Tag Archives: Fashion

Wrap song

Here in the Eastern United States, October’s final week welcomes the brilliant colors of hardwood trees, the seasonal bloom of bushy chrysanthemums and the annual return of my favorite cold-weather symbol.

From the soft underbelly of the Himalayan yak to the vulnerable neck of the female human, comes one of the world’s most beautiful and utile inventions—the Pashmina.

The Pashminas were out in their vibrant glory this past weekend, as they should be.

I have several fringed rectangular scarves, though only three qualify as authentic Pashmina. But whether woven of this particular Asian cashmere or its synthetic sister, I’ll wear and enjoy each one throughout the season and, if I’m lucky, maybe even acquire a missing color.

Indulge me, if you would, in an ode:

You, oversized scarf, keep me toasty when you’re folded, twisted, swirled.
You protect me from the breezes, as a blanket, when unfurled.
O, Pashmina, dear woolen protector, without you how could I live?
Let us share our
ritual of sorting you by color, à la Roy G. Biv.

Ladies and gentlemen, feel free to add your own verse or salute your favorite article of autumnal attire.


Filed under Beauty and Fashion

The skinny on pants

Ladies and gentlemen, have you bought your skimmers yet?

For the uninitiated, as I was until yesterday, skimmers are the new pants length. Translation:  too short.

Ladies, skimmers are the spring sequel to jeggings. They’re much longer than last decade’s Capris and slightly longer than last year’s crops, but awkwardly shorter than full length pants.

Gentlemen, a fashion expert on one of the morning news programs did say recently that even men would be wearing the new length this season. I can’t wait to see how you adapt to this.

This early in the season, the new styles look utterly ridiculous. I bought three pairs.

For the benefit of readers who haven’t yet ventured into stores for their spring fashions, I thought it might be helpful to provide a little overview of this year’s pants scene, or at least my observations anyway, so you can approach the stores with a reasonable expectation.

First, the lingo. GAP is pushing something called the Broken-in Skimmer. This means intentionally wrinkled and too short. The first thing I did when I got mine home was iron the dickens out of them.

The pants-centric GAP is also featuring the Skinny Cargo, the Skinny Camo and the Skinny Twill, as well as the Pure Body Foldover Drawstring Pant and the Tapered Boyfriend Pant. (For an early Nymph musing on the boyfriend craze and other fashion nonsense, see Fashion Nonsense.)

J. Crew is pushing us to show off our ankles as well, with the Cammy Pant, the Day-tripper Pant, the Pipette Cargo Pant, the Canteen Pant, the Bistro Pant, the Café Capri and my favorite, the Broken-in Boyfriend Pant. I trust this means last year’s boyfriend is now fully broken in; translation: wrinkled.

Now allow me to desensitize you to a frightening fashion comeback, just so you aren’t visibly shocked when you walk in the store. As I feared would one day happen, Mom pants are back. Remember these?

Well, they’re alive and well at H&M, complete with the nine-inch zipper, ample front pleats and elastic waist, ready to be given a good home on your backside. What’s next, the perm?


Filed under All Things Wordish, Beauty and Fashion, Movies, Television and Radio

Overnight sensation

Just recently, I sulked when a snobby saleswoman snubbed my style as shabby chic.

I’ve decided I could go two ways with that. I could bristle and point to evidence that my sought-after slipcovers are plenty trendy. Or, I could roll with it and play the part I was assigned.

Maybe shabby suits my economic reality, and just maybe there’s a way to be shabby chicly. But how?

Just as I was trying on this new persona in my mind, I got a tweet from one of my sources for what’s hot. At my age and without a young person at home any longer, I need help in boosting my trend awareness. Twitter to the rescue, once again.

Voilà the latest in footwear for the economically aware, environmentally sensitive, deadline-conscious shoe fanatic.  Goodbye Vanelli pumps; hello Shipping Package Kicks, new from Civic Duty Shoes.

Why so crinkly, you ask? These babies are made of dependably durable FedEx envelopes, and styled like old-school Chuck Taylors.

If shabby and chic don’t ring your bell, consider this. They’ll get you where you need to be by 10:00 a.m. tomorrow.


Filed under Beauty and Fashion, Technology and Social Media

Red Carpet Barn

Sometimes I wonder if I will ever achieve such fame as to be asked, “Who are you wearing?”

This piece is not about who versus whom and surprise, I’m not even going to take issue (today anyway) with the grammatical incorrectness of the red carpet question:  Who are you wearing?

Normally I am working in my home office with no one to notice me but two tuxedo cats. On these days, trust me, no one would want to know who I’m wearing. Okay, whom.

When  I suit up for clients, I do wear brand name or designer business clothing, along with respectable accessories, which I own and aren’t on loan from Harry Winston.

But today, for example?  I’m wearing a lovely pair of workout pants designed by Merona. Tomorrow I might be sitting here in something designed uniquely for me (and two million other bargain shoppers) by St. John’s Bay. No, sadly, not St. John’s Knit. St. John’s Bay. Or perhaps something from the Jaclyn Smith collection.

If you recognize these brands, then now you know the raw truth about where I shop, and why Joan Rivers or Maria Menounos won’t be stopping me anytime soon to ask me about, well, anything.

The primetime Emmys are coming up later in the month. It’s fun to see all the designer dresses and jewelry and imagine this year I am walking the red carpet right alongside John Krasinski or Jim Parsons. I hope that one day, maybe at the International Syntax Awards, a reporter will ask me, “Ms. Nymph, whom are you wearing?”

I fantasize that someday my husband and I will be rich and famous. We will be getting ready for the limo to pick us up for the premiere or awards ceremony. He’ll emerge from the bedroom, dressed for the event, I will look at him as a wife looks at her husband and ask, “is that who you’re wearing?”


Filed under All Things Wordish, Beauty and Fashion, Movies, Television and Radio

Fashion nonsense

You’ve got to love the lingo of the fashion industry.

Fashion is a heavy-hitting segment of the world economy, so it should be taken seriously.  But is it taking itself too seriously?

I am slow to keep up with the jargon.   Shrugs, jeggings, boyfriend jeans.  I am often garment-naïve until these styles are already passé.  I know tunic because Julius Caesar wore one.  As an aside, my husband was shocked recently to see a storefront sign advertising the “boyfriend crop.”  He thought it was an S&M device.

I try to listen to fashion consultant Stacy London, host of What Not to Wear, when she tells us how it is–what clothing styles we should wear for our body types or how to make an impression at that all-important social occasion.  Heaven knows, I need all the help I can get.

But there’s something about Stacy and her ilk that I just can’t take seriously when I hear:

“If you are wearing a sequined evening gown, you need a shoe…” or

“If you are short and stocky, you should wear a pant…”

A shoe?  A pant?  Just one?

OK, I know that’s accepted fashion-speak, but are we supposed to go along with this without snickering?

I’m not sure I can stand to listen to it anymore.  Maybe I’ll go out and buy an earmuff.


Filed under All Things Wordish, Beauty and Fashion, Movies, Television and Radio, News