When I was a child I would eat anything. I would play with anyone. I was easy... except when it came to my clothes. I was a five-year-old who just knew what felt right, what looked good and what was “me” . While this resulted in my childhood photos being haunted by the color lime green and garish leggings… I also like to think it showed personal style. Something that I’ve always had (for better or worse).
I share these memories with you not because lime green is the new thing (although neon is coming back and we should discuss that in the future) but because I have lost what I always had; my ever-present grasp on personal style.
So, what do you wear when your go-to boots of three years (that you wrote a fricken love letter to, read Here) just don’t do it for you? When the dresses you lived in last year don’t push you towards a good look but instead seem to be the downfall of one? These are the questions that have been running through my head as every morning I approach my closet and run through about fifteen other similar thoughts.
The solution isn’t definite but it’s been helped by a quest for inspiration from the greats (I.E. Alexa Chung, Annie Hall, Leandra Medine.) And, quickly, because if you're like me what you wear isn’t just a decision in the morning but a decision that affects entire your day.
So imagine this: It’s October and my friend and I are staying in a cabin on Bainbridge Island outside of Seattle. It’s the first real weekend of fall. It’s also the first real weekend that I’ve had off in a long while and the absence of my 8 A.M. Stats class allows for a take at fall style w/ gusto. I approach my closest looking for the outfits that have been waiting to be photographed and… nothing… I don’t even know where to start.
The solution: an outfit pulled straight from my inspiration (and maybe obsession) of aforementioned Chung and Hall. Chung, is one of fashions cool girls who can wear a frilly frock or motorcycle boots with a seamless amount of edge. Hall, is the timeless character from a Woody Allen movie of the same name. They both reclaim masculine silhouettes with a feminine edge and look incredible.
My outfit starts with a pair of open toe grey suede pumps (from CL by Laundry). The shoes were the last thing to be thrown on (but the first to be talked about because I can’t wear stilettos. Or at least not yet. I need a base to my heel and if these can get me through a last-minute photo session on the creaky steps of a cabin I think they will be there for you too.)
The pants are from Zara! I love Zara… The smell, the silhouettes, the slightly disorganized stores filled w/ literally hidden gems… It’s a fave! When I went to New York over the summer I was counting down the minutes until I could walk into the Zara store and I obviously walked out with something amazing. A pair of wide leg/ high waisted/ beige trousers that scream Annie Hall with their whole heart.
These trousers are a little unusual for a 19-year-old like me. Especially when it’s 7:15 AM at my cafeteria and the students around me are a little more casual. And understandably so! But sometimes I need an outfit like this. Something neutral, but stylish, and that attracts a little bit of attention. In winter I think we could all use a little more of that!
The shirt is one of my fashion prized possessions. It is a Princess Vera Wang silk top that I got a few years ago on discount. It was ombre before there was ombre. It was perfect for a dressed down trouser outfit before I knew what that was.
While I don’t want to bore you with the details of my scholastic adventure I feel that most people could relate to the struggle that I’m having. Fashion isn’t always convenient. With the lack of time in the morning and the loss of things I feel like I have to accomplish my outfit sometimes seems less like a decision and more like a box to be checked.
(P.S. I know this picture is a little odd. or ghostly... maybe thats the term for this situation. Yes, that food in the corner. Yes, I look spooky. It's the only photo I have though so lets just go with it)
While I hate this… I have had a hard time turning it around. While I have a duty to my commitments I have a duty to my own happiness (right? and why does this feel almost guilty to say?). In my mind I keep roving between the idea that personal style is important but is it important when your commitments are a list long and could be done better in sneakers/ sweats? I'm working on it...
This outfit isn’t the solution and I’m still hovering between being 'lost and found' with my closet. This outfit is getting closer, though, with it's elevated/ sentimental/ and icon-inspired look I think I’m moving in the right direction.
Chung? Hall? Lack of style inspiration? Let's talk about it below.
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