Thursday, November 15, 2007

Let's talk about clothes, bay-bee.


I think the Fug girls are hilarious and witty and generally right on target, but today I found myself disagreeing wholeheartedly with one call and halfheartedly with another. I love, love, love Kate Bosworth's outfit here; and I don't know, I'm sort of enamored with this anonymous person's ballgown. It looks like Anthropologie run amok. (I used to think the word "amok" was separate from the, it turns out, imaginary word "amuck," but no, I just had my pronunciation wrong.)

Speaking of Anthropologie, today I am wearing the one and only piece of clothing I own from Anthropologie, bought on the clearance-clearance rack because that store is just too expensive, but I love my outfit today so I'm going to tell you about it: navy silk Anthro skirt with its pale blue embroidery and its navy velvet and navy and pale blue tulle hem; a navy knit top with a waist sash; black ribbed tights; and my black Oxford bootie what I like to call "governess shoes." I feel very Victorian and Alice Temperley and have been feeling dinkily chipper about my outfit all day. I considered adding seed pearls but the white seemed out of place with the darkness of the outfit so instead I'm wearing a black plastic headband with a sort of wrought iron pattern that I think my grandma gave me.

Listen, I would never want to be a fashion editor (um, except for the free clothes) because I can't imagine having my life be that devoid of meaning--on my lunch break I was looking through a Lucky someone gave me and I couldn't help but snort at the seriousness with which these women take in what is essentially exclaiming over overpriced handbags.* But there is no shame in liking clothes. A cute outfit can really lift your spirits, and as abashed as I sometimes feel admitting to my fondness for style, at the end of the day I don't think there's any harm in it.

So to celebrate the return of Project Runway, which I have actually never watched but which everyone seems to be talking about today, here are my recent style musings, compiled on the subway this morning:

Patent leather. I always associated patent leather with tap shoes growing up, but I do kind of like this trend. I've seen a lot of beautiful patent leather handbags, in black, cherry red, and a jewel green, but if you're on a budget I think that's a foolish investment to make. It's going to be out of fashion next year and it's such a NOTICEABLE fashion statement. Also, if it's not done classily it can look really trashy. (Um, as opposed to what, I don't know.) Instead I have two pairs of patent leather shoes--black heels and red flats, one from Payless and one from Ann Taylor's clearance rack (I swear, the only thing saving me from financial devastation is my inherited inability to buy anything not 75% off)--and I plan to trim up my ratty black winter coat with a patent leather belt, but other than that I prefer to sit back and admire this trend in others.

Chasing nail polish trends. My motto is, why not? Navy nail polish is supposed to be the next thing and although I couldn't find any in the drugstore I bought a bottle of a dark royal blue for 99 cents, and now every time I take my socks off I feel quite pleased with myself. BUT I don't think you should be slavish about it; if there's a color you like that's "so last season" who cares? Wear what you think looks good! And just remember, a dark muted red is always classic.

Colored tights. I love this. I have electric red, cobalt blue, grey blue, and grey patterned (and a lot of black). I saw a girl this morning with bright purple and it looked fabulous. Tights are like $6. Oh, but speaking of tights, obviously you can only really wear them with

Skirts and dresses. Let me back up. I have a hard time finding jeans (all pants really) to fit me. There's the length issue, and the fact that my waist size does not really correspond to my hip and thigh size. So I always felt unhappily dissatisfied in each and every pair of pants I'd wear, whether on the weekends or at work, and then I realized that

IF YOU WEAR A SKIRT OR A DRESS no one can SEE what your thighs look like or that the waistband of your pants is doing that ugly bulgy thing underneath the belt you have to wear to keep them up.

LIGHTBULB!!

If you watch The Devil Wears Prada, you'll see that the fashionistas wear skirts in almost every scene. There's a reason for this. It's not just that skirts are cute--it's that they are more flattering. I'm not trying to send women back to the dark ages, but now that I wear skirts to work four days out of five I've really taken a lot more pleasure in getting dressed in the morning.

Obviously if you're running around a lot or if you're playing ball in the park or if you're traveling, pants are more comfortable (and I'd like to restate my fondness for the wide-legged trend), but I'm encouraging you to consider the humble skirt.

Big long sweaters. I LOVE THESE AND HOPE THEY STAY IN STYLE FOREVER.

Finally, I'd like to discuss in one sentence or less the ongoing lawsuits to protect designers' copyrights on their pieces. And that one sentence is: f*&# off, designers. You charge $400 for a knit T-SHIRT. You charge $2,000 for a PURSE. Maybe what Forever 21 and H&M are doing is regrettable from a creative property standpoint, but I think it's admirable in a bringing-fashion-to-the-masses standpoint. (Well, except for the sweatshop thing, which I do NOT approve of.) I just get really annoyed hearing these incredibly wealthy people whine that their designs are getting ripped off when they rose to fame for copying Poiret in the first place. Shut up.

That was more than one sentence, but whatever.

* It is not hypocritical for me to say that before talking at length about clothes, because I ... am not taking it seriously. ...
** What I mean is, I'm talking about this as a HOBBY. It's not my JOB. Which is VERY IMPORTANT. Books about puppies and kittens are VERY IMPORTANT in this world.

2 comments:

Elizabeth said...

I have bright purple tights. They make me smile.

the other lion said...

You're so right about the skirts and dresses. They are more comfortable to me because I feel more comfortable in them. I'm not constantly tugging at the back of them to make sure my butt crack isn't hanging out. And they are somehow more slimming than pants. And you can wear a size smaller because you don't have to worry about your butt and your thighs fitting into them. Which is my problem as of late.
I love when you talk about fashion because I feel very disconnected, but still very interested in, that world. And the way you write is very visual. And when you explain what you are wearing, it makes me feel like I am perched on a counter in your office visiting you over lunch hour and we are glamorously sipping on Jamba Juices.