pencil it in

On May 18, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

I cannot get enough of midi length skirts and dresses right now, especially in a pencil silhouette. There is a retro ambiance to this length, hemmed somewhere around the calf, that is conservative while still feeling chic.

asos midi jersey pencil skirt

I find this length revealing in all the best ways, much more universally flattering than something that reveals the knee, and drawing attention to the calves and ankles in a way I find particularly feminine. I think this holds for a full or a fitted skirt, it’s all about that length.IMG_9281

The slinky jersey accentuates the pencil silhouette here, creating that fertile tapered curve from the width of the hips to the narrow point of the knees. Clothes that reveal more or less everything but do so with plenty of fabric nearly always come across as sophisticated to me. I positioned the skirt fairly high up on the waist as well, and do I only imagine that I seem taller?

The curvier you are, the better this silhouette looks.

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And white. Of course.

One can imagine this look with a black skirt but…white is definitely the bold, conspicuous way to go. Somehow white skirts are exponentially more appealing to me than white pants. Why is that? I’ll have to think more on that.

I can imagine it with a teal skirt or something along those lines as well, or a bright shoe, but I wanted to keep it duochromatic.

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Remember this necklace?

I like a natural look like this, a peachy/bronzy look with no eyeliner. This is the Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick in Formentera as bronzer/highlighter, NARS Gilda blush, a beautiful matte burnt coral, and Charlotte Tilbury lipstick in Penelope Pink with a little Korres lip glaze over top to pink it up (Penelope Pink is not that pink, despite the name, it’s a really nice nude). The Beach Sticks are lovely, by the way, remind me of the Kjaer Weis cheek creams, and a bit like a NARS multiple upon initial application but with more of a cream-to-powder formula as you blend. Very easy to blend with fingers.

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Try putting a touch of your blush (or bronzer) just above your crease with a loose blending brush to tie everything together. It doesn’t really matter what other colors you may or may not have going on on the lid (I have gold here, incidentally, loving my Lorac PRO palette), it works with anything.

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asos white midi jersey pencil skirt

J Crew silk blouse, asos jersey midi pencil skirt, Zara suede d’orsay pumps, thrifted jewelry.

J Crew polka dot silk blouse

x

 

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: hipster lite

On October 29, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

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Hipster, like feminist, is a term with many variations of meaning. I use it here with an emphasis on the incorporation of unconventional or ‘edgy’/conspicuous elements, the use of color and individual accents. I think a look like this shows how visible just dipping one’s toe in the hipster waters can be. Color, distinct glasses, hair just slightly shorter on the sides and longer on the top than the norm, tattoos. It’s relaxed, even unkempt here and there, but there is just enough of a sense of purposefulness to make it a bit interesting. And it’s not too interesting (not too styled, though that can be a cool look too)…just OK, nice, comfortable.

I like that balance of clothes looking put-together (not necessarily polished but chosen purposefully) as well as made for living in.

on the street: the bowtie

On October 3, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

It may be a function of spending more time in Cambridge than in Boston, but it’s not at all uncommon to see a bowtie around here, whether it’s a traditional or a personalized take. I pretty much enjoy them every time, but especially as a light formal touch on a mature man (where by mature I mean 40+, or maybe younger if they happen to have graying hair*). Maybe because it evokes that rumpled-yet-formal academic look I tend to like?

*which can be so elegant, to my eye.

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There’s no reason bowties can’t be worn in this easy way, no reason they have to feel outdated or theatrical. This gentleman is a great example of how effective adding a small, modest element like this can be. The absence of a vest or blazer and the simple white buttoned shirt, the slightly rolled sleeves, make it so wearable, so casual to me. Take away the bowtie and he blends into the sea of pedestrians. With it, though, I pause to appreciate. Chapeau to the wearers of bowties.

p.s. The next few posts will seem late as I have decamped to another time zone! San Francisco is beautiful, and I’ve got to go buy a towel. I’ll send you a post card.

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