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Gemma

Gemma pares it down. Waaaaayyyyy down.

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oh man, good luck with the pants! i definitely feel you.

 

in case you wanted some extra button down help in off-white colors - here are the ones i can tolerate. and here is the one i tried recently. it's definitely comfortable but wasn't for me. AND here is the one i'll probably try next for good measure lol

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2 hours ago, Gemma said:

 

LOL - my whole "Ordering clothes online" kick that I am currently on is based on a desire to step up my business casual game. I've spent years 'getting away with' nice black jeans, with tank tops under short-sleeved cardigans in summer and long-sleeved t-shirts/cardigans in winter, always with ballet flats. Well, low-heeled boots on the *very* coldest days. But now I've finally decided to try and dress like a grown-up, also to actually acknowledge that my official dress code actually does include the words "no denim" --- this nonsense is HARD!!! I haven't even addressed the button-down issue yet, because it is really hard to find one in ivory or cream and I look like death on a soda cracker in harsh whites.

 

Current debate - I just received a pair of very nice trouser$$$ that I actually saved up for and wrote into my budget as a reward for paying off one of my student loans. They are gorgeous and fit perfectly except they are a couple inches too long. Pants that fit perfectly is a leprechaunicorn for me. Most trousers, a bit long would be no problem, but these have a cute side vent that will make hemming them more than an inch very awkward.

 

So now I have to decide - do I have them hemmed just a little, and then commit to wearing them with heels? I do have comfortable-ish low-ish heels (like, 2 1/4", I refuse to go worse than that). Or do I return them and then go through all the pain over again of finding the charcoal gray I need, in a cut I like, that actually works properly with my waist-to-hip ratio and does not make me look like I'm wearing a sack? I'm leaning towards the hem+heels option, but I need to have a 'real talk' conversation with my tailor first to make sure she can do it without them looking too weird around that side vent. I have not taken the tags off, in case I do have to break my own heart and send them back.

 

 

What about long-sleeved blouses in drapey fabric? I find them much more comfy than stiff button-downs. And cream/ivory is a very common colour for them.


Only you know how likely you are, honestly, to wear heels consistently. I wouldn't, but that's me. Talking to the tailor is good. They might be able to lengthen the vent while shortening the hem, who knows?

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2 hours ago, CourtnieMarie said:

oh man, good luck with the pants! i definitely feel you.

 

in case you wanted some extra button down help in off-white colors - here are the ones i can tolerate. and here is the one i tried recently. it's definitely comfortable but wasn't for me. AND here is the one i'll probably try next for good measure lol

 

Oooh, that Brass Clothing one is gorgeous, I might try that out in future - thanks!

 

 

23 minutes ago, Harriet said:

 

What about long-sleeved blouses in drapey fabric? I find them much more comfy than stiff button-downs. And cream/ivory is a very common colour for them.


Only you know how likely you are, honestly, to wear heels consistently. I wouldn't, but that's me. Talking to the tailor is good. They might be able to lengthen the vent while shortening the hem, who knows?

 

I'm fine with drapey blouses, have quite a few of them and love 'em. I feel like "white button down" is one of those things that appears on every single list of "top ten essential clothing items every woman should have" and "core pieces to every business casual wardrobe" - none of which means I need one, of course. I do have occasions (not often, but some) where I should be a step or two above business casual, where if I was male I would be expected to be in suit and tie, and for those I feel more professional in a button down under my suit vice an unstructured blouse.

 

Still, though, the button down is pretty low priority. I have to solve the charcoal trousers puzzle first. I ordered these shoes, they should be here tomorrow night. If they are acceptably comfortable, then I'll go with that. If they hurt my feet, then both the shoes and the too-long trousers have to go.

 

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Smart Gemma is smart with setting the plan in place now for what to do *if* the tailor has bad news or the shoes don't fit quite right.

 

I never wear white button downs, but more because my one white button down (well, I own 2 but need to donate 1 as I'm hulking out of the chest part of it - thanks, lifting) is pretty much the only white item of fabric I own and as such demands its own load of laundry. But I likewise see a "crisp white button down" all over the place as a men's wardrobe essential.

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On 12/10/2018 at 12:16 PM, Gemma said:

 

Still, though, the button down is pretty low priority. I have to solve the charcoal trousers puzzle first. I ordered these shoes, they should be here tomorrow night. If they are acceptably comfortable, then I'll go with that. If they hurt my feet, then both the shoes and the too-long trousers have to go.

 


Ahh, the trousers puzzle. Let me know if you figure it out. I'm still stuck. The shoes look pretty, but the heel looks a bit skinny. But maybe you have strong ankles and better coordination than me (a very low bar).

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20 hours ago, MikeW said:

Smart Gemma is smart with setting the plan in place now for what to do *if* the tailor has bad news or the shoes don't fit quite right.

 

I never wear white button downs, but more because my one white button down (well, I own 2 but need to donate 1 as I'm hulking out of the chest part of it - thanks, lifting) is pretty much the only white item of fabric I own and as such demands its own load of laundry. But I likewise see a "crisp white button down" all over the place as a men's wardrobe essential.

 

Right ... like, the "fashion people" authorities of the world are truly convinced deep down in their hearts that this is the garment every human needs. Every. Human. It's like the only thing in the whole world that the whole internet agrees on, no?  I remain unconvinced that this counts as a legit "need" - although, as noted above, I will probably get one in future. For suit days. Meh.

 

 

16 hours ago, Harriet said:


Ahh, the trousers puzzle. Let me know if you figure it out. I'm still stuck. The shoes look pretty, but the heel looks a bit skinny. But maybe you have strong ankles and better coordination than me (a very low bar).

 

The shoes are comfortable and get to stay, and the trousers are going to the tailor this afternoon. I have no trouble walking in heels, so not worried about the skinniness - my ballet flat addiction and nothing-over-2 1/4" hard and fast rule is all about the low back pain/posture impacts. I spend a fair amount of the workday on my feet.

 

 

Today's workout was a bit rough. I prefer the outdoor area of my gym, but it was probably 30 degrees when I got there this morning so "warming up" outside with my usual routine seemed oxymoronic. That, of course, is why Plan-Bs exist. Once I got warmish indoors I went outside. For a little while. Seems like another good reason to be sticking to minimalist/quickie workouts through the icicles season. (yes, I could move my whole workout indoors ... it's just usually more crowded and bro-tensive in there.)

 

Warm-up:

5 minutes brisk walking/slow jogging on treadmill

 

Split Squats: (<- pretty close to my least favorite thing ever. In fact the program calls for 'rear foot elevated split squats' and ... nope. I do not have that ability. Yet.)

15# x 3x5

 

KB Strict Press:

25# x 5

20# x 8

15# x 11

 

Neutral Grip Lat Pulldowns:

95# x 5

90# x 8

85# x 10

 

Finisher:

25# KB swings - 20 sec work, 40 sec rest, 6 rounds

 

 

Metal kettlebells. So cold. Very frozen. I'm pretty much over it with winter now.

 

giphy.gif 

 

 

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What about a jewel tone button up instead of white? Depending on your particular shade of pale as death, may be a good option (I happen to do well in jewel tones).

 

Also, yay comfy heels and OMG you're a badass training outdoors in the winter!

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3 hours ago, CourtnieMarie said:

i wonder what the fashion people authorities thought every human needed a century ago?

 

A felt hat, maybe? Cloches for women, Fedoras for men. 

3 hours ago, Gemma said:

 

Split Squats: (<- pretty close to my least favorite thing ever. In fact the program calls for 'rear foot elevated split squats' and ... nope. I do not have that ability. Yet.)

15# x 3x5

 

Oooh, I hate these. Probably a sign that they're good for me. 

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17 hours ago, Harriet said:

 

Oooh, I hate these. Probably a sign that they're good for me. 

 

Bulgarian or Elevated Split Squats are my Most Hated leg exercise, which means I have to do them the most.

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10 minutes ago, Grumble said:
17 hours ago, Harriet said:

Oooh, I hate these. Probably a sign that they're good for me. 

 

Bulgarian or Elevated Split Squats are my Most Hated leg exercise, which means I have to do them the most

At least you *can* do them. I am working my way up from lunges (which I also hate). But just to remind my body who is in charge around here, I have been doing at least a few bodyweight lunges on my left (weak) side this week just to reduce the clumsy when I have to add dumb bells at the gym :(

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5 minutes ago, Katerina said:

At least you *can* do them. I am working my way up from lunges (which I also hate). But just to remind my body who is in charge around here, I have been doing at least a few bodyweight lunges on my left (weak) side this week just to reduce the clumsy when I have to add dumb bells at the gym :(

 

Bodyweight counts. Also, if you've ever done a 'lunge' where you started and ended in a split position, then you've just done a split squat.

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21 hours ago, MikeW said:

What about a jewel tone button up instead of white? Depending on your particular shade of pale as death, may be a good option (I happen to do well in jewel tones).

 

Also, yay comfy heels and OMG you're a badass training outdoors in the winter!


I'm more of a muted-tones girl, m'self ... dusty plum, olive, forest green, grayish blues. But yes, definitely possible. I am lucky in that women generally have somewhat wider options than men in the business-formal department (although I have seen some gentlemen in my field pull off very colorful dress shirts under their suits, if they know how to coordinate their tie/pocket square properly it can be very professional and quite wonderful).

 

Some days I certainly feel like a badass. Other days I feel like a big ol' coward, too self-conscious to go down into 'the pit' (indoor free weights area at the base gym) in company with all the dudes who are concentration-curling more than I can squat. They don't care a bit. I know this. I really do. But still...

My other reasons excuses include that all of the kettlebells are kept outside, inside is dumbbells and barbells only; there is only one squat rack indoors (usually busy, the one outside usually isn't); and the bumper plates are all outside so I can't deadlift indoors until I can start warming up with at least 135.

 

19 hours ago, Harriet said:

Oooh, I hate these. Probably a sign that they're good for me. 

 

2 hours ago, Grumble said:

 

Bulgarian or Elevated Split Squats are my Most Hated leg exercise, which means I have to do them the most.

 

16 hours ago, MikeW said:

Ahhhh I didn't even catch the split squats in your workout - those are a favorite of mine, but it took a long time for them to get there.

 

1 hour ago, Katerina said:

At least you *can* do them. I am working my way up from lunges (which I also hate). But just to remind my body who is in charge around here, I have been doing at least a few bodyweight lunges on my left (weak) side this week just to reduce the clumsy when I have to add dumb bells at the gym :(



Funny exercise, that lunge/split squat/almost anything one-legged. It seems like it should be *easier* than doing a straight-up squat with a much heavier weight, but my knees feel about a million times weaker when there is only one of them playing my silly game. And it's not like what Katerina said, like my left side is weak and my right side stronger, so I could believe that my right is carrying more than it's fair share of a bilateral squat ... they are equally bad on both sides.

Sigh. They are in my programming once a week for at least the next ten weeks, so maybe I'll get closer to Mike territory by then. I don't know that 'favorite' is a realistic expectation, but I would totes settle for 'suck less.'

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Suck less is a reasonable goal too - it took a lot of time, introspection, and self-inflicted form tweaks to get them to a beloved spot for me (along with doing them with veeeery low weights still, I've just started working lower body strength again and the most I've done for BSS is a 15# DB in each hand).

 

But yes, I 100% support more colorful formal attire than a base white shirt for everything - no reason for business formal to be stuffy and cookie cutter.

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22 hours ago, Katerina said:

At least you *can* do them. I am working my way up from lunges (which I also hate). But just to remind my body who is in charge around here, I have been doing at least a few bodyweight lunges on my left (weak) side this week just to reduce the clumsy when I have to add dumb bells at the gym :(

I'm in the "can't do right now" boat with you! although surprisingly i think regular lunges/split squats hurt my knee more than the ones with the rear leg elevated. i haven't done them in awhile as i'm giving my knee a break and "rehabing" but i don't remember them hurting as much. huh.

 

7 minutes ago, Gemma said:

My outdoor gym (aka the back porch of the base fitness center)

it's so beautiful

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1 hour ago, Gemma said:

My outdoor gym (aka the back porch of the base fitness center)

 

Oh, groovy that you have punching bags! That could be fun. 

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4 hours ago, CourtnieMarie said:

 

it's so beautiful

 

It really is. My job (like most jobs) has its frustrations, but the perks are pretty doggone amazing.

 

3 hours ago, Harriet said:

 

Oh, groovy that you have punching bags! That could be fun. 


Oh, they are. They really are. When I am not in 'new curriculum' chaos and have some time to spend at the gym, my absolute favorite thing to do is put on gloves and do some punching drills. I am very firmly on the 'I loathe cardio' train, but bag drills and hitting a tire with a sledgehammer are clearly marked exceptions.

 

 

Today was much warmer and outside work much more tolerable.

 

Warm-up:

2 rounds Sun Salutation; KB deadlift 45#x15

 

KB Deadlifts:

50# x9; 55# x6; 60# x5 (these were pretty easy, and 60# is the heaviest bell we have. Next week I'll either have to step up to a barbell with bumper plates, or bring a resistance band and try this nifty Tony Gentilcore variation.)

 

Low Incline DB Bench Press:

25# x6; 20# x8; 15# x13

 

Chest-supported DB row:

25# x6; 20# x8; 15# x13

 

Finisher: 25# KB swings, 30 sec work/60 sec rest x4

 

I still had a little time so I added 10 minutes of NF Handstands hand/wrist/shoulder mobility + quadruped rocking + a few random planks

 

 

giphy-downsized-large.gif

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On 12/11/2018 at 3:58 PM, MikeW said:

But I likewise see a "crisp white button down" all over the place as a men's wardrobe essential.

 

Would these be the same people who believe that a knee-long black pencil skirt and a little black dress are absolutely essential parts of every woman's wardrobe? Because those people are filthy liars.

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On 12/14/2018 at 4:29 AM, Gemma said:

Funny exercise, that lunge/split squat/almost anything one-legged. It seems like it should be *easier* than doing a straight-up squat with a much heavier weight, but my knees feel about a million times weaker when there is only one of them playing my silly game. And it's not like what Katerina said, like my left side is weak and my right side stronger, so I could believe that my right is carrying more than it's fair share of a bilateral squat ... they are equally bad on both sides.

Sigh. They are in my programming once a week for at least the next ten weeks, so maybe I'll get closer to Mike territory by then. I don't know that 'favorite' is a realistic expectation, but I would totes settle for 'suck less.'

 

Yeah, it's weird... I've squatted heavy twice a week for 8 years and everything feels great... the minute I do lunges (even just bodyweight), I have ass DOMS for days.

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19 hours ago, CourtnieMarie said:

your workout makes complete sense! that gif does not.


LOL - you don't get a whole lot of cute options when you Google "handstands gif" ... but that pug definitely has a skill that I consider #lifegoals
 

19 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

 

Would these be the same people who believe that a knee-long black pencil skirt and a little black dress are absolutely essential parts of every woman's wardrobe? Because those people are filthy liars.

 

Yes. Those are those people. (full disclosure, I actually own an LBD and a knee-length pencil skirt, but I still don't think that every woman *needs* any such thing. I think "need" does not mean what they think it means.) 

 

4 hours ago, Blocky said:

 

Yeah, it's weird... I've squatted heavy twice a week for 8 years and everything feels great... the minute I do lunges (even just bodyweight), I have ass DOMS for days.

 

I did step-ups this morning; am now concerned about my ability to sit comfortably tomorrow. Hmmm... 

 

On that note, I am very proud of myself, I once again summoned up the gumption to work out at home. This particular program is built for 3 days/week at the gym, but she provides an optional bodyweight workout #4 for anyone who feels like they would like a little bit moar minimalism. 

 

 

Circuit x3 (program says 2-4, I kinda felt like I should do 4 but then I kinda wanted to not be excessively sore tomorrow because I want to work on my baseboards)

 

Suspension trainer push-ups x12

Step-ups x12

Inverted rows x12

 

 

giphy.gif

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On 12/15/2018 at 7:41 AM, Gemma said:

LOL - you don't get a whole lot of cute options when you Google "handstands gif"

Stitch Funny GIF - Stitch Funny Handstand GIFs#Thehunger GIF - Hungry Puppy Dogs GIFsHand Stand Balance GIF - HandStand Balance FunnyAnimals GIFsHand Stand Puppy GIF - HandStand Puppy Dog GIFs

 

 

You just need to try harder. I believe in you.

 
 
 
 
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