Finding a Thing

13 Dec

Over the years I have had several conversations with Dan about finding a style, a personal sense of fashion, a Thing, if you will. I think we all go through stages of Things…some folks stick with one and some change a lot. Some people don’t give it a thought and some obsess. However you do it, you do come out with your own identifiable and predictable markings, to put a biological bent on it.

Dan has shared with me some of his process, and described how he pinpointed a few folks out there in the world that he wanted to emulate for his personal style…choosing icons is a big help in narrowing down what you’re looking for. Theoretically you will be drawn to things that suit your personality, which is a big first step. There’s a lot of options out there. A LOT…and I have looked at a lot of them. I have quickly dismissed a ton of them. Figuring out which ones I like, however, took a while.

A lot of times I’ll admit to accidentally dressing how I do. My identifiable markings have been flip flops and ironic tee shirts for quite some time, and while I don’t plan to give those up completely, it’s been gnawing on me lately to figure something else out that suits the various situations I find myself in. I operate as a business professional, a tour manager, a singer-songwriter, a twenty-something, a nerd, and whatever else I can’t think of at the moment.

I do know I’m too lazy to switch looks in those different contexts. I’m not going to step into a phone booth after I play a set and switch to tour manager clothes. Nope. Whatever I’m working with has to fit all those contexts, which will ideally end up reflecting the core of who I am. This sounds heavy but it’s actually a lot of fun. I spent some time this weekend figuring it out.

First I gutted my closet of stuff I hadn’t worn in a long time and had no intention of wearing again. I also got rid of quite a few t-shirts. Some were a little too ironic. I kept quite a few, but one goal is to be more selective so that the t-shirt is a choice and not an obligation.

Then I found the holy grail for this particular project…Evernote. You can clip things like links and photos and save them in folders online to refer to later.  Brilliance.  I started by picking my Big Three…people whose style I love but isn’t too far out of my reach. I’m not here to copy, just adapt. This made it a little easier to be open to possibilities. My Three surprised me but I’m happy with them.

1. Kathleen Edwards. Folk-rocker extraordinaire. Canadian. Pretty simple. Wears t-shirts.  Scarves. Kicks butt and takes names.  Cool shoes. I’m in.

2. Terri Hendrix. I almost feel like I’m cheating because I know Terri personally, but she is always wearing something cool. Her accessories are always perfect. She always makes a statement at her shows via her fashion.

Terri Hendrix
Photo by Kingsnake!

3. Wild Card! I figured I had to go Hollywood with one of these, because the alternate route would be Politician and no one wants that. I was standing in line to check out at Target the other day and suddenly found my third…Portia de Rossi. I knew her from being on the hilarious and tragically short-lived Arrested Development and Better Off Ted series, and I knew her as a pretty glam red carpet walking star. The photo I saw in the tabloid was one of those creepy paparazzi on the street things, and the ensemble was simply cool…boots, hoodie, bracelet, everything looked pretty low key but worked.  Look at the one below…t-shirt…BLAZER!  Brilliant.  I don’t know if I can pull of that pointy of a shoe.

Anyway, this is a work in progress.  Mostly because I have bookmarked a ton of shoes on and can’t afford them yet.  I’m sure I’ll find some other things to draw from.  I noted almost everyone I dig wears a lot of scarves.  I may have to move to a colder climate to maximize my love of layering and desire to wear scarves.  Who knows.

The point?  Regardless of whether you’re in it for stage wear or business wear or you just want to know what to wear…this is a fun exercise.  It can lead you down some unexpected roads.

I guess the last point is, when seeking inspiration, you can look at the tabloid photos but don’t touch them or read them or buy them.

5 Responses to Finding a Thing



December 13th, 2011 at 6:05 am

Terri is wearing scarves in TX, so I think you can get away with it!



December 13th, 2011 at 2:14 pm

point! summer scarves and winter scarves 🙂


Jessi Turnbow

December 14th, 2011 at 4:36 am

This is so exciting! You know how much I love fashion, so I would like to give you a warm welcome into my world! Here are a few unsolicited tips:

1. Shop vintage, only buy new as a last resort.
2. This excludes shoes, unless you are prepared to have them cleaned and resoled.
3. Jewelry and scarves are key. I tend to wear mostly solid colors, but with colorful accessories.
4. If you love what you are wearing, do not consider anyone else’s opinion. It will crush your creativity.
5. When you buy make up from a mall counter, only wear about half as much as they put on you in the demo. They tend to overdo it.
6. Favorite stores in Austin: Lovely on South First, Buffalo Exchange, dinky thrift stores on Burnet, The Antique Mall in Round Rock.
7. If something really well on certain parts of your body, and not so well on others, have it altered. It is not expensive. Ace Tailors is the place I like in South Austin.

Have fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Dr. Pants

December 14th, 2011 at 7:53 pm

I have tried to go to this Evernote you speak of with no success. Perhaps they are down for maintenance or something.



December 18th, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Dangit! Keep trying – I love it.

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