Monday, March 28, 2011

I'm an F-18 and I Will Destroy You In the Air*

For the sake of fashion, I gave myself the world's biggest blister today.

It's smack dab on the great toe joint of my left foot, a perfect hemisphere of tender skin and pressurized fluid. I keep glancing at the thing, expecting it to explode any moment. The culprit, of course, is a brand-new pair of shoes.

I got these Raeburn suede pumps by Rag & Bone at Shopbop for 70% off plus a $25 off coupon. At such a steal, I can forgive these shoes some pain. They're not even particularly uncomfortable: I simply should not power-walk five blocks to work in brand-new heels. Halfway there this morning, I found myself wishing I'd brought along some flats. I hobbled into work and cadged a band-aid from the secretaries, then spent the day bravely strutting the halls.

I tried not to grimace whenever I received a compliment. They do look good.

One reviewer on Shopbop called them the "stealth bomber" of pumps, and she has a point. That curved heel is show-stopping.

I would call this shoe a F-18, though. Sexy and streamlined, but also chunky and obnoxious. You cannot ignore these on someone's feet.

These are only my trying-on photos. This is what I wore today:

Top: Anthropologie. Pants: Alexander Wang.

Aren't these pants insane? Holy MC Hammer daddy parachute silk, Batman!

I wanna bust a move in these. But not with this blister.


*With apologies to Charlie Sheen. Winning.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Blazer, Deconstructed

Just a quickie tonight. A downtown-casual outfit I wore a while back:

Blazer and tee: J. Crew. Jeans: Vintage One. Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell.

I coupled an oversized boyfriend blazer with destroyed moto jeans and beat-up oxfords. The whole thing works, somehow. This isn't the first time I've paired brown shoes with a black top.

This is probably the closest I've ever come to wearing a suit.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Camo Blocking

With black tights, you have three choices: 1.) intensify them by adding blacks and/or neutrals, 2.) ignore them, or 3.) deliberately play off them with unexpected combinations. Yesterday's elegant opera house ensemble took the first path; today's post follows the third.

Dress: Anthropologie. Shoes: Coclico. Bag and tights: J. Crew.

I turned up to work in this a few weeks ago when I wanted to play with ideas of prettiness and toughness. The shirtdress is a medium-weight silk, which feminizes its military influence. I especially love the insouciant drape of the yoke across the back.

Black and olive go together well, though, so the unexpected combination I'm talking about lies in the choice of footwear.

Navy and black! One of my favorite style rules to break. These Coclico leather heels have chic cutouts and a peep-toe, and fit a glove. (Alas, they have zero support.) This iPhone shot may show the head-to-toe effect better than my webcam can capture:

A single accessory can pull together and finish an entire look, and I think that happens here with the wrist band. Handmade from reclaimed leather, it's from The Muse in downtown Frederick.

That little pop of tan is what ties the black, olive, and navy together into one understated but clever package.

Tie it off with a messy side braid, and you're good.


Friday, March 25, 2011

In Black and Cream

The school play ate my life. Now the run is over, though, and it was a good one. My triumphant (or just meandering) return deserves a beautiful outfit.

I wore such a one yesterday to work. Most apropos, since it turned out that I had to make a last-minute announcement at the school assembly regarding who had won most outstanding actor/actress. An ensemble fit for an assistant director:

Blouse: ESPRIT. Shorts: JNBY. Shoes: Pedro Garcia.
Clutch: Alexander Wang. Tights and ring: J. Crew.

All this sophistication has a skew, however: what looks like a skirt actually is a pair of shorts.

These voluminous pleated wool shorts by JNBY caught my eye during Shopbop's recent transitional spring sale. I wasn't quite sure how they'd translate from the model photo to real life, but the result is spectacular and comfortable and utterly cool. The trick lies in the creased pleats, which stand out a mile from my sides. Paired with black tights, these "shorts" are the haute alternative to a skirt during cold months.

Throughout the day, for some reason, I kept getting a Japanese vibe off my outfit. It has something to do with the weighty folds of the shorts and the loose-hanging silk strips of the blouse. (From ESPRIT. Who would've thunk? The material is a lovely drapey sheer.) I got it. Yes, it's like a hakama

I took a kendo class once.

French-Japanese fusion, perhaps? What with the ruffled blouse and quilted leather clutch. I did not, of course, bring the clutch to work, as it would be a bit silly for me to carry it while teaching John Donne's "A Valediction Forbidding Mourning" to a roomful of high schoolers. I'm just bringing it out for this shoot.

This Elsa quilted leather clutch by Alexander Wang came from the Outnet. It was just so beautiful and intricate that after weeks of looking and looking, I finally bit the bullet and bought the last unit I could find anywhere on the Internet.

I would say I'll never have to buy another black clutch as long as I live, but then I remember that I have somehow ended up with at least six pairs of black heels in various permutations. One of which in fact I am wearing in these photos:

These Pedro Garcia suede ankle booties stole my heart with their peep-toe cork soles. They're practical, too, as the cork platform absorbs some of the impact and takes an inch off the 4.5" heels. This pair looks great with just regular skinny jeans as well.

Now if I were wearing this outfit to, say, an opera at the Kennedy Center, I would switch these booties out for my epic Proenza Schouler corset wedges.

Tres belle.

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