No Wornettes Were Harmed in the Making of this Blind Date

Anna and Eliza Wornette are locked in the office, asked to talk shoes, love it, and then go for drinks happily after

Anna and Eliza talk shoes

The lives of certain Wornettes intersect more than others. Editorial Wornettes gather around the table with other editorial Wornettes. Likewise for the stylists. This is just the nature of the magazine beast. But sometimes, serendipitously (read: when we ask them to), two Wornettes, who have not been able to get in as much quality time, sit down in the office for a good solid chat. And this time, the chat was about SHOES.

Anna: I’ve got big feet. They’re like, size 11/12 women’s and I wear a lot of like really simple flats ’cause I’m also six feet tall. I have this one pair of brown boots with a bit of a heel and they lace up. I got them at a vintage sale. They fit and I never find shoes that fit, especially not vintage. I think they’re originally from Aldo or someplace really boring but they’re the only heels I’m actually comfortable in.

Eliza: I don’t wear any heels either.

A: ‘Cause you’re also tall!

E: I’m pretty tall and when I wear high heels, I’m kind of towering over everyone. I don’t know. I like seeing other peoples’ faces.

A: I was in high school when Facebook became a thing, and everyone had joined Facebook groups. I was part of one called “Cute Girls with Big Feet” about where to find shoes for tall people. Then I got a friend request from a guy I didn’t know and he messaged me, “Do you have big feet? Do you have old shoes you can give me?” So I blocked him and every few months, I would get a friend request from Steven Smallfoot or Mr. Bigfoot Lover and I would just block him right away. He’d send me surveys like, “Eye color? Shoe size? Do you ever sweat in your shoes? What do your shoes smell like?” and they’d be like really sexual. So, I had to leave the group.

E: …Wow. [laughs]

A: I walk a lot and I don’t wear socks and my shoes do smell bad, so I probably could pay my rent by selling him my old shoes but I have not done that. True story. [laughs] Okay, what are the weirdest shoes that you own?

E: Actually I’m not sure I own any particularly weird shoes. My sibling actually got a really cool pair of shoes from Chinatown and they were Kool Aid shoes; they were completely orange.

A: Like dyed with Kool Aid, or?

E: They were orange shoes and then they had the Kool Aid mascot on them. Those shoes are awesome but I don’t really have any really statement-y shoes. I’ve always wanted these rain boots that I used to have when I was a kid. They had little frog eyes on the front.

A: Were they green?

E: Yes, they were green. But they definitely don’t make them in my size anymore.

A: I used to actually work at a shoe store as a quote-unquote sales associate which meant that like I had to find sizes for people. All the shoes were on the floor too, so I’d point and be like “Oh, there’s your size” and that was literally my job. People would ask me fashion questions, but we sold like the simplest generic shoes so I’d have to say “Sure, yeah, those like, black loafers are in for fall. You should get them. Or perhaps try brown. ” Like black and brown were the only colours.

E: My mom’s actually a really big shoe collector. Her eyes just light up around them. I guess that’s why I’m not as much into shoes, because I spent so much time in shoe stores when I was a kid. Hats were like my main priority because I’m tall; I feel like my shoes are so far away. I mean, your feet are at the bottom of your body.

A: But it’s something you notice because shoes change the way you walk and stand and hold yourself more than really any other clothes, unless you’re wearing a corset or something.

E: Do you have a dream pair of shoes that you’ve kind of always been looking for but never found?

A: When I pay attention to runway shows, I don’t look at shoes as much but there was this Balenciaga shoe in, I want to say it was 2009, and the heels were like rock mineral experiments. Something you would look at in a high school geology. Is geology even a thing you do in high school?

E: I’ve always liked this shoe designed by Jeremy Scott. Just these sneakers that are fuzzy and had a teddy bear attached to them.

A: That’s such a you thing to like.

E: I’ve been obsessing over them. I think that kind of shoe is like, really a statement shoe.

A: It’s kind of like a grownup version of those rain boots.

E: Yes. [laughs]

A: I’m into sneakers lately. I’m like, “I’m laid back. I’m cool. I wear sneakers with my dress.”

E: When I was a teenager, I really liked Lily Allen. She always wore those prom dresses with the sneakers and big hoops. I had never thought of someone dressing up like that and wearing such casual shoes. There’s this movie I saw, Party Girl.

A: With Parker Posey?

E: She’s the most memorable character from movies or TV shows with her shoes. She was wearing these platform sneakers. They were white.

A: Platforms. Oh god!

E: I really love them, though.

A: All I can think of is the Spice Girls and the Union Jack shoes.

E: When I was 16, I went to New York with my mom and we were looking through all the stores on Bleecker Street. There’s one store I really liked so we were spending a bit more time there. It was pretty empty and there was a photographer in the store. And then the photographer started talking to us and said that they were doing an article about round-toed heels, which were in style at the time, and that they needed someone to wear them for the photoshoot.

A: That’s such a “small town girl goes to the big city and becomes a model” thing [laughs].

E: It was in the New York Times. My dad sent it to all the relatives.

A: So you’ve been in The Times!

E: I don’t even know if I actually read the article! [laughs] I was just like, “Cool!”

A: Did you end up getting the shoes?

E: No. I felt like I should get the shoes, it was a pretty nice store, but I would always rather buy a hat.

illustration // Averill Smith

Très Click: “Cool Japan Initiative” Edition

Wornettes love the internet; here's what we've been reading recently

Craft collective Blackmeans, via Business of Fashion

Craft collective Blackmeans, via Business of Fashion

The Ups and Downs of Japan Fashion Week
Style blogger extraordinaire Susie Bubble recently went to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Tokyo and reported on it for Business of Fashion. It opens with an account of a very business-like presentation (flow charts are involved) on steps the Tokyo fashion industry plans to take in better integrating itself in the global fashion market. It’s a fascinating look at the intersection of some of fashion’s most artistic and commercial aspects, made palatable by Susie’s accessible writing. Plus, there are some great looks at some of the season’s more memorable collections.

What My Daughter Wore
In this charming take on personal style blogs, a Brooklyn artist illustrates outfits worn by her children and their friends. These kids have a better aesthetic sensibility than I do now in my twenties—my personal faves include the looks dubbed “Space Jam” and “Front Pocket Candy.”

The Logic of Stupid Poor People
Many of the think pieces that I read on conspicuous consumption tend to take an un-nuanced (though not necessarily inaccurate) angle on the flaws of capitalism. Tressie McMillan Cottom writes this brilliant piece that implores people to take into account personal narratives that may lead a lower class person to spend $2,500 on a handbag.

Fashion Victims Unite: Manchester’s Late ’70s – Early ’80s Perry Boys Subculture
Sigh. I spend so much time reading about fashion and fashion history, fooling myself into believing I have a pretty extensive knowledge on Things That Have Happened in Regards to Clothing, only to stumble onto articles about entire stylish subcultures that I had no idea existed (like this one, over at Dangerous Minds). Frequent reminders that there is always more to learn.

Princess in the Land of Machos
I leave you with Nicola Ókin Frioli’s photo series on Mexico’s cross-dressing community. These gorgeous shots speak for themselves. What are you doing still reading this? Go check it out.

What to Wear When Hot on the Trail

Whether solving crime or cracking codes, it's best to do it in style

Fashion has always been filled with mysteries: What is hiding behind Karl Lagerfeld’s sunglasses? How can there be more than 52 fashion weeks in a year? Lotion and denim—meant to be?

Then, there are some things we don’t even need to question. As long as there have been sleuths—whether in fact or fiction—there has been clothing to covet, be it elaborate disguises or the more traditional trench coats. We got our Wornettes to get to the bottom of the case in figuring out who the best-dressed detectives are.


Dr. Julia Ogden (CityTV/CBC’s Murdoch Mysteries)
As Murdoch Mysteries‘ token “New Woman,” Dr. Ogden is a doctor, early forensics specialist, and women’s health advocate. She is also intellectually and temperamentally a perfect match for the series protagonist, Detective William Murdoch, and their partnership is the heart of the show. Her style reflects her position as a woman in a world of men, and she is almost always wearing menswear inspired pieces like ties, vests, and separates. But as the show has progressed and her presence has become more accepted (and she has moved away from the autopsy table), her dress has grown softer and more feminine. In the season 5 finale, she sexed it up completely in a black and red, low cut, sleeveless, beaded and sequined ball gown, the perfect outfit for a woman who is about to leave her husband for another man in 1900. Intelligent, brave, and forward-thinking, she’s the woman I would want to be if I were alive in Victorian Toronto—heck, she’s the woman I want to be now. // Megan Patterson


Hercule Poirot (multiple Agatha Christie novels)
“The neatness of his attire was almost incredible,” Captain Arthur Hastings remarked about his old friend Hercule Poirot in The Mysterious Affair at Styles. “I believe a speck of dust would have caused him more pain than a bullet wound.” Useful, when one’s job is solving crimes.

Agatha Christie introduced her diminutive, fastidious, and arrogant detective in the ’20s. She couldn’t have known that the transplanted Belgian, with small mincing steps, would follow her the rest of her life. Poirot was laid to rest the same year as his creator, in 1975. By then, his three-piece suits, bowler hats, and patent leather shoes were ludicrously out of date. But it’s fitting that a character that Christie described as a “detestable, bombastic, tiresome, ego-centric little creep,” would stubbornly cling to his jazz age style in the era of punk.

Poirot’s most famous attribute was without a doubt his moustache—a small handlebar, always perfectly waxed. In some Poirot films, he’s even shown wearing a moustache-net while sleeping. When dressing actor David Suchet, the definitive Poirot from the BBC series, the costume designers tested 40 fake moustaches in order to find the most symmetrical one. For costumers, as well as detectives, details are of the utmost importance. // Max Mosher



Jessica Fletcher
(CBS’s Murder she Wrote)
It ain’t easy maintaining a sleepy east coast lifestyle while catching crooks on the regular in rural Maine, but Jessica Fletcher pulls it off with as much flair as guile. Whether she’s unearthing a crime at a Native American archaeological dig, dining with one of her countless nieces and nephews, or sleuthing with Magnum PI on a trip to Hawaii, she does so with an elegance that can only come with knowing that her night out will end up with her talking to the cops (seriously, does nobody question that wherever she goes, reckless murder tends to follow?). With clip-on earrings, jaunty hats, houndstooth jackets and a scarf collection that would earn jealous glares from the likes of Nancy Drew, her mix of belted, shoulder-padded mackintoshes and smart button-down vest combos offer up the best of nor’eastern fashion that makes us all want to curse, “clam dip!” // Whitney Wager


Carmen SanDiego
Where in the world is Carmen SanDiego? We never actually figured that out, but her tomato-red trench coat remains unmistakeable. Sandiego was the title outlaw of the 1980s children’s computer game where players scoured the globe looking for clues of the thief’s whereabouts. SanDiego wore the classic bank robber’s uniform of all black, topped off with a bright red floor-length trench coat and matching fedora, always poised for the getaway. It’s a testament to her stealthiness that she could remain perpetually untraceable while wearing some of the most noticeable clothes, earning her the apt nickname of “The Lady in Red.” Sure, unlike the other names on this list, SanDiego was more a crime starter than a crime solver, but her conspicuously coloured trench was the ultimate subversion of classic detective attire. // Isabel Slone


Mata Hari
Marilyn might have sung “Diamonds are a girls best friend,” but it could have easily been said by the French courtesan Mata Hari, who was executed during WWI for being a supposed double agent. Often seen lavished in exotic diamond head-pieces and decadent silks fit for a bold spy disguised as an Egyptian goddess, Mata Hari’s glamour possessed an intruding sexiness uncommon during the still reserved days of Edwardian Europe.

When Greta Garbo played her in the 1931 film Mata Hari, the velvets, the furs, and the intoxicating amount of bling undoubtedly became one of the strongest focal points in every scene; so exuberant are they that it puts every modern-day Kardashian’s luxury to shame. But it’s not the excess of luxe that makes Mata Hari a fashionable dream—with a hazardous history of prostitution, seduction, and espionage. It’s the way in which all her diamonds are threaded with dangerous mystery, intrigue, and two-facedness that allow her and her style to become the quintessential archetype for dicey femme fatale glamour. Even James Bond called her his first true love. // Paulina Kulacz

Lana Kane (FX’s Archer)
Archer is one of those cartoons in a post-Simpsons world in which you can’t let its animated facade fool you—this is not a show for kids. It constantly straddles the line between delightfully subversive and obnoxious bro-humor with its frustrating Don Draper-meets-James Bond protagonist, secret agent Sterling Archer. Lana Kane (Aisha Taylor) is Archer’s ex-girlfriend and coworker, her no-bullshit attitude providing him much needed foil. And though the way she is drawn recalls ridiculously sexist notions of female anatomy seen in many male-targeted comic books (seriously, her chest-waist-hips ratio makes Barbie look like a stick) she actually gets to fight crime wearing relatively sensible clothing. OK, her high-heeled boots are a little nuts (though impeccably badass), but she’s got a whole wardrobe of these turtleneck sweater dresses that she wears to the office that scream, “I Enjoy Being an Attractive Lady But Also it is Important That I am Comfortable While Doing Behind The Scenes Intel Work Yet if Need be I can Also Easily Kick Your Ass in This Skirt, Also: Check Out My Gun Holsters; I Have Two of Them.” If only my own knitwear could be so badass. // Anna Fitzpatrick


Harriet the Spy (1996 film adaptation of Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh)
Forget typical trench-coats and fedoras. Eleven year old Harriet M. Welsch does her best secret snooping in classic ’90s grade-school style. Solid tees are layered over long-sleeved stripes, jeans and hoodies are very baggy, and plaid flannel is never far out of sight. On duty, Harriet (played by Michelle Trachtenberg before she became an evil mastermind) wears a bright yellow raincoat and a matching utility belt (it holds up her massive jeans and carries vintage spy supplies); her ever-present “PRIVATE” notebook is tucked in the front of her jeans and binoculars hang around her neck. Harriet is always ready for action, whether she’s hiding in a rich lady’s dumbwaiter or hanging from her best friend’s window ledge. Most of the time she’s sticking to practical pieces in primary colours—except when she’s dancing to James Brown in an onion costume. // Stephanie Fereiro


Joan Watson (CBS’s Elementary)
Being TV’s first gender-swapped Watson wasn’t enough for Joan—she also had to have a pretty wicked sense of style. As a born and bred New Yorker, I suppose this only makes perfect sense. When we think of Dr. Watson from other adaptations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, we typically think of someone very stuffy and buttoned up, and his style has always reflected that. Jane Watson on the other hand, exudes fresh breath of casual air, in her demeanor and her clothing. Her wardrobe is the exact opposite of the stuffy Victorian gentleman’s—flowy tops, leggings, perfect unstructured jackets, LOTS of New York-appropriate black, and miniskirts (girlfriend loves a miniskirt, and has on more than one occasion worn a leather one). Lucy Liu makes it all look effortless in that infuriating way she has, even the parts that involve dead bodies (which is, of course, most of them). // Megan Patterson

illustrations //
Jenn Woodall
To see more stylin’ detectin’, check out our Nancy Drew inspired editorial in issue 9 of WORN Fashion Journal.