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who i have a crush on

People who thank the bus driver.
People who tip extra.
People who let people with one or two items go ahead in the grocery store line.
People who help empty the dishwasher at work even though it’s not “their job.”
People who pick up litter.
People who flatten their cardboard boxes before recycling them.
People who put the toilet seat down and replace the toilet paper roll.
People who are considerate.
People who are kind.

there’s nothing wrong with you

My therapist told me that today. Not in a “We’re done here; you’ve evolved and are perfect, TRUMPET NOISE!!!!1” way (snort). In a “You go through life thinking you’re bad and wrong and messed up and THAT’S why people are shitty and that’s not true” way.

There’s nothing wrong with me. Or you. WHAT A REVOLUTIONARY THOUGHT.

“There’s nothing wrong with any of us–except maybe Trump,” she continued (um LOVE HER). “Or sociopaths, or narcissists, or like serial killers.” I nodded. “People are inherently good.”

RECORD SCRATCH say whaaaat?

I grew up hearing we’re all sinful and evil and hopelessly flawed and only by the grace of some white guy (he was Middle Eastern, but that’s another topic) do we have ANY hope of escaping our inherent shittiness, which will otherwise make our lives miserable. And if we don’t apologize and feel guilty constantly, we’ll be damned to torturous hellfire. Woohoo!

So the idea that there MIGHT NOT be anything wrong with me is a bit of a shock. It’s gonna take a while to sink in.

I mentioned how when I was young, some female “friends” excluded me and were basically catty, petty, insecure trashbags (can you tell their actions were emotionally scarring?). And I concluded it was MY fault they were mean to me. I had done something to push them away, but I didn’t know what (being a self-righteous little goody-goody? being super judgmental?), so now I’m afraid of pushing people away without realizing it. Of breaking some unwritten rule. Because who I am is flawed and not good enough.

My therapist pointed out it probably wasn’t even about me. For the first time, I thought about the damaging family dynamics and body image issues those girls were struggling with. There was alcoholism. One of them was obsessed with getting a nose job–at like 15. Another one of them would come out as gay later and was probably struggling with a sexuality our school condemned. There was a lot going on! It’s almost funny I thought I had that much power over them, when we were actually all just struggling through the meatgrinder that is puberty and adolescence.

Anyway. “There is nothing wrong with you.” It’s an amazing concept! And I think I believe it. We’re all (OK, most of us) just trying our best to find happiness and love and stability. That won’t scare people into going to church, but it rings true. Sometimes we hurt each other, mostly (I think) because of childhood/family wounds we haven’t worked through yet. But we can learn and address our issues and change and apologize–without self-flagellation. Who knew?!

Not me. Not until today.

There is nothing wrong with you.

~*fall 2018 + resort 2019 runway lewkz~*

Remember when I had daily access to Photoshop AND a plausible reason to look at Womenswear Daily all day long? I miss those days. Not that job, just making fashion collages. So armed with a free online Photoshop ripoff and slightly rusty skillz, I’M BACK. Here we go (all photos via WWD):

The Valentino team realized, “OMG, women kind of look like FLOWERS! What if we, like, put blossoms on their heads?!” Gee, what a groundbreaking thought. Kaia Gerber’s gravity-defying hair was the MVP here (sorry, other lady whose name I don’t know).

WAIT stop the presses I had this image open in another tab and forgot to put it in my collage AND IT IS THE BEST ONE (sorry sorryyyyy):

I MEAN.

Is that Michelangelo meets Barney? Is it an eggplant kale turtlenecked toga?! Is it a Greek god and/or taste like Greek dressing?! Pun not intended! Moving on to L’Atelier Sonia Rykiel:

Black and white usually puts me to sleep, but the textures (feathers! yarn!) and thoughtful asymmetry really got me here. The second lady from the left is straight outta some hip MacBeth adaptation. Love these slouchy berets with embellishments! That sweater thing on the right could be hiding at your local Goodwill. YOU NEVER KNOW.

Back to your regularly scheduled mermaid unicorn vibes, courtesy of Fendi. Sheer fabrics! Faux (hopefully faux???) fur! Slightly Black Swan-esque cat eyes! Um…yeah. That’s all I got.

Calvin Klein spring 2019 was a bore except for this sensitive firefighter, who saves lives by quoting Wes Anderson:

U ready to get RILL wild? Maison Margiela is serving alien-dumpster-diving-outside-a-Crayola-factory vibes:

There were lots more that looked like the designers ran out of time and just belted the models in huge puffer coats at a lopsided angle and called it a day. Otherwise I really liked this one.

Fasten your spacebelt, Ziggy, cuz it’s time for intergalactic prom:

Wearable disco balls from Rami Kadi. Bowie would approve. And what’s more dapper than a woman in a boxy hat?

Miu Miu was hard to choose. Flowy sheer fabrics, neon florals, and fluffy sandals all really rang my bell. (Still processing the Mia Farrow-esque lady in a babydoll slip…infantilizing but not sexualized?)

Although it seems kind of mean to make grown-ass women like Chloe Sevigny slick their hair down into the most unflattering hairstyle ever and strut around with emaciated teenage models, who would make even the most fit and Botoxed celebrity look fat and saggy. I’m not being ageist–people should be allowed to be fat and saggy! It’s normal! The fact that the fashion industry’s holy grail is basically a white, 6-foot-tall, 90-pound 9th grader, and that that is for some reason what American women are judged against, is all kinds of FUUUCKED UP. /rant

OK. Two more. Let’s cheer things up. SUNNY BUBBLEGUM THYME:

Aren’t those shoes just the best thing you’ve ever seen? And I am ALL ABOUT a two-tone polo!

Here’s Christian Wijnants:

I LOVE THIS GREEN. (Grass? Avocado?) I feel like fashion designers, at least the affordable mass-market-y ones I buy, stay away from green in favor of navy, red, and neutrals. But green looks good on lots of skin tones/colorings! Thank you, designer whose name I can’t even spell and know nothing about, for making some lively patterns and bright bicep-high gloves and using this lovely green. Plus, these outfits look comfy, except for the pointy shoes.

All right, for the zero people still reading this, WE MADE IT TO THE END! Thank you for tuning into this episode of Holly’s Arbitrarily Selected Fashion Lewkz. What will you be wearing this fall? I personally am itching to buy some wacky oversized dresses from Goodwill, patterned ’80s blazers, and a long trench coat, and wear ’em all with my Docs. Which meaaaans I’ll probably just wear jeans and t-shirts. Yep. K. Bye.

an email newsletter that feels like a hug

I’ve unsubscribed from a lot of e-newsletters in my day [leans back in rocking chair; puffs smoke from old-timey pipe] but Courtney Carver’s is one that always makes me feel better about life. She runs a blog (and wrote a book) called Be More With Less, which is ostensibly about simplifying and decluttering but IS ACTUALLY A TROJAN HORSE FOR SELF-COMPASSION! She has no idea I’m writing this and didn’t pay me to say this by any means but I highly recommend signing up for her e-newsletter.

Today’s email, “10 Rules to Help You Live with Less Stuff,” sounds like any obnoxious listicle you could read anywhere online, but–WAIT FOR IT–is really about being kind to yourself! I LOVE THIS SHIT! “Rule” #6, small progress is still progress, applies to a whole lot more than just decluttering. Tbh, I find decluttering kind of meh. It feels great, but maximalism pumps through my glittery purple blood. “Small progress is still progress” to me is a reminder that it’s OK I haven’t written and published a book already; trying to blog more and getting out a notebook to maybe try morning pages is a great first step. Nothing happens overnight, etc. etc. Or like a quote on my fridge says: “Nothing in nature blooms all year.”

Being gentle with yourself is where it’s at. 🌸

How to dress like Penelope Garcia

how to dress like penelope garcia

I’m on season 3 of Criminal Minds (only a decade behind!) and in love with Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) and Dr. Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) like everyone else. Specifically: GARCIA’S STYLE. While the rest of her team looks like they’re perpetually on their way to a funeral (which…they sort of are?), Garcia wears florals, colorful glasses, and funky jewelry. Her fashion sense reflects her playful sexiness and quick wit. She’s 100% delightful (especially since Kirsten Vangsness herself is “as queer as a purple unicorn singing Madonna”).

penelope garcia fashion style

So you wanna dress like Garcia? DON’T WE ALL! Here’s how:

  • Embrace your curves. Garcia often wears wrap dresses or scoop-neck tops that show off her amazing boobs. Fit-and-flare dresses or a-line skirts, too. (Yay for non-skinny people on TV!)
  • Wear bright, summery colors. While her team wears neutrals, Garcia’s palette is warm, ~*SenSuAL*~ berry tones like red/purple/pink, as well as happy yellows/oranges and vibrant teal.
  • Add a zany cardigan or blazer to a solid-colored top, or vice versa.
  • PATTERNS! Paisley, polka dots, stars, plaid, you name it.
  • Channel ’50s pinup girl meets garden party or punk rawk.
  • Accessorize with novelty earrings, statement necklaces, and chunky bracelets. Also glitter. Glitter’s an accessory, right?
  • Wear a multicolored headband, barrettes, fake daisy, or feathers in your hair.
  • Shiny lip gloss. Heels, if u want.
  • MORE IS MORE!

penelope garcia criminal minds fashion style

Sounds cheesy, but Garcia’s aesthetic has an empowering subtext: You can be sexy and smart. You can be feminine and professional. You can be vivacious and whimsical and amazing at your job. You don’t have to sacrifice color or style or silliness to be successful. That shouldn’t be revolutionary, but pop culture loves its stereotypes (“blondes are airheads”), and thanks to sexism, women feel pressure to dress and act like men to succeed at work:

One in four women dress in a more masculine way – discarding high heels and dresses for trouser suits – acting under the belief they should look like their male colleagues to be treated seriously. A further quarter wear less makeup at work, partly to dispel the notion that all women must ‘look pretty,’ the survey of 2,000 working women showed.

To sum up:

All of the standards of appearance being pushed on employees in office environments are, essentially, strongholds of white male standards of power.

FUCK THAT. Express your personality! Stand out! Be a Garcia! (Ahem. I got excited.)

Looking forward to 10 more seasons of her fantastic style. Stay wonderful, tech kitten. 🦄

ETA: Check out the kind Sheila‘s real-life Garcia style here! Am I biased because she linked to me and was super-sweet? Yes. And no. Her style is awesome, and her blog will make you smile.