find me

I am always at Up and Down Town, an illustrated on-line journal of obtuse musings and observations, featuring mostly fictional fashion, presented as individual cartoons, meant to be enjoyed as a continuous story that gets updated 5 days a week.

Walk a mile

what do you think?

if you were forced to wear an outfit that you had not liked on someone else, would you gain appreciation for it in some way, or dislike it more?

yesterday i underestimated how bad i'd feel today. next new post will be on monday.


name one thing you would add or subtract here (you can't do both).


when someone steps out in a garish outfit that is utterly bizarre and pushes the envelope, observers might wonder what possesses someone to dress in such a way. "what was s/he thinking? they have all the choices in the world, they wear that?!"

but what of the pride of clothing? the beautiful things that are out there, hanging on hangers, or lying on shelves, waiting for a day out. hoping for a fun time, nice weather, compatible friends.

if clothing had feelings, what would it not want to do?


i love deadlines. i work best under pressure. and i'm always most productive in the eleventh hour. but work is work, and shopping is not.

If you shopped the way you worked, then how would that go?

Either or

while interacting with a sales person (right then - no time to remedy the problem!!):

1. would you rather be wearing ill-fitting pants, or noisy shoes?

2. would you rather have bad skin or bad breath?

Size matters

speaking of belts, when i was selecting mine, i felt i was dangerously close to cliché territory: my choices were skinny belt, medium belt, wide belt. yes, in every imaginable color, but since i already knew i wanted black, the choice really came down to these 3 widths. i got bored with staring at my options, realizing that i was admiring more than deciding and just instinctively grabbed one.

it's the perfect belt for me (i can say with certainty now that i've held it up to all my clothes). a teeny tiny part of me was disappointed that i went with a medium width, wondering if i had wimped out. but the medium will actually serve my style, needs and imagination the longest. the beauty of the belt lies in the material, the quality, the simplicity, and not the neutrality of the belt (and by "neutrality" here i do not mean a high probability of compatibility. i mean "middle of the road").

and while i am not someone who would ever consciously aim for middle-of-the-road (frankly, i prefer to be off on the shoulder, sartorially speaking), it raised questions for me. what would make an item be defined as a style neutral? merely not being an extreme? merely not being trendy? is "trendy" applied to anything that is painfully, nauseatingly popular? if i had found this belt a year ago or 5, or 10, it would have been perfect for me. the appeal of it is not based on ephemeral and fictional standards of rightness. i do not like "in" and "out" lists since the very existence of the list is what makes the definition (things are not "in" or "out" until they are on the list - and then their status only matters to list makers and list readers. that's my theory anyway.).

is being unpopular the only way for an item to not be trendy?

do all items have a "middle of the road" option for people to retreat to when they (pants, blazers, hemlines, etc.) are rendered in "trendy" styles?

Bring it on

i had come to accept that i was not one to wear a belt. i gave up on belts. i no longer owned a belt.

yesterday i bought a belt.

would you rather (if you had a choice) make peace with items you are conflicted about by mastering them, or find a way to move on?

The best laid schemes...*

a friend recently washed a new dress.
100% cotton.
she let it air dry.
now she has a new top.

when a new item disappoints, do you blame yourself, or do you blame the manufacturer/retailer/designer?

(*Gang aft agley - from "To a mouse" - r. burns)

Hit me

love when i have something that i like sooo much, i want more of it, but hate that i suspect some of that is a desire for insurance, like having a spare tire. thing is, with a spare tire, you know that until we're all using hover crafts, the tire will not become obsolete. so, essentially, there is zero risk in investing in a spare tire, but a lot of gain (general peace of mind and good odds that you'll need it some time). now, with clothing, one item you buy now may not appeal to you in a year - so buying 2 in no way guarantees anything, except that you have 2. i'm a romantic. when i buy, i assume that i'm in for the long haul. experience has shown me that this just isn't the case, or experience would show me this if i chose to reflect, but i don't. and so the temptation to doubly invest when i find something i like, and buy 2, is always there (when it's an option). and it's so weird when i do lose love for something. there is a shift, ever so subtle (since i could never pinpoint when it happens) and suddenly something is not quite right with the once-beloved-jacket-top-tee-skirt-dress. this doesn't always happen. to be sure, this isn't the norm, but i don't think i could truly predict which items will and which items will not the shift.

is there anything in your closet right now that you would be willing to bet you will love exactly as much as you do right now, next year?


pick at least one item (on each) you would swap between these two outfits.


i was very tired when i quickly wrote up the last post, so i wanted to add a little clarification. the question is would you want to choose the price you would pay now, for something you will want to buy next year. it is likely, for example, that you would want to buy a pair of shoes in 2009 or 2010. would you be comfortable now agreeing to the amount you will pay for the shoes later? i suppose it's a combined issue of predicting both your value for the item, and the value of the item, in a year or two from now. let's not even say that it's a specific pair. this does not have to do with delayed gratification of seeing shoes (or a bag, or a jacket, etc.) that you want, and having to wait. this is about deciding/committing now to a price or value for stuff you will want in a year or two.


a "future," in financial terms, is a contract to buy or sell something in the future at a price you set today.

would you want to pay today, or agree upon a price today, for an item you will then have to buy next year?

One way or another

advertisers, my on-again, off-again nemesis. always hunting me. the other day, on a random website (reeeaaalllly random for bergdorf's to be on) that i've never been on before ... there was a banner ad for them. not only that, but it was specifically linked to handbags. it felt like BG was not targeting the audience for this site, they were targeting me.
normally i sit on the subway and rue getting stuck in a budweiser-sponsored car. nothing to look at for 10 stops except close-ups of perspiring beer bottles.
sometimes when i flip through a magazine and see some of the ads, i wonder, "do they even know who i am?" but perhaps what i ought to reevaluate is why i chose that magazine, since the signs are telling me we're not meant to be. when the ad doesn't fit, does that mean i'm out of my element?

do most of the ads you encounter address your interests/needs?

Feel the burn

some positively honest answers yesterday.
quite often i rationalize that someone who doesn't want things is quite lucky. not wanting things is very different from buying what you want. in the latter, there is still want.
people with far more money than i have do still experience want. sometimes i take comfort in this, since it's easy to think "oooooo, if i had $X, i could buy Y" and feel as though the $ solution would solve something. but in truth, there would still be want, in which case, i'm as wealthy as a rich counterpart.
but i realized the other day that i like to keep lust alive and well in my heart. i find things that are out of reach to adore and obsess over. i don't have to. i could easily aim lower and achieve contentment. but with these things, it's about enjoying the fixation. i like to marvel at beauty, admire and study a design, daydream about possession. on the occasions when i've been lucky enough to buy the things i was lusting after, i've had to replace the want of those things with a want for something else, so that i could continue to good pain of lust.
in movies, there are different stages to a kiss - i've always thought that the best most absolutely perfect moment was... well, no, there are actually 2 really great parts in my opinion - one, the pursuit of it, and two, the second right before it happens.
the items i enjoy and value the most are ones i anticipated, hoped for, coveted, and eventually got.

at what level are you most comfortable wanting?

Wisen up

purely fashion-wise, which would you rather:

to be able to buy whatever you want OR not experience want?

To have and to hold

despite a popular stance among some that fashion is a trivial pursuit, i understand, if not why, definitely how i love clothes. perfect clothes. they are like a language to me - for an inner dialog. when i find perfection, it fills a spot in my head. like a missing puzzle piece. it completes something in me because it embodies an idea(l) or thought. to find "words" for things that are in my head.... total satisfaction (there is only total satisfaction if i buy it, i should clarify). i feel the same way when i find wonderful, brilliant thoughts or ideas, communicated through language, but those i can own and experience merely by discovering them. i do not feel the same way about other things, like views/landscapes, or music, though i do know that these are powerful things to others.

i love everything i own and have the perfect thing to wear whenever i want to, for any and every day. but even with this level of practical contentment, i do stumble upon perfection occasionally, new perfection, and then i love it. and want it. it is not about a complete and useful wardrobe, it is about the pleasure of the perfection. unless i stop finding perfection, i will not stop my want. my want, however, no longer exists before the find. absolutely now i do not have have desire without a target first. i am not restless, maybe because i already have more than i need - but i know there is always more to want.

when do you feel greedy?

Sober up

not talking about fit, fabric, or color, but rather some other deterrent, something unrelated to the item itself, something independent of the product, that squashed the urge to buy (something internal) -

when was the last time something stopped you in your tracks?

weekends are quiet. new post on monday


designers have inspiration, have muses, have themes. they have their intentions, but then they send their ideas out on to the runway, and it's your turn to interpret their work, and decide what you see.

who is she, and where is she going?


1. if you saw a runway collection exclusively featuring barefooted models, you would think ____

2. if you saw a runway collection exclusively featuring 40+year old models, you would think ____

3. if you saw a runway collection where models did their own hair and makeup, you would think ____


name one thing you would add or subtract here (you can't do both).

Random route

listening to a subway musician today, i wondered about her ambition and potential for success. with the right producer and promoter, would she be famous? there are a lot of successful singers with less talent who rise to the top...
i tend to prefer labels with a single designer, rather than a brand with a revolving door of nameless faces. i like a designer with a personal and consistent vision, a label that means something to him/her. something they built up from nothing.

do you think one of the world's greatest designers might be toiling away somewhere in obscurity, without enough assistance, determination or opportunities to be elevated?

do you think that in fashion, we are getting the best? most deserving of fame and accolades?


1. if you're going to bump into a much-hated enemy, which would you prefer, that you both look awful or you both look phenomenal?

2. you get up to the counter with an item you have decided to buy and discover that it costs 50% more than you thought it did (was erroneously placed on a 33%-off sale rack). do you still buy it?

3. for a job interview, would you rather mispronounce the interviewer's name, or be dressed much better than she is?

Fashion Idyll

i know we wear clothing for our day, but what if you could pick a day for your clothes?

an ideal day in clothes for me would entail waking up early, but without an alarm clock. waking up because i'm done sleeping and ready to go.
get dressed right away.
have breakfast.
oh, i should add that it's cool outside, in the 60s, and very very cloudy.
go out for a slow, aimless walk, passing by stores with displays that intrigue me but do not seduce.
stop in a cafe where someone has left a fantastic magazine or paper at an empty table, and i enjoy it over lunch but leave it there when i'm done. (the genius here is that i don't have to carry it around.)
walk home slowly.
a strong rainstorm starts just after i get inside, and it lasts throughout the evening and night.
i climb into bed for a nap.
wake up.
have dinner.
take a shower.
watch the rain for a long long time.
have dessert.
go to bed.

to wear your very favorite things, what type of day would you structure?

Take a gamble

when i went to college, i was assigned a roommate that freshman year. i assumed that the computer's aim was to use the answers i provided in the questionnaire i filled out, to select, out of alllllll the incoming students in my year, the perfect roommate for me. custom-fit. hand-picked. the couture of roommate-dom.

or, come to think of it, maybe it selected us for one another because we were both liars, having misrepresented ourselves by saying wildly inventive things about ourselves on that questionnaire, choosing adjectives like quiet, studious, responsible. either way, it worked out great, love her to bits, wouldn't want to live without her now.

of these two, which would you prefer:

to have a wardrobe composed of items selected totally at random for you, and refreshed every 3 months


to keep your current wardrobe and live with it, unchanging, for 2 years?


a few days ago i had a comment on my other blog from anairam about courage. courage to wear what we want to. i've thought about it some more and truthfully, i would say that i don't have courage, i have comfort... comfort in wearing whatever i want to. i always think that i look "normal" but i have good friends who assure me otherwise. i guess i always look "normal" for me...or to me. either, or both, are all i care about.

here are 2 people who were gorgeously talented. their respective beauty was both distorted for the sake of their art, and heightened by their genius.

buster keaton

lucille ball

Who is the competition

when you look at a designer's most recent collection, which do you more often look at it in relation to, the same label's past work, or other designers' current collections?


in the 13th century, the famous thomas aquinas (aka saint thomas aquinas) wrote, "if a thing can be done adequately by means of one, it is superfluous to do it by means of several." but the proverb "cleanliness is next to godliness", seems to trump auinas' logic in my bathroom, since i have, at the moment, seven conditioners in rotation. i rely daily on exactly 3 separate products for my face, and three others for my shower routine, yet my "medicine" cabinet is full of far more than 6 items total. it's not a total mess, but it could use some sorting, and i know for sure that there are unused items lingering in there.

i gathered a small number of items from my closet this weekend (i do not know how i can continue to find unwanted and unused items when i swear, i don't have that much to begin with) and took them to the usual thrift store where i got $35.98 for the bundle. a fair exchange for things i had no use for, but i kind of think that by taking them out of my closet, i am losing the warning/lessons they held. they were reminders of mistakes, and keeping the reminders might have staved off a repeat of the mistakes. of course getting rid of the evidence is more appealing, so off they went.

now i really need to go through my bathroom, but without the cash incentive, i am definitely less motivated. i always hold on to travel-size products, and then never pack them when the times comes because they are too big or too small for the length of trip ahead of me, or else i'm not in the mood to use them. why keep them then? my modest collection of non-essential toiletries makes me wonder if i've been similarly lax in my closet purge?

1. would you rather keep past mistakes around if their presence guaranteed never repeating the mistake again?

2. does the state of your medicine cabinet in any way correspond to your closet?

Quick psa

just a few things to catch up on, respond to some comments left, etc.
mmmmmm, if i had a choice, in response to my last post, i think i would want prices ordered high to low. i have a feeling this would lead me to choose/want something more expensive rather than have me be grateful to find something in an affordable range though. but i would rather that than walking uphill, so to speak, in the price climb and get overwhelmed with the steep prices. shouldn't matter, i suppose, if the price range is the same in either scenario, but the mind is a mysterious thing.

as for the shorter trip i took last week, definitely it turned out (ah, hindsight!) that the unpredictable weather forecast and the unknown itinerary were the factors that left me totally at a loss as to what to pack.

a few bloggers left comments last month to tag me for a pass-along q&a tag thingamegig. love! love! love to be included/asked, but not sure this blog is the right venue for my off-topic musings (ha! current post notwithstanding). perhaps a future blog...

did i forget anything?

enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Where to begin

if you had a choice, would you rather a store organize its merchandise from lowest to highest price, or the other way around (highest to lowest), in terms of what order you encounter the items in the store?

Earn it

i received a purse 5 years ago. last year i bought another from the same store. after 4 years, i bought with relative confidence. after one year with the new purse, there was a leeetle problem. color transfer. i brought the purse back, after a year, mind you, and they replaced it. decent service but some would say, and have said, that it shouldn't have happened in the first place. truthfully, it has given me pause. i will wait another 5(ish) years before considering another purse. this newer one will have to (re)earn my interest in the brand.

this wait and see approach, however, is not my typical m.o. it is easily enough practiced with something like a bag, which i regard as a staple, a standard, a regular, a recurring character, etc. but with other items, multiplication is the norm, and i don't wait a year to see if a pair of pants will be so indispensable as to warrant a second of the same. of course, that wouldn't be terribly practical anyway since it would be nearly (there are always exceptions) impossible to find the exact same pair of pants a year later even if i wanted to. but if i did have a pair that i loved, that brand would warrant priority investigation the following year, or whenever need arose for a replacement.

How long do you wait for a brand or store to earn your repeat business/loyalty?


limited to these choices, match the adjective to the articles as you'd prefer to wear them (you can use each adjective only once):

1. hair ___
2. jackets ___
3. friends ___
4. glasses ___
5. belts ___

a. affordable
b. secure
c. flattering
d. easy
e. multiple

Made to order

i have this ring, i found it in a design store - i don't know what else to call it. the owners curated a wide range of objects ranging from tea pots to candelabras, and the range included vintage items and brand new pieces. everything in there oooooozed cool design. and the prices were very unpredictable. $400 for a vintage glass pitcher, $12 for a new stapler, $70 for a beautiful end table.

so my ring, it looks like a glob of vanilla. it's a big glob. i remember circling the display that held it several times, unable to walk away. it wasn't anything i had thought of getting before, just a spontaneous, "hello gorgeous" moment. these moments are always bigger than i am, and they have 3 possible outcomes. well, 2 outcomes really (either i buy it or i don't), but 3 explanations. either the item is prohibitively expensive (that stops me most of the time), it doesn't fit, or it's perfect. willpower cannot be depended on. i figured it was harmless to look at the ring because i could count on price or fit ruling it out if need be.

it fit perfectly and was reasonably priced. reasonable to someone infatuated is a highly subjective value, but fit is fact. and the fact that this glob fit my "cute, fat fingers" as my mom calls them (i will unnecessarily and vainly add that my hands don't really match my overall body, but i very much like them because they are good strong hands, and hands are for doing. but i digress), was a total surprise. vintage fingers must have been very very tiny because vintage rings certainly are. usually. this glob, the owner could tell me nothing about, other than it made the cut and was worthy of their shop. probably something from the 60s or 70s. i guess the hippies had fat hands. this glob fits all my fingers, which never ever happens, and i love that. so this singular ring feels totally made for me, even though it wasn't. it's not the same as jeans that we break in and make our own. or an item that we build a history into by attributing its patina to a series of experiences we've had while wearing it. this one was mine before i even paid the price.

do you own anything that felt meant for you?
are there details or features that clinched it for you?

per request, my ring - found it impossible to get an accurate picture though:


odd that i am having as hard a time packing for a 3 day trip this week as i did for my 3 week trip last month. the restriction of limited space/needs confounds me in a different way than the need for an optimum selection of variety did.



1. true or false, if someone offered you two times whatever you paid for it, you would sell them your favorite item of clothing. three times?

2. when you change out of the first outfit you put on in favor of an alternative ensemble, the number one reason that makes you want to change in the first place is ______.

3. if you have three pairs of shoes that could go with an outfit, you will most often choose the pair that is ______.

4. which would you rather, have a boutique near you closed down, or have a specific boutique open up (near you)?

ps i haven't had time to respond to comments the way i would like to, but i do read every single one and they always give me something to think about. thank you.


i've been having memory lapses lately. very short term, along the lines of walking into the kitchen and then forgetting what i wanted from there. very annoying.

if someone removed an item of clothing from your closet, let's say not one you were going into the closet to get, would you notice?

Fine lines

tan lines, underwear lines, bra straps.

i recall a fellow dancer mocking me for wearing underwear with my leotard in our ballet class. i was all of 4 i think. the underwear showed along the edges of the leg, naturally. what on earth did it matter if my underwear was visible while i danced around my bear, for cryin' out loud?!

i have to admit, i never really developed an underwear phobia, so ripe already in this other kid's mind. i never wear underwear with a waistband higher than the one on my pants or skirt, and i guess i avoid clothing so tight so as to provide a virtual x-ray of my underwear, but i don't lose sleep over the thought of revealing lines and i don't buy stringy things to wear in lieu of underwear. the worst thing that could happen, i figure, is that someone might be able to ascertain merely from looking at me that i am someone who wears underwear. i'm really okay with that type of a reputation.

a few weeks prior to the wedding i went to a short while ago, i became a bit conscious of the footwear-to-be. i was going to wear very open, strappy flats to the wedding. but i was spending my summer days often, though not exclusively, in converse high tops, and short sun dresses. you can see quite clearly i was facing a tan-line dilemma. in the end i decided, (censored)! and while in the end there was no sharp contrasting color clash on my limbs (and i was glad of it), the threat of one did cross my mind.

after clothing is carefully picked,

do you go out of your way to address the other issues?


some clothes are loved and worn to bits. some clothes get under-appreciated and then are reborn as vintage, thrifted and worshipped by a new owner (who then loves and wears them to bits).

some people peak early... and then have nowhere to go but down.
but even those who peak later, like the fabled duckling, don't then remain a perfect swan forever, do they?

that's the thing about a peak...

do you believe that style can peak? has yours?


some items come fabulous. they just are independently wonderful, and easily appreciated by anyone with eyes, either due to their design, tailoring, details, whatever, or their fame (any "it" bag or any heavily promoted or editorialized item, for example). wearing these items requires nothing more of you than just showing up. in them. and then you get some of the credit for their fabulousness, which you actually deserve, to a degree, for having chosen them.

there are some items, on the other hand, that require more of a contribution from you if they are to realize their full potential. some items are simply simple, while some are actually blank slates, waiting to be filled in. (the "picture" above is blankness.)

the majority of the time, do you prefer insta-fabulous items or a blank slate that you fill in?

Name tag

when we are born, sometimes even earlier, we are given our first adornment. it is immediately applied and helps define us when there are few other ways. sometimes it is meaningful, sometimes generic, but it's our first extra, our first add-on, our name.

i don't know if it's true for everyone, but i certainly questioned my name at different points in my childhood. there were various types of names that appealed at different times, to reflect different tastes, but always the same reason to contemplate different names, i think. trying to define myself, myself.

i gave up eventually, realizing that i had redefined my name. my name meant me, represented me (to friends, loved ones, enemies) precisely because i had defined who ___ was. so i no longer needed to seek a name that could capture who i was or wanted to be. i had that name already, simply by being.

but names are still fun because they are words, and words are fun.

and so much of commercial fashion is about names. you are who you wear, so many fear/believe/buy. of course in reality, no matter what, you will always be you.

if you went through a renaming phase when you were younger, what name did you desire to have?

if you had to pick a name for yourself now, to reflect your style, what name would you pick? your own or something else?

i will probably leave this post up for 2 days (with the next new post on tuesday), because i'm still mulling my answer over.
for what it's worth, mr. mcqueen was born terrence steven mcqueen.


i am not a formal person. i don't feel good "dressing up" for something. i went to a wedding last week. black-tie recommended. i had a new dress for the occasion, or rather, i used the occasion for (the excuse to buy) a new dress. since the occasion was the justification for the dress, i respectfully waited for the official day to wear it, knowing that after that use, i would appropriate it as an everyday item. i waited months.

BIG mistake.

because this dress that i was (figuratively) itching to wear casually with my men's shoes, or my converse, or my perfect black flats, was foreign to me when i finally put it on for the formal evening. instead of wearing a favorite old dress, i was wearing a formal one. i hate that. by the end of the evening, i had figured out how i'd rather have worn it (different shoes, and sideways - the dress, not the shoes), but it wasn't ideal to use the wedding as a testing ground. i had been worried that wearing the dress beforehand would ruin the specialness of the dress, but by waiting, i ruined what was supposed to be the specialness of the occasion (just for me - i'm pretty sure the bride had a great time). i don't know why i thought i needed the dress to be pristine for the wedding - though i guess that attitude was what led me to purchase a new dress in the first place.

lots of editorials out there about transitioning items from day to night, and i always ignore them. i think in my case, it was a matter of making a mental adjustment rather than a sartorial one.

do you view your pieces in narrowly-defined categories (designated for certain occasions), or does anything go (anywhere, anytime)?

Carry on

  1. more tops, fewer bottoms
  2. use what you have
  3. a great haircut can compensate for a lot
  4. shoes make a big difference
  5. i always end up wanting an accessory
  6. ..
  7. ..
  8. ..
don't mind me, i'm just making a list of things that i am reminded of when i travel. you see, even with my wardrobe reduced to a microcosm of my daily closet options, i find that i fall into the exact same patterns that i do at home. i approach my choices the same way, have the same aggravations, etc. and usually, on the last day of a trip, i try to remember (never with an actual list - i'm not personally much of a list-maker) what i liked and disliked about my packing choices, or how they added or subtracted from my trip so that i can do a better job next time. my mental list lasts ... maybe barely through customs and then all is lost, so that i will surely be just as stumped when i face the prospect of packing my last bag as i was over 2 weeks ago. and i suspect that there are lessons here for my "real life" too.

do you learn anything about your style, strengths or weaknesses, when you travel?

Buying what they're selling

entering a shop in southern california, i know to expect most sales people will make a certain amount of friendly effort to engage me. many of them are highly trained, highly ambitious or highly caffeinated would-be stars-in-the-making, so they are able to deliver their "good morning" and similar dialog in such a way that one actually believes either they are true optimists who believe this morning is good, or (this one is really crazy) they actually want me to have a good one.

on this trip, i had spent sufficient time in other non-ny-y cities prior to landing in lax so that i could successfully switch gears and enter a more social mode myself. this enabled me to respond civilly (rather than suspiciously) to the big ultra-white toothy smiles and "have a great day!" imperatives that seem to come with so many retail transactions over here. so i thought i was in l.a. mode and couldn't be caught off guard by the cultural quirks of life in the sun, but something happened today that did surprise me - i actually believed a sales person's compliment. has the daily exposure to blue skies and tight clothing corroded my eastern shell? or am i losing perspective? before you answer yes to those questions, let me say that her flattery followed her correct identification of the not-widely-known label of what i was wearing based on the fabric/pattern. this was truly a knowledgeable individual. and for what it's worth, she did not segue into a sales pitch.

how often do you accept, at face value, a compliment you receive from a sales person?

Either or

you are traveling and have just enough time before a flight to pop into one store.
you can either go into an unfamiliar boutique that does not exist back home, or you can go into a branch of a store you're familiar with (and let's say you've been looking for an item they carry that they no longer had in your size or color choice at the same shop where you live).

which would you choose?

Negative impact

martin margiela's second US shop is a much-needed addition to little santa monica*. the tourists focus on the T - rodeo and wilshire, but littla santa monica is good enough for martin most likely because of that absence of popularity. though i predict that more will follow his lead. i especially love the exterior of the shop - the front and side of the building are covered in silver disks that move with the wind, creating a ripple effect, but the best part (to me) is that the shop name is designed in the negative space created from omitted disks. i love the use of negative space. (growing up in l.a., i think i found my own taste in what wasn't here.)

i packed light for our 2.5 week trip, thinking of it as a vacation to certain places and a vacation from certain things. i should not have tried to leave behind as much of my clothing as i did, however. the result was the inevitable desire to increase the selection i had limited myself to (1 skirt, 2 pairs of pants, 1 dress, 2 tops, 1 jacket). the selection had yielded endless possibilities, or more than enough for the time away, anyway, but the eye gets bored after a while. so i did a little shopping. but i was more influenced by an online image, which i would have likely stumbled upon while at home, than i was by my current and temporary location...or so i think. we will see how i feel about the new acquisitions when i return home later next week.

which provides more enlightenment about your taste/style:
a trip (or exposure) to a place that reinforces your known aesthetic,
a trip (or exposure) to a place that challenges or even contradicts what you are comfortable with?

*aka south santa monica boulevard (in beverly hills)


pick at least one item (on each) you would swap between these two outfits.

Taste test

"try it, you'll like it" absolutely positively never ever ever worked on me as a child. instead of succeeding to convince me to open myself up to new experiences, the imperative had the opposite effect. determined not to trust thoroughly untrustworthy adults, if anything, it bolstered my resistance. nope, uh-uh, not buying it. or tasting it, as the case was usually over food.

now on the other end of the i-know-better-than-you dichotomy, i personally happen to favor the indifferent shrug combined with the observation "you won't know if you like it until you try it" (works every time).

can you really accurately decide whether or not you care for a particular food without trying it first?

with clothes, how close do you have to get to conclude whether or not you like it?


limited to these choices, match the adjective to the articles as you'd prefer to wear them (you can use each adjective only once):

1. shoes __
2. purse __
3. top __
4. bottom __
5. jewelry __

a. sexy
b. comfortable
c. expensive
d. high-end
e. durable


name one thing you would add or subtract here (you can't do both).

Time capsule

if you had to buy a piece of clothing today that you would have to put away and not see or use again until 10 years from now, and only then could you take it out, what would you buy?