Today, I took a shapeless, elastic-waisted skirt in a forgettable floral print and turned it to something that no longer belongs in my “For Salvation Army” pile. For years, this (formerly) unfortunate Chico’s skirt hung forlorn and neglected in the back of my closet, and more recently, in a brown paper bag marked for donation. My mom had found it at a secondhand store and bought it for me because “I thought you liked long floral skirts!” She was right – I did like them – back when I was in 8th grade and I’d wear them with Doc Martens. Plus it was Chico’s… not really my cuppa tea.
The first time I had heard of Chico’s was when I moved to the U.S. for college, and would spend hours in front of the TV catching up on years of missed American programming. This included cheesy daytime soaps and trashy talk shows, peppered with commercials for stay-at-home mom-friendly brands. I don’t know if anyone remembers the old Chico’s commercials, but they were always so corny: woman in mid-30’s standing on a rock on the beach, talking about how it’s a “Chico’s kind of day.” I cringe at the memory.
The other day, I was sorting one last time through my donations and I dug up this skirt. As I held it up to the light squinting, for a brief second I caught a glimpse of Kate Moss boho-meets-rocker-chic potential. I was intrigued, so I put myself to the task of testing the vision. It was really just a matter of subtracting some sweet by adding some edge: white boyfriend tank, favorite Helmut Lang black button shirt with the sleeves rolled up,vintage leather/leopard print belt, antique gold chain and shoes for the occasion– dusty gold skimmers for day or sexy gladiator sandals for night.
I have to say, the test was a personal success in that not only have I decided to keep the skirt – I’m actually really looking forward to wearing it.
So sorry, Salvation Army.
Read Full Post »
Blue and I have a complex history. For a brief time in my childhood it was my favorite color. For most of my life it’s been my least favorite. And little by little, over the course of about two years, I’ve slowly begun to regain respect for this hue in a highly unexpected way.
The story goes like this: blue was my favorite color from about ages 8-11, mostly because it felt cooler than pink which was starting to feel babyish. Then I started taking art classes and began studying the color wheel and mixing shades – and I grew a particular distaste for aqua, cerulean, and baby blue, all of which felt annoyingly twee. I began discovering way cooler non-pink colors like slate gray and olive green and taupe. And then, blue started to feel…well, rather pedestrian. So I dismissed it for a long time.
The rekindling began subtly with navy, because it wasn’t overtly blue and was a sophisticated alternative to black. Prussian came into the picture too, with a lovely hand-me-down scarf from my mother in a Burberry-esque plaid print. Royal blue was a distinct blue purchase last December in the form of a silk 80’s secretary-style dress on sale at Banana Republic, at a price that could not be ignored. And then came Kate Winslet in her Yves Klein blue SAG dress this past spring, and it was at this moment that I was ready to admit that I liked blue again.
A month ago, while scouring Shopstyle.com for harem pants (another current obsession), I came across a pair of watery, storm blue silk pants by Maje, that had to be mine. In two days I was holding them – fluid, drapey raw silk, high-waisted and cinched with an elegant sash. I keep the pants clipped on my very best pant hanger and hang them on the sole hook on the inside of my of my closet door. This way, I can see them in their full glory every time I open my closet.
I wear them with a simple, thin white tank tucked in, and merchandise it with just one accessory – sexy Russian Red lipstick from MAC. Absolute perfection.
Read Full Post »
It’s terribly difficult for me to say no to ice cream, especially when it’s mint chocolate chip in the summer. There’s something so perfect about that combination of cool and creamy when the weather is warm and you’re out for a post-dinner stroll. I went with the kiddy-sized cup and the guy packed it to the edges, leaving me feeling particularly indulged and somewhat childish in my delight with that. But the best part was that it came with a long, parfait-style spoon. I am bizarrely obsessed with long stemmed utensils. They feel elegant…and they also keep a safe distance from stickiness (I always eat my oatmeal with a long stemmed spoon). And I absolutely loved the pink color of the spoon against the mint green of the ice cream– it reminded me of my bedroom when I was little. I made it home just as the rain drops started, and even managed to save my last bite for a picture.
Read Full Post »