Thursday, October 30, 2008

The (Many Pairs of) Jeans

Over the course of my life, I've had many favorite pairs of jeans. This might have to do with the fact that I often wear them until holes begin appearing in unfortunate places. Or maybe my mother accidentally gets bleach on the leg. Or a pen explodes all over them. Or I accidentally throw them in the super hot dryer, and they shrink. It always seems that at the exact moment that I decide I can't live without a certain pair, some catastrophe befalls them. At the moment, there are six pairs of jeans in my closet in various styles and washes. The pair closest to my heart and, therefore, closest to demise, is a pair of slim bootcut 7 for all Mankinds.

Like most of my favorite pieces, I wasn't searching for a new pair of jeans when I bought these. One pair of skinnies had already met its end and another was on its way there. My Joe's were my workhorse jeans, but for the most part, I wore skirts and dresses and tights. Yet when I found these on one of my many window shopping adventures through Second Time Around, there was no way I was leaving Boston without them.

More versatile than both my flares and my skinnies, they immediately became a wardrobe staple, especially as fall and winter approached. I dress them up. I dress them down. They make my legs appear slimmer and longer. I wear them with sneakers and metallic flats. Form fitting cowl neck sweaters and loose tanks.

When this pair meets its end, which will probably be sooner as opposed to later, I'll mourn them heavily. Unlike dresses and headbands, jeans take work. You have to break them in. They generally start uncomfortable and maybe a bit too snug, even the ones with stretch. You tug and sigh and then one day that's all done. They are perfect. And after all of that, it hurts to give them up. To think of starting all over again with a different pair. Even if it's the same brand and cut.

But that day isn't here yet.

Photo via

Friday, October 24, 2008

What About This?

Between sips of $3 beer at a local bar this week, my best friend squealed and clapped while announcing You should write a post where you dress me. I was intrigued. I already follow her around various stores helping her pick out things in real life. Why not partake in a bit of virtual fantasy? So with no price limit and an intimate understanding of how she likes to dress, I took to the interwebs this morning after waking at 7:15 AM, sans alarm, for some unknown reason.

I'm not going to go completely off the deep end here. The clothes I've chosen could actually be worn in her real life and on her real frame. She is a hair under 5'2" and curvy, kinda like an hourglass left in the dryer for too long. This makes it difficult for her to buy pants, so she favors dresses and skirts, especially for work. In college, she favored stilettos and grommets. But now that we're not 18 anymore and have to sorta, kinda act like grown-ups, she's looking for a way to dress like a professional woman without losing herself in boring slacks and oxford shirts.

Let's start with the casual looks.

As I mentioned before, buying pants or jeans can be a hassle. I love these J Brands for her because they are a classic mid rise bootcut that looks good on any shape, and they make their jeans with the right amount of stretch. Also, their denim is supersoft and lovely.

In her closet now, she mainly has thinner athletic-type jackets and serious coats. I love this jacket because it's leather, which will keep her warm, but it's also cut in a way that keeps that 18 year old alive.

She loooooves shirt/sweater dresses. And this one can be worn on the weekend and to work by changing jackets and shoes.

Much like I, she has been looking for a pair of versatile, comfortable and cute flats for months. I can say right now that it's basically impossible to find a reasonably priced pair. But reason has been thrown out the window here.

I thought she would like these because they can be worn with anything and everything. And, since she used to dance ballet, I thought she would appreciate the fact that these shoes are made by a company that also makes actual pointe shoes.

I decided that for the weekend, her bag should not be as large as the one she has to carry all of her work shit in, but still in a neutral so if she needed to bring it to work for whatever reason, people wouldn't look at her funny. This one fits the bill.

Now on to those weekend nights.

Dresses, dresses and more dresses. This one conceals anything she might not like while drawing the attention up to her face. It's just waiting for the right pair of shoes and a stack of bracelets.

Um, did I mention that it's fucking cold outside. Shiny tights can help with that.

She is a Blahnik girl, generally. But when I saw these Choos, all I could think of was her. This often happens when I'm out wandering around, and I secretly take a cellphone picture of the shoe and text it to her.

On the Lower East Side, there was a small accessories store that she loved. It closed a few months ago. Every time we were down there, she would drag me inside so that she could fondle a clutch that folded over. This one reminds me of the one she used to love that has now gone away.

But she, like most of you out there, has to spend most of her life at work. Suits aren't required, and I, in fact, dislike them on most women. Unless they are perfectly tailored, suits and curves of any sort do not mix. I'm a fan of the work dress. And the work separates.

I love everything about this dress for her. The fact that it's in a vibrant color. The possibility of wearing it with or without a belt. The pockets! She can run right from the office to a date or to dinner with a certain someone known as Samantha.

She used to be unsure about pencil skirts, but she bought some utilitarian ones a few months ago. This piece has a personality. The exposed zipper lets bits of her non-work self peek out. The color keeps it appropriate for the office. The waist band gives it the visual interest that many similar skirts lack.

The buttons are what I love most about this coat. I think it's because they remind me of the ornamentation that she used to have on her shoes and bags back in college. It's black, which is always okay for work. It's double breasted, which I usually wouldn't suggest for her, but as there are only two rows, it can be gotten away with.

She is a fan of the bootie. I hate booties with the heat of 1,000 burning suns. My hatred might stem from the fact that booties make my large feet look like they could crush small villages. But she has dainty, girl feet. And, let's be honest, a knee high boot is probably not okay in most offices. This pair drew me in because of the buttons again.

We both have what some might say is an unhealthy love for all things Marc Jacobs, including his work for Louis Vuitton. When I showed her the picture I took of this bag, she seriously suggested that we go in halfsies and make an ownership schedule. But really, every girl should have one all to herself. Maybe something like this perhaps?

And so we have reached the end. I feel like I need to refuel. Maybe with some of the bacon my mother bought me while she was visiting last week. Mmm, bacon.

A note to all of my other real life friends who read this blog. If you would like a similar virtual styling session, either simply for inspiration or with items at prices that you can actually afford (much like this Old Navy post), then email me. I have a lot of free time on my hands.

P.S., When I told my best friend about some of the things that didn't make the cut, she insisted that I edit this post and add one particular item.

Obviously this is a weekend shirt...

Photos via, via, via, via, via, via, via, via

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Because according to the Christmas trees I saw on the home goods floor of Saks last week, it's almost holiday season, and I like to pretend that I actually have some fabulous parties to go to where I can wear this (available for purchase here)...

With these...

And these...

Photos via, via

Monday, October 13, 2008


I've spent most of the last week fretfully watching CNBC and deciding whether or not I should stock up on ramen noodles, so I apologize for the lack of posting. With all of the various fashion weeks over (no, I don't count Los Angeles) and my mind focused on other matters, I haven't, honestly, been thinking about clothes all that often. But on one of my days off two weeks ago, while the temperature outside dropped, I cocooned into my comforter and spent hours at so that I could catch up on all the things I had missed while watching eight crazy floating heads tell me that the ship was sinking.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Economy & You - Wall Street Collapse
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests

So after laughing through the pain of our current economic clusterfuck and staring at pictures of rather tall girls in a lot of transparent clothing (guh!), I settled on two collections that I loved more than all of the others. Most seasons this decision would have been harder and I would be fluttering between five or six collections, but I was underwhelmed by what was on offer. Or I was distracted. Or maybe I just completely reject the idea of leather being a trend for next Spring/Summer. But I'm veering off course here.

First up, Boy by Band of Outsiders.

Thankfully I was able to overlook my meh feelings about Kirsten Dunst because this entire collection makes me happy inside. It takes everything I love, pencil skirts and blazers and thin sweaters, and puts them into combinations that scream effortless and clean and young without being overly trendy. The second look is my favorite. My mind keeps playing with the two separates. I can imagine that top worn with skinny jeans and sweet flats on casual weekend dates. The skirt paired with a simple tank. I love clothes that are versatile. That can be worn in many different ways in many different situations. That I won't want to hide in the back of my closet come the next year.

Second up, Giambattista Valli.

So if the first collection were all about reality, this one is all about fantasy. Sometimes fashion provides an escape that makes my life seem less complicated. Hence the need to stroll through Saks or Barneys whenever I happen to be in that part of the east side. This collection, heavy on the tailoring and low on the transparency, reminds my of the kind of things that four year old Samantha would have found gorgeous. And twenty-five year old Samantha is pretty impressed with them as well. In fact, she wishes she had somewhere to wear such things. Like to the opera. They would complement her recent obsession with elbow-length gloves. And her love of muted drama.

Photos via