Bad Juju, Be Gone

Photo credit: http://www.designworklife.com/2012/08/17/the-dark-arts/
Photo credit: http://www.designworklife.com/2012/08/17/the-dark-arts/

I am, truly, a very superstitious person. I knock on wood, throw salt over my right shoulder, I never count my chickens before the hatch … it all just freaks me out.

But the worst is when you buy something and come to find that it is a hex. Now I know you are probably thinking, this chick is crazytown, which I totally get, I think that about myself, sometimes, too. But I have to admit, there are a few pieces of clothing and accessories that I refuse to wear because something always goes wrong when I wear them. Hence they are a hex and should be burned … but are too pretty to be set ablaze. So I just keep them in my possession and stare at them longingly.

Most recently it has been a pair of shoes. I won’t blow up their spot, because truly they are so pretty and so fantastic … and I covet them. But in the two times I’ve worn them, everything has gone to shit.

For example, one of the biggest wardrobe malfunctions I have ever encountered, leaving me basically naked for the evening, happened when I rocked those shoes … or well, attempted to rock them. THEN an opportunity that sent me to the moon and back with happiness unraveled before my eyes whilst wearing them. When I got home from said opportunity unraveling, I threw them against the wall … hard. Like really, REALLY hard. It felt good.

To the non-superstitious person, there is no correlation. They would still rock these amazing shoes until the cows came home. For someone like myself, they are dead to me. I’m not saying these shoes caused all of these bad things to happen. In fact, maybe they have no involvement what-so-ever. The fact is, the idea of walking this Earth in said shoes with all that bad juju surrounding them, and with the potential for other things to go to shit … doesn’t seem like something I’m down for.

Unfortunately it isn’t just the shoes, I have really nice pieces of jewelry I refuse to wear … or outfits that traditionally bring bad things to my life that now hang in my closet neglected and probably a little dusty, all because EVERY time I wear them, negativity follows. I know, I know … #SuperstitiousPeopleProblems, waahhh, boo-frickity-hoo, but it sucks when you pour your hard-earned cash into your closet only to find a black cloud follows said piece.

Weird, right? I know … I should probably see someone about this. They are inanimate objects, for crying out loud. But regardless, no one wants to rock something that reminds them of truly unsavory memories, right? Or with the potential of a black cloud to follow. Better safe than sorry is what I always say.

:::Sigh::: I should call a priest.

The “Just For Funsies” Methodology

d2eb25d88a86b94229ace14408e2b411Shopping is no easy task … I don’t care who you are. Say you go out shopping for plain t-shirts, right? Well, if you are anything like me, you will return home with a bag full of everything except plain T’s (what can I say, I get distracted quite easily … ooh something shiny?!! EEEE!).

I do have a method to my madness whilst shopping, though. My number one rule is I try not to fixate on the one or two things I need within my wardrobe. If you go in saying, “I need a black maxi dress and only a black maxi,” think of all the goodness you will overlook, right? Tunnel vision is a bitch, let me tell you. So I believe in walking into a store with an open mind. Take a deep breath, and start combing through the garments.

But I also believe in a little thing called, “just for funsies” whilst shopping. What is that, you ask? Well, let me explain. This past weekend I went shopping with my best friend, who was looking to jazz up her style a bit, which is always fun because it is like an untouched canvas. But you know when you are shopping and come across a piece that you DIE for, but say, “oh I could never pull this off,” and put it back down, only to lust after it secretly for the rest of the day? My question to you is, umm why can’t you pull that shit off? How do you know? You’ll never know unless you embrace the “just for funsies” methodology.

Just for funsies [juhst-fawr-fuhn-ies]: Trying on a piece of clothing that is out of one’s comfort zone.

For example, I came across a pair of wide-legged satin red pants. I adored them instantly. We were instant lovers. But I was saying to myself, “oh I can’t pull these off. Where could I wear them? Will they be flattering …bitch, bitch, bitch whoa as me?” as I shamelessly flirted with the material through my fingertips. But that’s when I thought to myself, what is the harm in bringing them in the dressing room with me? What, I could look like a clown and the dressing room attendant will point and laugh at me? Umm no. So I grabbed a couple different sizes (as I had no idea how they would fit and loathe having to get dressed and run back out to grab a different size), and decided to give them a whirl. Long story short: they are my new favorite thing. If I could make out with them I would (but that would land me on that weird show on TLC where men make out with their cars).

My “just for funsies” methodology is a great way to step outside of your style comfort zone. It is also great for a laugh or two, especially if you are shopping with your girlfriends. My best friend and I peed ourselves laughing over micro mini skirts that barely left any vagina to the imagination and unflattering dresses that made me look like a 1950’s housewife, and not in a good way. Even if you are shopping by yourself … Jesus put doors/curtains that close off dressing rooms for a reason. Have a laugh at yourself if you tried something outside of your comfort zone that makes you look a hot mess. I feel like dressing rooms should be a “safe place” or “judgement free zone.” Talk to yourselves, ladies. Laugh a little … for the love. Clothes are meant to be tried on.

My “just for funsies” methodology won’t kill you, I promise. It will let you embrace styles you never in a million years could pull off, but, realistically, can … sometimes. So for that, I accept your praises. Don’t be shy … send them my way. You’re welcome in advance.

What Constitutes A “Piece”?

6423c90b12bd3e865c6cb584b508965dYou know you have fashion problems when you find yourself sitting at a bar on a Friday night having a heated discussion over what constitutes a “piece” in your wardrobe. Welcome to my life.

Most people would define a “piece” in a wardrobe to be something straight out of the racks of Barneys. Chanel, YSL, Marc Jacobs … basically anything in the three to four to five to six digit price range. Me … well, I think that is a bunch of hogwash.

How do I define a “piece,” you ask? Well, it could be ANYTHING, really. The key to having a proper “piece”, whether you obtain it at Walmart or at Barneys, is how you take care of it. To give you an example, I’ve heard that people refer to Forever 21 clothing as “wear two times and toss.” Listen, if I’m spending money on a garment, no matter where I get it, I’m taking care of it, even if it is Forever 21, because it’s true, money doesn’t grow on trees, kids. And because of that mindset that I’m in, I have pieces from Forever 21 like, t-shirts, jeans, and jewelry that might be around four years old. I now call these pieces “F21 vintage.”

A “piece” is something timeless, something that stands out from the crowd, and something that is beautiful … much like a designer piece, except not always with the designer price tag. And if you find something like this at a discount store … Burlington Coat Factory, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Forever 21, H&M, don’t just turn your nose up at it because you think it is a poor investment. With garments like this comes dedication. By deciding to not spend $1,000 on a sweater and instead spending $20 means you have to put in the work to make it last. It’s very simple … and clearly not something for the lazy people at heart.

I personally think you can find some of the most original and stand-out pieces at stores like Burlington Coat Factory and TJ Maxx instead of walking into a store like Express and getting the same thing every 20- or 30-something is wearing at the moment. So don’t think just because you don’t have designer labels hanging in your closet doesn’t mean you don’t own “pieces,” because you do. Just take care of them like they are your children by following these simple rules:

1. Dryers are the devil: I rarely dry anything. If you are trying to get the longest life span out of a cheap-ish piece, a clothes rack is your best friend. And if you are concerned that they will be stiff as a board by the time they dry, throw them in the dryer at the end to soften them up a bit. But seriously … down with dryers.

2. Hang with caution: I like everything to be hung up so I can see it instead of rummaging through drawers. But I’ve found that hangers aren’t always the best thing for shirts. This is how they can become deformed, hole-ridden, and can obtain the dreaded hanger-shaped shoulders. Hang wisely, my friends, hang wisely.

3. Treat your jewels like they were Cartier: Make sure your bling has a proper and safe home, not at the bottom of your handbag, with copious amounts of space for it to live and frolic so it doesn’t become a tangled mess with out jewels, or even worse, break. And for the love of Jesus … NEVER get them wet. Water is like God damn kryptonite to an inexpensive piece of jewelry.

Holy SPANX! A Strapless Bra I DON’T Hate?!

pSPXNA-217_BLACK_packaging_e500Strapless bras and myself have become known arch-enemies. Tom vs. Jerry, Dr. Evil vs. Austin Powers. Kate vs. Strapless Bras. We just don’t like each other … well, more like I don’t like them and they don’t give a shit because they are inanimate objects. It’s quite unfair, if you ask me.

And since launching my blog years ago, people have asked me why I loathe the garment so much. Why would I go to such extremes as to naming a website dedicated to my pure hatred of them? Well … number 1, we aren’t all about strapless bras here at Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra (read my About section for further explanation), and number 2, it basically comes down to:

1. They cut off circulation, yet still manage to fall down

2. They do nothing for knockers … of any shape or size

3. They never fit properly under clothing. Like Never. Never ever.

This massive feud I have brewing in my life has a silver lining to it, though. This feud … has proven to me that there is still good and genuine kindness out there in a world when sometimes it is hard to believe that people still care about one another. Yet people surprise me every day by suggesting shiny and new strapless bras to try out that may heal my negative feeling towards them. And as much as I appreciate these kind gestures, they just never end up swaying my opinion.

But my lovely friends over at SPANX were not okay with me feeling like this. They wanted me to lock eyes with a strapless bra from across a field of poppies, slow motion run towards it,  embrace it with open arms, and swing around in a pleasant little circle with it.

Enter the SPANX’s Bra Cha-Cha stage right. First of all, I’m a sucker for a product with a fantastic name … and this little number is a sassy bitch in the best way. Second of all, they call it the “stay-put strapless,” which trust me, when I saw this, I gave it one of my epic eye rolls accompanied with a, “psshhyeeeaahh right!”

I won’t give you a play-by-play of my entire experience wearing this bra. You don’t want hear about how I walked to the train and it didn’t fall down, or how I went for cocktails with Bra Cha-Cha and it didn’t fall down even more … or as SPANX refers to it as “jug tug,” which honestly, I mean can we get a slow clap for that.

I will explain it to you like so. My experience with the Bra Cha-Cha was much like …

This:

1tumblr_lgp6q5NhE21qcjtu8o1_500

And this:

tumblr_mpos2ahFOH1rxy6eao1_500

And that:

tumblr_mwakfiPMkD1t0f6o2o1_250

Oh and totes this:

tumblr_mwdj51dahg1sg92eco1_500

Mmm hmm …:

tumblr_me62yrc7hN1qhj7tyo1_500

And of course …:

kz2aLgA

But let’s not forget this happened:

slater-kelly-dancing

Disclaimer: I will not be changing the name of my blog. And I still hate strapless bras … except this one.

Do Fall … And Do It Well … Dammit

I do a lot of things well … or so I like to think. So what I’m about to say may shock and appall you … and for that I’m sorry. But establishing a fall wardrobe is something I, indeed, do NOT do well.

I decided in August that I was going to get to the bottom of my issue. Why is it when it came to the season of fluctuating temps and falling leaves did I become green with envy over women dressed to the nines in bad ass outfits instead of going out and finding some of my own?

I would stumble through stores, leave empty-handed, drive home, run to my bedroom and cry myself to sleep on my pillow … tears streaming down my face wondering why oh why I couldn’t find anything :::cue violins:::. But with a little soul-searching :::pan to me staring outside my window, snuggled up, pondering life over a cup of tea::: I was able to figure out said issue. I had what they call Fall Wardrobe Overload … also known as “FWO.”

What are the symptoms of FWO, you ask? 

-Not being able to focus

-Trend anxiety

-Bleeding from the eyelids

-Not starting with the basics

-Nausea

-Excessive drinking

-Lacking in the wardrobe department*

*If you lack in the wardrobe department for more than three fall seasons, see your local stylist immediately.

My issue was that I had my sights set on things that were too trendy. I wanted sequins, and loud shoes, and fur collared everything, and accent pieces. Wrong … wrong … and wrong. Expectations get set too high when you go too loud too soon and you set yourself up for fall failure. It has taken me years along with blood, sweat and tears to perfect obtaining a great fall wardrobe with pieces I can style in numerous ways, and listen, if I can figure this shit out … ANYONE can.

So behold, my secret to the perfect fall wardrobe. Are you ready for this? Come closer, because I will only say it once: Start. With. The. Basics. Then work from there.

BOOM. My work here is done :::drops mic:::

It may sound boring, but if you find yourself banging your head against the wall because you can’t get your fall style act together … let me help a sister (or brother) out, shall I? Here is a breakdown of your basic fall pieces that every person needs.

Screen shot 2013-11-02 at 1.43.27 PM1. Start with Skinnies: Start with a gray pair and a black pair. I personally die for the ones at Old Navy. The price is right and I can kick, stretch and kick some more in them. And since I’m cheap (at least I admit it, right?) I try not to throw them in the dryer for fear of shrinkage. Girls gotta save for her dreams, am I right? And outside of Old Navy, I’ve been hoarding my favorite black denim from H&M for years. They are tight as shit, and you will have to dance and high kick a little to get them to move, but oh so worth it.

Screen shot 2013-11-02 at 1.44.44 PM

2. Sigh … basic flats. I know, I know … but hear me out. It isn’t fun when you are running 20 minutes late and just need a God damn simple pair of black flats and all you can find are studded booties and rhinestone encrusted open toed sling backs. Make the investment in a good pair of black, nude and leopard print (yes, leopard print, to me, is a neutral …get over it), flats. So when you ARE running late, you can just throw on any of these go-tos, which will pretty much go with everything and anything, and be done with it so you can haul ass to Point B.

Screen shot 2013-11-02 at 1.47.08 PM3. Shield Your Eyes From Saucy Boots: Over-the-knee hooker boots are my fav. If I could have closets and closets filled with them, I would. BUT … every lady needs a good pair of flat black boots and a good pair of flat brown boots. “Riding boots” … if you will. I was never a fan of brown boots, until I realized it gives a look, especially a fall one, a softer feel, where as black boots tend to give off a “dominatrix-ey” vibe. The OTK boots might be tempting you, luring you with their seductress ways … but remember, we are starting basic, here. BA-SIC. Take a cold shower and buy the basic boots … for the love of God.

Screen shot 2013-11-02 at 1.49.08 PM3. Get Down with the While Button Down: Okay, white button downs don’t just mean khakis from the Gap, tucked in with loafers. Woof. They make them a bit more … how you say … “jazzed up” now. Look outside of the Gap box and try stores like Nordstrom for edgier versions of the once boring button down.

Screen shot 2013-11-02 at 2.04.21 PM4. The Tits of T-Shirts: Call me crazy, but it is really hard to find the perfect fitting t-shirts. But when you find “the one,” it will fit perfectly. Its sleeves will be the right length. And you will throw you inhibitions to the wind and buy it in every color … and some you will buy two. Because they are a rare commodity. And know, you will wear them with everything. Don’t lie to yourself. You will. I’m already kicking myself for not investing in more of my favorite Abound t-shirts from Nordstrom Rack shown to the left.

Screen shot 2013-11-02 at 1.53.59 PM5. Rock the Trench: Yes, they are trendy right now … but they are forever. This is a forever piece. This is when you say, hey I want to invest in a designer piece, but I don’t know what to buy. You say: Burberry trench. Because you will literally have it until you are wrinkled up, old and gray.

Once the basics are obtained and you are cured of FWO … then go buy as much insane sparkle, spikes and studs as you want :::jumps up in mid-air:::

Do Fall … And Do It Well

I do a lot of things well … or so I like to think. So what I’m about to say may shock and appall you … and for that I’m sorry. But establishing a fall wardrobe is something I, indeed, do NOT do well.

I decided in August that I was going to get to the bottom of my issue. Why is it when it came to the season of fluctuating temps and falling leaves did I become green with envy over women dressed to the nines in bad ass outfits instead of going out and finding some of my own?

I would stumble through stores, leave empty-handed, drive home, run to my bedroom and cry myself to sleep on my pillow … tears streaming down my face wondering why oh why I couldn’t find anything :::cue violins:::. But with a little soul-searching :::pan to me staring outside my window, snuggled up, pondering life with a cup of tea::: I was able to figure out said issue. I had Fall Wardrobe Overload … or FWO.

What are the symptoms of FWO, you ask*? 

-Not being able to focus

-Trying to obtain too many items at once

-Bleeding from the eyelids

-Not starting with the basics

-Nausea

-Excessive drinking

-Lacking in the wardrobe department
*If you lack in the wardrobe department for more than three fall seasons, see your local stylist immediately. 

My issue was that I had my sights set on things that were too trendy. I wanted sequins, and loud shoes, and fur collared everything, and accent pieces. Wrong … wrong … and wrong. Expectations get set too high when you go too loud too soon and you set yourself up for fall failure. It has taken me years along with blood, sweat and tears to perfect obtaining a great fall wardrobe with pieces I can style in numerous ways, and listen, if I can figure this shit out … ANYONE can.

So behold, my secret to the perfect fall wardrobe. Are you ready for this? Come closer, because I will only say it once: Start. With. The. Basics. Then work from there.

BOOM. My work here is done :::drops mic:::

It may sound boring, but if you find yourself banging your head against the wall because you can’t get your fall style act together … let me help a sister (or brother) out, shall I? Here is a breakdown of your basic fall pieces that every person needs.

Screen shot 2013-11-02 at 1.43.27 PM1. Start with Skinnies: Start with a black pair and a gray pair. I personally die for the ones at Old Navy. The price is oh so right, and I can kick, stretch and kick some more in them. And since I’m cheap, I try not to throw them in the dryer for fear of shrinkage. Girls gotta save for her dreams, am I right? And outside of Old Navy, I’ve been investing in my favorite black denim from H&M for years. They are tight as shit, and you will have to dance and high kick a little to get them to move, but oh so worth it. Hell, I may start hoarding them one day.
2. Sigh … Basic Flats: I know, I know … but hear me out. It isn’t fun when you are running 20 minutes late and just need a God damn simple pair of black flats and all you can find are studded booties and rhinestone encrusted open toed sling backs. Make the investment in a good pair of black, nude and leopard print (yes, leopard print, to me, is a neutral …get over it), flats. So when you ARE running late, you can just throw on any of these go-tos, which will pretty much go with everything and anything, and be done with it so you can haul ass to Point B.
Screen shot 2013-11-02 at 1.47.08 PM3. Shield Your Eyes to Saucy Boots: Over-the-knee hooker boots are my fav. If I could have closets and closets filled with them, I would. BUT … every lady needs a good pair of flat black boots and a good pair of flat brown boots. “Riding boots” … if you will. I was never a fan of brown boots, until I realized it gives a look, especially a fall one, a softer feel, where as black boots always give me a dominatrix vibe. The OTK boots might be tempting you, luring you with their seductress ways … but remember, we are starting basic, here. Take a cold shower, and buy the basic boots, for the love of God.
Screen shot 2013-11-02 at 1.49.08 PM3. Get Down With The White Button Downs: Button downs don’t just mean khakis from the Gap, tucked in with loafers. Woof. They make them a bit more jazzier now. Look outside of the Gap box and try stores like Nordstrom and Loehmann’s … those stores are where you will find makers of the classic white button down who thought outside of the boring box.
Screen shot 2013-11-02 at 2.04.21 PM4. The Tits of T-Shirts: Call me crazy, but it is really hard to find the perfect fitting t-shirts. But when you find it, the one that fits perfectly, long enough with the right sleeve length, you buy it in every color … and some you buy two of. Because they are a rare commodity. And know, you will wear them with everything. Don’t lie to yourself. You will. I’m already kicking myself for not investing in more of my favorite Abound t-shirts from Nordstrom Rack, shown to the left.
Screen shot 2013-11-02 at 1.53.59 PM5. Rock A Trench: Yes, they are trendy right now … but they are forever. This is a forever piece. This is when you say, hey I want to invest in a designer piece, but I don’t know what to buy. You say: Burberry trench. Because you will literally have it until you are wrinkled up, old and gray.


One Shoe Blues

ep50_carrie_tripping_runwayThis weekend I started doing an audit of my shoes since it’s almost boots season (eeeeeeeeeee), and I noticed that some, if not all, of my flip-flops and sandals need to be burned. Clearly I did some walkin’ this summer. Which brings me to what I call Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra story time. Gather around, kids … this is a story about probably one of most monumental wardrobe malfunctions of my summer:

As a preface, I would like to state that I was 87% sober when this event occurred. 

Picture it: Labor Day Weekend 2013. Made in America concert. Well … outside of the Made in America concert. My friend and I made this genius assumption that since there was only an hour left until Beyoncé went on stage ticket prices would absolutely be lowered from $150. Genius. Until some intimidating sales person told us, “NOPE still $150, ya comin’ or goin’, ladies?!” Cool. I wasn’t too bummed, though. The sea of trash trucks blocking off streets like something out of Batman (Christian Bale Batman, not Michael Keaton Batman), concert goers wrapped in American flags, girls who looked like Urban Outfitters threw up all over them throwing their iPhones at me to snap a pic of her and the beeeeeeessssssssssties in front of the Made in America sign … um yeah … let’s just say we backed away slowly.

So we decided to walk on down the Parkway for a nice stroll. A stroll that ended up us pretty much walking around the entire city, but I digress. More importantly, a stroll that my Forever 21 sandals that I had worn for two summers clearly couldn’t handle.

Now before you guys roll your eyes at me and say, “listen, I totally know where this is going and you are a damn fool for buying shoes at Forever 21,” I would like to say to you … CHILL OUT, MAN AND LET ME FINISH MY DAMN STORY!

Ahem, where was I? Ahh yes, the Parkway. It was a lovely humid evening, and the farther you got from the concert, the more the city felt completely abandoned. I found myself looking at black SUVs and wondering if young Blue Carter was inside with Momma Bey. Checking out the beauty of the museums. Enjoying light conversation about where to find margaritas close by with my friend (I told you it was really humid out). And then it happened. Mid-sentence I, out of nowhere, trip. In slow motion (at least in my head), my sandal literally folds in half as I lean forward preparing to fall (I probably made a really awesome face during all of this, too). Luckily my cat-like reflexes stopped me from actually falling, but when I looked down, I found the thong part of my sandal hanging on by a literal thread. How poetic.

There I was. At the end of the Parkway with my one sandal in ruins, picturing myself walking around the city barefoot, contracting numerous flesh-eating viruses as onlookers pointed and laughed, and desperately praying that Payless would pop up magically.

Since I had one thread holding my sandal together, I decided to use what the Gods gave me … and walk on, with my head held high. Well … I’ll use the term “walk” lightly. I ended up having to do this really strange swagger, and no, words just wouldn’t do it justice. I’ll let you use your imaginations for that one. Enjoy.

So the point of all of this is that I want to give Forever 21 a slow clap, and at the same time I would like to do a touchdown dance in front of all the Forever 21 shoe haters, because that sandal that was hanging on by an actual thread didn’t break for the rest of the evening. The little guy stayed strong. I was in awe. Sure I had to walk like an idiot for the rest of the evening, but at least I didn’t have to go barefoot and die. Am I right?

So the moral of this story is, Forever 21 shoes are not only cute, cheap, and awesome … but can pretty much withstand anything with a little hope and a lot of awkward swagger.

The end.