HEY YOU! NOGOODFORME.COM is now found at...NOGOODFORME.COM! You've stumbled upon our old mirror site instead. Please point your browsers to NOGOODFORME.COM instead and update your newsfeed to http://feeds.feedburner.com/nogoodforme/tYOS. Thanks and we shall see you at NOGOODFORME.COM!
Tuesday , December 14, 2010
RULES ARE FOR FOOLS: A Laura Jane Fashion Challenge
As far as I'm concerned, the only rules worth following are broken ones. When it comes to the obstruction of Fashion Commandments, I got more records than the KGB. Still, before I embarked upon my RULES ARE FOR FOOLS Challenge, I never consciously set out to antagonize the Fashion Police. It just sort of happens as a side effect of being an ardent non-Normie, a sartorial rapscallion who strives towards the avant-wack and hella-conceptual. I love what I wear: it says everything about how I feel (or, at worst, how I wish I felt) and who I am (but never who I wish I was).
The number-one guaranteed way to ensure pedestrian and impersonal personal style is to use fashion as a means for validating one's attractiveness to oneself. It breaks my heart to see how many gorgeous women looking like total blah because they think they have no choice; this is a by-product of stupid Normie fashion magazines that ram boring, meaningless axioms like "Avoid colour!" and "Leopard-print is for sluts!" down the throats of women who lack the confidence to say DAMN THE MAN and wear whatever the Hell they feel like.
This past week, I said DAMN THE MAN every day, and damn- was it ever satisfying! I have sinned, but I don't need no forgiveness. For seven days straight, I broke every fashion rule in the book, and looked Damned Cool doing it. Bear in mind I am The Ultimate Fashion Champion, so take my word as gold here, folks. They say sing while you slave, but I just get bored- I ain't gonna work for Anna Wintour no more.
BROKEN RULE #1: THOU SHALT NOT MIX PLAID AND STRIPES
HOW TO PULL IT OFF: BE BORING
LJ'S WAY: Black-and-white striped cardigan; muted lilac workshirt; plaid fine-wale corduroy walking shorts; grey nylons; black ankle boots
The main argument posed against donning plaid and stripes at once is that it makes you look like a wackjob. This is understandable. The combination of plaid and stripes is traditionally associated with red-faced, middle-aged golfers sporting a tam and too-tight trousers on the putting green, or perhaps a clown, or perhaps "Just a Girl"-era Gwen Stefani. Oddly enough, I felt ten trillion times boring-er than usual while breaking this rule. Because it was my first day of RAFF, I had no concept of how the rest of the Challenge would unfold. I took it way too seriously, and put an enormous amount of pressure on myself to create something practical and instructional, something that "you" could "learn from". I looked overly business-cazsh for my liking, but at least figured out how to construct a sane-ish plaid/stripes look: play that shit so safe that nobody can even tell! Stick to classic, klassy shapes; keep your prints subtle; don't add jewelry; be tame. Go to work at Ernst & Young; hang out by the water cooler; alphabetize your database of accrued capital gains taxes. This one is strictly for 9-to-5ers. NEVER AGAIN!
BROKEN RULE #2: THOU SHALT NOT SPORT LINGERIE AS OUTERWEAR
HOW TO PULL IT OFF: BE A SWEETHEART, NOT A SKANK
LJ'S WAY: Long camel cardigan; grey sleeveless tee; simple gold chain; pale pink lingerie camisole; flouncy blue button-up mini; grey textured stockings; tan lace-up stacked-heel ankle boots
This outfit was state-of-the-art AWESOME. It helped me reach an incredibly important conclusion about my own life, which is that my Spring 09 fashion concept is will be based around sweetheart-ism, smelling like strawberries, and going out of my way to sport lingerie as daywear as frequently as possible.
Anyone with half a brain would agree that the juxtaposition between my sweetie-pants lil' camisole and tuff grey sleeveless T is pretty genius, in that fashion-specific non-genius way often hit by acknowledged fashion weirdos like Chloe Sevigny and the late, great Isabella Blow (RIP). Another reason why this look played out so swimmingly is that I referenced a fair bit of Mary-Kate Olsen hobo-chic chic: uncool as shouting out MKO may be, her style is the opposite of slutty, and I needed a hit of that. All in all, If you are a dyed-in-the-wool tomboy in the mood to look nominally girlier than usual, go to any thriftstore in the world and fork over $1.99 for one of these ubiquitous lingerie camis. Throw it on over your regular jeans/t-shirt combo, and, as you can surely see, you will look as undeniably adorable as a red velvet cupcake.
BROKEN RULE #3: THOU SHALT NOT BE "HELLA MATCHY-MATCHY"
HOW TO PULL IT OFF: ACCEPT YOUR FATE/ACCEPT DEFEAT
LJ'S WAY: Burgundy F-print button-up; burgundy F-print belt worn as scarf; burgundy F-print calf-length skirt; black stockings; black lace-up Oxfords; NARS Jungle Red lipstick
I can see why they tell you not to do this. It feels weird, and this particular "marginally-chic secretary at a mediocre law firm circa 1974" shirt/skirt/sash combo neither jibes nor meshes with my lifestyle. Everybody else thought I looked cool in this, but that's only because they weren't wearing it. Excessive matching is a strange statement to make because it communicates that you are mondo-into the pattern you're wearing thrice, which you probably aren't, because even if you like a pattern that much, why would you ever wear it thrice? Three's a crowd.
Explore the parameters of "hella matchy-matchy" with caution. If you want to look cool, it is rarely/never your best bet. Pull this one out of your bag of tricks only when you feel an inner push to experiment. "HMM" functions most successfully as an assertion of confidence- it implies ethos, not aesthetic. Accept defeat: overdoing it on one pattern or colour ensures that your clothes will wear you, so just make sure they wear you well.
BROKEN RULE #4: THOU SHALT NOT WEAR WHITE AFTER LABOR DAY
HOW TO PULL IT OFF: JUST DO IT!
LJ'S WAY: Pale yellow knit wrap; white Henley-style tunic shirt; white Loomstate jeans; white socks with pale green anchor-print; white wiffle-ball lace-ups
Why say "Why?" when you can say "Why not?". The common preconception that one must cease to wear white post-Labor Day is balderdash; for starters, there is no complimentary rule stating when you are allowed to wear white again, so really, when you think about it, this rule literally states that you can either a) never wear white or b) always wear white. I really like the rule, "Always wear white". It is a non-rule, and therefore, is worth following. In addition to following broken rules, I am highly in support of following non-rules. Additional examples of non-rules are things like, "Jeans are okay to wear" or "Check your e-mail if you feel like it" or "Wake up in the morning".
Wearing white makes you feel like Gwyneth-meets-Gatsby, and looks even cooler in the winter than in the summer because it turns into a Snow Princess/Ice Queen/Ice Princess/Snow Queen thing, which is fun. Wearing this outfit proved to me that the only Fashion Faux-Pas I've been committing on the all-white front is not wearing it enough. Thanks to my Great Ivory Wednesday, my mind is now a-racin' with the possibility of more, more, and MORE white-oriented outfits. I particularly loved this one thanks to the inclusion of my Easter-yellow shawl-y/wrap thing; I felt like a whirl of vanilla soft-serve atop a sugar cone. The only thing better than a well-executed take on all-white is a well-executed take on all-white served with a killer side of sweet pastel.
BROKEN RULE #5: THOU SHALT NOT WEAR BROWN AND BLACK TOGETHER
HOW TO PULL IT OFF: BE COMFORTABLE
LJ'S WAY: Black fedora; wood flower-bead necklace; brown cable-knit sweater; corduroy dog-print vest; elasticated black belt with gold buttons; black Cheap Mondays; black wallet chain; brown ankle boots
Here is another rule I find entirely illogical. I think black and brown look perfectly fine together- the combo is pure Lauren Hutton-Ralph Lauren Connecticut-y/J.Crew on J.Crack. My major problem with wearing an only brown-and-black outfit was that it depressed me. I wear a lot of colour, and having to spend a whole day reeking of drab and death took a legitimate toll on the positive life-outlook I've been attempting to maintain this winter. This look was originally supposed to feature a black high-waisted bubble skirt and skinny black belt in lieu of the jeans, which is how my "Be Comfortable" rule came about. Preening in front of a full-length mirror the eve before B-on-B Thursday, I knew the skirt looked fly, but also anticipated how constricted I would feel wearing it, so subbed in jeans instead. B-on-B is a great card to play when you want to look like 16-year-old Charlotte York with riding crop and Palomino at bay; otherwise, wear purple.
BROKEN RULE #6: THOU SHALT NOT PAIR SANDALS WITH SOCKS
HOW TO PULL IT OFF: PLAY IT TONGUE-IN-CHEEK
LJ'S WAY: Red beret; black turtleneck; rolled-up J Brand cut-offs; red/white/tan argyle thigh-highs; beige Natural Comfort platform sandals
I put a lot of effort into making this outfit work, and have come to the conclusion that the only possible way to pull of socks and sandals togeths is to wear THIS EXACT OUTFIT. Anything else looks utterly redonkulous. Even this outfit looks utterly redonkulous. This look is not for the faint of heart. Beware of rocking an argyle/platform combo unless you are the type who majorly gets off on being the center of attention, because I learned the hard way that Every Single Person In The World will comment on your rocking an argyle/platform combo. And then you have to explain to Every Single Person in The World that you write for a fashion blog and on said fashion blog you are a semi-noted Fashion Challengee and that this week you're doing a Fashion Challenge based around... blah, blah, blah. A word to the wise: smile a lot, and have a sense of humor about it. Today, you're the girl wearing argyle socks with giant platform sandals. Embrace it, because you'll probably never bother again. In conclusion: wearing socks with sandals is the Quinceanera of Fashion Commandment Breakage. Dig?
BROKEN RULE #7: THOU SHALT NOT WEAR A DRESS OVER JEANS
HOW TO PULL IT OFF: DO IT UP GRUNGE
LJ'S WAY: Tan lace-up stacked-heel ankle boots; ripped-knee jeans; breakfast-print little girls' nightgown; black gold-buttoned belt; blue dotted cardi; pink plastic glitter bracelet; Perks & Mini Anubis duffel bag; Duggie Fields badge from Dover Street Market; Sprite-flavoured toque
Every time I complete a Fashion Challenge, I come to the exact same conclusion: as long as you look like you and wear what you like, you'll probably look cool. This outfit epitomizes the crux of How Laura Jane Dresses, so much that it entirely negates how it is supposed to serve as an exemplar of how one can wear a dress over jeans without looking like a loser. The rule remains valid: if you're doing dress-over-jeans Boho-style, there is a 100% chance that you will look like a fifty-year-old Northern Californian who owns a head shop with a Wiccan twist. Think Courtney Love, not Janis Joplin, and definitely not Stevie Nicks. But am I even right about this? I have no idea. Maybe you should just wear a dress over jeans if you feel like wearing a dress over jeans. I trust your judgment, I'm sure you can handle it. I may be the Ultimate Fashion Champion, but I'm more of a Barack Obama than a Benito Mussolini. Peace on Earth, do your thing, and Let it Be, Bros. I'm really fashion-tired right now. I think I need a jeans and t-shirt week, like, STAT.
Tags: avant-wack, Charlotte York-Goldenblatt, fashion challenges, fashion guerrilla, Gwyneth-meets-Gatsby, hella conceptual, J.Crew on J.Crack, Laura Jane Faulds, non-Normie ideology, non-rules, sweetheartism, Ultimate Fashion Championship
Share | | | |