Friday, February 25, 2011

Casual Friday: Cowboy Banker Blues

I have found myself rather melancholy lately, perhaps a bit imbalanced with black bile, if dear Hippocrates were to provide a proper diagnosis. A long-running personal joke has been that I will, in these times of professional strife and general life frustration, flee to the open plains of the American West, overcome my metropolitan sensibilities and morph into a blood-filled, sanguine cowgirl. But, as Mr. Tom Robbins has so eloquently reminded me in the past, even cowgirls can get the blues. To match my humor, and this dreary, down pouring, cloud tears weather, I picked a selection of blue pieces this morning, introducing casual professional to my cowgirl fantasy.

I have had this dark denim, almost pencil skirt for ages; eons and eons. If I recall correctly, it was snatched up at some intense Gap sale, for maybe something like 7$. It has not worn thin, either physically or within my style consciousness. It fits my hips well and I can literally toss it on with anything, from this type of collar shirt to a turtle neck to a plain white v-neck tee in the summer. Because this skirt hugs the hips in a flattering way, without pinching or squeezing, I can pair it with a more loose, men's styled shirt as I did today.

This collar shirt is amazingly comfortable; I found it at Gap as well, last season, however, despite loving the look and the soft cotton fabric, almost refused to purchase it. Normally, my refusal to purchase something I love the look of stems from an exorbitant price or a sneaky infiltration of synthetic fabric. In this instance, my hesitation was born from the ridiculous shirt name: the banker boyfriend shirt. Although, indeed, the casual, almost alluring hint of throwing this on in the morning and strolling to work, without a care that it is a men's shirt, is the appeal, having it so obviously superficially constructed and marketed was initially off putting to me. Though many women, myself included, have fantasized about a relationship with a high power, Machiavellian Wall Street executive, most of us, myself included, are also reluctant to admit it. Upon further reflection, perhaps this fantasy is less appealing after the intense stock market dip a few years back and subsequent cultural disdain for anyone in finance by the general populous. Anyway, I digress. Clearly, though, my repulsion to the actual name subsided, and I learned that no one else would ever know or care how Gap advertised this look.

The front features two breast pockets, and the white collar with the white sleeve cuffs create that quintessential banker look. I wear this shirt regularly, sometimes tucking it into a camel pencil skirt with a back slit, sometimes donning the casual untucked look, like today, with a pair of cream sailor slacks.

These cowboy-inspired, camel ankle boots have certainly seen better days, however, the rugged, worn in look of the leather connotes some good, hard, hands on work wrangling cattle and sheep out on the ranch. Although they have a cowboy look to them, they are not explicitly or immediately recognizable as cowboy looks, and so avoid being a bit kitsch. They are extremely comfortable, and since the leather is already worn, can be worn trudging through puddles in the rain without too much worry.

To balance the masculine edge of the cowboy and banker look, I choose some vintage costume rhinestone earrings and a few of my favorite rings; this sterling spoon ring was my first official enduring piece of jewelry, seducing and intoxicating me towards a long and pronounced love affair with baubles and bangles and beads. After showing me a drawer of old jewelry when I was in third grade, my mother allowed me to pick one piece for my own; I immediately picked up what I had thought was a thick purple ring. When my mother applied some silver polish and handed me back this twinkling ring, I was delighted. It had belonged to her as a child, and thus had a sentimental charm to it, which I was cognizant of even as a young girl, and I always took care to keep it clean and not misplace it. I wore the ring everyday, for years, through high school and the beginning of university. I have in more recent years acquired a few more rings, so this spoon is not worn on the same daily basis, but I still wear it very, very frequently.

These oval rhinestone earrings offer sparkle and shine to my blue outfit, and again, I love the contrast in style and texture between these and the worn, coarse boots, the interplay of bygone refinement with sportsmanship, blisters, and independence.

Friday morning commute soundtrack: "Parentheses" the Blow; "Someone Great" LCD Soundsystem; "Wendy" and "Fun, Fun, Fun" the Beach Boys; "Never There" Cake; "Roadhouse Blues" the Doors; "I Love Rock-n-Roll" Joan Jett


  1. ooh i love those boots. i have always wanted to get a pair of cowboy boots but i am not sure if i can pull them off. maybe now that i live in the country i can?

  2. love the boots :)
    nice blog! I'm gonna visit again :)

    follow me on:

  3. the man repealing shirt. rock it :D

  4. Great boots!

    Kisses from

  5. love that shirt

    if you like we could follow each other