Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hotlanta Fashion Confessions

I don't mean to insult anyone's intelligence by telling you this, but Atlanta is frickin HOT in the summer. The last two weeks, the benevolent coke sign that watches over our city has been reminding us all of the fact, displaying temperatures in the 90's for most of the day! (FYI all you celsius users, 94 degrees fahrenheit = 34.5 degrees celsius! Ca alors!)

It's hard to believe that I'm the same girl who was bemoaning the winds of winter and anticipating dresses and sandals. Ha! I called that winter! How foolish I was when I was four months younger. I didn't appreciate the variety dressing for coldness offers one, and now I am reduced to a very bland summer uniform for the sake of my own survival. 

My trusty denim shorts, sunglasses, the most breathable shoes possible, and of course my summer skin care: Sunscreen and water!

I haven't had the energy to blog lately because I know my torn up denim shorts are nothing to write home about. Then there's the universally known fact that southerners become slovenly and slow paced in the summer and can only drink lemonade and sit on front porches. And while I'm coming up with excuses for my fashion frumpiness, the other reason is that I have an active day job that requires a t-shirt and dealing with dirty outdoorsy stuff like tents... today I had to scrub mud off of caving helmets and head lamps. I never cease to be amazed by the other Atlanta fashion bloggers who stay cute year round! (Asian Cajuns, Liebemarlene...)

They inspire me to keep it cute-- rain or intense shine. So to help myself and anyone else living in a humid furnace, I decided to use my lifetime of experience living in Atlanta to compile a few tips for coping with fashion and heat. 

1. I know I sound like your mom, but I am serious-- Wear your sunscreen, fools! If you love having the smooth taut skin of a 20-something, then you should try and make it last. I'm all for granny fashion, but we don't want to be mistaken for actual grannies before our time. If you're like me and not lucky enough to have that natural, olive complexion, then just try to convince yourself that pale is beautiful. Think of it as porcelain or cream and honey or whatever inspires you to put on sunscreen.

"What are you looking at? I'm only 30! Damn those hours in the tanning bed..."

2. Go simple. Accept the fact that you cannot wear adorable layers of sweater vests and cardigans or even socks. Belts suck too, as do fabulous but heavy statement pieces of jewelry. That's why I still love the romper! I try not to let it bug me that it is such a trend-- sometimes I live under the common delusion that I am original and get posessive over my favorite fashion statements. But then I remind myself of the collective unconscious, have some fun looking at expensive adorable rompers online, and before I know it I'm happy to be skipping along in mine. I like this vintage black 70's/80's one that I got at Value Village; It's sleeveless, somewhat loose, and just one piece to worry about slipping on and off! It's only flaw is being black polyester.

See the little face in the door? That is my astronomer's cat, Action Kitty.

3. Once upon a time, I thought there to be only three basic types of sandals: the flip flop, the birkenstock, and the ugly thick strapped mom sandal. How happy I am to be proved wrong! This summer, because layers are not an option and heavy jewelry just weighs me down, I've turned to my shoes as a form of bling! I absolutely love these strappy sandals I got at Festivity, a lovely and not-too-expensive boutique in Virginia Highlands. They're like jewelry on my feet! With perfect ventilation! I wore them all over the place in China. Not to mention I was pretty tickled to see that Rebecca of the Clothes Horse has the same pair in purple :~)

4. I know a lot of people may disagree with me on this one, maybe even chastise me for advising people to do something that will result in saggy boobs, but I say: forget the bra! It's too damn hot and the last thing we want is to experience the rain forrest climate that only two boobs constricted in padding and wire understand. I usually just wear an undershirt to keep things under control or a light-weight more sportsy bra. Cotton is good, padding is bad. And this  might be a personal thing, but I think wire sucks. Who needs those little indents left on their ribs? That is not a sign of comfort. Perhaps this is all my tomboy roots showing. And keep in mind this only applies to the smaller chested of us. You well endowed ladies are on your own, but I don't want to hear it! At least you have cleavage! 
5. If you really want to stay cool, air circulation is key. Fitted little shirts that hug your frame may look cute enough, but they do nothing for ventilation. That's why I have been reaching over and over again for my loose flowy cotton tops that come away from the body. There's nothing like a good breeze coming your way in Atlanta summer, so don't let your shirt be the reason you miss it! I got this purple one in Louisville. I've also been wearing the middle one I got from Violet Folklore on Etsy. And if I didn't just buy something from her last week, I would totally be bidding on this vintage 70's smock in Liebemarlene's Ebay auction! I hope she won't mind me using the picture.
(liebemarlene image stolen from ebay)

Anyone else have ways you stay comfortable and chic in crazy heat?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fashion Undead or Off With Its Head??

Sometimes I wonder if any other thrifting enthusiasts and old-stuff collectors share one of my major personality flaws-- a tendency to hoard. While sometimes I stand by my pack rat neuroses (if it weren't for people who hate to throw things away, where would we get all our antiques and vintage in the first place, right??), I have to admit that it can go too far. 

For me, it can go too far while out on the thrifting front, where I snatch up items that don't really have a ton going for them other than their shiny colors or outright ridiculousness caught my eye. I think any kitsch lover must as a requirement also have a soft spot in his or her heart for weirdness. The result? A box in my closet overflowing with undeniably awesome but questionably wearable clothing. 

Thus the beginnings of a new periodical feature on Zombie Lace: FASHION UNDEAD or OFF WITH ITS HEAD? One thing I'm interested in doing with this blog is making it more interactive, so I decided that one way I could help my pack rat addiction is to get my much trusted well loved readers involved. Every so often (I do hate strict schedules) I will feature an item of clothing from my "I HAD to buy this from the thrift store but now that I have it I have no idea how to wear it" pile. I'll blabber on and enumerate the good and bad features of the piece, and that's where you come in with your lovely opinions and mouse clicking abilities. Just leave a comment or use that mouse clicking power to participate in the super cool poll!

Today's Featured Item: The Very Colorful 1996 Shirt!

No, you don't need to adjust the brightness your computer screen. The colors on this collared shirt from 1996 really are this fresh! But the question is, are they just fresh enough or too fresh to be allowed? Before you decide, here it is worn a few different ways.

Classic opened.

Knotted at waist.


Worn by a boy.

Now be honest: Would you have grabbed this shirt off the racks at your local Value Village? Do you see the crazy multicolored potential I saw? Or should this shirt be put in a time machine and sent back to the Atlanta '96 Olympics where it belongs?
The Colorful 1996 Shirt!
Awesomely Undead!
Off With Its Head!
Looks better on a boy.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Home Sweet Home and Chinese Treasures

It feels so wonderful to be back home after only three weeks in China. I hate how much of your blogs I've had to miss and I feel like I'll never catch up; those of you following me on twitter (which I'm still getting the hang of using!) know that in China the website Blogger.com and most other blogging websites are blocked! I don't want to bore anyone by making them look at a hundred pictures of China-- forced slideshow viewings are the domain of the ever suffering families and boyfriends in my opinion, but if you're really interested you can check them out on flickr and facebook. For the rest of you, I'll sum up my trip in terms you can truly relate to: an outfit!


Blouse: Chengdu Fashion Market

Satchel: Shanghai Antique Market

Traditional style slippers: Chengdu

Jade bracelet: Beijing Jade Factory

Leggings: long story. Got them for free from Emory University Dorm dump, an adventure you can read about on my fellow dumpster diver's blog Crafty Cortney.

We started out our trip with a few days in Shanghai. We stayed on a busy pedestrian strip full of shops and restaurants and beautiful well-dressed people on their way to fashionable important places. The city lights and the style watching was the best in Shanghai. One day we went to an Antique Market that was mostly full of kitschy Chairman Mao memorabilia and some flat out fakes of older things. This is where I bought my vintage carpet-bag satchel. 

The next place we went was Chengdu, in Sichuan provence where we attended the main attraction (not to mention the original purpose) of our voyage to China: the wedding of our Chinese friends! 

This is "David" and "Spring" throwing the bouquet during the first half of the wedding which was very western. The second half she changed into a red dress which is the traditional chinese wedding color. I'm the fine honey in the background with the sparkly red dress.

Though it's a smaller and lesser-known town (maybe better well known now due to the earthquake) we had the best time here because we had all these lovely sweet Chinese friends to take us to all the best places and make sure we didn't lift a finger! The bride, Spring, took me shopping at her favorite cheapest place where I got my shirt. Read it a little more closely:

That's right, I am a supporter of "OKLAHONA FOOTEALL!" This kind of fractured English was all over the place in China and we enjoyed warning signs in our hotel bathrooms that said things like "Careful, Landslip" and tea shops with signs reading "you can attempt have any tea prior to buy." Young people like to wear shirts with English writing on them, but often, like the shirt I bought, the words are little more than gibberish. Maybe it's the English major in me, but I love it.

I also bought my chinese slippers in Chengdu. One of my favorite fashion statements in China was when girls and women would wear trendy modern clothes with these traditional shoes. 

Our last stop before heading home was in Beijing, because of course we couldn't leave China without seeing the major tourist attractions of the country! The pink umbrella I bought from a street vendor in Tiananmen Square (famous for the 1989 student massacres that you've probably been hearing about in the news lately). It was an emergency buy! The weather was in the 90s (30s for you Celsius lovers) and I couldn't find a drop of sunscreen for what I like to refer to as my porcelain complexion. Pale skin is considered a sign of beauty in China, so lots of women walk around with umbrellas in the middle of a sunny day, so that's what I did. I have to say, it's a clever thing to do. Like carrying your own portable shade with you everywhere you go! 

My umbrella coming in handy on the Great Wall of China.

This last photo represents my three major obsessions while I was in China: delicious tea, fashion magazines that I couldn't read, and pandas!! 

Jasmine tea ball that blooms when you add water.

A picture is worth a thousand words anyway.

Pandas doing what they do best at the Breeding and Research Center in Chengdu.

Can't wait to find out how everyone else has been spending their summers!

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