get me out of here

So here’s the thing. After almost a year together, the fucktoy and I are finally taking the plunge and combining all our (other)worldly possessions. Come May, he’s moving into my apartment to share my bedroom, hog the covers, and clog the shower drain. I can’t wait. I’m thrilled to come home to my best friend every single day. That said, I’m gonna need somewhere to put him.

I currently have thirty-eight items listed in my Etsy shop. That’s also roughly how many dresses and skirts I own for my personal use. Thanks to storing Etsy crap on every godforsaken surface, my room is absolutely stuffed to the brim with clothes. It’s claustrophobic for just one person. I need to unload some of them in the name of making sure Josh and I don’t straight-up end each other (and not in a kinky way).

So! From now until April 1st, take 50% off any Dressed in the Dark purchase by entering the code GETMEOUTOFHERE at checkout. Yup, ANY purchase. Go forth and gorge yourselves! Here’s a preview of the new items I listed today, as well as some of the shop’s classics. 

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lest you mistake me for someone brave

I recently got a few comments to the tune of “you’re so brave! I could never wear something like that!” Now, I’ve never been entirely comfortable hearing that. Compliments predicated on self-deprecation feel so weird. The onus then shifts to you, the complimented, to half-assedly assure them how wrong they are, even if they’re right. Eventually you just take the well wishes and run, leaving your assailants utterly high and dry for validation. Lately, though, I’ve put my finger on yet another dubious angle. This is going to be a talky post, so if you’re too sleepy, distracted, and/or high as balls to take it in – you’ve been warned.

Earlier this week, my friend Holly and I hit up Goodwill in pursuit of costumes for a redneck-themed party she’s throwing. Flannel, cheetah, and ill-fitting jeans galore. I grew up in the middle of the woods, so I’ve certainly internalized a thing or two. And y’all know I love costuming and character creation. But when I stepped out of the dressing room in my camo tank and hideous denim shorts, I actually felt – perish the thought – self-friggin-conscious.

I know damn well it’s just a costume. I fully intend to rock it like I rock everything else I create. (Modesty, how does it work?) But redneck culture, despite my upbringing on its fringes, has never drawn me in the way speakeasies and sorceresses do. It’s not at all my domain. It’s certainly Holly’s. She wears the moniker proudly, and I’m glad to share in it at her party. But it’s not something I would have chosen for myself, and because I’m human, that makes me nervous.

There’s no bravery here. I might present louder and more garish than most of you, but that’s as much my comfort zone as jeans and t-shirts can be for many others. My style looks fearless to those whose tastes run more demure. But I feel just as lost out of my sequins and vintage dresses as someone else might feel in them. It’s superficially different, but the impetus is the same.

How often do you see me wear pants? All of a motherfucking never. I currently own one pair, a red plaid set that I wear around the house and sometimes to burlesque. I tried to wear them to work once. I ended up going home at lunch and changing because I felt too profoundly awkward to concentrate on a damn thing. Bravery would be wearing them anyway. I didn’t do that. I put on a swingy skirt and a pair of bright tights and felt exponentially better. It would seem, on the surface, easy to tell which outfit was the more courageous one: I probably looked kookier in those tights than I ever would in the pants. But kooky is home. Flappers, pinups, and seething sorceresses pave my merry way, and all I have to do is saunter down. The ordinary is a much harder row to hoe.

It’s imprecise and overbright, but I do have a formula. I know what works for me, and I get as cranky about deviating from it as Jane Q. Average might. So while I’d never tell you not to consider me an inspiration, you deserve to know exactly what you’re looking up to. I can’t dish out any magic missile to make you that much more eccentric. This is not a rags-to-riches “I dragged myself from my comfort zone and look at me now!” tale. This is my comfort zone. It might look different from yours, but it sure as hell feels the same. The only style I’m advertising is “be your goddamn self”.

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brave III brave I

Truly the faces of a woman who wouldn’t be happy any other way.

off to join the circus

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…or maybe it’s off to join me.

I want to let the photos speak for themselves today. It’s been a while since I’ve done a proper photo story.

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Dress: Classy Closet Mantle: Renaissance fair Hat: Marshall’s Belt: Goodwill Brooch: Battery Street Jeans Tights & Shoes: Gifted Suitcase: Free

brand spankin’ old

As usual, click on each photo to see its listing. A nice mix of realism (swaddle-licious wool coats) and fantasy (dreamy spring dresses).

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This coat has the most comprehensive story of any garment I’ve ever sold. Its wool was produced in Worumbo Mill, which closed in 1964 and currently holds a place on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s listed on Etsy for now, but I’m debating selling it to a private collector. Want to be the one to change my mind?

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etsy I

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your bloody valentine

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Behold what I wore on my real live Valentine’s Day date. I am an extremely ceremonial person, often excruciatingly so, and I took pains with this outfit to make sure it was exactly right. Say what you will about unchecked consumerism, but I put a lot of  stock in holidays. I like the idea of a culturally ordained day for celebrating aspects of life that often slide under the radar. I’m not into the whole overpriced-candy deal, but I do appreciate that its presence forces me to think about relationships in general and my own in particular. I might not give in to the whole “buy this shit” shtick, but I can certainly get behind any reminder to appreciate my partner. It’s easy, in the day to day, to let your life become all about arguing over dishes. There’s more to everything than the prosaic, and I’m always in favor of acknowledging that.

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And this is as good a time as ever to talk about why I appreciate said partner. I don’t really like talking about this sort of thing on a blog that’s nominally about my creative efforts, but I know I always enjoy reading it on others’ blogs. I’m a gossip hound. What the hell, I’m feeling magnanimous.

I’d seen Josh around town for a good year or two before I found his profile on okCupid. It was a year ago yesterday, actually, that I first messaged him. I spent Valentine’s Day 2013 profoundly single and bedridden with the flu. All I needed was a good okCupid browse to complete my picture of pathos. I stumbled on his profile and recognized him instantly: here was the guy I’d mercilessly eye-fucked on the street for months, who looked as though he’d polished off a few duelists and sipped their blood for an afternoon constitutional. Inigo Montoya meets H.P. Lovecraft. His profile  described him as a nightmare fetishist and steampunk enthusiast, as well as – hyperventilation right on cue – the art director of the other haunted house in the area. (If you’re new here, know that my involvement with haunted houses is one of the most important parts of my life.) I distinctly remember thinking “this guy is way too cool for me.”

He didn’t message me back until April, because he is the most absent-minded of the professorial cohort. He asked me out for tea, I kissed him, and he invited me back to his “creepy mansion”. At the time, he was renting a room in a rambling former frat house (fun fact: the frat in question was forcibly disbanded for dealing coke), and he promised to give me a tour of the most murder-rific parts. When he kissed me good-bye the next morning, he said, and I quote, “I think this is the beginning of a long and beautiful courtship.”

And I thought, who the fuck talks like that?

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We were Facebook official three days after we met in person. I hadn’t even mentioned him to most of my friends yet. Ten months later, I’m still scratching my head a little that the guy I’d considered way too cool for me is my partner in life, crime, and devilry. But he’s a colossal goofball who isn’t half as intimidating as he looks. He remembers that I like my burgers super-ultra well done and that my favorite TV Trope is “arson, murder, and jaywalking”. He lacks spiritual inclination but holds nothing but respect for mine. He wakes me up by nibbling on my neck. And I feel loved and respected to a near transcendental degree.

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I’m not a self-effacing type who demurs “oh, I have no idea why he picked me of all people.” I’m awesome. He’s awesome. And we manage to be more than the sum of our parts.

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Dress & Skirt: Downtown Threads Boots: Battery Street Jeans Fishnets: Old Gold Bow: Spirit Halloween Necklace & Scarf: Gifted

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josh ii

nobody I

Happy Valentine’s Day, asshole.

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my one true valentine

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fae I

Excuse my lackluster setting. I loved this outfit too much not to grab a few snaps, so I made do with posing in front of and behind the herb store where I work. The entrance is basically a Hampshire College reject with an apparently vomit-stained sidewalk (says a lot about the quality of our herbs). Around back, though, is a haunted fairy cottage waiting to be discovered. I’d brave the interior if I didn’t fear unleashing Arachnageddon. Not everyone loves spiders as much as I do.

Anyhow, this outfit is the perfect segue into one of my favorite subjects. It’s a sartorial tribute to my favorite fictional character of all time .

maleficent

Pathetic likeness, I know. I didn’t think I could actually measure up.

Maleficent has been my favorite character in anything ever since I first wheedled my parents into letting me watch Disney movies at the age of four. I loved her sleekness and her fire. I loved the way her moods proudly occupied the whole damn room and forced the plebes to their metaphorical (sometimes literal) knees. It’s funny, because I consider myself a peaceful person at heart. I am a committed pacifist, and I don’t like indulging much anger in my personal life. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: Skye? Blood-‘n’-guts, glitz-‘n’ glamour Skye? I’m hardly a hippie. Still, though, my attraction to the underbelly comes fundamentally from awe at this whole mad mass we call a world. I want to seize it all. I want to make room for everything. Darkness is part of that, but it’s by no means the core.

I admire the hell out of people who are unflinchingly dark. Who truly feel alive with rage and bloodlust and don’t fear it the way I admit I do. Maleficent embodied that for me before I had the language to articulate it. Or maybe I just liked her outfit. Who the hell knows? Don’t overthink a good thing. Point is, little Skye had Maleficent swag up to here. Collectors’ edition Barbie doll, a painfully detailed Halloween costume my mom sewed for kindergarten me, too many dragon plushies to count. At some point I fell temporarily off the deep end and bought a tissue box with her face on it. In middle school, my scads of fanfiction eventually wrought themselves into a coherent backstory. My dissection of her history, 150 pages plus, still languishes on my computer. There might’ve even been an actual crush on her somewhere in there. I still maintain that she’s the face of my heteroflexibility. I’ve got a preemptive free pass from Josh in case she ever somehow comes to life.

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You can imagine my reaction to the news of her live-action debut later this year. Understand that I have been following this movie for years now. Hints of it were first whispered in 2011, and I combed the internet for spoilers. Now that the release date grows ever closer and the trailers come thick and fast, I’m having a hard time not hyperventilating a lil bit just writing this post. It’s not unwarranted to call this movie the culmination of my entire childhood. Ask anyone who knew me way back when: I was obnoxious about Maleficent.

Plus, it’s coming out on May 30, 2014, six days after I turn 20. The sixteenth birthday of my love for Maleficent. Coincidence? More like LIZARD PEOPLE. Let’s hoping I can see it before the sun sets.

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I’ve been reviewing the trailers on Facebook, to decent acclaim. How would you guys feel about me featuring said reviews here every so often? Check out this one and let me know.

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Blouse: Battery Street Jeans Petticoat, Tights, & Socks: Spirit Halloween Belt, Hat, Shoes, & Scarf: Gifted

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the traveling yellow skirt freak show

skirt I

I’ve waited many a moon for this post. Way back in my salad days (by which I mean last June), I discovered a magical series of posts linked by one ineffable skirt. Initially worn by Melanie of Bag and a Beret, it rose to stardom as the figurehead of the Traveling Yellow Skirt Freak Show. As Sue from A Colorful Canvas (one of my sisters in skirthood) put it:

One day, a long long time ago, Melanie, of Bag and a Beret wore a yellow skirt.  It was a beautiful yellow skirt, and she happily twirled and whirled to her heart’s content.  It seems though, that the sunny yellow skirt had a negative effect on one of Melanie’s friends.  One so deep as to incite him to leave a very critical comment on her blog.  Her loyal followers, dismayed by the news, rallied behind her, and, at the suggestion of Sarah of Misfits Vintage, The Travelling Yellow Skirt Freak Show was born!  The skirt has been flying magically around the globe for just over a year now, sprinkling fairy dust and positivity wherever it lands.

I was hooked. How could I not join this gravy train of spectacular aberration? I zipped over to Melanie’s blog, signed up according to her instructions, and settled into the heartache of waiting my turn like a big girl.

With the launch of these photos, I stand with my sisters in whimsy. So many fabulous bloggers have styled the skirt, though Forest City Fashionista’s take remains, so far, my favorite. Though I received it just before Christmas, I stashed it for so long in part because I feared being derivative. I had to do what hadn’t been done. More importantly, it had to scream Skye. What could I bring to this skirt that no one else had?

At heart, I’m nothing if not a showgirl. And a garment this gaudy simply yearns for the theatrical touch. I present to you, dear bloglings, the latest act in the Traveling Yellow Skirt Freak Show: “burlesque dancer goes bizarre”.

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I’m particularly honored to be (I believe) the youngest woman to make her mark on the skirt. It’s nice to be nestled under the wing of so many formidable eccentrics. I’d like to think to think I’m practicing for my dotage, where my remaining Fucks to Give will evaporate and I can be my garish-harridan self in peace.

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I’ve been doing burlesque for a while now. After a lifelong fascination with the culture and costumes, I finally sucked up my bank account a few months ago and started taking classes. There’s a lot of crossover between haunted house culture and cabaret culture, and many of my friends are involved with Green Mountain Cabaret in some capacity. Becoming a stage kitten and eventually performing with GMC are two of my goals for 2014.

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My contribution to the skirt’s tapestry. A close friend of mine made this patch for me a few years ago, while I clawed through a bout of existential depression. Given the skirt’s “fairy dust and positivity” ethos, I thought it appropriate to donate.

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Godspeed to you & your magic.

hats on hats

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It’s been a while since I’ve truly lived up to my blog’s name. Today’s outfit is your fairly standard flapper wear, but I’m also showing off some of my vintage treasures. I plan to list all these hats on Etsy by the end of the day. Hold me to that, won’t you? Until then, I leave you with this tease of a preview.

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This one is already listed.

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Dress & Tights: Goodwill Boots & Necklace: Battery Street Jeans Bow: Classy Closet

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gelphie lives

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Harking back to this fall’s Glinda tribute, but with a more Elphabaic flavor. This dress is the perfect bastard child of my favorite literary ‘ship. I picked it up at Old Gold’s 50% off sale last weekend. Apparently it’s a vintage square-dancing costume. What does that say about me? Do I even want to know?

The umbrella I picked up from the lost-and-found at work. I’d been eyeing it for months, hoping it would go unclaimed. “I like how even your monochrome outfits are always several different shades,” a friend told me last week, and it’s true: even when I appear otherwise sleek, I’m basking in my passion for clashing.

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I’m currently riding the high of my latest publicity bubble. As you may have read on my blog’s Facebook page, this woman came up to me in the grocery store on Friday and asked to take my picture. I complied, of course, because it was looking particularly circus-chic. “I have a blog,” she said, and gave me her card. “I have one too,” I said, and wrote it down for her.

I got back to work and went to her website. Apparently she’s Claudia Marshall, NPR reporter. My writing career just potentially blew wide, wide open…

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I’m also February’s blog spotlight on Melodic Thrifty Chic! Anna, the blog mistress, is one of the sweetest and sunniest bloggers in the ‘sphere. I was looking forward to seeing what she’d write about me, and she didn’t disappoint:

One of my best discoveries of last year, it was love at first post with Skye. I love her vintage punk style and the way she clashes colors and prints without a care in the world.

Her style is completely open and free; and her no holds barred approach to fashion is utterly intoxicating…There is a palpable depth that is uncommon in a typical fashion blog.

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Dress, Tights, Necklace, & Bow: Old Gold Shoes: The Classy Closet Tights: Gifted

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my punky valentine

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I got these babies from my beautiful friend Ruthless, who could no longer make use of them. My style definitely has a girlier bent than hers, so I was a fitting choice to receive them. And I’ve brought a little of her with them, it seems. I woke up this morning feeling far punkier than I’m used to, with nary a hint of my usual flapperbilly in the mix. The last thing I want is for my creative outlets to grow staid and stagnant, so I both indulged my unusual urge and documented my divergence for all the world to see.

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I met Ruthless through our shared dedication to haunted houses. She is queen of the goths, and she does the beautifulest zombie makeup in all the land. In the past year, I’ve met quite a few genuinely kindred friends. Pagans, haunters, burlesque dancers. I have rarely lacked for true friends, but I never shook the feeling that we were close in spite of our interests rather than because of them. So I get a genuine thrill out of having a circle of comrades whose passions and goals actually line up with mine. Who will invite me to cabarets and Imbolc rituals and drag shows. This was, honestly, a big part of why I opted not to run off to Manhattan, as you may remember me itching to do a year or so ago. I was looking for something that didn’t end up being terribly hard to find right here in Burlington, once I turned my social anxiety back from 11.

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Rachel of Floral Prints and Common Sense told me that her outfit today reminds her of something I’d wear. Funnily enough, my outfit reminds me more than a little of her.

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Sweater: Old Gold Skirt: Savers Blouse: Dirt Chic Pearls: Battery Street Jeans Belt: Downtown Threads Tights & Socks: Gifted Shoes: Ruthless!