West Coast Woes

outfit inspiration winter

Sentaler bouclé suri alpaca coat // Rag & Bone x Hunter boots // Madewell sunglasses // Coach saddle dot bag

Every time I come to the West Coast I’m reminded of that episode of Sex and the City when Carrie goes to Aidan’s country house and tries to bake a pie wearing a plaid crop top while Samantha learns to milk a cow. Not that my boyfriend’s family lives on a farm, but for this city girl, any sight of unpaved terrain is either a new condo development or instantly, the brush. I mean, it’s gorgeous here – the ocean breeze, the tranquility, the fresh air – but ever since we arrived I’ve been having a really hard time reconciling mother nature with my #OOTD.

And it’s the same story every time. Jetset Justine vs. Pumpkin Spice. I pack heels. I pack couture. I pack SILK for god’s sake – and every single time I’m either uncomfortably overdressed or when I finally succumb to my surroundings, spend my days in the same two pairs of ripped jeans and my boyfriend’s gym sweater from high school, mourning the impending death of what used to be my high-brow fashion blog, supermodel werq.

Not that my love affair with Toronto is any less tumultuous; I could easily go into a depression when a search for palm trees and sepia walls proves unsuccessful (just ask my photographer). And somewhere between lip-syncing to Beyoncé’s I Care with tears streaming down my face and stuffing my face with french baguette and Oka cheese, it dawned on me. What you resist will persist. And isn’t it better to embrace your surroundings, allowing them to influence and inspire, rather than trying to magically transform University Ave into Santa Monica?

It’s a tactic I’ve been employing for a few months now, ever since summer ended. And I’ve got to say it’s not so bad. So when we set out to shoot some new outfits yesterday (the first time since Mexico, ayudame) I had a choice to make. Either I was going to attempt braving Crescent Beach in my Saint Laurent sparkle boots, fur stole and pannier with the wind blowing in my hair or I was going to blend in, stylishly. I chose the latter. I even layered a pair of pantyhose underneath my jeans. Blasphemy!

You see, even though Carrie may have looked a tad ridiculous in her crop top plaid, she had, in one exposed midriff, elevated country dressing to country style. To take what is familiar and re-conceptualize it, is a skill. Not that I’m elevating this outfit to anything grand (unless you feel that it is, in which case, yes) but it’s the beginning of a side of Jetset Justine that you’ve never seen before. I may not be full pumpkin spice, but I will take your pumpkin spice and raise you, one Oprah m-o-t-h-e-r-f-u-c-k-i-n Chai.

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7 Comments

  1. January 2, 2016 / 10:00 am

    Nailed it! That coat is perfection, btw.

    Jocellyn

    • Justine Iaboni
      January 2, 2016 / 1:26 pm

      Thanks, boo! Happy New Year, btw! xoxoxo

  2. Alexa
    January 2, 2016 / 10:52 am

    Oh man, I lived in Victoria for five years and was overdressed every day of my life- I was constantly surprised that something I thought was scraping the bottom of my closet was still considered “too much”. Wedge heels (it was 2007) and red lipstick even got me kicked out of one greasy hippie club because “we don’t do that kind of thing here”. However, I was the one laughing when I found a leopard print Michael Kors jacket for $15 in a thrift store because no one else knew what they were looking at. I wore it alone outside the hippie club and felt AH-MAZING.

    • Justine Iaboni
      January 2, 2016 / 1:28 pm

      LMAO. Your story is hilarious! So, what you’re saying is I should go thrift shopping while I’m here? Victoria is even worse than the mainland (or so I’ve heard) it’s like Narnia out there. Where do you live now?

      • Alexa
        January 5, 2016 / 10:06 am

        Thrift shopping is picked over in Vancouver, but if you head to the suburb of White Rock, apparently it’s a gold mine. Now I’m in Toronto and I can wear my leopard coat all year long without any second glances! I also live in Parkdale so it’s hard to tell apart the “I’m fashionably wearing a leopard print coat and neon pink lipstick in a relevant yet ironically clashing manner” versus “I’m wearing leopard print and something pink is smeared on my face and I forgot to wear pants” type people, but I’m okay with that. Helps me fly under the radar.

        • Justine Iaboni
          January 5, 2016 / 12:13 pm

          I’m in White Rock!!! That’s where my bf’s from! OK I’m going thrift shopping today. BOOYA! Thanks so much for that. HAHAHA Yes, leopard in parkdale straddles both fashion and methadone worlds. You’re hilarious by the way – do you have a blog?

          J

          • July 19, 2016 / 4:47 am

            ah, i want some jeans like those…Btw, i think you're generally an awesome person, and as a teenage girl i admire your deoiimrnatetn to wear what you want rather than what is expected, and you've inspired me to start a blog of my own.

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