Beauty, Fashion

Creep Creep: My Truest Sauce

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DSC_0316Top and jeans from LF Stores, Sandro Paris creepers, Spitfire sunglasses.

These Sandro creepers were part of a fall/winter collection, and I think this caused me to subconsciously, and oh so wrongly put them away for most of summer. Then I decided to give them a warm-weather makeover, and ultimately created what’s become my go-to summer outfit. I love the juxtaposition of this feminine-sexy, cross-back crop top with these cropped, distressed boyfriend jeans, and I love how my menswear-meets-Wednesday Addams creepers bring some eccentricity to what would be a very basic outfit otherwise. With my multi-colored hair and round, mirrored sunglasses, this look makes me feel like my most authentic self at this moment in time.

To me, the value of fashion is the confidence and sense of identity it can provide. Fashion isn’t about “looking good” by society’s standards—fashion and personal style are about physically demonstrating the energy you want to put out into this world. Like so many people, I have a tendency to get down on myself, and because I suffer from severe anxiety, it’s easy to fall into what I call “spiraling tunnel vision,” and hide under the covers for hours on end, consumed by self-deprecation. Lately, when I lose my grip on my wonderful reality and find myself focusing on the negative aspects of my life, I put on an outfit that I think represents the truest and best version of myself, put on my headphones, blast old school Missy Elliott and TLC, and go for a walk with my shoulders back and my chin up. I unashamedly check myself out in shop windows, and I remind myself that not only do the positive aspects of my life outmeasure the negative by lightyears, but also that my “negative” qualities contribute to many of the positive traits I wouldn’t trade in for anything. One great outfit (combined with some throwback hip-hop) has the power to remind me that I’m so proud to be the creative person underneath the clothes and the hair dye. The expression “dress for success” requires you to articulate your personal definition of success. Right now, my idea of success is to unapologetically follow my passions, and just be myself.

I find it kind of silly that we’ve established New Year’s as the official time for personal change. In my experience, September (and the fall season in general) has always seemed like a more prevalent time of transition. As summer comes to a close and September approaches, I encourage my readers who hope to gain more confidence to find the outfits they love, find their soundtrack, and go for a literal power walk. Smile at strangers. Dance while you wait at crosswalks. Strut your sauce. Repeat.

Photos by Miranda Mu

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Beauty, Fashion, Pop Culture, Promotional

Rust Belt Americana

Vintage Junkyard Jewelry by Samuel Sloma

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IMG_0134Rust Belt Americana necklace, BDG Rib-Knit Sweater Cropped Tank (brown), Carmar high-waist jeggings, Sandro booties, ‘Lone Rider’ wool hat & ‘Nita’ shades from Nasty Gal, NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in ‘Never Say Never.’

To be honest, I’m not much a of a jewelry person. I’m always searching for niche pieces that are somehow both simple and strange, which can be hard to come by. But when Rust Belt Americana jewelry designer, Samuel Sloma, and I stumbled upon each other on Instagram, I knew I’d found something truly special. Sloma, a Midwestern picker, hand makes unique, rustic jewelry and watches with vintage materials he collects from old warehouses, five-and-dime stores, and various other unconventional locations. Sloma’s creative mission is “to celebrate American authenticity on a modern stage where the implied and tangible harmoniously collide,” and “to help men and women self-identify with bygone moments in time.” These sentiments, along with Sloma’s promise to send me “something bizarre,” solidified my immediate fanhood.

Sloma’s design aesthetic has this badass, yet elegant quality, making all of his beautiful work extremely versatile. I was so excited to receive my first original Rust Belt Americana necklace, which features a copper piece stamped in 1950 for musician Pat Boone, who charted second only to Elvis Presley during the late 50s. The piece on my necklace reads, “Always your boy, Pat Boone.” My father is a musician, and having been raised on older music, it felt like a cosmic coincidence that Sloma selected this piece especially for me. After years of struggling to find jewelry that suits my style, I’m thrilled to have Rust Belt Americana as my go-to source for cool, one-of-a-kind accessories.

Photos by Rebecca Browne and yours truly

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