Thursday, June 27, 2013

Color on Color

Value Village top, Old Navy camisole, Gap Kids shorts, Ralph Lauren shades, vintage some secondhand shop in New Jersey espadrilles, Village Books book

You know what goes great with obnoxious, summery, in-your-face color? More color. No, I don't mean some wimpy pseudo-neutral. Think MORE COLOR in ALL CAPS. Putting a bright blue vintage top covered in gorgeous stitching with plain old jeans would be a crime. And pairing sea green shorts with white or gray is a cop-out. I tend to fall into a dark/boring color palette in the winter, so when I'm feeling good on a nice sunny day I push myself with daring color or pattern combos, like this look. And of course, nothing makes a better accessory than a book, especially one that adds a bold punch extra color!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The best sandals you will buy this one minor caveat

PacSun cardigan, Romy dress, Bass sandals

As warm weather approached this spring, it became clear to me that I was in desperate need of a new pair of sandals. I'd worn out every pair I owned, except for a boring pair of Teva flip-flops and my vintage espadrilles, which were out of commission (the soles kept separating and needed re-gluing). I had several requirements for an appropriate pair. First, they must be comfortable. I'm no stickler for arch support, and tend to wear flats all day every day even when working on my feet in retail. I've never had  issues with my feet, so I don't have to be particularly careful in my footwear choices. However, considering that I had literally no proper sandals in my entire wardrobe, I needed something that could function as a bit of a workhorse. 

My mind started to wander to a pair of sandals I'd owned and worn to death in middle school. Curious, I pulled up the Bass website to see if they still made the same style. Turns out, they do! The style is called the Margie, and while they look and sound a bit dowdy on the website, they've got amazing potential. They even come in silver, gold and rose metallic for those of you on board with this year's apparent trend of metal on any and every shoe ever. I went with the gorgeous cinnamon version (much browner and richer in person than they appear online), since they seemed the most versatile.  I love the black as well. They're pretty pricey if you go through the Bass website ($45 is a freakin fortune for someone who makes as little money as I do), but there are other options. The always reliable Zappos has them for about $35. If, like me, you happen to live near a Bass Outlet store, run don't walk your butt to that store, they often have INCREDIBLE discounts on shoes. I got my Margie's for $22.99, or rather my mom did since were on a birthday shopping trip for me. 

The great thing about the Margie is that it's very comfy, and perfect for lots of walking. In fact, this article popped up a couple of weeks after I got mine, making me feel awesomely fashion-forward and confirming my assertion  They look great with my dark skinny jeans and will be a staple for the long evening walks Joe and I like to take this time of year. Plus, they have a slightly hippie vibe that works well for me as a resident of the Pacific Northwest. I'm much more into a sort of masculine-inspired/girly dress-and-cardigan dichotomy than some of my more naturalistic peers, and it's rare to see me in anything that could be described as earthy. But I love these lovlies, and they get my wholehearted seal of approval, both in the categories of practicality and style.

One last thing...remember that caveat thing I mentioned in the title? Yeah, well there is one, though it's really minor and nitpicky, not serious enough to put me off. These sandals have great, comfy, squishy soles. But because of this construction, the way the sole sort of deflates and inflates as you walk, they make a slight whoosing sound every time you take a step. At first, it was only one, but now both of my sandals do this. No one else seems to notice unless I point it out, and though I can hear it clearly, that's only because I am hyper-aware of it. Maybe this is a dealbreaker for some of you, I don't know. I find it somewhat amusing, to be honest. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

How to buy clothes from a store for teenagers and still be a grown-up

When I, on very rare occasion, shop in an actual mall, I don't really take into account normal considerations like consistency, brand, or age of target customer. I own a dress from the Target children's section and a bright green pair of GapKids shorts.

The Shorts

 I wander into PacSun as often as Macy's. I give Aeropostale a shot every once in awhile, mostly because of the adorable black cotton blouse with tiny blue flowers snagged there once. When I was disappointed in the tour merch a couple years ago when I went to see No Doubt, I ended up in Hot Topic not long after and picked up a t-shirt that was cuter than anything I saw at the show, at a fraction of the price. I am a seasoned and patient hunter when solo shopping, and I don't let preconceptions about audience deter me from patronizing a store. I may have just turned 30, but that didn't stop me from discovering one of my new favorite places for trendy basics- Zumiez. 

Yes, you heard that correctly. That concrete and metal go-to spot for skateboard/snowboard-obsessed teens. You probably walk right on by and scoff at the neon fur-trimmed parkas in winter and obscenely cropped flowy tank-tops in summer. But scoff no more! When I stopped in during the holiday shopping season last year I discovered that Zumiez had started it's own line of basics...and it's awesome.

See those creepily faceless young ladies there? They are wearing two Feathers-approved items straight from the Zine Girls line. Last year, desperately in need of a good plain hoodie, I had my heart set on a plain-colored one with a white zipper and strings. But I am wary of American Apparel, and as much as their classic hoodie fit my every requirement, I couldn't quite pull the trigger. Enter the Zine Girl version seen in the top photo. I got mine for Christmas and wear it constantly. I throw it in the wash every week or two, and let me tell you, it holds up. Six months later, the shrinkage is minimal (I'm not careful what cycle I wash it on), the color has held fast and it looks brand new. My only beef is that I find it a bit long in the torso, but perhaps that's just because I'm a shorty. The other greatest weakness is that, despite the availability of many colors, there is NO NAVY BLUE option which is what I realllly want. Otherwise, for forty bucks it's a bit of an investment for a sweatshirt, but worth it. If you're still thinking that's a bit steep, they are always always buy one get on 50% off, so maybe go in with a friend and you can each have one for thirty.

I've also got to give my endorsement for the great 70's-inspired windbreaker (second image). I got the blue one from Joe for my birthday, but when I checked just now on the website I saw the great black/gray one above, which I think is amazing and now I kind of want it. I wore mine recently on a day out with my mom and she was telling me how she had a jacket really similar when she was young. I love the way the hood is cut to look like a collar in the front, and who can resist the lovely swooshing sound you make walking around in this material? 

The jacket in action- Chihuly Museum

The jacket being awesome atop the Space Needle

I'm not sure about the t-shirts and tanks tops, which all look super long in the web photos, but if I stil had occasion to wear a backpack I gotta admit that purple one is tempting. Go check out all the Zine stuff for yourself here. Keep in mind that sizing is for juniors, so they are cut slim. And no, I'm not getting paid to write any of this. Let's be honest...only like fifteen people are ever going to read this anyway.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Half-tuck or bust

UO t-shirt, Pacsun jeans, Kenneth Cole brouges

One of the hallmarks of great style is the ability to raise even a very simple ensemble that seems like an afterthought to intentional with even one small extra touch. I always try to add something to a jeans and t-shirt look, like a vintage brooch, a cuffed hem, or my eye-catching orange loafers. In this case, on top of the obviously awesome fact that my jeans are LEOPARD PRINT and therefore stake-raising in and of themselves, I've attempted the thoughtful insouciance effected by the Half-Tuck. Often attempted and rarely executed, the half-tuck can be thwarted by a shirt that is just a bit too short or too long. Too short, and it come untucked every time I stand up, sit down, or reach for something. Too long, and the shirt bunches up and looks utterly ridiculous. So bask, as I did, in the glory of the perfect length t-shit that finally allowed me to pull of the half-tuck.