Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Here's looking at me. . .

Sometimes it just seems the most foolish thing imaginable to take pictures of what one is wearing and post them for anyone who wants to see. Narcissistic and also excruciatingly vulnerable-making. Somehow, though, I find it a useful exercise in exploring that space between feeling good about putting combinations of clothes and accessories together, of feeling good in my skin (my skin of clothing, that is) and that other position of viewing myself through a lens, imagining myself through another's look, the collective gaze. I don't know if it's at all possible, but I hope that perhaps the distance betwen those two positions can be narrowed.

Here, for example, I'm wearing the navy shirtdress I bought at the Gap a few weeks ago for $49, and I'm wearing it as I'd envisioned it, with my pink Fluevog pumps and belted with a pink leopard-print scarf I've had for a few years. I'm not sure the idea isn't better than the execution, and as soon as I see myself through the camera's eye, I start the self-criticism, this time aimed at my lack of a defined waist, my need to lose 8-10 pounds, et cetera, et cetera. It's a litany most women know well. So there's a certain defiance in posting the photo alongside a deliberate, considered effort to like the way I look in what I want to wear as opposed to wearing only those items that supposedly flatter. I'm quite sure, for example, that the dress is more flattering with the dark belt it came with and with higher heels such as those on my new spring shoes, and with opaque navy tights rather than nude sheer pantyhose. But the pink with the nude legs was my response to the spring sunshine and I WANTed to wear the dress that way.

Please don't think that I'm fishing for reassurance about how I look in the photo -- I'm actually trying to learn not to need the reassurance, although I suspect that day will be a long, long time coming.

Later I'll show you some of the weekend's shopping spoils, but meanwhile, I'll just say that I finally bought a pair of skinny jeans, after debating their worth for months. The skinny black pants I bought last fall have become a wardrobe mainstay, especially since I quite like the smocks and tunic tops that many women are complaining about and these work well with a skinny bottom half. In fact, I've ended up regularly folding the bottom of my jeans to scrunch them into my boots, so finally decided skinny jeans would be a neater way to the same end. Plus the same hem seems to work with flats and heels, a big advantage over boot cut, for which I need a pair hemmed for flats and a separate pair hemmed for heels. My new skinny jeans are from Aritzia's house label, Wilfred, at $130, a steal considering that the other pairs the salesgirl brought me went up to $340 (!). Dark denim in a very simple wash, with low-profile pockets, these are high-waisted so no more bulging -- yes! I'm looking forward to wearing these with a big white cotton shirt I got last summer.


  1. In the words of George Aznavour, formidable!

    I offer you this - never apologize for putting yourself out there. As my Scottish relatives say, you're a long time dead.

  2. Thomas I so agree, just check out wadrobe mix! I think this is a great way to evaluate and edit, kkep it up.

  3. I just bought the same dress, same color. At least on me, the self belt is a must. I'm almost 5'5" and shortwaisted. I bought it to wear with camel colored heels and boots, and a navy/gray/yellow silk scarf -- Gathering my inspiration from the Lorick website.

    I love that you're sharing pics. Navy and pink are so pretty together.

  4. Thanks, Thomas, for sharing your relatives' advice -- that's a great reminder!
    And Alison and Polly also, thanks for the encouragement -- yes, Wardrobe Remix is fun, altho' many populated by younger folk.
    Polly -- I'm shorter (not quite 5'4 and also shortwaisted -- I'll probably stick with the self belt most of the time. Your combination sounds great -- very sophisticated.

  5. Hooray Thomas - in my family, the line goes, "Life is short - it's death that lasts a long time."
    Mater - I love the combination - so much more clever than navy and red or navy and white. I remember my mother making me an outfit I was just obsessed with as a teenager - navy blue skirt, pink blouse and a navy and pink checked vest. I thought I was pretty slick for sure in that thing.

  6. Even if you stick with the self-belt, you've GOT to wear it with those shoes! They're fabulous, and keep what could be a very conventional dress looking fresh.

  7. Thanks Toby, Pseu. I really do like navy and pink, and I do like to think the shoes liven up the dress. It was such a steal and being so conventional, lends itself to some complementary colourplay -- scarves, shoes, bags.

  8. I also meant to say that, as suspected, paterfamilias is also a peach.


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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