The First Gingerbread Latte of the Season, and Other Things.

Posted in week in review by bluewellesleyblue on November 8, 2008


1. Even if the first five days of November are far too early to bring out the Christmas decorations, the Christmas treats, and the Christmas drinks to the tunes of constant Christmas carols – standardized Starbucks Christmas marketing – I can’t resist having my first Gingerbread Latte of the season. Yes, it’s a touch overpriced, and even if I can see the flecks of cinnamon and nutmeg, I can’t taste them, but it’s a comfort drink that reminds me of home. To be completely honest, Costa Coffee’s Cinnamon Latte is probably a better slightly spiced espresso drink. Still, it’s a taste of home!

I’m showing off my books as well. My summer research has pretty much directed me to my potential thesis topic.

2. Via Stylebubble, the very day after I turn in all my term evaluation papers, I could potentially celebrate with a jaunt to the Angels Big Vintage Clothing Sale. I’ve never bought anything vintage and am not quite as creative as many of the lovely fashion bloggers I follow, but it should be quite an adventure. At 10 GBP a medium bag, I’m sure I’d be able to find something to bring home and make it all worth it. Maybe this will be just the thing to lift me out of my fashion fatigue.

scaryboot3. I’m in the unenviable position of realizing that all my ballet flats are reaching near unwearable levels of wear and tear. I haven’t seen any cute pairs worth buying recently, but out of necessity, I’ll have to look harder. Of course, between rainy London and soon to be snowy and icy Boston, I won’t actually be wearing my ballet flats much for quite some time. Come the post-Christmas sales, I’ll definitely have my eye out for a good pair of leather boots.

Am I the only one who didn’t – for the longest time – understand the appeal of leather boots at all? I always feel like they make my feet look like boats, and since I’m kind of short and short-legged for my shoe size, they just don’t seem to work that well on me. Also, I find the really high-heeled and pointy-toed boots to be a little scary looking. It’s probably just me.


One Thing Primark Does Right.

Posted in shopping advice by bluewellesleyblue on November 6, 2008

Shopping at Primark is something many Londoners and tourists indulge in, which quickly becomes clear when you walk down and around Oxford Street and see just how many of those plain, flimsy paper bags are around. After all, with 4 GBP bras and 6 GBP jeans and so on so forth, the price is definitely right even if the fit tends not to be. I ate lunch with a friend from Wellesley who is also studying in London and then we popped into Primark since it was still a weekday afternoon, and she introduced me to the joys of Primark lingerie. Admittedly, they carry more than their share of brightly colored and strangely ruched and embellished bras, corsets, and so forth, but sometimes, you just want to buy some campy lingerie for costume purposes.

They carry a fairly limited range of sizes – none in my actual bra size here though I approximated alright by going up a band size and down a cup size – and you’re not actually allowed to try on their bras in the fitting rooms apparently, but it all fits pretty true to size. The nightgowns and non cup-sized corsets are probably a little awkward for… less average sizes, but if the shoe fits, you can’t deny that 6 pounds for a corset (less than 12 dollars) is wonderful.

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Hells to the Yeah.

Posted in fashion and society by bluewellesleyblue on November 5, 2008

So I woke up to find out the good news. Finally, a presidential election outcome that sits well with me, that’s all I have to say.

California election results on Prop 8 (gay marriage ban) and Prop 4 (parental notification for abortion) have not been called yet. It looks like Prop 8 is leading, which is not good. Prop 4 looks like it’ll be defeated, but it seems too close to call right now.

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A Couple Little Things.

Posted in miscellaneous, Uncategorized by bluewellesleyblue on November 5, 2008

Alas, with the time difference between the UK and the US and my own exhaustion thanks to days of not enough sleep for no reason, I’m probably going to turn in just as the polls close on the East Coast. I’m looking forward to hopefully good news in the morning, however. Here a couple little things on my mind, both fashion-related and not.

GOSSIP GIRL1. I knew Jenny’s dress from the most recent Gossip Girl episode was familiar! I haven’t been following that show by the way, in favor of Pushing Daisies, Criminal Minds, and Dexter, but I follow a lot of blogs that keep on top of Gossip Girl, so I have a vague idea of what’s going on. So it was H&M! For some reason, I was imagining that it might be Marc by Marc Jacobs or something like that because I just assume such things about the clothes shown on TV. Alas, more well-endowed girls like me cannot wear dresses like that. Believe me, I have tried.

2. Oh my gosh, Alexander McQueen for Target? That sounds like something I’ll want to keep my eye on.

3. Also, due to the indirect influence of By Teresa Wu and Miss Couturable, I’m trying my hand at Twitter. I don’t think I’ll keep on top of it, but well, when I’m procrastinating, I like to sign up for new things online! I really don’t think I quite understand how it’s supposed to be used and how to maximize its utility yet, but oh well, I’m trying. I’m definitely not as knowledgeable about blogging, publishing, social media, and all that sort of thing as those wonderful bloggers, but I live to learn.

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The Obligatory Election Day Post.

Posted in miscellaneous by bluewellesleyblue on November 4, 2008


Photo from New York Times.

I sent in my absentee ballot a whiles back. I’m not too worried about whether my home state goes unambiguously blue when it comes to the presidential election. There are a few ballot measures in California that I’m worried about since I’m a little out of the loop on the political situation back home. If I haven’t made it obvious already, my politics are very liberal. I was a Hillary supporter originally, but I gladly voted for Obama. I will, however, admit to initially being very skeptical of Obama’s actual capacity for generating change. This despite less knowledge of Obama as a politician than I should have. Maybe I will be proven wrong. Regardless, I know he is the best candidate in my mind, given my political views, and in general. (You’ll find that I regard the argument that Democrats in general are better for the economy with considerable glee. This is least among my reasons for pretty much always going blue.)

That being said, even if I’m a political science major, my specialty is still comparative and international politics. My knowledge of the intricacies of each candidate and the difference between what they will likely be able to do and what they or my favored news sources say is… not as perfect as it could be. Outside of some very unpleasant verbal gaffes McCain made during the debates on the one hand and a fair amount of knowledge on his political history as a moderate on some issues on the other, I don’t know that much about McCain. One of the main deciding factors in my vote, whenever it applies, is the issue of what is better for the right to choice. It just so happens that the right stance on that also tends to coincide with the right stance on everything else important to me. McCain’s choice of running mate made my choice very easy. Pretty much everything about Palin is anathema to me, given my political views, and I could never vote for a ticket with her on it.

Oh, but enough of my ponderous, cynical, and rather self-indulgent musings on American politics. I’ll be keeping a close eye on election coverage as I work on amassing research for my papers here in central London. Hopefully, a few hours after I wake up (election results will be fully confirmed around 11 AM London time, apparently), I’ll soon find that I have considerable reason to celebrate.

EDIT: Candidate, not client.

Window-Shopping at Shopbop.

Posted in shopping advice by bluewellesleyblue on October 31, 2008

Though the exchange rate has improved for travelers from the States. British pricing is still a major deterrent to shopping for myself while I’m here. Expensive clothes here are probably going to have an expansionary effect on my shopping in the long run – an unintended consequence – since whenever I see a legitimately forty or fifty dollar top now, part of me is going to think that I would never find anything that good for that kind of price in Britain, so why shouldn’t I get it? I’ll still do my best to be responsible, of course. However, shopping is admittedly a small vice of mine.

In that spirit, I was browsing Shopbop’s selection of 70% off sale products – anything less and I tend not to be able to afford it – and before I’d clicked through even half of it, I’d seen so many things that I would totally consider buying. Here are the best of my picks.

The Karta dress on the left is now $93.60. I love the print and the cut – it hints at the sophistication of something one might wear to an inauguration, yet that floral applique makes it very young and a bit of a statement piece as well. Admittedly, as a final sale piece it is a bit of a risk. Those resin pieces that make up the flower look tasteful on the site, but it might sit differently on a real person? That Nanette Lepore little black dress is now $118.50, which is quite a steal. I can’t help but ooh and ahh over little black dresses, though I have more than enough in my closet. Both dresses are in shapes that should be alright on curvier figures.

Summer has, admittedly, passed, but simple tank tops like these will never be completely out of style. The Juicy tank top at the left is brightly colored and I love the details on the straps and hem. It now retails for $50.40 which is admittedly a bit much for a tank top, but is not that excessive if you go into it knowing it is still a splurge. I’ve only recently discovered that I can, indeed, wear white clothes – I’d avoided them throughout my high school years because white is usually less flattering than dark colors – and so I can’t resist that Ella Moss tank. It now sells for $35.10.

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Shopping in London Part 1.

Posted in london calling by bluewellesleyblue on October 31, 2008

Its Part 1 because it is almost inevitable that there will be a Part 2, whether I post on it or not. For the most part, I’ve kept my indulgences to the weekly espresso-based beverage, but eventually I won’t be able to resist something at Uniqlo or H&M. Or maybe I’ll get a really loud and colorful corset at Primark for costume-ing purposes. There is a certain moderately notorious Wellesley social event that demands such attire, after all.

Bag from New Look, Blue chain headband from Accessorize, Everything else from Markets.

I’m leaving out the clothes because all of those are from places that are hardly London exclusives by any stretch of the imagination. Granted, pashminas and little paisley scarves are available everywhere, as is the cheap-y jewelry that gives me hives if I’m not careful. The bracelet suffers from the natural consequence of “you get what you pay for” and costing a fair bit less than one quid. The necklace can be worn with turtlenecks.

Oh, and New Look is an European high street chain that has pricing a bit below the USD equivalent of Forever 21. I have very mixed feelings about the clothes and accessories there, but for very simple basics, it works out well. I kind of violated my personal “all bags must be worthy, rare splurges” rule, but I needed a small bag for my tourist excursions.

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