when i first moved to new york, i was pretty sure i wanted to work in fashion. i’d had my first taste of city style the summer before, when i interned at deutsch and lived in chinatown, and seen my share of chic new yorkers with model off duty style and unwashed hair and so cool it hurts vintage clothing. i’d even purchased some of that so cool it hurts clothing for myself, at angela’s vintage on 11th street in the east village. so when i graduated college, and moved to new york with an english degree and my cat and not much else, i gravitated toward the fashion world, thinking, if i could merge my love for style with my love for words, i’d be golden. of course, it’s never that simple. carrie bradshaw isn’t a real human being. her closet isn’t a real new york closet. her wardrobe, on that salary? also not real.
what is real is how insanely creative and energizing the fashion industry is. i found this out firsthand while covering fashion week for a little ol’ blog i wrote for (not this one) for a few seasons during my first few years in new york. at the time, i thought fashion week was, quite possibly, the most glamorous thing i’d ever seen, let alone been a part of. i suppose, to this day, that’s probably still the case. i saw celebrities up close. i sat right behind anna wintour’s infamous bob. i watched insanely beautiful clothing walk down the runway, hung on the slight shoulders of insanely beautiful people. i wore a ridiculous sequin cape from the 60s one day, a tie dyed mini dress the next.
but eventually, the novelty wore off. the sheen seemed more like cheap lame. the clothes were beautiful, yes, but the people weren’t my people. they were elitist and exclusive. they lived a lifestyle i couldn’t afford to live – and one i’m not sure i’d live even if i could afford it. they were all about the surface, and i don’t live a surface life, in any sense of the word.
don’t get me wrong. i love pretty things. i love to look at beautiful clothes. but would i spend $1000 on a pair of embroidered jeans? never. i don’t even wear jeans. i think spending $400 on a purse is a TON of money. i’d never spend a month’s worth of rent on anything but, well, my rent. and i’ve found that i’m much happier in a different kind of creative industry.
these days, my outfits are more boring. i still wear sequins (i’m wearing them today, in fact, on my cardigan), but you’ll rarely find me in an all out “outfit.” i dress for comfort, mostly, for 10 hour days at work and 14 hour days away from my apartment. i solely wear flats, thanks to a recent foot injury, and i’ve taken to wearing my hair in a high bun because i can’t be bothered to style it. you could say that as i’ve gotten older, i’ve gotten more lazy. but i think what’s really happened is that i’ve become more in tune with my personal style, more okay with who i am in general, and that’s reflected in what i wear. i have a uniform (leggings and big sweaters in the fall, maxi dresses in the summer), and i’m okay with that. i’m not the kind of girl whose outfit turns heads, and i don’t think i’ll ever be. maybe the girl who moved to new york five years ago could have been, if life had doled her a slightly different piece of pie. and that girl? she totally would have worn the outfit above, fur collar and all.