Wednesday, September 20, 2017

OOTD: Self-Expression Through Style

One of my favorite parts about my job is being a member of the INSIDER Spirit Squad. Every 2 weeks, my office dresses according to a particular theme. We take a group photo and give awards to those who best embodied the day's theme. The Spirit Squad takes the office's suggestions for themes and organizes when and what each theme day will be. I actually wore this jacket for our 2nd theme day – Millennial Pink Day (a theme which was chosen based on an article I wrote a while back).

A couple weeks ago, the Spirit Squad was talking about what it means to best embody a theme, and the concept of the definition of style came up. Kyle, another Spirit Squad member and the person behind the camera for the photos in this post, said that fashion is about trends, while style is about wearing things in new and unexpected ways. This definition places emphasis on how something is being worn as opposed to what is being worn. Josie said that one's sense of style depends on wearing what makes them feel best. Personal style, then, could prioritize fashion trends, comfort, making a statement, emanating a particular persona, etc.

I've always regarded style as a form of self-expression, while fashion refers to the industry which chooses and advertises trends each season. That's why I consider myself a "style blogger" instead of a "fashion blogger". My definition of style, then, is a mix between Kyle and Josie's definitions.

For me, self-expression entails a number of different things. First and foremost, dressing to express myself means dressing to show the world who I am. I'm creative, thoughtful, intelligent, and witty. My creativity shows in the unique pieces and combinations I wear. I'm thoughtful in how I put together my outfits, paying attention to detail and dressing appropriately for the weather and whatever environment I'm going to be in. I like to be smart about what I wear, keeping in mind where my clothes and favorite fashion trends come from. I often through in a little bit of whimsy into my outfits, like the dog socks I'm wearing under these boots.

Self-expression also means wearing things that say something about me. This jacket is an obvious example, as it displays my blog name in my own handwriting. You can't tell in these photos, but I'm also wearing a necklace with a scorpion on it, because I'm a Scorpio. Pink is my favorite color, so I wore an outfit composed almost entirely of it. 

While I don't prioritize following trends by any means, I do like being inspired by what's "in" in fashion, and choosing to wear trends that I like outside of their importance in fashion. This slip dress, for example, is a huge street style trend right now. When I saw shots of celebrities walking around in slip dresses, I remembered being in middle school and finding a silk slip (like, the kind you wear under a dress) in a box of hand-me-downs. I tried it on and modeled it for my mom, declaring that I wanted to wear this dress to my Bat Mitzvah. I genuinely don't remember if my mom was horrified or amused, but I can tell you I wore a real dress to synagogue for my Bat Mitzvah. So, learning that this was now an appropriate style to wear in public inspired me to purchase a slip dress for myself.

Comfort and aesthetics play a huge role in my sense of style. I love this shirt because I can wear it without a bra. Wearing a bra always makes me just a little more uncomfortable, whether due to the underwire or the straps. This dress kind of feels like wearing nothing, an ideal bodily sensation. I've been big on leather (well, faux leather) jackets since high school. I couldn't tell you what it is I like about them, but I find them aesthetically pleasing enough to have 2 of them. I've already mentioned that pink is my favorite color, so I've been figuring out how to wear pink since before millennial pink became a ~thing~

Finally, I'd be lying if I said my style was completely unique to me, uninspired by others. I've wanted a personalized jacket with my blog name on it since seeing Payton of Hustle + Halcyon and Dani of Mermaid Waves rock theirs. I had originally intended to embroider a denim jacket with Broke & Fabulous, but I have much more experience painting, and this jacket is just such a perfect representation of my blog.

How do you find and define your sense of style? Comment below to let me know!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

OOTD: In Praise of the Outfit Repeater

Alright, let's be real: who among us has NOT re-worn their favorite outfit (or outfits)? After all, if you love something, why not indulge in it more than once? That's how I feel about these striped pants and white crop top.

Maybe it's just that "The Lizzie McGuire Movie" had a huge effect on my childhood, but I've long operated under the assumption that wearing an outfit (or even a special piece) more than once is ~against the rules~.

This moment shaped my approach toward fashion more than I care to admit.

For the most part, striving to not re-wear the same outfit pushes me to be creative with my wardrobe. I love mixing and matching everything I own to create something new every day. There are, however, a number of reasons to re-wear your favorite outfit.

Sometimes, you buy a piece that only goes with one other thing in your closet. As you might imagine, these pants are a bit tricky to match with. Not only is the pattern a little daunting, but the thin fabric makes it hard to tuck a shirt into them, a trick I rely heavily upon. This shirt is one of the only things I own that works well with these pants.

I also tend to outfit repeat when I know I'm going to be seen by different people each time I wear the outfit. I wore this outfit first to work, then on a weekend outing with friends, and finally on a casual date. Each time I wore the outfit, someone was seeing it for the first time. In their eyes, I wasn't really outfit repeating.

Finally (and this is the most important argument in my case for outfit repeating), you should re-wear an outfit if and whenever you damn well please. Do you like the outfit? Yes? Great, then wear it as often as you'd like. Clothing serves a number of functions: to express ourselves, to cover our naked bodies, to signal belonging to a specific social group, etc. The most important function clothing serves is to please ourselves. If you like it, wear it. If you really like it, keep wearing it.

Someone recently told me about a coworker of theirs who, in an experiment to test peoples' awareness, wore the same outfit every day for a week. By the end of the week, they were still receiving compliments from the rest of the office, even though theoretically they'd seen the dress every day for five days. People are generally too unobservant to care that you've worn the same outfit multiple times, or even multiple days in a row. Just wear whatever makes you feel your best.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Tour My NYC Apartment

Alright... So, it's been 8 months since I moved all the way across the country to follow my dreams in NYC. If you can remember how long it took me to finally get all moved in to my last Seattle apartment, it should come as no surprise that I'm finally just getting everything set up here. I'm still on the lookout for a number of items (including floating shelves and some drawers to put under my garment rack), but I'm pretty happy with it. Of course, these photos were taken after some serious deep-cleaning. End-of-summer-cleaning is a thing, right?

Let me start by saying that I love my apartment. I love how much natural light I get in my room, the exposed brick throughout the apartment, the closed-off outdoor space, the roof, my roommates, the neighborhood, and the hardwood floors. Not all of those features are portrayed in the photos in this post, so I figured I'd mention them up-front.

Of course, my apartment is a classic NYC apartment in that it's kinda small. As such, it's taken some serious creativity for me to figure out how to store all of my belongings. The necklace wall isn't new– I used it in Seattle to show off some of my favorite jewelry. 

Another trick I borrowed from my dorm living is hanging my bags on the walls. The garment rack replaces the walk-in closets I've had most of my life. I find it's a lot easier for me to plan my outfits when my clothes are out in the open. Do you notice the lipstick chart hanging above my makeup drawers? 

That door you see is the door to my closet. It's basically a glorified coat rack, but there's lots of storage space and the door is the perfect place for me to hang all my bags. Thank you, super high ceilings!

This wall faces my bed, so I get to see it every time I'm hanging out in bed. You might recognize the mirror from my Snapchat OOTDs (if you don't, add me– thehannahgold) and the wooden candles from my homemade candle DIY. The lipstick kisses are from my going away party, and the painting of Luxe is still on my graduation cap. Just as an FYI, the idea that this pink salt lamp "purifies" the air or whatever is total BS. It is, however, a very cute accessory.

This piece of art has followed me across the country since Emily painted it for me a couple years ago. It's one of my most-prized possessions!

This "sparkle shine glimmer glow" piece followed me across the country, too. The piece of glass broke in the moving box, but you can't really tell, can you? The 2 pieces of alcohol-themed art are, unsurprisingly, not mine. 

I tried taking more pictures of my cute apartment, but the lighting was simply terrible. If you want a full apartment tour, check out my Instagram stories: @thehannahgold

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

OOTD: Wardrobe Malfunction

So, a funny thing happened when I went to put on this skirt to meet my friends in Soho the other day: the pull on the zipper burst off. Most of my skirts are too big for me anyways, so I knew I'd have to use a safety pin to make this skirt fit. Instead, I had to use it to actually keep my skirt together. 

Do you see where the skirt overlaps? Yeah, that's where the safety pin is.

As I've already mentioned, I have to use safety pins on most of my skirts because I simply can't afford to replace everything I own that's too big for me. I've had to get pretty creative about wearing all the clothing I own that doesn't fit, is broken, or is stained. I rock a lot of belts, layers, and, of course, safety pins. I recently used a twist tie that came on some cotton candy to fix a necklace that'd broken in the middle of the day. 

That's all part of the Broke & Fabulous lifestyle: making it work. In addition to reselling my clothing to fund new additions to my closet, I also continue to wear things past their expiration date. I don't even try to hide it that well all the time. I used to really worry about it, but I've realized that people don't look as closely at you as you worry that they do. Even when they do, what does their opinion matter? I'm just living my best life, and using the money I would have used to replace this skirt to fund a trip or to pay off my student loans.

It's not just economical: it's also more environmentally conscious. The average American throws away dozens of pounds of textiles, including clothing, every year. This makes fashion one of the most wasteful and polluting industries in the world. Even though most of this waste and pollution comes from the textile factories themselves, individuals can do their part in not contributing to this issue by not throwing away still-usable clothing. I mean, look how cute this skirt still looks!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

GIVEAWAY: Erin Condren LifePlanner

If you've been following me for a while, you might be familiar with my annual struggle to find the right planner to fit my needs. I'm super particular about which planner I invest in: this little notebook has traditionally held my entire life in it, after all! Personally, I prefer to have an entire page dedicated to every day so I can log both events and to-do items.

I've looked into every brand of planner you can think of, including Erin Condren's LifePlanner. I was recently able to score this custom hardbound LifePlanner to host a giveaway to one of my awesome followers. I know I'm obsessed with aesthetically pleasing stationary/organizational products, so I figured my readers would be, too.

A little about the LifePlanner: aside from the obvious adorable cover, this planner is full of helpful (and cute) features. There are monthly and weekly spreads in a perfectly pastel color scheme. This planner features 18 months, lasting from July 2017-December 2018. The pages are lined in a metallic pink foil, and there's a black ribbon attached that lets you mark your place in the year. There are even pages set aside for long-term goal planning and general note-taking.

Enter below by selecting which of my social media accounts you'd like to follow me on. The giveaway ends August 16th, so make sure to get your entries in in the next week!