Just A Pop


Sweater: Grey Havens by Maria Olson; madelinetosh dk twist in chapterbook; my notes and modifications on The Precious
Skirt: bcbgeneration black pleated "neoprene"; early identical styles from T by Alexander Wang and Rachel Zoe
Shoes: Gucci alligator peep toes; similar style (and a great deal if you've got a big foot) by Giuseppe Zanotti and for all the feet by Stuart Weitzman whom I ordinarily do not recommend, but at this price the shoes are a good deal
Handbag: Bottega Veneta; similar-ish styles by Donney & Burke and whomever these people are being sold by Century 21, but the bag is leather and $100 is a fair price for a leather bag regardless of who made it
Lips: Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural in Aubergine N50 Nails: OPI for Sephora in Break A Legwarmer (discontinued, but available on ebay - I have a spare bottle for when this one runs out)

It's a beautiful day, I'm in a decent mood, so why such a drab and dark outfit? You know, I feel like grey and black get a bad rap. While I will be the first to admit that this particular outfit would have benefited immeasurably from less opaque tights (a problem that is going to be rectified asap since these were the least opaque pair in my drawer), I never understood why grey and black were automatically docked happy points. This nail polish, it makes me incredibly happy! It's a way to wear a non-traditional color without drawing unprofessional attention to one's self. I love that! Also, look how nice my smudged wine lipstick looks! And, of course, the elephant in the room also gets a bit of a boost: the purple bag. Not my choice, not my purchase, the bag was my mom's, and as I reached for my black bag this morning, a small voice inside me said, "go crazy - grab the purple bag," and I always listen to the voices in my head.

So let's talk about this outfit. The sweater was part of the Rhinebeck 2013 Let's All Wear The Same Sweaters extravaganza and was a slog and a half to get through mostly because it was bottom up and, as you can see, I fail at bottom up sizing. This sweater is too long. Not ridiculously so, but at least 1.5 fewer inches in the body and certainly 2 in the sleeves would have gone a long way. I do like the style and the buttons, I just don't like how it bunches up during the day because it's longer than what I normally wear. Like right now as I sit at my desk, I can grab four+ inches of sweater pooling up at my midsection. Attractive.

So enter the drop-pleated skirt.

I had wanted this skirt for almost two years. Or, rather, I had wanted the Alexander Wang version for two years (by the way, this would be a good time to mention (and solicit opinions on) yoox.com. I have only ordered from them once and what arrived did not enough resemble the photos or the quality I was expecting. This has led me to believe that yoox.com might be the J. Crew Factory of designer clothing - the stuff might be seconds or cheaper versions of what gets sold in stores, so buyer beware). But the Alexander Wang skirt had been over $200 and I did not have $200 to spend on a single skirt (nor do I often unless it is made of leather in which case I could be swayed - I am really lamenting my lack of a black leather pencil skirt this year, but haven't found one at a price I'm willing to pay that I really like). So when I saw this near perfect knockoff on Zappos for, I believe, about $50, I hit the buy button before you could blink. And I was overjoyed with what arrived in the mail. No, it's not actually neoprene, but it fits, it's cute, and it wasn't over $200. My husband also likes it as it gives the illusion of a rounded bottom where my actual bottom could balance a level easily. I am not flattered by pleats that start right at the waist, but I have discovered that pleats that start at or below my hipbones are amazingly awesome. More pleats, please!

Finally, these shoes are among my absolute faves. First of all, they were a sick deal. These shoes are actually made of a no-longer-alive alligator, and while that's sad for the alligator, it is divinely decadent for my tootsies. I found these on ebay in 2000 for approximately 17% of retail. In my size. From a seller with impeccable credentials. You see, back at the dawn of ebay, you could actually get a deal, an amazing deal. A sizable percentage of the fancy shoes I own came from ebay because of this. Things have changed as now there are tons of institutional sellers, but occasionally you can find a whiff of what once was. Anyway, these shoes always make my legs look good, always go with everything, and always look super duper expensive (because at some point in their life, they were). I recently retrieved them from the shoemaker who gave left vamp a bit of a patch: apparently having them solidly in the rotation throughout four seasons during 14 years can take its toll. I'm not 100% thrilled with the work they did and might get a second opinion, but the shoes themselves look pretty darned good for being such old broads. And I bring this up because while what I paid for them was a fraction of retail, it was still a fair amount for someone who had only just moved out of her parents' apartment; but they have paid dividends for 14 years and will continue to do so until they literally fall off my feet. It's why I so vehemently defend the idea of spending on shoes. They will last. And far longer than the pair you pick up at Steve Madden. Yes, I take my shoes in every year to get re-soled, re-heeled, and re-polished (if required - I don't do it for sport), but I would much rather spend the money doing that than buying a pair of plastic shoes that will disintegrate before the end of the season. Thus endeth the lecture.

No comments:

Post a Comment