Archive for the ‘Fashion’ Category

Duck ‘n Covered

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

A few falls back I picked up a Pointer Brand chore coat and I don’t think any item of clothing I’ve ever bought caused so many strangers to come up to me with compliment-covered questions.

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Pointer Brand’s been pretty busy updating and expanding their offerings since then, and the new-ish debut that’s piqued my interest the most are the line’s Raw Navy Duck Jeans.

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Crisply canvas-like, they’re a terrifically yesteryear shade of moody blue, and a great escape from the life sentence of unwashed denim.

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Although Pointer Brand’s products are designed for the down ‘n dirty daily lives of workmen across America, I always tend to dress ’em up a little bit. (I’ve only sorta heard of elbow grease, so I don’t want my outfits getting too gritty and giving anyone the wrong idea about me.)

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I am handy enough, however, to take an X-Acto knife to any visible branded labels on all of my pants since I generally want my wear as era-less and obscure seeming as possible.

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But something about these Duck Jeans’ ‘lil labels, both front and back, work just perfect for me. Obscure’s good, but looking like half your outfit came off the shelf of a South Dakota hardware store sometime between 1953 and 1981 is even better.

I’m telling you – for me it’s just way, way better.

Now I’m Laying Around In The Dark

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

I guess when you suddenly go from neglected ‘lil sista to heiress of indie-queen fortunes, you only have enough time to put out a music video like once a year, tops. The main thing I love about this Salon-Jay (as Hurly pronounces it) clip is it takes not much of anything and makes it definitively something.

Every film I ever made, back in the day, followed that same secret recipe. We used way less metallic shirts than Solange now does, but fat regrets are a fact of life.

There’s also a making-of video where Salon-Jay cites choreographical inspiration from Minneapolis masters The Time. Girl gots taste.

(And in even newer news, Baby Knowles also has a slow-burning brand new single out. Cash In.)

Flecks Appeal

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

I love and therefore own a number of dreary-hued tweed blazers and ties with flecks of techni-colors in them. But I almost never wear blazers or ties, and I’ve been wanting the same speckled effect in something more summery/less seasonal.

This confetti-laced cream chambray is just the thing. Vintage-y and vaguely Japanese-seeming.

The Men’s department at the Minneapolis Club Monaco store is a little…little – it’s sometimes better to search online, which is where I spotted the super shirt made out of this marvelous material.

I went up a size with it, so I could actually button the top button and look like some guy Melissa would’ve taken to an art gallery opening on thirtysomething in 1990-something.

Hurly says I just look Amish – but I can live with that vibe too.

L.A. Story pt. 1

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

A lifetime ago I lived in Los Angeles for half a year. I’m nothing if not a nostalgist, so it finally seemed time to book a flight to LAX so I could stroll down Memory Lane/Ventura Boulevard.

The dozen or so retail spots that made up the bulk of the itinerary, however, weren’t a part of my past, but the path to future treasures, I hoped.

Straight from the airport, Hurly chauffeur-ed me to Silver Lake, where the first shop we stopped at was The Mohawk General Store. They had a Gitman Vintage shirt I almost bought, and bundles of sage to burn, and liquid soaps so super-natural there were actually chunks o’ stuff floating within.

Next up was the first of two Lawson Fenning furnishings stores we visited. The Silver Lake store was more affordable and antique-filled. They stocked incredible lamps, and hempy pillows, and tarnished wind chimes. So so So-Cal, I so totally loved it!

The store I was most excited to check out was RTH Shop, with its New Mexican brand of crafty chic. I was scolded by two separate staff members for taking photos, but I’m a rebellious little rascal when I want to be.

I thought I might buy all sorts of smocks and suede totes from RTH, but in the end I just picked up this over-sized greige pin I’ll probably fix to a duffle bag or display in a dish or something.

Sometimes a site is worth it just for its signage alone. Fred Segal’s font and ivy-covered storefront are throwback-y classics, and shap-shooting musts.

Our second day in L.A. brought us to the Santa Monica pier, where further font-fueled photo shoots were mounted.

And then!!! Not until we arrived in L.A. did the lightbulb go off in my head that we totally needed to visit the location they used as the exterior of The Townsend Agency in Charlie’s Angels, and shoot me in front of it for fourteen or fifteen hours.

Before we got around to that though, we drove past The Sportsmen’s Lodge near where I used to live in Studio City, and I was almost certain it’s where they filmed the episode of Angels where Jill goes undercover as a hotel maid, Sabrina poses as a near-sighted waitress, and Kelly makes a joke about Pat Nixon and a pot of chili.

So I had Hurly pull a sharp right into the parking lot, and we stormed inside. I don’t know for certain yet if The Lodge was indeed where they’d shot that episode, but the place was so gloriously stuck in 1977 still that the clues certainly seemed to add up, don’t they, Bosley?

Tune in tomorrow-ish to see what happens when I finally arrive outside the Angels’ office. It’s quite the shocker!

Snug ‘n Snuggly

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

There’s a good month or so in Minnesota when getting dressed in the lightless morning has about zilch to do with trying to look good and everything to do with surviving the sub-zero temperatures outside.

I knew the happy-patterned Portuguese Flannel shirts from Gitman Vintage that Unionmade started selling right before Christmas would make getting dressed this January not only practical but purdy as well.

I ordered the shirts in two different patterns. One was super Me, one was refreshingly less Me – but the Me Me one looked better, and I’ve finally, just recently accepted the fact that you have to buy clothes based on how they actually look on you, not how you wish they would look on you. Optimism trumps realism in a lot of spaces and places, but don’t let it dupe you (and by you, I mean Me) when you’re making up your mind in front of a mirror.

I knew the boppy blue shirt I ended up keeping was gonna shoot me through winter’s darkest hours looking right and bright-eyed. The vintage flannel is thick but utterly un-stiff. Super, super soft – to the point that strangers start and then won’t stop snuggling you.

Winter’s really hard. Soft snuggles never hurt.

Beach Bum

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

I’m not sure I have it in me to grow an eight-inch beard or completely curtail some strategic manscaping, but otherwise I’m totally adopting Quit Mad Stop’s homeless beach hobo look once warm weather finds its way to me again.

Q.M.S. bags are big enough to literally tote your entire life in, which is of utmost important to the shelter-less set.

And the line’s pared down selection of jackets, polos, and trunks pair up perfectly (randomly) with richer men’s discarded dress shoes rescued from your city’s chicest dumpsters.

These silver painted linen shorts may shatter, slightly, the illusion of the impoverished existence I’m out to orchestrate – but they’re awesomely insane, which isn’t an entirely unwanted undertone when you’re going for that broken-down bum look.

So I’ll see you guys soon, down in the harsh and sandy shadows. You’ll probably pretend you don’t see me at all, but that comes with my new territory – I won’t hold it against you.

 

Blue Collar Worker

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

I’ve only bought (and actually kept) like three new pieces for fall, but nonetheless this Wallace & Barnes workshirt is far and away my favorite.

Half the reason being I can button it all the way up to look like I’m filling in for Joaquin Phoenix in the next five Joaquin Phoenix films. This is a remarkable personal triumph for me because, although my Celebrity DJ name might as well be ‘Lil Will, I front with an unusually phat neck. I can’t ever EVER button anything up over my Adam’s Apple without an unsettling sensation of strangling.

The second best thing about the piece is its nubby, flecked denim. Not too thick, definitely not thin – the kind of material sold off bolts at Main Street mercantiles throughout Missouri.

Two years ago I was all about weird rusts and coppers and oranges. Basic blue seemed beyond banal, but at last the color feels clean and cool again. Especially amongst all the amber waves of autumn.

So ’til I sicken of the shade again, or go under the knife for some neck lipo, this sturdy shirt’s set to remain my sartorial salvation. Now, what are all you normal-necked people finding for your favorite fall pieces?

 

Fashion on Film: Pollock

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Sometimes just switching the channel at the exact right moment can change your life. Or at least alter your wardrobe. Last week I clicked into the middle of the bio-pic Pollock just as its artiest and most stylish sequence played out.

In it, an early 1950s documentary filmmaker had traveled to Jackson’s Long Island country house to capture the abstract artist’s drip painting process on 16mm film.

Visually, the sequence was a mid-century masterpiece; the focal point for me being Ed Harris’s arty farmer-like costumes.

Ink-dark denim jackets, slim and trim T’s in black and white, and up-cuffed jeans in fits you can actually work in.

The sequence begins with Pollock changing out of his tobacco brown loafers into black, battered boots – but as the montage flickers on, he’s shown wearing both pairs of shoes, splattering each of them with the same inspired, uncaring abandon.

It was the juxtaposition of rural and urban in Jackson’s outfits, and of rugged and refined, that caught my eye. Whether a chore coat he’d picked up at some musty mercantile or a pair of spiffy loafers from his days in the big city, he wore everything with anything, and nothing was ever precious or premeditated.

Dressing like that is never easy, is it? But Jackson can show us how.

Fall’s First Find

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Usually by mid-August I have all sorts of fuzzy, nubby, woolly goods I swear I’ll need in order to gear up for fall in proper fashion. But this year, for such a long while, I could hardly find a thing.

Having carefully clicked through my desktop folder of the thirty or so online shops that suit my style, the only item to have caught my eye was a pair of overcast blue Tellason x Smith & Butler utility jeans.

With their re-enforced front-leg panels, and decidedly wider cut, I thought they’d be a bold breakaway from all the bone-tight denim we’ve (over-) worked our wardrobes around the past few years.

Double cuffed up, with brown boots, and maybe a Natty Gann’s Dad-style hat, the pants provided my fall outlook some much-needed shape and direction, at last.

The Clash

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Without thinking about the potential social ramifications, today I put on yesterday’s raisiny/wine colored shorts and carelessly paired a mossy/olive military style shirt with them.

The colors totally should’ve clawed at each other.

But surprisingly, they’re visual frenemies. Wrongly right, and rightly wrong.

 

Suddenly This Summer

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Yeah, so suddenly this summer I’m wearing a brand of sandals I never thought I would.
(Cause the soles are white like a Red Wing boot or something!)

And I’m stocking up on double-bar packs of chocolate from Iceland.

And I’m sporting a Panama Hat two or three times a week.

I’m also rooting hardcore for happy-headed gymnast Gabby Douglas, going Nuts on my iPad, wondering if Fiona Apple isn’t too old now to be freaking her own self out so darn much, and last night I finished  Girl Gone.

What have you all suddenly been up to?

Patterns Emerge

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Building a wardrobe of basics can, basically, feel and look a little boring after a while. Riskier, wittier pieces tend to fill up more and more of the slots on my seasonal shopping lists as I get older. For this summer, all I’ve been drawn to so far are punchily patterned pieces.

I’d been waiting for this Woolrich Woolen Mills button down to be released since I first spotted smartphone pics of it snapped last summer during Pitti Uomo. I wasn’t sure I’d be up to pulling off a piece with such an Afro-funked feel to it, but when I finally tried it on, all my Anglo inhibitions faded fiercely to black.

Sometimes I get a little sick of the two chambray shirts I’ve worn repeatedly the past four or five years. The addition of polka-dots to this Gitman Vintage offering shifts things a little more Preppy, a little more Prairie, and a lot less predictable.

I’m really hot and/or cold on most of the Native American/Pendelton-y prints that have trended their way into fashion lately, but this Topman piece has an almost sandwashed, Saved By The Bell feel and fit to it, so it keeps me looking more 1980s Slater, less 1880s Squaw Warrior.

I’m probably about as patterned-up as possible now, for spring. What I’m gonna do next to keep things un-basic and un-boring, I’m not just sure yet.