Wake up

dream bag, dream closet, fantasy money - some things i don't mind leaving as material for my mind. if i got them, i would just have to find something new to daydream about.
after 3 consecutive nights of bad dreams though, it occurs to me that despite my best intentions (i often drift off to sleep with thoughts of clothing and such), i never actually dream about clothing. i probably log enough hours on the topic when i'm awake.

do you ever dream about clothes?

Sense of self

getting a haircut today. always a collaborative effort. in an effort to explain a desired look in the past, i have relied on images, words, feelings, locations.

if you had to choose one to sum up your style, would you choose to use a word, an image, a reference (person or place or time)? something else?


choosing a piece as art, a cinch. picking a favorite, no problem. but if i had to i.d. my least favorite item, an item that i keep and wear, but is at the bottom of the list, i would be stumped.

which is your least favorite item out of the clothing that you like (and that you keep and wear)?


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?

Preventable phenomenon

if youth is wasted on the young, it often seems to me that style is lost on the old. at a certain age do people give up and surrender to an all-elastic-waistband wardrobe? or are those donning duds just older versions of their younger, disinclined selves? age, in my opinion, really separates the true sartorialists from the herd.

are you looking forward to the challenge, or expect to run out of steam?


i like menswear. i adore certain looks and readily pilfer tops, bottoms and accessories. i buy menswear. if i'm watching a runway, however, i have no patience for the menswear coming down - i think seeing it all together takes away the fun of feeling like i'm sneaking something when i claim an item from the other camp for myself. when the nytimes puts out a fashion issue of T covering menswear, i consider the sunday edition a wash.

do you prefer your fashion divided by gender (on the runway, in editorials, in advertisements), or do you not mind the company?


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


in my grief-driven redecorating frenzy, i warned my taller half that the enormous and disturbing poster for the disturbing movie "brazil" has expired. its days are numbered. while he might have been in a quandary about how to save it (or get it to his office - it's huge!), i was pondering how to replace it. another movie poster was proposed. i demurred. a poster of cheese then perhaps? veto!
i like going to the architecture and design collection on the third floor at moma and seeing the original ipod on display, behind glass. i have the exact same model at home, and i dare say it probably works as well as the relic on 53rd st. the value lies entirely in the design now.
i once bought a silk scarf with the express purpose of framing it. it was made in italy for the now defunct harzfeld's, according to the tags. it is signed "ahrlé", which means nothing to me. the design is of a regal butterfly. it looked like art to me. but then so do my converse, yet i wear those.

if you had to pick one item of clothing, that you own, to display as art, what would it be?

No pain, no gain

recently i waited just a day, or hour, or minute too long to make up my mind about an item and it was sold, gone forever. i've been kicking myself for dragging my feet. if every purchase were like this, with one item left, or competition as a factor, i guess i would be more decisive.

if shopping were (even more) combative, more sport-like, would you incorporate technique, or throw in the towel (skirt, pants, etc.)?


after spending the weekend rearranging the furniture in the living room - not one piece of furniture was moved less than three times - i allowed myself to be distracted by talking clothes with a friend. she mentioned experimenting at home with some things. this was not to go anywhere, just trying some stuff for herself.
while i will gamely try a couch up against every wall in the room, and then floating in the middle, and then back to the place i had it several months ago, all in an hour or two, it does not often occur to me to do the same thing with my clothes. when i try things, it tends to be for the day. i wear my experiments out and conclude whether or not they work by the end of 8-10 hours. and yes, sometimes with regrets that i didn't pause in front of a mirror sooner.

do you ever play dress up?

Bandaid shopping

a short time ago our dog... our dog of ten and a half years was diagnosed with inoperable cancer. today was her last day.
between finding out about her cancer and last night, there was a lot of crying, petting, loving, crying, sleeping and crying. and at times there was also desperate, aimless e-shopping. mostly i found myself looking. looking and looking and looking. it felt like i wanted to fill any empty space with something, anything to look and think about, so that i wouldn't think about the sad things. of course they were still there though.
i probably have a question about bandaid shopping, but i can't formulate it right now. i will not post this weekend, but i will be back on monday with a new post, and i really hope you all are too.


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?

Finish line

while i've been making an effort to keep a tube of lipstick on me, if i'm running out the door with breakfast in hand, i don't put any on until i've finished eating my bagelcrumpetenglishmuffin. i don't carry any other supplies with me, other than a small tube of aquaphor, so if i want any perfume on, or dirt (it's the name of the product) in my hair, i had better remember to use it before i leave the house. typically i'm done doing whatever i'm going to do by the time i'm fully dressed and am ready to make breakfast - with the exception of the lipstick. that is the last thing to go on just before or soon after i walk out the door. or while waiting on a corner for the light to change. but i have been trying to remember to do it before i interact with people.

first thing after getting up? just before you leave? in the elevator/car? at the street corner? on the train? at your desk? sometime around lunch?
at what point are you done getting ready for the day?


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

(for the sake of argument, or to avoid having one, let's say it's faux fur - i am anti-fur if anyone is keeping score...though i am pro-feathers, in small amounts, and hypocritically don't want to think about it too much.)


1. which are you more fickle about, colors or shapes of clothing? (your preference for which one changes more often?)
2. if you could change one with the push of a button, would you choose your body or how clothing fits you?
3. would you rather that luxury goods cost less, or that you had more money to pay the high cost?
4. if there were a narrower gap between the cost of low and high end products, would you spend the extra money to buy the expensive items, or would you suspect their quality?
5. which results in you making more purchases while shopping - limited time, or limitless?

(norman rockwell)


something for us wavy girls.

Second skin

as i was walking down the street the other day, i passed a woman as she was getting out of her car. she stood on the sidewalk and the waist of her pants had to be hiked up, her top tugged down, and the legs of her pants adjusted to be properly retucked into her boots. she did this all quickly and naturally, and i imagine this was because she did it numerous times that day, whenever she transitioned from a sitting to a standing position.
a key factor in whether clothing goes home with me from the store, and then also determines if it makes it out of my closet once it gets into it (should it accidentally get past that first step with fit problems undetected), is whether or not i can wear it naturally, which for me means no fidgeting. i think this likely rules out many things which might look nice, and might, by association, make me look nice. it's a price i'm willing to pay.

do your outfits require adjustments?

Hallelujah i adore it

samson claimed his strength was intertwined with his hair.

it's crystal gayle.
hair this long is utterly unappealing to me. so i am not condoning or promoting this look. but what of over-the-top exhibitions of personal style?
an acquaintance recently had a dramatic chop from a mass of big wavy/curly hair to a short, tailored cut. her look is utterly different now. she looks terrific, actually, but totally different. very...visible.

i've always loved (borderline coveted) tracee ellis ross's hair (pictured here). she looks as wonderful with it pulled back as she does when it's loose and wild. i've seen it relaxed but still full of body, and it is still beautiful. however i have also seen it straightened/flat (it may have been a wig) and it did not suit her. but i digress. her hair is her signature. it's big and wonderful.
the woman i know who recently went from big hair to short hair looks like a new person.
when i chopped off my hair last year, people responded strongly, (and quite favorably), so perhaps it had a similar effect. i got bored with it so i'm letting it grow again (only to chop it off again in a few years, i'm sure).
i feel that if ms. ross cut off her hair, it would be a loss, a reduction, some how.
i love big baggy pants, like cargoes. i like them to fit me well in the waist, make no mistake - i do not walk around in pants that hang off my hips, but i like the volume of them (not to mention the convenience of the pockets). am i concealing my body or expressing my taste? i favor tent-y dresses. a friend recently helped me recognize that it's not that i am attracted to a style that hides my shape - i am attracted to clothing that has its own independent shape. rather than a deflated dress that needs a body to "fill it out" i prefer clothing that has an independent identity - even if that identity is...a tent. i way too often hear "i would look pregnant in that" when i wear such. yeah, i guess i might look pregnant in it too, but i'm not, so what. it's the style that i like.

when is "big" beautiful (please, this is not about bodies, okay!?!), and when is it a cloak, concealing instead of revealing beauty/style/identity?

(title is from lyrics to the song "Hair")
(photo of ross by terry tsiolis)

Dazed and confused

after my run-in with yaeger the other day, i tapped feverishly into my independent/quirky consciousness and came up very frustrated with my wardrobe staples. then i paused, calmed down and decided that an overhaul of my whole wardrobe was not necessary merely because i had seen someone enjoying the style that appeals to my tutu-loving self (she wasn't wearing anything like a tutu, but the hint of tulle peaking out beneath the hem of her coat was enough for me.). i am not a style zelig, breezing in and out of form depending on the company i keep. hardly. but for a moment i did experience envy at her whimsy. today i happily exhibited my own in one of my favorite dresses, and remembered that i like to stand on both sides of a self-defined line of simple and simply fun.

but i do enter a dangerous zone of susceptibility when i enter a store. this is only a problem when the store i am in is one that on the whole does not appeal to me, but it has some piece that i require/desire. a single item which has tantalized me and beckoned me to cross the threshold of an otherwise overlooked store. where, despite my strongest intention to get in and out with my sole purpose of patronizing the establishment fulfilled, i am lulled by the whole package, and lured to consider things i do not want. if i go into target, the $7.99 rings attract me like a moth to a welder's torch - that could be attributed to boredom while waiting for my taller half to get enough toilet paper and dog treats to sustain us, and the dog, until our next visit. but then i notice that a blazer from the-designer-of-the-month has a good collar. the buzz of my cellphone indicating that it's time to meet at the registers saves me from a fashion fate that cannot exist beyond the automatic doors. once i leave, i snap out of the trance and you couldn't convince me to part with good hair conditioner money in exchange for that blazer or ring.

a trip into american apparel for 1 sweatshirt unexpectedly yields 2 new pairs of socks as well (this is okay - the tube socks are quite comfy around the house), but i actually stop to consider a drapey dress - i don't wear clingy cotton, period. yet pause i did.

if i go into hermes to consider a scarf, visit the bags, smell the leather, i will find myself contemplating their ashtrays (i do not smoke), and hovering near the belts - i don't wear belts, period. yet pause i do. if i did wear belts, i would not choose an hermes belt. they have their appeal, absolutely, but they just are not me. why then do i contemplate them even briefly while in the boutique?

many many stores ensnare us by appealing to our deepest fashion desires, but are there any stores that (temporarily) numb your resistance and suppress your style impulses?


mor-ti-fied. that's how i felt yesterday. first i was thrilled, then i was bold, then i was respectful. but all those good feelings culminated ultimately in a particularly strong delayed reaction: mortification.
the only thing greater than my humiliation was my admiration of her.
who am i talking about?
lynn yaeger.

after an unpleasant dental appt., i stopped by for a cup of soup, to go, and as i headed to the back of the order line, who did i pass but mme. yaeger. without hesitation i touched her arm and told her that i had once told myself that if i ever saw her, i would tell her that i thought she was wonderful. so now i was. telling her.
people who are as genuinely and imaginatively curated as she should know that there are people who value their style.
she was very sweet about it. and then i considerately left her alone after that - not wanting to spook her with my enthusiasm, and so i didn't get to fully express how grand she is, in all her natty netting, bangs, bob and all.
well, a while later i found myself on another errand, and in front of a mirror, in a dressing room. yikes!
i recently bought multiples of my favorite lipstick so that i would have a tube in any bag i happened to be carrying. and indeed i had one with me right then. but had i bothered to swipe some on? no. was my hair sticking out of a scarf in the goofiest manner possible? indeed it was. on a hasty trip to the dentist, had i dressed carelessly? for sure.
if i could pick anyone in the world to talk to about fashion, mme. yaeger would be very high on the list (it would be my personal preference to talk fashion with someone who opines rather than designs). i think today i may have made it onto one of her lists - friendly fans who are disappointingly drab.
incidentally, i did buy the item i was trying on, and soon, after my aggravation with myself fades (at least pertaining to this incident), and i happily enjoy the new garment, i will always associate it with getting to see, briefly but in person, the wonderful lynn yaeger.
(and on a positive note, now i've bought one new item and cleared out 2 - the navy sweater i was wearing today *shudder* and it's evil grey twin.)
long post, right? i'm not done.
so my exposure to lynn sort of commandeered today's post, but i'm going to steer it back to the one i originally intended to write today. the top that i bought was purchased as a gift for an accessory that i recently ordered. i thought the pin would like this top, and vice versa. i can blame my shabby appearance yesterday on the fact that i did not yet have these two new items. you see, once i fixate on something new, most everything else i own fades into the background and strikes me as second rate. i blame this (temporary) lack of imagination for the choices i made when getting dressed without the desired pieces (heaven help me, the pin won't likely arrive before friday, if then). nothing else in my closet appealed to me.
does this happen to anyone else?

when you are lusting after, or simply wanting a particular new item, does it have an adverse effect on how you view your staid collection?


a lot of talk whirling around about resolutions this time of year. or maybe by now, at the beginning of week 2, people are happily resuming familiar patterns.
there are other changes that occur in us at less scripted times, sometimes without us even noticing, or not right away perhaps. the changes influence what we want, and even why we want.

have you ever wanted to replace something perfectly good, something you once loved, with something you now perceive as...better?

(pic linda butler)

new post on monday


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


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

Getting it

in his prime, parents thought elvis would inspire juvenile delinquency.
i've heard that ny-ers wear too much black.
i've heard that los angelenos are too casual.
i've heard that the olsens look like homeless slobs (isn't that a double slam?).
i've heard complaints about how people carry their purses.
their purses.
sometimes, you either get it or you don't.
i think it's important that even if you don't appreciate what someone is doing, it is fair to recognize that the problem might be yours, not theirs.

are there things you just don't get?