This generic stocking cap/beanie has been sitting in my closet for years, forgotten (why did I ever get it in the first place?), but I came across it on a bad hair day recently and what do you know, I like it. It has the effect [like baldness, or very short hair, or a swimming cap] of isolating and so throwing a spotlight on the face, which results in a whole new set of instincts about presentation. Namely, I want to wear unprecedented volumes of eyeliner.
After years of passively owning both the stocking cap and this cute little whale patch (which I think I got when I was 10 or so, and have somehow preserved all this time), I finally happened to think of them both in the same moment, gathered needle and thread (I sewed a thing!), and lo, a new and improved hat was born.
Theorize that part of me has the precise aesthetic appreciation of a little Korean girlchild*.
*Exhibit A: my current cellphone charm is a stuffed baby turtle:
I want to wear it all the time now, provided eyeliner. And black eyeliner, too, which I almost never wear. Like so:
I like accessories like this; something slightly out of my normal style range that inspires me not to look like myself and to experiment with entirely new patterns. Thus expanding my range and allowing for still greater expansion.
The only thing is, once I put it on, I am committed. Can’t really take it off…disaster underneath. [This is the trouble with hats, for me. Also my head is kind of big?]
Still, satisfying to have raised a dormant object up into a state of usability.
There is only so much padded enhancement can do with a 34A chest. They are just…small. I don’t envy the more generously endowed, however. Quite the opposite. I think my modest bust suits the athletic silhouette I favor and, rather than seek to make my chest look as large as possible (though that can be fun), I often like to give a more straightforward representation.
Here are some soft, unpadded lingerie pieces I think do this well, and create that lithe, nipple-friendly look that is to me so French. I’m thinking Vanessa Paradis in La fille sur la pont; that tight sweater and what looks like no bra at all. There is perhaps something slightly risqué in failing to hide that you have nipples (surprise!) but I like this element of it as well, and find the effect youthful and natural, especially in the contexts of certain types of shirts/outfits. There is something alluring in the more soft, yielding appearance unpadded lingerie provides. And: comfortable. In the case of the American Apparel pieces below I often like to have them showing under loose, open, or transparent layers; effectively treating them as I would a bathing suit top.
And, of course, there is the option of nothing…though I tend to think I am not quite flat enough to pull this off. Alas. Maybe if the sweater were tight enough? Hm…
UPDATE, June 2013: Maybe I’ve been watching too many couture shows, but I’m now fine with not wearing any bra, if that is what the ensemble calls for, or lends itself to best. Progress. There is still a matter of propriety in our relatively conservative culture but has no bearing on my private fashion fantasies.