Call Me Ishmael


Somebody sometime said something about how what you wear is your message to the world.  Sure I could go find the exact quote but you get the idea.  I’m not entirely against this point of view.  I just ask that it not be applied to me between the hours of 8 and 5 Monday through Friday.  The only message you will receive is “Look. I found a cardigan on my floor.”  I simply don’t do business casual.  To quote Dita Von Teese, “It chafes me, if not physically then emotionally.”  So I just get by on technicalities.  No denim.  No tshirts.  No fun.  It’s been said you should “dress for the job you want.”  But I don’t think a Mrs. Lovett costume fits the dress code around here.

https://i1.wp.com/jesmaine.tripod.com/msw/sweeneytodd1.JPG

“I’m sorry, lovey.  Mr. Todd’s in a meetin’.  May I take a message, dear?”

I really do love my wardrobe outside the office environment.  But within these walls, it’s dismal and unfixable.  Mostly because I don’t want to spend my shopping money on work clothes.  Ugh.  I will drop silly cash on an audition dress, but dress pants?  What is this?  Church?  Game day?  Also, since I have the build of a small russet potato lodged onto two pool cues, I can’t ever find pants (in store – yes, I am aware of the “online” option) that are long enough.  Except for, God bless it, The Limited.  Thank you, Les Wexner, for allowing the long-legged to have some pant-related dignity.  Your name may sound like a super villain, but your heart is true.  At any other store (I’m looking at you EXPRESS) I have to try on the regular length, and then go home and order the long length.  “Plus shipping!” says my Mother.  True.

My latest fashion related white whale is a pair of skinny black pants that are neither jeans, nor leggings, nor ankle length.  I want them to be able to go out for a day on the town, and then transition to dinner.  I want them long enough to bunch slightly at the ankle.  I would accept a zip ankle as well, as long as they err on the side of too long as opposed to flood length.   I quote Agador Spartacus, “I want that nice Armani break in the front, you know? But don’t just pull it. Do it, down there– I got highwaters here.”  I would also ask that they not flat iron my already non-existent butt resulting in a look similar to two flattened Pillsbury Crescent Rolls hermetically sealed to the back of my thighs (I’m looking at you, Target pants.)

A pause to tell an illustrative story.  My sisters and one of their best friends came to visit me a few years ago.  We decided to spend a day sunbathing at North Avenue beach.  Because my once quite tawny complexion is now permanently lily white thanks to years in a theatre and aforementioned office day job, I decided to wear a tshirt over my two piece and expose only my legs to nature for fear that if I exposed the rest of my incandescent body I would serve as some sort of accidental beacon to the lake freighters and cause some sort of maritime disaster.

It worked.  I didn’t come home with blisteringly red shoulders or anything, except for a tiny patch, just above my bikini bottom and below the hem of my shirt where a teensy but vulnerable bit of my back was burned.  When we got back home that afternoon, I winced in pain as I sat down.  “Let’s see it!” said my middle sister, a little too eagerly.

“My burn?”  I asked.
“Yeah, show us how bad it is.”
“Alright,” so I stood, turning my back to the girls and exposing the line between the burn and my butt.
“Isn’t it flat?!” my sister whispered to her friend, giggling maniacally.
“Hey!”  I shouted.  “You just did that so I would show her my flat butt!”
“Well, we were just talking about it earlier.  You wouldn’t have done it if I had just asked you to.”

Yes I would have.   I’m an oldest.  We will moon at any opportunity.

The point is, I would like these skinny black pants to perhaps enhance my posterior or at least pretend like I have one.  I honestly don’t think these pants exist.  Maybe on Pinterest.  But clothing items on Pinterest are the sartorial equivalent of the Loch Ness Monster.  You need more than a photo to prove it’s existence.

Marc Jacobs- Orange

Look at her. So smug. And they aren’t even real.

 

Steve Feltham, who has dedicated the past 21 years to hunting for Nessie was unequivocval.

“It is the best photograph I think I have ever seen,” he said.

From his base on Dores beach and has studied many Nessie sighting photographs.

“I think the images are fantastic – that’s the pants…er animal I have been looking for all this time,” he said yesterday. (Source: Telegraph.co.uk)

My last clothing white whale was a tartan blouse that was neither a flannel nor sheer.  Crisp but able to go to work or play or as a layering piece.  Also, a true Scotch tartan, not just a plaid.  I was looking for Wallace (my Grandpa’s namesake) or Black Stewart, or Dress Stewart.  I looked everywhere. I thought I found it out of stock at J Crew where I called both my J Crew employee sister (who was helpful I should say) and J Crew customer service who I basically begged on my hands and knees, via email, to send me what they had.  But they had nothing.  I felt they wished they could help, though.  Good folks, J Crew customer service.

Then I suspected I found it at LL Bean.  But LL Bean is not targeting me as their customer.  They are targeting my friend’s Moms.  As such, the fashion photography at LL Bean is a bit…frumpy.  So while the dimensions, description, and fabric were exactly what I was looking for  (Black Stewart!).  The styling of the photo wasn’t clear enough.  Lucky for me, there’s an LL Bean store just up good I-94  and lo and behold, ’twas perfect.   One unbutton lower than Bean’s advertisement, a stylish roll of the sleeves, and we are in youthful and stylish business.

Unfortunately, Bean is not in the market for hot skinny non-denim black pants with optional ankle zip.

Buy it: Blake Lively’s Black Leather Jacket

WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR GODDAMN PANTS, BLAKE LIVELY?

Maybe someday I’ll find Nessie (I’m calling the pants “Nessie” now.)  I can’t give up hope.  The implications for society, er, my wardrobe are too far-reaching.  All of a sudden, that sweater could go to dinner.  Those boots could hit the town.  That jacket could brunch.  That tshirt could go out for drinks.  The repercussions are astounding.

But what happens if I do find them?  It’s like Frodo and Sam after they destroy the Ring.  Now what?  Do I just go back to The Shire and have a pint?  Pretend like I still have purpose? Find another questing beast?

Yes.

A slightly shrunken, classic, not overly detailed or moto black leather jacket.

Lovely jacketBiker Jacket #newJacket #topfashion #topmode #kelly751  #BikerJacket    2dayslook.com

I believe.

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My So Called Style – Fall Wishlist 2011


Angela Chase

Flannel shirt. Check. Ripped jeans. Check. And you guys, I totally married Jordan Catalano.

Or Dillon (90210). I don’t know for sure, but I bet he’d prefer Catalano.

I officially can’t wait for Fall.

Yesterday I posted my inspiration for Fall fashion this year. Never has it been more near and dear to my heart.

The key to a, shall we say….nostalgic look is to have the spirit of the era and yet not so authentic as to the point of costume. Part of the many reasons I count myself a Johnny Depp fan is that he embodies the spirit of the kind of fashion I like. Weird. Slouchy but not sloppy. Sexy. With a sense of humor. And a product of the 90’s. In the best way. He also knows how to rock an arm party (I will detail below). That’s the thing about the 90’s. So much of it isn’t gender specific which is not usually my style. But certain elements rise to the top. The white tshirt. Jeans. A leather jacket. Boots. These are human items of clothing. They are inherently cool. They are also a blank slate. Built for customization, and it is the accessories that define the person and the outfit.

The Spirit of the Season

I would wear this.

Yesterday, I established that Alicia Silverstone/Cher Horowitz is very much a fashion icon for me. As is Johnny Depp, as I said above. Other 90’s style icons include Eddie Vedder. Fairuza Balk. Linda Evangelista. Meg Ryan. Karen Elson. Kate Moss. Lisa Loeb. My So Called Life. Drew Barrymore. 90210.

Love Angela’s layering. Hipster’s dare to dream of Rayanne’s style.

I adore this top. I’m not usually into crochet, but the fit is great.

When I was 11, I thought Jennie Garth was the prettiest girl in the world with the best hair I had ever seen. I continually strived for and failed to achieve this style. The jacket, however, would totally work this year.

While I love Seinfeld, I never got into Elaine’s style. It was a bit too Amish for me. Jennifer Aniston’s look on Friends was a bit too “done,” however I always loved her way with a white tshirt, and her coffee shop outfit, with the black mini and the black tights was adorable. This is another of my fave’s:

This is summery, but I dig it.

The hip hop United Colors of Bennetton thing was also a bit too bright for my palette. It’s funny. While the clothing of the nineties was relaxed, often the hair and makeup was intense, if not severe. Dark lips. Pale matte skin. Thin but dark brows. Slicked back hair. It was the era of grunge. But it was also the era of high glam and the supermodel. Cindy Crawford had the big hair, the perfect makeup.

But let me also say that my 2011 Fall wishlist is not entirely circa 1993. What I am focusing on is iconic, quality items, with some cozy autumn in between. I stopped short of Birkenstocks. 1. More of a summer shoe. 2. I don’t know if I’m THAT nostalgic. Still, having graduated in 1999, you would assume (and would be correct) that a lot of my present wardrobe is already apropos for this fashion season. I did pick up a flannel last year. It was like coming home. My Dad is probably glad I bought this one rather than raiding one from his closet. I have something else I plan on raiding from his closet this year. I’ll let you know when I’ve secured it. Anyway, I have several pairs of ripped jeans, and dammit I love them. Lots of white tshirts, although it’s time for a new one. Such a classic item, but you have to refresh your supply. A denim jacket. Sweater vest. Button downs. Plaid school girl skirt. I am heavily editing my 90’s style for this year. Anything post ’96 feels not right. No ringer tees. No huge jeans (I was never into that in the first place). No baby hair clippies. Oversized is not going to be the fit I’m looking for. Rather, I want to mix proportions.

Aside from the 90’s, the runways were packed with 60’s style. I have cute little kitten heel slingbacks that will do the trick. Lots of shift-ish dresses, a plaid jumper. My black turtleneck. I picked up a pair of perfect black mary janes I can’t wait to wear with fun tights. I also have a pair of Marcia Bradyish plum t-straps. More of an early 70’s look, but it applies. One thing I adore about 60’s style is the fantastic, and highly linear tailoring. So flattering. So chic and dressed up and so very easy! If you throw on a cute a-line shift, and slingbacks, you’re done and you look polished. Being such a child of the 90’s, I very often could use a 60’s spit shine.

Plaid is big this year, with both a 60’s and a 90’s feel. I’m Scottish (and other things) by way of ancestry AND I love the early 90’s. Trust me. I dig some plaid.

The way I come up with my wishlist is a combination of items that really reflect the look I am going for, and also items that I could really use in my wardrobe. My lifestyle calls for lots of different types of outfits. I’m an actor, so I audition a lot. I feel like personal style is a major part of showing who I am. I also work 8-5 in an office in a business dress environment. I see a lot of theatre. I go to Ohio a lot. These are all situations that dictate what I wear. My list is much more unisex than past years. I expect next year it will be lots of feathers and bows and sky high heels. But this year…. without further ado – Here are my edited wishlist/shopping list items for Fall 2011!*

1. Leggings – black full length leggings. Perhaps a heather gray or a navy. Maybe even an olive green.

2. Slouchy sweaters/perhaps a tunic. I am not a tunic fan, in reference to myself, really. However, certain forms of the tunic appeal to me. One in particular is a collared version. It looks like a button down, except it isn’t. I love this shape because it does actually have a shape.  I’ve heard it called a Popover.  I like this. With leggings and maybe riding boots, I think this could be a comfy and cute Saturday outfit. Slouchy sweaters, on the other hand, are all about proportion. I’m looking for very thin knit, with slim arms, and probably and off-shoulder or boat neck neckline. No bulky knits, for the most part. I would even consider a cheery henley neckline. (Makes my boobs look fantastic. Not gonna lie.)

3. Black leather jacket – This was on my list last year. Will has one. I may just borrow. Although a super soft girly one would be awesome.

4. Varsity jacket – I never got one in high school. I will have you know I lettered twice, too. Cheerleading and choir. Guess who majored in theatre?! I didn’t buy one for many reasons, the main being I was too busy dressing like Angela Chase. Also I had recently moved from another school district and old alliances are hard to beat. Anyway. It only took me 16 years since my freshman year to finally give in. I want the Buffy look. Varsity jacket. Leggings. And a ponytail.

5. Doc Marten’s – I never actually owned a pair. My huz has a pair of really kick ass ones I bought for him one of our first Christmases as a couple. Nearly knee high. I can’t decide if I want the boot or the oxford. Probably the boot.

6. Hoops – Hoop earrings are kind of my signature. I get made fun of all the time. You should know they were also Brigitte Bardot’s signature jewelry. You just couldn’t see them under all that hair. They are on the list this year because I would like to shell out for a nicer pair than the Target multipacks I buy every year.

7. Cropped sweater/vest. Per yesterday’s post, I want to mess with proportions this season. Long shirts topped with cropped sweaters feels so dancery and cozy.

8. White shirt – This has been rotting on my list for years now. It’s no fun shopping for this staple. Particularly with my chest. Finding the right top can take forever, and you have to try it on. You can’t order this one. Still, once I secure the wardrobe holy grail, playing with it will make up for the drudgery of finding it. I want an oxford style, regular cuff, white shirt. Broadcloth, or something similar that is slightly thicker than the average blouse. I may peruse the menswear department and then have it tailored on the sides.

9. Straight leg jeans – versatile, cuffable. Ever so slightly slouchy. Dark but not indigo.

10. Ribbed tights – fall colors and jewel tones. Maybe a pair of cream. Only for my brown riding boots, though. I’m going for equestrian, not little girl.

11. Mod A-line dress – I’m picturing short or long sleeved. With tights. Probably solid color.

12. Red or grey low chuck taylors

13. Red Minnetonka moccasins – I have a pair of the classic that I use around the house. I need a pair to wear outside. They are too cute and comfy. Very bombshell in the woods.

14. Bibs – I miss them. I can’t help it. I think they look sexy, if done right. Fortunately for everyone groaning right now, outside the local Tractor Supply in Ohio, I think they are going to be hard to come by.

15. Madewell Plaid Coat – It’s not even available yet. I saw it in a magazine. To quote 90’s icon Wayne Campbell, “It will be mine. Oh yes, it will be mine.”

16. Mad about plaid dress – Donna Ricco is a genius. She does one thing and she does it really well. That thing she does is dresses. And this is one from her line this year.

17. Jersey long sleeved maxi dress – Another item to wear with a cropped sweater. Such a dramatic sillhouette.

18. Maybe a slouchy harness boot or Frye Campus boots – Frye Campus boots in Banana have been on my radar for many a year. Will has harness boots. I’m not looking for a true harness, rather a slouchy piratey looking pair.

19. Arm party. I love tattoos. Just not on me. Rather, I dig an arm party. I have always been a fan of bracelets. Necklaces aren’t really my style, minus a couple special ones. An army party is the equivalent of one bracelet inviting all it’s friends over to play. The key is mix of textures, widths, and metals. I am looking for fun invitees to my fall arm party. I’m thinking hammered metals, bangles, and friendship bracelets. If you look at Rayanne in the above photo, she’s got a tape measure as part of her arm party. Creativity is key, and there are no rules. It’s a party!

20. Chambray shirt. – Fairly deep in color. I like the versions that are available right now. I’m picturing with leggings and also with my plaid kilty skirt.

21. Another flannel – I have one that is yellow and blue. I need one in the red/black/green area. I’m thinking with leggings.

22. Raglan sleeve grey crewneck sweatshirt

23. Brown High Heeled Boots

24. Black ballet flats

25. Day/Play dress(es) – Think Alicia Silverstone in the Amazin’ video. Not tooo hippy dippy. I already have the floral one. Could be worn with leggings?

* I won’t be purchasing all these items. This is just a list of items that would be welcome in my wardrobe.

* The total list has about 50 items on it.  That is true.

Fall Wishlist 2011

All Saints long sleeve dress
$44 – allsaints.com

Ted Baker tee dress
49 – johnlewis.com

Carven long sleeve sweater
58 – theoutnet.com

Reiss shirts blouse
110 – johnlewis.com

James Perse white short sleeve shirt
$50 – jamesperse.com

Aryn Glasser hoody
€179 – conleys.de

J Crew vintage chambray shirt
$98 – jcrew.com

H M studded jacket
30 – hm.com

Levi s romper
$55 – macys.com

Madewell knit legging
$22 – madewell.com

Ribbed stocking
$20 – topshop.com

Madewell knee high heels
$325 – madewell.com

Repetto ballerina shoes
$280 – ssense.com

Steve Madden black heels
$85 – heels.com

POL gold silver earrings
$17 – target.com

G by Guess post earrings
$15 – gbyguess.com

Rhinestone jewelry
$5.99 – tillys.com

Dr. Martens 1460
$120 – zappos.com

Converse All Star Oxfords Shoes
$30 – piperlime.gap.com

SO Striped Varsity Jacket
$20 – kohls.com

Minnetonka Thunderbird Ii
$39 – zappos.com

It’s a Doris Kind of Day!*


Doris Day - Bless her heart

Movie Post

In a revolutionary move…for me…I have decided to test out a combination of Fashion Inspiration and Movie Hero of the Week.

So, first and foremost, let me bring your attention to Doris Day. She’s very famous, don’t get me wrong. Yet, I find her reputation is over-simplified. She’s sort of known for being the virginal, freshly scrubbed 60’s icon with a penchant for birthday cake-like hats. While not unfounded, I’d like to introduce you to a spikier side of Miss Day.

“I look upon Brad Allen as any other disease. I’ve had him. I’m over him.” Pillow Talk

While she was married briefly several times, she has been known to say that if she ever had one true love, it was with Rock Hudson. That, my friends, had to have been a complex relationship, no?  She did profess never to have known he was gay.  I reserve a hearty “Oh come on,” for that.  Still, she did say she knows Rock is in heaven because he was such a kind person.

He was also incredibly good looking.  Have you seen him in the tub in Pillow Talk?

Here:

You are welcome.  Reow.

In this first clip I’d like to share (of Doris), we see a surprisingly dare I say feminist Doris Day?  She’s a succesful advertising executive who is desperately trying to land a choice account over the notorious Mr. Webster, a competing advertising executive played by Rock Hudson.  (Her hat in this one is more Jiffy Pop than birthday cake.)  The clip ends with one of my favorite all time Doris lines.

In a similar role in Pillow Talk, she declares in perhaps her most famous line, “Mr. Allen, it may interest you to know that there are some men who don’t end every sentence in a proposition.”

In a bit of a departure for both Doris Day and Alfred Hitchcock, she stars in The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956 version – costumes, it should be noted, by Edith Head.)  Here she sings her signature song…loaded with signature Hitchcock tension:

She nows lives fabulously as a hermity cat lady.  That’s true.  And pretty awesome.  She’s an animal rights advocate and she is done with Hollywood.  In fact, it was during filming for The Man Who Knew Too Much that she began her animal rights work.  She was upset by the treatment of the livestock “extras” used in the film.  I love this woman.  Did I mention she’s from Ohio?

She is a staunch Republican, but she’s a blonde from Cincinnati, so that’s to be expected.  Le sigh.  Speaking of blondes from Cincinnati, she went to the same ballroom dance studio as Vera Ellen and their parents used to carpool.  Rosemary Clooney didn’t live all that far away.   I wonder if she was there too.  In my fantasy, she is.  It’s not like Vera’s taking up that much room in the back seat.

It’s easy to forget how sexy some of Doris Day’s movies are, but they are, in their way.  Sure, she had a swear jar on the set (that’s also true), but she was a grown up lady living in a crazy world.  It’s no bad thing to throw around a little Midwestern no-nonsense sometimes.

Fashion Post

“I like joy; I want to be joyous; I want to have fun on the set; I want to wear beautiful clothes and look pretty. I want to smile and I want to make people laugh. And that’s all I want. I like it. I like being happy. I want to make others happy.”  Doris Day

If you changed “set” to “stage”, you pretty much have my career mantra.  Not a higher calling, but a calling nonetheless.

Doris Day was a fashion icon of her time.  She represented color, good girls, and excellent tailoring.  She even had a paper doll set created in her image!

So, to add a little sunshine to your wintery day, I’d like to share one of my favorite Polyvore creations inspired by none other than Doris Day – Ohio girl, chanteuse, and a personal fashion icon of mine.  She also reminds me of my Aunt Becky, whom I love.

While my tiny neurotic brain has a hard time allowing for “whatever will be,” I certainly aspire to see life that way.  I also aspire to wear this outfit:

Kate Spade Cammie
$240 – piperlime.gap.com
Mary jane pump »

NANA’ – FEATHER HAT
265 EUR – luisaviaroma.com
Feather hats »

Doris Day
leofuchs.com
*What is a movie hero? An un or under-sung member of the film making community who deserves more of the spotlight. And yet lack of such a spotlight often adds to their charm.