Monday, February 28, 2011

Stripes and Stripes and Stripes

I came home from a shopping trip this weekend, hung up my new purchases immediately as usual, and had to do a double take in my new 10 foot deep walk in closet. There were now no less than 7 blue and white striped tops in the wardrobe (and this doesn't take into account the several more likely in the summer storage bags under the bed).

I had come home from Ann Taylor Loft with a hop in my step from the purchase of this super cute striped tunic (in a drapey cut that fit me now at 7.5 months pregnant, and will still look cute come summer). But my bubble was slightly deflated at the sight of so many similar tops, all in the same navy and white color combo (not to mention the above J.Crew blazer, and a few similar sweaters). I'm not sure there is ever a time that I can resist a striped top, and when given the option of several colors, I apparently stay loyal to my favorite in nautical classics. (I think they say to avoid horizontal stripes if you want to appear slimmer, and I'm not sure that at 30 weeks along, I should be donning them. But what I like, I like.)

So next time I head out and am wooed by the ubiquitous stripes that come with the season, I'll try my best to avoid a repeat impulse buy (or at least I'll attempt a different colorway, I do like red and white too).

Monday, February 21, 2011

Jean Scene

I love denim as much as (if not more than) the next person. But a few head to toe looks from FW 2011 have left me cringing, no matter how 'chic' the critics may find it to be.

I'm happy to see the return of the trouser cut, which flatters most shapes, unlike the skinny jean which really doesn't look good on more than half of the people who wear it. (I'm also happy that I held on to my favorite Seven Dojo cut from college, which will likely still fit post baby, since at 7 months pregnant, I've yet to hit my early college weight).

Though jean shorts find their place on the runway, I find them best left to those under the age of 15 attending summer camp (although after watching too much of Dateline's 'To Catch a Predator', I think perhaps only pedophiles still wear them). Dsquared's version pictured left may be okay if you have those legs (and are not a 40 year old single man on the Internet).

Light weight denim and chambray have remained on the scene since the early 90's when Kelly and Brenda donned their favorites on 90210. (My favorite denim top is actually from the Gap, circa 2003. But I'll consider adding a short sleeve variety to the mix for spring '11). The hunt for the perfect wedge to add a little height to those trousers begins next.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Old is New

Like wine, cheese, and Chanel, most things getting better with age. And with fashion, this can be true as well. Designers like Kate Spade have built empires on the vintage charm of an antique lace hem and a retro circle skirt with mary-janes.

I have an aversion to goods that have actually been worn or used (something about soft fabrics and their absorbency that just creeps me out), but not to their style. Vintage is more a state of style than a fact for me (unless we're talking about my grandmother's raffia envelope clutch from 1930). The Times talked to a few women who resurrect decades past every weekend when they don their dated duds and frequent New Orleans hot spots. Their frocks may have all the charm of a 1950's Chevy, but none of the age. Many designers have hopped on the 'old is new bandwagon' and are producing lines that ooze retro rehab, yet are made from newly minted fabrics.

There may be a drop of inauthenticity to this approach, but I'm not really sure its any different that using soy instead of regular milk- you want the flavor, but not the dairy. Style is dynamic, dimensional, and steeped in scents of those who came before. It takes a little from here, some more from there, discards what doesn't work (still waiting to see leggings drop off the fashion map) and retains that which inspires. In fashion, there is little that excites me more than a polka dot shirt dress, a full skirt nipped in delicately at the waist, or a pair of peep-toe ankle booties (I take my vintage with a healthy dose of modern). History can be brilliant.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Fools Gold

Since E started airing all episodes of Sex and the City, I've been happily catching up on all that I've been missing since my DVD collection never made the move out of the city with me (some lucky person who frequents the Salvation Army is enjoying my repertoire as a bonus to his TV stand purchase).

Last night's episode was the famous post-Aidan break up (part 1) trip to LA where Samantha and Carrie consider buying a fake Fendi, only to realize just how sad the impostors look in the trunk of the car in 'the Valley'. Happily the story concludes with a reflection on how, even if others are fooled, Carrie would always know her bag was a fake. A victory for fashionistas and intellectual property lawyers alike.

Unfortunately not all North Shore Long Islanders adopt this philosophy, and I was forced to share a train seat with one such offender. It was bad enough that my warmest winter coat just barely zips over my 26 week stomach, the train arrived 15 minutes late, stopped numerous times between stations, and then crawled into Penn Station with the effort of an elderly man on oxygen. But the entire ride a large, middle aged woman insisted on resting her faux Gucci bag against my thigh, pressing it more firmly into me with each voyage her hand took to retrieve another snack. I tried to escape the contact of the vile object (made from who knows what), but I could only plaster myself against the armrest so hard before it began leaving an imprint in my side. Somewhere outside of Jamaica I couldn't tolerate it any longer, and found refuge standing near the doors. I suppose this is something I'll have to adjust to as a suburbanite.