Hot or not: Everyone is getting on this hiking booties trend!

I thought I heard wrong the first time I heard about these. I thought people were going crazy. High heeled hiking boots!? When you think about it, it's really absurd, especially for those who actually like to hike. It's clear these kinds of shoes are absolutely the LAST thing you need for a trek up the mountains carrying many pounds of equipment. It's like this ridiculous, completely impractical product of the modern age, wholesale vanity at its purest.

That all said, the style is really growing on me! I can't believe it, but I can't help myself either. There's something about the blatant ruggedness, the impracticality, the sheer audacity that I love. Not to mention the cool details and don't-mess-with-me vibe they give off. So of course I spent a few hours scouring the interwebs for some of the finest examples of these walking oxymorons (which are still within reach). Pictured above are Topshop's 'Arella' booties lined in shearling.

I was so disappointed to find out that the Dollhouse 'Rogeri' style, which are my favorites, have long sold out on sites like I found some other black hiking boot styles that are pretty cool, but none of them have quite the chunky weight of the 'Rogeri.' And lastly are some examples of hiking booties in other colors. The ones from Tambukiki (below) are only about $32!

Tokyo Style: Nothing Lost in Translation

There's something to be said about Tokyo style.

Part of it is pure, unadulterated fun. Part of it is sheer crazy. But what is really refreshing about Tokyo style is the chutzpah with which the everyday Tokyo-ite struts his/her stuff. I spent some time in Tokyo in January and in between periods of stuffing my face with some of the most delicious food in the world, I was constantly baffled, impressed, and astonished while people-watching.

The typical Tokyo resident pays attention to every small detail of his/her personal appearance, but since I'm writing on behalf of men, my focus is going to be on men (fear not ladies - I also got great snapshots of some very bold Japanese women).

Perhaps the most astonishing were the men's hairstyles. The amount of product needed to accomplish any one of the looks (see group picture), and the time it must take to pull it off (not to mention, the gall to tell a hairdresser, "I want to look like an anime character but still have movement in my hair!").  Oh, and then the balls to walk out of the house looking like that!?  Hat tip to you Japanese men... well done!

The flair with which men also accessorized was quite possibly the most shocking.  Here I go on about a manbag/murse that looks pretty much like a briefcase, but in Japan men carry bags that would make most American women look like old ladies (no offense, ladies... these men are just that over the top).

But my favoritest thing to watch for in Japan was footwearSneakers specifically. Did you know that Adidas, Nike, and Asics (aka Onitsuka Tiger) make specific shoes just for the Japanese market?  No joke. Not only that - not every store has the same inventory. You can go to a store that carries stuff in Shinjuku and take the train over to Harujuku and that store has a style that the other stores don't have yet.  Crazy. And most amazing, Ferrari and Porsche design limited edition sneakers. Who knew?  

The Japanese did, that's for sure.  It's no wonder that so many designers find inspiration here. I did my best to try to catch a few moments a la the Sartorialist but my Japanese is not good enough to ask for people's names, and by the time I noticed someone with great style, they'd already be about 20 feet away from me.  So enjoy these hip-shot candids... I tried my best!

I'll definitely go back someday because a mere 2.5 days in that city simply is not enough.  But if you find yourself there, I can hook you up with some shopping recommendations - just leave a comment or shoot us an email!

Awesome! First "hate comment" on Wearability

Normally I like to think that our readership is a rather civil bunch, so I was a bit taken aback when this comment landed in my inbox this evening.  And thrilled.  Because if you're not pissing people off, really, you're probably doing something wrong.

I especially love how s/he talks about gladiator sandals (an abomination! really!) like they are her offspring. I swear I've never seen anyone get so fanatical about a shoe trend.

NneNna just commented on the post "Trend that should die: Gladiator Sandals." on



Update: This is the image that comes to mind when I read the above comment:

I really don't get why everyone is so darn obsessed with A.P.C. (the French label)

I mean seriously, people.

Case in point: the girl who produces Camp Comfort, along with every single person in The Laws of General Economy community, they all seem to worship heartily at the alter of A.P.C. On Economy, if something gets posted for sale and it says A.P.C on the label, it's done for.  Girls trip over themselves to get a piece of the action like wolves tearing the last morsels of flesh off a downed caribou. I swear.

Disclaimers: 1) I do enjoy the down-to-earth style of Camp Comfort most of the time, 2) I am a rabid/avid follower of Economy and have bought two pretty cool items, and 3) I never owned a piece from A.P.C. and can't vouch for its quality or fit. But A.P.C., though exercising beautifully French restraint and looking mighty comfy, feels like little more than absurdly overpriced basics that you could otherwise get from Gap, or Banana, or J. Crew.  Observe:
Now, what makes it okay to spend $230 on a pair of overalls?  Is the cotton woven from the dried saliva of endangered Amazonian vampire bats?  Golden droplets of fairy-tears?  Tailbones of Ethiopian orphan babies?  I admit there are a few pieces in their new Spring 2010 collection that are lovely, like a few of the tops and dresses.  But there are other pieces that are downright grungy looking, and all I have to do is dig through my childhood closet to achieve that kind of look, thankyouverymuch.

Seeing the kinds of pieces that sell like hotcakes on Economy makes me think that people are indiscriminately and rabidly obsessed with the label without really evaluating the pieces individually for integrity and style.  I don't care what you say or who made it, I won't be duped into buying an ugly, expensive parka just because some fancy French label told me it was cool.


Katy Perry: Her music's only okay, but I HEART her style.

I know, I know.  Where on earth have I been for the past two years, living under a rock?  Because I can't believe it took me so stupidly long to get around to watching a Katy Perry video. The first few times I heard her songs on the radio, I kind of disliked her voice, her themes, her music in general and was just not interested in finding more about her.

It was seeing glimpses of her video for "Hot n Cold" on DJ Earworm's 2009 United State of Pop that got me intrigued by, of all things, her STYLE.  My friends, I've decided Katy Perry has loads of it (style, that is), and I find her totally adorable.
I've rarely seen anyone pull off such a throwback vintage-y look with a straight face and, as they say, "totally rock it."  In the "Hot n Cold" video, I loved everything from the artful white veil pinned in place by an heirloom rhinestone brooch, to the fantastic convertible wedding gown/romper with the giant bow, to her fabulous strappy belt, to her selection of odd-colored eyeshadows.  I started watching her other videos, and it was interesting to see the evolution (and elaboration) of her style.  Whereas she has just one or two outfits in her first hit single, "I Kissed a Girl," by the time she hits "Waking Up in Vegas" she is rocking something like seven outfits in a single 4-minute song, each one more fabulous and fanciful than the other.  I've taken the liberty of painstakingly screen-capping the heck out of these outfits so you can see what I'm talking about.
Checking out her red carpet looks is pretty entertaining too.  I love how the girl goes from dishwater-blonde contemporary Christian teenager to outrageous brunette super-vamp within the span of a few short years. It's enough to give anyone hope for reinvention.  When I saw her in action, the first thing I thought was, "She's like an EVEN MORE fearless, irresistable and effervescent version of Zooey Deschanel!"  
For public events, she seems to favor a) fruits and other food items, b) animal prints, c) ruffles galore, d) heart-shaped sunglasses, and d) a crapton of cleavage.  I love that she so fearlessly right to the edge of what is acceptable or not, from the outrageous carousel and ice cream cone dresses to the dramatic Viktor & Rolf peachy ball-gown concoction with the giant holes cut into it.

Hot or Not? LACMA textiles reinvented.

I heard about this on NPR a while back and am finally posting about it.  The story piqued my interest because 1) it's about vintage/historical textiles and fabrics and 2) it's about LACMA, seriously one of the best contemporary art museums in America, and certainly one of my favoritest.

So the idea is this: earlier this year, LACMA auctioned off a large portion of its rare and historical textile collection.  It just so happened that most of the pieces were in relatively poor condition and otherwise unwanted.

Along comes this artist, Robert Fontenot, who buys up 50 of the pieces, ranging from Uzbekystani and Honduran woven fabrics to Korean wedding dresses.  He proceeds to find new uses for the unwanted items by deconstructing and then re-imagining them into different incarnations, and documenting the process on his blog, RecyleLACMA.

This is just the sort of thing that would normally delight me, tickle my fancy, capture my imagination, what have you.  I think the idea has a lot of potential.  But I looked through some of the stuff he's made and can't help but feel a sense of... I don't know, disappointment bordering on discomfort.  I mean, I love modern art as much as the next guy and can appreciate any statements Fontenot is trying to make.
Many of these pieces, though, just feel like they're missing the mark.  Maybe it's because I think of sewing as a craft that must serve a higher purpose, and I have the heart and soul of a true fabric junkie.  I believe in fabric, in its substance and spirit and dignity and practicality.  Most of all, what draws me emotionally to fabrics is their possibility.  

This might explain how I cannot resist buying a beautiful fabric when I see it, only to have it lie quietly folded in a box under my bed, to be taken out on occasion to be fondled and cooed over. Cutting into a lovely fabric is one of the hardest things for me to do, even if it's destined for a great purpose.

So what upsets me about some of these pieces by Fontenot, I think, is how unromantic and mundane they are.  It feels insulting to the spirit of the fabric, which may have been lovingly worked over by some ancient grandmother or artisan, to turn it into a dog bed, or a hackey-sack.  I suppose that's one of the points the artist is making, but it still upsets me.

Some of the pieces are more delightful, like the whimsical lion costume pictured up top or the sailboat below, which makes it easier to swallow (I included some of the ones I like below).  But overall I wonder if overall it isn't a bit of a waste.

UPDATE: I was asked by the artist to take the photo gallery down.  If you're so inclined, feel free to check out the rest of the projects here.

Hot or Not? Ombre Nails

I think it was Glamour where I first saw this, and I felt so instantly conflicted that it could only mean one thing: another Hot or Not post!

So this nail trend involves starting with a base color, then mixing in varying degrees of white or black nail polish, to get an ombre look that fades from dark to light.  When it comes to nail polish, I generally have the same outlook as I do towards my tacos: KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid).  Why let a good thing get out of hand (ha, ha)?

Then again, I can't deny that it's kind of pretty.  Definitely classier than multi-colored nails and scary add-ons. But what do you think?  Gimmicky?  Smacking of tacky?  I can't decide.

P.S. I'm actually pretty impressed/intrigued by the nails in the third picture (above).  I'm sure that takes a lot more patience/nail painting skill than I have.

The slanket taught us there's lots of design left in the world of functional apparel... what's next?

Ever since Steph bought me a slanket, I haven't ever been cold at my desk. The slanket is a blanket with sleeves. You wear it like a robe. It's a blanket. It's a slanket! Somewhere along the way, some designers decided there was a lot more innovation left in this space. For instance...

Sometimes it's kind of cold and you want to do some work, but you're at the cafe and there's too much noise and distraction. Luckily, there's the Laptop Compubody Sock to the rescue.

Or sometimes its cold and you want to eat a sandwich. Voila, the sandwich eating ski mask.

What will they come up with next? More on these and other ingenious inventions over at, and detailed instructions on how to create the Compubody Sock at

It's not quite wearable. Well, not in public, anyway. But it is awesome.

Hot or Not? Dolce Vita Wilde Boot

Unless you have been living under a proverbial fashion nock, you've no doubt been smacked in the face repeatedly by this fall fashion trend: the thigh-high boot. To be honest, like most normal (read: non-fashionista) people, I'm a bit dubious about it and I'm pretty sure it's going to be rather short lived, and thus hardly worth the investment.

That said, these Dolce Vita Wilde boots caught my eye because of the cinnamon-bronze, supple leather and sleek profile.  And the comfortably doable 3" heels. That was from the front.  Then I looked at the backs and did a double-take at the weird cut-outs behind the knees.  I felt instantly conflicted. On the one hand, the spirit of these boots perfectly captures my half-assed attitude towards thigh-high boots, like they can't decide what they want to be.  On the other hand, they really are a little strange.

So I submit to you, dear readers--what do you think of them? Photos shamelessly stolen off of