One of my dear friends just started a blog that she described as “A fashion blog by someone who knows nothing about fashion.” Basically, she is documenting her journey toward learning how to be fashionable. She is hilarious in person and that wittiness comes across in her writing. She’s awesome. You should check out her blog, I’m So Chique! Last week she interviewed me for her site. I do not consider myself to be a fashionista, but apparently I have her fooled! 😉 I thought it would be fun to share the interview as something out of the ordinary for this blog. Now I will turn the time over to Chelsea . . .
When you sign up to teach English in the Middle-of-Nowhere, China, it’s going to be a life-changing adventure. In my case, I came home with adventure stories, a love of everything Chinese, as well as some great, lifelong friends– and I’m not just talking intestinal parasites!
I’d like to introduce one of my good friends from that semester in Urumqi, Sarah.
|Everyone: “Hello, Sarah!”|
In addition to her amazing contralto singing voice and passion for… well… everything, Sarah also has immaculate taste. She blogs over at Bombshell Bling, and so while it has been almost seven years since I’ve talked to her in person, I get to hear her voice as she writes about crafts, fantastic parties, and an unnatural obsession with s’mores. She has taste in decorating, cooking, and celebrating holidays, but today I’ve interviewed her about her fashion sense.
- Where do you get your fashion inspiration?
I tend to look at what friends, celebrities, and my favorite TV character are wearing and then go with my gut. Despite what Chelsea seems to think, I’m not a fashionista by any means, so I don’t tend to jump in with both feet at the first celebrity sighting of a new trend. I tend to wait it out a bit and see if I really like it and how it is going to last before I spend money and time implementing a new trend.
I have a lot of lovely, fashionable friends, and I definitely notice what they are wearing and think about how I would like to adapt it to my own style. A couple of people that I watch the most are my friend Jessica, who has a super flashy, colorful style that is a mix of cutting edge fashion and retro style, all mixed in with huge jewelry, and my sister Laura, who has a very Anthropologie-esque style that usually leans toward more muted colors and flowy fits. I tend to fall somewhere in the middle of the two, but definitely with bright colors and big jewelry.
I do watch what celebrities are wearing, and also what tv characters are wearing, interestingly. In college I adored what Monica and Rachel were wearing on Friends. I love what Zoe Deschanel wears, both on and off screen. Her colorful vintage vibe is right up my alley! Mindy Kaling’s character, Mindy Lahiri, on The Mindy Project has a wardrobe that I would LOVE to raid. It’s so dang colorful, AND it’s flattering for a non-size 2!
|Mindy Lahiri? You know, I’m just not seeing it.|
If I could step into the wardrobe of one person for the rest of my life it would absolutely be Kate Middleton. Except that I have nowhere to wear fancy suits and dresses. But they’re perfection.
Most of all, I look for things that are flattering on my figure. My figure has changed dramatically since having babies, so I have had to relearn what works on me and I tend to stick with certain fabrics and cuts when possible.
- If you have a nice event to go to (brunch, night out, etc.) when do you start thinking of what you’ll wear? How do you plan an outfit?
I have certain things that I wear a lot. My sisters call them my “uniforms.” I know they look good on me and I know that I am comfortable and confident in them. I feel that spending more money on “staple” items that can be dressed up or down is a great investment.
One thing I love is a great maxi dress. I have lots of solid colored dresses and tops that I dress up or down with bling. I am all about jewelry and bold lipstick. They both totally change the feel of an outfit! Sometimes I plan ahead, but more often than not I just walk into my closet and see what I feel like wearing that day and then mess around with makeup and jewelry to change the look a bit.
- What is your current favorite thing to wear?
Honestly? Yoga pants and Target t-shirts. That’s my ultimate “uniform.” Seriously. 😉
When I have a reason to look nice I’m all about maxi skirts with basic tops and big necklaces. During the winter I live in skinny jeans, a basic top, long cardigan, fun infinity scarf, and boots. Boots and jeans are another great place to invest more money. If you’re like me you wear jeans almost everyday. For goodness sake, invest in a pair that FITS WELL and is comfortable! And make them dark wash! So much more flattering. I wear my boots into the ground, and they totally make or break an outfit.
- Top 10 items to have in your wardrobe:
(In no particular order.)
1. Great skinny jeans. I wear American Eagle High Waisted Jeggings in the darkest color. (They do bleed at first so wash them inside out in cold water only with other darks for the first few washes.) They are SO FREAKING COMFORTABLE!! American Eagle jeggings — not just for teenagers — who knew?! I wear jeans sized in the double digits, so you can trust me that they aren’t just for pre-baby bodies!)
2. Maxi Skirts
3. Infinity Scarves (World Market is my fav place to find them.)
4. Great boots
5. A fantastic pair of black heels — mine are peep toe and I adore them.
6. Target T-Shirts
7. Maxi Dresses that you can dress up or down
8. Long cardigans in both plain colors and bold patterns that I can throw over basic tops
9. Flowy tops that can be worn alone or with big bling
10. BLING! Lots of bling. And, as a friend once said to me, “The bigger the woman is, the bigger the bling should be.” Big necklaces fill up space, ladies. It’s true. Although I wore them even when I was skinny . . . so I guess I just love big bling! 🙂
- Shopping: What is your plan of attack when you go clothes shopping? Do you have a plan of attack?
I have no plan of attack unless I have something very specific that I need. I usually just go to my favorite places and look around. You can get great deals at places like TJ Maxx and Ross, but I don’t have the patience for that. I will pay more in order to be able to walk in, scan the room, and know what is there. I don’t have time to dig.
Overall, I look for colors and patterns that jump out at me. I also look for things to fill “holes” in my wardrobe, whether that’s a certain color or a certain style that I don’t have much of. Above all, it must be a fit and fabric that I know looks good on me. If it isn’t then I don’t bother trying it on, regardless of how cute it looks on a hanger.
- What are some of your favorite stores (in person, online)? What do you usually buy there?
For dressy stuff and jewelry I love Anthropologie and Nordstrom. Obviously, I shop the sales there. Online I’ve gotten some great retro-style dresses at Shabby Apple, and I recently discovered a site called Kiyonna that sells plus sized clothing. I got a formal dress there for a performance and I love it!
- What advice would you give me or people like me for whom dressing well is challenging and out of their comfort zones?
Just keep trying new things and BE BRAVE. It took me years to put on skinny jeans because I thought I’d look fat in them. Well, maybe I do, but they are fashionable and cute, and they allow me to wear boots all winter in Colorado! I love them! I shouldn’t have waited so long!
Over time you will figure out what fabrics and cuts are best on you, and you will figure out your personal style. I wear bigger jewelry, brighter colors, and more sequins than most of my friends. But that’s me! Just own your personal style. Fun makeup and a cute haircut are a great way to shake things up.
And one tip that I feel is valuable for every woman: A GREAT BRA AND SPANX! The Target Assets brand knockoff Spanx are affordable and will smooth you right out, whether you are already thin or not! I don’t wear them daily, but you’d better believe I wear them when I’m dressed up! And a great bra is an everyday essential. I go to the Nordstrom semi-annual sales and get fitted with the workers (yes, it’s embarrassing) and suddenly I look ten pounds lighter with those things hiked up. Great bras aren’t just for busty gals like myself. Sometimes I look at my super thin, flat chested friends and think, “Girl – hike those things up! You will love the fit of that dress so much more if you do!” Great undergarments make everything you wear look better. Best fashion investment of all!