When I hear the term “capsule wardrobe”, I immediately think of it as a “time capsule” wardrobe. Not in a weird way – I don’t imagine putting all of my clothes into a box and digging it up in fifty years. But there’s something about the idea of a “capsule” that makes it feel timeless. Like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly. Not so much ‘the trends’ - just a classic, elegant style.
I’ll tell you that’s what I strive for – a ‘timeless, classic’ look – but what I’m not telling you is that I’ve been on a mad hunt over the past three weeks for one of those winter beanies with the fur pom. Or as I’ve been calling them “you know those hats with the fuzzy ball? Yea, I want one of those.” I don’t know if that look falls under “timeless” or “classic”, but I LIKE IT. Even though I'll be looking back at pictures with my grandchildren in fifty years and they will ask, “Why does your hat have a fuzzy ball hanging from it?”, and I’ll be like, “I don’t know. That was the style back then.” *Shrugs*
For the record, I couldn’t find one. The department stores swept those winter hats clean in January when they made room for their Spring collections. So, I’ll just have to stick with my regular, old, BORING, non-fuzzy-ball winter apparel until next year.
Full disclaimer: I am not a photographer. Sure, I take a lot of pictures – but that’s essentially all I am: a picture-taker. When purchasing a new camera, photographers are people who consider things like shutter speed, lens selection, aperture, and various camera-words-that-I-don’t-know-because-I’m-not-a-photographer. Meanwhile, in the other camp, a “picture-taker” will pick out a camera based on… “I don’t know, is it easy to use? Is it heavy? Do I have to know stuff about cameras to be able to use it? Will it take better pictures than my iPhone?”
These are all real questions that I asked when searching for a new camera.
Photographers don’t like picture-takers (I’m just guessing). At least they don’t like the picture-takers who like to call themselves photographers. (Again, I’m just guessing.) I feel like if I had taken a lot of time and practice to hone my craft, I’d be pretty annoyed with the person who shows up with an iPhone and an Instagram account and refers to themselves as a “photographer”. Congratulations, you officially have as much photography experience as Chrissy Teigen (who, for all I know, could actually be a very skilled photographer.)
I would love to be the kind of blogger who can start off a travel diary by saying, “Earlier this year, I booked a spontaneous trip to Las Vegas!” and make it sound totally normal. Like I’m the whimsical kind of girl who does this sort of thing all the time. “It was completely spur of the moment, tickets were cheap, and I thought – hey, why not! Let’s go to Vegas!” “Hey, why not! Let’s go to Vegas!”
is not something I’ve ever said in my entire life. I was whimsical for about twenty minutes. The twenty minutes that it took for some woman on the phone to convince me that Vegas was all the rage. “Oh, you haven’t been to Vegas?!”
She asked in a tone that suggested ‘but eeeeeveryone’s been to Vegas!!!’
. (But, like, in a nice way? I don’t know. It was weird.)
The woman calling me worked for the hotel chain that I frequently use when traveling for business trips (therefore they assumed that I would have the money to, you know, travel). “Now is a GREAT time to come out to Las Vegas.”
She said – (as if she would have called me to say, ‘You know, maybe now is not such a great time’) – “We just opened up a BRAND NEW hotel on the strip...
My mom used to have these Halloween-inspired window clings that she let me bust out every October. Stickers of ghosts, witches, pumpkins - I think one of them said Happy Halloween? Probably? Every October she'd pull them out of her "Holiday Decorations" bin and let me stick them onto the glass door leading out to the deck. I loved it. This - aside from the in-school Halloween parties where the teachers handed out candy and we got to play games all afternoon - was my favorite part of Halloween.
I mean, I was like seven. The majority of highlights at that age were: candy, that giant parachute thing they let us play with during gym class, and stickers. It's the little things.
I told my mom I wanted to start hanging them in the giant full-story window in the front of the house. "There's more space," I said. "It's going to look so pretty!" I said. And I'm pretty sure if I'd had a more pronounced vocabulary at that age, I would have said, "It's going to be so festive! It's FALL! Let's decorate for FALL!!!!"
So, for the record, that is who you're taking advice from. Someone whose Fall decor once consisted of the desire to stick glass cling-ons of witches and pumpkins to the front of her house. Because she thought they were, like, "so pretty".
I wouldn't say that I have "anxiety" about wearing Spanx (and honestly, no one SHOULD have anxiety about wearing a brand of sucky-in-y underwear - because that's essentially all they are) but I HAVE noticed that when I'm wearing a tight dress, along with - what is essentially a modern day girdle - I feel, a little.... well, anxious. Stiff. Uncomfortable. There's a tightness in my chest.../abdomen.
I mean, most of that is the sucky-in-y part of the underwear that I paid $50 to literally wedge myself into so that I could look good in a dress for a few hours, but you know what I mean. I worry. The Spanx alter blood circulation to my brain (probably, I don't know. You'd think they've got to be cutting off some circulation around my torso. Otherwise, are they even doing their job?) My inner fat girl that needed the Spanx in the first place starts sending paranoid, worried signals to my brain.
"What if people can tell?" I think. "Can people tell that I'm wearing a girdle?"
I honestly do not know how anyone would ever be able to "tell", unless they came over and lifted up my dress and said, "Hey I see you're wearing some funny underwear under there." And if someone ever does that to you, I can PROMISE you that the the highlight of that story will not be "I was wearing Spanx", it will be "A stranger lifted up my dress. It was weird."
Is "debunked" the right word? I don't know. I used to think that I looooved vintage fashion. The idea of a string of pearls sitting around in a jewelry box that's been passed down since the Titanic? Maybe it belonged to Rose De... Dewitt? Google says "Dewitt-Bukater", but I'm just going to call her Rose Dawson because we all know she should have scooted over and let Jack climb up on top of that door with her. He didn't have to freeze to death. It's not always all about you, Rose, people are dying.
But the pearls. Let's get back to the pearls. Did she have pearls? Oh, wait - no, she had that gaudy necklace that she chucked it into the ocean at the end of the movie. Way to be a hero, Rose. People have been looking for that.
But when you say something is "vintage" - that's what people imagine. That's why they say "ooh... ahh...", because they're envisioning something that somebody wore back in the day. It's a romantic idea that something has been around longer than, you know, a Forever 21 t-shirt that you ripped and threw away after one wash. It tells a story. It's been around the block. It's seen some stuff.
When I was in high school, one of the girls came to school one day wearing dangly paperclip earrings. Like, dangly earrings, made of paperclips. Tiny paperclips clasped together dangling from her ears. And when everyone said, "Oh! Those are... different!" - she told us that she found them in her grandmother's jewelry box and that they were "vintage".
Vintage paper clip earrings. From Grandma's jewelry box. Like Grandma was a true fashion pioneer back in the 40s who just strung a bunch of paper clips together and then said, "Yea, I'm gonna keep these. Let me just put these in the jewelry box next to my pearls."
Did they even have paper clips back in the 40s? When did they start making paper clips? Were people even writing on paper back then, or was it all parchment and quill pens?
Okay, I guess it's the 1940s, not the 1800s. You shouldn't come here expecting a history lesson. We're here to talk about clothes and stuff.
I don't know how to ask someone to take a picture of me "for my blog" without sounding like a... like a total... what's the mom-approved-PG word for douchebag? Because that's what I sound like. A pretentious douchebag. It's hard for me to take myself seriously when I'm saying, "Hey will you take a bloggy picture of me in front of this fountain?"... which is usually followed by, "What should I be doing? Should I, like, look off into the distance? Or, look over my shoulder? Should I smile? Is that weird? Smiling is weird, right?"
Sure. Smiling in a picture? Totes weird. Only serial killers and ax murderers do that.
Rarely is this magical moment complete without me asking, "Is it cute? Will you take another one? What should I do with my hands?"
I never know what to do with my hands. And I alwaaaays ask if it's cute. Like the person behind the camera is ever going to tell me: "I don't know, Jenn. You're twenty-seven years old and still pretending to be a model. Is THAT cute?"
It's not cute. In fact, the whole thing usually feels so awkward that I fidget for about five seconds in front of whatever fountain/brick wall/lake front/rooftop view I'm standing in front of and then ask, "Did you get it? Is it cute?"
Seriously. Like I'm Beyonce or something. "Did you get it? Are we done here?"