Happy Tuesday everyone!
I hope you’re having a great start to your week. It’s been 3 weeks since I’ve posted on the blog (my apologies) but I’ve been super busy with work. Since the last time I posted, I got hired as a stylist at J.Crew and I’m loving it! It took a good week or so to get used to the schedule and the pace but I think I’ve found my groove. And the best part is that I get to style people and play with pretty clothes and shoes all day long as my job…yay!
Although my professional experience was in corporate finance, I had been trying to get my foot in the door as a stylist at a brick and mortar store for the past year. I kept working my corporate job to pay the bills but I wanted to transition my career to the fashion industry because it truly is my passion. When the perfect storm of me moving back to California happened, I decided to use that as my chance to put 100 percent of my focus on trying to make my stylist dream a reality. And although it took 2 months for me to get hired, it was worth the wait. Yes, there were days where I got frustrated and wanted to give up. And did I almost fall back on my corporate experience and get another “safe” job? I definitely thought about it. Yes, I am good at analyzing data and building models in spreadsheets but just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean that it should be your career. I just had to trust God’s timing and sure enough, it was perfect. God will grant you the desires of your heart.
When it comes to my personal style philosophy, I have the same approach. I love fashion with all of its trends that come and go. But just because something is in doesn’t mean you have to or should wear it. There are some trends that I embrace because it’s easy for me to incorporate them into my current wardrobe. White shoes? Love them. Overalls? Definitely. I’ve said this on numerous occasions because it’s true. I don’t shop a lot. But when I do, I shop using “the rule of 3”. Whenever I pick up a clothing item off the rack, I have to think of three things in my closet that I can wear it with. If not, I don’t buy it – no matter how inexpensive it is or whether it’s on sale. No exceptions. I also prefer separates over dresses. I like to be able to mix and match different pieces in my closet to get the most wear out of them. My tops should work well with both skirts and pants. Don’t get me wrong, I do love dresses and I own a few. But versatility comes first in my fashion rule book so I’ll buy a skirt over a dress any day.
Personal style should also be unique to yourself but identifiable to others. And just like you mature emotionally and physically, your personal style matures and evolves as well. If you would have told me that I’d dress the way that I do now back in college when I literally lived in Abercrombie tees, skinny jeans, and Havianas flip-flops (and I switched to Ugg boots in the winter) I would have laughed at you! I also think that I dressed the way that I did when I was younger because I was trying to fit in. As I got older, I stopped caring about whether or not I was wearing what everyone else was wearing and focused more on wearing what I liked. I have never been the biggest fan of wearing color (you can ask my mother if you don’t believe me) so I decided that I wasn’t going to – unless it was a piece that really knocked my socks off. I prefer to add my pops of color with accessories because I find it to be the more versatile way to add color to my wardrobe. But me choosing to wear mostly neutrals was a personal choice. If it’s not your thing, that’s perfectly okay. Do YOU boo.
Another personal style philosophy of mine is that you should be comfortable in your clothes. If you don’t like skin-tight jeans, don’t buy them. They’re just going to sit in your closet unworn and that’s even worse because you’re wasting money. Again, just because it’s “in” doesn’t mean you HAVE to wear it. And while we’re on the subject of comfort, we need to talk about how clothes fit too. I’m 5’2″ so I’m going to talk about my shopping experiences from that perspective for a bit (no offense to everyone else). For all of us short ladies where everything is too long for us, I would suggest finding a good tailor (or if your dry cleaner does alterations) to take in your blazers and shorten the hems on your pants. Or ask if the store carries petite sizes. They may only carry petites online but it doesn’t hurt to ask. I trust my dry cleaner to do all of my alterations for me because she’s really good. But if I buy something at a department store like Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus, they have in-store alterations. They will send the tailor up while you’re in the fitting room and take the measurements. And depending on their workload, you can have your pieces tailored in less than 24 hours. I got a pair of flare jeans altered in 2 hours once! It is an additional charge for the alterations of course but given how much you’re spending on that pair of designer jeans or that blazer, adding a few extra dollars to the grand total to have it fit YOU perfectly is well worth it.
If you’re in a rush, just flat-out impatient, or don’t want to spend $20 altering a pair of $30 jeans, I’ve got a few tips for that too. There are certain brands that carry short inseams. My “perfect” inseam length is either 28 or 29 inches. Hits me right at my ankle which is perfect for my heels and flats. Forever 21, DSTLD and Topshop carry jeans at those inseam lengths. Another tip is you can cuff the hems like I did here. Depending on the length of the jeans, I do either a single or a double cuff. I did a single cuff with this look since these are already ankle jeans on me. I didn’t have to roll them up but I think a cuff adds sophistication and polish to a casual look. And it makes your jeans look expensive (even when they’re not). Finally, you can cuff inward and not expose the hem. If you’re wearing something dressy and don’t want the exposed hem look, this is for you. Cuff the hem under once, pin it with a safety-pin, and then roll it again to hide the pin. You won’t have to worry about the pin showing or your cuff coming undone all night long!
Photography: Ben Decastro