Not too long ago, someone asked me how I became interested in fashion and where I draw my fashion inspiration from. She went on to compliment my look and said that, when it comes to how I dress, it seems that rien n’a été laissé au hasard. Admittedly, I was beyond flattered. Once I stopped blushing, I couldn’t resist explaining that I grew up complètement uninterested in fashion.
As a matter of fact, I was, for all intents and purposes, the antithesis of stylish for the first twenty some odd years of my life. I battled my weight growing up and though I wasn’t morbidly obese, I was definitely on the heavier size and thus, I didn’t feel confident in anything I wore. To top things off, I was tall and had abnormally long legs, which meant it was next to impossible to find pants that fit me well.
Perhaps because I was uncomfortable in my own skin or maybe for other reasons entirely, I was completely apathetic about how I dressed. Being fashionable was the last thing on my mind for the longest time. As long as my clothes were comfortable, practical, and fit well-enough, they were fine.
The Turning Point
It’s only been in the last ten years or so that I’ve really become interested in la mode. I suppose moving to Paris will do that to a girl! Slowly but surely after moving to France, I started to find du plaisir in curating my look. And that’s when it all started…
Little by little, I started to dress intentionally. I remember the first few times I went back to the States and got compliments on my outfits from my sisters and other friends that had always dressed stylishly. It may sound vain, but I slowly started to gain confidence in myself and to take pride in how I dressed.
As I approached 30, I began to understand one of life’s most basic truths:
How you dress affects how others perceive you and how you perceive yourself.
And so, though I’m far from being a style icon, it’s true that I do put more thought and effort into how I dress now than I did when I was younger.
Sources of Inspiration
To be clear, while I enjoy finding outfits that I love, that are flattering, and that I feel good in, I don’t spend hours in front of my closet deciding what to wear every morning, nor do I go on regular spending sprees. I do, however, take advantage of Pinterest, Instagram, and all the fabulous fashion blogs out there. Gone are the days of having to subscribe to Vogue magazine to keep up with fashion trends; they are now right at your fingertips and delivered in a way that is more accessible than ever.
With that being said, I get most of my inspiration from just observing others. Whereas I used to be completely uninterested in what people around me were wearing, I now take mental notes. I observe women, not in an I’m sizing you up kind of way, but in a what can I learn from your style kind of way.
My Street Style
Like most women, I have a pretty established style that I tend to lean towards. In the colder months, I’m often found in long, cardigan sweaters or simple knit sweaters layered over a solid, long-sleeve shirt. As you may have already noticed, I live in skinny jeans and ankle boots. In terms of my go-to color schemes, I usually opt for browns and earth tones.
I’ve always been intimated by too much black, black leather, or anything that slightly looks remotely rock / punk.
Maybe it’s because I’m probably the least punk person out there, so I felt like I’d be a poser if dressed in black leather anything…
Maybe it’s because my husband made a comment ten years ago that he wasn’t a fan of the black leather look on me…
Whatever the reason was, I am so over it. I am officially a fan of black leather and a slightly edgier look! Sure, my wardrobe remains centered around more earthy tones, but I am no longer afraid of black leather. I may not like rock music, but I can still wear clothes that my husband just this week deemed mes habilles de rock-n-roll.
Urban Fashion OOTD
Which brings me to this outfit…
I am obsessed.
Remember me saying I totally check out what others around me are wearing? Twice in one week, I found myself swooning over the look of a French friend. I quickly realized that the common denominator in her two enviable outfits was a pair of black, lace-up, heeled boots. While she styled them completely differently than I do, they looked fabulous enough to convince me that it was high time I get a pair!
Going back to the whole black leather topic, I’ve definitely gotten over my fear, as is evident by the fact that this is my second faux-leather jacket purchase in six months!
You may be asking, Why do you need two faux-leather jackets?
To that, I answer: Because I’m making up for all those years that I was afraid of a little leather!
I absolutely adore this jacket even more than the first one I bought! The fact that it was only half the price only makes it that much better.
As far as I’m concerned, leather jackets and graphic tee’s were made for each other. For this look, I paired my leather perfecto with a gray, graphic long-sleeve t-shirt, a denim button-down, and a black zip-up hoodie to achieve a casual, layered look.
I finished the look off with my Ray-ban aviators, a black pompom beanie, a cute faux-leather crossbody bag, and some layered necklaces. Voilà, one of my current favorite looks!
When I want to add a preppier touch to the outfit (or when it’s just too darn cold to go outside without a huge scarf), I throw on my black and white oversized houndstooth scarf. If you haven’t noticed, I practically live in this scarf! Best. purchase. ever. Read more about this scarf here.
For my readers in Toulouse, you can easily put this look together with one quick trip to Leclerc Blagnac! For the rest of you ladies, given that most of these pieces are pretty basic, you may very well already have the main components in your closet.
For my readers stateside, if you’re interested in recreating this look, you can do so with these pieces:
Do you have an established fashion style? If so, how would you describe it? Do you lean more towards bright colors, earth tones, or blacks and grays? Let me know in the comments below!