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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Are you ready for Gareth Pugh’s sleep-deprived garbage bag dystopia?
Anne Demeulemeester’s ghostly veils (top) and Rick Owens’ (bottom) grimly towering headdresses are extremely pleasing to me.
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.
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.
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
I think these calf-skimming, floofy linen Lantern pants are adorable, so shut your mouth. $65
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
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?
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!
As always, click the image below to find a list of the apparel, accessories, and accoutrements used for each grouping.
Just kidding. There will never be a new black! This is evidenced by the 666 (approx.) black tee shirts we have in our wardrobe. Leather harnesses, tulle skirts, and velvet cloaks look marvelous and are great fun for a night out (or hell, grocery shopping or a trip to the post office if you like to give the normies a show) but let’s face it–at the end of the day we just want to be comfortable. And there is nothing, I mean nothing, more comfortable than a black tee shirt. Yes, black tee shirts are more cozy. There’s science to back that up, somewhere.
We also know that we, and no doubt you, too, need to give our pile of ratty old black tees a thorough going-through because man, that shit’s old and nasty. Pilled, worn threadbare, curry-stained and eternally covered with cat fur—mein Gott, we’re gross.
Maybe, and this is just a suggestion, but give it some thought: these loyal wardrobe staples have given you their all and it’s time to let them die with dignity. Gather them up into the charity pile. Or cut ’em up and use ’em for crafts or home improvement projects or light bondage with a consensual partner (make sure they’re your tees on this last point; tossing out someone else’s stuff is likely not to result in sexytimes.)
…wait, wait! Put that middle finger away. You don’t think we’d make you go through such an agonizing exercise without some recommendations as to replacements for your beloved black scraps of comfort, do you? See below for some wicked black tee suggestions that are anything but basic.
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:
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!
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.