As we embrace the first glowing days of Spring, I figured this would be the perfect time to pause and appreciate these beautiful flowers.
I actually had the idea for this last summer, but I’ve been saving it for springtime, when it’s sure to be the most inspiring. At first, I imagined I would focus on Japan and Japanese style, because I associate these blooms with that country. However, it occurred to me that you can find cherry blossoms in many other places, and so I decided to take a different approach.
There is something incredibly artful to me about these flowers. Everything comes alive in the Spring; everything buds and blooms, and the world becomes a canvas. The lovely soft pink of cherry blossoms is the most delicate stroke of the paintbrush, a color that is so bright, yet so gentle–you can almost smell the floral perfume just by looking at it.
When I was a kid, I went through that phase where I didn’t want people to think I was “girly.” I avoided anything too frilly, and I avoided pink most of all. I think I just didn’t want to come off as “soft.” And tons of little girls go through that phase (the “I’m not like other girls” phase), so I’m sure plenty of people can relate to this.
(We figured out as adults, of course, that we were doing that because society used the word girly as a way of saying weak or shallow, and we didn’t want to identify with that. That’s on society, not us).
But as an adult, pink is one of my favorite colors. Cherry blossom pink perhaps most of all.
Being soft and feminine is just as much a part of who I am as anything else. And there’s nothing weak about it. Flowers and pastels and frilly things, they aren’t lesser than; they aren’t meant to be looked down upon.
If you’ve been reading my stuff for quite awhile, you know I will do these Spark of Inspiration posts once in a blue moon–just whenever I notice some kind of detail that I want to explore (and see more of in fashion). Cherry blossoms, the flower, the color, pretty much every aspect of them is what we would call traditionally feminine–and that’s probably why I think they’re so lovely to begin with. But there are still too many people out there who avoid things like that, for exactly the same reason I did as a child.
Listen, no matter who you are, if you’re reading this right now, I am giving you permission to explore your “girly” side. Having gentle feelings, enjoying cute things, doing or saying or liking feminine stuff, there is 100% nothing negative about that. And, seriously, if your eyes enjoy the sight of the color pink, you should be able to wear it without feeling weird.
It’s time to think pink. Lovely, floral, springtime pink.
I’m totally on board with just straight up wearing cherry blossoms. They make for a very attractive print.
But I, myself, lean more towards wearing the solid color.
Or you could go in the “pop of color” direction and wear pink accessories, like hats, shoes, socks. Hey, even underwear! Why not?
Bonus: Pink makeup looks cute on all skin tones, so that could be a fun place to start.
In case there was any question, I am speaking to my male readers just as much as my female ones right now. Perhaps even more so. Don’t forget, if Jason Momoa can wear a pink velvet suit (and be smoking hot), you’ve got nothing to be afraid of.
I often say, “I need more pink in my life,” and it’s true. I actually don’t own many pieces in this color, and it’s a shame. The only thing is, not every pink works on me, even if it’s divine on the hanger–the reason being that I have a very fair complexion, and with pink undertones, so sometimes a pink shirt will look great on me, and other times, it will make me look completely washed out.
C’est la vie.
It doesn’t make me want to wear it any less.
All I’m trying to say is that now’s the time.
It’s Spring. It’s Rebirth. Everything is blooming. We should bloom, too! Whether you wear pink all the time or have never worn it in your life, seize the moment! The flowers are out in all their full-blown radiance. It’s nothing new to want to copy them. Humans have been admiring and wearing flowers for all time. Men have been comparing women to flowers for thousands of years (all well and good, but men can be flowers, too).
This is an especially pleasant time to be alive. The sunshine is out, it’s warm without being hot, and Nature is wearing her finery again. Today could be your day to stop and smell the roses.
And to wear cherry blossom pink.
Just to let you guys know, I will be gone on vacation all this week, so there will not be another post next Monday. I’ll catch you up on everything the following week. I hope you’re all enjoying this Spring weather, and as always, I wish you the best.
I had the tremendous privilege of attending a fashion show last week, and right off the bat, I’d like to thank everyone involved, not only for their effort and talent, but also for letting me cover the event as a writer.
It was kind of a dream come true.
Toad Suck Creative is a brand new initiative, born right here in my hometown. It is meant to be a sort of conduit for local artists, giving them a chance to showcase their work, as well as helping the community build a much-needed nightlife. Project Conway was their first event.
And when I saw the theme, I knew it was my destiny to be there.
If you’ve been reading my work for awhile, you know that I am all about the idea of modernizing the Roaring 20s, bringing fashion into what I have called the Screaming 20s. Remember, around the beginning of the year, I reasoned that we should go with the word screaming because it perfectly captures the sense of urgency–panic even–that tends to underscore today’s up-and-coming generations.
(I’m just hoping that if I say Screaming 20s enough, it’ll catch on).
I am so excited to tell you everything that happened!
This opportunity was the closest I ever expect to get to New York Fashion Week, so that is how I treated it. I built an entire outfit around that tiny vintage purse, choosing a solid navy blue blouse as sort of a background for all of its busy embroidery and beading. And I decided that wearing two cameo necklaces made it a Whole Look™.
I spent hours experimenting and fine-tuning every little detail, including delicate navy blue earrings that you probably won’t be able to see in any of these pictures. Those shoes, now they were the choice that really elevated the outfit to a higher sphere, I think. It’s been years since I’ve worn a heel that extreme (and it’s a wonder I could walk), but it was worth it to look a little more haute couture.
I mixed three or four eyeshadows to get the color I wanted–dark blue, but not too blue. And I mixed two different lipsticks. Overall, I’d say my makeup was my biggest Flapper element. Bold, dark eyes and bright lips. I could have done a heavier blush, but I’m always afraid of overdoing that.
The final look, for all my work and attention to detail, was still pretty tame for a fashion event, but that’s just who I am, ultimately. I’m basically incapable of looking “loud.” But I certainly looked like myself, and that’s really the whole point anyway.
(Apologies for not having a better photo of the full look, but I was rushing around and the lighting in my house is truly the worst).
So there I found myself, in the front row of a small and very special runway show.
There were two local designers displaying their clothes: Mac and Van. Both of them are in their early 20s–Mac just finishing up college and Van fresh out of college–and they both made each of their outfits by hand. Fashion design is a seriously challenging art form, and it was incredibly exciting to see the results of their ambition and hard work.
The first lineup was by Mac.
These are just pictures I was snapping along the way. Definitely not professional quality. But you deserve to get a glimpse of it all.
You absolutely needed to see the back of this jacket.
I’m always a little on the fence about denim, but Mac utilized it very well.
This red power-suit look was probably my favorite.
Five outfits in total. All of them unique, interesting, and vibrant with the designer’s personal authenticity.
Six outfits if you count what she designed for herself.
(If she has sparked your interest, you can follow Mac on Instagram: @oh.thats.mac).
Next was Van’s lineup.
The shorts that the young man was wearing looked like shearling-type material, which I had never seen before on shorts. Highly interesting.
The wild sleeves on the young woman reminded my sister and me of Harley Quinn in the new Birds of Prey movie.
I’ve fallen in love with fishnet tights lately (right), and I’m really happy they’ve become a trend.
We got to see this one with and without the jacket, and I’m definitely a fan of the sheer sleeves.
The outfit on the left was my personal favorite of the group. Very sleek. The chain was the perfect touch.
My sister and I couldn’t completely decide if we liked the multi-colored camo pants on the right, purely for the reason that they’re so loud (which means not our style). However, when I showed these pictures to my husband, that was his favorite outfit, because of the loud pants. It just goes to show you that everyone has different tastes–and that’s what keeps things interesting.
Seven outfits altogether, and with a completely different vibe from the first lineup. But perfectly equal in excellence.
He included the medical masks with his outfits to help create awareness about coronavirus–more specifically, awareness about properly educating yourself about coronavirus.
(If Van’s fashion sense inspires you, you can follow him on Instagram: @iamboyperfect).
After the runway show, the designers spent a few minutes in a Q&A. This was my chance to get some specific information for my blog, and luckily I had a question prepared.
I asked, “What does 1920s fashion mean to you, and what is your vision for bringing that forward into the 2020s?”
They each gave their answers, which I took some shorthand notes on at the time, but be aware that I will be paraphrasing what they said, not directly quoting them.
Van: When you think of the 1920s, you think of the dancing, the partying, the writing, all of that culture. When you think of that now, you think of going to festivals, to raves. I wanted my models to look like they just came from a rave.
Mac: The 1920s, that style, isn’t really my style, but I feel very comfortable in the 2020s. I love repurposing clothes, and that’s a big trend right now. For me, it’s about originality, authenticity; two of my grandmothers were seamstresses, and that was very inspiring. I love making something from nothing. That denim outfit that Taylor (model) wore, I made that from four pairs of jeans.
She went on the say that being open-minded, being around people and working with people who aren’t like you, that’s what makes events like this possible. And she’s absolutely right.
I was very impressed with the skill and the professionalism of these two young artists, and I am totally convinced that they have what it takes to make it in the fashion industry.
Special thanks to Fernando (@stepdaddynando), the gentleman in the white jacket, for being the evening’s master of ceremonies. And to Robert (@robtadodactylsaurus_rex), in the blue jacket, for founding Toad Suck Creative and bringing this all together–and for inviting me to write about it.
This experience, for me, felt like I was leveling up. I’ve been a fashion blogger for a little over a year now, but it was always just for me, writing for my own personal satisfaction. This was my first event, my first step into the tangible world of the fashion community. It could potentially lead to other fashion shows, more opportunities to write, maybe even more readers!
Whatever happens, the best part is that I got to have this experience. It was the most fun I’ve had in quite awhile, and it brought all of my passion burning to the surface again–I enjoyed writing this almost as much as I enjoyed the show itself.
Congratulations to Mac and Van, and to Toad Suck Creative. May there be many more events in the future. And count me in for every single one!
As much as I could get behind making life one big party–and dressing as such–I admit that’s not exactly realistic. Even the most vivacious flapper still had to go about the more mundane day-to-day business of living. And so must we.
But even if it can’t be pearls and red lipstick 24/7, it doesn’t have to be dull.
The typical daytime outfit in the 1920s was pretty sporty. Simple dresses (or blouses with skirts), about knee length, accessorized with a cute hat and a short heel.
The cloche hat (cloche being the French word for bell) was exceptionally stylish paired with the lovely bobbed haircut. And this small, sleek accessory is my favorite kind of hat, personally. I like the way it frames the features, rather than overshadow them.
It’s always been my opinion that hats need to become mainstream again, and I’m in favor of bringing back this kind in particular.
Here’s me last year wearing something along the same lines. It’s not exactly cloche, but it has the same effect, and it’s a little more modern-looking. Just to give you an idea.
This, in a very general sense, is what the shoes were like. And it seems to me this would be an easy thing to bring into our modern wardrobes. I love kitten heels. They don’t hurt, and not every step has to be a calculated balancing act.
This isn’t a super casual example, but it’s a really good one in terms of modernization. I’ve mentioned before that if you dress head to toe in the theme of a certain decade, you’re wearing a costume, not an outfit. This woman has the Roaring 20s hair and shoes, and that’s it–those elements are more than enough.
Hello Screaming 20s.
And I think we can all agree. Parasols never should have gone out of style.
This is the accessory we’re really missing. Especially where I live, in the south, where the sun will beat you down before you can say ‘sweet iced tea.’
At the moment, goths seem to be the only ones with the nerve to carry these around, and I think we should all be striving to reach that level of extra.
Let’s normalize the parasol again. Please. We need the shade.
One big element in the Roaring 20s wardrobe was the “drop waist.” This is basically just what it sounds like: whatever would typically be at the natural waistline (like a belt) is dropped to the hips instead. So rather than creating the ever-popular hourglass silhouette, it made the figure look more like a straight line. And as I mentioned in my Flapper Girl post a few weeks ago, this was a purposeful stance against the restrictive corset trend of previous generations.
No more cinching and squeezing to the point of breathlessness. Ladies of the 20s weren’t having it.
Now of course, to pull off that straight line “ideal,” a person would need fairly narrow hips, and that’s not necessarily common. I wanted to point that out, because women are almost always made to feel too big in one capacity or another, and it’s such bullshit.
As you experiment through your style journey, don’t be afraid to try the drop waist look. It will put a lot of emphasis on your hips, and in my own experience, I saw myself in the mirror and thought, “Geez, my hips are huge!” But no, my hips are entirely normal–and even if they really were huge, never fall into the trap of talking yourself down. Whether you like this silhouette or not, that’s just a matter of personal taste–keep in mind, it’s designed to make you look like a rectangle–but loving the body you live in is non-negotiable.
(Remember, Capitalism wants you to hate yourself. Choose love instead–it’s rebellion!)
Not everybody in the Roaring 20s looked like Daisy Buchanan. That would be like saying everybody today looks like Jennifer Aniston.
There were just as many body types, facial features, and financial statuses in the 1920s as there are now.
All of this to say that no style should feel exclusive. I don’t want you to look at the Flapper Girl image and say “not for me” just because you’re a different shape. Shape wasn’t even the point. They were trying to get away from shape.
The measurements on the poster above would only fit a tiny fraction of the female population, no matter what location or time period you went to. And literally no one needs to measure themselves that thoroughly unless you’re getting something tailored.
(Looking this all through, this post has gone from “we could wear these cute shoes” to “body positivity for all,” and well, no regrets).
It is my belief that we should capture the Flapper spirit, regardless of who we are or what we look like. Vibrant. Fearless. Ready to seize the moment. Personally, I find that I can capture this attitude more effectively when I wear elements of the glamorous style of the time. And generally speaking, this post was meant to show you that the glamour doesn’t have to fade when the sun comes up.
And it’s also an excuse for us to look at these cool vintage photos. Real people. Real fashion. They spark more inspiration than any GreatGatsby costume ever could.
I was really pleased with this year’s Oscars, though I will say I was less invested in the nominations this time around. I just didn’t happen to see a lot of the movies. But that’s okay–all the better to focus on the fashion, right?
Let’s just dive right into my lineup, shall we?
I don’t want to be too cliché with the whole “she’s glowing” line, but there is a rather brilliant light around her, you can’t deny. The gown is a powerful shade of red, and I’d describe the silhouette as sort of an amped-up Regency Era style. But it’s really the custom headband that makes it.
Her inspiration for the look was, in part, her heritage. She said on Instagram, “Tonight, I take my own warrior ancestors with me, the indigenous Lenca tribe of Honduras.”
Designer: Alberta Ferretti
Regina often makes my lists, and you can see why.
She made it this time for two very simple reasons: the shape of this dress is perfect, and the color is exquisite.
I am a huge fan of this kind of skirt. It captures the sleekness of a more A-line silhouette, while still qualifying as a ballgown. You pretty much can’t do better than that.
I really like the contrast going on here. Head to toe in Chanel, but still pulling off her signature edge. Billie’s typical style is quite shapeless, and that is also happening. I can’t think of anyone else who could wear this designer and make it look like she essentially threw on a tracksuit.
The crazy black fingernails are certainly the finishing touch.
She’s an unknown to me, but her Oscars look was eye-catching. It’s got a sort of goth vibe, but it’s not necessarily the dress itself that makes it for me. It’s the hair and the statement necklace. All of that together…she kind of reminds me of a character in, say, a 90s vampire flick.
Designer: Thom Browne
I love Laura Dern (so proud of her for winning an Oscar). I love pink and black together. And–the cherry on top–I love tassels.
This dress is pretty simple, but when you get it right, you get it right.
Remember in Ocean’s 8 when a group of women (including Mindy) stole a famous necklace from the Met Gala? Remember how the necklace had its own security team because it was so expensive? Well apparently, Mindy’s necklace at the Oscars was in a similar situation. Wearing over a million dollars worth of jewels with her stunning golden dress, she, too, had to have security for her accessories.
Designer: Dolce & Gabbana
Rebel went full Marilyn Monroe.
What else is there to say?
Designer: Jason Wu
I’m not even sure I can explain why I love this so much. I’m not always a big fan of ruffles or poofy sleeves, but… doesn’t she just look perfect? Maybe it’s the color. Maybe it’s the silvery shimmer of the fabric against the flowery ruching detail. There’s a lot going on, and it’s all exquisite.
Bonus for the gorgeous plunging neckline.
Designer: Elie Saab
If I had to choose just one word to describe Natalie, I think I’d say…rad.
For just this beautiful dress alone, she would have made my list. She looked stellar. But she included a detail which I thought was extremely special–and so her.
Down the lapel of her cape/jacket, the designer embroidered the names of the female directors who had been snubbed for this year’s Oscars. What a statement, and what a fantastic way to draw attention to it.
Rock on, Natalie.
There is scarcely a more beautiful woman on this earth, in my opinion. I’m in awe of Gal every time I see her.
This is one of those dresses that makes you take a second look. In fact, it was a subject of discussion between my sister and I (we watched the Oscars together). But it didn’t take long before we agreed that we did indeed love the dress.
For one thing, pink and black. Need I say more? We also really loved the lace element in the skirt, which complemented all that lace up top. It’s striking and different, but that works in its favor–you never want to be boring on a red carpet.
This is just a big bucket of YES.
Honestly, anything that brings the 20s to my mind is a winner. The color, the beading, the cape-like sleeves, the high slit–every element of this is sleek and refined and completely lovely.
There is just nothing better or more fun than combining celebrities that you love with designers that you love. This dress on Brie Larson is a fine example of why I’m passionate about these big Hollywood events.
Lin-Manuel Miranda and Vanessa Nadal
I couldn’t resist sneaking these two in. Oh my goodness, happy couples on the red carpet are the cutest! Lin is a fave. My heart is so soft for him, and I love that he has a wife who loves him.
But cuteness aside, I consider Lin to be the defining artist of our generation. He has already moved mountains with his talent and success, and I can’t wait to see what else he has in store.
I almost considered this too simple, but of course Taika made himself noteworthy with sheer force of personality. With the humorous severity of his Clark Kent-ish, old Hollywood style hairdo, as well as the fact that he kept over-dramatically posing, I could not ignore him.
But who would want to ignore this treasure of a man anyway? I have loved everything I’ve ever seen him write/direct. He has this style that is at once manic and meaningful. Overwhelmingly funny, but with depth. I couldn’t have been happier about his Oscar win, nor could I have imagined a more perfect acceptance speech:
“I dedicate this to all the Indigenous kids in the world who want to do art, and dance, and write stories. We are the original storytellers, and we can make it here as well.”
Margot has a gorgeous intensity as an actress, and I watch her with great enthusiasm.
This dress has just the right amount of je ne sais quoi. If it didn’t have those dramatic sleeves, or if it didn’t have that big medallion detail as a centerpiece, this wouldn’t have made the cut. At its most basic, it’s nothing more or less than a simple navy blue dress. But much like a chef adding one more pinch of salt, the designer had the right instincts about how to make it just right.
(If you haven’t seen Birds of Prey yet, go see it. She was the producer for that movie, and she is the ideal Harley Quinn).
This is an up-and-comer that I have a good feeling about. (His big break was, in many ways, thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda, and I love it when one artist’s success nurtures the success of others).
I don’t know if this was his first red carpet, or if this is just the first time I’ve spotted him, but he wasn’t boring, and that’s what matters. That kingly jeweled thing hanging down his chest (which I do not have a word for, sadly), is what secured his space on my list. It has letters on it, but I couldn’t find what they spell out…and I can’t tell in any of the pictures. (Hey, if any of you know, leave a comment and tell me).
Even still, he looks regal AF, and I’m all about that.
Designer: Dolce & Gabbana
In my heart, no matter what roles she may play, Julia will always be Elaine from Seinfeld.
Going with a simple but timelessly sexy navy blue number, she definitely caught my attention. Honestly, it makes me immeasurably glad to see her looking so good. I’ve always had a nostalgic attachment to her, and I was a little scared when she got breast cancer a few years ago.
Some people just continue to glow up as they get older, and I consider Julia to be one of those people.
Designer: Vera Wang
I had to save the best for last.
I don’t usually choose favorites, but this gown is everything. Head to toe sparkles is already exciting, but then that hood? Oh my gosh. It’s chic, and on top of that, almost… otherworldly. Like, I feel like I could see this dress on Star Trek, and it wouldn’t be out of place.
Janelle is a fascinating and incredibly beautiful person. And their voice…I was totally blown away by their opening performance.
Live long and prosper, Janelle.
Designer: Ralph Lauren
Sigourney Weaver’s dress at the Oscars didn’t quite make my list, but I just happened to find a picture of her at the Vanity Fair after-party, and…
Oh my God, if she had worn this suit to the Oscars, she would have been right at the top of my lineup. I don’t think she’s ever looked better. I don’t think a suit has ever looked better. Ugh, it’s perfect!
Designer: Yves Saint Laurent
As always, I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. Of all the events that I cover throughout the year, I think the Oscars really is my very favorite, and I’m so happy to be able to share my thoughts with you.
We all have our favorite Super Bowl halftime performances. Mine is Lady Gaga’s from a couple years back. But this one, performed by Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, is absolutely in my top 3.
What a show. What a grand spectacle. They blew my mind, and then kept blowing it.
MIAMI, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 02: Singer Jennifer Lopez performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
The sheer athleticism it would have required to do the things they did on stage… To put it in perspective, Shakira is 43 and JLo is 50. I’m 26, and I can’t even touch my toes. And on top of it all, they are singing! Not to mention, several seamless wardrobe changes in the midst of everything. Shakira started playing the drums at one point. I haven’t seen such a fun (and physically demanding) performance in a long time.
All I can say is, the longer the show went on, the more I wanted to celebrate them. I was so impressed.
But that’s not exactly what this blog post is about…
Before the show was even over, it was deemed a controversy.
And I’m not just disappointed.
I am furious.
The reactions from a lot of men were already gross, and not because they found the show sexy, but because they immediately tried to condemn JLo and Shakira for that sexiness.
And I definitely was mad about that. I was mad at a couple men I was watching the show with for making comments along those lines.
But that’s Patriarchy 101. A hint of arousal, and they point an accusatory finger. As if women are conspiring with their penises, working against them to make them feel sexual feelings–and then force them into sin. (If you think I’m being dramatic, a man tried to sue the NFL, claiming the halftime show was keeping him from heaven).
Also, I shouldn’t have to explain this, but if you’re a man who doesn’t have a toxic view towards women, then I’m not including you when I say “the Patriarchy.” And you ought to know that.
Men are not mindless, sex-driven animals who can’t control their actions. Which is exactly why people like Mr. Halftime-Made-Me-Horny-And-I’m-Gonna-Sue are so ridiculous.
And why people who victim-blame are so horrible.
But I covered that general issue in my witchcraft-themed post a few months ago. Associating the female body with temptation and sin is exactly why a bunch of women were called witches and murdered back in the day (and why women keep getting murdered now).
But you know whose voices were a lot louder in condemning this year’s halftime show? The voices of women.
When a woman is viewed fundamentally as a sexual object, then your respect for her becomes conditional. If she’s wearing clothing that you consider modest enough, if she’s moving or speaking in a way you consider ladylike enough, then she gets to be treated with decency. If not, then that decency can be retracted at any time.
When a woman subscribes to this ideology, there is a term for that.
It basically means that she gets validation for fitting into a certain mold–she’s considered a lady; she’s modest enough; she’s whatever the Patriarchy deems respectable for a woman. And when another woman doesn’t adhere to that mold, she’s among the first to point a finger and condemn. If another woman gets slandered and punished, she’s in the crowd cheering, because it means even more validation for her through comparison.
“I’m not a slut. I’m not full of sin. They are! They are!”
To all the women posting on Facebook about how they were “so proud” that their teenage sons walked out of the room during the halftime show, congratulations, you’ve already successfully taught your children to objectify women’s bodies. And when they get older, and ultimately feel natural sexual urges, they will blame and hate the women who “made” them feel that way.
I want you to look at my face as I say these things, and as you process what I’ve said so far.
The truth is, I naturally fit into a pretty typical mold–there’s nothing risqué about my usual style, and I’m fairly quiet in general. I believe the average person looks at me and thinks, “I bet she goes to church.” And I tend to get respect. Overall, I’m in a prime position to point my own finger and act disgusted because Shakira was belly dancing.
But I know very well that the approval of the Patriarchy is arbitrary. Because it’s not meas a person that’s getting the approval; it’s my looks and my behavior. If those things changed…
Look at my picture again. What do you think it would take? If you saw my bra, would you lose all the respect you ever had for me?
What if you saw my nipple? Would you spit in my face?
When witches were getting burned, you know what would often happen? “Respectable” women would accuse other women. They’d raise suspicion against their neighbors and get more innocents killed, and it was the same principle.
“I’m not a witch. I’m not evil. She is! She is!”
And sitting here, putting these thoughts together as a writer, there’s only one word I can really think of that describes someone like that.
And to those of you out there who have been saying that JLo and Shakira were hurting Feminism by being so sexy, you’ve still missed the point. A woman has every right to sexualize herself. She gets to make that choice, because it’s her life, and it’s her freakin’ body.
This isn’t offensive. This isn’t objectification.
Bullshit like this is.
That woman in the picture isn’t expressing herself. She’s being used as a sexual prop to sell chips.
There’s a massive difference. One that everyone needs to recognize.
I haven’t even mentioned the rich cultural significance of this show.
The Super Bowl was in Miami this year, the perfect location to showcase Latin American pride. JLo, who is of Puerto Rican descent, wore a reversible Puerto Rican/American flag for part of her performance, drawing attention to the fact that Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory. Joined by her daughter, singing “Born in the USA,” it was a very definite statement that Puerto Ricans are Americans, too.
Shakira was born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia, and she is also of Middle Eastern descent. The belly dancing was a nod to her Lebanese heritage, as well as the “weird tongue thing” she did. Accompanied by a high-pitched cry, this is actually called a zaghrouta, a traditional expression of joy and celebration. And the “stomping dance” she did was the Champeta, a tribute to Afro-Colombian culture.
I myself wouldn’t have recognized any of this; I don’t have any experience or background in these things. But I was so pleased to learn about it, because it means that their amazing show meant even more. It made a lot of people feel seen. And so on top of it being a wild, exciting performance, it was an electrifying tribute to Latin Americans everywhere. Led by two extraordinary women.
And hey, you know, maybe I’m wrong. After all, there have been plenty of other sexy performances in other halftime shows. Maybe the people dragging JLo and Shakira aren’t a bunch of sexist assholes.
Maybe they’re just fuckin’ racists.
If you lift yourself up by pulling other people down, leave my page and don’t come back. This blog isn’t for you. Bigots and bullies aren’t welcome here.
I created The Makings of a Queen to explore my interest in fashion and personal expression, and the underlying theme has always been to encourage others. I believe in spreading the ideals of self-love and self-confidence. I talk about experimentation and authenticity–finding what makes us happy, what makes us feel good about ourselves, and paying it forward.
Tearing people down for the way they present themselves goes against everything this blog was built on, and I think it would be pretty spineless of me not to address this. Women have to stick together–I won’t shirk my responsibility on that front.
I’ve said what I had to say. I won’t be taking it back.
Have an empowering week.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive/dangerous situation, you can reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling 1-800-799-7233 or by clicking this link.
Since this is (what I have proclaimed to be) The Screaming 20s, and since I love the idea of echoing the 1920s in modernized ways, today I’d like to go into the Flapper.
What kind of woman was she, and why should we revive her?
First, a little context:
Here’s a general example of what fashion was like in the decade before. It’s basically what the Flapper was trying to get away from. Long, tedious layers, a tightly corseted waist, voluminous hair piled atop the head, and a big, cumbersome hat. As a modern viewer, I can say that this look had its own charm, but it wouldn’t be much fun in a practical sense.
Look at this in comparison. The contrast is drastic. Much shorter skirts and sleeves, no corsets (no emphasis on the waist at all), and particularly short hair. And this didn’t just happen. It wasn’t a mere whim of style.
It was purposeful, active rebellion.
The Flapper Girl was boldly “unladylike.”
She smoke; she drank. She wore red lipstick and dark eye makeup. She stacked her jewelry, danced at wild parties, and kissed before she was married. Vivacious and outspoken, she became the glamorous ideal of the decade–that’s what she is to us.
But like I said, it wasn’t a flight of fancy for these girls. It was a social movement, a gilded protest against restrictive clothing and restricted bodily autonomy. It was feminism.
The hair was a big part of it.
Even now, in my own personal experience, I have been told that “boys like long hair.” Doesn’t that just make you wanna chop it all off? Well the Flapper did it. Bobbed short and sharply styled one way or another, this is a highly recognizable element of the 20s era look. For them, it was nothing short of a political statement.
It was a bunch of women and girls saying, “I’ll do what I want.”
And you can tell it met with disapproval by just looking at the passive aggressive heading on the poster above. “If you must do it, show this to your barber.”
The Flapper was sexy. The glitz and sensuality were deliberate choices.
Any movement that involves women reclaiming and owning their sexuality is important. It’s intrinsically linked with feminism, fighting against the still-relevant problem of objectification. This idea that there is only one way a woman can be (if she wants to be treated with decency): a “lady,” a “good girl,” perfectly meek and modest, wholly without physical desires, and waiting to be demurely guided through life by her husband. Stepping outside that box, she’s “ruined,” as if she’s a broken plaything and not a dynamic, soul-having human being.
Fuck every inch of that.
I think it was tremendously clever to rebel by having fun. These women made it all the rage to get dolled up and go have a ball, and they were participating in an important social protest at the same time. That’s why I think we should revive the Flapper Girl attitude. The same causes are still in need of fighting for. But why shouldn’t we bring optimism and joviality into the mix? My generation could stand to have a good time. You know it. I know it. We’re grinding; we’re trying our best, but it can feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders.
I’m not suggesting we be irresponsible. I’m saying that we deserve to get dolled up and gohave a ball. We’re grown. Nobody has any business telling us what we can’t do.
Shake off the shame.
Even right here in the newly fledged 2020s, women are constantly taught to associate their bodies with sin and guilt. It’s wrong, and disgusting in its prevalence. Time to drink a Cosmopolitan and Charleston that shit right off.
The Flapper, donning her pearls and her dancing shoes, essentially said, “You can see my shoulders and knees. I’m not ruined. You can kiss me if I think it’s fun. I’m not ruined. I can get drunk. I can dance all night. I can take risks. I’m not ruined. I’m a person. I’m not ruined.”
This is what I want for us. I’ve realized that feminism, and every single other human rights movement, will always have to be fought for–both to gain freedoms and to maintain them. We have no choice but to rebel in one form or another. But I don’t want that to mean a lifetime of cynicism. I don’t want any of us to lose our spark.
I think this boils down to self-expression in the end. As in, you should be able to present yourself in any which way you please, as a free individual. I know that it’s a lot more dangerous for some than for others (so make your own personal judgments for your environment and please be as safe as you can), but at the same time, have your fun. Choose the clothes you like, the hair you like; get the piercings you like, the tattoos you like…Anything and everything, it should all make you feel happy. You deserve to take up space and be your own self.
Haters don’t want you to have fun, so have it for spite if necessary. That could be your act of rebellion–your inner Flapper Girl coming out to play.
Look at me. Look into my eyes right now.
You’re beautiful precisely the way you are in this exact moment. You are a fully whole, complete human being, and you deserve to have joy in your life. Not just basic respect and decency, but joy. I mean that, and I won’t stop meaning it.
Looking back, I realize that I neglected to do one of these seasonal trend posts for Autumn, which is a shame. But, here we are now, and there are plenty of popular Winter items to explore. This happens to be one of the most fashionable winters we’ve ever seen, if you want my opinion, and let me tell you why…
It’s the most neutral color in existence, and it has taken the world of fashion by storm. Over the course of several months, I’ve watched beige go from a cute novelty to an overwhelming mainstay.
All neutrals have gained massive popularity the last couple seasons. Mixing beige with white is a very common palette for outfits now. It’s an aesthetic that I never would have expected. I used to associate neutrals (especially beige) with blandness and boredom. A few years ago, I don’t think I would have liked the trend of being neutral from head to toe.
But I get it now. Neutral is classic. It’s neat and clean. It looks good on anyone at any time. And there is actually a boutique near where I live that completely revolves around that ideal.
The store is literally called Beige if you’re interested.
Short Chain Necklaces
Here’s model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley sporting a couple of good examples. Whether you prefer gold or silver, this style of necklace might be a worthwhile investment. They look nice with the low necklines she’s wearing, but a lot of people are wearing them with cozy sweaters. It’s pretty sexy, either way.
I spent a little of my Christmas gift card money the other day and got myself this one. Like I said, pretty sexy.
This kind of pattern is popular on sweaters, but especially popular on jackets. And bonus points if it’s vintage. You basically want to look like you found this item in your grandmother’s closet. In Arizona.
The 70s are still with us in a lot of ways, and this is one of them.
Simple Gold Jewelry
I got these photos from @wish_with_itar on Instagram. It’s a lovely aesthetic page.
Gold and silver will always be the mainstays, but gold is pulling ahead this season. And it’s because it happens to go so well with beige. Simple classics are pretty much all that matter right now.
A gold ring or a little pair of gold hoops–you’re going to look chic in this stuff, whether you’re 16 or 96. It’s sophisticated. It’s timeless. You couldn’t get it wrong if you tried.
Sometimes these come in neutral, sometimes not, but the stripes are usually an odd assortment of colors. Occasionally, they don’t even seem to complement each other (and yet somehow it still works).
I’m not entirely sure how this trend emerged. Stripes have always been chic, but wide stripes seem fairly new. Is it a modernized version of something from the 70s? A different decade? I couldn’t say. But I will always approve of stripes.
The photo to the left I got from @fashioninflux on Instagram.
Round, rectangular, or what have you, a simple pendant is all a necklace needs these days. They can be any length, but they’re usually medium, and an especially trendy way to wear it is one or two of these delicate necklaces paired with a big sweater.
Things are fairly minimalist all around this winter, and it’s been very enjoyable.
Showing Some Ankle
Even now in the heart of Winter, the ankles are still out. The big thing of the moment is skinny jeans, either cut off or rolled up. Just this minute, looking around as I’m sitting in the coffee shop, I’ve already spotted four or five people wearing their pants this way. Even those who aren’t wearing skinny jeans have rolled up whatever they’ve got on.
Don’t ask me why this has become such a popular trend, but it’s been developing since last summer, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it last well through the summer to come.
Animal Print Accents
With maybe a couple of exceptions, I have never been a fan of animal print. Especially leopard–I always found it gaudy. But the first time I saw someone wear a fully neutral outfit with a pair of leopard print slippers (and this was last year), I considered changing my mind.
That was the start of what was to become an enormously fashionable trend. If you’re entire look is centered around a beige palette, a bold pair of shoes is a great way to give it a little something extra.
There’s a perfect movie quote for this, too…
That one’s for you, fellow Birdcage fans!
Remember the little ankle socks that were meant to be completely invisible? I don’t think anyone’s wearing those anymore. Nowadays, people want their socks visible. This applies to all socks, even plain old white gym socks (which I never would have expected, but hey, trends surprise me all the time).
The really chic way to do it, though, is with fluffy winter socks. With your short boots, with your sneakers, whatever. It’s a good chance to experiment–and a good way to stay warm (if you happen to find it too cold for bare ankles). I, myself, need to try this out. I have a pair of short boots, and plenty of fluffy socks that I never wear.
Cold weather is fleeting, so don’t delay.
This is a pretty wild trend to develop right alongside the popularity of beige. But I do actually know how it happened…
Shopping vintage is huge right now, and that will always be a wildcard, because there’s never any way to tell what you’re going to get. At a vintage shop, every single item is one of a kind (and almost never simple and modern). It’s a little like a treasure hunt. And people find some pretty crazy stuff.
I’m really pleased that this happens to be so popular with my generation. Wearing old/used clothing is the fashion equivalent of recycling. It’s better for the environment, and it’s more sustainably sourced. We millennials try to be conscious of those things, and I’m pretty proud of us.
And since both ends of the spectrum are chic and trendy right now (full neutral and absolutely insane), this is a great moment in time to wear 100% whatever you want. Feel like shaking things up with your personal style? Trying something totally different? Do it. Do it today.
Experimentation is a big part of growth. Trying new things, seeing what you like and what you don’t, that’s how you become who you are. Finding a style that makes you feel confident is what fashion is (or should be) all about. That’s what I believe, and that’s why I write this blog.
There are enough varying awards shows every year that I have a hard time knowing what they’re even for. To my understanding, the Golden Globes celebrates both film and television, and that’s about all I know.
It’s not impossible that someday I might make a new blog and switch from fashion to film. But in the meantime, I’m in it for the couture.
As you know, I don’t make these lists in any particular order. It’s just whatever I consider the highlights of the event. So without further ado…
A personal favorite, without a doubt.
This is exactly the sort of thing I look for on the red carpet. It’s the perfect balance of stately elegance and reckless abandon. It grabs your attention while still being easy on the eyes. With some kind of blouse, this ensemble would be kind of boring, but instead she is wearing a silver rope harness and nothing else under that blazer, and…consider me wowed.
This was one of those dresses that I had to look at for a minute to decide if I liked it. That shade of green is almost jarring. But I ended up liking it a lot. The silhouette, the fabric, the sort of corset look of the bodice, it all works. As for the colors, green and black made for an interesting choice, because they’re “villain” colors (a theme utilized especially by Disney through the years).
But you know what? I love me a good villain. And I have nothing but respect for Charlize.
Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas
That pink. It looks completely amazing on her. Every detail is pure elegance. And Nick wasn’t just an accessory. His suit had that unique double-button design that I love, and he finished the ensemble with a bolo tie.
I’ve said before, it’s more of a challenge for men to change things up. Most of them still wear very classic suits, which of course is still handsome and chic, but playing it safe is no fun.
Kudos to these two for rocking the carpet as a couple.
Designer: Cristina Ottaviano (hers), Prada? (his)
Billy makes my list just about every time, and you can see why. He made history with his tuxedo dress last year, and he keeps making an honest effort to surpass himself. This time he went with an angelic feather train on an already stunning white suit.
I applaud this man. He brings it hard. No one can argue that.
Designer: Alex Vinash
She is one of my favorite models at the moment. Striking in all the right ways. And wearing a black dress covered in sparkling silver fringe, she definitely embodied the spirit of the “flapper-girl,” which is just what I long to see here at the start of the Screaming 20s.
The elements are simple, but the vibe just gives me everything I want.
Designer: Laquan Smith
Adam Driver and Joanne Tucker
My heart is so soft for these two. Adam Driver is my favorite actor, hands down; I can’t even begin to describe the level of his talent. He and Joanne have been married for seven years, and they seem so happy together–which makes me happy.
Arm in arm on the red carpet, they both looked classic and chic.
Designer: Burberry (his), Burberry? (hers)
Helen Mirren is everything I want to be. Period. And she brought all her usual glamour and sophistication to the Globes this year, wearing a sweeping, dark red ballgown. Her jewelry, her hair…every last detail is perfect. I absolutely worship her.
I love suits on women.
I’m actually not very familiar with this actress, but she’s on my radar now. What can I say? It’s just the perfect suit. The pattern, the cut, everything is so well-fitted and stylish. Totally sexy. It’s something I’d love to wear myself.
Designer: Ralph & Russo
This man certainly isn’t afraid of fashion. He never fails to combine Hollywood glamour with his signature rock n’ roll style, and he just radiates masculine energy. I especially loved his accessories this time around, and I am hugely impressed and pleased that he was wearing a tank top under his suit jacket.
Designer: Tom Ford
Another stunning woman in pink. It was just the winning color that night. That wonderful, feminine, bubblegum sort of pink. And on a darker complexion, it pops in such a remarkable way. I also love how the fabric twists together at the front of the dress.
Tiffany Haddish is such a fun and engaging personality, and she looked outstanding.
Designer: Galia Lahav
I wouldn’t be surprised if there have been plenty of child actors who walked red carpets of the past, but I myself had never seen one. Adorable Julia is another actress I don’t really know, but she looked completely lovely, and my heart was immediately stolen seeing a ten year old in haute couture.
The flowing tulle ballgown, decorated with flowers and velvet ribbons, made her look like a true Hollywood princess.
Kit Harington and Rose Leslie
What a gorgeous couple. Certainly one of my favorite Hollywood romances, these two fell in love as co-stars on Game of Thrones, and they had a beautiful wedding in Scotland the summer of 2018.
They made a very attractive pair as Jon Snow and Ygritte, and they continue to fan that flame here and now in real life.
Designer: Yves Saint Laurent (his), Elie Saab (hers)
You may or may not know, but this is the actress who plays the shield-maiden Lagertha on the show Vikings. As in, my personal hero and queen. If you missed it, I did a couple of posts about that character (and why I love her) a few weeks ago that you could look back on.
She’s badass in the real world, too. She earned her first black belt at age 13 and has been teaching Taekwondo and self-defense to other actors for many years. As far as I’m concerned, she is a shield-maiden both on-screen and off.
Red is a good color on her.
Designer: J. Mendel
Hear me out.
If your gut reaction to this is “bleh!,” you’re not alone. I, too, looked at this dress and felt a sudden revulsion. Particularly, I think, because it’s brown.
This is such an odd choice, but upon a closer examination, I actually began to appreciate it. The ruffly, Victorian silhouette is getting noticeably popular among celebrities right now–sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s a difficult thing to pull off. The reason I believe this one works is because of its sheerness. If it wasn’t so sheer, it would be 100% ugly, but as it is, it acts like a frame for Gwyneth’s stunning form. She herself is unmistakably beautiful, and she was able to showcase that in a fun way in this dress.
Even if you don’t agree, you have to admit, it’s an eye-catcher, and that counts for something.
Elton John and David Furnish
What’s cooler than a fashionable pair of husbands?
I’d say the easy winners of the night were David’s floral suit jacket and Elton’s ridiculous sunglasses. Nobody can pull off ridiculous sunglasses like Elton John. They looked fabulous together. I love it when couples rock the red carpet side by side.
Now here’s a talent I really admire. Kathy Bates is an incredibly powerful actress, and I think she’s pretty underrated. Her career has been amazing, especially in the genre of horror. I’m too much of a pansy to actually have watched any of her horror films/shows, but I’ve glimpsed enough to tell you she is legitimately scary.
She looked absolutely wicked on the red carpet. I couldn’t have chosen a better style for her.
First off, if you’re struggling to pronounce this Irish actress’ name, don’t worry. I did, too. It sounds like ser-sha, if I’m remembering right.
And if you’re thinking that her dress is noticeably plain compared to most of the others on this list, you’re correct. It’s very simple. Maybe even overly simple. But…
It has that 20s feel to it that I’m just so obsessed with.
Anything that encourages the Screaming 20s vibe is alright in my book. I want to see more of it. Much, much more. Bring me modern-day flappers in every shape and form. Plenty of people are on board with bringing the 20s full circle, but it needs to be put into action. It needs to blow up.
Saoirse seems to have the spirit.
As a quick note, I want to point out that any time I put question marks (???) where a designer’s name ought to be, it is only because I genuinely cannot find it. And believe me, I look. Sometimes, nobody seems to know who a certain actor/actress is wearing. It’s frustrating, but well, c’est la vie.
In any case, I hope you enjoyed my lineup for the Golden Globes this year. Reviewing celebrities wearing haute couture is literally one of my favorite things to do.
If you know me, you know I’m not a big traveller. I’m a homebody, and so is my husband. To us, the best part of every trip is settling back into the comforts of home. But…
I’ve been fortunate enough to get quite a few travel opportunities, both last year and in the year to come. And of course, I want to share those experiences with my readers. I’ve just returned from our latest trip, and luckily I did find the time to type this up before the week was over.
Eureka Springs is about a three hour drive from where we live, which isn’t that bad, though it’s sort of tucked up in the mountain, so the winding roads can get a little steep. Greg’s mother sent us on this trip as a Christmas present, so a loving shoutout to her!
We stayed at the Crescent Hotel, and apparently it’s one of the most haunted locations in America. I’m not here to disprove that, but I will say that whatever’s haunting it is perfectly non-threatening. It’s over a hundred years old, so everything creaked and groaned, just like any old building would, but we had an exceedingly pleasant stay. The staff was very friendly, the amenities were excellent; it was in every way a luxury hotel. I’d recommend it to anyone.
If you ever find yourself staying there, definitely go on the ghost tour. It’s not scary–you could even take your kids if you wanted to. And whether you have any interest in ghosts or not, you get to learn a lot about the hotel itself, which has a long and fascinating history.
Okay, rewinding a bit, Greg and I arrived at the Crescent in the middle of the afternoon. I chose to wear my brightest red sweater, and I accessorized with gold. And as a major bonus, I washed my hair that morning and it actually dried into nice, manageable waves (which it almost never does), and so I felt comfortable leaving it down the whole day.
Behind me in that photo is the jacuzzi, which was a lovely surprise when we got to our room.
Speaking of our room, it was spacious and clean, but as you can see with the exposed brick and everything, they’ve fully embraced the antiquity of the place. This picture is taken from the point of view of the bed–you’ll notice my boots there as I was lounging.
The fireplace in the lobby was very inviting on such a chilly day (we forgot our jackets), and just in case you still feel uncertain about haunting spirits, the hotel has a resident feline keeping an eye on everything. I felt nice and safe with him around.
The hotel actually offered a shuttle service that would take us pretty much anywhere we wanted to go downtown, and we learned right away to trust the recommendations of the drivers. Greg and I had picked out a restaurant for dinner beforehand, but it was actually closed. Instead, our driver took us to Local Flavor Cafe, and we could not have asked for a better dining experience.
This was one of the biggest highlights of our stay. We got to have a romantic, candlelit dinner. The food was so fresh-tasting and delicious. They had a really good drink menu (which we could fully enjoy since we didn’t have to drive). And because we were visiting Eureka Springs in the off-season, there were no crowds; everything was quiet and relaxed, everywhere we went.
I went in a sort of nerdy goth direction on the second day. That shirt was a Christmas present from my sister–it’s merch from The Mandalorian (the latest Star Wars show). I’ve just now taken to wearing long-sleeved shirts underneath novelty T’s, a look I should have adopted ages ago.
That morning, we had a spa treatment booked. I have to extend my compliments to the New Moon Spa at the Crescent Hotel. As new guests, we had free access to the outdoor hot tub, which we soaked in for about 20 minutes before spending the next couple hours getting massaged out of our minds. At the start of a new year, it was definitely worth investing in some quality stress relief.
Greg and I then spent the whole afternoon walking around historic downtown. Eureka Springs is a colorful and interesting place to explore. Even with many shops and eateries being closed for the season, we found more than enough to keep us entertained. Tons of small, local businesses for us to patronize–we brought home a small hoard of knick-knacks and treasures–and food and drink were never in short supply.
After grabbing some dinner at a pub, we meandered to the Basin Park Hotel, which is apparently the sister property to the Crescent. We had heard that there was a bar at the Basin Park, so we decided to have a drink before calling the shuttle to take us back. Every bar I’ve gone to in the past has been loud and crowded–not my scene. But this one was very quiet and low-key, exactly the kind of bar environment I’d always wanted to visit. Greg and I sat shoulder to shoulder and had a couple drinks each, just chatting and laughing and being good company for one another. I’d count it as possibly my favorite part of the whole trip.
You’ll notice I made the exact same pose in the mirror for all of these pictures. Don’t be surprised. When I like something, I don’t strive to make changes.
I wore a reddish-pink sweater that day–with the word L’amour across the front. I like to wear a choker with this outfit, as well as a pair of subtle, rose gold earrings (which you probably can’t see that well in this picture unfortunately).
Greg wasn’t feeling too great that morning, so we packed up, had breakfast, and headed straight for home. It was just as well, since we wanted to get the long drive over with. But reflecting back on everything, we had a lot of fun on our little adventure, and some much needed quality time.
The holiday season, for us, was very busy and, in some instances, stressful. Disappearing together into the Ozarks for 48 hours was exactly what we needed. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
I was a little torn about my subject for this week’s post, because it’s a brand new year. A brand new decade. So, shouldn’t I be looking firmly ahead and writing about the things to come? On the one hand, yes. Absolutely. It’s time to move forward, now more than ever before.
But on the other hand, I feel like this ought to be just as much a time of reflection. We should look back, if for no other reason than to see how far we’ve come.
Just going off of pictures I’ve snapped along the way, here are my highlights of 2019:
I debuted this look in January, and it remains one of my best. The hat is actually sort of old, and I have no idea where I got it, but the crazy thing is, as much as I talk about loving hats, I almost never wear them. Clearly, I need to do better about that. Every time I go for it, it’s a big hit.
The stripy top is actually a bodysuit–currently the only one I own. Essentially, that just means it fastens on like a bathing suit, which means it stays securely tucked into your pants and can’t ride up. Super convenient. I ought to get more. This particular one came from, I believe, Forever 21.
The pants I’m wearing in these pictures don’t fit anymore, but the next time I wore this outfit, it was with my new high-waisted black jeans, which look and feel awesome.
Lastly, I love long necklaces, and you can see how well this one tied the look together.
You deserve to see the shoes, as well. They were a Christmas present last year, and I don’t see them going out of style anytime soon.
This look, from February, is in every way subtle and soft. The simple blue sweater I’m wearing is cashmere, and it’s perfectly complemented by that short, delicate necklace. My hair was still very long then, so I had it in my signature side-braid, which covered one ear. Hanging from the other is a small, light blue earring. And of course, you can see that some blue is left in my hair.
Blue is definitely my color.
This outfit is comfortable and relaxed, with just the right amount of polish added by my makeup.
Another February outfit. If you’ve been with me since the beginning, you may remember the post that I did on “edgy florals.” This is definitely that.
I love that floral sweater to begin with. It’s really unique, and it’s got some edge all on its own. The leather jacket is just the cherry on top.
One more from February. Apparently, I was on fire that month.
This is just a plain, long-sleeved black shirt, dressed up with a vivid splash of color provided by a purple scarf. I’m also wearing a pink cameo necklace. Lovely lovely lovely.
This is also the first appearance of that almost wing-like style of eyeshadow I’ve adopted. I don’t know what gave me the idea originally, but I think that day I just decided to see what it would be like if I swiped some color up from the corner of my eye to my brow.
The rest is history.
Here was an interesting experiment. This picture is from March. I remember I was trying to build an outfit around that crystal necklace, which I had just gotten. You can see that it’s not your average necklace.
I’m happy with the way it ended up. Against a simple, dark blue turtleneck, it made for a striking statement piece.
And I decided to make it even more eclectic by wearing only one dangling earring, with just a black stud in the other ear. I admit, I’ve definitely been into asymmetry a lot this last year.
Speaking of asymmetry, I feel really good about this outfit, too. The black and white cold-shoulder top is highly chic, and back when I was wearing my side-braid all the time, I enjoyed putting an attention-grabbing earring on the other side.
If you’re curious about what’s on that necklace, it’s a tiny silver arrow.
This one is probably going to be a lifelong favorite. Every single element is some shade of blue. I wish I had a photo of what the outer kimono fully looked like. It drapes over my shoulders and down my back, hanging past my knees.
That necklace is also special. It’s unique, and I can’t wear it with just anything, but it’s so beautiful to me. It was a birthday gift from my mother-in-law.
Nothing just out-of-this-world about this outfit. I’d consider it one of my most casual looks. But these pictures represent a huge milestone of 2019.
Just before my birthday, I chopped off all my hair.
I don’t know why I felt like a change, but after around five years of keeping it long, and I mean long, suddenly I just didn’t feel like it anymore. I said goodbye to the sexy side-braid and hello to sweeping it out of my face with a clip, like you see above.
It was a big difference, and it definitely influenced my looks for the rest of the year.
I can’t say I excel at full-body shots when it comes to taking pictures of myself, and that’s on me. All you can really glean from this photo is that I got some barrettes and managed to put them to good use.
I wanted to include this picture anyway, because if I were to nominate one for Best Photo of the Year, it would probably be this one. My makeup, the lighting, everything just came together perfectly. I didn’t even use a filter on this photo, which is not usual for me. But for once I didn’t feel it was necessary. I just didn’t need the extra polish that time.
Maybe it was the after-birthday glow.
Bonus for the classy shoes I was wearing at the time.
This is a good representation of my general style after I cut my hair. It looked like this nearly every day for months. Cute though, right?
And any day I’m wearing my Ravenclaw merch is a good day. House pride!
Moving into April, this was certainly one of my most powerful looks of the year. So witchy. So mysterious and beguiling.
The solid black top was nicely accentuated by my silver jewelry, and of course the hat sealed the deal. (We all need to be wearing hats way more often. I want them to become a fashion mainstay again).
Looking back is making me realize that grunge was starting to creep into our lives as far back as last Spring. This cold-shoulder top certainly reflects that. The first time I wore it, someone asked me if I’d made it myself–I did not, but it looks like I did, doesn’t it?
Like blue, grey is a color that suits me well. And it’s probably the color I wear the most, now that I’m thinking about it.
I definitely embraced Spring 2019 more than I ever had before. More pastels, more soft florals. This “wildflower” t-shirt was a birthday gift, and I enhanced it…with a bee!
That pin is a brooch that my grandmother gave me. Honestly, I can’t say I ever expected brooches to be part of my repertoire, but this really works.
We’re in May now, and here we see that winged eyeshadow come into play again. Pink and black are two very different colors–that happen to complement each other sowell. And to finish the whole look, I’m wearing gold accessories.
There’s a lot of boldness going on here, and it just freakin’ works.
This outfit was an experiment, and pretty much the equivalent of writing Springtime across my forehead.
The top is intensely floral, and I’m even wearing a flower necklace, but I feel like I still managed my signature “edge” by also wearing the choker.
This picture could honestly be a contender for Best Photo of the Year. The whole color scheme is cool and vibrant. Purple is an excellent color on me, and one I need to wear more of. And that was when I first got my beautiful crescent moon choker.
As a side note, chokers drift in and out of style all the time, but either way, I really enjoy them. If you do as well, don’t give too much thought to whether they happen to be popular in the moment. Popularity is ever-changing.
This is about the time I started to recognize the value of tops with higher necklines. I have a particular love for very short or very long necklaces, but the truth is that most of them are medium. And maybe I’m just being finicky, but I like my jewelry to lay either on my skin or on the fabric, not right on the cusp.
I have always enjoyed a low cut. I’ve never been afraid of a little cleavage. But with necklaces like the crystal one I’m wearing above, I think they get more of their deserved attention against the backdrop of my shirt… I hope I’ve explained that alright.
Gorgeous necklace, and I’m all about that color on me–the dark, sort of teal blue. I look great.
I took that winged eyeliner idea in a rather striking direction with this look. I went with red, which is not in any way a subtle color.
It’s a power color.
The outfit is black, the accessories are gold, and you may notice that I tried out a bandana in my hair, which I give myself a big thumbs-up for. My eyeliner is also a bit on the heavier side.
Some days, you just want to look like you’re ready to kill a man. Nothing wrong with that.
Moving along into June means full-blown Summertime, and I utilized tank tops to a much greater extent in 2019. I definitely went all out with this one.
This was my only clothing purchase from my trip to Universal Studios. It was in the gift shop at the end of The Mummy ride. It was just so me, I had to get it. And with gold accessories and braids on either side of my head (which you unfortunately can’t see very well), this was a vivacious look for the start of Summer.
We modernized the 70s in a big way over the summer. I think my best contribution to that trend was this outfit. Those suspenders were one of my most quality purchases. Not only do they just look straight up cool, but they’re vintage, and I bought them locally.
Suspenders are sexy; I’ve always thought so. I’m sure to get all kinds of enjoyment out of them in the years to come.
Speaking of sexy, this outfit has so many good elements for such a simple look.
A fantastic combination of “edgy florals” and “fandom fashion,” this tank top has a flowery image of Boba Fett, from Star Wars. And I can see that I’ve been wearing plenty of black over this last year, which I’m pleased about. I love the contrast against my fair skin.
By the time July rolls around, things have gotten too hot, and it’s only going to keep getting hotter. I don’t know why it’s taken me this long in life to feel comfortable showing more skin, but I love the way I did it with this outfit.
A simple front, an open back. Very stylish.
Bonus: that necklace I’m wearing is actually a bracelet that I unfurled and turned into a loose choker. Look at me go.
I liked this picture enough to use it as my Facebook profile for nearly six months. It’s a very neat, polished look. I remember I was really into Crazy Rich Asians around that time… I don’t know if my style here is reminiscent of that, but it was probably what I was trying for. Everyone in that movie looks amazing.
I’d potentially give this second or third in the Best Photo of the Year competition.
As much as I enjoy wearing black at every turn, I’m not above giving in to the blinding sunshine and wearing light colors. This cream-colored…vest? I’m not sure what to call it. It’s a sleeveless cardigan basically. Does that make it a vest? Anyway, it’s something new I tried over the summer, and it’s a good look for me.
And you notice, I also made use of that odd crystal necklace again.
The perfect outfit for a typical Southern heatwave.
I don’t know why I waited until I was 26 to start wearing crop tops. I’m sure that if I went into the psychology behind that, it could be a post all its own. But for now, I’ll just say that I’m glad I wear them now.
And this one was a great place to start. Beautiful color, beautiful design. I love owls!
In August, my sister and I went on a short family trip to New Hampshire. Some of you may remember, I did a couple posts about it. This black jumpsuit was the outfit I went with for our little day-trip to Boston.
As of right now, this is my only jumpsuit, but it’s another genre of clothing that I should probably get more of. Jumpsuits are a good combination of functional and sexy, and they look good on literally everyone.
I wasn’t sure about this look at first–mostly because I chose to wear my hair fully down, which I’m never totally comfortable with for some reason–but I got a really positive response. The top is definitely cool. I’d never seen anything quite like it. It’s covered in penny-farthing cycles.
It was one of the items I brought home from New Hampshire.
We’re in September now, which would make you think that the heat would start to wane. A little bit, at least. You would be wrong.
With this look, I was being very purposefully monochromatic: white with black accessories. And then you can see I added a pop of color with the pink lipstick.
You can see my desire for Autumn coming through strongly here.
Orange is not a color I wear much of. I usually avoid warmer colors, especially yellow, because I just don’t feel like they complement my skin tone very well. Sometimes, though, I can make an exception. This sort of dusky orange works fine.
And it’s my husband’s favorite color, so of course I should wear it occasionally.
October finally came, but it remained 100 freakin’ degrees for several more weeks. So this was me giving the summer look one last hurrah before I started wearing long sleeves.
I do not wear dresses very often. This might actually be the only time I did all year. I just like pants better, rain or shine, hot or cold. But if the mood does strike me, this kind of 70s-looking one suits me well. With some nice sandals and a pair of hoops, I couldn’t go wrong.
I love black and white stripes, and I discovered that this top looks great tucked in. I remember just feeling particularly good about myself that day.
That’s the key, of course. This might not be a super special outfit…but when I look at these pictures, the feelings come back. I felt so cute, and I recall that it was a really pleasant day. Good feelings and good memories are the whole point. What’s fashion for otherwise?
Another crop top moment: goth edition.
As you can probably tell, I got this at the Hard Rock Café. And that necklace I’m wearing contains an actual preserved spiderweb. I purchased it locally. Small businesses make such fascinating things!
I’m so happy that I got on board with the boyfriend shirt trend. This look is cozy and relaxed, and I love the coloration of this one in particular.
I bought this one at the same time. They’re both vintage and equally stylish. All of my boyfriend shirts are from American Jane Vintage, right here in my city. This one has an especially 90s vibe.
I love the current blend of comfort and style. Fashion shouldn’t hurt, despite whatever you’ve been told.
A quick shoutout to our looks for Halloween!
I think Greg and I really captured the essence of who we are this last year. Don’t we make a perfect match?
By November, it was finally cold enough to wear heavier materials. This sweater-poncho thing is one of my very favorite pieces, though I only get to wear it maybe like once a year. (I really wish it could be cold more often).
If I wear a hat, it’s making the list. It’s such a rare thing.
I always feel like I’m somehow overdoing it–I like to look good, but not necessarily draw a ton of attention to myself. But every single time I swallow my inhibitions and wear the dang hat, I get compliments left and right.
Don’t be afraid. Wear the hat!
This was my Thanksgiving Day outfit, and it’s definitely going to be one of my go-to looks in the years to come. Greg got me that grey lace cardigan, and it goes so beautifully with a slightly darker grey top. My crystal necklace is the perfect finishing touch.
Sometimes things just come together like it was destiny. This is one such instance.
We’ve reached December.
This was the outfit I put together for a combination Thanksgiving/Christmas family party. The dress was a gift from a previous Christmas, and I remember at first I thought it was just some overly plain brown dress, but it’s cashmere, and I quickly realized that you can’t go wrong with a neutral color.
The belt was something I added on the fly. I used to wear a wide black belt with this dress, but it didn’t fit me anymore, so I dug this flowery metal chain belt out of the back of my closet. I’ve had it for years…never wore it before. But, like destiny, it happened to look amazing with the dress.
I don’t own a lot of purple, and even less dark purple. If I come across anything in this color anytime soon, I’m gonna buy it. This is the only top I have that I feel truly coordinates with this particular choker–but I realized when I wore it that it’s a little small on me now.
C’est la vie.
But in any case, I got a lot of positive feedback about this outfit. Dark purple is sexy.
This was my look for Christmas Day. The main focus was the makeup, since my clothes were rather understated. A red lip and the latest appearance of my drastic winged eyeliner, featured for the first time in grey. The rest of my outfit was a simple grey and black.
I had a much bolder outfit in mind, but that morning, my husband gave me an incredible pair of earrings that I wanted to build my look around. I’ll hopefully talk about them more at a later date.
To paint a little bit of a picture for you, I showed up to brunch that morning with this face. Everyone else was in pajamas. That should give you a good sense of how I do the holidays.
Lastly, my look for New Year’s Eve. My look to bring in the Screaming 20s!
I’ve been showing interest in the 20s aesthetic for a long time now, and last Christmas, Greg got me this flapper dress. With a long strand of nice faux pearls, an ornate headband, and black net stockings, I did everything in my power to embrace the vibes.
Take this as proof that I am fully committed to the Screaming 20s theme. Follow my lead! I think we can make this upcoming decade something unforgettable.
I hope you enjoyed this. It definitely made me grateful that I started snapping pictures of myself over the last couple years. Say what you want about selfies, but if I’d never gotten into the habit of taking them, there’s so much that I would have forgotten: experiments with outfits, with hair, with makeup. I grew a lot in 2019, in terms of style and maturity, and I’m happy that I get to reflect on that.
People will tell you that taking pictures of yourself means you’re self-absorbed, but geez, I think that’s pretty harsh. When you grow old and want to look back, you’ll want those selfies then.
Here’s one more, and with no makeup whatsoever (which goes to show that how we look is way more about good lighting than anything else. No need to put a lot of undue pressure on ourselves).
And just in case, I want to let you know that I may or may not post next week. I’m going on vacation, so I don’t know yet if I’ll have time to write. If I don’t, no need to be concerned. I’ll return promptly.