Tag Archives: style

Heart of the Matter

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I haven’t always been enthralled with fashion or style or whatever you want to call it. As a matter of fact, I used to be a Northface, Choco-wearing, jeans girl, a kind of clothing cruise control person in my way of thinking. Eventually I started fully driving my own car.

 

         First off I want to say that abandoning the cruise control, uniform approach to fashion is a little dangerous.  The way is hazardous.  It’s feels like a free fall.  Takes some getting used to.  It is not for the risk averse.  But the results are beautiful.

 

I learned that loving fashion doesn’t mean you always put together the most finished looking outfit. There were days I left my house feeling fabulous, knowing I was a camera magnet and as the day dragged on I realized that I was anything but. I was a threat to good taste.  But here is the point:  I had to go there to get here.

 

Being willing to risk the unfashionable is a first step to becoming stylish or as I like to say, “who you really are.” This cannot be ignored, stepped over, or skipped. It’s as axiomatic as the law of gravity.  You have to make mistakes. It’s essential to ANY process. Not making mistakes is like not putting eggs in a cake because you’re worried you might get shell in the batter. You just have to risk it. It’s what makes it rise. It’s what makes it fluffy. It’s what creates texture and shape.

 

         I don’t consider my journey to sartorial-dom anywhere near finished, but I do feel that over the past year I’ve learned a couple of lessons. The biggest one is that quality matters. Say it out loud with me, “Q-U-A-L-I-T-Y M-A-T-T-E-R-S!” 

 

         Places such as forever 21 lure us in with their shiny floors and trendy lighting, distracting our good sense away from noticing that the seams in their clothes look like a sixth grade boy sewed them while blindfolded. I’ll be the first to admit, I Paris have fallen for this dirty trap. I mean who isn’t drawn to that pink polyester polka dotted top with a Peter Pan collar that’s only $15?!

 

         After several of those purchases I found myself…

 

         1. feeling physically uncomfortable. Maybe the fabric was itchy or the shoulders didn’t allow for me to lift my hands above me head.

         2. Disappointed because they were trendy purchases and they became old news to me in a matter of weeks.

         3. Going back to buy more attempting to find something that would complete my look.

 

 “Buy less, choose well.” Vivienne Westwood (English fashion designer, businesswoman and all around GAWWD of dressing the female form.)

 

             Once while I was hanging clothes back in stock with my manager, Brianna Lamberson, we were talking about fashion (because we’re sort of slightly addicted) and she turned around, looked me dead in the eye and said, “Paris, when your poor you can’t afford cheap.” This stuck with me.

 

            Recently, I went on a fashion “diet” which entailed the harsh guidelines of no purchasing of any clothes for a month. It was probably one of the most painful things that I have ever done. And if you’re just as addicted as me you know I’m not exaggerating. During the “diet” I lost a considerable amount of “weight” and found out many things about my closet, the most prevalent one was that I lacked clothes in my closet that could support my lifestyle. I lacked clothing that I could put together in multiple ways and still feel comfortable and put together.

 

            When the diet finally ended, I was READY TO SHOP! Even though my sister pointed out that I was kind of missing the point, I beg to differ.

 

I learned that I gather more enjoyment from shopping when it’s not a habit, but a treat. I also learned that when choosing clothing I need to..

 

         1. Choose clothing that’s comfortable.

         2. Make sure the piece fits perfectly…even if it’s only slightly too tight and 75% off.

         3. Double check that I’m buying for me and not buying for a lifestyle I wish I had (as in ten pairs of stilettos)

         And if you forget all of these guidelines just remember one: Think about it!

 

Bon Voyage!

paris

 

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Learning to be Fearless

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Today’s post is brought to you by Paris. This was a blog that was written not too long ago for the Reruns Consignment Boutique Blog, but everything in it still rings true! So go grab yourself a cup of joe or hot tea and read away!

For years I limited myself when it came to wardrobe choices, probably from a fear of making “mistakes” and then having stupid kids at school making me pay for them. I wore everything from Chacos to Toms to Northface.

In high school its an unspoken contest to see who can reach perfection, when in reality those stuck up preps will never brush perfection with their finger tips. And you know why? Because they are just as scared as me of “messing up” in the world of fashion. The funny thing about this is that fashion should not be scary at all. Fashion is a way of expressing how you feel inside. Fashion can also be a form of therapy because it forces you to look inside yourself and interpret who you are through what you wear.

Now that I think about it that is kind of intimidating! And I’m sure that most people don’t think of fashion as something that goes that deep. But as the author and Harvard Professor Cornel West stated, “Its the person who wears the clothes. The soul. The spirit. The body inside the attire. That’s where style comes from.”

What if every person in the world dressed like themselves? Do you know what I mean? What if every person felt comfortable enough to express all of themselves in the open by how they dressed? What a wonderfully interesting world we would live in! I know for a fact I would just want to sit out on the sidewalk for hours and watch people pass me by.

So after two ho hum years in high school I finally cracked, broke down my junior year and decided to take a risk. I was so tired of not becoming myself. At first it was difficult because my school has a dress code but I took it as a challenge. So after reading the school dress code word for word online I set off to become a distinct person not at all concerned about making myself appealing. All I wanted was to say something real, be noticed. So slowly but surely I started breaking every fashion rule I knew. I wore different patterns together. I wore high-waisted long skirts (not commonly appealing to the opposite sex). I wore pink neon fishnet tights. I wore socks that didn’t match. And all sorts of other fashion no nos. You might be thinking “but didn’t people make fun of you?” Of course they did! But I knew the secret to surviving high school: Project confidence and don’t give a flying flip!

After a month or so of my craziness I started having random people come up to me in the hallways and tell me how much they loved and admired my sense of style. Wow! Who knew that people would actually admire originality! This has been one of the most eye opening experiences of my life. All of a sudden I realized my deep passion to become an artist and I started painting my soul out in addition to creating one of a kind window displays for Reruns. I felt a growing feeling that I was doing what I was meant to do, which is by far the most incredible feeling that one can feel. Who knew that my life could completely change just by changing what I put on in the morning.

Now I’m not saying that you should go home and throw out all your clothes and take a walk on the wild side. All I’m trying to do is encourage you to take a small risk. Throw caution to the wind for a day. Whether it be wearing black and brown together or wearing those sexy red heels you’ve been hiding in your closet. I promise you, it will feel incredible. Bon voyage!

paris woodhull

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