Category Archives: Things

a brown boot


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.


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.


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.


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.



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?



Legging Boots

Dear Dorigen,

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


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 I 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?



Dear Emily,

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



The Perfect Accessory

Dear Dorigen,

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

  1. 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.
  2. I no longer eat grains and have a salad for lunch every day.
  3. 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.




A Cold Shoulder

Hi Dorigen,

I would like to dissect the “cold shoulder” sleeve.

For the uninitiated, these sleeves have a cutout, exposing the shoulder, and then often open further to expose a sliver (or more) of the bicep. They are rampant in back-episodes of Dance Moms.


I am personally all-in on the tight cold shoulder that is all black and exposes the shoulder only – they are very 90’s dance mix.

No; it’s the cold shoulder with the bicep window-slits that have shaken me.



As mentioned in my response to your denouncement of the maxi dress, I am top heavy, so anything that literally points to my sausage arms is problematic. Also, having such a large opening on the top of the arm creates a loose bunching of fabric under the arm, which fashionistas call a “dolman sleeve” and I call “breast wings.” Dolman sleeves make me look like I have one large, long breast that helps me glide between the tops of buildings.


With those complaints in mind, I still wore a “cold shoulder” sleeve sweater the other day – the orange over-sized Tibi I got from UAL last visit. It only has the one open sleeve; I thought the asymmetry was fierce; unflattering, but fierce.

I am fine with fit taking a backseat to fabulousness, but I’m unconvinced that a “cold-shoulder” is worth the compromise. Also, the single dolman sleeve / half breast wing that was created with that single “cold-shoulder” did not help me fly to work.

Love you!


Top Knot Hair Bun


When people wear their hair in a bun on the very top of their head, they’re trying to look like they just came from a tanning bed, right?

Otherwise, there are a large number of super casual ballet studios out there.


P.S. I just tried an awesome shiny, flesh-toned nail polish from a Birch Box sample. The color was so cute, I looked it up on their site to buy a full sized bottle, and that’s when I realized I had just painted my toes with a “subtle, luminous shimmer” face highlighter.