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November 26, 2007

Leg Warmers: Yay or Nay?

Since I worked in retail during my senior year of high school, I noticed that leg warmers made a strong comeback two winters ago as a seasonal item. Thus, I was surprised to see that it was becoming a trend in San Diego the following semester (my first semester of college consisted predominantly of flip flops and long boarding to the La Jolla shore since I started in California) in our daily 85-degree “fall� weather. I guess it was at that point that I realized fashion is temperature-blind, and that sometimes it’s okay for wool leg warmers to be worn in the summer, and for thin cotton leggings to be worn in the winter.

Personally, I don’t mind leg warmers, and I actually own a few neutral-colored pairs that are currently sitting somewhere back in the mess that I frequently refer to as my closet. A post by Angela on thebudgetfashionista.com , however, thinks otherwise. She claims that although this model looks great in them, “most of us would end up looking schlumpy and …slightly ridiculous.�

I think I’m going to have to go ahead and disagree with Angela. Even though I fall in the category of being under the mandated runway height of 5’8�, I still think that us normal people can still wear them without looking completely bizarre. After all, the trend did originate in Japan, which is notorious for producing relatively petite girls. You just have to be careful what you wear them with. Sneakers are probably not your best option, unless you’re taking an early morning jog and are actually using leg warmers to keep your legs warm rather than trying to make a fashion statement. The girls in California would wear them with flip flops, which was also a popular trend among my sales associates. Although I’ve never done this, I’m a big fan of going for the vintage look of pairing them with round-toed flats or pointy stilettos.

Alternatively, for the winter months, I've also noticed a few people wearing them under boots when they're paired with skirts. I tried this out a few days ago when I was scrambling to make it on time to a meeting and couldn't find my suit pants. The leg warmers complemented the boots in giving them a cute, feminine edge but also helped dress down the outfit and make it more appropriate for the colder temperatures.

Posted by lwtse at 11:05 PM | Comments (0)

November 20, 2007

Now It's Nobody's Secret

Lingerie is becoming an increasingly popular and acceptable article of clothing to be worn on a daily basis. Nowadays, a lacey silk tank top peeking out from behind a fitted blazer is more likely purposeful rather than a fashion faux pas. In the words of Ruth La Ferla, a writer for the New York Times, now it’s nobody’s secret.

The Marc Jacobs collection capitalized on the lingerie idea this year and constructed some of their pieces with purposeful, supposedly tasteful displays of women’s undergarments. Similarly, Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton designers have mimicked this trend in releasing their new spring 2008 collection, which features a versatile satin slip dress and a backless skirt:

Although I can relate to the whole idea of wearing pajamas to class, I’m not sure that I’ll be the first one in line after winter ends to add these pieces to my spring wardrobe. Personally I’m not a fan of the Louis Vuitton skirt. If I didn’t know better, I’d almost think that the designers ran out of fabric halfway through their project and decided to just try to pass it off as the hottest item to hit the racks since the skinny leg jeans made their comeback last fall. The Christian Dior slip dress isn’t really anything new, but I’d be surprised if I ever really did see a businesswoman try to pull it off in the corporate world. As for the Marc Jacobs dress? Well, I guess this is good news for ladies who are fans of the open back style - for once you can be both fashionable and comfortable at the same time.

Posted by lwtse at 08:35 PM | Comments (0)

November 15, 2007

Cold Weather Fashion without the Uggs

Walking around campus in the winter gets a little boring sometimes- especially because everywhere I look, there’s a girl wearing leggings that are stuffed into her “Classic Tall� Ugg boots, which so conveniently match her North Face Denali fleece, which is suffering under the weight of her Long Champ shoulder bag. I Googled cold weather fashion and found a site about the celebrity fashions seen at the Sundance Film Festival last year, and it addressed my question of why cold weather fashion has to be so monotonous- and the answer was that it doesn’t have to be.

If you’re a Midwest native like I am, you’ll know that cold weather and fashion don’t always agree. But thankfully, there are other alternatives to marching in the never-ending Ugg / North Face / Long Champ procession on campus- and you don’t have to go out looking like the Michelin man either!

The down jacket is a classic piece not only for the ski slopes, but also the every-day walk to class as well. The best part is, when I have to get up at the crack of dawn for your Accounting 271 discussion section, it easily slips over the baggy sweatshirt that I’m pulling over my head as I’m running out the door to get to class on time. Lucy Liu, a favorite celebrity icon of mine, pulls the look together perfectly without a single ounce of blah in sight:

And let’s also not forget that what goes under the coat is important too. Gloves and scarves don’t only keep you warm and dry, but also can help pull a whole outfit together. They are also timeless pieces that can be used during the warmer months as well. Take advantage of that and find a cute, versatile set in a color that pops or in a pattern that will never go out of season. Eve brings the outdoor look, indoors, as shown below:

Posted by lwtse at 05:16 PM | Comments (0)

November 11, 2007

Portable Hidding Places

So my first blog entry doesn't exactly have anything to do with fashion, per se, but I couldn't help but to bookmark this headline article that was featured on my homepage a few weeks ago. It was titled, "Fearing Crime, Japanese Wear the Hiding Place" and it was posted on October 19th, 2007. The article addresses an on-going phenomenon that has been taking place in Japan- an experimental designer’s emphasis on the practicality of a wardrobe. Hitting stores soon will be Aya Tsukioka’s clothing line that features makeshift hiding places that are disguised as actual-sized photographs of vending machines that fold out from underneath your clothes.

This idea isn’t unique, however. There has already been a recent development made in Japan called the “manhole bag�, which is a purse can stow your valuables away on the street by unfolding to look like a sewer cover. Also, there is a knife-proof uniform line that is made with the same material as Kevlar. This clothing line comes complete with a book of tips on how to dress even the nerdiest children like “pseudohoodlums� to fend off schoolyard bullies.

These developments reflect not only the Japanese assertiveness in developing unique inventions, but also the cultural differences between our two worlds: “It is just easier for Japanese to hide,� Ms. Tsukioka said. “Making a scene would be too embarrassing.�

Japanese culture has always contributed to the North American fashion scene. The crazy colors, patterns and fabrics that seem so outrageously ridiculous to don outside of the house always seem to quickly find their way to American streets within 1-2 years on average. So, who knows? Maybe you'll be buying a pseudo-vending machine fold-out skirt within the next couple of months...

Posted by lwtse at 10:09 PM | Comments (0)