The Girl Gangs of Fall ’16

I promise my computer desktop is never in more apocalyptic a state than after I’ve spent several finger-blistering days clicking through the offerings of New York, London, Milan, and Paris Fashion Weeks. These recent shows in particular have had me doing a dive so inexplicably deep I had to make a super embarrassing color-coded spreadsheet that I’m never showing anyone just to keep my head at a comfortable sea-level.

Suffice it to say, the sheer volume of jpegs I’ve amassed is enough to fill a $500 hard drive (from 1997) (aka about 200 pretty small files). And tonight, as I poked through them for themes like a dutiful mother does her child’s literal lousy head, I found myself doting on my groupings as they came together with precious specificity. I assigned them names, personalities, and favorite pastimes, as if the models – each rendered on my display at a humble 3 to 4 inches – were the teeny tiny girl gangs of my dreams.

Upstate New York, 1953, a working class neighborhood in a small town. In this violent post-war culture controlled by men, a group of headstrong teenage girls unite into a sisterhood of blood: they form the Foxfire gang, a secret female-only society, recognized by the flame tattooed on the back of its members’ shoulders. “Foxfire” for pretty foxes, but also “Foxfire” for fire and destruction. (source)

The Foxfire girl gang ^^^ (source)

And so when I considered how I might spin my favorite Fall ’16 looks into a consumable narrative for this personal website of mine, it only felt right that I honor my daydreamy inclinations. After all, who better to administer a shot of sartorial inspiration than a group of fiercely loyal females who’d die for each other and look transcendent while doing so?

So without further ado, meet my seven #GirlGangs of Fall 16.

The Little Zippers

The Little Zippers met when the six of them collided on the street, resulting in a coffee spill so extensive they had no choice but to purchase spare tops at the nearest store: Sports Authority. When the all got in line with half-zips they struck up a friendship over their mutual disgust for buttons and corruption and never looked back.

***

The Drowning Suits

The Drowning Suits met when they all reached for the same XXL suit at the same time. They proceeded to bond over their mutual love of oversized men’s formalwear and they get together every Sunday to drink black coffee, bitch about the economy, and review the array of medium-sized trinkets they have stored undetected in their front pockets.

***

The Lil Coats

The Lil Coats met when the man running the coat check mixed up all their shrunken outerwear. Every Saturday they can be found enjoying their simultaneous warmth and mobility around various public outdoor attractions such as parks and cafes. They love dogs, old westerns, and taking photos during magic hour.

***

The Fur Babies

The Fur Babies met when they were literal babies being raised by the same clan of bears. As they’ve grown older and been forced to assimilate into human society, they’ve taken care to honor their native culture by always wearing the fur of their kin. They love Wes Anderson movies, back scratches, and catching salmon with their bare hands.

***

The Condiments

The Condiments met at Costco when they were all waiting in line to dress their hotdogs. They get together every Friday to paint impressionistic landscapes and discuss the folly of man. They love food in sample proportion, buy everything in bulk, and think movies without popcorn are a waste of time.

***

The Slinkies

The Slinkies met when they all got bored at the same party and retired to the roof to bitch about the simple-minded people in attendance. They never smile in public, value honesty above all else, and spend their evenings pondering the absurdity of an ever-expanding universe.

***

The Mish Mash Bats

The Mish Mash Bats met in the middle of the night when the fire alarm sounded in their apartment building, sending them all running furiously into the street wearing camp socks and birkenstocks. They hate matching, always have jelly beans in their pockets, and are constantly babysitting each other’s cats.

***

So…are you trying to join any of my Fall ’16 Girl Gangs?! You’d be welcomed to any & all with a loving embrace.

(all photos pulled from vogue.com)

On president’s day, we wear sequins

sequin tank – nasty gal / pants – emerson fry / sweater – urban outfitters / cardigan – zara / shoes – thrifted, unknown / bandanas – thrifted

I blame George Washington for affording me too much time to dress myself today. Specifically because the only item on my calendar is to watch the Grammy’s on my friend’s couch at 7 p.m. and I can only imagine the three other attendees will either come straight from work in something sensible or straight from home in something made of 100% cotton.

But after spending the morning pulling all my favorite looks from the New York shows – many of which featured materials of the fluffy and shiny variety  – I approached my closet this afternoon like a kitten to several laser pointers.

Or me to dogs, evidently.

I’ve worn this sequin number only a handful of times but judging celebrities while shoving tacos down my gullet seemed as appropriate an occasion as any.  In an effort to quell the going-out-top vibes I sought out layers in contrasting fabrics, which proved more difficult than I expected considering literally everything in my closet falls in this category. That is: clothing that does not feature sequins.

After flinging about a dozen items around the vicinity, I settled, peculiarly, on one of Austin’s cheap wool cardigans and an old faux fur from the very back of my closet (and before that, Zara’s clearance rack).

Tada!

My lower half required less improvisation since, lucky for me, I’d picked my pants out around 4 a.m. when I couldn’t sleep. Now, I want you to imagine how long it takes you to put on your average pair of pants and then I want you to triple that, go watch a youtube tutorial on origami, then come back and consider these babies:

Chelsea and I first saw these pants at Emerson Fry’s Capsule booth and were both in awe of their genius and distraught at their unavailability to us (#instantgratificationgeneration).

Cut to only a year later when the world has ostensibly gone mad because Chelsea finds the magical pants for an astronomical 65% off. She immediately texts me and within approximately 32 seconds both of our banks accounts have a shiny new $58 charge and I’m like SURE, TAKE MORE EVEN!

They take about 5 minutes to put on, are lacking pockets,  and disincentivize their wearer to hydrate while wearing them but these are minuscule costs imho.

Things were really coming together. If the red bandanas were my cherry on top…are the white boots the vanilla ice cream on the bottom? Sure! I’ll apply an irrelevant sundae metaphor. It’s the Grammy’s! And the Westminster Dog Show! My priorities are understandably elsewhere.

I found these little guys at a thrift store called After Life. They were $30 and I considered their purchase for potentially even less time than I did the pants. Their brand is unknown but I’ll assume they retailed around $5000 despite their inexpensive feel.

I can only hope you’re wearing something equally unnecessary to watch the Grammy’s tonight. Now I’m off to walk these puppies across the street as I’m on chip and salsa duty.

Meet you on the couch!

Matching is the new matching

I’ve recently stumbled upon a style rule that’s lifted me out of the doldrums. It’s free to implement, kind of obvious, and I learned it on Instagram.

I’m assuming that was an effective hook, so let’s dive in.

While I glean most IG inspo from cat accounts, I can’t deny the impact of a somewhat random follow I don’t even remember clicking: the Kardashian’s stylist Monica Rose. I have no recollection of how I found her and I haven’t stayed because I find her styling particularly ambitious or wacky or fun, but because I’m in constant awe of how freaking fre$h Gigi and Kendall and Kylie look in the street style photos she posts of them.

I mean, can you deny:

The concept of minimal outfits in muted palettes doesn’t feel particularly new — I’m actually getting really sick of it — but Monica’s flavor of it always looked somehow new to me and I couldn’t exactly pinpoint why.

For a while I attributed it to  the magic of super expensive fabrics hanging off banging model bodies, but then I started to notice a more specific pattern: outfits composed of two to three elements of which a touching two are almost perfectly matched in hue and often shade. Then I noticed this formula popping up in a lot of the style photos I’ve saved lately that don’t feel as overtly sexy but look just as cool.

The idea of choosing clothing of complimentary colors to compose an outfit is not even an “idea”…it’s been a pillar of getting dressed forever. But perfectly matching two layering pieces is a subtle distinction that makes an outfit look more special than jamming neutrals together.

This was the rule I stumbled upon when I started combing my feed last week to shock a closet routine that was feeling a little stale. And it was how I got the idea for how to dress this past weekend. Some shoddy photographic evidence is below.

Admittedly the runways and ~my heart~ are starting to lean more clashy maximalist than calming minimalist, but when I’m not feeling inspired or financially capable of ascribing to that, I’ve found the match-on-match to be a super easy way to feel cool. It’s nothing revolutionary, but it’s just enough of a side step for me to feel a little more alive.

🐫

sweater – asos / coat – zara / jeans – gap / denim shirt – madewell / boots – sam edelman / hat – zara

pants – j crew / button-down – everlane / turtle – j crew / hat – zara / boots – topshop

Tysm to my girls Monica, Kendall, Gigi, Kylie, Kim, and Khloe for enlightening me.

Tan mom and never nudes

suit – asos / shorts (hot pants?) – american apparel / shirt – & other stories / sunglasses – street vendor

If you’re wondering who is in the above photo, it’s me, peeking out at you beneath layers of brown chemicals engineered to trick you into thinking I’m an outdoorsy type.

When my sister Kelly suggested we get spray tans for her Bachelorette weekend in Palm Springs I was intrigued. Not only do I love being tan, but I’ve spent nearly all of my adult life indoors with the curtains drawn, polishing my fangs and plotting my next meal.*

Spray tans are associated with materialistic, shallow people – perhaps rightly so – but I was willing to identify with this stereotype in exchange for giving others one very brief impression I spend all of my time swimming in the ocean, drinking wine in the sun, and having heartfelt conversations under beachy sunsets. One of the less difficult sacrifices I’ve ever had to make.

Typical me under a palm tree

I’d never gotten one before so I asked Kelly to recommend a place. I deemed her qualified since she lives 3,000 miles away and has an internet connection. She told me which places near me had the best reviews and I was on my way.

The actual process of getting the tan required much more contortion than I suspected, but the middle-aged lady who sprayed me explained she was a veteran and I really didn’t want to disappoint her. Luckily, the movements resembled a slow-motion robot, a dance move I happen to personally excel at and use frequently to embarrass Austin in public places.

When I woke up the next morning I nearly lost it.  To say I resembled tan mom would only be a slight exaggeration. I immediately texted my cousin and sister, who’d also gotten sprayed the night before and they conceded they, too, looked ridiculously tan. They assured me it would fade and it did.

Oh this? Natural

But even before then the desensitization phenomenon was in full-force. Within 30 minutes I was thinking, “Hey, I don’t look that tan!” And this pattern continued as the 14 other women arrived to our rental house.

First time anyone saw me: Oh my god. YOU ARE SO TAN. *real lols*

30 minutes later without fail: Wait you actually look completely fine and normal.

Tan Sis strikes again!

At peace with my tan, 100% done with pale life

One of the unexpected perks of sporting a skin color several shades darker than my given one was this feeling that I was never actually exposed and was thus never called to cover myself up for emotional reassurance. I had no idea spray tans were the chemical equivalent of the comforting denim under-short of Tobias Funke. Please take note of this!

The feeling of wearing a full-coverage skin costume came in particular handy while spending two straight days drinking mimosas and eating chips in a swimsuit. I’d honestly never felt more tropical in my life, and I was in the desert during a severe drought.

The best part of the weekend, however, had nothing to do with sacrificing my morals and everything to do with crying several times about my sister and Matt getting married. One of her best friends put together a slide show of them to a guitar-strumming love song and we almost all had to stay in for the evening just to weep. Or was that just me? I’m simultaneously elated for them to get married and dreading crying for 6 hours straight. I’m so cliche.

Let’s finish this up on shallow ground: one-pieces. A lot of us were sporting them over the weekend and were aligned on their power and influence over us. If you’re currently in the market, I’d recommend Asos where you can find a one-piece in nearly every shape, color, and pattern. If you can’t find what you’re looking for on there, your taste is far more unique and special than mine and I admire you.

This leafy one was probably my favorite, but I love all my children equally. Also, if you’re justifying spending the money, keep in mind Man Repeller’s conjecture that swimsuits under shorts are the new shirts. I’m totally on board.

Here are some others I love, a few of which are already in my clutches.

*blood

To crop a turtle

I’ve been in the business of turtlenecks for some time, but cropped ones are a subset worth acknowledging in their own right.

pants – j crew / cropped turtle – american apparel / shoes – everlane / bag – topshop (similar)

The cropped turtleneck tank first and foremost is a contradictory piece of clothing; style usurps utility full stop. I can’t think of a practical scenario that would call for covering the neck and not simultaneously the stomach and shoulders, but let’s be real, practicality is a blip on the sartorial ledger.

For me the cropped turtle is more of an emotional journey wherein I get to feel like a summer mermaid without the shell bra vulnerability.  Maybe neck constriction is the secret to emotional health? Ask Ruth Bader Ginsberg, she’s the ultimate neck-protector/celebrator.

Scarves, ascots, band collars, doilies? Queen.

The counter part to the cropped turtle is of course a high waist. The other day my coworker, who graciously brought me a cake on my birthday, told me he’d texted another coworker to ask what kind of cake I liked. Apparently she responded: “Is there anything with a cat or high-waisted pants on it?”

If this is all anyone knows me for, I live a #blessed life.

As we all know, high-waisted pants look great on nearly all beautiful lady bodies and work especially in harmony with a crop, allowing their wearer to show as much or as little skin as desired. I picked a wider leg because skinny jeans would have made me feel too much like Sandy at the end of Grease. If that’s your vibe though, I’m supportive.

I’ve gotten fairly attached to this J Crew pair over the past months. They’ve wormed their way into my new reality and no longer seem weird in the slightest. These are now Basic Pants.

Finally, the most redeeming quality of the cropped turtle, especially of the tank variety, is its undershirt-like ability to fit under any other item of clothing. Most can slot under anything from a thin t-shirt to a baggy sweatshirt. Very much like a dickey, which is a granny bonus.

A top layer can take a cropped turtle from cold to hot, work to drinks, day to night, family to friends, and other magazine cover subtitles. In other words you and your cropped turtle can be 2gether 4ever. <3

Here are a few if you’re looking for love.