I learned a lesson with this post.
Sometimes things that look good when I test them at home don’t look so flattering behind a lens. Case in point: these jeans and this top.
Maybe the jeans are a skosh too tight, and the shirt should be shorter or longer, since at this length it cuts me off in the middle and hides my waist. I find figuring all of this out—the logic/science behind what makes an outfit “look good"—fascinating. Like here (and in many cases), how important it is to emphasize our waists—and what a difference it makes when we do (or don’t!).
By the way, I’m obsessed with these gold-plated rings by Gorjana. The one on my ring finger above and below is the same ring, one side says “NYC” and one says “Cali.” They’re pretty much everything. I also got a similar style that says “Au revoir” on one side and “Hello” on the other. Love them so much!
Back to those style rules. On the other hand, there are plenty of hardcore trendsetters that would argue things that aren’t flattering can look especially cool. Yep! Like this and this. And like all that gorgeous but over-the-top runway stuff that you see and wonder, Who could walk down the street wearing this and look normal?!
There are so many rules about what is flattering and what’s not, what’s showing too much skin and what’s too covered up, that it gets overwhelming. Makes me want to throw my hands up in the air and just wear what I want without worrying that all metals are matching (earrings, bag, zippers), if horizontal stripes make me look wide, whether a certain look is unique enough, etc.
That’s why street style is so fun, and perfect for inspiration—there are tons of models, bloggers, and stylists who solely follow their own rules and instincts. And that’s key. Going with what you like and what you think looks good on you, regardless of what guys or girls or your friends will think. Wear what feels good to you.
Certainly that means taking risks, and sometimes looking back at an outfit and thinking, How did I ever think that looked good on me?! But that’s how you learn and really hone in on your style as you get older, maybe even develop a go-to “uniform.” You figure out what’s "you"—and what you wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole (for me that’s preppy, oversized button ups and Uggs, respectively). And hey, maybe you’ll find in a few years you end up eschewing that look that was so you and grabbing the accessory you never thought you’d wear. That’s how style works. It’s ok to change it up, try on different “costumes”; I still get as excited as a kid playing dress up when I’m brainstorming a new look.
As for Coachella, you’ll see all kinds of crazy styles from this year’s festival, like Rihanna’s ripped purple fuzzy coat, matching lipstick, and crazy pink flower power combats boots! Granted, she’s Rihanna. But who says you can’t grab a bit of her funky look, or whoever your go-to Coachella style setter is (there are so many!), and incorporate it into your outfit this weekend. Even if it’s a flower tucked behind your ear, an arm full of silver bangles, or some groovy shades, it’s an extra boost of fun to your day.
Here’s to making it yours, and owning it.
Photographs by Tom Schelling.