Passionless Fashion

transforming our lives by transforming our wardrobes

Monthly Archives: November 2010

Day 15 – Tuesday

Ena - Day 15

Ena: The situation: it’s cold here now and I am feeling under the weather, and since our office thermostats seem perpetually set to a bone-chilling 62 degrees, a comfy and warm yet semi-stylish outfit was in order today.  The problem: how exactly to accomplish this surprisingly difficult feat with what little I have at my disposal.  The result: well…

I casually planned out my comfy, warm, semi-stylish outfit as I got ready for work this morning, but to my absolute shock and amazement – in case you didn’t catch that it was sarcasm, I am a repeat bad-plan-aheader – it didn’t work out so well when I actually had the clothes on.  As noted, this is not the first time that I have encountered difficulty when transitioning an outfit from my mind to my body, and the chaos that results from scrambling around at the last minute for something to wear has not been fun or pretty.

Maybe I’ll never learn not to plan ahead, but I may learn how to minimize the damage when I do.  This morning, to my absolute shock and amazement – nope, no sarcasm this time – after realizing that my mental outfit sucked, I disappointedly yet calmly selected something else.  No, that doesn’t quite cover it.  I actually assessed what I was wearing, figured out what else I could do with it, made a few key swaps, and left the house feeling comfy, warm, and semi-stylish…well…

Bina - Day 15

Bina: I feel a little better today.  My hormones are certainly up and down quite a bit, but I expect them to return to a place of balance in 5-7 days.  Otherwise, I want a refund.  From somebody.  Jeezum Crow, man, being a woman is tough sometimes.

I realized looking through my closet this morning that I would have a shit ton more options to wear if it was summer. I seem to have an affinity for flimsy sundresses.  Hopefully, it’ll warm up a bit, and I can break out a few. This is Southern California after all.  The blouse I’m wearing today was a gift and the blazer was passed down to me by my cousin The Doctor. Combined with my $10 Forever 21 skinny jeans and my trusty ol’ $30 Target boots, this outfit was a pretty decent bargain.  Come to think of it, it’s probably pretty rare I’m ever wearing an outfit that cost me more than $40. I guess my mama taught me how to hunt the cheap racks.

Have I told you I lost 10 lbs? Somewhere around there.  I certainly feel thinner.  And my jeans fit better, so that’s a bonus.  I’ve been doing yoga as regularly as I can.  Today my teacher asked me, and only me, if I wanted to work on doing the splits – hold your horses, I don’t think we’re quite there yet!  But I fear the main reason is that I’ve lost my appetite almost completely.  This is strange.  I’ve always loved food.  Well, scratch that.  There was a period in college when I was mostly obsessed with where and what my cheating boyfriend was doing at all times, so I wasn’t eating then either.  I know this lack of appetite is mostly attributed to my current anxiety-ridden state. I’m hoping that my appetite will return one of these days, although perhaps slightly less powerful than it once was…

Day 14 – Monday

Ena - Day 14

Ena: Well, Thanksgiving is over but the holiday season is just beginning; I’m not sure what that has to do with anything but it’s a fact.  I hope that everyone had a nice Thanksgiving.  My holiday was very nice, though I was unable to participate in any Black Friday madness in person – believe it or not, something I look forward to all year – and the lack of worthwhile deals available online was depressing to say the least.  I hope that others were able to take advantage of the day and find some great opportunities to save.

Monday again and while I am no less thankful than I was last week I am not, you will note, looking that way in today’s post.  I have decided to abandon the plan to appear happy; if the camera happens to catch me smiling, great, if not, also great.  I’m sure we can all deal with it.

Today I am wearing an item of clothing that I have time and again proclaimed to be the most horrifying and unflattering of clothes – pleated pants (gasp!).  This morning, Bina and I were recollecting a time when I suggested – jokingly, of course – that anyone caught manufacturing and/or selling pleated pants should be shot.  I’ve certainly come a long way since making that statement, or sunk to a new low…it’s difficult to tell these days.

Bina - Day 14

Bina: I woke up in the morning and had to coax myself to get up out of bed for a good half-hour. I feel like the wind-up doll in those anti-depressant commercials who has to wind herself up to get through the day.  Needless to say, I am having a low day. While I’m sure my hormones are playing a pretty big part in how awful I am feeling right now, I know it’s also partially the holiday season and feeling lonely and knowing I will soon be going home to many questions from the Indian side of my family such as “When are you moving back to Texas?” and “What happened to that boy you were dating?” and “When are you gonna get married?” and “Can we arrange your marriage NOW?” Oof.  I don’t know when the hell I’m gonna get married so get off my back, family, please!  Frankly, it’s not my biggest concern right now. My biggest concern is learning how to love myself.  As lame and EatPrayLove-ish as that may sound, it’s the truth. But try telling that to your Indian auntie.

This morning, all I wanted was protection and warmth. So I wrapped myself up in this sweater and have been trying to smile through it. I really didn’t feel like attempting cuteness today but I did anyway.  And so far the best part of my day has been when Ena and I laughed at how lackluster we both felt about our pictures.  Laughing is good. It helps. Sorry to be such a downer but I’m attempting honesty on this thing, even if it’s not pretty.  But at least I look a little better than I feel…


Day 13 – Wednesday

Ena: Since beginning this project, I have been told by numerous people that I need to smile in the pictures that we post.  “A smile is a great accessory.”  “Smile, you’ll look and feel better.”  “Smile; you should at least look like you’re having fun.”  These are just a few of the…helpful…comments I have received lately.

So, in honor of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday I thought I’d at least attempt to look thankful, or happy, or whatever.  And, in light of the disaster that was yesterday’s photos, it’s either start looking happy – and comfortable, though it’ll be a stretch – or start cropping my head out completely.  In hindsight, the latter option may have been the way to go.

Please, don’t let my face fool you, I really am a very happy person – really! – and I am incredibly thankful this year.  I am incredibly thankful to have such a wonderful boyfriend, home, and family.  I am thankful to have a job, food, and at least some money at a time when not everyone is so fortunate.  And, I am thankful to have the most amazing friends in the history of friendship – yes, that’s right – who continuously offer me their love, support, advice (solicited and otherwise), and shoulders (for leaning and crying), and who force me to participate in harebrained (and slightly traumatic) schemes…like posting humiliating pictures of myself on the internet.  Thank you all.

Bina: Welcome to my grandpa sweater.  Come on in! I felt the need to be cozy today so this is what I went with. I snagged it at the Goodwill for 5 bucks and couldn’t be more pleased with the mustardy goodness.

The things I’m grateful for include but are not limited to: my family and friends, my job, my kitties, my health, having a place to live and enough money to buy food, and many other blessings which I’m sure I often take for granted. Lastly, I’m grateful for this project, and hopeful as well. I’m feeling succinct today so…Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


Day 12 – Tuesday

Ena: Today I experienced the magical powers of fashion.  I woke up this morning groggy, grumpy, and absolutely dreading getting ready for work.  I’m pretty sure that lack of sleep and cold dreary weather are to blame for my lack of enthusiasm, but all I wanted to do was crawl into a worn pair of jeans, a warm hoodie, and slip on a pair of old Vans over thick wool socks.  However, fearing the negative reactions of all 5 of our readers, I mustered up the strength to leave the house wearing something a little better.

The power of the mob is almost as amazing as the power of fashion.  Immediately after dressing, I began to feel better; my bad mood literally seemed to melt away and I felt excited to get to the office.  I’m not exaggerating.  I’m not trying to sound all raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens – I should hope you know me well enough to know that I am almost incapable of that – I am completely serious.  It seems that there really is something to our hypothesis after all.  I’ll be contacting the editors at Popular Science directly after writing this – watch out for an upcoming feature.

The shirt I am wearing today is another Goodwill purchase.  It is quite feminine and detailed – though you don’t really get the full effect from the pictures – and I think it’s a really unique piece that I can wear with lots of things…at least, that’s what I think.  Either that or it’ll end up back at the Goodwill.  Only time will tell.

Bina: Oh boy. I’m really out of my comfort zone today, and it has not gone unnoticed.  We had a staff meeting this morning.  I left the room momentarily to fetch a co-worker, and when I returned, all eyes were on me.  How embarrassing! Luckily, Ena was in the room to report the statements made back to me, including the fact that they don’t even recognize me anymore, and that I “have it going on.” Ha! One coworker told me I look like a teacher, and another said I look stern.  Anyway, I got really embarrassed as they all seemed to be wondering why I was suddenly dressing like this and I just said I was “trying out a new look.” A school marm look, apparently.

My blouse, pants, and shoes are all from the field trip that Ena and I took over the weekend to the Goodwill  (blouse $5, pants $6, shoes $8).  The scarf is from Forever 21.  I like the color.  I realized looking back through the blog that I don’t wear a lot of bright colors.  Ena is better at that, but she shies away from prints.  So over the next few weeks, I think we both plan on experimenting more in these areas.

I’m not sure how I feel about what I’m wearing – but at least I took a risk, something I should do more often in all areas of my life!




Day 11 – Monday

Ena - Day 11

Ena: Well, it’s Monday again, but at least it’s a short week.  As our offices will be closed for the long holiday weekend, week three of our experiment will consist of only three days.  I am generally thrilled by short weeks (especially when they end in feasting), but, after our weekend trip to the local Goodwill, I am finding myself slightly perturbed that I will only have three days this week to try out my new-to-me clothes.

We only made it to one thrift store this weekend, but, oh, the fun we had.  This was not my first time thrifting.  As a teenager in the early and mid 1990s, I frequently scoured second-hand stores looking for flannels, ripped jeans, and bowling shirts, and, though I am after different items these days (thank God), I had just as much fun as I did back then.  I had forgotten how wonderful thrift stores can be.  I had forgotten how thrilling it is to locate a diamond in the rough.  I had forgotten what a high it is to walk out of a store with a garbage bag full of items totaling less than 80 dollars, and – now that I remember – I cannot wait to get out there and do it again.

The shoes I am wearing today were purchased at the Goodwill for less than 9 dollars.  They fit perfectly, are in great condition, and make me taller without assaulting my feet.  I love them.  I hope – though I’m not holding my breath – that this is a good omen and that I can say the same about the rest of my purchases.  I hope that I have the courage to actually wear all of the items that (in the store) seemed perfect for me.  And, I hope that after this weekend I can still fit into them in week four.

Bina - Day 11

Bina: I don’t normally wear tights.  I equate them to being eight years old and having a sagging crotch and wrinkly elephant ankles, according to Ramona Quimby.  But by the power of my Forever 21 gift card and the low, low price of $3.50, I bought a pair, hoping they had made some serious advancements in the technology of tights in the last decade.  They’re not bad.  They mostly seem to stay put, and I haven’t been too annoyed by them all day.  I haven’t been able to walk around outside too much because it’s rather chilly for LA, but when I’ve gone to the commissary or the cafe, I’ve definitely been noticing more smiles and general attention.

Let’s see, what else? Oh, my best friend got married this weekend!  The rain provided dramatic flair to the informal beach wedding, but thankfully everyone had a great sense of humor about it, and it turned out to be a beautiful and memorable day when all was said and done. Yay! She was gorgeous, of course. And I really loved her color scheme of bright yellow, raspberry, and seafoam green.  As the maid of honor, I was delighted with my attire, which always helps when you’re standing in front of a bunch of people you don’t know.  

In other news, it looks like I’m doing a play.  I know.  It’s been a LONG ASS time.  A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned to a coworker of mine that I was kind of missing acting and would be interested if something came up, for the fun of it.  She happened to call me this weekend and asked if I would step in and do this ten-minute play for a series her theatre company was producing.  I said yes.  And you know what – I’m kind of excited.

Day 10 – Friday

Ena : Today has been crap.  That doesn’t sound very good, but it’s almost completely true.  Nothing I tried on this morning worked out.  Once again, it was a case of, “a good idea does not a good outfit make,” a lesson I thought I’d sufficiently learned last Thursday.  Apparently my parents were right, I am quite stubborn.

I was running late, so I picked out a few old standbys, putting them together in a new way, and went out to start my car feeling completely defeated.  Try as I might, I could not get my car to start and after 20 minutes – that’s right, I said stubborn – finally had to admit that my battery was no longer with us.  Thinking quickly, I grabbed my phone to call Bina and beg for a ride, but, as my luck would have it, she had already sent me a text message alerting me to her fever and the fact that she would not be at work today.  Balls!

Long story shorter, I arrived at work not completely regretting my choice of clothes, which in the end had turned out to be a blessing disguised as a bad outfit.  I found myself surprisingly well equipped for this morning’s activities which included rooting around in my garage for a battery charger, applying said charger to my battery, traveling to no less than three auto repair shops, and waiting in the cold for a lovely and generous coworker to pick me up.  From thoroughly defeated to utterly delighted – with my outfit at least.

As noted, I am sans Bina today and all the worse for it.  Our office is a lonely place without her, and I find myself missing my source of consolation, humor, and inspiration…not to mention our blog’s administrator; cross your fingers I don’t bring the whole thing down in her absence.  Not to worry though, she should be back on Monday.  And – very exciting – she and I have a day of inexpensive shopping planned for this weekend, though I may have just blown most of my wad on a new battery.  Oh well, at least I can drive us around.

Day 9 – Thursday

Ena - Day Nine

Ena: Wow. So, today I am wearing what is for all intents and purposes a pant suit; the pants and jacket were purchased separately and at different retailers, so I’m not sure if it technically qualifies. While I have worn the blazer a number of times, the pants are from the purchased-but-not-worn collection and I am happy to have finally taken the tags off. I suppose – ok, I know – that the reason I have not worn the pants until now is because they are quite long and require me to wear heels. Yes, besides the pant suit today I am also wearing three and a half inch stilettos. Who am I?

I feel like a cross between a member of the Men in Black, a corporate consultant, and some kind of federal agent, an odd mix that I’m finding to be embarrassing, empowering, and uncomfortable all at the same time. Today I have most certainly received more ogles, comments, and confused looks than on any other day since beginning this project. The whole thing is making me feel very anxious and confrontational. Also, it’s making my feet hurt, something which may be contributing to my confrontational attitude…it’s hard to tell.

One good thing to come from my wearing this getup, my boss commented on how “nice” I look. I can only hope that she is imagining me going to an interview on my lunch break, a thought which will cause her to worry about losing me, prompting her to give me a promotion along with a large raise. If this turns out to be the case, I will be very happy with today’s look. If not…well, maybe I’ll give it another shot; sore feet and a few confrontations are a small price to pay for getting ahead, right?

Bina - Day Nine

Bina: Today’s outfit is much more my speed.  But, strangely, I probably wouldn’t have had the guts to wear it until now. An ex-boyfriend (of which I have an impressive slew from relationships of various lengths and dysfunction) gave me this shirt one year for Christmas.  We were living in New York and didn’t have much money.  He went to a second-hand store and gave me a bunch of cool old ironic t-shirts as well as this Western snap shirt. I love shirt snaps! Who doesn’t? Anything that gives you the ability to rip open your shirt in one fell-swoop like a superhero is pretty cool in my book.  Anyway, I’ve held onto this shirt for a while even though I’ve only worn it maybe once.  It’s really big, but I never wanted to throw it out.  My solution today: leggings.  While I normally would fear that my ass is far too “out there” to be wearing this, I decided to just do it.  And I like it. A lot.  I’m SO comfortable, but I still feel kinda cute in that “I’m a teenage runaway who listens to Nirvana” kind of way.

I love my feather earring. And I love my angel wing necklace. I wish I had some leather strap bracelets, and I wish my boots were a little cuter. But other than that, I feel just fine about it. Onwards and upwards.

Day 8 – Wednesday

Ena - Day Eight

Ena: I am very happy to report that I had a visit from the shoe fairy yesterday…ok, so it was just my mailman, but in this instance they were one and the same.  I saw an adorable – and obscenely marked-down – pair of shoes on line, and now, through the magical power of the internet, they are on my feet.  I love these shoes.  They are beautiful and so buttery soft that I’m finding it difficult to keep my hands off of them, and, though I realized that I don’t have a thing to wear them with (yet), I was so excited by their arrival that despite my better judgment I wore them today.

I am glad that I wore them.  And, I have learned two valuable lessons today; one, leather shoes truly are the greatest – and, as such, worth their price – and two, it is almost impossible to worry about looking foolish for wearing something when you are absolutely in love with it.  Both of these lessons are at once very helpful and potentially dangerous depending on how I chose to apply them to my life, hmmm…I’ll have to be very careful.  Oh, and note to self, obsessive touching of one’s shoes is neither normal nor well received in public.  Another valuable lesson that I shall try to remember.

Bina - Day Eight

Bina: Apparently, I wake up at 6 now.  That’s new. Next thing you know, I’ll be waking up at 6 and going running.  Okay, that’s just plain crazy.  All this picture-posting business does have me on the healthier track though.  I’ve been working out more regularly (over the last month or so, not just the last week) and it does make me feel better.  Yoga might actually be saving my life.

However, I feel more and more perplexed and frustrated by my closet each morning.  Ena said it best when she likened herself to a depression-era housewife attempting to prepare a feast  out of old cabbage and bouillon. We only have so much to work with.  I attempted to glam up my look today by pulling my hair away from my face and throwing on various gold necklaces.  Hopefully, I don’t look too much like I’m sporting a reject from the Mr. T collection.  “I pity the fool who puts on my jewelry! I do! I do!” Yes, I LOVE Friends. I also love the shoes I’m wearing – which I acquired for $5 from a warehouse sale when I temped years ago at the Guess? Corporate office. What a steal.


Inspiration: JP

This is JP.  He is another coworker who inspires us every day with his daring fashion choices, good attitude, and positive energy.  JP has been known to come to work wearing velvet blazers, scarves, cardigans, and Lakers hats (we’ll forgive him that last one), and he never shies away from color, including those colors most men fear, like purple, teal, and bright orange.  Before you even ask, no, he is heterosexual.

Not only does JP inspire us with his bold fashion choices, he rallies us to good deeds with his spirit of giving.  This month he has decided to donate his face to raising awareness about cancers that affect men, committing to the growth of a moustache for the entire month of November as part of the Movember campaign.  This cause is particularly meaningful to JP whose father battled – and survived – prostate cancer.  If you’d like to help JP with this cause, click here and donate online using your credit card or PayPal account.  The money raised will help make a tangible difference to the lives of others, through the world’s most promising prostate cancer research and LIVESTRONG’s programs that support young adults and their families battling and surviving cancer.

JP agreed to let us take his picture and told us what inspires his style and what dressing well means to him in the hopes that one of the 5 people who read this blog might contribute to his campaign.  Thanks JP, for all the inspiration.  It is truly a pleasure working with you, though it will be more of a pleasure when we don’t have to stare at your moustache.  Good luck!


JP: I was going through a tough time personally which affected my attitude and appearance at work.  I wasn’t happy with myself nor my career; consequently, I didn’t care about my appearance or my dress code. I grew out my hair/beard and wore shorts, sandals, and rock t-shirts every day to work.  Sometimes I would have to interact with execs which made me feel very embarrassed, but because I didn’t care, I wouldn’t make a change.

This lasted about two years.  One day, one of my co-workers told me, “JP you are a very smart guy – what are you still doing here working as an assistant? You have the potential for better opportunities, but let me make you aware that your appearance is not going to get you anywhere.” That’s when I realized that if I wanted to start feeling happy about myself and my career I needed it to start somewhere, and my appearance was the first thing.  I started dressing in slacks, ties, and dressy shirts; I also cut my hair and shaved the beard off.  Since then, my life has completely changed and I can say that I’m in a very happy place now.

It’s always important to be happy with ourselves in order to be successful in life whether it’s in regard to health, richness, or just simply being happy. Success is measured by our own personal standards/goals, but your appearance and the way you carry yourself will be the way people will distinguish you.  Lastly, smiling (you notice I always smile) will release positive energy; you also never know who is falling in love with it.


Day 7 – Tuesday

Ena - Day Seven

Ena: Today I decided to bring out some of the items from my purchased-but-not-worn collection.  I figured that they’d earned it, having spent many long and lonely months in the back of my closet.  I have owned both the jeans and the shoes for quite some time but have worn them each only once and never together.  I plan to have the jeans altered as they are very long and I am very short on tall shoes (and experience wearing them), and, because the sandal weather appears to finally be on its way out, I am glad that I decided to wear them together today.

I must say that I am enjoying feeling tall and not wobbly; four inch wedges are infinitely more wearable – and less painful – than four inch heels.  I do just have one question, how do you heel loving women out there drive?  Seriously, how?  Do you keep extra shoes in the car?  Is this where the term driving shoes comes from?  I am very curious.

There’s just one last thing, and I’m sorry if it offends you…well, maybe I’m not really that sorry.  I was perusing a few fashion blogs today (on my lunch break, of course) and I saw the phrase “real girl” in two of them.  Now, I’m not suggesting that these bloggers are not genetically female, just that maybe – with their Alexander McQueen rings, fabulous sponsors, and loads of free time and swag – they do not represent the average real girl; it’s either that, or I am considerably below average.   Now, Bina and I are both genetically female and – sans designer items, money, and free time or stuff – really quite average.  So, there you go.

Bina - Day Seven

Bina: I’m not thrilled with my look today. This was one of those humbling mornings wherein I realized how little I know about fashion.  I put on the outfit I had conceptualized in my head and discovered I looked like a 13-year old prostitute.  No bueno. Those over-the-knee socks are tricky business!  So I had to start over and I was running late and oh crap, I don’t have a THING to wear! Okay, I exaggerate but I got a little panicky. Anyway, I decided to try this dress and then I just didn’t have any more time to deal with it. So here I am.

The morning drive’s guilty pleasure song of the day was Katy Perry’s “Firework.”  Shut up.  I almost came to work dressed like a pre-adolescent hoochie, I may as well listen to the same music as one. I told Ena about my morning’s debacle and she was disappointed that I didn’t at least snap a pic, thinking that I was probably dressed like some of these tween fashion bloggers. But I’m not a tween fashion blogger, I’m over 30 and I like to eat.

Good news.  I got more responsibilities at work. Wait, is that good news or bad news? Also, the following information was leaked down to me. Big Boss Lady apparently asked my friend and Supervisor D, “Bina’s been dressing so cute lately – what’s going on with her? Do you know something?” Let the mind games begin. Not really. But I do think it’s funny.