Category Archives: Things

A Canada Goose

Dear Dorigen,

I own a Canada Goose winter coat and I have my doubts about it. It’s expensive, it’s a bit too statusy (even for me), and it sparks entirely too many uncomfortable conversations with strangers that I lack the conviction to have.

Canada Goose coats run an outrageous $1000, and although I purchased mine during a rare sale, the exact price I paid was still $W0W.oh. I purchased it online (from a registered buyer; I feel compelled to add), in a cold rage, freezing at a train stop in the dead of a Chicago winter. Then, about a month into owning the coat, I was running errands and struck up a conversation with a woman at my bank. We became fast friends, and I insisted she try on my coat, because she was asking if it was worth the hype; meanwhile, I was at that bank, waiting to take out a loan, because my recent purchase of said coat tipped my credit card debt into a very uncomfortable area. I admitted this to her, and she gingerly took off the coat and delicately handed it back to me. Smart woman.

During Chicago winters, there is a sea of young professionals wearing these things downtown. Does that mean they can afford it? Or do they have loans out too? Or did their parents paid for it? What am I telling people about myself when they see me in this thing? There has been a recent crime spree in Chicago, where a man is stealing the Canada Goose coats off people’s backs at gun point. So, it’s entirely possible that when I wear my Canada Goose, I am telling people that I am rich (not true), that I am a young professional (I am not young), that my parents lavish me with expensive gifts (nope), and/or that I would like to be robbed (please, and thank you).

Strangers frequently ask me about my coat, usually with a smile and a “do you love it?!” My typical grumbled answer is – “I will know after 10 years.” That is one of the big selling points of these coats – they will last you 10+ years without the typical wear and tear of a hard-used winter coat. Unfortunately, the weight of my doubts about the price and the statusy nature of these coats have me giving less polite answers as of late. For example, I recently had lunch with a group of friends of a friend and one asked me why I decided to go with the Canada Goose. This was asked in earnest, because she was considering one for herself, but my answer was an inconsiderate “Because I’m an a$$hole.” My friend chimed in “Because she’s a label whore.” While I don’t believe that either flippant statement is entirely true, it does help affirm what I am worried I am unconsciously telling people about my #choices.

It IS very warm, I’ll give it that, but I think I should have done more diligence on similar options and/or insulating layers. So, I am seriously considering selling my Canada Goose and purchasing a new puffy winter coat in a less-aggressively “brandy” brand. Any suggestions?

Love,

Em

P.S. Peta is coming for Canada Goose.

Dear Emily,

I am the type of person who cannot fathom spending that much on a coat and generally tut tut at label whores. I am vaguely aware of the Canada Goose phenomenon and not sure how it relates to the Triple F.A.T. Goose coat craze of 1992? I remember that because I was young and still cared about such things; everyone wore their parkas around Grand Avenue Mall showing off their expendable income like so many Jordans. That was also the time of the Guess jeans craze, where it was very important that your jeans have that Guess triangle patch on the back pocket. My (spectacularly cheap) best friend Loraine and I hoarded a few triangle patches and would sew them onto the back pockets of jeans from Target as a way to freshen up our wardrobes. So I guess the conclusion of that thought process is.. can you buy a knock-off parka and sew the patch from like, a pair of mittens onto it? Hopefully you got your new coat before the COLDEST DAY IN THE HISTORY OF CHICAGO hit you. Lord.

Fondly,
Dorge

Wine Spectator Royalty

Dear Dorigen,

Did you sign me up to receive the Wine Spectator magazine, like that time you gifted me Teen Vogue? They suddenly started arriving and it’s a bi-weekly publication. They’re piling up so much Pete and I just started making collages with them. We made royalty.

Love,

Em

P.S. I thought I only drank on the rare occasion (like a few times a year), but I’m currently tracking everything I eat in anticipation of another diet and discovered I’ve been having a couple glasses of wine a week; I blame the Wine Spectator.

a brown boot

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Dear Dorigen,

 

I am on the hunt for tall boots again.

I own a pair that are black, over-the-knee, suede, flat/1” heel, and I am now looking for its “other” – brown, knee-high, smooth leather, 3”-ish heel (block, because I cannot take two steps in stilettos). I’ve been looking for a few years now, testing the waters whenever the boot stock replenishes in stores, and I keep running into the same issues: A) current trends and B) fit.

Let’s break down my requirements:

Brown – Seems simple enough, but apparently all brown boots need to be “riding boots” these days. I am not anti a cute riding boot, but, for my purposes, it’s just rows and rows of no heels.

ridingboots

Get them while supplies continue to last

Knee-high – If you are looking for a bootie (I already own a few) or something over the knee, you are in luck, because, those styles are everywhere and at every price point. For example: if you are watching a scene with a female character on Lifetime’s “You”, she is definitely wearing a bootie.

You

Only a minute in, and I’m already spotting booties

Smooth Leather – Go to a department store and look at the boot section – everything is suede or suede’s moody cousin, velvet.

Heeled boots – As mentioned, nearly all brown boots have no heel (or maybe 1”).

Basically, I think if I could transport to the 1970’s, I would be surrounded by perfect boots and midi-skirts.

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Love this look – Zara

However, even if I traveled through space and time, it wouldn’t solve the main issue: fit.

Fit – Oh, boy, where do I begin. Let’s put this in context. Even after reading my gripes, you may have thought “Oh! I can find these boots!” and if you looked in earnest, even with the pitfalls I’ve mentioned, you would likely still find a handful of seemingly legitimate options. The problem is that those options would likely not even remotely fit me. My legs are proportionately smaller than the top half of my body, but my calves are apparently too wide for the standard boot fit.

My options are so limited that I once did the typical “wide calf” text search on a site, and the only results that came up were shoes. Let that sink in; a site, which sells boots, decided that if you have wide calves, you are better off skipping trying to cover your legs altogether, and just wearing shoes.

And they’re not wrong. I have ordered dozens of boots that simply cannot be put on. Plus-sized sites will sometimes offer a wide fit boot, but they are usually made of cheap material and/or are over the knee. Wide calf boots in any color are almost always flats/1”, and again, suede is rampant.

But, I still have hope. Even as I was writing this, I took a break and ordered a pair.

They’re not especially fashionable, the heel looks to be a bit short and narrow, the little strips with buckles feel dated, I would have preferred either a tan or a more berry brown, the black heel makes these look orthopedic, BUT still they are brown, they come to the knee, they have some heel, they are in a wide calf fit, they have not been infected by the suede monster, they aren’t shoes, and they are not legging boots.

We shall see.

Love,

Em

Today’s Bandeau

Dear Dorigen,

So, bandeaus are back and I am am trying to figure out what they are now.

Today’s bandeau is not what we remember in the standard Units size (which was of a length that could be worn as a long modesty tab under button downs or even pulled down to be a skirt); no, so far as I can tell, today’s bandeau is essentially a headband strapped around nipples and paired with leggings.

If I put on the necessary number of these to have them fully cover me up top, let’s say 8, do you think I could convince people I was just doing a layered look?

Love,

Em

Legging Boots

Dear Dorigen,

So, there are legging boots now and I have questions…

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Tamara Mellon’s “Sweet Revenge-Nappa S”

  1. If street fashion influences high fashion, are legging boots a response to the cartoon/digital age and cosplay?
  2. If flesh-colored shoes give the illusion of a longer leg, do flesh-colored legging boots give the illusion of wearing stilts while Donald Ducking?
  3. How can legging boots be properly sized? There are three factors here – legging size (S, M, L), legging length (Regular, Long, Short), and shoe size. If you pick only one factor to size by, then there may be two factors that don’t even remotely fit.
  4. If I wear these, and the heel breaks, do I need to take off my pants?
  5. If I wear these to the office, does the heel part fit nicely into a pair of tennis shoes or flip flips for the walk to and from the train?
  6. I once wore a pair of leggings that were so small, that every 20 steps or so they would roll down, past my butt (something I did not realize until I was deep into errands). I was wearing a winter coat at the time, so no butt was shown to the world, but if I didn’t pull up my pants, they would continue to roll down, towards the knee. I had to keep finding safe places to pull them back up while gingerly walking to the nearest store to buy a pair of emergency pants. No question; just sayin’.
  7. How does one clean legging boots? Is there an “intimates” washing machine bag big enough for a pair of pants with two shoes attached? Do you just spit shine? Use Febreze and shoe polish, and then just cross your fingers that no one sniffs you too closely? If you use starch, do legging boots become purely sculptural?
  8. If legging boots are offered in a jean print, are they then boo-jeggings? If they do not come in a jean print, would pedestrians still “boo” people wearing legging boots anyway?
  9. What is the socially appropriate age window for wearing legging boots? My guess is they can only be worn within a three-week window after one’s 21st birthday.
  10. If I wore legging boots as a guest to a wedding, would this be a more egregious upstaging of the bride than wearing white? If wore white legging boots as a guest to a wedding, would I be asked to leave?
  11. What is the capri version of the legging boot?

Love,

Em


Dear Emily,

This entire post made me cry: from laughter, and fear for humanity. A legging mule perhaps?

Fondly,

Dorigen

The Perfect Accessory

Dear Dorigen,

Three key things that you know about me have converged into an interesting moment.

  • I am afraid of heights; specifically, open spaces that are up high (e.g. waiting for the L, open atriums, short ladders), any open areas where I could slip and tumble over.
  • I no longer eat grains and have a salad for lunch every day.
  • When in California for our last visit, I made a special trip to a stone shop and picked up a couple things. Specifically, a dark brown “grounding” stone, which can help with heights and I keep it with me, always.

So, the other day, on my walk to my daily salad bar lunch, which is in a food court on the second floor of a building with a terrifyingly open atrium, I had my grounding stone in hand. I was outside at this point and I was just playing with the stone, twirling it in my hands as I walked, and then I dropped it. I was ultimately able to retrieve it, but before I did… it skipped down the sidewalk and an earnest gentleman, noticing that I had dropped something that was bouncing towards him, started to move to pick it up for me. However, when it got close to him, and he could see it, he recoiled. He quickly moved his arms back, inhaled a large breath and darted a look at me. I think he thought it was poop.

Love,

Em

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