Sunday, November 29, 2009

Personal style and work

My mind is turning towards building a more complete and easy work wardrobe.  Most days, it takes 1 1/2 outfit attempts before I'm satisfied.  By 1/2, I mean that I undo half my outfit before leaving in the mornings.  But I think the problem is that I've started with my own personal style as a base, and halfway incorporated more polished, work-appropriate looks.  I think I'll find it easier if I start with the corporate standard (blazers, wool pants, button-downs, etc.) and then tweak it to reflect my own style.

I'll start that project later.  For now, I've been purging my closet slowly of things that don't feel like me.  I also made a circuit of returns this weekend at J. Crew and Anthropologie.

I actually haven't been buying too many things lately.  Not been in the shopping mood.  The holiday season makes me dread shopping, actually, with the crowds and the traffic

Monday, November 9, 2009

Granny shoes

I like granny shoes. What can I say. I like the orthopedic wedges, the go-with-everything tan color, the nerdy-cute look. So when I saw these for sale on Etsy, I sprung, even though I hate to buy things that I think I could find myself in the thrift store. The problem is, I never do.

I picture these with my blue corduroys, hems dragging in the interminable Seattle rain.

Yoga pants

I got into yoga about a year ago. My doctor recommended it as a way to control my back pain. I had heard of its amazing effects for years, so that was the push I needed to sign up.

Well, it is amazing. Some Saturday mornings, when I'm flying over the hill on my scooter after a session, I am flooded with a sense of well-being and inner peace.  Even just getting in the quiet space of the yoga studio--with its polished wood floors and potted plants that reach the ceiling--begins to quiet me down in the middle of a hectic work week.

At first, I just wore my climbing clothes to yoga, but that felt a great deal too skimpy.  Street clothes flopped around, especially during downward dog or any semi-inverted pose.  So I went shopping for proper attire and tried on various yoga pants from Patagonia, Target, and a no-name from TJ Maxx.  Although I like the Patagonia Serenity pants, it's a little too hot for the summer. The Target one soon sprouted a run. The no-name from TJ Maxx was fantastic at first, but it eventually began to disintegrate in not-so-attractive ways after a few sessions.  So I finally justified spending the money to get a pair of Lululemon Groove crops, and it has been worth every penny.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The best costume for the day

As I was watching Grey Gardens for the umpteenth time yesterday, my boyfriend asked me what I liked so much about it.  I couldn't answer at the time, and I still find it hard to respond.  It's a film about a mother and daughter with high-society connections who have gradually descended into squalor.  They are related by blood to Jackie O., yet live in a mansion eaten through by raccoons and cats and piled high with tin cans and newspaper.  The movie is fascinating on many levels, not least of which is the mystery of their past and the relationship between Big Edie and Little Edie.

I am also fascinated by the meticulous way that Little Edie puts together her outfits from random things laying about.  She is famous for the way she fashioned headscarves out of skirts and kitchen towels and any other oddity hanging around, and then casually fastened them closed with a priceless heirloom brooch.  Her outfits might be comprised of a skirt worn upside down or a pair of pants worn over a skirt underneath a pair of stockings, but to her they were the absolutely right "costume for the day."

Of course, the clothes are fascinating, but the women beneath them, so much more so.  The rituals of their songs and dances bind them together and give shape to their daily lives.  There is something really touching in the way they carry on their lives, despite the ruin all around them.

[pics from Patrishka's Open Mouth and amazon]

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Street style

I was walking by the (locally) famous Jimi Hendrix statue in Seattle today when a woman stopped me to ask if she could take my picture for her street style blog.  I declined, citing "camera shy" issues, but I was flattered, and she was very gracious. She gave me her card so I could check out her blog.  Here's her website: It's My Darlin.  Cute little morsel of local streetstyle, fashion and food.

I walked home glancing at my reflection in shop windows, trying to figure out why she stopped me.  Although it's not the first time I've been stopped for a street style picture, it still amazes me.  You have to understand, I was clueless about clothes for most of my life.  It was only in my 20's that I decided that I needed to overhaul my style, which heretofore had comprised of overalls and t-shirts.  When I asked my best friend for advice, she directed me to Lucky magazine, the "magazine about shopping."  One subscription and a Lucky book later, I felt like I had a better idea of how to put myself together.

Since then, I think I've branched out and discovered my own personal style, which, ironically enough, takes me halfway back to my overall days.  So on the day that the photographer stopped me, I was wearing a fuzzy wool hat, plaid jacket, grey skirt with a bowtie, and granny shoes.  It's like how I might have dressed before the whole fashion thing happened, but with a better sense of why.