For Halloween this year I was a combination of the two sisters in Melancholia.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
As your beautiful, brilliant children have no doubt already made you aware, Halloween will be here very soon. My inner goth teenager strictly prohibits me from giving up on Halloween all together, but I refuse to spend a lot of money and energy on costuming these days and it is now almost entirely relegated to the annual office party.
If you need to make a spooky, yet professional appearance at work (or around the neighborhood), enclosed are some easy costumes I have pulled together over the years. My requirements: 1) only one additional purchase item, 2) minimal borrowing, and 3) zero hassle with the work day hustle.
This year my Halloween costume is TBD, but I’m not worried. I’ll come up with something. Any time someone says to me, “you know who you look like?” I used to brace myself for the inevitable insult, but now I just write it down for future easy Halloween costumes. As an aside, I have literally never witnessed anyone feeling complimented after hearing the end of “you know who you look like?” even if it’s telling a guy that he looks just like Ryan Gosling.
But anyway, easy Halloween costumes basically just fall into my lap, as there are a million and one characters/people who have glasses and bangs and I am apparently very approachable. Like, recently, a young man (teenager? early twenties?) excitedly stopped me on the train; he really needed to talk to me about how much I look like Velma from Scooby-Doo (the live-action version; he specified).
So, Dorigen, do you have any easy and fabulous-enough costume ideas? Any kid-friendly costume suggestions that may require some fun crafting?
P.S. If I chose to lift the minimal spending ban for Halloween, I would go as simply “plaid,” but, as it stands now, that would require a lot of purchasing on my part…
I have found my haircut: regardless of the length of the rest of it, I must have bangs. I figured it out the year I was Anna Wintour for Halloween; the wig got me itching for bangs.
So I tried it out, and it was the right call; I’ve decided that I look my best with bangs. However, as someone who likes change (who gets her hair cut just to plan how she is going to do it differently next time), knowing definitively how I look my best is so unfortunate.
It’s stifling. It’s boring. I want to change it. I tried to change it. But growing out bangs is not an easy pursuit. There are a lot of hair clips involved, oh, and a lot of uncovered, little forehead pimples for some reason. I haven’t gone full headband yet, but I’m getting there. A couple weeks ago, my bangs had grown about an extra inch and I was annoyed with the fuss, so I decided to do nothing one morning. I wanted to see what they would do independent of my meddling, so I just parted my bangs down the middle and walked out into the winds of Chicago.
When I got into the office that morning, my bangs were like two fluffs of cotton, unlovingly torn from a child’s discarded toy and taped to my forehead at odd angles. They looked so terrible that when I popped into my boss’s office for an impromptu meeting, she thought that I was about to tell her someone had died. I’m not projecting here; she literally told me she was concerned, specifically because of the state of my bangs.
Side note, later that day, after my bangs had time to mellow, I swear I looked just like Oscar Wilde: hair, white collar shirt, scarflet, a look of disdain.
However, occasionally looking like Oscar Wilde by happy accident is not my reliable personal best. So, I’m going back to bangs. Not because of a few bad grow-out days, but because I am my aesthetically and emotionally best self when I have my best haircut. I already sent my hair stylist a text with a heads-up, thinking she would give me push back for caving after only 2 months, and all she sent back was “whatever u wanna do!” You’re right, Courtnie. Why fight it?! I’m coming to you! Tomorrow? I texted times.
So, I guess with me already coming to an answer about my bangs, my question to you this week is… For Project Runway All Stars, can they take this time of change as an opportunity to get a new fashion stylist for Alyssa Milano? Her clothes are some of the worst scraps of fabric I have ever seen pinned to a human being.
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,
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.