Monday, August 9, 2010

Forever 21 Back to School contest (Completed!)

How I stand out: I never really fit into a "crowd" when I was in school. I was smart, but I didn't like flaunting it. I was arty, but I didn't shun "talentless" people... I was weird, but the nerds at school got boring really quick. I was musically inclined, but never really got absorbed into the scene or even became a groupie of any band. I stood out because I didn't blend in. Though I set trends (some *way* before their time...skinny-belted crochet tunics? I did it in 7th grade.), I never tried to fit into any category with my style. Style-wise, I just wore what clothes I liked. And the clothes I liked ran the gamut: blue jeans, bomber jackets, tunics, corsets, ballet flats, Converse. I don't think I was ever timid in my style, awkward and undefined at times, perhaps, but never timid. And, to some extent, I still am still the smart, arty, weird, musical girl in a class all her own that rode the bus (albeit sometimes the wrong one) home. Throughout the years, my style has one constant; it is bold and experimental. I tried to put that sort of style into this outfit, a beautiful combination of items I like to wear in the summer and items I've lusted after for fall. The Back to School season is about transitions, in style, but also in life. Though I'm out of school, my life is in transition, too. I've just started a "blog": and I'm getting a regular paycheck now (yay, more boot $, lol). I'm also committing to doing a few things this fall that I should have done this summer (I blame the humidity). I'm planning to be even bolder than ever this fall as I enter another year of being a self-studied student of fashion. And I'd love to have a $100 "research grant" from Forever 21 so I can keep experimenting with the multitude of cheap and chic items they have. ;)

OK, now to get to the nitty gritty details about my outfit: I took this in the 90 degree sunroom. Yes, I know I'm crazy. But the (broken) mini-fridge made the perfect chair and when I propped my foot up on the table, I knew that my awesome new boots would be visible (like my Ettienne Aigners, I will wear these until they disintegrate). I was so happy to find these tights, especially on Yellowtag Sale (P.S.: F21, totally continue the Yellowtag sale in the fall. Millions of Fashionistas will be overjoyed, including this one). They will replace the old lace ones (you've seen 'em in the Memorial Day photo post) I had found...and maybe I'll get some more like these from F21 because I love the texture. I got the shorts way back in May or June, using a Birthday F21 gift certificate. I've worn them quite a bit since then (see "Cherry Bomb" photo). I hadn't really bought myself any black shorts until that day (I guess I just never thought about it), but I hope to find another pair at F21 (maybe ones that are a bit longer so I can wear them through October). The vest is really quite cool. I popped into Hot Topic (on my budget, getting a "half off any item you want" coupon is worth going in and buying something not on clearance.) to redeem my coupon, saw this vest and just swooned (well, not really...but I was very pleased to find a vest that complimented my shorts so well). I'm already thinking of how I want to style it next. The red top I got because I wanted a bit of color for the outfit. I found it on sale at Macy's (and was delighted that it was short enough to tuck into my shorts) It turns out that we might be seeing some brighter colors (like this kind of red) this fall, especially if I  have anything to say about it. Ah, the rolled-up Oxford-style shirt. I used it as a prop/accessory for a bit of fun (way too hot to actually wear it). I have oodles of these kinds of shirts for work. This one makes an excellent layering piece as well, so you'll definitely see it again this fall. There are also two accessories that I didn't tag: my red lace fingerless gloves that I got on clearance ($3) from Hot Topic and My City Buddha Dove Pendant beaded necklace ($10).

The latter item has a great deal of sentimental value to me. Many Chictopians have style icons, rolemodels in fashion and expression. Some are celebs. Some are designers. Some are family members. Mine was a friend who's brief entrance into my life changed it in ways I couldn't comprehend. They called her Paloma. She was an eighteen-year old foreign exchange student from Mexico that had the opportunity to be whisked to the states because her school and ours were exchange partners. We hosted her for a week. She went to school with me (but we only shared Spanish class). She tricked the senior boys into thinking they were big _huevons_ by telling them fake dirty Spanish words. She was shocked and surprised at the idea of homosexual PDA. We went out every day somewhere (Benihana Hibachi, the Museum of Art, the Botanical Gardens). She cared about fashion, but she cared about people and the earth and actually living life as your own person. She convinced me to try on what was probably my first real miniskirt at Charlotte Russe in the mall. She paired it with an off the shoulder top that was really cute (I bought that, but wasn't ready for the thigh-baring skirt). We both also purchased a very unique necklace in the shape of a heart but divided like a peace sign (the chain on mine broke, but I made it into a Christmas ornament). It took me a week after she left to realize that I had made a friend for life. It was at that point that I had gained an interest in fashion beyond what I was going to wear the next day. I missed her, but I wasn't too focused on it because I had planned to go to Merida (where she lived) as an exchange student. She had said that she would host me when I came down. That next year I couldn't go due to personal reasons. I really wish I did, since I found out that even though she had graduated, she was allowed to host the student who came from my school. Not even a year later, Paloma was taken from this world in a terrible accident. I was shaken with a sadness beyond belief when I found out. But knowing that she would want me to keep on living as my own person, I eventually healed. Every time I see a dove-shape, I am reminded of her. (Paloma means Dove in Spanish, so you know.) That's why I bought the necklace from City Buddha, a local store, one winter. I figured that I would share Paloma's story with you because I wear it quite a bit.

Now readers, keeping in mind the guidance that your style icons have given you, go and be the beautiful, stylish and bold people you are! :D


  1. This is a great mix, I really like it a lot. I am glad you took it in the hot room lol, cuz those boots are awesome :)

  2. Thank you both, ladies! I'm at work on another contest (Jeffrey Campbell) right now, but monday may afford some more stylish photo ops. :D