Thursday, May 28, 2009


Ashley is wearing a dress by Phillip Lim—her absolute favorite designer. Van Jean on Devine Street, she tells me, is the place to find all things Phillip Lim—clothes and accessories.

On his website, Mr. Lim says his "raison d'etre is making beautiful clothes with a little touch of madness, striving towards the imperfection." Am I missing something? Because this looks rather perfect to me.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Committee Boat....Lake Murray

Many is the morning I've gazed into my mirror and recited "Glory be to God for dappled things". Perhaps if you are not old enough to be plagued by age spots then you are young enough to have acne, and thus know what I mean. There is another part of that Gerard Manley Hopkins poem I recall while perusing these photos--his salute to the beauty of "all trades, their gear and tackle and trim". I find great beauty in clothes worn for how they work, worn by people at work. Of course, you might not feel that boating is work exactly (to which I say, sail with me and you may rethink your stance). I find boating to be a bit like your Halloween: an excellent excuse to rig out in rather outlandish garb. Take Thurston Howell III. But there is method in the madness. Here, a fellow race committee volunteer sports a life jacket. The man will not boat without one: he is no nervous Nelly but a former Navy Seal. One never knows when one might be bumped overboard, he reminds me. Such is the nature of accident. In light of that, I find myself agreeing that life-saving attire--even the puffy padded sort--looks rather smart indeed.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hunter...The Beauty of a Scarf

Readers—take note. Regard how a scarf can add seasonless interest to an ensemble. Scarves are versatile, easy and (almost) always lend pizzazz. Just don't go as far as Brad Pitt at the Cannes Film Festival this week.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ben....Garners Ferry

My friend Millicent and I were waiting to place our bagel order when we spied Ben. I believe it was his Samson-like mane that caught Milli's eye. I, on the other hand, was taken by his t-shirt, for it occurred to me that before there was Garden & Gun there was Guns 'N' Roses. What to make of this penchant for flora and firearms?

I inquired if this Ph.D candidate at the university had a philosophy of fashion. "Wear what's clean," was Ben's response. And though he says yes, he is a fan of the band, Ben doesn't recall spending any money to get the shirt: "I think it's my brother's."

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Ian's wardrobe comes from Express. He works for Argand Solar Energy. I told him I've gotten much better at turning off my lights, but that I've yet to buy a squiggly light bulb. Have patience with me you young things. It's extremely difficult to teach an old dog new tricks.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Anna and Brandon....701 Whaley

These two work for Stir magazine, which they assure me is not about mixology, though the magazine apparently has nothing against the occasional martini. His jacket is from Urban Outfitters, jeans are Diesel. Her skirt is handpainted.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sunshine....On a Cloudy Day

Delleney is sporting a lemon yellow bubble dress with cowboy boots and a radiant dose of youthful appeal.

Some of our favourite fashions begin as practicalities, cowboy boots among them. I confess, I've often wondered why young Southern women pair cowboy boots with summer dresses. Jaunty, indeed, but don't their shins sweat mightily in there? (Apologies, but one has to ask.)

At any rate, after nearly stepping on a snake at Riverfront Park last week, I am revising my view. Please stifle your giggle if you spy an old man speedwalking in a pair of cowhides and gym shorts. As they say, somewhere, safety first!

Friday, May 8, 2009


Few polyester-based ensembles have the power to communicate on as many levels as the police uniform. Experts look to a combination of history, colour theory, and psychological studies to explain. But you can probably present an equally valid theory based on your own experiences (and if those experiences are amusing or embarrassing, I should love to hear about them).

I offer this note from my files: In the early 1800s, London police officers wore top hats. These were doubly smart; because the hats were reinforced with cane, officers could use them as step stools, standing up on their hats to peer into windows and over walls.

Research shows that people tend to curb their nefarious behaviour in the presence of a uniformed officer. I know that I am incapable of consuming a bag of Frazzles if there is a policeman looking on.

My friend Elinor confesses to quite the opposite response: she feels more tempted to be naughty when a handsome uniformed officer looks her way. Analyzing her reaction, I fear, is beyond the capacity of a fashion anthropologist.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bob....Baby Blue

Bumped into my new chum Bob who reminded me how colour can bring out the eyes. Remember to avoid a red tie, gentlemen, if you've been out a bit too late of late. Cheers!