Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Old Navy jacket/coat roundup

Over the past year or so, I have not done too much shopping. This has left me in need of basics, the staples of an everyday wardrobe. I am often impressed by Old Navy's jackets and coats and I can imagine buying each of these and putting them on rotation.

A bomber jacket for the last days of summer, and early fall.

A collarless jacket for back-to-school and work.

A riding jacket for fall. 

A simple puffer vest for the first chilly days of the season.

A collarless lady-coat, for early-fall sophistication.  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Starry night

I would also like an all dark-blue bedroom that might look something like this:

Or maybe even a darker, navy blue, like the one shown on walls of this bathroom:

The idea of a dark blue wall is inspired by Van Gogh's Starry Night and my own desire for heavy, peaceful sleep––maybe even in the middle of the woods. 


Purple focal wall

I am going to paint one of the walls in my apartment a dark, grey, almost-black, purple. I have not picked the color yet, but I want it to look something like this:

And maybe, I will get really wild and buy this print to put on the wall.

Far out!

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Gap: Dress Normal

I love The Gap's fall ad campaign. Let's hope that the clothes that they roll out this year are wearable. If these ads are any indication, they will be.

Rebel, rebel

It has been a long time since I wanted a pair of shoes as badly as I want these babies. Dansko's Rebel might just be 90s redux perfection. They are a naughty cross between a bootie and a Mary Jane. And, well, I'm in love:

Add thick black tights, and the prospect of a cold, dark winter doesn't seem so bad. 

Cocoon coat

Part of me loves this jacket, the other part of me knows that it is a bit too far outside of my wheelhouse and that I might not wear it as much as I would like. What I like about it is the relaxed, cocoon shape in juxtaposition to other more waist-centric styles.  This coat seems to be in keeping with the soft dressing trend. 

Find it here:

It also has a bit of a Bettlejuice vibe, which the punker rocker in me appreciates. Always.  

Summer's gone again

Summer's gone again.  A line from a song I heard once, I think.  Summer leaves town early in upstate New York. I both love the cooler temps and feel like protesting the end of summer. My protest this past weekend was to pain my toenails red one last time for the season. I love orange-y reds. They are badass.

Apparently, I am not the only one. One of my friends wore a short sleeved button down the other day with dinosaurs on it. Hilarious:

It looked something like this only in an orange-red. This color must signify summer.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Digital dating

I am not going to lie: I am doing the online or digital dating thing. And it is not fun. This recent article from the New York Times nails one of the reasons why: too much choice, does not necessarily make for happy human beings:

"Here's the problem with bigger numbers and endless possibility: They don't go well with humands.  We don't have the processing power.  Dating is not simply about finding like-minded people, but about limiting your potential set of choices.  When we're making a selection from what sociologists call a bounded set of choices, we can 'satisfice' ––that is reach a kind of threshold of satisfaction.  Once we find something above that level great, let's try it.

When the number of options increases, we become maximizers––unsatisfied with those options, and wanting more.  On Tinder, we can judge, swipe and date as if there is an unlimited number of matches. Faced with boundless choices, can we ever choose?" (Reich).

I would be remiss to say that I have "boundless choices" on the dating front, but I do have a few and it can feel overwhelming.

Have you digital dated?
What has your experience been like?
Please share.

Read the New York Times piece here:

Harness boots

A few weeks ago, when it was dreadfully hot, all I could think about were boots and how great it would feel to wear them when the weather cooled off.  I started fantasizing right then and there about these harness boots from Fry.  They might be a bit too tough and masculine for me, but then again, every fall I start to think about their virtues once more:

Harness boots, by Frye.

Fry also makes a sweet pair of engineer boots, but I think the harness boots are more versatile and suited to just walking around town.  

Engineer boots, by Frye.



I am pretty sure I remember a spread from Sassy magazine that paired prom dresses and engineer boots. Had I had my druthers back then, that's what I would have worn. We'll skip the horrid details of what I actually wore––for now.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Urban Decay's Pulp Fiction capsule collection

I am not ordinarily an Urban Decay fan––their colors and formulas seem a bit harsh for me, or not appropriate for someone my age.  However, I am willing to entertain anything that pulls on my 90s heartstrings.  Urban Decay's Pulp Fiction capsule collection does just that. I am specifically drawn to this lipstick in, Pulp Fiction.  Apparently, it is the twentieth anniversary of Pulp Fiction, and Nars, and Instyle, and well, lots of 90s things. And it's VEGAN:

The tube. 

The color.

You have to navigate around the website to find the rest of the products in the Pulp Fiction collection. See it here:

Nars lipstick in, Liv

More on the new Nars lipstick collection.  If I am honest with myself, my favorite one is not "Lana," but "Liv."  It is a deep, but not too deep, aubergine, that reminds me of, you guessed it, the 90s.  You know, when Steven Tyler's Crazy was on the radio every day and we lusted, improbably, after silver slip-dresses.  Here is the lipstick:

The tube

The color. 

And, here is Liv Tyler in a shot from 1994.  

Liv, we love the shearling-and-leather coat. 

Nars lipstick in, Lana

Nars just launched a new lipstick collection in honor of their 20th anniversary.  The lipstick colors share the names of famous women in film including, Greta, Audrey, Bridgette, Rita, and, of course, Lana. Again, I'm on a shopping hiatus, but I am a sucker not only for orange-red lipsticks, but lipsticks, paint colors, and perfumes with great names––ones that start me down a narrative path.  Anyway, here is is Lana if you please:

The tube. 

The color, for full effect.  

Lana Turner by Wharol. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Zosia Mamet on eating disorders

Zosia Mamet discusses her struggle with an eating disorder from a young age. She is right that they best way to deal with this issue is to talk more about it and spread awareness. I love her look and her work on Girls. Worth the read:

 (Also, on a less serious note, of course, this is how bobs are done. BLUNT.) 

The Snuggery

The Snuggery is a professional snuggling service. This company got some press a while back, but I wanted to say something about it here: it seems like such a great idea, I can't believe that there are not more of these services popping up. Should I start one, too?

Have a look at the website, if you please:


I am trying to improve my health and have begun creating superfood smoothies. So far, I have read a stack of books, but the best one that I have found is, Katrine Van Wyk's "Best Green Drinks Ever." Van Wyk does a great job of explaining the virtues of some of the key ingredients--maca, chia seeds, acai, and raw cacao––and how best to use them without overwhelming her reader. Check it out:

A good book for the beginner smoothie maker, and juicer.

Edward Hirsch's Gabriel: A Poem

I don't often read The New Yorker these days, but when I do, I am usually glad that I did. Last week I read Alec Wilkinson's review of Edward Hirsch's new long-form poem, Gabriel: A Poem.  It is an elegy to his son who died unexpectedly in his early twenties. I cannot wait to read and absorb it:

More on why daydreaming matters––to your health!

These days, I feel that, as culture, we have all but forgotten about the necessity for downtime. If you are not busy, you are considered lazy, or even worse, uncool.

Forget it, people. Put down what you are doing and allow your mind to wander, your brain to recharge and, gasp, your creativity (what's that?) to flow:

Thank you, New York Times.

A Hard Life

Thank you to Nicholas Kristof for writing, "Is a Hard Life Inherited?," published in The New York Times on Sunday August, 10th.  The answer, of course, is, yes. I am glad that Kristof wrote this piece and is bringing attention and awareness to this issue. What's more, is that we need to figure out how to even the playing field from the earliest stages of life.  This is a human rights issue. Period.

Please read this article and circulate it to your friends and colleagues:

Track pants

Call them what you will, the pants that are circulating right now are just plain comfortable. With a fitted teeshirt, they are perfectly respectable for every moment you are not in the office.  Gap has some nice ones, and Uniqlo does too:

Track pants from the Gap:

Drape pants from Uniqlo:|/women/bottoms/pants/drape/|

In fact, these drape pants have become so prominent, that I am starting to feel that more fitted pants look passé.  And they are SO comfortable. 

Green eyeshadow?

One way to conserve cash, is to change your look using makeup rather than clothing. This works well for me, because I tend to be a minimalist (minus leopard print coats) in all things clothing. Green is in this fall season, and I am loving it in forrest and emerald. But I am afraid than other than army green, investing in green-colored is just not practical for me. I tend to stay in the black, grey, white, navy zone, probably to a narrow fault.  That said, if I had money to burn, I would be all over this eyeshadow quad from Chanel. I imagine that I would like the subtle green shade mixed with the greyish/black one. Behold, my little witches:

And find it here:

Overalls for the ladies

I have never worn overalls and simply never would. That said, I think they look great on certain down-to-earth women. I don't like them when they are over fashion-y. I like them down-home and simple. If I had money to burn, I would buy this Current/Elliot romper for an old friend who would wear it around town carrying her baby girl, until it was threadbare:

Nicely styled with Birkenstocks.

Wedding dresses

I am completely ambivalent about weddings and all that goes with them. I am not one of those women how has dreamed about weddings or wedding dresses from a young age. But, don't get me wrong. I have flirted with thinking about it. If I had to get married and had to wear a dress, what would I wear?  There are essentially two kinds of dresses that I like: one, a simple column dress with some sort of black  accent.  JCrew pretty much owns this category. I've been eyeing this dress, and ones, like it for a very long time:

I am referring to the one in the middle, here. Doesn't get more understated-chic than this, does it?

The only other reasonable options seem to be, go big or go home.  This Vera Wang number makes it seem like a wedding can be a big fat party, and not the kind of required drudgery it often becomes––especially when you are facing down the big 4-0. 

This one says, I'm getting married, suckers! Let's party!

Fall glasses

If I had money to burn–-and I do not––I would go all in for these DKNY retro frames. I don't know if a 35 year old can pull them off, but I would sure like to try:

They are available around the web and at Target Optical. 

The perfect white shirt

This white shirt reminds me the one I left in a hotel room in Marseilles when I was traveling during college.  I felt very grown up and sexy on that trip and so I emptied my suitcase and hung up all of my clothing in the closet. A few days later when I left, that single shirt remained in the closet. I used my fragmented French to contact the hotel and try to get it back, but, alas, it was already gone and became a ghost of the perfect white shirt. This one from Loft seems like a contender to replace it. I would wear this with black leggings and call it a day. Everyday.

The perfect white shirt. 

Even though I am on a shopping hiatus, it is going to be hard to justify not buying this one. 

90s Calvin Klein

What I am really wondering lately is: how can I create an adult version of skirts-over-pants 90s fashion?  Maybe this is something that you can only get away with when you are 15, which is how old I was in 1993 when this ad was published:

Oh, Kate, how we still love you.

Leopard print coats

Kate Moss own this category.  The rest of us are fools for thinking we can pull off leopard print coats. I have been called a fool before.

What is it about the leopard print coat, and the women who wear them, that makes me so happy. I associate these coats with the late 90s grunge aesthetic, but the leopard print transcends certain ages and that is why it is so powerful. (The virtue of teddy bear coats must also be discussed.)  Some times this coats look very rock n' roll and even a bit cold. But in this photo, Kate Moss just looks happy and punchy. And happy because she is wearing a leopard print coat.

Leopard print coats get me every time. 

Le Sweatshirt

Sweatshirts are back and I couldn't be happier. I wear them religiously whether they are in or out. I recently found a nearly perfect one at Uniqlo. I bought it in a size medium so that I would get a slouchier look and just have some darn breathing space.  In navy, it is perfect for fall paired with a skirt or black jeans. In the spring, I can already see it with some killer white jeans––that is, if I ever bother to squeeze into jeans again.

Check it out here: 129852.html#69|/women/tops/sweatshirts/pull-over/|

Where it all began

The title of this blog is inspired by Daphne Merkin's article, "The Unfairest of Them All" published on October 16th, 2005. In the article Merkin explains the meaning of the French phrase, jolie laide, or jolie-laide.  In stark translation, the word means "pretty ugly"; but, the French use it to describe unconventional forms of beauty––women, for example, who are not "conventionally" or "classically" beautiful, but who still possess something that makes them desirable, fascinating, and beautiful.  While it was published almost ten years ago, I am still thinking about how this term might be applied not only to physical beauty, but to life itself, or to a lifestyle.  How might we return to this notion of jolie laide, in a world that has created increasingly narrow ideas of what is not only beautiful, but acceptable?

Sophia Coppola