buttoned up

I have to thank CPL* for sending me a photo worth emulating, and more interesting still for being in line with my style (I had all of the ingredients to reproduce it on hand) yet unlike anything I’ve worn before. Expanding horizons.

*Her blog, geek outsider, is located at the junction of race and geekery. Very cool.


It’s impressive to me what a difference it makes to do up those top buttons. Loosen the hair and undo the buttons and you have another aesthetic altogether.

I like the simplicity/severity of the clean collar, the white against the black. It seems like you rarely see a clean buttoned shirt like this, so prevalent are bib-style necklaces (and ties). The absence of decoration is almost more distracting than if I had added a detail at the throat.

The lipstick you may remember from my recent lipstick ramble. Oh! I’ve just realized that glasses would have been fitting here.


Love the clean geometry of the cuffs peeking out. I am won over by such small details.

IMG_8756J Crew buttoned shirt (thrifted), H&M cardigan, American Apparel skinny suede belt, AG jeans (thrifted, cropped), Jeffrey Campbell France strapped boots, Pearls of Joy 8-9mm studs. On the lips, MAC lipstick in Dubonnet.



the bold lip

Here’s a peek of the face situation for a look going up later in the week. I wanted to dwell on the lipstick for a moment.


A bold lip is great for autumn/winter, yes, that’s true…but perhaps you’ve noticed how it’s always great, all the time?

I followed the principles of this tutorial by Lisa Eldridge (who we love*), which counsels neutralizing any redness in the face before going for a dark red or bordeaux lip – as any red or purple tones will be highlighted and amplified next to it – then tips for how to approach the task, which can indeed be daunting.

*here is another favorite lip-centric tutorial

I colored in the lips with MAC brick pencil and then went in, straight from the bullet, with MAC Dubonnet lipstick, a beautiful dark claret. Part of the idea of the pencil is to work out the shape of the lips with the more precise tip, which you then follow with the lipstick, coloring inside the lines, as it were. You can do corrections with a pencil – most people’s lips are somewhat wonky, mine definitely so – but I don’t often bother. It’s a lot of work (I find it really hard to figure out which is the part that needs fixing, my face is too familiar),  looks even stranger than the actual shape up close, and…these are my lips. They look nice and human this way. Part of wearing bold lipstick is doing your best and then embracing that harmonious state of mind wherein you let these things (and all the other things that can go wrong) go. OR I go for that vague hazy stain approach, where you pat on the lipstick in a cloud of color, blot most of it away and leave the edges fuzzy: much more forgiving, and it has its own charm.

It takes me kind of a long time to do a bright/bold lip color…I am pretty slow anyway, and like to fuss and fiddle with the intensity and the edges (which are still wonky, after all that…). But I ask myself, do I want to wear it or not? I do, I do, I do.