I recently read Hey Natalie Jean's latest personal style essay and it inspired me to write my own. What kind of world is it where we write personal style essays? A fun one, I think. Maybe a bit navel gaze-y, sure, but I dunno, I think I GET SOMETHING out of reading other people's fashion musings. Remember when Carrie said she once bought Vogue instead of groceries because it fed her more? This is that, for me. Except I still need food. So maybe that wasn't the best analogy, eh? Whatever.
Natalie's closet has reached a level where every piece is uniform status. Like, she can mix and match mostly anything in her wardrobe to create an outfit - it's down to a gang of the same t-shirt in different colors, the same style of dress she knows she can throw on - classics, staples, whatever you wanna call it. I'm never gonna be that cool uniform girl; I dress depending on my mood and ya know I have my (many) moods.
1. Comfort Prevails. And y'all, comfort can mean a lot of things. It doesn't have to mean sweats and a t-shirt (though there's not a THING wrong with that). It just means that whatever you're wearing, you feel yourself in. If you feel mostly yourself in heels, a pencil skirt and button up blouse, then you're comfortable. My comfort rules can be divided these ways:
- NO TIGHTS. I don't wear tights. That means I don't wear skirts in the winter. Tights make me feel itchy both literally and metaphorically and I HATE the way tights feel on my feet when I don't have shoes on. Ew and I love not having shoes on so you can see how it's a major problem.
- NO constricting waistbands. I can't do elastic waist dresses or jeans that are too tight or skirts that pinch. Loose and floaty and free, please.
- NO footwear that can't easily be taken off. Listen. I like being barefoot. I hate wearing socks. This has been my steeze since forever. I can remember my nana telling me to put on some socks, your feet are like ice cubes! but I never did cause I hate socks! I love the idea of shoes but love the idea more of being able to slip them off easily. If I'm a passenger in your car, you better believe my shoes are coming off. At the shop? Barefoot. Home? Barefoot.
2. Mood matters. Like I mentioned before, I dress depending on my mood. If I feel lazy, I dress lazy (tank top, cut offs). If I'm feeling super girly, I'll put on a dress and heels. If I feel like having fun, out come the party pants and sequined converse. Sometimes I feel like Keith Richards and wear a vintage t-shirt, leather jacket and ripped jeans. Other times I feel like Kim Kardashian and wear a leather dress. I do sometimes feel like Kim Kardashian. Lately it's more Khloe but sometimes it's Kim. Rarely is it Kourt anymore though I used to dig her vibe the most. This feels like a whole other blog post.
3. Sentimentality is not (usually) welcome. I can ditch stuff pretty easily. I'm not a hoarder and I get that from my momma. We moved around so much while I was growing up that keeping our crap for the sake of it was silly. This means I have no trouble parting with pieces that just don't work anymore. Sure, I have a few things I'll keep forever because there are memories attached but I don't have a lot of "maybe one days" hanging in my closet. So, yeah: contrary to popular belief, I really don't have a ton of clothes. I don't shop that often and I consign older stuff on the regular. There's a constant culling happening. While my wardrobe may be varied, it is not vast. Trust.
4. Experimentation is welcome. I love playing with color and texture and print and silhouette. I like to mix prints after all these years and while I have a few "go to"outfits I know I like, I still have fun figuring out new ways to wear old favorites. I definitely sometimes still have my fashion victim-y moments where I fall for a trend I know I'm going to despise in a week but that's part of the fun of it. There've been so many times I've seen a super cute girl in the shop and I use her as inspiration when I'm getting dressed the next day. I'm continually pulling references from everywhere and I think that makes my style a constantly evolving thing.
5. Second hand and vintage forever (and ever and...). I cannot remember the last time I went into a retail store and bought a piece of clothing on sale, let alone full price. Honestly, I'm really trying to remember! It had to have been American Eagle because that's the only store I shop at and I'm a 14 year old. The thing is is that everything is always 60% off at that store and when I'm looking for something specific, I kid you not, I ALWAYS find it at American Eagle! I shop at Forage the most and thrift stores the second most and that's because that's where I am for the majority of my life. One of my favorite ways to explore a city is to visit their consignment and vintage shops too. The Buffalo Exchange stores in DC and NYC top my list. I ALWAYS find KILLER labels at teeny prices and the thrill of the hunt will never be lost on me. There's no excitement in shopping retail for me really. Sometimes it's necessary but rarely is it fulfilling.
Other notes: I feel most myself in the summer time, style wise. I've said that before and I'll probably say it again. If I had to choose one designer to wear for the rest of my life, I'd choose Chloe. If I had to choose a brand, I'd choose Free People.
Also, There's always something "off" in my outfits too. Jenna Lyons said that once - she always likes to have something "off", whether it's messy hair with a ball gown or sneakers with a skirt, there's a rebellious element to her dressing. While my sartorial subversiveness may not be nearly as cool (or intentional?), I'm never the sleek and sophisticated girl. Maybe my ponytail is too casual or I should have opted for heels instead of flats but I gotta live. And that's ok! Everyone is different! Be yourself, everyone else is taken!
Well, are you still with me? That was long. Do you have any style rules you live by? Spill!