is this too much?

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I feel most comfortable in pieces that swallow me whole. I like when my body can move freely inside garments, free to gesticulate enthusiastically without fear of being “too much.”

I am always worried about being “too much.” I carry with me too much emotion. When I am happy, joy spreads throughout my entire body coaxing me to dance in inappropriate places. When I am sad, sorrow gulps me down into a pit of exhaustion, leaving me clawing my way back up in a very visible way. I am all or nothing. Some might consider it “too much.”

I worry my laugh is too loud, my stories too vulnerable, my embrace too intimate, my insides too much on the outside. But my clothes, the way I dress, is never enough. Though I feel self-conscious about the way my feelings fall outside my heart, my lipstick is never too bright and my clothes never too loud.

I wonder how that works. I had a rough go at finding a wedding dress, but ended up finding one that was very much my taste. (More on that post wedding.) But when I was scouring for a rehearsal dinner outfit, I wanted something that was me in every way. I didn’t want fussy or frilly. I did want some sort of Ode to Halloween.

I happened upon a local designer (Ilana Kohn) and her perfect structured jumpsuits designed for the workin' girl. It covers every inch of me from my neck to ankles and could double as a work suit. It’s baggy and has huge pockets. It’s all black and doesn’t even hint that I have a body.  And it’s entirely too much.

A quick history of me dressing too much:
February 2016
October 2014
November 2013
April 2013

[JUMPSUIT-ILANA KOHN, BAG-CHLOE]

Ok-toe-ber.

I love the way October feels in my mouth when I say it. It makes me giddy. I don’t get giddy often. And while I do love the caricatured scents of the season personified in candle form, my favorite scent is the smell of wet leaves and seasonal soups cooking on the stove.

This month I am in one of the most Fall-forward moods since my aunt made me a custom Strega Nona costume for Halloween in 1997. This month I will go apple-picking upstate with my new york crew. We will take the train and and drink ciders and eat lots of things on sticks. I will turn 26, for me a much bigger deal than 25. I will say yes ‘til I’m dead to my partner of three years. I am usually one to discredit these milestones in a sarcastic malaise of deprecating jokes, but this one’s pretty big and I am so ready.

This month is big for me.

I dress my best in the Fall months. Layering is kind of my thing. This outfit was inspired by my fervor for witchy women, and was topped off with my favorite seasonal purchase to date: this Zara blazer. It’s perfectly oversized and adds instant meme-worthy coolgirl vibes to any outfit. And then there’s the shoes. I was guilted into getting them after the Madewell newsletter informed me there were only a few left in stock. I’ve been needing a statement shoe to go with my rehearsal dinner outfit, and figured these would do the trick. I am not disappointed.

summer archives

[insert generic, half-hearted apology for being MIA for four months, knowing full well the only person that needs apologizing to is my pride]

I’ve taken three sets of fashion photos this summer, none of which made its way here. While I usually pose myself as a body positive cellulite champion, I’d be lying if I said the longing of my high school body didn’t come tugging every now and then. In my photos I had too much chin, too much arm, and not enough contrast between the hip and waist area. But looking at them today I see them totally different. I’m tanned and content. I look effortless. I honestly can’t remember why I didn’t post them. But there’s always tomorrow you know. So here's the mostly unedited me.

Next up… wedding planning, all of my exes and what they smelled like, and fall ramblings

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spring

It’s finally starting to feel like Spring. In my opinion, it’s New York’s best season. Though fleeting, as the sweltering Summer creeps in quickly igniting the eternal smell of urine and trash, springtime brings the city alive with cherry blossoms and rosé. Even the native New Yorkers can’t help but let a smile or two escape as they acknowledge strangers on the crosswalk.

My favorite parts about springtime in the city:

Not sweating and not freezing on my walk to the subway.
Leaving the windows open at night.
After-work drinks al fresco.
After-work dinner al fresco.
Picnics in the park.
Rooftops.
Rosé season.
Movies in the park.
Cherry blossoms.
Smiling strangers.
Sandals.
No more down coats/sweating in the subway.
Leather jackets.
Brooklyn Botanical Garden.
Dresses.
No more tights wedgies.
Pink lipstick.
Happy dogs.
The Met Gala.
Peonies at every bodega.
The famers markets.
Fruity gin drinks.
Less black.

pants-uniqlo, shirt-anthropologie(similar), shoes-anthropologie

fake it 'til you make it

abbey crain

I'm a model.
I'm a writer.
I'm an artist.
I'm happy.
I'm good. 

I honestly have no clue what I'm doing. Five years ago this month I started this blog with a closet full of Forever21 clothes waiting to be styled and a few friends who wanted to practice their photography. I didn't think I was pretty enough to be a fashion blogger. And I don't think my life is exciting enough to be a lifestyle blogger. But somewhere along the way I kept going; and kept posing; and kept writing. 

 

This fake it 'til you make it attitude has pushed me in promising directions over the last half decade. When i started blogging I told my self I was pretty enough to be seen, to be put on display, vulnerable. I still have a hard time feeling confident enough to post that Instagram, that blog post, but I do so I am. I am a model.

My job is to write and I write in my free time, for fun even. But I still have a hard time calling myself a writer. I don't know if that's the stifled southern woman in me, never wanting to give myself credit where the credit is truly do, or if I just don't feel like what I imagine the great Beat writers feel like. We aren't that different after all. Here I am sipping black coffee in a small shop typing away. The only difference is the manner in which our fingers move, pen to paper and fingers to computer keys. I am a writer. 

I was an art minor in college and continue to practice the arts in plethora of ways. I've designed my apartment decor just so. I paint. I garden. Yet I feel almost queasy calling myself an artist. But I am one, you know. I am an artist.

I've become more myself over the last few years, owning the fact that my moods are not moods and something that I often can't control. I get stuck and I get down. And when I'm down the only way I can get up is to pretend. To say I am worthy, worth happiness, worthwhile. I say I am happy and good and I am. I am happy and good. 

I say that I am and I am. I am a strong, artist, model, writer, a good person. I am happy. I am. 

Side story: My friend Sarah was taking photos for my blog in Nashville and a handsome man confronted us with his big official-looking camera. He was photographing a model for a local magazine. He asked us what we were doing. "Blogging," I replied confidently. He patronizingly asked what kind of blog I ran and questioned what I was wearing. Sarah continued to photograph me while he asked more about me. Without skipping a beat I told him I was a lifestyle blogger in Brooklyn and worked for the Wall Street Journal. I know I didn't look like the conventional bubbly blogger in my shapeless overalls and medium frame. But I told him WHO I was and he eventually backed off.

minimalist

abbeycrain

One of my good friends would always clean her room, purging it of excess, after a breakup or a particularly tough time in her life. I would walk in her room and she would be carefully putting everything into its place while sweeping the leftover into plastic bags. Beloved, but unworn sweaters became thrift fodder and bits of crafts yet to be finished finally trashed. She spring cleaned year round.

After this especially brutal winter, I’ve decided to do a purge as well, narrowing down my closet and throwing out the overflowing apartment accoutrements. Minimal is in after all. After two years of being in my well-loved apartment, I am already itching to start over in a new clean space, redecorate, and start over. But in the meantime I’m just going to be paring everything down. It is in fact possible to have too many vases, leftover candle holders, scratched-up skillets, moth-eaten sheet sets to be saved for guests, and free by way of street trash cookbooks.

So here’s to dressing simpler, an edited apartment, and clearer headspace. Hopefully my big clean will inspire my creativity more and I can get back to painting.

If you're interested, here's a link to clothes I am selling on Poshmark.

abbeycrain

[shirt-madewell (old) pants-urbanoutfitters, shoes-steve madden, earrings-jcrew]