la bohème

On June 9, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

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Summer is finally shaping up. Which means bikinis, popsicles, cream and white and lace, the perpetual aroma of grilled meat in the air, and general dubiousness of coverage.

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Which means cowboy boots.

(I have a bruise, inconveniently)

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Garance Doré at one point explains that The Sartorialist doesn’t quite approve of cowboy boots because they are proportionally unflattering to the leg: where they hit on the leg, somewhere around the calf or in the inches beneath, is invariably shortening and widening, no matter how tall you are. I basically agree with this observation, they don’t elongate the leg, but a long leg is not the only path to charm.

I’m put in mind of the kind of fashion rules individuals impose on themselves for specific reasons; tall people (that is, people who think themselves too tall) who won’t wear shoes that add height, short people (ditto) who won’t be without shoes that add height, people who decide a certain color or shape is off the table, etc. This kind of thing, for me, must be determined on a case by case basis. These boots don’t make my legs look longer…but my legs aren’t especially short. No need for evasive maneuvers.

It is perhaps helpful to have one’s identity (as it relates to one’s body, at least) in place before delving too deeply into questions of style. Then again, questions of style can speak directly to questions of identity in many cases, and these things evolve together.

Like the age-old question, “does this make me look fat?”  Fat is a loaded term these days but even if it weren’t, this is a poor question. The real question behind this question (and behind the initial translation, something like “does this make my body look how I do not want it to look?”, or maybe “does this frame my body in a truthful way?” and “is that a truth I want to share?”)—and the question I ask myself—is, “does this fit?”

[And then, “do I like it?”]

Or like, “do these shoes make my feet look big?” Well, my feet are big. Bigger than average. Size 10. So, probably, yeah, they do. What else is to be expected? Such logic bypasses the formulation of the question. But this doesn’t seem to get at the real question, which rings of hazy insecurity and inadequacy. Big compared to what? Compared to whom? What is wrong with big?

These strike me as very complicated questions that get at murky issues of identity and image and control and the beauty myth (the myth pervading our culture that the way you look is under your control, if only you knew enough, spent enough, and moreover it is your responsibility as a woman to be as beautiful as possible, and here is a narrow definition of beauty here for your reference, and thanks, without you continued preoccupation with this goal the economy would collapse).

After all, I am proportional and healthy, and having a complex about this would be sad indeed.

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What was I saying? Oh, I like these boots.

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One’s own face looks so creepy from the side, no?

Crocheted cover-up (haha) from eBay, Red Carter bikini, boots from some Western Boot emporium in Colorado, Mulberry bag. On the lips, Body Shop Color Crush in Coral Cutie (a really lovely deep orange color. I like the texture as well, quite creamy and juicy). The blush is NARS Taj Mahal, which is a stunning gold-flecked burnt orange. Beautiful on the eyes as well. Earrings and cuff both gifts from GeekOutsider (thanks, CPL!).

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