Well, I'm back from the Colorado Relay - the biggest, craziest running adventure any girl could ask for. The Colorado Relay consists of running 174 (well, only 170 this year) miles across Colorado, come wind, rain, sleet, snow, more rain, and more crap weather. We do all this with a team of 10 runners in two vans and a lot of junk food. It is a fabulous adventure, although no high heels are involved in the running of the Colorado Relay.
I still feel kind of jet lagged by the whole experience (it took us 27 hrs 40 minutes to do it – no there was not a lot of sleeping going on), but I'm upright and still going. This year we had freakishly good weather: sunshine! What the hell?! Every year I've done it (this is year number four), we've had extreme weather challenges including ice, snow, wind, rain, frogs, locusts, and rivers running with blood. You name it, we've seen it. I've learned that Colorado in the fall (and spring) are Mother Nature at her most unpredictable, and I've learned to pack accordingly: tights, warm tops, SmartWool socks, waterproof layer, down jacket, hats, gloves, etc.
This year I didn't pack enough shorts. Go figure.
Anyway. On our way back we had a little bit of downtime in Silverthorne near my most favouritest outlet mall in the universe, and of course I had a whole hour to spend in the J. Crew outlet. A whole hour! I actually got to try a few things on!
Since I've been partying like a rock star, I decided to dress like one today. I'll grant that my mind is still a little fuzzy from running and eating Cheetos all night long, so maybe my fashion compass is not quite right:
I'm wearing skinny jeans. Of course. I mean, how could anyone live without skinny jeans? Day and night. Night and day. Easiest fashion decision ever. Skinny Jeans is my new version of Fashion Pajamas.
Black pinstripe velvet jacket – sorta like this:
Except mine is black velvet with a pinstripe. Really, it's nothing like this at all, now that you mention it. It was a hand-me-down from my mother. . . another story.
Under the jacket is a graphic tee-shirt which I purchased on sale at the outlet mall and which I cannot find a photo of, so I'll have to describe and you'll have to picture it: pewter grey tissue t-shirt with a big purple satin rose applique on it. I note that for some reason, J. Crew treats its Outlet store clothes as red-headed stepchildren, and doesn't plaster the interwaves with images from there. The prices at the Outlet store are hugely discounted below their regular store and catalog stuff, and the clothes overall are not bad!
And the piece de resistance: a pink neon belt.
Which I love.
But here's the thing: the shoes (silver peep toe flats from last season) and the belt don't match. I know this is a fashion crime in some parts, but as I trawl the intrawebs I can see that the ubiquitous Punch Of Color* theme is very much a done thing with kids today, with the whole suit jacket/funky t-shirt/jeans thing.
*Punch Of Color is an entree to another blog post on stupid catchy fashion phrases that make me feel slightly homicidal.
I stepped into the office and got a resounding "HMMMMM" from my co-workers. Not from the casualness of my couture (jeebus knows I tread the line of casual fairly often, and they have no room to talk, they of the Hawaiian Shirt Friday crowd), but because of the Pinkness of the Belt.
And so, I ask you, Moi: WTF??? What's wrong with a stripe of neon? It's not like I wandered in wearing my favourite over-sized fluorescent orange sweater from 1985, so what gives?
By that standard, if I really really wanted to achieve fashion nirvana I might have to purchase these . . .
. . . and you know I want to! Does a $30 belt really mean that I am forced to buy a $500 pair of shoes?
Wait. Don't answer that . . .
I fully intend to Wear The Shit out of said pink belt - but without matchy matchy shoes (since I'm a little short on the Pesos for a pair of McQueens at the moment). Am I destined to get cross-eyed looks from people forevermore? Or am I dressing too much like a kid?
Thus Answereth Moi:
First of all, congrats on the Colorado Relay! I was there with you in spirit, you know. Could you feel me sending you good vibes? Did you hear me tandem Cheeto-snacking to show my support? So, okay, I was doing it on my couch and you were doing it in freakish Alpine conditions, but there you have it. Hey, my brain waves are freakish, too. They have been known to move all kinds of mountains, feet, and sales girls into doing what I want. Sadly, they have yet to Vulcan mind meld either Johnny Depp or Christian Louboutin into doing my bidding, but that's another post, another blob.
Okay, so on to the belt.
You know, sometimes, it's OKAY to live in Switzerland. There is, after all, something super cashmere cozy about planting oneself firmly inside Neutral Territory. The borders, after all, are crisply delineated. Let the outside world sturm und drang itself over stacked shoulders, hip boots, and studded biker jackets with silk boho mini dresses. Inside Neutral Territory, the only conflict allowed is black tee or grey? Jeans or khakis? White or chambray button down?
Then again, sometimes? Switzerland isn't where it's at at all. Sometimes, what you need is a walk on the wild side, a good old fashioned bump and grind up against Brazil. During Mardi Gras. With Rodrigo Santoro along for the ride.
Don't worry, I recently booked passage to South America myself. I bid on and won a totally way cool pink patent leather wrap around belt on eBay. If it weren't for the fact that le 'Bay doesn't let you nick its photos, I'd show it to you. But rest assured it's on its way and when it arrives, I plan to wear it with my Cynthia Steffe skirt a la this, only with a grey turtleneck, tights, and boots instead of a tank and nerd-ass visor (WTF?)
I'm also with you on the skinny jean, tee, blazer thing. I will give up the look when Anna Wintour personally comes and peels it off my cold, dead body, and then only if she can make it past Carine Roitfeld. Until that happens, Moi's middle finger to anyone who says the look is too "young." Too young are cropped belly tees, any perfume with strawberry as a top note, and shopping in Juniors if you're over 18 years old (ladies, the department you're looking for is called Petites. Make it your friend.) But I don't care if you're 8 or 80, if you're human, you can pull off jeans, jacket, tee, and boots.
Here's what I'm doing this year:
1. DKNY boyfriend blazer, three season wool in navy with grey pinstripes - consignment shop, $10.00
2. Converse One Star graffiti tee – Target Boutique, $12.95
3. Gap Skinny Jeans – $32.99 (bought five years ago and still in perfect shape)
4. Born Riding Boots – $150, but that was three years ago and I've worn them about a hundred times since, bringing the cost-to-wear price down to around, what, I dunno, it's math, somebody help me here.
5. Fab retro 1970s layered necklace by Anthropologie – eBay, $8.99, free shipping.
And, I just may wind that pink belt around my waist to boot. I mean, really. Who's gonna stop me?
And the Pirate says:
Hot Damn, woman! I'll go on a trip with that Rodrigo fella any time.
My fashion sensibility concurs - a little Punch Of Color (god help me, did I actually say that out loud?) would certainly not look out of place on either of your planned outfits. I say Do It! Wear the Pink! If only to show solidarity in fashion as well as in brain waves. I can't wait to see the danged thing, it sounds super cool!
I hereby extend my own middle finger to my co-workers and their loudly exclaimed "HMMMM". I'll relax in my own fashion happy place and leave them to their polos and khakis and Loincloth Thursday.