Thursday, May 15, 2008

046. Dressing oneself (The Oft-futility of Lacking a Waist and Going Shopping).

This is a beautiful top, no? I've been seeing a lot of clothing in this style recently--I mean the bustier top, usually paired with halter straps. It's an old style obviously purloined from earlier decades. I've seen it gracing dresses, tops like this one, and bathing suits.

But wish as I might, I will never buy this top. Because of the price tag? Nay. Because I don't like to purchase clothes online? As if. I actually went into an Anthropologie over the weekend looking to buy a dress, any dress, pretty much regardless of price. I am taking a trip to Europe soon and I would like to have an extensive repertoire of cool summer dresses to bring to stave off the sweating that accompanies the warmer months. But I was barely successful in finding a single dress. Alas, my body is not fit for summer dresses. Try as I might, they just aren't for me.

I have a body some would covet, others would scorn, and others would pay little attention. I have no waist to speak of, no hips, no butt, but unfortunately medium-sized breasts that are, alas, not all too firm. So I can't wear low-cut tops because I just look sloppy; in fact I avoid all halter tops for the same reason. I attempt to avoid showing any cleavage because it just makes me look bigger; and I NEVER leave the house without a bra. So I don't have an hourglass figure but I do have assets that I don't want to show off. What I look best in is a structured dress, one that defines the waist (much like high-waisted shorts do) and doesn't cut too low. Preferably, I like a curved neckline that hits one to two inches below the clavicle. Seriously.

So I walk into Anthropologie bent on perusing the sale section, or perhaps indulging myself in a full-price purchase if necessary, when what to my wandering eyes should appear...but all manner of low-cut, halter top, lack of structure, spaghetti strap dresses, arrayed in the loveliest colors, looking cool and breathy and flowy and effortless and...everything that I absolutely cannot wear for fear of looking like a gargantuan balloon. Did I mention how much I utterly detest spaghetti-straps?

To add to my list of Reasons Why I Hate Summer Weather, I shall mark down "Breasts causing annoyance, agitation, and cleavage sweat." Also to add: "Temptation to buy clothes that are unflattering. Lack of palatable options. Envy. Disgust. Frustration. Annihilation."


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

045. The battle with bag addiction continues.

I'm always on the fence with Diesel. Visiting the store on Union Square never ceases to confuse me. The bodyguards loom forbiddingly at the front door, giving any non-leather-clad-hipster the evil eye. The place is never packed but instead rather bald, with a paltry number of browsers cruising the racks of merchandise. I never know whether the atmosphere is elitist or street, because all manner of people can be seen wearing Diesel, from poor to rich. In short, I never know what image I give off when I myself wear it a covetable status symbol or representative of something undesirable?

Diesel does have the habit of producing unattractive crap for unreasonably high prices. I primarily like their accessories, although the European Diesels do offer something palatable in the way of clothing. Anyway, I was trolling online for bags (as is my wont) and what did I find but this:

Does this honestly remind anyone of Diesel? The little oval insignia makes it look almost Versace-ish. The clincher? This bag is only $144. I mean, when was the last time you saw an attractive bag for under $200, sans discounts? All you can get for that price are Coach and Dooney & Burke, dreaded and detested scourges of the fashion world. Hiss! Flee!

I then discovered this equally tempting piece of utilitarian delight.

Retailing for - shock - a mere $116! Who would have thought? The last bag I liked that was made by Diesel cost upwards of $600 and resembled an upside-down leather parachute. It was quite genius, although unwieldy. But this--could be useful! For my trip...for carrying--useful things...

Should I try to talk myself out of this one, or just succumb to the beauty of the splurge? I want that purple bag...

Thursday, May 8, 2008

044. Deja vu.

Let me tell you a little story.

Lorick New York

I work at a law firm, and one day my boss waltzed into work looking even more stylish than usual. I stared at the adorable print on her blouse, and thought, "I've seen that before. I LOVE it. Where have I seen that before?"

Time passed.

I watch Gossip Girl fanatically (for the clothes and the Chuck), and one evening I was watching reruns of the Thanksgiving Day episode. I stared at the adorable print on Blair's dress, and thought, "I've seen that before. I LOVE it. Wait...OH MY GOD THEY ACTUALLY SELL THAT DESIGNER LINE IN THE TRISTATE AREA???"

However, I wasn't about to ask my boss for style tips (we already have similar versions of the same Botkier bag, and I'd rather it not appear like I'm mimicking her, which I'm sincerely not). I figured I'd find out who the designer of the blouse and dress was eventually.

Lorick New York

Lo and behold, I was browsing the blogosphere today when who should I stumble upon but Abigail Lorick herself, a.k.a. Eleanor Waldorf. I've known for ages that Waldorf's line is not a smattering of random garments snatched from real-world designers but instead derives from a single collection produced by a real designer. I didn't know that this particular dress was part of her line.

I don't own a lot of prints when it comes to clothing; I'm more of a textures and colors girl, but I am definitely inspired to be more creative after viewing Lorick's collection. The benefit of prints is that they breathe new life into old shapes. When it comes to clothing, you can either be innovative with the tailoring and cut, or you can be extremely creative in the design of your fabric. Lorick employs both methods to create garments that seem, to the untrained eye, conservative; yet there is a lot going on in her clothing line that embraces innovation. Anyway, I'm impressed. Lorick New York just screams quality to me.

Lorick New York

Anyway, even if I'm a bit late to jump on the bandwagon (I know everyone else blogged about Lorick ages ago), I must pitch my vote of support. I've liked her designs from day one, as she seems to share the same kind of pared-down sophistication that I covet.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

043. The Unbearable Lightness of Pearls.

Stock image (Audrey Hepburn)

I am not the type of person who wears heavy bangles, dangling necklaces, or earrings that drag your earlobe down. I feel weighed down by solid metal jewelry, and rings and necklaces often bother my skin. I prefer simplicity over complexity, and lightness over heaviness.

I've been thinking lately that perhaps what my ensembles have been missing is jewelry. It doesn't need to be complicated or excessive. Often when an outfit doesn't look right it's because it's missing that key element—that one thing that pulls it all together. You need diamond earrings to glitz up the LBD, heavy amulet-like crosses to make an all-black outfit goth, an enormous wooden cuff bracelet to enhance the boho vibe of your peasant blouse. You need pearls to turn any outfit, wild or conservative, into an instant classic.

Cultured pearl necklace

As legend would have it, pearls begin their life as an irritating grit of sand, which the oyster encases in layers upon layers of a glossy substance. This technically isn't true - the impetus for a pearl's conception is typically organic matter - but I am still reminded of the tendency of people to conceal perceived flaws by placing a veneer of beauty over them. I am thinking not only of excellent dental work but of artists who have constructed masterpieces inspired by some hidden pain. The ugliest things can be transformed into objects of beauty. I am also thinking that attractive but twisted female villains would do well to wear pearls as a symbol of their true nature. Or if you prefer to be less metaphoric, pearls are a straightforward symbol for elegance.

All of this thinking has caused me to conduct some research. The site Pearl Necklace Jewelry (catchy, I know) offers what seems to be the best price available on the Web. The pearls are apparently sold at wholesale price and the clasps and/or studs are 14K gold (good for me, since my ears are very sensitive). Purchases can be made with PayPal and security is managed by VeriSign. Shipping is free worldwide (sweet) and they do provide a guarantee that the pearls are genuine.

This reminds me, I need to do just as thorough a check-up on all the sites I buy from...

Here are a few pearls (ha) from this website:

Black pearl necklace

Akoya pearl necklace

Freshwater pearl necklace

Pink pearl necklace

I think what appeals to me about pearls is the type of color: smoky hues, dusky rose, warm charcoal. Everything is muted and subtle and soft. And pearls have a contoured, organic shape, no jagged edges or lines.

In conclusion, you can't go wrong with pearl jewelry - it's never gaudy or untasteful.

I must do more posts about jewelry! The last one I did was for that combination jewel-pearl ring from, and that was back in the fall.