Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Two Loves Have I

Madame Jekyl and Ms Hyde

BoHo, Minimal, BoHo, Minimal— my fashion self is a mess. As a sense of personal style gets clearer (about time), it's clear I am drawn to two totally disparate concepts: The Bo Ho and the Minimal. Believe me, these two can't meet. Toning down the BoHo dilutes it; ramping up the Minimal loses it.

I love the romantic make believe of Dolce & Gabbana, Etro, Matthew Williamson... I love the clean, chic lines of Celine, Narciso Rodriguez, Ralph Rucci... Yes, I have a Zara/H&M/TJ Maxx pocketbook (literally). One can duplicate any look on a budget. However the Minimal, requiring beautiful fabrics and perfect tailoring, is more of a challenge. The worst part is a closet that looks Madame Jekyl and Ms Hyde.

On one side we have handkerchief-hem skirts and blouses stitched from handkerchiefs. Every color in the rainbow, including that of the pot of gold. In addition BoHo needs drawers of belts and scarves and ... oooh... jewelry! Necklaces and bangles and earrings tra la. Stuff that's fun to buy and collect— always room for one more.

Among items in the smaller end of the closet is a perfect crepe blouse, slightly assymetrical, in eggshell ecru. I've yet to wear it because I have to find the perfect pants, skirt, occasion, but in itself it is perfection. There are a few other pieces in grape jersey or grey flannel. Beautiful, beautiful, and I do wear them— with real gold jewelry or something bone on a leather thong. Shopping for the minimal look requires concentration and entails a lot of rejection. I feel like a free spirit in my BoHo looks, but I feel very centered when I pare down.

Who am I today? Or worse, who am I this morning and who am I tonight? Is it the eternal quandry of woman to wonder who she is? There are indeed women who have one style and stick to it. I admire but admit I don't want to be them.

Sometimes I will be inspired by an outfit I see on someone else or spot in a magazine. I will replicate it, often with items I already own, but not feel like me. I think that might be the answer. Be who you want to be, but make sure that someone is one of you.

If you wanna be a pirate, be a pirate


  1. I have the exact same problem! In the same day I lust over dresses from free people and Kate Spade....

    1. Maggie, you are such a Free People free spirit! Don't even think about it!