working class

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right now chicago is 22°F and snow is drifting from gutter to gutter, so this isn’t the kind of outfit you can actually wear outside. as i type to you, i am wearing thick jeans, a bootleg balenciaga sweatshirt, and sorel boots. please allow me to indulge in the fantasy of a sheer blouse, a white pencil skirt, bare legs and ballet flats. thank goodness for shelter and heat — things that we think of as necessities, but would be considered luxuries by many who are living in much less comfortable conditions. some folks heat is shut off, some houses are way draftier than my own, and some homeless folks are living outside.
 
even if everything in this picture is from a thrift store, it is still a luxury item, because i had the time to hunt through the racks, select it, and buy it. none of it was given to me because i am unemployed or disadvantaged, and all of it is still of finer-quality materials and craftmanship. even if i can’t afford things new, i can still afford the internet, my laptop, and an annual subscription to Vogue, so i stay abreast of trends and labels. plus, i have the leisure and liberty to pick out what i wear, even if it’s impractical.
 
i suppose the further irony of this look is that it’s mostly based around workwear concepts. the blouse has a sort of conductor-stripe, and pseudo-functional pockets. the white skirt is denim. the flats have a perforated wingtip pattern, which has its origins in classic menswear, but is most often worn by aspirational types. the necklace is a ball chain strung with humble fowl anklets — the kind that chickens and domestic ducks wear — from my aunt’s farm.

mr. little jeans

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i can’t help it that this dude wears skinnier pants than anyone else. he can dress more creatively, but this was just a drawing exercise. also, sometimes style is about function over glamour.

his sweater is H&M, the denim is THVM, and the boots are Timberlands. the vest might be vintage and the hat is…..five paneled? the silver amulet is antique, and mine.

watercolor by Shua, blind countour-face by me.

 

pitchfork day 3, eating ice cream street style

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clearly, by pitchfork day 3, i was not caring so much. even though this is the only outfit element that i bought at Buffalo Exchange and thought, “festival season here i come” it is actually pretty chill. it’s vintage, sure, but it’s essentially a beaded tee shirt. summer shorts (Joe’s) and some clear, plastic sandals (Vogue, through Urban Outfitters) and boom. the sunglasses are Marc by Marc Jacobs and the bag is a repeat [Alexander Wang].

a bunch of roving photographers snapped pictures of the shoes or the purse, but i haven’t bothered to track down every blog. i thought that being shot for Chicago Magazine was pretty nice. i was also shot by Teen Vogue — and i did search that — but maybe i looked too old or un-trendy. not concerned. every day there were a bunch of folks that took my picture without permission; other asked my permission but had no credentials — it’s all good. we are at the fest to look and listen, otherwise we could stay home and make the most of our headphones. certainly though, everything sounds better while savoring an ice cream cone.

the last picture is courtesy of GlitterGuts, a local photobooth-and-party outfit run by my roommate and hometown hero, Eric Lab Rat. he had organized an afterparty at Beauty Bar that night, the umpteenth iteration of R. Kelly Bump n’ Grindcore. though we were footsore, G (yes, he’s wearing my tee shirt and black studded rings) and i made it by for a little extra dancing. the GlitterGuts R. Kelly party is always good vibes. the picture that Eric shot is my favorite of the whole weekend — it’s the one in which i look happiest and feel most beautiful.

i can draw too

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rarely do i get the opportunity to draw or paint for my own blog, but here is a quick sketch i did on a very slow night at work. somewhere there should be a piece by Shua based on the same outfit. it’s just an H&M sweatshirt with Current /Elliott jeans and vintage boots, but the top is reminiscent of Isabel Marant. it was on the racks last spring, well before the Isabel Marant by H&M capsule collection was announced. (there are some cute pieces in the lookbook, but i doubt i’ll be waiting in line to duke it out over fringed boots and peasant blouses.)

in any case, the perforated little booties are the real winner in this outfit. supple vintage cream leather, with a sliver wedge, each perf is actually a little star. they are just so winnin,. and totally stand-for-eight-hours-appropriate.

and yes, the girl in my drawing looks way more elegantly-schnozzy than i do.  i promise to practice painting and drawing more in the near future, and not just self-portraits.

beach bouclé bingo

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i’m sorry. my titles are the worst. i’m going to start cribbing from the bottom of essie bottles. that would be an upgrade, right?

this would be a great outfit to wear to work, and i did love it last year. however, we now have a policy in place where i’m not allowed to wear shorts. and i Did think it was the perfect mix of michigan avenue betch and 18th street beach. the bouclé is so… so… Tulum. it looks like frothy surf on white sand.

if #latergram means anything to you, i admit that this outfit was from a few weeks back. today it’s yom kippur (kol neidre) and i’m certainly not wearing this to synagogue. i also am aware that it is a sin to write on yom kippur (unless it is to save a life) but i hope that won’t weigh too heavily against me. especially since, you know, i’m dating a goy and stuff.

anyway…FASHION!

Zara bouclé jacket, rag & bone silk tank, H&M tattered shorts, Alexander Wang patent heels, vintage tassel necklace.

the book i’m reading is about Serge Gainsbourg, homme, mythe, légende. it’s juicy.

l’shanah tovah everybody!

guess? again

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okay, so i decided to push the envelope. the argument herein, dear reader, is that a washed-out, 90s, stretchy, denim pencil skirt from Guess? can be very elegant indeed if you lend it stiletto heels, (the stiletto part MUST be gold) a drapey silk blouse, and a smart, fitted jacket.

kept the kneehighs.

amirite or amirite?

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maaaaan, have i been hearing a lot of folks trash-talking the denim skirt lately. is this the one item of 90s fashion that is universally hated? really? the simple pencil skirt, in denim. perhaps it is too early-aughts to have its re-introduction to the style files. it will have its moment though.

minimal, flattering, an easy mixer, inexpensive. the denim pencil skirt is basically a classic, and every brand has done an iteration. this one is by Guess? from the goodwill. it is stretchy and slightly acid-washed. shacked up with a marni knit top and my dude’s patent Bally dress shoes. (the chain is his too.) H&M patent envelope clutch.

EVERY thing about this outfit is kinda outre, kinda trashy — but i think it’s super modern, too. THE element that ties it all together…without which it would all be just icky…are the sheer knee high stockings. seriously, when i wore these to work, my 70yo coworker sucked in her breath and semi-chided me for being racy. when is the last time you thought of knee stockings as titillating? huh? do ankles* GET YOU GOING??

somehow, the stockings make the outfit both more modest and more sharp. there is the visual hyphen from black top to black footwear, and the reinforcer of the concept that denim can be elegant.

eleganza… sprezzatura… did i manage it?

*ankles totally get me going. especially a well-turned male ankle. just being honest.

chambray three way

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levi’s chambray shirt jacked from my dude’s closet. it’s bleached in spots and frayed at the sleeve and hem, but that makes it way better. the denim is super soft and breezy. sometimes i object to the americana aesthetic, but in this case, it’s so natural and easy and individualistic.

i feel like the words “individualistic” and “unique” get thrown around a lot, in relation to US jingoism and the marketing of denim, but somehow the estimation feels authentic. i’ve borrowed (read: stolen) a lot of jeans from boyfriends over the years, and the way they fit is always idiosyncratic to them. threadbare in certain spots, sagging in others, stained from use or paled from washing, the habits are embedded in a garment of such frequent use. carrying a cel phone or a pack of cigarettes in the back pocket will leave a certain imprint. the height of their knee demarcates the place where the bend to sit or kneel. wearing your partner’s clothes is always intimate, but wearing their jeans is a study in their physical poetry.

accordingly, in the third look, i am wearing Levi’s that were handed-down by an ex-bf. woven platform sandals by Lucky Brand and a vintage crocodile belt. very Texan tux.

the second look involves an H&M leather skirt with a sheer under-layer, a spiked Topshop headband, and Alexander Wang’s “Angela” bag. vintage beater boots, natch.

the first look also utilizes H&M — suede cheekies (barely visible beneath the untucked shirt) — and the Angela bag. the d’Orsay flats are by Chinese Laundry, and a TOTAL RIP of the Jenni Kayne style, but i love them.

i feel like extra credit should be given, for doing a different braid in each look.

common to the three styles is my new perfect necklace from By Phillipe. a little inverted crown, in light-weight gold, even though i’ve never appreciated yellow jewelry before. very optimistic and very summer.

studs X sweats

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two major trends –longterm ones besides — combine to make an awesome and awesomely heavy sweatshirt. each sewn on, thimble-shaped stud weighs a bunch, but i feel like this garment isn’t TOO in your face. i like the looseness of the cut and the density of the cotton. the things you’ll find at H&M sometimes!

paired it up with a Pierre Balmain miniskirt and Miss 60 boots*. black on black on black!

*a few years ago, i saw an annoying Anne Hathaway movie and one of the least bougie details about the film is that we had on the same footwear.

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just the most absolutely basic-seeming outfit where everything feels secretly special – a chunky zippered sweater from H&M that is a rip-off of Alexander Wang, distressed skinny denim from Current/Elliott, and mouse slingback flats from Marc by Marc Jacobs.