Screen shot 2013-01-06 at 9.10.48 PM
Screen shot 2013-01-06 at 9.11.48 PM
Screen shot 2013-01-06 at 9.16.14 PM
Screen shot 2013-01-06 at 9.21.17 PM
Screen shot 2013-01-06 at 9.17.51 PM
Sweater and Ring: The Limited
Belt: Anthropologie Couple of Feathers Belt

"'C'est la vie', say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell." - Chuck Berry

Whenever I'm struggling with that age old question of what to wear, I find that drawing inspiration from one particular item, usually an accessory, is of great help to me. I remember one post in particular where a simple hair clip served as my "outfit muse." Today's outfit was built around the most unlikely of sources for me, my nail polish. Unlikely because I've pretty much worn the same nail polish color for the past 17 years. Actually, it's not really a color, it's the opposite of color. You see, I've spent close to half my life trying to have natural looking nails which sounds like it should be no work at all but for me has proven to be very difficult.

My problems all started a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away: high school. It was a couple of days before my junior/senior banquet. Yes, I said banquet, not prom. To the powers that be at the Christian school I attended, prom meant dancing, and dancing meant inappropriate physical contact which we all know automatically leads to sex. So, instead of dancing, we ate dinner; therefore, we had ourselves a banquet. Anyway, I decided I wanted my nails to look extra special while holding that fork at the banquet, so I went to one of those strip mall nail salons that were popping up everywhere around the early 90's. Boy, was that an experience. The nice Asian gentlemen at the salon filed my nails down with a seriously scary-looking electric rotating file device, glued some super long talons onto the tips of my real nails, painted a strange substance over it all, and air brushed those bad boys to look like a french manicure. Of course, I loved my new fancy nails. It was the early 90's, people!

Looking back, I blame it on the buzz inducing smells coming from that place, but whatever the reason, I was hooked. I went back faithfully every 2 weeks for my "fill in." When I finally came to my senses, stopped going, and ripped all that shit off my real nails, I discovered paper thin remnants of what my real nails used to be. It was awful. I couldn't go without nail polish because my real nails were so thin they hurt without the protection. Clear coats weren't an option because my nails were red due to the blood supply that was clearly visible under my damaged nail bed. I know, gross. Thankfully, I managed to find a nail polish color that was really similar to the color of real nails, so I used that until they discontinued it and then found another one and so on and so forth, until one faithful day when I saw a movie that changed my nail color preference for a little while.

The movie was Pulp Fiction, and I was smitten with everything about Uma Thurman's character in the movie including her nail color. It was a very deep colored red that almost looked black. I had never seen anything like it. Seriously, I know it's hard to believe with the plethora of options we have today just at the local Walgreens, but we were poor, deprived people back in the 90's. The Internets weren't as vast as they are today, and it was a challenge finding out where Uma got her bad ass nail polish, but I did find out. I remember it well. I was sitting in a hospital waiting room in 1995 reading a magazine and waiting for my nephew to be born when I saw an advertisement from Chanel. There on the stark white page was a single bottle of deep red almost black nail polish that went by the name of Vamp. Next thing you know, I'm calling up all the local department stores to see if they have it. I was able to procure a bottle and spent the next couple of years mixing it into my nail polish rotation until it eventually went out of style.

All of this to say that for the past 17+ years, the only nail polish I've worn is "natural" with a couple years of Vamp thrown into the mix. Boring, I know, but that's the way it went down. I should note that my nails finally grew back to their former glory, but it took years and by then I liked the way they looked with the "natural" polish better than without, so I kept wearing it. Anyway, let's get back to the present day. Imagine my delight when Jerry and I are checking out at Walgreens a few weeks before Christmas and I see a bottle of nail polish at the counter that looks exactly like my old favorite Vamp. While standing in the checkout line, I relay the story that I just typed out above to Jerry while holding the bottle lovingly in my hands. I ultimately decided against purchasing it, even though I regretted it once I walked out the door. However, I must have been a very good girl this year because Santa came through in the end. As I reached into my stocking Christmas morning, I let out a squeal. For deep down in that stocking was my very own bottle of deep red almost black nail polish. The rest is history.

P.S. The best part: My ex-husband came to pick up the kids, took one look at my nail polish, and asked me if I had gone goth. Priceless.

You Never Can Tell by Chuck Berry on Grooveshark



  1. I love that color and use it as well. My ultra conservative (pain in the ass) father in law asked if I was going goth and I told him "Yes, I am...and I love this color, it's black like my soul!"

  2. Okay, I'd seriously be dying laughing right now if my kids weren't asleep and sick with flu! Anyway, I digress. I can't believe you went to a Christian school too! I went to a Christian private school in West Texas (the buckle of the bible belt) for 13 years!!! And yep, dancing was evil and we had "banquets", sex education was more a lecture on not to, and they hired the Church Lady to come and scream "SATAN!" every now and then. Maybe not that last one, but in the girls "sex education" one day, they got the local "fallen teenaged girls" from the local shelter-all 10 1/2 months pregnant to come an be cautionary tales. Oh, and I wore the pregnancy tummy all period. Ah, the memories! So wayyy more info than you needed, but again, I hear ya on that. :) I love love love that outfit on you and the nail polish is stunning! I've noticed you always have such perfect nails and I've envied you! I never have the patience or the time-I aspire to have pretty nails one day. Definitely keep that goth polish in rotation-it's a really great color on you.

  3. idreamofanthropologieJanuary 9, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    I grew up in an ultra conservative environment and we weren't allowed to use red nail polish because only hussies wore red nail polish. I have never for the life of me figured out why God cared what color nail polish I wore, if He loves me. (Obviously now I know the truth.) So go goth, in my opinion. This outfit is beautiful.

  4. That's so funny! I just had a badly behaved older sister that got arrested and would sneak out at night all the time (not as unheard of in Waspy Connecticut..but still bad enough to make the neighbors whisper)... whenever I even thought about being bad I was told "Don't be an idiot like your sister!" I think I would have preferred the "local fallen teenagers" coming in to leer at me and talk about their problems than having one living in my own house! lol

  5. THOSE SHOES!!! THAT BELT!!! Amazing! Loving the vampy look.

    xo Lauren

  6. Damn. Fierce look. If you ever decide to walk in and tell your boss where to shove his job, this is the outfit to wear while doing it. All he could possibly do is shrink into his chair and say "Yes ma'm." :-)


to top