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!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Outhouse Outtakes

Saturday, I learned that I am terrible at racing outhouses.


outhouse handout

Josh Flowers and I went to the Great Outhouse Blowout in Gravel Switch, Kentucky to watch as local folks and visitors from all over raced their custom-designed outhouses.

(People keep asking me where Gravel Switch is. Having been there, all I can say is that I still don't know.)

Which latrine reigns supreme?

Josh and I coerced my super sassy little sister Laurie and her man Alex into helping us make a little movie about small town festivals and speeding privies. They aided as we interviewed people about the finer points of making a racing pooper.

That's me in the denim mini and Josh, getting the runs.

...And then they documented our attempt at actually racing an outhouse!

One of the teams needed a couple hands to help travel their toilet, so Josh and I (of course) accepted. Dressed for the occasion, as always, I was just barely able to keep up as my little skirt and heavy boots went flying.

You guys. pushing a poop house at top speed is much harder than you think.

Alex is the second guy from the camera. You can see is boot sticking out there on the left.

Alex stepped in at the last minute and... Well, you'll have to watch the video to see if he fared any better than Josh and I.

potty mouth

Regardless of whether we won the outhouse race, we did talk to a million awesome people. Ms. Jeanne Lane, the event organizer, was especially lovely. She was the epitome of Kentucky to me: funny, smart and friendly.

The Penn house penthouse

Jeanne runs Penn's Store, which is "the oldest country store in America being run continuously by the same family," and the Outhouse Blowout is their annual fundraiser in support of this historic spot.

Many thanks to Jeanne and our reluctant crew, Laurie and Alex!

crew cut

If you think these outhouses are interesting in photographs, just wait 'till you see them in action. Stay tuned for the video!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Whole Nine Yard Sales

...And then some. I like my weekends like I like my yard sales: long.

When I learned that these were King Midget cars, all I could think of was Tyrion Lannister.

My birthday just happened to precede the 127 Yard Sale, also known as the World's Longest Yard Sale. I think it's pretty clear that the Fates determined that I should take a couple days off of work and peruse the castoffs offered up across the country.

Quincy and I took US 127 north from Cincinnati to the end of the deal-laden trail. We stopped just south of Lansing, MI.

We bought lots of amazing crap but it was only a small percentage of the mountains of indescribable oddities we ogled.

690 miles of this



mummy dearest

yard snail

wind miller time

open barn

First find at the #127yardsale #glitter #70s #discoshades
glitter done

These glittery '70s sunglasses were my big find of the sale... Only $5!

Monday, June 30, 2014

When Worlds Collodion

How about some wet plate collodion photography?

Photo by Nadezda Nikolova

I met the beautiful and talented Nadezda Nikolova at the Harry Dean Stanton Fest, where I accosted her and and her handsome escort in an effort to get interviews for my silly movie with Josh Flowers.

She introduced herself and her photographic work and asked if I would model for her.

Would I!?

A lovely day for some wet plate collodion #photography, no?
Do not make fun of his homemade lens cap.

I met Nadezda at Ashland, the Henry Clay Estate in Lexington a week ago, and we worked from mid-morning to late afternoon, taking nine photos.

Nadezda uses an nineteenth-century photography process with the handsome camera above. Because the images must be developed before the plate dries, she uses a craftily-constructed dark room in the back of her car.

Here's her feet as she works in her mobile studio:

developing from the norm

The process requires skill, patience and luck. When everything works perfectly, it's like magic.

Nadezda Nikolova
negative space

These are my favorite photos from the day...

Photo by Nadezda Nikolova
shoe stopper

Photo by Nadezda Nikolova
give me the slip

Photo by Nadezda Nikolova
branch dressing

I am in awe of the remarkable luck that brought in contact with this brilliant artist. I am a big, giant ham and would happily model for most anyone who told me I'm pretty. But Nadezda is one of those rare talents that you only meet once or twice in your life.

I can't wait to be back in front of her antique camera.