds of clothes I so adored a year ago doesn't appeal to me so much these days. I'm cannot lie: I'm way into pants (even though the above picture is evidence of something else) and blouses and slightly uniform-ish, boyfriend-y, bookish things. And, you know, that effortless French thing with the pants and the neat-o jackets and shoes and all that on the women popping up on street-style blogs. It's always kind of scared me because I figured it involved a lot of natural ability to put things that are kind of slouchy but tailored together with a body type that doesn't necessarily border on the curvy, but it's what my inspiration folder is full of these days.

I still want to wear the ruffle blouses, and lord knows I get my grubby little hands on plenty of them, but I also want to wear cuffed jeans or a men's gingham shirt, and perhaps ignore the skirt for a while. I don't know if I can deal with prim these days, even though I still love it.

APC Winter 09

Some days though, like today, I just toss on an old dress and a sweater and call it a day. I need a pair of flat oxfords. I found the perfect ones at Macy's, glorious things they were, so amazing that I could have cried. Then they sold out. They aren't even on the website anymore, and I pity myself. In the meantime I will have to pretend with some Bass penny loafers (once I exchange them for the correct size).

We can catch buses and count our change and cross the roads and talk real sentences. But our innocence goes awfully deep, and our discreditable secret is that we don't know anything at all, and our horrid inner secret is that we don't care that we don't.
-Dylan Thomas

Édouard Boubat

Burberry Prorsum
I bought a giant bag of apples at the co-op this week, and have been munching on them constantly. I like when they are small and fit in your pocket without appearing bizarrely bulbous. Food has been a kind of accessory lately--it seems my pockets are always filled with some kind of candy or snack that gives me something to do when standing about in the in-betweens (while also satiating my sweet-tooth, or serving as a neat-o snack between meals). Somehow I felt it was appropriate to eat an apple while wearing a white dress: Snow White-ish, if you will.

(A week and a half later, all the leaves are gone from the trees.)

As I'm sure you noticed--or maybe not, but you know--I've momentarily fallen back into an old uniform. White dress + black tights + cardigan = The Kater Uniform. These shoes are so high that I've scarcely worn them since I bought them last year, but I do love them to little bits. I've fallen out of practice for heel-walking since neither of my jobs really facilitate the wearing of heels, and it becomes harder and harder to be comfortable in them. For the first time in ages, I feel unsteady on them, oddly limited, and as though my uncoordinated abilities are magnified to the highest extent. A few home-heel-walking sessions are in order and must be penciled in these days (even if the impending doom of winter weather threatens to kill any semblance of civilized footwear).

Uniforms are weird things. I've posted about it before--way back when--and I don't mean the kind of uniform one would wear to school. The default, fool-proof outfit, is a weird thing. For a few weeks (although my scant posting doesn't offer much proof of the statement which is to follow) I've been wearing jeans and pants far more often than skirts or dresses! I'm not certain what this does to my reputation for it certainly makes it much more difficult for anyone to recognize me. A friend only weeks go described me to someone who was bound to see me at work as 'The girl who always wears dresses,' a rather inaccurate categorization these days since I've hardly bothered. I'm challenged by jeans, and pants. It sort of feels like making an outfit around them is much more difficult than with a dress. It involves more than one piece for one, but then when I wear an outfit that I consider successful that involves pants I feel a smug sense of pride.

I've also got to take back everything I ever thought that was horrid about distressed jeans. I'm not going to run around in anything shredded to within an inch of it's life--I don't think I'm edgy enough for that kind of thing-- but a little knee hole in the Wayne & Garth spirit seems oddly alright and fun. Except when it is very cold and the air goes inside your knee hole, and you are very uncomfortable.

Either way, these days I'm a little bit more alright with a bit more tarnish and decay encroaching on the world of primness.

(Also, on a separate note: I'm so sorry to everyone who has tagged me for memes and the like in the past few weeks months. I'm afraid I tend to just not have the time to fill them out, and I also forget and lose track very easily. I'm sorry a million times, and I truly appreciate it <33333)

Oh dear! Today I noticed that the trees were almost bare (granted, the ground was covered with a good coating of leaves) and that this last week or so has been just so lovely. The weather, despite a day of rain, was perfectly cooperative and ideally autumnal and the leaves suddenly seemed lush with color found both on the trees and the ground. I realized that I haven't posted in quite a while--it gets to the point where it feels so awkward and one does not know what to say! Thank you all so much for the caring and thoughtful comments, I so dearly appreciate it and it is so lovely of you! To make up for the extended absence, here are some snippets of what's been going on. Lots of leaves, adventures in jeans, boyfriends in elbow-patches, and Halloween (I went as the same as last year--there will be a proper post on this eventually--I just love large ridiculous hair!), going to the movies, and more leaves.


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