about a girl

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about a girl

Postby exprof » Thu May 15, 2014 4:18 pm

Laid back general catch-all womenswear thread. Discuss the mundane: stores, seek advice, cool stuff etc.

I'll start with some stores:

Mill Mercantile - Located in San Francisco. Stocks slightly more american: LVC, apiece apart, pendleton, gitman sisters.
Envoy of Belfast - Located in Belfast. Stocks a lot of euro brands: women's trickers, dries van noten, margaret howell etc.
Lyla - Located in Tokyo. Stocks most nepenthes brands. Interesting lookbooks.
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Re: about a girl

Postby exprof » Thu May 15, 2014 4:29 pm

i felt like that thread was more "fashion", tryna make something more casual
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Re: about a girl

Postby maj » Thu May 15, 2014 5:38 pm

as this is for the everyday girl and not the high roller,

what is the best way a average girl can look on trend on a budget without falling into a tumblr cliche? men fall into the topman trap (and more recently the size? one) but that's very limited i feel so many looks have been destroyed by tumblr/magazines/fast paced trends for girls which often works against them rather than for them. being somewhat trendy with most people around you being aware of where you got your clothes, and more often than not where you got your idea from seems a little weird from a mens perspective as most my peers won't know unless it's from one of 3 high street chains. then again this may not even be a discussion topic for women and something they just accept happens and in that case what are the top 5 traps the everyday fashion aware woman falls into.

i did see these one girl in sainsburys who took that all black look and wore it with some wedge soles and a widebrim, drapey cardigan, skinny jeans and turned it into something unique (as in a literally has no clue which store she shops at) which looked budgetballer but other than that i can't think of much.

want to learn more about low end womens wear.
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Re: about a girl

Postby parlezvouzscottish » Thu May 15, 2014 5:47 pm

@maj

you talked about the topman trap for men, while for girls in uk metropolitan areas as of recent seem to be rinsing the fuck out of zara, while yeah some of the looks look alright I think a lot of them just buy things from zara and place them in outfits and end up with little cohesion.

I do however feel low end womens wear offers a lot more variability in the type of pieces you can pick up without looking ridiculous, low quality showy dresses from zara look alright when worn but anything flashy from topman or the likes do look a lot worse compared to the A.P.C or more mid tier equivalent.
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Re: about a girl

Postby sidewalk » Thu May 15, 2014 5:49 pm

That same exact stereotype could be applied to low end mens wear. I can't even tell you about budget mens wear that doesn't fall into a "tumblr cliche", "topman trap", and/or that hasn't been destroyed by trends. Seems like a loaded question where the answer is right in front of you.

When you make all of these derogatory generalizations there is no correct answer because anything and everything can have negative connotations alongside it.
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Re: about a girl

Postby maj » Thu May 15, 2014 6:15 pm

i don't think this is either derogatory or loaded but merely a general question, it's common knowledge women's fashion is more accessible than mens in both terms of sources they're exposed to and the variety of garments so it's natural to assume that there would be more avenues to peruse at a lower price level. i can count on one hand the number of menswear stores in my town and if i removed stores that overlap i could probably do it on two fingers, however the number of female stores with seemingly varied aesthetics is far greater. i make the assumption as the number interested is higher, and the accessibility is greater individuality is valued more broadly amongst them than it is men. too relate it to an example with us we criticise those interested for copying trends or blindly following certain things amongst our peers on the web.

talking about fashion as a male in the "real world" at least for me, revolves around 2 stores and from conversations from female friends theirs are far more in depth than "did u see those new nb's in jd, they'll look peng with my topman chinos". so from my view it is only natural to assume people hold an opinion on this, not in a derogatory or loaded sense as you stated (sorry if it appears that way), but merely from a creative side. usually i wouldn't say this is fair amongst the un-interested but as a great number of non hobbyist females are interested in fashion as a whole i feel it's a suitable question, given that's a generalisation but judging by the average womans magazine in my news agents i can't be far off. i don't see what's wrong with asking "what do you find un-orginal" just as much as i see nothing wrong with saying that guys geos and bbs pants is unoriginal and bit dull if he's clearly interested in fashion.
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Re: about a girl

Postby exprof » Thu May 15, 2014 6:36 pm

Some anecdotal things on low end womenswear:

On cohesion:
My sister used to work for forever 21 in high school, and what they did was send her a catalogue with a bunch of odd "style archetypes", like "goth punk princess", "southern belle chic", "pretty and pink" etc. The store was often divided by "style" section. What I noticed the most was that people tended to buy things that they thought were "cute" from all over the store instead of being coherent and sticking to one style. I think a lot of young girls feel the pressure to be everything, and so it's no surprise when their wardrobe lacks any sort of formal direction. I noticed these archetypes also appeared at Zara and H&M, though they did tend to be a little less overt.

On unoriginality/traps:
I think it's really difficult to find some sort of originality when confined to these mass-produced brands. When you think about how low the costs are etc. there are bound to be at least a thousand+ other women with the same shirt as you. When you do try for originality, you end up with something very incoherent as mentioned above. I don't really think many of my peers go much farther than "I want to look cute", so originality/authenticity is often negligible. The best solution to this IMO is to make/sew stuff and thrift. I really think thrifting with a good eye and vision/direction in mind is the best low-budget option.
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Re: about a girl

Postby maj » Thu May 15, 2014 6:42 pm

i worked in next for a brief time and the women's section was divided into "stories" which rotated every 6 weeks, compared to the mens which was a standard foray of basics that changed when the seasons did and stocking their versions of what Burton was stocking, who was stocking what everyone else was stocking. the divide in markets is huge and there are massive differences in styles they have access too at a low price point.

i think my "anecdotal sample group" of my sister and her friends must be an outlier by what you say as they all have quite clear tastes compared to "everything girls" you're describing in which case makes my comment seem a bit misguided.
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Re: about a girl

Postby charybdis » Thu May 15, 2014 6:48 pm

I think a lot of womenswear brands tend to push/project a certain "lifestyle" instead of the clothes themselves. For instance, places like modcloth, anthropologie and nasty gal where the clothes aren't that great in terms of quality and design but girls will pay a premium because of the image these brands cultivate.

Also, I found this a little amusing: http://reductress.com/post/style-watch- ... g-already/
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Re: about a girl

Postby UnwashedMolasses » Thu May 15, 2014 6:51 pm

charybdis wrote:I think a lot of womenswear brands tend to push/project a certain "lifestyle" instead of the clothes themselves


And men's stores don't? I can't think of a single entity selling contextually blank clothing, separated from any sort of lifestyle. Everyone sells on the same ideas.

Also, this is still a thread about women's clothing, so probably not best to derail it with men's clothing discussions. >.<
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Re: about a girl

Postby exprof » Thu May 15, 2014 6:52 pm

Maybe it's north american culture, but most girls here wear:

    - blazer/green parka/canada goose etc.
    - a top from H&M/Zara/other fast fashion
    - leggings/skinny jeans
    - uggs/hunter wellies/Micheal Kors flats/sneakers
    - micheal kors purse/longchamp bag

I'd say the girls with cohesive style are usually wearing mid-tier brands, or they fit into one of the "style archetypes"
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Re: about a girl

Postby exprof » Thu May 15, 2014 6:54 pm

charybdis wrote:For instance, places like modcloth, anthropologie and nasty gal where the clothes aren't that great in terms of quality and design but girls will pay a premium because of the image these brands cultivate.


Definitely. Though I do feel like those are already pushing the low tier womenswear (at least in price point).

Is there more cohesion as we move along in price points? I mean I can definitely see the appeal in head to toe engineered garments.
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Re: about a girl

Postby exprof » Thu May 15, 2014 6:57 pm

Also, speaking of anthropologie, they teamed up with kapital earlier this year, though it never reached my local store. Probably the most cohesive collaboration I've ever seen.

Image
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Re: about a girl

Postby thatbiglake » Thu May 15, 2014 10:44 pm

nn
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Re: about a girl

Postby thatbiglake » Thu May 15, 2014 10:54 pm

nn
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Re: about a girl

Postby sidewalk » Fri May 16, 2014 12:13 am

@maj

I say the answer is right in front of you because regardless of your gender, you walk into an H&M and you're not leaving without something that's "over-trended" and unoriginal. There's not much variety, and that's because people who are interested in a $20 jacket aren't paying for variety. It doesn't sell. Most people want to blend in.

In all honesty the question doesn't make much sense. You're trying to find something that isn't there. You're exactly right that even BBS boots categorize you, and that seems to be the end. You answered your own question. Even though womens fashion seems more involved, when you look through it, stores aren't deviating from each other. One store is the same as any other, except with a different logo on the tag.

I know somebody mentioned like "Punk Girl" at forever21, but that's still a cliche. So, no matter what somebody on the budget spectrum does, it will seem bland. This "originality" doesn't exist on a budget, unless your somebody like soundclip who is very directional and invested.
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Re: about a girl

Postby UnwashedMolasses » Fri May 16, 2014 12:48 am

sidewalk wrote:In all honesty the question doesn't make much sense. You're trying to find something that isn't there. You're exactly right that even BBS boots categorize you, and that seems to be the end. You answered your own question.


What's your criticism here? This is very vague.


sidewalk wrote:Even though womens fashion seems more involved, when you look through it, stores aren't deviating from each other. One store is the same as any other, except with a different logo on the tag.


This is objectively incorrect.
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Re: about a girl

Postby ramseames » Fri May 16, 2014 1:25 am

UnwashedMolasses wrote:
sidewalk wrote:Even though womens fashion seems more involved, when you look through it, stores aren't deviating from each other. One store is the same as any other, except with a different logo on the tag.


This is objectively incorrect.


95% of 15-25 yr old womens fashion right now is the same shit. there are exceptions to every rule and I'm sure he's obviously aware of that but fact of the matter is that it doesnt matter where you shop when everyone is selling olive unlined cotton mid length fishtails and minimalist ankle boots and dark wash skinnies and red flannels and boyfriend jeans and shitty knockoffs of designer slip on sneaks and etc. you can pick out individual differences/items but the overall look/customer base doesn't change and you're not getting girls identifying with one store over another ( ie there is no zara girl, there's just girls and they shop at zarauniqlohmaritziatnatopmanetc)
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Re: about a girl

Postby hamburgerlady » Fri May 16, 2014 1:47 am

i've never really went too deep into womenswear, mainly because to me it seems overwhelming and i don't really get exposed to it as much.
(this is due to the brands i particularly look at, etc. although fwk is very nice)
i hope to learn a lot from this thread as it progresses since the points that have been made here so far are interesting upon my previous observations as well.

but hey here's some girls in lad :

Spoiler:
Image

Image

Image

Image
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Re: about a girl

Postby UnwashedMolasses » Fri May 16, 2014 10:46 am

ramseames wrote:95% of 15-25 yr old womens fashion right now is the same shit. there are exceptions to every rule and I'm sure he's obviously aware of that but fact of the matter is that it doesnt matter where you shop when everyone is selling olive unlined cotton mid length fishtails and minimalist ankle boots and dark wash skinnies and red flannels and boyfriend jeans and shitty knockoffs of designer slip on sneaks and etc. you can pick out individual differences/items but the overall look/customer base doesn't change and you're not getting girls identifying with one store over another ( ie there is no zara girl, there's just girls and they shop at zarauniqlohmaritziatnatopmanetc)


I can drive to the mall here, not urban but suburban, and walk into 8 or 9 women's clothing stores that all sell different looks, none of which are at all similar to the one you mentioned. That's the whole point of this discussion. Is there an easy look that women can default to to look "fashionable"? Yeah, absolutely. But the existence of a trendy/blog-popularized look doesn't make it the only "fashionable" look available or worn.
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Re: about a girl

Postby donut_milk » Fri May 16, 2014 1:14 pm

I think because most women are exposed to mall brands and fashion magazines everywhere telling them how to dress it's hard to deviate from that. I know the majority of my girl friends don't particularly care or have an interest in high fashion (except runway shows) but they all kinda follow the same "cookie-cutter" look. I think it's also about being safe as well when it comes to dressing themselves and not wanting to stand out too much. I also have some friends who only buy from F21, H&M, UO, Wet Seal, etc. and it just does not work at all for them because it looks too juvenile for their age (late 20s); it's all they know and they could care less about spending $100+ on a piece.

I dunno, I just recalled when I went to visit a friend back home and she said my pants looked like waitress pants (plain black slim ponte pants) and it was weird for her. Usually I always feel overdressed when I go back home because the norm there is sweats/leggings/light washed jeans, flashy top, flats/sneakers.
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Re: about a girl

Postby schiaparelli » Fri May 16, 2014 1:49 pm

one thing that always fascinates me is different "outfits" that are pervasive and endemic to different contexts or environments or geographical locations. for example, the standard northeast college woman outfits i see are: north face jacket, generic shirt, black leggings, just-below-kneecap brown/cognac riding boots, le pliage tote. i see this frequently around our greek quad. the girls who are into fashion and style tend to do the olive green jacket/parka, oversized cardigan underneath, generic tee, skinny jeans, ankle boots. pretty expected.

curious what other people see as archetypes (of any age group!). also—the asian international girls tend to be the ones that are most stylistically distinct and varied. as a baseline they're dressed more formally and more feminine (more blouses and skirts and whatnot), whereas asian girls from the US studying in the US are more likely to be the streetwear girls. can anyone pick out some possible cultural reasons/cues for this?

x x x

i really love mill mercantile. need to visit soon since pictures i've seen of it look amazing. re: standard mall-variety women's stores, i think madewell (owned by j. crew) is kind of lower-budget mill mercantile and has a very specific look. i don't agree with some of the opinions expressed above that stores are not distinct stylistically. if you look at f21/zara/h&m (aka fast fashion), they all blend together because, well, all of them are relentlessly chasing trends and changing stock by the half-hour. (i envision this future where you can sit and watch fast fashion retailers swap out stock just like you'd refresh your tumblr feed for "new" style flintstone.)

if you look at mall brands, then:
  • ann taylor loft is "i'm a young woman that's always professionally appropriate and the most scandalous thing i wear is eyelet shirts on weekends"
  • madewell is "i'm a graduated art student that instagrams copiously at music festivals"
  • modcloth is "i'm a quirky girl and my personality needs to be fully expressed through my clothing and also cat-themed home goods"
  • express is "i need work-appropriate-trousers and hit up bars after 5pm"
i think when you step outside of the lookbook.nu/tumblr/streetstyle blog–dominated fashion circle things are quite distinct.

x x x

i'm excited by this thread because my female fashion tastes are pedestrian like no other.
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Re: about a girl

Postby schiaparelli » Fri May 16, 2014 2:14 pm

posting some pictures of not–high street not–designer brands i like (i guess i see this as the price point/investment-in-fashion point that rachel comey inhabits). or really whatever i can think of.

apiece apart. i guess they're cool in this very relaxed, unfussy, odd-silhouette-y kind of way. i highly recommend their tumblr for southwest america architecture modern art cacti-photographed-with-filters miscellany, which is pretty much their aesthetic in attire too. sometimes they do interesting digital/geometric prints.

Image
(s/s 2013 campaign)

Image
(f/w 2013)

Image
(dress from s/s 2014. i wanted like everything from this collection)

black crane. slouchy lounging around in your eichler with attached greenhouse kind of clothing. i actually realized looking them up for pictures that i'm not super enthused with the brand overall, but bits and pieces of what they do are pretty interesting.

Image
(f/w 2012)

Image
(think this is s/s 2014)

vpl. sort-of-unsexy-sort-of-sexy sportswear lingerie that then becomes interesting sporty/drapey things. neon gymwear and prints. breezy. actually idk if they should actually go in the other womenswear thread, but i'm on a roll now~

Image
(s/s 2012)

Image
(also s/s 2012. my favorite one i think)

Image
(f/w 2012)

Image
(i think their insertion bras are insanely cool)
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Re: about a girl

Postby donut_milk » Fri May 16, 2014 2:46 pm

@schiaparelli re: asian girls

Personally I think it has to do with Asian Idols being the main influence in fashion in Asia as opposed to here in the US. Could it also be because in Asia women should still uphold typical gender roles? I watched this video a while back explaining the "ideal woman" in Korea (bae-ee-gul) - baby faced, cute, glamorous, sexy, yet innocent. While here in the US, I know among myself and my other Asian friends, we gravitated towards more streetstyle. Possibly because we were the minority where we lived or it could've been because we all didn't have enough money to really afford nicer clothes. Thinking back on it, we also banded together with other minorities (i.e. Latin@, Blacks, etc) as opposed to hanging out with white people. That's just a personal anecdote, though.
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Re: about a girl

Postby sidewalk » Fri May 16, 2014 4:46 pm

UnwashedMolasses wrote:I can drive to the mall here, not urban but suburban, and walk into 8 or 9 women's clothing stores that all sell different looks, none of which are at all similar to the one you mentioned. That's the whole point of this discussion. Is there an easy look that women can default to to look "fashionable"? Yeah, absolutely. But the existence of a trendy/blog-popularized look doesn't make it the only "fashionable" look available or worn.


Right after I got done using "Punk Girl" at forever21 as a generalised example you act like I'm claiming every store is literally selling the same thing. Regardless of these minute deviations you may find, you're still categorized and over-trended. Quit acting like walking from forever21 to h&m to gap to urban outfitters is actually vastly different in terms of what you end up with. Whether you're a flower, a punk, or some other menial classification, your defense is laughable.

You talk about this "unpopularised" yet "fashionable" look for mall brand shoppers yet provide zero examples.
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Re: about a girl

Postby stappard_ » Fri May 16, 2014 5:32 pm

this thread isn't laid back at all right now


this is one of my favourite women's fits

Image
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Re: about a girl

Postby charybdis » Fri May 16, 2014 5:52 pm

This old skool exprof fit is my favorite now that it is summer

Image

would put it on my wall, but that's too weird even for me

Also, can we talk about how fucking difficult finding summer sandals is?

The Apiece Apart Il Sandalo is my ideal right now, but they don't make my size. No one makes my size...

Image
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Re: about a girl

Postby hooplah » Fri May 16, 2014 6:19 pm

i fucking hate sandals on me, i just don't like the way they look or feel
they look great on other people and i see ones i like the look of, but sandals just do not match me at all. i wear boots to the beach

i was pulling my hair out trying to find some suitable ones but in the end (and with some solid encouragement from germinal) i just ended up buying some cheap black espadrilles that will probably only last me the summer. that's really all i need them to do, though, so that's fine by me. one cheap pair of sandals every summer seems pretty reasonable.

@charybdis those are nice; if i were to buy sandals i'd want ones with a single strap like that
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Re: about a girl

Postby sunblam » Fri May 16, 2014 6:20 pm

exprof wrote:On cohesion:
My sister used to work for forever 21 in high school, and what they did was send her a catalogue with a bunch of odd "style archetypes", like "goth punk princess", "southern belle chic", "pretty and pink" etc. The store was often divided by "style" section. What I noticed the most was that people tended to buy things that they thought were "cute" from all over the store instead of being coherent and sticking to one style.

charybdis wrote:I think a lot of womenswear brands tend to push/project a certain "lifestyle" instead of the clothes themselves.

schiaparelli wrote:if you look at mall brands, then:
  • ann taylor loft is "i'm a young woman that's always professionally appropriate and the most scandalous thing i wear is eyelet shirts on weekends"
  • madewell is "i'm a graduated art student that instagrams copiously at music festivals"
  • modcloth is "i'm a quirky girl and my personality needs to be fully expressed through my clothing and also cat-themed home goods"
  • express is "i need work-appropriate-trousers and hit up bars after 5pm"
i think when you step outside of the lookbook.nu/tumblr/streetstyle blog–dominated fashion circle things are quite distinct.


But does this matter? They can push a certain lifestyle all they like, but as long as the consumer is attune to their own eye, they can get something original out of combining lifestyles. I don't think any of us want to fall into "gosh punk princess" here, but personally, I don't want to fall into RO's girl either. Sticking to one brand, and adapting to their cohesion, is to me what is boring.

For example, I just found this look from Forever 21 on their website, and it is quite dull
Spoiler:
Image
but if the top was combined with the right jacket, trousers, whatever, it could be interesting and not just easybreezysummercasual. Same goes with the shorts.
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Re: about a girl

Postby chadnik » Sun May 18, 2014 4:43 pm

@sunblam, I think part of the schizoid nature of F21 and places like that comes from the fact that they're trying to tackle relevance from all angles—so you get designer "interpretations"/knockoffs as well as whatever their trend forecasting agency predicts is the next big thing in clubwear. I wonder if that's part of the appeal of stores like F21/Zara/H+M, almost the antithesis of ones with a very edited and specific aesthetic like Mill or Anaise (or maybe better, another mall brand like American Eagle), and maybe why they have some credo among high fashion types—the seemingly unique thrill of looking through a bunch of things that you don't find appealing to hit on the one or two pieces that are "good" may part of the experience they sell.
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