Monday, March 30, 2015

Haunting Books


A few years ago I was privileged to head up the English department in a brand spanking new school that was just opening. What an exciting, exhilarating, and exhausting time that was. The English teachers (including moi) worked really hard as a team to build our program from scratch, choose texts and materials, and design activities for every grade and program. Our plan with our seniors was to go with very current texts, written by Canadian authors. Books that provided a useful lens through which those students, who would soon be leaving us, might view the world. Texts which hopefully would help make our graduates better "global citizens." 

Michael Ondaatje's novel Anil's Ghost filled all of our criteria. A novel written by a Canadian about war in a country most of our suburban-born kids knew little about beyond news reports. A beautifully written book about heroism and friendship, sacrifice and despair, beauty amid the chaos of war, and the importance of history and culture. A difficult book that challenged kids who would be heading off to university, but also a book that was eminently teachable. Possibly the most teachable book I have ever taught...with the exception of To Kill a Mockingbird.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Rolling That Rock: Still Shopping for Jeans



Yep. There he is. Old Sisyphus, still rolling that rock. And me, I'm still shopping for jeans.

Sisyphus
reasonandmeaning.com

I wrote a post last month about that Sisyphean journey... shopping for the perfect jeans. Seemingly endless, frustrating, often futile... shopping for jeans is definitely worthy of the comparison to poor old King Sisyphus and his eternal struggle. Not to mention exhausting, humiliating, ego destroying, and budget depleting. Phew. 

So why do we do it? Well, I guess as someone who was a teenager in the 70's when we wore nothing but jeans, I can't imagine NOT opening my closet and slipping into a beloved pair of denims. It's just, now that my body has...ahem...changed, it's much harder to find the pair that makes me sigh, "Ohhh, yes. These are MY jeans." You know, the pair that look great and make you feel great. They fit your body, are flattering, and comfortable. They don't slide off your hips, don't pinch that fairly recently acquired spare tire around your middle, aren't saggy in the rear, and don't have pockets that are so low in the back they make your butt look as if it lost the fight with gravity. Oh, and they have no sequins or doo-dads. None. 

It seems as if I've been everywhere looking for my perfect jeans. On-line and in the stores. 

At Gap I tried their new "Resolution Denim," supposedly the latest thing in "stretch." The "high-waisted skinny" was too high in the rise for me. And too short in the leg. And the "true skinny" was too low in the rise. And I didn't like the fit of the "real straight." I had great service, though. The sales staff at Gap in Bayshore Shopping Centre are always helpful and enthusiastic. 

At J Crew I had no luck at all. I love the look of the J Crew jeans I see on-line, especially the high-rise, straight-leg style. However, the staff of the Rideau Centre store were so unhelpful it was astonishing. Even though I was one of only two customers in the store that afternoon, I had to go looking for someone to help me. I approached three sales girls chatting near the cash, smiled and said, with not a hint of that sarcastic tone so familiar to all my friends, "Do you think there is someone here who could help me?" After a chorus of "Absolutely!!" from all three girls, I requested a "tour" of the types and styles of jeans they carry, and which style might suit me. One of the three languidly waved her hand at various parts of the store saying,"Over there you can find our toothpick style, over there are the slim boy jeans etc etc. "Okay," I replied, trying again, "But I don't know what J Crew means by those terms." They gazed at me. "Uh, okaay," I persisted, "Here is what I'm looking for: straight leg or maybe skinny, full length not cropped, and a high rise." The same girl replied, smiling, that they didn't have anything like that. Maybe I could try on-line. "Really? Uh... okay. Umm... thanks." As I left, she and the other two girls resumed their discussion. Not one of them had moved a step. I swear.

I wasn't upset when I walked away. Just kind of amused... or should I say bemused? I'm sure that Sisyphus had days like this too. I shopped there once last summer and had almost the exact same experience. And, you know... if I were the manager of that store, I would be royally pissed to think that one of my customers had had this experience, not once but twice! 

Anyhoo, I moved on. I had hills to climb, and rocks to roll. So to speak. 

On my last jeans post, a reader commented that she had found great jeans at Aritzia. I wasn't familiar with the store, but there it was... right beside J Crew. Thanks for that recommendation, Mélanie. Aritzia had a plethora of jeans. A veritable smorgasbord of denim. So many brands and styles and washes that I didn't know where to start. Luckily I was soon approached by a sprightly sales girl named Ruth. I repeated the request I had made at J Crew... for a "tour" of the styles they offered. Ruth asked a few questions: did I prefer dark or light wash, skinny or straight, cropped or not? Then we zoomed around the store; she chatted about how this brand was higher in the rise, this one shorter in the leg etc. etc. This was certainly a girl who loved her job, and did it very well. Soon I was ensconced in the dressing room with about ten pairs of jeans. We sized up in one brand, discarded another altogether, moved to a darker wash in a third. And found these. 

 Citizens of Humanity, Rocket, high rise skinny jeans                   Citizens of Humanity, Rocket, high rise skinny jeans      
                     
Citizens of Humanity, "Rocket", high-rise skinny. I love them. So it would seem that I am not done with skinny jeans just yet. These fit me just the way I like jeans to fit. They are snug, but not uncomfortable. The legs are skinny, but don't look like I donned a pair of  blue support hose by mistake. Not that I own any blue support hose. Or any support hose. Yet. They are bit shorter than I had hoped, but I still like the length. Great with  my loafers or sandals or sneakers. And... And ...they are NOT low-rise. I can keep them up without hauling on the waistband every five minutes or wearing a belt. Success. Yah. I can send my low-rise J-brand skinnies to the thrift store. 

Citizens of Humanity jeans, Gap gingham shirt and Elie Tahari long jacket        Citizens of Humanity jeans, Gap gingham shirt and Elie Tahari long jacket

But don't count your chickens just yet, Sisyphus.... pardon the mixed metaphor. This journey is not complete. I still haven't replaced my Paige Hidden Hills straight-leg jeans. These new jeans tick many of my boxes: a bit distressed, high rise, really comfortable. But they are too short to wear with my ankle boots. There's still snow on the ground here. Lots of snow. And it won't be warm enough for bare ankles for some time yet. I need to be able to wear warm socks and my boots for weeks to come.

So, as I predicted in my original jeans post.... I may have to buy two pairs of jeans. Not because I found THE perfect jean and want to buy two pairs. But because there is no such thing as the one perfect pair. 

So my journey continues. For straight-leg, high-rise jeans. Maybe the new-ish Tangier outlet in Kanata. There's a Shepherds there and they carry Paige jeans. Or perhaps a visit to Nordstrom, newly opened in Ottawa at the Rideau Centre, will be the answer. I'd like to try Frame jeans which they carry. My friend Liz who was the personal shopper at Holt Renfrew, is providing the same service to shoppers at Nordstrom. She's awesome. If you're in the store, stop by the second floor in the "Collectors" area and say hello to Liz. 

Before I left Aritzia that afternoon, Ruth had found me a perfect pair of another sort of pants. Not jeans, but definitely on my list. I'll share them with you in a later post. 

And so back to Sisyphus. He's intent on that rock, maybe even thinking that life is all about the journey and not just the destination. Maybe. Camus certainly thought so. I remember when I read Camus' essay "The Myth of Sisyphus" years ago, and how it affected my view of life. Give it a read, if you're interested, that is.

And me. I'm not bothered by the fact that I'm still searching for yet another pair of jeans. I mean, when was I ever not?

www.despair.com

How's your spring shopping going?




        




Linking up with Passion for FashionFun Fashion FridayCasual FridayManic MondayWhat I WoreStyle Me Wednesdays.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Streamside Chic... or... How My Other Half Lives


I came across this picture of Karlie Kloss in a Saint Laurent dress and hip waders in the December issue of Vogue. Is this streamside chic ... or what? 

I'm sure this outfit is what my colleagues imagined I'd be wearing whenever I'd mention at work that Hubby and I had been fishing on the weekend. Well, it's what they imagined until they got to know me better. Until they discovered what the other half of my life was like. 

streamside chic in Vogue December 2014
Vogue December 2014
You see, I've always been equal parts city and country, part girly-girl and part tomboy. Fifty percent fashion and fifty percent fishing, or something. Ever since I was a kid. I remember the summer I was ten, my older brother Terry and another boy in the neighbourhood worked all summer for my grandfather who owned a well-drilling company. Well-drilling is kind of the family business. My mum's father and all my uncles and now my brother... all well-drillers. They loaded and unloaded pipe, and scraped and painted every bit of machinery Grampy owned. I helped. Seriously, I got up every morning and went to "work" with Terry and Albert. I loved it. According to my mum, I'd come home in the evening covered in grease and paint and insist I had to drink my tea from a china cup and saucer. You see, I was part grease monkey, part lah-di-dah lady.

I've never minded getting dirty. And I've always fished. First with my brother Terry; he's nine years older than me, and when I was little, he'd take me trout fishing. He even bought me my own fishing rod when I was nine. Later I fished with Terry's father-in-law who was an avid sportsman. And with my step-father and step-brother. 

And then I met my husband. There probably aren't words to describe how much Hubby loves fishing. We met in the staff room of the high school where he taught Phys. Ed. and where I was supply teaching. I was wearing high heels and my navy skirt suit. I know I probably looked as if I thought stuff like camping and fishing was "ickky." So imagine his surprise when he discovered that I liked fishing too. Okay, I will admit that I knew nothing about camping and canoeing when we met. But I did know fishing. And the other stuff... well, I was game to try.

This is me, below, in early spring 1985. Hubby and I had started dating a few months before. We decided to go trout fishing over the Easter weekend. The weather in Ottawa had been beautiful and warm for weeks; we had no idea that there would be so much snow in the hills overlooking Brudenell Creek in the Ottawa Valley. I'm wearing Hubby's rain gear here. You could call this outfit an early example of colour blocking, I think. No fish to be had that day. Still, I look like I'm having a good time. Must have been love, eh?

Fishing in the snow. Brudenell Creek 1986. Streamside chic.


This is me in 1987 or so. Hubby and I were fishing for brook trout in a beaver dam. I think I look quite fetching in my hip waders. Actually they were Hubby's boots. He bought me my own for Christmas a few years later. I remember that I couldn't wait to drop that bombshell at the lunch table at work. "What did your husband get you for Christmas?" Yep. Hip waders. I definitely won the prize that year for most surprising gift.


Beaver Dam fishing 1980's. Streamside chic.

Okay, so fishing isn't all sunshine and roses. That is definitely not a smile on my face. Hubby and I were on a canoe trip in Algonquin Park, probably mid- 90's. It had been raining. Hard. I was soaked. We stopped for lunch and it was raining so hard we had to shelter under the canoe. The canoe smelled of fish; even my sandwich tasted fishy. Did I say I was soaked? So... no sunshine, no smiles, and most definitely no roses.

You've heard of under the boardwalk? This is lunch in the rain, under the canoe. Algonquin Park 1990's.

But later that day, the sun came out, and we dried off. And carried on fishing.

Tracking the canoe on the Opeongo. Streamside chic.


This is the big, big fish that I caught in the Yukon in 2006. Oh. My. God. That was hard to reel in. The guide kept yelling at me..."Keep your rod tip up! Keep your rod tip up!" And I kept gritting my teeth and replying..."I'm trying. I'm trying." We'd been fishing since 6:30 in the morning, and I was pooped. And I couldn't feel my arms anymore. The picture says it all, actually. By the way...this was a catch and release lake. And the guy holding the fish is not Hubby; that's Doug, our guide.

My big fish. Yukon 2006 Streamside chic.


Most fishing days are not as fraught as that day in the Yukon. I much prefer a quiet lake in Algonquin Park, just me and Hubby, our Kevlar canoe and a nice cup of tea. This is a shot of an early morning fish on Booth Lake in Algonquin Park in 2010. In order to get me out of my sleeping bag and into the canoe at a time that Hubby considers reasonable and I consider the crack of dawn, he uses bribery. Fresh muffins and a thermos of tea. And the promise that I can read my book once the trolling lines are set. I mean I do love fishing. Just not as much as Hubby loves it. 

Lolling and fishing and sipping tea. Booth Lake 2010. Streamside chic.

So you see, fishing and camping, and even well-drilling, is the other half of my life. The "wilderness" part, not the "high heels" part. And that's where the name of my blog originated. One half of me loves clothes and make-up and obsesses over my hair and the other half just wants to get down and dirty, so to speak. You might say that one half of me lives at the mall... and the other half in the bush. 

I started thinking about writing this post when I saw that shot of Karlie Kloss in Vogue in December. And then today I read a post on Not Dressed As Lamb about blogging and how bloggers should make sure that readers understand the meaning of their blog title. And I thought that maybe it wasn't clear to readers of my blog where the title High Heels in the Wilderness originated. So now you know. 

The shot below was taken on the Bonnechere River. One hot, hot July day in 2011. This is me doing my impression of Katharine Hepburn in African Queen. 

Every fishing fashionista need a parasol, don't you think? 

It's the very epitome of streamside chic.


Katharine Hepburn on the Bonnechere. Streamside chic.




How about you? Do you have any seemingly contradictory parts of your nature? 



Linking up today with Casual Friday,  Visible MondayStyle Me WednesdaysWhat I WoreFun Fashion FridayAll About You.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Springing Forward... Into Spring... I Hope

Last week, when I was down east visiting my mum, we set our clocks forward an hour to Daylight Saving Time. Moving the clocks forward has always been a sign of spring. A sort of "springing forward" into spring. 

Sort of. Except it didn't look much like spring to me. This is the view from my mum's kitchen window the morning we set the clocks ahead. 


View from kitchen window, showing that winter is still very much with us.
View from Mum's kitchen window the morning we started Daylight Saving Time. See any sign of spring?

But I remember so clearly.... when we were kids, the time change heralded spring coat season, and skipping rope season, and building dams with twigs across the melting streams that ran alongside the road season, then sailing "boats" in the rushing torrent that resulted. Until, of course, some interfering adult made us break up our dams. I was sure that this was the way it had been. Wasn't I? 

So I looked it up. And learned that until 2007 we set the clocks forward three weeks later in March than we do now. Okay, so not crazy, after all. But while the change to Daylight Saving Time isn't necessarily the herald of spring anymore... at least not here. There's no reason it can't be the herald of spring wardrobe planning. In fact, should be the herald of spring wardrobe planning. What better way is there to survive the last vestiges of winter and be ready for spring shopping?

So I've been doing my homework, and checking what I already own and will wear again, and then making my spring wish list. For me the research and planning is half the fun. 

For years now, I've been doing what Hubby and I jokingly call "my research." Okay, so he's joking; I'm serious. Mostly. When I was still teaching high school English I'd pace myself through those long, winter evening marking sessions with a little bit of internet research. Mark five senior research essays and then check out Vogue.com for the fashion shows. Mark half a set of grade nine tests and surf Net-a-porter.com for a few minutes. I used to use popcorn as a treat to tempt me to stay put at my desk...but this was way more effective.

My on-line sources tell me that denim is big, big, big this season. When isn't it? But this spring I saw denim everything everywhere: denim dresses, coats, trousers, skirts. It's not just about jeans anymore. 

denim dress and skirt found on www.netaporter.com
I don't limit my research to on-line sources. I also consult the hard copy fashion magazines; I love to leaf through Vogue or Harper's  Bazaar while I'm on my exercise bike. Lots of denim there as well. Of all the denim looks I saw, this one in the March issue of Vogue is my favourite. I love dark denim with white, and these Tod's denim trousers are très chic. Aren't they? But I'm not really looking for denim this year, aside from jeans. 



But I could be in the market for a new jacket. And my on-line research also tells me that white is big this spring. Especially white coats and blazers; I saw several I loved on Net-a-porter.com. Yep, I do love a white jacket. So crisp and clean looking.        

Lots of lovely white jackets in the magazines too. Like these three from Harper's Bazaar. An Armani blazer would be a dream, wouldn't it? The precision cut... the beautiful fabric... the gurgling sound of my bank account emptying. Ah well, there are sure to be many reasonably prices alternatives. 


     

Really, a white jacket is a good investment; it goes with everything. Especially my black Theory cropped pants or jeans of any colour. And my black jacket, which also goes with everything, is getting a little long in the tooth. So a white jacket would be a good purchase for me this spring.

After my research comes the inventory taking. And by that I mean checking out my closet and listing what I own that I will actually, conceivably wear again this year.

See. This is the little book that I carry everywhere in my purse. I even know the year I purchased each item. I know, I know... maybe that's a step too close to obsessive list-making for some. So anyway, I peruse my closet and jot down what I already own, and then, considering my research, I look for holes... so to speak. What do I need? What will be on my "Wish List?"


Love this dark denim outfit from March issue of Vogue

I note that I have only one dress that I'll probably want to wear this year. It's an Elie Tahari print dress that I bought in 2010 and which was a really great investment. I still love it. I have two more dresses , but they are bound for the consignment store, both too short, too old, or too obviously business wear. And three skirts. One skirt that I bought in 2005, and still love, is a softly pleated, floral A-line. I'm lucky that full, floral skirts are trendy this year again. One is a Burberry denim skirt, a staple in my wardrobe. And one a stretchy, knee-length pencil skirt that I didn't wear at all last year, but which I'm not ready to ditch yet.  I would dearly love to have a new summery dress, one that I could throw on with sandals and feel terrific in. Dresses are so easy, aren't they?

I was inspired by this ad for Kate Spade in Vogue. I love the fresh green and white. Beautiful. But when I looked for the dress on Katespade.com I found it isn't a dress at all, but a skirt and matching top. Better and better. The look of a dress and the versatility of two pieces. Can't you see this top with white, cropped jeans and sandals? And the skirt with a white or black short-sleeved tee? Oh... I can.


a skirt and top like this Kate Spade is on my wish list

Now on to my "Wish List" for spring. 

I'm going to seriously look for...

1. A white blazer or jacket
2. A dress or matching skirt and top

I'll keep my eye open for...

3. A new spring coat. I looked and looked and never found one last year. I could live without a new coat. But if I see something in a colour that is NOT black, I may invest. We'll see. 

And I really need...

4. Jeans... my Paige Hidden Hills straight-leg jeans having given up the ghost. Seems like I'm always shopping for jeans.
5. Tops suitable for our trip to France in May. Not tees, I've plenty of those. But comfortable, loose-fitting, can be worn with jeans or a skirt, and are presentable enough for dinner out type of tops. 

C'est tout.


So... as I was saying earlier, the clocks "sprang ahead" last week when I was at my mum's. I'm home now, and wouldn't you know it... we had snow the day I arrived. And Hubby and I awoke the next morning to this view from our kitchen window. That's the biggest eagle we've ever seen anywhere, let alone in our own front yard. The eagle spent the weekend watching for the family of otters who like to come out to play on the ice in front of our house. And we spent the weekend watching for them too, and worrying that they would pop up, and slide along on the ice, right into his talons. Phew... living on the river can be stressful.


View from our kitchen window. This huge eagle is hunting the family of otters that live on the river. Living on the river can be stressful!

Okay, enough worrying. The eagle has to eat too. 

Besides, with my spring wardrobe planning complete, it's time to get shopping. My research is done, my list is made, and spring will be here any day now. 

Okay, maybe not any day... but definitely any week now... I hope.




What's on your spring shopping wish list?






      
Check out these "blog parties" this week: What I WoreStyle Me WednesdaysFun Fashion FridayVisible Monday, and Manic Monday.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Being a Teenager Can Be Murder... Literally.

I'm home in New Brunswick this week and next. Staying with my mum in her new little home. Mum moved out of the old farmhouse a couple of years ago, and into a much smaller, and more manageable house, but it's still on the farm. So, I'm not exactly sleeping in my big white-painted iron bed, in my old bedroom in the farmhouse, where I slept as a teenager. But close.

I can look out my window at the same view that I saw growing up. I can see up the hill, beyond the barnyard, past where the brook tumbles over the rocks when it's not frozen and covered in snow. Up through the trees, to the right, to the old saw mill where my stepfather used to saw the logs that he cut "out back" and hauled home with his team of horses. He had two tractors, but he loved to use his "team," as he called them. Or up the hill across the snow covered pasture to the small orchard of apple trees on the left. Not that I really need to look. I can see all this perfectly well if I close my eyes and imagine.

But it's kind of ironic to be here at home where I spent my teenage years, stressing over my hair (fuzzy and unmanageable), over boyfriends (or the lack thereof), over high school exams and major life choices... at the same time that I'm reading a book about just that. Yesterday, I finished reading To the Power of Three, Laura Lippman's engrossing mystery novel about teenage angst and murder.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Is Normcore Still A Thing?


In case you missed it, early last year, the New York trend forecasting agency K-Hole coined the term, Normcore, to describe the way young hipsters were dressing, in eighties-style mom jeans, sneakers, and ill-fitting white tee shirts (a la Seinfeld Show.) Apparently, the young and the cool were "exhausted with trying to seem unique," and were "moving away from a coolness that relies on difference" to a bland, fitting-in-with-the-crowd form of dressing. In her excellent article for Vogue.com last March, Aimee Farrell said that the inspiration for this anti-fashion "movement" can be found in the William Gibson novel Pattern Recognition, which deals in part with the commercialization of art, and in which the main character carefully dresses in logo-free, white tee-shirts and oversized jeans. You can read Farrell's article "Meet Norma Normcore" here. Supposedly Normcore dressing is about "anonymous detail-free design" that "suggests ingrained authority and inner confidence" instead of flashy, designer duds which say: look at me, I'm a fan of crassly conspicuous consumption. Okay... pendulums swing in fashion as in everything else.

But Farrell also goes on to discuss how the mainstream fashion world then co-opted the movement. She quotes designer Richard Nicoll, of the British clothing brand Jack Wills, as saying of this new aesthetic: "I've been inspired by my idea of The Special Normal and the Perfect Boring." (please excuse my snort, here) And, although I chuckle at his pretentious oxymorons, who can disagree with his idea of "trusty wardrobe staples that last?" Not me. I think we should all build our wardrobes around trusty staples that last. 

It looked as if Normcore had gone totally mainstream when Gap ads last fall were all about "dressing normal."


But whatever "trend forecasters" are calling it, comfort has become fashionable. And dressing down is the new way to dress, and even dress up... if you follow me. Although I'm not sure that sneakers with a lace evening dress is something I could embrace. Even if I wore lace evening dresses, which I don't. 

I'd say Normcore is still alive and well in 2015. If a bit more "high street" as the Brits would say. A bit more tailored and polished. Still unflashy. Minimalist in its aesthetic. And wearing comfortable shoes.

I found this Romanian fashion blog The Stunning Look on my internet travels. It's clear that blogger Silvia Cristescu has that mainstream Normcore, minimalist vibe going. And without donning mom jeans, or a baggy Hanes tee-shirt.

www.thestunninglook.com
I'd also say that Normcore, or its more restrained high street cousin, is something that women of any age can embrace. And do. Phoebe Philo's been dressing this way for years. 

I do love the pairing of sneakers with slim tailored pants. The difference between what Sylvia is doing here and some other Normcore looks, is that her clothes fit well and she looks polished, and at the same time totally casual and comfortable. 


www.thestunninglook.com
And have a look at this street shot from Vogue UK... I mean, tie up the shoelaces and lose the toque and I'd wear this outfit. Okay...maybe NOT with hightops. This girl looks lovely, doesn't she? Cool, and pulled together without looking like she spent two hours deciding what to wear. Maybe that's one of the things about Normcore. Looking like you're not trying too hard. 


www.vogue.co.uk
And as long as not trying too hard doesn't become not trying at all, I like the whole Normcore thing. So, I thought I'd give it a go. What could be easier than black pants, a white tee, denim shirt, and a jacket? If we didn't have two feet of snow on the ground I might swap up my boots for white tennis shoes. 



          

Some of my favourite brands have been embracing the Normcore aesthetic. These athletic inspired pants by Vince are very cool. With the loose sweater and slip-on sneakers, this look is totally Normcore comfort. But that fabulous coat takes the outfit up a notch, to chic.

www.vince.com

And Natalie Ratabesi, head of women's wear at Vince, seems to embody the look of the company she represents: pared down, casual, polished. Effortlessly cool.


www.vogue.com

Many of J Crew's cool, classic pieces fit the Normcore mold. Like these "drapey chinos," which look like track pants to me. But, the slim leg and heavier fabric save them from looking sloppy. Instead they're polished, while still being casual. And they'd be equally great with a tee shirt and sneakers, or a structured jacket and heels.


www.jcrew.com

And like Natalie Ratabesi, Jenna Lyons, creative director for J Crew is her company's best advertisement for their products. She always looks effortlessly elegant, chic without being flashy. And so cool. 

forums.thefashionspot.com

So what has the Normcore movement achieved? Is it even a movement? Is it, as some say, a new "sociological attitude?" Or as Alex Williams deems in his New York Times article, merely "hipster types learning to get over themselves.... or a massive in-joke?" You can read Williams' NYT article here, and you really should. He definitely takes some of the (hot) air out of all the philosophical posturing. I mean, let's get real...we're talking about a bunch of kids (or hipsters, if you prefer) who decide to dress like unfashionable dads from nineties sitcoms. And whose ideas get lifted by mainstream fashion and morphed into something resembling nineties minimalism. 

And in the process, we've all taken to the more casual aesthetic like a duck to water. And started wearing sneakers with almost everything. Even, like Jenna Lyons, with a men's tuxedo. And how cool is that? It's ironic though, isn't it, that Normcore in its rejection of the drive to be unique, has helped give rise to a plethora of looks, like Jenna's, that are as fresh and innovative as they are restrained.

And I'm all for restrained innovation. And minimalism. And not trying too hard, as long as that doesn't mean giving up entirely. And I don't mind pushing my own boundaries.  Or trying new ideas, as long as they aren't too ridiculous.

But as much as I love many of the looks that the innovative Olsen twins have turned out with their line "The Row"... I refuse to wear bedroom slippers out of the house. Seriously these looks for Fall 2015 just made me laugh. Really... could they not find shoes for these girls? 


          
                                                           www.rodeo.net/styledevil                                                                           www.dewmagazine.com    


So, to answer my own question. Yep, I guess Normcore one year later is still a thing. Still alive and well...and possibly more grown up. 

Which isn't a bad thing. 



What do you think? 



Linking up this week with What I WoreStyle Me WednesdaysPassion 4 FashionFun Fashion Friday