6397 Shorty Jeans | mine are sold out, link goes to selvedge style
Acne Studios Bird fleece sweatshirt
James Perse slub crewneck
Freda Salvador Lock d’orsay sandals | also Ivory
Admonish leather tote
I have been making a conscious effort to wear my Freda Salvador shoes/sandals whenever I would otherwise reach for sneakers. This is for two reasons:
- I don’t have black sneakers that fit/that I love anymore, and I’m trying to avoid purchasing a pair, so I decided to make these my black-sneaker-substitutes.
- I literally WANT to wear these all the time, because they’re amazing, but I have that problem where I DON’T wear things as often as I want to because I don’t have occasions for which to wear them. So, whenever I feel like wearing sneakers, or otherwise “calling it in,” I’m trying to put these on instead. For a “chic” alternative, and also because I have them, and love them, so why not wear them?
Back to number 2. We’ve discussed this before, and interestingly enough, you know where I wore this outfit? Costco. And the pet store. And at home in my office. That’s it. I wore THIS OUTFIT to work at home, and run random errands.
Why do I not feel “worthy” enough to wear whatever I want, where ever I want, whenever I want? Is that even the issue? I say I don’t wear “good” things to run errands because I don’t want to ruin them, or wear them out, but seriously; this is a sweatshirt and baggy jeans. The shoes should wear and last well for many years of consistent wear, so what am I worried about?
Since we moved to the suburbs, I’ve become more conscious of my style, and how different it is. I stand out. A lot. You wouldn’t think so, perhaps, because I tend to wear “normal” clothes, but not north Texas suburbs “normal”. Or, maybe it is just that I don’t feel entirely at home/comfortable here. And because I don’t feel like myself here, I struggle more with trying to “fit in,” something I’ve never done before.
Ah. Again, overthinking everything ! But par for the course since I try to document and talk about what I wear and why I’ve chosen to add certain things to my wardrobe. Ultimately, I don’t spend every second of every day thinking about what I wear and why (just half of them. kidding…), but I do find it a fascinating experiment in self-awareness that will hopefully lead to growth.
The end 🙂
Just for what it’s worth… I grew up in the Plano area and spent most of my college years at SMU, and I never quite felt like I fit in. I’m up a bit northwest of Frisco now, and that half hour or so makes a pretty dramatic difference – I feel way more at home here than I ever did in the north Dallas/Plano are). Trips to the Plano area for shopping and such have me feeling even more out of place than I did before. It’s a strange vibe there.
I’m struggling with the “fitting in” AND “packing” issues – heading to the midwest next weekend for a family party. I’m sure most people will be wearing blue jeans. I just don’t wear blue jeans very often (and I never travel with them – esp when flying carry-on – because they’re heavy, don’y dry quickly, yadda yadda yadda – they’re just not on my packing list) My normal style default for a casual daytime party would be a cute knit dress – I have several Eileen Fisher and other brands – with ballet flats. But I know if I wear “A Dress” no matter how casual it feels to me, it will stand out among everyone else. So I’m struggling to be true(r) to myself, or try to blend a little by wearing a black slim ankle pant as a compromise (I will not be wearing jeans!) Argh.
And that’s only one trip. I can’t imagine if I had this much agida on a daily basis.
LOVE Freda Salvador and I have wanted those shoes forever. I bought a pair of booties that I love so, so much. Seeing how much you love these has helped me decide that these will be my Spring shoe splurge. (Plus, one of the gals went to my high school!) I actually love this outfit a TON because it mixes up the casual clothes with the shoes. I, too, am guilty of buying something epensive or special (particularly shoes) and then not wearing them due to similar concerns. Let’s make a pact to get that cost per wear down!
Rosie´s last blog post ..The Complete Coat Wardrobe
Grechen Reiter says
ok, that is crazy because i met someone at an event recently (i only introduced myself because she was wearing a pair of freda salvador shoes, as was i!) who went to college with one of the founders. WEIRD. and small world 🙂
and it’s funny that even though for me, whose justification to buy things is more often than not cost per wear, that i end up not wearing said things enough. ugh.
Such a small world! I am older than the girl is but found the brand in my alumni magazine. I hope to meet her sometime.
I am so guilty of that, too. How do we get past that?
Grechen Reiter says
it’s strange, but i don’t have as big of a problem “fitting in” when i’m traveling. i do think about what i’m going to wear and if it will be appropriate (like with my step-son’s bar mitzvah), but my focus is always on what i REALLY want to wear. because i also treat travel as a chance to wear things that i may not otherwise – in my “real” life –
i can’t imagine packing (which already gives me anxiety) and trying to deal with fitting in issues!! you have my sympathy 🙂
i think you should wear your dress, honestly, but i’m a dress person too, for ‘events’. but at the end of the day you have to wear what makes you comfortable and happy, and if that means you compromise a little and wear pants, then that’s what you should do…
Grechen Reiter says
ah! thanks for validating me alison 🙂
so interesting that anyone we’ve met who’s “from” plano can’t get far enough away from it now…i can’t pinpoint what it is exactly. but yes, strange vibe.
My unsolicited advice is…STAND OUT!!! You’re stylish and most likely, the burbs could use a good dose of that. Be you…be authentic….and soak in the stares! I hear ya, because off-season regulars don’t dress like I do and I get a lot of looks. I’m going to continue to dress the way I like, and STAND OUT! 🙂
the one thing I have been able to pinpoint about living in the suburbs, at least in my town, is that the women are very much into a bling look. Lots of jewelry like Sabika, Alex & Ani, Pandora, etc. Almost like a status thing along with monogrammed LV and Coach. Also the styles are a little more formulaic and tend towards flashy(for lack of a better word), like a mannequin from Ann Taylor or White House Black Mkt. I am definitely one of the only ‘minimal’ dressers I have seen.
Having never been to Texas, I wonder what it is about the local style is that makes you feel like you stand out. Can you describe it? Is it like maximalist vs minimalist?
Living a home based life in a suburb of Los Angeles, I sometimes feel slightly too casual in my James Perse, Rag & Bone and rotating pairs of Vince sneaks. The reality is that I’m wearing amazing quality materials that cost an arm and a leg , designed in New York /Los Angeles so what am I even worried about?
You caused me to have a little jolt with this post. If I moved to Texas or Colorado or anywhere else in the country would I feel the need to change my very established style?
I really love the way you dress Gretchen, you always look so very “you” if you know what I mean. Never a what I call a “blogger look “which usually can be spotted a mile away in real life . You are always true to yourself, you never look contrived.
I hope you can expound on this fitting in topic a little more in the future, Karen
Grechen Reiter says
excellent points all, karen.
first, i don’t think the style here is very different from any other “suburban” style, honestly, but i guess if i had to describe it, it would be nondescript? boring? colorful? LOL i know that may seem like an oxymoron, but all the color hurts my eyes, and sometimes i feel like it’s just thrown together without a lot of thought? – women of my general age, or at least who i assume to be around my age, are usually dressed in yoga or exercise clothes or otherwise (very dated) jeans and tees. not that i’m trying to pass judgement on anyone at all – it’s just not my style.
here’s the thing though – i’m not sure it’s about “fitting in” here, since i’ve never been one to try and fit in, or want to fit in at all. i don’t care about fitting in. i DO care about being part of a community, and i don’t have that here. i built one for myself when we moved to austin and i literally knew NO ONE (and the style there was very different from mine also), but i haven’t done that here, for a lot of reasons. that, i think is the biggest issue.
I’m also far away from home, and it’s taking a toll on me; my parents are in their 70’s and although i’m lucky enough to be able to see them every few months or so, that’s not enough for me.
so, i’m sure i’ll talk more about it in subsequent posts, but now that you’ve got me thinking about it, my “fitting in” problem isn’t with fitting in at all. which of course, i knew already 😉
This is a generalization, and not meant to tar all suburbanites with the same brush, but my observation has been that the approved aesthetics for suburban women tend toward the “pretty,” while the approved aesthetics for urban women often skew toward the chic.
I think we are all social animals and we dress to identify ourselves to our tribe. And I think we are also subtly attuned to dressing for our surroundings. This is why a Commes Des Garcons hooded dress would look wonderful at an evening wedding downtown but ridiculous if the wedding is at an historic house on the outskirts of a small town that prides itself on its Confederate heritage. The black color and the architectural shape looks great against a backdrop of city lights and the varied textures of buildings. It would look terribly out-of-place against a weathered white farmhouse or while sitting on a hay bale; then, you’d want to go for a “nice” Milly frock or, if you’re militant about your city identity, a DVF in a pretty print.
This is not to imply that women in the ‘burbs are all style-less! This is to point out that we all pick up cues from our surroundings and some surroundings lend themselves to some styles better than others. I admire those who are living in the land of Pulte Homes developments and holding on to their Olivier Theyskens for Theory jackets.
Lisa, you nailed it with “…we are all social animals and we dress to identify ourselves with our tribe.”
I was thinking the same thing. Sociologists could probably tell us a lot about what our clothing choices/location/age group/income say about who we are.
I live in a small town (3800 people) that is heavily influenced by NYC, which makes for an interesting juxtaposition between locals and metropolitan transplants. I’m very comfortable in my minimalist (when dressed up or for work) or tomboy chic (casual style) wardrobe, which tends to put me at odds with one of my social groups. But I fit right in with the transplants!
I guess it comes down to being authentic where ever you may be, and with whom. Although, as an aside, I wear less makeup than I did before moving here…I’m not sure if that’s a “fitting in” choice or a fashion choice, tho, since it’s a trend.
Insight…you thought about it, talked it out, and worked through it. Well, you’re workING through it. 😉
Grechen Reiter says
ha. yes, this is my therapist 😉
I totally get that. I think you really DO journal! This is your autobiography.
Grechen Reiter says
brilliant observations lisa – and i think very true. and possibly why we’re all a bit unsure sartorially when we’re out of our element/away from our home communities, especially when they’re very different from each other
love your examples too 🙂
Mamavelveeta03, have you read Free Gift with Purchase: My Improbable Career in Magazines and Makeup by Jean Godfrey-June? (She’s the former beauty director for Lucky.)
She lives in a small town outside NYC, characterizes it as very crunchy, and writes very amusingly about the culture clash between NYC-level style and makeup versus the townie stuff. The book’s a penny on Amazon (and then shipping) and is a fun read. Your comment absolutely reminded me of her chapters on living in her town.
I think two of the most interesting things about your blog are 1) how you are dressing to some internal sense of place/community instead of resorting to the protective coloration of that leggings company taking over Facebook (blanking on the name) or whatever, AND 2) how what appeals to you and what you wear are so very tied to your interior life.
Some of the most revolutionary designers in fashion are the ones who put forth clothes that promote the idea that women dress to please themselves and be at ease in their own sense of selves, and I think it’s cool and interesting to see a blog by someone living that premise. There’s a lot of pushback against the idea that women can dress purely for their own pleasure, and watching you navigate the pursuit of that pleasure against things like “I live in suburbia” and “I get comments from people” is a real-life study in how one person handles that. Thank you for putting it out there.
I haven’t, but I’m very familiar with the book and the work of June in Lucky mag and now with goop. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks, Lisa!
This comment thread is so interesting. I went to college in Portland and, even before that, dressed really funky. A lot of thrift store clothes, very preppy meets bohemian meets goodwill. And when I moved to Denver when I was 26 it was a jolt. No one dressed likes me. I had this grubby wool suit jacket that I wore all the time in Portland that I literally never wore in Denver and it was hard. I was so homesick in the beginning and I think I was partly homesick for fitting in so well in Portland satorially. Now I am 36 and just wear what I like (back in Portland but in the suburbs) and have realized that I have never had friends with a similar a style so I don’t need to be in a culture with a similar one. Maybe? Haha. The worst is to go to small rural towns visiting my parents. I literally own nothing that wouldn’t make me stand out. 🙂