Thursday, January 28, 2010

Saddle shoes & *gasp* jeans

Saddle shoes & jeans, originally uploaded by retrogemkitty7.

I rarely wear jeans. In fact, I don denim so rarely that if I show up wearing it, my friends are likely to ask if I'm feeling all right. Why? First, I am short & have hips. About .00000000001% of the jeans on the market are cut to flatter people like me. It's usually much less work for me to just throw on a cute dress (or skirt & top) than it is to create a jeans outfit that isn't a one-way ticket to Matronlyland.

Secondly, I am heartily sick of seeing denim everywhere. Call me old-fashioned, elitist... hit me with your best epithet... jeans are casual wear. They are NOT meant to be seen at the opera, the symphony, high-end restaurants... you get the idea. They are also not meant to cost more than a mortgage payment, although I have seen some that do. +$1400. Really. In this economy, pair them with a $650 Alber Elbaz t-shirt & you can offend just about anyone, aesthetically & financially.

That said, I have been sufficiently intrigued by the recent "boyfriend jean" trend to purchase a pair (Old Navy, $34 IIRC.) If I lay off the dark chocolate, they're quite comfy & flattering. Paired with a fun cardigan & ancient tank from New York & Company, they make a nice weekend-bumming-around outfit. I really like them with my new Bass saddle shoes, too. The shoes are insanely comfy & I think they're keepers.

"1920's Lady Golfer" outfit

Saddle shoes & skirt, originally uploaded by retrogemkitty7.

My first attempt at pairing saddle shoes with a skirt. I want to play around with different skirt lengths & maybe textured tights. I'm always on the lookout for shoes that are cute & funky enough to wear all day in NY, & I think these fit the bill!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bass Enfield Saddle Shoes (photo from

Back in the saddle (shoes) again... actually, I've never owned a pair of these babies, but I just bought some on Zappos. com. I wore classic penny loafers all the time in the 80's & recently bought a black patent pair (also Bass.) I love them - they're perfect with jeans & I may try them with skirts, too. I love my heels, but sometimes my feet just need a break, & I love aesthetic variety, too. I'm all about great-looking retro styles, & if they're comfy, too, that's the icing on the cake. I'll let you know how these work out & post outfit pics if they're keepers.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mary Sue Easter Eggs

Mary Sue Easter Eggs, originally uploaded by retrogemkitty7.

What's on everyone's mind in January? How to pay off holiday bills? The beach? Getting rid of extra holiday poundage to look good at the beach? No, according to the folks at Giant food, it's... Easter candy! I was doing a bit of grocery shopping & having a text-message conversation with my friend L last week when I noticed that the Pikesville Giant already had Mary Sue Easter eggs out for sale. Mary Sue is a Baltimore-based candy company, in business since 1948, & they make the best chocolate Easter eggs in the world. No contest. I grew up eating Russell Stover Easter candy & have since expanded my palate by tasting many high-end chocolates, seasonal & otherwise, as the number of Maison du Chocolat charges on my credit card over the years will attest to. Still, for this Midwestern expat who was once married to a Baltimore native, nothing says "spring" like Mary Sue.

That said, I was still appalled at first... our daytime highs weren't going much above 30! Still, I couldn't resist going over to the shelf where the eggs were displayed to see if my favorite flavor, Triple Chocolate Meltdown, was there for the taking. Nope, only Pecan Nougat & Coconut Cream. I do like the latter, but can live without the former. (I rarely indulge in sweets that don't involve dark chocolate.) The whole time, I was texting L about this, rhapsodizing about the incredible yumminess that is to be found in Mary Sue Easter Eggs. L lives on the west coast & is Mary Sue-deprived, so I'll be sending her a care package as soon as I can get my bejeweled little hands on a Triple Chocolate Meltdown or two (or three or...) I'll probably buy some for myself too, to save them. After all, these babies are notorious for selling out well before Easter. Or, in my house, for getting eaten well before Easter, resulting in extra work at the gym & perhaps a few very light dinners to compensate for the chocolate calories.

So am I a seasonal sellout? A hopeless chocoholic? Both? That's open to interpretation. For now, I leave you with an old-school Mary Sue jingle, taught to me by my first husband, & sung to the tune of Gilbert & Sullivan's "I'm Called Little Buttercup":

Mary Sue Easter Eggs
Mary Sue Easter Eggs
People are making the switch
'Cause using pure butter
Makes Mary Sue better
And you've never had it so rich!

(Alternate last line a la 1950's schoolchildren: Now ain't that a son of a...)

Good night, chocolate lovers.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Jeweler's window, Ponte Vecchio, Firenze

Being a lifelong jewelry addict, of course I made a beeline for the Ponte Vecchio on our first day in Firenze. I was a bit surprised to find that many of the stores offered rather pedestrian designs. Then again, I have been to a lot of gem shows, so my eye is probably a little jaded. I've looked at quite a few hoop earrings over the years. The price of gold was also quite high at the time, which didn't help matters. There were more exotic wares to be had, although many were far beyond my budget. Several shops featured absolutely spectacular antique gems (14,000 Euro Georgian-era diamond earrings, anyone? At this writing, that's about $20,043. Yes, I tried them on.) Further inspection proved that there are interesting, decently-priced gems to be found on the Ponte Vecchio, but one needs a bit of patience, and perhaps a gelato, to search for them.

Nescafe Machine in Firenze

I can't believe it's the 10th day of 2010 already. The holidays really got away from me this time. Our December trip to Italy may have had something to do with that - we spent a week in Florence (Firenze to the locals) in celebration of my 40th birthday. I had been there, but not for 20 years, and this was Mr. Clotheshorse's first trip to Europe. We fell in love with the city immediately. Florence has so many delights to offer: great art and architecture (much of it dating back several centuries,) amazing food and wine, a vibrant downtown shopping district frequented by locals as well as tourists, and lovely, friendly people. Even the vending machines have style, as evidenced by this photo I took at the Boboli Gardens. Firenze, we miss you already, and we'll be back.