the tuxedo stripe

On October 31, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

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I like this military/tuxedo stripe, a simple detail that draws the eye. Also like the look of some black leggings I’ve seen where the stripe is in a contrasting fabric rather than color, invariably something leather-ish or shiny.

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Leggings from Express (thrifted), J Crew tee, vintage Levi’s belt, Zara scarf, Zara pumps (thrifted), python cuff (eBay), Coal wide-brimmed felted wool fedora. The earrings were a gift from my friend Farrin, who happens to have an exhibit of her art up in Cambridge throughout autumn. My piece is in the show.

And oh yes. This isn’t my hair.

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Looks pretty plausible, I think. Kind of weird if you know what my hair usually looks like, but not unnatural if I darken my eyebrows. Or, I don’t know. What do you think? I like it. Especially with the hat. It’s incredible how much it changes my appearance, at least to me. It’s nice, once in a while, to have a respite from looking like oneself.

I was looking for a wig for Halloween and things got out of hand. Wait ’til you see the others.

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p.s. Happy Halloween! I’ll show you my costume soon…

on the street: hipster lite

On October 29, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

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Hipster, like feminist, is a term with many variations of meaning. I use it here with an emphasis on the incorporation of unconventional or ‘edgy’/conspicuous elements, the use of color and individual accents. I think a look like this shows how visible just dipping one’s toe in the hipster waters can be. Color, distinct glasses, hair just slightly shorter on the sides and longer on the top than the norm, tattoos. It’s relaxed, even unkempt here and there, but there is just enough of a sense of purposefulness to make it a bit interesting. And it’s not too interesting (not too styled, though that can be a cool look too)…just OK, nice, comfortable.

I like that balance of clothes looking put-together (not necessarily polished but chosen purposefully) as well as made for living in.

the full skirt

On October 26, 2013 by theseventhsphinx
Do not look upon all this that I am telling you about the clothes
as uncalled for or spun out, for they have a great deal to do with the story.

                                     – Cervantes, Don Quixote

Some mornings I wake and wonder: if I could wear anything that day,  truly anything I want…what would I wear?

Then, I wear that.

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IMG_7800I recommend it.

There are certain eras of style that resonate with me, notably including the Victorian era (technically 1837-1901, a lot happened but I like the later years) and stages of early America, roughly the 1840s and extending maybe a decade on either side; the era of pioneers and the gold rush, of saloons and prairies.  We still have prairies…but I mean the ones after which the dresses are named. You know the ones.

I love this shape, the full A-line. I’m glad to see more and more knee and calf-length bell skirts out and about (see minute 1:45), and plan to get in on that, too.  I embraced the historic aspect here, pairing the skirt with an old-fashioned top and hairstyle, but imagine it with no crinoline and a T-shirt. I don’t see why there would be anything unwearable about it. Who cares about this “wearability” anyway? If you want to wear it? This shirt would be nice with just jeans…but there will be other days for that.

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For me style is sometimes less about looking polished or “stylish” and more about a very specific kind of wish fulfillment or direct expression. In the first case clothing often feels to me like armor that helps me to interface with the world in a way that preserves my individuality and independence; a contemporary uniform that makes it easier to behave like my best public self, designed with the purpose of being worn in this culture, in this era. In the second case of style as fantasy, style as an interpretation of a vision that would get some strange looks on the street, clothing is the opposite of armor, the unprotected translation of self. Such looks are designed with really no purpose save the delight of the self. They are manifestations of my own projections of myself within myself.

Looked at another way, I have a tableau in mind, just like any magazine editorial, and I am the model and creative director in one.

Looked at another way, style is personal.

IMG_7806Civil war era reproduction camp skirt (thrifted) with crinoline (eBay), lace top (thrifted, which I ought to have steamed), obi sash/belt (eBay), Bass oxford pumps (thrifted), Pearls of Joy 10-11mm pearl studs, lace parasol (a gift), vintage Timex watch.

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Wear what you want.

x

buttoned up

On October 24, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

I have to thank CPL* for sending me a photo worth emulating, and more interesting still for being in line with my style (I had all of the ingredients to reproduce it on hand) yet unlike anything I’ve worn before. Expanding horizons.

*Her blog, geek outsider, is located at the junction of race and geekery. Very cool.

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It’s impressive to me what a difference it makes to do up those top buttons. Loosen the hair and undo the buttons and you have another aesthetic altogether.

I like the simplicity/severity of the clean collar, the white against the black. It seems like you rarely see a clean buttoned shirt like this, so prevalent are bib-style necklaces (and ties). The absence of decoration is almost more distracting than if I had added a detail at the throat.

The lipstick you may remember from my recent lipstick ramble. Oh! I’ve just realized that glasses would have been fitting here.

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Love the clean geometry of the cuffs peeking out. I am won over by such small details.

IMG_8756J Crew buttoned shirt (thrifted), H&M cardigan, American Apparel skinny suede belt, AG jeans (thrifted, cropped), Jeffrey Campbell France strapped boots, Pearls of Joy 8-9mm studs. On the lips, MAC lipstick in Dubonnet.

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the heart studs

On October 22, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

Lately I wear studs almost all the time, and these are the current favorites.

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Hand sawed and stamped brass hearts, from the Etsy shop LibiClozet, stumbled upon while I was searching for something else entirely. Isn’t it always the way?

You can choose to get them without the text, and she has other shapes, too.

I like the lack of symmetrical precision, the handmade-ness giving them a childlike feel.

I don’t particularly want anything else heart-shaped or that says love on it but I really liked these. Buying them was one of those whimsical impulses that later feels strangely wise and appropriate, from which I then draw positive conclusions about my nature and mental/emotional state. Those are the best.

Wearing them here and here, though difficult to see, which shows you how small they are; really an excellent size.

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