The majority of my closet since about the age of seventeen has consisted of dresses and random pieces from Goodwill and thrift stores. Really cool dresses that are totally funky and playful and channel my inner Courtney Love from the 90s. My favorite style, basically. My "me" clothes, my "catherine" clothes. My "if-you-insult-this-dress-you-are-insulting-my-entire-soul" clothes. And that was totally fine with me, and kinda still is, but as I've gotten older (HA-ripe old age of 23) and literally outgrown some of my classic-catherine outfits, or they have fallen apart, I have been dabbling in the "big girl" inspiration. You know, the "big girl" that wears "everyday jewelry" (you mean there's something other than costume jewelry?) and - GASP - boots?! Yes, Catherine from Closet's Past, boots. Turns out, there's a lot of value in a good basic piece. I can't believe I just said that, but I did. Clothes that serve as the backdrop for the face, the person - instead of clothes that serve as the main event while the face and person are merely the easel holding up the canvas.
Now before I go on, let me say there is awesomeness in both styles, and that if there ever comes a day where I don't own a pair of awkward weird clogs or a floral dress from the 90s, I give you permission to push me off a bridge. Okay, I've said my peace.
Something I love about pieces that enhance and support the face and the person is that it encourages you to own yourself. There's not so much to hide behind. I love when I see a woman in the most basic, elegant clothes, hair pulled back, no make-up. Brave enough to simply Be. Allowing the soul to be what overflows, the energy to be what you remember and feel. You want to be around the person, not the "idea" or "image" that's being projected.
So in a sea of vintage, thrift store, random clothes, sometimes it feels good to have something *nice*. Something grounding. I am all about pieces that are chic, beautifully designed, yet so comfy and effortless. Like, Carolyn Bessette effortless. Things you can throw on, hang around in the house in, or go out and still feel stylish and put-together. But not trying too hard. There is an adorable store in our neighborhood in Silverlake called The Runway Outlet that carries the fruits of local designers here in LA. It is pricey, but great quality, magical designers, sweet and helpful gals working there, and there's always a great sale rack. It's next to our favorite wine store, Silverlake Wine, but that's for another post :) I stopped in there today to use a giftcard my honey gave me a few months ago. My heart quickly got friendly with the racks.
Here's what I discovered:
Now I got these pants in army green, but couldn't find a picture of them online (oh duh I could have just taken one). They have a really faint paisley print that you can barely see on the green pants. They looked awesome folded up on the table and the girl convinced me to try to them on. I was sure they would be too small...I tried them on and at first was all "ohhhhh noooo these are wayyy too tight" - but apparently that is the style now, and they were supposed to be like that! I usually don't like skin tight clothing at all, but this....this was something magical. This was a unicorn. This was Britney Spears having coffee with me. They were SO comfortable - they felt like pajama pants, like a comfy hotel bed. The girl said they fit exactly how they were supposed to, and as I gazed in the mirror I thought "Oh my God! I get to be one of those girls! This is my time!" I loved them so much, and right then and there, I welcomed them into my closet. I took a chance on them, and they worked. The great part was that they were $55.00, which isn't a lot for jeans- really nice, awesome jeans that make me feel like a Grown City Gal.
This picture really doesn't do it justice. The skirt on the bottom of the top reminds me of a ballerina (my favorite thing to feel like) and how fitting that their runway models wear ballet shoes:
I got the pink top, but tried on the other one - wish I could have afforded both. I am in love with this designer. And again, pictures don't even do it justice. There's nothing like the way it feels when it try it on - the fabric is amazing - SO comforting, sleek and sexy. It feels so effortless and hangs beautifully.
And now this next designer I discovered about a year ago at the same store, and everytime I wear my top by her, I get so many compliments- and it's the simplest, comfiest top ever. I wear it all the time!
So there ya go. I just became sophisticated.