Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I know what boys like.

Kick off your heels, girls. It turns out the blisters and sore arches aren’t worth it after all – guys aren’t going to like you any better if you’re standing at a bar three inches taller than usual.

Curious to know what guys actually want to see girls wear, I sat down with my friend Sean and grilled him for his token male perspective. I would like to take this opportunity to defend that Sean is not an asshole. He’s just, you know, a guy and I asked him to be candid.

Also, before anyone gets into a girl power, we-don’t-dress-for-male-attention tizzy, allow me to preface with this: I know I am blithely ignoring the homosexual demographic as well as those rare males that do, in fact, understand fashion and respect a girl who can pull off drop waists and fur coats.

Let’s not go on and on about how there’s more to people than just looks and it’s all dependent on personal taste and yada yada yada. All that stuff is for another day. For right now, I’m strictly talking stereotypical heterosexual lust.

Anyways, back to that thing about ditching high heels. Sean reports that guys “can’t tell the difference and it’s annoying to hear you complain about your feet hurting. It’s not worth it. Ever.” So there you have it. Scoop up some flats.

“Things that take attention away from your face are bad, but maybe that’s because I’m easily distracted. Dressing like you’re clearly trying to impress someone, like you want everyone to think you have money is no good,” he says.

So constantly shopping for the latest trends and spending hours putting together the perfect outfit isn’t doing anything to help find a boyfriend? According to my friend, not really

“Girls really feel like we care about their clothes but as long as they don’t look like Pippi Longstocking or they’re showing off their lady lumps, we don’t notice.” Oh. Ok, then.

As for beauty and hygiene, there aren’t a whole lot of surprises. “I don’t want to know that there’s a lot of makeup and you look a fake color,” Sean says. “Pounds of caked on makeup isn’t pretty. Shower before class, I know when your hair is greasy.

If you’re headed out to an evening soiree, it turns out wearing the tightest, shortest dress you can find doesn’t mean you’re going home with someone. By night, Sean recommends that girls should “Look approachable. Wear something fitted but not so tight you can see everything. I don’t want to see it all before I’m ready to see it. I mean I don’t walk around with my underwear hanging out. It’s better to be more conservative than too loosy goosy.”

While trends are completely lost on the average male specimen, their carnal desires pay the most attention to how things look on a girl’s bod. “Don’t try to fit into things that clearly don’t fit – know what works on your body,” he says.

By day, Sean says to wear something casual but not loose and baggy. “You still want to look feminine, not like a dude.”

Well, sorry to break this to you Sean, but New York Magazine’s fashion blog, The Cut, reported this week in a post titled, “Go Ahead and Get Fat Next Fall,” that baby doll tent dresses are going to be all the rage next season. So at least you won’t have to worry about seeing anything you’re not ready for.

There's a dichotomy between the fashion industry and sex. No one wearing a pair of harem pants or shoulder pads is trying to get catcalled by construction workers anytime soon. But why is that? Why are the trends considered most fashion-forward also completely repulsive to the average heterosexual male?

Is it a class thing? Is blatant sexuality something of the lower class? God forbid a high-end designer creates something that looks like it could be marketed to a hooker. Or is it because half of the industry elites were weird and awkward while they were growing up and never felt comfortable with sexuality?

Sure, sex sells. But when it comes to fashion, androgyny is a goal. After all, we’re talking about an industry that routinely sends boyish, reproductive-organ-deprived models down the runway, usually wearing something that no guy would ever want their girlfriend to wear.

So I guess a girl has to decide which is more important – dressing to attract or dressing for self-satisfaction.

As for my own theory on what to wear to draw attention? Well, I have a firm psychological belief that people are hard wired to like those that care about their own happiness first. Wear what makes you feel like a hot piece –whether that’s a slut-tastic mini dress or an oversized sweatshirt. No guy is going to enjoy perpetually answering, “You look fine,” if you repeatedly try to impress him and ask if something makes you look fat.

So listen to Sean, don’t listen to Sean. If it sounds like you’re wearing exactly what he likes though, let me know – I’ll give you his number.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bundle Up

If I was a guy, I think this is how I would dress for the snowpocalypse. Furry hat, plaid, rugged bag and Hunter boots. Perfect. Thanks to The Sartorialist for snapping this man.

Also, it's still snowing in Pittsburgh. This is getting ridiculous. The sidewalks still aren't cleared from a week and a half ago. I just want to be able to wear regular shoes again!

Top 10 of Fashion Week 2010

It’s New York Fashion Week, ladies and gentleman — which means the fashion world’s glitterati (redundant?) have congregated in New York for eight crazy days and nights to celebrate and preview the completion of the Fall/Winter 2010 lines. Tomorrow the festivities will end, and legions of editors will jump on a plane and head over to England for London Fashion Week. It’s a rough life, keeping up with all this fashion, but somebody’s got to do it.

Attempting to summarize everything that’s happened thus far at New York Fashion Week in this modest corner of The Pitt News is essentially an impossible task, but sometimes a girl has to put on her lipstick and try, right? So here we go, my top 10 of Fashion Week 2010.

1. Alexander McQueen, R.I.P.: In one of the most tragic starts to NYFW possibly ever, Alexander McQueen, maker of all the things elegantly edgy, was found dead in his home last Thursday. Reports say it was suicide. Why is it that the most brilliant minds are also the most tortured? McQueen, you are a legend and will be forever missed.

2. Relocation, relocation, relocation: Sadly, this will be the last year the Fashion Week tents will be pitched in Bryant Park. Starting in December, the shows will venture over to Lincoln Center. Guess the designers on “Project Runway” can’t repeat, “I just want to make it to Bryant Park” anymore. “I just want to make it to Lincoln Center” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

3. Who invited you?: Generally, Fashion Week is for the editorial elite and die-hard fans of fashion. This year, however, a new demographic attempted to slip its way past the velvet ropes. Everyone’s favorite pop cultural phenomenon (but really, aren’t they a little two months ago?), the cast of the Jersey Shore, was rumored to have requested fashion show tickets. Newsflash, my Seaside Heights darlings, unless Carolina Herrera decides that Bumpits are the next vision of elegance, you aren’t getting in anywhere that matters.

4. Beyond the clothes: Anyone who’s managed to catch an episode of “Kell on Earth,” Bravo’s brilliant new series about fashion public relations mogul Kelly Cutrone, knows that it takes a whole lot more than clothes to make a fashion show work. The presentations have to create an atmosphere — the lights, the runway, the goodie bags — all have to be on-point. One of the week’s big production winners for me was Erin Wasson x RVCA, who showed in a carpet and furniture store. The models were serenaded by a live performance from Yeasayer, whose quirky international-tinged sounds were the perfect pairing for Wasson’s hip beret-topped T-shirt and legging looks. If you haven’t listened to Yeasayer, and you’re looking for something new, I highly recommend checking out their new album appropriately titled Odd Blood.

5. Velvet Revolver: Fashionista blogger Britt Aboutaleb wrote “A Rant on the Proliferation of Velvet” yesterday and I couldn’t agree more. Velvet, unfortunately, has become one of the runaway trends of Fall 2010. Now, I haven’t worn the stuff since my days of Tuesday night cotillion back in middle school, and I hadn’t really planned on purchasing any swathes of the unflattering fabric anytime soon. Aboutaleb says the fabric “looks cheap — and I don’t mean inexpensive,” and I’m right there with her. While I frequently have a softening toward trends I hate in the beginning, I’m not sure if my opinion will budge on this one.

6. Fashionably early: Perhaps the most shocking move of NYFW was Marc Jacobs’ show starting five minutes early. Known for sending his models down the runway up to two hours late, Marc pulled it together and got things going in record time. There was a slew of fur-trimmed coats, a penchant for cutouts and a shimmery cardigan that I absolutely must have.

7. Alexander Wang: If you’ve ever worn an oversized grey T-shirt, torn jeans and a black beanie, you have Alexander Wang to thank. The designer revolutionized casual-hipster-cool, but this season he did something a little different. To largely mixed reviews, Wang debuted a line of uncharacteristically buttoned-up suit fabrics. He made some peculiar proportion choices, showing cropped blazers over corsets and velvet boots. While the risk factor is admirable, his best strides were when he stuck to monochromatic knits and leather pieces.

8. Haiti Relief: Because the fashion world never turns down an opportunity to do something charitable on a big scale, Naomi Campbell hosted “Fashion for Relief Haiti,” a show that benefited the earthquake relief efforts. Model Agyness Deyn got a little too excited about the endeavor because she fell not once but twice during her stroll down the runway. Oops.

9. High buns, matte nails and nude faces: Good news girls. If you don’t plan on having time to put top coat on your nails or wash your hair next semester, don’t worry about it! Hit those snooze buttons because low-maintenance beauty is here to stay. Rag & Bone and BCBG models walked with clean faces. Ruffian, Behnaz Sarafpour and Catherine Malandrino pulled hair into super-high knots, and matte nails were all over the place. Rest up, ladies.

10. Alice Ritter: After clicking through more shows than I’d like to admit (God bless and its commitment to posting every show faster than you can click your Louboutin heels), I’ve settled on French-born Alice Ritter as one of my favorites. Her blend of plaid, stripes and tweeds are exactly what I want to turn to every fall.

To all the magazine editors teetering around New York’s icy sidewalks, I commend you. Nina Garcia, I hear you wiped out on the way to a show. Don’t worry about it, girlfriend. I haven’t been a vision of grace in the midst of Snowpocalype 2010, either. I’d much rather be trying to crash Charlotte Ronson’s fashion show than pulling on my decidedly unglamorous snow boots and trudging to class. I guess we can’t have everything.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

RIP Alexander McQueen

Back when I was on London over the summer, my mom and I popped into Harvey Nichols for a bit of retail lusting. Perhaps the most treacherous moment of this unaffordable experience was bumping into (literally, they were on a stand that was four feet tall and I'm clumsy) Alexander McQueen's skull booties. I don't think I've ever wanted a pair of shoes more. Unfortunately, I was about £1000 short.
Alexander McQueen, your life was too short. RIP my friend, knowing that you made a lot of beautiful things that made a lot of people happy.

Monday, February 8, 2010

OK, so is anyone else obsessed with this commercial?

Adore it.
Anyways, I was out taking pictures yesterday and my bestie realized her purse (Urban Outfitters. So cute, no?) would have been perfect:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Woop, woop: H+T featured in IFB's weekly roundup!

links a la mode

The Love/Hate Relationship With Fashion

Edited by Debutante Clothing

I’m always complaining about going out to fashion events by myself – I just don’t have many friends that are into fashion. While some people think fashion is frivolous and contributes nothing to the world, others are curating museum exhibits featuring 20th century clothing. This week’s links made me think about the love/hate camps in fashion. Starting with Grit and Glamour’s post on bloggers getting backlash from fashion insiders, Houndstooth + Tortoiseshell’s refreshingly funny admission of Tavi envy, or Fab Lab’s hate of people who hate. But there is some love in sight – British Style Bloggers reminds us to look in the mirror and love ourselves. Enjoy!

Note from Editor : Please be sure to check out the IFB Conference at NYFW : Evolving Influence

Links à la Mode: February 4th

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Shopping is best when done as a solitary experience

I can’t watch movies with other people. At least movies that aren’t “The Hangover” or “Miss Congeniality.” Any movie that’s even the slightest bit more highbrow I have to watch alone. If other people are around, I can’t focus on what I’m watching. I get obsessively preoccupied with other people’s reactions and worry about their reactions to my reactions.

For example, if my fellow viewer laughs at a mediocre line, then I feel like I have to laugh so he or she won’t feel stupid. I wish I could say that this tendency is some grand personality component that has to do with validating other people’s emotions, but it’s probably just insecurity.

I much prefer watching movies on my own. I can laugh when I feel like it and get teary without feeling awkward about it. I can get fully absorbed into the mise-en-scènes or whatever mumbo-jumbo film professors like to go on and on about.
Similar to my movie-watching tendencies are my habits as a consumer. I can only go shopping by myself.

Moseying around stores with friends is fun and all — especially if you just want to drive sales associates crazy and browse your way through an entire rack of sunglasses without any intention of buying a pair — but when it comes to hardcore shopping, I have to be alone.

Trust me, you wouldn’t want to be around when I have my sights set on a wardrobe overhaul. It’s not something you want to witness.

This is how my shopping experience goes: Step one is caffeination. The most integral part of the shopping experience, a strong cup of coffee is what separates the shop-till-you-find-it from the check-one-store-and-leave.

So I get to the mall, my caffeine buzz at full-throttle and head to the stores I can’t afford. Looking at $500 cardigans that don’t have missing buttons and loose threads refines my taste and makes it less likely that I’ll buy a lot of crap later on.

Once I’ve successfully ended my cravings for polyester blends, I head to the budget retailers. This is where it gets ugly.

I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to all sales associates who have ever had to work in the fitting room on a day that I’ve entered their store. I know, I’m a huge pain in the ass. I’ve worked in retail and I am, in fact, my own worst nightmare.

I head in and slowly comb my way through the racks. I only pick up what I’m instantly drawn to and make commentary for everything I see. “Are people really still wearing t-shirts that proclaim they love their boyfriend? Who would buy anything that looks this cheap? This dress would make Kate Moss look obese.” I get annoyed with the obnoxiously giggly teenagers and people who block the mirror while I’m trying to decide if I can pull off hats.

By the time I reach the back of the store, I realize that I’m holding four black t-shirt dresses and scold myself for not thinking outside the box. So I return to the front of the store and start over. This time, I convince myself to look more closely at everything and pick up stuff I don’t already own in three versions.

I head to the dressing room where the poor girl who’s working back there explains that, “Sorry, you can only take in six pieces at a time, but I’ll hold these extra 12 things out here for you.” So I head in, invariably hate everything and make my way through the massive pile of stuff that I mistook for necessities.

Sometimes I won’t like anything, but I feel so guilty about trying so much on that I’ll keep a few things, tell the sales girl I love them and then hang them back up myself.

I then circle through the store again and make sure there is nothing left to try on (there isn’t) and start digging through the accessories. At this point, if someone has braved accompanying me on my shopping trip, she grumpily taps her foot by the door and repeatedly checks the time on her cell phone.

Shopping alone is simply better. I can focus, and other people don’t convince me to buy things I don’t need.

I tried to research my theory that shopping alone affects how much money you spend and what you buy, but I didn’t have any luck. So if any grad school out there would like to give me a full scholarship to study shopping behaviors, consider this my personal statement.