verbal croquis

please help

Posted in events,my clothes,personal by verbalcroquis on April 20, 2006

I've got a hefty list of things to do in preparation for New York, but all of that is manageable.  What I need help on is what to wear to the Big Event Tuesday night.  I've been in the habit of wearing one of my vintage kimonos to most big events the past few years.  I wear them with some lingerie type slip thingie, tied shut with a sash of sorts, worn with big earrings or a metal choker.  Not very geisha like at all.  

My dilemma is that now that kimono looks are trendy, do you think I'll look stupid if I wear one?  I like this one the best: 


 I also like this one, which is more subtle, with the shorter sleeves, but still pretty.

 me in kimono

And I also have an all black one, in matte silk crepe, with a orange/gold phoenix rising from the ashes motif circling the bottom half.  Those are my 3 favorite kimono.

Non-kimono options include a brown suede mid-calf length loose-fit trench coat that I can wear as a dress with 6" wedgie platforms.  (Yes, I walk great in them. One of secret talents.)

I could also do this:

 deconstructing jeans

It's a big ball skirt made from 15 pairs of jeans and a hoopskirt understructure.  (Yes, one of mine.)  The fronts are in the front, the backs in the back.  L.A. and S.F. have seen it, NYC has not.   

Or I could go real subtle and do a leather jacket/chiffon skirt number.  Or, or, or…bleh.

Make up options: 



(The boy likes to take lots of photos of me.)
Or a smoky eye with pale lip (which is my preferred regular party look) or the red eyeshadow look from above? 

The reason I'm so nervous is that I'm tragically unhip.  I am usually very outgoing and friendly, but put me in room full of skinny fashionable people and I don't know what to do with myself.  I don't have the best figure, my hair is long, fine, and likes to hold curl about as much as I like paying $3/gallon for gas.  Usually I like to dress or make up my face crazy so people will approach me about it and break the ice first.  After that, I become my usual loquacious self.

Oy.  Navigating Alaskan snowstorms and potty training 2 kids?  No problem!  (I don't have any kids–I toilet-trained my siblings.)  Dressing myself, all of a sudden I'm at a loss.

Help?  Please? 

outfits for vegas

Posted in my clothes,the day job by verbalcroquis on January 7, 2006

All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go…

Okay, not really.  I still need a suitcase and proper pajamas.  But my samples have been finished and shipped.  What a week. Thankfully, I’m not in the mood to vent my work woes on y’all.

Let’s focus on clothes. I gotta look professional. I don’t do that very well. That’s why I’ve always worked jobs where I can wear whatever I want. When (not if!) I run my own company, I’ll request that my employees also wear what they feel comfortable in (within reason). Why? Because I’m more productive when not restricted in a suit jacket and I’m happier when I don’t have to wake up every morning wondering what trendy and stylish outfit I can come up with for work. Anyway, not to get sidetracked here…

I can do professional when I need to. I’m just glad it’s just for 3 days. After much closet-staring, I’ve come up with:

  • day one: black trousers, black blazer, green silky cami, pewter flats, silver earrings or maybe my pale-coral cameo choker
  • day two: cream cardigan, grey pencil skirt, black flats, diamond earrings (this is the much praised outfit of last month)
  • day three: red angora cowl-neck sweater, black pencil skirt, black flats.

What do you think? Too boring? Not businessy enough? Do I need to wear hose with my skirts?  I haven’t worn hose since 1998!  Seriously.  Should I throw in a button down blouse? Should I wear a suit jacket every day? I have a couple of other colors. Our product is classic and expensive. Our jackets retail $600-$1200.  We booth next to Coach.


fantasy wardrobe items

Posted in my clothes by verbalcroquis on January 2, 2006
  • full length fur, black, maybe chinchilla
  • le smoking, black, white
  • floor length coat, black, maybe leather
  • full hanbok ensemble, peachy/melon tones or soft greens, summer silks
  • full hanbok ensemble, dark blue (?), winter silks

That’s all I can think of right now. I’m sure I’ll be adding on periodically.

What are your fantasy wardrobe items?

my personal style

Posted in my clothes by verbalcroquis on December 29, 2005

As some of you may know, I’m in the process of trying to figure out my personal style. According to some friends of mine, I should be wearing more of what I wore to a party last week. A vintagey cream color polkadot snug fit cardigan, grey pencil skirt and flats. Apparently that is super flattering on me. Interesting, considering I rolled out of bed after a disco nap, slapped some eyebrows on, pulled whatever was clean in the closet and drove over there, later than I had wanted to be. Hrm.

ramblings on kimono

Posted in my clothes,personal by verbalcroquis on December 27, 2005

I got another kimono. I promise I won’t buy another one for a long, long time. But this one was less than half the price of the other one!


So I’m a little obsessed with kimono. I’m not latching onto the “Memoirs of a Geisha” trend–believe me, I hardly look anything like a geisha when I go out in a kimono. I’ve been obsessed with kimono for a few years now and it’s only recently that I’ve discovered a place where I can get my fix in steady supply. I’m not quite sure if this is a good thing or not.

I’ve always loved hanbok (Korean traditional dress), but they were so difficult to wear–my armpits would scritch and I would always gets the hems dirty. Something about hanbok always made me feel like I should behave like a lady while wearing one, and y’all should know by now that I’ve never been very good at that.


Hanbok and kimono are not that dissimilar. Austere, softly geometric shapes, elegant folds, rich fabrics, intense color, various levels of embellishment, prominent sash, all skin hidden but for a bit of wrist, a bit of neck, different signs to show the marital status of the wearer. It’s no wonder the stereotype of the mysterious, unknowable asian beauty’s allure has been perpetuated for so long. We all portray the same image! (insert rolled eyes here.)

deconstructing jeans

While studying at school, I went through a fierce little deconstructionist phase (didn’t we all?) and the idea of ripping up something so steeped in history like asian traditional dress of course appealed to me. I had already ripped apart and put back together the American icon–the blue jean; cheongsam were gorgeous but reminded me too much of restaurant waitresses. So hanbok and kimono it was. Shortly after school I went to work for a woman who started her own label reworking kimono. Not deconstructing, reworking, which are very different. She has this enormous, extensive collection of kimono that I covet to this very day.

eva fortune debut piece

Personally, I like kimono because they’re so easy to wear, especially the ones with the shorter sleeves for married women. (I’m not married, but hey, I told you I don’t wear them in the traditional way.) I tie them with a charmeuse sash, wrapping the kimono around me to varying degrees of coverage. I wear them with gold flipflops, chokers, my big Oaxacan gold earrings, leather wrist cuffs, denim minis, lacy lingerie, nothing at all, jeans, whatever suits my mood.

Being Korean, people may (jokingly?) call me a traitor (my grandmother would not be joking) by wearing traditional dress of a country that I not only wasn’t a citizen of, but with which my heritage had conflicting history. Actually, it’s the opposite. I have too much pride and respect for hanbok to wear cheap vintage finds accessorized with western apparel like denim to parties. When I get one as an adult, I want to have enough money to get a truly amazing one custom made, along with the requisite petticoats, cotton socks, rubber and silk shoes and jade hair pins.

me in kimono

My kimono I wear with irreverance, not out of disrespect, but in a way people know I don’t associate with the culture of the kimono, just the aesthetic. I stand out in the crowd without looking like a freak, it works on “fat-days”, I love them because I can control how much skin to show, since my daring depends on the day and I never go out in public in sleeveless, I can drive in one, it works with flats.

All this to say: where the hell are my packages? I need one for NYE!

pics from last night

Posted in events,my clothes by verbalcroquis on November 12, 2005


A: You know, I read your blog and I still don’t have any idea what you’re planning on wearing.

Limbo, one of the founding snark-kings of You wore it! The, uh, a-side thing, uh black, something something uh, yeah! You look fabulous!

Gotta love them geeks.

So, thumbs up or down on the outfit? Be as harsh as you like.

the outfit

skirt detail 

the weekend’s outfits

Posted in events,my clothes by verbalcroquis on November 10, 2005

If you’ve read my “hello, hello? intro page, you know I’m trying to learn how to dress myself. Fifteen+ years of knowing exactly how I want others to dress, and I still can’t figure out my own style. *shrug* Some fun events are coming up and I need to figure out what to wear.

Tonight is the launch party. Crowd: pyooter geekerati and those that love them. Proposed outfit: midi-length black taffeta a-line skirt with sequined tulle overskirt (the sequins are tonal and subtle) with a simple green silk top and thin black cardigan with a hidden hook-and-eye closure. Pewter metallic leather flats. My Eva Fortune clutch (my print design).

Friday is a birthday party for a friend. Crowd: Partiers of every age and lifestyle. Proposed outfit: cute socks and high heeled mary-janes (they’re new, so I have to break them in by wearing socks). Dark jeans. I’m thinking a tee and one of my blazer style jackets. OR, my grey distressed leather jacket (from work) with jeans and my ridiculously “ugly-fabulous? adidas kicks.

Saturday is the Laughing Squid anniversary party. Crowd: local luminaries in tech and art. (My genius rockstar boyfriend, A, is guestlisted. Sorry—I love bragging about his smarts.) Proposed outfit: peach color kimono jacket with deconstructed appliqués (one of my own sewing projects). Denim mini, gold leather sandals.

Suggestions for changes in proposed outfits welcome. Pictures to come shortly.