Do you ever feel
like a gray wool couch?
Walking through the trees,
don’t sit on me please.
Yes, it’s a battle of the gray today. One thing is soft, woolly and takes up a large amount of space and the other is a couch. Who is sporting their gray, thick exterior the best?
I think it may be a tie. But in all seriousness, this outfit is extremely warm. Besides the fraction of leg that is only covered by tights, the rest of my core temperature is pleasantly high in this wool sweater, coat and over-the-knee socks. Paired with my leather boots and a thick scarf, I am absolutely shielded against winter’s cold bitch slap.
Whoever says gift cards are too impersonal and not a “proper gift” can suffocate themselves with my new discount sweaters. I received a couple for Christmas and spent more time than I should have browsing for clothes, meticulously trying to put together a full outfit and keep it very close to my gift card amount. I settled on a few sweaters, booties (not pictured here) and a pair of black Topshop jeans.
I also found a sweet blazer coat at Zara that makes me feel somewhat British? I don’t know, there’s something about it that makes me feel like I “stole me grandad’s old wool sport coat” (feel free to slap me) and turned it into fashion.
My orange scarf is from Zara Fall 2016, which I lovingly refer to as my Moses scarf.
And the tiniest yet mightiest new addition to my wardrobe is this crescent moon necklace, which is something I had my eye on at Urban Outfitters until I found one for a fraction of the price (and in rose gold!) at H&M.
Now that my new wardrobe addition introductions are out of the way, I hope you all had a fat, drunken Christmas and are ready for the new year. I have a lot of ideas I’m ready to see through, and a lot of goals I want to meet this year, starting with my FREAKING GERMAN TEST THAT HAS BEEN HAUNTING ME FOR ALMOST TWO YEARS.
I wrestled with buying this skirt because I really like how it fits, but knew it would be difficult to style for fall. I’m actually trying to figure out some outfits and put them together into a YouTube video that I will finish….sometimehere it is!
Top: Forever 21
Jacket: American Eagle
Necklace: Forever 21
I recently had to Google “How to cope with expat depression” because it finally hit a week ago. I wouldn’t say I am legitimately depressed, but I am experiencing more waves of worry and self-doubt far more frequently than a couple months ago.
I moved from Houston, Texas to Cologne, Germany to start a master’s program in English this summer, but this did not happen. I didn’t score high enough on the Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (the most difficult German language proficiency exam) to qualify for my completely-in-English master’s program. This means I couldn’t enroll and need to take another qualifying test, this time the Goethe Institut B2 Zertifikat exam.
Blah blah blah, right. It’s a language exam, just study, shut up. I get that. But I am more bothered by the simple fact that all of my accomplishments so far mean nothing unless I pass a mid-level language exam.
This, coupled with taking a 75% pay cut and dealing with difficult neighbors when trying to take blog photos, one of the few things that gives me creative joy, leaves me feeling dejected. On top of this I have three loan companies demanding payments of more than I make a month. But I have to remind myself that I am the one who made things this way. I decided to attend a college that cost $30,000 per year, I decided to leave my comfortable job, I decided to move to Germany.
My master’s program, a job in writing and editing and my own personal happiness is currently dependent on this language exam. Maybe it doesn’t have to be, but it is the path I am currently committed to.
I check my Google Adsense account, SocialBlade and site stats religiously to try and figure out a way to make a little extra money and create content I enjoy. If any of you have tips, I would love to hear them. I have a few ideas for how to change my aesthetic and content, I just need to see it through.
The German word “Fremdschämen” means “the feeling of shame on someone else’s behalf; the feeling of shame for someone else who has done something embarrassing,” which perfectly describes how I feel when I see a fashion blogger use the following poses. Let’s call them
THE FREMDSCHÄMEN SHEVEN
The Pigeon-toed Pose
A great pose for when you want your legs to appear thinner and your thigh rub to disappear, but not great if you don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard.
I understand that “motion” photos can be an interesting addition to a style post, but I’d prefer something a bit more subtle. Actually, I would much prefer if the “landing” photo was included instead:
The Fake Laugh
Sometimes this pose is genuine. I know a lot of bloggers have their significant others or photographers take their photos, and they manage to capture a real reaction in the moment. But sometimes it’s just painfully obvious when a blogger pretends the camera isn’t there and they’re laughing at something off to the side.
Casual Starbucks Cup
If it’s not a casual Starbucks cup in hand, then it’s a blogger wearing another damn Target “But first, coffee” t-shirt. I get it, you went in for detergent and Q-tips and left with the entire Xhilaration summer collection and a venti white mocha. You’re relatable.
Walking Into Walls
I just don’t get it. Is this supposed to look casual? Where are you going? Who takes a giant step across the width of a sidewalk and in the direction of a wall?
The Model Pose
I use my favorite bloggers as inspiration for poses, but I would never rely on fashion magazines to tell me what works for the everyday woman. I’m not into seeing Peonies & Panties try to look sexy against a wall.
Taking A Dump
I had to take these photos in a semi-concealed place because I was most embarrassed about this photo (and the jumping oh god). I am one leg spread away from posing for my first rap album.
Jacket: American Eagle
I mean no offense by this post. Honestly, one scroll through my blog is enough ammo to fight me back with. I’ll even throw in one to get it started: “Your outfits are boring and your old film filter makes you look like you have jaundice.” I mean really, I once posted this photo to my blog in all seriousness:
I recently got off my ass and made a YouTube video discussing my apple-shaped figure and shared outfits using items in my wardrobe that I find flattering for my shape:
1. A long white shirt
I have a long torso, tree stumps for legs and enough hip width to carry quintuplets. This long Zara blouse hangs low in the front and back, but has high side slits which, in my opinion, create the illusion of longer legs when viewed from the side. I like this shirt a lot solely because it conceals my Grand Canyon hips and shows the smallest parts of my legs. My body already looks like a permanent fun house mirror reflection, so why not play up the illusions?
These were a recent purchase inspired by, yet again, Wendy. I have been consistently inspired by this woman’s style despite having a completely different frame than her. But she remains one of my favorites because she combines luxury items with affordable pieces, such as these flats. A lot of people may not think a pair of 80 Euro flats are affordable, but they’re quickly paying for themselves. I can wear jeans, a striped tee and these shoes and my outfit looks more interesting than if I had just thrown on simple solid black flats. The patent leather teeters on the edge of looking bondage-y, but I like that? It’s like hey, my feet are into some weird shit man. Plus they distract from my whale hips.
4. Tra tra trench coat
This trench coat makes me feel like a straight up proper lady. I can belt this bad boy over stained pants and a BABYMETAL t-shirt to walk my dog in the morning and I look like I am on my way to an overpriced brunch date. I specifically wanted a trench with a full skirt to conceal my beer belly and, you know, the military tank I call hips. But I have to be mindful of how tight I tie the belt to avoid back fat spillage. I had to edit out a couple clips from the video because it looked like I was growing an ass on my back. Winter is over, time to start Fitness Blender again…
5. A black midi skirt
SPECIFICALLY BLACK BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT MAKES IT TIMELESS. Hey! Do you want to wear something that makes it look like you’re about to spin around in a field of tulips? What if that clothing item was also appropriate for work, school, church, a first date, funeral, dancing, and basically just what the fuck ever you want to do? This skirt, man. THIS SKIRT. I bought this on clearance at Banana Republic and it makes me feel so free and pretty. I’ve worn it to my office job AND to the park on the same day, and it was appropriate for both occasions. It moves with the wind but doesn’t fly up and it’s a flattering and comfortable length. No awkward hem pulling required.
6. Black jeans
Again, color specific, but I’ve learned that they pair with almost anything in my wardrobe, for any season, and for any style. This $17 pair I got at Forever 21 is in constant rotation for me, and satisfy my shifting style. They’re high-waisted, so they help create the illusion of longer, thinner legs. This is ideal for my apple-shaped body since very little about my shape is well-defined. Pair these with black booties and a shirt with a high-low hem and it looks like you have slender tree limb legs. TRUST.
I spent my morning recording a video about why bloggers wear seasonal clothing if the temperature hasn’t yet reflected that season. For example, why a blogger might wear a sundress and strappy heels when there’s snow on the ground in April. But this idea was completely halted when a neighbor decided to accost me while taking blog photos for this project, accusing me of photographing houses.
LET US SEE THE BACKGROUND, SHALL WE?
Beyond my smiling ass face and cold legs, you can see trees, sidewalk, poles and apartments in the damn distance.
Oh wait, what about this photo.
MY FEET. OH HELL NO.
Wait, wait, surely it’s these offensive photos that warranted being confronted:
Oh, oh no WAIT. WAIT. This old German woman cleared it up for me. This is a PRIVATE. AREA. This sidewalk here, y’all. Private. This open, connected sidewalk in a public living area is private. My camera and tripod and brown self are not welcome there, and that totally justified her saying that she was going to CALL THE POLICE.
I am SICK of this. She aggressively approached me and I answered as calmly as I could, told her I have a style blog, that I am only taking photos of myself, and just, ugh, listen to my rant if you want to know:
(WARNING: Cursing, whining, multiple chins)
This is getting out of hand. I don’t know what to do. I had the idea of making a sign in German that I can prop up against my tripod for anyone who may be curious or confront me again. I can simply say, “Lesen Sie” and point to the damn sign.
What would you do? I have every right to take photos in this area, and a quick scroll through my blog is evidence enough that I never post addresses, street names, houses or anything else “private.” I need a nice, mature way of handling this problem because I will not stop taking blog photos around here and I will not tolerate being mistreated by members of this community.
Dress: Vero Moda (similar)
Ring: c/o SammyDress (similar)