Mode: wo(mens)wear

Pret a Porter P had some interesting insights on her evolving wardrobe that got me thinking about my own influences, which are currently in flux. Lately, I find myself inhabiting these two spheres of dress:

Structured and prep || a nod to avant-gardeish dark flowy neutrals.

Lately it’s been mostly dark clothing (#allblackeverything, really) and loose, soft, flowing lines. But a few days ago I found these double monkstrap shoes, which reminded me of how much I love #menswear:

Nine West Foodie Monk Straps. There’s a few left at Amazon.

Went into Macy’s looking for discounted North Face jackets and ended up with these instead, which I consider a worthy use of a 20% off discount and a Christmas gift card from the parents. They’re so handsome! I am excited to wear socks and trousers and button downs again, just to pull these babies off.

The discovery of these shoes reminds me of how much I love classic tailored clothing, especially with the nod to menswear. But if I look over what I’ve worn in the past few months, I’ve moved away from that aesthetic quite a bit. That long black open cardigan that I received from my aunt sparked a bunch of looks I’ve only seen online but never worn in real life. Now all of a sudden, these images below don’t seem too foreign:

Not sure of what to make of this current mood I’m in. I enjoy both styles: menswear has a recognizable structure (pants, crisp shirts, jackets) and I delight in the rich colors of leather shoes and the potential for endless sock combinations. But long flowing dresses are physically appealing too. They evoke mystery and I like the non-aggressive femininity that the pictures above display. To me, these shapes are unassuming and quietly ladylike.

Perhaps the only drawback (if you consider it one) is that long (dark) dresses generate interesting comments like “who died,” “are you a nun,” and “you look like (insert malevolent character here).” I personally enjoy these comparisons and I like running with it–I don’t mind being Severus Snape. Or Morticia Addams (particularly Carolyn Jones’ depiction):

black is such a happy color
And soothing too!

I suppose there is no crime in subscribing to both, or any other schools of thought re: fashion. There’s so much crossover now that I don’t need to label myself or my style. But as a person who likes to compartmentalize life to make sense of it, two or more (seemingly) unrelated influences is jarring. Can one still consistently project the same message even if the external image might change? Can there be a multi-directional wardrobe that expresses different themes, but still remains true to its owner?

tl;dr: Kristina likes dude clothes AND swirly long skirts. Cue much introspection; such overthinking 🙂


13 thoughts on “Mode: wo(mens)wear

  1. i think it’s hard to compartmentalise taste. my own wardrobe is fairly multi-directional too. for me it depends on what i feel like that morning, or the weather on the day. i’m not sure it needs to be justified. when you look at yohji yamamoto’s take on menswear it’s almost immediately apparent he asked the same question you did at an early stage in his career and drew influences from both camps 😉

    1. I’ll have to look at that; I do see his influence in streetwear.

      I guess it’s ok to have inspirational pieces / sometimes clothing every once in a while. I find that when I go to LA or especially when I travel outside of my more conservative hometown what I think is daring really isn’t. I suppose it’s why going on trips is fun, I get to assemble a different me when I’m outside of my everyday persona.

      I suppose that’s really what the core of it is, right? Clothes as expression, play, and art? (meaning is subjective, of course) 🙂

      1. definitely an expression! and i love that you’ve started introducing some new elements to your everyday looks – love the black crane dress you posted on IG today 😉 i find that most people inherently don’t care what other people wear.. but ok I have no idea what OC is like. i know what you mean though – in sydney the whole spectrum of dress exists on any given day, i suspect this isn’t all that different in LA.

      2. LA proper would be more tolerant of experimental dressing. Orange County–only in the eclectic/artistic enclaves. So far the feedback that I get from wearing the Black Crane dress around town is “wow, is that a caftan” (males) but the women are generally appreciative of the color and the drape.

        I mean, at least I can kind of say it’s like a beachy long maxi dress–that’ll make more sense to people around here. What pushes it into the “strange” is if I pile on more dark clothing–which is why I decided against the black version of the pleats dress–I already have a long skirt and tops to get that vibe with, but the gray is more approachable and is something that I haven’t tried.

        I do enjoy this new feel / direction–new at least for me. I’m so ridiculously comfortable in this dress! It’s like pajamas and a blanket but wearable! 😀

  2. I think once you know what silhouettes suit you, you can pull from any genre that you like. One day I wear a Rick Owens dress, the next I’m a cruise ship captain. I’m partial to Angelica Houston Morticia. I never understand the word goth, to me that is like “hot topic”…and Morticia’s was expensive you know. I could see Morticia wearing Rick Owens: Lilies & Hun/Revillon or Gareth Pugh like Michelle Lamy but more elegant. People forget the Addams were filthy rich. It’s interesting to re-watch those movies, to pick up on all the little nuances in costume design, and how dated all the “normal” people look in the movies, whereas the Addams transcend time. But I digress…

    I love those monk straps. I think men get the best (flat) shoes. I don’t go into brogue/oxford territory, since I wear enough men’s stuff, that I have to draw the line @ things that are too masculine. But I think I’ve gotten more feminine, since I stopped buying all that rock & roll type stuff after the Slimane-Dior Homme era, can’t stand Slimane @ Saint Laurent and I avoid looking @ it as much as possible. The irony is, it’s probably not even that different.

    Sorry to be so off topic!

    1. No no, I love it! I’m learning a lot. Angelica Houston’s Morticia is even more edgy than Carolyn Jones’; but that also probably has to do with the times. I’m a bit campy myself so the 70’s? 60’s? cheesy humor and vibe of the older show suits me a little better.

      You’re very right. I read a Wiki on Gomez Addams and his wealth is immense–he doesn’t need to go to work, and a lot of his ventures tend to fail but somehow in failing he makes bank. The normal people also tend to look shabbier when standing in the foyer or when they’re sitting down to tea on those ornate chairs. Probably for characterization purposes–outside, they’re somebody, but in the Addams home the family holds court. Etc. etc.

      Men get such beautifully constructed, sturdy flat shoes. I’m always going through their section going, I want that, but me-sized. And that. finally monkstraps!

  3. I get what you mean! There’s a certain aesthetic in my head that I want to adhere to but sometimes there are pieces or outfits that don’t fit but I still like anyway. I’m still working it out.

    Btw I love the shoes and the socks you wore with them!

    1. That’s exactly it. I just hope that even as I explore new aesthetics it won’t lead to an overstuffed closet I can’t relate to down the road.

      Those are (surprise, surprise) Uniqlo Heattech socks and they are the bomb dot com 😀

  4. First: monk strap shoes are the greatest. My most beloved shoe. Second: I really love to pair a flowy dress and very red lipstick with more masculine accessories like a chunky men’s cardigan, monk strap shoes, or a man’s hat. For me it takes the girly edge off.

    I love these looks.

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