I’ve been looking at pictures of High Streets for half an hour, trying to figure out the U.S. equivalent. It looks like we sort of do–a lot of towns have cute semi-walkable “historic districts” and even more towns have long streets with lots of useful stores, though we often have huge parking lots between the stores and the actual street. But fashion-wise, it seems like shopping malls are the closest thing. That’s where H&M and Forever 21 and Hot Topic would be, as well as smaller niche chains, and in really nice malls you’d have designer labels as well.
I get most of my fashion either online or at craft fairs, but when I need basics I tend to use Target or J.C. Penney or, every once in a while, Dress Barn. So the top is J.C. Penney and the bottom is Target basics. I’m trying not to bitch about how little quality goth clothing there is, and how little of it is truly plus sized, but that’s a thing. And someday I will rant about it. The storm is coming . . .
There’s what I love to look at and what actually works with my life and budget. My favorite realistic brand these days is City Chic. Their stuff is decently made, fits me well and is basic without being totally boring.
My favorite brand/designer to look at is Alexander McQueen, may his soul rest in peace. I love his dark, fantastical style. I don’t usually go in for haute couture but McQueen proves for me that fashion really can be art.
Working Title/Artist: Alexander McQueen: EnsembleDepartment: Costume InstituteCulture/Period/Location: HB/TOA Date Code: Working Date: Digital Photo File Name: McQ1110_Cab_curious_SS99_Look42_023 1 f2.tif Online Publications Edited By Steven Paneccasio 10/28/13
Photo for the New Yorker Magazine, Goings on About Town, installation of the Alexander McQueen exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum, New York, New York, Martine Fougeron, New Yorker, art, fashion
I can’t think of one outfit I’m ashamed of or embarrassed by. I guess some people look back at old photos with a “what was I thinking?!!?!” attitude and some goth and alternative types are a bit embarrassed by their more “normal” pictures, but I don’t feel that way at all.
I, like most people, was really insecure about my looks when I was younger. I worried a lot that I wasn’t thin enough, not cool enough, didn’t fit in, didn’t stand out, whatever. I grew up before digital cameras so I don’t have a ton of pictures of those days, but when I look back now I wonder what I was so insecure about. I would still wear some of those outfits.
Since I don’t have any shame shots to post, I thought I’d show you
what I looked like before I got so old and fat. Again, I came up before digital cameras, so these are pictures of actual photos I keep in a box in my basement. Apologies for the quality; these were the best I could do.
My head must be larger than standard. I love a good hat and would love to rock a fancy Victorian number or a Roaring Twenties cloche, but most hats don’t fit properly on my head. They either squeeze my head or sit too high and try to fall off. And then there’s the hair issue–my hair is naturally curly and must not be touched once it’s finally dried into a nice shape. Pulling hats on and off makes for an unpleasant amount of frizz. (Sure, goths are known for big, messy backcombed styles, but a halo of frizz is just not the same thing.) So much as I love hats, I rarely wear them, relying on hooded jackets and shirts instead.
But enough of the whining. I do have a proper sun hat, and here it is. I took both bow-front and bow-back pictures, but it normally goes in the back.
This one was hard because, in a way, I don’t believe in mismatched outfits. At least not in the way I think the challenge suggests. To me, a mismatched outfit is one that is just not working in some way–the colors are close but not perfect, or the shoes or jewelry just aren’t popping right. Mismatching is a subtle, personal thing that doesn’t translate well in pictures.
What we usually call mismatches are really off, with patterns or colors that really clash or with radically different styles smashed together into one outfit. But I like that stuff a lot. In my opinion, really big mismatches have left the land of traditional fashion, blown right through the “slightly off suburbs” and settled right into Awesome Town. Stripes and polkadots? Totally. Leather bra with khaki slacks? Ooh, daring. Baseball cap and ball gown? Go for it. Not everything is for me, but everything works for somebody.
So I turned to Polyvore and put together some things that look crazy together, but part of me thinks they just might be crazy enough to work. I’d love to hear (or see) the “mismatch” you have a passion for.
It’s been a few days. Sorry. I think I mentioned I sucked at anything daily. I got distracted by my kids’ spring break and my awesome bathroom painting project (which I’ll show you soon) but I’m back on track to finish this challenge thing.
And without further ado, let’s talk shoes. I kind of do love these shoes–they’re cool and amazingly comfortable–but they obviously aren’t my usual style. I bought them for my youngest sister’s wedding. It was an outdoor summer wedding at the Flamingo hotel in Las Vegas, and her only request was that everyone “wear something colorful.” I’m not sure if the navy blue dress I wore counts as colorful but the shoes definitely qualify.
Now both the dress and the shoes sit in the back of my closet unused, but they bring back happy memories. This sister was the last of my siblings to get married and the second to have an Elvis impersonator officiate. I think Elvis might be a good luck charm–my two sibs who went with traditional ministers are divorced now, but both Elvis marriages are still going strong. If Mr. Robot and I ever renew our vows, we’d better get an Elvis involved. You know, just in case.
Since the next challenge is shoes I love but never wear, I’m taking “favorite” to mean the shoes I wear the most. I mentioned that I wear cushiony house shoes for my plantar fasciitis . . . I bought these shoes specifically for that.
They’re not much to look at but they’re soft and quick to slip on and off so I wear them pretty much every day at home. These Skechers have seen my feet through some hard times. I’d like to pretend I don’t wear them outside but sometimes I totally do. Especially when I’m tired or in a hurry.
So there you have it. I promise the next day’s shoes will be much cuter.
A couple years ago my friend Tammy went on a Mediterranean cruise and was nice enough to bring me some souvenirs, including this bracelet from Turkey. It’s supposed to protect me from the Evil Eye. I’ve had reasonably decent luck since then so it must be working, right?
You’ll notice it has a little elephant charm, which my mom would consider bonus good luck. She always had a small collection of lucky elephants, all with their trunks pointed up “so the luck won’t run out.”
I don’t much believe in lucky talismans but I am lucky to have good friends who bring me pretty things.
A lot of goths are all about the boots. Whether it’s stompy buckled platforms or prim Victorian heels, we will love and wear those boots every. single. day. Doesn’t matter how hot the summer or icy the winter, we won’t sacrifice our style for comfortable footwear. I support that. I get it. I used to be like that until I got old.
Just kidding, I’m not that old. Well, I am that old, but it was plantar fasciitis that made me compromise on shoes, not age. A couple years ago I developed this wicked heel pain that lasted for months and months, and it turns out the main cure is lots of rest, stretching your feet, and wearing sensible shoes like, all the time. Even around the house. So my sexy boots and classy heels drifted to the back of the closet in favor of soft house slippers and well-cushioned flats.
On top of that, I really do hate to be hot. Back in my twenties and even most of my thirties I’d just deal with it, but lately I just can’t. My feet (and the rest of me) need to breathe, dammit!
Oh my gods! I’ve become my mom! She’s lived in Birkenstock sandals and Dr. Scholl’s originals since I was little, and I always thought they were a middle-aged mom’s idea of hippie sandals. I shouldn’t have rolled my eyes; now I’m a middle-aged mom who spends all summer in pretty much the same thing. Only in black. Because goth.
Also, my toenails are terrible. It’s not actually summer yet so I’ve kind of ignored them of late.
The top sandal is Earth Origins (Tracy style) and the bottom is Minnetonka something-or-other. If you squint real hard and like me a lot they can pass for tribal goth, I guess. But I still feel old. 😉
How about you? Are you part of the “boots only army” or do your feet need to breathe? Anything else you’ve adapted or changed with age?