January 18, 2008

The Year of the Scarf

"What was the allure of the 20s? Sure, there's great skin tone, a seemingly consequence-free life full of endless possibilities... then again, there are sexually inexperienced men, horrible apartments and embarassing errors in fashion judgment." - Carrie Bradshaw

Yes, we all go through periods in which we dress ourselves, shall we say, under our potential. Up to the age of maybe 8, we can blame that on our parents. But beyond, into adolescence and through high school and college, and now into my twenties, each style period, good and bad, was of my own choosing.

I feel, like my counterparts, that at this point, my style is the best it's ever been. Of course I'm sure that will change in 20 years, but I am happy that my long road through scrunchies and Keds has finally led to my current style: part trendy, part chic, but classy prep at heart.

In junior high, I went through my schoolgirl phase. Not the icky porn-ish kind, but the Wet-Seal-and-Contempo-Casuals-influenced kind. Usually a sweater vest paired with an Oxford and skirt, knee-high argyle socks, and (shudder) platform loafers from Delia's.
This was apparently an overextension on my part, and I drifted into a temporary grunge phase, inspired by the immense chic appeal of "My So-Called Life," and "Reality Bites."
It was around the beginning of 10th grade that I remembered, "Eureka! I DO want to look like a girl!" The flannel shirts were done, and I broke out in a hybrid of schoolgirl and trend maven.
After the Cher-worshiping subsided around 11th grade, I decided I no longer had the energy or enthusiasm to shave every day and wear skirts constantly. Enter the inevitable period for every 15-18-year old in just about every state in the Union: the Abercrombie and Fitch phase.
*DISCLAIMER: When I was in high school, A&F wasn't the purveyor of pre-ripped jeans, microscopic shorts and sequined, worn-out, skin-tight tee shirts it is today. My A&F included tailored corduroys, crewneck sweaters, rugby shirts and the not-yet-overdone useless-jersey-number detail.
I took this look into college, and, inspired by my new surroundings of snowy hills, peaked chapels and ivy-covered buildings, I took the preppy to a new level, incorporating JCrew and (more) LL Bean pieces, which have both become staples of mine.
And let's not forget the preppy-academe's evil twin: the college party girl.
These days, post-graduation, I rock the business casual attire at work, and at night and on weekends, a combination of classic and trendy styles. I may wear ballet flats and a swing coat, but with a cashmere cable-knit sweater and pearls, of course.
What's your style evolution story? It may include, like mine, much-oversized footwear, bell-bottoms, scrunchies, and a patterned turtleneck here and there. But hopefully that road has led you to a style today that is classic, modern and flattering.
After all, you have to get past the bunker to make it to the green.
Have a good weekend!