Monthly Archives: April 2014

Smoking Slippers

Chicago - Essays - Fashion

The phrase sounds ridiculous. “My Smoking Slippers”. Pretentious maybe? At the very least outdated. Nonetheless I love my smoking slippers and this is evidenced by their worn appearance. There is a scuff on the toe and they are a bit dirty. The two silver R’s embroidered on the toe are intact though, and even though they stand for Rock and Republic, I like to think they are my very own monogrammed smoking slippers. So not pretentious at all.

Most trends start in haute-land; on one or more of the runways in Paris, Milan or New York. Then as Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly in Devil Wears Prada so eloquently describes, it trickles down to the bargain bin where us mere mortals can find our ‘steal’ that we swear looks ‘just like’ the one we saw in Vogue/W/Glamour/Marie Claire. And that’s okay. And I know you are waiting for me to tell you where I got these fabulous navy blue smoking slippers with the silver embroidery, that have lasted 2+ years and are crazy-comfortable.

I got them at Khol’s. It was an October sale and shoes were so cheap I was actually able to buy 4 pair, which is crazy. 2 out of those 4 are looking a bit worse for wear, but these slippers are the stars of the show. They check all the boxes. Affordable. Comfortable. Trendy. Long-lasting.

Oftentimes what we find in Miranda Priestly’s ‘bargain box’ can indeed look a bit cheap, and fall short of expectations. How many times have I purchased and thrown out $6-7 tank tops from Forever 21, H&M or Target? A lot.  These tanks have their place, they are dead useful, and there is nothing wrong with them. But when you are trying to dress a bit older (say for a first career) a cheap tank no longer cuts it. And one that frays after a few washes definitely doesn’t. It’s nice to know there’s accessible fashion out there, which when we put it on can make us look and feel like a million bucks.

And we get compliments from other stylish folks when we’re sipping overpriced gin drinks in fancy hotel bars.

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This rhinoceros is haunting me. Every month or so, he’s there.

On a nightstand. Or dresser.

A coffee table.

Sitting next to lamp.

I’ve been admiring this West Elm rhino in the catalog for awhile. Now he is the only thing that I see when a catalogue comes in the mail.  And he’s just enough out of my price range so that there’s no relief in sight. Actually he’s only $29.

But!

I buy a lot of stuff. I should say I used to buy a lot of stuff and about 8 or so months ago, I would have already purchased a pair of these delightful rhinos (one would get terribly lonely am I right?), a merino wool throw (is there any other wool?) and three throw pillows to match. For me stuff, especially home stuff has come to represent the success that I want, that I’m working for, that is important for me to portray.

Really this Golden Rhino is a tiny false god. No, I’m not very religious so hold on. What I mean is his promises of happiness and adoration from every corner, from everybody are false. My first apartment in Chicago (a two-bedroom up in Lincoln Square) was beautiful and I did my utmost to decorate it beautifully. I did a pretty good job, but fast forward 1 panic attack, countless sleepless nights and 9 months later I’m in a studio that I can manage and I no longer need to buy things. What the studio has taught me is that stuff isn’t really important. In fact a lot of it is cheap junk and what makes me happy now are the new things (and people) that I’m finding in the city.

So here’s to growing up and finding peace. That Rhino can go bother somebody else now.