dressed up like a lady: Sweet Inspiration

May 24, 2012

Sweet Inspiration

Do elements of this outfit feel eerily familiar? It was inspired by a kind of shitty, kind of awesome movie. 

Leggings: BDG
Shoes: Steve Madden
Shawl: Street vendor in Auckland
Top: VS
Wool socks: MC's
MC and I had a mind to watch Sweet and Low Down, but when we searched for it haplessly on Netflix Streaming, the best it could offer was Sweet November, a 2001 drama about a manic-pixie-dreamgirl (Charlize Theron) who teaches a stuffy advertising exec (Keanu Reeves) how to loosen up and love life. 

So being two wry, jaded, professional critics, we started watching it as a goof. We made fun of the ridiculous dialogue, the asinine premise, and Keanu's acting. Oh, but the story doesn't end there -- do you know what happened after that? Somewhere between the bohemian hand crocheted scarves, the free spirited cartwheels on the beach, and the stereotypical gay upstairs neighbors, we got legitimately hooked into the movie and in the end, it made both of us cry!

So much for our hardened professional cred. But at least we can still make fun of Charlize's "I am adorably kooky" 90's wardrobe!

Despite the film's proven ability to wrangle the hearts of sarcastic jerks like the two of us, you can't deny that in this film, Charlize dresses like a semi-hip homeless lady and acts like a teenaged undiagnosed bipolar. I had to try and pay tribute.

Don't worry, I doubt Charlize will be mad at me for making fun of her in Sweet November. She already did! Anybody who's seen the comedic majesty that is Arrested Development knows that her unforgettable arc on the show as the, uh, quirky Rita is CLEARLY a parody of her own character from Sweet November! The lead character Michael falls in love with her because he thinks her mismatched outfits and giddy outbursts are the wild and carefree manifestations of her manic-pixie-dreamgirl spirit -- since she's also gorgeous enough to pull it off. Except the real reason she dresses and acts like that is because (SPOILER ALERT) she's retarded. (Using this word literally, not as offensive slang for "lame" or something. For further clarification, please see the comment thread.)

I have to admit, however, that I still kind of dig her style though -- even though her character's fashion sense is supposed to be a punchline.

Final thought: Keanu's post-life-makeover wardrobe in Sweet November doesn't deserve its own post, but not because it isn't, on occasion, even worse. Especially this paisley shirt it looks like he borrowed from my mom.


  1. That last pic is one of my faves of you ever...full on unadulterated smile. Love.

  2. I have to watch this movie!!!!

  3. I have to watch this movie!!!!

  4. I have to watch this movie!!!

  5. i do like quirky outfits and bursts of joy and really love watching
    movies to check out the styling - i'll have to pick this one up the
    next time i'm moving shopping.

    and now this: you so rule when it comes to fashion and manage to
    either edge-it-up or make quirky clothes look sexy - gonna have to
    try your shawl with leggings deal.

  6. I adore everything you do, but please don't use the word retarded http://kateharding.net/2008/05/01/why-i-dont-use-the-word-retarded/

    1. I see the confusion here! I wasn't using the word as slang, I was using it literally. In the story arc on the series, Theron plays an excessively effervescent British woman named Rita, who is continually suspected of being involved in an industrial espionage conspiracy, presented on the series as a spoof of 60's British spy films. A suspicious individual known as "Mr. F" is frequently mentioned, with characters speculating that he is some kind of British criminal mastermind. However, at the end of the arc it is revealed that there is no British conspiracy, and Rita's behavior is actually attributable to a mental handicap, as "Mr. F" is actually "MRF," an acronym for "Mentally Retarded Female."

      While "retarded" is not the most preferred nomenclature in the public relations sense, it is far from officially offensive, and remains clinically valid. I can see the confusion though! The context in which I used the word could most definitely make it sound like I was using it as slang for "lame" or "dumb" or whatever. Which was definitely not my intention. :)

      P.S. You can watch the episode here. www.hulu.com/watch/6637/arrested-development-mr-f

  7. Hilarious! And notice her floral pants? Is anything really "new?" And I love your bdg leggings. Those are awesome.

    I was thinking of doing a similar kind of post on "Party Girl" (1995) with Parker Posey.

  8. Aw love this post! I haven't seen the movie, but now I'm tempted. Am a sucker for a good romance and I feel like there hasn't been anything decent lately! Nothing is believable anymore, so it feels. Gotta love the over sized chunky sweaters. You rock the look! Love the booties :)

  9. Ha, ha....now am going to watch that movie on NetFlix tonight. I like your inspired look based on Charlize's character. Another film you should check out (real old school - late 80's) is "Slaves of New York" an Ivory-Merchant film; you're love the clothes and the characters!

  10. Beautiful blog! Would u like to follow each other?? http://ladeadellapparenza.blogspot.it


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