October 31, 2010

The Proper Palette

For Halloween, I thought I might show your guys how this one time I didn't just wear black, white, blue, gray or some combo. It was pretty festive. Check these warm fall hues.

Patterned skirt = a new challenge for dressing myself.

I will forever treasure these super sturdy Cole Haan all-leather boots (the laces and even the entire lining is the smoothest leather) and the fact that I got them for like 30ish dollars on Etsy.
All things secondhand except the sweater tights (J. Crew)

This post is the closet I've come to even acknowledging this "holiday." Work is ruining my life. Then again, I've never really done the whole adult Halloween scenario. I guess that means I suck at life. That's what I've been told. Whatever, I am much more looking forward to Thanksgiving. Not that I care for its history, just the food.

October 27, 2010

Postcolonial Studies of Clothes

Currently, this is my most favorite fall sweater. I wear it all day in my house then put on my shiny boots and red lipstick if I need to leave. So easy.

It's secondhand. Whenever I buy old things I'm interested in any and all labeling, from the brand to the fabric content to the place of origin. If there is text, I read. Lots of "vintage" labels convey a sense of their times, whether through the sans serif font or the choice of metallic thread or the huge or tiny size. Sometimes older vintage includes an image and way more text than newer labels. The label on this sweater is all too familiar from my childhood.

If that tag took you back, the other tag is a real blast from the geopolitical past.
Compagnie internationale indeed.

October 20, 2010


I realized  today that my outfit contains a number of foundational elements of my style that have been consistent over the last 3-4 years. It's an outfit of plain basics that I wear all the time.

I've had the coat since 2005. I got it on my first trip to Chicago on my first visit ever to an H&M, imagine that... There were no H&M stores in San Diego back in those years of the ancient past! It was the only "real coat" I owned, and it spent most of the year in the closet. Actually, it hung from a decorative hook on the wall inside a giant black wooden empty frame next to Mike's vintage fur collar coat in a similar decorative set-up, because we decorate our home with clothing and accessories.

It truly never got that cold in my past life. The coat was with me when I first visited Minneapolis to check out the school I now attend, and it's still holding up quite well for something of it's provenance. It's sturdy and durable. I believe H&M used to be better quality in earlier years. I got it out today thinking, "shouldn't this be dated and unwearable by now?" which is a thought that is also kind of disgusting for what it reflects about fashion culture.

I still love the shape and style. Puff shoulders, high neck, A-line shape. My only thought on it's eventual departure from my life is that one day I might like to replace it with something made of a nicer wool. Namely any of these Jil Sander coats from 2008, which are among my favorites of all time.
 Until I can afford/actually find one of the above (this may never happen), though, I've got a trusty standby for days that start chilly and warm up to the 50s/60s.

The rest of this outfit is just how I like things: basic and unadorned. I am also into this mixture of a cream/offwhite with stark white. Black, taupe, and charcoal gray will never be wrong. I like to be match-y, as I've mentioned before.

The new things from this year are the shoes. I decided to let myself buy a black and a white pair of sandal wedges this summer, planning to wear both through the fall with tights. Until this year I had mostly thrifted summer shoes, and wanted to have a little more polish when it comes to footwear. For fall, I allowed myself these black leather oxfords, which are what I wore to walk around campus today.

I realized how strongly this outfit represents my style when I noticed that I could wear almost any of the shoes I own with it, and that, depending on the choice, the shoes could take it in a slightly different direction.

The cardigan is my only cashmere item, and it's (I guess quite old) Alexander Wang that I found secondhand at Buffalo Exchange in MN. It's a pretty basic cardigan, but I fell for these big metal buttons on white grosgrain ribbon and decided I could part with $30 for it.

The scarf above is unbranded from a small boutique in San Diego which used to be Kate Ross Shoes, but I hear is now the furniture/design store Pigment. I don't know if they still carry these, but when I shopped there they always had an amazing collection of scarves.

I quite like that this outfit contains elements from some memorable adventures. I try not to store too many memories in my clothes, though. It seems a precarious place. I guess since I'm writing about such shit here, if I ever have to part with my things at least there is an archive.

October 19, 2010

Walk with me. Talk with me.

This is the view from my life right now, in case you were wondering. That Bonjour Tristesse poster hangs over my desk as a sick joke to myself. Hello work, hello sadness.

The rest of our house is very clean and minimally decorated. This is my little space of my own, since I don't (yet) have an entire room for my writing and thinking business. I should make a business card for that: "Writer and Thinker," it would say. As you can see I'm also prone to bouts of mind-wandering lately. 

We share an office (converted bedroom of a one bedroom; the living room is arranged like a studio) and it's the most colorful part of the house. There are primaries everywhere, due to all the books and clutter and the tomato red couch. I like that my current line-up of magazines provides some much needed monochrome, even it its only on the windowsill.
I'd like it if my magazines would all coordinate aesthetically like this more often. Too many terrible covers, Elle and Harper's. No more Julia Roberts and fucking Drew Barrymore!

I would also like to point out Kerry Washington's white nails. This can only mean Loveship is setting trends, right? Incidentally, there is also a black and white polka dot sweater in an editorial inside that very same Elle. Psychic connections.


I can't help but play like Zana and share with you the insides of this issue of Another magazine. I was at the newsstand today waiting around, flipping through mags, not particularly planning to purchase any. But then there was this shiny silver font plus Bjork on the cover. Almost enough to seal the deal on those qualities alone. Then, I flip it open. Oversized pants and I'm inching toward a purchase.

Then there is this. Those shoes.

I am so inspired by this clean use of an enormous earring. I think this might have been the moment when I knew this magazine had to come home with me. I have some insanely large tortoiseshell earrings with a very baroque design that I've shelved for years now. Thinking I need to get them out and try harder to make them work for me.
Oh and hey, I think I also have those shorts.

The editorial to follow that one wasn't a total break. It was still pared down and simple, but with bright colors on white as opposed to grayscale on black. I would also like to one day try out a track of fake bangs in an off color.

The Bjork photos are beyond beautiful. Then there's this lovely interview.

And it just doesn't stop being the best issue I've seen in a while.

This model's look, those jagged short bangs, basically reminded me of the enormous female boner I had for Shannyn Sossamon circa The Rules of Attraction

This image is the sum of my lesbian fantasy.

Why was she so cool in this movie? Why did she put up with Dawson's bullshit? Dawson was so unconvincing as a bad boy. I loved this movie in a way I'm now ashamed of.

Let's finish with one more image from Another as a sort of palate cleanser. I think this girl is who I wanna be when I grow up. Or when my hair grows another 8 inches, whichever comes first.

To conclude where we began, I'll just say that I have been starting to carve out some sort of work/life balance. Next, I'll work on that work/life/blog balance, ha. I hope you all don't mind the long absence too terribly much. I can't write blog posts offhandedly. I need time to think about what I'm doing. And it's not like we're beholden to our many sponsors and advertisers (There are none, and will never be any. Not knocking anyone, but for us this is a space of growth, an outlet, an expression of a genuine interest, and a conversation with real people.) Plus, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Or at least it still should, even on the internet.

October 5, 2010

Knit basics and your mom

This fall is turning out to be a time of change and accepting new things. For example, I'm just beginning to embrace the color blue. At this point, dark shades of blue are a central feature of my f/w 2010/11 look (Oh, isn't it fun to talk like this!). It happened organically. First there was a navy cardigan I couldn't pass up. Then my blue jacket entered the rotation, and so on... it seems blue is here to stay.

Maybe it's weird to talk about a color like this, but I have had an anti-blue stance for some time. Not anti-everything-blue, just anti-blue on my own body. Anyhow, it was basically right after I made my hate of blue known that I started wearing it all the time... like this, my new knitwear basic in navy.

I think what's really special about this sweater is that it's just a long rectangle draped over me with a head-hole in the middle. Then, there are two stitches going straight down underneath each armpit. Hence the construction is basically closing the sides of a poncho. I love this silhouette. Shapelessness wins again.

Oh, what's also special is that it's made by Ellen Tracy. Long time readers probably know I'm not above shopping in department store sections far outside my "demographic." I'm pretty sure some of the raddest shit out there is in "mom" stores. Please believe I've started pausing as I pass by Chico's and Coldwater Creek (so much floor length, shapeless, and linen!). Please also know that I've yet to walk through those doors. In the meantime, on my road to advanced style, there are things like this:

Do you have an anti-color? Will you ever do a 180 and start wearing it constantly, or is that just me being strange?

October 4, 2010

In Real Life

Here is what's become my go-to jacket of this fall. It's funny, I've had this piece since March 2009, but only wore it sporadically. I remember the date so exactly because I bought it on a spring break trip to Chicago. Yes, I still have spring break at age 25.

I'm wearing this jacket right now, as I type, on top of this exact look + tights. The 3/4 bell sleeve is so practical for my lifestyle. Unfortch, I only have photos of it in this blue/gray monochrome experiment I wore to a date with food poisoning destiny. Those are blue linen flared pants, in case you were wondering. I've gotta try harder to find a flared pant that actually fits. Anyway, at least I was comfortable. I thought all-blue on the outside would be a fun experiment; the fate of that day might just be linked to some kind of fashion karma: a sign that I needed to go back home and try again another day.

I like what this jacket it, and what it isn't. It's a nice wool, just the right amount of warmth. It's sorta shapeless yet tailored at the same time. It hangs down to below my hips, hiding my "figure." The pattern is borderline a mens trend, but the cut and fit is so not that at all. I love a tall collar popped up in the back. And it's not draping, it's not leather, there is no shearling (I'll never go there. I just can't.). Mama can't afford that "must have" camel coat of the season. The more important question is: do I even really want one?