Saturday, February 27, 2010

Two in one day!?

I was just thinking about something I needed to rant about. When I say that I don't buy my clothes (except trouser socks) at Wal-Mart, it's not because I am a snob. Firstly, the selection at my local Wal-Marts (yes, with an 'S', there are three within a short distance) all have the worst selection. They are mostly basics, which is fine, but these basics are just really, really terrible quality. Some of the things they have, like the items with more flair are still, low quality and ill fitting. One time I tried on a pair of pants in my usual size, an 18 in the Women's plus section. For some reason, these pants were disturbingly tight on me (which sends me into a panic thinking "when did I gain weight?!?"). I try on the 18 in the missy's section - the "regular" clothes. It's fine. It fits. So, where is the consistency? I pulled out of my closet a skirt from their "George" line in green, black and white with a lovely small print that reminds me of interior decorative arts in the middle east. It's a quite lovely skirt, and beautifully constructed with no loose threads. The fabric is a durable cotton/polyester blend (mostly cotton, poly to keep wrinkles out) and is light enough for spring and summer. I compare this to the skirts they have now. It might be the styles, but they all seem to have these shoddy prints, and on this terrible clingy polyester/rayon/spandex material that looks good on - well, no one who shops at Wal-Mart.

I bought most of my Wal-Mart items about 2 years ago, and since then the quality, selection has gone down drastically. The button down shirts feel like they are made of the broadcloth that I make Halloween and Ren Faire costumes out of. Even details that should not be over looked, no matter where you shop are getting over looked. I noticed on a white button down shirt the bottom button was completely different from the rest and was sewn on with purple thread. This isn't just bad quality control this is just poor workmanship. And it's pretty disappointing. The last item I bought was a plain black shirt that I had to double check for issues and cut 4 loose threads from. It was thin and of course shrunk when I washed it. This was really the last straw.

I decided to stop wasting my money, and hence my ban on Wal-Mart clothing items. It seems very logical to come to this, but I had always been under the impression that Wal-Mart clothes were quality. I decided to buy good, quality pieces, with good construction and tailoring. Clothes that fit. Of course, finding these clothes on the cheap and affordable is another story. And finding them to fit is also another story.

So, where do I find my deals for quality? Mainly, I do shop at Target for my staples - tee shirts, cardigans, and the odd pair of work pants. I love their new Pure Energy plus collection for the fun stuff, and Merona for the nicer work pieces. Target doesn't always have the best quality in everything, but I have better luck finding fit and good construction. With the exception of the knitwear, I still own many of my Target items from two to three years ago. For awesome sweaters and well constructed pieces I go to Torrid. I find my fancier stuff there and the clothes stand up to the test of time with one exception - a really beautiful open knit cowl neck sweater I had in a pinky orange 3 years ago. I washed it in hot water and accidentally dried. My fault. I love Torrid the fashion forward stuff that I will always have. Now, for the foundations of my wardrobe I go to Lane Bryant. Yes, some of the clothes are dowdy and do nothing but make non model-esque women (plus size or otherwise) look chunkier. But for the long lasting stuff - a long boyfriend button down shirt, tailored white pants, a black jacket, and lovely knit wear that LASTS through many many washings - I go there. Pricey, yes but I have never had to throw anything away from Lane Bryant because it ripped, broke, or faded or whatever. I shop clearance, especially when the ICON stuff goes. Hell, I got a black sleeveless jacket that was originally upwards of 90 bucks for...12. Yeah, awesome. I digress.

It doesn't matter how much you spend, but quality is better. I get my foundations (black pants, button downs, knits) from the pricier stores, and the trendier (sparkly tops, leggings, plaid shirt) from cheaper places or on the clearance rack at the expensive. I also load up on trendy accessories at the cheap stores (like Forever 21, Icing). Paired with your basics, you CAN make the statement, know you didn't blow a lot of money on something that probably won't last (I am looking at YOU poncho craze of the mid 00's). Just my philosophy. As the great Tim Gunn says "Make it Work". For you.

Tax Return Shopping!

Like a kid on Christmas, I ran down stairs to my laptop and check my bank account. Low and behold: My tax return! I was pretty psyched and promptly told my fiancee we were going to Coach so I can get my bag. Which also turned into a shopping spree. But that's okay. When I got to Coach, I started just meandering around, looking at things. The shop assistant kept her distance until I asked questions. I was really going toward the Poppy area, because I loved the tote I had my eye on forever. Then I actually looked at the new stuff, that I usually sweep on by when I enter the store. The Kristin Collection. Brand spanking new, in the signature Coach op art jacquard and this softest, buttery leather ever. They came in really pretty springy colors, yellow, teal, white and the usual black and a darker multi color. I ended up getting the Kristin Opt Art Sateen Hobo. I loooove this bag. The short handle is made from the same soft leather and comes with a longer strap that can be removed. I adore this, because it's nice to have some versatility. I have fat line backer arms, so the sorter strap is hard to manage with my bulky winter coat on. I use the longer strap for now. But it's so lovely and once I saw that with the special clasp, all images of Poppy left my head. Poppy who?

The bad news is that my MOTHER got make up on the damn thing when I showed her. BUT I can say for a fact that the Coach cleaner is the most amazing stuff ever. It got the stains out perfectly and quickly with nothing left over. For 10 bucks, it can keep your investment in good shape. That being said, I think for next winter I am going to upgrade through to a full leather piece, one that can stand up to my abuse. :T

I also ended up getting a rather pretty dress from Target, a pretty tank shirt from Torrid and really lovely pointy kitten heals from Nine West. Hurrah, good shopping day!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentines Day: Top 10 Things I have been loving,

10. Bayonetta

I have been stupidly obsessed with this game since I first saw an advertisement for it hanging in Gamestop. I immediately loved the fact that she wears glasses ( like me!) and still kicks ass. Upon watching the trailers I noticed that she has what looked like lollipops in her mouth (yes, lollipop, not sucker or taffy, you freaks). And here's the kicker - she makes her clothes out of her insane hair. Yes, she's my new video game hero, or at least until I start playing TR:Underworld again (not going into why I have to restart, that is a rant for another day).

9. Season Six of LOST

Some people get it, some people don't and some are just completely confused. I fall somewhere in between confused and getting it. But I still can't get enough of this show, especially this newest season. My biggest qualm is that even though we're getting answers, more questions keep cropping up, just like in past seasons. Plus at times, it just feels like we're back at square one, all over again. And how exactly is the biggest question going to be answered: How will this end?

8. Hard Candy cosmetics at Wal-Mart

The other day I was in my local Wal-Mart, when I turned a corner in the make-up section, trying to extricate myself from a crush of people and carts when I literally fell into the Hard Candy display. Wow. I was surprised because HC was a pretty upscale brand back in the day and expensive too. But they had cute little kits and cases for their products, and the quality was good too. I quickly scooped up the Baked Eye Shadow Duo in Rush Hour, Tinted Lip Balm in Carol and Ginormous Mascara in Carbon Black. I really enjoyed the products - the packages are attractive, the eye shadow blends really well (especially with my Sonia Kashuk brushes) and the mascara! Oh! Little to no clumps and the brush is small with small bristles. I will definitely be buying more.

7. Tan Trench Coat

I have been plotting to buy this trench for weeks. I am telling you, as soon as I get paid I am buying this thing. I checked it out in the store and lo and behold, it's quite nice. The outside shell is thick, the lining is soft and colorful. It's not warm coat, but perfect for the spring. I believe a tan trench is a great staple for any wardrobe and a great investment. This will be a piece I shall have forever.

6. Sano Ichiro Novels by Laura Joh Rowland

I don't remember how I got into these books, I think my Aunt gave me one in a bag of books to be passed along to my mom. Regardless, these books stuck a chord with me because, a) I loved anything having to do with japan and b) they are historical. As a history nerd, I couldn't not pass these up, especially since they are so well written. All the little historical details in the books - like clothing, food and even down do how a person was supposed to hold their hands. And of course, the mysteries are well written and completely absorbing.

5.This Top from Torrid

It looks a LOT nicer in real life. Really. The cool part, there are zippers in little places, like the shoulder and across the front on the pink under layer. It makes for a really cool effect and look. I dig the punk rockness, but at the same time I like the attention to the fact that zippers are really in right now.


Yeah, YEAH! This is another one I cannot wait for. It looks to be bigger and more action packed than the last one, with a glittering cast. The trailer? Amazing. It still looks as it Tony Stark's still got it. This just might be the antidote for the depressing recent comics ( at least the ones as of a few months ago, I lost track). And note the end of the may then jump up and go "HELL YES!"

3. The Daily Mail

For some reason I stumbled on to DM after doing a search on more Bridget Jones info, and saw the list of articles they had. It was amazing. All this lovely info from England. For some reason, I just kind of fell for it, and even though some of it doesn't make sense, or goes over my head I still read every day.

2. Poppy by Coach

Specifically the navy blue Op Art Glam Tote. Obsessed, Obsessed. I was going to go with the graffiti one, but I decided the blue tote was classier, but still extremely fun and falling into the poppy line. But, of course, I have to wait for it considering I like having a roof over my head.

1. My Fiancee, Eddie.

Yeah yeah, I love him everyday, but he really made today extra special, so for that, he is my number 1 :D

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Hey, At least I am posting.

Decidedly, I have left this blog again to the wayside. Probably because I have been v. busy. Work, life and really just shopping. I tend to do that a lot. To be honest, I have been less focusing on the geek and more on the goddess aspect of my life. For some reason I have been in a video game and over all nerd funk. I mean there have been little things here and there. An extreme excitement for the new Iron Man. But I will not be attending the midnight premiere because, silly me, I miscalculated the actual date. But I will see it that friday. And BOY am I excited for that. I mean, Mickey Rorke as Whiplash? The trailer says it all, and it looks goooood. I have it downloaded to my iPhone so I can watch it at my leisure. I also had Ed buy me Prince of Persia for the PS3, but I haven't played it yet. I have been unusually tired on the weekend (I blame the Winter slump) and when I come home from work. All I ever want to do is watch CSI (the original thankyouverymuch) and Law and Order: SVU Marathons. Okay and a sprinkling of Project Runway and Americas Next Top Model. So now, I am wondering what happened to my inner geek? Did she burn out when I spent two straight months playing WoW? Probably. I dunno. Why did I suddenly stop buying 360 games and Steve Maddens instead (in Steve's defense, he makes the cutest shoes). Even the girly geek stuff I used to do - where did that go? Well, I know what happened to Tomb Raider. All my saved games for Underworld DIED when Ed decided NOT to take my advice and play WoW and installed FF:XI instead. After much cursing, tears, and throwing of tantrums our 360 was reformatted and all my saved games were GONE. After that I have been too depressed to play anything except DVDs on the 360.

So, I have no answers except for laziness and a willingness to look cute. And that's all right. Once the weather gets sunny, I'll break out the games because really? I don't go outside in the summer and spring. And to be honest...I am okay with that. Now, back to watching the Super Bowl and painting my nails :D