Archive for July, 2010

yarmulkeFollowing the NY Times opinion piece on veil bans, Martha Nussbaum has followed up with a nice little blurb about religious freedom. Read it if you want to see How different people dressed at a recent White Sox Game !

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Who else is shopping this weekend?  It turns out, I’m not the only one who likes to “catch and release” at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  Nordstrom’s fair return policy means you can buy things and take them back later (within reason  — I have a friend who was scolded for trying to “rent clothes” for returning a worn jacket.) This means you can score your sizes at the beginning of the sale, go home and think about it or try everything on with outfits, and then make up your mind later. Works great for me since I live out of town.
Julie and Jennie are both in Seattle, looking for boots.  They have great taste and know what they like, so check them out.  Julie got three, plans to return two and order her favorite (Frye Jane) in two colors:
 Julie’s Boots

Julie got: Frye 'Jane' Tall Boot, in taupe and in black

Sam Edelman — beautiful, and this over-the-knee look would be amazing on Julie who is Very Tall . . . but return because of heel height? 

Sam Edelman 'Sutton' Over the Knee Boot

Steven by Steve Madden (is  this a BP [teen] Brand?) .  . . Julie probably will return: These hit right at knee bend for me. The leather quality isn’t great–I think these are single-season boots. But I love the 21″ shaft with a flat heel for under $200.. . .

Steven by Steve Madden 'Sabra' Over the Knee Boot, taupe

 Jennie’s Boots

here’s what Jennie picked . . . she’s got a similar boot vibe as Julie, but under-the-knee as opposed to the taller ones.  This makes sense for Jennie, who is a petiter kind of gal. 

Jennie got: "lovely and comfortable" Via Spiga 'Cristie' Riding Boot

Jennie says "the bomb - super comfy even with the heel. " -- Børn Crown 'Yolanda' Mid Calf Boot

Jennie says "not so comfy and while cute, less versatile so goes back." -- Charles by Charles David 'Regiment' Lace-Up Boot

What does Jennie wear her boots with?

I wear the skinny jeans and i wear skirts a lot of the time. I probably wouldn’t wear tall boots with “trousers” but then I don’t generally wear nice work trousers and when I do I have some ankle boots with a heel i wear.  Even if you don’t think you look good in skinny jeans, remember that you don’t have to wear them skin-tight and then, once tucked in, the boot adds the “visual weight” that the boot cut or straight leg would have. [If you aren’t too] hippy – i bet you could wear it well! That said, my friend who also won’t wear skinny jeans just wears the boots under jeans and they look fine, especially the type that have buckle detail around the ankle.

Anyone else?

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Söfft 'Fiorella' Pump, Dark Purple suede. Also available in grey (and black. Which you do not need).

This year, my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale trip was minimalist.  In the past I went in with the attitude of, “that’s a great price, I’ll take it.” Sometimes this veers into a “I’m sure I’ll find a use for it, at that price”  attitude.  These days I’m economizing, set a strict budget, and only wanted purchases that I couldn’t live without.  It helps me to approach a sale with the test: “I love it so much I’d pay twice that.”  I can make do with what I have as far as pants, suits and extra thingies (bras, scarfs, necklaces).  So I was only considering wardrobe-transforming pieces: shoes, maybe a blouse.

I bought three things.  First, Sofft suede pumps (above).  These are so killer comfortable, it’s almost funny. The lady next to me was buying the “Reva” snakeskin-print zippered cage shoe  and practically yelling, “It’s that old lady brand! They are so comfortable! Buy these!” If you wear a lot of heels, or (even more importantly) don’t wear heels because because you think they’re always painful —  Please go try some of this brand.  The heels are not-too-high, but sculpted with angles and curves that make them not-too-clunky.

Franco Sarto 'Stage' Bootie, Smoke-colored Calfskin

I also liked these Franco Sarto booties. Usually I hate heeled booties. I think they look fine under pants, but on their own they have that creepy “WTF high-heeled ankle-less boot/shoe?” vibe. There’s a wrongness about them.  I don’t know if I’ll keep these — I need to try them on with my pants and see how wearable they are.  The heel is 3 1/4, which makes a 9-hour workday feel pretty long. But the smoke color is killer and if they work, they would be a major wardrobe upgrade to all my fall/winter pant looks. 


Burberry Taffeta Down Puffer Coat

I spent quite a bit of time with Classiques Entier Tops, I often find really pretty, flattering tops that go well with any a suit and also work well dressing up jeans or cords.  I didn’t see much I liked that was on sale: a pretty print in a very difficult shade of green was discounted, but much of the purple line was not.  Um, no thanks guys.  I can’t do mandarin collar or that faux-tux-front look at all, which ruled out a bunch.  (Although now I’m looking at the website and see a lot of stuff I missed — maybe Tacoma had a scant selection? ) I tried on a puffy cashmere boatneck sweater that was super cozy but made me look like a purple cashmere boat. But the Classiques Atelier line has totally different stuff online than in the store, so I can’t show you a picture. I ended up with one top (picture coming soon).

What I didn’t buy: No pants, no leather jackets, no skinny jeans, no batwing tunics.  Some jackets were cute, but I’m not in the mood — Seriously I have enough jackets.  In a more flush mood I might have considered this plaid Burberry jacket, which I think is hellishly cute.  But I have a very similar coat in brown that is four years old and doing just fine.   No real incentive to buy the Burberry.

There were a ton of gorgeous boots — Mostly tall ones; very, very few short “Little Black Boot” types.  I will post the Julie and Jennie report soon and we can talk about what a person wears the boots with (skinny jeans? Does that require tunics? Can you just tuck regular jeans into the boots?)  I might go back and see how I feel on a different day (I need to take my kid to get the right size shoes — this is the only time we buy Geox for boys).  For now, I’m happy with the minimalist thing.  Anyone else?

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So Superficial

Two Afghan women wearing chadri

We talk a lot about whether clothing is “superficial.” Well yes, clothes go on the surface of our bodies.  That’s what superficial means. But this doesn’t make clothing irrelevant or pretend.  It is deeply tied to our choices, our sense of self, and what we express to the world.

I’ve been wanting to talk about the Islamic Burqa and the “Burqa bans” in European countries.  But I didn’t know what to say — becuase I don’t like the burqa.  I wish it weren’t compulsory for women to cover themselves, for any reason. But I’m American and deeply believe in religious freedom.  So what do we do?

We don’t ban burqas.  Thankfully, feminist legal scholar Martha Nussbaum analyzes burqa bans in her piece Veiled Threats, in today’s New York Times Opinion Blog . Professor Nussbaum is smart and organized, as always, and I love how she fits it all together with different theories of religious freedom:

Societies are certainly entitled to insist that all women have a decent education and employment opportunities that give them exit options from any home situation they may dislike. If people think that women only wear the burqa because of coercive pressure, let them create ample opportunities for them, at the same time enforce laws making primary and secondary education compulsory, and then see what women actually do.

Former Miss Washington and domestic violence advocate Elyse Umemoto speaking in support of legislative reform

. . . And let’s be sure everyone lives safe from domestic violence and coercion, living in trust that we will be fully protected by the law. 

But what about all that nasty objectification –the world that insists we need a certain kind of body, demonizes age and weight, and promises us power if we show more skin (but exploits us as soon as we do?) Nussbaum says “The way to deal with sexism, in this case as in all, is by persuasion and example, not by removing liberty.” 

So what do we wear when we do that? And how do our clothes do that (or not?) Happily Professor Nussbaum allows for delicious high heels.

Onward. Nordstrom Anniversary Sale starts Friday!


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