15 April 2010


I woke up this moring knowing that I wanted to wear these socks and shoes together:

Fluevog sandals and lacy socks
Shoes, John Fluevog "Summertime," style unknown, remixed
Socks, depths of the drawer

I didn't know what I wanted to wear with them, mind you, just that I wanted to experiment with this look. I'm usually not that fond of any sock shorter than knee-length, so these delicate little anklets are a standout in my sock drawer. I never wear them. So I figured that the last nice, sunny day for a while merited an opportunity for them to see the light of day.

I pulled out a flower-embroidered linen skirt, the background fabric the same color as the socks. I layered it over a black lacy skirt to keep it from looking too sweet. I put my favorite black lace-trimmed cardigan over my favorite pink long-sleeved tee. I tried three different belts. None of it worked!

In desperation, I pulled off the first skirt and tried this floral sheath dress instead. A-ha, now we were getting somewhere! I ditched the lacy underskirt (too much bulk under the slim dress), pulled the cardi back on, and realized I was developing a very late-Fifties/early Sixties look: sheath dress, cardigan, chunky heels. The pyramid studs on the shoes kept it from being too sweet, adding a little rock-and-roll flair.

What do you get when you mix midcentury styles with modern rock sensibilities? Rockabilly! Well, an interpretation of it, anyway.

I decided to play up the look, taking it almost-but-not-quite to the verge of costume with a wide headband, studded cinch belt, pearls, and petite frame purse:

today's outfit, WIWT, Liberty of London for Target sheath dress, lace cardigan, Betsey Johnson belt, pearls
Dress, Liberty of London for Target, remixed
Cardigan, Heart Moon Star, remixed
Belt, Betsey Johnson, TJMaxx, remixed
Pearls, gift from Fabulous Husband, remixed
Purse, Ann Taylor Loft
Headband, Sephora

I love that little bag. It's cute, surprisingly capacious, and oddly era-neutral. It works with this very midcentury ensemble, but I've also strung a few antique keys onto one handle (hanging over the bow) and worn it with Victorian-influenced steampunk outfits.

I kept the makeup in tune with the clothes: a relatively neutral palette, a strong winged eye, and pale, frosted lips. I know most rockabilly girls prefer va-va-voom reds, but for daywear, and an outfit more influenced by the late Fifties and early Sixties than the Forties and early Fifties, I thought the pink was a better fit.

midecentury-inspired makeup

Throughout the day, I found myself adapting the movements and gestures I've seen in movies from the era this outfit hearkens to. Some of it was the dress: it's structured, so I can't slouch too much; it's got a narrow hem, so I take shorter steps; the skirt rides up alarmingly if I'm not cautious, so I watch myself getting into and out of cars (there's a technique to getting in and out of a car in a short skirt) and cross my legs at the ankle instead of the knee or not at all. Some of it, though, was more studied: it felt right to hold my purse in front of me, both hands on the straps (almost like a kettleball) while standing, for example. I'm not sure if that was a hint of old acting training, urging me to fall into the 'character' this outfit created, or if those gestures, too, were created by the clothes and their relation to the body, just less obviously.

Oh, and I was pretty happy with the socks-and-sandals effect. I think, just like tights and sandals, it might depend heavily on the specific items being combined to work. I'm going to continue to experiment.

How does your clothing affect your movement, gestures, and body language? If it does, is it strictly functional, or do you find yourself creating characters with your outfits and then matching your body language to them?


  1. The topic of how your clothing affects being in your body is one I'm totally drawn to. Have you been to my blog? I have a post up about my thesis project. It doesn't address this topic explicitly, but it's definitely in the mix.

    And I love those shoes! They are super great!

  2. i love this look! i am definitely planning on trying socks with sandals soon and it will TOTALLY look as amazing as it does here.

  3. Nice to 'meet' you on my blog today, have you been reading for very long?

    I love this look, and I want to steal your shoes! You better hope I'm not your size.

  4. Thanks all!

    @Emily: I checked your blog and I'd love to talk about your thesis! Just drop me a line.

    @WWANW: You'll rock it, I'm sure! I love seeing how different bloggers take the same style concept and make it look fabulous in different ways.

    @pretty face: I've been reading your blog... a while? I don't recall how long. I'm an endemic lurker, a bad habit I'm trying to break. Hands off the 'Vogs, though: those bad puppies are all mine! :)

  5. This look is fantastic! I love the Fluevog sandals, and they look great the way you've styled them.

  6. Those sandals are quite fantastic! Perfect for walking in . . .


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