Archive for the ‘Fashion (at least sort of)’ Category

I haven’t looked at a fashion magazine in a long time.  I’m not all that interested in fashion.  My style is simple and trim — a grey t-shirt, a black sweater, jeans, boots — lots of dark solid colors.  We suit each other, this understated look and I.  But occasionally I like to look at fashion magazines — especially in the fall, my favorite season for clothes and pretty much everything else — to see all the “new” looks: how the pant cuff has widened or narrowed, what kinds of plaid skirts are being featured with what cut of blazer, how Ralph Lauren is creating a fantasy New England or American Southwest with each lush spread …

But this fall felt different.  I haven’t looked at a fashion magazine in a while because my interest in fashion has decreased as my time spent with my 19-month-old twins has increased.  But I saw Vanity Fair on my library’s magazine shelf — the September Style issue — and I checked it out.


I knew that sex sells, but I couldn’t believe (more…)


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Driving home from the mall I cross the Potomac River and feel … chastened.  Sometimes there are people fishing.  Often there are herons.  Always there are trees and rocks and water.

The Potomac River near the bridge I cross.

Riding shotgun with me in the car is a bag with a jacket inside — a gorgeous red-orange canvas jacket that I’m looking forward to wearing this fall.  I do not need this jacket.  I have plenty of jackets.  But I bought it just the same.

Crossing the Potomac makes me think about (more…)

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I’m between hairstyles right now, and I don’t like it.  I seem to either have really long hair or pretty short hair (between ear and chin) but not shoulder-length hair, which is what I’m sporting now.  But “sporting” is the wrong verb.  “Sporting” sounds, well, sporty.  It smacks of intentionality and enjoyment.  Right now my hair smacks of blah.

To be fair, it’s been a long time since I’ve had it cut, trimmed or shaped.  I don’t remember when it was but I know the weather was chilly.  Early spring?  Winter?  Late fall?  All possible.  I asked for a cut that would grow out smoothly and I guess it has.  (I wear it up most of the time, so it’s hard to tell.)

But now my hair is restless.  It understood that it needed to take a back seat to more important things, like baby twins and sleep and sanity.  Maybe it’s this hot and humid summer we’ve been having but as of July my hair has been in revolt.  It’s throwing fits.  It wants attention.  In another ten days (more…)

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A few weeks ago I had a bad case of the summer fashion blues in which I lamented my post-baby body and grumbled about the skimpiness of summer clothes and longed for the courage to wear some of the quirkier outfits I saw at Cindy Sherman’s exhibit at the MoMA in New York.  Then, back home, I spent an afternoon spying on hipsters in one of my city’s cafes, and again I wished I could be braver in my fashion choices, that I could be more into the idea of an outfit and not worry so much about how it actually looked.  But I know myself.  I know I’m most comfortable in a basic uniform of jeans and t-shirts.  I don’t like to wear jewelry (I’m so out of habit that now it physically chafes me) and it’s too hot to wear scarves.  So that leaves me with odds and ends: shoes, bags, watches.  (Does a watch count as jewelry?  Well, not to this wrist.)  I have plenty of bags, and this spring I bought a slim red-banded watch (inspired by Anna in Beginners) but my summer shoe situation was pretty bleak — mostly flip flops, most of them the $3 kind.

Anna and her watch in Beginners; I greatly admire her tomboy style (and Ewan McGregor is a nice accessory too)

So on Thursday, while the twins were napping, I plunged into the rabbit-hole (more…)

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Yesterday I went to one of my city’s “citier” neighborhoods.  I browsed through the Tibet store looking for a silk scarf.  I poked around the African store admiring their many drums.  I prowled through the used bookstore and bought a bunch of quirky postcards that I want to keep more than send.  Then I sat in a cafe for a good hour eating guava cream-cheese puffs and drinking lattes.  I wrote a little in my journal, but mostly I people-watched.

I still have fashion and style on my mind, and I observed something that led to a theory that I look forward to testing during future people-watching sessions, especially at urban cafes:

I think (more…)

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I’ve been thinking a lot about fashion recently.  Or maybe just clothes.  I don’t think what I wear qualifies as “fashion.”  I wonder what the difference is …

fashion |ˈfa sh ən|
1 a popular trend, esp. in styles of dress and ornament or manners of behavior : his hair is cut in the latest fashion.
• the production and marketing of new styles of goods, esp. clothing and cosmetics : [as adj. ] a fashion magazine.
2 a manner of doing something : the work is done in a rather casual fashion.

My style of dress is jeans, t-shirts and boots.  My style of ornament is a watch, a scarf and a bag.  Neither of these is really a trend but I suppose they’re both popular  — or innocuous — enough.  I guess you could say that I dress in “a rather casual fashion.”

(Although I shouldn’t dismiss the power of jeans.  (more…)

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In an earlier post (about the sublime book/exhibit Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty) I said that my style was beat — as in the Beat Generation.  Jeans, boots, t-shirts — nothing fancy or frilly.  But “beat” wasn’t quite right.  Then a friend told me about the blog Tomboy Style and I thought, this could be it.

For a long time — though my late 20s and into my 30s — I  liked what I called a “kiddish” element to my look.  I came up with “kiddish” because of some confusion a friend had when I asked her if she thought I dressed too young.  Young to her meant sexy and there’s no way my kiddishness was sexy.  Exhibit A: little Keen sneakers.

(Not sexy.)

So I retired my little Keen sneakers, but I kept my Converse.

(I persuaded myself that these look more European than kiddish.)

My rule now, though, is (more…)

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