outfit: post-80’s main street USA

ootd 2018-02-25 at 1.26.52 PM

This is what I wore today, but it could just as well have been taken in the 1990s, 2000s, or 2010s. Fashion hasn’t really changed much in the post 80’s era. In my teens and 20’s, I wanted my clothes to stand out and say something special.  That was probably the 1980’s era American optimism and my youthful naïveté still brewing at the time, which has since faded away, alongside the death of the American dream.  Fast forward to today. I’ve developed a sober appreciation for dressing just like everyone else.  That attitude though, has not taken the joy out of getting dressed for me.  It’s a quieter joy than it used to be, but there’s joy nonetheless.

ootd 2018-02-25 at 1.26.25 PM

It was raining and muddy at the park today, where I took Freddy for his morning walk, so I decided to forego my usual oxfords and dusted off these crepe work boots for the occasion.  I covered the boots in wax a while back to protect them from water damage.  The wax dried and leaves a faint white dusty layer unevenly distributed in the crevices, which gives the boots the appearance of spending a lot of time on a construction site.  This is workwear chic done unintentionally.

I went to the cleaners to pick up my tailored shirt on Friday but the tailor said the seam work was more difficult than expected and she needed more time to work on it, which was OK with me.  She spent more than two hours tailoring this shirt and was not finished. I’m only paying her $35 for it.  That’s barely a living wage in the U.S.  It was another affirmation that I should be paying more for clothes.

How was your weekend?  On Friday, we stayed out late. Then I spent Saturday getting some much needed R&R. And today, Sunday, I’m working on a presentation that I have to give at work.  I have a number of presentations and research projects that I need to work on right now.  I’m starting to resent all these extra projects that I became involved in, which I don’t get paid extra for, and which dip into my free time.

And lastly, here’s a documentary about the anti-fashion movement that started in the 1990’s, as a reaction to the over the top optimism of the 1980’s.  I think you’ll find it interesting.

[outfit:  *lauren manoogian ribbed tee, *levi’s 501ct jeans, APC armelle boot, everlane long puffer; *=pre-owned]

What’s in my bag?

bag contents

Prototypical ‘what’s in my bag’ blog post here.

I’m working on a research project today.  It’s very tedious. I got bored and decided to unload everything from my bag onto my desk to write this blog post.

What’s in my bag?

  1. A 6 year old leather wallet from Madewell that holds my cards, cash, and coins all in one pocket.  I’m really unhappy with this wallet.  It’s quite dirty inside and the two card slots are too small.  Because everything is in one pocket, I find it takes a long time to find the card I’m looking for, which I’m sure irritates the hell out of the New Yorkers waiting behind me in line.  I should probably replace it with something more functional and structured.
  2. A 4 year old key chain from Madewell with my house keys.  Very happy with this.  It’s functional and the furry texture of the key chain makes it easy to find in my purse.
  3. My work pager (it hardly ever rings anymore, thank god); battered from the many times I’ve dropped it, held together with scotch tape.
  4. A pill box for random OTC meds that I use on an as needed (PRN) basis
  5. A cheap pen
  6. Cerave healing ointment for lips.
  7. Dr. Hauschka rose day cream –  I no longer use this on my face because of all the botanical ingredients that I’m actually trying to avoid, but I need to use it up so now it is delegated to hand cream that I keep in my purse.  It smells amazing; nice for freshening up the stinky air inside the subway on my commute.

Not shown are my ID badge and headphones, both of which I usually wear on my body while commuting.  I tend to carry bags on the smaller side.  There are times where I need to carry larger items, and for that I take along a canvas tote or one of those netted french market bags.  I’ve had mild scoliosis since puberty which has never given me any problems but when I was diagnosed with it at age 12, my pediatrician warned me to never carry a big purse because that could make it worse, so I never did!

Fashion: My April Wardrobe Additions

Ganni Lousa Shift blue 148 Ganni Lousa shift dress blue close up 148

1)  Ganni Lousa Shift Dress in blue from Anthropologie

This dress met my criteria for being a staple item for work, but had many unique qualities that made it a must buy for me.  It’s soft, thick and stretchy, has an embossed pattern and can be worn wrinkly if that makes sense.  Royal blue in this fabric gives it a deep velvety richness.  It maintains its form while being loose at the same time!  Can be nicely dressed up with a scarf, necklace, or a thin belt.  Would go well with some opaque stockings and flat oxfords or low heeled ankle boots.  The dress on the model is a bit shorter than it is on me.  I’m 5’5″ tall and got this dress in x-small, it ends just 2-3 inches above the knee.  I can see myself repeatedly wearing this and mixing it up with different accessories.

J crew boy shirt dots 78 J crew boy shirt dots 78 - model

2) J. crew Boy Shirt in Dots

This buy was intended to be another staple item for work, but could also be worn in a casual day outfit.  The excellent fit and comfort were the selling points for me.  It’s 100% cotton, very soft.  The fabric is thick enough to be to be opaque in white (don’t have to worry about your bra showing through).  There’s a button at the back of the collar that keeps the collar well folded and neat throughout the day.  It looks chic buttoned all the way to the top, sleeves rolled up, tucked into a skirt or dress pants and “casual fun” when sleeves ironed and rolled down, untucked over some fitted capri pants or skinny jeans.  I’m really digging button down collared shirts these days!

J crew cafe capri

3.) J. crew Cafe Capri in Seersucker, Navy, and Camel

I loved these pants so much that I bought 3 of them.  These are going to be great staple items for my wardrobe (notice a theme here?).  The shape is just the right balance.  It’s well fitted, somewhat skinny and tapered, but not at all tight.  There’s plenty of wiggle room and a tiny bit of stretch but you wouldn’t guess that by looking at the fabric.  You can iron a seam down the front of the leg to give them a more professional look but they can also be ironed flat.  Can be worn straight or slightly rolled up for a more casual look.  The fabric is 100% cotton and pretty thick compared to the average dress pant, which is good if you don’t want to have to think about panty lines or bunching of your tucked in shirts.  Great with a colorful belt and because they are tapered, dress shirts look good tucked and untucked.

Baggu chestnut backpack 42 Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 12.20.53 AM

4) Baggu Backpack in chestnut

Thanks to my lovely friend who tipped me off to this!  I love it!  The picture on the right is via the Sartorialist.  The Baggu backpack he is carrying is an earlier version of the one that I bought (on the left).  The only difference is in the clasp.  The old version had a strappy closure while the new version has a snap hardware closure.  I wanted a backpack with no frills and large enough to carry my 13″ laptop, a water bottle, and some books.  Its also unique in that the small pocket is hidden along the side and opens with a zipper.  It’ll have some edge when paired with a green military jacket, black tights, and combat boots or just totally simple and understated when paired with casual workwear.

EDIT: this blue Ganni dress is now on sale for half price at anthro as of 4/24/13