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Back to Basics: A White Tee & Jeans

Not to get too Mean Girls here, but one time I saw Alexa Chung wearing a simple plain white tee and jeans so I wanted to wear a plain white tee and jeans. This is legitimately what happened the morning I got ready for this shoot, which was subsequently weeks ago when the weather was a bit warmer. I was actually sweating a bit because it was humid and warm out while we shot. Now it's frigid outside, not that I'm complaining because this is my favorite type of weather. I have too many great coats to not enjoy the cold (not to toot my own horn or anything...)

All jokes aside, the morning before I headed off to Long Island City to take these pictures with Emily, I was scrolling through Pinterest and there are a lot of Alexa Chung photos on my dashboard mostly because one of my most frequently pinned to boards is my one dedicated to Alexa Chung (it used to be my Olivia Palermo board which is actually split up into seasonal outfit inspiration, in case you were wondering how annoying I was). Alexa has an effortlessness to her that I know I do not possess nor will I ever will, yet I constantly want to grab style inspo from her even if I will never pull it off or carry myself in the same way. Totally not even trying to shit on myself here, it's just true. However Alexa carries herself is something to envy, so for now I'm just going to try to steal the basic dynamics of her outfits and hope that I look somewhat okay and not just like I've given up. 

Truly though, if I wanted to look like I didn't give up and gave a fuck, I probably should have brushed my hair before these photos...

Remember that time Christina Aguilera released an album called Back to Basics where she embodied classic Hollywood starlets and took it back to the 20s? This isn't really like that at all, I just wanted to remind you guys that that album exists and it's pretty damn good.

I digress, the whole combination of the basic white tee and jeans is, well, just that: pretty damn basic. The thing about basics though is that you literally can't go wrong. Is this the most exciting outfit? Nah. But not everything has to be insane prints and patterns and color-blocking and multi-dimensional to be cool. I feel like in fashion the loudest things get the most attention. I'm victim to it, too! I like the bold things not only because I think they're cool personally, but I know they'll stand out. I don't like attention on me in the sense that being the center of attention freaks me out. I'm not afraid by any means of my outfit standing out though, that's for sure.

Don't get me wrong, I also believe there's a more understated style that's popular in the media today too, especially with CĂ©line looks very a-la Phoebe Philo rather than the new Hedi era. It's all very structured, simple, and classic with a bit of an edge. But when you think about the looks you see in street style round-ups, it's like a battle of the wild clothing and how many layers of prints and textures can you put on in one look while still being able to walk somewhat normally. It's aesthetically great to look at and I love the art behind it, but it also puts this weird strain on what my ideas on what fashion should be. 

Can it be basic or does it have to be big and bold all the time?

I struggle a lot with thinking my outfits aren't "exciting" enough now that I'm living in the city. There's an underlying pressure to dress great in the city, especially in the area where I work (SoHo is fashion goals central, I swear). We also all have a tendency to become immune to what we look like. Or maybe it's just an insecure people thing, I don't know. I get sick of myself if I look into the mirror for too long. That's when we start to obsess and nitpick and manage to ignore all of the good to point fingers at the bad. 

The same thing goes for me in the mirror in the morning. I tend to just think I look boring. If something is "too simple" I feel like it's just one big yawn of an outfit. But my scale is skewed! Compared to the wild things you see in editorials or in street style shots, jeans and a tee are mild. More mild than whole milk, truthfully. There's nothing inherently wrong with dressing simple just like there's nothing wrong with wearing a milkmaids costume as your everyday wear (not sure why that was the first thing I thought of, but let's roll with it).

So thanks, Alexa Chung, for making jeans and a tee look so cool and for reminding me that it's fine to go back to basics and #StripThatDown. Come on, you didn't think I'd go the whole post without a reference to a member of One Direction now did you?

Tee: Zara
Jeans: Levi's
Belt: Kenneth Cole
Shoes: Kate Spade
Bag: Saint Laurent via Cleveland Consignment Shoppe
Sunglasses: Quay


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