In Search of Style: Rediscovering Sources Inspiration

Just when I thought I was over FB for good, I joined the Classy Career Girl network and got involved in their private community page. The questions that my fellow female hustlers have been asking are getting my brain going on topics I love to think about like tips for being a successful woman in business, the challenges of starting a side hustle and work wardrobe inspiration.

Earlier this week, a fellow CCG (Classy Career Girl) asked where other group members go for fashion ideas and it got me thinking, where do go these days? I used to be a huge fan of Blair Eadie’s (if you don’t know Atlantic Pacific, you should) and for awhile I was really into Alexandra Pereira of Lovely Pepa, but in more recent months I’ve been in a real Death by Elocution phase (the looks they post are generally more neutral and minimalist in nature, but it reminds a magpie like myself to keep things simple). If I had to pick a person, I would definitely say Victoria Beckham—even her most casual looks are so well edited (and not impossible to replicate on the average budget).

For as long as I’ve had this blog, fashion has been a major component. I love style as a form of self-expression and I find searching for outfit inspiration to be downright therapeutic. The thing is, when I’m stressed and overworked, I find that that’s the first thing I let slip. I revert to all-black outfits that require little thought (and preferably even less dry cleaning) and provide little-to-no joy in wearing.

Blair Eadie of Atlantic Pacific

I used to spend hours poring over the looks of style bloggers, making notes on what I liked or didn’t like about the way they put things together, but it’s been ages since I truly followed any one person. Many times I just wait to see what Pinterest sends me as a suggestion and go down the rabbit hole from there.

Somewhere along the line I convinced myself that these bloggers I once loved had just gotten so extra, that all of their looks were like this one to the right (I love Blair’s style, but this ensemble makes her look like she’s going to play croquet in the early 1900s). I told myself that it was a waste of time to follow them because the looks they were posting were full of designer items that I couldn’t afford and didn’t have time to shop for knock-offs.

Now I see that the issue wasn’t the bloggers, it was me. I was in a place where spending my free time on fashion seemed frivolous and selfish. The thing is, it’s not, it’s actually something that really brings me joy.

Now I’m getting back to a place where I am once again indulging in my love of fashion. I am once again finding inspiration in the outfits that bloggers (old favorites and new ones) post.

I’m also taking the time to read the outfit credits. It turns out that Blair is indeed wearing items from previous seasons and that many of the new items were absolutely from brands I could afford like Zara, J. Crew, and Topshop (don’t I feel sheepish).

That being said, I’ll leave you with the very first look I ever pinned from Atlantic Pacific. Now I’m off in search of inspiration once again…

Vintage 2012 Blair Eadie

The first Atlantic-Pacific look I ever Pinned

 

 

Week Two: Epic Fail

After passing week one without picking at my face at all, I was feeling really good about myself. I had will power. I had self restraint. I had… a week that followed that was super stressful and I caved under the pressure and started picking again.

It started innocently enough, as I told myself I’d only go for ones that were at the surface. Once I realized how many clogged pores were ready to go I realized that I would need to put a limit on this. Three. I would only let myself pick at three (I mean, they basically squeezed themselves).

The next night, once I had used my allotted three, I decided to up the number to five. And never in the same area… or at least not on the same side of my chin.

You can guess how the rest of the week went. Not only had I fallen off the wagon, I had proceeded to drag myself further into the adjacent ditch and lay there without sunscreen. Now I have not one, but two very hard, painful lumps on my chin which I have 100% brought on myself. They’re not as visibly as your standard whitehead, they are sensitive to the touch, which is super fun.

So here I am, back at square one. Let’s see if I can’t stay on the straight and narrow this time.

Current Addiction: Ballz

Have you ever lost hours of your life to something that you chose to do and thought, “I don’t even know if I enjoyed that?” That’s how I feel about Ballz. V told me about and said it was addictive and, after noticing him playing several times, I finally gave it a shot. At first I declared that it was “kind of stupid” …and then I got better.

Now, I am not a competitive person by nature, but I do enjoy being good at things. So much, in fact, that being halfway decent at something straight out of the gate can sustain my interest in that thing for an exponential amount of time.

It also helps when I can justify this otherwise useless new interest. In the case of Ballz, it was that we were low on data and playing this game in airplane mode helped pass the time on my commute. Sure, I could read a book or a magazine, but that would add weight to my already overstuffed work bag (Is professional rationalizer a thing? If so, I would be really good at it. V does often say that I should have been a lawyer…).

This week I realized that I was losing a solid 1-2 hours a day on this game. And that’s when I realized I needed to kick the habit. There are dozens of things I could be doing with that time (even while observing my no talking on commuter trains rule) and that is how I find myself here, writing a long overdue blogpost.

I’ve got quite a few topics in the queue and a bunch of new segment ideas. I’ll be increasing the frequency of my posts and shining a bit more light on Long Island, as it looks like V and I may finally have more free time soon (pretty sure we couldn’t have less). As they used to say on the Mickey Mouse Club, “see ya real soon!”

Rant: Who Is Vince Camuto?

Inside the lid of a Vince Camuto shoebox that houses my metallic wedges.

The Vince Camuto brand baffles me. Many times I have been in a department store and wandered over to a display of classic shoes, bags or watches with edgy details that catch my eye, but every time I see the Vince Camuto label my feelings are suddenly neutralized.

As a consumer who is overly interested in brand identity I cannot get a read on Vince Camuto. If I had to do that old marketing exercise, “If Vince Camuto were a person,” I could not tell you what kind of car he drives or where he shops and I certainly couldn’t tell you how old he is. 

In a retail setting I can never tell where this brand falls in the pecking order of other brands in the respective departments. Should their bags be on the shelf with Betsey Johnson and Nine West? Or featured on a pad like MICHAEL Michael Kors and Marc by Marc Jacobs? The price point suggests the latter; perhaps they should change the name to VINCE [by] Vince Camuto?
They must be a lifestyle brand because they offer a full range of products that can cover men and women alike from head to toe – including scent.

A quick look at their corporate website showed me that Camuto group owns several brands that I love. Interestingly enough half of the brands have a very clear brand identity (Tory Burch, BCBG MAXAZRIA, BCBG GENERATION, and Lucky) and the others lack that same thing (Jessica Simpson, Sanctuary, Arturo Chang and, of course, Vince Camuto).

I like the diverse offering of Vince Camuto’s products; there are stylish satchels for your mom, biker boots for your cool aunt and funky over-sized watches for your on trend little sister. I even own a pair of their shoes, but I wonder if the brand is cohesive enough to survive when the customer has no idea who they are trying to be.