A Note About Tights

Tights are great, and I like them because:

  • They can add color.
  • They can hide a scar or band aid.
  • They can make your legs look thinner.
  • They can be opaque or see-through.
  • They can make a really short skirt more real-world appropriate.
  • They can make you more real-world appropriate. 
  • They can dress you up.
  • They can dress you down.
  • They can make you feel pretty.
  • I like pretty.
On Christmas, every one of the girls in my family wore tights, so we took some pictures of us.  I like them.


Inspiration: Jenny Cavalleri in Love Story

Studying/making PBJ sandwiches: Red
I watched Love Story today, the 1970 film starring Ryan O'Neal and Ali MacGraw, and while the story is a little over the top, the fashion is great!  Ryan and Ali play Oliver Barrett IV and his wife, Jennifer Cavalleri-Barret, a young, modern couple, working their way through those tough early years of marriage.  Jenny is working as a teacher to support them both, as Oliver is a Harvard law student, learning to deal with life after being disowned by his millionaire daddy because he rushed into marrying his Catholic middle-class girlfriend.  Later, Oliver is a law success, but Jenny contracts some kind of unnamed, cancer-like, blood-related disease, and dies in just a few weeks, without every looking or feeling ill.  The COD was referred to by one critic as an "Elizabeth Arden disease," the symptoms of which Roger Ebert described as a "movie illness in which the only symptom is that the sufferer grows more beautiful as death approaches."  This is perfect for my uses here, a blog in which I talk about pretty people and their outfits.  
Cheering: Red
     The costuming in this film is super.  And by costuming, I mean Jenny, because Oliver pretty much just wears sweaters and collared shirts, the occasional shearling-lined coat, and finishes off in very lawerly suits.  Jenny progresses from a camp counselor in very Massachusetts fashion, sailor-y pants and t-shirts to a well-dressed teacher, to a classy New York wife, all in simple patterns and fabrics.  There's a lot of plaid, of classic lines; trenches and peacoats.  It's all very Ivy League, but with a twist.  
     My favorite part of the costuming is the running thread of white and red, either on Jenny, or echoed in the Harvard colors, which runs through.  Jenny wears a lot of color, and the only big scenes in which she isn't wearing a little something are their wedding, where she is, as expected, in white, and her on her deathbed, where she's also angelic in outfit.  I think the white choices here are obvious, but the red less so.  She is clearly the heroine, and there is no Scarlett O'Hara red dress agenda here, I think it's just a way to set her apart.  She's a beautiful woman, she loves her husband, and she stands out in a room.  She isn't like any of the girls Oliver's father wanted him to marry, girls who would conform, and fade into the background.  Jenny stands out, she catches your attention, and she doesn't have to say she's sorry.
Graduation: Ollie's red
Meeting the parents: Red

Winter/dying: White

Wedding: White

Carrying over the threshold: Red  (This one's my favorite!)


Inspiration: Gwen Stefani

No Doubt, circa 1995
So far, I haven't really chosen women who are, well, current.  They're either fictional or old.  Gwen is not either of those things.  Although she dresses like she's fictional most of the time, which is why she's this post's inspiration.
No Doubt, circa 2000

No Doubt, circa 2002
Gwen Stefani started out in the American consciousness as a kinda angry front woman in an era of pretty angry front women.  She is, however, one of a very few that have managed to still be relevant all these years later.  Where are you Shirley Manson?  Gwen grew with us, changed with us, changed us (you can try and deny it, but if you were a young girl growing up in the 90s, it's true), and is still changing.  She has evolved from a gym clothes/40s day dress/indian head jewelery-wearing girl to a sleek designing mother.  This all sounds kind of contrived, like I'm writing a blog that isn't mine.  But it's the only way I can describe my awe.  There is no one else in the current entertainment industry who has taken so many turns successfully, except maybe Madonna, and she never had pink hair.  Behold, my wonder, encapsulated here, in just a few stolen pictures, and one of my own. (By the way, that little note there is on the INSIDE of my original Hara Juku tshirt, (which is really old and has holes in it), so it's like a secret that's just for me.  And all the other girls who bought this shirt.  And anyone who looks at this picture.  Oh well.)
She's my biggest fan
Her own Sound of Music Fiddler on the Roof Hara Juku designs
When you google "Gwen Stefani wedding dress," google suggests you add "replicas" on the end.  That's how much people like her dress.  Girl knows what she likes.


Inspiration (and a story): Plum Sykes (and a trench coat)

Plum Sykes
I have been collecting Vogue magazines for a long time.  I own almost every issue since about 1997.  I started reading it in 10th grade, and I can't stop.  And I don't want to stop.  It makes me happy.  Years ago, one of Vogue's former regular contributors (she now writes for the magazine only sporadically, as she's a Mom and a novelist and all sorts of other fun things) was Plum Sykes, probably the most perfect author they've had.  This isn't a snub to anyone who writes for Anna regularly, but it's simply to say that she's everything you could wish for in a fashion columnist.  She's 6 feet tall, weighs like 15 pounds, she's British, and she's got a real sense of humour.  She doesn't take herself, or anyone else, too seriously, but she knows what the heck she's talking about.
Years ago, Plum wrote an article about The Trench.  I capitalize it because it was a Burberry.  And not just any Burberry, it was a custom made, perfect trench coat, which I'm sure the magazine paid for, and paid her to write about.  That's double rewards right there.  The moment in which I read that article was the moment I started wanting a trench coat.  Casablanca made teenage Jillian want a trench in a romantic kind of way, Plum made her want one in a classic kind of way.  Now grow-up Jill finally has one. (I will also say that this summer of rain inspired me to actually do some research and buy one, and I was also inspired, embarrassingly, by NBC's newest incarnation of Jane Timmoney, played by Maria Bello, who has a real nice one.)
Kate Moss in a classic Burberry trench

His and hers - Holly Golightly knew her fashion
The strangely ironic thing is that I bought the thing from Delia's, which is now a quintessential teenage kind of store.  I was always a big fan, especially years ago, when it was more like a mail-order department store, where you could buy Free People before Free People had a store, when it was just a cool little hippie brand, and now it's like, a great big hippie brand.  Anyway, now, Delia's is like a place that almost exclusively sells its own stuff, and has stores in the mall, and seems to specialize in snarky/retro graphic tees that I can't wear because I'm too old, and my sense of humour has matured with me.  BUT if you know what you're looking for, there's nowhere better to get a good deal.  And here it is... my beautiful, perfect trench.  It's not Burberry, there's no fancy plaid lining, and it will never be featured in my fav mag, but it fits me, and it has the cool extra button/flap at the top that probably served a purpose for Rick and Ilsa, but doesn't really now (Banana Republic's doesn't have it, and J. Crew's does, but it was $300). AND guess what?  It was only $50 with shipping.  Beat that.  Yeah, you can't.  Not even Plum can.

My own personal button


Inspiration: The Bouvier Sisters

One of my favorite (and I have MANY) coffee table books is called One Special Summer. It's an illustrated account of Jackie and Lee Bouvier's adventures in Europe during the summer of 1951. Jackie drew the pictures, they both wrote the words. These are 2 women that inspired fashion and decorating not just in their prime, but even now, almost 60 years later. Lee was always the more risky of the two, the younger sister, bolder. Jackie married a Senator, Lee married a Prince. Jackie used history and tradition to redecorate the White House, Lee used exotic prints and stand-out details in her interior decorating. (I have to admit, Lee is my fav, but I love Jackie so much..) There isn't one stronger than the other, and together they are perfection.
ALSO: someday I will post about their insanely, loveably eccentric aunt and cousin.
But here, for your enjoyment, are the Sisters Bouvier:


INSPIRATION: Laurie Partridge

When I was a little kid, I remember being sick, laying in bed with a washcloth on my forehead, my mom moving the TV into my room. And I specifically remember the beginning of The Partridge Family theme song, and my mom getting up and changing the channel. I just assumed it was some kind of grown-up show, something kids couldn't watch. Turns out, Mom just thought it was annoying. Perhaps this adds to my current obsession with Laurie Partridge, and her huge-mouthed, wide-eyed gorgeousness. I don't know. All I know is, Mom thought she was a nerd, I love her, and I'm not sure we can both be right. Laurie's 70s style staples: prairie-inspired maxi dresses (Jessica McClintock/Gunne Sax), floppy hats, sweater vests (vests in general are a huge Partridge item), big collars, and lots of stripes.

Curate: LOVE

It's what I love. I can't help it. I love being fancy, pretty, stylish, vintage, crazy, outrageo
us, colorful, happy, and building my live around the things I love. There is a skill to
this, I think, and that's something I'm still working on. You can collect based on aesthetic, but every collection needs a curation. Every grouping needs to be edited. So, I present as many new (or new to me) things as I can, hoping to find some things that really stick.