Monday, May 24, 2010

pushing the fashion envelope, a blog in pictures

What I bought:

How I wore it:

What it felt like I was wearing:

What I wore to counteract the see-thru-ness :

What the Spanx felt like:

What I will purchase to wear the next time the skirt comes out of the closet:

What my co-worker saw, despite my best efforts:

What my other co-worker saw:

What I felt like I must look like when I went to the grocery store:

What I channelled to counteract all the staring:

Friday, May 21, 2010

Just Because the Past is Calling Doesn't Mean You Should Pick Up the Phone

PIRATE: I have noticed, based on the many catalog missives in my in-box, that jumpsuits are back "in" and I think this is a topic worthy of discussion. What to do when a trend from decades past comes back from the dead: do I leap, or do I gag?

I will confess to having a jumpsuit which I wore to threads when I was about seven years old. I think back in the day, it was called a "romper." As a generous gesture, a friend's mom made three jumpsuits—two for her kids and one for me (yeah, what happened to the carefree 70's anyway? People don't do that anymore.). These were pretty special—made from yellow gingham fabric, and they had funky cool little patches all over them. I don't remember too clearly what was on the patches, probably mushrooms and rainbows and butterflies, I shudder to think. I do remember that it was love at first sight, and I wore that thing until I probably shouldn't have.

Also, my friend's mom embroidered our names on them. You can imagine what it's like when you're seven and someone has stitched your name and a rainbow and a butterfly on the pocket of your outfit: I was pretty sure these jumpsuits were endowed with superpowers. Me and my friends, we were like Charlie's Angels in our little yellow gingham jumpsuits. Come to think of it, I don't think I ever had any piece of clothing that was as special as that since then.

Anyway, apparently they are back—along with other un-killable things from the 70's vein, like maxi dresses (tell me again why it's good marketing to name a piece of clothing after a feminine product?) and cork-soled shoes.

What is that on her feet? Fuggs? GAAA!

Except the jumpsuits I'm seeing don't have butterflies sewn on them, and they're decidedly not "fun." This one does remind me of my gingham romper somewhat, except it's all growed up.

I can see that some of the available onesies are a little more sophisticated:

Oh but I do love her shoes!

This little BCBG number has a $200 price tag. It's silk, and she's hot, but uh, that's not office-wear. So which one, if I could, would be suitable to wear to the office? Maybe this one?

Could it be she is about to rip this open to reveal a more appropriate outfit?

But only because it's almost a dress, with extremely blousey legs, and the asymmetrically cut leg holes. Then again, the low straight-cut waist on this thing, is probably not so great for a mama with giant mama-type hips.

Not to mention the fact that it's $456.

What are your thoughts, oh lover-of-all-things-70's?

MOI: Aw, what a sweet story: your little seven year old self puffing up all girl power proud for your homemade yellow jumpsuit. Isn't it awesome, the way little kids can fixate on something to the point of total immersion? Sure, we adults do it, too, but perhaps not with quite the same innocent disregard for propriety.

I remember feeling the same way about a rainbow colored pair of hip-hugger elephant-legged pants that I wore all throughout 6th and 7th grade. Until my mother literally had to peel them of my body while I slept before sending them to that big clothing closet in the sky. Sniff. I miss them still.

Anyway. Yes. Jumpsuits.

Yea, though I worship at the altar of all things 1970s, I do so loathe the resurgence of the jumpsuit. I think the last time I wore one, I was, well, one. And then I grew up. To the point where my body is just a wee bit longer in the torso than it is in the leg. So wearing anything uni-tard(ed) tends to cut off my circulation starting at the crotchal area.

Obviously, I am not the only gal to whom this happens.

I loves, ya, grrrrrrl, but you gotta get a better stylist.

Ergo, my thoughts, simply, are this:

Unless you are her:

There's a double entendre lurking in here somewhere, I just know it.

Or, Her:

Dang, who do I see about coming back in my next life as Farrah Fawcett, minus the c-r-a-z-y?

Then, yo:
Just Say No to the Camel Toe

Yes, ladies, I'm talking to all y'all.

Fugly to the max, every last one of them.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pot Calls the Kettle

Recently, Lucky magazine declared in their How-To guide that grey is the new "it" neutral to match with this summer's bright pinks, oranges, reds, and turquoises.

I can buy that. Literally. Because for some reason, I collect items of clothing in every permutation of grey known to mankind.

I have no idea why. I mean, I'm the kind of gal who wants to smack the person who infused a gazillion women the world over with the misbegotten idea that black is not only flattering but also slimming. Sure, we should all have a LBD in our closet, maybe even a black sweater or two, trousers, handbag, boots, and a coat. But when black becomes the default shade in our wardrobes, things can go from tres chic to a one-way ticket on the Tim Burton Crazy Train to Gothville faster than you can say, aw lighten up.

I myself am strange and unusual.

So why all the grey? I have no idea. Sure, it's more flattering than black, with a tone to suit every skin color, but it's also the color of workout sweats and oatmeal and pollution-clogged skies. None of which are favorites of mine. Still, regardless of season, it's the first color I gravitate to, a bizarre Pavlovian response that makes even less sense when it becomes apparent that my reward is NOT going to be anything along the lines of a bag of Pepperidge Farms Mint Milano cookies. But, rather, a closet full of the hazy shades of winter.

First, the sweaters:

Boyfriend cardigan, v-neck, shawl-collared boat neck, cotton turtleneck for layering, cropped argyle cardigan. And they're all totally different from each other.

Then the tees, tanks, and even a vest:

Two cotton jersey bat wing tunics, two short sleeved tee-shirts, one racer back tank, one ruffled tank, one wool and leather vest. What?

And, of course, dresses, skirts, jackets, and pants:

Jersey tee shirt dress, long-sleeved wool a-line dress, bat wing tunic dress, long-sleeved wool cardi-wrap, ruffled jersey knit skirt, stretch wool pencil skirt, wool blazer, and two pairs of trouser-style pants. So it's like San Francisco fog in my closet, what's wrong with that?

The footwear doesn't fare nearly so badly.

Hey, there are at least three shades going on here if you consult the Pantone Matching System book.

However, on the nails?

Oh. Dear.

And lookee here. The ne plus ultra of jersey dresses!

There is nothing wrong with a little gray. Nothing. At. All.

Someone, please, wave something red or green or blue or orange in front of my face. Or a Mint Milano cookie. Commiserate with the Bitches: what one color dominates your wardrobe? And, are you seeking therapy because of it?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Don't Rain on Moi's Parade

Enough with this wintry weather. Today, the skies threaten rain. Which I wouldn't mind so much if it also didn't hitch a ride along with gale force winds and 50 degree temps. Over all, though, I'm sick of my warm winter clothes and am itching instead to put on something cool and springy.

Like this Cynthia Steffe skirt, which has been patiently waiting all winter for just the right moment to come out of my closet. I purchased it last year for more than I should have, at the now sadly defunct Magnolia Boutique in Albuquerque, but then again, sometimes you get what you pay for with designer labels. Namely, awesome detailing, rock solid fabrication (including lining), and perfect drape.

Next to heels, I think I love wearing flirty skirts the best. I'm pretty sure they're why the word "jaunty" was invented, as well as the phrase, "Well, I never!" accompanied by a good twirl and indignant stomp out the door on said heels. I mean, just try ditching a miscreant boyfriend in 501s, a Gap tee, and some flip flops. Not quite the same.

Anyway, here's now I plan to pair it, once the weather cooperates.


Red and white striped sweater: H&M
Pink wrap around belt: Peter Som
Shoes: Keds

Not so casual, with a twist of Boho because I just can't stop myself:

Top: Fei
Belt: Anthropologie
Shoes: Michael Kors

I will, of course, iron the thing before I put it on next. Blush.

So, tell the Bitches: what's hanging in your closet that you can't wait to rock this summer?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Nighty Night, Gaultier

I'm a huge fan of Jean Paul Gaultier. Huge. Like, even before he did this thing for Madonna with the pointy rocket boobs. I love Gaultier, but mostly in concept—just try to wear garters outside your trousers to work one day and let me know how that works out, mkay?

Back here in the not-so-haute-couture real world, when I found out that JPG was doing a line for Target, you bet I beat feet to find out just what fabulousness had been created for my meager budget.

Even at Target you can tell the mark of an artist—the cut and the details are very high quality. The fabric is crap, but the originality of Gaultier comes through, even in a $39 dress. On the rack were a number of dresses, a double breasted suit (with a totally inappropriately short skirt), a beeyoooteeful little leather motorcycle jacket (a $200 leather jacket at Target? Really?) and some very wearable dresses.

I must have stood there at the rack touching and admiring for about half an hour before I tried anything on. My kids were out of their heads by this point. Mommy what is taking you SO LONG? This is fashion, kid, shuddup over there.

In the end I took home a couple of things: A draped dress (in a signature Gaultier nautical stripe), and a hot pink slip dress embellished with black lace, which I had to take because it was so sexaaay. The drape dress I have had no problem wearing, but the pink? It's built like a slip. It's colored like a slip. My spouse thought it was a nightgown. I don't have much occasion for evening dresses—I buy for office wear. How the hell am I gonna wear this to the office?

Mommy's little assistant, Twin A, came in to help me, as she often does in the mornings. She helps me pick shoes, inspires some choices, and picks my accessories with the same direct manner as the Russian Fashion Lady. This morning, I screwed up my courage and took out the pink nightie and put it with a white dress shirt and gladiator heels.

My tiny fashion critic of a daughter did not understand at all why mommy wanted to wear a shirt under the dress; her 7 year old eye was confused. She looked at me, wrinkled her brow and said "I don't get it. I thought it was a nightgown?"

Hold it right there, short-stuff: didn't you wear your ballerina skirt with your jeans yesterday? You know nothing about high fashion, missy. Besides. I. Am. Your. Mother. Now help me fix this thing.

She agreed it was much improved with some embellishments.

* Dress: Gaultier for Target
* Jacket: jCrew black velvet pinstripe
* Shoes: BCBG
* Pearls: Claires "Prom" collection

The moral of the story: though it's clear he shows a remarkable knack for feminine touches, Gaultier really is no easier to wear at 1/100th of the haute couture price.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cold Play

You know what, Bitches? I don't care how impossibly rich/beautiful/educated/married to a rock star/popped out a couple a' kids with no visible impact to your bod/celebrifried you are.

You STILL shouldn't wear your clothing two sizes too small:

Here's how the dress, designed by Miss Vicky "oy!" Beckham, should drape. Cute, no? Sophisticated, too.

But worn the other way makes Gwyneth look like some kind of weird amalgamation of space alien street hooker and the paper sack holding her can of Colt 45.

Alas, Gwyn first started hiking her skirts and tightening her bodices a full two years ago:

And she seems determined to clutch that trend to her bosom with an ever tightening grip. Hon, we know. You have epic gams. But give it a rest, will ya? And for goodness sake, get yourself to a colorist for some highlights.