No Longer Grey

The sartorial experiments and ramblings of a girl named Sarah

Style Secrets: Finding Your Lane

by Sarah on December 9, 2017, one comment

Often ignored: style and fashion are not the same thing. Fashion refers to the clothes, the industry, and the endless trends. Style is personal. It’s not so much the clothes, but the attitudes, the feelings the clothes evoke, and the story they tell. Somewhere in the intersection of fashion and style comes the idea of being fashionable; having one’s personal style match what designers are showing. “Fashionable” is the sweet spot, and is the area that modern day influencers capitalize upon. But is it really worth it to be wearing all of the trends at all of the right times?

I think there’s a shift in the industry towards answering no. Street style has gone from dressing in head to toe flashy, to more discreet, personal looks. Project 333, the 5 piece French wardrobe, and, to a degree, the idea of Marie Kondo-ing one’s wardrobe all point towards consumers wanting less, wanting more personal pieces, and valuing style over fashion.

So how do you cultivate this mysterious, wonderful style?

Catwalk to Walking the Cats

Designers often show pieces in their runway collections that they have absolutely no intention of mass producing and selling. Truly. These pieces are meant to generate press buzz, round out the collection, and make a statement without losing the designer money. Clearly, not everything consumers are shown should be taken at face value. If you have an interest in fashion, you may have noticed that every season, there’s a list of must-have items. These lists are compilations of runway trends, predicted trends, or products that advertisers are paying to have featured.

The beauty of style is that you can interpret those lists in any way you wish. Combine trends! Put your own spin on other people’s ideas! When you’re looking at fashion blogs, glossy magazines, somebody’s private Pinterest board, or runway images, take everything with a pinch of salt. Remember that what’s being shown is presented to inspire, but not necessarily for direct copycating.

You don’t have to embrace every trend to be fashionable. I don’t think I’ll ever be comfortable wearing cold shoulder shirts. It’s just not for me. So I don’t buy it, even though I’ve practically been force fed cold shoulder shirts for the past year. Don’t feel that you have to fill your wardrobe with trends. Choose pieces and styles that you absolutely love. If you don’t want to take it off when you sleep, it’s meant to be.  

Suit Yourself

When you’re young, it’s easy to get caught up in what everyone else is wearing. That’s why I wore a pair of dark denim, ripped knee flare jeans from Abercrombie and Fitch all through seventh grade. As you get older, you’ll probably realize that some things suit you, and some don’t. Case in point: those jeans are long gone. Wearing clothes that you personally like on you will actually, thanks to enclothed cognition, make you feel more confident. Seriously. Don’t wear clothes that don’t suit your individual taste just because they’re en vogue. In a perfect world, every single thing in your closet should excite you, or at least feel like an old friend.

Broaden Your Horizons

I just moved from New Hampshire to New York. And beyond the obvious changes of 12 people versus 8.58 million people, one of the most different things has been the availability to shop. I just went to my 24 hour bodega and bought pears. Pears! It’s 10:05 pm, and I bought pears! Everything is available.

The internet makes pears available to even New Hampshirites. When it comes to clothing, regardless of your physical location, explore. I tend to still do a lot of online window shopping; everything is online. City Chic tops. Vintage fashion boutiques. Somebody’s ebay that is advertising vintage Dior dresses. Changing the way you shop can open you up to a much wider range of options and help you source unique items that will help build a truly personal style.

Try Before You Buy

Fitting rooms are basically a free gift. I know; sometimes you don’t have time, or there’s a line, or the fitting rooms are the scary tiny Zara ones. But trying things on truly is invaluable. The key word there is try. Not sure if you can pull of velvet pants? Try them. If you’re feeling too much pressure from other people, try shopping alone so that you can truly look at all of your opinions. Be open-minded and take any item that turns your head into the fitting room. You never know what something is going to look like until you try it.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help from people who work at a store. Even strangers can help you to develop your style.

Alright guys, that’s all I’ve got. What has been the most helpful for you in developing your personal style?

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Morning Coffee

by Sarah on November 20, 2017, 2 comments

sweater- the J List, trousers- Everlane, shoes- Everlane

Hi there! It’s been a minute. I’ve been adjusting to city living (read:  getting lost on the subway), and have been embracing getting out an exploring New York (spending an ungodly amount of time in bodegas) and haven’t been blogging (and instead have been binge watching season 2 of stranger things). Coming at you today to share a super simple outfit that ticks all my ideal comfy outfit boxes; comfortable, effortless, and layerable. It’s been pretty cold here in New York lately, and I’ve found the best way to combat that is through lots of layers. Here I’m wearing a puffy turtleneck sweater tucked into some amazing Everlane pans. They have a jogger silhouette, and are just as comfortable, but also have some zips that taper the leg in a way that is a) flattering, and b) makes you look like MC Hammer at a 2017 fashion week.

I would be remiss to go without talking about my boots. They are, quite frankly, boss boots. Which is funny, because they’re called the boss boots. They’re a pointy toed, pebbled leather dreamboat that I put on and haven’t wanted to ever take off. The thick heel makes for easy walking, the Italian leather makes for perfectly molded sides, and the ridiculously pointed toe is both witchy and utterly French. Plus they have a pull tab in the back, and shiny silver hardware. I mean, honestly, how much better can you get?

 

NEW YORK NEW YORK

by Sarah on November 9, 2017, 2 comments

So…

I moved?!

To New York. Just writing that seems absolutely insane.

Last year was my senior year of high school. By May first, I had decided on a college. I had even made a draft of a post to announce where I would be moving (SoCal!) . And then I got a call about a waitlist, and suddenly I wasn’t going to college in the fall. I wasn’t moving to California at the end of the summer. Instead, I was in limbo. As many longtime readers know, I’ve spent the past 8 years going to and working at a camp in Vermont. So I did that until the end of the summer, and then I went home and started my gap year.

I didn’t know what I was doing, or even what I wanted to be doing. I worked a lot, at a lovely little boutique near where I live (which if you’re ever in New Hampshire, you should definitely check out!). I wrote more posts for this blog than I ever had before. I started doing informational interviews and doing scary things like sending off resumes, looking at openings in LinkedIn, and trying to find something to do during my year.

Like most young, naive, overzealous people interested in fashion, at the forefront of my mind was moving to New York. I wanted to see what it would be like to live somewhere where there aren’t more cows than people, where there are runway shows and Condé Nast offices. I wanted to walk down the street and see more than a smattering of Patagonia and North Face. I applied at what felt like hundreds of places for jobs, internships, anything to shove my foot a little farther into the door of fashion.

Somehow, through a series of events I don’t understand, I got a job in New York. That was two weeks ago. Last Friday I picked up my things (let’s be real, mostly just all of my shoes) and moved to the city.

As I write this, I’m sitting in my apartment, hearing cars go by, people next door speaking Dutch, and my radiator make very scary noises. And it feels pretty great.

So here’s to the beginning of a new(ish) chapter in the life of No Longer Grey, in which I live in a place with more than one grafitti wall, and do my best to make it in New York.

As always, thank you all so much for your support. It truly means the world to me. Without all of you, and without No Longer Grey, I wouldn’t be in New York. I’m so excited to be here- regardless of if I’m here for one month or five, I’m here.

Yay!

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Angry Face

by Sarah on October 27, 2017, no comments

skirt- vintage, shirt- J Crew, boots- thrifted, bag- Lederer

I promise I’m not an angry person, despite what these photos might have you believe. The sun was in my eyes. Promise. I also swear that I don’t always dress like the Earl of Leicester. I only do that sometimes.

Verity

by Sarah on October 24, 2017, 2 comments

sweater- thrifted, pants- Everlane, shoes- Gap (on sale right now!)

There’s a sweater in the truly excellent book Code Name Verity described as a sort of wooly, orangey red pullover. My copy of the book has tragically gone missing, rendering me incapable of pulling out the exact phrase, but the sweater I’m wearing here seems to be the book sweater’s twin. It’s the pinnacle of what a sweater should be; comforting, cozy, and in a happy color. I found this one at a rummage sale a few years ago. Since then, it has weathered four months of campfires, living in the woods, and cold Vermont nights, college tours, photoshoots, and countless adventures. It’s a comfort blanket, a perfect partner to jeans and a fashion statement, all in one. I teamed it here with some lovely silk pants from Everlane, which made the outfit feel like one’s most comfortable pajamas. To make this look a little less bedtime chic, I added in a pair of heels I picked up from Gap. Honestly, they’re pretty amazing. Comfortable, but still sufficiently fashion-y. Just the right heel hight too.

Have any of you read Code Name Verity? If not, please do. If you have read it, then I can think of no better way to ending this post than “Kiss me Hardy! Kiss me quick!”