So, as we all know, 2009 is the year I step my game up.
My natural fashion compass currently dials towards Schlump.
When I have to get dressed up, I feel confident that I can be sharp and well put together.
Go me! (Except that red belt kind of bothers me. It has a black belt that goes with it. But I wanted a splash of color to play off the white. Oh well.)
It’s not dressing up that trips me up. I think I’ve got that under control.
It’s everyday dressing that I have a problem with. As we all know, I’m a freelance writer. I work from my living room sofa or my small office nearby. Right now, I’m wearing TH’s college sweatshirt, gray sweats from Target and some striped tights I found in TG’s sock drawer. It’s the everyday me that needs help. She’s the one who ends up wearing costumes like this:
And on a good day, something like this:
I need a go-to wardrobe. Remember Garanimals back in the day? I need a wardrobe like that. Easy mix and match. But alas, I gotta work with what I’ve got.
I went to Santa Fe this week to write a travel story. And I stocked up on a few cute dresses at Target before I left. (Target is your friend, people. TARGET IS YOUR FRIEND).
I reached out to Lil Miss Brown to get her thoughts on my gear in Santa Fe and she said:
“I thought you stopped blogging.”
And I said, “What are you talking about?”
“You posted about not blogging anymore,” she said.
I don’t know what she’s talking about. But at any rate, she’s swamped with work this week. So I’ve asked the lovely Claire, from FashionBombDaily to weigh in. (Can you be unfashionable with a name like Claire? Of course not.)
Claire spared no punches. Gulp. Herewith: my week in Santa Fe:
Flying all around the country. From Newark to Dallas to Albequerqe and then an hour long ride to Santa Fe in a taxi. I snapped this in an airport. Can’t remember which one. It’s a dress from H&M that I gave to TG and then stole back. I wear it open, like a long shirt. I’m always freezing when I fly so I like a lot of layers. Tee and jeans from Urban Outfitters. I didn’t bring my favorite, fashiony bag because it’s so heavy. I just grabbed a heart-print tote as my carry-on. And that’s my laptop case. On my feet, which I didn’t get in the shot, are my Frye cowboy boots.
CLAIRE SAYS: Hmmm….the hat. I think you can find something that marries fashion and function. I personally love berets, but you can also get it poppin’ with a cloche, fedora, or military style cap. Aside from that, I think the outfit is ok. I can’t see your shoes, but I hope you have on some sensible heels or hot flat boots! I’ll give your purse a pass for originality, we all need a dash or personality in our outfits.
Okay, Claire. We might as well talk about the cowboy boots right now.
I ♥ my cowboy boots. And I wear them just about every day. With dresses:
And I wear them with shorts and jeans and sweats. And anything else. I wear them ALL THE TIME. They’re comfortable. And they’re my quirky little statement.
I gave up the headbands. I will not give up my cowboy boots. They just feel like me. Even if me is short for fashion victim.
So yeah, I wore my cowboy boots on Monday. And every other day on my trip.
Went out for dinner in Santa Fe. Black knit dress from Target. 20.00 I ain’t lying, y’all. And I slipped in it and felt like it made sense. Brown leather belt. Brown beaded necklace. And though you can’t see them, brown cowboy boots. Brown and Black? Yay or Nay?
CLAIRE SAYS: Thank you for losing the hat. This is a sexy, saucy look, was this a date night? Again, can’t see the shoes, but this outfit gets a ‘go.’ The black dress is slimming, the belt is on trend, hair is exposed. I’d say, though, that with a simple dress like that you can go crazier with accessories. Wear a statement necklace, dangling earrings, and more bling bracelets.
I walked out of my hotel room and no lie. IT WAS SNOWING.
It was 32 degrees and snowing. Meanwhile, it’s 70 degrees here in Jersey. Aint that a kick in the head? I had to borrow a scarf from the front desk and run out to one of the shops and buy a hat. The result was not pretty for my museum tour of Santa Fe:
I actually love this coat. It makes me feel dressed up even when I’m wearing jeans. But I know this is a big old Nay. The scarf was borrowed. And it’s hideous. I’m using my makeup bag as a clutch for the day because I didn’t want to carry my tote. And I’m wearing a serious winter hat. Did I mention that it was FREEZING? Sigh.
CLAIRE SAYS: Hmmm, where to begin? This just looks like a random medley. Prints, colors, cherry pattern clutches?!? I’d say, Aliya, invest in a cute matching winter set–hat, scarf, and gloves for later. Get a solid color if all else fails, so that it can match well with anything from your red to your black or pattern coats. Once again, the hat is not my fave, and while I’ve seen some people mix black and brown effectively, your black tights and brown boots don’t work for me. For this outfit, I would have pulled on a pair of skinny jeans in a dark wash to go with your cowby boots, wrapped your scarf around your neck more artfully, and…lost the hat. Replace the clutch with a dark brown leather tote (to match the boots) and you’d be good to go.
Have I mentioned how much I love Target? This dress was twenty bucks. And I love it! It’s warm, comfy and cute! Right? And yes, I’m wearing my winter hat. It was still snowing when I took this picture. And I slipped out of my coat and scarf just long enough to get my picture taken. And yes, I’m wearing my boots.
Such a lovely wrap ruffle dress demands dressier accessories. The knit hat, while undoubtedly warm, takes away from the sophistication of the dress, as do your brown cowboy boots. Step it up for fall in a smart black beret and sharp black pumps or knee high boots in suede or leather. Also lose the peak of a purple tank top! If you’re hesitant about being too busty with a wrap style, slip on a black slimming tank. Also play up the dress’ neckline with a multistrand or charm necklace.
I wore the same thing I wore on Monday. Don’t tell me I’m not the only who wears the same clothes on both travel days. Oh well. I do.
Looks like I didn’t quite pass inspection with Clare. Particularly due to my choices in hair coverings and footwear. I dashed off an email to her as soon as she sent me these responses.
Claire: I was in Santa Fe, New Mexico all week, writing a travel story. It was 30 degrees. And snowing. (No, for real. Snowing. Hard.) It was a surprise storm. So I bought a hat on the spot. And borrowed that horrid scarf from the hotel! Also, when I travel, I wear my cowboy boots, every single day. They’re comfortable. Easy off and on. And kinda match whatever I’m wearing. Sort of. But the only reason why I wore them every day here is because I was traveling. I pack light, like Erykah Badu.
And the random medley photo? That was outside the store where I bought the hat. I *know* this is a big fat Nay. But I still had to document it for honesty’s sake. But again, the scarf was a loaner. And I bought the hat five minutes before.
Does that change anything? Or am I still a hot mess? =)
It does add context, perhaps some of my harsher critiques can be tempered!
In terms of definitive judgments, I’d say:
Photo One: OK
Photo Two: Yay
Photo Three: Nay
Photo 4 : OK
You do get a pass for extenuating circumstances. And I can see how the cowboy boots are your go-to shoe. I’d say that since black and brown are typically hard to match/pull off, you should pack a pair of jeans you can wear basically everyday to go with your boots.
I rarely wear brown b/c most of my wardrobe is black, gray, etc. My ‘uniform’ is a pair of skinny black jeans, flat black Miss Sixty boots, black turtleneck, black/white houndstooth wool jacket, bling bag, ivory or black beret, red lip. If brown is more in your wardrobe, then match it to blue, greens, reds, ivories, etc, but it’s too difficult, I think, to rock black tights with brown boots. Perhaps you can look into a pair of black cowboy boots if you like tights? My rule would be: dark blue skinny jeans with brown boots or black skinny jeans/leggings with black boots.
And there you have it folks. An official fashionista has spoken. And I’ve been giving the equivalent of a C+.
I’m determined to pull of a week of Yays. DETERMINED.
What do you think? How’d I do?
As always, I’d love to hear you.