Fashion, Uncategorized

May the Fourth be with you…

And if you are catholic, you probably answered either: ‘and also with you’ or ‘and with your spirit.’ I know, it’s just what we do.

Because I work at a middle school with a lot of nerds, we celebrated Star Wars day in style. Students and teachers alike got Star Wars free dress meaning costumes, shirts, or whatever else you have Star Wars themed let you have free dress (including a denim day). This is a pretty big deal when you wear a uniform every day of the school year!

The day is topped with a giant picture of the whole school (who remembered/chose to dress up) takes a picture that is later photoshopped onto one of the film locals with some characters added in that is later uploaded across the schools social media.

This is my second year celebrating thanks to lovely gifts from my dad and Bustedtees!

Last year, I wore a great Princess Leia/Tank Girl shirt (now unavailable) which is super cute but was tricky when explaining why the princess looked so different (and figuring out how to explain to 3rd graders what Tank Girl is is a whole nother hurtle!).

This year, I borrowed one of my dad’s new tops which is a casual Han Solo/Vans shoes inspired mashup that takes a second look to figure out how Star Wars is related. Paired with some low Leia buns and a golden robot necklace, I got to play at being a chic Star Wars lady, while in reality I threatened to disown a friend/brother for pretending to mix up many sci-fi fandoms with the films we were celebrating.

So nerd up and may the fourth be with you!

  • Taylor Gallagher

Marrying Mr. Darcy

Just in case you haven’t heard of this game: Oh My God! If you are an Austen fan and you haven’t heard of this game, I repeat: OH MY GOD!

Back in my dissertation days, I wrote a few posts about different YouTube web series including the amazing and award winning Lizzie Bennet Diaries. As the fandom just celebrated the 5 year anniversary of the beginning of the series, 4 of the actors gathered in order to play this card and dice game and it was hilarious. My sister and I quickly sent out for both Marrying Mr. Darcy and the Emma expansion pack and spent tonight watching LBD and playing the game – since we were the only two we played multiple characters.

If you don’t want to watch the LBD video which really gives you all the basics in terms of instructions, here is the basic game play: after picking characters, setting out ‘character’ cards, designing your game plan, and picking order, each player picks an event card in turn following instructions therein. You try to match the rewarding ‘character’ cards to the criteria needed to make a match and gain more points than anyone else.

After playing both the Pride and Prejudice and Emma packs, the difference is as clear and as telling as the books they are based on.

Since Emma is really the story about a rich, entitled girl who blunders her way through life with a sharp wit eventually trying to redeem herself, this game is vicious. There are cards that let you undercut other players – like stealing their top cards – and almost every character has a special skill that lets the player work the game in their favor.

P&P, on the other hand, is nicer in terms of game tactics but is a little sad. There are less guys for all the girls but also as a story of a family of girls with few to no prospects going to dances with few men (again less options). You seem to fall victim to heartships more often than you may usually associate with this story.

We had so much fun playing both of these, although they were really complicated when we were trying to balance our character priorities. I’d love to play in a big group with either of these decks, or with a really big group, a combined game.

Seriously, Watch the LBD video if you don’t think this is an amazing game. Oh and for you zombie people, there is the undead expanded pack (thank you, Pride, Prejudice and Zombies!). Basically, if you are looking to make your Austen celebration even grander, this game is so worth a look!

  • Taylor Gallagher
Fashion, Uncategorized

The online problem…

Recently, I’ve come to the realization that I am (slightly) a shopaholic but with severe control over the tendencies – what lingers as a side effect of this compulsion is a constant and growing ‘need’ to shop; a deep and powerful urge that’s hard to fight. While I can fight this in many cases, I have a total ‘breaking the seal’ issue where giving into one purchase, tends to bring on a wide cascade of other purchases. Which brings us to online…

On this blog, I have discussed multiple online purchases I’ve made from the Tulle Chicwish skirt in London to my beautiful white Lulu dress, but most of the time, online shopping is a scary thing to take on.

First, many times you have to have a lot of trust. You have to trust that the reviews are accurate – this can mean people fessing up to their true sizing, ie. weight and bust sizes; explaining the difference in what they though things would look like vs how it actually sits; any details that might be relevant for others looking to make the same purchase. The best I’ve found were on Lulu which had you list your best fitting dress details (ie where it is from) so that they can compare it to the dress you are looking to buy, and Rent the Runway which lets you order two sizes at once to make sure one works (the reviews are also great!) – unfortunately these are rented so you have to return it.

I rarely shop at Hollister (read: I’ve almost bought a hat here, I think?), but I like how their online information works. The site links with the store inventory which allows you to check pieces availability in stores based on color and size – if it’s not there, you can pay online and order to shore. I may be buying my gala top here so getting to try the top on in-store and then placing an order for the right color to pick up later is perfect.

Second, sometimes things that are in the store, don’t exist online. As I mentioned last week, my favorite new pants from H&M doesn’t exist online in any form but walking into the store, you can find a few versions easily. Of course, the opposite is also true: many times there are articles of clothing that are only available online. This could be online stores or just web exclusive but either way, you are faced with the same issues as I talked about in part one.

In other words, as seen in 1 and 2, sometimes shopping online works but sometimes it just doesn’t.

The third issue about shopping online is that since it’s virtual, you don’t necessarily get the satisfaction of your purchase – a problem if you get ‘cravings’ – and you don’t necessarily realize the full cost until you are dedicated. The thing you want is always at your fingers so even if you resist for a while, unless the product is sold out, eventually you’ll buy it and for many of us in the virtual world, not having to go out to the mall and interact with people makes the purchase much easier. It’s also a lot easier to create a longer and longer list of wants that we whittle down so we can say ‘well, I only bought these, even though I wanted all of this longer list’ – ie. Pintrest (a whole other problem).

Again, these are a few ramblings from a little shopaholic who has spent way to much time looking to a top for the upcoming gala.

  • Taylor Gallagher
Fashion, Uncategorized

Personal style and what I’m craving now

When it comes to fashion and style, most people will tell you that picking one defining look and building your personal style around it is the best thing you can do – this is seen in the rise of the capsule wardrobe and the minimalist wardrobe (similar ideas but each can be realized in very different ways). While I like some of the ideas these trends produced – slimming your closet down, cutting back on what you own and therefore wasteful, useless buying, ect. – however, I don’t think I can really, truly commit to these and I don’t believe I would ever want to.

My style choices span across almost all walks of fashion – princess and casual tulle, tees and jeans, high-waist trousers and crop tops, 90’s plaid and dark lipped grunge, full on mix and matched suits (vests, ties, and jackets), to floral frocks and bohemian maxi skirts. To top it all off, I usual mix and match between these styles and switch the style quickly from day to day based on what mood I wake up in even more than what the day has in store.  While this means my wardrobe might be spilling out more than I’d like (i admit I have a LOT of clothes) there is a freedom to be able to decide between grunge, princess and pantsuit without feeling like I’ve abandoned my personal brand.

Still, even with my wide range of personal style choices, there are some trends (some older than others) that have sprung up recently or have begun to nag at me more than others but are definitely considered old loves:

1. Little white dress:

Every girl knows that somewhere in their closet is meant to be one garment: the LBD (Little Black Dress). This is the dress you can grab for any occasion and by a simple dressing up or down, you’ll be ready to go at the drop of a hat. It’s a dress that is so flattering, you know it won’t let you down – you know the cut, the material, everything because it is your perfect LBD.

A few years ago, a twist happened and so many people were showing up in show stopping Little White Dresses – they did everything the black dresses did but felt more daring because we all know the white can be a dangerous color if you’re not careful (spills, sheerness in bad lighting, hides nothing, must I go on?).

While these neutral dresses are on a more level playing field know, I’m really enjoying the thrill of the LWD especially twisted into separates (as you will see). I just bought a pleated maxi skirt and am on the hunt for the perfect white top for it. Which leads us to:

2. Evening separates

I’ll admit I was totally inspired by Rent the Runway’s Waltz Dress by Bailey 44 for a fun gala event I’m going to at the end of the month, but couldn’t help thinking, how great would that be in white (See how #1 works?). The other issue with the dress above is that it only looks like separates, while in reality there is a thin sheer netting between them – I’m not sure how this should work on all skin tones.

For me the choice was clear: take my inspiration an buy pieces that I are cheaper than renting the designer dress and that I’ll be able to wear over and over again, together or apart. This is my favorite part about all separates but especially when you are buying for occasion wear – you have so many options! At a later date, I’ll be able to down plyy a nice white maxi with a t-shirt and sandals and and pair a fun gala top (once I find one that satisfies) with cropped wide-leg trousers and converse for a funky summer look.

Speaking of which:

3. Wide leg trousers

Frankly, I don’t care which point in history you attribute the style to (the silk suit 20s, newsie and musical laden 40s, or ’10 Things I Hate About You’ styling 90s) I love and rock it all. I’ve been living in my two H&M pairs (which you can’t find online) which are longist-cropped (since I’m short legged), elastic, high-waist, light-weight trousers pretty much since I bought them. I love the movement and since they are cropped, pairing these with sandals, converse, booties or heels all work to make a fun, quirky aesthetic.

The hardest park for me is fit and it’s something to really watch out for if this a trend you are looking to try out. Frankly, like most things in the fashion world, these aren’t perfectly fitted for curvy girls. You don’t want anything tight – the material should skim the widest part of you, not cling. I had to buy a size up since my widest parts are my upper thighs but this means the waist band is loose. In the end, I like this because I can choose where the pants sit but I will be adding belt loops because of this. Remember, alterations are your friend!

4. Floral skinny ties:

I’ve seen these beauties popping up in men sections left and right and I want them all!A floral skinny tie is great fro ladies and gentlemen because they give someone of any designation a touch of pretty as well as visual interest that can brighten up a piece. For me, a skinny tie is also the way to go as a woman because you don’t want to be overwhelmed or look clownish, especially if you are petite.

The key to wearing these flashier styles is knowing how to pair your pieces. look at your background colors and keep to that tone – I’ve loved seeing a navy floral paired with a navy jacket or vest but a dark charcoal works well too, rather than a black suit which mostly makes it look like you dresses in bad light and didn’t see the navy.

If you try this trend, you’re usually going to want the tie to be the main event of the outfit – too much eyeball- drawing competition is headache inducing – but floral is one pattern that is hard to pair. That being said, if you do it right…

5. Mixing and matching patterns

Again, like the beginning of the Little White Dress, mixing and matching is a daring adventure in fashion that walks a narrow line but if you don’t mind a few experiments and some critics that will never be on your side, it can be a whole lot of fun. Personally I love watching people do daring mixes of patterns, colors and styles and there are tons of online guides that can help you start to explore without making you look like you dress in the dark (see another theme).

One of my close male friends loves mixing his plaids and always gets mixed results but nothing ever looks garish. He finds the balance by pairing like colors and sticking to subtle patterns – one plaid out of two (more that this gets daunting!) has to stay really subtle almost invisible and playing off a color within your matching set – but don’t match the plaids! This is two much.

For me, stripes are almost a neutral most often paired with a plaid but a floral of a pole-a-dot does nicely too. Again, there are tons of guides on how to do it but the main factor is, even if you have more than one pattern, nothing is competing – there is an order in subtlety that allows each to meld together into a single unified picture.

As I’ve said, my style varies and, for me, settling for one style is putting yourself in a box. Sure you may always appear camera ready but where is the fun in being that clean cut and cookie-cutter all the time?

–Taylor Gallagher


Back from Hiatus with Pictures.

Well it’s only been 2 months of (admittedly) accidental and then purposeful missed Thursdays but I’m back. I’m not sure that I actually owe anyone an explanation for why but at least I can fill you in with the fun parts of the hiatus.

It’s been a busy few months with a whole lot of time pulling odd hours at work but also a whole lot of time with my niece and my family. Before I start adding in pictures, I do want to add that I have more than a few post ideas waiting in the wings so we won’t be going back on hiatus so stick around to see what’s up next.

-Taylor Gallagher


Lush for Blondes.

For my best friend and my joint birthdays, we spent the afternoon together to chat, shop and then dress up for a fancy dinner. Neither of us have ever really gone through Lush before – for me, it’s a bit expensive since I’m watching my spending but I love the natural ingredients and causes the company supports – but we stopped in since we had the time.

I’m blonde – like never dyed, sun-bathed blonde (of course, I am not saying that non-natural blondes are a separate really in needs) – and have used some blonde products before though not often. Recently, I have seen advertisements for purple shampoo which is designed to pull the brassiness out of blonde hair.

I had thought that this was really for dyed hair, (I know doing the process wrong or with cheaper products can cause a brassy tone) but talking to the salesperson, who also doesn’t dye his hair but swears by Lush’s blonding products, I am really excited to start using these products.

I purchased the purple Daddy-O shampoo and the Marilyn hair mask (the bill made my eyes pop out but I’m managing!). Since making my purchase, I’ve gotten to try the Daddy-O shampoo and it was so cool.

For the shampoo, I was told to watch out how much I used. Again, it’s expensive and a little bit goes a long way – put a little in your hand and pre-lather. The purple bubbles were so fun to work through my hair.

The mask I’m excited to use over the next few days. The salesperson told me that – despite the directions on the tub – he pushes it. He bath-caps it over night or (if he is feels like really pushing it) sits out in the sun and lets the heat work with the lemon and other ingredients. I’m not sure how much I’m going to push these, but we’ll see how I’m feeling as these storm fronts keep rolling in.

Again, I’m new to these, so no reviews on anything but I’m so excited.

  • Taylor Gallagher

New Skills: SCA Style.

So, in the past year since moving home and becoming an active member of the Society of Creative Anachronism, it’s fair to say it has happily taken over most of my life. I’ve learned to embroider (getting better and bolder with each project), been welcomed into a household of amazing ladies (and a gentleman), served on court, received a baronial service award, am co-stewarding an event in a few months which I’m already leading planning meetings for, and now, I’ve started to learn how to throw weapons.


Bulls Eye! January 2017.

In my area – Altavia – we have weekly meetings for combat skills like armored and rapier fighting, but two to three times a month on Sunday mornings, we have an archery and thrown weapons practice and I was finally able to attend last weeks.

I threw knives once before (about a year ago) but quit pretty quickly – it felt weird and I didn’t really know anyone I was comfortable talking to about it. Now, I consider these fighters and teachers to be great friends who I trust and who I can joke with when a throw goes really awry.


Throwing Knives – All Three. January 2017.

The practice was about three hours long and I pretty much threw knives non-stop. Luckily, because I have played softball  and water polo and have done some marshal arts, I am familiar with some of the movement principles that help here – it’s not all arm movement but body rotation. The weirdest part was the reversed footwork (throwing with my right with my right foot forward).

My friend pretty quickly helped me find a rhythm and I was able to consistently hit the target – sometimes all three knives and sometimes pretty close to the center of the target. I ended up getting the hang of it enough to throw from the second distance and actually managed to make one of them stick.

Since then, I can’t wait to get back out to the range. Up next (after proving last practice was not a fluke!) is throwing a little farther, more consistently, and my friend wants to get some axes into my hands (so scary)!

  • Taylor Gallagher