Fashion Life

My Style Evolution: From LBD to LPD

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Dress [Express] Clutch [Sergio Rossi] Shoes [Nine West] Bracelet [J.Crew] Sunnies [Dolce & Gabbana]

Nine times out of ten when I’m shopping, picking out an outfit, or purchasing a home décor item, I tend to gravitate towards classic pieces (hence the blog name!) Now, this doesn’t mean that I don’t have a blush-toned bag (considered ‘on trend’), a pair of quilted leather slip-on’s (on trend), or a faux ceramic deer head hanging above my t.v., much to the chagrin of my husband and well, most people that walk into our apartment (Pottery Barn, did ya do me wrong?) But despite the fact that these are “trendy” items, they’re all items that I’ve gotten a lot of use out of and love, which is the most important thing…right? I believe that personal style is constantly evolving and I’ve been fine-tuning mine for years, discovering my taste and making many missteps along the way. I’d say that my style is currently a mixture of what I consider timeless pieces, both old and new, and some items that, although I may be embarrassed to say I owned a pair of animal-print jeans two years from now, are a cute and comfortable neutral that look amazing when paired with an oversized sweater and booties. However, this was not always the case and bins, literally bins, of once-stylish apparel stuffed into Rubbermaids litter my parents basement like the land of misfit toys. I have plans to eventually sell and donate these items as most of them are new with tags or worn one time, but until that day never arrives, they continue to serve as a reminder of all of the money wasted on material things that never saw the light of day. I’d like to think that in these storage bins lie the trail and error period of my style evolution.

In my early twenties, I would go into a Forever21 store and grab what was on the mannequin in the window or pieces that were haphazardly strewn upon plastic hangers on the racks below the SALE sign. Now don’t get me wrong, I still love, and I mean love a good sale, but the problem was that my shopping philosophy was all wrong. I would buy clothes that I saw in magazines, that looked good on 6-ft plastic dolls other people, or that were a good “deal”. As the years have gone by, I’ve realized a few things: what looks good on others doesn’t necessarily look good on me, “trendy” pieces come into style just as fast as they go out (I’m looking at you, gaucho pants), sometimes you need to spend a little more to purchase something you love, and most importantly, quality over quantity– in both style and life.

Two weekends ago, my husband and I had a wedding to attend to here in New York. I suppose I should mention for reference that I’ve attempted to go to two weddings since getting sick but needed to leave both shortly after arriving due to how sick I was feeling (take it from me, chronic illnesses really know how to kill a social calendar.) As a self-proclaimed girly-girl and lover of clothes, I hadn’t gotten dressed up in a long time and was very much looking forward to the opportunity. Given my track record of failed social events in the past 10 months, I didn’t want to purchase a new dress only to potentially wear it for 15 minutes so shopping my closet seemed like the only financially responsible appropriate thing to do. I packed several classic, black dress options (my go-to) and matching accessories before leaving D.C. (because we all know what you feel like wearing the day before is not necessarily what you’ll feel like wearing the day of) and didn’t think twice about it.

Health wise, I had done everything I could to prepare and feel as good as possible so a few hours before the wedding, I hesitantly decided that I was going to try to make a brief appearance. I glanced at the LBD options that were hanging on the door but as to be expected, I didn’t feel like wearing them. (In addition to my medical diagnoses, I may also have a slight case of “so many clothes but nothing to wear” syndrome…every day.) Given I had already dismissed the dress options from my suitcase, I ventured downstairs to the clothing graveyard basement and cracked open a Rubbermaid bin labeled “Summer Dresses- To Sell.” Lying on top, tags still attached, was a magenta dress that I had purchased two years ago as an option to wear for my Bachelorette party that didn’t make the cut (again, thank goodness for options!) I pulled it out and tried it on. The hot pink color didn’t pop against my tan skin the way it should have back in 2013 because there was now a lack of a tan or any type of skin “color” if we’re being honest. If we’re being really honest, I didn’t have the appropriate undergarments with me so wearing the dress would mean that I’d have to go bra-less, something I hadn’t done since my junior year of college when band-aids were involved (sorry, Dad.)  I don’t know if it was the reminder of seeing myself try it on during healthier times or that fact that I only had an hour left to get ready, but when I looked at myself in the mirror, I quickly decided that this once “trendy”, cut-out, ponte-knit dress was the one. It was so out of my comfort zone; hot pink (i.e. anything not black), cut-out sides, no bra, no tan, and need I say, no matching packed accessories. What had happened to my pre-planned, neutral, classic, modest-clothing-wearing, undergarment-fitted self? I ran back upstairs and pulled a forgotten-about Sergio Rossi clutch and a pair of muted gold heels from the bottom of the closet in my childhood bedroom and got dressed, leaving the house with minutes to spare in an outfit comprised entirely of pieces I’d disregarded and left behind at my parents house.

So what is the moral of this “wedding attire dilemma” story? Sometimes you need to ditch the plan. Ditch your comfort zone and ditch the rules that govern what’s in style and what’s not. “Trendy” is nothing but a word. Wear what makes you feel good. As the saying goes, “if you look good, you feel good” and as a living testament, for the first time in 10 months, I attended an event for two hours (a huge accomplishment given my health history) and truly enjoyed myself. I don’t know if it was all of the medicine, salt and Pedialyte, the seven hours of bedrest that consumed my day in preparation, or the likely probability that I may have just been feeling okay for a random period of time but I attended that wedding…I attended the hell out of it in my bold, hot pink, once-trendy dress. Thanks for reading!

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7 Comments

  • Reply
    Brittney
    September 2, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    I am truly enjoying following this blog! I have always looked up to you and admired your sense of fashion and confidence. It really makes me happy to see you are still such a strong and optimistic person! When all the lemons are gone from your world you are going to run it all!

    • Reply
      classicandgray
      September 3, 2015 at 2:12 pm

      Aw thank you so much Brittney! That means a lot to me 🙂 Love that last sentence about the lemons…I may have to read that to myself on the hard days! I really appreciate you taking the time to comment and I’m so happy you’re following along xox

  • Reply
    Brittney
    September 2, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    PS. I’m obsessed with nail trends..what should I be giving a try this fall?

    • Reply
      classicandgray
      September 3, 2015 at 2:14 pm

      Ahhh…one area I will have to research! I haven’t been wearing much polish being I can’t really get my nails done right now but I will see what I can find! There’s tons of nail art on Pinterest and IG! I’m always a huge fan of “Russian Navy” navy blue and dark gray colors for fall, I wait all summer for it!

      • Reply
        Brittney
        September 3, 2015 at 8:51 pm

        I always go with wicked and then a sparkle ring finger but I would love to try something different. I’ll have to stalk pinterest more than usual haha.

  • Reply
    lookslikerein
    September 2, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    You are beautiful inside and out! Reading through your posts and I can already tell how talented of a writer you are! Love!

    • Reply
      classicandgray
      September 3, 2015 at 12:06 am

      Thanks so much Cherein! It takes me a while to write each post being I don’t feel well a majority of the day but I’m really trying to put my all into it! Thanks so much for your support and encouragement xo

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