“It’s all about styling and the way you carry yourself.”
Designer Stephen Mikhail, interviewed by SJ Chronicle at the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Philadelphia, October 2014
I couldn’t agree more. Just this past weekend, I headed to New York with a friend for a bit of musical-seeing (Sting’s The Last Ship), giant-holiday-tree-in-Rockefeller Center viewing, black-and-white-cookie eating, coffee-drinking, bialy-bringing-home, and, of course, a little thrift-shopping (great holiday sale at the Housing Works on 17th St. near 7th Ave—more on that in an upcoming post).
My friend also found some essential items at a tiny very-non-thrift shop at Penn Station, among them a nifty pair of leopard print leggings, marked down from 44 to 28. Not the sort of thing she usually wears, and very pricey for dedicated 5-buck thrifters like us, but they looked great on her, and she felt great in them. Looked like a go until she hesitated and asked me, “Am I too old to wear a print like this?”
After I stopped laughing incredulously, I answered her in pretty much Mikhail’s words, which, I must point out, have been my words for a long, long time. (Excuse me, please; I mean to state, not to boast, but Francine, one of the most self-satisfied of The Style Sisters, is “helping” me write this, and you know what that means.)
My friend’s particular age doesn’t matter. What does matter is that we all have reasons why, at this age or that, young, old, or in between, we “shouldn’t” any longer do A or B or C or D or . . . , no matter how happy it makes us. And by thus climbing (or letting ourselves be shoved) into some cage or other, we limit our joy, our possibilities, our growth, our very selves. I do truly believe that if you feel confident and comfortable, you can wear (or do) anything you want, any time you want, anywhere you want, without appearing ridiculous. Indeed, you’ll have people telling you (or saying about you) that what you’re wearing “looks great, but I could never carry it off.”
And they’ll be right: If they think they can’t, they can’t. If they try the same outfit without confidence, their expression and body language will communicate unease and rob the outfit of its magic, which is nine-tenths their magic.
My friend? She bought the leggings. My only regret? She didn’t buy the fantastic leopard-print hat, complete with jaunty feather, flower, and bit of lace, that we’d seen at Housing Works that morning. Next time.
Categories: Fashion Quote of the Week
Tags: Clothing Quotes, Fashion Quotes, Forbes, Forbes Under 30 Summit, Housing Works Thrift Shop, New York, Quote of the Week, Rockefeller Center Tree, SJ Chronicle, Sting's The Last Ship, The Style Sisters