Despite having no money, I've been pulling photos from magazines and fashion/design blogs as I dream about rebuilding my wardrobe.
I was having dinner with an expat friend. Like me, she also lived in Los Angeles before moving to Rome. I told her most of my clothes are too casual for Rome and for my age.
When I moved to Los Angeles from New York City, I had a lot of black (of course) and winter clothes in my closet. It was all wrong for sunny Southern California.
The style of the two coasts couldn't be more different. However, one positive thing about moving West was, I started to add more color to my wardrobe. With my dark complexion certain brights, yellows, blues, greens, really pop. When I would wear white (rare as it gets dirty quickly) my friends/colleagues would always compliment me.
Black was a uniform for me and my co-workers when I lived in NYC. It was easy and flattering (so I thought).
My L.A. wardrobe was all over the map and not in a good way. My body and L.A. "fashion" do not mix. I can't wear cute cammies over skinny jeans as my large breasts are real and therefore I need a bra. I think it's weird to see women in their 50s dressing like teenagers. I get it though. The pressure in L.A. to look like a member of "The Hills" is unrelenting.
Now, I'm ten years older and living in a city that's closer to NYC than L.A. when it comes to fashion. I have yet to see an Italian woman or man in the supermarket wearing pajama bottoms.
Thanks to the "Jersey Shore", people think people from Jersey dress like Snooki and Jwwow (even though both of them are from Upstate New York).
That was not the case in Verona, New Jersey, where I went to junior high and high school. It was the 80s and the most popular style was preppy. Sure there were a few girls who had super big hair but looking through my yearbook, there was a lot of L.L. Bean and Izod. And the Madonna influence. Some girls would combine both.
Someone said "Style is what you have, not what you buy." Fashion is different from style. A stylish persons looks great regardless of what is going on in fashion. They know what looks good on their body.
I wasn't sure what the hell my style was when was in L.A. During the move to Rome I had to seriously downsize. Then I realized my style is Classic/Eclectic, bigger emphasis on Classic. While I can appreciate minimalism, it doesn't work for my short, curvy body. Bohemian can dwarf me, or make me look like I'm wearing a costume.
As I get older I have more confidence to embrace color and my Caribbean roots have definitely influenced me. This bring me to Ms. Monroque. It seems like she's everywhere lately. Vogue (American and international editions), Harper's Bazaar, fashion blogs, etc.
Shala's from St. Lucia and moved to New York ten years ago. The editor-at-large of POP Magazine has great style. She was rocking turbans before they became "on trend". I adore turbans and wanted to get one for years but worried I would look like Mrs. Roeper. Having a short natural, there are days I am so sick of my hair.
I would wear scarves once in a while in L.A. but felt like I stood out too much. Now I don't care. I don't have a weave so I will never fit in there anyway.
Shala travels a lot for work and was the talk of the town during last year's fashion weeks. Her boyfriend is influential art dealer Larry Gagosian.
It's fantastic how she mixes high end designers like Prada and Hermes with vintage she finds on Ebay.
Here's a LINK to the Style Spotlight blog with some photos.
I love, love, love, the white and yellow Prada skirt, the red dress and the black outfit at the top of the page.
I started to write down the things I need to get my wardrobe together. Number one is a single-breasted trench coat. They're not easy to find and I can't wear double-breasted. Wait, I'm broke, I can't buy one now anyway.
Also, I'm going figure out how to wear heels on cobblestone streets. I have a few pairs of great shoes I don't wear in Rome. They're just sitting there in their boxes. Sad.