Sunday, January 31, 2010

Anita....The Blue Martini

Yet another fashion conscious person encountered during my recent visit to The Blue Martini. Though the bar was lined with stylish people, Anita nevertheless stood out. She found this gauzy layered top, she told me, at Simply Fashion in Arcadia Lakes Plaza.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lorie & Lee Ann....Forecasting Snow

Perhaps the promise of snow brings out the child in all of us.

Heeding the warnings of a half-dozen weathermen, I had gone to my grocer's to stock up on Duraflame logs. That's when I encountered these two. Lorie, on the left, swore to me that she could not face a winter storm without a fresh supply of grape jelly. Lee Ann, on the right, told me it was an American practice to buy milk and bread when sleet and snow are on the way. Then both exclaimed it was much too cold to be posing for photographs and huddled as if they were mocking me. At any rate, dear reader, though I enjoy my acquaintance with both women, I began to feel rather childish myself. I nearly took my Duraflames and went home.
Then Lorie allowed me to capture her shearling jacket, scarf, and single striped glove...cooperating....though not for long....

...turning away just as I managed to get Lee Ann's attention. I do like the shape of this hood!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Eric....The Blue Martini

This striking young man was performing with his jazz group at The Blue Martini. I found something elegantly old-fashioned about Eric's hat and crisp white shirt.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Claude....Dressed for Work

As a boy, I imagined that all painters were scrawny French men with even scrawnier moustaches, wearing berets and smocks. Claude, whose paintings hang on some very fine walls, has a much better idea I believe. What could be more fitting, really, than a paint-spattered sweat shirt?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Courtney....In Vivid Colour

I met Courtney and her friend Julie on this gorgeous afternoon, they about to train for a half-marathon, I out for a stroll in my new plaid plimsolls.

Courtney's workout gear instantly brought a smile to my face. The fantastic tie-dyed shirt and green socks were inspired. Turned out the sock choice was inspired indeed. "I forgot my regular running socks," Courtney told me, and so she improvised.

The shirt is the real deal, straight from Berkeley, California, which Courtney assures me is "a very hippie dippy town." Her husband's family gave it to her (the shirt that is, not the town--nor heaven forbid, the hippie dippies). It seems they all wore shirts like this for their Christmas card photo. She writes about her colourful family at

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Reid....A Hat Bedighted

Yes, my old pal Reidy likes to think himself a busy man...much too busy to stop and model for a muddle-headed fashion anthropologist. To which I say, pish posh. I had my eye on Reid's new hat and the odd ornaments with which he'd adorned it.
He claimed these are actual ducks he'd shot himself. And I suppose he turned them over to an Amazonian head-shrinker to make them fit on his hat. The man must think me feeble-minded indeed.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Caped Trio....Riverfront Park

Just when I'd almost forgotten it was winter, chilly temperatures returned. During the cold snap earlier this month, my friend Molly and I encountered these two delightful dog-lovers and their three pups. Each dog was sporting a cape, his name (or possibly hers, forgive me, but I felt it rude to look) embroidered on the cape. I believe Sherlock Holmes, my pal Reid, and perhaps even Underdog himself, would have experienced cape envy.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

May....In January

Once again, darling May tried to persuade me to photograph anyone but May--yet I persisted. It was an unseasonably warm winter afternoon. Fortune was smiling upon us, and as we see in the news, that is nothing to take for granted. And May was making the most of a 70-degree January day in a vividly-coloured sleeveless sweater and animal-print skirt, both from a line called Etcetera (which you may recall, has a Columbia connection). Indeed, why not document this moment?

I was particularly intrigued by the large clock around her neck and asked if it was some sort of rap music-influenced accessory. She laughed heartily and shook her head: "This? It's a stopwatch, you silly man. I'm helping someone prepare a speech, and I've been timing him."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Harriet....Quilted Chic

What is it about quilting that brings everything good to mind--tea cozies, blankets made with love, moving pads that protect my treasured antiques....and now, this wonderful jacket on lovely Harriet. The soft green was so touchable (dear H, I hope I did not seem too fresh! my research required it!). I find the contrasting dark brown stitching and binding give the jacket a wonderful graphic quality.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Kaci....Black & White

How grand it is to toss off the heavy winter clothes and enjoy a warm January day. Pretty Kaci paused to chat for a second, before skipping up these steps to her job at Vintage Salon on Hampton Street. I enjoyed the way she paired the zebra-striped bag with a black and white dotted top she found at Charlotte Russe. The polka dots almost seem to bubble up, putting me in mind dare I say, to pop open a bottle of champagne and toast this fabulous afternoon.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Minnie....Garners Ferry

I shared my brolly with this delightful woman yesterday, but you'll not be surprised to learn that I had an ulterior motive.

LM: I must tell you, this is a wonderful outfit. I cannot resist it.
Minnie (chuckling): Sir, you're not the first person to tell me that today.
LM (going where he always must): I don't doubt it, but perhaps I will be the first person to tell you this: I am a fashion anthropologist. Might I capture your ensemble for my research?

Her hat was purple, but still I suspected that Minnie might be a member of the famed Red Hat Society. I was reluctant to ask, lest I sound presumptious. Perhaps Minnie simply likes purple and red. So I kept the chatter going, always an easy task on my side.

LM: You are fond of red and purple, I take it.
Minnie: Well, I'm a red hatter. You have to do these things when you get old.

We laughed, and I wondered how a man of my umpteen years might look in a crimson fedora. Minnie proceeded to tell me that she'd always liked red, had begun adding purple over the last year, and decided to dress up in Red Hat Society colours as an antidote to the gloomy afternoon. I, for one, was totally cheered--making this outfit an unqualified success!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Gus....By the Congaree

Gus caught my notice for several reasons: first, his red shirt stood out against this palette of browns and tans. Second, I was intrigued by the way he was wearing his sunglasses. And lastly, I wondered how he managed to conduct his phone conversation over the din of squawking geese on the river. Such a nice fellow, he interrupted his call to chat with me for a while.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Brittany....Produce Department

I was trying to sneak a photo of this hat. Alas, my flash gave me away. But as some writer somewhere said, all's well that ends well. Brittany was positively ebullient, cheerily answering my questions about her garments. Originally she'd purchased the hat for her brother, from the boys' department at Target. He had pronounced it "too girly." So she'd reclaimed it and clipped on this peacock-feather hair slide.
Her houndstooth scarf is from Banana Republic, her military-style jacket a thrift store find, the parsley from Publix.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hugh....River Walk

Small wonder that bank robbers have adopted this style. The path by the river was dotted with men wearing sunglasses and sensible winter beanies like this, with little to distinguish one from the next other than the dog the gentleman was walking. So I was taken off guard when this man spoke my name. I recognized that voice, though I had not recognized him. Never, dear reader, underestimate the value or charm of a distinctive accent.

“Lord M, do you like my toboggan?” Hugh asked in his Southern lilt. I looked about but saw no sled. Curious, indeed.

Still pondering my experience, I returned to the warmth of my library and first googled “bank robber attire.” It seems that robbers do attract attention for what they wear: I found more than one fashion critic taking issue with a robber's garish ensemble; a trend in Seattle—robbers dressed as construction workers; and in New Hampshire, a hapless bank robber who disguised himself as a tree.

Next, to solve the mystery of the invisible toboggan. It seems that Southerners are unlike the rest of the world in yet another charming way: they call woolly winter caps toboggans and when they use the word, almost never mean “sled.” Fascinating.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Ineke....Dutch Square

Ineke and I met in line at the cinema. She was marking her anniversary by going to the movies--without her husband. "Well I am seeing a romantic comedy," she said, sounding a tad defensive. Her outfit was pulled together from a variety of sources--olive green Ferragamo loafers, jacket from Stein Mart, jeans and cap from Gap.
I wondered what had inspired her to pin on the star, made of lacquered paper. "The pin was a gift from a friend, years ago. I got the idea for putting it on my hat from a photo I saw on The Sartorialist," she said.
A few more amusing details....appliqued scarf, "found at a little shop in Paris, in the Marais" suede fringed gloves, "from J. Crew, circa 1990"...and the bag? "TJ Maxx."

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Debi & Leah....Riverfront Park

I was thrilled to see these roller skates, the old-fashioned four-wheeled kind, and how Debi's red shoe-strings matched the wheels. Debi, I understand, is active with the local roller derby team and helps organize an event called Crafty Feast. As I witnessed, she's also a patient roller skating instructor.
I watched as she gave cute Leah tips for going downhill. Then the two glided away, I'd like to say into the sunset, but it was actually mid-afternoon.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Jessica....Boozer Shopping Center

I liked Jessica's scaled-down pea coat--shorter and less boxy than most--and loved the striped scarf, which shows how one jaunty accessory can brighten everything. Jessica found her fruit-striped muffler at Aeropostale.

A brief aside, if you'll permit: Was I tipsy, dear reader, or does Columbia in fact have a shopping center just for boozers? (And to be clear, Jessica and I were purchasing nothing stronger than coffee and donuts.) I do hope someone will enlighten me.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Barbara & Sophie....A Walk in the Park

Barbara and her pup made quite the dashing duo. I wish you could see the plaid vest on the fluffy little one, but when I pointed my camera at her, she snarled and jumped into Barbara's arms. Barbara apologized, introduced herself, and explained that she'd named her dog Sophie because she wanted her to have a girlish name. "She's not supposed to snarl at you," Barbara said, to which Sophie snarled as if on cue. Upon hearing my family name, Barbara touched her luscious plaid scarf and told me, "I got this in Scotland!"

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Molly....Riverfront Park

With the temperature a balmy 55 degrees, it seems we had the same idea--to venture outdoors while the venturing was good. When I saw these gloves, I thought I might have the chance to tell my Spotted Richard story again. Alas, upon closer inspection, I discovered that this was a faux snow leopard print, not Dalmatian. Molly said she'd found the set at Target.
Should today's forecast for a night of crazy weather be accurate, it looks as if Molly is ready.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Katie....Beltline Boulevard

I was dining with three charming friends when we noted this young woman sporting a bold pattern. I asked if I might take a photo. K-K-K-Katie flashed me a joyous grin and said, "oh yes." Lest she think me a cornball, I assured her I was not about to break into song. It seems I have developed a weather-induced c-c-c-case of nonstop ch-ch-chattering teeth. I admired the way she dressed up warm layers and boots with this lively topper. She found it, she told me, at Wish. "I liked that I could wear it in all seasons, and it was colourful," she said. And I say, "In-d-d-d-deed!"

Friday, January 1, 2010

Marina....New Year's Day

This pretty young lady and her friends appeared to be concluding their first bicycle outing of the new year. I eavesdropped for a while; they were such a jolly group that it made me long to be 20 again. Though reluctant to barge in, I was unable to resist asking Marina about her ensemble.

One does not often see a person cycling in gypsy pink tights and a black mini skirt (I'm sorry to say). I wondered what had inspired the selection. "Actually, this is what I wore out for New Year's Eve," she told me. "It was cold, so I threw on the hoody."

Perfect, I thought, and was so glad I'd inquired. Then a second treat--the chance to say hello to another new acquaintance. It turned out that one of Marina's cycling companions (her back to us in the photo above, wearing the green knapsack) was lovely, talented Charlotte, whose flair for knee socks had earlier turned my head.