update

I am reviewing this site, editing out the things that are no longer in my wardrobe (ha! what happened to "obsessed"?!), gradually adding new items, and I turned "comments" on. Thoughtful questions and comments are welcome.

a top



i'm obsessed with: a ring

I know this must look terrible. I was not attempting to paint a mollusk, honest. It's a ring. Truly.
I seldom wear jewelry (besides my watch, or a very plain, slim bangle), but when I saw this ring...loops of brass melted into a glob that forms the band... It's awkward and random, strong, imperfect, ungraceful, and unique. When I saw this ring, I thought, it is me. If designs for rings were stored in the back of my mind, without my knowing it, this ring would have been there. It's as much sculpture as jewelry. The design seems spontaneous. It was a bit tarnished when I first saw it, but the shopkeeper polished it up right in front of me (a labor of love I now enjoy doing myself) and it glowed. I wear it in fits and spurts, but I enjoy it consistently. Handmade.
i'm obsessed with a: furoshiki cloth

I found this in a shop that had a dozen different unique furoshiki cloths from Japan on display (and for sale) as a temporary exhibit. I took a day to think about it and was lucky to return and find it still there. I thought I might use it as a table cloth but when I got home and looked at it again, I knew I had to wear it. Soft dark blue cotton with white polka dots on one side, beige with thin brown and blue stripes on the other. A border of indigo flowers. It is about 46"x46".
i'm obsessed with: a dress

It's floaty and light, mostly sheer, in fact, with a pleated bib, a small front pleat, and french cuffs. It came with a long black cotton slip that is cut like a tanktop, and the fact that it is a solid underlining, with a sensible shape, makes me feel very strong and sensible in this navy, silk, weightless dress. I fell in love with the dress, cut like a very long shirt with a rounded hem, but it is the slip that made me feel understood by the designer. A balance is required/desired when feeling exposed, and having thick cotton on me is precisely what makes the light sheer dress seem perfectly natural over it.
i'm obsessed with: a belt

I hadn't worn a belt in years. So restrictive, I had accepted that they just were not for me. I like to breathe. I found this one in a small leather shop. The design was so, so...well, let me put it this way, while I would not categorize a standard Roman buckle as being mechanically sophisticated, this one in comparison is positively manual. I love the simplicity of the concept. Also, the no-hole design allows the belt to naturally adjust, loosen just a tiny bit, if necessary, and so the belt was, for me, transformed from insufferable vice to positively useful accessory. So stiff at first, so soft now. Handmade in the US; brass ring buckle from Italy. (Do I love that the ring on the belt echoes the bangle? Yes, I do.)
i'm obsessed with: a pair of shiny shoes

Penny loafers. Thanks to the Norwegians, tweaked by the Americans, and enduring for over 80 years now. I wear them barefoot or with bright socks. Or grey tights. I prefer mine with a beefroll, to give them some substance. Men's. Glossy. They always can be polished back to glossy. Sometimes I'm just in the mood for shine. Made in U.S.A.
i'm obsessed with: a pair of shoes

"Contouring leather-topped anatomical latex and cork footbed with a raised toe bar and scooped heel cup" plus real arch support. Simultaneously minimalist and clunky, awkward and cute, part sculpture, these shoes are simply comfortable; with a suit, with jeans. As a fan of Japanese avant-garde designers, they appeal to me. Made in Germany.
i'm obsessed with: a coat

It is the coat that I was thinking about one day last winter while on the bus. I thought about a wool duffle coat with a big collar, big pockets, a detachable hood that lays flat, and that hits mid-thigh or longer. Roomy enough to fit layers on underneath, warm enough to keep me cozy without them. Then a passenger got on wearing the coat. My coat. I stared. His was red and mine was supposed to be dark dark navy, but I looked for identifying marks anyway, found them and went straight home to research. I went to the store and was directed to the women's version. It was a total distortion of everything good about the men's: cropped, boxy yet too tight, classic horn details removed, hood awkwardly designed. They tracked down a small size in the men's. I bought it. Dark dark navy. A bit over-sized, it's nevertheless perfect. Made in U.K.
i'm obsessed with: my frames

I had always envied my bespectacled friends. I viewed glasses as a great opportunity to express personal style, and one of the most legitimate retail purchases I could think of. I was sure that when I eventually needed glasses, I would be satisfied with no fewer than 8 pairs. "Eventually" came sooner than I expected. I was used to being the extra eyes when friends picked their specs, and had not anticipated choosing any for myself so soon. Nor had I expected to be so underwhelmed by my choices. I suddenly understood why it always took people a few hours (or weeks) to finally decide on frames. I was at a loss. Then I walked by these frames in a store window and stopped in my tracks. I would have done the same if I were not on a quest for glasses, because they were perfect, but since I was now a legitimate customer, I went in. The price was exorbitant. I quickly left. I tried to forget. I tried to atone for the sin of even wanting them by going to an eyewear outlet. I bought a pair as inexpensive as the other pair was costly. I wore them and hated them, for a year. I bought a new pair that held some appeal but quickly realized that all the extra yellow plastic that had first attracted me to this next substitute pair made the frames unbearably heavy. Ultimately I succumbed. I wanted to stop wasting money on alternative frames. I went back to the store and tried them on. They didn't look so great on me, I thought, but I loved them anyway. I bought them. They are the only pair I could ever want. They are me. I am wearing them right now. Made in Switzerland.
i'm obsessed with: a shirt

I read somewhere that one way you can measure the quality of a shirt is by its buttonholes. The buttonholes on this shirt are beautiful. I like the peterpan collar, french seams, ruffled heart and smooooth cotton too. I like that from the back it looks like a dreary short-sleeve uniform office shirt (the blue is made to order for the role), but from the front it's a... short-sleeve uniform office shirt splashed with humor. Made in France.
i'm obsessed with: a bracelet

No lock, no design, no fuss, no nothing. Just metal, shape and shine.
i'm obsessed with: my jeans

Originally designed in the 60s as a zip-fly alternative to a popular pair of men's button-fly (and a favorite of the rebellious greasers in America at that time), these are basic, ultra elemental jeans. I cut the ends for a slightly cropped length and left them frayed. I wear them year-round - with light linen shirts, with warm cashmere sweaters, with flats, with (wedge) heels, with sneakers. I wear them to nice restaurants and to the beach. They are a men's jean and have a high-rise so, with a belt, they hit at my true waist (located well above my hipbone). I don't give a fig what they look like from the back. From what I can tell, they look and fit better with every wear because they do show wear and tear, my wear and tear. Custom-fit at it's finest. I won't need to replace them for years, but when I do, I will enjoy buying the next pair (again) from the same no-nonsense utility gear shop favored by construction workers. They are made in Mexico.
i'm obsessed with: a purse

It's style is part purse, part briefcase. (I consistently like to carry my odds and ends in a container with an outward appearance of order.). It zips shut but beyond that does not fool around with one ounce of unnecessary hardware. I bought it used and have been able to add enough of my own wear and tear to make it feel particularly personal. It is undaunted by weather. It is perfectly simply and doesn't say much about itself when I carry it. It does its job quietly and efficiently. It was made in France.
i'm obsessed with: a shirt

It is a dark green/grey linen shirt in a color called "tarp." Tarp makes me think of camping gear - something essential and practical. The shirt's seams are so beautifully done that when I am washing it in the sink, I can't tell if I am looking at the outside or the inside of the shirt. It makes me feel both pretty and strong when I wear it. The color and fabric are strong, but the little buttons on the small rounded collar are sweet, as are the gathers at the shoulder, back and wrists. I want to wear it every day (this summer I have). It dries overnight. It keeps me cool in the heat. It makes a suit feel comfortable and it makes a cotton skirt feel nicer. It was designed and made in the U.K.

i'm obsessed with: a watch

A Swiss-made plastic watch available in 2 sizes and in highly stylized designs or monochromatic colors captivated me the second it came into production in 1983. I owned quite a few of these and truthfully the intoxicating smell of a brand new one still gives me a childish thrill. The perfection of the design is a thing of wonder. It is a watch. It looks like a watch, it feels like a watch, it works like a watch. It is everything you ask of it, and a bit more. It delivers humor, style and performance. It is (relatively) affordable. That is luxury. It is also a connection to an optimistic past, when companies like Benetton were breaking ground and busting open issues more successfully than media can or will today, merely through their provocative advertising. I believed that people were thinking. This watch reminds me of that, even makes me a bit hopeful, and tells me the time.
i'm obsessed with: a skirt

It's a floor-length skirt. A floor-length skirt is the only kind that is almost guaranteed to look better with flats. And I am guaranteed to feel better in flats, so the combination requires zero compromise. It is undeniably feminine (I haven't seen Marc Jacobs in a floor-length skirt. Yet.) without showing an inch of leg. My skirt is soft grey silk. It's fully-lined and it has 2 pockets. Pockets give me a sense of independence and control, even when I'm ensconced in the floaty soft material (or maybe especially then). It was made in Italy.
i'm obsessed with: a bag

A design conceived roughly around 1946, my navy cotton tote is simple, structured and sturdy. It carries everything and hides everything. The tall stiff sides look tidy, belying the jumble within. The color shows no stains. It wants to shriek "picnic" and "holiday" and "Spring" yet it respectfully expresses these sentiments instead with decorum. Wearing it down is a challenge that takes years (and years). And when I'm done, I can buy the exact same bag again. It was made in Maine, USA.