Monday, September 27, 2010

You Say Gah-Men, I Say Gah-Mean, My Closet Says To Call the Whole Thing Off

The problem with bright ideas is that they’re all very well and good so long as someone else implements them. Like, when Pirate originally suggested we jump ourselves out of our day-to-day wardrobe grooves, I was all, “Cool! Change is good!”

But when she suggested I tackle 'Gamine,' my bubble burst and I was all, “Huh? Gam-what now?” Because there’s little in my wardrobe that suggests, "An intercontinental mix of clean American lines and French insouciance," and a whole lot that yells instead, “Hey, Moi! Christine McVie called and she wants her wardrobe back and then Chrissie Hynde is coming over to reclaim all her blazers, leggings, and boots.”

Yes, that's the line my style straddles 99.9612 percent of the time. The rest of the time, I'm either in running clothes or sleeping.

So, in retaliation, I assigned Pirate boho because I knew, just knew, there wasn’t a single piece of gold dust woman or stairway to heaven or dog and butterfly in her entire wardrobe. And then I said, “Okay, you go first.” (Pirate Note: AHA!! I knew it!)

Because I needed time to think. And, Google. Which, it turns out, at least turned up one lucky point of commonality between me and gamine: While researching pictures of all those 1950s, early 1960s silver screen gamines like Audrey Hepburn, Jean Seberg, Shirley MacLaine and Leslie Caron, I suddenly realized that although I don’t have their wardrobe, what do you know; I definitely have their hair cuts. In fact, currently, Miss Jean Seberg (shown above) and I are haircut twins.

Well, it's a place to start, right?

As a point of reference, an everyday gamine look:

And gamine taken to the nth degree of high fashion, by no less than Vera Wang herself:

Key pieces include stovepipe pants/jeans, pedal pushers, striped sailor shirts, pea coats, trench coats, wide legged trousers, sweet blouses and tees, swing and chunky cardigans, dirndl-type skirts, baby doll dresses, and cropped, swing, double breasted, and smocked jackets. (Now, wouldn't you know: I have just about every kind of jacket in my closet imaginable except cropped, swing or smocked. The only one that came close I think I gave to Pirate). As for shoes, gamine footwear is, by and large, either wedged or flat.

With all that in mind, here's what I came up with, given the limited items in my closet, and with serious, serious apologies for the crap ass photos. We are working on that as we speak . . .

LL Bean stripey top, Gap jeans, Michelle K. flats (yes, I actually own a pair of shoes without any heel whatsoever).

I'm not sure why I own a trench, actually. I think I bought it on sale at Banana Republic a couple years ago when I was headed to Asheville, NC for an assignment. In January.

Cynthia Steffe skirt, Vince cardigan, Target camisole, Banana Republic shoes.

Although I think this hits some gamine notes, it is way too girly a look for me. Usually, I'd pair the skirt with textured hose, tissue turtleneck, and boots. The cardigan with skinny jeans, animal print peep toes, and a biker jacket.

Comfy USA tunic, Target leggings, BCBG boots, heirloom locket.

This is more in line with my comfort zone, probably because it flirts with the edge of rock and roll.

Trina Turk tie neck silk blouse, BCBG black cardigan, Seven jeans, Kensie shoes.

I'm okay with this look, too, although, I know, I know; my mother is looking down from heaven and choking on her martini out of horror that I haven't ironed those pants . . .

A closer look at the shoes. These scream gamine to me. Which makes sense because I think I've had them since I was twelve.

And that, folks, is that.

I could play around some more, I'm sure, but you know what? I don't really think gamine is a style that suits my temperament all that much. Plus, once a gal edges over 40? Her style should become much less sweet.

Up next: Pirate does Euro Chic. That's euro-Sheek, not euro-chick.


the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

darling, I thought you totally pulled it off - well done for evacuating your comfort zone - I think you look fab!

Fashion Butter said...

1. I agree with Pirate - I think your first outfits are adorable!

2. I can't wait to see Euro-chic.

Athena Misty, aka "GeekGirl" said...

I definitely think you hit it with the third picture. And you're right, the 60s Mia Farrow cut totally is a necessity.

I could never do the gamine look. Too beefy.

moi said...

Pirate: Thank you for coming up with such an interesting challenge. I think :o).

Fashion Butter: The problem with Gamine is looking adorable without looking infantile or too girlish, especially if one is no longer a girl. A very difficult look to pull off.

Misty: Hair is definitely the key to this look, either cropped short or pulled back into a sleek pony tail. A petite, boyish body helps, too, but that describes a very small percentage of the female population.