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Tuesday , December 14, 2010
nogoodforme Superlatives: Fall Fashion Essentials
In truth, this entry is doing double-duty, because someone once Asked Us how to build up a fall/winter wardrobe. So, Elena from Arizona, here are all our respective answers...just in time for the fall sales, no less.
ALL KATS ARE GREY
Leave it to me to give the boringest, straightforward, trying-to-be-helpful answer -- can't help it, it's the Virgo rising in me. Anyway: I love fall! Sartorially speaking, autumn is when I am at my happiest, because it means I get to comfortably wear the things I love most: jackets, boots, scarves, coats. Plus, the fall fashion season fulfills my heart's deep desire for fashion to be beautiful and practical -- because fall fashion won't work unless it, above all, keeps you cozy and warm. As I am getting older, I am starting to appreciate the loveliness that is utility and simplicity and I have developed this weird obsession with paring things down and keepin' it real and Making It Last and Being Happy With It For As Long As You Can.
It takes awhile to "build" a wardrobe; I feel like most people go through phases of experimenting with different fashion selves and trying on all sorts of ideas, which is necessary and positive to approaching fashion as creative self-expression. Once you've got an idea of where you want to go and what does and doesn't work for you and your life, though, you can start thinking of investing in great pieces that can carry you through the years. In the most general sense, I dig the idea of getting a great coat and/or jacket and then finding a great shoe. A great jacket can do so much for even the most basic outfit in your wardrobe, and it can last ages; it's often the most powerful piece of a wardrobe. It will swaddle you in warmth when you need it and empower you with structure and sharpness. It's like armor at its best -- it both announces you and protects you, whether it's a classic equestrian-type coat that's strong sturdy or an adorable swingy little cape. A great shoe, whether it's a boot or whatever, will basically dictate what bottoms will work for you. (For instance, most of my favorite boots are flat, so I can't really rock wide-legged trousers on my frame with them, for instance.) It's necessary to choose well if you're investing in a shoe, because the wrong one can literally paralyze you, and that would suck and keep you from doing fun things in life. From there, you have tops, dresses, sweaters, and other assorted pieces, which are more playful and expressive. There's no general advice to give there, really, other than to have fun and try to not go overboard (as I usually can do). It's all up to you and what you want your style to be, but I feel the great base of most fashion aesthetics begin with your roots (shoes) and your armor (coats). But that's just my opinion.
Anyway, all that advice was probably really boring and bougie. Whatever! This is what's in my personal heavy rotation for fall. Half of this stuff is old, but half is new, and that to me is a dream wardrobe -- solid basics that you only need a little to update upon each season.
(1.1 & 1.2: Jackets! One heavier for outdoors, one light for indoors. 2: Drapey, flow-y cardigan. 3. Grey silk button-down. I wear it as a jacket over a t-shirt or tank. 4.1 & 4.2: Dresses! Tunics, really. Worn with leggings and boots or over skinny jeans. 5: SCARVES!! 6.1 & 6.2: Ankle boots. One night and one day. Both surprisingly comfortable. 9: A necklace from Nashelle. Pretty! I always like to buy one pretty piece of jewelry a season. Where are my pants, you ask? I don't wear any! Kidding, they're just the same old skinny jeans and leggings I wear all the time. I did get a pair of Corpus jeans for fall and they're pretty awesome. I recommend. Oh, and I got my long-coveted cropped double-breasted pea coat with a gift certificate from Armani Exchange. P.S., me skipping 7 & 8 is not me trying to be like Martin Margiela. I just forgot to change it in Photoshop.) NOT PICTURED: In the fall, I drink lots of drinks involving Jack Daniels. I like Jack and gingers a lot, but Jack and Coke will do. And sometimes I just like Jack.
LAURA JANE IS GROWING UP:
1. Red Lipstick: Tons and tons of it, every single day. I want it to be a Thing About Me. I want to drink soda out of straws and people will know it was my soda because of the lipstick stains. Oh, and it has to be NARS Jungle Red: a pure, undiluted, unadulterated hyper-concentrated red's red. I'm hot.
2. Black and white (and red): When I was a little kid, I would often read a trashy adolescent-girl series called Sleepover Friends. I guess it wasn't so much trashy as it was crappy, and beneath my reading level. One of the Sleepover Friends was a loud-mouthed director-type named Stephanie (she was the one I Related To) who only wore black, white and red, every single day, which is really impressively high-concept for a pre-teen. Stephanie probably grew up to be the head curator of the MoMA's Architecture wing, or something. Anyway, Stephanie from Sleepover Friends is 100% my Style Icon for Autumn 2008 (TAKE THAT, CLAUDIA KISHI!!!). Black and white and red, all the time. I'm dying my hair black, and fully embracing my vampiric paleness. If you've got it, flaunt it, right?
3. Beer: Drinking white wine spritzers is so last summer. BORING! The only thing hotter than being the girl at the bar drinking whiskey and sodas (who I will never be, because I have a low tolerance for hard alcohol) is being the girl at the bar knocking back a beer. Grolsch is a good choice because the logotype is pretty, and "Grolsch" is a fun word to say. I also think it is really hot to drink Strongbow cider. That's my second choice, if they don't got Grolsch.
4. Ratty faux-fur coat: MY RATTY FUR COAT is back and better than ever. It affords my new badass-ly elegant style a nice, restrained hit of scrappiness, and calls to mind the only two people who ever rocked b&w harder than Stephanie from Sleepover Friends: JOHN LENNON AND YOKO ONO. I just don't think I will ever tire of my ratty faux-fur coat; it's been five straight winters and I still love it like it was my first-born son. Speaking of first-born sons, I'll probably still be wearing this coat when I'm picking my first-born son up from school or going to PTA meetings or whatevs. "Eeeewww, her coat smells like twelve-year-old Grolsch splatter!" the other moms will say. Those judgmental bitches.
5. Black high-waisted pleated-front ankle-length San & Soni trousers: These pants are so hot that they make me feel okay about becoming one of those stupid losers who carries flats around in their bag so that when you go indoors you can remove your practical winter boots and show off your sexy ankles. I showed these pants to my dad, and he was in a state of disbelief that pleating is "back". "Not for you, Dad," I said, "Just for me."
Dudes, don't wear pleated pants! Please! Leave that shit to Laura Jane. (Laura Jane)
AN APPLE ON MY HEAD & A SONG IN MY HEART
1. Okay, first of all: I thought it'd be so adorable if I took my photo with an apple on my head, but apparently I lack the skill and coordination required to balance said apple on my noggin whilst photographing myself and actually end up including my autumn-essential cardigan in the picture. (Now I'll NEVER be a teen model!) So: The cardigan's from The Stupidstore and it's got these really groovy suede elbow patches, but I couldn't work those into the photo either (because the only thing harder than taking a self-portrait while balancing an apple on your head is taking a self-portrait while balancing an apple on your head and showing off your really groovy suede elbow patches). If you're really curious, here's the catalogue pic of the back. And I included a cardigan-obscuring shot of the apple here, just so you'd all know that I really did balance it for a bit (in case you thought I get my kicks by lying about putting apples on my head).
2. Secondly: I'm not through with amassing all my autumn '08 essentials just yet! This weekend I'm going to use a big exciting gift card thing and get myself a plaid flannel button-down, a just-above-the-knee-length skirt in either red or navy (possibly pleated), and a second pair of leggings (not to be worn all together, FYI). Pretty basic stuff, really. Mostly I plan on wearing lots of sleeveless dresses and the Stupidstore cardigan, plus - of course - my trusty old cowboy boots. Oh, and after this weekend I'm going on a clothes-shopping fast for ONE MONTH. So if you see me around town and I'm trolling for new jeans or ridiculous t-shirts, please arrest me! I can blog from the clink.
3. Lastly, what fall? It's 94 degrees today!
Tags: advice, apples are the new hats, basics, beer, black and white, cardigans, Claudia Kishi, fall fashion, Forever 21, grey, L.A. is hot, minimalism, ratty fur coats, red lipstick, scrappy is dead, shopping fasts, Sleepover Friends, wardrobe advice
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