Saturday, March 31, 2007

Blogback Mountain

Fashionologie has pictorial proof that a man can indeed rock a high-fashion purple satin bejeweled turban. It's more shocking than a Sasquatch sighting.

Queen Marie over at Kingdom of Style is calling out Kate Moss for being, er, hygienically-challenged.

When I first hung out with my friend Joei, she told me about her extraordinary efforts to track down a particularly perfect pair of leather pants. It renewed my faith in love and concreted my decision to be friends with her. Now she has a wonderful blog of her own, so go read the story yourself and see if you feel the same way.

Meg at Faking Good Breeding unearths some adorable summer cardigans.

The Perfect Closet shows us a few of her favorite things. And she has way better taste than Oprah. (No offense, Oprah.)

Friday, March 30, 2007

Pardon Martin's French...

So who let a deer shit on their purse?

Fendi black striped velvet fur flower baguette, $1800,

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Breaking! Five Men's Fashion First Impressions: Redux

My last post (see below) sparked both Candid Cool and La Femme to request an emergency meeting of the men's minds. They want to know what the famous five think about this dress:

Not only was I intrigued by the idea of showing the men something less extreme, but also, if I go by the standard formula used by politicians (as I always do) that every opinion letter published in the newspaper represents 10,000 similar opinions, that means those two comments represent roughly 20,000 Daddy Likey readers that feel the same way, right? What's that you say? Egregious error in logic? I don't have anywhere close to 20,000 readers? Oh well. Two is enough.

The men seemed suspicious and nervous when I unveiled the picture, looking to me for a clue, whispering, "Is this supposed to be bad?" and offering me various bribes for the answer. I refused their offers, kept my opinion a secret (I guess it's a good thing they only pretend to read my blog or they would have known it), and this is what they said:

The Boyfriend: Perfect to wear to a Shakespearean play. I'm not sure I'm diggin' the sleeves...

The Father: It would be difficult for anyone under 6'5" to wear it. Otherwise, it looks nice.

Brother, age 19: Decent. I would sweat in it. I think the sash is played.

Brother, age 17: It looks really Arabian. Really Middle-Eastern. Really Jasmine-from-Aladdin-y.

Brother, age 12: It looks like someone took a pig and painted it magenta and scrunched it up and then tied it with a purple bow. It looks scrunchly [sic]. I don't like it.

So what have we learned here today?

-I should definitely break up with my boyfriend.

-If there is a possible right answer involved, straight men are terrified to pass judgment on clothes. My nineteen-year-old brother literally ran away from me multiple times after he realized that he couldn't just make a crack about how ugly it was. I guess there's good reason behind this fear, though (see first bullet point).

-Executives at Lucky magazine are probably going to read my seventeen-year-old brother's comment, say "This is the raw talent we've been looking for," and have him start work right away. That would be ironic-y, no?

-When my nineteen-year-old brother looks at an item of women's clothing, his first thought is apparently how much he would sweat in it if he were to don it for the day.

-Even though pretty much every morning when my mom asks my dad how she looks, he comes up with a really random and offensive thing to say, like, "That skirt is the exact color of squamulous lichen," he came through here with a sharp insight and a thumbs-up for the most perfect dress in the world. Go Dad!

-My little brother is obsessed with disturbing farm animal analogies.

-The men now take requests. If you find something you'd like them to weigh in on, email me a picture, grow a thick skin, and tune in for the next FMFFI! As always, you can reach me at

p.s. Thanks Candid and Femmey (that's my new pet name for you) for the inspiration.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Just playin', Mr. Cheney.

So, I'm not saying that I would commit treason for this dress:

But I am saying, well, maybe I would.

Azzaro volume chiffon mini dress, on sale for the bargain basement price of $993,

Monday, March 26, 2007

A Glimpse Inside the Minds of Men

Yes, it is time once again for the always fun feature Five Men's Fashion First Impressions, in which I show the five men in my life an intriguing/confusing/frightening fashion item and record their immediate responses.

Our item of the day, a "piano fringe" (I believe the more appropriate term is "shredded to hell") cardigan by Rick Owens Lilies, currently available on for $524. Behold:

You know, when I was in music class in second grade, we sang this really stupid song about the excitement of election day (sample lyric: Election day! Election day! The day we decide how it's gonna be!). I wouldn't know the true excitement of election day for another ten years, so instead of singing it once more with feeling as our music teacher pleaded, I found a string hanging off of my sweater, and I pulled on it until class was over. It was great fun, and by the end of class I had an exact replica of this cardigan we're discussing today--had I only known that I could have sold it online for $500, a sum that would have secured me one hell of a lot of My Little Ponies.

But enough about me. Here are the men:

The Boyfriend: It looks like what you'd find on a corpse after it's been decomposing for six months.

The Father: First of all, what is it?
Me: It's a cardigan.
The Father: They're calling
that a cardigan? (pained laugh) Oh Jesus...Well, it looks like something Morticia Adams would be really happy with. That's really atrocious.

Brother, age 19: This is quite a "fashion don't." It's just made of that mesh they bag onions with. I could make that.

Brother, age 17: Portuguese Man-of-War.

Brother, age 12: (eyes widen) It looks like a spider...and a cow...fused into one.
Me: How the hell does this look like a cow?
Brother, age 12: It's milky...and smooth...I don't know how to explain it, ok??

Brother, age 12, returns half an hour later, stifling laughter: It looks like something a (dramatic airquotes) "widow" would wear. Get it? Like black widow. See, when you write it, just put parentheses around "widow" and it's a joke. Cuz I already mentioned spider so I gave you the perfect set-up for this.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Funny Quote; Funny Shoes

I hate turkeys. If you stand in the meat section at the grocery store long enough, you start to get mad at turkeys. There's turkey ham, turkey bologna, turkey pastrami. Someone needs to tell the turkey, "Man, just be yourself."
~Mitch Hedberg

~Emilio Pucci

Friday, March 23, 2007

Blogback Mountain

If a really creepy guy in a van with no windows pulled up to the curb where I was walking and said, "Get in the van and I might give you a $40 gift card to Sephora," I would probably give it some thought. Faking Good Breeding is offering the same incentive, but all you have to do for a chance to win is tell her your beauty routine. So get your ass over there and enter!

Susie Bubble loses pants, captures style.

Ambika over at The Fray's current color obsession is purple. Jerry Falwell would probably call her a homosexual-sympathizer. I call her tres chic.

Cuffington describes how to build a comprehensive sunglasses wardrobe. I'd start with these vintage aviators:

Queen Michelle at Kingdom of Style is generous enough to share her secret go-to site for funky, not-too-expensive clothes.

Catwalk Queen has the scoop on how to own a plaster cast of model Lily Cole's boobs. And yeah, it's as creepy as it sounds.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Death By Dov Charney

I had a panic attack in the dressing room of American Apparel yesterday when I became convinced that I was going to be murdered.

Perhaps I need to explain.

I've been completely obsessed with t-shirt dresses ever since I was introduced to the idea (basically a long t-shirt that society accepts as a dress) in a fashion magazine awhile ago. It sounded like the epitome of comfort and casual cool. Ideally, such a garment would cost $10, max, but sadly my search had only turned up $200 versions as I got antsy to begin spring and summer and forsake my pants.

I had a hunch that American Apparel would have just what I was looking for, but I usually try to boycott companies with crappy advertising (You won't see me buying Dove "Women are beautiful just as they are! Now buy our cellulite cream to fix your disgusting thighs" soap, for example). American Apparel ads, as I discussed here, creep me the hell out, but they have cute things, damnit, and soon I found myself on their website, staring at a "tunique" that matched my specifications exactly.

Ultimately, the urge for a t-shirt dress, my generally weak will, and the glimpse of what seemed like a perfect one on the AA website drew me into their Portland store. I was greeted by an appropriately sulky, skinny, primary-colored young man who wasn't helpful at all. I asked him where to find this, the dress I'd ogled online the night before:

He said, "Ummm....over there?" and pointed to the huge women's section.


I finally found it on the rack and picked out a navy blue one. The product was not living up to my high hopes--the material was really thin and a couple of the ones on the rack already looked old and beat up, the result of just being tried on a few times. Did I really want to spend $34 on a t-shirt dress that would last for probably two days until, oh, I don't know, an especially strong breeze blew the seams open or something? No, I didn't. But I'd come in this store, ignored my moral compass, and been treated like shit by an employee--I had to make it worth it. I marched into the dressing room to try it on.

The dressing rooms at American Apparel are like the dressing rooms at many hip places nowadays--dimly lit cement mini-dungeons (yes, as opposed to regular sized dungeons or the always preferable mega-dungeons) with only a thin, transparent curtain for privacy. I put the dress on, which was both extremely unflattering and, despite its "dress" status, failed to cover my chocha. I threw it on the floor in rage (I'm always a bit dramatic in dressing rooms), started to put my clothes back on, and that's when I noticed the pictures on the walls.

There were four or five black and white polaroid-style photos of young women in trademark AA borderline-porno poses. They were all wearing next to nothing and looked like they were suffering. Suddenly I felt like I'd stumbled into the den of a twisted serial killer with a penchant for twenty-something hipsters, and I had to escape immediately. The only thing stopping me from running screaming out of the store was the fact that I was basically naked and surrounded by equally naked women with flatter stomachs than mine. An intense battle ensued between my survival instincts and my need to avoid junior high locker room flashbacks at all costs. In the end, junior high avoidance won out, and I ended up sitting in the dressing room hyperventilating and staring at the picture of American Apparel's (or Dov Charney's?) previous victims, preparing for my inevitable bloody end.

So maybe I'm more than a "bit dramatic" in dressing rooms. But don't tell me you've never done the same thing. Right?

And my search for a t-shirt dress continues...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Martin, Feathers, and a Fence

I once saw an entire flock of birds fly full-speed into a chainlink fence. It was probably the worst experience of my life.

And this dress is really bringing back the memories:

Matthew Williamson dress with beads and feather embellishment, $1992.00,


p.s. As usual, if you're a new reader and are totally confused about the whole raccoon thing right now, click on the "Martin" link below to get filled in. The post at the very bottom of that page has your explanation.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Operation Jumper

A lovely Daddy Likey reader emailed me recently with a desperate fashion plea:

Dearest blogger of all bloggers,

I have been searching for a jumper dress with front pockets for the
longest time! I've imagined myself wearing it alone, with short and long sleeve shirts underneath, with stockings, with jeans, with cardigans and cute hats!

My search began one day when I was in
Forever21, and found the perfect dress, but the Small was not small enough. I am very petite! But not ridiculously so, but just enough that the dresses I've tried end up looking baggy. I thought my search was over when I found this pretty thing from our mutual friend Delia's:

But apparently, the item is out of stock, and won't be available until MAY 12, 2007.

Please, Winona, help a sissstah out! Find me a lovely, reasonably
priced jumper dress to encapsulate all that is cute and adorable, but simultaneously edgy!


Not Jumper-ing for Joy

Okay, okay, I added that painfully corny sign-off, but I swear the "blogger of all bloggers" line is authentic (and totally cool--I'm gonna get that printed on an oversized button and point to it whenever peasants or regular bloggers try to talk to me).

But back to the point--my dear NJFJ, you have impeccable taste. I, too, love jumpers with front pockets as much as Fergie loves to spell out words in her songs. They are (give me a nice echo here) G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S. Well, maybe that's the wrong word. How about C-U-T-E?

I originally told NJFJ that I'd get to this jumper-with-front-pockets mission (henceforth known as Operation Jumper) as soon as I finished studying for a final I have tomorrow, but a funny thing happened when I was studying for my final--I said, "Screw studying" and decided to look at cute jumpers instead.

Here's what I found:

Tempted Babydoll Jumper with Pockets, $48,

Gibson Knit Jumper with Pockets, $58,

Pocket Trapeze Dress (also in charcoal grey), $36.50,

2 Pocket Button Jumper Dress, $26.50,

Urban Outfitters has this red one on sale for $34.99:

Lux Button Jumper Dress,

And they have another version for $58 in different colors, including charcoal grey and this awesome crisp white:

Don't you love how this looks layered over a sexy camisole? How chic (and comfortable) will this be in the spring?

If you can part with the pockets, both of these are incredibly cute (especially the black one, I might have to get that one myself):

Necessary Objects Empire Jumper Dress, on sale for $32.90, (I kinda want to punch this model in the face too.)

Tempted Button Jumper, $48,

If you can't part with the pockets but could stand sleeves (even if, technically, that means it's not a jumper anymore), try this one:

Necessary Objects Puff Sleeve Mary Jane Dress, $62,

If you want to get a lil' crazy with the pattern (or, you know, just have $24.50 to spend on a cute little dress), check this one out:

Circle Printed Jumper Dress, yep, $24.50,

I do hope Operation Jumper has been somewhat of a success. If any of you out there know of a perfect jumper-with-pockets option that I missed, feel free to post the link in the comments or email it to me and I'll add it to the post.

Godspeed young cadet, and mark my words that someday, you will jumper for joy.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Daddy Likey Style Guide: Robert Downey Jr. in Zodiac

I just saw Zodiac, which was pretty much the greatest movie ever. But more importantly, sweet mother of jesus did Robert Downey Jr. look hot in those 70's clothes. All of the pictures that support my case seem to be vehemently copyrighted, so I have to just show you this one (the one scene where he's dressed fairly boring, of course) and hope you've either seen the movie or that you're very trusting and will just take my word for it.

His smartass reporter wardrobe (I've always had a thing for smartass reporters) consisted of incredible coats, vests, button-up shirts, slim slacks, Beatles boots, and patterned scarves tied at the neck (and he certainly did not look like an English teacher).

If you're a guy who loves vintage, a girl who wants to dress like a guy who loves vintage, a girl who wants to dress her guy like a guy who loves vintage, or any combination thereof, here's how to get his look:

(Most of the clothes featured here are one-of-a-kind vintage, so if you like what you see, get your ass to that link and buy it before someone else does!)

First, you'll need a jacket, like this one:

Bulky and kinda ugly, sure, but you're cool enough to make it look hot.
Vintage, $52, here.

This one would totally work too:

Vintage, $60, here.

Add a collared shirt with a bit of kitchsy detail:

Vintage Levi's, $22, here.

Or, hell, maybe a lot of kitchsy detail:

Vintage, $27, here.

Then, you'll need some awesome slacks, and don't worry about clashing patterns (heellllooo you're Robert Downey Jr.! The rules don't apply to you!). These would be great:

Fink Glen Plaid 5 Pocket Pant, $44,

But some broken-in 1970's Levi's would be even greater:

Just $9.99 on ebay right now, bid here.

And remember, serious vests look good with everything:

'Jonsi' Vest, $145,

Kenneth Cole Reaction velvet vest, on sale for $49.99 at Sweet vest, but good god I want to punch that guy in the face.

Now, time for accessories.

To finish the look, you'll need some badass boots:

$99.00, here.

Or maybe these:

Vintage Gucci, $20.50(!) on ebay, only twelve hours left! bid here.

And some mega-nerdy glasses:

God I want these. $6.99, bid here.

Tie a crazy silk scarf around your neck:

$3.50, bid here.

To answer your question, yes, Mr. Downey Jr. could totally pull this off. Oscar De La Renta, $6.99, bid here.

And finally, top it off, literally, with a grimy hat:

Ooh I want this too. Ten bucks as of now, bid here.

Ta-da! You're a smartass reporter from a different era! Maybe people will look at you funny on the street, but you'll get one blogger's loins tingling, and that's what really matters.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Blogback Mountain

Love Made Visible has some supercute charm necklaces that I could never afford, but just like the $500 DVF dress I lovingly stroked at Nordstrom until the clerk's "Can I help you?" became more of a threat than an offer, it's always fun to dream.

Style Bytes loves to walk around her house in stripper heels and a granny dress. You know you totally want to be her friend.

La Coquette has the dish (a small one surely, consisting of baguette and brie and some wine to wash it down) on celebs at the Paris fashion shows.

Afrobella tells us "how to take a bangin' mugshot." First rule: Look at Nick Nolte's mugshot, and don't do that.

If you're a guy who feels adrift and alone in a sea of women's fashion blogs (and judging by the emails I get, there seems to be a burgeoning, well-dressed army of you), check out the coherent or See Jack Shop.

Ma Petite Chou is in search of seven complete new outfits to take with her to Paris. Get over your jealousy and help her decide on some cute flats.

Knickers claims to have found the "perfect springtime large-cup bra," which is kind of like James Cameron claiming to have found Jesus' tomb. Me? I believe 'em both.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Miu Miu Mad Libs!

This might be my new favorite feature (read the post below first if you haven't yet). I think we should all become a fashion writing team with our revolutionary new technique:

Ever since Miuccia Prada made a meatloaf a luxe status symbol, the fashion pack knew they had married onto a dumptruck. In 1978, with no design training, but a spray can, Miuccia took over her grandfather's green glass fish ornaments. By the mid-80's, Prada had poked a moisturizer. Then, in the Late Byzantine, she created the lightbulb, and the capricious sister label was an instant Marc Jacobs handbag. Miu Miu is feminine without being overly infuriating, chic but also jejune. By mixing masculine with gastronomic, the ordinary with the potent, Miuccia manufactures a rubber duck that is instantly abrasive yet never soft.

You guys are geniuses. To see the original (vastly inferior, if you ask me) blurb from Netaporter, click here.

p.s. So who had to ask their parents what a noun was? Anyone want to fess up?

Let's Play Fashion Mad Libs!

Hopefully, you've played Mad Libs before (if you've never heard of it, call your parents immediately and ask them to explain your hollow and wasted childhood).

But just in case, I'll give you a quick overview. Mad Libs is a game where one player gets a silly little story with some of the words blanked out, and brief prompts to tell the other player what sort of words they are needed to fill in the blanks. A Mad Libs story might look something like this (and if you are an international reader, pay close attention, because this is pretty much the only way American children learn grammar):

Today I _______(verb, past-tense) Lucky magazine. I got really _______(adjective) because they turned like _____(large number) nouns into adjectives to describe things. They said, "These _______(article of clothing, plural) are so _______(noun)-y." How _______ (adjective) is that? I ____(verb) them.

So then the first player will ask the second player to say a verb, past-tense, and the second player will say, "What's a verb?" and the first player will look at the grammar cheat sheet at the front of the Mad Libs booklet and say really condescendingly, "an action word," and then when the second player says "what's an action word?" the first player will say he has to go the bathroom and then run up to his parents' room and ask his mom what a past-tense verb is and come back and say to player two, "'Ran' is a past-tense verb." And then the second player will say, "Oh, okay, 'ran,' then." So they'll go through all the blanks like that, and about three hours later they will have a delightfully silly little story, which player one will read to player two with hysterical results. Maybe in the end, the story reads like this:

Today I ran Lucky magazine. I got really ugly because they turned like 5,000 nouns into adjectives to describe things. They said, "These tuxedoes are so elephant-y." How smelly is that? I eat them.

LOL! Hilarious, right? What's that? You've never been more confused? Oh, shush.

Now that my extremely concise and eloquent description has made the game perfectly clear, it's our turn to play. I have chosen a fashion-related blurb and Mad Liberated it (god, my cleverness factor is through the roof today!), so now I will be player one, and all of you guys are player two.

In the order of your comments, give me a word to fill in the blanks with the types of words described below (for example, the first commenter will give me a noun, the second will give me a verb, the sixth a notable period in history, etc.--one per comment). Get a little crazy, people!

1. Noun
2. Verb, past-tense
3. Noun
4. Noun
5. Something you'd find at your grandparent's house
6. Verb, past-tense
7. Notable period in history
8. Noun
9. An invention
10. Adjective
11. Noun
12. Adjective
13. Adjective
14. type of animal
15. Adjective
16. Verb
17. Noun
18. Adjective
19. Adjective

As soon as the 19 responses have been posted (which hopefully won't take, like, four weeks) I'll post our hilarious (and possibly anticlimactic) completed fashion blurb! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

High Fashion Haiku

How sad. This poor boot
has grown the neckbeard of a
prepubescent boy.

Diba "Shasta" boot,

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Electric Kool-Aid Pashmina Test

I don't know where I was during the late 90's pashmina craze. I wish I meant that in a glamorous, I-was-traveling-the-country-in-my-van-being-documented-for-The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test: Redux sort of way, but really, I probably just didn't pay for my InStyle subscription for a year and missed it. In case you missed it too, a pashmina, at least in terms of the massively popular model from days gone by, looks like this:

Usually cashmere, it can be used as a scarf or a wrap or a blanket or even a crude shelter should you find yourself lost in the woods.

The only reason I'm aware of the pashmina craze at all, actually (besides the vast photographic evidence featuring Jennifer Aniston in airport terminals), is because I most definitely didn't miss out on the Great Pashmina Backlash. Yes, I got out of my Merry Pranksters van in time to read a whole bunch of completely vitriolic anti-pashmina blurbs in various magazines and get really, really confused. Do you remember these? They always went something like this:

Pashminas are out, out, out. The look is dated, drab, and dumb. In fact, you are dumb if you wear one. Want to keep warm? Here's an idea: WEAR A SWEATER, DUMBASS. Whatever you do, just be sure to throw away that pashmina...immediately!

Okay, so maybe they weren't thaaaat intense, but they actually were quite shocking in their anti-pashmina venom. I remember for awhile there, I was reading them at a rate of about one a week and thinking, "Jesus, pashminas must have pissed off the wrong people."

Anyway, the last I heard from the pashmina, they were being violently brought down by the anti-pashmina lobby (perhaps the pro-turtleneck agenda?), and ever since I received a cream-colored, cashmere number from The Pashmina Store a few days ago, I've been even more perplexed as to why everyone was hatin' there for awhile.

The one I got is this style in this gorgeous, creamy beige color, and trust me when I say the picture doesn't do it justice:

It is by far the softest, coziest thing I have ever felt (I hope my cat doesn't read that and get offended). I wore it to class the day I got it, along with a short-sleeved shirt, mini skirt, and thin tights, in winter in Oregon, and I didn't shiver once. I started the day with it tied in a knot around my neck like a scarf, and by my trip home I was curled up under its cashmere goodness, amazed as this wondrous accessory made public transportation as comfortable and calm as my bedroom (with the possible exception of the homeless guy that kept asking me to cure his speech impediment by rubbing his cheek).

I've worn it basically everyday since then, reveling in its versatility and yelling at anyone who comes near me to try to compliment me on it (and there have been many), viewing them only as evil stain-carriers (soldiers from the pro-turtleneck agenda?) out to mar my perfect, beige pashmina.

As you can tell, I have definitely become a member of the pro-pashmina camp. If you think you'd like to join the PPC (which totally sounds like a drug I would do in my imagined magic bus days, and which also seems to have a side effect of paranoia--see paragraph above), check out some of these brightly colored options, all from The Pashmina Store:

This is the same one that I have, in blue. Even though it's shown in the same semi-boring wrap style as the pictures above, you really can wear it however you want. And it's only $69.99 for pure, delicious cashmere.

If you'd rather not have enough fabric to comfortably seat a picnic for a family of four, they have smaller scarf styles in tons of great colors for $35 each:

This would be such a great way to do the yellow trend:

I'd wrap it around my neck under the Mike & Chris black leather jacket that resides in the same fantasy life as my drug-fueled roadtrip with Ken Kesey. Oh, and it's just fifty bucks.

They also offer blankets, shawls, and a style for men, which I was really sad to find out isn't called the "pashman-a." Damn, that worked better in my head.

Check 'em out, and maybe, together, we'll bring pashmina back (raise your hand if you're sick of Justin Timberlake puns. No one? Good).

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Blogback Mountain

Some blogs I'd like to have intimate relations with while guarding a herd of sheep together in the mountains of Wyoming, even though society will never understand. Or maybe just some cool posts you might want to read:

My new bbff (best blogger friend forever, duh) Meg over at Faking Good Breeding braved the MAC counter to test their intimidatingly technicolored Barbie line and lived to tell the tale.

Emi at Letters to Marc Jacobs shows the designer her feet, pleads for wide shoe equality.

If I tried to rock a pair of $4 PVC leggings, I would probably look enough like a small, flamboyant, gay man to be mistakenly dropped off at a gay bar called the Gothic Asshole like Tobias on Arrested Development, but Queen Michelle over at Kingdom Of Style just rocks them, period.
I know, I hate her too.

My fellow stylish Portlander Catie over at Cuffington weighs in on "the very long shirt vs. the very short dress" debate. I say to avoid any more unnecessary chocha exposure, let's err on the side of very long shirt, shall we?

The only thing I learned how to say in my freshman year French class was "I am a lot of mangoes," so I have no idea what this blog is talking about, but homegirl's got exquisite taste.

She's A Betty has a great post about J. Crew raking in the dough thanks to their terrifying new prices. And I'm not just plugging it because the article refers to me as "smart," although that never hurts.

Ambika over at The Fray discusses how Amelie changed her life. Surely not as much as Mr. Nanny changed mine.

Friday, March 09, 2007

How To Wear A Scarf Without Looking Like An English Teacher*

*With apologies to English teachers.

So, a long, long time ago, a very lovely blogger over at Beurre et Pain (a delicious food blog--definitely go there if you're looking to gain some weight) asked me a very good question: How do you wear a scarf without looking like an English teacher?

Yes, the scarf (and we're talking about silk scarves here, not their warm fuzzy cousins, which trend more toward science teachers) is a risky accessory indeed. One wrong fold or drape and you could end up looking like this:

It's never a good thing when your fashion statement causes people to cross the street in order to avoid being given a stern lecture on appropriate comma usage.

So to Beurre et Pain and everyone else in the entire world who now gets to look at detailed pictures of my face (good god where is my valium?), here are some other options for your scarf, which may or may not help you, but hey, at least I got to play dress up. To create all of the following looks, I used a medium -sized square silk scarf straight from my dealer.

First up, we have the fairly classic scarf-as-headband:

What I love about this one is you can vary the level of subtlety depending on how wide you fold the scarf (just fold it to the desired size and tie it under your hair). It can either be a nice little shot of color holding your hair back, or you can create a really wide headband and tease the top of your hair up like eight feet (that's what I was going for but I ended up settling for a couple inches) and wear huge sunglasses for a more dramatic 1960's effect.

Next, ah yes, French peasant chic:

Folding your scarf into a triangle and tying it around your head may have dusty connotations (like, as in actually dusting, and as in boring--god I'm clever), but as long as it's a cute scarf and you're not wearing ratty sweatpants and carrying a duster, I swear this can work. And yes, French peasants totally wore Coach scarves.

Try tying one around your ponytail:

Sweet jesus when did I get the same scary hair tendrils as Ed Norton's girlfriend in American History X? Time to make a hair appointment, I guess. Some people get their hair done every six weeks; I wait til I resemble a neo-nazi. But besides that little problem, the scarf is cute, right?

Here's the Jack Sparrow/Lindsay Lohan special:

I love this one for summer. Let your hair down and fold the scarf in a triangle, then tie it straight across your forehead, knotting it in the back. Add gold teeth and goatee for the Jack Sparrow; huge aviators, trendy peace sign and coked out stare for the Lohan. Or maybe not.

One morning about a year ago, I was struggling to fold my scarf right, and when my boyfriend offered to help I found out that although he has no idea how to tie a tie, he can expertly prepare a gangsta-style headscarf. I chose not to press the matter, but here's a picture of his work:

As Lucky magazine would put it: "this is delightfully gangmember-y." And just so you know, that is so not a gang sign; it stands for Winona. Yep, that's my name so don't wear it out. Intimidated? I thought so.

What I've found in my scarf experience is that it's all about context. For example, if you tie a scarf loosely around your neck while wearing a collared button-down shirt, subtle flower print rayon skirt, clogs, and your hair in a bun, you're gonna have some English teacher issues (actual English teachers, again, please refer to the apologies section above).

But, if you throw on a menswear vest and keep your hair a little messy, the look is suddenly more "funky" than "Faulkner" (as in Faulkner, William, read to page 40 by Monday).

Also, if the scarf is long enough, they look great weaved through the belt loops of pants or wrapped and tied around a simple dress. But there's no way I'm posting a close-up of my waist, sorry.

And last but not least, a super-easy and super-foolproof way to showcase a cute scarf is to tie it to your handbag:

It's very hard for a bag to look like an English teacher. Problem. Solved.

Now, I know what you're thinking: My goodness, how did she afford such an elaborate photo shoot?? I mean, a dirty door as a background, distracting shadows, really bad lighting--I do hope she's established a paypal donation account of some sort for us to help her offset these huge productions costs!

Totally getting that set up, don't you worry.

p.s. Even though I probably killed my credibility somewhere between flashing gang signs and featuring "The Lohan," if you have any other scarf needs, like more specific instructions or to see the one I used or more scarf options (although I have a hunch it's all downhill from here) or whatever, leave a comment and I'll get right to it.
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