Embarrassed or obsessed? The five year test.

You know that feeling you get when someone tags a photo of you that was taken back in high school? Where you see a notification from a suspiciously random old acquaintance, your gut drops, you click the link as fast as you can, only to find a photo of you in a lavender spaghetti strap tank top, horrible Silver jeans, butterfly hair clips, sparkly pink lip gloss, and a pair of Adidas slides? Yeah, THAT feeling. The sobering, silly, sickening reminder that everything we thought was cool was actually RI-DICULOUS, and we all looked like idiots.

I've learned to ignore that panic. I've been writing SWIILPT for a few years, which means that there are a shit ton of old photos of me wearing ridiculous outfits floating around the internet. There is nothing I can do about it, and I'm okay with it because I've accepted that all of the things we wear will eventually end up as hilarious mementos of decades past. That's part of the truth of fashion: none of it truly matters, it's all fleeting, it'll all eventually fade into cliche. But the lack of consequence is where the magic is: if everything will someday be silly, then why not try whatever your heart desires? 

ANYWAY. In the spirit of Throwback Thursday, and celebrating the silliness of fashion, here are some outfits that I was wearing in the summer of 2011. I lived in my beloved Chicago and spent a solid 60% of my life goofing off with my wonderful friends. (The other 40% was spent desperately trying to make rent every month.) I'll tell you right now, there are some AWKWARD ones, so enjoy! 

Initial reaction: actually...I'm alright with this. 
Embarrassed or obsessed? I guess I just feel fine with it.
Would I wear any of this now? Yeah - I still miss those shoes daily. The shirt is pretty, too.

Initial reaction: YAS KWEEN. 
Embarrassed or obsessed? OBSESSED.
Would I wear any of this now? I still own all of it, head to toe. So YAS KWEEN.

Initial reaction: So....much....happening....that skirt is so tight.......how the hell did I get that belt to stay on? 
Embarrassed or obsessed? Pure embarrassment. I look like I'm rushing a slutty vaguely bohemian sorority.
Would I wear any of this now? No, no, no. Maybe the necklace or shoes.

Initial reaction: OH. GOD.
Would I wear any of this now? NNNNNOPE. (But maybe the shoes.)

Initial reaction: Safe & cute.
Embarrassed or obsessed? Neither...I'm fine with this.
Would I wear any of this now? Sure? 

Initial reaction: Man, I wish I knew where that shirt ended up...
Embarrassed or obsessed? Obsessed.
Would I wear any of this now? Head to toe, I'd do it again.

Initial reaction: I distinctly remember buying this shirt in an effort to make a boy I liked think I was sexy. Pretty sure it worked. 
Embarrassed or obsessed? Love the idea of it, but still embarrassed. I thrifted that skirt and I've never worn anything shorter in my life.
Would I wear any of this now? Nah.

Embarrassed or obsessed? Mortified. I want to crawl into a hole and hide just looking at it.
Would I wear any of this now? I wear the t-shirt to sleep sometimes, does that count?

You win some you lose some, right? :) 



Using visualization to trick yourself into fearlessness: Striped culottes

Shirt: thrifted (originally Target) | Pants: thrifted (originally Jealous Tomato) | Sandals: thrifted (originally Nine West)

Do you guys remember the movie Ratatouille? It's one of my eternal favorites. Remember the scene where we hear the philosophy of the main character's culinary hero, Chef Gusteau? Brings me to tears every time:

"You must be imaginative, strong-hearted. You must try things that may not work... Your only limit is your soul. What I say is true - anyone can cook. But only the fearless can be great."

Obviously this beautiful, simple sentiment applies to EV-ER-Y-THING, and I find it particularly applies to fashion. In the spirit of being adventurous, last week I thrifted a pair of striped wide-leg culottes. I have some crazy stylish friends (cough cough Raquel, cough cough Cher) who pull them off on the reg but I never thought I could do it. I admit it...I had a few fashion fears. 

There are myriad inherent challenges with these pants for me: 1) vertical stripes...oh god, vertical stripes, have I lost my mind for even attempting this look???? 2) as a woman with wide legs, I naturally fear wide leg pants for their potential to only accentuate the feature I am most nervous about 3) I couldn't wear a solid top with the pants without looking like I was about to either serve you a cocktail or pull a rabbit out of a hat, so I knew I'd need to double down on the stripes - but then all I could picture was Michael Jordan in the 90s (this suit is forever burned into my memory). But I ignored all those judgements and instead visualized what I could be doing in my most carefree, happy moment in this outfit. That's one of the keys to pulling off new, nervewracking trends: VISUALIZATION. 

It's totally silly, but here's where my visualization went: I was strolling near the water in the South of France, surrounded by my sisters, farmer's market flowers in hand, covered in sand and mildly sunburned, 2 cocktails in, laughing while we plan the dinner we want to make that night. Loose, happy, free. And the visualization of that moment made me want to take the fashion risk. 

So here we are! Striped wide legs, I never knew I could love you as much as I do now.

(And I'm always thrilled when I can pull off a complete outfit that was ALL thrifted & secondhand. Feels good to recycle, reuse, and love what could have otherwise ended up in a landfill.)

Are there any pieces you love from afar but are afraid to try on yourself? Any other trends you dream of attempting? Send me an email and tell me your story! 



Strange Beauty: 5 offbeat makeup tricks I'm dying to try

Image via WhoWhatWear

Image via WhoWhatWear

Even though there will always be a place in my heart (& closet) for crazy patterns, bright colors, and odd shapes, I've been wearing simpler pieces a lot lately. Dialing down the volume on my wardrobe has made me want to dial up on my makeup game - no contouring or strobing here, though. I'm thinking more of an odd touch here and there, making a mostly bare face look exciting and new. Here are 5 tricks I've seen on Pinterest that I'm very into right now.

1) Tons of Gold Mascara, via WhoWhatWear

This one might be too crazy for daytime, but I'd love to rock a simple all-navy outfit and these lashes one night going out. It reminds me of the 90s for some reason. I haven't found a great mascara option for this kind of bright, disco-ball effect, but here is a great one from Marc Jacobs with a little more subtlety. 

2) Dusty blue eyebrows, via Refinery29

I am notorious for refusing to shape my eyebrows in any way (I've never had them professionally shaped or plucked), but I still think it could be fun to use eyebrows as a canvas. I love this blue because it's not so insane that you couldn't wear it during the day - and I'd rock a bare face just like the model above. Annnnnnnnnd also maybe that ear cuff, because WOAH. 

3) Inverse eye-shadow, via Her New Tribe 

I actually don't own any eyeshadow anymore, but back in middle school you'd find me in bright sky blue, glittery eye shadow every single day. I've actually been wanting to try it again (hold your judgement, internets), but this is more the way I'd do it now: no glitter, a matte color, in a new placement. It reads as magical to me. 

4) Eye liner lid takeover, via Vanessa Jackman

I love how precise and matte this look is. Again, it's subtle enough to wear during the day, but with the right simple outfit it could be the only punch needed. I would wear this with Levi's, a white tee, sneakers, and a big headscarf. 

5) Classic mod cat eyes, via A Girl Like You

Isn't it funny that sometimes the most avant-garde looking makeup is a throwback? I remember looking at images like this as a little kid in old photographs of women in the 50s and 60s and thinking that all makeup must be done this way. But I've never seen someone in my adult life rock the white shadow/black liner combo. This would probably be the most advanced of all the tricks I've got listed here, but I'd love to give it a whirl. 

What do you think, too out there? Or would you give these looks a spin, too?



ps. there is TONS more inspiration where that came from over on my Pinterest page. Come check it out!

How to wear overalls without looking like a kid

Blouse: thrifted, J Crew | Overalls: Old Navy | Tote: Cuyana | Shoes: Banana Republic | Sunglasses: thriftedย 

Blouse: thrifted, J Crew | Overalls: Old Navy | Tote: Cuyana | Shoes: Banana Republic | Sunglasses: thrifted 

I already posted about these rad overalls in this post a few weeks ago, but they're getting some serious airplay lately. The trick to pulling off such a youthful style is to do it as a boss-lady. I've been styling my overalls with my chic-est, coolest, most grown-ass-lady pieces. The end effect is edgy and effortless.