Monday, January 18, 2010


Yesterday it was really slow at work. Really slow, not just slow, but slow to a degree that I can't even comprehend because if I did, I would cease to exist. To combat the lethargy and insanity that comes with slow days in retail, my co-worker and I made things. She made a Hester Prynne doll (we had a red pen and she made it a Puritan looking hat. Clearly, this was the only option), I made a headband with a flower on it out of peds.

I'm mildly embarrassed to be posting a picture of me wearing peds in my hair but honestly, I kind of like it.

I'm not saying I'll wear it, it's made out of disposable pantyhose and staples for goodness sake, but I've never worn a headband over my hair this way and it's sort of nice. And, I don't know (STOP the coma abuse, self), I kind of like the color.

I wrote most of this post before the Oscars, and now I feel a little miffed that I waited this long to put it up, since it seems red was The Color to be wearing. No matter! I'm not really one who cares too much what celebrities and co. wear to awards shows, but my two cents is: I think Helen Mirren and Anne Hathaway wore it best.

Red is an odd color for me. I avoid it, except in food and sometimes in decorating rooms and things, and only really wear it in small doses. I love red lipstick (MAC 'Russian Red' is my shade of choice) but don't wear it often because I have a problem with eating constantly that doesn't agree at all with dark lipsticks. And yet, I cannot escape red! Red, red, red. Little Red Riding Hood comes to mind of course (I wrote a fantastic paper on her last semester), along with all other iconic reds.

I suppose it's because I feel like red screams at me. Obviously there are loads of other loud colors, but red just assaults me when it's on my body, or that I too much realize (if not directly—note to self, stop using parenthesis—but subconsciously and all that) the connotations of wearing red. I mean, there it is, when someone wants to stand out, louder than all the rest. Besides all that red is never a color I've been drawn too. I recoil from it, personally, but can't help but be sort of fascinated by it on other people.


Sometimes she walks through the village in her
little red dress
all absorbed in restraining herself,
and yet, despite herself, she seems to move
according to the rhythm of her life to come.

-'Child in Red', by Rainer Maria Rilke

More important than a red dress, to me, are shoes! I am biased, I know. I work in shoes, and I love shoes. I tend to dress from the shoes (or hosiery) up and have piles and piles of impractical shoes despite my terribly mistreated feet. Shockingly, I have only one pair of red shoes. I bought them on a whim, and have since learned how glorious they are. H&M has a pair of cotton red flats that I would love for spring (honestly, I need to stop thinking about it. We've got all kinds of insane weather coming) but sadly they only have a 5 and a 10 left.

Moira Shearer in The Red Shoes (1948)

She wore neither a train nor a golden crown, but beautiful red morocco shoes; they were indeed much finer than those which the shoemaker’s wife had sewn for little Karen. There is really nothing in the world that can be compared to red shoes!
-'The Red Shoes', Hans Christian Anderson

After all that complaining, today is a lovely day. It's rainy, this is true, but it isn't the dreadful slush and leftover snow that's been milling around the past few weeks so I am free to wear shoes that aren't completely protective against the elements.

Meet my new umbrella! I thought I lost my pink one and snagged this as a replacement. It is not the same, but he is a fine specimen of an umbrella really. Perhaps they will get married.

Today is just what I needed (obviously). Hopefully it will last me through the next few weeks of winter, since we always get one horrendous snow storm in March. In the meantime, today I am out gallivanting, with the promise of lunch and possibly a date to the movies later. Happy birthday, Presidents!

It was way too cold today to be wearing this, but as it's one of my last days for a few without snow on the ground, I decided to risk it. I've been rather lazy and unimaginative lately with outfits. I really just can't be too bothered to think of new combinations and so I just throw on something that already exists. On the upside, having a catalogue of outfits I've worn does make this task easier, in a Clueless kind of way. At the moment I am sitting lazily watching movies while everything else gets coated in snow, much to my complaint.

I have saved trillions of pictures from this week, but as most of them have been covered by much clever bloggers, I'll just post a few from my saved randomly.

Anna Sui (I can almost never resist all black, especially with odd bits of lace and other wonderful assortments)

Lacoste (I had a bunch from this, my always lurking just below the surface school girl taking over, but I like this one particularly)

DKNY (Pants! I loved DKNY, although this seems to be a generally unpopular opinion)

Philosophy (I need some unabashed fairy-tale prettiness in my life. I want to mash my face into all kinds of velvet this time around)

Karen Walker (There was a lot I liked from this also. Probably because it all feels like something I would wear, or would strive to wear)

So that's that, she said!
I mentioned once before that Out of Africa is a significant movie for me. Besides reducing me to a terrificly heartbroken pile of tears and Robert Redford reminding me of my dad to a frightening degree, the look of the thing is a love affair for me.

I've always really liked the wedding outfit, despite the oddly shaped hat, with it's Maleficent-esque collar and edible cream color. I really adore most of her dresses in this movie, especially the delicate dressing gowns and lace shawl things she wears while storytelling. Khaki actually looks appealing, though that I'm sure owes a lot to the environment and individuals, with smart riding outfits and things being sort of practically sartorial and sharp. I really grew up with my dad dressing awfully reminiscent of this movie, so it seems very right and comfortable to me.

I'm also really in love with her house.

I love the improbable strangeness of places like these. The ridiculousness of setting up a full table and chairs with the best china outside, with putting a carpet on the grass, is all very appealing to me. I know it's sort of presumptuous and obnoxious to do that sort of thing as well, one of those symbolizing dominance over landscape and all that, but the impracticality of it really appeals to me. I think it is why I am also fond of movies where people have gone places and put carpets on sand and go and have afternoon tea on dunes. It's so strange, so alien looking, I love the audacity of it. So besides that I want all those tea-steeped things in that house, I love how it's all just so and very all plopped down in the middle of gorgeous Africa.

Anyway, it's all of that and then it's also one of those really personal movies I want to curl up inside, that squeezes my poor little heart till I think it might burst.

When I first applied for my job one of the questions I asked during my interview was about the dress code. Blissfully, we were permitted to wear anything provided it fell into a vague 'business casual' or 'not too dressy but neat and professional' type of description. I work retail, so this was wonderfully lax but meant that I could wear many of the skirts and dresses I hadn't the nerve (yet) to wear to classes.

And then, they hit us with a blow so shocking, and just two weeks into my employment, that we were never to be the same. Black only! Or white shirts. We were to look like the girls at Coach, which was not so bad for me really since I never feel so warm and happy and enclosed as in all black ensembles (though some of my co-workers were dreadfully unhappy), in trousers and sweater vests*. I have to say, I am not a trouser kind of girl. I'm not really a pants kind of girl in general, and I feel so icky in office-y attire, so boring and plain and blank. Needless to say I've tried very hard to wear all black in exciting ways, day after day, shift after shift.

Sequins are easy, I love them, they add a bit of flair and texture and general quirk that delights me. On the downside they have a particular talent for irritating that ever-so delicate skin on the underside of the upper arm.

I don't wear these shoes anymore. I gave them to Mom, since they squish my toes terribly and I believe they are responsible for a bump on my foot that was not there before, and am very sad. Slips and strange tights however, make life better.

Anyhow, I find dressing for work increasingly difficult. The most frustrating thing about trousers is the length. They do not allow for a change from heels to flats, most of the time, and so I often bypass my modest little pile of them and instead toss on skirts or dresses. I do wonder what will happen when I am forced to get a job that does not involve selling things, when the only options are indeed suits and trousers. 

So yes, in my childhood I watched a lot of old movies. Two in particular are linked not only in their creation, but also for me in my childhood. While not exactly an old movie What's Up doc, with Barbara Streisand and Ryan O'Neal, is possibly one of my favorite movies ever. Words cannot express how much I love this movie, or the movie it came from: Bringing Up Baby. I feel like it's an under- appreciated movie, really. It is just fabulous and hilarious and I want to hug it like mad.

I must mention that I love the outfits. I love Barbara's (as Judy) red paisley/plaid/print shirt with a deep passion. I love that shirt and have always wanted one. Her hat is also deeply adorable, although it would look atrocious on it, and her makeup is lovely also. She wears a white suit at the dinner scene in the movie that I've always envied. Madeline Kahn wears a ridiculous tea number that I cannot decide if I want or find revolting. She also dons an extremely insane robe.

There is the heinously glorious robe. This clip is here mostly because I enjoy it. Also note the plaid overnight case! I must have one, even though I never go anywhere overnight, simply to tote it around and imagine it has something interesting in it, like 70s clothing or igneous rock formations.

With Kathering Hepburn and Carey Grant there is no possible way Bringing Up Baby is not brilliant and adorable. And once again, I love her clothes:

This dress in particular. It's so swingy, so wonderfully girly, without being confectionery and prim. (And of course, I have a thing for that whole uptight professorly look on guys).
I am very scattered and random (a warning!).

Today I shopped a ridiculous amount and spent much more money than I probably should have. On the upside, I managed some really lovely deals and bought practical shoes. I always feel guilty when I spend chunks of money on clothes that aren't thrift acquired, since I know there are plenty of gems lurking around for pennies, but I can also justify my way out of a paper bag.

I borrowed my cousin, Annie's, cardigan for the day, and it was a wonderfully comfortable outfit for lengthy shopping excursions. We also bought two of the same dresses and have yet to decide if it is a little too twee and reminiscent of when we were very young if we wear them together and take pictures. Not seriously, of course, but in a silly manner.

I did go thrifting the other day and bought an armful of slips, some with lovely little vintage tags, and this pretty little blouse form the twenty-five cent rack. I passed up a cropped fur coat that reminded me of something Tenenbaum because I was low on cash, and I've been thinking about it ever since. That is always the way, no?

The greatest thing of the week:

Bee Cake 
Lately I am fond of black-and-white, shadowy things, that are inky and grey and just a bit ancient looking or old in the manner of stories like The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Medieval productions of Shakespeare plays. Somehow, I connect them in my mind.

Helena Bonham Carter

Jerry Uelsmann

Sophia Kokosalaki


I forget :(

Apparently, sticks and grass gone to seed and wheaty-looking things also factor into this current disposition.
I have been awful about this whole blogging thing! I suppose I will blame my insecurity about my blog skillz in general although, to be truthful, the cause of all my time-related problems stems from work. But now the holidays are over and store are back to normal hours, which feel so wonderful so far, that hopefully I'll be actually doing the things I enjoy and figuring out exactly what I want this blog to be.

A few Holiday pictorials are in order!

A smile would have been nice, but oh well!

I also have to confess that I've been slumping around the world in ridiculous outfits. We've had extreme amounts of snow piling up all around, and even though I know I ought to expect it, I am still miserable every time. I love it from inside, being homey and making cookies, but then I inevitably have to leave the house to go to work or some other distasteful endeavor, and I hate the snow. Oh! Complaints! My main sort is that I am forced to wear horrendous footwear.

Though we are only just entering the dreadful winter season promised by my Upstate residence, my car is encapsulated in ice this morning, I can't help but want to dress (or at least buy) for spring just a little bit.

I blame Bewitched with Nicole Kidman. I'm pretty sure the movie was some kind of flop, but I rather liked it. It's a cute wee film; there are certainly worse movies to spend an hour or so watching out there. Mainly though, I really love the clothes. Specifically this skirt:

It reminds me of one I saw in a store ages and years ago but didn't buy because I couldn't justify the price tag at the time. Oh, my heart is broken for my lapse in judgment! I cringe at the thought of it not belonging to me, of leaving it lonely on the rack, oh ruffles!

But back to the movie. I love her girly skirts and cardigans, purposefully reminiscent of Samantha's outfits on the TV show but perhaps a little sweeter . It's certainly not deeply fashion-foward, but it's appealingly girly in a way that might only work in the movies.

I would also happily own one of the strange frocks Shirley Maclaine wears as Endora because who doesn't love a bit of jewel-toned froth?

Anthropologie piled flowers on hair for the cover of their December catalog (I love their catalogs. I have a huge pile of them in my room, from which I like to cut bits and pieces out and glue them to things) and I would like to say that I have been all over this type of thing for at least two weeks:


Okay, so it's on a much smaller scale, but still. I bought PILES of hair flowers at H&M on Black Friday and have been affixing them in large numbers to almost everything I can find. It's a nice little thing when the weather is so terrifically cold that it freezes your eyelashes.

I have to say, it does make me wish I lived in a milder climate since most of it brings to mind warmer days of light cardigans and funny little breezes. Oh well! I will have to be content with the few warmer days here before it dips into the 20s, and my poor little face crystallizes in the wind.


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