Sunday, July 17, 2011

Loving wine reds + shopping haul where I finally found a tolerable perfume + Harry Potter

Scarf: Glassons
Jacket: Bardot
Dress: some boutique store
Wedges: Therapy
Rings: House of Harlow, Tree of Life

To be frank I don't usually like red, but I am so in love with this deep wine red colour of my scarf! It's very easy to use it as a pop of colour to my winter wardrobe when I'm feeling lazy with outfit ideas, without being so off the season colour wheel.

original concept for the outfit:

also did a little shopping:

Colette: bag for $40, cuff for $15, cheap-ass stud earrings that I will probably never wear, for free,  ring for $6, iPad case for $10.

I have to go back instore and exchange the ring- "one size" my ass! It has a stretchy band at the back (so it can adjust to your finger size) but even when it's not being stretched at all, it falls off my thumb! The silver cuff is also already dirty with fingerprints and actually hurts like a mofo if you don't place it on your arm with extra extra care, because it will pinch your skin, and in theory you think you could get around this by placing it further down your arm to make it looser but no, that only makes it fall down and whack your wristbone so either way you get some sort of affliction unless you place the cuff on that perfect equilibrium point on your forearm.

Forever New: shorts for $50, stockings for $7.

I love the colour of these scalloped shorts, but I'm a bit bummed that they didn't have my size. This one is a 6 (size 0 US) and it just fits. I can still walk and breathe in them, but I feel like the shorts in this size come attached with a warning notice that strongly forbids consumption of food and/or drinks.

Benefit- eaue de toilette- so hooked on Carmella $60

Last but definitely not least! Since the beginning of our almost-two year relationship, my boyfriend has been hounding me relentlessly to wear a perfume since he has a really keen sense of smell and wants a lasting memory of me to treasure when I'm away or something like that. I'm the opposite, my nose is pretty insensitive and I'm usually that person who says with a rather baffled look "what smell?" when others notice someone's pungent BO when they walk past- pretty lucky right?

Besides my rather dysfunctional nose I also tend to find nearly all perfumes too "artificial" and nauseating, and not something I'd like to immerse myself in since it would probably give me a headache. I've also never understood why women have to smell like something lovely- of course I'm not advocating bad hygiene and any associated unpleasant odours, but why can't the subtle scent of the shampoo in our hair or bodywash suffice? Or why can't we just smell like nothing, isn't it just enough that we smell clean? I've met very few females who share my point of view, probably because everybody loves pleasant scents, but what's wrong with simply smelling neutral? When I expressed these opinions to the middle-aged Asian saleswoman she exclaimed "but we are lady!" with such a flabbergasted expression that suddenly made me feel like a hairy-pitted lesbian cavewoman.

Anyway so my armpits must not be that hairy because I actually really, really love this perfume. 

top notes: lemon, grapefruit, rhubarb
middle notes: cyclamen, peony, tiare flower
bottom notes: vanilla, sandalwood, amber

Since I will dislike any artificial smells I made the mental note of looking for something fruity- so the "lemon" and "grapefruit" bits looked promising. However the most dominant element I found was vanilla, which I also love! This is really the perfect scent for me- it's light, floral and super duper sweet. It's very redolent of lollipops and candy and other sweet edible goodies but not so overwhelmingly saccharine that your teeth hurt just from catching a whiff of it, because the vanilla and other subtle notes of sandalwood balance it out.

For someone who rarely wears perfume and sees absolutely no purpose for it, to fall in love with this and have the irresistible urge to wear this everyday, I think that really says a lot about how incredible this fragrance is. It was around $60 for this incy wincy little bottle but looking at all the thick wads of reject perfume test strips stuffed in my boyfriend's pockets everytime we go perfume shopping I could probably say that the steep markup is somewhat justified.

I also watched the last Harry Potter installment today with my sister! Epic, of course. On the note of Harry Potter, I also found this very interesting article! Highlighted in bold is what I thought was especially compelling.

Harry Potter: the anti-geek
by Amanda Marcotte

With all the excitement over the last Harry Potter movie coming out, I thought it would be a fun time to float a thought I've had about the book that often seems to surprise people when I mention it.  Even recently I was talking with some folks who were plowing through the books and enjoying them, and when one of them characterized Harry as "nerdy", I had to take issue. 

"Harry isn't a nerd," I said, "Harry is a jock."  I mean, Harry has an existential crisis that gives him some depth, but social outcast and/or geek he's not.  The opposite, in fact. 

I realized then that the "band of misfits" theme has so much power over the American imagination (maybe not the British, which could explain Rowling's choices) that people just sort of shove Harry and his friends into that mold, and then rely on a handful of rationalizations for it---Harry wears glasses, Hermione is a bookworm, Ron is a redhead---in order for that theory to make sense.  We're used to the X-Men or Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Scooby Gang, so much so that we don't see that Harry's trajectory is the inverse of Buffy's.  Buffy is a former cheerleader whose magic powers actually make her a geek and an outcast.  Harry is a nobody-special who finds out that he's special, and becomes not just the star athlete and hero of his school, but an actual celebrity.  Sure, there's ups and downs, but his trajectory is away from being the outcast and towards being the homecoming king.  Which may not be as emotionally satisfying as "my greatness makes me an outcast", but is probably more realistic.  In his world, being a badass is appreciated and he's realistically rewarded in his society for it.  

I'd argue that not only is Harry a jock character, but his friends also do not fit the traditional "band of misfits" mode.  Let's look at the evidence:

*Harry is the star of his Quidditch team, and basically is the equivalent in English football to a star striker, and in American football to the quarterback. 

*Harry's girlfriend is not only a star athlete as well, but is clearly the most popular and beautiful girl in school, with all the boys fawning over her.  It's a feminist touch that Rowling didn't make her the wizarding version of a cheerleader, but that's what makes the books so perfect for the modern era.  Rowling gets that girls can be popular in their high schools without being merely support for the boys.

*Which brings me to Hermione.  Hermione is the best piece of evidence for the "band of misfits" theory, but she still doesn't rise to the level of a true geek character.  Oh sure, she gets taunted for being Muggle-born and is the smart girl who annoys the other kids.  But while I'd say she's a tad nerdy at the beginning of the books, she evolves into one of the popular kids at Hogwarts.  She becomes very beautiful, is good friends with the most famous young man in their world, and she dates a famous Quidditch player.  Seriously, at one point she's basically a high school kid dating the equivalent of a young Cristiano Ronaldo.  I think it's cool that Rowling is acknowledging that the culture is making room for girls that are both accomplished and still popular.  And that's what Hermione is; no true outcast character would actually date one of the most famous athletes in the world. 

*Harry and Ron, on the other hand, are more stereotypical privileged young men who only put forward a C effort in school because they know they can coast into adulthood on their families' reputation.

*By the way, Harry's parents are wealthy, handsome people.  If anything, Harry's father is more of a cocky son of a bitch who coasts on charm and privilege.  Harry's mom is the homecoming queen who is nice to the geeks, a type that isn't as familiar in pop culture as the "mean girl" type, but is still a type.  Harry is portrayed as a chip off the block. 

*The most genuinely nerdy character is Severus Snape, which becomes even more clear in the flashbacks where Snape hates James Potter for his easy charm with the ladies, especially Lily, who Snape loves.  Snape is shown as being tortured by the popular kids when he's young.  As an adult, he and Harry don't like each other, and it's a continuation of the nerd-jock animus that both of them feel. 
*Let's face it; if "The Social Network" took place at Hogwarts, Mark Zuckerberg would be in Slytherin and the Winklevoss twins would be in Gryffindor.  Case closed. 

It's worth pondering if Harry Potter is so much more popular than many other series that have similar settings and themes because the books avoid the "band of misfits" structure.  "Band of misfits" is a trope that has great appeal to the traditionally geeky fantasy audiences, but Harry is accessible to people who have no relationship to that trope or what it feels like to be a misfit. 



  1. That is a very pretty outfit. Love the scarf!
    Nice shopping haul you got there. I love those scalloped shorts. Ouch about the cuff, though it looks quite cool. Beauty IS pain sometimes, I suppose.
    My bf is the opposite of yours, he doesn't want me to wear any perfume, he says it's artificial haha. That suits me just fine as I'm a minimalist when it comes to makeup/beauty.

  2. hey! i'm also a sydneysider XD

    i love colette jewelry! i don't know, but the colette i go to near my school always has pretty cheap stuff :D

    gosh, you're so pretty & skinny!

    if you don't mind me asking, what hs did you go to?? i go to ruse :D

    is size 6 here really a size 0? i thought size 6 was like size 2/4 and au 4 was 0/2??

    bye ^^

  3. @ Joey: thankyou! That's right, we do have to endure some degree of bodily torture for the sake of looking trendy =/ oh well!
    Haha that's good that you and your boyfriend are in sync that way. Minimalist is good- saves some invaluable sleeping time in the morning!

    @ sorkii: hi there! Yeah Colette is super duper cheap. I like the fact that they also sell some really lovely clutches and bags! and lol thank you.
    Haha same here! Yeah I thought size 6 was meant to be size 2 US (just minus 4) but I keep on reading that size 6 is actually a size 0. You know how you always hear in the media that girls are striving to become the perfect size 0 and even 00- I honestly can't imagine that to be a size 4 Aus or even smaller. If you aren't relatively short, that is a ridiculously small size!

  4. Hi I saw this post while I was google searching those forever new shorts.
    You mentioned they 'just fit'. What size are you normally if you don't midn me asking?
    I want to buy the online but theyre not actually in store anymore to try on =(

    1. hi there!
      I'm normally a size 6-8. I'm more often a size 6 in tops, and size 8 in bottoms. For reference when I tried them on I was about 52kg at 169cm. Currently they fit me better because I've lost 2 kilos. I think if you are in between sizes 6 to 8 and leaning towards a 6, the 6 should be fine. However at the time I bought them, I was leaning towards an 8 so they were pretty tight.

      hope that helps! :) good luck with your purchase.

      - Izzy

  5. Thanks for getting back to me.
    I really wanted the cobalt blue ones but they were a 6 but I found the coral one in an 8 so I went with that instead. I'm about 167cm and 52kg but more heavier at the bottom so 6 probably won't fit me =P

    Thanks for the help! x

  6. That was one of the most interesting things on Harry Potter I have ever read! I love Harry Potter, and have read all the books several times and have never even thought about that. Very interesting! :)


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