Friday, January 25, 2013

Accessory Appreciation: Spats

Continuing my adventure to find under-appreciated accessories and show them some love, with a Goth twist, I've decided to focus this post on rather delightful little accessory that never seems to get enough attention. At least for my tastes. I'm here to talk about spats.

So, Spats. What are they? Well, Spats are a shoe accessory which are placed over one's shoe and around the ankle to provide a different look. They can be made of many different things, all kinds of fabric and leather and suede, or they can be made of lace or be knitted from any kind of yarn. The decoration options are also endless, but the most popular additions are (from what I've seen) buttons, buckles, and corset lacing. They add another dimension to an outfit, and can help you change up the look of a pair of shoes to match your clothes. Since they are often associated with the later nineteenth century, their association with Steampunk is clear, and you'll usually find them used in Steampunk outfits. But! That doesn't mean Goths can't participate in the lovely phenomenon that is Spats! Let's look at a few Goth appropriate examples:

For those of you whose wardrobes are more Cyber than Romantic, spats are an alternative to those big fluffy legwarmers you love so much (I say this with love.) Cyber spats tend not to have the strap going under the shoe to hold them on, because they will often be worn with platforms, and rest on top of the shoe.

Spats are also possible to make on your own, depending on your sewing or knitting or hot-gluing ability. Here is a tutorial on the Steam Fashion Livejournal group, one on the indigo phial,  and here on deviantArt. I don't really know of any reliable knitting pattern resources, but I'm sure there will be some out there if you look for spats knitting pattern.

As for how to wear them, they tend to look best when there's not a lot of volume around the ankle area, so they may look best with tights, leggings, socks, or skinny jeans. The only reason I mention this is that I had a mental image of someone wearing the lace-up ones above with Tripp pants and...lets just not, shall we? As for the shoes to wear them with, anything with even a slight heel should look good. Obviously Spats tend to lend themselves toward Victorian or Edwardian outfits (so for Goths maybe Victorian-Goths, Romantigoths, Lolitas, or something Vamp-y) , but as you can see that isn't a limitation. I like the idea of using them in a corp-Goth ensemble since they're quirky but not exactly offensive to colleagues. As long as you like how they look, that should go well.

Here's my attempt to coordinate spats in my style on Polyvore:


And now in a few other styles...

Spats 2


Spats 3

So, what do you guys think of Spats? Are they something you could use in your own style?

Edited to Add: It seems my post has gone live a little early! My post schedule should still be on Saturdays, but the "scheduled" feature is a little off for me. Please bear with me as I get it working again.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Goth Dorm Room Redux

So here I am, sitting on the bed in my new dorm room while my roommate is off at an orientation activity, wondering at how time has passed. I've been here now for three days and I've been busy pretty much the whole time. At least I haven't locked myself out yet. But, since I posted about my dorm room at the University of Stirling back in the autumn, I thought I might as well do the same for my dorm room at Mount Holyoke. The big difference is, of course, that I have a roommate this time around, but I tried to not let that affect how I would decorate. I think I succeeded.

Me in front of the Mount Holyoke gates.
Coat by Fan Plus Friend
Tights from Target
Shoes from Nordstrom Rack 
Purse by H.Naoto

But before we get started in my dorm itself, I'll give you a mini tour of campus. Just the pretty bits. Right now, in January, there is a thin sheen of icy snow all over the campus. As the day progresses, big sheets of sliding snow fall off the roofs, but apparently there's more snow to come. This is New England after all.

My first, and favorite, picture is one of the library.

"You are here."

An administrative building.


Snowy campus.

Blue skies and slowly melting snow.

The Founder, Mary Lyon's grave in the center of the campus.

My dorm is on the other side of the lake from central campus. Here you can see the campus from my side.

And this is my dorm, hiding behind those trees. It's an ugly little thing from the sixties, but the advantage of living inside the ugly dorm is that you don't have to look at the ugly dorm. Make sense? Since it's more modern, it also has much bigger windows, which is awesome and lets lots of light in. 

Anyway, to cross to my side you have to go across this little bridge. On one side of the bridge is the lake, but on the other side the lake lets out into two little rivers.

Now, for my room:

My side of the cork board.

We have little cork boards on our doors which we're free to decorate. My side has a container that had Poe tea in it, a Mad Hatter card, two photographs from one of the people at my high school (one of which is me),  a witchy Halloween card from my grandmother, a Twining's label, my name written with a Scottish flag next to it, a Loch Ness postcard, and a Magic: The Gathering card.

Now, the room is divided into two halves. On my side is my bed, my desk, a bookcase, and a closet. On my roommates side is her bed, her desk, a dresser with countertop and mirror, and her closet. We split the bookshelves and the drawers/counterspace. First, though, is my bed:

The comforter was on sale at Walmart in December and the sheets I got at Target in January. The pillows are from my bed at home and the stuffed animals...Well. I couldn't go leaving them behind, now could I?

Just behind my bed is a counter over top of the heater. It has a Poe action figure, a fancy frame with a picture of my Stirling friends on it, my alarm clock, and a jar of coins decorated with the Scottish flag.

The walls are positively covered, as you can see. I have posters, post cards, flags, calendar pages, the bat garland above my bed, and some other things. My lamp came from my grandmother, and I covered it with a lace shawl thing. Here's the rest of the wall, including my Scottish flag (a gift from my classmates at Stirling), "purple' string lights which turned out to be pretty pink, and such. 

And here's some close ups of the wall:

On my bulletin board I put a bunch of smaller things that I wanted to display, train tickets from Scotland and ticket stubs and such. It also holds my keys. 

Next up is the bookshelf area.

Not much is on it right now, since my roommate is international and only had one suitcase to pack. We'll divide it up later when we both get our books and such. On the bottom shelf, though, is a safe, a box of thumb tacks, a travel mug, a watter bottle, two skully plates and Halloween glasses, two sets of cutlery, and an electric water kettle (my pride and joy.) Above that is just my cellphone being plugged in. 

Above that on a shelf is just a few of the books I wanted to bring. I tried not to bring too many so I would be able to keep up with my school work.

On the top of the bookshelf I hung up a rack of six hooks (I bought it at target ages ago) and it hgas my purse, scarves, and towels on it. Next to that is a table runner from Target around Halloween time.

The brown, wood-like thing you see to the left of the table runner is actually the odd accordian-folding door to my closet. And let me tell you about my closet. It's walk in, with two shelves above the rack (I use them to store cleaning supplies, like dish detergent and febreeze and laundry detergent.) It's bigger than my closet at home, which is awesome. I put one of my suitcases in there.

On the opposite wall from the rack I hung a poster from Scotland. 

Back out of my closet, here's my desk. Tumblr going on my laptop, little figurines around my desk, my planner. In those three drawers are housed, from top to bottom, tea, school supplies, and makeup. 

Next up is the dresser, which is across from my roommate's desk. I have five drawers there, which have clothes and such. On top of that are just toiletries and such. I'm so in love with that bottle for q-tips, because it was from the Dollar tree.

Out of my window you can see the lake and the rest of campus through the trees:

So, there's my room. I had a lot of fun decorating it because I didn't want to spend tons of money but I did want to be in a nice space. So, a lot of it is from the sales/clearances or from thrift stores or borrowed from family friends or re-purposed from my room at home. There are some DIYed things thrown in there, too, which is nice. I'm quite pleased and can't wait for classes to begin. 

While I'm at it, I might as well tell you all where else you can find me. I'm now on Pinterest with several interior design boards up (as well as a personal fashion one, and recipes, etc.) and my Twitter is becoming more active. I'm also challenging myself to read a book a week on Goodreads, so feel free to add me there! As always, feel free to contact me with any topics you are interested in hearing me writing about, either in the comments or via an e-mail to Have a nice weekend you all!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Cheap 5 Minute Earring Display

This is my last week at home before I move off to Massachusetts for the semester and, just as I did before going off to Scotland, I've started crafting up a storm. It started with a flower hair comb and then just kind of spiraled from there. So, I thought I'd show some of what I've been doing. Here is a simple, extremely cheap, and very quick earring display that I whipped up to use up some old supplies. It was also an adventure to use my new camera for this blog, and I hope you all approve.

Look at all the lonely earrings, where do they all come from?

You will need:

  1. A frame, the size depending on how many earrings you want to put in it and what size they are.
  2. A piece of decorative, heavy paper
  3. Your earrings and earring backs
  4. A pin

First, start with an empty frame. I picked mine up at the dollar store, and it came with a small pane of glass and cardboard backing which I removed. The cardboard was tossed, not sure what I'll do with the glass yet. Either way, you don't need it for this frame.

Next, cut a piece of scrap paper (or any other paper that has some heft to it, definitely not just printer paper unless your earrings are very light) so that it fits your frame.

Taking a pin, needle, or even the back of one of your earrings, poke holes in the paper. I recommend making the holes half an inch apart but it depends on the size of the earrings you'll be using. Leave a slighter larger gap between the pairs of holes, and enough room for your dangly earrings to hang between rows (keeping the dangly ones on the bottom row helps with this.)

Now, put the paper back in the frame.

Put your earrings through the little holes, fitting the earring backings behind the paper so that the earring stays put.

Voila! There you go! An easy craft that displays your earrings in a pretty way. My frame is propped against my desk so that I can turn it around and remove the earrings at will, but the choice of where to put it is yours. If you're going to put it up on the wall, I suggest suspending it from a strip of ribbon affixed to the back of the frame so that you can easily turn it around. Or you could affix triangular pieces of sturdy cardboard to the back of the frames which keep it propped up for use on a table or dresser. Or you could have your minions hold it for you 24/7. Whatever works.

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial thing! Next time I talk to you all I'll be in Massachusetts, but until then feel free to e-mail me or write a comment with ideas for posts or other blog feedback. Thanks guys!