Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Shopping rant

Or clothing rant, or fashion rant, or something. My sister Melissa came to visit this weekend, and in the course of her trip we inevitably ended up at Century 21 and then Loehmann's (the two inextricably linked in my mind because every time I go to the disorganized and overpriced Century 21, I think "Why didn't I go to the quieter, better-arranged, and altogether more reasonable Loehmann's instead?", and then I do). While we were there, Lissa looked at cool clothes while I looked at the clothes I liked, which were usually comfortable as opposed to cool; and then she ridiculed my lack of coolness in the time-honored tradition of little sisters everywhere. (She once wanted to get me on "E! Fashion Emergency" -- an offer I embraced because I'm willing to put up with five minutes of embarrassment in exchange for a new $1000 wardrobe, though I don't think she ever did anything about it. Now she wants me to go on "What Not to Wear.") Melissa and Rachel have announced that I need at the very least:

  • A pair of sexy jeans, ideally Lucky or Sevens
  • Black flats
  • An actual pair of heels
  • Another blazer
  • At least one or two more pretty or ironic t-shirts a la Brooklyn Industries or Urban Outfitters
  • No more khaki pants, or at least ones that are long enough

I understand why they think this; I agree with them to some extent (probably on the jeans, definitely on the khaki pants); but I also rather resent it, because the vast majority of the time I just don't care. I like pretty clothes, of course -- today I wore the linen skirt with ribbon detail that I have on in my picture with Lisa below, and I love it, and I like looking good, looking feminine, feeling cool, all that. But in general I would be delighted to go to work every day in the summer in a jeanskirt (I own three), shirt, and sandals; I decided when I moved to New York that I'd rather spend my publishing salary on my lovely-but-expensive apartment than trendy clothes; and I have better things to think about, dammit, longer-lasting and more important and more interesting things, than whether this shrug goes with that skirt with sequins and that tank top when I can't wear any of the pieces come October and they'll all be outdated next summer anyway!

Bah. There are other factors on both sides here -- the argument for fashion from About A Boy by Nick Hornby, which is actually quite a good one; and how much my scoliosis (which makes it hard to find clothes that fit sometimes), my pride, and my Millicent Min-like neurosis about being smart vs. being cool play into all this. But I am going to bed instead. More visitors come to town tomorrow and will occupy me till next week, so have a great week and weekend, everyone! May you all find the perfect jeans for you. :-)

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Four other things:

  • If you've finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (and ONLY if you've finished it), R. J. Anderson has some very interesting theories on Book 7, and Melissa will be posting her post-book interview with J. K. Rowling on The Leaky Cauldron in pieces throughout the week.
  • My friend Will is writing alternately or simultaneously frightening, funny, and surreal dispatches from his study-abroad program in the West Bank.
  • And Jeremiah is on vacation this week, but his webcomic Five Bucks to Friday is still getting new installments, and it's as hilarious and character-driven as ever. Check out the Archives too.

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