Week 15 :: of my 100th, last-minute switches, and Rock and Roll

I must confess: I am rock and roll only by association.

It’s my husband who is the true rocker in the family.  If not for him, I’d still think The Rolling Stones were a music magazine, wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix, wouldn’t know every single word to Bohemian Rhapsody.  In my formative years (read: high school and pre-husband), I was more bubblegum Top 40 with a little New Wave on the side.

Nowadays, the lines between musical genres have blurred to the point of extinction which is actually a good thing as far as social tolerance is concerned.  (I still remember subbing in the early ’90s and having to compromise with the different factions regarding which radio station to listen to during free time.) But Rock and Roll as an iconic fashion style is still quite distinct.

The essentials of rock style are no big mystery: jeans and leather pants, a boyish biker jacket, some wicked-looking Portobello Road boots.  But it’s all a matter of combining these with a lot of slink and style and balancing the tough with the ethereal, the strict with the sensuous.

The good news is that I have whole-heartedly embraced this genre as my musical tastes matured, and I had no problems coming up with different variations incorporating Rock and Roll essentials.  The bad news?  All of them require temps to dip below the mid-70sF.  And since it promises to be ten degrees hotter than that today, I was momentarily at a loss.

I was also under a lot of self-imposed pressure, what with today being my 100th post and all.  I felt compelled to be pithy and momentous, both in my wardrobe choice and my subsequent text.

But it’s also Friday and we all know my issues about blogging on Fridays.

(In one word: meh.  ‘Nuff said.)

So what’s a gal to do when she’s feeling writer’s blues on top of the uncooperative weather which ix-nayed her pre-planned outfit?

Improvise, of course.

Icon Friday

The original ensemble utilized the schoolboy jacket as the centerpiece.  In this iteration, I’ve done away with it in favor of a military-inspired vest.  Am loving the buttons; not so much the zipper that hadn’t been apparent when I threw it in my eBay cart.  Live and learn.

Initially, I’d planned on a white button up and tie, a là Angus Young from AC/DC, but without the blazer, that combo looked too mannish so I switched them out for this unstructured yet feminine top instead.  Even though it’s borderline long-sleeved, I imagine I’ll still look and feel cool because of the lightness of the fabric and the breeziness of the cut.

Icon Friday

The only piece I retained from the original outfit were the faboo plaid pants.  I love how both the pattern and the color are muted to the point of weathered, diminishing the potential garishness of a black and red combo.

And yes, your eyes don’t deceive you, my friends.  Those are OG, authentic, over-ten-years-old, scuffed and battered to the point of true comfort Doc Martens.  I admit that a 10-hole boot would’ve been infinitely better, but I have yet to splurge on a pair and that would’ve been more Punk anyway.

Icon Friday

In retrospect, even if I haven’t shattered your minds with epiphanous sartorial commentary, at least the last look of Icon Week is apropos to the occasion.  After all, what better way to celebrate than to Rock and Roll all night.

And party every day.

Icon Friday

Happy weekend, my friends.  Make good choices.

:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Top – New York and Co.
Pants – Almost Famous @ Tilly’s
Vest – eBay
Shoes – Doc Martens
Watch – Fossil

Week 15 :: of calm-cool-collected and Euro chic

Bianca JaggerCatherine DeneuvePrincess Caroline of Monaco.

These are the women for whom the word “chic” was invented…There’s a sense of selectiveness and couture to everything they wear – expensive or not – and to how they wear it…”The thing that is different about European chic is that it is effortless and sophisticated,” says designer Diane Von Furstenberg.  “The important part is the eclectic part – not what you wear, what you punctuate things with.”

So, um…yeah.

This is the one look of all the looks this week that filled me with much trepidation.  Not because of the essential pieces needed to recreate it.  No, I’ve got enough of those.  I’m more concerned with coming off as presumptuous or arrogant by putting myself in the same league as the women described above.

The class and refinement implied in being a part of the Euro Chic set feels false to an America pleb like me.  It’s as if I’m playing pretend in my mom’s heels and makeup.  There’s just something so je ne sais quoi about European women, an indefinable air of insouciance that is virtually impossible to mimic if one wasn’t of that continent.

But then I remembered the mantra Mom inculcated into our wee brains, in English even: Be calm, cool and collected.

A cliché?  Perhaps.  But it has stood me in good stead during the most stressful times of my life, and I think I can find my zen with this iconic look.

I got this.

Icon Thursday

It’s an eclectic mix of posh and casual.  Of looking like you’re strolling the banks of the Seine wearing last night’s soireé top with this morning’s proper trousers and somehow managing to make it seem that this mismatch was your intent all along.

Icon Thursday

It’s the statement watch and the casually looped scarf.  It’s sequins and plaid.  It’s a modern two-toned jacket and traditional oxfords.  And it’s the chutzpah with which to pull it all off.

It may have been over two decades since my foray into Europe, but I’m certain that I can remember clearly and emulate successfully the vibe of confidence and self-assuredness that was so prevalent in all the women I’d encountered there.

Icon Thursday

And you, my friends?  Have you got any words of wisdom by which you live your life?  Do they pertain to fashion choices as well?

:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Top – a.n.a. @ jcp
Trousers – Mossimo @ Target
Jacket – F21
Shoes – Charles Albert
Scarf – F21

Week 15 :: of memories, Mom, and Mod madness

My mom is beautiful.

I remember growing up and sifting through pictures of her as a teenager and her being so self-effacing and even disparaging of her looks.  She’d always maintain that her younger sister was prettier, but I thought otherwise.

To me, my mother’s smile was positively radiant, her posture ramrod straight and elegant.  Her short shift dresses and bouffant hairdo were the epitome of class and style, and she was stunning both in posed photos (no artificial mugging for the camera for her) and in candids (she looked good from any angle).

I wish I had quick access to all her photos because I would make the most amazing collage to show you exactly what I mean.  Even now, at almost 70 this year, my mother still looks and acts like she’s decades younger.  And although she complains about her high blood pressure and is no longer free to indulge in many of the native foods because of it, she is one of the most active and vibrant people I know.

I guess that, more than anything else, makes her beautiful in my eyes.

I didn’t know it then, and she probably wouldn’t be the first to call it so since she’s not really into fashion, but Mom was the epitome of Mod.  So when I was sorting through my closet for Icon Week, it was one of the looks that was a total no-brainer.

Icon Wednesday

When Mary Quant, the originator of Mod, began scribbling away in her sketchbook in the ’50s…[w]hat she gave birth to was boldly black and white, zippered, geometric, and shiny – and went so far beyond new as to be positively futuristic…Mod still feels like the future – not the future as it happened but the era’s happy, optimistic, and flirty version of it.

Icon Wednesday

Some of you may remember one of my favorite photo shoots, and in retrospect, I realize it’s a favorite because I was channeling my mom.  After perusing my closet this week, I came upon another realization: a good third of my clothing reflects Mod Essentials.

I own such an unhealthy amount of a-line skirts, shift dresses, and black and white graphic prints that I was hard-pressed choosing how to represent the look.  I’ve had this dress since the beginning of last summer, though, and hadn’t yet worn it so I figured I’d give it a chance to shine.  Throw on a pair of chandelier earrings and my trusty captoe flats, and I think I’ve done well by this genre.

Icon Wednesday

Mod is so compelling to me, and I know now that I owe it all to my mom.  What about you, my friends?  Have you ever been inspired by your parents’ fashion choices?

:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Dress – H&M
Shoes – Dexflex @ Payless
Earrings – F21

Week 15 :: of selflessness, feeling gutted and the American Classic

It’s no secret that I plan my outfits days in advance.

What may not be as apparent is that I like to write copy in advance as well.  Sometimes, on a good day when I’ve got my writing mojo going and the kids are busy being kids outdoors, I can knock off the entire week’s worth of text in one sitting.

Doing this allows me to take my pics, create my collages, upload them, and pop them into my posts, all before I even start my work day and all without having to worry about crafting clever witticism to accompany them.  For all you PST folk, that means you get your daily dose of MCC right at 8:30am without fail.

Now although there is something to be said about such consistency, sometimes life just gets the better of me.  Take right now.  It’s my birthday but I’m writing this for tomorrow’s post.  Unfortunately, I’m gutted.

Not only did I give up my sleep-in time to get to Stater Bros. to beat the Memorial Day rush, I also managed to buy Aly’s bed frame, buy Aly’s new bedding, buy Aly’s new Cubeicals, assemble Aly’s new Cubeicals, cook the sides for our holiday BBQ, run two loads of wash and knit Aly’s American Girl doll a new dress.

I’m sensing an Aly theme here, aren’t I?  Ah, motherhood!  How you’ve changed selfish, little ol’ me.  To think I used to make my hubby celebrate my birthday month!

Anyhow, I really can’t dredge up much energy to talk about this ensemble, so I’m just gonna quote the guide once again and hope the pictures do it justice.

Presenting the American Classic:

Icon Tuesday

The most timeless – and certainly the most trendproof – of looks, American Classic is one that gets right at the heart of our collective fixation on the northeastern-elite lifestyle – a fascination that has held sway since we encountered Fitzgerald’s Daisy Buchanan.  Today, that means something that’s equal parts equestrian, Ivy League, and Jackie O-ladylike, but with a bit of urban knowingness thrown in as well.

Icon Tuesday

Think for a moment of Lauren Hutton in the early ’70s: tawny, flawless and ruthlessly sexy in a white blouse, navy blazer, and khakis.  As Hutton so aptly illustrated, the look can be menswear-inspired without being unfeminine.

Icon Tuesday

The Essential Pieces incorporated in my interpretation are the two-button beige blazer, white button-down, narrow-fit tweed skirt (although mine happens to be plaid), and equestrian boots.  Throw in pearl studs and what promises to be my signature chunky gold watch and I think I’ve hit the right notes in capturing this iconic look.  I always did say I belonged more on the East Coast than the West.

And you, my friends?  Do you have American Classic pieces in your closet?  Would you wear them together or is it just too preppy and prim for you?

:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Top – L.L. Bean
Skirt – Merona @ Target
Blazer – Merona @ Target
Boots – Audrey Brooke