Mighty Life List
Nov 3 2009

Mighty Closet: Mai Le, Outfit 2

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This is Mai looking suspicious in what she describes as her first date outfit — first dates put me in a dubious frame of mind as well, my friend.

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Her versatile gray jacket with red detailing is by Grey Ant, which is based in L.A.

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The purple tights are by We Love Colors, and her black platform wedges are from Loeffler Randall’s Summer ’07 collection. Shoes that offer a compelling view as you walk away are the best kinds of shoes.

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Cute right? This view is undoubtedly wasted on Mai’s dates, however. In my experience, very few guys are looking at your shoes as you walk away, even if you’re wearing wooden wedges topped with a metallic insole.

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This is Mai humoring my request for a cheesy ’80s pose in celebration of her vintage Laura Ashley dress. It’s violet jacquard with a drastically shortened hemline and big ol’ sleeves. Mai favors volume or detailing in her sleeves, and if you ask her opinion while thrift shopping “great sleeves” is her highest praise.

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The vintage belt is part of Mai’s signature Superhero Prom Queen chic. Every time I see her, I kick myself for not wearing more belts.

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As you can see, Mai’s style is refreshingly eccentric. I don’t know anyone else who dresses like her, so I find her pretty inspiring. We were at a bachelorette party in Vegas a few years ago, and she wore a full-on ’80s prom dress out clubbing — massive sleeves, zero irony. Knowing Mai will be in a crowd of friends means I can wear something outrageous without worrying that I’ll be alone in my exuberance.

Nov 2 2009

Mighty Closet: Mai Le, Outfit 1

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At last, a new Mighty Closet! Did you think the day would ever come?

This is my very fun, multi-tasking friend Mai Le, who blogs about street style over at Fashioni.st. (The Masons have been featured on Fashioni.st a few times over the years, and now it’s Mai’s turn in front of the camera.) In addition to blogging, Mai is an artist who makes excellent plushies, and her interest in the emerging San Francisco street food scene led her to launch banh mai, a Vietnamese sandwich delivery service. She is the best dressed sandwich maker on record.

The Wild Oats denim jumpsuit she’s rocking above was only $5 at the Alameda Flea Market, and this outfit is the kind of thing she’d wear to make and deliver sandwiches.

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These are three stacked vintage belts, two leather and one twine. You never know when a jumpsuit might fall down.

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Mai’s squared off rings are both from Oakland Museum of California annual White Elephant Sale, which is legendary. Her Mary ring is so Gillmore Girls.

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The Rodarte-inspired fishnets are from Etsy, and as you can see, Mai is very serious about her shoes. These are Martin Margiela nail heel booties. I’m not totally sure about the mechanics of walking in them, but the nail is an accurate representation of how I feel about stilettos.

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A view from the back gets you a better look at that heel. Here’s a pump from the same season, and the over-knee version.

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Mai’s eyeliner is Nars kitty and her lipliner is Nars dragon girl.

Tune in tomorrow for her first-date outfit. Actionwear!

Aug 14 2009

Mighty Closet: Courtney Skott, Outfit 5

Designer Courtney Skott does a high kick.

Jumper! Haaa-yah!

Courtney saw this BCBG Max Azaria pantsuit at Crossroads long before rompers came back in style. She couldn’t immediately figure out how to put it on, which she felt was a good sign. After some time wrangling in the dressing room, she decided to bring it home and figure it out.

Designer Courtney Skott in her living room.

Smart move, because it’s become Courtney’s version of the little black dress. That little diamond of exposed tummy skin is spot on. Courtney is smart about finding sexy clothes that don’t make her look too willing, if you know what I mean. She now thinks the jumper was an early sample, because she saw one at Nordstrom recently. She appears to be correct, because here it is. Did you pay $380 for yours, Skott? Yeah, I didn’t think so. High five.

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The leafy earrings are Eliza Page, an Austin-based jeweler owned by a friend of Courtney’s. Lots of great stuff there, by the way.

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Metallic sandals are Kenneth Cole Reaction.

And so Courtney Skott’s Mighty Closet comes to a close. Does anyone else feel like they could use a cigarette?

Aug 12 2009

Mighty Closet: Courtney Skott, Outfit 3

Designer Courtney Skott

When Courtney was in Spain, she visited this Desigual coat obsessively before finally splurging. Courtney has always been budget minded. We agreed during the shoot that spending $100 on something is a whole deal. If I’m spending more than $25 on an item, I tend to think it over. Thrift shopping makes you a crazy person that way. Lately I’ve begun to realize that it’s better to come home with one perfect investment piece rather than a garbage bag full of not-quite-there second hand stuff, so I’m trying to be better about looking for clothes that are bargains, but maybe not steals.

Courtney says the coat splurge was worth it, because people stop her on the street to compliment her whenever she wears it. I love that, because the whole point of going shopping while you travel is having the “Where’d you get that? conversation afterward. “This? Oh! I picked it up in Barcelona.”

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These Cartonnier herringbone trousers from Anthropoligie are technically supposed to be “ankle length.” No hemming for the petite girl, hooray! This is a pretty typical work outfit for Courtney.

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The Dolman-sleeved sweater is from Crossroads, a second-hand resale chain that has so far featured prominently in the Mighty Closet posts. I dig the proportions of this outfit. Easy, but not baggy, with a well-defined waist.

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The necklace is from Crossroads too. Clearly we all need to spend more time at Crossroads.

Lace Up Oxfords

Staid lace-up oxfords by Biviel from Gimme Shoes. So sexy librarian.

Tomorrow, Courtney channels Dixie Carter circa Designing Women. Stay tuned.

Aug 11 2009

Mighty Closet: Courtney Skott, Outfit 2

Courtney Skott in her San Francisco apartment

Courtney is a champion thrifter and, shoes aside, this outfit is all second hand. The nautical-stripe dress has a ’50s vibe, but it’s actually a Vicky Vaughn piece from the ’80s. Perfect for standing purposefully on the bow of a ship, fisted hands on hips, grinning at the horizon.

Courtney Skott at her desk

Also, how enviable is her office nook? So tidy!

Red Striped Belt on a Blue Striped Dress, Courtney Skott

Courtney found the belt on the sidewalk in the Western Addition. I know that mighty sound alarming to some of you, but be ye not scandalized. People in the city just leave bags of belongings on the curb instead of lugging them to thrift shops, and decent stuff rarely sits outside for more than an hour or two.

Courtney Skott's White Necklace

The painted chain is from a white elephant sale. The moony eyes are from her mama, who did some catalog modeling in her day. Thanks for the good genes, mom.

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These are Courtney’s go-to eyelet flats, which she realized she wanted to replace just as I was aiming my camera. San Francisco is a walking city, so flats get heavily abused. Comfy flats are by Rocket Dog, and she got them on Zappos.

Tomorrow, Courtney’s favorite jacket, which she purchased in Spain. Olé!

Aug 10 2009

Mighty Closet: Courtney Skott, Outfit 1

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This is my ludicrously talented friend Courtney Skott. Fear her! She is a force. Courtney is so smart and creative, I’m always kind of surprised to know her. She has style, is a genius interior decorator, and can make gorgeous things with a table saw. Courtney is a furniture designer who currently works with Steelcase, though I’m continually lobbying for a line of Courtney Skott originals. Please sign the petition below.

This outfit is Courtney’s “cute daywear,” she wore it to a friend’s baby shower brunch recently. Jeans are Gap, but I forgot to ask who makes the jacket (Courtney, will you let us know in comments?). I know you guys will ask about that amazing red shelf, which is by CB2. Lacquer red is a signature accent color, as you’ll see in lots of these photos, which were all taken in the San Francisco apartment she shares with her husband Lane.

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Speaking of signature reds, Courtney’s lipstick is Mac’s Ruby Woo. Her earrings are Forever 21, and the necklace was a Rare Device purchase — it’s a resin encased vertebrae by Faryn Davis.

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Courtney is also a marathon runner, which explains that body. My lord, people. She could look good in a paper sack. In fact, if I worked that hard on my body, I wouldn’t even bother with a paper sack. Courtney, why are you spending money on clothing? Is it an office dress code thing? Shirt is by H&M.

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Her versatile rainbow shoes are Very Volatile, and she got them at Piperlime. Little Leprechauns follow her everywhere.

Tomorrow, please tune in for office casual day! Man, I love doing these.

Jul 20 2009

Packing Light: Puerto Rico Edition

This is every item of clothing I packed for eight days in Puerto Rico, minus my traveling dress and sweater, which somehow escaped my camera.

Regular readers know I like to pack light, so my goal for this trip was to fit everything in a carry-on suitcase and my laptop backpack. This is relatively easy to do if you’re going somewhere warm and casual, but Melissa was still surprised by how much I managed to cram into my bag.

This is a green dress I bought at H&M shortly after I had Hank. I love it, because the front pleat is very tummy forgiving, and that’s the area I worry about most, especially post-baby. When it’s not belted, it’s a comfy, loose shift. The purse is a thrift find; it’s lined with a spectacular hunting scene.

These peacock feather earrings are from Claire’s, and I love them.

The skinny gunmetal belt is J Crew. Versatile, ladies.

These simple, functional flats are my sneakers. They’re ideal for travel because they go with everything, you can step right out of them at airport security, and they flatten completely in your bag. I don’t like blisters while I’m out exploring, and you don’t need to “break them in,” which is really just code for “my shoes are defective.” What other item of clothing could make you bleed without giving you just cause to return it for a full refund? Girl shoes piss me off.

Anyway, I’ve gone through three pairs of these magic flats, and I’ve raved about them before on Mighty Goods. They’re by Navid o Nadia.

I bought this BP dress for Blogher very early in my pregnancy. It has a subtle stripe of blue and green that you can’t see in the photo, and it has proven to be a great layering piece. I can do tights (or slim pants), boots and a little jacket if it’s cold. On warm days, wearing this is like pulling on a T-shirt and walking out the door without worrying about finding pants. Dresses are magic.

This skirt is a vintage piece begging for a West Side Story dance number — quintessential Puerto Rico. The ribbed tank is from Old Navy.

These are my indestructible Saltwater Sandals, which I grew up wearing. I’ve had this pair for years. They come in tons of colors, and again, zero blisters. They’re made for walking on the beach, so sand isn’t an issue — so much more pleasant than flip-flops thwacking sand against your calves.

These earrings are also from Claire’s. You definitely have to dig, but they have some great deals in there.

I bought this dress years ago in New York to supplement what I’d packed for a Morning News retreat. It’s Club Monaco, and I got it on super sale. It packs down to nothing, so I always throw it in to wear over my suit, which you can see in this photo.

Claire’s again, all from the same shopping trip. Can you tell my accessories were getting outdated?

I haven’t worn shorts in a hundred years, because of the glare. People gasp on the street and throw bottles of sunscreen at my head.

These shorts have little bronze sailor buttons up the front, which is spectacular. I’ve contemplated wearing them as bikini bottoms, because they’re kind of short for shorts, but very demure as swimsuit bottoms, eh? I forget the brand, but I had to seam-rip an enormous metal tag off the back, seriously the size of a belt buckle, so we’ll let them work their marketing magic elsewhere. The shirt is Banana Republic.

This is the very best swimsuit in the entire world. It’s by Donna Karan, and I’ve had it for three years. When retro suits made a tentative comeback, I checked in every day online until it went on sale, because I can’t justify spending over $100 on a swimsuit. Which is silly because I wear them for like a decade, but still. The most awesome thing about this awesome suit is, if you’re having a crisis of thigh confidence, you can pull down the outer layer to make it into a very short dress, like so:

Action wear! Actually, this shot makes it look a little shorter than can go. This is more illustrative:

I love it because I can wear it with a T-shirt in the hotel elevator while I’m heading to the pool, and I don’t feel totally naked. In this photo, I’m heading out to pick mangoes from the hotel fruit trees with Melissa. We made Mango cocktails to enjoy in the pool. Sounds amazing, right? But they were actually terrible. I have no idea what we did wrong, but we did it all the way. The bag is Envirosax. I have a set I use as travel totes if I can’t fit a big purse in my suitcase.

Not only did Intel sponsor my trip, they also sponsored my jammies. Leggings are from H&M, the shirt was a gift in lieu of the apparently rare Ajay Bhatt rockstar T-shirt that haunts my dreams (watch for it here at 14-16 seconds).

I’ve mentioned before that I try to pack PJs that can double as an outfit. This is what I packed in lieu of jeans, in case we got a chance to go horseback riding. We didn’t end up doing it, but I did do a lot of napping, so no harm no foul.

Regrets? Holy, holy, I should have packed a second swimsuit. We almost never left the water while I was there. I ended up with angry chafing on my side that looked like something laid eggs under my skin. I showed it to Melissa.

Melissa: GEEEEZE!
Me: I’m not going to worry unless it hatches.
Melissa: Signs your Prozac is Working too Well.

Also, it’s great to have flip flops to wear as slippers. I always regret not throwing in some flip flops.

Next trip I’ll tell you what’s in my toiletries bag too. It’ll be like sneaking a look at my medicine cabinet when you’re drunk at a dinner party, but without all the dental floss. See you then.