Phone a Friend: How Do I Make Skirts and Dresses Work For Me?
These first few weeks of 2019 have been spent embracing the new year’s atmosphere while reveling in the thought of accomplishing my resolutions. My list entails a mix of participating in, quite possibly, an unattainable amount of dance classes, a desire to travel more, and the pursuit of a softer, more delicate — dare I say femme — daily attire. I’m talking full-on Junoesque silhouettes, loads of skirts, and lush shirts. Not just to feel sexy, but to see the coquettish bits of my inner being shine through my threads once again.
2018 gave us some beautiful colors and wild fabrics, yet still, I feel ambivalent when it comes to my personal style. My #ootds have somehow lost their refined, airy touch and now all I can muster to wear is a small array of baggy pants and oversized sweaters. It’s as if every morning feels like a Monday and I just can’t seem to find the inspiration to get out of my tomboy safety-net and put on my dainty kitten heels when stepping out of the house. Don’t get me wrong, I love my take on colorful sweater-weather wear and my obscene number of turtlenecks. I feel powerful and funky on most occasions, but there is a persistent disconnect where my actual personality and my clothing meet.
In search of a new look, I asked our EIC, Magdalena, to revive me from my slumber and wake my closet up with some tips and tricks on how to dress confidently in items far beyond my comfort zone.
Magdalena: I thought styling Meggie in a skirt would be easy peasy. I am, after all, known for my extensive midi skirt collection — which is not something I ever vied to achieve, but I’ll take it. How hard could it be to style a dear friend and colleague in something I myself wear literally every day? Well, very hard, if said stylee is the most versatile and daring stylist-cum-model in town. I know her everyday style well (seen above) but I’ve also seen her wear a slip and pumps to an event. She’s a fashion chameleon!
When I went to thrift for this feature, I looked everywhere for tiered chiffon skirts. I wanted something flowy — in a cream or a tan — that would produce the most obvious “Meggie 2.0.” But the challenge here wasn’t to simply put Meggie in a skirt, something she’s modeled dozens of times, it was to make her feel natural in one IRL. To do this, I had to focus on what she loved: layering, oversized pieces, and comfortable fabrics.
For this day look, I made a compromise: Sophia Loren on the bottom, streetwear on top. The suede tulip skirt (secondhand ASOS via Buffalo Exchange) is a little intrepid with its exaggerated center slit but the structure and color are absolutely timeless. To make it less intimidating, I paired it with a soft vintage t-shirt and this season’s most trendy pattern, leopard, by way of an open Forever 21 button up via ThredUp. To dial up the personality, I added celestial chandelier earrings from this post.
Meggie: The way that Magdalena encompassed my style with longer skirts and overshirts was exactly what I was looking for. The way the navy T-shirt played with the silhouette of the light blue skirt felt so energetic, and the contradicting tones of the brown accessories captured my full attention. I felt beautiful and handsome at the same time — all the while basking in the comfort of being and feeling my spunky, flirty self again in this casual but sophisticated day look.
Magdalena: As I said before, Meggie is no stranger to dresses. But she did confide in me that because her personal fashion outlook centers around 80s and 90s silhouettes, she often worries that the dresses she gravitates towards can look like a costume. The challenge here was to find an outfit that was less busy, something modern and tailored, without losing that visual impact she loves so much.
For our night look, I kept it comfy with a crushed velvet slip dress (Buffalo Exchange) paired with a vintage, cream pea coat. The coat has that classic silhouette that I was going for, but it’s oversized on Meggie, making it feel updated and more like a statement piece than simple outerwear. Meggie and I are both huge proponents of pattern and color so I knew that while the general outfit was within her comfort zone, the color palette was not. In order for her not to feel muted or drab, I went with a gold dangle earring, which matched the buttons on our coat, and gave her a mauve smokey eye.
Meggie: This night look is something I’ll definitely be wearing if I ever get out of the house past 9 p.m. again this winter. Even with this slightly muted color pattern, the whole ensemble ended up being surprisingly playful. It was such a strong mix of feminine, spontaneous, and clean. The strappy dress is a great piece on its own, but the longer coat gave me something to play with. I haven’t worn something strappy without a turtleneck layer in so long, I forgot how absolutely sexy simple can be.
It was such a relief to look and feel so out of my element, but comfortably myself all the same. I think we all get into a rut that blinds us at times. Getting someone else’s perspective reawakened my palette and cleared my mind of the mess I had made searching for something different when getting dressed. The personal spin that Magda lovingly put on my style opened up a world of options to incorporate into my daily dress routine. From longer hemlines to eclectic t-shirt mashups, femme can be so sophisticated and free.