Archive for the ‘Business Casual Superstar’ Category

So a batch of photos (allegedly) of Blake Lively in various stages of undress have been making the rounds for the past two days. I don’t really have an opinion of that, but I’ve always kind of liked Blake, in the sense that she was pretty and harmless and just had kind of an all-American way about her. So I figured that in the wake of her newest (biggest? first?) scandal, I’d make her the muse for my daily business casual outfits here.

Today’s outfit is a little more casual than business, and is best for offices that allow jeans, or for offices that observe Casual Fridays. It’s inspired by this candid shot of Blake wandering around NYC with her then-boyfriend, Penn Badgely, (she’s rumored to currently be with Leonardo di Caprio) and her adorable little dog, Daisy, who supposedly has a serious incontinence problem, due more to a lack of training than physiology.

And here’s what I put together:

Boot Cut Jeans ………. $15
Vertical Ruffle Tank ………. $23.80
Hampshire Striped Cardigan ………. $24.99
Rampage Nikki Pump in Black ………. $24.95

I wanted to make this a little fancier than Blake’s casual shopping outfit, which looks a lot like what I’d wear when going shopping, except I’d add some color, either with colored shoes or a colored striped cardigan instead of just black and white.

To that end, I selected boot cut jeans in the usual dark wash. Dark washed jeans look the fanciest, not so slouchy, and they are slimming. Plus, the cut is just flattering on most body shapes.

I decided to forgo the casual black tank top and instead found a little ruffled tank from Lord & Taylor that was just a touch fancier. I paired it with a more fitted cardigan than the one Blake is wearing, and to lengthen the body added black leather pumps.

And there we have a business casual outfit inspired by Blake Lively that won’t cause any office scandals.


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Yep. Today’s post is inspired by a character on a soap opera! 😀 I don’t watch All My Children, or any soap opera, really, but back when I was a kid, my mom used to watch All My Children, One Life To Live, and General Hospital. As a new immigrant, she wanted to become familiar with American culture.


I’m sure that for, like, a week, she thought that all of you white people had secret evil twins, and the men you thought were your biological fathers probably weren’t, and every so often you’d all throw masquerade balls and some of your friends would die.

And then, a week later, she was probably like, “…the hell?”

But by that time she kind of found the crazy characters amusing, so she stuck with her soaps for like two more decades after that, easy. And because of that, I know the characters well enough. And today’s character is one that used to scare the crap out of me (as a four year old?) when she was played by Sarah Michelle Gellar, but who I actually liked when she was played by Alicia Minshew.

Click HERE to get over to my post at Heave (sorry I couldn’t post yesterday! I was hanging out all day with my BFF who just got home from Pakistan after spending a year there!), or click on the picture of Alicia Minshew.

Alicia is the one in pink. The other one is the girl who plays her character's half-sister, Bianca (Binks). Bianca is a lesbian, and her on-screen kiss with some other chick was the first lesbian kiss aired on daytime television.

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Ugh. I hate myself for using the word ‘foxy’ in a post about Megan Fox. :/ It’s cheap and lazy and I’m better than that. But I didn’t want to use ‘sexy’ in a post title. And this IS a foxy look, dammit. :/


Anyway, you are all aware of my serious dislike of Megan Fox, not because she’s pretty and I’m jealous because her surgically enhanced beauty somehow negates or undermines my own (? – I’m still not sure what the argument is that people use when they say girls only hate her because they’re jealous), but because she’s a fucking idiot. She is just a complete, fucking idiot. Sure, like 10% of what she says is actually kind of funny and cute, but the rest is just abject, butt-paralyzing stupidity.

But Megan’s kept her mouth shut for quite some time, so I don’t currently dislike her as much as I did when she was doing promo work for the first and second Transformers movies, or for Jennifer’s Body. I’m totally fine with Megan Fox right now, because she’s kept the stupid shit that rattles around in her head to herself. Yay!

She’s gorgeous, though, and I remember seeing these pictures of her taping a Letterman show and thinking she looked quite nice.

A bit of a revealing dress, but not really. It’s teasing. And it really worked for her.

So I know I always do business casual outfits, but occasionally – rarely – I throw in a random look that is a little too ‘evening’ for a day at the office. This is one of those posts, because you obviously cannot wear Megan’s outfit to work.



Don’t argue with me about this. You can’t. You just can’t.

So let’s call this a date night outfit. Or an outfit to wear to the bar when you’re meeting some of your good friends from work for drinks. Basically, let’s tenuously relate this to work in some capacity so that I can throw up my version of Megan Fox’s little outfit.




Mini Dress with Geometric Mesh ………. $49
Princess Peep Toe Court Shoes in Black ………. $33.24
Pressed Detail Bangles ………. $5.80

Oh, God. This dress was made by Lindsay Lohan, you guys. :/ I have to come clean about that right from the start. Well, more likely, someone else sketched the dress while Lindsay was free-basing Red Bull and doing lines, but still. It bears her name.


Whatever. It’s actually one of the best replications of this dress out there. I paired it with black peep toe pumps, and detailed bangles that are a little different than the plain ones Megan is wearing.

And there we have a cute little outfit that is TOTALLY inappropriate for work, so don’t you guys even try that. AckRite. 😡

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You guys. I have no excuse for this. I was at Forever21 to stock up on basics (I bought like 5 t-shirts for $3.50 each – SCORE!) and to maybe find a brown belt (but all the S/P belts were way too big for me – even if I tried them on over a sweater AND my coat, the last hole was still too loose, which I admit was nice in one way because I like my tiny waist, but at that time was just nothing but frustrating) but everything was frustrating and I got upset. Which is what also happens to me when I shop.

Anyway, so I was going to leave but I saw a bin of nail polishes for like $2.80. One was a bright, happy, canary yellow. Why not, right?

So I grabbed it and bought it along with my tees, and I just tried it on.


I consider myself your run of the mill nail polish consumer. I don’t own shoeboxes upon shoeboxes of it like some of my makeup savvy friends. But I own more than 1 or 2 shades.

I buy high end and low-end, and generally go for colors and formulas that work well. I don’t care about gimmicks like high shine or quick dry – if I really want a high shine I will use a top coat, and if I’m painting my nails it’s safe to say I’ve made an experience of it and am doing it at a time when I don’t have to go anywhere or do anything else.

I love OPIs, and while I keep up with their collections, I never run out and snag bottles from the new one as soon as it comes out. I don’t find nail polish THAT exciting. I also buy drugstore brands, my favorite being Sally Hanson. It’s cheap enough, and there are TONS of different shades, and it’s always worked great.

Formula wise, I like thicker nail polishes. If I’m using a colored polish, as opposed to a more nude/sheer one that’s supposed to just enhance the color of my nails rather than change their color completely and noticeably, then I want a formula that is thick. I want two coats to completely cover any distinction between the white and pink parts of my nails.

(I’m not good with technical terms when it comes to fingernails – sorry. I know a lot of you won’t be able to take me seriously ever again after this, and I don’t blame you.)


Anyway, I want a thick formula that does what it’s supposed to do in two coats. Two coats are perfect. Sometimes I’ll use three. I KNOW THIS IS ALL WILDLY FASCINATING AND LIFE CHANGING.


You guys. Everything I do is life-changing. Please.

But Forever21’s nail polish formula (and I’m presuming it’s the same across the board – I highly doubt that fire engine red is somehow thicker than canary yellow, while jade green is even more watery) does not pass muster. It was way, way too watery.

One coat barely did anything. I had to apply about 4 coats (maybe 5? I lost count) for the two colors of my fingernails not to be distinguishable underneath. And, of course, when you put on that many coats, it sits way too thick on the nail, but any less and it would look like you barely had the presence of mind to put on a single coat, even though you actually already put on 3 at that point.

And, when it sits too thick on the nail, no matter how long you let it dry without doing anything that even remotely dings your nails, the slightest touch will put a dent in the polish. That’s just what happens. It’s SCIENCE.


But yeah, I’ll try to be serious. Don’t waste your money on this polish. Find a better, thicker formula. I wonder if Sally Hansen has a canary yellow shade. I really want that color – it’s the it color this season, although that’s not why I want to try it. It’s just that yellow has always looked fabulous with my skintone.

Another color that looks fabulous with my skin? Bright pink, oddly enough. I streaked my damn-near-black-but-actually-darkest-brown hair pink around Halloween for my Nicki Minaj costume and I looked AWESOME.

I was very vigilant about there being no photos to document my first foray into another hair color, so, sorry.

You will never know how good pink hair looks on me.


Doomed to ignorance. Oh, Bartleby! Oh, humanity!


All my jokes are so lame and nerdy. I don’t know why you guys put up with me.

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Just a quick little post for today to let you nerds know that my post at the Working Wardrobe is up, so click here or on the picture below to get there.

I’m currently in the process of backing up my blog, and in addition to the normal backup files (xml? I think that’s the extension) I wanted HTML backups of every post. Just to be on the safe side. Because I am way paranoid and have almost lost this blog before TWICE and just want to be sure that I have everything stored away in my Evernote. If you don’t have Evernote, I highly recommend it. Even Andy has Evernote (and on his phone, too, no less) and Andy hates everything. THAT is how good Evernote is.

And rest assured, he uses it for things that are JUST as nerdy as the things I use it for. Because Andy is a closet-case, you guys. A closet-nerd, to be more specific. He claims to hate nerds. He claims to beat them up (or in my case, squish them, usually in the elevators when he will stand RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME and inch back so that I am effectively a Huma Pancake, because he KNOWS that one of my biggest fears is being squished by a large person in an elevator, the rat bastard) and he claims to throw rocks at them, but for all that, Andy is very much a closet nerd.

I can’t wait until he watches Doctor Who with me. ❤

Anyway, yeah, so I’m saving everything, and in the process, I have to rename the post titles, because for a bunch of BCS posts, I never put the number, so the numbering is all out of whack (I think we’re actually closer to 380 or 385, not 360 – I KNOW SO UPSETTING) and that bugs me because I have mild OCD when it comes to numbers and proportions.

Like, it *bothers* me when we have a pizza or a cheesecake or a pie or a normal cake and people are just cutting pieces willy nilly. NO. You divide it into perfect eighths. EVERY EIGHTH HAS TO BE PERFECT AND EQUAL AND UNIFORM. Why is this so hard for people to understand? I have a minor freak-out if every eighth is not uniform. Ask Amanda. She’s seen this up close and personal when I flipped out because my mom said she wanted “just the tiniest piece” of cheesecake.



I feel very strongly about numbers, you guys.

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Well, the craziness of graduation is finally over, so I can once again start with my daily (weekday) posts here at TRPLS. I should probably change the name soon, as I am no longer a law student, nor am I particularly prudent any longer. Ah, well.

Today’s post is inspired by one of the ultimate chick flicks, the Notebook, starring Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling. Click here to get over to Heave to check it out, or on the picture of Allie and Noah making out like bunnies that just got out of prison.

Correction: The Notebook takes place in the 40s. Not the 60s, like I said in my Heave post. Thanks, JudgyAmie!

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18th-19th century silver tableware, Royal Cast...

Image via Wikipedia

So I was at a dinner party once. A boring, Desi auntie dinner party. I was too old to play with the kids (I don’t really like kids, anyway – they’re sticky and annoying) and I didn’t feel like gushing about Justin Bieber with the host’s tween daughters and their friends, so I sat with the aunties and, to combat boredom, entertained them with a little parlor trick.

My game was simple: What can I guess about you just by looking at your purse?

When I was a kid my father really emphasized not being nosy. I remember when I was 5 or 6 and we were at the grocery store, the cashier opened her drawer to put the money in, and I saw something pink. I rose up on my toes to get a better look and saw that it was a chapstick. In the car on the drive back my dad yelled at me for being nosy.

So I knew much better than to ask anyone to show me the contents of her purse. You just don’t ask a woman what she carries. It’s so nosy. Or, at least, that’s what I’ve been taught.

I just asked to get a good look at the outside of the bag. I didn’t ask to touch it, but a couple of the aunties passed it over to me as if I somehow needed to touch it in order for my powers to take hold. All I needed was to take a good look at it.

And then I spent the next five or so minutes rattling off a bunch of things I’d guess about that person based on just the bag. I also talked about what that woman wanted the bag to say. It was interesting because I knew one or two of the aunties really well (they were good friends of my mom’s) and one or two of them I knew well enough, and the rest were basically strangers or distant acquaintances. And I pretty much nailed each one, which impressed them all more than it should have. I mean, it’s not like it’s hard or anything.

So on Twitter that night, I was talking about my little parlor game and solicited pictures of the bags that some of you carry. I did one or two on the spot, and was, again, dead-on, which was pretty fun. And I promised I’d do some more profiles for this blog. I’m not sure if these actually count as a BCS post, but whatever, I’m counting them anyway. I’ll probably end up doing an actual outfit AND a purse post for a couple days, so it’ll be a two-fer.

And I figured the best way to start was with my purse. This is the purse I carry pretty much all the time. And, because it’s me, I decided I’d show you the contents. You guys already know a ton about me – I don’t really have anything to hide in terms of what I keep in my purse.

Longchamp, Le Pliage

I love my little Longchamp.

I had a grey one before that I bought YEARS ago but it was old and worn down and I needed to replace it, so I went with the red one because it just felt right.

I don’t generally like shapeless tote bags or hobos, but larger bags with some kind of structure or shape, or cute little clutches (like my tan leather envelope clutch, which is amazing but not fancy, which I like, because I can take it anywhere and not look … well, fancy).

The material is great for all-purpose use: I never worry about taking it out in the rain or anything like that. It’s pretty stain-resistant, too, and whatever does get on it is easy to get off. It’s large and spacious, but I like the trapezoid shape which generally holds no matter what I cram in there. That shape retention is kind of important to me – again, I don’t like shapeless things.

The handles are leather, and strong. I can stuff my fat wallet, my keys, my iPod, my phone, AND my little Toshiba laptop in there and not worry about it messing with the handles. The stitching is reinforced and they’re nice and thick, so I don’t have to worry about it. Of course, I don’t keep a lot of stuff in there all the time, but when I do, it’s fine.

The logo on the flap makes me happy whenever I look at it, because it reminds me of one of my favorite Manet paintings, the Races at Longchamp.

See? Gorgeous.

It’s not a huge painting, but the way it’s done, it feels like the horses are coming right at you. I think it was one of the first paintings of that time period, of horse races, where the viewer was standing right at the finish line, viewing the horses directly, instead of off to the side.


Anyway, also note the zipper and the flap. The zipper zips up all the way, of course, and there’s a flap that buttons up on top of it. Even if you leave the zipper open but have the flap in place, not even buttoned, necessarily, it’s very difficult for someone to stick his or her hand in there without you noticing. It was designed that way, apparently, for that very reason: to make it a little more theft-proof.

This bag says a lot of things to me, if I view it objectively and try to separate it from what I know about myself.

The girl who owns this is kind of conservative in a lot of ways. I see pea coats and pearls. She’s always put together, even if she’s not always fancy or immediately striking. She might be a little buttoned up, but maybe not. I’d lean that way, though.

The red is bold, though, so I’d imagine that the girl who owned this had a little bit of that in her. A little cheekiness, I guess, but she keeps it in check. The material isn’t leather but that synthetic stuff, which tells me that the girl likes things that she’s able to care for easily, things that are low-maintenance and retain their character and quality for quite a while.

There is a zipper AND a flap, which tells me that the girl is probably a little guarded in a lot of ways.

And, knowing myself the way I do, I’d say that’s more or less accurate. Accurate enough.

On to the contents, which say more about me as a person than any of my purses ever could.

First, I should mention that a couple things that are ALWAYS in my purse are missing.

For one, several lip glosses. They’re sitting on my coffee table and in my backpack. I carry around 8 lipglosses with me at a time, even though I have rarely ever used one while I’m out in public. They’re kind of like a security blanket, I guess. I just have to have them with me. Even if the color doesn’t even go that great with my outfit.

Second, a long piece of twine. I always carry twine with me. You just never know when you’ll need it. Like, once, my trunk latch thing broke at the train station in the morning and wouldn’t close, no matter how much some of the other men who were commuting that morning tried to rig it. That evening I had to drive home at like 3 mph (thank goodness I live 2 miles from the station and can take all side streets home) otherwise the trunk would fly up and totally obstruct my view. I had it taped down with the first aid tape in the kit I always keep in my car, and that held it until I got home and my dad fixed it. Ever since then, I’ve carried twine, because twine would have been great for looping through the latch and fastening it.

The reason I don’t have my twine in my bag right now is because three days ago, one our neighbors’ dogs, who looks just like Marmaduke, got loose. Kelly was running loose all over the neighborhood, cutting through yards and cul de sacs, and she’s kind of an absurdly stupid dog who LOVES to dash in front of cars repeatedly (she thinks it’s a game? she wins if she doesn’t get run over?) so really, it was only a matter of time before she got struck. So Neighbor Boy, his little brother, and I were chasing her through our streets and trying to corner her, and we finally did. She’s a big dog, so I couldn’t just drag her back to her house, so I tied the twine to her collar and made a makeshift lease and we all walked back to return her to the family that lives a couple houses down from us.

Great Danes are so pretty, but I swear this one (Kelly) has the intellectual capacity of dryer lint.

So the neighbors have my stupid twine. 😐 Their dog is so goddamn stupid.

Also, my iPod. It’s not in the picture because I used it to take the picture. Duh.

Other than that, here’s what I almost always have in my purse at a given time:

  1. A notebook. Always. You never know when you’ll remember something you need to do, or if you’ll come up with a great idea, or hear a great book or music recommendation. And frankly, you look like a goober typing it out on your little iPhone. 😛 Sometimes I draw little things in it.
  2. Writing utensils. Those are pencils I stole from my midterms and finals. I always have at least one pen so I can actually use my little notebook. Obviously.
  3. An old cigar pouch with a new cigar in it. I can’t leave that lying around on the coffee table because my mom would flip out. I think my dad already suspects I smoke cigars but he has yet to call me out on it. It’s funny because when his one friend from Pakistan is over, the one who loves cigars, my dad’s like, “oh, Huma, what’s the name of that cigar place?” And I have to give him directions to my cigar bar in Schaumburg. (I go to Iwan Ries when I’m in Chicago and want to smoke. Best place EVER. Oldest family run cigar shop in the country.)
  4. The doo-hickie that lets me listen to my iPod in the car. I clip it in and turn on the radio and sing along and sound like a bunch of cats being tortured.
  5. My fat wallet. Cream, leather, Nine West. I can’t remember having anything other than a Nine West wallet since junior high, when I decided I should have a wallet. I just like NW.
  6. Nail Envy (original formula) and Avoplex (just a bunch of oils and Vitamin E). I don’t know why I carry these everywhere. I think I only have them in my purse so I can be certain not to lose them in the cesspool that is my bedroom.
  7. This awesome purple nail polish I found at Delia’s, of all places, that I am currently wearing on my toes.
  8. Hand lotion/balm/emollient. It’s from the Body Shop, I think, and smells fantastic. I used to have to use it all the time because my hands get so WHITE and dry and gross, but ever since I started drinking tons of water I don’t have that problem.
  9. Oh, God. Eyeliner pencil in midnight from CoverGirl, liquid eyeliner in black from E.L.F. (which is FANTASTIC in every way and only $1), and mineral liquid eyeliner in black from this one shop on Etsy. And Maybelline mascara. I bought it mainly for the brush, which is good, but not as good as the Define-A-Lash brush. There is NO REASON for one girl to carry this much eyeliner. I never even use it unless I’m wearing my contacts out, which is kind of rare. Ugh. I think eyeliner is becoming my new security blanket. Either that or I keep them here so I can be sure not to lose them.
  10. Tape measure. A lady should never leave home without a tape measure.
  11. I don’t know why I carry a hair brush. I am usually sporting a blow-out, so my hair rarely tangles or snarls, even on windy days. There’s really no reason for me to carry this.
  12. Sally Beauty card. I only go to Sally for EcoStyler stuff, which is olive oil infused hair gel that I use if I want to wear my hair naturally (that is, in tight ringlets and waves – yes, tight ringlets AND waves because my hair is weird). But I have a card because I have a hard time saying no, even to pushy sales ladies. (See how much you’ve learned about me already?)
  13. JMLS I.D. I lost the first one. Like a million times. One time Andy found it on the floor after our last final in the Fall1L term. He brought it to the bar where we all were and was like, you idiot. 😐 And then when I finally lost it and didn’t get it back, I had to pay for a new one. Idiot.
  14. My red Zippo lighter. I love it. I love touching it. It’s got this really cool rubbery coating that just feels nice.
  15. Change. It always falls out of my wallet.
  16. A packet of sugar. Remember how Andy was saying that he found the Huma Doll sitting on top of the vending machine eating packets of sugar, and then it went limp when it saw him? Yeah. The sugar packets thing wasn’t just some random tidbit he threw in there. I legit carry a sugar packet in my purse and have for months. 😐
  17. Itr/Attar. It’s a perfumed oil that was used by the Prophet (S) so it’s sunnah to use it. Mine smells like jasmine. I have tons of different scents – lavender, lilacs, musk – but this is the one I usually carry.
  18. Mineral lipstick in Cheerful Cherry from E.L.F. It is AWESOME and only costs like $3 or $5. It’s one of the few products from E.L.F. that I’ll use because it’s just that good. The little tube is Clinique lip gloss in some-shade-of-red. It’s a very blue red, which I love.
  19. Three loose aspirin. You guys know I like pills.
  20. Checkbook, mostly for the train passes I always have to buy each month or week.
  21. Westlaw swag: Highlighters! You never know when you’ll need them.

And there we have it: perhaps the most revealing look at the Hoomster that you’ve ever seen on here, and it’s been nothing more than my purse and what I carry in it.

If you submitted a picture of a purse to me, you’ll see it profiled on this blog at some point in the near future. If you submitted several, I’ll probably pick one at first, and if I feel like it I’ll keep going after I’ve gone through every person that turned one in. If you want to submit a picture of your purse, send it to me at hrashid24@gmail.com.

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