Tag Archives: work clothes

Silver linings. (Or, you know, silk ones.)

8 Mar

One of the wonderful things about losing your job is that you are even more pressured to curb your useless spending.

One of the wonderful things about hunting for a new job is new work clothes!

The overlap here falls under the tragic venn-diagram lens of “everything terrible and great in life all at once.” Hush, I’m not great at metaphors.

In any case, thrift stores are, as always, my best friends. I picked up a lovely red silk shirt and a black suit jacket for $10 together. Yup. SILK shirt. I now own three of them, although I need to fix the buttons on one. I feel so luxurious, all that silk in my wardrobe. One is even Ralph Lauren. And none was more than $5 in thrift stores!

That’s justifiable, right?


…I have a problem…


Work, Fashion, and Mutual Exclusivity

3 Oct

In case you haven’t yet gleaned from my various references to it, I work in a large department store. It’s one of the first of its kind. Stands out in its field like a big, red star. Ahem.

I work in the Junior’s/Impulse department, which is where all the cool kids shop for their Guess, Ralph Lauren Denim, and Kensie (none of which I knew about–excepting Guess–before working there. But oh well.) Our dress code when I started was all-black. We could have a colored shirt, as long as there was some sort of black cardigan or sweater over top. Recently, however, the dress code for my department was changed to allow us to wear “on-trend” clothes, as long as the bottoms were still dark-wash, if they were denim.

My problem is, while I’m a reasonably fashionable dresser, I do not follow the current “trend” in Juniors/Millenials fashion. I just bought a Guess shirt the other day (off the clearance rack for $5 with employee discount), does that count?

It’s hard to be on-trend with what we sell, when I can’t afford what we sell; and I’m a good enough employee that I want to try and keep my pushing limits to a minimum. Today I’m going to go buy a pair of dark jeans “similar to what we have available” (Levi’s are the only one I can afford), and maybe one of the sparkly embellished sweaters that are in this season. I wish I could afford one of the nice lace dresses that BCX has, but alas.

Other than that, though, it’s hard to be fashionable in other departments, too, when the dress code everywhere else is black. Black isn’t really “in” at the moment. Sure, I can dress things up in a classic style (black can always be classic, just not trendy), but it’s frustrating to have to tell customers, “Actually, no, we don’t have any plain black maxi skirts. Here is a tan and yellow geometric print one!”

An office job would be so much easier. I can dress professionally if I don’t have to wear all black/trendy, I promise!

The Bare Minimum: My Work-Makeup Basics

16 Jul

Presently, I work in one of the large chain department stores, the kind whose big business is in Guess, Ralph Lauren, and Calvin Klein. Consequently, it is expected that we dress appropriately, including business casual black and, as my manager eloquently put it, ‘nice’ makeup.Before working there, my standard was something along the lines of heavy goth eyeliner and not much else, or wide winged liquid liner and matte red lipstick. I only ever wore foundation if I knew I was going to be with my old roommate, who makes pictures entirely unavoidable.

Now, my pre-work routine is actually fairly concrete, and while rather involved by my standards, I know some people might benefit from a “Ten-Minute Work Face.”

First, the ‘ingredients’: I use Revlon’s Photoready BB cream right now, because as a former Japanese major, I’ve heard all about the magnificent qualities of BB cream. I might review it properly later, but for now, suffice to say that it works for my purposes. On top of that, I use an Avon loose powder, black eyeliner (in liquid or pencil–NYColor for Liquid, Wet’n’Wild for the pencil), E.L.F. highlighting eyeshadow (Or, more recently, Urban Decay’s Ammo Shadow Box), Maybellene’s Full&Soft waterproof mascara (which I once bought specifically for a funeral, but became addicted to),¬†and one of a variety of Maybelline’s Baby Lips lip balm.

I’ll have to add pictures eventually, but for now, here’s the basic process:

I lay down the BB Cream with a sponge applicator. This always looks a bit silly, since I have to hold my bangs up out of the way do do so, but usually about a quarter-size dollop gets my whole face. Smoothing this over and making sure it’s even is literally the hardest part of my face. Next, I powder my nose and upper cheeks. I never use blusher, since my skin is ruddy enough that I don’t need highlighting. I don’t bother powdering my forehead unless I’m pinning my bangs back.

My eyes are more simple. I sweep a light neutral over my browbone, and something slightly deeper over my lid. Liner is next. I tend to go heavy on my liner, since my glasses frames are fairly heavy themselves. If I’m using a liquid, I wing it out anywhere from an eighth to a half inch; if I’m using a pencil, I fill in my waterline and try not to get too much on the top lid (I usually fail. Years of practically coloring my top lid entirely has trained me). Mascara comes as soon as the liner is dry, and I only ever do my top lashes.

I finish with one of Maybelline’s Baby Lips. I have three; Pink Punch gets the most use. It’s delightfully pink, and I don’t mind reapplying it when it feels so lovely going on. Cherry Me comes out if I want to look a little more mature, and Peach Kiss is more like a regular balm with a hint of shimmer. I tend to carry all three and occasionally switch it up through the day.

I finish with Urban Decay’s All Nigher setting spray, because the running around and forced smiles tend to take a toll on one’s face. I’ve only used it since I got it two weeks ago, but it’s become indispensable, especially when I’m wearing the pencil liner, so that I don’t get smears in the outside creases of my eyes.

With that, I’m done! Usually, hair included, I can go from stepping out of the shower to stepping out the door in twenty minutes (Honestly, I twist my hair up while wet; it stays better and looks just fine on me). It won’t work for everyone, but I tried to be a little vague on the details, because it’s probably a very adaptable process, and really could work with any makeup at all. I really think that the key is to get a routine down, and do it the same way every day. Leave the experimenting for your evenings and off days!

The Clothes-Whore’s Worst Nightmare…

12 Jul

It’s probably about time to clean out my closet.

I recently moved into a new apartment. Far from the magnificent walk-in closet of my old apartment’s master bedroom, I traded the largest closet in the apartment for the bathroom. That’s how my former nine feet of hanging space abruptly became three. I’ve mitigated the issue by folding my t-shirts and pants, instead of hanging them, but when most of my clothes are dresses and blouses, that’s only delaying the inevitable.

The hardest part will be giving up some of my favorite clothes–the ones that don’t fit anymore. I have already relegated four of my favorite blouses, two dresses, and my only three pairs of slacks, to the donate pile. I was lucky enough to lose thirty pounds while I was studying abroad a few years ago, and I hadn’t really done anything except buy smaller clothes since. I still wear a lot of the things that used to fit when I was bigger, and especially blouses and dresses, I just don’t fill out anymore. I love them–the colors and styles–but I need to move on and pray that I never need the larger sizes again.

I have at least five wardrobes now: my retro/40’s-70’s wardrobe, my punk/rock/goth wardrobe, my steampunk wardrobe, my bohemian/preppy wardrobe, and more recently my work wardrobe–which is all black, but not in a way that I can properly combine it with my goth clothes (alas).

Being as unwilling as I am to give any of my styles up, but needing to severely cull everything I have, is going to take its toll. But I’m going to have to downsize once again in about ten months, so I had better get a move on…