Another look from Sun Valley featuring Madewell denim.
In all honesty, this post is really just about the jeans. I’ve discussed these boots to death, and you’ve seen this incredible bomber before. And the background? It’s our very very cute Airbnb – The Lodge in Sun Valley – but clearly the pictures are not about that either.
It’s rare to come across a pair of jeans that manage to make you feel like so many different people at once, all the while making you feel 150% you.
To name a few of the personas I can take on while donning these jeans: western cowboy, 70’s groupie, Americana enthusiast.
But here, I’ve chosen to dress up as the me persona – a questionable mix of urban street and west-coast-retro casual.
Check out my last post for an intro into my 6 States, 6 Days series to stay in the loop!
So on our last day in Sun Valley, I told myself: “Enough is enough, I need to put on a cute outfit to feel like myself again!”
I don’t know how you guys feel about this – but when I travel, I want to romanticize everything about the adventure I’m on. I shamelessly want to feel like my trip is a beautifully shot film, and I like to dress accordingly. So on a road trip, especially a road trip to the outdoors-y destination of Sun Valley, you can see that I would run into some trouble.
The main conflict, of course, is where practicality and my personality collide. My romantic imagination would prefer to wear a flowing midi dress on a nature hike where reality needs me to wear hiking clothes and a baseball cap. I had to accept that my fashionable movie moment just wasn’t going to happen on this trip – and after a short internal struggle, I accepted this whole-heartedly.
I accepted that for parts of the trip, the romance lay within the nature I would be viewing. How I remember those precious moments will not be tainted by the heinous athletic clothing I chose to wear. But I still made time for the moments I needed to feel like myself and exist by my own rules, and these photographs capture those moments where my last post’s photographs did not.
(It’s no secret that off-the-shoulder shirts are 110% on trend right now.)
I read an article on Man Repeller (a personal favorite source of up-to-date fashion information and inspiration) the other day, and as I clicked out of my browser, I was left with a sour taste in my mouth. The gist of the article (I will spare you having to read it) is that off-the-shoulder shirts are gone, even faster than they arrived. Not only that, but there were undertones implicating that if you were seen in one, it would be damaging to one’s image should they consider themselves to be part of the fashion world.
Things that are trendy are trendy for a reason. I’ll bet that the author had plenty of off-the-shoulder shirts stashed away in her closet being a writer for Man Repeller, and she even expresses her remorse for losing the spark.
So why should I be embarrassed to wear a piece that too many people can relate to?
I happen to know the answer – because people are obsessed with the idea of being original. As soon as the famous girls of Instagram have caught on to a trend, the trend is dead to anybody remotely involved in the fashion industry. I too have caught myself gagging at pictures of girls at Coachella wearing trends I once cherished (cue Sunhats and crochet crop tops).
But in the last couple of months I have reached a conclusion that comforts me in this era of “fast fashion.” Be yourself. Being original isn’t about wearing something nobody’s worn before. It’s about wearing something like nobody has before.
Aspiring towards being one-of-a-kind means you’re just going to have to try a little harder. Take those trends you love and make them your own. Nobody can emulate the exact way you tuck your shirt or tie your laces.
Maybe what I tasted was bitterness after heavily investing in this trend only to realize it was already over. But I like my off-the-shoulder shirts, my 70’s suede boots, and my cropped flare jeans. So I will wear them, and continue to wear them, regardless of the implications on the sartorial image I project.
I call this post “Intro to Spring” as if May wasn’t coming to a close right now. But the fact is I haven’t posted any outfits for this glorious sartorial period of time we’re in! I love spring because you get the benefits of wearing jackets but with outfits that encompass all the inspiration and excitement of summer.
This look, for example, makes a strong nod to the warm weather when you break down the individual pieces and ignore the dark color story. The shirt dress, the cropped suede jacket, and festive backpack all point towards a look for running to work in June. But the darker tones bring it back to the winter period we just came out of.
Taking this compromised approach creates a lovely harmony of feelings towards the way I dress during this time. Nobody can quit jacket season cold turkey, but you also get so inspired by the season that you can’t help but to throw on a dress instead of those same jeans you’ve worn for the past three months.