A Summer of Black and No Boho

I’m absolutely sick of festival fashion. Paisley kimonos, fringed swimsuits- I want none of it (floppy hats are forever, though). As the bohemian raggedy layers of polyester look has hit total mass oversaturation, I’ve turned to simple pieces in black and white that you can dance in while maintaining a sense of comfort. Right now at my store we are carrying Stussy for women, who are designing things on the same wavelength as what I’m yearning for. Here are a few of the outfits I’ve worn the past two weeks, taking influence from Korean and Japanese women with bare legs and covered chest. Color palette has been revolving around black, white, mint, marsala and leopard print. 
   
    
    
    
   

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Overalls – Back With a Vengeance

These Free People overalls are on the way:

20130613-112650.jpg I’ll take the dark and the acid wash

Now that it’s super hot, I inexplicably want jeans that have a heavy denim top connected to them. Overalls are looking great these days, all slim and chic, no more farmer’s daughter here! I think they look best with minimal tops (now is your chance to wear those crop tops you are too shy to wear on your own), cute chain jewelry, and wedges or flat strappy sandals with the legs rolled up. Here are a few styles that are on my wishlist:

Ok, these aren’t actually on my wishlist, I already ordered them. You can make your own with some large overalls and basic sewing skills:

20130613-113043.jpg cute dress overalls from Urban Outfitters

I’d wear a neon tube top and some Jordans with these and go breakdancing downtown, check those sweet zips!

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For when you want to look like the most stylin’ 6 year old on the playground:

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Church overalls:

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For more formal overall occasions:

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However, not all overalls are ok. Just say no to hooded, distressed, elastic waistband shortalls:

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As a bonus, here’s a blog of photos of women wearing overalls. Almost seems fetishy. Actually, after reading it for awhile it’s totally a fetish site run by an older guy. It takes all kinds!: women in overalls

Concert Uniform #4- Symphony with Bela Fleck

20130504-101441.jpg photo by leslie loudspeaker

So you think you might like to go to the show. Got your fancy symphony ticket but it’s the symphony with Bela Fleck, what level of fanciness do you bring? Personally, I take my regular concert uniform for mid level and arena shows (as discussed here) but I take the sequins away because have some respect! Now is your chance to wear some really cute wedges and platforms, but I try to stay away from regular high heels because these venues usually have tons of very thick carpeted stairs, I’m not a fan of walking like I’m in quicksand.

20130504-102211.jpg photo by russ simon

Here we have standard pieces of uniform #3, buttondown shirt (I’m a HUGE fan of denim shirts, they match everything and if someone spills a drink on you whatever, it’s a jeans shirt). Swapped the sequin mini for a cheap cotton one. I have zillions of these cotton skirts, never pay more than $9 for them. Some will ride up and be horrible, but most are slimming and great for dancing, just give the bad ones away, you are only out $7. My favorite place to buy these is club wear stores with names like Zazzi’s or something. This one is from H&M, and comes in seven million other colors. It rides up if you don’t wear tights but what do you expect for $5.95. Here it is in leopard print, I like this one with band t shirts, leopard print is a neutral now, wear it with anything: cheap tacky great skirt

Now the black tights are a constant for me in CO since the temp drops at night, but I also love them because I can be less ladylike and still climb over seats if I need to get past a security guard to sit in seats by your friends that are empty and closer. When you find some that work, buy them in bulk. I’ve got three go to pairs, cheap, medium price, and not cheap. Right now is not a good time to shop for black tights, but I usually like a denier of 80-100, they make them up to 200 in the winter. 40 is great for the summer, those H&M ones are comfy since they are cheap, the waistband isn’t tight. The Wolfords are beautiful and almost as thick as leggings but I snagged em the first time out, they are not indestructible. Luckily, I like snags. The jacket is from the Volcom store in Boulder from three years ago, I can’t find it online anywhere, but it’s perfect, Zara has similar.

This photo is actually a lie. I ended up tripping in those platforms right after that picture (old H by Halston wedges from Bakers) and wore these which are really cheap now for someone with a tiny foot: cheetah bootie

Also, I never wear these Aviators because they slide down my nose, but I tossed them on to copy this blogger a friend showed me who looks and dresses like my classier, prettier doppelgänger, check her out!: Happily Grey

As for the show, it was fantastic. The first act was various songs by Bach, DeBussy and Pat Methany, interpreted by Bela with great commentary regarding musical theory by the conductor, and some awesome marimba. The highlight was “The Landing” with full orchestra, a Futureman request. Second act was The Imposter, a 4 part piece that Nashville commissioned Bela to write. The audience was very reciprocative, and the awesome elderly season ticket holders shared their jokes with us. “VELCRO?? what a ripoff!!”

Shoes for Shows

I’ve been asked about the best shoes to wear at concerts by a few people, so I thought I’d show the ones I wear. There are quite a few schools of thought. Some go barefoot, flip-flops, sporty offroad style sandals, and then the closed toe shoes and socks people. I’m the third one, as I tend to get my feet stepped on a lot, and my bones get tired so I need some support. I LOVE flip-flops, lived in them year round in Texas, but they just don’t cut it when you need to jump over a barrier, one always falls off. Anyway, I don’t like wearing the same shoes day after day, so I’ve found lots of options. Below is an extremely long catalog of shoes I’ve worn to concerts that worked.

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Nike Air Max Sunrise – these are my VIP’s. They’ve seen 50+ shows, great support, good quality, and cute. In Charlotte this standard dirty hippie guy came up to me and said “excuse me, but are those the Air Max Sunrise? Well done!” and in Ohio a venue worker found them on her phone, she wanted them for work. That’s all the approval I need!

sold out, here are a bunch of other color combos though

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I’ve had a pair of checkered Vans in my arsenal off and on since I was a kid. Once you break in the back, these are the best. Cheap, you can toss them in the washer and dryer, and they match everything. These even stood up to the high tide coming up to our ankles at Jones Beach for Phish. Journey’s. I worked there when I was 16 and they were great to work for, thus I buy vans and tube socks there, they have a quota on socks that is tough to make.

checkered Vans

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The lace-up Vans are just as good. Since these come in men’s sizes, you will often meet a dude in the same shoes. This requires you to put your shoes next to each other, then do the Kid’n Play and high five. You will probably see this guy in two more cities and Kid’n Play each time. Journey’s as well.

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Jordans. This is when you want to make a statement. These are pricey shoes to be wearing in sticky arenas, by wearing white ones you are showing you are stupid and frivolous and do not care. When I wore them at SXSW, I got stopped multiple times to get my picture taken for streetstyle blogs. This did not happen in any other shoe. Sold out, eBay with inflated price

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These are for classier shows, where you will be dancing, but people will be older and in control of themselves, like a Medeski, Martin and Wood show or Spiritualized. These all live in their shoeboxes, and it’s taken years to collect. Whatever you do, take care of your shoes.

gold high tops

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Speaking of Red Rocks, it’s slanted, so I like to have a cowboy heel when I’m there. I’m obsessed with ankle boots that don’t make your legs stumpy. I liked these MIA boots so much, I bought both colors. If you like something, buy all the colors, you never regret those purchases. This style is no longer for sale, but these are similar and even better. That’s also a really good price!

MIA ankle boots

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If only they came in more colors.

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Since they don’t come in black, I wear these Vince Camuto Marcin boots. Softest leather I’ve ever felt, they are like wearing a slipper with spurs. They look really funny in the airport x-ray machine.

starting to get low on sizes

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Oh hey! The same boot in a Chelsea style in cheetah print! I had to wear thick ski socks for awhile breaking them in, they are great for running around on steps in the dark.

these were $60 when I bought them, keep your eyes open

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Speaking of running around in the dark, these are great for sneaking around quietly and quickly. However, they get demoted a point because they stain when someone spills their drink on you.

I like all of their stuff

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Here are their fancier cousins, these are so freaking fun for dancing. I thought they were stupid looking, but after I kicked around in them it was on. I can’t recommend these enough, they come in a ton of colors.

that color is no longer available, but these are pretty

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As we get further into taller boots, these get worn to metal shows and anything that’s going to get crazy. Buy Frye boots on eBay for much less, and you get the added bonus of someone else breaking them in.

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Final concert shoe. These are the best boots I’ve ever owned. Frye leather is awesome, if it already looks like they came from the Gold Rush, then they look good forever. Comfortable, cute, and warm, these are my go to for winter concerts.

I hope this helps at least one person, and keeps them from breaking a pinkie toe (happened in flip-flops), stepping on broken glass and bleeding everywhere (happened barefoot at a small outdoor venue), or getting tetanus (hasn’t happened). At a concert, you want to have fun and dance to great music, not complain that your feet hurt. Have fun out there!!

Things I Learned Watching the Coachella Stream

20130415-095735.jpg photo by Bryan Van Der Brug

Besides The Postal Service reunion, I had no strong desire to be at Coachella, so I chose to watch the Youtube stream from my own home all weekend. In case anyone can’t tell, I LOVE streaming things. Technology is fantastic, and while the stream was much choppier than last year’s Bonnaroo stream, it got the point across. Things I learned from watching all weekend:

20130415-100141.jpg photo by Russ Simon

– I really need a new stool for the computer. This one is rickety and fake leather and all the buttons on top popped off so you sit on little metal circles. I can’t work like this.

Cloud Nothings rule. I’ve only seen them in little dark places, so was very curious how they would do in the day on a huge stage. They killed it.

– thank goodness for 3 Channels of music, because a lot of it was stuff I have seen in the past year and not been impressed with

Jenny Lewis makes me cry even if she is wearing a slutty Wicked Witch of the East circus conductor outfit

Jake Bugg continues to be awesome as can be

– I do not get why everyone likes the xx or James Blake, I try and try but they both make me bored instantly

– if there is one thing people like to do at Coachella, it’s putting their hands in the air

– people LOVE The Lumineers, they played for their biggest audience ever

– a friend worked on the Daft Punk teaser video

R. Kelly can do no wrong in my book apparently. Dude pees on a minor, and I’m still freaking and loving him onstage with Phoenix doing a “1901” and “Ignition” mash-up, and it worked!

– they apparently had great drugs. The clips of the electronic acts were mesmerizing and repulsive, saw a lot of eyes rolled in the back of heads. YEAH! BASS IN YO FACE

– best festival fashion ever since many can afford to trash designer stuff in Southern California. Absurd amount of flower crowns but at least I like them. High waisted denim shorts are now called Coachella shorts, which is BS, Austin’s been running that fashion game for years!

Tame Impala should tour with a wind machine always

– Danny DeVito is a good twitterer: Danny Devito at Coachella

Social Distortion never lost it

Ty Segall jumped onstage with Thee Oh Sees but they weren’t shown on the stream. Coachella Director!! Please show them next weekend!

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– crowd surfing is still strong in California, and there are more tanned, muscled, tank top wearing, gang sign throwing yo-bro dudes than I ever imagined….

Concert Uniform #3 – Midlevel Dance Party- Arena Wear

20130402-110650.jpg photo by Russ Simon

Want to find me at a concert when I’m not working? I will be in some form of this outfit, maybe even this exact outfit itself! Concert clothes get grossed up,and I see no point in spending lots of money on concert clothes. This skirt is from Wet Seal, and most likely was no more than 7 bucks. It’s scratchy, it’s cheap, it’s stretchy, it’s perfect. Found out the hard way that you need to wear tights under it, but that’s ok because not only do they save you from thousands of tiny scratches, they keep the skirt in place! I always feel bad watching younger chicks pulling and pulling their little cotton miniskirt ever since they came back in style. Take a walk around the block, always test your stuff out before embarking on five hour dancing excursions! And size up, if it keeps pulling up, it’s too small. No shame in wearing the size that fits and looks good.

The shirt is a really thin linen one from The Gap, and I could kick myself for not buying every color. You get the look of the mismatched plaid without the heat of a flannel. Amazing. It’s not on sale but The Gap, bring this Slim Boyfriend Shirt back. You had it in red/white and blue/orange, too.

I lean towards ankle boots lately just because I’m a little moto and cowboy booted out, and spring is coming! These are awesome and I actually have them in three colors. The leather is soft like a slipper, be careful when taking them off at the end of the night (don’t grab by the heel),

Vince Camuto Marcin Bootie (on sale)

This outfit is so clutch that sometimes, it can even be used as workwear as long as I bring my camera bag (only one pocket with this outfit, must have showpurse ). I love my camera bag from Cheeky Lime, durable, simple, and people know there is camera stuff in there so it parts the sea like Moses.

Classic Red Camera Bag from Cheeky Lime

20130402-112448.jpg photo by Russ Simon

Concert Uniform #2 : Coffeeshop-type Venues

20130328-180412.jpg photo by Russ Simon

Coffeeshop venues are so easy to dress for. Basically, you can wear what you want, your work clothes, date night clothes, or something like this. Obviously a plaid shirt is always a fall back, but this one is more fitted and buttoned all the way to the top, because the fashion blogs say that’s how we wear them now. almost cholo style, but buttoned to the very bottom. Great for showing off chunky shorter necklaces or a bowtie if you are daring.

I always wear jeans to singer/songwriter type venues. First off, it’s usually a bunch of high tables and stools, so you sit cross legged like a lady ( great time to wear heels, hook it on that lower rung for stability) or you have to sit kind of open legged like a man. I do the latter, so jeans it is.

As for shoes, rock those heels, wear your nice ones, even! These crowds are chill, there isn’t beer spilled everywhere. Only venue I will dare wear a pair of Jordans is of the coffeeshop venue variety, why not? It’s clean! Also, go ahead and bring your nicest purse, you’ve got that high table to flop it on (bonus if they have hooks under the table) and it never leaves your sight!

Doll up, go see some folk and Americana, come home and say “Hey ! My super high heeled boots didn’t hurt tonight!”