Archive of ‘how to wear’ category

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 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 a climate controlled mourning for the next nine months.

As always, click the image for item details.

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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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How to wear: the Autumn Equinox

At The End Of Day (by paddy on flickr)

 I remember you as you were in the last autumn. 
You were the grey beret and the still heart.
In your eyes the flames of the twilight fought on.
And the leaves fell in the water of your soul.
-Pablo Neruda

Ah, autumn! You of the grey beret and still heart. The low, whistling winds through the branches, the blazing cascades of gold and russet leaves, the nights creeping longer and colder…

Every year, around the beginning of September, my heart skips a beat – just one small, lone beat – when I think of autumn. For a brief, flickering moment, I somehow manage to forget that I no longer live in New Jersey and I begin to look forward to the cool shift in the weather, the subtle changes in the afternoon sunlight, and the the scent of embers on the breeze from chimneys or piles of burning leaves. And then, suddenly, I remember I am back in Florida with sticky sweat pooling in my cleavage on a 92 degree mid-September afternoon.

This is the only time of year that anyone will ever hear me talk about missing New Jersey.

So as you can imagine, it is business as usual down here in the swamps.  Further north, when folks are pulling down their wool peacoats from storage and unpacking cabled sweaters and knee high leather boots, I am still bumming around in my flipflops and tee shirts (but let’s be real, I love my flip-flops). I don’t love, however, missing out on those beautiful cardigans and ribbed tights and fair isle scarves and all sorts of wonderful autumnal pieces that make up my very favorite sort of dying-year ensembles.

For now, I’m afraid, all I can do is daydream. And so, for the Autumn Equinox, see below for several  – and there are quite a few – autumn wardrobe inspirations and flights of fancy. I can’t say that any of this is particularly “stylish” (ugh, I hate that word) or on trend, but who cares about that dumb crap, anyway? If you like it, wear it! Anyhow, these are all pieces that I find quite beautiful, with rich harvest colors and luxe textures and deep, lush prints.

As always, click through the image for a polyvore page with complete item details.

 

 

 

 

(What to wear) Upon greeting Death

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Greet death
with your hands in your pockets,
slouched back, cool,
collected, and confident.
Wear a hint of a grin
and a dash of cologne.
Say What took you so long?
Say You’re behind the times, man.
Say Dead is the new black.
Coffin is the new condo.
Pallor is the new tan.
La vida muerta.

-“How To Greet Death“, Gabriel Gadfly (excerpt)

In Gabriel Gadfly’s How To Greet Death (one of my very favorite poems), it is suggested that in the event that you should meet your maker, wear a hint of a grin and a dash of cologne; another stanza adds in a pair of your father’s cufflinks and your mother’s wedding band.

Not bad, but I think we can do better.

Getting outfitted for the last moments of one’s life is an intensely personal business, but I think that to begin and end with every mother’s insistence of a clean pair of underwear is doing yourself a great disservice and perhaps selling yourself a bit short. If you’re indeed rendezvousing with the Grim Reaper, leave a lasting last impression as make your exodus!  Of course, do include the clean underwear, as well.

See below for a handful of ensembles to leave Death gasping and goggle-eyed as you shuffle (or skip, or meander, or leap, or whatever your manner of leave-taking may be) off this mortal coil. As always, click through the image for a complete listing of the items in each set.

 

 

 

 

 

What to wear: Melancholics on Holiday

Here we are nearing the end of August, and many of you are packing up your blackest swim outfits and bundling up the velvet parasols into storage to gather dust for another season.   The summer sun feels hottest and strongest now, but it’s sputtering and fading, you’ll see. There are probably only a few good weekends left for a seaside frolic or a picnic at the lake before the slant of light through the trees bends ever so golden, and the air starts whispering autumn tales of falling leaves and All Pumpkin Everything.

(Well, of course, everywhere except here. We get one day of fall in Florida, and that usually happens for six hours in mid-January.)

Make the most of it while you can! Get out of the house while it is still warm, before the frigid winds slash through the dark, endless nights and the marrow of your bones ices over! See and be seen!

Whether excavating Fiji mermaid remains, reading Dion Fortune in a dim-lit sea cave, or exploring the abandoned ruins of a haunted beach resort you will no doubt find below the dark ensemble to perfectly complete this summer’s final melancholic holiday.

As always, click on the image for a full listing of the items.

 

How to wear a date with a monster

Hellraiser Frank and JuliaWe’ve all been there. It’s Friday night, you’re tearing up your closet–shoes strewn all over the floor, blouses crumpled and flung all up in the ceiling fan. You’re growling and muttering anxious curses, butterflies flapping their stupid wings in your guts… and you just don’t know what to wear on your first date with that super cute wolf man who works in accounting.

No, seriously, he’s a wolf man. He’s in the accounting department. You walked past him a million times before and never noticed him until he nearly bit your face off that one time when you were both working late during last month’s full moon.

And now he’s asked you out to dinner!

It’s the age-old dilemma, isn’t it? What to wear on a date with a monster? I mean monsters, they’ve seen it all, right? Some have been around for millennia and certainly have been around the block a time or two. How could you, a mere human, possibly hope to wow or impress one of these dastardly fiends? Never fear, I am here to help.

See below for some fabulous wardrobe suggestions for dates with your savage sweetie or beastly bae, whether you’re sexing up the swamps, inviting them home to flay your folks alive, or just spending some quality time together destroying a major metropolis.

As always, click the link or the image to find out more about the individual items listed.

Date Night With Indeterminate Monster Of Nordic Origin

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Blind date.

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Date night with Frank.frank

Date night with Godzillagodzilla

Date night with a werewolf

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Date with Death.

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Date night with Swamp Thingswamp

 Date night with a bear who used to be a man but his ex was a sorceress. Long story.

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Date night with a wolf who used to be a bear who used to be a man.wolfman

How to wear…a gothic romance novel

Image via mylovehauntedheart

On rainy midnights do you ever find yourself curled on the sofa, reading a worn paperback with a cracked spine, the shadowy darkness of the tattered cover providing the backdrop for a beveled tower, backlit by the moon and away from which a pale faced and wan young woman flees, her ruffled peignoir trailing and tangling behind her?

What is this poor, doomed lady running from? Could be any number of gothic romance tropes – ghosts, phantoms and strange sinister spirits. Abandoned monasteries, isolated castles. Brooding, mysterious gentleman. Wild, turbulent love and bitter betrayals.  Fearful family curses.  Dreams, illusions, obsessions, murders.  I mean…what isn’t she running from, right?

And do you ever find yourself wondering…“what would I wear if I were running in her shoes?”

Well, nothing practical or suited for running long distances, I can assure you!  See below for an array of ruffles, lace and dark baubles with which to bedeck yourself should you find deeply entangled in a highly atmospheric, possibly historical and definitely creepy love affair with a sweetheart who may or may not want to kill you.

Be sure to click through the images to visit the polyvore pages where you can find information on the items shown.

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Not into gothic romance? Not to worry – I’ve got you covered! Below are some bonus wardrobes for lovers of pulp and general weirdness.

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How to wear: Your favorite tarot deck

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Another entry in my ridiculous “How to wear” category: How to wear your favorite tarot deck.

You have packed up all your cold-weather clothes and are no doubt simmering with equal parts resentment and bewilderment (also, literally simmering because it’s hot AF outside) as you survey your scant summer wardrobe–for you, a child of bleak and dreary days, are far more content to cloak yourself in layers of darkness during the winter season than you are to strip down in the hot weather to one-piece rompers and accentuating with those dreadful “pops of color” that fashion magazines and beauty bloggers blather on about.

Curse you, evil day star! Why must you shoot your hateful heat-lasers at us? These legs haven’t seen the sun in six months, it’s not safe to wear shorts! Our delicate shoulders prefer wraps and shawls and leather jackets covered with super cool enamel pins! Who can we turn to for advice on building our wardrobe for these heat-blasted days? Where can we find a fashion forecast that won’t leave us feeling disgruntled and stabby?

In our search for more esoteric style inspiration, let us not rule out a more mystical, metaphysical approach. Perhaps through a bit of practical prognostication and pattern prediction we will reveal cosmic trends that resonate with us on a deeper level. In doing so, as universal ideas and corresponding symbols unfold before us, we can interpret intuitively that which speaks to us as sacred and divine and integrate it into our summer capsule wardrobe!

The tarot is brimming with rich, iconic symbolism and gorgeous imagery of the mysterious world of our unconscious, so why not look to the art of your beloved divinatory tools for outfit expansion this season? See below for suggestions from some of my treasured tarot decks, incorporating the old-world, melancholy elegance of David Palladini’s Aquarian tarot, the otherworldly intensity of Lady Frieda Harris and Aleister Crowley’s Thoth tarot, and finally, the neon WTF-ery of Oliver Hibert’s eye-meltingly psychedelic tarot deck.

Fortune-teller fashion? Sybil style? Psychic chic? Oracle aesthetic? Who knows–perhaps we will start a trend of our own. 2016, the summer of visionary vogue.

The Aquarian Tarot, art by David Palladini.

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The Baphomet Tarot, art by H.R. Giger.

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Tarot of the Cat People, art by Karen Kuykendall

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The Bohemian Gothic Tarot, created by Alex Ukolov, Karen Mahony

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Manara: The Erotic Tarot. Art by Milo Manara

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The Fantastic Menagerie Tarot, art by J.J. Grandville

 

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The Phantasmagoric Theatre Tarot, art by Graham Cameron

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The Thoth Tarot, created by Aleister Crowley, Frieda Harris

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