Now for the armor

After the election, at Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year ceremony, “Tracee Ellis Ross admitted that she had trouble deciding what to wear to the Women of the Year Awards (“Do I wear black because I’m in mourning? Do I go to a costume shop and get armor?”) In the end, she went with something that reflected how vulnerable she feels this week: a nightie. “As you can tell, my 44-year-old breasts need some support, so thank God I am here with you,” she joked. But even though she’s feeling vulnerable, Ross said now more than ever it’s important for all people to come together, no matter their political differences. “We must continue dancing together, even if that means showing the world that sometimes I need alcohol to find my inner rhythm,” she explained.”

(from Cady Drell,

Armor. Tracee Ellis Ross had three choices: mourning, armor, or nightie. We’ll choose armor for today.  What would an everyday woman wear, armoring herself up for a semi-formal occasion this winter? Brocade pants, a jacket with some slightly disturbing overtones, and some shoes armed with hardware.

The Allman Blazer from Eloquii is both military in styling (gold buttons, notched lapels) and cut (single closure, cut-in waist). The Nasty Woman Tshirt by Enid Boyd (dozens of versions online) is a good touch, I think: the logo will be slightly obscured by the jacket but visible enough that anyone with brains can figure out the slogan and bond with the wearer. This tshirt in pale pink would look pretty cool against the silver and black.

The loafers come with their own slightly menacing hardware. (The Kooples Suede Leather and Eyelet Loafer from at $115.00). The zipper trim echoes the diamond brocade embossing of the pants, and the silver grommets echo the gold buttons of the jacket.

The Studio Kady Fit Brocade Pants come in silver or gold (the back is a fabulous stretch black ponte knit, see above).


These flat-front pants have been popular for several years and our eyes have become so accustomed to them that we don’t really see them for what they are: athletic trousers from the early 1800s.

Hooray! A moment to look at pictures of Colin Firth from 1995’s Pride and Prejudice. Mr. Darcy wears flat-front trousers to fence in (trousers had a front flap that buttoned up to the waist, rather than a zipper opening). I’ve never been quite clear after dozens of viewings, but I think he has changed to a “riding” outfit, but he’s still wearing tight-fitting flat-and-flap fronted trousers in the same ivory. Or, even more daringly, he was so verklempt over his passion for Elizabeth Bennett that he did not change from his fencing outfit! He got on a horse and rode straight back to Pemberly, only to dive into a pond, stride towards his mansion, and run into Elizabeth. “Mihhhhhster DarCee!” she exclaims.

In these images below you can see from the early 1900s, the figure on the right with his straight-legged trousers  and in the cartoon, the man on the left stands in a fencing posture in his gray straight-legged trousers.  The athletic roots of the preppy pant in fencing culture of the 19th century are evident when you see Audrey Hepburn in her mid-twentieth century flat fronted, high-waisted, straight-legged pants. She likewise poses in a “sporting” manner. In other words, the popular flat-front pant for women is derived from men’s sports, and the sport, fencing, is derived from military training.


You could also pair your brocade trousers with a killer set of heels that you can still stomp in, as seen here. And when you stomp, your freaky jacket will breathe with a life of its own.


The Studio Mixed Faux Fur Jacket in gray/black, from Eloquii (the jacket comes in an even bolder version covered entirely with those wisps of “fur” as well), is freaky-furry and breathes like a huffalump. You wear those armor brocade pants from Eloquii, in silver (remember, the back is ponte knit and will be flattering, Eloquii is promising us!).  And the hell with it: Bandolino Jamila wedge heels in pewter (murder to walk in but for an hour or so? you can deal, and then change into those cool loafers). $45.00 at

For jewelry I most highly recommend a pair of “ear climbers”. These are earrings with posts or clips that you wear like a regular pair of earrings, but the body of the earring curls up and around the edge of the ear. Armor for the ear. The first pair is, intriguingly, a vintage pair of clip-on earrings; the clip is at the lower end of the curve, so the seller is correct — these are intended to be worn “upside down” and curving up the lobe of the ear. The chevron (diamond shaped) pattern would echo the brocade pattern of your armored pants. These Vintage 1950s Ear Climber Clip-Ons  are $15 from amdesignworks seller on Etsy. The second pair are two pieces, so you can wear the pendant spray by itself or wear the whole huge shebang. These start at $50.25 for one earring ($90.00 for a pair) and are from Etsy Seller Maya Valentino in Israel, so expect some postage costs.

Or you could do what thousands of other do when looking for a flash-in-the-pan trend accessory: Forever 21 at your nearest mall. It’s where I go for one-shot stupid stuff, like, uhm, ear cuffs. It’s awful, and you should be ashamed, as F21 knocks off independent designers like crazy and at price points ashamedly low, like this “faux gem ear cuff” for $4.90, that would look pretty great with your armored outfit.21 faux gem ear cuff.jpg


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