You know what I find more interesting than another iteration of basically the same capsule wardrobe or essentials list? Style with substance. An outfit, or a series of outfits, that says more than "I know how to use Pinterest." or "I really enjoy the aesthetic of how I think French women dress." There are more ways to have a cohesive, meaningful wardrobe than worshipping at the altar of striped shirts and black skinny jeans.
This season, I'm trying something different in pursuit of having not only what I would call good style, but also presenting the version of myself that feels most true to the world. It's not exactly revolutionary considering it comes from years of reading magazines. Rather than defining a specific list of "must-haves," I created a fall style story to take my fashion choices in a more editorial direction. It plays off of some familiar concepts from capsule wardrobes or closet overhauls: color palettes, mix-and-match basics and not shopping all that much. In the end, though, the thing I enjoy most about clothing is the ability it has to make us feel a certain way.
"THE THING I ENJOY MOST ABOUT CLOTHING IS THE ABILITY IT HAS TO MAKE US FEEL A CERTAIN WAY."
I want to evoke the same feeling you get when you see old black and white photographs of your grandparents as teenagers. I want to be able to go from the farmer's market to the coffee shop straight to the bar to play some ping pong and possibly sing karaoke, maybe only stopping at home to put on some ridiculous platform shoes for the last activity. My leather jacket will hold smells of bonfires and memories of long walks with philosophical conversations. No one can put me in a box of being team sneakers or team heels because guess what? I'm both. There's a little bit of both in us all.
Personal style blogs are a funny thing because they are a space to document outfits from all different seasons and eras of our lives. I can look at a photograph from a few weeks ago and feel so strange because that's not who I feel like anymore. But that's the purpose this little lens into my psyche ultimately serves. Through trial and error and a lot of pictures, I now know myself intimately through my style evolution. The outfits that I feel represent myself best end up giving me a little bit better picture of who I ultimately am on a much deeper level. They also give me a glimpse of who I am striving to become.
The reason why fall always feels like fashion's new year is that we, the people who take this shit seriously, see it as a chance to start anew. The clothes we wear match the goals we have for who we want to be. This autumn comes at a time when I need a boost of confidence in the things that I already know about myself. I am done ignoring my intuition both in my wardrobe and in my personal life. Instead, I want to give credence to the things I know and love about myself by showing them off a little more aggressively when it comes to my outfit choices.
"THE CLOTHES WE WEAR MATCH THE GOALS WE HAVE FOR WHO WE WANT TO BE."
What exactly does this new boost of confidence look like for my style moving forward? Well, here are a few things I know about myself that I'm using as guidelines:
- I basically never feel like myself when I'm wearing anything considered overtly feminine. I always want to change immediately when I have on a dainty dress, no matter how beautiful or vintage inspired. Twee patterns and overly "cute" graphics are just not my style, even if I admire them on other people.
- That being said, there is something of a duality to my fashion preferences. While I do enjoy streetwear, sneakers and minimalist looks, I also really gravitate towards sumptuous textures like velvet and wool as well as 1970's shapes like platform heels and flares. I think the crossroads is where I will find the most accurate representation of my style.
- I'm most comfortable with neutrals: black, white, navy and olive green are my go-tos. But I really like color. The thing is, I'm fortunate enough to like hues that happen to pair well together. I tend to gravitate towards the same colors over and over again, varying slightly based on the season. This fall, I also added a few colors to my palette that I would like to include in my outfits more often: pink and burgundy.
- There are a few things I love that are without a doubt classic. Jeans and a white shirt are my go-to uniform for when I can't think of anything else. But in the end, I can't let the idea that something isn't "classic enough" cripple me. If I love skateboard brands and weird tee shirts, then by God, I love them. Rather than stifling that, I intend to explore why those things appeal to me so much.
If you find yourself drawn to similar ideas and aesthetics this season, I update my Pinterest mood board frequently with items to buy as well as pictures and outfits that fit the general vibe. I also have a few suggestions to get you started. First of all, I can't get enough of velvet shoes. I literally drew something like these Jil Sander beauties when I was in high school, but it is more likely that I go with a more affordable option. If platforms aren't your thing, velvet ankle boots are similarly amazing. Beyond that, the perfect leather jacket, amazing vintage jeans and band tees will give you the look. And don't forget a pop of pink; after all, it is so popular right now there are articles about it.