Here's some proof that I'm sometimes pretty low maintenance:

I went for the most beautiful hike today, dog in tow (or rather racing through the pond muck ahead of me), without a care for my appearance. I really think it's important for everyone, fashion-obsessed as they might be, to have some time off from worrying about that stuff. You don't need to look perfect all the time. So when I'm off to the forest, it's on with a comfy Alternative Apparel top, faded jeans, and torn up Chucks. Today I accessorized by throwing an '80s scarf around my head to keep my hair out of my face and slinging the trusty camera bag over my shoulder. Tres walking chic. Ahem. Well, at least tres walking. The chic part is debatable.

But honestly, was there even a point in trying to compete with the splendor of my surroundings?

I'm pretty sure it couldn't have been done. Ahh, I love autumn in Massachusetts.

At the moment, I'm planning to attend a party to celebrate the opening of the Achilles Project's new online boutique tomorrow night. It's open to the public, so let me know if you're going to be there and maybe we can meet up! It should be fun and a good place to encounter fashionable Bostonians. I've been meaning to check out the Achilles Project for ages, anyway. New Brahmin has the details about the party if you're interested. I'll try to take some photos and get a real feel for the boutique; after all, even if you can't make it to the brick-and-mortar Boston location, you'll soon be able to shop online. . .

Global Americans

There was an interesting article in today's Boston Globe about photographer Augustus F. Sherman. Sherman was an amateur photographer working at Ellis Island in the early 1900s. He snapped pictures of immigrants of questionable status (those who were in danger of being deported) in their native costume, and the results are both haunting and sartorially pleasing. Globe writer Mark Feeney points out that the photographs seem to depict the people as "types rather than individuals," as if wearing "sartorial passports." To me, it does seem a bit ironic to capture images of prospective Americans facing the possibility of being sent back to their original countries in their native costumes; it feels almost like a sinister mockery of their precarious position.

That said, the pictures are also incredibly inspiring style-wise. The clothing is intricate, beautiful, and not at all costume-y in the sense that its wearers look completely at home in it. I like that a lot of aspects of these outfits can be found on modern day runways; it just goes to show that America, and the world for that matter, is truly a giant melting pot. So for now, let's try to put aside misgivings about the photographer's intentions and just enjoy his work for what it is - a much older, much less spontaneous, yet just as inspiring version of The Sartorialist.

"Three Women from Gaudeloupe"


"Hindoo Boy"

"Ruthenian Woman"

"Gypsy Family"

"Girl from Rattvik, Province of Dalarna, Sweden"

"Gaudeloupean Woman"

"Greek Woman"

What are your favorite pieces in these photos? I'm absolutely loving the Greek woman's jewelry (seriously, wow) and the Gaudeloupean women's ultra-chic combo of printed dresses and turban-like hats.

[Photo source]

New Stuff

Well, grasshoppers, there's nothing like a bit of bio studying to encourage me to lug out my tripod and take a few shots of some new purchases. I realize that terrible lighting, a camera that can't focus on what I want it to, and practically nonexistent editing software do not great photos make, but I did my best.

Yesterday I hit the mall for a few hours, and walked away with two things I was pretty excited about. The first item was a pair of ankle boots. Black buckled leather with chunky 2.5 inch heels I can actually walk in . . . from Payless, of all places. Yes, apparently you can buy actual leather at Payless now. And they're comfy too! I realize higher heels would look much better, but I am a firm believer that constantly falling on my face would be far less attractive.

The second item was clearly fated to be mine. I had been eyeing this dress at Gap since the preview in the spring, and when I popped into the store yesterday, there was one left. In my size, and marked down from $58 to $23. It may not have been my original color choice, but that didn't stop me from gleefully rushing it over to the cash register and paying up. No, it's not flattering, but I like it anyway. Hooray!

Happily, my two buys look quite cute together, if I do say so myself.

Let's ignore the fact that I didn't brush my hair today.

In reality, I'm thinking the dress, with its easy, cozy feel, will be worn with sweater leggings, the trusty combats, and a bomber jacket on frigid winter days.

In this photo, we can ignore both the unbrushed hair and my disturbing facial expression, k? I knew you would understand. . .

Photos of my pretty new blazer are still forthcoming. I need to get back to that scintillating (I jest) bio studying. Believe me, I'd rather take photographs.

Pixies: In Which the Readers Write

Photos (L->R from top): The gorgeous Angela, Garance Dore, the Streetwalker, Garance Dore, Altamira NYC

Right now I'm full of ideas and reaping the benefits of a few successful shopping trips, so hopefully I'll have a bunch of articles to post up over the next few days. But for now. . .

As always, my most popular article is Getting the Perfect Pixie, which I wrote in July of '07. I still get regular comments on that one, actually, even though it is over a year old. I often get "Thanks so much; your article has inspired me to get a pixie cut" comments, which both delights and floors me because it feels crazy that people actually listen to what I say to that extent. I hope my advice paid off for these girls/women! The other kind of comment I tend to get a lot of is one with advice. I love these, because I think it's fantastic that people genuinely want to help each other out, and I'm glad my blog has given them a place to do so. These comments are sweet, insightful, and definitely worth reading - here are a few of my favorites:

♥ I think hair type was far from adequately covered in my original article, because I honestly wasn't sure what would happen were a curly-haired girl to chop it all off. But a commenter tells us:

"I have ringlet curls and last year I sported a pixie cut, and it actually worked really well. Curly hair just gives it a bit of a wilder, less plastered look."

So now you know.

♥ Now here's something that didn't even occur to me until I read this comment:

"Without having hair to hide behind, I've found that it helps a LOT to have well manicured brows. You don't need to get a really thin brow - just clean them up a little and define the arch you have. It, along with the new, shorter hair, will make your eyes really stand out."

Hm, I wish I'd realized this when my hair was really short. But then again, I am a bit lazy when it comes to grooming the brows; in fact, my favorite part of having bangs was that they covered my eyebrows so I didn't have to deal with them.

♥ Now here's a bit of a confidence-booster for those who are nervous about drastically changing hairstyles:

"If you do something weird, like dye hair hair crazy or shave it or something, people will always say 'Wow, I could never pull that off, your so lucky that you can! Your face shape is perfect' or whatever bla bla bla. The point is, just do it, and show confidence in your new hairstyle and people will think you look good. With all the experiments I have done, I have heard 'wow you are the only one that could pull that off' way to many times. And I know that it is not true. All you need to pull something off is confidence in it."

Fantastic advice, no? I love this.

♥ And finally, pilfered from the comment section of my follow-up post The Pixie Cut: Growing Out, is a comment meant to spare readers the painful post-pixie growing out process that I suffered through:

"I got a pixie cut last August and I kept cutting it shorter and shorter until November of last year. Growing it out actually wasn't so bad, but every once and a while I'd get into a mood where I felt hideous and I had to get a trim. Mostly, I just kept getting the back by my neck cut so that the sides of my hair would catch up. Also, I dyed my hair bright red because I felt that it would make me feel less bored and more feminine as I entered the awkward stages. I used product to make my hair look messier when it was growing out so that it was harder to notice when it got mullet-ish. Also, when my hair was at its strangest stage in May, parts were chin length, some parts much shorter, I curled my hair in a 50's, Marilyn Monroe-esque way. The good part about going through this experience was that I got to try tons of different short hair cuts because I would get my hair cut reshaped into a different style every few months."

Um, wow. Wish I'd done that.
That's it for now, but I'd like to say again HOW MUCH I ADORE MY READERS! You guys are too great, seriously. Keep the thoughts, personal experiences, opinions, etc. coming, and not just on my pixie cut articles. I'm no expert when it comes to fashion, and I don't claim to be. Sometimes the best material on this blog comes from the likes of you. Group hug?

The World is Spinning Fashion

I'm sitting here feeling horrifically dizzy and mighty pissed about it, but I've decided the show must go on. I've been dying to get a good post up here for days, so I'm not going to let a freak vertigo-ish attack keep me from it. I'm warning you, though; I might be skimping on pictures. And possibly on writing quality. In fact, this is basically a "Hey, look what I'm finding exciting right now" link list with a bit of loopy commentary. But since I am fighting my body's protests to write it, I command you to read and enjoy and comment as you will. And I apologize ahead of time for the disjointed rambling that is no doubt to come.

♥ I've been meaning to mention this one for a while: Frankie B, a clothing line that until recently has escaped my notice, just released a gorgeous short film called "Let's Get Lost."

It has this hazy, dreamy quality that I always adore; in fact, it reminds me a bit of Lula, if Lula were a California Girl of My Dreams. And the clothes - wow, am I dying to get my hands on them! Hippie meets rocker meets laid back Rumi-esque styling = I want.

♥ Maybe everyone else has already realized this and I'm just a bit slow on the uptake, but WHOAH AGATHE IS BACK! That's right - the beloved, mysteriously gone missing, Norwegian style genius is actually posting photos occasionally.

I am so relieved and ridiculously thrilled. Oh, how stalker-y fashion blogging makes a person! I find myself thinking of her as a long lost friend, and yet I am having trouble remembering if I ever even commented on her blog, despite its (lofty) position on my daily reading list. But Agathe, if you ever read this, I'm so glad you're okay, and welcome back!

♥ I bought the cutest Converse blazer at Target the other day. It was going to premiere here in a self-styled and shot photo shoot, but that's going to have to wait. Instead, I'll link to the obnoxious photo of it on the Target website. Actually, I'll post a picture of the back of the blazer, just to show the really nice cut, but for the front you'll need to look elsewhere. The model wearing it is all wrong, and I will not endorse her blazer-butchering on this blog.

You should note that this blazer looks significantly different in real life - a lot less polished and much more rock 'n roll. Very Converse, actually. I am seriously in love. That photo shoot will happen, people. Just not while my brain feels like it's being stirred 'round and 'round by a malicious spoon. (I did warn you my commentary would be loopy, didn't I?)

♥ When I realized Comme des Garcons for H&M wouldn't be available in Boston, my sadness and agitation possibly even rivaled that of the lovely Dreamecho, especially since I was planning on actually stooping low enough to wait outside of the store the day the collection dropped. But now, having seen Erin Wasson's self-styled photos of herself clad in CDG for H&M, I am even more upset.

The preview photos of the line (which you can find all over this tFS thread) had definitely captured my attention and desire, but seeing how fantastically cool those pieces look on Erin just ups my need to wrap my greedy fingers around some polkadot tops and drop-crotch bottoms, cackling evilly with the knowledge that they will be mine. Yes, I am a wee bit of a fanatic. I hope H&M realizes that its turning me into a crazy person.

Okay, I (as always) have lots more to say, but I think I really need to close my eyes for a bit. Still, I'm already feeling a bit better, so hopefully the dizziness is passing. Hmm, maybe fashion was the cure?

Shame? What's that?

Just a quick session of shameless bragging before I'm off to tour Tufts -

Look who got published in Daily Candy Boston:

What's that you say? There's no byline? Well in that case, the author in question would be moi!

Hopefully this article will be the first of many. . I'm so excited to be part of such a great newsletter. . .

Oh, and go here to see the actual article with actual links. Amy Nguyen's stuff is super-beautiful; I'd recommend a look (which will no doubt turn into an ogle) at her pieces.

College Revelations

I think I forgot to mention that I would be spending the last few days touring colleges. Well, that's where I was, for the curious. I'm not sure what one is supposed to learn from these visits, but while spending the night in my friend Sherry's dorm, I learned that my glasses are supremely more flattering than those Buddy Holly geek-chic frames favored by so many hipsters. Shame. They are so fun to wear.

Other fashion tidbits I picked up? Well, one of my tours boasted a few stylish girls who almost manged to steal my attention from the gorgeous campus. One girl, a New Yorker (of course), wore flat, black, vintage lace up booties, ripped red tights, a sweet floral dress, and a baggy plaid jacket. Topped with a blond bob cut completely straight across on the bangs and tips, she looked achingly cool. Another look that captured my attention wasn't unique enough to bother sharing, but the girl wearing it had drawn wingtip, brogue-like styling across the toes of her Keds, and I thought they looked amazing. And my tour guide had the most perfect pixie cut I've seen in ages.

Don't worry about me, grasshoppers; most of my focus was on the schools I visited. But fashion doesn't tremble in the light of higher education, and neither does my style-watching brain.

America, Politics, and Fashion

If you read a book on the history of fashion, it's impossible not to recognize the effects that politics have on fashion. Wars inspire minimalist styles, politicians set trends, and the people dress to show support for their country.

I do find it very interesting how prominent America and American politics are in fashion today. That short phase where everyone was traipsing around in red, white, and blue clothing plastered with stars and stripes has mostly ended, but there's still a lot of the sentiment if you know where to look.

So maybe this photo isn't so political, but it's definitely American. I love how that good ole home-on-the-range mentality is shown. The photo shoot is called Urban Cowboy and really has nothing to do with America, but of course the flag was thrown into the shot to offset that quintessential Western cowboy look.

Then, of course, there's the more blatant political statement:

Steven Meisel shot this controversial Make Love Not War editorial. The message is pretty obvious. I'm not sure that it influenced people's views on whether or not to end the war, but it did call attention to the matter, which is not something fashion is generally given credit for.

Last but not least, the fashion world has been very involved in the Obama campaign.

Sonia Rykiel and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac sent Obama-emblazoned looks down the runway, as did Nicole Farhi, while many famous names designed pieces to be sold in the Obama store. In addition, I quite like the Obama Baggu Bags. And of course, the fact that the candidate himself graces the cover of Men's Vogue just goes to show that politics and fashion do, after all, mesh quite well.

Note to the non-fashion crowd: Fashion isn't as shallow as you think.

. . . And Breathe. . .

Phew! The SAT's have been taken (by moi, of course) and I am finally a (mostly) free woman! Or girl, rather, but that didn't fit so well into the sentence.

Last night I bullied my father into picking up Lula Magazine at Border's on his way home from work, so when I woke up in a panic at 5:30 this morning, I calmed myself with a leisurely flip through its bewitching pages. Because my brain lacked coherency at such an ungodly hour, I can only remember those glorious photo shoots as a hauntingly beautiful, ethereal jumble - whoops, guess I'll have to read it again! And again, and again, and again. . . One can never read Lula too many times.

I will say this, though:

Ali Michael is my modelsoulmate. This is not just because we are both freakishly pale with fine brown hair, nor is it because my eyebrows bring hers to mind when I hold off on the tweezing. No, Ali Michael is my superfantasticmodelBFF because we both survived the harrowing experience of being run over by a horse. You may laugh, but I feel that bonds us together like - oh, I don't know, hydrogen and oxygen? Heh, bio is ruining my similes.

Okay, more posts to come now that I'm no longer in SAT crunch mode, although maybe not this weekend. I am in dire need of non-academic socializing, and possibly a riffle through the SoWa Open Market on Sunday. Vintage clothing, indie designer lines, art, live music, and giveaways make it high on my list. If you're in the Boston area, you should make it high on your list as well. Maybe I'll even run into a few of you! Let me know if you'll be there, k?

And now I sleep. I'm beat. Hooray for naps!

Thoughts of a Stressed Out Blogger

What's on my mind this week? Well, aside from a huge bio test tomorrow, the SATs on Saturday, and a huge amount of college application-related work:

♥ When it comes to Fashion Week(s), it seems all the bloggers are raving about Balmain. So even though I would like to do some raving on the topic myself (because honestly, what a fantastic collection), I'm going to point of Vivianne Westwood's Gold Label instead.

Mmm, how great is that? Everything is so different, yet still quintessentially Vivianne. And those shoes on the left? Absolutely killer. I bet Queen Michelle could work styling wonders with them, as good as she is with all that is tough and made of leather. I also bet I could work wonders with them; my head is swimming with millions of outfit ideas. . .

If it weren't for that bio test, I would definitely have some more collections to share with you, seeing as some of my favorites (Comme des Garcons, for example) showed today. But alas, studying comes first.

♥ I've also been thinking about what the addition of these things would do to my fall wardrobe. Here's a hint - very, very good things:

1. Knee-high boots. Love the exposed zipper. Hot.

2. My dream Docs. The only non-affordable things on this list, but so, so amazing.

3. A bit of bling. Cheap statement necklaces can really transform an outfit.

4. Like sneakers, only with a bit of a wedge to give you longer legs and a bit of height.

5. The first inexpensive driving gloves I've found. Man, I've been wanting a pair of these forever.

6. I want a leather jacket, but this faux leather hoodie is a nice twist on a classic.

Oh yum, plenty of clothing to prance 'round my dreams; that is, if thoughts of Oxidative Phosphorylation and Glycolysis don't drive it away. . .