Bellies

Hi Dorigen,

I had a lovely Labor Day weekend with you and the family in Milwaukee, where, of course, the 115th Harvey Davidson Fest blazed through town. I figured a biker fashion recap would be in order, but all I wanted to do was part the cascading leather fringe, pluck off the grips of bushy fox tails, and roll up those weathered T’s to expose and stare at the many, the proud, the glorious biker bellies.

I see bellies as a confidence. When I was in High School, my gut was making its presence known and I remember wanting the world to embrace it. As a teenager, I conceptualized a pair of pants with a heart on the gut, which could be circled when placing your thumbs in your pockets. I imagined strutting down the runway with a crop top, thumbs in my fashion-pants pockets, showing love for my stomach.

I appreciate the belly story you shared. When grandma was pregnant with dad, she was running errands on Mitchell Street and, as she walked with her big, pregnant belly, the elastic on her underwear snapped and fell to the ground. As the resourceful, unembarrassed, and comically brilliant person that she was, Grandma picked up what was left of her underwear, nonchalantly placed them in the nearest mailbox, and quietly continued with her errands.

This weekend, while spectating at the Biker Rally, I wanted to swaddle my ears and my entire body, exposing only my belly-staring eyes, because of the sound, that deafening, body-vibrating sound of revving motorcycle engines, which felt like guttural growls of hunger; hunger for the road and the wind, I suppose, but also clearly hunger for being seen and heard and felt by everyone. It was invasive, but those sitting bellies were glorious.

Sending love directly from my belly,

Em

P.S. I got so much peanut butter on my puff sleeves last week that I included a jar of Jif in my daily outfit catalog.

JIFoutfit

Fashion Music

Dear Dorigen,

A co-worker and fellow fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race recently gave me a glorious gift, a link to the Kelly “Shoes” video:

Kelly videos are hilarious, wonderful, endearing, and they are my life now. In honor of the tradition of what I am now calling “Fashion Music,” I compiled a short list of songs that make me feel fabulous, free, and oh so funky fresh. These are songs to listen to while getting dressed and/or while staring fixedly into a mirror, posing, feeding your fantastical narcissism ala Trevor Goodchild from Aeon Flux when admiring his feathers, as one does.

Enjoy…

  1. Kelly – Shoes (Pete prefers “Let me Borrow that Top”; I also love all of them)
  2. Princess Nokia – Tomboy
  3. Hi Fashion – Amazing
  4. Foe G4ng – Too Cool
  5. Alaska – Your Makeup is Terrible (I also love This is My Hair)
  6. Willow – Whip My Hair
  7. Adam Joseph – Linda Evangelista (feat. Aja)
  8. Cherry Glazerr – Whites Not My Color this Evening
  9. Dragon Boy Suede – Buy You Clothes, Do You In ‘em, Take ‘em Back
  10. Tiga – Bugatti

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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Clownishness

Dear Dorigen,
Thank you for the link to Look 1 in Tory Burch’s new collection. It has all the hallmarks of being the perfect “Emily Dress” – ruffle collar, over-sized print, flouncy sleeves – in short: clownishness.
TB
I am completely down for circus realness; it is my go-to Fashion (yes, with a capital “F”). I do not own a single animal print (e.g. a zebra stripe), but I own MANY articles of clothing with full animals on them (sometimes as a print) – my favorite 2017 summer outfit was a t-shirt with pink leopards on it and matching shorts (both LOFT).
I recently went shopping with a dear friend of mine and tried on a top with tiered, billowy sleeves and a cape-like embroidered vest over it. We joked about the ridiculousness of it, I became obsessed over it, and then I proceeded to wait almost 2 days before ordering that confection of a shirt (it is now in heavy rotation). Had the tent of a vest-cape been in my price range, I would be swimming in it right now.
Instead, today I am wearing this ringleader extravaganza of a blazer.
jacket
After my husband remarked that it looked “clownish” when I was trying it on for him, I said “Yep. It’s non-negotiable. I’m keeping it.”

Love you,

Em

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.

cs1

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.

 

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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.

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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!

Em