January 27, 2012

A little bit country, a little bit Groucho Marx

A friend of mine and I were discussing the abstracts we had to write for one of our classes to get us thinking about our paper topics. We kept commenting on how we had these ideas in our heads- words that stuck out- but nothing really connected together to make any actual sense on paper. The idea made perfect sense in our heads, not so much when it came to words (I finally settled on the false idea of nationalism in the Classical era into the Romantic using Wagner and Debussy as examples. My world is weird). Frankly that is how I feel about the inspiration I have been gathering for my wardrobe. I feel it is best summed up in the rather hillbilly-esque sequence of the following music video.

My father may disown me for what I am about to say, but I have a definite soft spot for country music. Actually let me re-phrase that. I adore traditional (or spins on traditional) Americana Folk music. I love the fiddle and banjo and mandolin, and am even quite partial to the spoons. And I also really like Taylor Swift. Shut up.

But that is not the point. The point is I have been really drawn to this idea of a lazy kinda country-in-the-city mixed with other bits. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I live in the middle of nowhere now, but whatever the reason I am dreaming of frizzy hair, and cotton shirt dresses, and sturdy simple frocks, oxfords, boots, and short heels, straw hats, berry picking, picnics by the river (which will hopefully be less flooded...) and late, nights looking at the stars. I'm actually excited about the coming summer!

I am really feeling inspired by the idea of an almost prairie thing, mixed with a few of the summer norms (like my beloved nautical wear!), and a kind of 20's-Dustbowl-late-30's-early-40's-end-of-the-depression-beginning-of-the-war-meets-70's-earth-child-Appalachian-Mountains-meets-silent-film-star-hair-meets-Scandinavian-farm-wife. I told you it was complicated ( and I realize I pretty much just covered 40 years of very different styles). But speaking of that sort of feel, when I was flying back to Corvallis at the beginning of the month, I watched the History Channel programme Hillbilly, and it was completely fascinating! I know there's some sort of ancestry of mine that hail from the Appalachia Mountains via Scotland, but it's not something I had ever really looked into. But this show was seriously incredibly interesting. If you get a chance to see it, I really do recommend it. I mean, did you know that NASCAR was developed because of moonshine bootleggers? Seriously, go watch it!

Glasses- Forever 21 years ago
Cardigan- Anne Taylor Loft
Dress- Q's Daydream Vintage Etsy
Belt- Vintage from another dress


But back to the point: Today I gave it a go, and I have to be honest, this is the most "me" like I have felt in a long time. I think this past year I got really lazy about my style and as a result had a bit of an "identity crisis." But this, this feels right. I think the problem I have is that people who wear full time vintage usually tend towards the glamour side, which is fantastic and absolutely beautiful, but that is just not me. I'm kinda rough around the edged and that's not going to change anytime soon. I like my hair frizzy, and my clothes to look well loved. For the past few months I've had that idea swimming round in my head, but couldn't really explain it until now. Sure I love my red lipstick, but don't expect it to be perfect because it will fade and I will not re-apply it. Of the Vintage "Types" I am definitely much more Girl-Next-Door than Vixen. And I honestly think that will a bit of fixing, my wardrobe can properly reflect that better. I'd like to add more colour and patterns, but the basic idea was fantastic!


ignore the flying hand. I was losing my balance...

I do have to tell you that when I was leaving my room I checked the mirror and laughed because I looked like a 40's school librarian. Y'know the old-maid looking kind? Well I am actually quite fond of the look, so I went about my business. When I was walking into class this morning, a friend of mine took one look at me and said "Hey, Don Draper called. He wants you in his office." I was really confused for a moment until it was explained that I had the whole slightly-sexy secretary thing going on. I guess what they say about the eye of the beholder is true... This was an attempt to winter-ize the idea. The sun did come out today, but it was still cold enough to warrant tights and a sweater, and wet enough for boots (just pretend I took a picture of the boots.). And yes I did mix black and brown (not that you can really tell!), and I quite liked it. I've also been setting my bangs (which I am currently growing out until I get bored with that) each night in two little pin curls at the top of my forehead. I really love the way they come out so fluffy and crazy-like! As for the glasses, no they are not prescription. Yes I did buy them at Forever 21 eons ago. But frankly I like them (and actually they have UV protection on them, so I just told everyone they were sunglasses), and I think they're cute, and I always wanted to wear glasses, but am only in need of a very low reading glass, so there. Besides, at this point I am really way beyond giving a hoot about other people's opinions of my attire. If it makes you happy, go with it, and ignore all the snotty barely 20-year-olds making catty comments. Or just thank them for their comment. This is apparently far more irritating to them. Not that I know anything about something like that....

My mother hates these glasses on me because they obscure my eyebrows and make me look like Groucho Marx.


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