In the style of: American Horror Story Murder House

Each series of American Horror Story has it’s own distinct style, embodied by each of the larger than life characters.  Murder House is probably the season that has the least outrageous and most wearable costumes of all the seasons that have been released so far.  I wanted to take some time out to take a look at each of my favourite characters from this season and dissect their personal style for you.

Violet Harmon

Violet’s wardrobe puts me in mind of a teenager who spends all her time rummaging in thrift stores for treasures to take home.  It’s a mish-mash of eras: the 70’s wide brimmed hats, the 80’s floral dresses and the 90’s knobbly knits and chunky shoes all worn together.  Most of Violet’s clothes are oversized and baggy, all the better to laze on the floor of your room with a book and the neighbour boy.  Shades of mustard, khaki and black are plentiful in Violet’s wardrobe, with the odd splash of deep red.  Accessories are worn sparingly, but this is a girl who loves her hats and rocks fedoras, beannies and fur caps.

Tate Langdon

 

Tate’s style is firmly rooted in the 90’s grunge era.  Take your inspiration from Kurt Cobain and let rips and tears adorn your gear.  Tate prefers his clothes baggy, loose and fraying, preferably in dark shades.  Carry all your belongings in a school satchel and don’t forget your sneakers…perfect for running away from your enemies at school or sneaking around with your favourite girl.

Constance

 

Constance is a total Southern Belle.  A lady wrapped in silk sheath dresses and flawless diamonds.  A goddess in spiked heels and perfectly-coiffed hair.  However, underneath that perfect exterior is a heart as bitter as sour milk.  This flawless appearance is merely a trap to draw people close until she can figure out how best to use them to her advantage.  As such, every detail must be sublimely shimmering in order to create the illusion that she is a true lady of impeccable morals…although she is anything but.

Nora Montgomery

Nora is a very picture of elegance and glamour, tarnished by the stench of death.  Her grief has transformed this once vital woman into a mere shadow of the sophisticated creature she once was.  Her outfits are heavily inspired by 1920’s styles, with drop waist dresses, beaded details and cloche hats on perfectly curled hair. Black is the main colour of choice, with of course, some blue accents to match her eyes.  Art deco jewels and a mourning brooch are the perfect finishing touch to this sombre ensemble.

Moira

 

To get Moira’s look, you have to master the art of duality.  Moira is a woman of stark contrast and deep secrets.  Black and white create a sharp silhouette, and the lines of her outfit look outwardly prim and proper.  The crisp collar, the mid-length sleeves and the polished shoes all speak of someone respectable and modest.  But her corset belt, skyscraper heels and suspender stockings whisper hints that this tightly-laced woman is not all that she seems, and in the right light might just be a tiger waiting to pounce.
Which Murder House character is your favourite? Which one has the most enviable wardrobe, in your opinion?

 

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What I wore 13/2/2018

I recently found out that a local Thai restaurant that I used to frequent is now doing all-you-can-eat banquets during the week.  So naturally my parents, my aunt and uncle and I wasted no time hopping in the car and hauling ourselves to sample the dinner fare.  And we were not disappointed.  But before I headed out for an evening of deluxe food and first-rate company, I had to decide on what to wear.

I often make the mistake of overdressing for events such as this.  It’s so easy to get carried away and winding up wearing something that’s much too much for the occasion.  For this particular dinner, I wanted to look dressed up, but not over the top.  My solutioin was to pair a fairly casual tee shirt with a simple skirt and then jazz it up with fancy hosiery and shoes.  And I think it worked a treat, don’t you?

I am wearing:

  • Cruella De Vil tee shirt from Threadless
  • Emerald green skater skirt from Princess Highway
  • Nude fishnet tights from Razzamatazz
  • Gingham heels from Scooter
  • Drop pearl earrings from Louvisa

 

 

 

Nude fishnets are one of my most favourite types of legwear.  They look effortlessly vintage, they go with every colour and they are so easy to wear.  These ones have lasted me so many years and they’re ideal to wear in summer when you don’t want to be completely bare-legged but it’s too hot to don full stockings.

I was so comfortable and cool in this outfit, but I still felt dressed up enough for dinner out with the family.

 

In the Style of: American Horror Story Freak Show

Freak Show was one of my favourite seasons of AHS.  Although I enjoyed the story and the characters, the thing that drew me in and held me tight was the costumes.  It was the first time that a season of AHS was set entirely within one time period.  The early fifties are the setting for this instalment of the titillating television show.  It was an era that mixed Hollywood glamour with rugged rock and roll and gave us some of the most enviable fashion of all time.  And Freak Show gives us a wealth of gorgeous characters with distinctly different looks to dazzle our senses.  So pull up a seat, grab your popcorn, and feast your eyes on the style of American Horror Story: Freak Show.

Dandy Mott

Spoiled and polished, this dastardly villain’s style is pure preppy.  Tailored lines, pinstripes and razor sharp accessories make Dandy’s look devilishly handsome.  Choose high collars, brogues and ascot ties to copy this look at home.  And don’t forget to add a clown tie pin, a homage to Dandy’s secret desire to run away and join the circus.

Amazon Eve

Eve’s look is down-to-earth but never sloppy.  She evokes the image of the sweet girl-next-door with her shorts and bright red sneakers.  But Eve is anything but rough and tumble.  With her off-the-shoulder blouses and gold earrings, she’s got a sexy side too.  Although she’s the one who has to hang all the lights and banners, her headscarf keeps every hair perfectly in place, so this amazon always looks sinfully gorgeous.

Elsa Mars

If there’s one word that sums up Elsa’s style, it’s “Drama”.  Elsa incorporates rich colours, luxurious fabrics and luscious textures.  This is a woman who dresses to be seen, and she wants to make sure that even the folks in the cheap seats can’t miss her.  Feathers, sequins, splits and prints all make their appearance in Elsa’s wardrobe.  Although ultra-femme with her heels and silk stockings, Elsa manages to incorporate several androgynous elements like fedoras and neckties to take power dressing to it’s glamorous pinnacle.

Desiree Dupree

Desiree is pure, unadulterated sex on a pair of teetering heels.  Her clothes are intended to entice and allure, but never give away too much of the game.  Sheer fabrics and deep plunges are common, but flouncing layers and thick furs make sure that plenty is left to the imagination.  Desiree loves dark shades and leopard print, and is never without a pair of dramatic earrings.  Gorgeous lingerie is a must for this diva, to make sure that the final flourish is as dazzling as possible when she finally disrobes.

Bette and Dot Tattler

Bette and Dot’s style is a study in duality.  There’s a definite push and pull here, and this is the style of a woman who is still very much a little girl at heart.  Sheltered and timid, yet eager to experience the delights of the big world beyond their backyard, Bette and Dot mix mature and innocent elements to create outfits that are pretty but still a tiny bit cheeky.  Soft colours, sweetheart necklines and their ever-present hairbows mix with heels, handbags and silky fabrics.  And of course, the twins are never without their journal to record every day of their adventures.

 

 

 

Jimmy Darling

Jimmy’s look is reminiscent of so many Hollywood bad-boys of the era.  Jimmy takes inspiration from Elvis Presley, James Dean and Marlon Brando for a look that is casual, rough and super masculine.  Jeans, fitted tee shirts and open button-downs are the staples of Jimmy’s wardrobes.  His outfits are unfussy and simple, and the colours are earthy.  The one hint of adornment is the gold chain Jimmy wears on occasion, although this lobster charm is a cheeky addition I made to his outfit.
Which character’s style do you most covet?

 

30 x 30 Wardrobe Challenge: The wrap up

Although it’s been about two weeks since I finished my 30×30 wardrobe challenge, I still haven’t written about how the challenge ended.  That’s because I’ve been rolling the ideas around in my mind, ideas about how the challenge finished and what I learned from it.  I didn’t just want to leave it hanging, even though I don’t feel like this was a terribly successful adventure.

I abandoned the challenge in it’s final week.  The reasons for walking away were pretty simple. At the beginning of the fourth week I got ill and spent several days wearing nothing but pyjamas. And when I was well enough to re-enter the world, nothing in my capsule wardrobe appealed to me.  I was bored with wearing the same things over and over and I wanted something fresh to pull me back into the land of the living. So I broke away and wore a cute pucci print dress that I love and didn’t feel even a smack of guilt.

I do feel like I learned a few lessons from the challenge though.  Firstly, I learned that capsule wardrobes are not my style.  Several times I’ve read articles or watched videos about people who have a capsule wardrobe and make it work brilliantly.  I’ve wondered if I could do the same thing, and I now know that the answer is a definitive “no”.  I mean, if it were a necessity, like if I was travelling and needed just a small amount of clothes for practical purposes, then I could manage.  But for my day-to-day life I enjoy having a bit more flexibility in my clothing choices.  I like the chance to be creative with what I wear and play around in my clothing.  Limiting my wardrobe felt like I was fettered, not liberated.

I know that a lot of people who do this challenge find that having only 30 items to choose from makes getting ready in the morning easier.  I did not find this.  Rather than feeling excited to put together an outfit that I really want to wear, I felt bogged down in my capsule wardrobe, trying in vain to find ways to wear those items that felt fresh.  It actually took me longer to get ready each day because I wasn’t motivated to put on an outfit that felt inspiring and fun.

One good thing that did come from taking up this challenge was that I felt like I was able to define my personal style a little more.  I have always had a pretty eclectic fashion sense, and wear all manner of styles, from polished vintage to bohemian, from punk rock to androgynous, from avant garde weirdness to down-to-earth denim.  When I limited the things I was wearing, I became much more aware of the styles that appealed to me and the clothing I felt most comfortable in.  It really highlighted some of the items in my wardrobe that were once my style, but that I feel like I’ve outgrown.  And that’s not to say that I think I’m too old to wear certain things, only that my personal style has changed and moved away from those particular aesthetics.  I’ve come out on the other side of this challenge with a clearer idea of the kind of things I want to wear, the way I enjoy presenting myself and the kinds of things that feel uncomfortable and costume-y.

I felt a little bit disappointed that I didn’t enjoy the challenge more, but I think it went as well as I expected.  I didn’t truly think that it would turn me into a wardrobe minimalist, inspired to throw away all the excess clothing and wear only those 30 items forever.  But I do feel that the 30×30 challenge was a good task to undertake because it wasn’t easy and I did take away a few important lessons.  I feel clearer moving forward about the kinds of things I want to wear, and more confident in my personal style.  But I also know that I’m probably never going to be the kind of person who can enjoy living out of a capsule wardrobe.

Have you done the 30×30 challenge?  Did you find it easy or a chore?  What did you learn?

What I wore: Breaking the rules

My 30×30 challenge isn’t over yet.  However, I’ve been home sick for a couple of days and I felt like I needed a pick me up. And breaking out of my capsule wardrobe felt like the ideal way to do that.  I needed a jolt of colour, something fun to make me feel like myself again after days in bed.

Last weekend a friend dropped around a bag of clothes for me.  She’d been cleaning out her wardrobe and brought over her cast-offs for me to look through.  One of the items in the bag was a gorgeous teal body-con dress. I instantly fell in love with the colour and the draped shoulder detail, but I was nervous about actually wearing this dress.  I tend to shy away from body -con styles because I find them incredibly intimidating.  I don’t like clothes that cling and show off all my curves and swerves.  I always feel a bit…exposed in body-con cuts. But as the temperature continued to climb this week, that teal wonder was whispering to me, tempting me to give it a whirl.

 

The final push I needed came in the form of Dia&Co’s Try-Day Friday challenge.  Every week on Instagram and Facebook, Dia&Co put out the call for followers to wear something that scares them, to try wearing something that they feel a teensy bit intimidated by.  I’m a huge believer in trying new things and taking leaps when you feel a bit stagnant.  And after a few days of feeling unwell and the tail-end of my 30×30 challenge, the Try Day Friday message was a wakeup call to me.  I threw on the pretty teal dress and rocked it.

I am wearing:

  • Teal body con dress from 7 Angels
  • Vintage tan sandals
  • Silver hoop earrings

I’m so glad that I took the Try Day Friday challenge and gave this dress a chance.  While it definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone, I felt summery and cool in my slinky little dress.  The bright colour was ideal for the hot weather and I felt proud of myself for trying it out.  It’s been a long time since I’ve worn something this far out of my comfort zone, and it kind of helped me to feel like myself again after what I’ve felt has been kind of a low-key month in the style department.

30×30 Wardrobe Challenge: Week 3

As the third week of my wardrobe challenge draws to a close, I have a bundle of feelings and none of them are good.  Mostly I’m feeling bored, frustrated and ready to abandon the challenge.

I’m getting exceptionally tired with wearing the same items over and over.  I’m sick of the sight of my capsule wardrobe and I  am so looking forward to the end of these thirty days so that I can go back to being creative and adventurous with my dressing.  I’m so fed up with having to set up the ironing board every couple of days to make sure that I have enough clothes pressed ready for work.  I’m just over it.

The ironic thing is, there’s nobody holding me accountable except myself.  It’s not like I’m doing this challenge for anyone but me.  There’s no external arbiter telling me that I have to keep on going, and yet I am loath to abandon the challenge before the 30 days are up.  Not because I feel like I’d be letting anyone down, but because I’m so darn stubborn.  I don’t want to give up before the end because it feels like a failure.

This week I had the additional challenge of dressing for a convention.  I attended the Sexpo convention in Melbourne on Saturday and I had a really tough time choosing something to wear.  I wanted to feel comfortable but I also hoped to draw confidence from my outfit choice.  I knew that I’d be meeting lots of like-minded people at the convention and I wanted to look awesome.  I had to break the rules and wear a pair of Converse sneakers, because none of the footwear in my capsule wardrobe was going to cut it for an entire day on my feet. I ended up in jeans and a tee shirt, and in hindsight I wish I’d worn a skirt because I was so freakin’ hot after a full day of walking, shopping and socializing.

 

In a tiny way, having less to choose from did save a bit of time when I was selecting an outfit for Sexpo.  Often when I’m dressing for an event, I have a habit of getting caught up in all the different options, considering what image and mood I want to project.  It’s almost like deciding which version of myself I want to be, as though my outfits are costumes I can slip in and out of.  Without a wardrobe full of potential options, I had to go out stripped of my armour and just wear something relatively plain.  I felt oddly vulnerable stepping out without a carefully chosen outfit, but ultimately the day was amazing and I met so many awesome people.

 

I am definitely looking forward to the end of this challenge, but I’m determined to tough it out for another week.  I think with some grit and careful planning, I can get through.

 

 

30×30 wardrobe challenge: week 2

Week 2 of my 30×30 wardrobe challenge has passed sluggishly.  I’m finding that as the days march on, I’m finding this challenge more difficult.  During week 1, I was wearing each item for the first time and each outfit still felt fresh and new.  Now, I’ve gone through pretty much my entire capsule wardrobe once already and I’m now at the point where things are getting their second or third wear. And I’m finding that tedious.

 

My wardrobe is a source of joy for me.  I see my clothes like a huge box of crayons that I can use to create any picture I want to.  I love putting together different outfits that reflect my mood on a particular day.  Fashion is one of the ways that I express myself. And now that I’m limiting myself to a small fraction of my clothing, I kind of feel as though my wings have been clipped.  It’s like going from having a deluxe set of  Crayolas to one of those crappy four-colour crayon boxes you get with cheap colouring books.

 

I’m noticing that I’m really missing certain items of clothing dearly.  There are a couple of pairs of shoes, some special tee shirts and one amazing dress that I’ve been hankering to wear lately.  But because they are not part of the capsule wardrobe that I’ve created, they’ve had to stay locked away out of reach.  Even though I feel a bit down that I can’t wear these clothes, this exercise has really highlighted to me which items in my wardrobe I love the most.  Those clothes that I’ve been longing for are the things that make me feel amazing.  The items that are comfortable and colourful which just bring joy to me when I’m wearing them.

 

On the other hand, I have noticed that there are a couple of things that I haven’t been missing.  I felt inspired to do a mini clear-out during the week when I realised that there were a couple of things that I wasn’t keen to reach for again once the challenge is over.  Putting a bit of distance between myself and the bulk of my clothing gave me a new perspective.  I noticed a couple of items that were pretty worn out and ready to be binned, and a few things that I just don’t enjoy wearing any more.  So it’s been nice to take a step back and edit my wardrobe critically.  The 30×30 challenge has given me a sense of clarity about which items I really want to keep, and which ones I could stand to throw out.

Week 2 has been a mix of good and bad.  While I’m beginning to get bored with my capsule wardrobe, I also feel as though I’m making some great choices about those items in my closet that I’ve been hanging onto for too long.  As an added bonus, I have a feeling that I’ll be a lot more creative with my outfits once I’m finally finished the challenge and I’m able to colour with all my crayons again.