(Originally published on vintagelillies on 5/24/18: https://vintagelillies.com/2018/05/24/ootd-evolution-of-personal-style-including-warming-up-to-crop-tops/)
Fundamentally, my personal style generally remains the same. I gravitate toward the same things I always have, like a good bohemian twist to an otherwise classic outfit, timeless silhouettes and bagginess. The whole “boyfriend fit” trend saves from a lot of thrift store searching in a pinch. From season to season and year to year, subtle changes reveal themselves in the types of items that visually jump out at me in stores and what unfortunate fellows from my closet that get tossed to the donation pile.
For years, I swore off crop tops. Around my sophomore/junior year of high school, crop tops crawled back into the spotlight after lying dormant for years and my social media feeds flooded with photos of girls away at college and wearing the signature short, tight t-shirts.
“I will NEVER wear crop tops,” I bragged to everyone I knew, claiming false superiority above those who succumbed to the trend.
“I will NEVER wear crop tops,” I said to myself when my roommate and friend threw theirs on, on our way to our first party during my freshman year of college. I instead decided to wear a Free People hand-me-down a couple sizes too big (and it was an already very flowy top). Looking the mirror I thought it was fine, I looked like a cool gypsy or something… after getting to the party I quickly realized I should probably invest in a couple shirts that don’t resemble a tablecloth (not dissing tablecloth-like shirts, I own and wear several, but this wasn’t the time nor place). Perhaps it was time a crop top infiltrated my wardrobe and I could fit in a bit better at school.
“I actually really like that,” I said in the mirror to a crop top in H&M a month ago, when paired with a high-waisted pair of jeans. Since then I’ve accumulated a few and worn them with pride. With the right bottom, high-waisted boyfriend jeans or a jean skirt, the tops have successfully become a part of my wardrobe, only after around five years of convincing.
Personal style fascinates me. It’s my favorite fashion topic to write about, one I’ve written about many times before throughout the years on this blog and much more interesting than trends and designers. I love knowing the thought processes behind why people are attracted to certain items and not others, why people choose to wear what they wear and the message they convey through their outfits. My personal style has changed and evolved since the days of surfing Pinterest in pursuit of bright, Blair Waldorf era outfits to now, more inspired by the mix of minimalistic, dark color schemes and artistic integrations of color and interesting shapes. Business clothes are still a challenge I need to conquer, someone needs to follow me around shopping and slap cute dresses and ripped, light-wash jeans out of my hands and replace them with proper business clothes when I go shopping.
I wore this Zara dress to Porchfest, my favorite summer festival where a bunch of bands gather on porches around the Elmwood Village and people float from one porch to the next. When I tried this on, I was 85% sure I was going to wear the shit out of it and 15% sure it was never going to leave the hanger. Thankfully, it passed the all-day test with flying colors and it has been promoted to a wardrobe staple. It’s slightly structured, which I love, but not restricting in any way nor too short. I wore a black, cropped tank underneath and a pair of cowboy-meets-Chelsea, suede booties by Sam Edelman. A plain white dress makes a great blank slate for accessories and I didn’t pass up the opportunity to break out a neck scarf, this one is a thrifted silk red one, along with some beautiful bohemian jewelry from my favorite jewelry maker extraordinaire, Rachel of Indie Twenty. She debuted her store opening in Hamburg over the weekend and I have found a way to incorporate this necklace into almost every outfit I’ve worn since.
I’ve also found that my short hair compliments some outfits more than my longer hair did. Neck scarves wear much more comfortably without a long mane of curly hair rubbing against them.
As fashion tastes change, so does music. The two are much more interconnected than it would appear at surface level. To accompany my new summer wardrobe, here are some new (actually most songs on here are pretty old) jams to play during long car rides to the lake with intermittent yard sale stops, or to play while sitting at your computer on a nice day, responsibly getting all your work done. Because sometimes we do that, right?