The first time I put on a tutu in my kindergarten dance class, I knew I was destined for the stage.
As you all know, that didn't exactly go as planned, but my wardrobe sometimes mimics that of costume-worthy proportions. Those two years of dance class proved two things: dramatic silhouettes are my thing and dancing will never be my thing.
This Christmas, I was determined to find the perfect tea-length tulle skirt to satiate my apetite for girly, over-the-top, Carrie Bradshaw-inspired accouterments. The skirt was located via Atlantic-Pacific, a cool $300 Athropologie number even Santa couldn't afford. I have my mother to thank for snagging a less pricey and just as snazzy version from Shabby Apple.
I have to admit, I haven't found the right occasion to sport my most precious fashion find, but when the occasion arrises some boy takes me to a place worthy of a skirt that takes up the entire booth or really just an event of immaculate proportions where I won't be the only one to make eyes at, you better believe my behind will be covered with yards of navy tulle. Until then, I will continue to play dress-up on Saturday evenings and have people take pictures of me while I saunter across busy downtown streets.
I found that the only thing I own worthy enough to pair with such grandiose proportions is my great great aunt's mink stole. Go big or go home, right? I was told she only wore it on Christmas, but I figured a tutu-clad wanna-be vogue-er dancing on busy roads is just as great of an occasion. In real life, if I wasn't just playing dress up, I'd stick to my plain (polka-dot, duh.) t-shirt underneath. It lets the skirt do the talking all while channeling my Sex and the City alter-ego.
The past couple of months have been a fun little style experiment. Many days, I let go of my over-accessorized looks, once bathed in polka-dots and bangles, and stick with the basics. Let's be real, I don't have a Phillip Lim bag and I probably won't ever have a Phillip Lim bag. But, for example's sake, here is a modest representation of my usual go-to-class uniform when creativity is lacking and the cold weather isn't.
1. Black skinnies have been the pants at the top of my drawer and never at the bottom of my laundry hamper. Black jeans can go days without washing, right?
2/3. Oversized sweater and collared shirt combo. You can never go wrong.
4. Just a little somethin' somethin' to feel feminine when I'm draping my self with balloon-ish proportions and colors evaporate from my wardrobe.
5. An oversized tote is a perfect substitute to my Jansport circa 4th grade. It's big enough for laptop/binder/camera and leaves a substantial indention on my right shoulder.
6/7. Dainty jewelry seems to work well with knits and doesn't get caught in the weaving. Plus, I like them.
8. I think my H&M black booties have been my most worn shoe this winter. The heel is the perfect height for traipsing around campus and clacking on tile floors. I love clacking.
9. I understand beanies are "a thing", but pom-poms are my thing. When walking with an added bounce on top of my head, it seems to balance out my grown-up minimalist look of black on black on white.
I'm back in Tuscaloosa. I feel like I just got off of one of those moving sidewalks at the airport; the slow-moving pace caused me to lose my footing after that whirlwind of a trip to the city. The sisters and I were all sad to leave, but promised to return with a little more subway expertise than we came with.
Sunday was spent sauntering through Central Park, peeping into Bergdorf's windows and conquering The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Anticipating some serious walking, I chose to stay comfortable and stick to tennis shoes and my feux leather skinnies.
Saying I was excited to go to New York this weekend would be a grave understatement. I have been counting down the days, anxiously awaiting to break out my most elaborate sartorial combinations that usually lie dormant in my closet. A girl can only take so many stink-eyes on her walk to class. But, this weekend is different. This weekend, I am one of them. I am among the fashion greats, the trend-making citizens of NYC. It is just a city, but I want it to be my city.
Yesterday was spent scouring Broadway, ripping through sale racks and snacking at way too many restaurants. Today, we planned a quick trip to Brooklyn to meet up with family and dig through the Brooklyn Flea Market. Maybe this southern lady is a bit callow and naive when it comes to big-city exploring, but I could not get over myself. I was star struck with every step, my neck craned upward to catch glimpses of every fire escape and street sign.
To prepare for Brooklyn, a place that holds the namesake of my favorite book (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn), I found it suitable to break in my newly-purchased sequined pants. I really am like a moth and fluorescent lighting when it comes to sparkles.
Sometimes the post-holiday slump can only be tolerated by hiding behind cozy knits and a pair of statement-making specs. My sister and I were forced into prescription lenses shortly after we learned to walk. Back then, Molly McIntire was the only four-eyed celebrity for us to find solace in our nerd-defined misery, and she wasn't even considered "cool" amongst the American Girl Doll clan. I wanted Kit.
But today, us nearsighted Nancy's can stand proud, eyes magnified, behind whatever overstated tortoise shell frames catch our blurred gaze, because someone great decided visual disabilities are cool. It's cool to be blind, it's cool to hide behind frames that mask 3/4 of your face. (When in public and not hiding behind the name of a snarky blog-title or screen-name, one can now hide their true identity behind massive eyewear.) Thank goodness for Warby Parker. This Christmas, I decided to embrace my nerdy-chic alter-ego, bite the bullet and chose the biggest baddest frames I could find. The thicker the rim the smarter you look, right?
Really, this was just an excuse for Lily and I to document our cozy winter outfits, complete with collars under sweaters over corduroys and toboggans on top.
In case you cared...I broke out the ever-glamorous chiffon palazzo pant, only worthy for those extra special date nights and Christmas mass. I decided to let my pants do the talking and paired them with a plain black leotard and some subtle sparkle...and yes, I put a cape on it.
PS: Carrying on our Christmas Eve tradition of a matching pajamas and cat picture, my mom got us velour sleep shirts with matching flannel bottoms. At least we stayed warm.
Lastly, the Crain sisters take New York City January 17-21. I don't know if the locals are ready for these shop-ready fashion-loving gals. Merry Christmas to us!