The Art of Dressing Well

22nd May 2007

My friend Mai has a fun street-fashion blog called I went out walking with her the other day, and took a couple of pictures.

Because we only had a second to stop someone as they rushed by, I found there were a few key things I looked at first. On women, interesting shoes and bags often signaled that everything else was working too. Mai mentioned that people wearing jeans were less likely to be doing something compelling with their outfits. I noticed that men who pay attention to making their hairstyle unique were more likely to be dressed well too. Also, anyone wearing color stood out, as it’s almost impossible to find people who aren’t in black.

It was a surprisingly educational experience. For hours afterward I couldn’t stop checking people’s outfits for creative sparks, and I found myself getting oddly anxious about my shoes.

23 thoughts on “The Art of Dressing Well

  1. pixie sticks

    this freaks me out because it’s hard to find interesting shoes in my size (11!) that aren’t interesting in a drag-queen kind of way.

  2. Jenn

    Ditto what pixie sticks said. I’ve yet to find shoes in my size (11! Wide!! Gah!!!) that aren’t either ridiculous (and incredibly tacky) stripper-type shoes that would no doubt kill my ankles, or um, somewhat manly-looking. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  3. HDC

    This is precisely why I hate the world of fashion. So much artificial judgment. So what if I didn’t assemble enough flair to suit someone else’s tastes? And just because someone doesn’t have a handbag to match their shoes doesn’t mean they aren’t creative or put together. Fashion can bite me.

  4. jen

    For really fab photos, and a very unassuming take on fashion, check out the Sartorialist blog.

  5. Nancy

    HDC – A big AMEN to your comment.

    I hate buying shoes, and my handbags never match. Judge me not by what’s outside.

  6. Kate

    My grandmother said that good hair and good shoes are the key elements. Hey, it’s not about the bag and shoes matching. And who cares what other people think about you? Wear what you like and enjoy yourself. I have embraced fashion as something fun and to enjoy. When it becomes a chore or stresses you out, then it’s time to focus on other things.

    And who knew I would be glad to have tiny feet (size 9.5). Adorable shoes still come in my size, but for teaching, I wear whatever works since I’m likely to get gum and/or mud all over them.

  7. Kimberly

    If my wearing jeans on the street means I’m less likely to do anything “compelling” like burn holes in my dress (see “Karina”) then I’m completely happy wearing jeans.

  8. WendyP

    I’d love to look great every day. I bought a house this week instead. My new back yard has beautifully adorned flowers blooming their little hearts out. They’re annuals. They will be in season next Spring too.

  9. aimee/greeblemonkey

    Wow, that’s a rockin’ idea for a blog. I tell you… I’ve lost 40 pounds over the past few years and it’s been amazing – now that I can actually buy cute clothes – what dressing better makes me feel like. Yes, I’ve always been beautiful on the inside (dammit!) but I love having the high of dressing well (OK, well, dressing better… this *is* Denver, after all) on the outside too.

  10. Klaas

    Nice. Looks like a fun blog. The photoshopped background blur (on the first shot of Peter and some of the others on the site) weirds me out, though. Aperture priority for short depth of focus would be nicer, unless it was too bright out…

  11. an awfully serious girl

    Oh my gosh, it’s so refreshing to read comments from other women with my shoe size! I thought I was the only one! It is very challenging to find cute shoes, wearable all day, in my size. Where do you go? How do you afford it?

  12. Ruth/Brat

    Man, if I can manage to remember to wear clean undies when I leave the house [in case I get into a car accident and someone needs to check my panties… well, I’m sure they’d be stained by then. Thanks for nothing, mom!]

    But I digress.

    If I’m wearing clean undies I FEEL fashionable, no matter how I look to others.

  13. amy

    I don’t care about shoes. My sister does. My sister with size 11 shoes. She has found success at

  14. BOSSY

    Bossy has always known about the concept of the Great Bag and the Great Shoes — which Bossy collectively refers to as Signature Pieces. Not that Bossy is great about always wearing her signature pieces. Unless the signature she’s trying to capture is that of a messy Physician.

  15. Simone

    I don’t know…it’s not about judging people. It’s about doing something interesting with your clothes and having fun. Sometimes someone catches my eye out in the street because they have a unique style. It’s true that it seems most people are wearing black and/or jeans (including me) For another fun blog like this, you should check:

    I love that the photographers post all kinds of people, all kinds of fashion and that so many people in Finalnd make their clothes.

  16. Debra

    Who knew that this would turn into a big-foot woman gathering? My size 12 feet suggest zappos and Maryland Square. My feet get wardrobe $$ cause its obviously what people notice. The rest of me…well, not so much.

Comments are closed.