Thursday, December 13, 2012

Fashion Pit: Volume I

It will almost certainly come as no surprise whatsoever when I describe myself as "not all that fashionable." When once asked to describe my personal style, I chose, "These are my clothes. Watch me wear them." I actually own a full wardrobe, and I've purchased/received a substantial number of clothing items over the years, yet I still wear the Operation Ivy t-shirt I bought in high school about once a week. I see the appeal of fashion, or I at least see the fun and fulfillment in swapping style tips and trying out new looks. However, I've yet to understand catwalk shows where outfits look like they were made by some out of touch designer's hipster nephew that read way too many sci-fi paperbacks as a kid. But, truly, what do I know? I'm most comfortable in blues jeans and a plaid shirt, I've only written one fashion essay in my life, and, at some point, I looked liked this:
Needless to say, I haven't always been the most in tune with the style scene. In recent times, I've at least learned how to cut my hair.
Enter Sara. Sara, for those of you who don't know, writes the popular stylish and thoughtful blog Glitter + Grace. She has come to be the closest thing I have to a fashion guru in my life. Her nail polish shelves are a work of art, she does DIY clothing projects, and she's also one hell of a ping pong player. Over time, she's explained the world of fashion to me, just as, in trade, I've explained to her why I swear so much.

Anyway, I told her how extraordinarily well she dresses, and she said she dug my writing, so we decided to do a project together with each person contributing one skill (Sara - fashion, Jake - nonsense). This essentially became me texting Sara a theme (which, I agree, seems suspiciously close to being a totally random phrase), and then her dressing in an outfit according to her own interpretation of said theme/borderline gibberish. So, without further adieu/rambling, here's Sara's radical style and my unholy delirium.
"Librarian Out on the Town"
Sara: I used this as an excuse to wear a pencil skirt I never get to wear anymore. A button-up cardigan also seemed like a librarian thing to wear. To add the "out on the town" part and avoid total costume librarian look, I wore my hair down and threw on some high-heeled boots.
Jake: In the wretched head of every forlorn bibliophile, there's a gorgeous daydream of a woman. It's the librarian who loves Jose Cuervo as much as she does Thomas Pynchon, loves Jack Daniels as much as Jack Kerouac, and hates James Joyce as much as she hates Jager. It's the girl that's had enough of the late fines, staff meetings, and lanky stoners who just want books on "growing." She's South County vixen meets North County sweetheart, and she secretly has a heart that's like an old Cadillac, pristine and gentle, with a roar that could destroy every boy in town.
"French Girl Car Wreck"
Sara: Look disheveled while still looking chic. Gave me the chance to wear a hat for once.
Jake: Not quite the drunken rage monster that a "train wreck" is, a "car wreck" is a girl who dents, but doesn't destroy, the evening. She's the one who takes over the stereo, but doesn't break it. She can down wine, cheese, and a baguette so fast that it turns a picnic into a festival. She creeps around men's apartments, purring over her shoulder, usually wearing a top, rarely dawning a bottom, and all she wants to do during the day is lounge around and listen to her native land's songs and her nearest man's words. At night, her eyes glow and she disappears into a crowd to turn heads and ruin lives.
"Cream Soda Jazz"
Sara: Went with a cream sweater, neutral colors, and a "jazzy" crystal-y necklace. Pretty basic.
Jake: There is such a thing as a girl who loves jazz without carrying the blues in her soul and her heart on a sleeve, and behind that sultry minx is a man who has beat himself better and badder than any other brawler there that's taken a dive swing at him. It's a cool, slow molasses life for the world of the trumpet lull and the martini-sipping heartbroken. So when an innocent girl comes in with a style that's soft with grace and firm with manners, a smile from her could light up the room and put out all the cigarettes for good.
"Croquet Espionage"
Sara: Upon asking my friends for their interpretation of this look, I was told stripes and blazers. So the stripes were for the preppy part, the blazer was for the spy part, and the rest was just because I wanted to wear those red tights.
Jake: Not every spy has charmingly destructive hobbies like drinking themselves to death or racking up STDs. Some spies have a sense of laughter and culture, and maybe, between the theater outings and charity events, they play croquet. If every move can end up in a shot at the head or saving the world, what secret agent wouldn't want to come home, drink wine, listen to bossa nova, and play croquet? Even the wild and the cunning need freshly cut grass, sunshine coming through the trees, and a game for ladies and gentlemen.
"Sunset Cruise"
Sara: Scanned my closet and my eyes landed on the first color that screamed sunset: those pants. The picture hardly captures the neon nature of them. Then, in an attempt to achieve the look of a 65-year-old frequent cruise-goer, I thought that animal print and gold metallics (belt + shoes) seemed appropriate.
Jake: With the colors of the horizon ringing out the colors of a bonfire, a boat could lurk in the harbor or a car could speed down a seaside road, and there would surely be a girl in either mode of escape hellbent on looking good in a summer outfit. If not, why bother?

And, well, that's it for now. But there'll be a second volume, maybe a third, and who knows after that? Sara's been a real sport, but she might call this thing quits once we finally reach phrases like "pomegranate dreamscape" and "time-traveling mistress." Also, if you're wondering why Sara looks like a bobble head in those last two photos, it's because I took them, and I'm, like, 8'9". But, other than that, style it up, people.*

*That's something fashionable people say, right?

11 comments:

Molly said...

I'm a long-time reader of Sara's blog and I loved this post. Can you please make sure "time-traveling mistress" happens?

Ashley said...

What a great idea! My favorite is French girl car wreck. "At night, her eyes glow and she disappears into a crowd to turn heads and ruin lives" - love that!

lacey said...

i'm so glad this happened and that you shared it with blog land. fun and very creative. i can't wait for more volumes! and sara is right, you are a great writer.

Juliet said...

Sara is my friend in real life (although I reside in her rejected home of Oregon). I love this series and your writing is so vivid! Have you ever checked out Thought Catalog?

Jake Kilroy said...

Glad to see that everyone's just as stoked on this project as I am! Sara's a heck of a dresser. Also, yeah, I would love for "time-traveling mistress" to really happen. It's now on my official list of possible themes to come.

Thought Catalog is one of those sites that I've scoped out, dug, and then totally forgotten about due to the worst memory ever bestowed to mankind. Just checked it out again, and I'll definitely have to keep up with it and maybe even submit. Thanks!

Mandy DeTurk said...

Love Sara's blog and now I love yours too! Great post!!

Fer said...

This is so great! I love the ideas.

Anonymous said...

Love, love, love...keep it going

Sarah @ CoopersCloset said...

This is such a fun idea, I read Sara's blog, so it was neat to see who the ideas are coming from. Quite inspiring. Keep 'em coming :)

Sarah

Jake Kilroy said...

Hot damn, Sara has some swell, sweet readers! This is my first foray into the fashion world, and you folks have been so darn welcoming. I might just stay a while.

FierceandFashionable said...

I am a reader of Sara's blog & love seeing who's behind the fun outfit ideas! Love this game/idea/project :)

Michelle

Fierce & Fashionable