on the street: the pom pom

On December 14, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

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Winter is that time of year when those of all ages can get away with an otherwise unacceptable preponderance of pom poms. When the temperature drops suddenly I can forgive all manner of ridiculous and excessively cute hats. I am even sometimes charmed. This slouchy take on the classic winter pom pom knit hat looks great here, I think. The oversized pom adds a youthful, playful touch to the casually stylish neutrals.

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I’ve yet to find a winter hat that I genuinely like and want to wear, and prefer to the absence of a hat. Hair problems, in part, but there’s also the issue of the hats being too cute. Cute is not really my look. That is, cutesy. Once in a while I’ll toe the line and am usually self-conscious as a result because it is unnatural to me. Or I’ll adopt an element that is abstractly cute but in the context of the rest of me it isn’t cute anymore; I overwhelm the cuteness until it reads more like eccentricity, or editorial—which is often a synonym for unwearable, in fashion—flair. This is my theory.

*Though these are external perspectives, and not words I use about myself or find internally useful (‘sexy’ being another term I would not even think of without a gaze, without an other), because I cannot see myself without knowing that I am myself, rendering objective judgments largely irrelevant/impossible. The age-old problem of being oneself.

Adorability does seem like one of those things you cannot achieve on purpose, though, anyway (except quite good actors, maybe, and even this is in the eye of the beholder). Ex. any given toddler in that stage where they realize that people think they are cute when they do certain things, and promptly stop being particularly cute. Premeditation spoils the whole effect.

I’m looking at hats, though. There are a few under consideration. We’ll see. One has a pom pom and little hearts. There is a possibility I’ll have to redact most of this post.

on the street: the hooded cape

On December 10, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

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A charcoal heather tweed hooded cape at that great upper-mid thigh length.

I think we also have some fingerless leather gloves going on here, and a recent trip to Benefit*. I approve all around.

*And, by chance, some of the least flattering backdrops Back Bay has to offer. I kind of like the alley/dumpster backdrop, though. There’s a weird contrast there. I’m also kind of liking how only her knee is in focus. 

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OK, so, yes. There is something not quite convenient about capes and cloaks. Less flexibility of movement, sometimes, not so warm as a snug design, can be awkward to carry bags, especially if you like to make use of your shoulders, etc. But it is easy to throw them on over a bulky sweater, or over another jacket for that matter, and I find them well suited to the transitional seasons when it’s cold enough to need some kind of outerwear but not quite time for a hat and gloves. And just look. All of the cons are like so many puffs of smoke when you see one in action. Especially, especially one with a hood. Which I want now very much.

on the street: the gent

On September 22, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

                 Style is not something applied. It is something inherent, something that permeates.

                 It is of the nature of that in which it is found, whether the poem, the manner of a god,

                  the bearing of a man. It is not a dress.

                                               – Wallace Stevens, Two or Three Ideas. 1951

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This ultra-civilized tableau stopped me in my tracks. The hat, the coffee, the satchel, the book…the comfortably crossed legs and arms, the slightly open button-down. I am immediately ready to put my faith in this man’s aesthetic sensibilities. He was so absorbed that he didn’t notice me at first. When he did he asked good-naturedly (and with the faintest of what I’m guessing was a Scandinavian accent, which would explain everything) if the picture had turned out. “Not half bad!” I told him, smiling to give away that I liked it very well indeed.

Readers, here is a lesson in how to spot a gentleman.

In other news, autumn is shaping up here in Boston.

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