My Aesthetic Conundrum

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I captioned this photo “Italian Vogue circa 1959” because A.) I thought it was funny and B.) I had (rather unintentionally) styled myself in vintage-inspired pieces. The result: This 1950s-era European swim look. From the checkered tin lunchbox (which is a TJ Maxx purchase by the way!) to the straw hat and one-piece, I had transformed into a new retro Mia, as opposed to my usual modern grunge look.

Something I’ve always grappled with is the idea of looking like a certain aesthetic. I used to get embarrassed if a label was attached to me. In high school and college, I was oh-so creatively called “biker chick” and “Grease lightning” because I wore a leather jacket. I used to think people thought I was pretending to be somebody else, which has never been the case. Yet, that’s not to say that I didn’t draw style inspiration from models and movies during my formative years.

In this age of personal branding, I thought it was important to have one clear-cut aesthetic. Some influencers are Parisian chic, while others are goth, and they hardly dabble outside of those style genres. I no longer believe that that is how it has to be. I now have a new perspective on embodying different aesthetics and personas in my wardrobe choices.

I believe that fashion (and style) is derivative, so all designers and fashion icons are influenced by preexisting or historic styles and designs. So, why can’t I be? I’m finally letting myself delve into different style tribes from punk and Parisian to retro and minimalist, as long as my persona and individual style is still there at the core.

So go ahead, call me Sandy.


Styling credits:

Suit: Reformation

Hat: I bought this from a street vendor on Long Beach Island but TJ Maxx has an almost identical version right now.

Shoes: White Mountain Espadrilles (They are so comfortable I walked 9 miles in them.)

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