What is cool?
A question that has plagued advertisers, high school kids and, most recently, politicos since the word “cool” became cool.
In fashion, there’s a fine line between cool and trying too hard, between setting the trend and following a fad. Sometimes, things move so fast – it is an industry built on planned obsolescence after all – that it seems futile trying to keep up. Why bother investing in oxblood or hi-lo hemlines or sneaker wedges when you know it’ll be so last season tomorrow?
I think this is why I find myself most drawn to effortless elegance. It never goes out of style. Think the Hepburns or Grace Kelly. Jackie Kennedy or Kate Middleton. Coco Chanel. These women ooze(d) class and refinement. When I grow up, sartorially speaking, I wanna be just like them.
It may not seem like it, though, based on my previous posts, where the majority of my outfits have been studied and calculated and sometimes a bit contrived. Those bespeak of my not-so-secret flair for the dramatic, and when I started this blog, I did think that pictures needed to be eye-catching and editorial.
And that was fun for a while. And I will still continue to create elaborate concoctions that make use of all the latest shiny “in” things. However, when I stumbled upon today’s inspiration pic, I developed an instantaneous craving for simplicity and knew I had to dupe the look.
The hardest part for me was the top. It’s the centerpiece of the ensemble and needed careful consideration. I have numerous black tops that, combined, fit the bill, but separately, were woefully inadequate. I have a dolman sleeved blouse but it has a banded bottom; I have a loose-fitting top but it’s got a busy cowl neck; I have a boat-neck tee but it’s long-sleeved and the twin to the white top I already wore this week. I finally settled on the one from Old Navy because it mimicked the feel of the inspiration pic, if not the exact silhouette.
Shoes were a little tricky only because most of the nude/neutral footwear I own are pumps or stilettos, both of which would counter the casual vibe of the outfit. I ended up choosing my Cane booties in camel, thanking Buddha that I didn’t listen to KS#1 and return the black ones because they became my go-to wedge bootie so much that I had to buy it in two other colors.
I hope that I’ve come close in capturing the epic-ness of the inspiration photo. Because it is perfection. I mean, look at her! She is the epitome of effortless. The quintessence of cool. It’s in everything about the outfit: the clean lines of the pencil skirt, the unstructured breeziness of the oversized tunic, the subdued neutrality of the wedges. It’s in the restraint of her accessories – striking pendant, modest arm candy, a watch! And, of course, it’s in the ease in which she carries it all.
:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Top – Old Navy
Skirt – F21
Wedges – Cane by Michael Antonio
Necklace – F21
P.S. I know my skirt is was waaay longer than hers, but it refused to hike up and I’m at work so it needed to be modest anyhow, even if it does go against the rule of thirds with the bootie and all. Eh.