so fancy: the underwear edition

On June 9, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

There is a wonderful uselessness to pretty underthings that sometimes appeals to me. An unnecessary-ness. A superfluous fanciness. To make matters more conspicuously impractical, they are often uncomfortable, too, as one always seems to learn the hard way. Then, too, he fancier they are, the closer their kinship to the realm of panties in my mind; that comical, ultra-feminine diminutive. Hard to say it with a straight face, even, and yet, once in a while, so pretty. So satisfying to secretly (or not so secretly) be wearing.

calvin klein satin gauze underwear lingerie

I usually wear black, white, or tan cotton underwear. I am no devotee of “fancy” underthings…but I can appreciate them now and then. Picked up this gauze and satin number from Calvin Klein on a whim one day. Pink, too.

One feels rather badass in such underwear. With or without pants. Perhaps because—at least when they are novel, strange—in your physical experience of them you are more conscious of your body – cannot forget about your body, as it is otherwise so easy to do. Perpetual awareness of the body affects movement and attitude, for me almost always in a positive way.* This really goes for any physical novelty, high-heels being another good example (if you don’t wear them all the time), or just any piece of apparel in which you feel different, like something new, like you have a new shape, or a new texture (a new haircut has a similar effect, I think).

*If I am self-conscious about some part of my body on a given day I perhaps hope to forget about it, admittedly. I am rarely self-conscious about anything but acne, though, and as I get older I am less self-conscious and more just…cranky. How I hate acne.

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Channeling Scarlett

If you haven’t ventured into the land of unnecessarily pretty underwear, I urge you to consider a trip. Novelty is powerful in the game of style.

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lady lightning

On September 8, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

Bikini tops are so versatile. Am only just now reminded of this look, though the bandeau is completely different. Totally different.

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It was about 95 degrees out, so one had to be creative. Still, sheathed from abdomen to knees, it doesn’t seem that revealing to me. Even though there’s obviously a good amount of skin showing, and a slinky jersey pencil skirt doesn’t obscure much. It always seems to be more a matter of what is showing, rather than how much. All perception.

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The song playing in the background of this look, a rough harmonic translation, say, is the badass, incomprehensible ‘Push Push (Lady Lightning)’ by Bang Camaro. Fellow Guitar Hero players will know this one. Who is lady lightning? What is she pushing? Why aren’t there a couple more lyrics to give me a hint? I don’t care. I like it. [Reminds me, need to wear these earrings again soon.]

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Seafolly bikini, Calvin Klein pumps, Kara Ross python/brass bracelet, 100″ pearl rope from Pearl Paradise, pencil skirt (thrifted), pearl bracelets (eBay), Ray-Ban aviators, French-style market basket. On the lips: Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet lipstick in La Favorite.

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the jumpsuit, the topknot

On September 5, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

           I love to be well dress’d Sir: and think it 

No scandal to my understanding.

                                           – George Etherege, Man of Mode. 1676.

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IMG_6625There are bugs on the ground.

I gathered my hair into a topknot when I was messing around with different turban styles and liked it so much I decided to try it officially. I like it, though I think I liked the really (incredibly, horribly, could-not-be-worn-in-public) messy version better.

Oh, this is the bag I usually carry around, these days. A great thrift find that looks like a still-slightly-grubby re-purposed vintage leather football. I don’t necessarily like a bag to look pristine (then it doesn’t look casual), and I don’t want my daily bag to be something I have to suspend in a bubble of anxiety to keep it like new. Better for me to have something that, when it does incur wear, grows in character and interest.

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IMG_6639At which point it begins to rain, and I am unimpressed.

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Calvin Klein silk jumpsuit, Steve Madden realove heels, Zara scarf, Skagen watch, vintage LuckyBrand hobo bag. On the nails: OPI polish in Mermaid’s Tears.

These heels make me about 5’11”, and I feel that I take on Amazon-like proportions in them. The pale blush color extends this illusion further still. I like this very much.

I’ve mentioned before that I take heels with a grain of salt, valuing the absence of pain as I do*, but it cannot be denied that they create new lines and angles. When only a bit of standing or sitting is required, I can quite enjoy those lines, those angles.

*The amount of discomfort I’m willing to tolerate seems to depend on many factors.

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bikini of the day: simplicity in black and white

On June 14, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

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Here we have a white Victoria’s Secret Triangle Top paired with the simplest pair of black bikini bottoms from Calvin Klein. These bottoms are so basic as to look really like underwear, which definitely has its own appeal.

The triangle top is a somewhat flexible piece (so many adjustable parts, and the difference of a few square centimeters surprisingly significant, moving between sizes) and one that I particularly like. I can’t quite tell if it is because I think it is most flattering on me…or because I think it is the most abstractly flattering in my store of cultural images. Who cares? Bring them on in all patterns and colors. This is the silhouette most represented in my little swimsuit drawer area. The white top in particular goes with so many things, not only swimsuits but…anything, really. Very nearly anything. Usually I take out whatever padding is involved, if any, but I can like the look of it, too. Just another option.

There is something of classic American sportswear in this kind of look; sleek, pared down solids that fit and flatter. Ralph Lauren. Michael Kors. This is my favorite aspect of American designers. It creates, in the best circumstances, an understated elegance and quiet luxury that is in line with my own aesthetic, or maybe more accurately with the aesthetic to which I aspire.

bohemian chic: the flat chest

On January 30, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

There is only so much padded enhancement can do with a 34A chest. They are just…small. I don’t envy the more generously endowed, however. Quite the opposite. I think my modest bust suits the athletic silhouette I favor and, rather than seek to make my chest look as large as possible (though that can be fun), I often like to give a more straightforward representation.

Here are some soft, unpadded lingerie pieces I think do this well, and create that lithe, nipple-friendly look that is to me so French. I’m thinking Vanessa Paradis in La fille sur la pont; that tight sweater and what looks like no bra at all. There is perhaps something slightly risqué in failing to hide that you have nipples (surprise!) but I like this element of it as well, and find the effect youthful and natural, especially in the contexts of certain types of shirts/outfits. There is something alluring in the more soft, yielding appearance unpadded lingerie provides. And: comfortable. In the case of the American Apparel pieces below I often like to have them showing under loose, open, or transparent layers; effectively treating them as I would a bathing suit top.

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American Apparel spandex jersey cross-back bra, Myla London Delena bra (asos), Princess Tam Tam Night Bird bra (asos), Mimi Holiday éclair lace bra (link), Calvin Klein micro lace triangle bra (asos), American Apparel ruched front tube bra (bandeau), American Apparel baby rib bikini bra. [The American Apparel options are nearly always in the sale section, if not actually always.]

And, of course, there is the option of nothing…though I tend to think I am not quite flat enough to pull this off. Alas. Maybe if the sweater were tight enough? Hm…

 

UPDATE, June 2013: Maybe I’ve been watching too many couture shows, but I’m now fine with not wearing any bra, if that is what the ensemble calls for, or lends itself to best. Progress. There is still a matter of propriety in our relatively conservative culture but has no bearing on my private fashion fantasies.