Wednesday, July 9, 2008

outfit invention: from moscow with sunglasses

It's not often that I compare living in Washington, DC -- the supposed Capital of the Free World -- to living in Moscow, Russia -- the Capital of, um, this -- but to put some of the events that happened last Saturday night into perspective, that's exactly what I'm going to do. I know, apples-oranges, peas-carrots, crack-cocaine, etc. It's not the best comparison, but it's somethin' so let's just go with it for now.

One of my friends' and my main traditions back in our Moscow days -- during Putin's first term, mind you (hi, I'm old) -- was "outfit invention." This wasn't merely putting together a good-looking ensemble for an evening on the town. No. This was putting together an epic costume for an evening/night/early-to-mid morning on the town. To give you an idea, some of our top outfit inventions in Moscow included themes such as "Gay Hitler," "We're Wearing Wigs," "I Look Like a French Whore," "I ♥ Putin," "I ♥ the USA," "I Procured My Entire Outfit in an Underground Crosswalk*," "Young Turks" and "This Is What I'd Look Like if I Worked on a Collective Farm." More importantly, however, we topped off nearly every outfit we invented with the piece de resistance in Moscow circa 2003-2004 -- sunglasses at night.

Dressing to go out in Moscow really was an artform. Having not been there since 2006, I can only hope that it still is. Oh, slava bogu, it is!

Anyway, dressing to go out in DC has generally proven the opposite. If I decide to wear heels I feel like I get looks of scorn from people thinking I'm being pretentious by skirting DC's retarded nighttime shoe of choice, the ubiquitous flip-flop. (Certainly these said looks of scorn can't be attributable to my general aura, which is clearly effervescent and bubbly...)

However, last weekend, when one of my old Moscow buddies came down for a visit, we decided it was time to get back on our retardulous loshad' and return to our outfit invention roots. Luckily, I had an idea in mind -- "I'm a Monochromatic Asshole."

Privyet! Monochromatic Asshole!

As it just so happens, another tradition of ours in Moscow that we decided to bring back Saturday was to flip the good ol' American bird to any camera lens pointed our way, which means most of our photographic footage is unusable at worst and in need of creative cropping at best. It also means we're jackasses. But alas, those self-fulfilling circumstances aside, what we have here is the reincarnation of my Forever 21 romper, paired with my oft-talked-about American Apparel metallic gray stirrup tights. The accoutrements are pretty basic -- Boutique9 black suede open-toe mary-janes and a 1980s-inspired black pleather shoulder bag bought somewhere in Amsterdam in 2004.

The shiny shot!

I ended up wearing this O.I. out to what has become in the last two weeks my favorite haunt in DC, the Rock & Roll Hotel. Not only do a lot of sweet bands play here, but the upstairs bar is pretty tight with its own DJ booth and dance floor, well-priced beverage station and lots of little side rooms to sit and chat. I must say, however, the bathrooms are a tight squeeze, especially when trying to get in and out of a romper. Too much information? Deal with it.

But whatever. A contorted 15 minutes spent making sure no part of that silky romper touched anything with fecal matter on it (yep, I just said that) as well as three attempts to re-button the whole damn thing up in the dim lighting is a small price to pay to chillax (yep, I just said that too) at a place where people not only recognize a good outfit invention when they see one, but they even appreciate it. It also helped that at least half of the patrons that night were gay men. They're always so encouraging.

And, of course, to top off our Moscow throw-back night, we resurrected Moscow's super-trend from the dead. No, not drinking until we woke up in an undisclosed location in Butovo, but wearing sunglasses at night, sillies!

Risky business'ing it (Wayfarers from Target; bought last summer). To keep with the monochromatic theme I put this in black & white. And, um, also, I wanted to mask my bright orange Sparks lips. They're kind of embarrassing. As is drinking Sparks when you're 28. Two weeks in a row. I'm not a quick learner.

*Also known as Viktor Perekhod.


LivitLuvit said...

Ha. We requested your opinion on a pair of shoes I blogged about yesterday, and the ones in this pic are basically a tamer version! Teh funny.

BAD said...

Does photobucket delete shots of the bird??

Anonymous said...

There are some traditions that should die a quick death. Sunglasses in a bar/club immediately equals douchebag.

Don't be that girl. You are too good for that.

Righteous (re)Style said...

The "new" H Street is definitively my favorite area in DC right now. Low on suburban douchebags - and flipflops.

Oh! If you ever want to do a Moscow-esque dress up night, let me know. I am all about it. Maybe we can dress up, go to Russian House, drink vodka (oh wait, I stopped doing that in high school) and you can tell me Moscow stories (and I can *sigh* daydream about being there as an adult).

Will said...

I'm glad you liked R&R Hotel. I hear good things, so I'll have to go back--it's just so frustrating how there's not a good Metro stop.

Capitol Hill 20210 said...

awesome shoes -- actually cute outfit, you are one of the few that could pull that off though.

Shannon said...

I'm rarely on H Street...though I do remember an evening out a year or so back where every single guy that tried to pick us up lived at home with his parents. No idea whether it's an H St thing, or if we just attract that sort of element.

SG said...

re: your outfit idea- fanfuckingtastic my dear.

i'd been to R&R three times before i even knew there was an upstairs. i was bitching to my stylist (yes even we anarchists occasionally need a decent trim) about how the place had been hyped up to me and then i was, with the exception of a few hot bartenders, underwhelmed. he then berated me for never having been upstairs. now i heart that place to no end.

Marissa said...


Ah! I've been in Baltimore. But I weighed in with my 1.5 cents.


It also gets rid of Sparks lips!


Hmm...I disagree. Sort of. There are definitely sunglasses that scream "I'm a giant douche!" However, those are generally branded with D&G symbols, frameless, have mirrored lenses and are accompanied by way too much hair product.

I say, if the outfit invention is tight, sunglasses (within frames and with proper lenses) are right.


OK, if I could find an underground crosswalk and by an entire outfit of fake D&G (wow, second D&G mention...), then I'm so in.


Agreed. Both about me finding a place I like and with your discontentment over the transportation issue. However, a $13-$15 cab ride is a small price to pay for a near-guaranteed good night. It also helps that before 11 p.m. R&R offers insane drink specials.

cap hill--

Thanks. Although I think whether I "pulled it off" is still up for debate. Honestly, it's an outrageous, even retardulous get-up, but it was fun. Who doesn't love a fine pair of metallic stir-up tights every once in a while. And yes, I probably will go buy a couple of other colors...I'm not ashamed!


Hmmm...probably a little of both. Although, I'll tell you that everyone I met the other night (including an actual reader of this blog -- excitement!) was legit. Also, several fine dressers were spotted, which is totally refreshing.


Yeah, we spent probably 90 percent of our time upstairs -- the perfect place to chillax, in my opinion.

I-66 said...

Twice in a row with the Sparks? mlln, Goose. mlln.

Google that googlebitches!

BAD said...

I agree that the effect of sunglasses at night totally depends on what you're wearing down below. Shades with madras shorts makes you look like an a-hole, but shades with a Gay Hitler outfit makes you look like a-hole lot of fun.

WOTV said...

why the hell are you smiling woman?


If you are wearing sunglasses at night you are not suppose to smil!!!!!

What would the Olsen Twins do?

Please practice your coolness a little bit more. Thanks. Smiling is NOT cool. Neither is being happy, got it?

adult halloween costumes said...

I never really put the 2 together, but a skintight monochromatic outfit really does make you look European, and Russian specifically. Maybe it's that the styles have changed somewhat since 1987, but parts of the Iron Curtain seem to be intact. :)

I mean no offense, but you'd completely blend in out on any Eastern European town!

Marissa said...


I'll have to do another google post. It's amazing the kind of ridiculous shit people look up to get here. Which probably means, it's amazing how much ridiculous shit I post on this blog. Hmm.


You're a-hole lotta fun! Look at the good you do!


I'm frowning now. Is that cool?


So, you're telling me I look like a bit of a hooker? That's cool. I take what I can get. Sadly, this ain't a Halloween costume for me. That usually involves lots of tin-foil.

Anonymous said...

you're my new favorite blog. now that i've left, i kinda miss the bloodsport that was hating DC, so all of this is pretty spectacular. but please no more white on black background! kills my eyes.

Marissa said...


Well, shucks. Thanks! But you don't like the white on black? I dig it! Hmm...maybe I could do light gray on black? I'll do some computing and see what happens...