This week I am so thrilled and grateful to be featured in Voyage Austin. Both the process of this interview and while giving it, I couldn’t help but think about our stories. And our fashion. And what shapes both. It’s always funny as I always think I’m SO DIFFERENT in various stages of my life, but when I look back- there’s always a through line.
This was one of my first fashion stories, chatting about childhood fashion and what I still wear. Believe it or not, I think about it all the time- or I should say I think about how my fashion has stayed constant. The fashion that really makes me who I am.
The Voyage article is so nice- and it’s even niecer to tie it back to what I’ve been wearing for life.
Loves, as you know, I’m a big believer that fashion helps us tell our stories. And our stories matter. This summer, I’ve spent a lot of time helping my mom clean out many things. In mom’s house? A lot of baby pictures, which got me to thinking:
Last month we talked wedding dresses (see here) and yes, those are an item most of us can’t get out of our closet. Another item we tend to hold onto? Baby clothes (though my mom has mine boxed in the attic, but still). It made me wonder: does how we dress as children influence how we dress as adults? Are the things that were in our closets as kids still in our closets?
In my case, yes!! I was never one to turn down a party dress (I refused to wear pants till I was 5); and I’m still very partial to a great party dress (and shoes). There are direct lines between what I wore (and many times a day I changed) as a kid, and what I wear (and how many times a day I change) a day now. Ironically enough, my mom used to take pictures of all of my baby outfits, now I take pictures of my outfits. Everything comes around?
I hope you enjoy this video I made about these thoughts. I’d love to know:
What was in your closet as a kid? What can’t you get rid of? Did what you wear then affect what you wear now?
***Note: I think I ramble too much. At one point, what I was trying to explain was I danced as a kid (yes, I still wear leotards around), and it got me in the habit of wearing a bun ALL the time
I’m endlessly fascinated by all of our juxtapositions. The corners and opposites that make us who we are, and make an outfit interesting. One of mine? I love sports. LOVE them. I’m a huge football fan (here, here, and here) I can’t miss basketball playoffs. And while I’m not the biggest baseball fan, I do enjoy watching my college team (and pay attention. Also- going to games is fun! I can’t wait till we can do that again! I wrote about baseball and fashion here)
There are people who are endlessly surprised that I can like both fashion and sports. Which is always so interesting to me. Sports stars are often seen as fashionable (and some even have their own lines). And fashion in its purest form is about a show, and sports is a spectacle- to me they don’t seem that so far apart. And if fashion is a way for us to tell our stories, wouldn’t it be natural for our fandoms- no matter what they are- to be expressed through our clothes?
And if I’m telling my stories, I want to be in charge of them. While there are hundreds and hundreds of women who love sports, often our fashion options for our sports teams is lacking. In my opinion.
I’m a fan- I love the game. And I want the fashion I wear to show that, not be a beacon that I’m a woman. Pink. Sparkles. Rhinestones. I hate it all. If my team’s colors are purple. Or blue. Or green. I want to wear those colors. I want the shirts. And shorts. And sweaters. And more. That I wear to look like something the players would wear. Not a beacon letting the world know that I’m a girl.
And I think there is a way to make sports wear look fashionable. Some of my tips? Wear heels. Pair fan gear- from hats to tops to pants- with a neutral. Let the team item pop. Wear your fan shirt like any other shirt. Dress it up. Be unafraid to be casual with it. Treat it like it’s any other outfit. Only wear your team’s colors- not logos. Don’t be fair to dress up for a game. Don’t be afraid to be casual.
There is no right or wrong way to show your love of sports in fashion. And if you don’t love sports? Nothing wrong with that either. After all, if you love sports like me, this is just another way to tell some of your stories.
I would love to know. Do you love sports? Do you dress for it? How?
Have you been following the saga of the Givenchy dress found and restored by Henry Wilkinson? I’ve been paying attention on Instagram– and it’s amazing and I love it! Henry is a costume designer who happened to find part of a vintage Givenchy gown. It looked like this:
After research, care, and a lot of work, Henry got it to look like this (again):
And! It turns out this gown was owned by Princess Lee Radziwill (Jackie O’s sister!)
Following the journey online was just thrilling. I learned about zippers! Henry showed us how to shape! And it fed my love of fashion as a means to tell our stories- the night the Princess wore it, what happened to it, and how it transformed all of us by being restored to its former glory. For the full story, I’ll let Henry tell you:
And I whole heartedly recommend following Henry on Instagram (@henryjjwilkinson) for his documentation of this project (and other fashion stories).
As someone who loves wearing vintage, I love to think about who has worn/owned my beloved vintage gowns before me. Now, I’m thinking about who will wear my clothes after me. What will happen to them? I can only hope that they recieve the care that Henry gave this gown. And we can all hope to wear something so beautiful!
My family has a tradition, matching pjs on Christmas Eve. It’s the one “present” we can open early, we change into them right away, and stay up drinking champagne, laughing and enjoying each other. I know that we had matching pjs at different times growing up-there’s pictures of my sister and I in them- but this tradition has grown stronger as we’ve gotten older.
It’s currently one of my favorite times and things of the holiday season.
This year has been- all of those things. (Are you tired of hearing about it? I am) Lounge wear, fancy pjs, all those things have been staples all year, so I’ve been worried that one of my favorite things would also be a causality of 2020. This time of year, when so much shuts down and in a “normal” time it’s fun to stay in pjs are we going to want pjs? Celebrate being in them? Or will this tradition be tossed aside in the coming years as we (hopefully) don’t have to stay in?
My family ordered our pjs. And though there are days when putting on real pants is noteworthy, I’m excited about them. Holiday pjs aren’t just pjs, they’re part of a story, a tradition, something bigger than just comfort. Though comfort they do bring.
The minute we decided on a pattern, I started getting excited. Maybe I’ve been more casual this year, but holiday pjs are a part of my holidays as an adult, and I’m glad that we’re still doing them.
Note-holiday or fancy pjs are a great gift to yourself, and would even be festive on Zoom!
This year there are traditions that have to change, and while change can be hard it can also be good. However, knowing that I can match my mom and sister is something I’m glad we’re hanging onto!
I’d love to know- what are some of your fashion traditions at this time of year? Have they changed?
If you’re in need of some holiday pjs I love these from Target (and you can order online, pick up in store so you can get them in time!)
Note: this post does contain affiliate links. While that does not affect the price for you, I may earn commission from them. Thank you for your support!
This year the holidays are different. And different can be ok! Staying home to stay safe is not bad! First off, it means that you can be in your pjs (luxe or not!) if that’s what makes you happy. Or, if you love it, you can dress to the nines. My go to? Combine the two! Wear a luxe nightgown with a fancy jacket (yes, even alone) or cardigan.
This year? I’m undecided what to wear, I’ll be with the family that I’ve been quarantined with- and I’ve had plenty of days where I have been happy to be in sweats. As it is a holiday, and an excuse to go all out, I’m leaning towards dressing up (just because!).
I would love to know: what are you wearing for Thanksgiving?
One thing I really miss in this pandemic time? Street Fashion- both seeing what people are wearing and seeing how people react to what I’m wearing. It’s fashion month again, though this year it’s different. Most presentations are online and open to everyone. Are you watching? I find myself watching some but not all, and of course it always depends on how many zooms I’ve had that day. But I still miss the street style. And since there’s no way to get to see some now, I’m looking back at last year’s street style.
Do you love street style? Getting dressed up yourself? Maybe we could put our own twists on these outfits and walk around in the backyard?
We are in the middle of fashion month: NY, London, Milan, Paris. And maybe that’s not something you really care about, maybe it is. Personally? I love looking at what’s to come. What I love more? The street style. With every fashion week, there are scores of pictures of the people who attend, the people walking the streets, the non-models. Their outfits run from classic to out-there, and for me, provide an endless inspiration. I love “getting to know” these people through the stories they tell with their outfits. From what they wear I can imagine who they are, what they do, and where they shop. As someone who can plan outfits out for weeks, I love seeing people get celebrated for that. (I also love stealing ideas from them).
Below are some of my favorite Street Stlye shots from this fashion month. Let me know: what stories do you see here? What do you want to recreate? Are you an outfit planner? If you knew you were going to be photographed walking somewhere, what would you wear?
I’m fascinated by the stories our fashion tells. What about you?
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Loves, I am a shopper. I love fashion: that it lets you be someone new every day, that it’s a visual playground, that it can speak for you. And I have quite the collection of fashion. This entire blog is based on the premise that fashion is an investment, and that your closet can be an asset. But an idea I’m simply fascinated by? Minimalist Closet. Let’s be clear, I don’t know that it’s completely for me. I love options too much. Although, I have traveled with a minimalist waredrobe and loved it (read about it here and here). Do I think I could give up all my clothes and par down to basics? No. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
But, I do think that what we have in our closets, what we chose to buy, the waredrobe we build should be intentional. What I love about the minimalist closet or shopping approach is the thought: to the pieces, how they fit, what you really need. And while I am in no hurry to turn my closet clean out into a massive purge, I think we can all benefit from really thinking about our clothes. What do we need? What do we wear? How can we mix and match? How can we build a waredrobe that compliments itself? How can I buy the best pieces for me?
I’m clearly not an expert on the subject, but with closet clean out season upon us, I am reflecting on those questions. As much as I love my options, I want pieces that fit together well. I want to curate a closet that is worth something, and easy to live with. Some reading I’ve been doing on the subject: Waredrobe Rebuild How to Become a Fashion Minimalist A Shopper’s Manifesto
Am I taking a firm stance? No. I’m still reading, thinking, in the midst of a closet clean out. And while I know I’m not the type to par down to 10 pieces, I’m thinking about this. I want to try parts of this on and see if I can be a closet minimalist my way. What about you?
I’m a true believer that fashion is a medium with which to tell stories; and, that we tell stories every time we get dressed, or buy clothes. So, it’s no surprise that I’m simply fascinated by what we buy, collect, and hang onto in our closets. These are the stories I love telling!
This month I had the privilege of speaking to Tess of PhoebePhiloFan (she is a must follow on Instagram, @pheobephilofan). Tess is a dear friend, and over the years has evolved not only her personal style, but her collection of one of her favorite designers, Phoebe Philo (when she was at Celine). Tess and I sat down to chat all things Celine, Phoebe, personal style, and more!
IP: What started you on your journey to collect Phoebe Celine? Or, why collect Phoebe Celine? Tess: Well, I got a few of her pieces throughout the years, but recently felt like I have honed in on my own personal style, and this specific era from Celine really represents that.
IP: What would you say your personal style is? Tess: I feel like it’s become more sophisticated and self confident, not as much flashy or showy. I feel like it really reflects my inner self confidence so it’s more about me and less about the clothes–though it is about the clothes! IP: Everytime I see you I feel like you look very chic, but also very Tess. Nothing ever looks like a costume or like you’re letting the clothes wear you. Tess: I feel that for a while I was experimenting, but I’ve always been searching for clothes that really reflect the true me, and through Phoebe Philo I’ve found that.
IP: So where do you find all of these great Phoebe Philo pieces? Tess: I look all over the place. The RealReal, Vestiaire Collective, eBay, local second hand shops like UAL, etc. I find most of it second hand, which helps with cost, but I really look all over. IP: So, how much of your closet is Phobe Philo? Tess: I would say about 20%. I feel like I buy clothes frequently, but I’m now at the point where I would rather buy fewer clothes of higher quality and things that I really love than just whatever is trendy. So, I don’t feel badly about spending a little bit more and investing in her pieces rather than going for the easy, fast fashion pieces that quickly go out of style, or the quality isn’t there! IP: Investment Pieces are something I understand and love!
IP: so, where are you going from here? Is Phoebe something you intend to keep collecting on purpose, or do you see this as an evolution of your own style/wardrobe? Tess: I’ve been through Phoebe and OldCeline, and they really fit my sense of self. So, I would say I’m just incorporating this into my wardrobe, I still buy other designers and pieces, but since I love Phoebe so much will always make space for her in my closet! IP: How has this changed your interaction with fashion and the fashion community? Your account is so beautiful, and you’ve had great engagement. How has this changed your outlook on fashion? Tess: I think it makes me more mindful about the way I shop. Before I feel like I could get distracted by trends, and now I’m following the trends a little less and staying true to my own sense of style more. I’m investing in classic staples, and being ok with that, and then having one or two stand out items. But I now really think more long term when I shop.
IP:So you take all your pictures yourself? Tess: Yes, I do! I love photography too, though I know very little about it, so I’m loving the pictures side of this too, as well as the fashion of course. Actually, one time I was at the graffiti wall in Austin and someone saw me shooting and asked if I needed them to take my picture; and I explained that I love taking the pictures myself. It’s part of the journey for me. IP: You’re so good at it! Taking the pictures yourself is still something I’m working on! Tess: and there are times when I feel bad. Like my husband would take my photos for me, but I really don’t think he gets what I do-I mean he knows it’s important to me, but I don’t know that he would capture the pictures that I’m going for.
SideNote: Mr. PhoebePhiloFan is amazing as well, but yes, I get that!
I just adore Tess of PhoebePhiloFan, her fashion choices, and her fashion philosophy! I hope that you enjoyed this fashion story as well–make sure to follow Tess (@phoebephilofan) on Instagram and I’ve picked out some of my fave Celine pieces for your shopping pleasure below!
What stories are you telling in your closet?
Note: this post does contain affiliate links. While that does not affect the price for you, I may earn commission from them. Thank you for your support! Xo RA
I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about how we will look back at the fashion of 2020. Most houses will not be showing a new collection in the fall, so much of our shopping has become online, and with everyone at home the majority of the time fashion could be anything from pjs to yoga pants to anything you love. There’s a lot of freedom. And a lot of stories.
As someone who deeply believes our stories and our fashions are intertwined, I’m fascinated by fashion history. Yes, it’s a thing! It’s in museums and you can get degrees in it! When I wrote about Dior, you could argue that it’s a lesson in fashion history. Dior’s “new look” defined a period in time. What will this period be defined by, fashion wise? I can’t help but think about this, there are days when I’m dressing up and days when I’m in the same pjs on end. And I’m sure I’m not alone in that sort of dressing. How will we be written about? How should I be writing about it now?
Loving stories means I love history, and in the past few years have led me to develop a deep passion and appreciation for fashion history. I’m not a historian-but I love learning about it! And with all of these thoughts about what the history of 2020 will say, I’m looking back to the fashion history of the 1920s.
Some of my favorite video resources:
(These are just a sampling of what you can find on YouTube. I’ve spent many an afternoon lost in these videos! I high recommend it!)
As a vintage lover, I love the ease of the 1920s, the way that people redefined themselves and expressed that with their clothes. Which brings us back to my question: how will we define this era in fashion history? If you knew that you would be documented would you change how you dress?
I don’t know the answers. But as I ponder this, I can’t help but want to be more intentional with my outfits, even the ones with yoga pants. What about you?
I would love to hear your thoughts, what you’re wearing, and your take on fashion history!
My loves! I wanted to update this: Dior has put their exhibit (with a guided tour) online for free.
My thoughts remain below! Every Friday in quarantine, I’ve been “getting dressed up” and “going to a museum” (aka looking at collections online!). This week I plan on revising this exhibit, and I just might wear Dior to do it! What to join?
I recently had the chance to see the Dior exhibit, “From Paris to the World”, at the Dallas Museum of Art. It’s a must see for any fashion lover, art lover, human lover. The exhibit has been extended to October 27, and you can get more information about the museum and buy tickets here.
Loves, I have to admit that this exhibit awed me. The amount of art (yes. Fashion is art. Couture is one our last artisan art forms.) The clothes. The beauty.
I took so many, many pictures, thinking I would make us a little video. But then I found these and they tell the story so well:
What I would love to share are my take-aways from this art and fashion heaven:
Fashion is Art
Not that I haven’t said this before, but it’s still true. The craft, the workmanship, the art. In fact, DMA showed Dior next to Monets, and Van Goughs.
And while I’ve always been a believer that fashion was art, what this Dior exhibit reminded me of was that it’s ok, more than ok, to see the bigger picture of your clothes. To not just have things to run errands in (also super important), but to have pieces that make you gasp, fill with joy, that are beyond the everyday. That we should enjoy our clothes, and be inspired by them. Both sides of fashion are amazing.
Fashion Tells a Story
Again, not a new thought. Fashion Telling a Story is one of my core beliefs. However, Dior sent that message home for me. Christian Dior was a man who saw women and fashion in a new way, and his vision changed what people wore. We can think of luxury houses as these big brands, but they all started with a story. They all still tell a story. From Christian to Galliano, each creative designer of a house puts their own take on a line, while carrying the story the house was founded on.
And that doesn’t even touch on the stories told in the clothes (like Jennifer Lawrence falling at the Oscars).
This exhibit made me not only want to know the stories of Dior, and wear the clothes, but find our more about the women who wore these stories. From the classics
To the not-so-classic:
I want it all, and I want to tell all the stories.
What about you?
I’d love to hear if you’ve seen the exhibit, your thoughts, and what things you’ve done in Dior!
I’ve linked to some of the books and films about Dior that I’ve either loved or am longing to love! Note: this post does contain affiliate links. While that does not affect the price for you, I may earn commission from them. Thank you for your support!