The Most Flattering Pant Ever?

Everlane has thrown us all in a tizzy. Have we been gas lit into believing the skinny/strechy jean was flattering? Is the wide-leg, high-waisted, cropped pant our actual perfect pant?

The case for this pant:

Everlane has put models of different sizes in the pant. We should applaud this kind of marketing.

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The pant is a knock off of the Kamm pant, which objectively looks adorable on skinny rich women. It is also $300 + and the Everlane pant is less than $100, so JUSTICE.

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Based on the many women who are doing god’s work by modeling these pants for the rest of us (Gretchen is my hero), it does seem that the wide-legged cut has benefits. It doesn’t make you look like a sausage in loose casing. The high waist does emphasize a lovely hourglass figure. I like butts to look bigger. This pant does that.

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The case against this pant:

To summarize Sonia (friend of the blog): “These pants make you look like a hideous toddler.” Also, as many of us who have played around with the Imogene + Willie jeans (high-waisted, no stretch) already know, you look amazing standing up, but sitting down in pants like this is unbearable.

If you are going to take these warnings and proceed anyway, you MUST wear a cropped top or tuck your shirt in. If this makes you feel self-conscious of your stomach pooch, don’t buy these pants. You can’t really do this shape half way. As one small concession to hiding the middle of your body, this kind of pant looks great with a boxy (square) top that is moderately cropped. I’m in love with my Everlane wool square turtleneck, and I think this shape would look great with a high-waisted wide-legged pant. Ditto for a boxy striped shirt.

Also, some of you might remember I bought the Madewell version of this pant last year. If you think I look terrible in them, use that information to help guide your own decisions.

xo D

Women in Clothes

I am savoring this book, doling out a little at a time for myself. However much I like the book, though, it is nothing in comparison to how much I LOVE hearing people I know talk about this stuff. So I now want everyone I know to respond to the survey. Thank you, D, for being the first.

Like D, I have only answered the questions that I find interesting:
2. Do you notice women on the street?
Absolutely. I notice and admire many of the women I see, but I am also incredibly judgmental. However, I have found that the older I get, the more I am likely to find things to like about other women’s clothes than to dislike.

4. Was there a moment in your life when something “clicked” for you about fashion or dressing or make-up or hair?
There was a moment maybe five or six years ago when I realized that I had a vision of myself as this very cool rock and roll dressing girl, but this vision of myself had no basis in reality. Like, in high school and college, I made sure that you could look at me and know, “oh, she’s obsessed with Minor Threat.” And I held on to that vision of my reputation in spite of the fact that I was gradually starting to dress in a way that no longer announced my taste for subcultural music. It’s taken me years, but I think that I’ve finally been able to make peace with the fact that nobody would ever be able to look at me and know what music I like. The fact that it took so long for me to stop wanting constant validation for my taste in music is really embarrassing.

8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, etc.?
I WISH! The only thing that unifies my life is my constant search for a unified approach, which I naively believe will be the solution to all of my problems.

11. Is there any fashion trend that you’ve refused to participate in?
All of them. For most of my teenage and adult life, I’ve been very contrarian when it comes to fashion (see #4). I feel bad about this, like I’ve wasted a bunch of time that I could have been using to develop a good eye/taste.

14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
When I got pregnant with my first son, I was really disappointed with the maternity options available to me. I couldn’t afford any of the really nice maternity stuff that Cup of Jo blogs about, and I got too big to just take the “wear slightly bigger versions of your wardrobe approach.” So I ended up wearing a whole lot of basic-ass clothes I never would have been caught dead in before. But to me, it was okay because it was such a short amount of time. What I didn’t realize is that (in my case) after giving birth, I was a) still huge for quite some time and b) nursing constantly and thus in need of tops that could be easily lifted/stretched/etc. I hadn’t yet weaned my first son when I got pregnant with my second, so I’m still trucking along in a bunch of clothes I don’t really like. I haven’t worn my favorite dress in three years, and I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to wear it again.

12. How has your mother’s body and style been passed down to you?
I have my mother’s exact body. I can tell that I am going to have her precise shape when I am her age. I am kind of okay with this. I think I might have her myopia when it comes to knowing what clothes suit my body. I am not okay with this.

50. Do you ever wish you were a man or could dress like a man or had a man’s body? Was there ever a time in the past?
When I was a teenager, I used to be jealous of the way that men could look so cool so easily. My best friend and I used to lament that it took so much time and effort for us to dress ourselves, but that men could basically wear the same great outfit day in and day out. All of that was very tied to my misogyny, and my belief that only a select few women could ever be as cool as guys. Super embarrassed that I ever felt this way.

80. How does money fit into all this?
For me, money has always colored every single choice I make about clothing. Because I grew up lower-middle class, new clothes were considered a treat, not a necessity. I remember being humiliated in the fourth grade when a boy made fun of me for wearing the same Guess t-shirt every other day for the whole school year. Until that boy said anything about it, I always felt really rich when I wore that shirt, because it was the only name-brand thing I’d ever been allowed to get. And though my parents never discussed it with me, I knew that even these occasional purchases were made with money we really didn’t have. From about age 8-15, I hated malls because they always made me feel ashamed, guilty and insecure. Even as an adult who controls the purse strings, I feel and have felt guilty every single time I spend money on clothes. This semester, I am teaching at a small liberal arts school where a vast majority of the students are very, very wealthy. Most of my students dress so much better than I do, and they seem to have this ease about their clothes that I am very jealous of. Money anxieties bleed into every time I have to get dressed to teach, because it takes me a million years to find a new combination for the same few pieces of shitty clothing. I am convinced that if my entire wardrobe weren’t from Target*, I’d be able to just throw anything on and it would look great. I have never been able to not worry about money when it comes to clothes. This makes me feel sorry for myself, but that’s dumb because in comparison to most of the world, and really, most of America, I am very privileged when it comes to clothes-buying.

*Minus a very nice top from Zara, thanks to D.

-C

Fall Fashion

It’s time for pants, or as they call it: Fall. I’m mostly excited about TV, so my plan for pants-wearing is not as strong as it should be.

 

My big ideas are to wear my now very successful uniform of a big black t-shirt and black skinny jeans with my new New Balances:

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And to buy these:

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That’s all I’ve got people.

 

 

 

 

Travel

It is time for my summer holiday, and I am going to LA for a long weekend to stay with a friend.

My travel rules for vacations:

Bring nothing, buy everything.

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This amazing Patagonia luggage can have nothing or everything inside its magical compartments. It also has backpack straps.

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I did bring my running shoes so I can hike up that hill that celebrities get their photos taken on.

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Although it appears you can do it in clogs.

But I also plan on utilizing my time in Silverlake and taking this class:

A few other plans: try to buy this week’s US Weekly and last week’s in the airport, buy all the expensive airport food and don’t worry about it, put about a half lb. of duty-free designer hand lotion on my legs.

In LA, I plan on eating every taco in every food truck that GOOP suggested.

Finally, my travel outfit.

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I did it. I bought Birkenstocks. It is actually your fault and not mine. No one gave me enough points for not buying them, so I decided to go all in and get the loudest color available.

-D

 

Fashion Haul

Hoof Shodding Alternation

My summer sandal search was highly successful. The Corso Como Talia Studded Sandal is great, comfortable, doesn’t make ankles look fat.

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They don’t sell it anymore but this style from Corso Como is almost exactly the same.

The only problem is I put about 3-4 miles on these feet a day, and despite the excellent comfort these sandals have provided, they are going to disappear from my feet by the end of the summer. These sandals are well made enough that I can have the cobbler replace the sole and add more tread, but the only real solution is to not wear them every day.

So I need an alternate in order to slow down the inevitable sandal decay.

This next choice is a bit less classic, a little more cloddish, but cloddish is IN right now.

Behold the Kork-ease 1 and 1/2 ”

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Really, I just want credit for not buying Birkenstocks because they are super trendy in New York right now. You cannot throw an iced coffee without hitting a lady in all white Birkenstocks with really long skinny legs. I just want points for not falling for this fallacy. Please give me all my points now!

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Summer Armour

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Fedoras are stupid, baseball hats don’t cover my neck, and elegant sunhats fly off in the wind, so I am going full chin strap this summer. I’d like to think that this look says “post-graduate Woofing in southern France.”

Take that Sun.

Drapey Pants

A woman in my life who will go unnamed recently asked me what I thought of her new drapey pants:

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“Those are pajamas,” I said. It was not really a value statement, but she heard it as one and said defensively “No, they are just really comfortable.”

I myself am now on the hunt for the perfect pair of pajamas to wear outside the house, despite the fact that wearing pajamas goes against everything I know to be true about clothes: fitted clothes look better on people, structure is slimming, and “casual” clothes look sloppy on anyone who isn’t an 18 year old art student.

But what is the alternative? Shorts also look pretty stupid and although I really respect and envy women who wear skirts and dresses all summer, I also long for a piece of fabric between my thighs.

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So I think the new trend of drapey pants/pajamas is an excellent solution. But why not just go all in and also lower the crotch while I’m at it?

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The drop crotch also solves a common summer problem: the disgusting feeling of fabric on one’s sweaty body.

-D

(Super) Ladies of Habit: Feminist Footwear Edition

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We are living in a new golden age for women in comic books. Sort of. Even though Batwoman (above), one of the only LGBT characters to headline her own title, couldn’t get married, even though publishers continue to put out putatively teenage women with boobs the size of their heads and the resulting criticism itself results in rape threats, women in comics have made tiny steps forward. Not figuratively.

Power Girl:

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I’m talking about the wedge heel in particular, and more practical footwear in general. Feet are not usually that important to artists. Some of them cannot draw feet of either gender. But while male superheroes have long had nondescript bootie-looking footwear, many heroines have had to fight crime in heels, sometimes stripper heels, bringing to mind the quote about Ginger Rogers, but with more cosmic radiation.

Black Canary:

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Huntress:

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The heel is not just a 90s thing. From the beginnings of comics some of the more prominent heroines had them, though in keeping with the times both the heels and the costumes were more modest than some today. One early notable exception came during the character-defining arc in the late 80s/early 90s where She-Hulk (below) tried to balance her day job as a lawyer with her costumed adventuring, which led to some fantastic 9 to 5/ Working Girl business suits with Reeboks. She has been drawn with sneakers off and on ever since.

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I would give Isabel Marant’s now-ubiquitous wedge sneaker a lot of credit, though I would also give credit to the comic writers and artists who give these details attention. Greg Rucka, who co-created Batwoman, is particularly good at writing comics that pass the Bechdel Test, and Amanda Conner, responsible for Power Girl, is one of the more prominent women working in comics today. Books and movies like the Hunger Games and Divergent also help by featuring female leads who need to be able to run and kick plausibly (throwing shade here at Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman. And Halle Berry’s. And even Michelle Pfeiffer’s). The end result is that some of the most stripperific characters have been toned down just a little bit. One of them even got pants (below). They are still bruisers and (depending on the artist) sex fantasies, but by getting rid of the spike heel their feats are slightly more plausible, and slightly more comfortable.

Ms. Marvel, now Captain Marvel:

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-W.

Our very first man of habit contributor!!!!

Jumpsuits! By our new guest contributor

I am not typically an adventurous dresser. Since starting grad school my uniform has been skirts, cardigans, and black flats in an attempt to mature my wardrobe out of eight years of black t-shirts and ratty jeans. So when I bought a jumper with “Beetle juice genie pants” this spring, it was a big deal for me.

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A little background: my sister lives in Tucson, AZ, where caramel-brown babes wear neon rompers (the jumper’s more flirtatious cousin) all year round. She has been the patient target of no less than two rants about my dislike of rompers and their inability to ever cover someone’s ass and chest at the same time. You may get one, but never both. I railed against the foolishness of wearing clothes that are sewn together as both uncomfortable and impractical.

But when I saw MY jumper hanging on a rack at a Tulsa Ross, I decided to try it on despite my doubts about the practicality of the garment or fears about what sort of optical illusion I might be inflicting on myself by encasing my lower half in an almost dizzying print. It turned out to be as comfortable as my favorite type of clothing, the maxi dress, and had pockets, which made it irresistible.

Since then, while wearing my jumper, my confidence has grown to fill the billowy pant legs. My partner, who is much more stylish than me, praised it as my “most fashion forward choice ever” and I get appreciative comments and nods from the effortlessly cool servers at my favorite restaurant. Instead of always trying to make myself appear as little as possible, I genuinely enjoy seeming a little wider, because I just feel so cool.

 

–K. a doctoral student and a lady.

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