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!