On the cusp of every fall season, a weird, itchy feeling lodges itself inside the pit of my stomach and takes the shape of a question: What kind of person do I want to be right now, and how will my clothes articulate her?

Okay, I guess that’s two questions, but you know what I mean. There’s something about back-to-school time that carries an ingrained urge to question my identity, and my style along with it. Even more so than January, September feels like a blank slate — or rather, a laboratory stocked with empty test tubes, ready for experimenting.

It’s exciting, but it’s also a little unsettling because the answer to these questions aren’t always readily available. Sometimes I simply just don’t know. Yet.

Maybe that’s why I’ve been so drawn to clear accessories lately. They’re perfect for piling on without feeling like you’ve pledged your style allegiance to a particular aesthetic — the ultimate complement to my temporary commitment-phobia. Instead of dictating the terms of a new agreement, they breathe new life into what’s already there, like a big, square ice cube plopped into an Old Fashioned.

My interest picked up speed when my Instagram Discover feed served me a post from Canadian jewelry designer Corey Moranis featuring a clear earring photographed against a bright blue slice of sky. It’s an aesthetic exclamation point, but a gentle one, secondary to its surroundings, like a lens of sorts.

Ditto for an acrylic shoulder bag from Wai Wai that I bookmarked on Moda Operandi. I loved imagining how, slung around someone’s shoulder, its transparency would serve as a picture window for the pattern or texture of her outfit.

I also haven’t been able to stop thinking about the Wicker Wedge PVC sandals from MR By Man Repeller’s latest drop, leading me to believe that Cinderella’s freakout after losing her glass slipper was entirely justified.

So what if I don’t know who or what I want to be yet this fall? The “not knowing” and the test tube experimenting can be fun in its own right. Just ask any mad scientist.

Photographer: Louisiana Mei Gelpi
Market: Elizabeth Tamkin
Creative Direction: Emily Zirimis

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