Archive | March, 2011

My Confusion with Socks

29 Mar

I have a confession to make: fashion and socks really confuse me.  When I think about fashion, socks never cross my mind.  I’m thinking about dresses and pumps and interesting pants or boots.  Socks are worn to make my boots comfortable, not something to display.  So why are these pictures popping up?

I like this outfit.  I like the lines and the colors and what I think is a plaid shirt under the sweater.  But I’m hesitant about the socks.  They aren’t much taller than the boots, which I like, and they are in the same color scheme as everything else.  Ok, I’m starting to get it.  I think I like the look.

But then I see shots like this.

MAKE IT STOP!  The shorts are horrible, the tights make no sense, and the socks are straight up awful.  Pretty girl, awful stylist.

So if we focus on a smaller distance between top of sock and top of boot, this should work, right?

Fail.  Why do I still hate it?  This might be a me thing, because I believe those boots belong in the 1620s with the Three Musketeers.  And should stay there.

One more try.

Love it!  I would love to see the rest of their outfits, but I like what’s in the shot.  A great use of color and bulky socks too.

So lessons learned:

– keep a small distance between the top of my boot and the top of my sock.  It’s ok to make the area bulky, but don’t go over board or it will look like I have donuts on my legs.  Gross.

– find pretty socks!  Stripes make me look twelve, so let’s not go there.

– wear with pants or thick leggings, not tights.  It just looks weird.

– chose the right pairing of boots with socks.  Not all boots and socks are made to work together.

Final thought: you will never see me in socks and pumps.  Hell to the no.


An Inspiration in White

23 Mar

When I included John Singer Sargent in my last post, I was inspired to look at more of his paintings.  Now I am no art history major, and this blog is not supposed to be a place to highlight that.  However, I did notice a fashion theme: WHITE, and lots of it!  Filmy, drapey, translucent white.

Lady Agnew of Lochnaw, 1892

Girl Fishing at San Vigilio, 1913

Portrait of Edouard and Marie-Louise Pailleron, 1881

Rosina, 1878

The Wyndham Sisters, 1899

Portrait of Lady Speyer, 1907

Mrs Cecil Wade, 1886

Lady Astor, 1909

I’m feeling inspired to buy some white filmy dresses now!  If only it would not snow tonight…

In Love with a Boater

22 Mar

For some reason, this season I have decided I really want a straw boater.  I’m not sure why.  Only old men in barbershop quartets wear them.  But I honestly think this hat would be a fantastic spring/summer addition to my wardrobe.

A Barbershop Quartet


Boaters started out as a man’s summer hat.  They became popular in the 1890s, when looking athletic and outdoorsy was fashionable.  Both sexes wore them, though for women it was a masculine choice (much like wearing “boyfriend jeans” today).

One of my all time favorite paintings, Mr. and Mrs. I.N. Phelps Stokes by John Singer Sargent in 1896

The boater was appropriate for formal summer fashion, to be worn with a blazer and or tie.  Nowadays, the boater is reserved for period plays in the theatre and corny barbershop quartets.  WHY IS THIS?

Check out these photos below.  It really does work over a century later.

Am I right or am I right?

My Best Friend is a Pencil

18 Mar

I’m starting to believe that spring is coming.  I am pushing aside all my boring black pants and looking for the skirts shoved to the back of the closet.  After hibernating all winter, I am ready to show my pale white legs to the sun.  I am ready to swish when I move.  I am ready to strut down the runway.  I mean sidewalk.


Through this search, I am starting to find my favorite skirts, almost all of which are pencil skirts.   Turns out I really like that slim, tailored look – so flattering!

The pencil skirt actually started life as the hobble skirt, a longer skirt from the start of the 20th century that literally hobbled the wearer.  Oddly enough, the fashion did not last long.

Next came Dior, who shortened the hem in the late 1940s.  This time the look worked, and released women from the boxy ’40s wartime silhouette.

The pencil has remained in fashion ever since.  It lost popularity in the ’70s but came back with a vengeance in the ’80s power suit.

Now it is a mainstay in both fashion and business attire.   Dress it up, dress it down, have fun with it or wear it to a conservative job interview.  You can’t really mess it up.

And thank you, Wikipedia, for providing an entertaining explanation of how to wear the skirt:

Walking needs to be done in short strides; entering and leaving a car gracefully takes practice; and when sitting the legs are held close together which some can find restrictive (though others like the feeling of their legs being “hugged” by the skirt). Activities such as climbing ladders and riding bicycles can be very difficult in a pencil skirt. In spite of these apparent disadvantages, the pencil skirt does have practical benefits: it is warmer due to the reduced ventilation, and is less likely to be blown up by gusts of wind.

Note to self: do not ride a bike in a pencil skirt.

Hats Revisited

16 Mar

I had the opportunity to host an engagement celebration a few weekends ago.  Not mine, mind you, but a celebration of the engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton.  I asked the invitees to wear hats to honor the occasion, and I was thrilled by the array of head gear!  The hats were mostly mine, to be honest, but nonetheless there was many a chapeau to be seen.













And one of my favorites:

Ethan, Renee and Lydia

Happy tea time!

I’m Ready for a Color EXPLOSION!

11 Mar

As most of you know, I can be pretty impatient.  Once I’ve decided I want something or am ready to move on, it needs to happen NOW.  And at this moment, I am ready for spring.  I’m ready for sundresses and lighter jackets and canvas sneakers and colors!  I wear color year round- I don’t think I could ever be accused of being drab- but I’m ready to take it a step further.

My color to do list:

1.) More red.  I am really enjoying my red lipstick these days, and what better color to pair it with than red?  Turns out I have a startling lack of red in my closet.  Must fix.

2.) Green.  I’ve been obsessed with green for a while now, but I plan to keep it going, better and brighter.  Not neon or lime green, mind you, but Kelly green is always perfect for spring.

And finally, 3.) YELLOW.  A mellow, buttery yellow that looks so good you want to eat it.  J’adore.

Today is a particularly rainy, blustery New England day, so I hope Mother Nature lets me wear these items sometime soon.  I’m ready!

The Leopard Print Flat

9 Mar

We all have a pair.  Ok, maybe not the men reading this blog, but I would say a healthy 85% of women in their 20s or 30s own a pair of leopard print flats.  In my office alone, I see two or three pairs daily on a rotating schedule.

But have you also noticed how ugly they can be?  How can something so simple and spicy also be so mundane and old looking?







Be very careful, friends.  Sometimes there is a very fine line between great and awful.