the tuxedo blazer

On March 10, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

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One of the trends I like is that of the casual tuxedo blazer, especially with worn-in boyfriend jeans.

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You know how there’s this kind of transition area between the lips and the not-lips, maybe 1-2mm? I was experimenting with coloring that area in (I usually don’t), to maximize the lip territory. It had a pretty dramatic effect to me, a little weird (unfamiliar) but not technically overdrawn (which nearly always looks off), just… bigger. This reminds me of my thoughts about pearl stud sizes, and how 1mm can make such a difference in the appearance of the size. Faces aren’t very big, was the conclusion; small changes have an amplified effect.

I went to the grocery store after this and an 8 year-old boy actually craned his head as far as it would go to watch my lips walk by, his mouth slack with distraction. This speaks to makeup being both arresting and slightly scary. I get a lot of positive feedback from this 8 and under demographic – the younger the child, the more bright lipstick seems to delight them. I’m right there with you, kids. What will those wacky giants do next? I don’t know either!

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Wool tuxedo blazer from Isabel Marant for H&M, AG jeans (thrifted), J. Crew cardigan, Old Navy camisole, Adidas Spezial sneakers, Pearl Paradise golden akoya studs, scarab necklace. On the lips: Revlon matte lipstick in Really Red (I’m sure I’ve mentioned before how much I like these Revlon matte lipsticks) with a dark red Avon pencil…Cabaret or something? And this is the NARS Exhibit A blush again, which I like as much as ever. I find it quite youthful, not a sophisticated tawny shade but a true blood-in-the-cheeks, fresh-from-the-cold shade.

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AND: Hurrah for daylight savings.

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the mid-length gloves

On February 17, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

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The wrist-length (or not quite wrist-length) glove is smart and sleek, the standard winter glove around 2 inches past the wrist is practical—though a bit dull without any inherent charm of its own—, the opera or elbow-length and beyond glove is formal and elegant…and then there is this length: a few inches short of the elbow but decidedly long. This length strikes me as an excellent modern compromise; neither the (now very bold/costumey) elbow length common in the 19th century nor the short (quaint, retro) day gloves of the early 20th century. And they are not the standard issue glove, either. They are something a bit new to the casual ensemble, and this gives them the ring of style.

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To accentuate this out-of-the-ordinary feel I chose a dark purple shade instead of brown or black.

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I only took my jacket off for a moment to show what was underneath. One really needed a jacket.

Warm climate style mavens really have the rest of us at an advantage.

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I’m squinting slightly due to the wind and end up look like a reserved matriarch or something. I kind of like it.

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This look features a bunch of textures, which I like doing lately. I think I will always like doing that.

Tweed coat (thrifted) with fur collar (eBay), monki scarf, Sorel boots, leather gloves (thrifted), J Crew buttoned shirt, Cotton Candy (?!*) skirt, golden akoya pearl studs from Pearl Paradise, love necklace via asos (right, like I was saying, cute things in moderation), Mulberry bag (thrifted), Japonesque Velvet Touch blush (which will tell you about soon). On the lips: Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Esprit. This sheer lipstick is blotted, with a bit of a pink Rimmel pencil (Pure) added to the center such that the color fades to nothing at the edges. Nothing too precise about it (that irregular have-been-eating berries stain effect), and I would experiment with this kind of gradation more.

*Where do I get this stuff.

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the long pencil skirt

On December 19, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

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Regardless of where the waistband sits I like pencil skirts that hit at this point just below the knee, still showing the full curve of the calf. There is something shapely to me about the combination of what is and what is not revealed.

The pearl set* is a bit prim with the turtleneck—a turtleneck sweater tucked into a high waisted pencil skirt being already in that clean, preppy Ralph Lauren vein—but I am myself a bit prim, and I like sometimes to look it. This necklace is stunning, too, a metallic lavender freshwater strand with rosy overtones that Pearls of Joy sent over. Metallics are a special, relatively rare pearlcreature of their own.

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* These are complementary but not literally a set. I mean pearl earrings and a pearl necklace together, which can seem like too much (or too formal). Sometimes, though, I like to be too much. “Too much”, or maybe “a little bit too much”, is not a bad description of my style.

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This would have been a good opportunity for a belt, though I like the uncluttered color block look, too.

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One thing I like especially about a high waisted silhouette is the expanse of the full…haunch, I guess you would call it, in profile. I like clothes like this, that obscure the body without disguising it or breaking up its natural lines. The outfit is conservative in its coverage yet sensual in its silhouette.

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Long No. 2 pencil skirt from J. Crew (thrifted), French Connection turtleneck sweater (via Marshall’s), Zara pumps (thrifted), fingerless gloves (eBay), Mulberry bag (thrifted), natural golden akoya earrings from Pearl Paradise, metallic lavender freshwater pearl necklace from Pearls of Joy. On the lips: Dr. Hauschka lip balm (which we love).

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cashmere & leather

On November 30, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

Certain combinations become more than the sum of their parts: Champagne and oysters, Roquefort and Sancerre (which I urge you to try), hot cocoa and whipped cream, pretzels and dark chocolate…cashmere and leather.

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I am no avid proponent of cashmere, generally preferring softer cotton blends, but it is warm and in this crewneck sweater I found a price/texture/color combination that I like. I do like a crewneck.

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These color combinations are a flaunting of the oft-repeated guidelines not to pair navy or brown with black. Can anyone fail to notice that black and brown are in fact phenomenal together? That black and navy, too, can be entirely pleasing? Along with navy and any shade of gray? Navy and any other blue? Navy and taupe?

By all means, match your shoes to your belt if it comforts you, but these things really must be determined on a case by case basis.

IMG_9956Express jean leggings, AllSaints leather jacket, Everlane cashmere sweater, J Crew silk camisole, Steve Madden pumps, faux fur collar (eBay), fingerless mittens (eBay), Pearls of Joy 9mm studs. On the lips: Lipstick Queen Saint lipstick in Berry.

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monochrome: camel

On November 10, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

Clothes are never a frivolity: they always mean something, and that something

is to a large extent outside the control of our conscious minds. 

                                                 — James Laver

 

These warm, oaky leather browns and their compatriots are favorites of mine. There are elements of this shade in my hair and skin as well, so it becomes almost creepily monochromatic in a certain light.

Yes, another full skirt. This look a more contemporary take, and I think I make my point that it can look more or less ‘wearable’ with this. Maybe.

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Love the seam detail on the back of this jacket.

IMG_9089Then, because this is what I saw in my vision,* I wanted to see it with glasses.

* You know, the visions you have of future outfits and tableaux as you fall asleep. I’m sure you know the ones.

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Skirt from eBay, scuba-style leather jacket from black rivet, J Crew tee shirt, TOMS chestnut wedges, glasses from zennioptical.com. On the lips: Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Esprit (this tinted balm formula is gorgeous). And I wore a little eyeshadow!

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