Friday, July 22, 2011

A sliver of ankle

I've noticed the importance of having a little sliver of ankle showing between the bottom of your pants and shoes. A little styling trick I'll attempt when I'm out of shorts and back into pants. Right now I'm feeling overheated and Humpty Dumpty-esque, and no rolled cuff can make that chic.

P.S. My first Polyvore attempt!

[images: Totokaelo, La Garconne]

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Style consultants

Scribbling down my thoughts about potential purchases proved surprisingly useful, though I had made it so complicated by the end that I needed the clarity of a disinterested male spectator (aka my boyfriend) to sort it out.

I solicited his comments when I was recently deciding on my 4-5 pieces, post sale season. They're representative of the kind of comments he gives when asked. They usually jostle small doubts that I tend to ignore in the thrill of an acquisition, and I find them pretty helpful.
  • "A little drab." -- The dress was a bit Amish, it's true. I had written that I wasn't sure about the pattern.
  • " Doesn't look comfortable." -- My notes were that I was ambivalent about the shirt's texture and it was tighter than what I wanted. Good to be confirmed, since I was so happy about finding an item on my list I was inclined to ignore my misgivings.
  • "I don't know where to focus." -- This I had to pursue further. He meant that the stripes were overwhelming. Yes, I had to admit it. I am just a little mouse who likes to wear a coat of grey.
  • "Super cute." -- He's usually unable to refine this statement further, even with my questioning.
I think it's helpful to have an objective view outside the obsessive fashion milieu, whether it be an amused boyfriend or a page from a journal. But, according to Genevieve Antoine-Dariaux in A Guide to Elegance, you shouldn't consult your female friends as they are invested parties (read: competition . . . or perhaps fellow enablers?) and will give poor advice. I think she gives rather sage advice.

I'm a little bit embarrassed to reveal my notes, as they seem rather self-involved and shallow, but I've been thinking it would be nice to find a bit more reality in the blogging world. As anyone who has attempted it knows, looking effortless is anything but.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The List, revisited

A few weeks or months ago, I posted a short list of items I was in search of. I found substitutes for most of the items, as I realized in the process of looking that what I thought I wanted needed to be realigned with what would actually work for me.

The structured jacket 
I had wanted the Isabel Marant Elali jacket, but decided against it for several reasons. 1) I wanted a jacket that I could throw on over any outfit, and other bloggers reported back that the Elali required careful outfit planning. 2) I'm not sure what size I'm going to end up, and I shouldn't spend so much money for something that eventually may not fit perfectly. 3) It's just a tiny bit too formal to be worn a lot in my life.

I haven't discounted it entirely, but since at this point I'd have to search for it anyway, I may as well wait to search for it once I am certain that I'll get enough wear out of it.

Instead I'm filling this hole in my wardrobe with a lined, oversized tweed jacket I found while thrifting. It reminds me of the coats Isabel Marant put out over the past few seasons, with its dropped shoulders and slouchy fit. The sleeves can be rolled and pushed back for a more informal look. I think I'll be able to wear it on its own as a transitional jacket in the fall and as an additional layer in the winter. 

The silk button down
Silk seems like such a romantic fabric to me, but I seldom wear it. Additionally, I hear that it's not the most comfortable fabric in the summer heat. I'm not that keen on filling this niche in my closet, after all, but if I come across a perfect one, I'll likely get it. 

Instead I found a lovely cotton button down with a soft leaf printhat will fill the same purpose in my wardrobe, but which has the potential to be worn in a wider range of situations and temperatures. It has the same quiet feel as a silk top.

The striped top
The more I've been looking, the more I think that a striped top will be simple and basic enough to be a workhorse in my wardrobe, but with a touch of understated impact to distinguish it from an ordinary tee.

Found! Kinda. It doesn't have the even stripes, and the periwinkle blue color isn't as graphic as I thought I wanted. But when I tried on a top with both these qualities, it felt too loud to me. I'll keep looking for a striped top with the same-sized stripes, but this one works pretty well, and it's more in keeping with my demure style.

The open spots in the list
On a whim, I added a cotton/cashmere cardigan to my shopping cart. When it arrived, it was so soft and complemented my other purchases so well that I decided to replace my former summer cardigan (which was already ratty and misshapen) with it.

My other spontaneous purchase is a dungaree dress. I've already spoken of my love of overalls, and this one is a slightly more feminine version of one. The length, fabric weight, and shiny silver buttons are perfect.

Seasonal Recap
think that's it for the summer season for me. Though athe days have grown hotter and I've gotten bigger, I bought a few cheapy maternity items. I'm already looking towards Fall and Winter.