Somewhere between 30 and now, I became a grown up.
I am no longer carded at bars. I am consistently “ma’am” instead of “miss”. It gives me a jolt of sadness to see current pictures of Harrison Ford/Kevin Kline/Ethan Hawke looking so weathered. I think a lot about retirement, and my idea of a great birthday present is a major kitchen appliance.
Today, I am 41. Happy birthday to me.
Oddly, that’s not the uppermost thing in my mind, though. What I’m more concerned about is that today marks the first day of the week when I will write My Closet Catalogue’s 100th post. To me, that is larger cause for celebration because Sunday’s post. The problem, of course, was deciding how to commemorate this momentous occasion.
Follow my thought process on this, if you can:
What should I do? What theme do I do? Lemme look at my list? None of these work! What about something “100”? Centennial? Century? How does one celebrate that? Party clothes? Ick! Lemme Google/Pinterest that. Nada. Argh!
[insert KS#2 aka Voice of Zen here]: Why not do a week of your favorite pieces?
Favorite pieces? Brilliant! But wait, that’s too vague. That’s like asking me for my favorite movie. Or book. Or Yogurtland flavor. I can’t just pick five! Too many choices! I need parameters! What about a favorite item of clothing per day? Shirt/pants/skirt/shoe/accessory? Still too vague. Blargh!
But wait! What about fave fashion styles? Mwahahahaha! YES! I always say I’m a fashion chameleon; why not showcase five of my favorite styles? But which ones? Lemme Google that. No, I don’t want to take a quiz! No, I don’t trust Yahoo Answers! Blargh!
My friends, I tell you this: when technology fails you, turn to books.
Queue dramatic music.
(It stands to reason that this book ended up being my saving grace; after all, its predecessor, The Lucky Shopping Manual, is my fashion bible and my most recommended resource for all things clothing. )
There are ten iconic looks covered in the guide and I went to town on all of them, upending my closet to see which ones I could recreate. After several uninterrupted hours – thank you, across-the-street neighbor for taking the kiddos off my hands! – I came to the realization that I really only do gravitate toward five of the ten styles.
Today, then, to kick off Iconic Fashion Week, I give you: California Casual.
This is a look that is grounded in a time and place that may never have existed outside of our collective imagination: the tawny, golden-edged Malibu of the ’70s – possibly embodied by Farrah Fawcett in a white halter dress at sunset, glass of wine in hand… [I]t is the combination of dreamy sexuality and surfer-girl vitality that makes this look so distinct – and so distinctly American.
According to the guide, some of the Essential Pieces for this look are a vintagey scarf blouse, high-heeled sandals and the ubiquitous pair of jeans. Now, the guide stipulates a pair of dark trousers, but for me it’s faded capris all the way. This just makes me feel one step away from tossing the heels and splashing into the surf, don’t you think?
Now had you asked me about five years ago, I would have unequivocally declared this to be my go-to look. In fact, I think that’s how old this top is and it’s a testament to the pervasiveness of California Casual that an item of clothing has lasted that long and survived that many number of purges in my closet.
Nowadays, however, I would probably have done the top with a pencil skirt or the jeans with a crisp button up, at least for work. As my style choices evolve, I find that I reserve a complete California Casual look more for weekend wear than anything else. I think you can see why.
Today, because I have time and a willing photographer, I am treating you to a detail shot of my accessories. I am particularly excited about the watch – my birthday present from my husband.
Totally sweet how he did it too. After the kids’ golf lessons yesterday, we drove to the mall (already a surprise) then parked in front of Macy’s (what?!) where he told me that we were buying my present then and there (OMG).
We actually spent a good hour with the kids at the watch booth trying to find the perfect one. So more important to me beyond the watch was the thoughtfulness and consideration my normally mall-averse husband showed when picking out my gift.
I normally wouldn’t have been so fussy with my accessories for such a breezy weekend look, but my watch needed its day in the sun.
And you, my friends? What do you think of California Casual? Would you sport this style? Would you do it all-occasion or only on the weekends?
:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Top – New York and Co.
Jeans – Vera Wang @ Kohl’s
Shoes – Qupid
Hat – F21
Necklace – etsy
Watch – Fossil (birthday gift from hubby)