Saturday, May 31, 2008

Eatin' Clothes

Babydoll top, Oh Baby! Capris, Metro 7. Sandal wedges, Mossimo. Earrings, World Market. Belt, swap.

Oh, come on. You know you have them too: comfy, roomy clothes that you can really do some EATIN’ in. These are my eatin’ clothes. The stretch capris and maternity shirt conceal an evening’s worth of Michelob Light and spicy garlic wings at Crossroads.

They are also comfortable enough to wear on the bicycle ride there and back. Mike and I are trying to replace one trip a day with our bikes. I like to think that cycling the hills between our house and the bar somewhat counteracts the effects of wings and beer.

Ballet jumps also burn calories. (Be sure to do these before the beer, not after.)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Business Exotic

Collared and cuffed jersey shirt, Forever 21. Waistcoat, H&M. Indian skirt, 4th of July flea market in Longview, WA. Belt, swap. Shoes, Bandolino. Faux feather earrings, Ali’s Boutique. Bag, Apt 9. Ring, Silpada.

Mixing two divergent styles can end up looking too jarring and contrived. Sometimes, though they work just right, each enhancing the other. I like this combination of men’s and ethnic wear. I call it “business exotic.”

I took a few, extra backlit photos, trying to capture the beauty of this skirt. The top layer is a sheer black fabric with embroidery and sequins. The underskirt is a vibrant teal satin. It’s best appreciated in person.

Mail Bag: Topping a Full Skirt


I have been reading your blog a fair while now, and it’s pretty great.

I’m writing to ask a bit of fashion help from someone who isn’t my husband, or his mum and dad (with whom we live; I’m English living in the states so few real life friends).

I have loads of skirts that are fairly voluminous and I’m struggling with what to wear on my top half. I’m a curvy 14 and I’m trying to balance the skirt with plainer tighter tops but having issues finding the right things.

Have you any advice you can offer? I don’t like to wear very thin strapped cami tops as I wear these to sleep in and feel odd wearing them as daywear.



I, too, love voluminous skirts. They can be flattering and forgiving. With the right top, they create a great 50’s, hourglass silhouette.

I agree that camis are for sleep or underwear. The biggest problem with camis (and tanks, or vests as the English say!) is not the lack of sleeves, but that the fabric is usually some sort of clingy jersey. It looks too casual, does nothing to conceal lumps and bumps, and has little structure. Most t-shirts have the same drawbacks.

To balance out the voluminous skirt, I recommend a top made of a woven fabric. A button-down oxford is a classic option. To sweeten things up a little, look for a top with puffed sleeves or a peter-pan collar. If your oxfords tend to gape at the bustline, consider unbuttoning it to just below the bust and pairing it with a matching camisole. Oxfords with shaping (i.e. darts) or spandex are also good choices for busty figures.

There is no need to rule out knits altogether. A close-fitting, fine-gauge sweater can emphasize your curves. I’d stick with something sleeved to keep the look proportional. Knitted options include sweater sets, cardigans, and turtlenecks. Cardigans are especially useful because they can be buttoned to emphasize your waist. Fit and quality of knits are very important, though. The sweater should skim your curves, not emphasize bulges around your bra or obscure your figure.

For cooler weather or an air-conditioned office, a nipped in blazer looks fabulous over a full skirt. Look for versions with feminine detailing, like puffed sleeves and a fitted waist. You want to avoid anything overly mannish, like double-breasting or a large collar. Stay far away from swing or trapeze-style jackets. Combined with a voluminous skirt, you’ll end up looking like a tent. If a jacket is too hot, you can create a similar look with a vest (waistcoat).

Whatever top you choose, the most important thing to remember is that you want to show off the slimmest parts of your upper body. Emphasize your waist and wrists to counter the fullness of the skirt. A belt can help create curves. Place it at your natural waist, or even a bit higher, to highlight the smallest portion of your torso. A few bangles or a large ring bring attention to your wrists and hands.

Here are a few more of my favorite outfits featuring a full skirt and some of the tops and tricks I’ve mentioned above.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Knit-top dress, Moth. Oxford shirt, Gap. Belt, Steven by Steve Madden. Sandals, Gianni Bini. Cameo earrings, thrifted. Cameo ring, “welcome to the family” gift from my MIL.

Look, I’m a cameo too!

I’m crazy for cameo jewelry. I don’t know what it is I find so appealing about it. I’d love to find a big ol’ brooch. I see them every once in a while on but haven’t bid on one yet.

This is my favorite way I’ve worn this dress so far.

I don’t advise leaping around in platform heels (or a short dress).

I had to whip out the Mikey censor.
I suppose you might say this is my husband’s cameo.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Real Slim Shady

Silk-blend sweater, Moda International. Tank, Merona. Skirt, Side x Side (thrifted and altered by me). Patent belt, The Limited. Jewelry, Xhilaration. Purse, Target (via swap). Slingbacks, Linea Paolo.

One of the great things about my blog is that I have total editorial and creative control. I only picture what I want you to see and write what I want you to read. While I occasionally slip up and reveal a little more depth of feeling, what you usually see is a carefully edited and presented Kasmira. In actuality, the real Slim Shady* is on the right.

I’m a real classy broad; I drink Bud Light.

*I have no idea what that song is about, despite reading the lyrics online, but it seemed apropos.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Target Tribute

Cropped jacket, London Jean. Lace overlay tank, George. Linen skirt, Merona (via swap). Slip (visible at neckline), thrifted. Peeptoe pumps, Mossimo. Purse, Isaac Mizrahi for Target. Earrings and headband, Xhilaration. Bracelet, Forever 21.

You can tell I do a lot of shopping at Target. Here, I’m wearing four of the house brands: Merona, Mossimo, Xhilaration, and Isaac Mizrahi for Target. It’s just so easy to shop there. It has a wide variety of goods, the hours are great, the stores are pleasant, and the design team is spot on the latest trends.

Today’s outfit was inspired by the May issue of Lucky. Ali Larter looks splendid in a mix of beige and cream. I have trouble carrying off that particular palette. I added green to contrast with my skin and bring out the color of my eyes and hair. I’ll admit, that I spent most of the day neither wearing the jacket nor carrying the purse. Our office was too muggy for the jacket (after the climate control had been off for the 3-day weekend) and, seriously, who carries a purse around the office?

Here, you can see why I can’t wear these colors without a contrasting accent. My skin blends right in.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Vest, Old Navy. Gingham dress, Giorgio Fiorlani (thrifted). Earrings, Panagea. Wedges, Montego Bay Club (i.e. Payless!)

This very simple ensemble was inspired by a “lucky how-to” in the May issue.

The lightweight outfit was perfect for a hot, muggy Memorial Day. I thought it fitting that I wore this dress to the very thrift store I bought it from. This time, though, my haul was all jewelry.

All this for less than $5.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Expressive Accessories

I’ve compared my shoe collection to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and, at the risk of offending the psych majors, I think the analogy can be broadened to include all of one’s wardrobe. Self-actualization is in the accessories and I have quite a collection at my disposal.

How do I keep it all organized and make use of its full potential?

Necklaces. I’ve hung three key racks on the back door of one of my closets to handle the necklace accumulation. I aim to keep the finer chains and smaller pendants at the top and the chunkiest, longest pieces at the bottom. I use a few of the existing coat hooks to hang belts and bangles.

Earrings (and Brooches and Rings). I’ve always had a large earring collection. When I was younger, I kept each pair in its own mini, zip-top, plastic bag and housed the entire collection in a decorative tin. These days, there isn’t room for baggies. All my earrings, brooches, and rings are organized by color in a tackle box. I’ve placed the tackle box inside something a bit more decorative. Large pieces, watches, and some of my bracelets, are crammed into the space between the tackle box and the outer container. The color-coded organization doesn’t last longer than a few weeks as I dig through the sections, looking for something that has filtered to the bottom.

Scarves and Belts. Most of my scarves and belts are hung on the back of the door of the second closet. It’s kind of a mess. (Maybe this is why I don't wear many of my scarves.)

With so many options, it can be hard to find just the right jewelry, scarf, or belt to complete an outfit. When I plan my week’s outfits (on Saturday or Sunday), I also choose the accessories I’ll wear with it. I drape necklaces, scarves and belts around the hanger holding the outfit. Earrings and rings are stacked on and around this incense burner and saucer. (Also pictured below is the ten-day weather forecast. I print it on Fridays and use it to plan my ensembles.) The combination of organization and planning enables me to sort through this mountain of stuff and select the options that express my style best.

Edited 2/5/09: I've begun keeping a photo set of my accessories (jewelry, scarves, shoes, hats, etc) on flickr. Click to enjoy!