Archive for the clothes Category

My name is Pooja, and I’m addicted to socks

Posted in clothes on February 24, 2010 by poojaland

I love socks. I don’t know if it’s the germophobe in me or what, but except for those handful of super-warm Seattle summer days, you’ll find me in socks, both inside and outside of my home. I think it also has to do with my love of being cozy and comfortable, which usually equals wearing layers on my upper half (I wear tank tops nearly year-round), lots of fleece around the house and jeans and T-shirts. I even sleep with socks on, though on warmer nights, I’ll pull off the socks after a little bit (I should note that I don’t ever have the heat on in my bedroom, except for a few minutes right before bed during the fall and winter). My current favorite type of sock is a knee-high sock by SmartWool. I have several pairs of hiking socks by them, but I’ve recently also picked up some more casual/trendy pairs. I even got a pair of snowboarding socks by them in advance of my trip last November, and wore them quite often during my travels. They’re great worn inside boots!

This whole sock thing came into my mind because yesterday, I wore some high-top Converse boots with knee-high socks, and then realized once I got to the gym and started changing that I’d forgotten to pack gym socks — oops! I was tempted to make a fashion statement and wear my knee-highs anyway (see picture, which I took after I got home; and yes, I don’t really have any calf muscles!!), but in the end, I just went commando. That set up wasn’t very comfortable right off, and was even less comfortable 15 minutes into my 40-minute turn on the elliptical, but I usually wear “no-show” socks to the gym, so I at least didn’t feel self-conscious about being obviously sock-less.

I was a bit late finishing up my work out, so I didn’t have time to put my socks back on before I headed out of the gym to the bus stop. Soon as I got to the bus stop and found out via my OneBusAway iPhone app that I still had some 10 minutes before the bus arrived, I immediately pulled off my shoes, let my feet air out for a minute and pulled my socks back on (oh, and I was alone at said bus stop..). Call me weird, but putting on socks is one of my favorite things to do! So I nearly sighed out loud in relief when I put my feet back into my tennis shoes, with the socks on. Ahh!

Eventful night in downtown Seattle

Posted in clothes, Movies, shopping on January 9, 2010 by poojaland

An evening earlier this week, I went straight from work to downtown Seattle to attend one of those free movie screenings, this one for the movie “Leap Year” (yes, I’m a sucker for rom-coms, and on top of that, I love Matthew Goode). Once I got downtown, I had just over an hour to kill, so I walked to Pacific Place, a huge mall/restaurant/movie theater complex across the street from the theater the movie would play in. I went inside the mall, and then as I headed toward an escalator, I walked by this questionable-looking guy (read: a bit unkempt, shifty). Right as I walked by he said “Follow me out, OK? Let’s go.” I pretended I hadn’t heard anything — at this point, I thought he was maybe talking toward someone already on the escalator — so I kept walking. I got on the escalator, and as I was going down, he said “They’re watching you.” I stealthily looked around, and didn’t see anyone he could’ve been talking to. So.. he was either just talking to no one, or just to me. Um, yikes! He got onto the escalator a few stairs behind me. As soon as I got off, I booked it to the other side of the mall. Thankfully, I didn’t spy him again.

I wandered into some random stores with “Sale” signs out front, making sure to quickly walk past Victoria’s Secret (where the big Semi-Annual Sale was going on) and Express (where the famous Box Sale was going on), two places where I have little will power. Swung through J. Crew, and then went next door to BCBG Max Azria (which, as I side note, I used to think was Max “Azaria,” as I confused it with the actor Hank Azaria), a place I normally would never go into, but this time I was lured in by the “Extra %30 off clearance items” sign. Most of their clothing, even marked 50% off, and then an additional 30% off, was still waaay too expensive for me, but I found a casual jacket and a couple skirts to try on. A saleslady led me over to the dressing rooms and then opened up one for me. I walked in, closed the door behind me, and then turned around and around in confusion: There was no f’ing mirror in the room!! I then remembered that as I’d waited to be let into the dressing room, I’d seen a man and two kids sitting on this large sofa thing, and the mom of the family had come out to show them the dress she was trying on. There were mirrors on the outside of each dressing-room door, so she was obviously showing them the dress while also getting a first look herself. BCBG is such a high-end store — and yet they only have mirrors OUTSIDE their dressing rooms?! Luckily, I at least didn’t have all stubbly legs, as I’d had swimming the night before, but there was still no way I was going to step outside to show off every bulge and dip. The jacket I’d took in to try on was much to short — I didn’t need a mirror to figure that out — so that immediately went back on the hanger. Next, I tried on the two skirts. Herein was where I ran into a bit of a problem.. I tried to take some self-photos on my iPhone, but as all other iPhone owners know, this is a pretty impossible task. At right, you can see the results of those attempts. The skirt was actually quite cute, but being that it was all black, the details don’t show on a low-resolution/badly lit iPhone-camera picture. The lack of being able to truly see how the skirts fit, combined with the still steep price of them, led me to easily decide to not buy either of them (though I could’ve of course bought them, tried them on at home at my leisure, and then returned them). One of my friends suggested that the no-mirrors-in-dressing-rooms thing is so that when you step outside to look at yourself, the salespeople can come over and start lauding you with compliments, so you get all excited to buy everything you try on. I definitely don’t mind stepping out for some compliments/affirmation on something that looks good on me, but only after I’ve looked at myself for 10 minutes and from every angle in front of the mirror inside my dressing room. So…yeah. Now we all know!

After wasting some more time at other stores in the mall — and not spending any money: snap! — I headed back out to walk over to the movie screening. About 20 minutes into the movie, the screen suddenly went white, and we saw the film literally melt right there. It looked like someone stretched some thin caramel across the screen, and then it just tore apart and disappeared. The theater was at full capacity, and we all laughed nervously and were like, “What the–?” About 10 minutes later, we were back in action, though the film obviously started again at least a minute or two from where we’d last seen it. Twenty minutes later…another film meltdown! This time, it only took them about 5 minutes to fix things (after each meltdown, the rep from the film studio told us “Sorry about that! They say they’ll have it fixed within a few minutes!”). Once again, the film started up. And then 20 minutes after that…a THIRD meltdown! Jeezus! I heard later that a couple people walked out during one of the meltdowns, but in general, everyone took it with good humor. Certainly, no one was yelling or complaining loudly or anything. And after the third fix up, though the screen definitely had a blurry section right in the middle, it was smooth sailing through the end of the movie. As for the movie itself, well, it was up and down. The best part, for me, anyway, was Matthew Goode. Oh, and as a bonus — on our way out, we each got a free ticket for an upcoming movie as the theater’s way to apologize for the technical problems. My boss was like “You attended a free movie, and got a ticket to see another free movie?” Um, yes. And why not?

The fleecing of … me

Posted in clothes on September 2, 2009 by poojaland

I hit up yet another REI sale last night (one of their best ones, as they have a bunch of stuff on sale, plus any clearance items with a price ending in $0.83 are an additional 50% off!) and one of the items I picked up was…yet another fleece. You see, I have a huge love affair with fleece. It’s so cozy and warm, and on top of that, the wicking properties make it great for outdoor activities. Plus, fleeces come in many “strengths” and varieties (lightweight hoodies, thick jackets, wind-blocking jackets), so they’re extremely versatile.

Anyway, my latest pickup was a lightweight, light grey REI-brand zip-up hoodie. And this morning, it got me to wondering just how many fleece jackets I own. I’m in the office today, so I can’t go to my closet to verify, but for sure, I know I have at least 13 fleece jackets. Yes, 13 — I made a list! All but one of them are either by REI, The North Face or Helly Hansen. The colors range across the rainbow, though interestingly, I skipped orange and green. Good thing I hadn’t noted that *before* I went to REI last night! I don’t wear a lot of orange in general, but I do like green, so that may have to be the next fleece I pick up…some day.

The swimwear saga

Posted in clothes, swimming on June 26, 2009 by poojaland

A month or so ago, the bug in my head about trying to get back into swimming (see below blog) got really loud, so I began the arduous task of trying to find a swimsuit I’d feel comfortable in. I do have a simple Nike suit that I bought at least five years ago, but I have no idea where it is post-move (though said move was 2.5 years ago), and I was looking for a suit that would require less….maintenance (to put it nicely) on my part. I live close to this swimwear store in Northgate called Sylvia’s Swimwear; I was driving past one day when I noticed this cool “unitard” type outfit in their window — it was basically a tank top with shorts attached. I put in a call to Big 5 to see if they had anything in that style, and the woman said no and then suggested I try Sylvia’s. So…I tried Sylvia’s. They do indeed have a TON of stuff in there, but I only had eyes for the unitard. When I asked the saleswoman if the outfit in the window would be suitable for pool use, she immediately said “No,” and showed me where they had the only type of more mainstream unitards — they came in only navy or black (only black in my size), was lower in the front and back, and was by a brand I didn’t recognize (the unitard in the window was by TYR). So.. I tried on the black unitard. It looked fine, and though I gulped a bit at the price ($58!), I went ahead and bought it.

Over the next few days, though (and especially after each time I drove by that fabulous TYR suit), I started becoming a bit less excited about my black suit. I did some research online, and realized that the reason the lady dissuaded me from the TYR suit was because it was a triathlon suit — intended for all the stages of the event, and perhaps not suited to consistent use in a chlorinated pool. Soon after this revelation, I was thumbing through a recent REI catalog, and voila! They were advertising a triathlon suit they billed as being perfect for race day *and* training use. You know me, I’m nutso about REI, and I have such peace of mind buying anything there due to their 100%-satisfaction guarantee. The price on the REI suit — $100!! — made me gulp even more, but I bit the bullet and bused down there to check things out. I got confirmation from a salesdude that the suit would indeed be fine in chlorine (I have the guarantee to fall back on if it doesn’t), so I went ahead and took the plunge. The style is much more sporty than the simple black suit from Sylvia’s, so I feel less self-conscious in it in that I figure most people will just think I’m training for a triathlon (an idea my triathlon-minded swim buddies keep trying to impress on me :o)). To try and somewhat balance out the cost of the suit, I went to Target to get my cap and goggles.

Anyway, the real story here is that once I bought the second suit and decided to return the first (which I’d of course never worn), I couldn’t find the frickin’ receipt!! I vividly remembered putting it on top of my dresser, but though I turned my bedroom nearly upside down, it was nowhere to be found. I became so stressed over the thought of being out the $60-something, even if they gave me store credit (I really don’t need any more swimsuits!). Luckily, I did remember reading on the receipt that they had a 30-day return policy, so on day 30.. I slinked (slunk?) back into the store. I told the woman I hadn’t been able to find the receipt. She said “Well, are you in our computer system?” I had given them my info when I bought the suit, so I answered, “Yess..” with a slight glimmer of hope. Wonder of wonders, she was able to pull everything up on the computer, and then credit the money back to my credit card! Man, I tell you, I was so relieved! I immediately drove to Dick’s for a cheeseburger and fries to celebrate!!

Anyhow, I mainly wanted to write this to say that though I wasn’t too impressed with the “modest swimwear” options at Sylvia’s (as a caveat: looking back, I realize that even if the woman had said “Yes” on the TYR suit, I probably would’ve still gone with the REI one anyway), I highly recommend it for all your swimwear needs. The fact that they have computerized records — that they’re fine with hitting up when customers lose their receipts — is just mind-blowing to me. The only other place I know of that does that is REI (surprise). I doubt I’ll be shopping at Sylvia’s for another suit anytime soon, but I definitely will be periodically stopping through for various accessories — shampoo, suit cleaner, etc.

Oh, and here’s the suit from REI that I’ve now used twice and am really digging (photo courtesy of the REI Web site):

Whoa, that was a long blog about swimsuits. But it’s been some time since I posted a good story, so there you go!

Sleepwear dilemma: Solved!

Posted in clothes on March 31, 2009 by poojaland

So nighttime is a bit of a weird time for me.. I’m usually tired by that time of the day (about 11 p.m.-ish on weeknights), so I’m eager to get some shuteye, but I have somewhat chronic insomina, so I also kind of dread bedtime because I probably won’t actually fall asleep for several more hours (and getting up will be a drag). Another issue I’ve had to deal with? What to wear. Yes, an odd topic to blog about, but it was on my mind recently, during one of said chronic-insomniac moments (and also because it’s an issue I’ve finally recently resolved!).

Anyway, after getting a new duvet cover a couple years back, I had a solution to my bed-covers issue. I now sleep under just a flat sheet and the duvet. In the summer, I usually turn on a fan, and I sometimes kick off the duvet (but not always, because 1) I quickly miss the feeling of that heavy cover, even if I’m warm, and 2) Buster, my cat, will often attack me — no clue why), but otherwise, I’m good with that set up year-round. Clothing-wise, in the colder months, I generally wear a thin pair of baggy flannel pants and a thin T-shirt (that switches to a tank and shorts as it gets warmer). However, because I toss and turn so much before I fall asleep, I’ve recently been getting very annoyed with having to readjust after each toss/turn — I have to restraighten the pants so the seam is centered, and/or pull up the waistband, and or pull down my T-shirt, etc. I solved part of this problem by tucking the T into the pants’ waistband. But it still wasn’t a quite perfect outfit.

Then.. last weekend, I was leafing through the Sunday Target ad, and saw that they had leggings on sale for $5 each. A light went off in my head. I picked some up earlier this week, and I’m happy to say I now have my nearly perfect cool-weather sleeping gear: a thin T-shirt tucked into the leggings. The snugness of the leggings keep anything inside (underwear + tucked-in T) from moving, so I don’t have to do any readjusting as I toss and turn my way to oblivion. Of course, there’s no way I’d want anyone to see me in the oh-so-attractive getup, but it’s so nice to be that comfortable at night!

OK, so I know no one out there really cared about my latest life “drama,” but there you go!

P.S.: My true latest life drama has been the death of my laptop (which is the one bought for me by my work, but also doubles as my home computer). Yes, I lead an exciting life, people! The silver lining is that I’ve got a new, cherry red Sony VAIO laptop en route to me as a replacement. Can’t wait.