Category Archives: Clothes Minded

what have i become?

Processed with VSCOcam with c3 presetA long time ago, at least as it was in the blogosphere, a debate arose as to whether or not bloggers should post photos of themselves in ordinary ensembles, ones that were particularly special, imaginative, or exciting. At the time I had mixed thoughts on the matter. While I was definitely utilizing my blog as liquid courage to push the envelope* for dressing, if my blog was, in theory, representative of my life, and what I was, in turn, wearing, then wouldn’t it be a misrepresentation to avoid sharing the more average days? If in fact they did exist? I thought so, but apparently I was in the minority, the voice of dissention amidst a sea of graphic designers, stay-at-home moms, and professionals. Nowadays, bloggers are more than thrilled to share their bare faces, off days, and glammed up versions of jeans and t-shirts, but in 2010 that was most definitely not the norm. I do suppose, however, that not wanting to share these mundane moments is part of why I post with such annoying infrequency**. During my last trip home, something occurred to me—I actually like dressing like a slob. Okay, that may be a little harsh. I’m not really a slob—I’m not dirrrty, my articles of clothing are the proper sizes, and I do manage to look put together, but I  definitely find comfort and confidence in simple outfits that may be a little on the unfashionable side.  Exhibit A, to your left, is the ensemble that shifted everything in perspective for me. My family was going out for Sunday dinner at our favorite Pan Asian restaurant (though let’s just call it what it is, Chinese food) and torn jeans, slubby t-shirt, and my Birkenstocks were all I wanted to wear. While I used to think that this gravitation toward the unfashionable while being at home, in suburban Rhode Island, was a result of living in Manhattan, and always feeling “on,” I’ve been thinking more and more lately that this isn’t actually the most accurate reasoning. I think it’s just more exemplary of who I am, or perhaps, the moment that I’m in right now. Though I was always interested in/fascinated by fashion, I always saw myself apart from “it all.” This all changed when I got to college and vigorously refused to be another liberal arts student with clogs, unwashed hair, skinny jeans, ironic vintage, or tie dye—the bizarre amalgamation of hippie and hipster that my alma mater so masterfully represents. To that end, I cultivated a professional, yet fun wardrobe that I felt set me aside from my classmates. And it did. There was a time when I wouldn’t even wear my Uggs to get the mail or take my dog to shit, but now I shamelessly hop over to Panera in them, while also donning sweatpants and old concert shirts. I die when I think of the fabulous outfit I wore to my graduation. With my frosted lips, silver and turquoise brocade frock, and killer attitude, I felt like Liz Taylor as I crossed the stage, just without any of that personal drama. So now, why do I find myself in such a different place, and only two years later? Has the professional world hardened me to dressing up? Do I not care anymore? Or even worse, is this who I really am? Right now, the future is just so unclear.

 *or so I thought I was, c’mon, it’s all relative!

**sorry mom.

A Vapid Filler Post Where I Share My No-Fail Nail Polish Colors

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 6.21.01 PMHave you ever noticed that when a blogger doesn’t know what to post (though they’d never tell you this), or don’t have anything of value to add, they either write about the weather or share lists. Lists of seemingly imperative yet truly menial things such as: weekend sales, favorite items for Spring, or knick-knacks they can’t live without. Some people might say that this is actually just something that bloggers do, but I’m not buying that. If people just didn’t say anything instead of sharing something stupid–that goes for real-life as well–the world would be a much more thoughtful place.

With that, however, I present my favorite shades of nail lacquer, because why not? Spending most of my days sitting at a computer, my hands are almost always in my line of vision, and thusly, so are my nails. For me, looking down at unkempt and plain nails is a really depressing thing, so I opt to always keep a little color on them, even if it’s something blushed and blanched. Just like clothes, cosmetics, and anything else superficial that we are attuned to, painting your nails is an adornment that tells everyone about ourselves. Here are my favorites…

On Dressing at Home…

unnamed-37While in college, I would come home and rush to my closet to pull out my fanciest and most impractical pieces, things like five inch yellow leather wedges and teatime raw silk frocks. Going to school in The Valley (of Western Mass), I had the opportunity to wear plenty of flannel, knit sweaters, and yoga pants, so at home, they were rarely part of my agenda. Since moving to NYC, however, this scenario has taken a 180. I attribute the shift to my ratcheted up city wardrobe and the fact that I only leave the apartment in sportswear when a class is involved. At home, I lounge around, run errands, go to class, and see old friends in a uniform of slouchy sweaters, black leggings, and camp socks. Luckily, no one seems to mind. This is probably because I always smell so good. The photo above is an example of something that I wore to morning coffee with my parents. It’s a little ratty, even for my home looks, but I’m willing to share it, because I have no shame. I packed a good deal of clothing for my nearly two week break and after reflecting, I realize how gluttonous I was in the matter. I cycled three pairs of jeans, five t-shirts, three sweaters, and two pairs of boots, leaving me feeling like a dummy. My mom says it’s because we didn’t have any fancy plans but I say it’s because I was especially lazy this time around. Below is an example of my at-home uniform. I also found my favorite t-shirt, which was *life changing.*

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work guys

I’m one of the people who doesn’t really care about strangers, yet I constantly wonder what their story is, where they’re headed, where they’ve come from, I think you get the picture. One of the most fascinating internal observations I make is about someone’s profession, and I think that the way a person dresses for the office speaks volumes. Having now worked in two distinct, yet somewhat similar, neighborhoods, I’ve honed my ability to make stereotypical comments specifically regarding this matter. With that, let me share with you a variety of “guys” I’ve observed in their different habitats:

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MIDTOWN EAST: Your consummate professional. Historically reserved for Mad Men types from advertising firms, obscure banks, and the publishing industry, your average gentleman walking around the east 50s is suited up and, for the most part, well dressed. While he may be found donning the omnipresent yet horrific luggage colored driving loafer, this guy is still probably well-tailored on top. This is a classic neighborhood with jobs and companies that have equally distinct pasts, so while you’ll unlikely find shlubs wandering Madison Avenue, this isn’t the funkiest bunch.

TRIBECA/CHAMBERS STREET: This is where all the cool kids get off and sometimes I disembark the 2/3 a stop early just to join in, because really, what interesting person ever exited at Park Place? No one. I’m not entirely sure what careers abound in this neighborhood, but regardless of what the guys are wearing, their very chic, but not too chic. Just like the people who live in Tribeca, the men who work near the Chambers Street stop seem to be cool and self-assured, but not overly confident or self-aware. You’ll likely see flocks of guys briskly climbing the stairs in paper denim and slim wool jackets, and if they have to be in a suit, you could bet that it’s tapered to 1960s perfection, he may even be accessorizing with a tie clip, but for ironic effect.

FIDI: Don’t even get me started. I have never seen a duller and more depressing group of guys, ever. Men have some fantastic options available to them (hello, ties!) and to not wear them is a waste. Downtown, you’ve got a lot of kids fresh out of college who never knew how to dress in the first place and who are now working with men who don’t know how to dress, and they’re all working at either generic or obscure funds, or selling insurance, or whatever else allows them to get away with such a poor display of attire. When did polar fleece, checked shirts that resemble math paper, and pleated pants become acceptable? With numerous publications and creative companies moving to World Trade Center, here’s to hoping that the culture and sensibilities from that align with Tribeca will start moving south.

DUMBO: While I only interned in DUMBO for two summers, what I observed was nothing but a miracle. It takes a special kind of person to take the F train every day, so these are men we’re talking about, not sissies who take the 2/3 for one stop and they’re at the office. Not too different from the Tribeca gentleman, your DUMBO-er most likely works in creative consulting, small print, or design itself. There’s just something about this guy that let’s you know he works–and possibly lives–in Brooklyn.