Thursday, March 29, 2012

what to wear...

Top to bottom: unknown silver cuff, Mango white wedges, Suno embroidered top, Sam Edelman boots, Shagreen iPhone cases via Bergdorf Goodman, random streetstyle photo, Balenciaga leather jacket, Urban Outfitters mint jeans, Suno FW 2012 runway

All images via my Pinterest.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

stella jean

The entire spring collection at Stella Jean is Style Porn approved. Bright tribal prints and prim, 50's silhouettes are an unexpected but pleasing combination, especially when styled with basics like button-downs, slim pants, and vintage t-shirts. I don't know that much about the designer, besides the fact that she has roots in the Caribbean and currently resides in Rome. But I do know that I'd swoop on any one of these looks, any day of the week.

Monday, March 26, 2012


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wearing: vintage sweater and thrifted silk top, Gap jeans (old), thrifted shoes, cheapo sunglasses, handmade necklaces, thrifted bag

Thanks for the thoughtful comments on my last post. It seems that lots of people share a mix of extreme alarm and a "but what can I do about it?" attitude when it comes to exploitation in the textile and apparel industry. It's nice to know I'm not alone in my ambivalence. I'm not kidding though, I don't plan on shopping at any chain stores with a penchant for slave labor. This list includes but is not limited to: eff 21, H&M, Zara, Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy. To the thrift stores I go! And once in awhile, if I'm lucky, a Barney's Warehouse sale. Although as some of you correctly pointed out, expensive does not necessarily mean the clothing was made under any less exploitative circumstances. So let's just say my aim is to be a more informed consumer.

Speaking of vintage, here I am in pictures from this past weekend just lolling about in a drop-dead amazing vintage sweater that I found in Sacramento last summer. It's so fantastically blue blood I feel a little bit richer just for having worn it.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

do you know who died making your clothing?

This is a subject that I'm surprised hasn't come up more often in the fashion blogging world. While we're all obsessed with getting our hands on high fashion knockoffs 3.2 seconds after fashion week, very few seem interested in talking about the working conditions that made these cheap, plentiful items from retailers like H&M, Forever 21, and Zara possible. The fact that you can buy a button-down shirt or a pair of pants for dirt cheap is inarguably awesome for us, the end consumer. But I think we should all be questioning whether the shortcuts that must be taken in terms of factory safety and environmental precautions are really worth it. Because the fact is, your shirt may have only cost $14.99, but the human cost of manufacturing that item was much, much higher.

Jezebel ran a story today on factory fires in Bangladesh, the country where most of our "fast fashion" is made. Bangladesh has a bustling garment manufacturing industry, and it's no wonder--they boast some of the lowest wages for garment workers in the world: approximately $43 per month.  In the last five years, nearly 500 garment workers have died in fires caused by faulty wiring, overcrowding, and lack of established safety guidelines. One of the worst single incidents occurred in 2010 at a factory that manufactures clothing for brands like H&M, JC Penney, Gap, and Tommy Hilfiger. If this doesn't remind you of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York in 1911, it should. Especially after you read this chilling detail:

Electrical wiring overloaded by sewing equipment is believed to have sparked the flames in the high-rise building. Dozens of workers, breaking for lunch at a make-shift canteen on the roof, were unable to descend smoke-filled stairwells and were trapped far out of reach of ladder trucks. The building, like most factories in Bangladesh, lacked fire escapes, sprinklers, and other modern safety equipment. As the flames intensified — fueled by piles of clothes and fabric — workers trying to flee said they found at least one of the factory's gates padlocked. Several were forced to fashion ropes from rolls of fabric to attempt to scale down the side of the building. (via ABC News)

Twenty nine people lost their lives that day so we could have those fucking boyfriend jeans for $34.99. If you're not disgusted, you're definitely not paying attention.

Now, here's when I fully admit that despite my lofty, self-important rhetoric, I'm not immune to the lure of FLORAL PANTS FOR $14.99 when I walk into my local H&M. I'd love to say that I'm pledging from here on out to swear off of these stores forever. That I'm going to get my fast fashion fix by hitting up my favorite thrift stores instead. That I'm going to invest in quality pieces instead of always going for instant gratification. I could say all of this, but then I'd probably be lying. I'm a fashion junkie and I don't make a million dollars. H&M and Zara present people like me with a means for indulging ourselves and having 9 pairs of pants to choose from instead of just 3. I don't know if I'm able to separate with that kind of least not cold turkey.

So, as a kind of half-assed alternative, I will pledge to curtail my shopping at these establishments as much as humanly possible. Let's see what I can do with what I've got, and if I need more, I should be saving up for an investment piece anyway. Or combing the local Goodwill for other people's castoffs. Because thanks to fast fashion chains where there's something new that you 'must have' every week, people are getting rid of some good shit.

Now that I've just gone on this diatribe (gee, if you're even still reading I'm obsessed with you), what are your thoughts about fast-fashion? And better yet, where else can we shop for clothing that didn't cost lives to make?! Seriously, I'm asking. I'd love some tips.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

cold beach

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wearing Alice McCall dress from SS 2008, Gap sweater, H&M tights and target socks, Hunter boots, UO utility jacket

So the weather has recently taken a turn for the schizophrenic and given us 6 straight days of rain and wind, which has made this whole spring transition thing slightly complicated. Luckily my Hunter Wellies--which have become the de rigueur footwear for San Franciscans grappling with rain--stand in nicely with short dresses, tights, and socks. I just wish they didn't make my calves sweat so much.

ANYWAY, I'm crazy stoked about this new chair that I snagged for $45 bones off of Craigslist. It needs a little TLC, but doesn't smell like something died in it, so overall it's a major win!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Please excuse my long overdue and unsolicited roundup of Fall 2012 fashion month. Truth be told, I was barely paying attention, but I've diligently spent the last two three nights sifting through the collections and while I came away with a clear sensation of the obvious references--pantsuits! 60's! orange! baroque opulence!--I was also able to pick up on a few trends that were being quietly whispered as opposed to loudly proclaimed. Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Cankles: boots were slouchy in the weirdest places this season--or covered in hair. Either way, this can only mean one thing: ankles are OUT and log legs are IN! (L to R: Givenchy, Moncler Gamme Rouge, Aquilano, Alexander McQueen)

2. Head-to-toe wallpaper prints. See? I knew I was onto something with my grandma couch print pants. Just call me a trend forecaster. (L to R: Sophie Theallet, Anna Sui, Carven, Miu Miu)

3. Powderpuff coats. These guys are all roomy through the shoulders and arms. They came in other colors, too, like the ubiquitous powder blue (as seen at Acne). (L to R: Jil Sander, Antonio Berardi, Lyn Devon, Chloe)

4. Needlepoint. Insert joke about "not your grandma's needlepoint." Because seriously, it's not at all like your grandma's needlepoint. (L to R: Balmain, Dolce & Gabbana, Balmain, Dolce & Gabbana)

5. Wide horizontal stripes on dresses. Slimming schmimming. Who cares if you look like a double wide--these stripes are graphic, bright, and cheery. (L to R: Otswald Helgason, Carven, Victoria by Victoria Beckham, Ohne Titel)

6. Split hems. Such a tiny detail but one that I noticed right away. Looks especially fresh on a slim, cropped cut. I foresee some ill-advised at-home DIY attempts to get this look with a pair of scissors. My pants are quaking in fear. (L to R: Rachel Comey, Rachel Comey, Rebecca Taylor, 3.1 Phillip Lim)

Sunday, March 11, 2012


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The weekend came and went. Time sprang forward. I bought a new fancy toilet seat that closes silently on its hinges. Wardell took a bunch of amazing outfit photos for me and I somehow corrupted the files before I could transfer them to my computer. I didn't do my taxes. Most importantly, I partied with Isabella, who turned three.

Monday, March 5, 2012

here go hell come

IMGP3260 IMGP3266 IMGP3269 IMGP3265 IMGP3274 wearing Michael Michael Kors skirt, vintage sweater, vintage fox fur stole, vintage ring, bracelets, and necklace

Who else is excited for Marni at H&M on Thursday? Now, of all of you who are excited, who is actually going to haul their ass to the closest H&M on Thursday morning and wait outside with some pepper spray and a home made knife to get their hands on some of the oh so rare pieces in the collection? I wish that could be me, but adult responsibilities--and mandatory meetings await me. I may try to zip over there in the afternoon just to check it out, but I have a feeling it will all be gone by then, leaving only broken hangers and maybe a trampled child or two.

Shopping limited edition collections like this is a special kind of hell, but one that I find myself uniquely suited to. I guess I never played sports, so I take out my competitive urges in a retail environment.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

fashion anathema: the thuggie

In what is apparently the bastard offspring of a snuggie, a hoodie, and a tall tee, behold the Thuggie, a "pants optional" (according to the website) garment designed to give the wearer a surefire, completely hormone-free method of birth control. I DO NOT cosign this look (outside of an ironically-themed hipster "thuggie" party OMG GOOD IDEA) but if given a "Would You Rather" involving this and those five finger running shoes I'd go Thuggie all the way and rock that shit with some leggings and Isabel Marant wedge high tops. Done and done.

So, which would you rather? Wear a Thuggie for a week straight, or the five finger running shoes?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

sun bleached

treasure island

wearing LL Bean striped shirt, Acne jacket, UO jeans, vintage bag and shoes

Stuff white people like: going to flea markets just to take photos. Especially when you go with fellow bloggers (Bobby of Lens Caption and Devon of effortlesslii to be exact.) These were all taken on Treasure Island last weekend, which lies right smack dab in the middle of Oakland and San Francisco. I'd never actually been there before, but the monthly Treasure Island Flea market ended up being a must see--if only because it's a much smaller, more reasonably priced cousin of the Alameda Flea Market. And because of the view. We took took photos of the stunning city vista afforded us by an unusually clear day, and Wardell risked life and limb jumping repeatedly in the air so that we could get good shots of him. He's such a trouper.

Clothing note: finally snagged a pair of woven leather flats on Etsy. I heart them long time.