Friday, July 27, 2012

{Vintage} Fashion: Mad Woman

From my roof deck…
Christina Hendricks (my sartorial hero) is the only size 14 women I know of who’s universally considered drop-dead gorgeous. In addition to of course being drop-dead gorgeous, her allure has everything to do with her supreme vintage wardrobe.

My yellow cocktail dress is thrifted (I believe it was actually hand made a decade or two ago), but in addition to vintage shops and hand-me-downs, you can find retro-inspired frocks all over. Last year, Banana Republic launched their Mad Men line, and Mod Cloth—the designer-centric online store and community site—is almost totally vintage-inspired. These two are my Mod Cloth favorites.
The sweetheart and high necklines, empire waists, and curve-hugging pencil skirts of the early 60s do incredible things to an hourglass shape. Plus, women who are both curvy and tall can wear the characteristic over-the-knee cuts and still have legs for days…

Shots in this post were taken by the extraordinary boudoir photographer Lauren Kanegawa—a soon-to-be graduate of the Brooks Institute and a friend.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Odds N’ Ends: Are Airlines Height-ist?

Flying long distances sucks—there’s no way around it. But if you’re especially tall (and not a CEO) economy class seats take the torture of travel to a whole new level. The average airline seat has a mere 32” of legroom. The more pricy “economy plus” seats have only 4-6” more, and you could pay up to $100 extra for the privilege of sitting in one.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 2008 that the two largest Canadian airlines, Air Canada and WestJet, had to provide a second seat to obese and disabled passengers at no additional cost. Ever since, Malcom Johnson, a 6’9” architect from Edmonton has been pushing Air Canada to make the same concessions for tall fliers by putting them in an exit row or “economy plus” seat at no charge. The Canadian Transportation Agency informed Johnson that his height did not qualify as a “disability” and he would be given no special accommodation.

Now, I’m not arguing that height is a disability (in fact, in many situations it’s beneficial), but as 6’9” flier Everard Strong told CNN, “there are many, many ways for you to change your weight, but you cannot change your height.” I agree with Strong that airlines don’t necessarily need to retrofit special seats for tall fliers, but should give them first dibs on exit rows and bulkhead seats.

But what should be the height cut-off for “tall?” Will tall fliers need doctor’s notes to verify that their legs are in fact too long to fit in standard seats? Is it a fliers “right” to have enough legroom (or be able to recline their seat even if the person behind them is tall)? Airlines coping with overweight passengers have been grappling with questions like these for years. The debate rages on in Slate and elsewhere.


In my sweet dreams...

Sites like SeatGuru and SeatExpert publish the layout of major carriers’ seating to give you a better idea of which seats are roomiest on which airlines. You should also be mindful of which airlines generally tend to offer more space. JetBlue, Virgin, and Southwest give you a little more leeway, while United, American, and discount lines like Spirit are by far the stingiest.

Hopefully, airlines will eventually stop trying to cram more and more people into each cabin—at the expense of their limbs. In the meantime, we have to grin and bear it (and try to upgrade our seats).

Monday, July 16, 2012

Street Style: Love Me, Haight Me

Spotted at the Haight Street Fair…



Sarah, 5’10” and Liz, 6’0'”


Sofi, 6’1” (186 cm in her native Finland)


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Event: The Summer of Haight

The 35th annual Haight-Ashbury Street Fair fell on what the rest of California would consider a summer day. June 10th was hot and bright and it seemed like everyone was out in the Haight, showing off skirts and dresses pulled from hiding in the backs of their closets.

Back copy

As you would expect, the neighborhood Hunter S. Thompson dubbed “Hashbury,” plied its share of incense, African crafts, and Bob Marley mugs. But there were also street performers, food booths, reps from the array of vintage shops in the district, and the lovely ladies of Betty Paige, probably sweltering in their stockings:


Performers copy

Why didn’t I think of this? I’m one briefcase away from my own illicit, travelling jewelry stand!


As with so many events in San Francisco (and really, anywhere people enjoy community gatherings), the idea was just to see and be seen, eat, mingle, and sunbathe. I walked away with nothing but photographs, a sunburn, and a few good ideas, but  it was well worth it.


Also on my immediate thrift list: a parasol.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Celebrating 6 months with a give-away!

To commemorate 6 months, (almost) 40 posts,  and more than 10,000 page views, it’s time for the Femme’s first give-away. Thank you so much to my amazing readers and redditors.

One of you will win a drawing for a ring from my latest batch of vintage button jewelry. To enter, like Femme Fatall on Facebook, then leave me a comment on this post with your first name and your choice of ring. Extra points if you spread the word about the Femme on Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, reddit, or whatever you use to connect with your friends and followers.

I’ll announce the winner on August 1st—good luck!



Ring sizes (ish):  The baby blue, red rose, and silver anchor rings are size 5-5.5, the green ring is a size 6, the pink and black rings are size 7, and the big cocktail ring is a size 8.