Friday, January 16, 2009

What About This? Part V

When I turned 25 last year, I realized that I had known the next friend in this series for more than half of my life. 15 years to be exact. On the day of our all school picture in the fall of 1993, she was wearing jean overalls, a red shirt and red socks. I was rocking a purple dress with pink flowers and pink tights. There might have been a scrunchie involved.

A lot has changed since then. We have both grown at least eight inches. We sat through eight graduation ceremonies with eight different dresses. Florals and pastels for the first seven. White for our own. And now, for some reason, I see 17 year olds walking down the street dressed almost exactly as we were on that picture day. Things have apparently come full circle.

She is a little bit taller than I am but, like every other female in the world, has hips. I've tried to include shots of color for the most part and pick pieces that can be worn in many different combinations.

Last year to break in her new apartment, she held a clothes swap for all of her friends. I left with one pair of cropped pants, three shirts, one skirt and one of her cardigans. So in exchange, I present to her A Tale of Two Cardigans.

But before you can deal with the top half, you need the perfect jeans for a backdrop. These high heeled flare jeans are great for taller girls. The extra length means that she can wear it with a wider range of shoes. And no one has ever looked bad in a flared leg.

For a day trip to the Brooklyn Flea or the local farmer's market, you need something you can just throw on while still looking put together. (There are a lot of cute boys walking around those places. It's always best to be prepared.) Horizontal stripes can be tricky for just about everyone, but the shawl front of this cardigan breaks up the pattern just enough to make it wearable.

A simple shirt that works with everything.

Walking is a large part of any Brooklyn weekend adventure. These sneakers will make ensure that she's comfortably stylish.

A soft, neutral bag goes with everything. And she could totally fit some bagged produce in there.

When the night rolls around, she can easily change everything but the jeans. This deep purple cardigan can be left open or closed for dinner or drinks with friends.

But with this blouse, leaving the cardigan open is the best way to show off the detailing at the neck.

While this belt accents the waist as the color adds a pop to the purple of the sweater.

Flat boots can be worn with everything, everywhere.

She is a fan of the statement ring, usually featuring a non-precious stone. This ring lacks a stone, but the oxidation in the indentation adds just enough visual interest.

Though both of the above outfits can be worn to her office, sometimes you get the urge to dress up a bit. She loves color and pattern. My closet, in comparison to hers, looks like a moody teenager who spends their time listening to Emo in the dark. So for days when she wants to dress up a bit at the office, this skirt has the perfect combination of the two. Painterly elements have been really big recently, and I like how that leaves the pattern looking more deconstructed.

When you're wearing such a vivid piece, it's best to let it have the spotlight and keep everything else very simple, like with this sweater.

You can never have too many pairs of black, opaque tights. Especially when the temperature is dipping into the 20s.

Black wedges possess the same versatile qualities of black pumps without the pain.

This bag can be brought to the office in its folded over state and used for a short weekend trip in its fully extended state.

So this dress isn't exactly weather appropriate or necessarily office appropriate, but I think it's absolute perfection. The floral pattern filled with purples and greens. The band right below the bust that will make any girl look particularly teeny. The way the skirt floats away. An airy dress with structure.

A few months ago, we were sitting in her living room waiting for the Thai food delivery guy to arrive. It was stormy out, so she threw on her raincoat when she went down to retrieve the curry and steamed dumplings. Before she opened the door, she turned to me. I never see people in New York wearing raincoats. I thought about it for a moment and agreed. I hadn't worn a raincoat in years. I usually wear a light jacket and carry my pink umbrella. When I'm feeling ambitious, I throw on my trench coat.

If there's one thing every girl needs, it's a trench. But who wants to get lost in a sea of beige when you can wear a coat like this one.

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