Chico’s: I’m going to go ahead any say it: Chico’s gets a bad rap. Sure, there’s a bumper crop of stuff with a few too many moving pieces—this one’s got crochet and macrame, and also fringe and ombre—then stripes too, just for zip. And yet, they’ve got some perfectly serviceable basics, like these tanks. And I quite like this tee, which has a kind of half-Missoni half-Ikat print that could be too much, but somehow isn’t. I’m pretty sure.
Midnight Velvet: The fact that Midnight Velvet’s got a dress with a print they call Stained Glass goes a long way toward describing what the aesthetic is here. As does this cello-shaped wine rack. But this pleat front cami would work great as what they call in fashion-caption land an underpinning. Like with a shrunken blazer. And although I could do without the banded bottom, I think this Grecian-looking jersey top has potential too.
J Peterman: Here are a few things to know about the J. Peterman Catalogue. Number one: it still exists. Two: it still doesn’t show actual pictures of most of what they’re selling, which seems rather bold in this day and age (but which is a decision I’d imagine they’ve actually turned into a stance, and then in turn attached a great deal of romance to over at Peterman HQ). And three: the copy is even more can’t-look-at-it-can’t-look-away than you might even remember. Which is why I chose this dress—which maybe I would wear but probably not (something like this seems more up my alley, but who can tell? It’s a drawing!)— because you must read the tale the accompanies it.
Langston’s: I actually thought Langston’s would be a snap: any old-school western-wear catalogue will be full of great belts and riding boots and other fun stuff. But they’ve decided to get with the times, over at Langston’s, which means there’s a whole lot of this going on too. I did find these Levi’s boyfriend jeans, however, and I still love a good pair of Levi’s. And—laugh if you will—I actually do think I could make this cowgirl top happen, like under a blazer, so you could just see the cute snap buttons.
Cabela’s This boating, shooting, camping and fishing catalogue might have been a major trial (anyone see me in this?) were it not fot the fact that they carry Filson duffle bags, which are like the coolest things going.
Discount Dance: At first, I was exceedingly worried about how I’d make anything work here—sure, there’s a certain kind of twentyish, overly Black Swan-influenced young woman who could build a very beguiling outfit around something like this, but she is not and has never been me. Happily, most all dance supply catalogues have at least a few pages devoted to ballroom shoes. I’d totally wear these.
Togshop: The catalogue for Women (who probably golf) of a Certain Age. I like this tunic just fine.
Soft Surroundings: Soft Surroundings tells a tropical-vacation-all-year-round sartorial story (witness the Carnivale Dress, and the biggest statement of a coral necklace you could ever hope to find). Most of the clothes here look like they’re cut for the middle-aging lady of potentially expanding girth—but not frumpliy so, which I give it points for, even if the aesthetic isn’t quite my thing. This scarf is kind of great, though.