Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Ring Thing

Christina Applegate was so cool in Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead and I loved everything about her style (okay, maybe not maybe not the hats, the hats were pretty terrible). Ever since the video camera zoomed in on Sue Ellen Crandell typing up her fake resume (in which claimed to be a Vassar alum) I have wanted to wear a midi ring. 

Since I have teeny tiny hands it's hard enough finding a ring small enough to fit my ring finger let alone the first half of my pointer, so for years I just had to dream of looking like one of the coolest 90's teens ever... and then the midi ring craze hit and for a mere $7 in Nordstrom's B.P. department I am now able to emulate Sue'Ell.

Unfortunately this is one of those trends that was not meant to be. It drove me nuts all day. It kept spinning around, to the point where I just kept my finger awkwardly bent (you know on Friends when Phoebe teaches Joey to play guitar? Think "old lady" pose.)  so it wouldn't fall off (which it did, repeatedly).
Midi ring on top, cork ring on the bottom
I had all but resigned myself to my old ring uniform of my single Hawaiian band on my ring finger when my parents came home from their Tauck small ship cruise of the Mediterranean with this amazing silver and cork number from Bonifacio (apparently cork is a thing there). It's my new go-to, I'm totally obsessed, I highly recommend that you get yourself to Corsica posthaste to get one for yourself (or, you know, the internet).

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Outfit Post: Tee Time

Hooray for better lighting in my hallway!
Scarves and tees and leather jackets, these are a few of my favorite things. The crisp Fall weather gives me to opportunity to combine all three making my life easier when it comes time to get dressed.

Here's the outfit breakdown:

T-shirt: Express – This soft sweater tee is perfect on this crisp fall day. It’s a snug fit so I wanted to make sure I balanced it out with a wider legged pant. I’ve tried layering it with a button-down before, but it’s definitely better without the bulk.

Jeans: Seven for All Mankind – This cut is called the Dojo. They don’t come in petite, so I took them to the tailor and she managed to shorten them without losing too much of the wide leg. This might be old news, but when having your jeans shortened I highly recommend having them reattach them hem (as opposed to creating a new hem and losing the thicker edge) because it keeps the same finished look the jeans had when you bought them.

Jacket: Gap - Leather moto jackets are super popular right not, but this is a style that I have never abandoned. This Gap jacket was stiffer than a 1950's cocktail when I first bought it over 5 years ago (which is probably why is was on such a steep discount, I paid less than $100), but I knew that I would eventually break it in and it would be worth it when I did. The leather jacket and the jean jacket are equally essential and timeless, I just prefer the former for my style.

Scarf: American Eagle – This is the first infinity scarf that I have ever purchased and I like it, but I don’t love it. It sort of reminds me of a beard because, if you’re a messy eater like me, any food that drops from your mouth gets caught in it (T.M.I.?). Maybe if I stop eating like a savage who hasn’t seen food in a month I won’t have this problem.

Vince – Belts were never my thing, so when I spent $80 on this one I definitely considered it a splurge. It’s adjustable and it’s a leather/cotton combo and I really bought it because it reminded me of my dad’s uniform belts from when he was in the navy (which I later stole and wore with my “skater” clothes in junior high). Now I wear it all the time.

Shoes: Vince Camuto – I bought these crackled metallic wedges on sale from Piperlime for a wedding at a vineyard (lest I aerate the lawn). They are extremely comfortable and a great height, but I almost didn’t get them because of the brand (see my bizarre issues with Vince Camuto here). Thankfully I was able to look past their poor marketing and put these great shoes into rotation.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rant: Who Is Vince Camuto?

Inside the lid of a Vince Camuto shoebox that houses my metallic wedges.

The Vince Camuto brand baffles me. Many times I have been in a department store and wandered over to a display of classic shoes, bags or watches with edgy details that catch my eye, but every time I see the Vince Camuto label my feelings are suddenly neutralized.

As a consumer who is overly interested in brand identity I cannot get a read on Vince Camuto. If I had to do that old marketing exercise, “If Vince Camuto were a person,” I could not tell you what kind of car he drives or where he shops and I certainly couldn’t tell you how old he is. 

In a retail setting I can never tell where this brand falls in the pecking order of other brands in the respective departments. Should their bags be on the shelf with Betsey Johnson and Nine West? Or featured on a pad like MICHAEL Michael Kors and Marc by Marc Jacobs? The price point suggests the latter; perhaps they should change the name to VINCE [by] Vince Camuto?
They must be a lifestyle brand because they offer a full range of products that can cover men and women alike from head to toe – including scent.

A quick look at their corporate website showed me that Camuto group owns several brands that I love. Interestingly enough half of the brands have a very clear brand identity (Tory Burch, BCBG MAXAZRIA, BCBG GENERATION, and Lucky) and the others lack that same thing (Jessica Simpson, Sanctuary, Arturo Chang and, of course, Vince Camuto).

I like the diverse offering of Vince Camuto’s products; there are stylish satchels for your mom, biker boots for your cool aunt and funky over-sized watches for your on trend little sister. I even own a pair of their shoes, but I wonder if the brand is cohesive enough to survive when the customer has no idea who they are trying to be.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Outfit Post: Feeling '50's

The weather pretty much everywhere has been crazy lately so when I woke up to see that temps would be in the 80’s last Friday I decided to bust out a skirt. This skirt actually almost went out with the consignment items because I can never decided what to wear it with (I have a seriously problem with wanting things to match), but V encouraged me to hang onto it. 

One of my steadfast rules is: when in doubt, go with a plain white tee. The shoes and necklace are how this outfit really came together for me (back to that compulsion to coordinate) and now I kind of love it. Well played, V, well played.

Here's the outfit breakdown:

T-shirt: Theory – I own far too many white t-shirts and yet I feel like I never have enough. I’d never thought of wearing this one tucked in before because it has a high-low hem and button details along either side in the back, but it’s suddenly much more versatile in my mind.

Skirt: Club Monaco – This skirt is almost a decade old. I bought it when I got my first job out of college thinking that it was a great “business casual” piece and I totally planned on wearing it with a very structured “shell” with a portrait neckline from Ann Taylor LOFT. My how things change…

Necklace: Old Navy – Up until a few months ago I didn’t even realize that Old Navy sold jewelry. Then my sister’s friend Melissa showed up to a family function wearing a pretty peach statement necklace and I knew my jewelry armoire was destined to get much more crowded.

Anthropologie – To be honest, this skirt is too big in the waist. If I take the belt off it drops to my hips and looks kind of terrible (very Oz, behind the curtain info here, I know). While this belt does not match as well as I would like it too (who knew this matching thing was so crippling), I think it certainly goes. Just, please, don’t tell me that I can “pull it off”/”get away” with it because that drives me nuts.

Shoes: Cole Haan – I have always loved the look of an oxford, but the last time I remember them being in I was wearing bowling shirts and very pronounced pinstripes (Junior High fashion in the 90’s, what can I say?). Needless to say, I am a much bigger fan of the current interpretation. Wearing these oxfords with a circle skirt or pleated cropped pants (yes, pleated, I have narrow hips, it's allowed) makes me feel like a young Hayley Mills.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Well, Sinead O’Rebellion. Shock me, Shock me, Shock Me with that Deviant Behavior!

This morning I read Sinead O’Connor’s open letter to Miley Cyrus and it made my day.

A little back story: apparently Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares to You” video was the inspiration for “Wrecking Ball,” but a tight face-shot of a singer belting out their track does not the same video make. Sinead’s shaved head is closer to our beloved Brit-Brit’s 2007 ‘do than it is to Miley’s fashion-forward coif and Sinead wears a black turtleneck, which is pretty much the exact opposite of a topless Miley. All of that aside, it has been argued that the “Nothing Compares to You” video is iconic and “Wrecking Ball” doesn’t come anywhere near that kind of status. Also, has anyone spoken to John Mayberry about this? Because I’d love to know how he feels about being the equivalent to super-creep Terry Richardson in this scenario, but I digress…

After Miley made the comparison in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, various media outlets started approaching O’Connor asking her thoughts on the subject. Sinead responded with this open letter to the young singer (I tried to post a link to O’Connor’s website, but the section where the letter is posted has been shut down due to high traffic). Now, this is a woman who shaved her head to desexualize herself and later ripped up a picture of the Pope to protest the Catholic Church’s silence on child abuse during a performance on Saturday Night Live, did Miley really think she was just going to let that comment slide? This chick eats controversy for breakfast and then tells Hitler to throw more bacon on the fire.

After reading the letter and feeling all stoked that someone else gets it, I tweeted a link to it with the preface, “So this needed to be said…” and here’s why.

It's not that I care about Miley Cyrus as a person (LiLo is the only celeb I feel a connection that strong with – Bellmore-Merrick, baby!), but – and I am aware of how prudish this sounds – I do think that it's important to discuss the kind of image she's projecting to young women today. Miley Cyrus is 20 years old. Before her now infamous VMA performance I had been #TeamMiley. Her music is catchy (I dare you not to sing along when “Party in the USA” comes on, even when it’s just the instrumental part in Girl Talk’s “That’s Right”), her haircut is kickass (it’s like a cross between Kate Lanphear, Macklemore and Robyn) and, for awhile there, she really seemed to be coming into her own. I chalked her antics up to her age and being exposed to fame at such a young age.

And then she simultaneously sexualized and infantilized herself on stage at the 2013 VMA’s (an award show that I wasted hours of my life watching, thanks MTV). In the weeks that followed I have gone back and forth on whether I need to ignore it or take a stance and now I realize that I just wanted an adult to intervene (I also want an adult to say, “either stick that tongue in your mouth or I'm gonna cut it off,” but we’re coming from a place of love right now).

Enough is enough. You’ve crossed the line between having fun and finding yourself and now you’re just selling yourself and it’s not even to the highest bidder, so pull yourself together, girrrrrrrl.

Sinead’s words might fall on deaf ears (or tone-deaf, as the case may be. Did you hear that VMA performance in addition to seeing it? Rough.), but I think it’s important that another celebrity (as crazy as she may be) speaks out about Miley’s behavior. Young women should not think that rolling around naked in wreckage and licking a sledgehammer is how to be sexy. I know I can be a prude at times and, don’t get me wrong, if I had Miley’s body I’d be tempted to run around naked too, but this is just sending the wrong message. It’s not like I’m one of those people who think that video games lead to violence and I’m not simple enough to think that this video alone is the problem. I think this video is a symptom of problem with young women today and I think that Sinead O’Connor is voicing important concerns about that issue.

So, while I’m kind of sick of Miley, let’s have a discourse. Let’s talk about young girls posting pictures and videos of themselves on the internet, pictures that they can never get back, pictures that can become fodder for bullies and incentive for predators. Let’s talk about self image and self worth. Let’s talk about what a break-up does to your self esteem. Reach out to a younger person in your life. Thank a teacher or a social worker or a mentor anyone you know who helps young girls know that they are worth more, that they have value, that they can be funny and awkward and amazing and attractive without feeling the need to turn it into currency. Let’s take something negative and turn it into something positive because, quite honestly, I’d like to change the subject from twerking.