on the street: the white shirt

On November 12, 2013 by theseventhsphinx


Making a mental note that white is especially vibrant on an overcast day.

trick or…candy corn

On November 2, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

 Fashion contains the potential for renewal and transformation. 

The more costumes one has, the more fantasy personas one can adopt. 

                                        – Edith Gould


Action shot.

Halloween is such a great idea.

This would be the wig that caused the current wig surplus. I like it so much, unexpectedly. I’m going to try to work with it in a non-costume context.


Storm is so badass. And she features my favorite colors: black, white, gold. I cobbled this look together from a few interpretations, taking any elements I liked. One had these incredible earrings on…


3″ long lightning bolts. Got them on eBay, this vendor had many options for color and finish, and even larger sizes. These I will be wearing again. The medallion belt I’ve had for a while and should obviously wear more, though I think not with this catsuit. This catsuit is the worst.

What makes the costume especially straightforward: this kind of stony, don’t-make-me-come-over-there look is the kind of face I make all the time, anyway.


So I spent 20 minutes trying to put in white-out contacts while my eyelids/lashes heroically (so they thought) batted them out, which contacts impair vision (so you can imagine that got easier as I went along), only to discover that they weren’t very noticeable in photos (all of the ones I tried with them were no good). They just looked like glaucoma. I’ll never see that $15 again. Instead I have shoddily painted my eyeballs white for bonus festivity. Happy Halloweeeeen…


Imagine the wig with an otherwise completely normal outfit? That’s happening later.

I know they are just sugar but I love candy corn.


this month in shopping ii: dresses

On August 20, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

There is no doubt a new dress is a help under all circumstances.

                                                                  –Noel Streatfeild, Ballet Shoes


[I don’t necessarily mean this month exactly. I mean, the last while. Roughly the last month-shaped distance into the past, with the caveat that my sense of time is often fluid and imprecise, so it could be more like two months…or three. What does it matter? Why am I telling you?]

Yes! So! Shopping!

[vendor images]

Lately a lot of dresses have caught my eye. As little as 4 years ago I didn’t have that many, really (? maybe this is not at all true?), at least not that many I wore, but I identified in myself a desire for more that I would wear. I have probably too many now.

[I am sometimes too much for even myself.]

Here are some recent additions sharing a common denominator of comfortable, no-fuss fabrics and casual yet easily escalated style. In other respects, though, they are all over the place.

My favorite summer look right now is this Grecian-style sleeveless tunic dress from American Apparel, the drawstring tank dress. The fabric is thin enough to give wonderfully crisp pleats, and the quantity of fabric used is generous enough to make a lot of them. Waiting for a sale with AA is so worthwhile (to me kind of the only way it is worthwhile) – in some colors these are $12 right now. Wore this to a party and got nicknamed Andromeda. Don’t even pretend you don’t want that to happen to you.

rsa0304_offwhiteAlso pleased with this open back maxi dress from GoJane, quite plain in the front and then the stunning surprise of the entirely open back (which you know I like). When the draping of the fabric is right a maxi dress can be everything I want it to be. Also, had to get it in black.


With autumn in mind, and I am the kind of person who always has autumn in mind, the long-sweatshirt dress from UK brand Hush, the Two Tone Sloppy Joe dress –which I’ve been eying for a good year, and don’t think the liking is going to go away– was (is!) on sale, and I jumped.

joe4-grna-01 joe4-grna-02A lot of the time with style I think: if you can’t see the appeal here, I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to explain it. We’ve got the classic two-tone baseball design injecting a certain all-American wholesome approachability, a comfy, rumpled boyfriend-sweater look contrasting with the delight of a rather short hemline…I don’t often find this word useful, or even interesting, but this dress is just sexy to me. Like, En Vogue Don’t Let Go sexy. This is a testament to the untrustworthiness of how things look on hangers.

I keep going back and forth about which I like better: loose or tight fitting dresses. While I concede that loose dresses are friendlier in almost every way, I keep finding body-hugging options compelling…and I keep getting them. Picked up a few in the American Apparel summer sale for so cheap. $6 cheap. I like both the long sleeve and the short sleeve  styles. AA has its issues, inconsistent quality, murky leadership, wacky sizing, but they have brilliant color options (images show colors I got) and when I like something from them, I really like it. These do kind of show every cookie…but I say they are versatile.


rsa8358_seablueOn a slightly fancier note, also love this simply draped viscose skater dress by Motel (via asos). I hadn’t been tempted by the skater skirt trend until I saw this, a really pleasing combination of loose and revealing. I like the version with long sleeves, too.


It is really short, but I am not uniformly against that. I think it’s part of the charm here.

In the current era of ready-to-wear [that is, no tailoring (really want to start tailoring things, though – something beyond hemming, which is all my skill level is really up for so far)] you need luck to have something fit well, especially something structured, non-stretchy, zippered, etc. It comes down to the silhouette the company is cutting for, and whether your body is in accord or not. My shoulders are a lot bigger than most companies anticipate, for example. With all of these I tried them on and there was that moment of surprised delight – it hasn’t got anything wrong with it.

more white stuff: Supergas

On July 16, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

If you’re going to wear all white…you need white shoes.


I wanted something casual, something very like Converse, with the versatility and casual style of Converse…but maybe not quite Converse. Something unfamiliar and new. Maybe something more in the classic tennis sneaker silhouette….And so I browsed.

months elapse

Finally I went for these classic Supergas (via Zappos). A few weeks after coming across the brand online I saw a woman on the train wearing some red ones with a dress and some funky glasses, which was advertisement enough. Supergas are like the Converse of Italy, with a sturdier canvas upper and a [much] heavier sole (though both benefit from some kind of insole). They have pleasing seam detailing along the sides that makes them more interesting than the ultra-plain tennis shoes (why are they called that? You couldn’t properly play tennis in them at all – they have almost zero support) in addition to being better constructed and more durable. [And here is a random tidbit for you: Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen are the current artistic directors of Superga.]


They have the inbuilt impracticality of all white things vulnerable to stain and wear, and we know how I like impracticality. [As if one pair of impractical white shoes were not enough.] I’ve treated them with a fabric protector to extend the life as long as possible but I understand this can only accomplish so much. So be it.

strawberries & cream

On July 11, 2013 by theseventhsphinx


My latest impulse buy is a very properly stringy kind of string bikini, with triangles none too generous in size and with little strawberries on it. We are perhaps approaching the line. I think it’s so cute, though things being so cute does not usually make my purchase a forgone conclusion…it’s like white (which I love), only cuter than white, I think is what happened.



How glam is this hat? I theorize that it would posh up any outfit. Excellent sun protection, too, if a bit of an umbrella-like liability. This is an 8″ brim (compare with this one, which is 5″ and I would say still quite dramatic).  I actually tried on a 10″ brim but was outdone. 10″ is too much for even me.



Bikini from Pret-à-Surf (via The Outnet), skirt from some shop in Santa Fe, sun hat from San Diego Hat Co., [cheapo] wayfarer-style sunglasses from eBay, pearl studs from Pearl Paradise*, pearl bracelet from eBay, espadrille wedges from Eric Michael.

*I am loving how they stand out against the backdrop of the hat brim. So often modestly sized earrings get lost in the chaos. Do you need any more convincing that pearls would be a salutary addition to your life? If so, wait until next week.