Sunday, December 29, 2013

Layers & Texture....Main Street

I enjoyed the way this woman had assembled her ensemble...all the textures, of course, and also the touches of yellow in hat and shoes.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Flowers & Knits....Soda City

I spied this charming and festive woman while I was Christmas shopping at the Soda City Market Saturday (though with the holiday bustle that's ensued, it seems that was weeks ago rather than merely days).
At least part of her look--the hat and gloves--could be purchased.  Above you see a closer look at the gloves, trimmed with flowers. The whole thing was quite romantic, no?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Wade & Erin....Soda City Market

Perhaps the best part of the Christmas season is the chance to see people one adores who have moved away.  Erin, on the left, has been living in Washington, D.C., and I was delighted to see her in Columbia and also pleased to see her looking chic in one of my favourite colour combinations--grey and orange. Erin's home for the holidays.....and arm in arm with her old friend, Wade, who insisted that he show the back of his jacket rather than his handsome mug.
Here's a closer shot of the jacket, which Wade tells me is very rare.  Wade snagged his while working on a film about the Jam Room.  While I was chatting with these two, another adorable young woman appeared, dear Malia, home for a visit from the grand city of New York.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

4 Questions For....Hip Wa Zee


If Hip Wa Zee on Harden Street is my mini-museum of 20th century fashion, then co-owner Kellie Rego is one of its curators.  As for shaping the city's fashion sensibility, she surely deserves credit for making our look more fun every day--and her store is a top source for costumes at every season. Above, you see the Hip Wa Zee family in their Christmas sweaters. That's Ms. Rego in the bottom right corner and below, looking quite pretty in yet another Christmas sweater.

Ms. Rego (or do I risk being fresh and call her Kellie?) shops for these sweaters all year in order to stock the store with hundreds and hundreds of them. I stopped by to chat with her when I was researching the status of "ugly Christmas sweaters," and she answered my 4 Questions (and without once rolling her eyes, the dear):

1. What qualities make a Christmas sweater Hip Wa Zee worthy?
Bells, three dimensional characters, sparkle and timeless spirit.

2. I’d thought Christmas sweater parties might be a passing fancy. Perhaps I was wrong. Where is Columbia in this craze? Has the trend peaked?
That's  one trend Columbia is definitely into. It's surprisingly irresistible, contagious even. You see your friends in what looks like a scene from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and you just want to join in...dressed like Cousin Eddie, of course. Dickie and all. No, I can't see the peak from here.
3. On what occasion might you wear a Christmas sweater non-ironically?
Non-ironically? What do you mean?

4. I overheard a lady insist that snowman sweaters are more practical than Santa sweaters, because one might wear a snowman sweater all winter long. Thoughts?
Hmm, Santa vs Frosty. Tough call. I can see her point but for some reason that just brought to mind my favorite type of snow globe from Florida, a melted snow man. Now that's a sweater I'd like to see!

You'll find more of my musings about the Christmas sweater here.  Perhaps that's as enticing as  finding lumps of coal in the old stocking--so let me throw in that you'll also find more amusing sweater photos there, as well.

And I'm a bit curious about you, dear reader. Will you be wearing a Christmas sweater? And what's your stand on the snowman-sweater-after-Christmas proposition?

PS: I discovered this article in The Wall Street Journal about ugly Christmas sweaters. They claim to have identified something new this year.... an oddball trend.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Brassieres & Bow Ties....Crafty Feast

Ah, the human imagination.....'tis a wonderful thing, well celebrated yesterday at Crafty Feast.  Above you see what I take to be a modern interpretation of the breastplate, a chainmail brassiere of sorts to protect, as they say, "the girls". The craftsperson behind this work uses bicycle parts as her material, so it is in fact chainmail made of bicycle chains.  Brilliant! Do let me know if you see anyone sporting this about town!
Thinking a metal brassiere might not quite suit an old gent, I opted for a handmade bow tie from local designer Titanic Alley.  You may be aware that I'm a bit of an enthusiast for the label. Seems I'm not alone. By the time I'd arrived at their booth, they'd already sold quite a few.
Here, two handsome men sporting the ties....Paul at left, whose taste I quite admire....and Russell on the right, the chap behind Titanic Alley.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Sweater Shopping....Hip Wa Zee

These two were shopping for what many insist on calling "ugly Christmas sweaters".  While they (meaning the sweaters) might not be my cup of tea, I see no reason to be judgmental. The young women, of course, were perfectly adorable. I do hope they enjoyed their knitwear-themed party.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Victorian Carolers....Mast General

I was delighted to encounter this caroling foursome charmingly clad in Victorian costume.  They call themselves The Carillon Carolers, and they look to be straight out of a Dickens Christmas tale.

Meanwhile, a tip of my top hat to Trustus Theater, whose version of Scrooge landed them in The New York Times. (If you check out the article, I've been told that 52 is the magic number.)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Aaron....Hip Wa Zee

A visit yesterday to Hip Wa Zee was highly informative. Among other things, I learned that tonight is a very big night for Christmas sweater parties around town. The store had experienced a run on sweaters in the last 24 hours.
 Aaron, a handsome and good-natured chap, agreed to model a sweater for me....
According to Kellie Rego, co-owner of Hip Wa Zee, men are big customers and want their Christmas sweaters to include, she says, "literally all the bells and whistles."
No jingle bells on this knit vest, but Aaron did top of his sweater with the Dreadlocks Santa hat.  I found myself smiling with the so-called spirit of the season. Perhaps it's time to indulge in some literal spirits of the season, a bit of eggnog and rum, no?

Friday, December 6, 2013

Balmy Day....Camden

I encountered this handsome young man at one of my favourite spots in Camden, the charming Broad Street Books.  I thought his attire perfect for summery weather on a December day.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Lucky....Bow Tie To-Do

This good-looking fellow may well be the bow tie king of the internet and, as officially announced today, may soon preside over a bow tie world record effort.  Lucky, who works for Brittons on Devine, is part of the store's attempt on February 9 to break the Guinness record for most bow ties tied at one time.

They announced their plans at a news conference. You can read about it here....though I humbly suggest that I, a lowly fashion anthropologist, may well have gotten the scoop. If you're inclined to use the Twitter, you can keep tabs on the event @tieustogether.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Feather Bow Ties....Turkey Day

When I was a lad, my music teacher would reward my practice and playing not with a gold star, but with a turkey feather. He used to promise me that if I'd work hard every week, I'd soon have enough turkey feathers to make something remarkable.  Perhaps the young man behind Brackish Bow Ties also had such a music teacher, for he has made the lovely tie you see above from, yes, turkey feathers. (I hope the chap won't mind me using his photo in order to show you the outcome.)

I was introduced to South Carolinian Ben Ross and his work through a comment on my recent blog post about bow ties, so I give thanks to you, dear Becca, for leading me to this fine find.  I rather fancy myself looking dapper in a Phunky Pheasant, but take a look and see which feather bow tie suits you.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Street Style....Under the Weather

Documenting street style can be rather difficult when the weather is so awful that people refuse to set foot on said street.  I was thrilled to see these folk out on Saluda Avenue....only to draw closer and discover that they were literal empty suits.  By George,  I'll take it!
This red hat and plaid jacket made me feel warmer right away....
...as did these furry cuffs and brilliant scarf.
Here, I was put in mind (for some reason) of the Headless Horseman.  Perhaps I've been watching a bit too much of that television series (which, by the way, stars a gentleman of my acquaintance with a connection to Columbia).  The horseman can only wish to sport such a stylish hat upon his head(less)....or he could perhaps drop by 2G's Clothing in Five Points, which is where I found all of these weatherproof ensembles.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Frightful....Weather Outside

I just stepped out of doors, and my eyes went all googly--not unlike those of the chap on the left.  If only someone would give me $79.99 for my trouble.  Ah well, I'm looking forward to seeing what my fellow Columbians will don on this cold day.  Will you be wearing a wildly furry hat, extra-tall boots or high tech mittens? If so, would you be so kind as to send me a photo?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Autumn Light....Riverfront Park

It's the norm to see neon-clad runners along Columbia's canal, so these two caught my eye with a more jewel-toned colour palate. I had to scurry to catch up to them--and even this romantic, golden light could not make me appear to comport myself with dignity!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

4 Questions For....Titanic Alley


While contemplating Columbia’s contribution to the national bow tie trend, I engaged in a pleasant discussion with Russell Sox (pictured below, with a glass of bubbly), who has recently launched his own line of bow ties under the Titanic Alley label.

He takes the name of his company from a mysterious street that is depicted on Columbia maps of yore but has sunk into oblivion today.  How appropriate of the street, no?

Mr. Sox’s tie endeavor, however, is sailing along, with an online shop, inclusion in the juried show Crafty Feast, and demand that keeps him busy.  (He makes every Titanic Alley tie himself.) 

Fortunately, he stopped cutting and sewing long enough to indulge me by answering four questions.  I liked the outcome so entirely that I intend to question more local style influencers in just the same way.

4 Questions for Russell Sox of Titanic Alley:

1. In free association exercises, when I say "bow tie" the responses range from "naughty English professor" to "Orville Redenbacher".  What do you make of this?

It makes me wonder with whom do you engage in these free associations?

2. Columbia is home to a bow tie 5k, a bow tie festival, a bow tie workout video, and several bow tie designers. What should this tell us?

It tells us that Columbia is fully engulfed in the bow tie renaissance and should be considered a new center of contemporary bow tie design! We're seeing the bow tie embraced by a new generation. 
 
3. Your company name makes me think of both the ship and that diagonal alley in Harry Potter. If Titanic Alley were to mysteriously sink after hitting an iceberg conjured up by a wizard, what sort of bow tie would you like to be wearing?

I hope to never be involved in such a calamity but if I am, I will be wearing a diamond-point argyle wool bow that also inflates into a life preserver.

4. What do you wish I had asked?  And would you mind terribly answering it?

Not at all. Here's a good question: Bow ties can have a reputation of being stuffy and old fashioned. What are some new trends that make bow ties appealing for today's man?
  
Reversible bow ties have been very popular among Titanic Alley customers. One side is a complimentary fabric or color for the other - so when it's tied, you see a peek of contrast from the fabric on the back. It gives the wearer options for which side to tie as the "dominant" side - and it's like buying two neckties for the price of one.

I also encourage gentlemen to look beyond the traditional "butterfly" shape. I particularly like the diamond-point. The ends taper to a point and create an asymmetrical bow that has a young and modern look.

Thank you, Mr. Sox!

As I post these notes, I see that I've failed to ask the most obvious question:  
Has the gentleman ever considered designing hosiery?

And did I mention? On occasion, you'll also find me rambling on about things for Fig Columbia.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Adorable....In Layers

Record cold this week. A forecast of 80 degrees for Monday. What's a chap to wear? Perhaps I'll take my cue from this darling lass and dress in layers.  Don't you like the stripes.....and those shoes?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Warm Wrap....Chilly Days

Leaving the warmth of my heavenly bed is no small challenge when the weather is chilly. Perhaps a shawl or poncho of some sort would ease that transition! This woman looks warm and pretty in her wrap, paired with boots. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

On the Fringe....Main Street

Look at this marvelous fringe jacket!  Fringe, for me, is one of the most rewarding elements in fashion, because it moves, slaps others with its awesomeness, chases away flies, and makes noise. (Show me an Armani jacket that can do that!)  Plus, I love the look. I found myself wondering how fringe evolved and still have much research to do--but I came across this interesting blog and entry, which I think you'll enjoy.

As I typed the words "the Fringe" it also occurred to me that I prefer it to the Twitter and wonder if there is not a social media opportunity lurking in there somewhere.  Or perhaps such a thing already exists for (despite my use of "awesomeness" in this post) I am surely too much of an old dog to have come up with a new trick.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Birthday Suit....Drip on Main

I was sipping a cortado at a birthday soiree for dear Peg (yes, that Peg o' my heart), when this striking person arrived.  At first, I thought she might be the entertainment. Then, I supposed this to be her regular look.  Finally, I was set straight: The darling woman had been painting faces at the Trinity Bazaar and donned this costume for the occasion.  She looks wonderful, no? I especially liked the tiny hat perched atop that mountain of curls. And the colours, in this combination, practically vibrate--making the caffeine in my coffee seem rather weak by comparison.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Runners & Fans....Governor's Cup Race

Though there was more neon than I've seen since 1986, these runners--with their surprising Cowboys-from-Hawaii theme--stole the show.  Well done, gentlemen.
They and all the other runners in the Governor's Cup road race were the beneficiaries of cheers from this group, possibly the cutest family in America.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The German....Novemberfest

This fellow was introduced to me as "The German"....and who dares argue with these lederhosen and this jaunty hat?  Seek out The Wurst Wagen to find him, along with some delicious food.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Becky....Soda City

What a striking dress, no? One admirer later told me she found the dress magical in an Alice in Wonderland sort of way.
Beautiful Becky posed for me--and told me her dress was from Odd Molly.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Young Rider....Equestrian Event

At the request of my young neighbor, I ventured out to a rural location to watch a casual equestrian competition. While there were many lovely young ladies in traditional English riding attire, I was most taken by this pretty mother and daughter.  The mother had a wonderful style and later strode about in a stunning sarape that I wish I could show you.
Here's another look at the daughter, one of the competitors.  Not only cute, she also proved herself to be quite courageous as she entered the riding ring atop a very large horse.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Tim & Carol....Celebrating 30 Years

A reader thought I might enjoy seeing seeing these photos from his 30th wedding anniversary celebration--and he was correct! I enjoyed them so much that I asked if I might share and graciously, he said yes.
Tim, an artist, designed the entire thing as a surprise for his wife Carol.  I'll let you read the description he sent:
"I hired Veronica Jeffcoat to style the park. This was the park where I asked Carol to marry me...."
 
 "I designed the words for 30 rocks and had them etched.... "
 
"Note that they are not all positive words because life isn't full of roses."
Then, for my benefit, he added a final detail: "And yes, I did have to buy the white pants to play the part. : )"  Lovely, don't you think....both the execution of the event....and the gentleman who made it happen.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013