Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Menswear Mondays

Inspired by recent Uniqlo-Sander purchases - a slightly baggy navy v-neck sweater, a lilac checked button-down shirt (this but not pink), and a coat that turns out to come from the men's department - I'm adding a new fashion persona to my ever-expanding collection: menswear minimalism. Oh yes.

I'd long resisted any masculine garb, thinking that a woman of my height and proportions - which is to say, a woman who'd make a terrible man - can't pull this look off. (My fear is thus not that I'd look more masculine than I'd prefer, but rather that what are curves in girly clothes are unwanted bulge in more straight-up-and-down attire.) But I've grown tired of ballet flats - that practical alternative to heels - that won't do subway stairs, and of jersey-material dresses that all but disintegrate when worn with The Backpack. I've had it with t-shirts that fit in the store, then shrink to midriff-bearing horribleness in the wash, with jeans that look right standing up but don't quite extend to where they ought to extend sitting down. These last two problems are where clothes meant to accentuate the female body ultimately ignore it, fabric-wise. Feminine clothes, even in this post-corset age, remain impractical, and can easily veer over into tacky. I need some kind of chic-durable alternative.

Although I will never be an androgynous-gamine type, I've decided shoes that lace might have some advantages after all. So yesterday, I paired the button-down shirt with a black blazer, high-waisted (Uniqlo-pre-Sander) black pants, and a pair of black oxfords my mother may well want back. This will not replace my previous looks, but it will, I think, join the ranks.

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