2

Whatever happened to pant suits?

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So yeah, you might think I’m going talk about how I’m so sorry I wore sweatpants in an outfit post, and how now I’m going to dress up and make an effort. Well, ok, I realize I need to make more of an effort, not just in outfits but in life in general.

But alas, I am still wearing the sweat pant. Only this was mailed to me by the lovely PRs at Mother Denim. This faux leather jogging pant is not your typical pair of sweats. Especially since I throw it on with a blazer and a tee (my go-to 3 minute outfit).  I’ve also forgone the annual fall boots purchase in favor of loafers. No, loafers are not the same thing as boots, but realizing that I have a lot of boots, and California isn’t exactly where boots play an essential part of surviving the weather, I got loafers.

So basically aside from the tee-shirt and the fact the pants are in the sweatpant style, I’m wearing black pants, a black blazer and loafers. The elements for workwear. Sure, it’s evolved to where you really couldn’t wear this outfit to an office job. Does this mean workwear can be worn outside the office while people are trying to wear jeans to work? Perhaps. I’ve seen guys wear ties to wear to their coffee shop jobs. So perhaps this is the female equivalent. I kind of like pant suits. Maybe it’s time to explore that some more.

Wearing: Blazer: Filipa K • Tee: Target • Necklace: House of Harlow • Pants: Gift from Mother • Loafers: Bass • Bag: Sophie Hulme

Photo by Lissa Jokinen

jennineWhatever happened to pant suits?
7

Dress Over Frayed-Hem Jeans

dressoverjeansTypically, now isn’t the time to be super into white jeans. But alas, I am. Mostly because I finally worked up the nerve to cut them to the perfect length for my legs. Cropped so they show a little skin between while wearing ankle boots. I’ve also been keeping things simple, color-wise, but experimenting with silhouettes. Earlier this year, I noticed a few dresses over jeans around the interwebs, while I’m not really into diving into that bit whole-hog, there is something about some of the shirt dresses out there that scream, “wear me with pants.” I’m thinking dresses that might be too scandalous worn alone. This button-down cardigan/shirt dress (it’s half cardi/half shirt) is just one of those pieces. While it’s still too warm to layer, I did try it over a pair of white jeans.

Wearing: Cardi Dress: Uniqlo • Jeans: Paige • Boots: Rachel Comey • Bag: MCM

Photo by Lissa Jokinen

 

jennineDress Over Frayed-Hem Jeans
5

Hair Crush: Freja Beha Erichsen

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When I start thinking about getting my hair cut, colored, or whatever, the first thing I do is put together an inspiration folder of hair styles that I like. Freja Beha Erichsen is one of those people I keep going back to.Tousled waves. Bangs that have a mind of their own. Just the right amount of frizz. A shade of brown so rich, it’s almost edible, with highlights that don’t even try to be blonde. And most of all, she owns it. Her hair does its thing, and she just goes with it. She’s beautiful, which helps, one has to have a carefree spirit has to go with wild hair like that.

She’s one of the few people who stick with that medium length, as many models and celebs have loooong hair or super short. Personally, I find clavicle length to be the best for my own locks. And my bangs, they never do what I tell them to. Even when I demand them to stay put. And brown hair can easily look uninspired. No one dreams of having brown hair, well, not like people dream of being a blonde or a red head, or having raven-black hair. But Freja makes being a brunette covetable.

So there’s my love letter to Freja’s hair.

freja_hair22 freja_hair19 freja_hair18 freja_hair17 freja_hair16 freja_hair13 freja_hair11 freja_hair9 freja_hair8 freja_hair7 freja_hair6 freja_hair5 freja_hair1

Images from: Dossier Journal, Russh Magazine, Mother, Saint Laurent, Chanel, Valentino, Vogue UK, and Adam Whitehead

jennineHair Crush: Freja Beha Erichsen
6

Harem Pants: The Slow-Burn Trend

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I remember way back in 2008, I found this pair of harem pants at a flea market. Excited about them, I posted them on this blog saying that one should be careful to mix your vintage (looks) or you’ll look like you’re in a time warp.

Well, the harem pant has indeed had quite a few updates from the 90′s and even the late aughts. They never blew up the way they did during the MC Hammer days, but they have never quite gone away either. I realized that recently when I had lunch with Grechen and she wore a pair of jersey harem pants that are just amazing, and then I picked up a pair of army harem pants that are basically the first thing to get worn after laundry day every time.

Things like the harem pant are what I call “slow-burning trends.” They are definitely trends because they are not timeless staples.  They aren’t ubiquitous, but they hang around for a while. These are the ones I tend to look for, the ones slightly off the radar, but still on the radar. No, not everyone can wear harem pants not for body type but more for frame of mind. I can tell you though, they are super comfortable.

Wearing: Jacket & Harem Pants: Zara • Tee Shirt: Marine Layer • Sunglasses: Celine • Bag: Proenza Schouler • Shoes: Jeffery Campbell • Necklace: House of Harlow

Photo by Kristen Philipkoski

jennineHarem Pants: The Slow-Burn Trend
5

How to Wear Sweatpants Without Looking Like You Gave Up on Life

jennine_sweatpatns

 

Hey there.

Apologies for the brief absence. Jasper had a million sicknesses back to back… roseola, pneumonia, bronchitis, and a suspected inhaled green pea. Then we decided it was time to buy a home. So there is that, which I’ll talk about another time.

Needless to say, I’ve fallen off the radar in several parts of my life. I’m really just now getting back into  the “work” rhythm. During that time while my son was sick and I was taking care of the new home situation, I had even less time to deliberate what I should wear. Comfort and simplicity became the gold standard to which I dressed. And oddly enough that entailed a lot of sweatpants, to which I’ve found are the “it” piece of the season as almost every retailer has their version of the trendy sweatpant.

If you’re nervous about wearing sweatpants and looking like you gave up on life. Don’t be nervous. Sure, wearing the most comfortable pants in the universe can be a slippery slope to not trying to be stylish at all, ever. But trust me, it doesn’t take much to dress them up without trying too hard, or not hard enough. (Whatever that means).

So here is what I learned:

1. Wear Fitted Sweatpants: Be careful that your sweatpants aren’t too baggy. There are so many great pairs out there from the Target Mossimo brand, to Madewell/J Crew and still the originator of fancy sweatpants, T by Alexander Wang. Try different styles to see what is most flattering for you.

2. Wear a Jacket: Whether it’s a blazer, a trench or even a denim jacket. Pairing you sweats with a crisp jacket makes all the difference. This one, sent by Mother Denim,  is somehow both oversized and fitted. I know, because I bought an oversized denim jacket at Zara that definitely feels bulky.

3. Pair with a Button Down Shirt: If you wear sweatpants with a sweatshirt, you’re definitely going towards sloth. Not everyone can look as cool as Debbie Harry in the combo. To dress things up a bit wear a nice cashmere sweater or a button down top.

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4. Wear nice flats or heels. Some people can do well with sneakers and sweats. Heck, even I do it from time to time. But it’s a fine line between stylish and sloth when you do the sneakers and sweats. Switch it out with a nice pair of flats, or even if you have the inclination, try with a pair of heels.

5. Throw on a Statement Accessory: Right now I’ve been loving pearls. Found this Jarin K double pearl earring that are a statement without being overbearing.

Have you tried the sweatpant trend yet? What are your tips for styling?

Wearing: Sweats & Top: JCrew • Denim Jacket: Mother (gift) • Shoes: Jenni Kayne • Bag: Proenza Schouler • Sunglasses: Celine • Earring: Jarin K 

Photo by Lissa Jokinen

jennineHow to Wear Sweatpants Without Looking Like You Gave Up on Life
6

The Five Stages of Accepting a Fashion Trend You Hate

trendz

It sounds cliché, but there is indeed a thin line between love and hate.

Sometimes I’ll love something, like, high heels, then grow to hate them. I mean, high heels look cool, but damn, they hurt. Or if something cool and irreverent becomes over exposed, like the Charles Anastase Dungeon Boots were amazing, but Jeffry Campbell’s Lita knock off, and the subsequent mania over the style made it the most repulsive fashion trend of the century. Overexposure can turn love for a style into hate.

There were so many times when I saw a new trend and thought… “Oh hell no!”

But what about the other way around? There were so many times when I saw a new trend and thought… “Oh hell no!” In 2005, I thought skinny jeans were ridiculous, but for the next ten years they have been a wardrobe staple. I hated boyfriend jeans, but now I like them quite a bit (though still not as much as skinny jeans). I thought “Normcore” was a joke back in February, but now? I’m thinking it’s unavoidable.

Why? Well, for one, activewear has never been so hot. Between every version of fancy sweatpants and New Balance sneakers, there is a person thinking, “Thank god I don’t have to try so hard.” So how did we get from hate to love on this one? Well, it’s quite the same for all trends we hate at first.

Denial

People hate change. We say we love new things, but really, we just like new things that confirm our old things are great. Often times new trends are met with skepticism, for example, as I previously mentioned, I denied the Normcore trend by thinking it was a joke. For months.

Denial is tough to identify because you’re telling yourself it isn’t happening. When you’re staying things like, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” and “No effing way will I wear ______.” Because the truth is, hate is better than apathy when it comes to fashion. Why? Because at least when you hate something, it’s on your radar. Which brings me to the next stage.

pelvage

That’s outrageous! She’s not wearing underwear! No one can wear a dress like that!

Anger

Once you start hating something, you’re in the “Anger” stage. Over the years, the “Anger” stage has come in the form of controversies. Fashion that offends people for various reasons. Whether it’s showing too much (mini skirts, crop tops, pelvage) or too little (midi skirts, turtle neck sweaters) or “unflattering” (baby doll dresses, boyfriend jeans) people always seem to find a way to scoff and disapprove over fashion trends.

If you find yourself continually ranting about how much you hate a trend, you are in the “Anger” stage.

Bargaining

No, this is not the kind of bargaining where you wait until said trend goes on sale to indulge in it. This is when you start saying things like, “Can I still wear my old clothes?” Yes, of course! But not forever… eventually, there will be new clothes introduced, and they might entail elements of the new trends. For example, if you’re avoiding the Normcore trends, you might realize that almost every store has a version of sweatpants. You might hate the 90′s look, but why are there so many flannel shirts around? It’s impossible to avoid ALL trends.

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Depression

This is when you start to feel bad about the trends currently in your closet. You know, “Empty Closet Syndrome.” When you’re saying things like, “I hate all my clothes.” Or, “I need to update my look.” If your clothes are making you sad, you are definitely in the “Depression” stage. Or you might just need to do your laundry. I realized I was in this stage when I started to feel like none of my clothes fit my new life as a mom and a work-from-home person. Nothing seemed appropriate, certainly not high heels at the playground.

Acceptance

The final stage of accepting a fashion trend you initially hated is “Acceptance.” This is when you say, “You know, this trend has grown on me.” When a trend starts to make sense to you and works well in  your life, that is acceptance.

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jennineThe Five Stages of Accepting a Fashion Trend You Hate
1

I Feel Like I’m Getting Dumber

francinevanhove

I used to think I was really smart. Until we moved and my new teacher tested my reading level by giving a paragraph to read. I sat there, and even though I could read, I couldn’t concentrate at all, the paragraph just looked like a bunch of letters. So naturally, I couldn’t answer any of her questions about the text, and naturally she put me in the dumb kids reading group. It wasn’t really called the “dumb kids reading group” but we all know that’s what it was.

[I'm] smarter than a most cats but not as smart as Stephen Hawking.

Even though I wanted to be “really smart,” it became pretty obvious that I am really just “regular smart”. Like, smart enough to be able to decipher IKEA instructions, but not smart enough to understand Walt Whitman or (insert any poet) Henry David Thoreau. Smart enough to be able Google a dumb question, but not smart enough do my own taxes. Smarter than a most cats but not as smart as Stephen Hawking.

In my quest to be “really smart,” I used to do things like be seen carrying around Nietzche, even though I never got past the first paragraph. I even wrote poetry, of which I was pretty certain that even though I had penned it myself, I was no closer to understanding of the meaning than poetry written by other poets.

Here is an example of one of my old poems:

Thanksgiving.
Turkey head, turkey bed.
I baste myself.
And go back to sleep.

Seriously. I wrote that. I mean, not just right this second, but that was a poem that a 17-year-old Jennine actually wrote in all seriousness. What does it mean? My guess is as good as yours!

I also used to love watching art house films. Going to the museum and learning about old artists. Going to galleries and trying to discover new artists. Listening to bands no one has ever heard of. I used to love having conversations about the ‘meaning of life’ and discuss the woes of the planet. How I was going to get things right in my life. How I was going to evolve into this higher being, intellectually.

Being smart, that was something I really wanted.

But then…

I am not sure exactly what happened. Or when. But instead of watching art house movies, or even dramas where you know the actors acted. I’d opt for some comic book turned action movie. A goofy comedy. I started watching a lot of TV shows. A lot of TV shows. Like, every single one of them.

Instead of “improving my mind” I’d watch Maru jump into a box.

Repeatedly.

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Instead of agonizing over the evolution of human intellect, I’d agonize on whether I’d get brown boots or black boots this year.

At some point I decided that “intellectual” conversations were about as as meaningful as the conversations about black boots versus brown boots. That in the end, who we are can’t really be fixed by conversation. So I stopped looking for that deeper meaning in life, and just lived in the moment. Moments that mostly consisted of watching Netflix and reading about Internet cats. Since my brain can only fit so much, it became full of meaningless anecdotes from streaming episodes of canceled TV shows (Remember when Tami Taylor said, Hi Y’all!?) and cute things I saw on the Internet, like that sneezing Panda.

I decided… who we are can’t really be fixed by conversation. So I just stopped looking for that deeper meaning in life

Maybe, it’s not just my poor decision making, it’s been scientifically proven that our IQ is up to 14 points lower than our Victorian ancestors. If that wasn’t hindering my quest for intelligence, the fact that brain activity slows after about 20 years of age. That my “epiphany” that everything is somehow meaningless and we might as well just have fun and look at cute things on the internet, might actually be a symptom of my brain’s deterioration.

Of course, it’s not too late. There is always time to learn about all kinds of things that stimulate the ol’ noggin. Even if I delve into more meaningful subjects, I’m pretty sure I’ll still be looking for black boots and Internet cats.

 

Image credit: Painting by Frances Van Hove, a contemporary French painter, who is very likely to be much smarter than I.

jennineI Feel Like I’m Getting Dumber