An Italian Woman is Inside My Cart

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!ย 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 cartย — 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, maybeย she will become me.

Whoa. Did your brain just explode? No? K. Just tell me what’s in your cart.

Collage by Emily Zirimis.


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  • Heather

    I wish you would share more shopping posts with affordable items! I want all these things but my wallet does not abide!

    • Amelia Diamond

      i need more affordable too! ok on it

  • Leandra Medine


  • Lucky you ๐Ÿ™‚ Right now I have this urge to wear something more businesslike, don’t know: corporate-ish, elegant and formal, maybe with a twist, and it is just because I have moved to a new place and something in me compared and decided this was the way To Go All Individual. I cannot be too … jeans-casual, too colorful and fancy or too basic, because these styles have been taken by the ladies around me (whom I like, make no mistake, but personal style is personal). And heels. High heels.

    Strange times ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Amelia Diamond

      shoes! i want to see the shoes!

      • Yes you can ๐Ÿ™‚

        I already told you about my winter shoes,

        here’s a pair of crazy ones I intend to wear in the summer:


        • Amelia Diamond

          you are on the cowgirl train!

          • I am? ๐Ÿ˜€ …. ๐Ÿ˜€ Well then … where’s my hat?

  • I think i have a california “cool girl” in my cart. She wears high waisted shorts with kimonos and sk8-hi vans….and somehow looks good. I purchased the vans 3 months ago…have worn twice…working on it. I like your italian cart as well.

    • Amelia Diamond

      she sounds great. show me some kimonos!

      • and here are the subconscious women….

        • Lua Jane

          Love that first look.

          • Amelia Diamond

            me too!

  • smillipede

    ugh yes (!) this sartorial earworm thing makes so much sense to me and also yes (!!!) to lying on belly with tunes trying to justify buying bizarre shit by looking at photos of incredible people it is kind of my favourite way to spend time

    • smillipede

      and (obviously) yes to the bill murray gif amelia u r on a roll

  • Lua Jane

    Well my inner “young sicillian widow”, responsible for most of my sartorial cravings in past six months is fast asleep, and is replaced by young french woman. This one is rarelly satisfied, and way to critical of my poor, very non french outfiting skills. I’m doomed. Should I get the bangs? Will I regret it? I should crop my jeans though. That’s safe.

  • laila h

    This article kinda reminds me of this TED talk about being original. In it, they explore the question: if you came to an idea by yourself, though it already exists, is it still truly yours?

    • Amelia Diamond

      Oh I want to watch/listen to that immediately! sounds fascinating

      • laila h

        So I originally heard it on Radiolab (my bad part 1) and I took it and interpreted it as “still her discovery even though it already exists” (my bad part 2)
        Here’s that article:

        But the TED talk on original ideas does exist and is pretty good: http: //

  • Shevaun

    I think I have a severe androgynous woman in my cart, but also a teenage boy.

    I have a variety of expensive men’s shoes saved in various online carts, because I hate “affordable” women’s shoes as they do not fit me and are not comfortable. If I could afford to wear Gucci and Miu Miu I’d be all on that shit. But, I’m a broke grad student (ugh, the worst), so I avoid even looking at high-end until I’m done school and have my career underway. THEN ALL THE SHOES.

    But then I have a bunch of skate-shop shoes and shirts saved places too, because I am at my most comfortable when I’m dressed like a teenage boy.

    They fight, it’s fine.

    • Amelia Diamond

      “They fight, it’s fine.” hahah

  • Lisa Boissevain

    Wish I had that earworn more often…. Like every morning.

    • Amelia Diamond


  • I have my ex boyfriend in my cart, because all I want are men’s button-ups and tshirts from J. Crew.