Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May Showers

After two days of gray, all I can think about is the light and airy.

Never have I so craved the summertime.

Photo via

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Homecomings Revisited

After I finished writing about my evolving relationship with color, one passage in particular stuck out to me.

But during the past year, I've begun to change. Slowly and with much deliberation but change nonetheless.

Moving back to Boston almost one year ago has affected how I dress more than any other event in my life. From the beginning, I was steely in my determination not to change back into the girl I had been before. I wanted to continue on the path to adulthood that graduating from college and starting my first real job and moving to a new city had forced me on to. To most clothing would have little to do with such growth, and, to those people, this probably sounds silly. We’re just talking about dresses and shirts and skirts and shoes here. They can’t mean all that much. But for me they are an outward manifestation of all that has changed internally. Injecting color. Shortening hems. These were all ways to stop myself from retreating back into the cozy shell that had at once been so comforting and stifling.

As recently as a few months ago, I thought of most of the clothes I come across in stores, in magazines, and on the various blogs that I peruse daily as items for later. Or for fantasies. I was always too much of one thing or not enough of something else to pull them off. There was no room for them in my life or my closet. They were for those bold others.

In more ways than one, I’ve tired of not being one of those bold others. And though New York changed me somewhat in that respect, I became lazy in a way. My style followed suit. I grew to a certain point and then stopped because further growth wasn’t necessary. Because I was an adult. Living on my own. Staying out as late as I liked. Choosing what to do with my time.

Part of the package when one has to move back to that place one once called home is, in some ways, being forced back into the role of child. But nothing will cause you to become more of an adult than fighting against that as hard as you can.

Last week, on one of my window shopping adventures, I tried on the black and non-sequined version of this 3.1 Phillip Lim dress while in Barneys.

When I glanced at myself in the mirror, I didn’t, as I had done in the past, shy away from the woman looking back at me.

I was, and am, done with that.

Photo via

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Color Commentary

I love your shoes. I see you walking, and then all of a sudden it's like BAM!

Or so I was told by the rather perky salesperson in the Saks mens' shoe department as I made my way to the escalators in the back. The canvas sneakers in question are a shocking, eye-searing pink. I bought them on a whim a few months ago while browsing the sale section of Urban Outfitters, but the shoes represent more than just a fun talking point for people who run into me as I walk through Boston streets.

My closet, when opened, leads you into a world of grays and creams and navies. There are a few departures. The year when I bought what was for me an abundance of yellow. A stray orange and white striped shirt. Multiple pink dresses that I usually leave in the dark in favor of their black compatriots. The Dress. But during the past year, I've begun to change. Slowly and with much deliberation but change nonetheless. And it is that off the cuff statement from the Saks salesperson that I try to live by.

I like my colors to be accents. I find allover color to be overwhelming on me. Or, more truthfully, I am overwhelmed by allover color on me. Yet I understand that those brights look beautiful against the color of my skin. How many times in my life have I heard friends, acquaintances and strangers lament their inability to wear the colors that I could so easily pull off? Annoyance was my gut reaction to such statements. Mostly because it's not as if they would want my dark skin in any instance that didn't involve having access to a wider range of clothes.

But once I got past my discomfort with the comments of those around me, I began to realize that I should capitalize on this advantage. Not by ridding my closet of its grays and creams and navies but by learning how to combine the colors with what I already own and love. Now I seek nail polishes and tights in vibrant shades of pink. I buy friends to take up residence with The Cardigan. I bring color to my face not with makeup but with vibrant scarves carelessly wrapped around my neck. I spend most cold days in a bright red peacoat.

The light leaks in slowly as the teals and peaches and lavenders take root in what was once a dark place.