Archive of ‘not a fashion blog’ category

Fall 2017 Runway Highlights

FASHUNI know next to nothing about fashion, and with every passing season I’m fairly certain my knowledge diminishes rather than increases–but that doesn’t mean I love it any less. For me, at its best, it is glorious art, it is a political statement, it is a snapshot of our times–the good, the bad, and the ugly.  At its worst…well, actually, the worst thing, the most offensive thing a fashion design can do, is bore me.  But at its best, it thrills, it inspires, it sometimes agitates or confounds, or quite possibly it makes you giggle with glee roar or with laughter (my personal favorite.)

At any rate, I don’t take my interest in it seriously. Or at least I try not to! But when the Fall collections begin walking the runway, I am riveted.  Here are some of my favorites right now.

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Comme des Garçons Fall 2017 Ready To Wear offers us a sensible, down to earth collection that that definitely won’t leave your family and friends and coworkers confused and concerned as to your deteriorating mental state. Full of waddling, exaggerated silhouettes evoking over-sized dress forms or perhaps even ancient goddess imagery, you’d be forgiven for thinking huh, this looks like an enormous, gore-soaked maxi-pad.

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On the other hand, I want to wear Yohji Yamamoto’s 2017 Fall Ready collection everywhere that my bright & sunny presence is requested; PTA meetings (I don’t have kids but whatevs), bridal showers, church picnics. The possibilities are endless.

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Valentino’s Fall 2017 Ready To Wear collection, with romantic colors ranging from rich raspberry to ice cream pastels, luxe textures, delicate embroidery and sequins reminds me of several coffee table books belonging to my grandmother. These books were basically photographed tours through various estate homes and I’d spend hours mesmerized by the sumptuous decor: opulent damask curtains framing dusty glass windows overlooking flowering garden mazes, lavish boudoirs swathed in velvets and silks, shimmering crystalline chandeliers. The ensembles featured in this collection conjure these intoxicating, daydream homes.

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To be perfectly honest, all I see when I gaze too long upon Givenchy’s Fall 2017 Ready To Wear collection is a scarlet coven of demonic teletubbies.

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Though I really want to love a couture collection inspired by the symbolism of Twin Peaks, MSGM’s Fall 2017 ready to wear offerings are comprised of an almost offensive degree of fug.

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Are you ready for Gareth Pugh’s sleep-deprived garbage bag dystopia?

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Anne Demeulemeester’s ghostly veils (top) and Rick Owens’ (bottom) grimly towering headdresses are extremely pleasing to me.

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And finally Alexander McQueen’s collection of jacquard and brocade with feather stitch details, trailing beads of jet with memento ribbons threaded through tweeds and leather, was imbued with dense imagery woven into every motif- whether witchy sun and moon symbolism or medieval tapestry inspired flora and fauna–and utterly brimming with both youthful and traditional female energy and power. Gorgeousness.

FASHUN update: Voluminous balloonimous cocoonimous

Harper's Bazaar, May 1976, one-piece by Gil Aimbez for Genre, sandals and necklace by Yves Saint Laurent

Harper’s Bazaar, May 1976, one-piece by Gil Aimbez for Genre, sandals and necklace by Yves Saint Laurent

I suppose it all really started with my love of all the beautiful things I’ve amassed from Babooshka Boutique in recent years; the roomy, flowing tops, tunics, and dresses that waft and whirl around me now as I go about my day. They’re easy to dress up or they can be casual, they are exquisitely comfortable, and they are pretty much perfect. At this point I’m afraid I have really come to resent garments with zippers or buttons or hooks or or fasteners–closures are prickly and poky! And so oppressive and stifling! There’s no going back. I just wanna let it all hang out, basically.

Sadly, Babooshka Boutique is closing this year, so I am beginning to look elsewhere for my fix as it relates to a wardrobe that beguilingly balloons around my bod, or which cocoons me in crazy coziness. Luckily, I think I have found some things that fit the bill, and I am quite excited about them.

See below for a few voluminous / balloonimous / cocoonimous things currently on my wishlist. Don’t be too shocked if you see some colors. It was bound to happen one day.

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I love this botanical print tie-front shift dress from Rundholz; I don’t love that it’s a white background, but there’s enough interesting artwork here to distract me from that. £139.00

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I’d forgive you for thinking the print/color combination on this Charisma dress from shonmodern is a bit fug; but there’s something about the asymmetric cut and the easy shape (and pockets!) that strikes me as both flattering and super comfy. Also, if you prefer, if comes in plain black.  $299

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I think these calf-skimming, floofy linen Lantern pants are adorable, so shut your mouth. $65

IMG_4423 IMG_4398_fcf57dce-cba1-44c8-8f63-b535f91f5848I am desperately coveting both of these lovely, loose fitting black tops with geometric graphics from UZI NYC at mooreaseal: the beams tunic $99 & the broken lines kimono $116

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I recall being intrigued by this etsy seller’s wares a long time ago, but I never took the plunge to order something back then, especially after hearing a friend’s review of the poor quality of said wares. Still, to this day I covet these billowy linen Moon Water pants … because pants that look like a skirt? I reckon that’s the best thing I ever heard of. $58

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And lastly, I love everything about this short maxi dress from Metamorphoza–the oversized shape contrasted with the knee-brushed length, the swingy cut, the pockets and, most of all–that (gasp!) powerfully, gorgeous blue color. Who am I anymore? The older I get, the more I hope I never have an answer for that. $52

So…to sum up, this season’s look for me is clothing that screams “WE’VE BEEN MADE! SMUGGLE OUT AS MUCH STUFF AS YOU CAN FIT UNDER THIS DRESS!”

What’s inspiring you right now in terms of wardrobe for spring and summer?

How To Wear: A Winter Getaway

Bamboo Garden, Hakone Museum, 1954 - Toshi Yoshida

Bamboo Garden, Hakone Museum, 1954 – Toshi Yoshida

I have always found February to be the cruelest month, in terms of winter madness (although it rivals November, I think, in terms of emotional upheaval). While I was living up north there was always a certain point during the month of February where I would be curled up on the couch, shivering and gazing out the window and thinking, resignedly, how it has always been winter and there was never a time before winter and I was born in the snow and I’d die in the snow and that’s all there was to it.

Looking out my window now, there is a wilting hibiscus under a blazing sun and two feral cats making noisy love on a tree stump in my direct line of sight. I am a little grossed out, but my fingertips aren’t numb and my coffee hasn’t frosted over, and you know, life’s not perfect. But I am not cold, and I am not going to slip and fall on a patch of ice just outside my front door when I go to check my mail this afternoon. It is February in Florida and I have escaped that dread, formerly freezing existence.

My lifelong habit of escaping into daydream is no doubt what kept utter delirium at bay during those long, frozen years. Imagining breathless travels to far-off places that boast vibrant sunsets, lush flower gardens, and beautiful architecture, I’d slip into a trance-like state while envisioning sipping espresso in a Parisian cafe, or silently hiking through ancient forests, or just stopping to give a ragged alley cat behind-the-ear skritches while sneaking around Venetian canals, attempting to avoid running into a murdering dwarf in a red raincoat (my daydreams get kind of fucked up sometimes.)

Regardless of whether you’re merely escaping the cold weather, or literally running for your life during your mid-winter holiday, you can’t visit to these imaginary destinations without a valise full of clothes for travel! With shapes inspired by majestic cathedrals and celestial temples, colors reflecting the seasonal flora or the afternoon sun on the ocean, and textures reminiscent of cascading waterfalls and mythical priestesses’ mysterious veils, below you will find a variety of wardrobe selections for fanciful February frolics whilst pretend-journeying abroad.  As always, click on the individual images for details on where to find each item.

Travels to the Wind Forest

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A Hideaway On Mystery Beach

Mysterious Beach Hideaway

Cologne Cathedral, Germany

 

Germany

The Oracle of Delphi

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Mayan Temples

Mayan Temples

England In Midsummer

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Paris At Dusk

Paris, France

The Everglades

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Taroko Gorge

Taroko Gorge

Abandoned Amusement Park In Berlin

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Venice

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How To Wear: Your Favorite Horror Film

crimson-peak-mainWith the new year comes new wardrobe resolutions: throw out/donate what you no longer wear or no longer fits properly, add more color and pizzazz to your outfits, swap your ratty stuff out for more high-quality pieces, invest in classic blazers and cashmere and so on and so forth. Blah, blah, blargh.

Ho-hum! I don’t know about you, but I nearly fell asleep typing that just now. Boo, hiss! Boring!

Now if one were to consult me, my sartorial suggestion for 2017 is to wear every day like it is your favorite horror film! Harnesses, spikes, studs, and torture couture to emulate beloved cenobites and malicious madams, the gilt headdresses and flowing silk worn by eldritch sea priestesses, or perhaps a velvet curtain-inspired antique, ruffled peignoir, to greet that poor, sweet vampire boy knocking on your window in the dead of night. Plumb the infinite depths of your terror to yield dark, fantastical prêt-à-porter revelations this season!

As always, click the image below to find a list of the apparel, accessories, and accoutrements used for each grouping.

Previous ridiculous installments of How To Wear:
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: The Arts
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: The Spring Equinox
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: The Winter Solstice
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: The Autumn Equinox
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: A Jean Rollin Film
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: A Gothic Romance Novel
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: Your Favorite Tarot Deck
👁‍🗨 What To Wear Upon Greeting Death
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: A Melancholic Holiday
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: A Date With A Monster
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: Dramatic Jewelry
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: A Tee Shirt

Hellraiser

Hellraiser

Imprint

Imprint

Dagon

Dagon

 

The Company Of Wolves

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Let’s Scare Jessica To Death

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Salem’s Lot

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The Iron Rose

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Crimson Peak

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…and as a bonus, perhaps you might try a variation on this theme:
How To Wear: Your Favorite Horror Novel!

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All fixed up: Stitch Fix Review #whatever

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Tart Anahi blazer and 41 Hawthorn blouse

It was over a year ago (late February of 2015, actually) that I received my first Stitch Fix box and though it’s been a lot of fun, I think I’m ready to cancel my subscription.

I had been documenting every shipment that I received, just to sort of keep track of what I was receiving and the pieces that I really liked, so if you are curious or want to have a look back, here you go:

Stitch Fix Box 1 // Stitch Fix Box 2 // Stitch Fix Box 3 // Stitch Fix Box 4 // Stitch Box 5 // Stitch Fix 8 // Stitch Fix 9&10 (somehow I skipped a few–whoops!)

I had initially wanted a Stitch Fix subscription because over the years my wardrobe had somehow become a pit of despair which consisted chiefly of black tee shirts.  Now, don’t get me wrong–if it were up to me I would be wearing all black tee shirts all the time, but, as it happens, I am occasionally required to attend professional functions and sometimes there are social gatherings which call for something fancier, along with–oh dear!–a spot of color, as well.  So, I really just needed a few things to supplement my wardrobe for these infrequent situations. And to be honest, I really, REALLY hate shopping for those kinds of items.  Blazers, work tops and skirts, professional function attire–ugh. However…if someone picks out a handful of things for me and says “Here! Pick one!” that is really a perfect scenario, and that is, in a nutshell, what Stitch Fix offers.

Nearly a year later I have got way more than I need, and so I think it is time to either call it quits or put the subscription on hold. I’ll be honest, though…the novelty still hasn’t worn off! I always thrill at the “Your Fix has shipped!” email, and I’m so eager to see what my stylist has picked out for me. Usually there is at least one thing that is either really pretty or super functional, and after about 6 months with this particular stylist, I think she’s really nailed it, as far as my style and personality go (lots of dark stuff but with sneaky color accents, florals, paisleys, weird prints).

Since I haven’t been keeping up with the reviews and the show-and-tells, I thought I’d just share some of the pieces I’ve gotten over the last few months that I kind of loved. All dark florals and paisleys, for the most part, and a really lovely blazer. Also, but not pictured are a pair of the highly coveted Margaret M Emers, which are sort of like a combination of work pants and leggings–which, I know, it sounds awful–but they are all the great things everyone says about them and more.  They are a pull on type of pant, but they are a more structured material so they don’t sag or cling too much. It turns out that they are wonderfully comfortable but you actually feel like you are wearing an honest-to-god pair of pants.  I swore I wouldn’t look twice at these things, but now I actually own two pairs because I requested (okay: begged) that my stylist send me the boot-cut version.

Unfortunately…I didn’t keep the style cards for several of these items, so I can’t include the details or the prices.  Of course, if you are a Stitch Fix subscriber, you can always just pin the images to your Stitch Fix-themed Pinterest board and point your stylist to it, and she can probably figure it out!

To sum up, I would say that I’ve definitely been pleased with the service and I’ll probably keep it for a quarterly wardrobe refresh or something like that. I would recommend that you try them out if you have the same wardrobe issues as I do, which is to say that you hate shopping for professional attire and you think it’s a dumb, fruitless endeavor and it reminds you of the stuff you never have time to do because you’re always working. Like learning how to embroider or play the ukelele or graverobbing or whatever.  So let someone else do it for you!

Of course I’d rather be buying something from Hogan McLaughlin’s dark, poetic 2016 collections, but let’s be real here, I can’t get away with mingling with a gaggle of HR professionals in this. Sigh.  The world is a very sad place, indeed.

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41 Hawthorne sleeveless blouse (pictured above)

Gentle Fawn Valterra crochet detail top

Alice Blue floral lace up blouse

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Tart Anahi blazer (pictured above)

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Market & Spruce floral tank dress

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Fun2Fun paisley blouse ( I despise the dopey name of this brand)

How to wear: the Spring Equinox

Tilda Swinton Tim Walker 2013

Stranger Than Paradise/ W Magazine 2013 Tilda Swinton shot by Tim Walker

I’ll admit, I never had much of an appreciation for spring until I moved up North to New Jersey.  Until that time, I had spent the last twenty years in the semi-tropics and spring was, at best, laughable. There were no gusty lions or meek lambs and April showers most certainly did not lead to May flowers. It was only the paralyzing heat on the asphalt as soon as February passed and the same line of palm trees as far as the eye could see, stretching to the horizon and beyond. Palm trees and heat death forever. The end.

In New Jersey, however, there was actual winter. With snow and ice and cold and itchy sweaters and people always stealing your parking spot that you spend at least an hour digging for your own damn self, and angst, oh the angst.  I grew to dread the oncoming autumn, because I knew it heralded 3-4+ months of pure, unadulterated, shivering misery.

But spring, oh my–spring!  Spring became a wonderful time of surprising magics. Such little things, I suppose…but things, having grown up in the south, that I didn’t even know to look for or expect. Every afternoon when I arrived home from work there would be something new blooming in the yard, budding and blossoming in the trees.  Bunny rabbits, all over the place on my morning walks!  The coolest, most lovely breeze swishing and swirling through the house on an early April morning (the same morning, where, down south, the AC would probably already be running full blast).

And so, my infatuation with spring began.  And what to wear during this time of birth and renewal and the disappearance of winter’s ghostly remains?  Well, I take my cue from celebrated haiku master Matsuo Basho:

From all these trees –
in salads, soups, everywhere –
cherry blossoms fall

See below for several ensembles showcasing riotous blooms and delicate blossoms, and yes–even color, bright explosions of it!  After all, today spring is here and I will be the gladdest thing under the sun…for approximately two days. Now that I am back in the  southern swampland, summer will no doubt arrive before the week is through, and that’s when we wear all black and lock ourselves into a climate controlled mourning for the next nine months.

As always, click the image for item details.

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Yarnomancy

Shapeshifter-shawl

Shapeshifter shawl available from Morph Knitwear

Today over at Dirge Magazine I discuss my own personal “yarnomancy”, and the ritual connectedness of crafting by hand with Morph Knitwear’s Angela Thornton.

Bad-Ass Knitting Magic: Angela Thornton of Morph Knitwear

One of my favorite pieces from Morph Knitwear is the huge, open knit Shapeshifter shawl. (And come to think of it, I probably should add that to my winter uniform!) Curious as to how one might style this wooly behemoth?  I’ve a few suggestions for you, below. As always, click on the image to find more details on the items within each ensemble.

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Winter Uniform

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Laugh all you like, but when I get cold, I get cold. My fingernails turn blue and my butt cheeks become ice cubes (even under layers!) right around this time of year, and …wait for it…it’s only about 60 degrees.

It’s true.  I am a total cold weather weenie.  I have no idea how I lasted as long as I did in New Jersey when there were actual winters with snow and ice and never-ending Februaries. Ugh! I don’t even like thinking about it.  It’s bad enough I still dream about it– about once a month or so, even though I have been back in Florida for four years now.

So when the temperatures dip into the arctic mid-50s, I cannot wear my go-to tee shirts and flip-flips, no way, no how.  I’d freeze to death!  I’ve developed a winter uniform that I pretty much wear every day starting this time of year…and the bonus is that it doesn’t even have a chance to get old, since our “winter” only lasts about a week!

1. Giant cotton kettle-dyed scarf from the Scarf Shop // 2. Babooshka Boutique asymmetric shirt dress // 3. floridxfauna skull fragment necklace // 4. HUE black leggings // 5. OVATE Valhalla hoodie (I think this is sold out, but they always seem to bring it back)

The leggings are the high-waisted kind with some sort of shaping, so they’ve got a tiny bit of structure to them and  it doesn’t feel like your flabby belly is flumping hither and yon under your pants. Which wouldn’t matter anyway because the tunic/tee dress is so gloriously voluminous.  In any event, they are very, very comfortable and I would highly recommend this brand to people who do not find leggings abhorrent. There are no shoes pictured because well, let’s be honest. Where am I wearing shoes? I work from home and wear socks and never go anywhere. Shoes would be a lie.

Not pictured is something that should have made my 2015 best of list, but I think I was a little bit too embarrassed to mention it.  I’ve been growing increasingly self-conscious about that bra-strap fat that oozes out and around my ladies’ support garments, so I’ve taken to wearing this wonderful thing.  I’m not even going to type the name out.  It’s too dumb.  Click on the link and you will see what I mean.  Despite the name though, I love it.  I purchased four of them last year and they are by far–seriously– the best thing anyone has ever made, and I wear them under just about everything.

winterperfumeIt is also winter perfume season!  Time to slather myself with all of the woodsy, mysterious resins and incenses!  Which most of these are, save for the Bergamoss, which is loamy and sweetly grassy and strangely enough there’s a weird bit of celery in there, too.  It’s a nice break between the heavy scents I tend to wear this time of year.

1. Aftelier Bergamoss // 2. House of Matriarch Black No. 1 // 3. Terveer Incense // 4. Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Practical Occultism (Limited Edition but rumored to return).

15+ impossible wardrobes dreamed in 2015

I have a weird habit wherein every time I write something, I feel compelled to design an outfit around it. Obviously in the virtual sense – my wallet could not possibly withstand this peculiar compulsion!

Below are 15 (okay, it’s actually probably more like 20-30) ensembles created in 2015, including links back to the articles, essays, or ramblings that inspired their creation. As always, click through the image to find details on the items included.

15 things I did in 2015

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15 things I wrote in 2015

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15 things I liked in 2015

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Merry Hexmas to you!

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The New Faces of Death

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Kintsugi

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Alchemical Catharsis

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Queen of Hearts

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Travel Journals: Portland

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Feral Mysticism

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Terrible, tragic beauty

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but I brought you flowers!

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les neiges d’antan

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Darkly Dreaming

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Krampusnacht 2015

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Perfume of the Dead

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Hag Couture

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Summer scents for those who shun the sun

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wind & stone, fire & bone

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The Scent of Evil

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Vögguvísa, or: There is much that darkness knows

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How to wear the Winter Solstice

Dryades by Agnieszka Osipa

Dryades by Agnieszka Osipa

Several years ago, when I was in my early-to-mid 20s,  my youngest sister and I spent a crisp winter solstice evening in downtown Deland Florida with a good friend of ours.  It was an enchanting night of hopeful year-end novice spellwork, rooftop cocktails and stargazing, and the loveliest feeling of warmth and camaraderie and peace.  I’ve yet to spend a winter solstice in such splendid company since.

To be truthful, I’ve not dedicated much time or preparation at all since then to sabbats or esbats or any manner of pagan pursuits. Perhaps my beliefs have changed; ceremony and all the trappings of ritual aren’t nearly so meaningful if there is a loss or change in beliefs  -and if you’re just going through the motions, what’s the point at all?

I suppose though, whatever your beliefs, it’s difficult to deny the existence of the passage of the seasons and the seasonal interplay between light and darkness.  These natural phenomena are occurring whether or not you celebrate anything today, whether or not you believe in Sun Gods or Yule Kings or the birth of some divine savior. Even if you’re not lighting candles or making wreaths or raising lanterns or planning the slightest bit of introspection or spiritual reflection, well…regardless, of your beliefs and associated rites and rituals, it is still the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. You still have to crawl out of bed, get dressed, and go about your day.

My long winded and very roundabout point is this: if you’re not doing anything else today,  on the winter solstice (or maybe it is tomorrow? whatever), you should at least get dressed.  Right?  And if you’re bothering to get dressed, why not do it in style? See below for some  solstice outfit inspiration, for either ignoring or celebrating the gods and the earth, the light and the dark. Either way, you’ll look marvelous

As always, click on for details on each ensemble.

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