I can't stand a basic. Whenever magazines (which I love!) do those "10 things every woman should have in her closet" thingies, I flip right ahead to the inevitable, always-riveting "Something horrible happend to this woman" feature. They always want you to have a CRISP WHITE BLOUSE. Hopefully CRISP enough to slit my wrists with!
What else should I have in my closet, Gods of boring preparedness? A black dress? A fitted blazer? A pair of (I die inside) black pants?
When I was a sad, drunk 24-year-old, I worked in educational publishing and had to adhere to a business casual dress code. I wore black fucking pants every day, with like, button-downs and sweater vests. In retrospect, maybe I'm not even a drug addict -- it was just that stepping into those black pants day after day drove me to faceplant in piles of cocaine every time I left the office.
Truly, is there anything worse than black pants? They are the slacks that scoop out your soul and eat it on a small, non-buttery cracker that shreds the roof of your mouth a little.
I realize that there are some essential items that make dressing yourself on a day-to-day basis easier, but I have a hard time convincing myself to spend money on staples. If it's not colorful, attention-grabbing and fun, it's not worth waiting in NYC retail lines for. Thusly, I bring you my wildly impractical list of "basics" for girls who can't stand looking basic. (And maybe want to look also a little mentally unbalanced.)
1. An attention-grabbing pair of pumps.
I am highly partial to pink pumps and believe every girl should own a pair, but blue, green and yellow are also way more interesting thank black or nude. J Crew and Modcloth have a good selection of pumps in primary colors. If you want to bypass interesting and wear some shoes that are straight up nuts, check out Irregular Choice.
A print is also great, ala these Zebra-print platform pumps from Forever 21, for $26.80.
2. A witty bag
I like Kate Spade for this. My signature is the above typewriter bag (of which we shall never speak of its Ebay price tag), but I recently purchased the awesome "grass bag" below on sale. It's currently marked all the way down to $89. Which is another bonus about being into weird shit: It always ends up on sale, because the majority of people want their clothing and accessories to be "pretty" and "flattering," not "funny." Zzzzzzzzzz wake me when a crazy-looking bitch walks by.
3. Crazy print dresses!
I never met a print I didn't like. Seriously. At this point, I'm not sure I own a solid-colored dress. Aside from my polka dot problem, I've got typewriters, sailboats, zig-zags, bicycles, confetti swirls, tiny animals paisleys, stripes and all manner of florals.
I get some of my best prints from Finnish company Marimekko, which has been designing clothing, home goods and other textiles in simple shapes with bold patterns since the 50s.
Fashion wisdom has that you should match the size of the print to the size of your body, which I have taken to mean that as an Amazonian woman, I can plaster the biggest, craziest, loudest prints I can find across my girth.
Also, I would love to go back in time and tell my chubby preteen self who was horrified by the proliferation of chubby animals and food items on plus-size clothing that I now proudly own a dress covered with hot dogs and ice cream cones.
Clockwise from Bottom Left: Karen Walker for Anthropologie Dot Range Peacoat ($228), Folter Snack Attack Dress ($64), ASOS T-shirt Dress in Paisley Floral Print ($36.45), Dusen Dusen for Anthropologie Waves Midi Dress ($179), Flower Explosion from Marimekko ($224)
4. Brightly colored pencil skirts
The foundation upon which my "pin-up girl gone off her meds" style is built. My go-to is the No. 2 Pencil Skirt from J.Crew -- it comes in a rotating selection of bright colors, in cotton in the warmer months and wool in the winter. Right now, I recommend "neon pink" and "succulent green," which are both currently marked down to $50.
5. A hair accessory that looks like you might have made it yourself
You didn't, but some girl on Etsy did. I've actually gotten away from this trend, but I'm trying to bring it back. It started with hair flowers and somehow graduated into all manner of critters crawling up in there.
Birds, butterflies, bees, children's toys -- I like to backcomb my hair to make it as nest-like as possible and then just start sticking stuff in there. Most of my creations come from Charm School Design, but there are tons of girls making this kind of thing on Etsy or at your local boutiques. I'm pretty sure you can find anything on a headband these days.
Bluebird and its nest headband, Kisforkani, $45
Flight of the Monarchs Butterfly Headband, Charm School Design, $32
Looking back at ths post, I suspect I may have the worst style ever. But whatever. I stand by my choices. Does anyone else hate stocking the "basics" as much as I do? Do black pants make you want to kill yourself?