Friday, January 25, 2013

at the corner of plaid and stripes

Button-down shirt: Dickies
Long-sleeved shirt: Entour (?)
Jeans: Levi's 501
Clogs: Troentorp

I'm not sure what prompted me to covet a striped shirt a few years ago - maybe it was watching Beetlejuice or some other Tim Burton film. In any case, I got it in my head to add a bit of striping to my wardrobe. After some searching, I found this shirt at Hot Topic, which an interesting store on account of straddling both the mainstream and the counterculture. My impression is that Hot Topic isn't big with those in the real scenes...yet they must be doing something right, because they're still going strong - for example, in a local mall. As I see it, Hot Topic may be commercial, but if that means keeping the lights on for those delicious little subcultures like goth, punk, and more recent developments like emo, well, a bit of broad capitalism is a small price to pay to introduce the kids to something beyond the usual mainstream pop. There's an indie heart beating beneath the gloss; I think it's just not a matter of taking on a more-alternative-than-thou attitude.

But back to the outfit: I just love how the stripes provides a contrasting pop to the monochromatic black. It's fun, a bit edgy, but doesn't induce migraine headaches from pattern overload.

Shirt: Pendleton's
Jeans: Levi's 511
Clogs: Sanita

Ok, so I look like I've suddenly found myself in an L.L. Bean catalog and am none too thrilled about it. But I assure you that, really, I am smiling. The wool shirt is from the legendary Pendleton's, and a recent acquisition from my local purveyor of retro goodness, My Baby Jo. It fits my general colour rule - black with sanguinary colours - and is also warm and comfy. And somehow, it manages to end up on the stylish side of rugged, an impression helped by not having the facial hair (or head of hair) of a mountain man. The clogs, of course, don't quite suit the look. But I didn't really want to wear shoes, it was raining out, and my beat-up Sanitas were really the only shoes that quite fit the relaxed comfort I wanted.

Besides, I never really wanted to be a fashion blogger. I admit it. I wanted to be a lumberjack.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

moody clothes and the foot's ball

Here’s an interesting idea in dynamic clothes by Dutch interactive technology design firm Studio Roosegaarde. Designed by studio founder Daan Roosegaarde and his team, the clothes consist of high-tech e-foils that can alter their opacity based on “close and personal encounters” with other people. Their first line, Intimacy leaves little to the imagination when transparent while Intimacy 2.0 is more strategic. Click here for video.

What do you think? Are the Intimacy dresses representative of a “sensual play of disclosure” as Roosegaarde believes, or just a gimmick? Would you wear clothes like this?

Of course, the flirty Intimacy dresses are purposely charged with sexuality, but what if the idea of mutable fashion arose in other ways? Apparently, that’s just the sort of work going on at the Heriot Watt School of Textile and Design, a leading textile design center located in Edinburgh that dates back to 1883. Check out this BBC news video showcasing amazing ideas such as – to pick one of several – textiles that change colour with body temperature. And if you want to read about other fascinating work in the idea of color-changing fibers, National Geographic has an interesting article worth reading.

There’s some fun to be had in imagining the possibilities of wearing clothes that can change with one’s mood or some other variable. Have you ever heard of those gadgets that aim to help single people meet? The idea is that when two people with similar interests (compatible profiles, I suppose) are in proximity to one another they get an alert and, in theory, can meet up? Imagine the same thing only instead of a device beeping madly your clothes change colour. Or how about temperature-sensitive clothes? When out in the sun, your clothes turn white to reflect sunlight while indoors you can be as goth as you want to be. The mind, my friends…it boggles with the possibilities. So what kind of interactive clothes would you want for yourself if the technology and textiles were available?

Note: Images borrowed from the Studio Roosegaarde website under fair use for illustrative purposes only. If the copyright owner wishes me to remove them, I will, of course, do so.


When my wife and I got back into the swing of things by resume dance lessons – focusing exclusively on swing (natch) – the grand return came with pain in the ball of my foot. Fortunately, the pain did go away, especially when I returned to my usual sandals. It would, however, come back only when I put on the dance shoes or similarly flat, flat, flat footwear. This led to using silicone gel pads that helped prevent the pain from arising but, alas, were very awkward to wear and keep in place. Then my wife perused one of the Footsmart catalogs we periodically receive and discovered these plantar cushions. Although I have to test them out at dance class, I’ve been wearing them with my flat-sole shoes with great results. They’ve made wearing my Converse and Demonia’s more comfortable for long periods of time.  I can even claim worry-free comfort with by wearing them with my Troentorp Audubons clogs which, due to the apparent fact that they are a size too big and thus require wearing socks to avoid chafing, This is how they wear, with a nice big pad under the ball of the foot:

I know, I know – not exactly glamourous fashion. But – and even those dear readers of mine who are still indestructible whippersnappers should take note, lest the future be painful – I share this because these cushions helped me forestall more permanent foot pain while enjoying shoes that I might otherwise have had to set aside except for the occasional brief forays. And I would hate for you to suffer too when an easy solution is within reach. So, there you go.

Friday, January 11, 2013

bourbon outfitter

Once more into the breach, dear readers, as 2013 gets well under way. I hope you enjoyed wonderful holidays, whatever your celebration (or non-celebration) of choice, and wish you all the best for the New Year. And now…

The people have spoken – well, all two of them – and the results are in: outfit posts. I still intend to bring interviews, features, and anything else comes to mind, but this year I resolve to bring you outfit posts on a semi-regular basis. I hope you’ll bear with me as I get work the glitches out - I’m not much of a photographer – and do a little more housekeeping around the blog over the next few weeks.

By popular request, then, let’s do this thing with the year’s first outfit post. Alas, no bourbon was involved in the making of this post, despite the title. That’s not false advertising, by the way. That’s just what it takes to pun, sometimes.





Shirt: Ring of Fire "Irvington"
Jeans: Reuse "Protect"
Clogs: Troentorp "Audubon"

The weather’s been chilly here in LA, which prompted me to go on a hunt for long-sleeved shirts – unsurprisingly, most of my wardrobe is suited to the more typical warm and sunny SoCal weather. This shirt from brand Ring of Fire is one of several pieces acquired from beneath the tree, initially selected for my wish list because of the Western-inspired detailing and pearl buttons. I also favor comfort and convenience in what I wear, but this shirt demonstrates that it is possible to get structural and ornament as well. I only had a picture to go by in choosing this shirt, and I’m really glad it turned out so well. Returns, as we all know, are such a hassle.

The Reuse jeans, you might recall from a past post, are notable not only for being stylish, but for being made from recycled textile waste in China. Eco-jeans, yeah! And the clogs are from a venerable Swedish clogmaker, Troentorp, whose designs consistently strike a balance between the traditional and the contemporary, resulting in a timeless look.

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you much about the belt buckle. I can’t even remember where I bought it. But it consistently is a compliment-getter. And it’s not the most garish buckle I own, by far. The trick to wearing it, as with any particularly attention-getting buckle, is to avoid monochromatic outfits in which the eye has nowhere to go but straight to the buckle and, ahem, associated region. Belt buckles, if you please, not cod pieces. Words of wisdom, there.

I’ll feature more of my wardrobe’s new arrivals in future posts. In the meantime, what new fashion goodies did you get – either as a gift from others or a gift to yourself? Leave a comment or, if you have a blot post, share the link!


Monday, January 7, 2013

poll extended

Happy New Year, everyone. This isn't a regular post, but just a reminder about this here poll, which I accidentally set to closing yesterday. Thanks to the one person who answered the call and voted. Whoever you are, you rock.

As for the rest of you - and while this ain't the LA Times fashion blog, I know you're out there - please rock too by by voting for the kind of feature you'd like to see more of in the coming year. I plan on kicking things up around here, and I'd love to get a better idea for the kind of features that interest you most.

Thanks! See you again on Friday!