The only clothes I want to think about are jammies

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hello, dear reader. I hope you are doing better – fashion-wise and otherwise – than I am over here. It's been quite a hectic two weeks, starting off very well (the zoo! Kuala Lumpur! Phuket!) and ending quite poorly (my worst bout of food poisoning ever, and now some sort of horrible bronchial infection). I am trying very hard not to have a pity party, but I am not really succeeding. And so, since rampant complaining does not a good blog make, I hope you'll excuse me for a few more days so I can lie around and quietly be ill. I miss you all, but trust you're making very stylish choices in my absence.

A few style notes: I thought I had discovered some great (and affordable!) extra-long leggings at Zara, and then the seam promptly split the first time I wore them. So now I've got this very unintentional Mary-Kate-style holey leggings thing going on. Which isn't helping much.

On the upside, the Calvin Klein boutique in the Phuket mall was having a very nice sale this past week. A lovely sweater was purchased.

{Cough, cough, wheeze.} See you soon.

{Soup photo from here. Isn't it lovely? I just stumbled upon her pics, but there's lots of gorgeous stuff to see.}

May we have your attention please...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

There's a massive update featuring lots and lots of Paris photos on the other site, if such things are of interest to you. And here, we have my Russian Navy-fied toes, thoroughly enjoying the lovely beaches of Bali last week.

Is it Saturday already? Wow.

Huh. Where did the week go? Things are hectic over here in Spinachland* -- so much so that we have barely been shopping this week. Okay, we admit it: We have barely changed out of our gym shorts and brushed our hair all week. Some weeks are like that. This is making us feel a little bit better about our general frumpiness.

Also: Can we just say we loooove "Share With the Group Fridays"? You guys rock! We will be back shortly with our new question; it just didn't seem fair to update with another question without giving you some eye candy in between. In the meantime, we present: Things We Have Enjoyed While Sitting On the Couch in Our Gym Shorts.

1. The photo above was the cover of Monday's WWD and part of a feature on festive prom accessories. Love!

2. Jenny now has us obsessed with Rachel Comey shoe clogs and Vincent Longo lip & cheek stain. (Could it be better than Benetint?)

3. We are not the kind of people who know the names of models, unless they are major ones like Kate Moss or Natalia Vodianova or Twiggy. But lately, we're kind of really into Anja Rubik and the whole shaggy blonde, bronze-y thing she's got going on. Seriously, between Anja and Agyness, I'm starting to really consider the short, choppy look.

4. We weren't really feeling Katie's drape-y dress here (and so, we cropped it out). But her skin! Looks! Fantastic! And now we're wondering: Do we have to start training for a marathon to get that glow?

And now, off to shower and rejoin the world of people who wear clothes without elastic waistbands and blowdry their hair.

*In my head, I always think of Spinachland as a big leafy green field full of tiny bunnies and lots and lots of Prada.

Introducing: Share With the Group Fridays!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I've been pretty unsuccessful with keeping up regular features on this blog, mostly due to my incredibly short attention span. But this one I'm pretty excited about, because I have a feeling many of you are savvy shoppers with some serious style (or serious style aspirations). And so, we'll be asking a fun question on Fridays and strongly encouraging y'all to post your answers in the comments. Now, we're not going to make you Share With the Group or anything – we realize that some of you just prefer to watch silently, or perhaps have jobs/lives/other commitments that prohibit such involvement – but we do recognize that Share With the Group Fridays are only as good as the group that participates and so we say: pleeease?

Also, it would be kind of embarrassing if only one person commented. Kind of like attending a school dance where you stand alone by the refreshment table and kind of bop to the music by yourself. Sigh.

Anyway, Share With the Group Friday #1: What was the last thing you bought?

I'll start: I was just out on a mini-spree and scooped up the following: elbow-length mittens from Topshop (finally! my elbow-length mitten dream can be realized!), little plastic travel bottles from the newly expanded Muji at Bugis Junction (I am obsessed with having a matchy travel kit) and (another) vintage kimono from House of Japan. (Addendum: I'm actually in Bali right now -- I wrote this before I left so you'd have something to read in my beachy absence -- and am stocking up on lots and lots of wooden bangle bracelets.) What about you?

{Also: An evil petting zoo? Hee.}

We Learn Something New Every Day*

We recently (this is the royal we, unless you count the taxi uncle, who got lost on the way and was kind of hilarious) took a trip out to a neighborhood in Singapore called Tanjong Katong to visit edgy Singapore store The Lawn. The adorably patient Damien took us all around the store and was cheerfully encouraging when we set our sights on an adorable tweedy winter hat with – wait for it – earflaps, and he also schooled us on the finer points of denim. (Of which, we really know nothing about because our denim philosophy is: We get our skinny jeans from the Gap and wide-legged ones from Topshop. We did try small, toe-in-the-water forays into the designer category with both Paige and Paper Denim & Cloth jeans, but those were sort of woefully disappointing, and so Gap and Topshop it is. However, if you would like to offer us some Earnest Sewns, we would not refuse.)

(Ah, rambling. Blame the coffee.)

Anyway, Damien *loves* denim and stocks The Lawn with an amazing variety of hard-to-find boutique brands from around the world. He has a strong preference for raw denim, and we must've then had a look that instantly conveyed "huh? what's raw denim?" because the then very nicely spelled it out for us. And we were intrigued.

Jeans made with raw denim have a super-stiff, unblemished finish – the minute you touch them, you know. We'd always avoided those jeans on the racks because they just seemed really uncomfortable, but it turns out there's a reason for that and it is: If you wear around raw denim jeans for awhile, it will start to naturally whisker and crease and get cool worn-in lines that match your body perfectly. And then after you break them in a bit, you can finally wash them and have the kind of jeans that are tailored to you, as opposed to the pre-made whiskers someone rubbed into your jeans in a factory. Metafilter has a bit more on the topic, in slightly more coherent form.

And so! We are curious about raw denim. Has anyone (besides Damien) tried this? Does it actually work? And is it really, really uncomfortable to wear raw denim jeans for the first few wearings? Please let us know.

{*Which is not too hard, considering we don't know all that much to start off with. But. Learning! Yay!}

Denim, part two: Reader mail!

We very rarely get reader mail (or, at least, reader mail we actually know how to answer). And so, we were kind of delighted to get this note:

Hi, I'm into this cult jeans phase. I know, how shallow. But I'm hoping this will pass soon, as it's not a cheap phase.

Could you recommend any brand of jeans (which are available in Singapore) which are good at accentuating legs and bum? I'm 1.73m, waist 26 inches.

Now, as evidenced by the post above, we are not exactly denim aficionados. We know what we like, we stick with it, we have been burned by paying more. But if we really wanted to go there, we'd probably start with Damien, who has some very cool-looking ladies denim there at The Lawn. (Not to mention earflappy hats, on sale.)

We're also quite intrigued by Hollywood favorite J Brand Jeans (above), which is stocked at Eclecticism (currently of the Mandarin Gallery, soon to be of Wisma Atria) and would definitely recommend trying those out. (Hey, if they're good enough for Reese and Hilary and Jennifer…)

We recently consulted one of our most stylish friends, Daphne, for other designer denim hotspots. She recommends Inhabit in the basement of Palais Renaissance (where they've got buzzy brands like 3.1 Philip Lim and Seven for all Mankind), and also TriBeCa at the Forum (just across the street) and Bread & Butter at Tangs.

We have no idea about the accentuating part, but at 1.73m and a 26-inch waist, we have a feeling you are going to look pretty good in everything. It's probably best if you just go and try a bunch on and see what looks best, but we invite any readers to dispense advice and suggestions you may have.

And thus concludes the denim portion of our program.

Quite Possibly My Dream Job

Tricia has pointed out a fantastic, fun article on William Good, a new label from Goodwill and Joe Boxer founder Nick Graham that takes unsold thrift store items and repurposes them into cool new pieces.

There are a lot of repurposed vintage lines (here in Singapore, Oppt Shop's own Redux collection reuses old vintage clothes to make cute new items) but this one looks to be somewhat different, starting with its crazy inventiveness. It also stands to earn quite a bit of money for Goodwill, so whoo to that. Some pics here. The design team looks so fun!

So. Cute!

Also from Tricia (it's apparently Tricia day!), I really loved the outfit above from Wardrobe_Remixer Sally Jane Vintage for the following reasons:

1. Just when I think it might be time to step away from volume and start embracing a more shrunken silhouette, something like this pops up to remind me how cool and charming a wide, swingy shape can be. I'm really loving the exaggerated A-line of this dress.

2. Like most Wardrobe_Remixers, Ms. Sally Jane mixes affordable high-street pieces and vintage finds – further proof that you don't need to spend a fortune to look fantastic.

3. Layered legs! I'm so digging the idea of knee socks over leggings. Knee socks on their own have the strong possibility of looking too schoolgirlish, but when paired with leggings, they have such a slouchy-cool layered effect. Plus, the socks apparently stay up so much better this way.

This weekend!

We will be in Bali this weekend, hopefully basking in some sun and catching up on our beach reads. But if we were in Singapore, we'd totally head down to House on Dempsey Road for this fun-looking market, which features a lot of our favorites shops and labels. Go forth and shop (and report back)!

Glove love (er, not to be confused with love gloves)

Friday, November 02, 2007

All the other kids are totally digging the Maggie Cheung pic from The Sartorialist's coverage of the new Beijing Lane Crawford store opening, but we're obsessed with this unidentified young woman that 96% of Fashion is Spinach readers think to be Chinese supermodel Du Juan, which is good enough confirmation for us, sporting the coolest little red leather gloves ever. We were instantly struck by them – the unexpected burst of color against a neutral dress and their elegant, antique-y, oh-so-proper charm. Maybe it's our enduring Margot Tenenbaum fixation talking here but we say: Let's bring back little gloves!

Just Say No... to Denim Shorts on Men

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Sometimes, there are fashion faux pas that are so ingrained in your mind that you can't possibly let them go. For my father, it is sneakers with dark socks. Every time I pull on a pair of black socks with my Chucks and jeans, he immediately questions my fashion taste. To him, dark socks with sneakers convey immediate, undeniable fashion victim status.

I've managed to let go of many of my previously held fashion don't beliefs in recent years. The formerly taboo combination of black and navy is now readily embraced (my friend Ally, however, still can't stand it). There was a time in my life where I would only wear black shoes with a black belt and bag, and brown shoes with the same, but now I happily mix them up. Fanny packs? I think the cute ones seem tolerable, even covetable. Stripes and florals? Yes, please!

Of course, for every acceptance of a previously shunned style, another "don't" steps in to take its place. There is my current, inexplicable revulsion of khaki pants. I will also never approve of denim shorts on men (except Tobias Funke, of course). But the one that seems to be most unshakable is the mixing of metallics. I just cannot combine metals, no matter how fashionably accepted it may be getting. My silvery flip-flops and gold-framed aviators are just never part of the same ensemble. At times, I do admit, it seems rather rigid and old-fashioned (not to mention impractical and kind of a pain). But I think it's just one of those things I decided early on in my fashion life and I haven't gotten past it.

What about you? Do you have any fashion taboos that you just won't touch, no matter how experimental your style gets?