Streetstyle: Can’t Stand It

Why do people want to look at those photos of pretentious-looking girls wearing important shoes with fur coats and enormous handbags? Who gives a shit! I’ve only looked at The Satorialist once and that was enough. Forget about his images; his text is nauseating!

I don’t care about him or his French girlfriend or any of those blogs that feature smug anorexics wrapped in leather or whatever is supposed to be fierce and covetable. No matter how often they’re praised as “effortlessly chic,” they look like they’ve spent half of their lives in front of a mirror.

I can’t even understand what I’m supposed to feel when I look at those pictures. Am I supposed to feel inspired, like maybe I can appropriate the Look for myself? Am I supposed to be envious? I just feel vaguely soiled from looking at them.   It’s like porn for the post-sexual consumer.   And to me, they all look the same, they’re are the same cliche, all lauded   for being original and “getting it right.” Getting it Right is my new linguistic complaint.

Fashion is still an obsession for me, obviously, with a certain amount of love-hate conflict. Here are some looks from Secret Squirrel, a brand you can find at the Australian fashion wonderland The Grand Social.   This is what I would buy if I had some money and some common sense:

It’s casual but elegant, tomboyish but okay for an old bag, much better than leather shorts or another pair of jeans.

Here’s another look from Secret Squirrel. I would feel perfectly comfortable in this for an evening out, not that I’m ever going anywhere.

You’d think I would know who I was by now, when I buy clothes. Instead, I keep buying buying shit I can’t walk in, can’t style properly, or can’t even figure out what I was thinking when I bought it.   I think Secret Squirrel could help me to Get it Right.

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52 Responses to “Streetstyle: Can’t Stand It”

  1. Make Do Style Says:

    You always look fab but the Secret Squirrel stuff is great the first pic is my ideal look I want the lot. I’m so glad it is not just me that goes blah at street style, so over it. I had to style my short film so it looked nothing like street style. I was going to work on a no style project and just post random pics of people with nothing to excite the eye!

  2. Dru Says:

    The Sartorialist sounds like he’s completely up his own arse every time he gives an interview. And what he shoots is hardly ‘street’ style any more- all the fashion higher-ups/celebs he takes pictures of probably spend a grand total of tirty seconds actually ON the street, between the show entrance and the car door.

  3. Dru Says:

    The Sartorialist sounds like he’s completely up his own arse every time he gives an interview. And what he shoots is hardly ‘street’ style any more- all the fashion higher-ups/celebs he takes pictures of probably spend a grand total of thirty seconds actually ON the street, between the show entrance and the car door.

  4. Faux Fuchsia Says:

    I am old school- I wear an outfit I don’t “style” it.

    Is the Sart quite short in real life?

  5. Trashforce Reaper Says:

    My mother bought me the Sartorialist’s book at Christmas as some sort of nod to the fact that I’m “into fashion”, and it just depresses me, really. All it does is affirm that if you’re tall, thin, aged between seventeen and thirty and conventionally attractive, you can look great in your clothes. Not a fantastic mood-lifter for a busty girl of five foot three.

  6. Sheri Says:

    The first look violates the rule my teenage son used to warn me of: “Don’t look like you’re trying so hard.”

    I like the 3rd look except the girl is too skinny. Where are her hips?

  7. Cricket9 Says:

    I like this Squirrel – first picture more than the second.
    Scott “The Sartorialist” is quite short indeed (not that there is anything wrong with that!) and made a complete ass of himself in an interview with “Globe and Mail”, bragging about his sexual prowess: “I’m really, really good in bed, Garance is very happy, neighbours in the hotel are complaining about noise” and so on. Apparently, he was drunk during the interview.

  8. Natalia Says:

    I liked The Sartorialist a couple of years ago. But now, it’s all model boosh*t as in: pose like you have scoliosis or a hernia- but sometimes I like the photos of the old men – how cute, we all love old men. But I agree, his descriptions are barfy.

    I’m sure you’ve all seen this wonderful link but you can always get a laugh -

    http://www.refinery29.com/get-shot-by-sartorialist.php

    Natalia @ klasslesschildren.blogspot.com

  9. andrea Says:

    At least you know that you bought it! I went through my closet the other day and didn’t remember buying some of the stuff. Now THAT’S fucked up! As for the sartorialist, he left his wife to gallivant around the world with his French plus one. He’s a short (yes, he is short), insecure guy who appropriated her to up his cool quotient. And she fell for it! I hate the tone of his blog, but some of his pics are well done. Did you read the interview he gave to a Canadian writer? He kept saying that he’s “good in bed, you can ask Garance”, or some such thing. Automatically made me think that he isn’t and that he has a small penis. Yuck!

    And there is nothing wrong with your style evolving. Why does your style have to be “set”? Mine is ever evolving, And take some cues from the majority of women in NYC- wear black and other neutrals, and switch it up with a shoe. If you try this, you will always feel chic and empowered. No one has the money to look like the look of the moment, and these fashion people don’t either. They are lucky enough to receive all this stuff from the designers, or get them on fashion shoots. Or they borrow from the fashion closet at their magazines. The stuff I am talking about is very similar to what the Secret Squirrel girl is wearing. Black or grey utilitarian pants, cropped pants, skinny pants, jeans or your choosing, t shirts that you like the fit of, white blouses, a jacket or blazer, a leather jacket (which I know that you have), a v neck pullover in wool or cashmere, and a black or grey (or both) cardigan. I personally like the look of a dress over skinny black pants, jeans, or leggings, but only if the dress is below the knee. And most people in NY don’t look like the people in the street style blogs. I see some very chic women (over 50) all over the city looking great. And some of them are the little old ladies with their shopping carts walking around my neighborhood.

  10. andrea Says:

    Whoa! I didn’t realize I posted such a rant!

  11. Stella Mayfair Says:

    i like those pictures of old, elegant italian people the sartorialist takes so frequently, and his reader’s ancient family photos which have been posted during a picture contest recently are just wonderful, but other than that i think he might be weird.

    oh, and the squirrel stuff is great. i’d wear that too.

  12. mutterhals Says:

    I like fashion, but christ, I just wear whatever I want. I can’t bothered to worry about it. I’m still wearing the same shit I was wearing like five years ago, I am pathologically under-styled.

  13. patni Says:

    the sartorialist makes me puke. But the comments are where the real humor is. Cringing sycophantic drivel. My favorite is when one of his top to toe designer chicks wears *gasp* a color, and all the commenters go in to a frenzy of how *brave* it is. I guess i define brave differently….. like pulling old folks out of burning buildings and such.

  14. annemarie Says:

    I can’t stand the Sartorialist.

    However, I do like looking at other street style pics and the way that regular creative people (not self-proclaimed “fashionistas”) put themselves together.

  15. WendyB Says:

    I always want to tell them, “SMILE! It’s not that bad…”

  16. Elena Says:

    The Sartorialist epitomizes what I hate about the NY fashion “scene” (Ugh). I, like you, abhor the idea of looking “effortless” because it is a LIE.

    I suffer to hear that people look “effortless” when they OBVIOUSLY are spending time coating on “natural” makeup and artfully shellacking their hair into “messed-up casual” waves, and getting facials and manicures every week – when I am told that I “try too hard.” Why do people think colorful dresses are harder to put on than jeans, a leather jacket and a “slouchy tee” (shudder).

    I throw a ruffly pink dress on in 2.3 seconds each morning, with I guarantee is much less than it takes for a modelesque gazelle to cram her big feet into skinny jeans.

    Final complaint: I have met the sart several times and overheard him tell Garance that the full skirt she was trying on was better for “thinner girls.” YUCK!

  17. Elena Says:

    Oh yes, and I agree with Faux Fuschia – it’s an OUTFIT for God’s sake.

  18. annemarie Says:

    oh christ…procrastinating at work and went off to google the interview Cricket9 mentioned…the Sartorialist: WHAT A FUCKING ASSHOLE!!!

    Behold: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/style/sex-and-the-sartorialist/article1230353/

    please, please, please, this guy has to be CUNT OF THE WEEK!

  19. TheShoeGirl Says:

    Hmm. Well I like style blogs because I like to see how different people wear different shit. I also like to use the sites as research for my job. Trend forecasting and whatnot.
    Then again I’m shallow and obsessed with material possessions so…

    ;)

  20. Elena Says:

    Okay, three comments is ridiculous, but I am procrastinating at work too! I just read that article and EW EW EWWWW it is so AWFUL.

    I enjoyed this part though:

    You want people to know you’re good in bed?
    Yeah. Yeah.

    Okaaay.

    HAHA, even the interviewer was like “what an arrogant jerk!”

    And yes, Scott, you do know when people are trying too hard – BECAUSE THAT’S THE ONLY KIND OF PEOPLE YOU TAKE PICTURES OF. Okay, I’m done! End!

  21. Stuti Says:

    I’m with you. The Sartorialist just comes across as a prick desperately trying to re-enforce stupid conventions of beauty. Very tall, skinny and wearing shoes that cost as much as my house.
    Also, when did wearing clothes become so formulaic? Weren’t we supposed to just wear whatever we liked without caring about “getting it right”?

  22. Make Do Style Says:

    Ha lots of us are procrastinating as I’ve just had to read the article too! So mental. Talk about short guy with no penis issues!! I like short men, all types of men in fact but I can spot a penis problem a mile off!

  23. erika Says:

    I like the Sartorialist site. I think he photographs people well. I don’t know his personal business and really don’t care.
    I am rather sick of “Style” blogs. People in their dumb clothes. Everyone looks the same. So boring. It’s probably best that way. I realize how much I don’t need anything anymore. Good choice with Secret squirrel. You can probably easily emulate that. Nice basic classic looks.

  24. Liz!! Says:

    The Sartorialist….snore. I’m usually inspired by “native” (for lack of a better term) fashion, so unless they’re all wearing hijab or buried in massive layers of fur….like I said, snore. I think that he should take that shit to Eastern Europe, Africa, and the MidEast.

    He should have a test. Go up to people that he wants to snap a picture of and ask, “I love that _______. Is that Gucci?” If the person responds “What’s Gucci?” they’re golden for a pic. As if any of the people pictured on the site don’t obsess over their clothing or the fashion world. And I don’t want to judge, but most of the ladies are SKINNY. Of course the clothing will look Fab-a-liss on them. I want to see some Midwestern women interpreting Chanel’s look, not some model wearing a piece she got from walking in a show.

    Digression: One of fashion’s biggest secrets, which I despise, is LAYERING. Just keep adding shit and then a POP of color! I know that the majority of this site loves Tavi, but I am not on her fashion boat. She dresses like I did at age 6 (not on purpose or ironically). I’m not a minimalist by fashion nature either, so I’m not sure why LAYERING irks me so much…I just want to wear a pretty dress, okay? I don’t need a fucking belt and a crop top. And I don’t need to mix 3 prints.

  25. dust Says:

    He just looks too squarish to me, like a comic character. Knowing how this sort of platform heel pains and clomps, can not really imagine how any of these girls could have much grace. How can one be stylish without trying to be stylish? I thought that people who don’t try to be stylish are the ones without a style. “Effortlessly chic” is an oxymoron.

  26. That's Not My Age Says:

    Like the first Secret Squirrel outfit but then I am fond of the low-key androgynous look. Think everyone’s bored with the street style thing. God, London Fashion Week was hideous – all these wannabe Sartorialists clamouring to take photos of the same people. Someone new walks up and they’re immediately surrounded by a bunch of amateur photographers. A real feeding frenzy. Yuck.

  27. Angelica Says:

    I don’t know about you guys, but I am “inspired” by people who are more interesting than just a pretty face and overpriced fuck-me shoes. To the person who said: “I want to see some Midwestern women interpreting Chanel’s look, not some model wearing a piece she got from walking in a show” — that’s exactly right, I do too. I like real people, not trust-fund rich bitches.

    Also this may be petty (but he’s a douche anyway), but the Sartorialist looks like a normal-sized football-player-type guy who had a 16-ton weight dropped on his head, a la Monty Python.

    I like the first Secret Squirrel outfit a lot.

  28. Joy D. Says:

    Come now Sister Wolf. I too have conflicts with fashion and my own style but I still love. I see streetstyle as eye candy. I thought that was the original purpose. I started out looking at Party photos as a teen, I know it is lame, but sites like the Satorialist give a more open conversation about what insiders (Fashion, models, PR) are wearing. I like Face Hunter better but I guess there isn’t much of a difference.

    And I second that the Satorialist isn’t that nice. I tried to speak to him at an event but I guess I didn’t own enough Lanvin because he walked away.

  29. holly Says:

    goddamnit i love your blog!
    you make me laugh and feel a hopeful feeling.

  30. Caro Says:

    Scott was drunk in that interview . . . not saying that is ok but honestly, to me it sounded like a joke more than arrogance. I don’t like his site so much in the last year, but he does capture moments well (there is one picture of a athletic African-American woman with the most glorious afro and red dress adjusting her shoe in the middle of the street . . . I might have to go back and find it) and I think that now the fashion weeks are over he will stop shooting just editors. I mean, it is a business and photos of Carine are what bring people in. That being said, I think he does have an eye, which was more evident when people weren’t throwing themselves at him to be photographed. He seems like the kind of person I’d fight with if I knew them personally, but I’ve got to admire his talent as a entrepreneur and a photographer. He has parlayed this blog into numerous paying gigs and he’s doing what he loves for his job- and isn’t that what we all want?

    Also, come on guys, three people already have mentioned his FRENCH girlfriend. This isn’t 1655, those foreign hussies aren’t stealing all our men, so don’t judge and classify people by their nationality please. I despise and abhor cheating (trust me, I cut out my own father after he had an affair) but I also believe that sometimes you fall in love with someone who you are not married to. Garance seems really sweet and talented (I ran into her at an event in LA a few months ago and she’s so cute and bubbly), she is a wonderful fashion illustrator, and they’ve been together for over five years now. He did leave his wife, but if what I’ve read is correct, there wasn’t any actual cheating because they didn’t get together until the marriage was over. I wasn’t there, I don’t know the story, but Scott and Garance have lasted a long time and they seem to be just as much in love as ever, and I can’t begrudge them that.

    p.s. if you want creative people doing street style minus labels, go here:
    http://stilinberlin.blogspot.com/
    I lived in Berlin last year and the fashion and style is amazing. I think everyone there was just born looking cool.

  31. Caro Says:

    oh and here’s that sart picture I like . . . I don’t read his blog any more but it used to be pretty darn good
    http://thesartorialist.blogspot.com/2008/09/on-streetwest-village-nyc.html

  32. kate Says:

    You don’t need perfect styling; you have brains!

    Sites like Sartorialist and even Advanced Style assume that anyone over 35 is old and hopeless. They assume that the only way to be chic above that age is to spend a ton, be very French, or wear cutesy geezer schmattes.

    A thin woman with perfect red lipstick, intimidating hair, and no concessions to the rules completely throws off the worldview of such websites. You’re an anomaly, and if you just keep wearing impossibly skinny jeans to such chic effect, no amount of the fine tailoring of Secret Squirrel could be better than that.

  33. patni Says:

    Caro, that is a good picture. It also illustrates my beef with his blog. It is a great picture of a really pretty woman in good light. He is a good photographer with a good eye. But it is not about style. She is not stylish, she is not anything special. She is a pretty thin girl in a tight red dress . I don’t really see the picture as being about the style, but about the pretty that has nothing to do with it.

  34. Caro Says:

    I reposted these pictures from Garance’s blog. I’m only in college but this is how I want to look when I go gray. Style and age, voila!

    http://losangelesvintage.blogspot.com/2009/01/perfection.html

  35. Chinafashionblog Says:

    Haha, hilarious post! I agree with other commentators that a lot of people can’t relate to some of the top street style blogs because the ‘street’ people are all models, designers or celebrities.

    Street style should be about real people and the ways in which normal people on the street interpret style and express themselves. None of this pretentious bull.

    Real people have a budget, worries in life other than which party to attend and often more creativity than many fashionistas. JoyD said it right, Street Style is eye candy, but I for one enjoy photos of reality on the streets much more than looking at staged shots of cliquey posers.

  36. Bevitron Says:

    Sartorialist…is he the one who wrote Hell is other people? Or was it I’m thin therefore I am…I get those mixed up all the time.

  37. arline Says:

    I just read the article, and YUCK, I did not care for him before, and now, I like him less. He sure is popular though.

  38. Lily Says:

    I LOVED that you left this post as a comment to Chiara Ferragni, the epitome of hollow blondness and conformism!

  39. FROCKOLOGY Says:

    I always find the most fashionable people are the ones that have been true to enhancing their own best attributes. I agree that street fashion is great eye candy, but always remember that you are only as original as the obscurity of your source.

  40. Margot Says:

    I saw this video today, and it made me laugh so much, as it is pretty much written about Scott!!! Soft Cell must have been psychic :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VE1eup3DOkQ&feature=related

    : D

  41. Margot Says:

    Oh, and look what the cat dragged in!!!

    http://jezebel.com/5521186/plus+size-models-slammed-by-prominent-french-blogger

    Garance has clearly been told by Scott, as even she is “too fat” for certain skirts….
    What vapid couple!

  42. Cricket9 Says:

    I have to admit that Scott takes good pictures and has “an eye”. He also posts pictures of older men and, unfortunately less often, women, and they usually rock. I just think that his early pictures were more interesting and genuine. I don’t think that he’s with the “French girlfriend” (I don’t really care if she’s French or Martian) for five years, it seems to be much more recent (a year?) but I don’t follow his private life that closely; wouldn’t know about it but for the “Globe” interview – it really looks like a mid-life crisis, if I’ve ever seen one!

  43. Aja Says:

    I was wondering when someone would pull up this week’s Garance quote. I shake my head in embarrassment for her. Surely some of it’s taken out of context but I’m saddened that she thinks plus size models are not flattering to fashion. Sadly that’s a false idea that’s been pushed down our throats for too long.

  44. Dru Says:

    To be fair to Chiara (if it’s the Blonde Salad girl being spoken of up there by Lily), she doesn’t seem quite as vapid as the other trustafarians Scott shoots. I’m not fond of her outfits, but as long as she is, that’s fine. And I do admire the fact that she took a rather unusual career trajectory for an ex-model- becoming a law student! (from a fellow law student, much respect for that)

  45. aine Says:

    what i’ve always wondered are the people in streetstyle shoots being airbrushed? Everyone always has the most amazing skin!

  46. Dru Says:

    Caro- the Sart’s blog didn’t exist five years ago, and he and Garance met only after she began hers in 2006. No one would have thought anything of it if he hadn’t made several references to his wife (not ex-wife) and kids in posts, as late as 2008.

    Whether he cheated on his wife or not is his wife’s business, and sure it’s good that he and Garance are into each other. But he does sound like a complete assole when interviewed, that much is undeniable- the Globe and Mail interview cited is actually the least annoying of the lot.

  47. Dru Says:

    PS: Sister, don’t give up on streetstyle! I’m sure a few minutes spent listening to Bill Cunningham and his lovely old-fashioned accent declare things ‘marvellous’ on the streets of NY, will restore your faith (especially if you watch the slideshow he shot of fashion-y girls at fashion week taking off painful heels in the middle of the road to switch to flats). He- sorry to use an IM-ism- PWNS Napoleon Schuman, any day.

  48. M Says:

    Chiara Ferragni doesn’t go to just any law school She goes to the Bocconi in Milan, which is pretty much a disgustingly expensive school for lazy snobs and if you are loaded enough to go there you have a free pass to get your degree. Three cheers for meritocracy.

  49. Pop Princess Says:

    The Sartorialist is a complete poser who has basically made a living out of….taking pictures and putting them on a blog..wow revolutionary! I also note that most of the people he takes photos of are not your run of the mill person in the street like he is proclaiming. When he was in Sydney he knabbed people straight out of fashion week! Oh and don’t get me started on the way he goes up to pretty girls and offers them a chance to be his “assistant”. The guy is a tool.

  50. Dru Says:

    ^right on. Do people have collective amnesia about the existence of FRUiTS magazine, Bill Cunningham or even the streetstyle (actual boys and girls, not “fashion” ones) pages in so many teen fashion mags? The Sartorialist’s blog is hardly the place I want to look anymore, if I’m looking for original style or even inspiration.

  51. Lily Says:

    What M said.

    And… Chiara/The Salad not vapid? Evidence is on YouTube.

    TV host: Why did you like McQueen?
    C: Because he uses a lot of dark colours, and skulls… I love skulls.

    Another TV host (a few days ago at MTV Italy): What do you like about my outfit?
    C: I like your necklace. And your top with skulls, I love skulls.

    She’s ALWAYS like that… some fashion expert :-P

  52. Dru Says:

    ^I remember reading a couple of posts where she talked about her sisters, and it seemed quite sweet. Haven’t seen the youtube stuff, but I’m willing to accept that she’s not got much by way of style besides looking like a WAG c. 2006. (with a penchant for skulls, ha!)

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