Friday, July 3, 2009

Guest Blogger - Brooke

It's time for my new guest blogger. Brooke is providing T Minus T Plus with some international flair. She is blogging all the way from Russia.


Hi everyone! Tina, your blog rocks, and I am so happy to be a part of it.

I'm writing this from Vladimir, Russia, where I am currently working on a research project for my master's paper. A few words on Russian fashion: women here are super stylish. They tend to have only a few clothes, as clothing here is very expensive (think mid-range American prices but on about a third the budget). It's not uncommon to see my co-workers wearing the exact same outfit three or four days in a row. But the clothes they do have will be carefully chosen, well-cared-for, and perfectly fitted. Young Russian women like skintight jeans and super high heels, sparkles and short skirts, bright colors and anything trendy (and they've got the genetics to make it look good). They never leave the house without fixing their hair and makeup. It's easy to feel like a shlub surrounded by all this loveliness, especially when you're limited to the contents of one suitcase.

So! On this warm, breezy summer day, I opted for one of my favorite color combinations, green and white and gold. I just got into belts recently (inspired partly by Tina and the academichic ladies!) and I like the way they make me feel put-together. However, as I am also quite fond of puffed sleeves and full skirts, I think that belting it at my waist makes me look too square-dance, so I tried to keep it a little lower on my hips.

In Russia it's often customary to keep a seperate pair of shoes to wear at work to change into, since the streets tend to be filthy. So I keep my hot pink flats at work (hot pink is a neutral, right?) and wore my happy sparkly gold sandals to walk to and from.

What I wore while trying to blend in with the Russians:

  • Green top: TJMaxx (altered by my wonderful friend Lisa)
  • White eyelet skirt:TJMaxx
  • Gold woven belt: thrifted
  • Pink flats: JCPenny's (thanks Mom!)
  • Gold sandals: Old Navy
  • Gold earrings: probably Target
  • Bronze watch: Target

I didn't realize until I took these pictures how the shoes pick up the eyelet pattern of the skirt! Cool.

Just for fun:

What I ate for breakfast that was typically Russian:

For breakfast, kasha (basically oatmeal) with fresh berries my host mom picked, grapes, and a cup of black tea. Russians drink tea after every meal, and often midmorning and midafternoon as well. With tea you can eat cookies, chocolate, or this stuff:

...some tvorak (a kind of sweet, soft cheese) with fruit. I think this had apricots. I am addicted to this stuff.


Thanks, Brooke! I can't wait to see what you have for us next week!

Have a great holiday weekend, everyone!


Beth said...

Oh, love the eyelets.

I have a friend who spent some time in Ukraine and he said every girl looks like Audrey Hepburn...seems it's from their Russian stock!

Struggler said...

I definitely agree that hot pink is a neutral! You look very nice... please don't try too hard to blend in; I'm not sure about very tight jeans combined with sparkles!

Wouldn't mind trying some tvorak though. It sounds pretty good.

Kari said...

How fun - I love hearing about your experience in Russia. I'll bet that seeing how small but stylish the typical wardrobe is would be an eye-opener. I know I often "make do" with less than perfect fit - or I have in the past, I've grown MUCH pickier and am willing to spend a little bit more for something I genuinely need - but I'm still always on the lookout to score a great deal.

That's interesting about the shoes. I've seen coworkers at past jobs keep a spare pair of pumps under their desk so that they could commute in more comfortable sneakers. I've never mastered that because it's too hard to adjust your pants length from sneakers to heels!

I love your color scheme, especially your pretty yellow bag.

Tina said...

I am a big fan off the "Get to work shoe" and the "work shoes". I do that on a regular basis. So much better on your feet and your shoes! In your case, both pairs were super cute! (My commuter shoes are usually pretty functional but not cute.)

CoCo said...

I love everything about this outfit! especially the yellow bag (i am still sporting my neutral hot-pink one!). it looks so fabulous and sunny and summery there, and you have the clothes to match. i am, of course, insanely jealous, because new hampshire has been dismal and raining and all-around cold and cheerless. maybe it's just that we miss you. :)

Brooke said...

I can't believe I didn't check the comments. Oops. Thanks for the kind words, everyone! :)