My style has changed a lot over the past several years, but one thing I have always been drawn to is the slightly professorial/grandpa look. Give me loafers with tassels, give me tweed, give me sharp button ups, and I am one happy camper. I honestly don’t care if the style is on-trend or not; I feel cool when I wear my wool blazers. What I actually feel like is an early 1970s ivy league version of myself – clogs crunching yellow and orange leaves, the faint smell of clove cigarettes in the distance, but I digress.
I found this tweed jacket at a thrift store many years ago and loved it immediately for its resemblance to the heavily-pinned image below. It was added to the rotation, and as a crucial component of my "signature look," it got a lot of wear. But then something funny happened. Over the years, and particularly after starting this blog, I found my style shifting as I tried to flex into silhouettes or trends that felt more refined. I started cultivating a sleeker and more minimalistic wardrobe, and I shifted gears away from busy fabrics like tweed.
My one tweed jacket ended up in a "for sale" bag, and stayed there a great many months. While it was glanced at by a few buyers at my local consignment stores, it was never scooped up. And then one day several months ago, as if a lightbulb turned on, it popped into my head and had me frantically looking for it. Had it gotten sold? Would I ever find another? Why had I abandoned this one-of-a-kind piece that I used to love so dearly?
Because I didn't think there was room for it with my style-growth and evolution, that's why.
After finding it, I deliberated long and hard about what to do. Was it worthy of a spot in my wardrobe? Was I really not into it, or was it that it didn't fit what I thought I was supposed to wear? I looked back over some pictures, considered the outfits I had created using it, and realized that it wasn't that I didn't like it anymore - it's that it didn't fit the aesthetic that I was chasing. But actually, it suits me. I love it.
There is something to be said for striving for growth and refinement while honoring the individual style quirks that truly make you happy. In fact, I think that's what makes the most stylish ensembles. This is going to sound so sappy and so cliche (sorry), but I truly believe that it's the happiness factor that elevates a look. Sure you can try for trendiness, or sophistication, or whatever it is you want your clothes to communicate for you, but at the end of the day, wear what makes you happy. Your comfort and happiness and confidence is what gets communicated first and foremost, always.
For me that means that every so often I dress like I'm Meg Ryan's classmate at the beginning of when Harry met Sally. What of it.
So here's to trousers and tweed blazers and oxfords. And here's to renewing your love of old familiar pieces.
I'm also happy to report that this story's ending is 100% aligned with where I want my closet goals to go, and all while reflecting a style and aesthetic I've held for a long while. I'm using what I have, and breathing new life into pieces that have been around for many years. I know I have more refining to do and more lessons to learn, but it feels good to know where I'm going.