silk charmeuse & lace

On February 8, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

Speaking of lingerie, here’s a recent acquisition I am loving. A silk charmeuse chemise from Sapphire Bliss, a brand with a small collection of intimates, quite reasonably priced (especially when they have a sale to close out the discontinued styles, like this one) and with beautiful fabrics. Around the same time I purchased another chemise from another brand, more expensive and dramatically less nice, a cheap rayon blend that was basically a mass of static cling. Returned that, kept this.

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I love a chemise, whether worn as a night shirt, a slip, or (especially) as a luxe camisole. I look for light, expensive feeling fabrics and good quality lace. Cheap lace is not hard to spot, for one it’s not very expensive, for another it’s often bulky, thick (not delicate) and bland, maybe even familiar because you’ve seen it before in some other inexpensive application. Sometimes tacky (the color, for example, or the scale of the pattern), and sometimes poorly constructed. Good lace is not hard to spot, either. Usually it’s on good fabric, is one tip-off, and vice versa.

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Silk charmeuse is a nice variation on silk, charmeuse being a thin satin weave – threads woven such that one side of the fabric is glossy and one dull. You can also find poly charmeuse but it doesn’t breath as well as silk, just as you would suspect. It can be quite nice, though, too, and hardy. I also like the silk camisoles from J Crew, as a plain option.

A sufficiently elegant chemise can easily do double duty as a chic tank top, and pairs beautifully with a blazer. Such a versatile piece. Slightly longer and you’ve got a dress, a look that was trendy last fall (and still fair game, I think).

A visible piece of lingerie, tastefully done, can add an intimate, vulnerable touch to an outfit. These are fabrics you want to touch, that look, even at a distance, wonderfully soft and smooth. I like such elements, that draw people in, that make the clothing an extension of or bridge to the skin rather than a simple shell or covering.

 

keeping it minimal

On January 8, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

My style efforts of late are not much to speak of. The coldest days of the year are upon us here in the northeast, and staying warm is the prime directive. But look! I put on some false eyelashes. Short individuals. It’s hard to see on camera but they make an incredible difference in person. For one they are dark, and my lashes, while healthy enough, are pale, and don’t announce themselves. They are nice but, you know, no one is writing sonnets about them.* I can see why people speak of becoming addicted to false lashes. The effect, even of short, modest ones with only one coat of brown mascara, is, basically: BOOM.

*Not one sonnet. It strikes me I hardly know any of the right people in this life.

Eyelashes, those quintessentially female attributes, shorthand for femaleness in all manner of cartoony contexts. As everyone knows, though, full, heavy lashes are appealing on absolutely everyone, at every age. I don’t know why I can’t bring myself to be very interested in mine, though I suppose there’s no logic behind what does interest me, either. Sometimes I learn that I can make some moderate effort to achieve a pleasing effect and I’m delighted, and adopt it immediately, and sometimes I am untouched. Eyelashes are like that for me. I amp them up as a novelty now and then and I like how it looks, think it looks better in a sense, even…but evidently do not care about looking better in that sense. Like when you have some power at your disposal and it is the possession of the power that matters, not the wielding of it.

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J Crew cashmere hat, Old Navy sweater

Most days my face is something like this. Probably a bit more boring than this, even. Or a lot more boring, though maybe you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference…who can say with faces. This is the Glossier face tint, which I like very well so far, high in silicone so it feels like a primer, extremely sheer but really the closest I’ve seen to something undetectable on the skin. Reminds me in texture of Armani Luminous Silk foundation. It doesn’t cover much (not sure how buildable yet) but that is rarely my intention anyway. What I want from a foundation product, if anything, is a gentle evening of skin tone without some dreadful sacrifice of skin-like texture.

On the cheeks my favorite, favorite blush of the moment, Tarte cheek stain in Natural Beauty, a deep rosy color that does look natural on me, about like the color my cheeks actually turn in the cold. Also undetectable if I’ve done a good job, which if I take more than 8 seconds I usually do. Fewer and the results are sometimes questionable.

CoverGirl Clump Crusher mascara, which liking as well despite the plasticky/silicone wand (these I typically do not enjoy). MAC Fanfare lipstick, which so glad I picked up recently! A faultless nude pink that isn’t too pale, like so many popular nude pinks are on me. It’s one of the colors my lips often simply are, one of their more flushed shades…they have many shades, depending on humidity and hydration levels, blood flow, etc. All nice, it should be said. All just what they should be. But a girl likes to have options.

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Isn’t winter exhausting? I seem busy (working), cold, and so tired all of the time. I am not dull, but I can appear so in such conditions.

Innocent winter, so little deserving of blame here.

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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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the winter cape

On December 1, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

Of course you’ve seen capes here before. And before. Here’s a wool plaid number, another Zara find.

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I just kept layering on the navy here. I like how subtle this plaid is, both colors quite muted and dark, and the jumbo size of the pattern is appealing as well.

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The hood is massive and somewhat bizarrely lined with this dark green feathery faux fur. It works, though, I think. Makes it nice and heavy, too.

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Zara cape (out of stock online but they have a lot of others), Free People corduroys and tote, Sorel boots, J Crew scarf. On the lips: NARS pure matte lip cream in Terre de Feu (looks quite different in this light, it’s not quite this bright).

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the hooded parka

On November 24, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

Surely winter could not come and go without at least the consideration of a new coat. Surely.

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And wouldn’t you know it, I found one! An olive green parka with a fur lined hood, like I’ve been hoping to find for ages. Ages I tell you. Cotton, not down, but still quite heavy and warm, and not $600. Not inexpensive, either, but that’s a coat for you.

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It’s getting to be that time where the fashion element of the site consists of various outerwear and protective gear. I do love coats, but still. It’s going to be a lot of coats. A lot of a few coats. One does want to look just as stylish with or without a coat, true. I’ll be mostly wearing thermal shirts and sweaters underneath them so will probably look a good deal more put together with the coat on, but one does long for the days of bare arms and wearing whatever one wants.

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Two scarves!

Zara parka, Express Jeans, Jeffrey Campbell France Strapped boots (I do like olive and rust together). On the lips: MAC lipstick in Hang Up, a deep raspberry bordeaux, which liking very much. I need to do another bordeaux lip round up, I think. Have found several I like since the first one.

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I can’t get enough of dramatic hoods and collars, and dramatic necklines in general. Fur is an easy way to achieve this kind of massive sculptural volume around the shoulders and/or throat, and I’m always lamenting that some of the old school strategies have gone out of style, i.e. ruffs and vertiginously high collars. A generous hood can be such a pleasing frame for the head and shoulders when down (think the massively hooded cloaks the women are wearing throughout the Danish film Babette’s Feast – excellent film btw), it’s almost a shame to put it up. Then, though, up it is a completely different kind of pleasing frame.

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