tennis whites

On June 2, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

Anyone looking at the number of tennis skirts I’ve amassed would guess I play a lot more than I do. The process of shopping for my tennis wardrobe is a prime example of aspirational acquisition. I want to play more, and I want the way I look to reflect that. Want to look as if I do play.

[Which I do, though, while I am not bad, I am not what I would call good yet, either.]

I want to be inspired to be the kind of player I look as if I might be, and dress like the player I want to be (dress “up” – ready parallels here with dressing like the person you want to be). There is always power in looking the part.*

*Did you see this video of the homeless veteran who has a makeover that changes his life? Did I mention this already?

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And tennis has the best outfits.

I know that the tradition of white is all tied up in the sport’s aristocratic heritage and is fundamentally impractical…but I love white. And white just looks better and better as the summer wears on and I gradually bronze up and bleach out.

I mentioned planning to feature some tennis gear a while ago when I mentioned getting this watch, but somehow or another kept getting thwarted.

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I prefer skirts to dresses, tennis-wise, but the dresses have their charm, too. They are both so adorably unnecessary. Such a quaint holdover, dismissed long ago by every other sport I can bring to mind.* Such an instantly recognizable uniform (and any uniform may also be a costume: I was a tennis player for Halloween once, effortlessly). The option to wear them is too good to pass up.

*I could think up some feminist issues with this but I don’t feel like it. They are cute. I like them.

This particular dress is forgiving of how out of shape I am at the moment.  [Shall we blame winter? Even though it was a while ago now? Let’s blame winter.] You may not be able to tell…so much the better.

Pure Lime tennis dress, Fila visor (this is key), Adidas racquet bag (this one is enormous, I carry everything in it), Wilson BLX Pro Open racquet, Saucony sneakers. I like tenniswarehouse.com for this kind of gear, which has great sales now and then and a number of useful guides. I like to pick and choose across brands in this context as in any other.

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Yes, I really do wear the wristbands.

I’ll have to show you some of the classic pleated tennis skirts I have, which have to be my favorites. Or do I like the sleeker ones best? It matters not.

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the bohemian

On November 17, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

I borrowed some lovely pearl pieces from the Etsy shop bluebirrrd dreams and, when Sarah, the shop owner, mentioned she loved wearing the lariat necklace as a bracelet, the look I envisioned took a most welcome turn for the bohemian. One of my favorite alter-egos.

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I like the mixing of texture and color that often accompanies a bohemian look. The aesthetic is that of a happy jumble, and the profusion of irregular peacock pearls makes for an appealing accent. The careless, rumpled elements just improve the look. Conveniently.

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I like long necklaces, which has come up already, and I particularly like a lariat; essentially one long string with no clasp that can be arranged as you please. This one has beautiful peacock coloring.

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The sun was not cooperating today. Dubious interior background.  [See that box? That box is full of wigs.]

Doc Martens, H&M leg warmers, Ralph Lauren Rugby cardigan, and…I can’t remember where the rest of this stuff is from. Variously thrifted. On the nails; Essie polish in Sew Psyched. On the lips; Lipstick Queen lipstick in Jean Queen*.

*I’ll talk more about this later, this formula is genius, more a luxe tinted balm, and this particular color is one of the most subtle and flattering pinks I’ve come across.

This eyeshadow is from MakeupGeek in the shade Goddess. Lovely sepia! Unfortunately it is almost perpetually out of stock.

Here I realize the cherry blossom pearl drop earrings I’ve borrowed would be fitting for this look, too.

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This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. Featured pearls are on loan from Bluebirrrd Dreams.

the bicycle

On November 14, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

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After looking for a Dutch style step-through for a while I settled on this one, the Public C7i. It has a classic European aesthetic and features an internal hub on the rear wheel for smooth shifting and protection of the gears. Rides beautifully. The basket is a Nantucket oval basket with the plaque removed.

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There’s something parisienne about this look; the stripes, the length of the skirt…I like this silhouette. Currently preoccupied with [looking for] skirts that hit somewhere between the calf and the sweet spot just below the knee.

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Why not match one’s lipstick to one’s bike?

Navy linen skirt from asos, Arizona Jeans shirt (in my new favorite color), Steve Madden flats, Free Authority fedora (which is not practical, on a bike), Pearls of Joy 8-9mm studs. On the lips, Tom Ford lipstick in Cherry Lush.

 

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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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the full skirt

On October 26, 2013 by theseventhsphinx
Do not look upon all this that I am telling you about the clothes
as uncalled for or spun out, for they have a great deal to do with the story.

                                     – Cervantes, Don Quixote

Some mornings I wake and wonder: if I could wear anything that day,  truly anything I want…what would I wear?

Then, I wear that.

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IMG_7800I recommend it.

There are certain eras of style that resonate with me, notably including the Victorian era (technically 1837-1901, a lot happened but I like the later years) and stages of early America, roughly the 1840s and extending maybe a decade on either side; the era of pioneers and the gold rush, of saloons and prairies.  We still have prairies…but I mean the ones after which the dresses are named. You know the ones.

I love this shape, the full A-line. I’m glad to see more and more knee and calf-length bell skirts out and about (see minute 1:45), and plan to get in on that, too.  I embraced the historic aspect here, pairing the skirt with an old-fashioned top and hairstyle, but imagine it with no crinoline and a T-shirt. I don’t see why there would be anything unwearable about it. Who cares about this “wearability” anyway? If you want to wear it? This shirt would be nice with just jeans…but there will be other days for that.

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For me style is sometimes less about looking polished or “stylish” and more about a very specific kind of wish fulfillment or direct expression. In the first case clothing often feels to me like armor that helps me to interface with the world in a way that preserves my individuality and independence; a contemporary uniform that makes it easier to behave like my best public self, designed with the purpose of being worn in this culture, in this era. In the second case of style as fantasy, style as an interpretation of a vision that would get some strange looks on the street, clothing is the opposite of armor, the unprotected translation of self. Such looks are designed with really no purpose save the delight of the self. They are manifestations of my own projections of myself within myself.

Looked at another way, I have a tableau in mind, just like any magazine editorial, and I am the model and creative director in one.

Looked at another way, style is personal.

IMG_7806Civil war era reproduction camp skirt (thrifted) with crinoline (eBay), lace top (thrifted, which I ought to have steamed), obi sash/belt (eBay), Bass oxford pumps (thrifted), Pearls of Joy 10-11mm pearl studs, lace parasol (a gift), vintage Timex watch.

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Wear what you want.

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