bootie call

On November 17, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

Ah, boot season.

j crew plaid flannel shirt theseventhsphinx

Spring is OK for boots but not sufficiently dry for the suede styles that are my clear favorites (if acquisition is any indicator). This, among so many other reasons, is why autumn reigns supreme. Another reason might be the predominance of plaid, for which I have always harbored a weakness. Perhaps it is my rural upbringing?

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In particular I am craving the extremes of thigh-high and ankle boots. Booties. Bootlets. Much browsing and buying and returning before I discovered these charmers from UGG (which lacks romance but there it is). These have a great cowboy silhouette in the toe, minimal yet sculptural detailing, a great pale wheat color, and the slightly tapered chunky heel that I am drawn to these days.

j crew plaid flannel shirt theseventhsphinx

Isn’t there something wonderfully pristine about a bare, unadorned throat? 

Ripple pearl drops from Pearlescence, Chanel Rouge Noir Illusion d’ombre smoked out with a sepia shade from the Viseart neutral matte palette, MAC Peaches blush (new, loving), MAC prolongwear brow set, Wet n’ Wild Megalast lipstick in Bare it All with Urban Decay 24/7 lip pencil in Naked, which is almost a perfect match, some other stuff you can’t really see…

In the hair I’ve been using the deep repair mask (as a leave-in treatment) and the styling cream (for definition) from the Carol’s Daughter Tiare line. Smells amazing and I like how soft yet defined my hair is. Doing pretty well with my resolution to wear it down more.

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On the nails: Zoya Taylor. Basically a realistic concealer shade for me thanks to a touch of peachy warmth. Really nice color, though the whole time I’ve worn it I’ve wanted to add gold glitter to liven it up. The formula I find OK but it cracks on me within 48 hours or so.

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J Crew flannel shirt, Obi-style leather belt (eBay), Express leggings, Breil Milano watch, Ugg boots, Rough & Tumble bag (more on this bag later, loving this).

I have a few of these obi belts and find them so versatile and sleek. Though I could also like this look without a belt at all, loose and casual, to me the belt is doing so much here to amp up the style factor. The power of a good belt.

Get thee a good belt.

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the winter skirt

On December 22, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

I love the contrast of a short skirt in winter. If otherwise well bundled on a not-too-cold day, it doesn’t have to be woefully impractical. Some tights. Some boots. Legwarmers, maybe. It’s all about that unexpected near-bareness of leg, all the better if there is a bit of thigh on show, too. And near-bareness is key, as true bareness is a) too cold and b) sort of uncomfortable to see, you feel for the sufferer.

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Ankle boots maximize the leg-visibility here, though I really like this kind of look with bulky knee-high winter boots as well. Either way.

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Another great hood. Another winter cape. The arm holes on this one aren’t quite where I want them (meant for a smaller-armed person?), but of course I can’t get enough of this camel color.

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It helps that I’m always selecting the same kinds of colors over and over again, across fashion [and other life] categories, but there is such effortless color harmony here. Effortless in the sense that I did not try to make things match, exactly, I just selected what I wanted and it came together naturally because I so often want the same kind of thing.

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Wool blend cape (thrifted, been a while since I wore it last), pleated corduroy skirt (thrifted), Guess ankle boots, Zara scarf, Free People tote. On the lips: MAC lip pencil in Beet and MAC lipstick in Damn Glamorous (LE), a dark pinky red. NARS Exhibit A blush, which never disappoints me.  These fur-lined mittens are awesome, so warm. Where are they from again? They are linked in a past post somewhere.

These are actually not tights but thigh-high stockings. Secretly kind of sexy, which is in many cases the best kind of sexy, I think, subtle and indirect. Perhaps technically invisible but shining through, somehow, nevertheless.

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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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plaid & leather

On November 3, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

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This is MAC Living Legend lipstick, from their new The Matte Lip collection, much blotted. Their matte formulas are not my favorite (neither my favorite matte formula (NARS velvet matte lip pencil) nor my favorite MAC formula (creamsheen)), they can be patchy and drying at their worst, but they are mostly good (you have to asses on a case by case basis, not uniform in behavior, which is usually the case anyway no matter the brand). For the right color, more than good enough.

[I’ve only just noticed how well it matches my bag! This is what happens when you consistently go for the same shades regardless of context.]

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I like the plaid contrasted with the leather here. Especially such a bright plaid with black leather.

This is not a bad formula for an interesting outfit: put together two very different outfits, each reflecting a uniform aesthetic, wear half of one and half of the other. Or put together three, or four, and so on.

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This is an Essie polish in Dressed to Kilt, a dark blue-toned red from their fall 2014 collection. Once you find a red lipstick you like, try to find a nail polish in that color (or vice versa), odds are good you’ll like it on the nails as well. I should do a post trying to match a lipstick to this. Don’t let me forget.

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Allsaints leather jacket, J Crew oxford plaid shirt (I kind of went to town in the J Crew fall sale…you’ll see), Express tuxedo leggings, New Balance Stadium Jacket sneakers, Free People tote, double-sided faux pearl earrings (eBay, originally a Dior design. Quite cool, I think, though maybe better to wear only one at a time).

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that J Crew look

On October 27, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

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All  I wanted to do yesterday was wear these red shoes. Sometimes my wants are so few.

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It took so many tries before I could find the proportions I wanted for this style. The clean triangle toe, the straps of a particular width and placement. Many (many!) failures before coming across these red suede heels from Steve Madden, which love. Ankle straps get some flack for cutting the leg-lengthening effect heels otherwise have but they have the unquestionable virtue of holding the shoe securely to your foot. Not to mention making such minimal silhouettes as this possible. Anyway, I’m not convinced they negate whatever added height,* and who cares anyhow. If you like them. They’re trending now, and I approve.

*A lot of the supposed optical illusions fashion tricks are meant to conjure are suspect to me. I see what they are getting at but often doubt they are truly working. More common than seeing the illusion is seeing the trick, for me. Not that I don’t employ them when it suits me… Let’s get back to the main text.

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I was in the mood for a pencil skirt and that careless, layered J Crew look took over from there.

This look is so genius, in a way, so easy to tap into, with certain elements ultra-polished and tailored and other elements strategically undone, unkempt. The hair can’t be too precise, the layers can’t be too perfectly aligned. Colorful solids with one bold and colorful pattern peeking through somewhere. Natural face with the possible exception of a red lip.

Usually their looks are a bit too fussy looking for me, with only the thinnest veneer of  unfussiness or carelessness superimposed, but I like the color and pattern play and can like them as a starting point (or outright, once in a while).

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I got another cap, because this hair/hat combo had to be reprised.

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I am trying to make a firm reminder for myself that I should do this all the time. Leave hair down! Squash with hat!

UGH. SO GOOD.

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Oh, here’s one thing you can do with black lipstick. Avon lip pencil in deep plum with the NYX Macaron lipstick in Chambord (which is just black) in the center. Basically taking the bordeaux lip to its natural extreme. I like. You like? I like.

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J Crew linen sweater, thrifted plaid shirt, J Crew No. 2 pencil skirt, Steve Madden Abagail heels, Free People vegan leather tote, pearl ring from Pearl Paradise, Solange Azagury-Partridge lips ring, jasper necklace (eBay) as bracelet, Nike FC Barcelona cap.

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