Closet Crushes: Practical Festival Wear.

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Oh, “Closet Crushes” posts- how I’ve missed you. It’s been well over a year- maybe a year and a half- since I’ve shared some of the contents of my wardrobe on here. With work, travel, geeking out at comic-conventions, and more recently- unpredictable weather- I haven’t had much time or motivation to primp and pose outdoors in some of my favorite pieces in recent months- and the “Closet Crushes” posts sort of fell to the wayside as a result.

But now, with beautiful weather here at last and my closet recently cleaned out and organized from a LOT of Spring cleaning- I’ve been inspired to start them up again- and with the first leg of Coachella wrapping up this past weekend (and the festival fashion recap posts emerging online)– I thought I’d share two of my favorite, practical, but still stylish ensembles to wear for such an occasion.

Here’s the thing about Coachella. Over the years, the festival has become less about music and more about which celebrity can show up wearing the most outlandish, impractical, and uncomfortable looking outfits (sometimes engaging in some cultural appropriation along the way.) How someone can enjoy a band’s set in 75+ degree weather, surrounded by a mass of other sweating, sticky bodies, and trying to decide between succumbing to dehydration or spending $12 on a bottle of water- all while wearing layers upon layers of leather, fringe, suede, feathers, tulle (the worst fabric imaginable,) and three pounds of metal bangle bracelets- is beyond me. That sounds like a miserable time!

I’ve been to a few outdoor music festivals throughout the years, and I’ve always made it a point to dress in clothing that was comfortable and suitable for the elements. Jeans, t-shirts, and waterproof boots in case of rain or puddles were pretty much mandatory- but sometimes the heat and the sun beating down during the day could make me feel like I was roasting- and I turned to more flowing, breathable fabrics that let me stay cool and able to move around (and dance!) freely without looking like an insane person.

I love my shin-length, nude-colored cotton crochet skirt (in the left hand side of the photo above,) which I usually layer with a tank top and a lightweight sweater in case it cools down at all during the day- and my white, cotton crochet dress (right side of the photo above,) is loose-fitting and feminine- making me feel pretty and comfortable. I especially love the design of it’s bell sleeves- which give me some serious BoHo vibes.

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For accessories, I try to keep it simple. Too much dangling from my neck and arms is uncomfortable, at least for me- so I tend to stick to one or two pieces- like a unique and lightweight necklace and one or two chunky bracelets that won’t interfere with my movements too much. I like these pieces since I can barely feel them whenever I wear them.

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Lastly, the finishing touches- my footwear and my sunglasses. I love these faux-leather cowboy style boots year-round, since they’re comfortable and look pretty chic with jeans and dresses alike, regardless of the season (I once paired them with short shorts when I was in Las Vegas- and it looked pretty cool.) Best of all? They keep my feet dry in the case of an unexpected downpour, and are easy to clean should I encounter the dreaded outdoor festival mud pile. Ick.

The sunglasses, large and round- are back in style this season, and have been all but permanently attached to my face as of late. They’re also going to be making another appearance in an upcoming “Inspired By” post!

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And those are just two of my favorite, and practical- outdoor festival looks.

Do you have any practical festival fashion must-haves? Feel free to share in the comments!

“With love in her eyes and flowers in her hair…”

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On Thursday night, in a last minute and unprecedented gesture of the utmost coolness, my boss invited both my co-worker and I to come see Robert Plant perform at the Bank of America Pavilion with him and some of his family after work. I’m a big Zeppelin fan, and although I’ve always been more of a Jimmy Page kind-of-girl myself, I jumped at the chance to see The Golden God up close.

My seat was incredible, and I had a wonderful view of Robert as he belted his heart out to some of his solo work, some blues songs, and a handful of Led Zeppelin favorites. He may not have been able to hit the high notes the way he used to, but it still sounded good. My only gripe, and it’s just a tiny one, was that during a few of the Zeppelin songs, Robert would sort of trail off in the middle of them and he and the Sensational Space Shifters would proceed to have a sort of jam band session while the crowd was anxiously waiting for the rest of the song. The most noticeable offense was during “Whole Lotta’ Love,” when the song seemed to have an intermission while he and the band improvised for entirely too long before finally bringing it back around and completing the classic.

Thankfully, “Going to California,” a song I treasure, was unscathed- and was probably my favorite moment of the night.

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If seeing Robert Plant wasn’t enough of a blast from the 60’s/70’s, then the “Hippie Chic” exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts definitely did the trick. I headed over today to see the collection, which is on display through November 11th. Between the music (I walked in just as The Beatles “With a Little Help from My Friends” started playing), the shag carpeting, and the wide array of vibrant colors and patterns- the exhibit was a sensory overload- in a good way, of course. I had a ball (and more than a couple of laughs) looking at the ensembles- some of which looked eerily similar to things I’d seen my parents wearing in photographs from back when they were my age.

For the most part, though, I wanted a majority of the pieces for my own closet.

I love the MFA, and strongly recommend those visiting the Boston area to check it out anyway- but this exhibit is a really nice addition.

Closet Crushes: American Woman.

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AmericanWoman1Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans! Where I am, the sun is shining and there’s only a few clouds in the sky- which bodes wonderfully for this afternoon’s planned cookout at my mom’s house with some of my family. There might also be a trip to the beach afterwards to see some fireworks, but I’ll see where the day takes me.

To celebrate July 4th, I wanted to show everyone this vest, which belonged to my father in the 1960s. It’s one of my most treasured pieces, not only because it was my dad’s, but because even after all these years it’s still in perfect condition. Created by the Great Northern Leather & Tea Co. (which I believe has since closed down. I did a search for the name and for the NYC address printed on the tag with no results), this fringed leather & suede Americana-inspired vest was so coveted by my father that he hitchhiked to New Hampshire to purchase it when he was in his teens.

While both of my parents were the epitome of flower children in that era- my father, who thankfully wasn’t drafted into the Vietnam War, who went to Woodstock and would tell me about waking up to Jimi Hendrix’s rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner”, and who had his fair share of bumping elbows with musicians who would later become rock n’ roll icons while he hitchhiked around the country getting into trouble with his friends (my favorite story that I used to make him tell over and over was the time Jimmy Page came into a bar my father was in after a show in NYC. Jimmy had his guitar on his back, and while he was making his way over to a corner of the bar to have a seat with Robert Plant and some groupies, he accidentally cracked my father in the back of the head with his guitar. My dad proceeded to call him a “fucking douchebag”, only to have Jimmy apologize profusely and buy him a couple of beers as a peace offering,)- my father had the same free spirit that I see in myself. He & I were/are so, so, similar.

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The vest is pretty heavy on me (and my dad was a beanpole when he was younger. I don’t know how he wore this thing everyday), so I paired it with some denim shorts and a thin black tank top underneath. I wore a couple of bead bracelets I’ve collected over the years, and for my hair, to keep up with the hippie-chic look I was going for, I wore a headband designed to look like a crown of daisies.

I kept my makeup simple- just some mascara and a little blush, but I couldn’t resist adding a pop of red to my lips to match the fringed part of the vest.

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Apart from inheriting my father’s free spirit, it seems I’ve also inherited his fashion sense, as well. I love this thing.