We know how personal style works: you see someone on the street who has put him or herself together in such a way that either pushes you into an existential criss (“WHY HAVE I NEVER THOUGHT TO WEAR A SHIRT LIKE THAT WHO AM I?!!”) or, alternatively, inspires you (calmly) into a state of wardrobe reconsideration. It is so nice when that happens. It’s like someone was reading your mind that morning and knew that the same old same old just wasn’t doing it for you.
But then sometimes, something else happens. Sometimes you get the sartorial equivalent of an earworm stuck in your head. A little wiggle of an idea that you just can’t seem to shake. And often you don’t even know where it came from. I don’t know why but I suddenly want to wear a shirt dress with backless loafers and my hair parted into a low bun; I haven’t a clue where this came from but I need a smoking jacket to pair with grandpa slides. And I’m feeling raffia.
The cool thing about this is that it makes The Outfit or The Style you’re envisioning feels a bit more personal. It’s your idea as opposed to an interpretation of what you saw in a Tommy Ton photo — not that that’s a bad thing! Because how else is anyone in this world supposed to get dressed?? — but it came from your subconscious. You drew the picture first.
The problem with this idea of the subconscious idea is that if it is indeed in your subconscious (last time I say that word) it means you saw it somewhere else, far away, when you weren’t paying enough attention to grasp the details.
Like for example, that smoking jacket situation. What goes with it?
But therein lies the fun. The party. The part-y where you get to lie on your belly at home or pretend like you’re doing work and scour through the vast pages of the Internet with good music playing until you find enough viable options to actually make the outfit in your mind come to life.
And that way, once you see what you’ve come up with, that mysterious earworm starts to make itself a little bit more clear.
There’s very obviously an Italian woman in my cart — one who I saw once upon a time. Or perhaps she’s a culmination of women, and men, and movies I’ve seen and photos I’ve come across. But, then again, once I make this happen and get dressed, maybe she will become me.
Whoa. Did your brain just explode? No? K. Just tell me what’s in your cart.
Collage by Emily Zirimis.