If you follow me on Snapchat you probably saw my off-Broadway rendition last night of John Malkovitch’s ugly cry at the end of Death of a Salesman, when I announced that I was entering this contest. Yes, my mascara was waterproof and no, I didn’t have four interns spritzing water on my face in between snaps to make it look like I was wallowing in a pool of self-pity – I was. Because hey, it takes a whole lot of balls to put yourself on display in front of industry mavens that you admire. Leandra, I’m talking to you, girl.
So, what’s my personal style? Truth be told, I’m still trying to figure that out. However, I’ve made some major strides over the past decade via copious rounds of buyer’s remorse and one bitter ex-boyfriend who still claims I ruined our relationship with my undying commitment to full bum underwear (and banishing him to walk five feet behind me to make sure my period doesn’t grace me two days early when I just have to wear white jeans) but my new man is down for that job so, whatever, love is blind-ish. One thing I’m one hundred percent sure of? My personal style is always better in my mind than IRL, and I’m OK with that. Just because I can picture myself, ideally, in this season’s couture doesn’t mean I shouldn’t attempt a comparable look with my existing budget-friendly wardrobe and a literal interpretation of Bob Proctor life quotes.
I chose this particular outfit because it exemplifies the marginally foolproof style principles I’ve honed over time, which I unwittingly rely on every time I get dressed. You might be wondering why I would pair a black tuxedo blazer with cropped leggings, gladiator flatforms and a velvet choker but trust me, there is a method to my madness. Or at least that’s what I’ve been telling myself ever since I discovered extra-foam lattes: superfluous but so necessary.
The 5 Basic Principles of My Personal Style
- Imaginary Runway: I always parade my outfits, in my mind, on the same corner of Avenue Road and Bloor Street (pictured here) with the sun shining and the wind in my hair. Meanwhile, I’m sitting naked on my closet floor, in the fetal position, trying not to make contact with my lady bits and our Persian rug as I scroll through other people’s IG feeds looking for #inspo. This is the real reason I forced my boyfriend to turn our second bedroom into a closet, so I can work in peace.
- Out of Stock: I’m literally the worst blogger at providing shoppable links. Most of the things I own have either been procured on trips when I was in my early 20s, or in thrift shops, or I stole from my mom’s closet from when she used to be cool in the 70s. There has to be at least one item in every outfit that I can’t try to get you to buy with an affiliate link. In this case, it’s my disintegrating Mickey Mouse t-shirt that I’m pretty sure was my dad’s from an era when he still had a full head of hair. I sliced the neck from crew to scoop one day back in University with a pairing knife – a sartorial decision I still regret to this day.
- Ready for Black Tie and/or Jane Fonda Workout: Some people mix high and low fashion pieces, I mix the dress codes of Google Calendar events. My outfits must always have one element that would be appropriate for canapés and confirming you’re on the list; and another element that would carry me through three sets of 500 squat pliés, on relevé, hanging from a kettlebell with an imaginary piece of beef jerky clenched in between my thighs singing Drake’s Redemption. In this case I’ve chosen my H&M Studio SS14 smoking jacket avec tassels and paired it with nude workout tights by Olympia.
- Nude Lip: Sure, it may not be a fashion item but I refuse to complete any outfit without a nude lip. Not just any nude, it must be quasi-corpse nude. Sometimes, when I’m feeling extra insolent, I’ll forgo lipstick altogether and just smear concealer all over my lips. I’d probably erase my lips if that was an option. Note to self: invent lip eraser. Basically, if I don’t look like I could maybe be dead (or just severely dehydrated) then I’ve missed the mark.
- Five Minutes (or more) of Hating the Outfit: No outfit is deemed worthy of leaving the house in unless I spend a minimum of five minutes looking down at it in disgust. I kinda have to hate my outfit in order for me to know it’s right. Sometimes, I’ll even take an item off, roll it up in a tiny ball and throw it across the room like a ceramic vase in a domestic quarrel just to put it back on again as though it were love at first sight. It’s better that this love/hate phase happens at home because I can always reconcile it. I’m weary of the days when I forget to hate my outfit a bit before I leave the house because that means it’s going to happen when I catch my reflection in a store window or sit down to dinner with my friends and see one of them wearing a new top that she literally popped the tags off of in her Uber on the way there.
If there were ever a conclusion to glean from performing this type of exercise it would be that wine is still the best answer to all your fashion questions and when in doubt, just copy someone else’s look. The good news? This one is available for a small price: your soul (and a #followback on Instagram).
PS. A big thank you to all the judges from Bloglovin’, H&M and Man Repeller for taking the time to read my entry!