When I put this look together I was super excited and nervous. This was my first shoot with Joelle Rosen and I had to deliver a look worthy of her super cool editorial style photography. Would my outfits be interesting enough? Would I move well and have good poses or be stiff like a mannequin? Was I going to have one of those days where I can’t draw eyeliner straight to save my life? All of these thoughts and more were running through my brain. I think everyone has felt insecure while hoping to live up to an expectation and unfortunately I think we can be our own harshest critic.
I decided some kind of 60’s mod bubble hat would be perfect for a shoot with Joelle Rosen but after searching for HOURS I still hadn’t found what I was looking for in the right color or for the right price. (I’m still on the search for one to add to my repertoire). With no hat to focus my outfit around I had to move onto another guiding piece of my ensemble. A pair of green and orange flower earrings from Zara. I had ordered them once already, but when they arrived some of the beading was off, so I sent them back and ordered four more pairs with the intent to pick the best specimen and send the rest back. I know, I sound insane. It gets worse. . . The earrings never shipped out and my shoot day was quickly approaching. I called customer service and they informed me that the earrings had sold out and the order was still processing since they couldn’t fulfill 4 pairs. As the date of the shoot approached I still had no earrings and then I got notice that my order was cancelled. So great, now what? I had my heart set on those earrings and hat and neither had come around!!! I was meeting Joelle in Atlanta which has a Zara store. I called the store and they had the earrings but they don’t do holds and don’t do over the phone purchases, so I would have to run to Zara’s before the shoot.
It was then I realized I was spiraling out of control and obsessing over something that was not necessary all because I was worried that what I had to offer wasn’t enough. While I love fashion it should be something that makes you feel good, something that elevates you but does not define you. I love the creativity of figuring out looks with what you have in different ways. When it comes to personal style I want to inspire people to wear what makes them feel good and not go crazy trying to make everything perfect. Give me a weird old hat, an absurd jacket or some outrageous dress and I get so excited about putting a look together to make it wearable. Going insane over a single pair of earrings, anyone can do that.
I decided to wear my vintage mustard bakelite earrings that I’d won on eBay. I searched for them, waited for them and pounced on them the last 5 sec of the auction. I love them and wear them with pride. And the hat I wore? I stayed with my friend Colleen in Atlanta and was talking to her about my looks and how I had searched for a hat and didn’t find the right one. Low and behold she pulls out the perfect straw hat that had green trim on it, matching exquisitely with the green in my dress. She had bought it from Target and had it for years. I’m sure I had the same expression on my face as the evil stepmother in Cinderella when Cinderella pulls out the other glass slipper. . . but in a good way. Ha! Its crazy how things work out.
I’m happy that I didn’t find the right hat (yet) and that I ended up borrowing something from a dear friend who has always supported me and who inspires me every day. I’m happy I wore earrings that I love that are already mine, I’m happy for the self reflection that this scenario gave me and I’m very happy with how this look turned out. Joelle is super nice, ultra cool, and uber talented and I had so much fun getting to know her. It all turned out amazing in my opinion.
Expression through fashion can be really uplifting but this fiasco with the earrings and hat was an important reminder to me to not to get tied up in the aspects of physical presentation that can break you down or cause you to stray from what makes you unique. I started this blog because I want to inspire people to feel good about themselves and when you go down the rabbit hole of “oh I have to have this and nothing else will work” then I believe you’ve lost the joy to be found in developing your own personal style.
Photography by Joelle Rosen at http://www.joellegrace.com/
Shoes by AD & Daughters found at Dillards
Gloves found at Retrospect in Knoxville, TN
Dress is Tracy Reese for Anthroplogie found on eBay a few years ago