Saturday, August 15, 2015

10 Reasons to Wear All Black

Even though Knit It Black has met it's goal, I still have a few black-related blog posts and such to go up, so I'm gonna do 'em anyway! Plus, we're still working on the stretch goal, there are still some groovy prizes, and it's a good chance to snag the collection for a few bucks less than the final price ;-)

I don't always wear all-black (as you can probably tell from, you know, all the pictures of me on this blog.) I've been moving steadily towards it over the last few years, and at this point my wardrobe is mostly black and gray, with the occasional red or white pop (and a few pairs of regular jeans.) But many days I do, and I have to say, there are a lot of reasons to love an all-dark wardrobe:

1. Black is flattering
Doesn't matter what "season" you are or what your body shape is like: you're gonna look hot in black. It's just a fact.

2. People fuck with you way less
.... and that goes triple if you slap some dark sunglasses on. I've noticed a significant decrease in creepy comments when I'm walking around in head-to-toe black. Dudes will still look at you, but then they'll quickly avert their eyes and scurry away, before you have time to cast a spell on them or something. You will occasionally get a meddling old hen telling you to wear more color, but as long as you perfect your blank, skeptical stare, it won't be a problem.

3. Shopping becomes crazy fast...
You only have to look at the black items of clothing in the store, so you're going to blow through those racks WAY faster.

4. ...As does getting dressed
You know what matches black? Black. (Well, there is the issue of different "shades" of black, but I say embrace the subtle tonal differences.) Go ahead, get dressed in the dark, before your coffee. You'll look great and you'll save time and creative energy for other things.

5. No more sorting laundry!
Darks AND lights? Ain't nobody got time for that. (Pro-tip: wash your blacks in cold water, they'll stay darker longer. When they start fading you can always pep them up with a little Rit dye. Or pep them...down, I guess.)

6. Great for slobs
You know what's tough to stain? Black.

7. You feel like a badass
Wearing all black is basically like wearing an exoskeleton made of confidence.

8. Black is classic
Barring certain trendy silhouettes, your clothes won't be going out of fashion anytime soon.

9. All-black is attention grabbing, without looking attention-whorey
The ultimate "trying without trying" look.

10. Pretty much appropriate for any occasion
Okay, maaaaybe cave and wear some gray to that spring garden wedding if you're really worried, but for the most part, in the words of fabulous fashion weirdo/genius Karl Lagerfeld, "One is never over-dressed or underdressed with a little black dress."

Yep so... prettttty much the best. Looking to craft a little black into your wardrobe? Lemme point you over here...

Monday, August 3, 2015

Knit It Black!

This is a bit more relevant to my knitting audience, but as this blog has often celebrated the wearing of black, I figured it was appropriate to post here too! I am currently running a Kickstarter to help me produce an all-black knitting pattern collection that aims to raise awareness and funds for black shelter pets, who are adopted less often and euthanized more often than their lighter-colored brethren. Amazingly we are almost at the goal amount, after only two days...BUT if we can hit the stretch goal (another $2000) I'll be able to realize the long-dreamt dream of putting out a small ready-to-wear collection, which will also support the same cause (and also be pretty darn heavy on the black, heh heh heh.)

For more info, click the video above, or you can click through here to read all about it!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Just popping in to say that Bombasine is not dead, just sleeping. I know it's been quiet, and it will be quiet for a bit longer...but there are big plans in store :-)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Lessons from Skirtember

Well! Skirtember is over. I'll admit I had it a bit easy, since I work at home and don't always NEED a real outfit (I also cheated a few times, but it is really hard to work up the gumption to get fancied up just to go to the post office... which I did do at least once.)

These were my take-aways:

- If a skirt or dress requires special undergarments, it ain't gonna get worn.
I've got some of those no-show "hipster" undies from H&M that really aren't bad, compared to thongs, but still. The notion of a strapless bra will not even be entertained. This is a really good thing to know about yourself and keep in mind while shopping :-P

- Getting into or out of a tall car in a short skirt is exceedingly difficult.
I've got a lot of sympathy for Britney and Lindsay now. Though, knowing this information, I probably wouldn't go commando.

- You'll get more comments when you don't wear pants
Some of these will be the creepy-leering-dude sort, many will be the ladies-of-all-ages saying your outfit is cute sort. Nobody likes the first kind, and if you're as painfully introverted as I am you may find the second kind a little stressful too, even though they are delivered with the kindest intentions. I find that sunglasses really cut down on how many people talk to me, as does walking around with a gait and expression that says "I'm running late because of someone else's incompetence and they are definitely losing their job and at least one limb when I make it back to the office."

More like "Keep Calm and Don't Fucking Talk To Me"

- Tights need to be like, three inches longer in the leg.
Seriously, I'm not particularly tall and I don't usually have to buy "long" jeans, but tights crotches are almost always way too dang low. Makes you feel like a penguin, but not as cute.

- A skirt-based wardrobe is annoying to launder
All kinds of tights and fabrics that shouldn't go in the dryer... just how many lingerie bags is a gal expected to own, man? I guess you could choose only hardy-fabric items and skip the tights and it wouldn't be so bad, but...meh.

- I love jeans... but skirts are more fun to style.
They're also tougher to style, since you have to actually consider the colors on your bottom half instead of just going "PFfffff jeans go with everything!" I've got my wardrobe whittled down to a fairly limited palette, though, which definitely helps.

- I definitely feel more comfortable in skirts than when I started
...which was the goal (I'm prone to feeling too "dressy" and getting a bit self-conscious... it's also the reason I rarely wear earrings.) I'm also kind of sick of them, but I'm sure that'll fade. There were a few skirts/dresses I didn't get around to wearing, and now I need to take a long hard look at them and figure out if I really like them enough to keep.

All in all, definitely a challenge I'd recommend.... and it's not too late, I just saw the word "Frocktober" somewhere! And then there's always "No-pants November" and "Dresscember"...

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Skirtember's End, Sept 23-30

Shirt: One Step Up
Skirt: Stoosh
Tights: Michael Stars layered over solid black
Shoes: Aldo
Plaid shirt: Forever 21

This is around the point when I started getting sick of Skirtember and pushing it a bit farther. I wanted to make sure to work in some of these slightly trickier skirts (though I'll admit there were a few I didn't get to.)

Hat: This one
Jacket: Vintage Paul Louis  (my mother's! Unfortunately she's shorter than me and was itty bitty, so it's a bit small.) 
Dress: Rewind
Tights: Unknown
Boots: Mossimo
Purse: The Sak

Bats! They are very important. And adorable. 

Hat: Fave
Jacket: Theory
Sweater: Abound (seems to be a Nordstrom/Rack brand?)
Skirt: Windsor
Fringe Slip: Val Mode (vintage)
Tights: UO
Necklace: Unknown

Jacket: Bebe
Flannel: Merona
Tights: these- they're not quite leggings, not quite tights.
Necklace: found on, but I don't think it's this one.

Back view of fun legging things:

Whew! Well! That wraps it. I've got another post in progress where I do a little naval gazing about this whole skirtstravaganza, but in the meantime... time to turn our attentions to the great month of Halloween. Or October. Or whatever you want to call it. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Fragrance Wars

The other day I realized that I had accidentally purchased disposable razors with scented handles.

Scented. Fucking. Handles.

As a society, we have apparently decided that it's not enough that every product we put on our body has a smell, now the tools we use to do so must smell as well. I am fanatical about avoiding artificial perfumes, but I never even thought to check goddamn RAZOR BLADE HANDLES.

Don't mind me, just heading to the shower.

There are plenty of very good reasons to avoid synthetic fragrances, but let's back up a minute and make the assumption that you, like many people, don't mind and maybe even enjoy perfumed products.

You step into your shower, where you use your Berry-scented shampoo, Lily Essences conditioner, Pink Grapefruit body wash, Mint Julep facial scrub, Cashmere Rain shaving cream (wtf?), and your stupid ass Venus razors with the "tropical scent" handles.


You step out into your bathroom and take a big whiff of your Clean Linen plug-in. You slather some "Pasión de Tango" deodorant, moisturize with your Rose facial oil, and spray a little "Fresh Fragrance" hair product into your hair for some texture. Gotta moisturize those newly-smooth legs, so you grab some Pumpkin Latte and Marshmellow body lotion (it's fall, after all!) Perhaps you're expecting your period, so you make use of a "Clean Fresh Scent" pantyliner, then wash your hands with some Crisp Morning Air handsoap and follow up with Berry Blossom hand lotion. Oh, and let's not forget a puff of Chanel No. 5!

You walk into the other room to get dressed - your laundry detergent claims to smell like a Butterfly Kiss, but you're not sure how that's even possible. Next it's time to slap on some lipstick that smells curiously of Gummy Bears, some Watermelon blush, some Chocolatey-smelling bronzer and Vanilla-scented mineral eyeshadow. When you come out into the living room, looking fab and ready to start your day, you realize that it's smelling a bit musty in there- but hey, it's nothing that a little Midnight Storm Febreeze won't take care of. Just for good measure, you light up a Summer Wish (equally perplexing) candle.

At this point, you smell like a Yankee Candle shop operating upstairs from a funeral home. You are the olfactory equivalent of taking everything in your fridge, putting it in a food processor, and calling it soup. Migraineurs scream and run at the first whiff of you. Airplane seatmates sniffle and dab at watering eyes. Dogs are confused by you.

But honestly? Unless you're actively trying to avoid scented products, this is probably the sort of stuff you'll end up with in your home. Fragrance is ubiquitous- it's in EVERYTHING. It is literally even in products marked "Unscented", I shit you not. (Men, you are not exempt- your soaps, shaving creams, colognes, deodorants, detergents, and god-help-you "body sprays" are just as bad. Though I don't think we've started scenting your goddamn razors yet.)

Of course, you can't smell these smells. Your nose is used to them, so except for that first powerful whiff when you open up the bottle or light up the candle, you don't even notice them. One of the most shocking things I learned when I gave up scented products was just how much EVERYTHING smells- once your olfactory receptors have recovered from their constant fatigue, you'll be amazed what you can smell.

So you don't smell particularly good to yourself, since you don't notice. Other people either also don't notice (being used to synethtic fragrance themselves) or notice and find you, frankly, unbearable (and that's if they're lucky and don't end up with a splitting headache, nausea, or congestion.) And all the while, the dang stuff is fucking with your hormones and slowly giving you cancer (among a jillion other things.)

So why? Why do it? Marketers want you to buy perfumed stuff because our olfactory memories are so intensely strong and linked to emotion- if you associate a particular smell with someone or somewhere you love, you'll want to smell more of it, and you'll pay money for the privilege. (It also nicely covers up the odors of the other nasty chemicals used in a lot of products- which is why "unscented" often...isn't.) Stores will pump scents into the air to affect your buying behavior and mood state - it sounds like some creepy Big Brother shit, but it's true. Restaurants will slap an air freshener into the bathroom outlet to hide the fact that it smells like pee all the time. They don't care if they're pumping you full of neurotoxins, just as long as you keep giving them money. Please, stop encouraging them!

There is a 0% chance that your handsoap smells like this.

Tips for Going Fragrance-Free (or at least Freer)

  • Read the labels. As I mentioned above, "Unscented" is sometimes meaningless, but "Fragrance Free" or "Free and Clear" is usually okay. Still, to be safe, look at the ingredients labels- avoid anything that lists fragrance, perfume, parfum, or fragrance oils. It's important to do this even when shopping at "natural" stores or for "natural" products, as many things claiming "With Lavender Essential Oil!" will also sneak in some artificial fragrances as well. One of the grossest things about fragrance is that companies don't have to tell you what's IN them because it's considered a "trade secret"... it could contain pretty much any kind of nasty poison they want to include. 
  • Don't forget things like dish soap and laundry detergent! Laundry detergent is particularly insidious, and if you start un-fatiguing your sniffer, soon you'll realize just how bad it is- when I buy second hand clothes, I have to wash them repeatedly and let them air out in the basement for months before I can stand to wear them. (New clothes usually need at least a wash or two, but aren't as bad.) Vinegar in the wash water helps, especially if you soak it (baking soda helps too, but may cause it to fade a bit.) 
  • If you want smells, consider natural sources. Essential oils do give some people headaches (or sniffles) but by and large are much safer than synthetics, and more and more products rely on them instead of their chemical alternatives. They're much less "sticky," too- if you wash your hands with soap scented with EO, the scent will fade very soon after, whereas conventional soap smells can stick for HOURS. (Just remember- don't use EOs on your skin at full strength, dilute them with a milder oil! A little goes a long way.) Many beneficial skin oils and butters have lovely scents on their own- my current deodorant is made with cocoa butter and coconut oil, and while it's not very strong, my armpits definitely smell like some sort of delicious confection. Linens can be stored with sachets of dried herbs to help keep them from getting stale in the closet (or you can just wash them again right before you use them, if they've been away for a long time.) 

Hello, I am delicious, and oh so useful.

  • Even if you don't choose to ban fragrances from your life entirely, at least be picky. If you want to smell like your expensive perfume or fancy body lotion, you shouldn't be using 20 other products with different smells at the same time. Soaps, hair products, detergents, shaving creams, etc really do not need to have smells- all they do is cling and compete with whatever smells (deodorant, perfume, lotions) you are actually intending to put on. (And don't even get me started on scented make-up, wtf is THAT about?) Figure out what you actually want to smell like and eliminate the rest so you don't smell like potpourri vomit.

A Disclaimer:
Yes, cutting artificial scents out of your life will probably make you more sensitive to them. Walking past Abercrombie & Fitch will feel like chemical warfare, and if you're a hugger you'll soon learn what detergent all your friends are using. But the trade-off (besides all that "not putting poisons in your body constantly" stuff) is that a healthy, less-fatigued schnozz is much better for smelling good smells- things like actual vanilla, actual pumpkin lattes, actual clean air and autumn leaves. Given how entwined smell is with taste, I wouldn't be surprised if there were benefits there too.

(By the way, those scent names up there? All totally real products. I think Gain detergent wins for originality- Sweet Sizzle, Icy Fresh Fizz, Moonlight Breeze, Dreamy Desire..... and I'm always amused by scents claiming to be "Fresh" or "Clean Air." Oh the irony.)

Gas mask photo by Vivian Aubrey, butchered by me... she would never commit such crimes against Photoshop.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Feelin' Skirty, Sept 10-22

Hat: Fave (handknit)
Shirt: OP (as in Walmart, I think... I got it second hand and it's my favorite ever.)
Skirt: Windsor (old, but they've got a lot of pencil skirts.)
Tights: xhilaration (probably? I don't know, I own a lot of opaque black tights.)
Boots: Minnetonka (these are a few seasons old, but these are similar.)

Hat: Suture (handknit)
Sweater: Mossimo
Dress: Lux
Socks: unknown, but probably from Sock Dreams
Boots: Mossimo

Sweater: Roxy
Socks: b.ella, I think. Believe it or not they are different from the last pair.

Shirt: The tag just has a bunch of spiderwebs on it instead of a name (?!)
Tights: cheap random-ass nylons like the kind you buy in an egg or whatever
Socks: unknown, but probably from Sock Dreams
Boots: Blue Suede Shoes (I find it disturbing how many brands just straight up don't have a website. At least TRY, geez.) 

This was my Halloweenified outfit for Hell's Hearsefest, an event that anyone in the area should absolutely attempt to attend someday.

Clearly, I had estimated the aesthetic of the event accurately.

Hat: Fave (handknit)
Sweater: Old Navy (ancient)
Skirt: MICHAEL Michael Kors
Socks: Urban Outfitters (similar)

I think when this month is over, I'll feel a lot more comfortable wearing skirts (which was the goal) but I'm also going to be really freakin' sick of it. And this is without even going out everyday...and having a few cheat days (because it's really hard to get all gussied up JUST to go to the post office, y'know?)


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