Thursday, January 29, 2009

Boot alors!

I like to think of myself as a pragmatic lover of fashion. I love my stilettos, and they're fab when I'm at work or out for dinner, but you won't catch me in the sky-highs when I'm facing a day jammed with errands. (Neither will you find me in my running shoes -- a comfortable wedge does the's a slippery slope towards sloppy.) An outdoor wedding calls for a stylish flat sandal rather than a skinny heel that will leave you -- literally -- with a sinking feeling. And in the winter, snow boots are a must. Picking your way through the ice with your heels on is a sure-fire way to end up in the ER with a broken hip. And, unless you're Snoop Dogg, it's difficult to make walking with a cane fashionable.

This is a long way of saying...the right shoe for the job. Especially in these economic times -- it's irresponsible not to protect your investment in your footwear. The reality of living in a cold, snowy climate is that you can't wear your cute shoes outside in the winter unless you have a personal car and driver that offers door-to-door service (one can dream). Wear boots! Nothing ruins shoes faster than exposure to water, sand and salt. Get a big work tote and carry your shoes with you.

Along the same lines...tuck your pants into your boots. It's not fashionable when you're trudging through the parking lot, but it's far worse to drag your hem through the muck. I'm a big fan of investing in pieces that last rather than buying disposable clothing. But the "pieces that last" part depends on care and maintenance.

My motto? Look smart, be smart.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Style of the day

Silk dupioni skirt in Golden Cypress (JCrew), heather grey merino wool ribbed crewneck sweater (Jaeger), gold crackle metallic skinny belt (JCrew), black beaded bib necklace (Target - clearance $6.58!), black opaque tights, black patent stacked high heels (Diane von Furstenberg).
I'm loving this skirt with gray, cream, blush and navy.

The First Lady -- Fierce, Fashionable & Feminist

Much has been written these past months about the fashionable stylings of Michelle Obama...her chic look, the accessibility of her style, her statuesque figure. I admit it. I too have been swept up in the discussions about her selection of gowns. At the same time, I've been disappointed that newsmakers seem more interested in her fashion sense than her brain. Candidly, I tried to take a principled stand against the media hoopla, but I can't keep my mouse from gliding over to the teasers to check out the fashion world's take on her choices and clicking to my heart's content.

Ever since I became aware of the pernicious stereotypes about feminists (aka hairy, man-hating lesbians who never wear lipstick) and fashionistas (shallow, nasty dingbats seeking rich husbands to support their shopping habits), I've felt an internal struggle about what I love. How could I be a smart, (mostly) capable wife and mother, a fierce advocate of equality and social justice, a contributor to community improvement, delight in the successful sale-stalking of an item at JCrew AND a lip gloss junkie?

But I'm done feeling guilty.

Here's what I love about our new First Lady -- she is a transcendant role model for women. She's smart as hell, warm, sincere, open and giving. She has shown her commitment to fighting for dignity and respect for military families and the burdens that military wives shoulder for our country. What could be more feminist than that?

She is clearly fiercely protective of her family and enforces rules for creating order, discipline and predictability in her household. She obviously adores her husband, but unlike other, more reverential First Ladies of the past, she has said, "He's a gifted man, but in the end, he's just a man."

Educated at Princeton and Harvard, she's had a successful career in her own right. No one can doubt her strong mind and intellect. No one could question her strength or confidence.

And she loves to shop. She has a taste for the off-the-rack retailers like JCrew and White House/Black Market mixed with the sublime...Narciso Rodriguez, anyone? She loves a good deal. And yes, she also rocks the Jimmy Choos.

How...liberating! But isn't this just what feminism is? Be who you are...don't apologize for it...fight for what you believe with beautiful, in your own way, inside and out.

So, yes, this is a new skirt. Now ask me how I'm going to help change the world.