Oh Yeah, Fall


Wow. I haven’t posted since I returned from France. (Can you blame me for finding home a  little less photogenic?) The past couple months call for a recap via photoessay. Find more fashion photos on my Instagram, which you can follow @aesthetic_etiquette.

McKinney Falls: Its natural beauty is not even diminished by people sitting on rocks with their pool noodles.

I captured and was captivated by snails. Did you know that when two snails mate, both snails get pregnant and become each other’s baby snail daddy?

I moved to a new apartment with my more conventional pets.

I attended the Austin Film Festival for the first time, and my only record of it is this photo of me juxtaposed with a stranger’s artfully decorated truck. The fest was a lot of fun. But, like SXSW, I’d only recommend shelling out for passes if you’re luxurious and have the whole week off work.


Moonrise Kingdom, 60s movie extra, Beetlejuice. I had additional silly costumes. This is how much I did Halloween.


New cosmetic dependencies: Organix Moroccan Argan Oil haircare and Clinique lipstick in Red-y to Wear.

Trends move in cycles. Every four years, it becomes really popular to participate in government.

As an avid thrifter, I was almost angry that I didn’t know about Austin Antique Mall until this month. The place is enormous and crammed full of amazing furniture and home decor. I refrained from buying anything but a pair of elbow-length brown leather gloves, but I’m destined to return for one of the reasonably priced fur stoles. Raise your pinkie to that!

I’m trying out a subscription with Greenling, a local produce delivery service. They drop off a mystery box of veggies at your door weekly or biweekly. I like the element of surprise, and I like knowing where I stand on specialty radishes.


So You Saw Black Swan…

…and you stopped being disturbed long enough to enjoy the Rodarte costumes and get interested in ballet-inspired fashion?

It’s not a new or radical inspiration for designers/people-staring-into-closets, but ballerina-approved pieces are one of my favorite ways to look feminine and polished.

Here are a few ideas, from head to toe:

(photo of cute Portland girl from her blog, clevernettle.com)

A low bun, smooth or messy, is always straight up chic, but there’s been a more recent resurgence of the high, crown-level version. It’s called a topknot, and according to a poll conducted by Glamour, a slight majority of men don’t like it. But come on. If I dressed for men I wouldn’t be wearing a top that’s a couple sizes too big and a ring shaped like a bird’s skull right now.

Forever 21 “lightly studded” leotard, $8.80

Leos are good for layering and they’re perfection with high-waisted skirts or pants. I love the look of a tucked-in shirt, but there’s the problem of shorter shirts slipping out or longer shirts causing bulges and bunching. Ta-da: the one piece wonder. Look for styles that have a snap closure at the crotch (not necessarily racy, but practical!) if you don’t feel like basically getting naked and then redressing each time you go to the ladies room.

Perhaps you don’t have the perfect innocence of the white swan or the lesbianic fantasies and hysteric rampages of the black swan. The skirt above by Cynthia Rowley will suit a gray swan just fine.

Tutu-esque skirts with a sheer layer or two of tulle, chiffon, netting, etc. can be styled to look casual, professional, or party-ready. Just don’t ask the DJ if he has any Tchaikovsky.

Capezio Ultra Soft footed tight, $14

One thing I’ve always been happy to wear outside the studio is Capezio tights. It’s hard to imagine bothering with regular pantyhose (especially in winter!) after wearing these thicker, more opaque tights designed for dancers to wear and wash frequently. They’re also virtually snag proof!

Most necessary in plain black, but a dance retailer is also a good place to look for fishnets (subtly sexy in nude, with soles done geniously in a solid fabric for comfort) or a pair with rhinestones down the back seams if you’re Cher enough to handle it.

And I’ll just state the obvious here:


They prevent foot pain. So does this:

Capezio lamb’s wool, $6.50 per box (free if you can find a sheep to shave)

Lamb’s wool is used for stuffing pointe shoes to make the wood-block-pushing-toenail-back-into-foot experience a little more pleasant. But I tried putting this stuff in my regular high heels, and I’m pretty sure it was the only thing that allowed me to bop comfortably through a Sunset Rubdown show that I saw 4 inches more of than I would have otherwise. Resin not recommended for slip-proofing everything, though I haven’t tried it…

So I’m a fan.

On my way to a recent party I realized I was wearing opaque tights, a leotard, and a chiffon skirt. Oops. But it looked quite balanced with cage heels and a bomber jacket…plus you never know when you’ll need to drop everything and do a petit allegro, right?

Olsen Twins’ Worst Idea Since Annorexia

I’ll admit that I’m generally fond of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. As a kid I watched all their straight-to-VHS movies about saving the wild west and meeting cute boys in Hawaii, which helps me now when I’m doing those things in real life. But I must say: Their latest clothing line, Olsenboye, is even worse than their acting.

I was more than just disappointed by the affordable collection
(available at JCPenny) — I was confused. These girls know fashion, and they know merchandising. Fame made the Olsens into total moguls before they could even get driver’s licenses. They raked in so much with lifestyle brands that movies probably became an unnecessary annoyance.

As young adults, they’re celebrities who don’t really do anything but get snapped by paparazzi, looking chic and too small for their sunglasses and venti Starbucks cups. They became style icons and single-handedly (er, double-handedly?) ushered in the Great Boho Craze of the year 2000-and-whatever with their penchant for undone  hair and oversized everything. They’re always stylish, so it’s a good thing they’ve stayed relevant by designing clothes instead of spewing out needless pop albums or becoming irritating spokes models for diseases no one has forgotten about.

The Row is free of prints and full of cool silhouettes:

Hunting Dress in Black, $550. Check out the artsy website.

Elizabeth and James is a line with similar designer prices, but more personality:

“Cheyenne” Horseshoe Print Silk Shirt, $265 at Bloomingdale’s.

I don’t know how the same ladies would even nod at the sketches of what was to become Olsenboye. The spring/summer collection looks like Victoria’s Secret Pink apparel sewn by blind children. Most items are covered in peace signs and adhere to an obnoxious palette of neon pink and yellow or uselessly see-through white.

They’ve gotten used to producing thousand-dollar schoolboy blazers, but is this really all they could do at the $24-50 price point?

They’ll end up with even less of a return, because it’s not flying off the shelves. All the following prices are sale prices.

Figure-Destroying Plaid Dress, $24.99

You wouldn’t think something as simple as a tablecloth could make your boobs disappear AND add 6 inches to your thigh area.

Burnout Vest, $17.99

I tried this on in the ever-popular burnout fabric and a striped pattern. However, the “shark bite” cut looked awkward. Sizing was strange, and buttons had already fallen off some of them. Once unbuttoned, it looks like a wholly useless scrap of fabric hanging off your body.  Pass.

Slouchy Hobo Bag, $19.99

Lame shape, ugly sweatshirt fabric, and a flower tacked on. The “slouchy hobo”  (their naming, not mine) is a good description.

Boyfriend shorts, $17.99

In another example of honest advertising, we can clearly see that these shorts would look gross on anyone.

Just when I was about to identify the main problem with Olsenboye as a complete lack of imagination and risk-taking, I saw this:

Jumper Top, $17.99

WTF? I’d rather just wear the stupid fake-vintage sports tee underneath.

So here’s the real problem: they’re marketing to tweens, basically, but tweens are too obsessed with High School Musical or Twilight or whatever to care who the Olsens are. The only girls who’d give a damn are in their 20s and simply admire them for their sense of high fashion.

So, if you’re near a JCPenny, check out Charlotte Ronson’s line instead. It’s called I Heart Ronson and was not designed by a child star.

I Heart Ronson Pocket Tank, $12.99

Hubba Hubba Hubble

By request, a post about space:

After like 2 and 1/2 courses in the subject, I am something like an astronomer (as Karen O would put it). So, even though fashion this spring is filled with an atypically typical bombardment of floral, I still like all things spacey. And I don’t mean Kevin. But, for the record, I do like Kevin Spacey. Fittingly: Everyone should go watch “Moon” (in which he does the voice for a robot) because it’s slow-burning, psychological sci-fi magic.

Anyway, here are some ideas for your next event horizon:

Galileo “Viva Heresy” T-shirt, Cafe Press $24 (cafepress.com)

There’s another nerdy-cool Galileo tee that says “Don’t tell the Pope.” I think my professor should buy me one as payment for having to think about the related cosmological conflict for soo loong this semester.

Metallic Meteors eyeshadow in Deep Space, Too Faced, $19.50

This eyeshadow has a neat lid like a telescope lens and will probably last you until the sun burns out. I’ve got it in “Moon Beam.” Most shades are black with swirls of super-pearly color, stellar for doing a smoky eye.

Gilette Venus razor cartridges:


Star and Daisy Bracelet, JewelrybyKsKreations on Etsy, $24

Made of Swarovski crystal stars, sterling silver links, and a pretty random daisy charm that I like because I don’t fear what I don’t understand.

Bronzing brush, SPACE.NK $28 (spacenk.com)

Last but also least:

(courtesy of Splendora.com)

Here is a  heel that only an alien or Lady Gaga (same diff) could pull off. This design is harder to understand than String Theory.

Let’s Blame Discomforting 16-Year-Old Sex Appeal on the Outfits

It comes as no surprise that The Runaways, the new biopic about a ‘70s all-girl band of the same name, did so much of its promotion through clothing/makeup companies. Urban Outfitters, Make Up Forever, and even Express (which I kind of hate now for being such a diligent marketer of a limited selection of overpriced and utterly boring club looks for boring people who go to clubs) wanted me to enter their contest to attend the movie’s premier.

It makes sense, because this is the best style-watching movie I’ve seen in a long time. It’s really inspiring eye candy from a film that is also objectively impressive. You can get your 70s fashion fix by renting Shampoo, but that movie is boring and sort of  horrible. So make it easy: see this gem of cinema, okay? Even 1-coat-of-mascara girls like me will get the intense urge to put on copious amounts of eye shadow. It was fun to see Kristen Stewart shimmy into leather pants and safety pin a spray-painted tee together (she does a great job as Joan Jett, by the way, my fellow Twilight-haters), but Dakota Fanning got the best wardrobe as jail bait singer Cherie Currie. God, I love sexed-up, shameless 70s shit: sequins and shiny fabrics, high-waisted pants, jumpsuits, baby doll tees, and platform boots that may or may not have turned me into a foot fetishist.

It probably doesn’t take a detective to figure this out, but those tight, red pants Fanning wears during the David Bowie lip-syncing scene have got to be these from American Apparel:

Disco Pants in red (ow!ow!)

Personally, I think you’d get enough attention squeezed into these in the more wearable black version. But go for it if you’ve got $78 and a talent show coming up…