My style has always been unisex. Of course we all vary in the things we put on everyday but, if I could list my tastes, the list would consist of the following:
- 1970’s virgin
- Bob Saget
- Eighty-year-old Boscov’s browser
- Kourtney Kardashian
- Just generally relaxed
- Arctic hiker
Per my broad taste, I love shopping for my son. With respect to his one-year-old masculinity, I wouldn’t try anything Kourtneyish on him but he definitely works a pair of moccasins very well. As I skim the internet for a new blazer and winter pulls, however, I learn that I’m a bit particular. Versatile yet particular. Who knew?
- Number one, I’m looking for a t-shirt but the t-shirt needs to be fitted or loose (no in betweens). For fitted shirts, the sleeves on a short sleeve need to be a smidge high almost like it shrunk a little. Loose-fitted shirts should appear less disheveled, more je ne sais quoi. I don’t like brand logos or “talking” shirts and I’m starting to become really turned off by textured pockets.
- Long sleeve shirts and sweaters must be tailored around the shoulders and arms. And the cuff should either stop at the forearm or right above the wrist. I don’t like busy designs on anything and I hate camouflage. A plain black or white thermo says it all. Layer it up and that’s a game-changer. Do not layer with a short sleeve shirt on top. This isn’t 2000.
- My son also looks awesome in a plain white or sky blue casual dress button-up. My favorite type of collar is the mandarin collar so I usually look exclusively for that when dressing him in casual dress.
- Lastly, my husband only wears plaid so I don’t mind a plaid button-down but I love a long sleeved striped shirt especially when the stripes are bright in color. Plus if it’s a turtleneck. I love a turtleneck! That’s not to be confused with a cowl neck. Bleh!
- Cardigans are the only part of Bob Saget-fashion I dislike. There’s just something about a wool, shawl-neck cardigan that’s very girly to me. Zip-up sweaters and fleeces are also not types I’d finger through. Plain pulls (sometimes with three little buttons in which two of three buttons are always buttoned) are the way to go. The only time I’d opt in for wacky designs is when the design is interesting– Bill Cosby-esque. Put a polo under there and take me home to Catholic school nostalgia.
- Jacket vests are out.
- I cannot stand running shoes with regular clothing. I can’t stand active wear in everydaywear in general. If my son or myself is choosing to wear a sneaker, it’s gonna look more like a dockside shoe. But Walmart sells durable sneakers at a reasonable price so I usually look for the sneaker that’s most basic in design. The thing I hate about sneakers outside of the gym (next to the fact that they should only be used in the gym) is that reflective design on the shoe that doesn’t go with anything. It’s a huge distraction for me. I just think it looks silly– like a cowboy hat and a ballgown. I like him in loafers (or what Haitians call “sapat“). He looks so lazy in a pair of sapat and sweats. I love it. I personally never wear sandals but I think men look good in a pair of sandals and distressed jeans. I don’t know.
- When it comes to jeans, slim straight legged jeans are the only types of jeans a boy should (and I) wear; no skinny jeans, no boot-cuts, no bellbottoms. And I’m not a fan of solid colored jeans like stop sign red or prairie grass green. I don’t even think I’m a fan of mustard yellow. My preferences in color are always faded, resembling similar to paint being splattered across a towel and then the towel bundled up and smeared altogether. Just effortless.
- Speaking of effortless, I never liked distressed jeans. When it came out, I thought it looked so rotten; however, I had a pair of solid-colored grey skinny jeans I had worn twice and decided to do something with it— some cuts and chafing and a little bleach later and I was instantly turned onto ripped jeans. It’s funny how tastes change. I now distress and fade-wash every pair of pants I come across. These pants are low-rise but I mainly shoot for high-waisted pants because I enjoy an occasional crop top only if I could cover my stubborn pouch.
- I also recently got into jean jackets but I found that dual denim is too matchy for me. I love this new co-ord trend but if the jean jacket is a shade off from the jeans, it’s not gonna make the OOTD. I usually put him in a jean jacket if he’s got basketball shorts or sweats on.
- Lastly, I love mid-rise pants so I tend to cuff my pants or put blousing straps on them to show my ankles. I’ve done that with my son’s as well. Mid-rise trousers look so masculine on women but are reserved for women. I’ll touch on men’s trousers in a mini.
- More on outerwear— I love a windbreaker, a blouson, and a ski jacket. The only types of outerwear I avoid are varsity jackets, pea coats, and car coats. Parkas are my absolute favorite. A coat (even the timeless bubble jacket) is incomplete without a faux fur hood. Reference these icons to choose your favorite type of outerwear.
- My own shorts are usually short but our son will wear shorts no longer than capris and no shorter than the tops of his knees. I know long sleeves with shorts is an oxymoron but I think he looks dashing in a long sleeve button-up and khaki shorts. And I could never wear pants without pockets (to include longer pants). That’s not to be confused with me liking cargo pockets. I look for the hip and back pockets. I like corduroys so I’d like to experiment with a pair of corduroy shorts. Currently looking ~
- When he gets old enough to wear a suit, he will be thoroughly educated on the science of wearing a suit. No tightness around the ass.. no highwaters.. bowties are for butlers and clowns. Bodycon suits are just not the look; so is overaccessorizing (funky socks, brooches, etc.). And shoes should be taken off by hand. I’ll be looking for those scuffs on the heel. Read more about suit dressing here.
- To touch on dresses and heels (unrelated to my son), all dresses are game except for halter dresses, strapless dresses, drop-waist dresses, wrap dresses, and any dress that stops right at the calf. Skirts should stop at the calf. On the other hand, I haven’t found an appropriate time to wear a miniskirt since college. I love a turtleneck dress, a collared dress, and a jumper dress. I used to never wear anything that exposed my shoulders but I gained some confidence after basic training. That’s when I tried my first strapless bra and it still never holds but it allows me to wear a spaghetti string dress without looking trashy or being confined in a sweater. My body is shaped like a capital P and I’ve had it long enough to know what makes it slimming and comfortable. For heels, I will always hate wedge heels (walking on blocks) but I recently got really into chunky heels. I got a pair in lieu of 1970’s virgin and they are so comfortable; but they must be no shorter than three inches, though.
I told my husband the other day that looks are more than status for me. My mother struggled a bit so she always made it a point to appear like we were doing fine. Sometimes we overdo it and appear pompous but I’d take a fake rags-to-riches story over not feeling good about myself anyday. Putting on makeup even if you’re not going anywhere goes a long way. And going through a lot of embarrassing outfits is a requirement to finding your style.
Because I’m so picky, everything is game in terms of shopping. I sift through Amazon, ASOS, Old Navy, Goodwill. I even get stuff off the Wish app (although it doesn’t last me). I don’t look for a particular brand; just a particular way the clothing is tailored because I’m gonna fix it up anyway.