Category Archives: Fashion

Dress to Impress [Him] (Sometimes)

Remember gauchos? Yeah, sorry to bring that up. I vaguely remember them trying to make a comeback last year by disguising themselves under the new name “culottes,” and everyone responded with “lololololol NO.” It was the equivalent of someone wearing a Groucho Marx mask and thinking they could legitimately get away with it.

groucho marx

I’m no fashionista, but I like to think I have a decent eye. You may not be able to tell by my wardrobe choices, but you’ll just have to trust me when I say my outfits reflect my bank account, not my fashion sense. The last time I had extra spending money was 2009 (thanks, Busch Gardens Entertainment!), so I’ve chosen skip any trend that high schoolers wear, including, but not limited to, flannel shirts tied around my waist, hippie headbands, and high wasted diapers jean shorts. Looking at 16-year-olds to find out what will only be “hip” for one season is a flawless savings plan. Us practical grannies need to stretch our incomes with purchases that will be socially acceptable for more than a few months.

Although my closet only gains 1-2 new items a year, I earnestly try to avoid wearing anything that screams “I’m from 8 years ago!” Re: Gauchos, American Eagle flares, baby tees, anything that requires a cami underneath, etc. But here’s the catch:

We tend to dress not only for ourselves, but for who we want to attract. And [most] men have no clue what is “in.” They just like what they like.

Last week, my fiancé told me he’s really into girls wearing one shoulder tops. So was I! In 2010. The occasional one shouder cocktail dress these days is fine, but shirt versions just remind me of going to TGIF’s for a drink after a long night of work at Cheeseburger in Paradise during my first year out of college. This is nothing against any of you still showing off your right shoulder like it’s a third boob, sticking it in the faces of bartenders to get a drink, but that’s just something I can’t do in good conscience.

What do you do, then, when your boyfriend/fiancé/husband tells you he is really attracted to a style that brings you back to a time of Yellow Tail wine and The Black Eyed Peas? Or what if your boy toy thinks he’s “fashion forward,” so he buys you futuristic platform shoes and says “these will look really hot on you”? In both cases, you want to respect his wishes…without losing respect for yourself. Because no self-respecting woman will wear one of these (in public):

choker

I should take a moment to clarify that a good man won’t dictate what you wear, and you never need to dress a certain way just to make someone like you. I’m simply saying that, if you’re like me, you like to take your man’s opinion into account because it’s fun to make him happy. That’s all.

Anyway, the key to respecting his opinions while also respecting your reputation is setting boundaries. If he likes velvet animal print, maybe find some jewelry that subtly pays homage to The Lion King without making you look like an 1980s sex worker. Or if he’s into white eyeliner circa 2001, use some white eyeshadow on your lid (blended into something less aggressive at the crease) as a grown up version of his middle school fantasy. If he requests jean capris with no pockets on the butt, look him square in the eye and say, “Absolutely not.”

Something like my fiance’s affinity for one shoulder shirts is a manageable dilemma. I can’t promise I’ll wear them on a regular basis, but for a Tuesday night dinner date when there’s only a 5% chance we’ll Instagram the experience, I’m happy to throw on one of my old tops and let him take a long, hard look at my left collar bone. You’re welcome, sweetie.

Maybe you have no idea what “looks” your straight, male counterpart enjoys. I highly suggest asking– if not for fashion ideas, then simply for entertainment. Besides the normal stuff that all guys can’t help but like (v-necks, bandage dresses, daisy dukes– not to be confused with the diapers shorts I mentioned earlier), you may be surprised at what he finds attractive. Who knows? He could think messy buns are the hottest thing of all time. In that case, congratulations on the easy road ahead of you. But maybe he’s into dark purple lipstick. Or Jesus sandals. These are things you should know, and maybe—just maybe—you can work with them.

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3 Crucial Preparations for Spring

flowers

Attention, everyone! I believe Spring* has arrived! That’s right, the eagle has landed. I repeat, the eagle has landed.

[Knocks on wood.]

I’m not sure how long the sunny and 60s weather plans on staying, but if we play hard to get [see last week’s blog post], maybe it’ll stick around for a while. I’m not very good at playing it hard to get, though, so I’ll probably wear pastel chiffon every day and roll down my windows at every opportunity. You can blame me if Spring ends up running the other direction and ghosting us all because it’s too overwhelmed by my love. #life

Since the birth of Generation grannY last January, I’ve written about every season except for spring. (See Never/Always: Winter Edition, The 3 Stages of Summer for the Average White Girl, and Being Basic: 3 Realizations During Fall.) The time has come to give Spring the attention it deserves—but not too much, obviously. Although she (Spring is definitely a “she”) has seemingly touched down, she doesn’t formally arrive until 3/20/15, so let’s talk about how to prepare for her grand entrance.

1. Wash your black tights

I know most of you don’t wash your smelly, kind-of-damp black tights very often in the winter because you’re sticking them in boots anyway, so who cares? First of all, you’re gross. Second, once Spring arrives, it’s time to put those nasty black tights back into hibernation where they belong: the deepest, darkest corner of the bottom drawer of your dresser. You’ll want to wash them before doing so, though, or else you’ll really regret it come November. Trust me. Also trust me when I say that if you wear black tights post-March, you will be labeled a) depressing, b) dumpy, and c) dramatic. A Triple D. Nobody wants to be a Triple D. That just sounds painful. Wait, what am I talking about? Tights. Right.

smelly gif

 

2. Start weaning yourself off of Netflix

I know you and Netflix got real close during winter, but all good things must come to an end. Shhhh, it’ll be okay. There, there. I’m not saying to quit cold turkey, but try one or two episodes at a time. Pull a Nancy Reagan and Just Say No to binge-watching. As with saying goodbye to any unhealthy, addicting relationship, you’ll need to fill your time with other things. Suggestions: the gym, friends, and liquor drinks new hobbies. If you slow fade Netflix, you will be thanking me BIG time by the end of Spring when you’ve A) prepared yourself to wear shorts without scaring off potential suitors and small children; B) raised your social tolerance for when evening engagements pick up due to warm weather and rooftops; and C) participated in some new activity that gave you a personality again. Netflix has stolen your soul. Time to get it back. Spring into action! (See what I did there?)

couch gif

 

3. Get a pedicure

I don’t even want to know how low your grooming standards have fallen by this point, but sometime before 3/20/15, do yourself and the world a favor and get a pedicure, pick up some new razor blades, and apply Aveeno generously. You can’t hide beneath jeggings, Toms, and lightweight peasant blouses forever. Eventually, you’ll need to expose those stubby appendages attached to your feet in happy, spring sandals, paired with a maxi dress that potentially unveils your calf when you cross your legs on a bar stool– so go ahead and get everything taken care of while there’s still time.

prickly gif

 

Remember: Only five days until Spring reveals herself in an official capacity! Here’s to planning, people!

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*For you grammar freaks out there, I purposefully capitalized “Spring” due to a little thing called personification. I know it probably bothered some of you throughout the post since seasons are not supposed to be capitalized, but have a little faith, will you? I know how the English language works.

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You’re My Bad Habit

I’m not sure if any of you noticed, but this was the summer of crop tops in Shannyland. For those of you who pushed “Unfollow Shannon” are not friends with me on Facebook or don’t follow my Instagram, let me recap:

CROPS

I’m not embarrassed. I like what I like. Also, are you judging me for repeating tops? Don’t.

You know how people say that we are creatures of habit? I’d like to think that in choosing each weekend summer outfit, I’m just a walking representative of this concept- a concept which takes a huge, yet relatively unacknowledged, role in all of our lives. Consider me a catalyst for thought, one crop top at a time.

Why do we always put our right shoe on first? Why do we park in the same unassigned parking spot every morning? Why do we dry ourselves off after every shower in the exact same way? It’s like a memorized towel dance at this point. I flip it and ruffle it and twist it in strict choreography without even thinking. It’s honestly kind of impressive. Similar to this:

[Watch it! Make the time. It’s worth it.]

The only reason I can come up with for why we are creatures of habit is because if we had to put significant thought into every little detail of our lives, we’d be exhausted. I’m exhausted just deciding what filter to use on Instagram, which bottle of wine to buy, and if I want my soy chai iced or hot. [For those of you who are new to sarcasm, ease up. I’m not that much of a basic betch…though it’s true that September and October are tricky months when it comes to my Starbucks order.] Saving your brain power for necessary decision-making is acceptable, but some habits are worth the effort of breaking- and I don’t just mean picking your nose (ew, you’re gross).

The way we interact with other people is greatly out of habit. Our relational dynamics change from person to person, which is why we turn to some friends when we want a night of laughter, others when we need a good sounding board, and still others when we want to delve into deep conversation. Knowing what to expect from certain personalities and chemistries is only normal, but becomes dangerous when relationships that were once positive dive into a negative spiral.

Most of the time, unhealthy relationships are saved for family and significant others because they are the people to whom we are most attached. And attachment gets really sticky (think- something sticks to something else…aka attachment). We often become overly sensitive to the behaviors of our family and loved ones, resulting in an extreme lack of patience. Perhaps every time your mother calls, you feel like she’s nagging you to do something, so before you even answer the phone, you get in a snappy mood. Even if she’s just calling to remind you that you’re having dinner on Sunday, you bark back with “Ugh, Mom. I know! I’m not irresponsible like you clearly think I am.” Whoa, there, buddy. She just wanted to remind you because she knows you’re busy, plus she’s looking forward to it. Your habit, however, is to react defensively no matter what comes out of her mouth. Something similar might be the case with a significant other. You get so accustomed to constantly bickering that you don’t remember what that person is like outside of the negative bubble where your relationship currently resides. It’s hard to even recall what it was like when you were flirtatious or fun because the habit of having no patience is so ingrained.

So how do we escape these bad habits with people that we love? Because of how the human brain works, we can only replace old habits with new habits. Heard that before? It doesn’t just apply to eating patterns. (Sorry, but I’m never going to replace french fries with a salad. I’m just not.) In relationships that give us grief, we can’t absentmindedly expect things will just magically change without an intentional plan. A new route. New habits. Mentally prepare yourself for the next time your mother calls. Decide that no matter her tone or topic, you are going to make her feel completely loved. Next time your boyfriend acts uninterested in your day, go make a batch of cookies and silently give him one with a smile on your face. Then call up your girlfriend and talk about something going on in her life instead of telling him how insensitive he is. Do these things every single time you want to react negatively until it becomes a habit. I’m not saying to brush issues under the rug, but perhaps 21 days of forming a new habit on your end will surprise the other person and, in turn, their habits will start to change, as well.

Maybe I know nothing (like Jon Snow…GOT fans, I know you love me right now), but I’ll let you know how well this concept works in 21 days. Or maybe I’ll forget and write another Never/Always series 21 days from now, but I still think changing our own habitual negative reactions to other people can only lead to good things.

You may thank my wardrobe full of crop tops for this insight, along with @ashli_p (Insta) for being the reason I went on a crop top shopping spree in June. Visit her blog. It’ll make you giggle a lot and dress better. http://ashliwithaneye.com/2014/06/17/summer-2014-style-crop-top/

By the way, I wrote a post on a similar topic back when my blog was Shannon’s NYC…those die hard readers may remember. (Hi, Dad and Claire Buffie- I think that’s just you guys) Here it is: Expectations

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