Somewhat of a relaunch.

So, I’m back.

Sorry about that.

Coming off the other side of the master’s degree, I realized that I missed fashion. I think we can all agree that talking about fashion is much more fun than digging through academic journals. And much more applicable to one’s life than, say, postmodern composition theory, or creation of authorship in apocryphal Shakespearean texts. Not that I don’t enjoy talking about those things (except…I kind of don’t, most of the time), I just realized that I missed looking at, thinking about, and discussing clothes.

But I also realized one thing: I am not a clotheshorse. No one wants to see my new style adventures, nor do I particularly want to photograph them. I am not out to try out whatever new whim suits my fancy (as much as I wish I could). If I were a designer, I’d dress much more like Uncle Karl than Betsy Johnson: I tend to wear the same thing repeatedly. I’d rather take my flights of fancy in the imagination.

I am not a clotheshorse.

 

So I want this blog to be a better reflection of my natural state: analysis. I love reading crusty old academic books about the history of costume, and it’s sociological or psychological or cultural or literary or philosophical implications. I want to know why certain editorials or outfits work, and why they work in this particular moment. I want to talk back to magazines, like I tend to do when I’m reading them. I’ll still pay attention to things like Guy Style, and perfume, and the latest collections (I didn’t see any of the fall/winter collections this year; I feel so lost), but I’m going to push myself to do what I do best. Which is write.

There are a couple academic fashion blogs that I know about (Threadbared, for one) that do a great job of tackling fashion from a number of different critical lenses. I’m not really interested in doing that (I’m too much of a scatterbrain), but I love the thought they bring to a subject that can easily become thoughtless. I miss what Winona brought with Daddy Likey, a blog focused on writing that provoked some thought about fashion and what it means to us (and also how funny it can be).

And there I go again, wandering off into that pesky academic ritual of citing one’s sources.

Essentially: I’m back. Trying to write more of what I want to read. Let’s do this.

I Need a Raincoat

Portland Essentials

Getting used to a new city is taking me a while, especially considering that previously, I lived in the same place for 18 years. I knew the city and surrounding country inside out, and had friends in every nook and cranny. Here, not so much.

That’s not to say I’m not liking Portland–au contraire! Old, established cities are so beautiful. I love being able to walk downtown and see architecture from various different eras all mingling together. And it’s so green down here, which has a little bit to do with the weather. That’s where I’m a bit baffled. I’ve never had to deal with rain before. And as much research as I did before I moved, reading about rain is not the same as walking out of my building to a facefull of drizzle.

Walking in the rain is one of my favorite things to do–for now. I have a hunch that halfway through November, it’s going to be mighty dull. So I need to stock up: chic raincoat and waterproof walking boots definitely, and ideally a new bag, grin-inducing umbrella and bright scarves. I’ve already eyed some of the Burberry trench coats at Nordstrom (like that’s gonna happen), and I’ve located some boots that I like at DSW (I already have some rad rubber ones for when it pours). The rest will come as it may–I’m still looking for the perfect bag.

I’m excited to start finding vintage stores and thrift shops and other cool places around here. One of them is bound to have the perfect raincoat. Raincoats of Portland, beware: I’m coming after you.

Lest you think I’ve quit posting

I haven’t. Just not here. It’s complicated, but let me sum up.

I have a huge fear of forgetting things. It has followed me my whole life, resulting in boxes of old school papers still under my bed, stacks of old magazines and scraps of papers with nothing decipherable written on them my purse. On the internet, this phobia manifests itself in manymanymany tabs open in my browser at once, and a freakishly long scroll in my bookmarks. Lately, I’ve been trying to sum up this links in posts here, but that seems too clunky and needs more organization than I’m willing to give it.

So I turned to tumblr. It has become a semi-real time stream of links and quotes and photos I know I’ll want to remember someday, a sort of virtual inspiration board. I’m also trying to upload some of the more random photos I have saved on my hard drive that are just taking up space.

That’s all! Click, look, love.

What I Wish I Wore

If Only

It’s been one of those weeks with too much to do in too little time (I  should be working on a website proposal instead of blogging), and while I tend to dress up during those weeks, there are still outfits that I wish I could wear. This one combines the best of both worlds: the dress is soft and comfy, but the military jacket provides a tough exterior. It’s a hard/soft combo, one that I find myself gravitating toward when I’m ready to fall into bed but have to keep myself tough.

New Year’s Resolutions

I’m usually not one for huge resolutions over the year’s end. I discovered last summer that if you set out to do something, just do it. Don’t wait for the “perfect time” (it’ll never come), overthink it (you are intelligent enough to figure it out on the fly, I promise) or hesitate. I’m not saying you should jump into every endeavour without giving it some thought, but once you give the idea the green light, do it. Don’t wait.

I discovered this last summer when I decided to stop eating sugar and grains for a month. For months (or maybe even years), I had been tossing around the idea, reading books and talking to people about it. But I wasn’t sure that it would do my body any good, or at least enough good to be worth it (I love my carbs). I finally decided to give it a try, set a date and did it. The first couple days I was super-hungry and cranky, because I hadn’t thought of foods to make up for the carbs in my life, but once I got past the acclimatization, sailing was relatively smooth.

So while I don’t necessarily agree with setting an arbitrary start point to one’s resolutions, rather than letting them grow organically out of the contemplation process, I made a few anyway:

» Cut down on sugar again. Or cut it out completely. After my month this summer I started bingeing on desserts again, and I can tell it’s not good for my health. Veggies/Fruits > sugar.

» Clean my room. My room is messy. Embarrassingly so. I will clean it.

» Write a short story. While I love writing, I’m not very adept at finishing projects, so I have a myriad of short stories hanging around waiting for me to give them a conclusion. I will either finish one of my old stories or write a new one. And finish it.

» Be happy. Measurable goals are all well and good, but for this resolution I’m going to have to do a lot of thinking. Once I figure out what makes me happy, I resolve to start doing it.

» Use the phrase “Good day, sir” in everyday conversation. I go through catchphrases like crack, it’s true. Most of the time I somehow subliminally pick them up, but this time I want to be deliberate. I love how Brits finish a heated conversation with “Good day, sir” before storming away, and I want to imitate some of their awesome.

» Use my planner. I have a good memory, so I’ve gotten really slack about using a calendar or planner to keep track of dates. Consequently, a few things have slipped past me. This is no good. So I bought myself this absolutely gorgeous day planner, and will use it. I’ve already plugged in four weddings, imagine that!

What are your resolutions for ‘o9?