SKIRT // SWEATER // FUR STOLE (similar) // TREE (old Target, similar) // ORNAMENTS
About the shoot... // Oh. My. Gosh. Becky. These photos...I'm obsessed. I have always ALWAYS wanted to shoot a formal sequin holiday look in the snow and this past weekend Winter Storm Diego teed it right up. Luckily my photographer lives under the same roof as I do and we nailed this shoot in about ten minutes. Did y'all see the Instagram Story I shared of Mike fireman carrying me through the snow so I wouldn't bust my tail in heels? Thank heavens nobody was out driving and saw all of this happening in our front yard LOL!
About the tree... // I just happened to have all of these props and pieces in my house so putting this shoot together took no time at all. We bought this rose gold metallic Christmas tree (similar HERE and HERE) two years ago when we were moving house on New Year's Eve with a one-year-old and didn't think it was wise to invest in the real thing. Now we just keep it decorated with these shatterproof ornaments year-round and bring it out to put in our play room during the holidays. So easy and a quick way to get your tree fix before you get your real Christmas tree.
About the skirt... // The skirt I bought for my bestie's wedding last May and boy have I worn this thing A TON! Way more than my sequin dresses I own, come to think of it. It's so fun to style different ways: casually with a t-shirt; wintery with a sweater and fur stole; or formally with a silk top. Good news! I found this exact skirt for just $59 in sizes S-XL. You can also shop a dupe HERE; this option comes in black, gold, and silver sequins as well.
About me... // I've always loved to dress up. Just ask my mom; I was always ogling her jewelry box and bedazzled '80s clothing growing up. My dress-up bag (a huge Hefty garbage bag meant for heavy-duty yard work) filled half my closet. To this day the most memorable Christmas presents I received as a child were the formal gowns my grandmother had tailored to fit me at eight years old. (Technically these are tied with my Barbie three-story mansion and Ferrari.) I made a scene in Belk during my pre-school years over a purple sequin purse I was sure was the prettiest thing on planet Earth. It was, in fact, to a four-year-old kid in 1986 anyways.
There's just something about me that loves to get dressed. I've always put a lot of thought into it. You see, for me, getting dressed and what I wear is part of my experience of something. It makes me feel more connected to the time, the place, the people, and my memories of them. I'm a romantic at heart with a Hallmark movie projector in my mind, reeling off images of not just how things should play out in my perfect little world, but how they should look as they do so. And the holidays really bring it out like no other time of year!
So I love to get dressed. And people love to comment on it. I can't tell you how many times growing up -- from elementary school all the way through and after college -- people would feel the need to weigh in on my attire, even my loved ones. "You don't always have to dress up, Brooke." "You're always so fancy." (Uttered in acidic tones.) "Wow, I didn't know we were supposed to dress up." (*Dead pan sarcasm implied.*) "You don't have to worry so much about your outfit, Brooke; just put on something so we can go." Perhaps the last one speaks more to my tendency to run long and late getting ready, but you get the picture. There has never been a shortage of opinions on how I like to dress.
Eventually I got used to it, steeling myself for the comment I saw coming, brushing it off and moving on. Even so, it would've been nice to receive a compliment versus a comment. It's not like I was wearing neon splatter paint Jams with a tuxedo jacket and Crocs for crying out loud! But here's the thing.
These comments aren't really about me.
These comments don't say much about my outfit at all.
They speak volumes about the people who feel the need to say them in the first place.
Feeling the need to judge or opine on someone else's appearance is really a 'you' thing. Or a 'them' thing, however it goes. It's about them fitting you into their comfortable box, wanting you to go along with their version of things rather than you living out your own.
Every one constructs what I call 'stories' around how fashion functions in their lives and in our greater society. Some use it as a form of expression, others as armor or even a disguise. Some include fashion in the upper echelon of the beaux arts, others consider it a pastime of the vapid and shallow. Getting dressed, deciding what to wear, is something every single person on the planet does every day, and every single one of them enters this daily exercise with a construct of what it means to them. It's a fascinating study of psychology and one of the primary reasons I adore working with women on creating a wardrobe that is a true extension of their self.
There is so much more to unpack here, something I think I want to explore more in the new year. Deciphering our style through self-discovery is such powerful, awesome stuff, and while that may not be what you're used to here on the blog, as a personal stylist I feel it's a natural extension of what I do.
How will I start the discussion? Well, I think I just did, through offering a story from my own experience of fashion's portrayal and perception. You'll never win everybody's 'Best Dressed List' -- there are just too many differences in opinion and taste, which is actually a good thing. It keeps ideas fresh and creativity churning; we should never yearn for homogeny.
No, the best thing to do is just be yourself. Let your light burn bright, even when people attempt to dim your shine. Eventually they'll either go blind and turn away, or give in to your blinding sparkle haha! The snow has a wonderfully glorious way of catching a sequin's radiance...
Really, remember it's not about them.
Wear what makes you feel captivating to your very core.
Get dressed for you, my darling.
What about you -- have people made remarks about your appearance more often than not? Do you have strong feelings about fashion one way or another? I just love hearing from you on these sorts of topics!
Thanks for stopping by The Tony Townie today and sharing the love!