bootie call

On November 17, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

Ah, boot season.

j crew plaid flannel shirt theseventhsphinx

Spring is OK for boots but not sufficiently dry for the suede styles that are my clear favorites (if acquisition is any indicator). This, among so many other reasons, is why autumn reigns supreme. Another reason might be the predominance of plaid, for which I have always harbored a weakness. Perhaps it is my rural upbringing?

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In particular I am craving the extremes of thigh-high and ankle boots. Booties. Bootlets. Much browsing and buying and returning before I discovered these charmers from UGG (which lacks romance but there it is). These have a great cowboy silhouette in the toe, minimal yet sculptural detailing, a great pale wheat color, and the slightly tapered chunky heel that I am drawn to these days.

j crew plaid flannel shirt theseventhsphinx

Isn’t there something wonderfully pristine about a bare, unadorned throat? 

Ripple pearl drops from Pearlescence, Chanel Rouge Noir Illusion d’ombre smoked out with a sepia shade from the Viseart neutral matte palette, MAC Peaches blush (new, loving), MAC prolongwear brow set, Wet n’ Wild Megalast lipstick in Bare it All with Urban Decay 24/7 lip pencil in Naked, which is almost a perfect match, some other stuff you can’t really see…

In the hair I’ve been using the deep repair mask (as a leave-in treatment) and the styling cream (for definition) from the Carol’s Daughter Tiare line. Smells amazing and I like how soft yet defined my hair is. Doing pretty well with my resolution to wear it down more.

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On the nails: Zoya Taylor. Basically a realistic concealer shade for me thanks to a touch of peachy warmth. Really nice color, though the whole time I’ve worn it I’ve wanted to add gold glitter to liven it up. The formula I find OK but it cracks on me within 48 hours or so.

j crew plaid flannel shirt theseventhsphinx

J Crew flannel shirt, Obi-style leather belt (eBay), Express leggings, Breil Milano watch, Ugg boots, Rough & Tumble bag (more on this bag later, loving this).

I have a few of these obi belts and find them so versatile and sleek. Though I could also like this look without a belt at all, loose and casual, to me the belt is doing so much here to amp up the style factor. The power of a good belt.

Get thee a good belt.

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long day

On December 8, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

OK, it’s freezing out, too cold to ride my bike, I work nonstop these days, I’m out of peanut butter, and I have two (TWO!) gigantic blemishes on my chin, which are just astonishing in their size and projected lifespan.* I have to tell you, it is depressing.

*I know they are normal, pimples, common to the species, and I am still as lovable as before, which is I think moderately lovable, and my various skills are unimpaired, but few things put me in a worse mood. And they are not beautiful. I am still here and there beautiful, now and then beautiful, but it is clearly in spite of them.

In honor of these things, and so many more, late Monday post!

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leeeegwarmerrrrs

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Coat. Scarf. Etc. MAC Rebel lipstick, though it’s coming off more pink here than it is in person, really it is more raspberry. I like.

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I’m going to watch Downton Abbey now.

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earth tones

On July 21, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

“Luxury is aggression dressed as fashion.”

                                — Handbags, Anna Johnson

Here’s one of my ideas of an ideal summer ensemble. Loose and light, ultra comfortable (as in the photo I was recently distracted by).

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I could wear earth tones every day.

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So, this is a (pretty good) replica of Vuitton’s Sofia Coppola bag.

It doesn’t often happen that I am interested in a high-end designer item, not in the ‘willing to fork over my money’ kind of way, anyway (just in a ‘how inspiring’ way). Usually it’s moot because I don’t remotely have enough money to consider it. I liked the design of this bag so much, however (and for so long. I rarely like bags, only very recently do I even own multiple bags), that I was open to that shady category, the replica. I feel no disloyalty to Luis Vuitton, as they have not lost a sale…I was never going to spend $7,000 on this bag, so this is all happening a little outside their reality (intellectual copyright is still very slippery in fashion, a difficult topic, but the pricing of luxury brands is also a difficult topic). I did look around for something similar, actually, but none of them were as nice as this replica, which is, in fact, quite nice. It is, satisfyingly, about exactly as nice as it should be.

The cachet of luxury items is by turns interesting and troubling to me. They are, to the cognoscenti, walking price tags; subtle or perhaps not so subtle announcements of superfluous wealth. There is something aggressive and potentially gauche (if not outright tacky) about this. Especially when the items are being worn not because they are loved for themselves, but because they are on trend.

In the best cases, though, they are truly sublime objects, beautifully constructed out of impeccable materials. So there is something aggressive about them either way, but there can also be about them something ultimately tasteful, reflective of excellent taste.

Even what is now a kind of middle market, the $50-80 pair of pants, say (even given that a savvy shopper would almost never pay the full price), I would not call inexpensive. That is not inexpensive to me, anyhow. It is difficult to be stylish on a true budget (remembering that this book had a lot of great ideas about it, though). Or, it is not difficult to be stylish (given a bit of time to slowly accumulate good pieces), but it is difficult to be stylish in a variegated way, to have many solid style options. One must be very resourceful and invest a lot of time to find pieces made of good material that have been treated well, designed well, cut well, which, in many cases, at least at some point in their existence, were relatively expensive. Good clothes shouldn’t be inexpensive (someone somewhere was woefully underpaid, if they are…and likely even if they are expensive this is still the case…), they should be an investment.

I do like the French (at least, most famously French) concept of a minimal, versatile closet, some 10-15 carefully curated pieces that can be mixed and matched endlessly with different accessories to provide variation….but I like too many things. I want to look like too many kinds of people. I completely agree with the virtues of this concept but I cannot fully embrace it with my style so in flux. Maybe one day. My closet does need culling.

Ahhh. This is why I have no money left.

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This is Nars Taj Mahal blush again. So good.

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The necklace is various incarnations of jasper, which is quite a chameleon and has long been a favorite stone of mine.

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Camisole from asos, lounge pants from hush, Anthropologie Amentum sandals, obi belt from Viktor Sabo, Breil Milano watch, bag, bracelet and necklace from eBay. On the lips: Lipstick Queen in Jungle Queen, a beautiful, sheer poppy orange-red. [The packaging is a stunning dragonfly green and it’s beautifully done all around.]

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the turtleneck dress

On February 10, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

While I love a sweater dress, a turtleneck dress now and then trumps it for me. Isn’t it a bit old-fashioned to like turtlenecks? I’ve been a devotee since grade school, when I wore what were surely hideous ones (prints!).  I like to have my neck covered? My neck is easily cold?

I think it is simpler than that. I think I’ve just always thought: those look cool.

And I basically still think that. At least I’m consistent.

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Well, it’s not meant to be quite so tight. I’ve been eating lots of popcorn.

I rather like it, though. A strange blend of conservative and ever so slightly risqué or gauche. And it is meant to be tight…

The balance of conservative and sensual* inspired the austerity of this ultra-tight, drastic side-part bun.  Here again is that just-below-the-knee length I like so well.

*reminds me of the crop top in this way.
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Dress from asos, Cole Haan pumps (thrifted), Breil Milano watch (thrifted), Mulberry bag (thrifted).  On the lips: MAC huggable lip color in Love Beam.

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the crop top

On November 7, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

 Red is black.

                            – Rei Kawakubo

In a way, a long-sleeved crop top makes no sense….

Perhaps that is what I like so much about it?

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And what could be a more fitting companion than the high-waisted pencil skirt? I like the surprise of the midriff in the otherwise conservative silhouette, and the way the shape of the bared section shifts as the body moves.

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Is it me or do I look kind of…scary here? Maneaterish? Evidently this is how I look sometimes.

Express high waist midi pencil skirt*, crop top from Asos, Cole Haan pumps, dupatta/scarf (giftshop), Breil Milano watch (thrifted), Mulberry Roxanne handbag (thrifted).

*Exactly the kind of pencil skirt I’ve been looking for: friendly amount of stretch, above-the-navel, below-the-knee, hugging but not without structure, not clinging. I got it in gray, too.

This is my favored bag of the moment. It has that functional, built-to-last professorial look I often like paired with a traditional aesthetic that also feels luxurious. A bit of a fashion quest tracking it down, many patient months of unwavering preoccupation, searching and waiting, waiting and searching.

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