Good to the last drop

i saw a woman today wearing a very summery sundress. it had a fitted bodice and a sash belt of the same fabric over a full skirt. her hair was pulled back into a ponytail and she had on plastic thongs. not an uncommon sight. and since i am accustomed to this misinformed trend, i was unfazed by it. steadily we've moved away from thoroughly coordinated outfits. not since jackie have the shoes/hat/gloves/coat/manicure religiously been matched, and jackie herself embraced the change, her style evolving with the times and reflecting more independent fashion. fashion became independent of men, of gender roles, independent of profession, of alleged propriety, of economic brackets, and eventually, inevitably, the trend lead to fashion being independent of itself, with idiosyncratic outfits becoming the trend, until, of course, now that has become a predictable "look" canceling the independence of it all, i suppose. and the result is this woman i saw today, with incongruous parts, looking perfectly normal to me.

wardrobe departments are still in the business of maintaining fashion coherence, though they work on keeping an outfit fitting the character, not the outfit fully fitting itself, as we have lost most of the rules of getting dressed, the checklist of necessities. it's liberating to dress/shop/choose ... independently, but i do think some people are lumping the good with the bad. it's a bit of a cop-out to say "there are no rules to fashion so i can wear flipflops with everything."

yes, anyone can surely wear flipflops with anything they want to, and i wouldn't want it any other way but that doesn't change the fact that when they do, it's unfinished business. why bother to get half dressed? why forgo the right to actually choose a shoe and wear flipflops instead when another shoe would look so much better? i'm sorry - (but i'm not) - sometimes what looks good is not subjective, or at least, it isn't on this blog. ;) i'm not even really talking about something looking better, actually. i should clarify. i'm talking about finishing what was started. flipflops are a non-shoe.

i can think of a number of different options she had and they aren't about matching her dress, but about conveying some sort of aesthetic. as it was, i was left with nothing from her ensemble, other than to wonder if she had fled a burning building and had to evacuate in the flipflops she had on. the same thing happens when someone ditches their fashion choices in favor of a status bag. while it is possible that they sank their wardrobe $ into the purse and hence the jeans and flipflops... it still amounts to the same thing - copping out. okay, the good news is that this post isn't (or at least wasn't intended to be) a rant against the flipflop. it just illustrates something i will try not to do, which is to be noncommittal.

do you aim for pieces or for an outfit? are there parts you consider to be extraneous to your look, eg hair, accessories, *gulp* shoes?


Carlene said...

I blame the flipflop/It bag thing on celebrities. If they do it, it must be not only okay, it must be the perfect choice (after all, they can wear anything!). Maybe we should just come right out and blame it on Rachel Zoe. I even have one pair of flipflops, Reefs in black. They never leave the vicinity of my home, though.

I was looking at photos of Helena Christensen on TFS the other day; I love her style. (I think she may be my new fashion muse.) She wears flipflops occasionally (usually of suede, from what I can tell from the photos), and they do suit her bohemian kind of style, but just as often she's wearing a pair of some kind of imaginative flats (always different, too).

I do aim for an outfit; that is not to say I always hit my target. I keep it so simple, though, so earrings and a watch or one big ring or pendant are my only accessories. I also usually have a wrap, even in the summer. I have 3, a pink pashmina, a black pashmina and a deep red/brown paisley. Sometimes the wrap really makes the outfit. I love bags, but lots of times I don't even carry a bag, I just use pockets.

The one thing that always makes me feel I've failed in the outfit department, though, is...I bite my nails, and so never feel quite put together. Seriously, this is what keeps me from, I feel, looking my best. I know this is a fashion blog, but any thoughts on grooming as part of a complete look?

editor said...

nail/grooming issues more than welcome. that's why i included the picture of morticia. her hair/grooming is a major part of her complete look. as well as her walk, her... tailoring, etc.
i thought of my own nails before i posted this entry. short and always bare. i decided that didn't interfere with my style though, because it conveys that i'm low-maintenance in the beauty dept. lol
helena is definitely an independent. did you go to her store when you were in ny?

Carlene said...

I forgot to check out her store. I wish I could go back and check out all the places I either forgot about or heard about after I got home.

Iheartfashion said...

I'm with you on the flip flops! For me, they are inappropriate unless you're on the beach or in the gym locker room. Otherwise, no. (I sound like such an old lady!)
I do strive to put together a cohesive outfit when I leave the house, with shoes, earrings, bag, etc seldom "matching" but definitely coordinated. Grooming is more low-key, and I tend to leave the house with minimal makeup and wet hair every morning because I'm afraid of the afro a blowdryer would give me. (I don't think I've ever owned a comb or brush; it's futile with curly hair.)So....maybe the wet hair destroys my look the same way the flip flops did. But at least it's only for a couple of hours...