Well, I don’t know about you, but when I have a Saturday afternoon all to myself and a pile of books crying for my undivided attention, I go all out. It’s true. I will slip into my most splendid finery, don my sparkliest baubles, paint my face, spritz myself with the most expensive fragrances on my shelf (sometimes maybe three or four at once!) and then…plop down on the sofa and begin reading long into the night.
Is that weird? I don’t know. I often get all dressed up to spend the day alone, and there’s no finer reason to do so than in the name of devouring a much anticipated stack of books. Here’s a suggested ensemble for the next time you have the marvelous opportunity to get all gussied up for your bookstack. (With some required reading, of course!)
When I peek at instagram and see intrepid travelers posting their moody cathedral photos which capture the magnificent drama of an old city’s elaborate Gothic architecture–pointed archways, vaulted ceilings, flying buttress, and gargoyles, of course!–I become inspired by these places of piety and worship, whose towering spires and arches literally reach up into the heavens. Of course, I’m not particularly overcome with any sort of holy reverie or overwhelming divinity, heavens no. But rather by the grace and grandeur of the designs and structures themselves, and perhaps the heritage, culture, and community life of the areas they serve.
What form does this inspiration take? Well, I’m not sure that God or the pope would approve, but peek below for four examples of how one might wear the drama of these majestic edifices, and as always, click on the image for a detailed listing of the items used in each ensemble.
I don’t know about you, but every time my hair clogs up a household drain, I blame it on the vague presence of “paranormal activity”. Curious as to how one might ooze the dark, casual style of a haute, haunted hairball? No? I don’t believe you! See below for an summary of the items used in the ensemble above, and as always, click on the images to see more details about where to buy.
Submitted for your perusal with a minimum of fuss or commentary; I mean we should all be out enjoying the longest day of the year anyway, right? Not blogging or internet shopping!* Go for a sunrise hike, or float in your inflatable swan in the community pool, or have a lovely picnic in the shade (be sure to pack the world’s most amazing tomato salad!)
Okay, I’m a hypocrite. You know I won’t set foot outside while the sun still blazes in the sky! Feel free to tell me all about your solstice adventures, though! I’ll be with you in spirit!
Wanna see some more ridiculous ensembles? Go nuts!
It’s well and truly summer. Sigh. I guess that means hemlines rise and colors lighten up. SIGH. You know I have a very difficult time with these concepts.
But sometimes it’s good to go with the flow, right? Experiment a little? Maybe don’t go too crazy (as the title of this post suggests), but perhaps…just one crayon at a time? I think we can do this.
Find a slip of a dress that whispers the soft pink of the dawn before the day’s heat begins to blaze; a sheer tank top that reflects the cool, clear blue of a secret swimming spot, a weirdly patterned frock in the bold shades of children’s pool floaties or another echoing the hues of a deep red rose, a tee shirt screaming the lurid orange of the sun’s dying rays on a late July afternoon, or a dress the vibrant green of grass clippings that stick to your feet when you walk outside barefoot to get the mail, after the lawn man has cut two weeks worth of growth…
Below you will find a few suggestions in this vein; I would typically direct you to click each ensemble to take you to a page with details, but unfortunately, future me had to edit this past post to indicate that these were created using Polyvore and those useless jerks fucked off into the sunset with all of that data a few years ago. Just google “purple shirt” or whatever. I don’t know what to tell you.
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
A Hideaway On Mystery Beach
Cologne Cathedral, Germany
The Oracle of Delphi
England In Midsummer
Paris At Dusk
Abandoned Amusement Park In Berlin
Wanna see some more ridiculous ensembles? Go nuts!
With 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!
Please note that these sets were created using a site that no longer exists, and all of the details are now lost…
Look, I’ll be honest with you. I started doing these How To Wear posts for two reasons: one, because I think the majority How To Wear blog posts and magazine articles are pretty dumb. I mean, most competent people with a little bit of imagination can figure out how to wear a pair of jeans or a bomber jacket, right? So, I thought, hey, why not how to wear something ridiculous or obscure or okay, for the most part, how to wear something related to one of my weird interests. How to wear tarot decks, how to wear your favorite poem, what to wear upon greeting death, that sort of thing.
But there was also another reason. A way dumber reason: I have spent, like 2/3 of the last 8 years over on polyvore (edited to add: RIP Polyvore) and no way, no how, is all that time going to waste. I created a lot of stuff! Well, “created”. You know what I mean. So these silly How To Wear posts on Unquiet Things are a way to both showcase those creations and make me feel better about my minor obsession with a major internet time suck.
In this How To Wear installment, we are looking to your (my) favorite artists and their gorgeous creations, for wardrobe inspiration. One could explore this in a very literal sense: for example intricate swirled pen and ink line work echoed in an elaborately embellished art deco frock paired with laser-cut filigree leather shoes. Or perhaps more figuratively… the slinky folds of an artfully constructed little black dress evoking the sensual thrill of an erotic three-panel black and white comic.
See below for several ensembles inspired by paintings, photographs, illustrations and woodcuts, artists both contemporary and from bygone eras. And because Polyvore, sadly, no longer exists, I’m afraid I can no longer link to all of the items pictured. Use your imagination and substitute where necessary!
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 a few ensembles showcasing riotous blooms and delicate blossoms, and yes–even color, bright explosions of it (hidden against and amongst a lovely sea of black, of course!) 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 climate-controlled mourning for the next nine months.
[EDIT: details for some of these ensembles are no longer available, as the site that was used to make them sold themselves to something else and shut down. RIP POLYVORE]