March 19, 2011

new stuffs

Three more new blog posts (complete with outfit photos!) are now up on my tumblr* - click to read unpinchable, mallrat, and revisions. Hope your weekend is treating you well!

EDIT: In the interests of maintaining a reasonably contiguous blog archive, I have amended my posts from Tumblr below - you can now read them here, or in their original home (with all the original comments) on Tumblr (click to read unpinchable, mallrat, & revisions). Enjoy!

Ayasofya, Istanbul Ayasofya, Istanbul
scarf - vintage, thrifted / purse - custom, valhallabrooklyn via etsy / jacket - Zara / watch - La Mer / cardigan - Cynthia Rowley via Marshall's / gray tank - Anthropologie / overdyed skinnies - Zara / brogues - Primark

I know what you're thinking: Just how many days in a row is she going to wear that freakin' green jacket?

Don't worry, the answer is only three. The irony is that while this jacket is probably my most St. Patty's appropriate garment, I decided that yesterday would be the last day of the streak and had to settle for just a pair of green earrings today. Fortunately, while the Turkish are known to be occasional stranger-pinchers, they are pretty ambivalent about leprechauns and whatnot, so I managed to pass the holiday unmolested. Unfortunately, they also don't seem to be that big on off-colored beer - I couldn't find a smidge of green food coloring at the grocery store, so Chris and I were forced to celebrate with just regular-colored beers tonight. Our life is super-hard, I know.

We took our pictures yesterday on our visit to the Ayasofya (or Hagia Sophia) - I've talked before about my love for doors, but I think that pair in the first photo might be my favorite ones yet. They're carved out of one huge chunk of marble and are completely inoperable - there's not even a crack in the middle, much less any hinges or functional pulls. (Sidenote: Marble Door is the name of my future band - dibs!)

While I don't really have any problems with this outfit per se, I was definitely starting to feel the frustration of Turkey's sartorial modesty codes yesterday. The weather was sunny and gorgeous, but I felt like I couldn't take off any of my layers for fear of revealing some verboten part of my evidently contested body. I'm one of those people who is always hot, and so the ban on revealing my upper arms or chest (as, oh, 80% of my tops do) tends to leave me pretty cranky after a long, warm tram ride. To further complicate things, accepted styles of dress vary widely within Istanbul, with huge disparities in prevailing attitudes between neighborhoods. Thanks for making things wicked confusing, Istanbul. The good news is that today our sightseeing destination was actually a mall(!), and I did not come away empty-handed...

3.18.11 MALLRAT
Kanyon, Istanbul Kanyon, Istanbul Kanyon, Istanbul
earrings - Copenhagen street vendor / bracelet - gift from Tunisia / watch - La Mer / purse - custom, valhallabrooklyn via etsy / trench - H&M / black tee - UO / skinnies - Target / t-straps - UO

In addition to the metric ton of incredible old buildings we've been visiting on our trip, we've also been making an effort to see some significant newer works of architecture everywhere we've been. In Istanbul, these tend to be university campuses (there's one being built on the Asian side that Chris helped design!) and shopping malls, and our excursion yesterday was to visit the Kanyon mall in the northern part of the city. It's technically an outdoor mall, with a huge courtyard slicing diagonally down the center, but the weather was so mild we hardly noticed we were outside. The shape of the building even protects the courtyard from the rain - it drizzled while we were there, and we only saw a couple tiny damp places. I hadn't really planned on shopping (yeah, right), but between having just finished my taxes (and discovering, to my surprise and delight, that not only did I not owe a boatload, I'm actually getting a respectable refund!) and boyfriend actually suggesting that we browse separately for an hour or so, I wound up carrying a few bags home.

After feeling frustrated the day before with the extra limitations placed on my wardrobe by local definitions of modesty, yesterday I decided to try and break out of my funk by working with a few of the more underutilized items I do have. I have been neglecting my trench since picking up my new army jacket, but I discovered yesterday that I much prefer the fit of the trench when I don't need to cram a bulky sweater under there. I've also been dying to wear these red t-straps more but hadn't yet thought of pairing them with socks to make them a little more early-spring appropriate. While the whole outfit was fairly simple, it wound up feeling pretty polished.

Tonight we're heading out to dinner with our 'landlord' and his girlfriend in Taksim. One of the stranger aspects of long term travel is the sudden non-existence of a social life, and often weeks will go by in which Chris and I don't have a conversation longer than three sentences with anyone other than each other. Given the many, many benefits of our current life situation, this is a pretty tolerable downside, but it does mean we pretty much jump at any invitations we get from our various hosts. So far we've been lucky enough to go out for paella (and wine, so much wine) in Madrid, to share hole-in-the-wall barbecue followed by fancy rooftop cocktails in Marrakech, and attend a proper pub birthday celebration (complete with veggie haggis!) in Edinburgh. This maybe more than anything is why I love the way we've been seeking out our accommodations; by staying in people's homes, we've been able to meet so many interesting people - med students, desert guides, costume designers, retirees, jewelry design students, and some seriously cute kiddos, to name just a few - and have been introduced by them to so much we might never have discovered on our own.

So all that is to say that, while I have no idea what to expect tonight, that's exactly why I'm excited about it.

Fatma Sultan Cami Sk., Istanbul: 18 Mart Fatma Sultan Cami Sk., Istanbul: 18 Mart Fatma Sultan Cami Sk., Istanbul: 18 Mart
earrings - Anthropologie / bracelet - gift from Tunisia / cardigan (worn as a shirt) - UO / belt - vintage, thrifted / skirt - H&M / tights - H&M / socks - Target / boots - Steve Madden

This was definitely one of those outfits that looked way better in my head than it did in reality. I'd actually dreamed it up almost a full week ago, but had to wait for another rainy-day-at-home opportunity to break out the skirt. This top is actually an ancient boyfriend cardigan from UO that I've been meaning to throw away for months - it's so worn out that I won't leave the house in it, so I've been using it as a sort of robe/housecoat substitute on our trip. I think it works pretty well as a wrap-front top here, but everything below skirt level really didn't end up working out the way I'd hoped. If I were going to try this combo again, these would be my three major revisions:

1. I'd like my tights to look darker, so next time I'd layer black tights under the blue ones instead of gray.

2. I'd ditch the over-the-knee socks entirely. While OTK socks usually spell outfit magic for me, here I think they contrast too strongly with everything else and just end up looking like kneepads. Too weird.

3. Different shoes! Probably my brogues, but I think my black flats could work too. I think with so many swathes of vastly different colors going on here, showing more solid leg-color would help things seem less overly-segmented.

Hope everyone's weekend is off to a great start!


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