sandals: don't recall (old as the hills). jeans: american eagle. denim shirt: thrifted (gap). vest: old navy. bracelet: burntsiena designs. necklace: forever21. flower clip: downeast basics. earrings: open jewelry market in hawaii.
A few years ago, I bought a puffy vest with a removable faux-fur-lined hood on it. I never removed the hood, despite its sometimes interfering with that day's ensemble, because I figured, "If the designers put it here, they know best...who am I to say their idea's no good?" Same for shirtsleeves--if they were buttoned at the wrist, then, by jove, I'd keep them buttoned.
(Did I just say "by jove"? I did? Crap. My secret's out...I'm really a 72-year-old man posing as a young mommy style blogger.)
Collars? Belts? Cardigan-shirt sets? Same thing. I assumed that clothing was designed a certain way for a reason, and as a Joe-Schmoe (or, rather, Joe's sister, Jane-Schmane), I certainly couldn't claim expertise above a designer's vision. I think this narrow mindset put me on the fast-track to several style pitfalls:
(1) With limited stylability options of my existing wardrobe, I had to either purchase more stuff or sit on the sidelines and watch others waltz freshly and fashionably (dare I say glibly? yes, I dare) and glibly by. Which is an awesome feeling. Ohp. Wait. No it's not.
(2) Becaues they had few uses (in my wear-it-as-it-comes-and-ONLY-as-it-comes mindset), my clothing purchases were usually cheap...on all counts.
(3) My creativity was stinted, as I couldn't (wouldn't?) let myself look outside the box to mix and match, modify, tuck, switch out, etc. Unless, of course, said box had dumped out a pair of jeans and a tee and they happened to be lying by the side of the box when I got up in the morning. Thanks, Box. I'll wear these today.
It was up until just a short time ago that I realized this: (Are you ready? Super-huge epiphany forthcoming. You'll probably never be the same person after reading this, so say your goodbyes to the life you once knew. Embarking on unchartered waters here.)
(ahem) Clothing in and of itself is a mere jumping-off point. Anyone can go buy Dress X at the store and wear it. It's not the dress itself, per se, that embodies one's style, although some clothing items do indeed indicate one's style preferences. Rather, it's what one does with a particular garment, how s/he makes it her/his own, that is the shaping and molding of what will come to be personal style.
Why oh why did I waste decades not knowing this? It's so liberating! I can do whatever I want with my clothes because they're mine all mine! They don't own me...I own them! Muuhahahahahaaaaaa!!!
(Ew. Weird. And creepy. But mostly just weird.)
So. Here's to us all. May we find the courage and desire to roll up a long sleeve, belt a jacket, cut off a pair of jeans, sew buttons on a wrap, turn scarf into skirt and skirt into shirt, pop a collar, break up a suit. The possibilities are virtually limitless.
See what I'm wearing above? Denim on denim? One of my #1 Fashion Faux Pas. And the shirt's sleeves are supposed to be long--the double snaps at the wrist prove it. And a sweater vest shouldn't go with denim. And the necklace was "meant" to be doubled around, not worn long to my navel.
I'd continue listing the rules I'm breaking, but I have to stop typing because I need a hand to pat myself on the back.
Happy HAPPY Monday!
Want this rebel look? You got it. Shop below...