I promised myself this year would be made up of moments. I would take each day as it comes and not force fun, force moments, or force behavior. This month has been proof that you should never force life to happen because sometimes life is really fucking rad and you meet people you didn’t know a few months ago that completely understand you and you just take it day by day.
At the start of every year, I always get this weird sense of nostalgia of things that at the time felt really great, but in retrospective were probably not the best. People I let walk all over me. Nights where I should have gone out instead of staying home. And some serious hard looks at myself and what a shitty friend I can be. I’m working on it. I really am.
But, January, you were a good month. You were full of discovery and Bloody Marys. You were full of food and fast friends. You brought new music in my life, more dance parties, and remembering how much I like to hang out with people and have genuine conversations about everything and nothing all at the same time. You were full of ice cream, eye-rolling, lace-up shoes, and the reality that I’ll be leaving in a few months back to the city that I love more than anything. You were full of Star Wars jokes, movies at vintage theatres where Kels and I laughed and laughed and laughed. You were full of art, happy hours, valets, and falling in love with strangers passing by with beanies and a flute of champagne. You were full of kissing booths, Tinder, and all the Drake jokes one can imagine.
January, I want to say a hearty thank you. You’ve been good and maybe next month I will write to you in a video.
Thanks to Liv Purvis and everything she does, she inspired me to toot my own horn about the things that happened to me this year. The “Anti-Bucket List” as the cool kids are calling it these days. When I was trying to think of what to write down, I started scrolling through the photos from this year and realized what a strange, incredible, odd and all the other adjectives between “amazing” and “ehhhh” there are–because I know there are a lot! So, without further ado, my list.
1. Learned how to properly walk in heels as I have always been bad at it and shunned all heels from being on my feet. But hey, look at me now, mom, bet you thought this day would never come.
2. Cut 10 inches off my hair because why not?
3. Looked up if you can legally take a cake on a plane and learned that you can and now the next time I fly, I will be sitting there with a full carrot cake in my lap, serving it to passengers to make friends.
4. Went to New York and saw and hugged and kissed people I haven’t seen in ages. I’ll be seeing you all soon.
5. JK Rowling got a Twitter account and everything in life was great.
6. Graduated university. I DID IT. Alas, it was pouring down rain and my mom couldn’t get a decent shot of me walking across the stage, but it happened.
7. Went to the top of the Arch for the first time and didn’t poop my pants.
8. Won 3 Instagram contests. Hell yeah.
9. Quit my job at the bank to pursue a job in writing and all things social media and haven’t had a single regret.
10. Got into a car accident, totaled my car and bought a new one all within two weeks. Cried a lot. But Gunther treats me right (my car, for those who don’t know his name).
11. Sat front row at STLFW and promptly fainted at the end. I mean, Fashion Week, right?!
12. Mauhaus announced they’re making a cat cafe here in STL and everything in life will be perfect once that happens.
13. Made really amazing, beautiful, unique, and wonderful friends.
14. Still loving the Oxford Comma even though work tells me not to use it. WELL LOOK HERE, KELSEY. I’M USING IT! (But not at work because, ugh, we don’t use it.)
I have a video for you somewhere in my computer, but I’m much too lazy and frankly too nervous to put the footage together. It’s 11:59 on your last day and I feel as if you didn’t really happen. Were you really even here? You must have been, but it seems as if every time you are here, you go by much too quickly. You were…really great, July. I’m talking to you as if you are a person because all the memories that happened inside these 31 days are enough to make a person. I left my job of four years, my comfort job for something that makes me so excited while at the same time so nervous. It was a leap for me and one that I’m anxious about, but I know it was the correct, best and most thrilling move I could make. I have loved the people I met this month and knowing that these people believe and see something in me that I can’t quite see yet makes me want to work so much harder. I’m really happy, July. I inspired people this month and let my voice finally be heard that I kept quiet and hidden for a very long time. Because I was afraid of what would happen if I did let my opinions be known. Because I was much too young or too naive to have an opinion, or so they say, yet after a week, they are still talking and my desire to spark a conversation has turned into a full fledged forest fire. So, thank you, July. You were here much too quickly, the year is half over, but you made me realize I have a voice. That my opinions can matter. That, although the world can be a scary and daunting place, sometimes you just need to jump. I can’t wait to see what happens in August.
As long as I can remember, I’ve always had a “passion for fashion.” Sorry, had to get the phrase out of the way. I guess you can say that I’ve been very much a girly-girl from day one, although I don’t feel that girly. I just like hair and make-up and clothes and shoes and jewelry and bags–those aren’t too girly, right? After I quit playing all three sports teams at once, much to my mother’s dismay, I focused more on writing, reading, and discovering my sense of style.
I started playing with fashion in middle school, telling my friends how they should style their clothes, and (sadly) they took my advice. I had friends wearing their belts outside of their belt loops, wearing UGG boots before everyone started to wear them (why are these still a thing?), and taking the “layered” look to the extreme.
My personal style in the middle school to high school freshman year era of my life was low rider Lucky jeans, tops from the Buckle that had too many embellishments on the sleeves, and Hurley hoodies that I had no business wearing. The clothes looked horrendous looking back, but at that time, I thought I looked so good. Especially with my bangs always in my face, blackout eyeliner rimming my full eyeballs, and I remember that I always had to hold the back of my pants when bending down in fear of my butt crack being on display.
It was during this time that I realized my friends were having a major influence over my style. Yeah, I picked out the things that I wanted, but I didn’t wear a lot of things in my closet because I would fear what people at school would say. I remember that I had these pink pointy-toed flats that I wore once to school. As soon as I got to the bus, the neighborhood kid laughed at me, and everyone else that I came into contact that day had the same reaction. My close friends laughed, but understood that it was just me, but other people who I didn’t know laughing? That stung a bit. So, I just started dressing like everyone else
My sophomore year of high school, a girl from California transferred to our school. She was the epitome of fashion at that time. She looked like she came straight out of The O.C. and she probably did. Blonde bob cut, pale white skin, and beautiful fashion pieces. Full neutral skirts with a belt cinching in her waist. Dark mid-rise jeans with loose fitting tops tucked into the top of her jeans. She embraced her style, never giving anyone a second look when they didn’t understand the belts she wore around her waist. Girls at school would be jealous of her style and started to copy some of her signature pieces. There was an epidemic happening at school. Instead of the tacky bedazzled jeans everyone was so fond of wearing, there were girls in classy a-lined skirts, mid-rise jeans, and button ups.
This was when I realized that a) I needed to find a style b) I needed to embrace that style and c) who cares what anyone else thinks?
When I came to this realization, I started my dress obsession and collection (I now have 89 dresses piled in my closet). I wore nice fitting jeans that soon turned into high waisted, that has caused a fair amount of ridicule from a certain boy. I wore patterned tights, colored tights, tights in general which never happened in my very suburban midwestern high school. I stopped dressing for other people and started dressing for myself, which was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Senior year, I won “Best Dressed,” so I guess people liked my style too.
Now a days, when I talk about style and fashion, I always get the same look from my out-of-state friends, “Wait, St. Louis has fashion? What is it? The clearance bin at Wal-Mart?” Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.
I get it, too. The midwest isn’t known for its fashion scene. If you go to any high school, you’ll see why. If you go into any grocery store (outside of Wash Ave and Clayton), you’ll see why. But, thanks to ALIVE Magazine and Fashion Week, fashion is being brought to St. Louis in a big way, and I, for one, am so grateful.
Last week was Saint Louis Fashion Week and, because I had to work and then got sick, I only could go to the runway shows. There were many events surrounding the week. A Midwestern Conference discussing fashion in St. Louis with guest panelists Editor-At-Large of Harper’s Bazaar Derek Blasberg, Creator of New York Fashion Week Fern Mallis, Fashion Designers Stan Herman and Timo Weiland, and CEO of Hilldun Corporation Gary Wassner. To say that I was bummed to miss this, is a massive understatement. There was also a pop-up trunk show at Saks Fifth Avenue, a gala, and many many after parties.
If you’d like to read about the events I missed, please check out the lovely bloggers of #STLFW and their wonderful posts about the events.
The runway shows were incredible, although if I’m being honest, Wednesday’s show ran a bit too long for me because of the wait to discover who won the Fashion Fund for the season. But alas, the designs were impeccable and below I have my “must haves” of the upcoming season.