Category Archives: Things

A Cold Shoulder

Hi Dorigen,

I would like to dissect the “cold shoulder” sleeve.

For the uninitiated, these sleeves have a cutout, exposing the shoulder, and then often open further to expose a sliver (or more) of the bicep. They are rampant in back-episodes of Dance Moms.


I am personally all-in on the tight cold shoulder that is all black and exposes the shoulder only – they are very 90’s dance mix.

No; it’s the cold shoulder with the bicep window-slits that have shaken me.



As mentioned in my response to your denouncement of the maxi dress, I am top heavy, so anything that literally points to my sausage arms is problematic. Also, having such a large opening on the top of the arm creates a loose bunching of fabric under the arm, which fashionistas call a “dolman sleeve” and I call “breast wings.” Dolman sleeves make me look like I have one large, long breast that helps me glide between the tops of buildings.


With those complaints in mind, I still wore a “cold shoulder” sleeve sweater the other day – the orange over-sized Tibi I got from UAL last visit. It only has the one open sleeve; I thought the asymmetry was fierce; unflattering, but fierce.

I am fine with fit taking a backseat to fabulousness, but I’m unconvinced that a “cold-shoulder” is worth the compromise. Also, the single dolman sleeve / half breast wing that was created with that single “cold-shoulder” did not help me fly to work.

Love you!


Top Knot Hair Bun


When people wear their hair in a bun on the very top of their head, they’re trying to look like they just came from a tanning bed, right?

Otherwise, there are a large number of super casual ballet studios out there.


P.S. I just tried an awesome shiny, flesh-toned nail polish from a Birch Box sample. The color was so cute, I looked it up on their site to buy a full sized bottle, and that’s when I realized I had just painted my toes with a “subtle, luminous shimmer” face highlighter.

Maxi Dresses


I just bought and returned a maxi dress. And felt good about that decision after reading this:



Loved the article. Hilarious!


Cute on Anthopologie model does not equal cute on Anthropologie patron

And I can relate. I was feeling good about my figure; that is, until I saw pictures of myself in a blue and white striped maxi (during our last CA visit). Totally unflattering; I looked like I was fartin’ around in a nightgown. That maxi dress was immediately donated (I don’t have a burning permit).

I then started researching my body shape – why do some dresses look good on me and others induce binge ice cream consumption? I had always figured I was either apple or hour-glass shaped, which is confusing because these two options really just cancel each other out. But here’s what I’m working with:

  1. I have a proportionally large chest and a gut that cannot be ignored.
  2. I have “sausage” arms.
  3. I nip in a bit at the waist.
  4. I also have narrow hips and broad shoulders.

Historically, I’ve been focusing on points 1 and 2, but according to this super simplified quiz, I should have been focusing on points 3 and 4. After answering just one quiz question, it is decided that I have an inverted triangle body shape, and that “gut” actually CAN be ignored (with clever outfitting). 

For me, Maxi dresses only play up the bad, and hide the good, point-for-point, as compared to my above listed characteristics:

  1. Maxi dresses hide the gut, I’ll give it that, but really highlight the chest, which I would rather diminish. Maxi dresses often have v-neck tops that require an extra layer of fabric in the form of a modesty tab or camisole; not cute.
  2. To counteract all that material on the bottom, maxi dresses are often sleeveless, thus exposing those problematic arms.
  3. Maxi dresses are usually empire, nipping in right under the chest, thus further highlighting it. Not every dress can be saved by a belt.
  4. Perhaps the sleeveless design is actually helping to narrow the wide shoulders (visually cutting them up), but this becomes a moot point in light of the nonsense going on in points 1-3.

With a decidedly inverted triangle body shape, I need structure.

  1. I need to be mindful of neckline (not too high, not to low – baby bear porridge-neckline).
  2. Personal preference: sleeves. Sleeves! Ideally elbow-ish length or longer.
  3. Dresses that nip in at my natural waistline.
  4. Dresses that flare out at the bottom (a-line or a fit-and-flare) to balance out the top.

These are the kinds of things I have been researching during my no-shopping-for-a-year cleanse; 259 days to go. In the interim, these are the summer dresses I will be thinking about.

Love you, 


This is My Hair – The Art of Lying


Everything about this video is a fabulous lie, especially “I’m only going to say this once.” Its not even Alaska performing as Alaska the whole time. Brilliant.

There is truth. This IS her hair; she bought it; she has the receipt. And she is owning it.

Also, I like her hair.


Bell Bottoms

Hi Dorigen,

I have 329 days to go before I can purchase clothes again. As mentioned, I am allowing an exception – the purchase of one pair of jeans (or jean shorts) if absolutely necessary, i.e. just in time before my blue jeans disintegrate again. I have already cut up a pair of black moto jeans with a crotch of questionable integrity for shorts, so that leaves the possibility of jeans “actual.”

I own three pairs – 1 black (newish), 2 blue (oldish) – they are all skinny jeans, and I would like to try a new shape. Apparently, the most flattering jeans are boot cut or straight leg, so (in typical form), I have been sniffing around shapes that are rarely recommended, in particular one I have not worn in 20+ years, when the 70’s was cool again the last time – bell bottoms. I’m trying to balance out a round belly, so I thought a high rise bell bottom could be a flattering option; that is until you sent me a picture of Jessica Simpson looking her absolute worst.

Jessica Simpson in the worst bell bottoms

hey, girl, hey

Thank you.


No Mo

Well hello there Dorigen,

Long time no blog chat. I hear you had a niece for me. Thank you. Now, on to fashion. I recently 80% decided to stop buying clothes for 1 year, and have been met with mixed reviews from family, friends, co-workers, really anyone who will fall into a conversation with me.

But, here’s the rolling thought…

A few months back I happily and without regret had a fabulous stylist do a closet consultation for me – what can go, what can be added, and what are outfits that work with what I have. I ended up purchasing some additional items, and I am happy with what I bought. Also, in my recent visit, you gifted me some hoop earring and other jewelry staples from your fab wardrobe. So, now I am wondering – at what point is my wardrobe complete? “Complete” in the I-could-go-a-year sense. Do I really need to turn 90 by the time this seemingly miraculous event occurs?

I argue, no-ish.

So, (I totally snuck in another dress purchase on 3/26), I have now 81% decided to stop buying clothes until 3/27/16.

  • This includes: clothes, shoes, bags, coats, jewelry, scarves, belts, etc.
  • This excludes: undies, bras, tights/cheap leggings, socks, etc.
  • Exceptions: A) I get to buy 1 pair of jeans (which could be jean shorts) and B) if something rips at work, and cannot be fixed with a handy sewing kit.

Am I crazy pants?


P.S. Today, I wore the Black Friday Dress.