Archive for the ‘Degree of Difficulty’ Category

Degree of Difficulty – Colored Denim

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Refinery29 claims pre-school blue is the color of the season this winter. I swore it was the color of the season last winter though – I have a side-button sweater and a short-sleeve sweatshirt from around then as my personal proof. Either way, these new, bluer-than-blue jeans caught my eye at Club Monaco a few weeks ago.


They no longer had my exact size in stock, but the jeans were seductively 80% off of their original price, so I didn’t feel the need to be a real stickler as far as fit was concerned.


Granted, as far as colored denim goes, this Smurfy blue isn’t too precarious to pull off compared to electric yellow or acid green. But now that I’ve laundered my true-blue pair in hot water for maximum shrinkage, toughened them up with a thermal top and a wool knit hat, and worn them sheepishly in public twice…I’ve decided when it comes to even a tiny fashion risk that a good fit isn’t a luxury…it’s a necessity.

Overall Degree of Difficulty, based on color alone: a lazy little 3.

Degree of Difficulty – The Jumpsuit

Friday, January 30th, 2009

I don’t quite recall my inspiration, but over a year ago I ordered some jumpsuits on e-bay, convinced I could wear them in public without being flogged. All these months later, I have never even tried.


I’ve meant to – the main thing that’s held me back is not my courage, but the weather. If it’s cold enough to wear a jacket, a jumpsuit seems wrong. If it’s hot enough to sweat, again a jumpsuit seems a poor choice. My short midwestern springs and falls seem to fly by without my jumpsuit-ing ever getting off the ground.

Whether or not I can someday coordinate with the weather, I’ll first need to determine if I can even coordinate a passable jumpsuit outfit. Tell me if I’m getting close.


Involving any boots or any remotely-masculine shirt in my attempts continually trapped the look in a Billy Joel “Uptown Girl” video type vibe. The pink-patterned dress shirt, my oxfords, and some silver jewelry prettied it all up, so it played less literal and not so grease monkey.


So this was the best I could do. Served up this way or any other, I’d say sporting a jumpsuit earns at least an 8 on the Degree of Difficulty scale. I have an extra one in my basement, exactly like it, if someone else out there wants to attempt the feat as well.

Degree of Difficulty – Sleepwear

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

This listing will be the first in a series examining the more daring clothing items that have crept their way into my closet during those naive moments when I legitimately believed I’d someday begin dressing like a runway model.

As much as I am drawn to the risky thrills of fashion, when I wake up in the morning my sartorial bravery and ambition are at their lowest, so again and again I just wiggle into whatever seems the most interesting (but) in the quietest way possible.

A Dapper-Dan decked out to the nines a la Chuck Bass is eye-catching, but really the best-dressed gents are the ones who appear to hardly have tried at all, no?

The ongoing challenge I’m giving myself is to incorporate these difficult items into ensembles that appear effortless enough to wear outside the pages of the Treasury. First up is the Sleepwear as Daywear sub-trend in the form of this pajama top left-over from a film project I’d mounted a few years back.


It’s two sizes too large for me. And it isn’t silky in a Prada-esque luxe way, it’s more of a starchy cotton-blend (which might make it a little easier to realistically wear without branding me a total fool).


So I attempted the top un-tucked and under a cardigan. Then took another stab at the piece, tucked, belted and with its sleeves imperfectly rolled up.


I’m not sure which technique was the better executed. But in the end, on a scale from 1 to 10 (10 being the most difficult to pull off while still maintaining one’s good name) the Sleepwear as Daywear look garnered overall a moderate score of 6, the board reveals.

The two outfits I assembled were maybe a bit more Milano-playboy than I usually lean, but I was able to veer clear of the Julian Schnabel Jr. trap, which was the real trick.

Whether I’ll be incorporating this piece of pajama-ry into my actual wardrobe routine, the world waits to see…