Monday, July 14, 2014

Fashion & Art.

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"Fashion is not necessarily about labels. It's not about brands. It's about something else that comes from within you." -Ralph Lauren

The other day I went to an art museum in Arkansas wearing this outfit. Whilst looking at all the beautiful art, the inspiration for this post hit me like a sculptor chiseling a statue.

Before I go on my little rant, let me make an example for you. In the year 1874 an independent art show was held in Paris by 55 artists. These artists would later become known as Impressionists. For the sake of the story let us compare anyone in the fashion world as parallels to these Impressionists. The original reaction to the art by these men (and one woman) was not positive. Though some people appreciated these paintings, most ridiculed them. Let us now compare modern society to anyone other than the 55 impressionists. Many believed that Impressionistic paintings broke every rule that the French Academy of Fine Arts taught. The colors had no likeness to the real world, the short brushstrokes made the paintings almost illegible, et cetera. The problem was, it was different. I will now take the liberty to make an assumption on society's view on fashion based on my own encounters. Though some people outside the fashion world appreciate the ensembles these men and women wear, most people call them ridiculous. That man has his hair up in a top knot, his pants are too short, et cetera. The problem is, he dresses and looks different.

Now, I know the parallels aren't perfect, and I'm sure you could pick them apart for hours, but you get the idea right? Society doesn't immediately (or in some cases, ever) accept things that are different because they are exactly that, different. When I see someone dressing in their own personal style, I almost always go to that person and compliment them. Sometimes I don't even like what that person is wearing, but I compliment them because they are expressing creative freedom in the way they dress. If the world gave out more compliments and less ridicule we would ultimately have a more creative and expressive society. There is a difference, however, between someone making fun of what you are wearing, and someone giving you constructive criticism. You should ignore the former, but listen to the latter. The person giving constructive criticism may actually have valid points that should be listened to.

Young people especially have to deal with a lot of ridicule, and because of that I only know a few high school aged people who express themselves through the way they dress. There is a lot of peer pressure in high school, and most people fall into the flock of sheep behavior so they don't stand out. This is ridiculous! People shouldn't have to dress the same as their peers out of fear of ridicule. However, I don't necessarily think that people should dress the way they do because it's different; I think that people should dress the way they do because they like it.  If people give you crap because of the way you dress, politely tell them that they have the right to their own opinion, but nothing they say can change the way you dress, because you like it.

Just remember this: Back in 1874, I doubt the artists could have sold their art for anything, but nowadays they are worth millions. Paintings by the original 55 artists are sought after for every art museum and gallery all over the world. The most expensive piece of art ever sold was The Card Players by Paul Cezanne, which has Impressionistic qualities. It sold for between $250-300 million dollars.

Just some food for thought.

(Photo courtesy of my mom.)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Linen × Cotton

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The weather in Oklahoma has been in the 90's lately, and while most people forgo fashion for comfort and put on flip flops, tank tops, and shorts, I've been staying cool with linen and cotton clothes. Both the shirt and the suit trousers are a 50/50 linen/cotton blend, so they keep me cool while still giving me the ability to look nice. I paired them with a straw hat, some vintage sunglasses, a woven cotton belt, and some tassel loafers that are almost orange in color. Unbutton the top 2 buttons, roll up the cuffs, and voila! You have a stylish outfit that doesn't make you sweat like a pig. (Fun fact, that saying allegedly has nothing to do with actual pigs.)

(Photos courtesy of my mom!)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Paisley

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Detail of the pattern. I love the bits of green, yellow, and turquoise.

Long time no post! The camera I've been using stopped working on me, but a new camera just came in! Now I can get pictures of the dozens of outfits I have wanted to get pictures of but couldn't.

I found this vintage paisley shirt a while back at a local thrift store. Ever since then, I have been wearing it constantly. Among the other outfits I'll be getting pictures of, I have 2 or so more outfits including this shirt.

Sunglasses- Vintage- $0.25
Shirt- Vintage- $4.00
Pants- American Eagle- $5.00
Shoes- Allen Edmonds- $4.00


Photo courtesy of my mom.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring Has Begun*

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Well, it's spring. Unfortunately here in Oklahoma, it hasn't really felt like it. Although it has been chilly most days, there have been a few days in between that were close to the 70's. Fortunately today was one of those days, and I was able to bring out my new suit! This suit is a 50/50 linen/cotton blend, and perfect for the spring and summer. Pretty soon it will be time to wear some white suede bucks with it!

(Photo courtesy of my sister, Ashley.)

*Weather does not always coincide with the time of year. Check with your local weather station to see if the weather feels like spring. Please don't sue me if it doesn't feel like spring in your area.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Saturated colors

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A more casual than usual outfit today. My normal camera isn't working right now (I am tired of getting error 99....Seriously.) so we had to use another camera, one that is not even close in quality. I feel like a lot of the detail in the shirt was lost in this picture, which is kind of a bummer.

Anyway, the stripes on the shirt consist of saturated blues, oranges, reds, greens, and browns. The saturated red/salmon color stripes are very similar to the color of my pants, which I thought was cool.

Stay tuned, I have 2-3 more outfits that will be posted within the next couple of days.

Once again, everything is thrifted.
Casual button down- Vintage - $1.75
Salmon trousers - Lands End - $4.00
Suede Chukka boots - Varese - $4.50

(Photo courtesy of my sister, Ashley)




Sunday, February 9, 2014

Dark Americana

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If you haven't noticed yet, I'll make it pretty clear by saying it outright; I have a rather eccentric style. 
What I mean by that is, my style is very erratic. One day I might wear something along the lines of the Ivy League style, the next day I might wear something in the realm of the Americana workwear style, and another still I might an outfit that could be classified as "business casual". 

There are many individuals who have a personal style they stick to like glue, and they are still some of the best dressed men and women in the world. However, can't see myself doing that. A friend of mine on Facebook said this the other day (If you are reading this, you know who you are. :P ) "People who change their profile picture every day. Like can you not? we already know what you look like we don't need a constant update."  I don't know if she was specifically referencing me in said status, but I confess I am one of those people. I am not changing the picture all the time because I think you need to see what I look like at that moment, but because I get tired of how I looked that day. The reason why I do it is because I like constant change, I get bored of one picture almost as soon as I put it up. The same could be said about my style, I just can't wear the same style of clothing every day of the week.

Having a personal style is fine, but sometimes that "style" can be made up of dozens of genres.
So, if you are concerned that you haven't found a genre that you can wear every day, maybe it's because you are like me and like constant change. But if you have found a style you enjoy wearing every day, that is perfectly fine. 

At the end of the day, it all comes down to what you enjoy wearing.

(Photo courtesy of my sister, Ashley)

Friday, January 31, 2014

Unique finds

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This is why I go to thrift stores. (among many other reason, of course.) You never know what you will find, and sometimes you can score a very unique piece that you can't find anywhere else. Take this leather jacket for instance. It's 100% leather, a very odd cognac/rusty color, and double breasted. The wide lapels and western style shoulders also make this piece unusual. The best part was that everything at the store was half off the day I went, so the $25.00 price tag was reduced to $12.50.

Also, unconventional leather matching at its finest. The buttons on the sport coat are woven leather, very similar to the shoes, and both of them are very close colors to the leather jacket.

The rest of the outfits costs are as follows:
Vintage leather jacket - Unknown - $12.50
Vintage Harris tweed sport coat - Harold's by John Cupp - $5.00
Cable knit sweater vest - Lyle and Scott - $5.00
Bowtie - Bows-n-ties - Won in a contest
Corduroy pants - Levi's - $22.00 (eBay)
Woven leather loafers - Johnston & Murphy - $4.00

Photo courtesy of my mom. Special thanks since she endured taking pictures of the exact same outfit 3 times before I got what I wanted!



Thursday, January 23, 2014

101 thrifting tips: Tip #6

If it doesn't fit you but appears to be a high quality item, look it up on eBay on your smartphone or whatever other device you have. It could be worth way more money then they are asking for it, and therefore worth buying anyway.

I would wager to say that I have made more money buying stuff at thrift stores and reselling it on eBay then I have ever spent on clothes for myself. I like to look at it as getting free clothes... ;)

In my town, none of the thrift stores know what dress shoes and other "fancy" items are worth. They will price a pair of Nike's (And ugly ones at that) for $50, and then price a pair of high quality Allen Edmond shoes for $4.  (True story by the way) I know this isn't the case in every town, but still. There is a lot of money to be made in the reselling business.

Earth tones

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Nothing too special about this outfit, I just really liked it.

Sometimes, drawing inspiration from the earth is the easiest way to put together an outfit.  I stuck with dark green pants, a dark grey overcoat, some dark tan chukka boots, and finally a sweater with every shade in between. Seriously, I counted almost 10 different shades of color in the sweater alone. I may seem a bit contradictory now, but lately I haven't felt like adding a whole lot of bright colors in my outfits.

Again, most of the outfit is thrifted. In fact, only the pants aren't, and even those were only $12. Breakdown of the outfit:

Overcoat - John Rocha - $8.00
Patterned sweater - Jantzen - $1.00
Pants - Arizona - $12.00 (Black Friday sale at JCPenney's)
Suede chukka boots - Varese - $4.50

Grand total of $25.50 before tax.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

101 thrifting tips: Tip #5

Be friendly with the employees. No, they don't have to be your new best buds, and no, you don't have to invite them over for dinner. You do however, want to get to know the managers, chat with the employees occasionally, and overall just be courteous to them.

I know a majority of the thrift store managers in this town, and quite a few employees. You will be surprised on the amount of "insider" deals you can get. Over half of the stores will let me look in the back of the store at all of the merchandise that isn't out yet, some give me half-price discounts on clothing pieces, even when it isn't even the half price color, and others still have offered to call me if they get certain items I am looking for.

That being said, being friendly with people shouldn't have an ulterior motive. You should be courteous to everyone. Sometimes by doing so you can reap the rewards, sometimes it only results in people enjoying your company or being around you. That's a win-win situation if I ever saw one.