Fashion musings, Outfits

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One of my favorite nuggets of fashion wisdom came from a magazine (Allure, maybe?) years ago, when a model-of-the-moment was asked for her best piece of advice for looking confident. Her answer? “Never look in a mirror.” It may have been intended as a tongue-in-cheek statement, but what if it were taken literally?

If there’s one thing Paris taught me, it’s that looking effortless goes hand-in-hand with feeling effortless. And after a month of being mirror-handicapped, I think there might be something to be gained from losing the mirror.  I’ve always considered it an integral part of the daily dressing routine–hell, I even named my blog after it. But what I’ve often found is that relying on a mirror is a slippery slope that leads to nitpicking every detail of an outfit, and it isn’t too long before you wind up with the sartorial equivalent of an overly botoxed face.

Now that I’m back in the presence of a full-length mirror, I’ve found that I’ve gone right back to seeking its approval before heading out the door. I’ve kind of even considered getting rid of it. I’ve tried self-imposing a ban on using it, though like a toxic on-again, off-again relationship, I inevitably find myself right back in front of it again. And you know what? My outfits haven’t been that great, or at least I haven’t felt as great in them as I did when I was dressing without a mirror. I think this might be because the mirror shows all of the possible worst case scenarios. Having scrutinized my outfit from every angle, I know all of the things that could go wrong with my outfit, like if my shirt comes untucked here, it’ll look more Hannah Horvath, less Hanne Gaby Odiele.

Dressing in front of a mirror is, quite literally, dressing to be seen. But if style is all about confidence, and confidence comes from within, shouldn’t feeling good in an outfit be enough to take that blind leap of faith out the door? And really, what does a mirror know about style, anyway? Does it have pattern-clashing credentials? Does it even know how to pronounce Balenciaga?  After all, if the end goal is effortless, I can’t think of what action throws caution to the sartorial winds more than saying “To hell with it!” and heading out the door with none of the usual visual affirmations a mirror provides, but with all of the comforts of knowing you feel good in an outfit fully intact.

I trust my gut to make most of my decisions, anyway, so why shouldn’t some of that same responsibility carry over to dressing?

As per usual, this post contained more questions than answers, and now I have one (or two) for you: do you rely on a mirror to get dressed in the morning? Or, have you made like Samantha in the first (and what arguably should have been last) SATC movie and eschewed them from your routine entirely? Tell me–I’m dying to know your morning routine. How you like your eggs, fried or fertilized? 

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Fashion musings, Life Interludes, Outfits

From Palms to Paris

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Faced with the seemingly insurmountable task of fitting a month’s worth of provisions into one suitcase, all within the confines of the indubitable 50lb weight limit, I decided instead to apply the procrastinator’s motto: Why do today what can be done tomorrow?  [Editor’s note: It is now tomorrow, and my suitcase still has yet to see the light of day.] I then redirected my energy into more present efforts, namely, this outfit.

No, I didn’t go to Coachella, but that hasn’t stopped my outfits from slowly morphing into Coachella look-alikes. Never has a music festival been so relevant to personal style, specifically my own, and this year it seemed particularly pertinent. I would have given an arm and a fringed kimono to go and see the style alone. I’ve even started experimenting with putting jewelry on previously uncharted territory, in the form of upper arm cuffs and knuckle rings. Knuckles and biceps are just as deserving of metal- and jewel-encrusted love too, right?

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Recent find during a thrifting adventure. I still hold that Maine has the best thrifting/antique selection of
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These past few weeks have been eventful, to say the least. It’s been a period of old endings, new beginnings, and plenty of adventures, and with any luck, it looks like my next few months will be filled with the same. It’s been time to reconnect with the past, and, equally as important, reconnect with the present. My new year’s resolution this year was to have adventures, and it’s shaping up to be a year filled with them. Change is in the air and I’m not complaining. It’s spring, baby, and I’m alive.

Alt-J has been on repeat for a solid week now, and they’re rapidly becoming the main (well, and only) artist on my pre-summer playlist. Check out their song Taro with a s-s-sick video below:


And with that, I’m off to Paris for the month, though I may pop in for one last post before I leave. Although I foresee a photo diary of sorts upon my return, if you’re looking for more immediate gratification, follow me on Instagram @becckitt. Expect copious pictures of macarons.

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Outfits

Tigers and Cameras

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Me and DvF, #casual

Although this blog was not founded on the basis of stellar photography (cue the images of flash reflections, duck faces, et al conjured by the Google Image search “mirror shot” [sidenote: I’m not hating; many of this blog’s page views owe themselves to that very set of search terms.]), after reviewing a few images of a past outfit and realizing all of them were either a.) out of focus, b.) obscured by the dirt on my mirror, or c.) unusable due to an awkward face on my end (hint: that was all of them), I decided an overhaul to my photographing process was in order. I’ve now graduated to the much more sophisticated model of propping my camera up on the shelf in the bathroom, balancing the lens on a tube of toothpaste, setting the self timer and sprinting to the other side of my room, making it just in time to be captured mid-pose, and ultimately having to repeat the process. After a few series of click-and-repeats, the results were much more viewable than before (see above). I’m still working on the less-awkward face part.

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Detail shot: Both vintage, one conceals a hidden pen (can you guess which one?).

These pictures also serve as evidence that no, I am not over my hat phase yet. The ratio of my outfits worn with hats to outfits sans head ornament are tipping rapidly in favor of the former. I’ve even developed an instinctual hand-to-head reflex every time a gust of breeze blows by, prompting such helpful-after-the-fact comments from strangers as, “Hold onto your hat–don’t let it fly away!”

I haven’t decided yet if wearing a hat at night is on the same level of sketchiness as wearing sunglasses at night, because hats, much like sunglasses, were presumably created to shield one from the sun, and nighttime is noticeably lacking in UV radiation. Thoughts? Sketchy, or just cool enough? And one last question–is it just as much of a douchebag move as wearing glasses without a prescription? OR is that cool too now? I’m so out of the loop.

Later, as the temperature dropped in response to the impending daily Florida afternoon rainstorm, I threw on this bad boy. Or, should I say, bad boys, culled from the museum of my life that is Instagram (@becckitt, follow for a good time). In this shirt, Maison Scotch takes the classic Angel/Devil on your shoulder routine and refreshes it by turning them into angry embroidered tigers.

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They have yet to dispense any advice, adversary or otherwise, but I’ll keep you updated if they do.

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Outfits

Hat Tricks

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After a recent hour-long binge of scrolling endlessly through the Tumblr pictures resulting from a tag search of “Jessa GIRLS”, coupled with a serendipitous encounter with a hat similar to the one worn by the girl in the aforementioned pictures, I bought my first hat.

And I’m glad I did. Despite the loss of my peripheral vision, I’m adjusting to the new requirement of having to turn my entire head and sometimes entire top half instead of simply glancing with my eyes just fine.  The resulting look is part Jessa, part Zorro, but that’s a hybrid I’m willing to live with.

Save for the furry and oft-earmuffed versions reserved for colder weather, I haven’t stuck my head into the world of millinery before, and frankly I’m not sure what took me so long. Given my laziness penchant for letting my hair go au natural for a few days at a time, a hat serves as the perfect cover up. And if you need to take the hat off for any reason, never fear: everyone will be so distracted by the hat head that any less-than-clean roots will likely slick by unnoticed. [pun intended.]

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The second main point of the post is this: I got me some ombré, hombre. Although it is difficult to see considering the progression goes from blonde to slightly blonder, and it requires a prompt something along the lines of, “Hey, did you notice the ends of my hair are lighter since you saw me last?” before anyone notices. I like to think it’s a sign that it looks natural rather than a sign that my hair is exactly the same shade that it was $65 ago.

For the record, let it be stated that my recent foray into the world of headwear does not have any connection whatsoever to my haircut recently being named one of the worst of the century. Can’t win ‘em all.  (But seriously, has no one seen a fully executed mullet? The Google image search alone is the stuff of nightmares.)

Lest you think the title of this post should fail to deliver, my hat goes off to you, see GIF below. Have a great Easter Sunday, or just a great Sunday.
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Outfits

Can I kick it?

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While it is a universal truth that I’ve never met a shoe I didn’t like, sneakers have always been a particularly difficult genre for me to embrace. Straddling that fine line between too casual and too cool, I typically go the route of avoiding them entirely. When Isabel Marant first released her now-infamous wedge sneaker a few seasons ago, at first I was incredulous–why try to make a casual shoe dressy? If I don’t like sneakers to begin with, why would I want more of them, particularly when that extra sneaker is unequally distributed into the heel area?

Although I swore them off for as long as I could, I knew it was only a matter of time before my initial [intense] hatred subsided and transformed into a full-on obsession. And obsessed I was, until I met similar knock-offs in Target the other day. Left with the exciting prospect of experiencing the thrill of a $640 shoe for the low cost of throwing down $35, throw down I did.

This, of course, set off a wave of sneaker-inspired outfits. Jeans and T combo needing an extra kick? Add some high-top Bensimons. Skirt too dressy? Add some furry leopard print/black patent combo sneakers, complete with a zip closure, because laces are so last season. This provides an explanation for the outfit below, cue photo:

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Despite the lack of leg movement, now’s your chance to answer the question this post is begging to ask: Can I kick it?

***DISCLAIMER: I may or may not have been listening to Wu-Tang Clan during the making of this post.

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Outfits

Cut It Out

Recently I’ve noticed an increase in strategically cut clothing in my wardrobe. One explanation might be that trading out the climate of Maine for that of Florida has led to creative innovations with my clothing, in which cut outs become something closer in kin to air vents, and less of a fashion statement. However, while climate certainly plays an important role in wardrobe choice, there may be another force at work, that force being the one that asserts the position that sometimes wearing a garment with cutouts is simply much more fun. Below, a series of photos:

From the top: A traditional black dress becomes a dress with a view of the shirt underneath when a window is installed into the back. The next features a romper with legs, or a jumpsuit as it is otherwise known. This one hails from Free People and also happens to have a drop crotch, which is either intentional or due to a poor fit, I can’t decide. Lastly, a dress that is no stranger to this blog shows off its many, many cutouts while also functioning as an effective air conditioner. And although these three looks center around the cutouts of the clothes, it should also be pointed out that sometimes, the best cutout is the one on your head.

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Outfits

One Dress, Two Ways

 

One dress, two ways, or in other words, the outfit I liked so much I wore it twice. The first iteration dabbles in the skant, with a pair of jeans underneath the dress.  In the second, the skant makes itself scarce and the outfit becomes less tap dance performance, more  fashion show appropriate with the addition of ankle boots. A leather jacket toughens up the look, and my face becomes somewhat of a kaleidoscope with face paint courtesy of Tawney’s Body Paint at last night’s SoLily Glitterama Fashion show.

In the last photo, you may notice a toolbox in the lower left corner. This is because I spent the majority of this past week building a loft, realizing it was built backwards and thus was structurally unsound, slept in it anyway for two days, then finally took it apart and reassembled it the right way. I’m not a carpenter for a reason. My weekend of woodworking aside, however, how was your weekend? Did you undertake any big projects? If so, here’s to hoping they went right the first time.

Want more? Read my recap of the SoLily Fashion Show here.

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