Inspired By | Stacy London
As I get older, it's becoming more apparent that when it comes to female friendship, I have a type. This type isn't exclusive; not all of my friends match these parameters. But when it comes to kindred-spirit-type friendships, the ones where the second you meet you feel as if you've been friends for all of time, most of those women have certain traits in common.
I befriend honest women. Women that speak their mind, have candor, and tell it like it is. They don't beat around the bush, they don't sugarcoat. They usually have a bit of quirk about them, and a unique sense of humor. They know themselves and don't apologize for it. They're not cold-hearted, or mean, or rude but sometimes can be framed as "difficult." "Difficult" because, after all, what's a women if she isn't sweet, always nice and certainly soft-spoken? Usually, that woman is my friend.
This type of woman is what I expect Stacy London to be. I am confident in this assessment. I've seen nearly every episode of What Not To Wear, follow her on Instagram, and have read all of her articles for Refinery29, of which she is a contributor. (Those articles are linked at the bottom of this post.) So, to prepare for our inevitable friendship if ever we should meet, for this post I took my cues from Stacy.
Let's get to it!
THE EVENT: Monday - work and rehearsal.
THE BROKEN RULE(S):
- Black is always best.
- Never wear anything too girlish.
- Don't make your feet look any bigger than they already are.
Let's talk about rules. If you've seen What Not To Wear, you know that Stacy (and Clinton) had lots of rules. It was from them that I learned most of the rules I know, and though it seems counterintuitive given that this blog is about breaking rules, I'm grateful. I grew up in that era when skinny was in, and not strong-skinny or fit-skinny as is all the rage now, just very, very skinny (and tanned).
I was not skinny. I was an overweight kid, and once puberty hit my body confidence really plummeted. I've always loved clothes, but often hated the way they looked on me. I hated dressing rooms. The idea of wearing a swimsuit in public gave me heart palpitations. (I still struggle with that. Christian often gives me a hard time (lovingly!) for my old-lady suits.)
What Not To Wear taught me how to flatter my shape. It helped me understand body types and proportions and color and the important of dressing the body you have, not waiting around for the body you want. And, of course, Stacy was my favorite. I liked Clinton, too, (and Nick Arrojo!) but Stacy was my type of lady. She was kind but honest and had a searing sense of humor. I wanted all of her clothes. I wanted to hang out with her and absorb her style-sense through the air. (I still want that, let's be real.)
Fast forward to present day. I ran across an article written by Stacy entitled "Why Dressing Your Age Is Bullshit (& Other Fashion Myths Debunked!)" and if I thought I couldn't love Stacy anymore than I already did, I was wrong. One particular paragraph really sang to me:
When I look back, I realize the style I had while I was on What Not to Wear — the pencil skirts and sheath dresses, the floral and ruffled tops — does not reflect who I am now. It reflects the television persona I gave up a long time ago. It no longer “fits.” (Pun intended.) I dress much more androgynously than I did when I was younger. Frilly, girly clothes don’t have enough gravitas for me. I like suits and leather and jumpsuits, and I almost exclusively wear pants. I am pretty sure this change in my style happened quite naturally... The fact is, my public persona was only ever “part” of who I was to begin with. The Stacy I was in 2002 cannot possibly be the Stacy of 2016. Age is part of time, and does in fact change things.
I've been experiencing a similar feeling in my own style transition. As I discussed in the last Inspired By post, (Inspired By | Jess from New Girl) the circle skirts and ballet flats and all of the black I clung to before no longer calls to me. Like Stacy, I'm drawn to menswear-inspired pieces tailored to women, and for the first time I really want to wear colors. All colors! Even "girly" colors like pink and purple.
THE OUTFIT: With all that being said, I knew for this post I shouldn't emulate Stacy's style. Instead, I took Stacy's trademark guidance from What Not To Wear: good outfits combine color, pattern, texture, and shine, and combined it with Stacy's current outlook, to honor where I am now.
The outfit started with pants, high-waisted Madewell jeans, to be specific. Next came the long lavender vest from this month's Stitch Fix Review. Then this deco-floral print T from Loft. I loved that the red and lavender combination wouldn't normally work, but the periwinkle blue in the shirt acted as a bridge. Then, to finish it off, cream hightop Converse sneakers. (And Glossier red lipstick!)
I loved that the pieces themselves had a menswear vibe but all the colors and patterns yelled I'M A LADY! The outfit had color, pattern, and texture. I could have amped up the shine... I'll save that for next time. It felt fun, and surprising, and comfortable (a necessity on a Monday). I'd like to think Stacy would approve!
THE EXPERIENCE: I felt good in this outfit. Really good. I felt like myself, but in a loud-and-proud sort of way.
While there weren't any fireworks when I left the house, and no one applauded as I went by, this outfit made me feel accomplished. All of my works tasks felt easy-breezy. At rehearsal we were learning music, and everything clicked. I came home in a better mood than I've been in in awhile.
I'm sure there are those that would say that it's a stretch to say that my outfit changed my whole day, but I would loudly contradict them. (And I bet Stacy would, too!)
THE CONCLUSION: So, there it is!! What do you think? Was this outfit good enough to woo Stacy into friendship?
Do you have a type of friend, too? (I guess the hip term is "tribe"...) As always, drop me a note below! I'd love to chat friendship, and tribes, and Stacy, and What Not To Wear, and color-pattern-texture-shine!
Want more Stacy? Here are some of her articles, and a tour of her home:
I'll meet you back here on Sunday for another post!