Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day Eight: Laura Goes Kamali

My ginormous box of Norma Kamali for Wal-Mart clothes arrived on Friday. I wouldn't let myself open it until I got my fiction word count done for the day because I have such powerful self-discipline (Read: brutal masochistic streak). Spent a delicious hour on Sunday trying on clothes and flinging them about the living room.

Norma Kamali became famous for her sleeping bag coats and swimsuits in the late seventies. In the eighties, when I was working for the Mega Beer Company , I owned an aubergine Kamali or Kamali-inspired batwing dress that I adored. (I have a slide of me wearing it, but I have no idea how to turn it into a digital file.) It looked something like this, only in wool jersey and not so tent-like. I wore a pair of 3-inch, matching snakeskin-patterned strappy sandals with it. Kamali's styles are classic in their simplicity. Given that the eighties are rearing their padded shoulders back into contemporary fashion, I'm not surprised that her aesthetic is current once again. (BTW--if you are a strong-shouldered girl like me, don't even think about getting trendy with big, padded shoulders. You will look like a linebacker and scare small children on the street. Just saying....)

I bought Kamali's latest incarnation of the batwing dress in Wine and Black.Tried to find a picture online, but the dresses must have flown off the shelves at the warehouse.  Can't decide if I'm going to keep them. DH says they look too bag-like for his taste. I put a wide black belt on the Wine dress, but it spoiled the lines. We'll see. I'll post a picture if I wear it.


From the I-swear-my-IQ-is-bigger-than-my-dress-size department: All week I thought that the pics on  the batwing dress hangtag were other  dresses available in the Kamali line. Turns out that the dress is actually her All-In-One-Jersey Dress, and it can be worn six or seven different ways. It's amazing! So glad I bought it in wine as well.

Other goodies: Strapless jersey dress, a boyfriend slouchy jacket (like a sportcoat, narrow, rounded lapels), several pairs of leggings (more on that later), a couple of cute tees, and something called an athletic dress.

Most of the Kamali stuff I bought is for travel and writers' conferences. Black is the dominant color. I like color, but black is so easy. I've tried to season my new purchases with a few jewel-tone accent pieces. (Did anyone else think this year's Emmy red carpet solid, jewel-tone dresses were tasteful but boring?)

Tuesday's ensemble:

Not quite Kamali from head-to-toe, but close. Now, being well over the age of twenty-five, I'm skeptical about wearing leggings. I did the leggings thing in both the eighties and the mid-nineties. My seventeen year-old daughter looks adorable in a mini skirt w/ leggings--I at least have enough dignity not to even try. So, dress it is.

I wish I'd shot the dress zipped up a bit--that's how I wore it, with the blue&black rose peeking out. Because it's such a casual outfit, I didn't want to load it down with jewelry. I just wore a pair of thin silver hoop earrings and no necklace.

Dr. Scholl's black sandals:

Try to ignore the strange white advertising all over the footbed. I expect it will wear off. Speaking of wearing off--we've had a lot of rain recently and I had to walk through the damp grass at my son's soccer game. About the middle of the game, I looked down to see that both of my feet had dirty black stripes across their tops. (Yes, I had slipped my sandals off. Always do. Please never look underneath the table if we're having
dinner together.) Funny, that dye never rubs off of my Donald Pliners.

NKAthletic Dress $18; NK Leggings $10; NK Tank/Tee $6;  Shoes $13; Earrings $12 (?) Total: $46

BTW--When did Zappos dot com start selling dresses?!

(not sure who to credit for the Norma Kamali pic--via here)


  1. Walgreens or even Wal-Mart should be able to make a photo out of your slide. Of if you have a small independent photo shop. Some scanners have the capabilty to turn slides or negatives into digital photos.