Posts tagged stylish!
One more thing before I go

I took surreptitious pix of this lady at the Musée Rodin back in 2010, as we were both staring up at that Thinker. I loved her jacket but really appreciated her whole vibe: German, it seemed (I'm an expert at making snap judgments based on zero intel). She looked stylish and comfortable: her dressing was fit for the day and her ventures, and she wasn't busy hiding anything. That was the key. Here are my comfortable shoes, here's my face, here's my waistline. She looked strong, and I admired that. It's important to celebrate the miraculous fact that there infinite ways to be female in the world, regardless of the narrow and suffocating notion that anything female can only be valued when it is valued by men.

I think about her whenever I adhere to my own personal aesthetic in the public sphere, which as I've noted previously can best be described as campfire lazy (all allegiance to the preppies notwithstanding), whenever I leave the house without makeup wearing my deeply unflattering Birkenstocks, ill-fitting shorts, and a wrinkled oxford. My stomach's gotten flabby, my thighs have that cellulite look & feel. And I pay attention to the way people notice me, or don't, and the way I carry myself, which is cockier than usual. I feel free. There's much talk about how women of a certain age (that would be anything over 30) become invisible, but I like to think we become more visible to ourselves. There's power in choosing how you'll be seen, in deciding what you'll reject and what you'll say yes to. I apologize to this poor woman for the stalking, but I thank her for the rest.

I can imagine a few reasons why

I haven't been shy about hating 90% of women's fashion, have I? I'd hate to give the impression that I approve of skinny jeans, thong underwear, any kind of shapewear, heels, cold-shoulder tops, or ruffles. I'd positively die of embarrassment if any of these products thought they had earned my endorsement by virtue of my silence. For the record, then, they can all fuck right off.

[ insert caffeine break ]

Anyway, over the weekend I bought men's boxer shorts to sleep in, because women's pajama shorts have let me down. Have you ever seen these things? As a general rule they are 3 millimeters long, covered in either tiny animal prints, florals, or (obviously) ruffles, and they tend to come in any combination of the following colors: pink. This is wrong! This is all wrong! Also they are always sold out in my sizes.

Says a person at Quora:

Women can and do wear men’s underwear and all other clothes all the time. Right now, men’s boxer shorts are the rage among women. Men’s clothes are cut a little bigger and allow women to relax, stretch out, and be comfortable. The women’s fashion industry exploits and colludes against women by dictating a very tight fashion fit for all women’s fashion products. You get a little thing and pay big bucks for just about everything in women’s fashion. High heels are just one example. They are the most uncomfortable shoes on earth.

My experience with men's boxers is seeing them on women like Sandra Bullock or Kate Hudson in breezy romantic comedies, where they are mostly used to convey sexiness, which is fine for romantic comedy but tedious for life. How have we, as a species, allowed ourselves to be backed into this corner? How have we agreed that yes, sexy is the only way I want to present myself to the world or my own personal apartment, which I alone occupy, pay rent for, and am forced to clean every other goddamn week or, if I'm honest, maybe once a month? I don't want to look sexy, I want to sleep in shorts. Case closed!

Says another person at Quora:

No, it will make a woman way too uncomfortable because men underwear are designed in such a way that some extra spacing is left for the reproduction organ.

Oh! I've also seen them on men. And they seem to be doing okay. 

Daily intel

The winner for a backpack I can lug all my quotidian crap around in without crushing my clavicle or resorting to a second bothersome carryall is this North Face Pivoter (unisex) rig. In the front compartment alone I can fit: three pairs of glasses (regular, progressive, sun); a makeup bag filled with tampons and lip balm; a book; an umbrella; evacuation shoes; a roll of shipping tape; chopsticks; an apple; some trail mix; and two boxes of kleenex. It's purely accidental that I pack like some half-hearted survivalist in training, so please don't ask questions. Some of us make choices and some of us just chuck it all in there. (The main compartment is for your flatter items such as laptops or magazines or file folders, if you live in 1975.) Why everybody in the world doesn't already own this bag is beyond me! "Stylish" may be a stretch, but still. When I die feel free to bury me in it.

Customer service

As a recent, if premature, panic shopper of sweatshirts, let me be the first to tell you to buy this sweatshirt. The Bean makes some heinous fashion missteps but this is all thumbs up, and if like me your favorite mode of dressing is "campfire lazy," you'll feel at home immediately. It's thin and soft and roomy ("relaxxxed") and has a perfect wide crewneck (tight crewnecks being the scourge of casual ladies everywhere) and is the best light shade of non-gym class gray. Or navy. Your pick! Let's all meet somewhere in six weeks or so, wearing this sweatshirt. The band at the bottom is loose and the fit is comfortable but not boxy—this is so important! NOT BOXY!—so we can let it all hang out. I think we'll have a really good time.

Mandatory Patrick Stewart

I like to browse the latest GQ when I'm at the beauty parlor so I can see what the gents are wearing lately (tight pants, bomber jackets), but I didn't realize I had read the same issue two months in a row until I got to this Patrick Stewart fashion spread, which made me happy both times. (Sorry, Tom Hiddleston, yr just not 4 me). Now I'd like to see anyone other than Patrick Stewart try to pull off this ensemble, but mostly I want to give him a high five for being so jolly. Wouldn't you like to hike around Brooklyn with Patrick Stewart as your tour guide? You wouldn't even care whether or not he knew what he was talking about. It wouldn't even occur to you to ask. He could probably lead you straight into some canal and you'd still go away saying, "Thanks Patrick Stewart, it got wet for a while there but I truly learned how to live."