Fashion

Ethnic Gothic

Sunday, May 22nd is World Goth Day.  It’s a wonderful day dedicated to being as goth as you want to be. When people think about goth’s they typically envision caucasian people. However, there are many of us who are not white.  I am mixed race and I have known many goths of various ethnicities.  Why does this matter?  It matters because diversity matters.  Within the goth scene there is great diversity in fashion and music tastes and it should be noted that there is diversity in racial backgrounds as well.

BUT! This post isn’t going to be a rant about people not acknowledging diversity.  I like to keep things light hearted around here and that’s a bit too heavy for me. Personally I have felt that the goth community has accepted me better than most other groups I have encountered regardless of race . This post is about how to embrace goth fashion and  a darker skin tone at the same time. This is about make-up!

Face

When I see videos of people playing with goth make-up the first thing they do is paint the persons face white to make them super pale.  If you already have fair skin this look can work for you.  If you have darker skin this technique con make you look crazy.  Just love the skin you’re in! Be proud of your natural skin tone.  This goes for all people! Take a trip to Sephora or any other retailer where they have artists on staff who can help you find the right product for your skin and match your shade.

Pro Tip: Wait to apply your face makeup until after your have completed your eyes.  Eye shadow can fall onto your cheek bones and ruin your look.  This way you can wipe off any excess on your cheeks or any mistakes without ruining the rest of your hard work.

Eyes

When it comes to spooky eyes the smoky technique is one of the best all purpose looks.  You can mix and match any colors you want using the same steps.  My advise is to work with your skin tone (and eye color) for the best effect.  I love sparkly metallic silver eye shadow, but my skin tone is too warm for it to look nice.  I tried for years to make it work and it just doesn’t.  I can use matte dark grey at best, but typically I go with purples or greens.  Colors the look good with my green eyes and can be found in warmer tones so they work with my skin.

Of course black eye liner works on basically everyone.  Have fun with wings or other designs as you see fit.  You can always wash it off and start over if you don’t like the look.  And don’t forget a good mascara.

A note on mascara for everyone, spider eyes are not a good look.  Maybe you don’t agree, but your look is much better if you don’t let it clump on your lashes.  One way to prevent this is not to pump your mascara wand.  If you need more product on the brush swirl the wand instead.  Pumping adds air into the tube and will dry out you mascara preventing it from applying neatly.  You can also you an eyelash comb after application to help separate your lashes. This handy tool comes with an eyebrow brush on the other side.

Lips

If you have gone big and dramatic with the eyes you need to add balance with your lips.  Black lipstick has come a long way since I first tried it in high school (I won’t tell you the year, but it wasn’t yesterday). It can work well on many people. However I think the contrast can often make teeth appear very yellow.  If you never smile or open your mouth this isn’t an issue.  But if you plan on speaking to anyone or having fun during your day you may be doing your smile a disservice.  My favorite look is blood red.  Kat Von D has the best shades of red I have found. I have also been known to use my black eyeliner as a lip liner and then blend it into the red for a slight ombre effect.

Nails

Nail art knows no limits when it comes to ethnicity.  Anyone can wear any style they want.  I have been an Essie girl for years.  The selection of colors is vast and always growing.  OPI is my back up if I’m looking for a specific color that I can’t find with Essie.  Get as creative as you want with designs or colors.  When it comes to shape or length, go with the most naturally attractive for your hands and fingers.  Make sure you go with something functional in your everyday life.  If you type a lot having super long stiletto pointed nails may not be the best….if you are know how to type 100 words a minute with the tips of your nails then rock them as long and pointy as you want.

Hair

Ethnic hair can be incredibly fun.  Not everyone needs to look like Morticia. If your hair is thick or curly you can be just as edgy and spooky as anyone else. It’s all about embracing who you are and your natural assets.  Of course if you want to make chemical changes to your hair their’s nothing wrong with that either.  It took me years to stop straitening my hair and embrace my curls.  I stopped because it was ruining my hair and was too much maintenance.  I do color my hair because I think its fun.

To boil everything down, be yourself and work with the natural shapes, colors and textures of the body you have.  Let your imagination run wild and have fun.  And always remember, you don’t have to fit into anyone else definition or label, be you.

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The Bride Wore Black?

For years before I was married I loved looking at wedding dresses.  There are so many inspiring styles and fabrics to dream about.  I wore a white chiffon dress that I absolutely loved as I had always envisioned.

More than a few people were surprised that I didn’t choose to wear black or purple or some other unusual color.  Colored wedding dresses are fantastic.  They are a great way to add some personal touches to your matrimonial celebration. They are also usually well priced since the demand is typically lower than the traditional white dresses.

Red

In some cultures red is the traditional wedding dress color and brides wouldn’t dream of wearing a white dress.  Red is a bold choice for any occasion and will certainly make for a memorable walk down the aisle.  I am a fan of the red and black combination in particular for the contrast. And because I just like adding black to everything. Being popular with diverse cultures, red wedding dresses are fairly easy to find. Just as white dresses they come in all silhouettes, styles and sizes.

Green

Green is one of my all time favorite colors and what some call my signature color. I don’t see many people opting for green dresses.  I think they are missing out on a great option. The dress pictured on the left is a personal favorite….if only I had the right occasion.

Blue & Purple

The colors of royalty though history, what better way to feel like a queen on your wedding day. Pair these with complementary colored flowers like orange or yellow for an unexpected combination.

Black & White

For those who can’t chose between black and white you can wear both! You can find a full vignette of options from mostly white with a touch of black to nearly all black with small pops of white and everything in-between.  the striped number in the top left would be fun for a Tim Burton inspired affair.

Black

The most dramatic of all wedding dress colors.  I remember a few years ago only seeing one or two styles of black wedding dresses.  Now, as more people have embraced different offbeat lifestyles and created greater demand, retailers and designers are providing far more options. From simple and sophisticated to extravagant and eccentric, you just can’t go wrong with black.

Part of me wants to renew my vows every few years just so I can plan different weddings and have fun colorful dresses every time.  I’ve had the white dress of my dreams, now I just want to play!

 

 


Not Your Average Bump

When I was pregnant I spent many hours searching high and low for maternity clothes that I could be proud of.  I needed something that fit my personal styles and tastes while still providing the comfort necessary for my expanding size. They also had to be appropriate for the business casual corporate office in which I worked.  This was no easy task.  One I hope to save other people from enduring.

Seraphine

The British designer/retailer Seraphine has recently begun opening stores in the US. I was fortunate in that they open a New York store shortly after I became pregnant. The clothing featured is not especially spooky, but they have some great pieces.  They are a great resource for work appropriate attire.

The photos here are three of the pieces I purchased.  The winter coat has expanding stretchy sides which made more room that you might expect.  I was able to wear this comfortably through an entire long cold New York winter. The black belt is a wrap around piece which you tie to fit your size as you like.  I found I had trouble keeping it up when my bump was small.  That didn’t stop me from wearing it nearly every day as it became my favorite accessory. This black sweater was super comfortable and warm and fit well underneath the coat even on days I added an additional base layer. All three items were indispensable staples.

The stores may not have all the items you seek, rest assured, you can order online and have the items delivered worldwide.

ASOS

I didn’t discover ASOS until I started talking to other mommas about where they found maternity clothes.  It’s important to note that ordering online is your only option as the do not have free standing stores.  Rest assured, they ship worldwide and deliver quickly.  I found the majority of my tops here and a few pants.  The best item I purchased was a maternity bathing suit.  I didn’t use it much, only on our babymoon, but it is likely the best bathing suit I have ever owned.  The best part about it was being able to get into it comfortably at 35 weeks.

the items shown here are not exactly the pieces I purchased as the stock has changed in the last year (’cause duh). The swimsuit is the same style. Pro Tip: If you own a string bikini already you can skip buying a new suit.  Your bump is beautiful and you should be proud to show it off. Just double check that your bits are still appropriately covered before you head out in public.  I was lucky that mine just barely worked when heading out on my babymoon.

I have now made ASOS one of my go to sites for shopping in general.

H&M MAMA

The well known fast fashion retailer is a great resource for maternity basics. The selection isn’t huge, but it’s worthwhile to have a look.  The jeans fit well all through the pregnancy and postpartum.  The simple T’s were easy to dress up for the office or relax in over the weekend.

The studded dress and lace top above were not available when I was shopping or I absolutely would have purchased those.

Nordstrom

I only bought a few pieces from Nordstrom, but they became regulars in the rotation of work outfits. They have a very wide selection of dresses which I don’t wear often so I didn’t buy.  However, Nordstrom is known for high quality so I’m sure they are just as nice as the shirts I purchased.

Blank NYC

I have not seen any free standing stores or I would raid them on a regular basis.  The Blank NYC brand can be found in well known retailers like Macy’s, Nordstrom and Destination Maternity.  I found a magnificent vegan faux leather biker jacket at Destination Maternity. I lived in that thing until the weather got too cold.  If it fit my current post pregnancy size I would be wearing it still. I was able to wear it sipped closed or wide open.  Even before my dumb was very big I didn’t feel like I was swimming in fabric, yet there was always enough to cover me comfortably as I grew.

Belly Button Band

These little gadgets are a great money saver in the beginning.  I was lucky in that I didn’t gain very much weight so I was able to wear regular pants for a long time.  When they started to get to tight in the waist I bought the belly button band.  they allowed me to wear the same pants a wore pre-pregnancy until about month 7.  I reached a point where my bump was so big I couldn’t see the buttons and putting on pants was a real hassle. By that point I was basically just giving up and wearing leggings as pants anyway.  These come in an assortment of colors to match your shirt, pants or skin tone which is really nice. There are two styles, one goes over your bump and the other goes under. Both button directly into your existing pants and utilize existing button holes to keep them up. I recommend picking up a few.

Honorable mention goes to Zulily. The stock changes constantly so check often.  The shipping can take a long time (depending on the length of the deal), but I’m sure you will find something worth the wait.

For those of you who may be wondering about my bump since I’ve mentioned it so many times…well here I am.

my bump 2

Dress: Zulily / Belt: Seraphine / Boots: DSW

my bump 3

Suit: ASOS

my bump 4

Shirt: Nordstrom / Pants: Held up by Belly Button Band / Bent: Seraphine / Scarf: H&M


A Creepy Engagement

When my husband proposed to me I couldn’t have been happier with the ring.  It is beautiful and intricate and completely unique.  Lots of people dream of interesting and unique engagement rings.  Whether you’re steam punk, goth, offbeat or just not interested in the average ring there are plenty of options to suit your tastes.

White Diamond

Different means of styling the well known classic stone.

“The Stream Ring”

Basket of Diamonds

Antique Inspired Halo

Black Diamond

A personal favorite (since I have one).

Vintage Pressure Set

Three Stone Red Gold

White Gold Set

Intricate Scroll Pattern

Non-Diamond

Everyone deserves a ring that suits their individual tastes, sometime that means stones other than diamonds.

Black Jade Orb

Aquamarine Swirl

Blue Topaz Grey Gold

Emerald with Bird

Black Gold

Basically these are as far from the traditional engagement ring as on can get.

Mother Nature

Black Skulls

Black Snakes

Nature Inspired

I’m always a sucker for anything covered in branches and leaves or inspired by the ocean.

Flower Halo

Lilly

Moonstone with Branches

Tree of Life

Skulls

I saved the best for last.

White Diamond Solitaire

Black Diamond with Roses

Circle of Skulls

Four Skulls

 


Spooky Baby

When you prefer the spooky life and you have a baby you are faced with a dilemma. You either put in the effort to find clothes you love or you give up and go with clothes that make you less than happy.  This is especially difficult when you have a son like I do.  There are seemingly endless style options available for girls and a very limited selection for boys.  I chose to search high and low for clothes that I thought were cute.  The effort paid off and I have often been sad when my little burrito grows out of something I was particularly excited to find. Below are a few shops that I found useful. Hopefully this will save you a few hours and maybe a few dollars.

Amazon

An obvious go to for everything you may need to order online.  It takes work to find what you’re looking for, but it can be well worth the time.  Available brands such as Sourpuss and Crazy Baby Clothing specialize in alternative fashions with lots of great options. There are other brands like Leveret which have styles that are not necessarily alternative, but they are more interesting than all white onesies.

BuyBuy Baby

I was surprised to find that this large chain store carried some great options. My most exciting find was the selection of Mayfair brand solid pieces in bold colors with matching hats.  If you want you can buy a whole handful of black onesies for a reasonable price.  By far the easiest option with tiny ones that get dirty in a blink. As with all basics you can mix and match the colors to your hearts content. The online clothing selection is even better with lots of options that you don’t always find in the stores.

Carter’s

Carter’s sells in chain stores like Target and on Amazon, but also have free standing stores plus an extensive online shop. They quickly became my go to for awesome pajamas.  They have some of the cutest options around.  They also have great deals constantly.  If you sign up for the mailing list you will receive coupons on a weekly basis on top of the already reasonable prices.  I found myself in the store at least once a month searching the clearance rack.  The savings come in handy when your little one is growing out of everything so fast.

My Baby Rocks

My Baby Rocks is an online store dedicated to babies, children and alternative fashions.  They have a large selection of designs in dozens of categories like “Zombie Baby“, “Monster Baby“, or “Pirate“.  Many of the designs are available in multiple colors so you are sure to find something that suits your tastes. The prices can be a little steep so I only purchase items I can’t live without.  I buy them at least one size too large so they last longer.

Spencer’s

COME_TO_THE_DARKSIDE_T-SHIRT-3

The Spencer’s stores are known for naughty gag gifts and fun clothing and accessories. These design ideas extend to their baby clothing.  There are amusing sayings inspired by music, movies and cartoons.  You can find band T-Shirts, comic book logos and some foul language if that’s your thing. The prices are on the higher side so I recommend the tactic of buying a size too big so you can get more use out of the items.

Most stores that sell baby clothes sell specialty clothing for the holidays.  Halloween is a great time to find cute spooky clothes just about anywhere.  Even better, shop on November 1st when all the Halloween items go on deep discount to make room for Christmas. Happy shopping!

If you find an outfit you love post photos online with #spookyandsweet so we can all enjoy your baby’s spooky cuteness.