Sunday, December 18, 2016

Point of Revue

2016 in Revue

It seems as though I haven't posted in a year. I think we can all agree 2016 was a tumultuous trip around the sun, and if you'd like a peek into my personal experience of the last 12 months, I'd implore you to enjoy my 2016 in Revue mix.

A distillation of all (well, most) of the songs I fell in love with this year, 2016 in Revue is free for your perusal by download here.

Or, if you prefer, you can just hit play on this YouTube playlist.

Or, if you'd like to get your paws on one of the little luggage tags I crafted from vintage book pages, I'd be more than happy to trade you actual, physical mix CDs. Just drop me an email to arrange.

2016 in Revue

2016 in Revue
1. Born Again Teen - Lucius
2. Up on Cripple Creek - The Band
3. If U C My Enemies - Rubblebucket
4. Queen Bee - Taj Mahal
5. What a Fool Believes - The Doobie Brothers
6. Love as Strong as Doubt - Fort Defiance
7. Sila - A Tribe Called Red feat. Tanya Tagaq
8. JJ - Priests
9. This Land is Your Land - Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
10. Dim Lights, Thick Smoke - The Flying Burrito Brothers

Perhaps a little more upbeat than such a year would warrant, this mix is primarily love songs that reflect my happy first year of marriage as well as cheery songs I sought out when feeling the burden of a bad news-laden year. I hope it brings you cheer.

Here's to comfort and joy in the new year.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Revue Halloo

In the spirit of goodwill towards men, here is my holiday offering for you: 2015 in Revue, a mix of all the songs I fell for this year.

Mix download!


This year's version comes with a super-cool coloring page!

2015 in Revue

Coloring page PDF!

Pining for an actual CD? Let me know and I'll be happy to trade with you!

Here's to increasing peace on Earth!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

3 Things Women Over 30 Should Never Wear

Ew. As an English major and general snob, I really dislike using the word "things." But if I'm going to skewer the sad, crappy masses of clickbait barf, I felt like I should do it right.

This is a post inspired by my buddy Bobbi, who shared an article some weeks ago that dictated in farcical detail everything that ladies over 30 should not wear, up to and including crop tops and mini skirts.

I went dancing with my momma a couple weeks ago and as a foxy 60-year-old with all the best dance moves, I'm telling you right now that you can pry Mom's mini skirt from her cold, dead hands.

You can't really tell, but that's my mom, second from the right, in a mini skirt and about to destroy the dance floor with her brilliant moves. Also pictured: My sister's mother-in-law Mary, my sister Laurie and me, looking too weird with straight hair.

I'm 31 myself and, while I didn't cave and click the accursed link of forbidden fashion items, I truly loathe the idea that any style is off limits to me for any reason.

Bobbi is smart and stylish and recognized the article for what it is: poisonous dreck with an intent to make aging ladies just that much more insecure about changing bodies and changing fads.

Bobbi - 20 things women should stop wearing after 30
Well said, Bobbi.

I've been thinking about it a lot in the last few weeks. One of my self-imposed blogging rules is that I never give advice. I'm no expert, just some bozo with wifi, like most of the globe. But what the hell. One of my other rules is that I break all of my rules.

So, here it is: Three Things Women Over 30 Should Never Wear

1. Clothes that don't reflect your experience.

I am the queen of impractical fashion. I hike in finery, dance in dragging ball gowns and have a pristine record of never wearing an appropriate coat.

A paragon of impracticality

However, I like to think that I can learn from my mistakes. After wearing spike heels on an adventurous date, I've decided that I'd rather be the kind of companion that can keep up on outing without slinking to a barstool and whining about my bleeding feet. So, I choose shoes that will let me keep playing as long as I please.

This is not an argument for practicality (shudder) but a plea for people to respect their own experiences. Do you feel like a dolphin tangled in a tuna net whenever forced to don a bra? Then respect that experience, and let the ladies fly freely. Do you know that you'll feel more comfortable exploring your city if you're not feeling the weight of expensive jewelry? Then stock up on costume baubles and haunt new neighborhoods.

You've survived your twenties. You've learned what works for you. Never ignore that.

2. Clothes that don't respect your vision of yourself.

I wrestle with the idea of items that "age appropriate" because, again, appropriate isn't part of my fashion vernacular. I literally just came home a few hours ago with hot pink sparkly tights, and while at the store, justified the purchase to my brother-in-law by saying, "Oh, I have a wig that will match these!"

So, yeah, age appropriate I ain't.

Question of the day: Am I too old for high-waisted skinny jeans? #ootd #streetstyle #redhead #headband #skinnies #highwaisted #momjeans #1980s #retro #vintage #fuzzysweater #urbanoutfitters #skinnyjeans #30something
I really wrestled with whether or not I'm comfortable wearing high-waisted skinny jeans. I just really like the sartorial possibilities they offer!

However, there are items I've worn for years that seem to no longer reflect who I'm growing into. I've got these cotton babydoll minidresses that were wardrobe staples for most of my adult life and now, I can't seem to find a way to wear them that fits with my current tastes. I'm not forbidding myself from a certain style - I have an orange babydoll number from the 1960's that I can't wait to blind you with - but these particular pieces just aren't my bag anymore.

Me, wearing something in 2008 that I would never wear today.

As our lives change, it's easy to keep wearing items because we've always worn them. Keep a sharp eye on your closet for those clothes that are no longer speaking to your soul.

3. Compromise clothes.

I was going to write a sizeable definition of "compromise clothes," but I suspect you already know what they are, and are thinking of pieces in your own wardrobe that embody this loathsome idea: it is the ill-fitting button-up I bought because I thought it'd be a good basic for the board room; the conservative heels that are too boring for words, but would work for a job interview; the trousers that were too tight, but purported to be my size, dammit; the obnoxious sweater a beloved friend gave me; the booties that everyone needed for fall; the earrings on clearance at Anthro that were too cheap to pass up.

I'm wearing a tunic here in 2009 to camouflage the muffin top created by these terribly-fitted trousers.

None of these are inherently terrible items of adornment. They do, however, represent a compromise of ideals. Board room basics? Over my dead body. Conservative heels? Why bother? A trendy shoe? It don't fit my aesthetic, sir.

Ugly sweaters on the shelf don't make you love your friends any more, and a bad fit is not fixed with regular wear. Anything that does not jibe 100 percent with who you are at this very moment is baggage that ultimately does nothing but make you feel crappy.

Final Summation

I've found that people respond, not to your clothes, but to the way you feel in your clothes. If you feel fabulous/sassy/powerful in your bikini/ruffle socks/Hilary Clinton pant suit, then those around you know it. I've felt like I was on fire in just jeans and a t-shirt and I'll be damned if I didn't set off sartorial smoke alarms waltzing into a party.

In my natural environment

It takes time to create a cadre of clothes that cocoon you in beauty attuned to your personal aesthetics, whether it's bellbottoms and beaded bras or dashikis and chandelier earrings. Women (and men and all genders in between) over 30 have experience that illuminates their own tastes and the opportunity to gather the garments that make them happy.

Ultimately, no one over 30 should wear anything that makes them feel less than awesome. And while we're at it, let's not read dumb articles that do that, too.

P.S. A thousand thanks to Bobbi for her inspiration, both here and in general.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

How to Wear a Poncho

I've been singing the praises of the poncho for years, even writing a pun-trified tribute to the noble shawl on a friend's blog.

Look, this is me in my favorite poncho:

poncho villa

Toasty ecstasy.

I love spotting ponchos on other people, but I have noticed a disturbing tide of poncho neophytes who just don't know how to don them properly. Most abused is the style of poncho sometimes called a "wrap" - a quadrilateral length of fabric with a slit in the front.

It's often just tossed across someone's frame as though they are a flagpole, waving a sad blanket across their back.

This is what I mean:

Mara Hoffman poncho for Resort Ready to Wear 2014
This is definitely not the only offender I've seen; it's just the one I remembered to take a screenshot of.

Your magnificent knit mantle does very little when merely draped across your shoulders, as on the unfortunate individual above. We are not curtain rods, my fellow fashion frontiersmen. We need our outer layers to keep us from freezing.

We need our wraps to wrap.

Achieving heated heaven in your poncho is not hard. So, modeled on a somehow even more awkward specimen - myself - here is the proper way to don a poncho:

How to wear a poncho

1. Show off your poncho a bit. Bask in its fabulousness.

2. Drape across your shoulders so that your head is in the center of a sea of thermal material. Do not, as some have, stop here. Keep going.

3. Grab your right-hand flap of fabric...

4. ...And toss it across the front of your body. This is the part of you that would remain cold if you stopped at the second step.

5. Grab your left-hand flap of fabric...

6. ...And jauntily toss it...

7. ...Until it's over your right shoulder.

8. Feel both snug and smug.

Now that you are properly cocooned, you will reap the benefits of being both stunning and steamy warm.

Here's how it looks from the back:

wrapper's delight

I get approx. 928 compliments when wearing my poncho this way, even though this particular wrap is festooned in cat hair and snags and often smells like yesterday's pho because I wear it all the freakin' time.

People love it. And if I see you wearing a poncho like this, I will love it, too.

poncho gif

Can any outerwear compare to the poncho? Let me know your thoughts!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

I'm an Instagrammarian.

Do you remember when I posted outfit photos every day? What was I doing? How did I manage to achieve all that? It seems totally crazy to me now that I would snap a photo or five, download 'em, edit them and then craft a blog post damn near every day.

Perhaps it's because my life is so much more interesting and full now... Har har!

Anyway, this is all to say that I kind of miss the daily outfit posts, so I'll be using my Instragram to post my dorky outfits o' the day.

Look, this is what I wore yesterday:

Happy All Saints Day! #ootd #goth #paintitblack #fringe #velvet dress, #cowboy #boots and #leather coat - all #vintage, #thrift
I went to a pumpkin shootout, possibly the most appropriate place to wear fringe ever.

What will I wear tomorrow? What, if anything, am I wearing now?? The answer can only be found by following me on Instagram at @BeckyHaltermon.

I'll see you in the ether!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

From Taft to Tulle

How was your Halloween, party poodles?

Mine was pretty great. I work at the League of Women Voters of the Cincinnati Area, so for my office costume, I dressed as Martha B. Taft. She was the first president of the League, and all-around total badass.

Happy #Halloween! Today, I am Martha B. #Taft, wife of Robert and first president of the #Cincinnati League of Women Voters. #ootd #1940s #vintageclothing #hats #Republicanpinup
Taft-ing at my chamber door

This is a pretty obscure one. Martha Bowers Taft was the wife of Robert Taft, who served in the US Senate in the 1940s. She was a feminist pioneer in Cincinnati, and helped found the League immediately after women's suffrage was ratified in 1920.

On the street, no one thought twice about my getup but in the League office, it was quite a hit.

As usual, I had to create an office-appropriate Halloween costume because my actual holiday disguise was in no way acceptable for a professional environ...

Labyrinth Halloween Costume 10
I just don't have her bosom... It's not fair!

Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I scoured area thrift shops for an affordable '80s wedding dress to butcher into this, the ballroom dress that Sarah wears in David Bowie's Labyrinth.

On the plus side, I got to break out my oft-neglected hoop skirt.

Labyrinth Halloween Costume 02
Our dumb cat Only is playing the part of Toby's teddy bear.

Quincy was baby Toby. We went to the Famous Neon's Unplugged in the Over-the Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati, because their Halloween party was delightfully Labyrinth-themed. There were two (two!) Bowies, and I kept expecting one of them to try to toss Quincy into the air.

Thankfully, they were just super-friendly and fun and really into my ensemble.

We're ready to go forth and both trick and treat! #HappyHalloween! #Labyrinth #Taboo
I have to save Toby!

As you may know, I'm a big, giant ham who loves to be lavished with attention and compliments from tipsy strangers. Because of that, this costume was a great success.

I hope your hauntings were similarly awesome!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

At Any Costume

Holy moly, it's almost Halloween!

As a dress-up devotee, this is the most wonderful time of the year for me. Though I will confess: I haven't actually been waiting for culturally-sanctioned holidays to indulge in disguises. Here's a taste of the random costumes I've donned over the summer...

David Lynch Party
I'm Audrey Horne and I get what I want. 

In June, Quincy and I attended a David Lynch-themed birthday party at Tacocracy.

I will readily confess that I've only ever watched the pilot of Twin Peaks, but I did not let my lack of Lynchian experience slow me down. A half hour of rigorous googling, and I chose Audrey Horne to impersonate.

Audrey HorneAudrey is ready for the #twinpeaks party!
That's right, I rocked the mock. Also, a fake mole.

Not bad, eh? I actually found a brunette wig but, after hacking at it with kitchen scissors, decided my own hair looked more convincing than a mangled plastic wig. The top and shoes were thrifted the day of the party, and will always have a special place in my heart for the St. Vincent de Paul in Newport, Kentucky, for having the perfect wool skirt just waiting for me.

Quincy was the one-armed man. I thought it was pretty good for something he put together in the car outside of the party.

The one leading to the many is Laura Palmer. Laura is the one.

There were a million great costumes, but these were my favorite. Natalie, on the right, was living Laura... Check out that extremely authentic "Best Friends" necklace. Theresa totally stole the show, however, with her dead Laura. She was truly wrapped in plastic! Amazeballs.

Anyway, back to me!

Maude squad

In July, I went to Lebowski Fest in Louisville, Kentucky as Maude Lebowski.

Unlike Twin Peaks, I have seen The Big Lebowski several times and love it. I snagged this green robe-looking-jacket at NVision for a song and wore a low-cut, push-up bathing suit underneath.

It just now occurred to me how hilarious it is that this guy is wearing a pager. Just now.

I was not able to go the night of the costume contest, so I didn't expect many other folks to be dressed up. There were several Dudes in attendance, however, and I have to guess that theirs was less of a costume than a lifestyle. The gentleman above was a total stranger, but how could I refuse this photo op?

Speaking of photo ops, I have several ideas for this Halloween, but I have yet to commit to one... Stay tuned!