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Sunday 26 February 2017

Three looks for a savage woman

That's right: three looks, no rules. Why? Because I'm SAVAGE!
Look 1: Double expansion pants for Candyland

A land of cakes and ice cream! But, uh oh, not nearly enough elastic-waisted pants before laundry day. What to do! How can I possibly accommodate such an ungodly chow-down?

Fabulous Anna of Anna's Island Style to the rescue. She sent me two pairs of trousers quite a while ago, and I'd say they fit very well if you don't mind losing all your circulation. Since I like circulation and eating, I decided to convert these pants - one pair in a beautiful soft, brown wool plaid and the other in a vivid zig-zaggy blue - into one pair of pants double size.

I chopped the brown pants down the sides, then inserted side panels from the blue pants to turn these slim-leg trousers into one pair of wide-leg wonders. To finish them off, I sewed the blue rear patch pockets onto the front. With a little hemming, these pants were done. Pocket artefacts in the blue panels are just wide enough to hold a pen. Handy!

Now I LOOOOVE these trousers. Although the fabric has stretch, they hang freely so I have lots of room for cake and ice cream. Thank you, Anna!

My top you might remember from an earlier post - I combined two t-shirts and a blue sweater into one top. The sleeves are extra long, but, because I designed two more sleeve holes higher up, the top can also be worn short sleeved with the excess fabric at the elbow free for dramatic whipping about and cursing when they dip into your coffee mug. The back of the top is longer than the front for fantastic rear coverage.

Look 2: Lurid waddle pants

Moving along. These are my Marni for H&M lurid lurex pants bought from a consignment shop, also farked with the addition of a racing stripe down the side for curbside appeal and expansion. (Am I noticing a trend here?!!!) The top is a vintage thrift find.

The above photo is called, drum roll please, Savage Lurid Moon Walk with Elephant. The pants are slightly drop crotch. I would call the original design a partial fail because you are forced to do a mini shuffle when you walk due to inadequate fabric in the crotchal area. But wearing these is still worth the waddle.

Note the facial expressions. That's my normal face. My blank face. My I'm-just-standing-here-waiting-for-the-camera face, perhaps elevated by the messy hair into the realm of fake rockstar.

The next photo is the one I shall put on Instagram. I had to show you the version with the shades.

Look 3: So short it hurts you

And the grand finale of this post, my mini dress. Does its scandalicious shortness wound your delicate style-rule sensibilities? How short is it? It's soooo short that I have to keep tugging it down to cover the solid band of colour at the top of these glitter tights - it's so bad it's good, and perfect for being part of The Savage 50, feck yeah.

I'm also wearing my thrifted over-the-knee caramel boots, vintage I believe, softest leather, made in Italy. I was delighted and surprised that they fit my ankles and calves so well. These boots were DEFINITELY made for walkin'.

Isn't she AMAZING! - I'm speaking of Nancy Sinatra of course, "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'." This is exactly how I feel when I step out in this last outfit, well, when I wear many of my outfits. Often this song plays in my head when I'm on my inspiration walks around town. I can see now that my dress is not nearly short enough. Heh.

I hope all of you have outfits that make you feel this good, whether it's a mini dress or a pantsuit, whether you're out walkin' or lounging in the La-Z-boy with a martini. If you don't, what are you waiting for?!! Get on it!! Hahaha. Let your savage heart run free.

I'm linking one of these up to Patti at Not Dead Yet Style, Visible Monday, and Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb, #iWILLwearwhatilike, absolutely.

Saturday 18 February 2017

Palazzo pants for any occasion, not kidding

I took music with me to the alley this time. Tricky business. 

With headphones on, I strain to hear my camera's self-timer countdown and my head spins on the lookout for vehicles, although this particular location is relatively quiet. The biggest distractions are people who wander in on smoke breaks and make me feel like a dork (thank goodness I'm a pro dork and can handle it) and dumpster-divers, etc. (best not to go into details).

Mel Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret listening to tunes in a Vancouver alley. Check the huge vintage palazzo pants.

Definitely I'm NOT listening to Symphonie Fantastique 5th Movement by Berlioz, which you may recall was used as creepy theme music for Julia Robert's evil husband in the movie Sleeping with the Enemy. Memory jog here. No, these tunes were definitely more upbeat, a "mix tape." Oh those words from a bygone era, yeah, bygone like my youthful trampoline skin!! - sigh. But I'm at least waaay more mature and friggin' wise. 

Mel Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret acting like a dork with her headphones in a Vancouver alley. Mix tapes are all that.

These mega-leg vintage paisley palazzo pants are great with heels but a bit long for my Converse runners, so I hoisted them a few inches at the bottom with mitten clips. This gave the pantlegs a fantastic balloony effect, while also keeping them out of the muck - double yes.

On top are: upcycled white T-shirt with two chest-level ventilation holes for, uh, chest ventilation, worn over an ivory cotton T-shirt, a so-soft faux-fur and leather bomber jacket, and a big canvas/leather satchel. And my Yuzhe Studios coat is tied at my waist for temperature control emergencies.

For me, music is another cheap form of transportation. See the two exhibits below. Exhibit 1: In the alley.

Mel Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret looking like a tree stump, maybe, wearing huge palazzo pants. A Vancouver alley.

Exhibit 2: In the forest with Dog.

Mel Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret roaming the wilds with her dog friend and wearing humongous palazzo pants.

Either I was really in the forest with Dog and photo-edited myself into all of these other alley shots or I was in the alley and photo-edited myself into the forest. Take your pick. Better yet, have ten martinis (or G&Ts) and tell me what you think.

Perspective is everything. Below I am in a 10 meter-deep empty water tank undergoing some weird cult initiation rite. I think the goddess is supposed to suck me up. Too much fun!!

Mel Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret in weird cult initiation ceremony in a huge water tank, wearing enormous palazzo pants.

And then a cool shot because, yeah, like, l'm wearing headphones, right? That makes this auto-cool. I should have put on my shades for double-auto-cool.

Mel Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret in the alley with huuuuge palazzo pants. Double cool. Heh.

I'll link up with, guess who? Patti, Visible Monday, Not Dead Yet Style, and Catherine, #iwillwearwhatilike, Not Dressed as Lamb.

Perhaps you've had a fine week? I do hope so! I'm finally waking up. The snow is gone in Vancouver, for now. Bah-bye!! Sending you wishes for all good things.

Sunday 12 February 2017

New York and Arizona on a budget

OMG OMG - I'm in NEW YORK!!!
Yup, who made it to NYFW?

OMG OMG - I'm in ARIZONA!!! 

Yup, who made it to  
The 40+ Blogger Meetup in Phoenix,
hosted by Sherry of 
Petite over 40?

Puh, NOT ME and NOT ME!!

I'm so bummed that I missed yoga with goats, which hostess Sherry, in a stroke of genius, included on the itinerary in Phoenix. Diane of Fashion on the Fourth Floor demonstrates great goat yoga style in the photo below. Bwahahaha!

Diane of blog Fashion on the Fourth Floor.

Diane has more photos HERE on her Instagram. I figure I could get my partner O to stand on my back, even though he lacks the requisite cloven hoof. I'm pretty sure he wouldn't relieve himself or eat my clothes or hair while he's up there, but that's part of the excitement, isn't it? Not to mention the sound effects I'd be missing out on with a real goat. At home, I'd just be yelling, "Ow! Ow! Get off me!" O: "But you said..." M: "I don't CARE WHAT I SAID! This is one of my stupidest ideas ever!"

Yup. At the moment, what I cannot manage with world travel I compensate for with photo editing. The backgrounds are from copyright-free/non-attribution photo stock, which I normally avoid - I'd much rather USE MY OWN PHOTOS! which I take when I GO TO THESE PLACES in real 3D life. But this was a self-pity emergency.

So I've been feeling surly, rankled, perturbed, and cranky - which meant I had to do full-on Party Face this week two days in a row [see previous post on Party Face]. It's a recent record. Below, example of eyeliner Day One.

Yes, a classic Mel photo illustrating my black eyeliner and black satin corset, both of which are COMPLETELY obscured here. And as a sop for not being able to have a goat or O stand on my back, I have put a rhinoceros on my arm. I feel much better now. Bet you didn't get that in Arizona, did ya? Did ya? Bwahahaha!

Below, eyeliner Day Two, which includes cosmetic leftovers from Day One, so handy, but a bit messier because I was more pissed off. I wore my thrifted Armani suit to give the brand name an uncomfortable squeeze. I like the designer-with-gutter look a lot. On my lips is Kat Von D's "Poe" lipstick on top of YSL No. 208.

Wearing an outfit like this makes me walk like a predator, yes, for skulking around the grocery store, where I went shopping. But cripes, my cool stealth walk was hideously ruined by a useless broken shopping cart with whirly wheels which I had to drag across the floor. I wanted to shout: Look out! I'm heading to the dairy aisle now! It's only neighbourly to give advance warning, right? They saw my hair and eyeliner and hid in bulk foods.

In summary, in terms of clear, full-on outfit photos, this post is a big FAIL, except the first double exposures, which show the Day Two Armani suit with my vintage men's overcoat. To see the full corset outfit of Day One, sorry, you have to go to my Instagram. Really - my apologies. I get tired of seeing myself all the frickin' time.

But now? Today? As I write this I am a vision of serenity even without the goat. My hair too has gone all namasty. Really, I'm not a menace. And no shoppers were harmed in dairy. What a week! And about the blog title, "New York and Arizona on a budget," basically my advice is: don't go. How it pains me to say it. Breathe. Breathe. Find a goat...

I'm linking up to Patti @ Not Dead Yet Style, Visible Monday, and Catherine @ Not Dressed as Lamb, #iwillwearwhatilike.

And a Huge Warm Welcome! to my new subscribers. So happy to see you!
I'll have to put on the kettle - or roll out the bar cart. Yes. 

Monday 6 February 2017

Three coats for the weather-challenged

Vancouver's winter so far has been nerve-wracking: warm, cold, cool, snow, SNOW?, cold, SNOW?!! How can I keep up? These three coats show how I've been dealing with the weather.

COAT 1: White fluffy vintage parka
Weather shock rating: ⭐⭐/5
Oh yes, frolicking at the beach, laughing and laughing, and lounging/falling-off a bug-infested log with bits of who-knows-what surrounding me. I think it's moving! Oh, it's so much fun! And it started to rain. There's a hood on this coat you can't see at this angle.

Regarding the next photo, do you have any idea how difficult it is to get a "casual" patio shot at a café using a tripod and a remote control? But do I complain? Heck, no. Never! For you, taking this photo was an absolute bungle of joy. 

Japanese music legend Motoharu Sano gave O and I this zine, which was produced for his Fruits concert tour of 1996. You know what's weird? Some people weren't even born yet in 1996. Heh.

COAT 2: Neon orange men's parka
Weather shock rating: ⭐⭐/5
This coat is the size of a continent, and waterproof. This first shot I call "Tangerine Wraith in the Shadows - Waiting." Are you scared?  

And warmth is always assured because I can wear my entire wardrobe under this coat with no effect on the silhouette whatsoever. Handy.

The next photo I call "The Orange." Perhaps, if you're feeling poetic, "Harvest Moon" would be more suitable. Just please, not "Mutant Cheese Ball."

This last photo is entitled "Parisienne, Cone de Traffic," not to be confused with the Cone of Silence on the show Get Smart.Of the three looks, this last one affords me the most mobility. *Late '60s U.S. TV comedy series. The Cone of Silence muffled (amplified) top secret discussions, video clip HERE, images HERE. Watch it! Watch it! Hahaha! You'd like it, Greetje. 

The under-jacket of heavyweight sweatshirt fabric is by B.C. label Dru's Design. I bought it retail years ago (not a sponsored link). I also have on my cycling pants, an oversized Eileen Fisher top, and my beret.

COAT 3: Sandra's faux fur beast
Weather shock rating: ⭐⭐/5
Leaning against a wall is so passé. Should we not all pose like this now? At the mall? At the dentist's office? At the market? So casual. So what-the-hey. So bring-me-a-drink. So moving right along... 

Below is the Before-I-Went-Out shot of this coat, accessorized with a hat stuffed with a scarf, the ends hanging down, and a wrappy rope thing to keep the beast's mouth shut. It was FRIGGING COLD!! 

And then the After shot, when I returned home. During my walk I got warm, warmer, warmer. FRIGGING WARM!! The outdoor temperature stayed the same; I didn't. I forgot what a workout it is simply to wear this blue tonnage. 

The key is to manage one's attire with carefree aplomb in any unexpected situation, as I demonstrate below having tucked the ruination of accessories into my bag. The coolness factor of sunglasses also ensures a smooth transition in any fashion U-turn.

Ta-dah!! Back to the fluffy coat on mud, a slippery slope of slimy leaves and dog poop - it's all part of the fun of blogging and perhaps even life itself. I made little condom-like covers from rubber gloves for the feet of my tripod before I went out. I'm very glad I did. I'd do that for my own feet but...

That's all for this time. Make sure you check out Natalia's styling (In The Writer's Closet) of the Freakish Yellow Skirt, stylist 34!, which I wrote about in my previous post, here. FYS has now flapped off to Texas. Thanks, Natalia!

Stay warm. Or cool, as the case may be.

I'll link something here with Patti's Visible Monday@Not Dead Yet Style and Catherine's #iwillwearwhatilike@Not Dressed as Lamb. And I'll link to Judith's Hat Attack 43@Style Crone - finally I'm wearing a hat!


And a HUUUGE thank you to POPSUGAR for including me as one of the "10 Fashion Bloggers Over 50 Who Completely Dominate the Style Game." See? When I say, Wear your clothes falling off or humongous menswear, am I right or am I right? Hahaha! What a surprise and honour. THANK YOU. 

Saturday 4 February 2017

Yellow Skirt Freak Show Update!! No. 34


Natalia of In The Writer's Closet, Seattle, is #34 with the Freakish Yellow Skirt from the The Travelling Yellow Skirt Freak Show. GO, GO NOW!! Witness the magic she has wrought with this fine garment. Get ready to dance Russian-style. The full Gallery is HERE. You will be amaaazed. Thank you, Natalia, for this awesome addition to the FYS show!

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