Posts Tagged ‘tricky’
Loafers have never much worked for me. Ridiculously, perhaps—because I’ve certainly never met a clunky-ass boot I didn’t like—they’ve just never quite felt feminine enough. But in fact, it’s probably their very diminutiveness—and that dead solid flatness—that turns me off the most; even sneakers give you a tiny bit of height. Lately, though, I’m coming around—possibly because they’re the perfect easy on-easy-off shoe for airport security, and outside of summer items, exactly zero percent of all my footwear could be characterized as easy on, easy off. Dieppa Restrepo makes some of the most covetable loafers and oxfords around, quite a few of which are on sale right now at the insanely great lower east side boutique Maryam Nassir Zadeh (another one to put on your must-visit in New York list, people). These python penny loafers feel seasonless: imagine them come spring with cropped straight khakis,
Also from Dieppa Restrepo: a wooden platform provides a nice bit of height, but without any resulting Frankenstein Foot—which is always the risk.
The braid detail on this Rag & Bone pair adds some gravity, and the slightly weathered blue leather is just unexpected and really cool.
I love these: so simple and classic and Euro-prep. And they cost way less than other very similar versions for sale elsewhere.
Does it surprise any of you regulars that I have been longing for these metallic Sperry Topsiders for ages? The only reason they haven’t been a a Crazy or Cute? is because I’ve felt certain they’d get clobbered. But the metallic is well on the safe side of crazy, and there is something deeply satisfying about the notion of reclaiming a shoe I haven’t worn in three decades (and because Candies aren’t on the table).
Glitter. It’s a lot, I know. And it comes off in your hands and on your clothes. And a little goes a long way. But still: these pumps are on the cute side, no?
And how about this J Crew pair? Which is just a bit tamer?
Maybe you’d consider a simple skinny little belt.
Or choose to punctuate an evening outfit with a smart little clutch, like this.
Or possibly, you might just say to hell with settling for only the simplest dash of drama, and go out and get yourself a pair of super-tight, glittery-ass jeans.
Fashion editors, it should surprise you not at all to learn, do not get particularly large when they get pregnant. They don’t stay so thin one worries for the health of the baby, but they pretty much resemble well- formed humans who swallowed a basketball, teetering around in five-inch heels. I always assumed they watched their weight so carefully simply because they feared getting fat—thereby rendering themselves nonstarters in their image-obsessed universe (in that respect, The Devil Wears Prada was practically a documentary). But now I know different. Because after a reader request, I’ve spent some time looking at maternity apparel, and can say with confidence that those editors stayed skinny so that they would never have to buy actual maternity wear. It really is pretty bad out there: cheap materials, bad cuts, horrible shapes. But there are exceptions! For one, Hatch, whose whole philosophy is that the pieces you buy from them while pregnant should wearable after the baby comes too. And seriously, they’ve got stuff, like this dress, for instance, that totally looks like some pieces I have bought at Maria Corjejo—and for more money.
As far as I can tell, coats are perhaps the hardest pieces not to feel dumpy in while you’re pregnant. But I like this swingy one, also from Hatch. It’s not cheap, but that seems like a category where one might want to splurge. If not, here’s a much more reasonably priced option from Old Navy, which also comes in a very snappy red.
I have friends who used to take their favorite jeans to the tailor and have them retrofitted for pregnancy. How totally cool that you don’t have to do that anymore. I chose these J Brands because J Brands always seem to have just the right amount of stretch to be super-comfortable while still looking like jeans and not jeggings.
Combat boots? Or flat lace-up boots of any stripe? I remain conflicted, but do think this rather nouvelle punk pair from Zadig & Voltaire is not without its charms
I know, I know, I know, I know: everything you could tell me about the generationally inappropriate nature of a 48 year-old woman trying to pull off Doc Martens I have told myself already. And why I’m fixated on this rather bold 20-eye model completely eludes rational thought, but I wonder. Are any of you out there with me?
This pair by Fiorentini & Baker probably belongs more in a category that fashion magazine copywriters would refer to as men’s haberdashery, and has as much in common with an oxford as they do a boot. Making them the most refined but least statement-y choice. What with elegance being refusal and etc.
One way to still wear minidresses well after the moment in life when you’ve told yourself you can’t wear minidresses anymore: throw them on with leggings or the skinniest black jeans. I want this beaded Mara Hoffman tunic dress so much it almost hurts. With the black and white and tiny bit of pink, just like I like.
This look works best with a shift shape and long sleeves. How nuts you go with the print is entirely up to you.
I like the idea of this all layer-y, with a long sleeved tee poking out underneath.
Over the course of the past year or so, I have become something I thought I’d never be: a woman who won’t leave the house without makeup on. I’ll go out to walk the dog with my hair piled on top of my head and an outfit that suggests I got dressed in the dark, but you can bet that I will have applied a little lippy on my way out the door. It was a gradual progression, and one that reached what I suppose was its inevitable conclusion (I am, of course, from Texas) the moment I discovered the incredible transformative power of eyeshadow. Eyeshadow, as it turns out, is magic. Not as magic as bronzer, but close. Feeling tired? Washed out? Just pile some on, and you’re good to go. I’d imagine a lot of you were already on to this, but it was a revelation to me.
My sister in law Shanna, who is both from the south and also once aspired be an actress—and is therefore in a position to know from a dramatic eye—has been my primary eyeshadow educator, and it is from her that I learned about the importance of a good primer. Primer helps makeup go on all nice and even—something that’s particularly important for anyone who, like me, has a less-than-steady hand—and keeps it from creasing and fading. This one from Laura Mercier is so creamy and easy to apply. I put it on my eyelids, but also under my eyes, so my concealer will stick on better too.
I like a dark purple-type color best: the blacker and more eggplanty the better. And I am not a fan of the sparkle. If I’m feeling particularly in need of a lift, I’ll go for this Laura Mercier shade, Black Plum. I’m also quite fond of Mac’s Shadowy Lady, which goes on maybe a bit less dramatically but leaves pretty much the same dark, plummy kind of effect. A girl likes at least the illusion of variety. And for weekend days or other times when something less drastic appears to be in order, I’ve been relying on Magic Night from Chanel, which has a lot more of a brown thing going on.
I’ve tried to make inroads with other, lighter, colors, but so far nothing’s clicked. A while back, I talked myself into a really rich, deep blue, but it was a disaster. If you grew up in the 70s—and do not really know your way around a makeup brush—blue eyeshadow can only ever read tacky. On the other hand, I have nothing but fearless enthusiasm for hues that go darker and darker still, and on Saturday, I bought myself a tube of this Ellis Faas cream eyeshadow in Deep Black at Space NK. It is, as advertised, inky-dark. And after applying it, my hands looked like I’d just been fingerprinted by a particularly inept law enforcement officer. But boy, did my eyes pop.
The last time I wore a pair was in the mid-90s, and since then I’ve made my peace with having them remain in my sartorial past. Not because I don’t think they’re awesome, but because I fear they would—at best—come off deeply undignified on my 48 year-old self. And at worst, that they would render the bottom half of my body so unlovely to behold that parents might be inspired to shield their children’s eyes as I walk down the street.
So I was frankly rather surprised at myself yesterday when—out doing an afternoon walk-and-shop with the dog —I spied this pair, and thought oh, why the hell not? Something about the capri shape and zipper ankle (which you can’t quite see in this picture, unfortunately)—and the fact that they were J Brand, which I’ve found to be a a strong option for girls with actual hips—made the whole leather pants enterprise feel suddenly, completely within reach. But as it turned out, they were out of my size, and before disappointment had a chance to set in, the knowledge that I had dodged a serious bullet did. It was not going to end well for me and those jeans in that dressing room; this I know.
But I’m still not certain that’s universally true for all women who’ve reached the other side of 40. I mean, French fashion editors of all ages wear the hell out of leather jeans. Would you still give them a spin? Or would you be more inclined to go for for one of the waxed cotton pairs that are all over the place this season and do a pretty decent—but much safer, and way cheaper—approximation—of the look? Color me curious.
I’m not talking about shiny, slick, bright-enough-to-see-your-reflection-in metallic—although there’s certainly a whole lot of that out there right now. I’m talking something more muted and burnished, maybe a bit weathered and not at all disco. These are from a collaboration between Coach and Frye. They might err a bit too much on the faux-busted-up side, but I find myself compelled nonetheless.
How about these? Too hipster astronaut?
See how subtle the shine on these is? Just enough to make a pretty tough boot come off a lot more feminine.
The cracked leather finish on these is such awesomeness that I feel I might be able to see my way to overlooking those unfortunate crystals on the heels.
I am so obsessed with leopard prints, and hold so many and varied extremely strong opinions on them, that I sometimes think I could start a Tumblr on the topic and never run out of material. I can’t think of another print that can go so many directions depending on who’s wearing it and how. But one must exercise caution here: there is also no animal print that can skew quite so tacky.
My general rule is to avoid anything too tight, cleavage-baring or otherwise overtly sexpot: a fantastic straight skirt—like this one from Christopher Kane—would be my sole exception, and even then only if the rest of the outfit is comparatively subdued.
As for sweaters, I like a sloucher take—this Zara v-neck hits the exactly right note.
And I’m so batty for this pre-styled-for-your-convenience piece (the flash of leopard at the hem is part of the sweater) that after I’m done with this post, I might reward myself by walking over to my neighborhood Rebecca Taylor store to try it on.
A good, clean-lined leopard jacket is always hard to find—and it almost never comes cheap. Too often, designers revert to a retro, 50s-ish shapes, or use cheap faux fur that can make you look a little bit like you’re wearing a plush doll. This By Malene Birger number gets it just right.
I was obsessed with this Elizabeth and James coat last winter, because the tailoring looks so dead-on, and those leather lapels are fantastic. Thrillingly, it recently turned up at Neiman Marcus Last Call, way-discounted.
Leopard print dresses are tricky business—they can come off so costume-y—and definitely require strategic styling. I’ve been thinking about this one since I saw it front and center in Anne Klein’s fall ad campaign. I’d definitely throw a cardigan on with it, though, to break it up a bit.
As a rule, I am not in favor of the leopard print shoe. No matter how fancy or fabulous the designer, they always look cheap to me. But I kind of love this Loeffler Randall pair: the red adds the right playful touch, and takes them to a delightfully new wave place.
I feel about tops in this category the way I feel about sweaters: the less seriously played, the better. This tee from Freshman is fantastic and my love for it would be complete were it now cropped just a pinch higher than I like my t-shirts to be.
And how cute is this? I can’t decide if it’s maybe too young for me, but I’m in love with the clever interplay of colors. The green just totally works with that red, which if so cool and unexpected.
My ass and I are a few years beyond the time when leopard jeans would be advisable, but that has not dampened my enthusiasm for what Current-Elliott has been doing with the print for the past few seasons. I like how subdued the wash always is, which keeps it from looking too 80s metal. So does the fact that this pair in particular is grey. And I like them with just a bit of give. Don’t be afraid to size up.
Leopard print scarves abound. I prefer ones that go colorful. How cute—but not cutesy-sweet—is this pink and red one?
And this is rather unexpected in the green, no?
As for bags: that’s a topic unto itself, and I shall address it another day. You can be certain.
It’s early in the season, but I can already tell this printed jeans thing is going to be my undoing. I can’t recall the last time there was a trend so hard-wired to both drive me wild with acquisitional desire, and flatter me not in the least. My legs are perfectly OK, but they’re definitely not the place I should be taking interesting risks with intriguing patterns.
The odds that I could pull off this rather fantasmagoric pair from Iro? Slim to none.
Most dangerously (because I’m viewing them as less of a risk, and am therefore more likely to take the plunge) I’ve become fixated on ombre jeans, specifically this pair from Rag & Bone (which also comes in a possibly more wearable—but for my money a touch less excellently great—black and rust version).
And call me nuts, but I’m also dying over this Pierre Balmain pair. If I had an extra $700 lying around for a pair of jeans—and felt that $700 was ever an appropriate amount to spend on a pair of jeans under any circumstance—I’d be right on it. Meanwhile, Cheap Monday‘s got a very high-waisted version that goes for $99 (do you guys ever go for the very high waist?) and Helmut Lang’s got these, which have a far more more gradual fade.
(Also: while we’re talking denim with a difference: what thinks of these? The hem keeps striking me as kind of cute, but also disturbingly reminiscent of a hoof. Does anyone else see this?)