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Posts from the ‘ways to wear’ Category

ways to wear: cropped jeans

It’s been awhile since I did a fashion post, and I’m feeling a little rusty. I also have a new photographer. Thus far, Cuz is far superior to Tom in all ways as a blog photographer. She does not whine, does not ask “how many more outfits” or “is that new/how much did that cost,” and most importantly, does not try to position me in a manner such that she can watch the game on the TV at the same time. I thank her for her service.

I love cropped jeans. They’re unfussy, a concession to my tomboy past, and I just prefer them to regular jeans, year-round. So with all the cropped jeans being offered these days, I’m in heaven.

My text placement is a sad attempt to hide some incipient denim creasing that might, to the uneducated observer, be mistaken for camel toe, which it most certainly is not. New year, new shade of Clarks to add to the other pairs in my closet. You might call it a style rut, but I prefer to think of my desert boots as my signature. The popover is comfortable, as it should be, because it is a beach coverup. I wear it all the time.

Levi’s Curve ID system intimidated me as soon as it was introduced. So many fits, and how the hell am I to know how large my ass is in relation to other asses? I didn’t even bother trying any on until last month. But, epiphany. If you have no waist, no hips and no butt—like me—the Slight Curve is genius. GENIUS. Which leads me to believe the other fits for more feminine figures, might be equally as bangin’. These are technically not a crop but I bought them in a 30″ inseam. They fit like a dream, with no muffin top. In fact, they fit exactly like my Current Elliott Stilettos, which were $200+. Long live Levi’s.

Cuz took these pics while three different neighbors were outside raking their leaves. Listen, I suffer for my craft. I wanted to get the ordeal over with quickly and didn’t bother to clear off the stuff behind me. As you can see, we drink water and leave pumpkins out long past Halloween. Fashion bloggers are a dime a dozen, but how many blogs get you this close to the banal reality of domestic life? That’s right. One.

I’m digging on lighter denim for fall, but as Cuz noted—these jeans, being light AND cropped, are not the easiest. As she snapped away, Cuz opined that the only person these might look good on is Miranda Kerr, whose legs are approximately three feet longer than mine. But I don’t mind. I mean, they’re comfortable as hell, and every time I wear them, someone asks where I got them, which makes me happy. Anyway, they are my new favorite jeans, displacing J Brand and even my Diesel boyfriends. If you like thicker denim, try MiH.

Leopard shoes are everywhere. The reason why is that leopard goes with everything. The shirt has chickens on it. Chickens with little berets. Prints are not my fave but not even I can resist French chickens.

Cuz gave me these jeans, which no longer fit her when they stretched out. I worry sometimes that Cuz will become very bad for my morale. When I laid on the floor and wrestled these suckers on, I was so happy when the button closed that I almost cried. As you can see, after wearing them for two days, I can even bend my legs in them. I can’t ever wash them, but whatever!! Perfect medium blue. And free. Great success.

Check out the pairs here and a few others on Pinterest

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ways to wear: black tee at work

Tom loves the WSJ. I find it to be a miserably dull little paper (except for Rachel Bachman in the sports section, love her) with its stupid little drawings, and no, my resentment has nothing to do with the fact that I don’t understand 90% of the subject matter inside it. Anyway, the WSJ covers fashion but in the tone of an intellectual talking about tv–the paper wants you to know it’s slumming. Maybe that’s why the fashion in the WSJ always seem two seasons behind. Just the casual observation of someone whose wardrobe is 80% J. Crew. I can only imagine how lame the paper feels to someone who actually knows something about clothes.

Point being, you know the power suit is well and truly dead when the WSJ says it is. A few weeks ago they ran a story on the death of the power suit, accompanied by photographs of some hideous alternatives. I have suits for court, but I hate them. They are uncomfortable, hot, and mannish, even when there is a skirt involved. ESPECIALLY if there is a skirt involved. I don’t know why that is, but it just is. Plus, people think suits are easy to coordinate, but they aren’t. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what to put under the suit that won’t make me look like a corporate drone, and it’s usually for naught.

Give me separates any day, especially cheap ones. I bought a slinky but fitted crewneck at the Gap a couple months ago and have been wearing it to work a lot. It was actually at Gap Body and on sale, so I have a nagging suspicion that it’s actually the top half of a pajama set. Whatever. Anything to avoid wearing a suit.

No one at work is going to give you a hard time about wearing a maxi. At worst they will think it looks weird, but look, genius is never understood in its own time. And long skirts are genius, because they are elegant, offhand, and comfortable–all at the same time.

Paperbag waists look so cute but I find them challenging. Cinching with a neon belt makes it a little easier.

Black with navy: do it. These shoes: buy them. They are walkable and not hideous, which IMO is the best you can hope for in a work pump. This pose: not serious. Happy Tuesday.

ways to wear: boyfriend jeans

A few years ago, some fashion people got together and decided to produce and sell women’s jeans that looked like men’s jeans.  And it’s a smart concept, because who doesn’t have fond memories of the “vintage” 501s they wore in high school?  Mine had Phish patches, and I knew like one Phish song.

But for me, the execution of boyfriend jeans by the denim companies has been awkward.  To begin with, the sizing is usually wack.  Secondly, the leg is always too big–I want to look slouchy, not messy.  Thirdly, most pairs either just look like really baggy women’s jeans, or like you actually borrowed your boyfriend’s jeans, except your boyfriend is Bob Vila, and he wears terrible jeans.

This spring, boyfriend jeans are once again calling to me.  And probably out of desperation, I had an epiphany.  Why not skip the middleman and just go straight to men’s jeans?  I knew what I wanted: a higher rise, loose at the middle, with a dropped crotch and a slim, straight leg for rolling.  And I found the perfect men’s jeans, at Diesel, natch.  Diesel even has a name for that exact silhouette: the “Carrot.”  Not kidding.  Google it.

Don’t try to buy men’s jeans in the size you’d buy your usual jeans in, thinking since they’re made for guys, they must already be oversized.  I’m going to save you a lot of anxiety and stress by assuring you that they are making jeans for some really skinny men these days.  I went up two sizes to get the fit I wanted.

They are not for everyone.  But I don’t know anything, fashion-wise, that will work for everyone.  If you’re on the fence, give them a shot, because as the photos below demonstrate, they’re versatile as all-get-out.

Some ideas for how to wear your boyfriend jeans…and a Pinterest board with a few pairs designed for the ladies.

ways to wear: cheap dresses

In Portland, March ushers in the auction season.  Auctions happen in the evening like lots of other parties, but they bring a set of challenges that don’t come along with other types of parties.  First, an auction is essentially a quasi-work event.  I usually end up chatting with work contacts and potential referral sources.  For me, this means that strapless, backless, micro-mini, and plunging v-neck are all out.  Second, I need something that I can sit in comfortably for a couple hours, that will also allow me the freedom of movement to wrestle my husband’s arm down to the ground when he has a couple scotches and tries to bid on something like a rafting trip for two.  Third, whatever I wear has to be cheap.  Cheap cheap cheap.  I don’t believe in spending wads of cash on an outfit I am likely to wear twice.

This year I need outfits for four auctions, and Tom has me on a budget that indicates that he expects me to make my own clothing from kitchen towels.  So I turned to ASOS.  I’ve written about ASOS before.  It’s a UK company that recently launched a US site.  The clothes are not super cheap, but the thing is, everything on the website goes on sale eventually.  The site sells clothes from other designers, but do what I do, and narrow your search to the house label.

For parties and weddings, you can do no better than ASOS.  Their clothes are well constructed and do not look cheap.  I mean it.  I wear a lot of Forever 21 but I don’t like people to stand too close to me when I do, because the stuff doesn’t exactly scream quality from close range.  Quality-wise, I’d say ASOS is on par with BCBG, and it’s a lot cheaper.  Let me digress for a moment to express how much I hate BCBG clothing.  No matter what the item is, there is always some extraneous design detail that makes absolutely no sense, and nothing ever fits right.  There is a reason they don’t let you return stuff at BCBG.  They don’t want that sh*t back.

Other important details about ASOS: free shipping, both ways.  No minimum purchase.  I have returned so much stuff to ASOS that I’m getting concerned they will cut me off.  Also, their selection is completely overwhelming.  To find the three dresses in this post, I had to click through more than 2000 ASOS dresses.  But if you know what you are looking for (e.g. “maxi dress”), their search engine actually works, so use it.  Lastly, you may be alarmed that some of the clothes look like party wear for strippers.  Do not be discouraged.  There are gems to be found, and strippers need party clothes too.

Check me out on Pinterest for more ideas for inexpensive party wear.

Sometimes you want to dress to flatter your figure, and sometimes you just want to wear a fun dress.  I wore this to an auction two nights ago and it was perfect for a winter night.  The bodice is 100% wool and the skirt is fake fur.  I bought the shoes three years ago, but felt weird about wearing shoes that cost the equivalent of two Chipotle burritos, and gave them to my best friend.  And then I decided that I really liked them, and that like Stella McCartney, I could think of them as vegan shoes, not plastic ones.  And that helped.  So I took them back from her.  I still feel bad about it.  But she will survive.

People.  This dress was $31.  The tights almost cost the same as the dress.  And it is a good dress.  I love the egg shape, love the metallic, love the seaming, love love love it.  But most of all I love the racerback.  And it has pockets.  Squeal!  This dress might be my score of the year.

The nice thing about not paying a lot for a dress is that you can try cracked-out things you might not otherwise try, because you’re not investing a huge sum.  I am petrified of high-neck clothing.  I am always nervous my neck will look fat or that my head will look even bigger than it is.  But I like the idea of a high neck classing up a maxi, so I took a gander at this dress, and it’s interesting.  I did feel a bit vulnerable with the slinky fabric, so I threw on a belt to give the waistline some structure.

Look at my christmas cactus behind me!  Still kickin‘.

Happy hunting.  And I’d love to hear about your go-to purveyor of cheap party wear.

ways to wear: high-rise jeans

With jeans, I’m always looking for the perfect blue.  A true blue without any gray or green, and not a lot of distressing.  Browsing the markdowns at Revolve, I found it, in a J Brand wash called Lotus.  And marked down to $85!  The problem: the only style the color came in was a high-rise flare–a cut that, when done wrong, can be cruel enough to put you off jeans altogether.

But what’s this blog for if not to challenge myself?  Spring is in the air and I’m tired of my skinnies.  And the jeans reminded me of my all-time favorites, a pair of vintage Levis 517s that I had in high school.  The $85 J Brands felt a little like fate.

Pantywaist

There are a few reasons why high-rise jeans are so dangerous.  First, the potential for camel toe.  Sorry to get all personal, but the issue of camel toe needs to be addressed.  If you don’t know what it is, google it, but not if you’re at work.  My personal theory for why camel toe happens so often with high rise jeans is because you tend to hike up high-rise jeans, and when you hike too aggressively, that’s when the camel toe happens.  Second danger: pancake ass.  To be Asian is to be at one with the pancake ass.  I could write a book about pancake ass.  High-rise jeans present a high risk of pancake ass because they create the illusion that your butt is longer than it really is.

I think the temptation with high-rise jeans is to wear something longer on top to cover some of the rise in the back so your butt doesn’t look so long.  But if you’re feeling like a challenge, try pairing a high rise with a cropped sweater.  The whole point of a high rise is the 70s feel, and you miss out on a lot of that if you just cover up the waist.  And for me, the pairing seemed to create curves where I don’t really have any, so that’s an added bonus.  Be careful what you layer under a cropped sweater.  Too long, and you’ll ruin the look.

Or Don’t Tuck

If you’re reading this and you just can’t get behind the tucking in, I hear you.  But consider this: a pair of high rise jeans is better than a pair of Spanx for slimming, if you’re going to be wearing the jeans under tops that you don’t intend to tuck in.  The high rise will cover your stomach and kind of tighten up the area, so they are a solid choice for pairing with tops made of slinkier materials (like jersey–God I hate jersey).  Just make sure to get the sizing right.  If they aren’t tight enough, they will just add more material to the belly area, instead of sucking you in.

Back to Basics

At my core, I’m a t-shirt and jeans girl.  But the t-shirt has to be right.  I hate tight necklines and the sleeve has to be short, but not too short.  The t-shirt below has been my standby since law school.  I have it in four colors.  I wear it to bed, I wear it to work out, and now I wear it with my high-rise jeans.  It’s also actually $22, not $24, but it’s been a long weekend and I’m too tired to fix the price in the photo below.  The tri-blend fabric is especially good with the high-rise because it underscores that 70s vibe.

Other stuff I intend to wear these jeans with: a tight black turtleneck with a big earthy necklace over it (think Ali McGraw).  Or belted, with a chambray button-down, for a little denim-on-denim action.  I’ll lose the boots when it gets warm and wear them with wedges and a tank.

Have I convinced you even a little?

ways to wear: mens’ casual

I’ve had a few requests for a post about weekend basics for guys. So here it is: ideas for a few guys’ no-brainer pieces that go the distance, targeted specifically for the guy who cares how he looks, but not enough to really do anything proactive about it. If you, like my friend Eric, already know your way around a deep-V and skinny jeans, this post is not for you.

I don’t pay as much attention to what I pay for Tom’s clothes as I do for mine. So I’ve left off a few details regarding price. Also, the model in this post is my long-suffering husband. If you know Tom, be assured that he only posed for these photos under extreme duress. I may have even accused him of hating my blog. So please be kind.

The sweatshirt

Tom has a Michigan sweatshirt that is 20 years old, complete with a frayed neckline, paint splatters, and one sleeve ripped to the elbow. When he wears it, he reminds me enough of Jennifer Beals in Flashdance to make me uncomfortable.

If my friend Linds doesn’t like an article of clothing of her husband’s, she donates it while he’s gone or throws it away, and then simply lies about its whereabouts. I admire her technique, but when it comes to that Michigan sweatshirt, I have a better chance of winning the 2012 Olympic gold medal in the 400-meter hurdles than I have of getting rid of it on the sly. That’s because Tom loves it so much that he checks on it periodically, to make sure it’s still molting in the drawer where he last left it.

Chances are, there’s a sweatshirt like Tom’s that’s currently ruining your social life. So do a bait and switch, and get him a sweatshirt you can live with. Make sure it’s cut slim to the body, and made of a thinner material than a full athletic fleece. The advantage of such a sweatshirt is that you can dress it up by throwing a cool coat over it, without the bulk. No prints please, or logos.

Merino sweater + Gingham

I like to think that Tom’s sense of style improved vastly when we met. Tom thinks he was born with it, like Athena springing full-warrior from the forehead of Zeus. The truth is somewhere in between. I generally buy his clothes–which explains the huge gaping hole in his brain where a working knowledge of clothing prices should be–but he figures out how to put them together. It works best this way, because he can legitimately snarl “NO” when someone asks “Did Yoona put together your outfit?”

Of course, if I’m going to be seen with him, I get a veto. But I don’t use my veto power much when it’s cold, because Tom is a pro with jeans and outerwear. In summer, I veto things all the time, mostly because Tom starts feeling compelled to wear shorts, and husband or no, I can’t get behind the idea of a man that pale in shorts. I mean, if he happens to be standing in shorts against a white wall, it can actually look like his shorts are floating in thin air, suspended above his shoes. But that’s another post for another time.

Anyway, like anything else, putting an outfit together takes practice. And practice will go easier with pieces that work with lots of different things. Like a crewneck merino sweater and a gingham shirt. The merino sweater can be thrown over a button-down and khakis for work, as easily as it can be thrown over a tee and jeans. The gingham shirt is a good layering piece–everyone looks good in gingham, and it’ll add a little visual interest to an outfit otherwise comprised of solids. Put the gingham under a hoody, or iron it and wear it for drinks under a blazer. Easy.

Gray jeans

You have jeans. And they are not dad jeans. Sweet. So let’s take it to the next level.

Gray jeans are versatile. They are more interesting than blue jeans, so they work well for dinner parties and other situations requiring a modicum of effort. But they aren’t so interesting that you will get ridiculed by your friends at the sports pub. If you wear a lot of black or navy on top, gray jeans are a no brainer. Go get some.

Topper + Boots

I have real trouble with my own outerwear. I never like my coat as much as my outfit, so I usually go without. In this regard, I really envy Tom this Nau coat. It’s waterproof and machine-washable, and looks slick on top of a suit. I call it the Fixer, because it is capable of concealing all manner of sartorial crimes underneath.

Make sure your weekend coat length suits your purposes. Tom’s 6’4″ and has long legs, so this length suits him, but Nau makes a lot of shorter jackets. A word on Nau–they started out expensive and have gotten even more so, but I find it to be a reliably awesome brand for men. Tom’s Nau pieces get heavy rotation and have held up well over years of use.

As for the Bean Boots, Tom told me once that if there was ever a fire at the house, he would grab the boots first. Can you smell the romance?

So, there you have it. A few basics that will get you from your kid’s soccer practice on Saturday morning to a dinner party on Sunday. What are your favorite weekend basics?

ways to wear: color at work

Color was big in 2011.  And the fashion editors are saying color will continue to be big into the spring.  Since they’ll be around for a while, let’s figure out a way to put those brights to work at the office.

I own a lot of orange-red because I find the color very easy to match with other colors, and you get a lot of bang for the buck in terms of drama.  I focused on that color in this post, but any of these looks would work well with other brights that might be sitting in your closet.  If you’re shopping for some color, try cobalt, mustard, or fuschia–all versatile brights that pair well with neutrals.

Nice ‘n Easy

I’m a lawyer, but I’m a plaintiffs’ lawyer, and plaintiffs’ lawyers generally don’t like to look like we spend too much money on our clothing, or that we think about clothing at all.  So I can get away with more casual looks at the office.  The outfit below comes in handy when I’m bloated and/or can’t bear the thought of heels.

J. Crew sells a merino version of the boyfriend sweater above but it retails for almost $90.  I bought the sweater at Forever 21 in three colors for less than $50 total.  “But they’re polyester, Yoona.”  For $50, I don’t care if they’re made of plastic ketchup bottles.  And let me just say this: if anyone at work is standing close enough to you that they can tell that your sweater is made of polyester, that’s not right.  Just my legal opinion.

Colored Pencil

My husband generally doesn’t notice my clothing, unless it looks new or expensive.  But he notices every time I wear a pencil skirt, so I try to throw him a bone and wear one from time to time.  This one is my favorite.  J. Crew is making pencil skirts in all sorts of colors, in wool and “double serge” cotton, which is apparently fashion-speak for “hideously overpriced.”  If you want proof that J. Crew never changes their clothes, please note that the skirt below was purchased four years ago.  There’s something comforting in that, I guess.

Casual Friday

I imagine if you’re one of those lucky SOBs who have a creative job, or even better, if you’re your own boss, you could dress like this even when it’s not Friday.  For the rest of us, the colored jeans probably have to wait for casual days.  But boy, given my investment in colored jeans, I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to dress them up and disguise them for work.

A note on the jeans.  First of all, they were on sale at Nordstrom for $99.90 but all I paid was $20 after cashing in a Nordstrom note and a gift card.  I imagine that’s not that interesting to you, but I feel like I should get a shopping medal.  Secondly, I’m a J Brand girl, but these AGs are something else.  They are made of a thicker denim that holds like a dream.  I’ve worn them for four consecutive days and the knees haven’t bagged out.  That’s like, unheard of.  And I love the color, which is a deep green-blue.  The perfect foil for orange-red!

How are you wearing brights at work?

ways to wear: white jeans

You’re reading the title of this post and thinking that I don’t know that it’s December. I do. A NYC friend (thanks Kim!) recently mentioned that she loves her white jeans. Then I started thinking about my white jeans, and how I might wear them in the winter. So here you are: one pair of white jeans (Citizens of Humanity, Ava, $164, hemmed to 26.5 inches)–four doable winter looks. Doable, that is, provided the weather is cold and dry. I’d advise you not to try any of these outfits in the rain.

A word on white jeans. In terms of fit, white jeans rank right up there with swimwear in difficulty. If you haven’t sobbed or screamed in horror in a dressing room while trying a pair of white jeans, you are made of tougher stuff than me.

You should accept from the outset that your thighs and butt will look bigger in white jeans. What you should NOT accept are white jeans that are transparent or make your legs look dimpled from the outside. If you have jeans that are doing this, let me suggest that it’s not you, it’s the jeans. With white jeans, I think too much stretch works against you. I don’t know why, but that’s been my experience. Try a stiffer denim (one with a higher cotton percentage vs. the stretchy stuff). Also, you may look better in white jeans that are a size or two bigger than your normal size. I think the Citizens of Humanity pair shown here, in the color Santorini, are probably the most forgiving that I’ve tried in a while. They are still available online, at Nordstrom and elsewhere.

White on White

I love white on white during the summer, but it looks even cooler in the winter because it is unexpected. You can’t just walk out in a cotton shirt and cropped jeans though, so throw on a blazer or cardigan. Nothing too dark. Stay with neutrals and your outfit will look soft and cozy–the fashion equivalent of a mug of eggnog.


I bought this shirt at the Gap about three years ago for $48. It is a lovely, delicate thing that promptly fell apart upon first wash. That’s not the Gap’s fault, that’s my fault, for throwing it in with a load of towels. The embroidery is torn and the hems are frayed, and still I cannot let it go. I actually searched eBay to see if anyone might be selling the same shirt, but try searching “white shirt from the Gap” on eBay and see where that gets you. If, by chance, you own this shirt in a size large, I will buy it from you. Just name your price.

Work Whites

We live in an age of political correctness and workplace harassment suits, where management is understandably hesitant to get into matters of workplace dress with female employees. So take advantage. In my book, if you wear non-blue jeans with a top long enough to cover the jean detailing at the waist and pockets, they aren’t really jeans. To really throw your boss off the scent, though, I’d pair the pants with a buttoned-up top and work flats. I like this outfit because of the shrunken proportions and the graphic punch of the black, white, and orange-red.

Bundle Up

The sweater below is one of my favorites, although I can’t eat anything in it because of the sleeves. Who needs food when you have a sweater this awesome? That’s a joke. I do. I need food even with a sweater this awesome.

If you have a bunch of neutrals laying around, trying punching them up with some neon. American Apparel sold these highlighter tanks over the summer and I can’t wait for May so I can buy some more.

Ahoy Matey

I’ve had at least four people ask me why I look down in the photos on this blog. I look down because I want you to look at the clothes, not my face, which generally reflects the exhaustion I feel. In any event, white jeans always look good with navy, and stripes. Always. Since it’s winter, pile it all on, as I’ve done below. Going warm on top will distract you from your numb ankles.

Note: I wear cropped jeans year-round, and if there’s one thing that will kill a pair of cropped jeans, it’s socks. So I don’t wear socks most of the year, no matter how cold it gets. Sometimes style has to give way to comfort, and sometimes comfort has to give way to style. I refuse to wear thongs no matter how visible my panty line. Pick your battle, right? Anyway, if you don’t mind your ankles getting a little cold, a cropped length is great for white jeans because they won’t gather as much dust at the hem. If you choose to go cropped and insist on wearing the jeans with socks, go with God, and don’t say yoonanimous sent you.

ways to wear: holiday

Dressing for a holiday party can be a tedious chore.  You want to be festive without looking like Santa Claus, to stand out without being talked about.  For me, the challenges of holiday dressing are exacerbated by the fact that I hate to spend money on things that I will not wear that often.  I also run into problems because I am a habitual under-dresser.  I often show up at a party looking like I am at the wrong party.

But recently, I’ve come around: what’s the point of a holiday party if you can’t wear something fun and look like you put a little effort into it?  This year I pushed myself to get creative with my party outfits, using existing pieces and mixing in a few new things.  Below, some ideas.

Cover Up

There’s an instinct to show more skin when dressing for a party.  But covered up can be just as alluring, if the silhouette is right.  The fit and flare of this cotton dress is kicky and it feels seasonal because the skirt is quilted.  I like the zipper detail in the back, which breaks up some of the black.

This is a pretty tame outfit, but please note that I’m pushing myself here, because I hate wearing things that are fitted around the middle.  A downside to having a relatively curveless figure is that there is only about a 2 inch differential between the circumference of my hips and that of my waist.  I don’t cry about it, but I definitely envy my girlfriends who have a waist that flares out into some bangin’ hips.

I am so irrationally sensitive about my lack of a waistline that I will flinch visibly when people hug me around the middle.  Frankly, I’d prefer that you say hello by putting your hand on my face and pushing me over.  But since I discovered Spanx Tight-End tights (shown above), being hugged around the waist is less stressful, because these tights suck in your waist without giving you the dreaded waistband roll, or worse, flattening your ass.  They are also completely opaque and don’t get shiny when you put them on your legs.  They have once or twice given me the confidence to wear my most dreaded fabric, clingy jersey.  What more could you possibly require from a pair of tights, except that they be free?  Nothing, I tell you.  Nothing.

Brights

I bought these yellow pants on a whim a few years ago.  They aren’t the best pants to wear repeatedly (“Yoona’s wearing her yellow pants again”), but I have worn them exactly once, and they weren’t cheap.  So I pulled them out to see what kind of holiday outfit I could come up with.  Holidays are a good time to pull out the brights, because they are naturally festive and eye-catching.  I think the outfit below would work really well for those work-related parties that you have to attend straight from the office.  Throw on some extra jewelry, swap your pumps for some satin heels, and you’re ready to get all boozy and inappropriate in front of your coworkers.  And yes, Tate here hates my blog.

Heavy Metal

The best fashion tip I’ve ever read is that you should wear things that you enjoy wearing, regardless of whether they are in style or not.  This tip has potential for some grievous misapplication, especially if you are a grown man who enjoys wearing sports jerseys, but generally, I think it’s true.  Because usually, you enjoy wearing things that make you look good, and who cares if what you are wearing is considered a trend of the past by OK Magazine?

I tell myself all this to justify my unhealthy penchant for harem pants, which were technically in style for 12 minutes in 2009, and maybe for like 2 weeks in 1992 when Aladdin came out.  I love everything about harem pants, but mostly I like that you can eat a steak in them without having to unbutton them underneath the table.  I got these bronze ones on clearance, and the metallic is fun for the holidays.  I paired them with a metallic top and some fake gold cuffs to round out the theme.

The Twenties

My husband watches a lot of a show called Boardwalk Empire.  If you haven’t seen it, don’t bother, because I’ll tell you right now that there are about fifty random guys in the cast, none of them are hot, and some are actively frightening.  But the clothes are lovely, especially the dresses.  The dress below has a drop waist that reminds me of a flapper dress, and it’s comfortable and easy.  Wear your tallest heels with a drop waist, to avoid making your legs look shorter.

Sweater Girl

I love me a full length skirt.  They are dramatic and unexpected in most situations.  If you’re thinking that shorter people can’t wear maxi skirts, you may be wrong.  If the fit is right (make it hug your waist and butt), a long skirt can be lengthening in a way that especially benefits the relatively petite, particularly when worn with a heel.  If you are wearing a heel, make sure the skirt goes right to the floor.

The skirt below is wool, but it’s cut on the bias so it’s not overwhelming in its volume.  Because it’s cut close on top, I paired it with a fuzzy sweater.  I like that this outfit is monochromatic but has textural interest to keep it from being too boring.  Plus, it’s warm!  I think I’ll wear it to my firm’s holiday party this year.

Jump Around

I’ll usually take a pass on a dress if I have another option.  I don’t know what my problem is, but I suspect that it may again be the shoe issue.  Most dresses require that you buy a new shoe to go with them, and by the time I get to the shoes, my attention span for the outfit has usually run its course.

I suspect the outfit below is going to get a lot of push-back, but let me defend myself.  First of all, this is a jumpsuit, but it is not a romper.  I can think of maybe two people who can get away with a jumpsuit that ends in freaking shorts, and both are Kardashians.  By the way, not to state the obvious, but if you often find that you are wearing the same thing as a Kardashian (especially Kourtney, but really, take your pick), it may be time to re-evaluate your wardrobe.  This jumpsuit is the only one I own, and yes I realize jumpsuits are generally not very flattering on anyone.  But how do you know it will be so terrible on you, if you don’t give it a try?  My stylish friend Caroline likes them, and ol’ Yves Saint Laurent has been making them for decades, so there, they can’t be all bad.

The jumpsuit below has elicited strenuous objections from my husband, who hates jumpsuits, and especially hates this one, because, as you can see, it is cut to the navel.  Personally, I think that if you’re going to get skankified, a low-cut top is preferable to a too-short skirt, especially if you are not well-endowed up above.  I mean, the stakes are pretty low–if my boob falls out, congrats, you’ve now seen a breast in its full A-cup glory.  Nonetheless, Tom refused to go anywhere with me in this jumpsuit until I got something to put under it.  Hence the lace tank, which I think actually classes it up a bit and takes it safely out of Kardashian territory.

What are you wearing to your holiday parties this year?

ways to wear: boots

Everyone has a fashion blind spot.  Mine, generally, is shoes (and bags, but I’ll save that for another post).  The problem is that, like some Amish farmer, I believe that any shoes that I buy should go with everything in my closet, and they inevitably never do.  So I don’t often buy them.   I have friends that buy different shoes for almost every outfit.  I admire that kind of commitment and attention to detail.  But I don’t have the space, and I need that money for jeans.  So I always try to find shoes that will work in lots of different contexts.

In the summer I wear one pair of shoes: my Birkenstock Gizehs (in Golden Brown).  Go ahead and mock them, but understand this: this shoe goes with everything you could possibly wear when the weather is warm, with the exception of bridesmaid dresses.  I buy a new pair every couple summers and call it a day.  But during boot season, it’s a lot harder to get away with one pair, especially because boots come in so many tempting variations.  I think I’ve worked it out, and have found four pairs of boots that I have been wearing with everything this season.  Best part?  The styles are relatively timeless, so I imagine I will be wearing them through this March, and the next.

The Clog Boot

The clog boot has been going strong for a few years, and given the monetary investment involved, it’s a good thing they’ve stuck around.  The thing I like about them is that the wooden platform lengthens your leg but is way more comfortable than a traditional heel, which raises the back of your foot and puts all the pressure on your toes.  That’s not to say that they are comfortable.  If you want to approximate the sensation of walking in clog boots, I suggest tying your feet to a couple bricks.  They also come with ridiculous instructions, including the suggestion that you not walk in them in the rain, and that you re-adhere (using superglue) any wood chips that you inadvertently knock out of the wooden soles.  In other words, they are a stealthily high maintenance shoe.  But I like wearing them a lot, especially with flowy skirts, for the contrast.

The Chukka Boot

My friend Jack does something related to basketball at Adidas–I’m still not sure what–but I know that whenever I see him, I like what he’s wearing, and even better, he looks like he hasn’t put too much thought into any of it.  Most of that, I attribute to his shoes, because he, like me, lives in his Clarks desert boots.

I have two pairs of these, and they are beyond beat up because I wear one color or the other almost every day.  They have single-handedly ruined my feet because they have zero arch support, but my feet are a small price to pay for a shoe that goes with every pair of jeans and cords that I own.  If you believe that you only look good in heeled shoes, nothing I say here is going to change your mind.  But I would urge you to give these a try.  The cut of them is extremely flattering because they stop right below the skinniest part of your ankle.  For some reason, these boots seem especially flattering if you wear your pants short, like me.

The Riding Boot

I am finicky about knee boots in two regards: I don’t like a lot of metal, and the shaft height has to be exactly right.  The gold buckles on the pair here are not my favorite, but they do make it easier for me to dress them up for work.  If you have any muscle in your calves, as I do, be careful that the shaft of the boot covers up the widest part of your calf.  Otherwise, the boots may give the illusion that your legs are thicker than they are.  The pair here have an 18″ shaft, which is about 4 inches taller than most knee boots.  The red zipper is totally a bonus.  I love them.  I wear them with sweater dresses and minis, like the buffalo plaid one here.

The Shearling Boot

My impression about the Gap these days is that the less interesting their clothes become, the more interesting their shoes get.  For years, the Gap produced ballet flats and other seasonal shoes that you wouldn’t expect to last more than a year.  Recently, though, they’ve been coming out with cool boots in real leather.  They are also priced like real leather, but I also feel like I’ve never been to the Gap when all their merchandise isn’t marked down 30%.  My feet get cold in the winter, but I have resisted Uggs this long and have no intention of caving now.  These are a good concession–they have the shearling but the silhouette is refined enough that I can wear them with my skinnies and skirts.

Take care of your boots and they will last you a long time.  I cover mine in all-weather spray, and am religious about sticking boot shapers in my knee boots, to prevent folding of the leather.  My favorite pair of Fryes are four years old and look pretty new, thanks to those boot shapers.