Friday, August 31, 2012

Girl Friday: Kari

This is Kari -- my friend, neighbor, and fashion-enthusiast buddy!
I really value and respect the way Kari's taken time to figure out her style. Through experimentation and research, she has unabashedly come up with a formula that works for her and complements her love of both bohemian & classic styles. She's encouraged me to stay true to what I love, while feeling the freedom to try something new (even if it doesn't end up working in the end... like the autumn we realized that we are not hipsters. There's a story.)

You also need to meet this girl because she's going to be doing a feature on the blog, starting next month: Secondhand September! Kari has a knack for finding unexpected pieces at Goodwill and then either wearing them with flair or innovatively altering them until they work for her. She's going to give us tips for shopping at Goodwill/thrift stores, show off some of her finds (like leather riding boots for $5. I know. I KNOW.), and hopefully inspire and encourage your thrifting endeavors. Her first post will be this coming Wednesday, so stay tuned -- and email me if you have questions about thrift store shopping you'd like her to answer.

Here's her interview!
*   *   *   *   *

The Twenty Ninth: Describe your style in a few words or a phrase.
Kari: Die-hard bohemian with a solidly classic backbone.  

TN: How has your style evolved over the years? 
K: As a child, I wasn't allowed to shop according to preference. When I was finally able to choose my own clothes, I did it all wrong, by starting with what I wanted people to think of me and working backward to what clothes I should wear. It wasn't experimentation - it was people pleasing. I had to go through a phase where I pared down to the skeletal basics and rebuilt, only allowing stuff into my wardrobe that I or my husband loved, with a heavy leaning toward what he loved -- and he loved lady-like classic stuff. It was hard to put my wild-but-feminine side on hold, but it was worth it to convince him how much I loved him. Recently, though, he's told me he's is convinced, and is encouraging my more free-spirited side. The result is a solidly urban-boho wardrobe with cameos by a chic city-dweller.

TN: Any fun/embarrassing clothing mishaps or stories you'd like to share?
K: I was experimenting with pattern mixing not long ago, but my wardrobe isn't well stocked with patterns. All I could manage were a pair of blue, sailboat print shorts with a kelly green striped Breton top. After my husband had been home from work for a few hours, I asked what he thought. He confessed that after discerning I hadn't actually meant to grab my solid navy shorts, he declared that outfit "THE worst one yet." Days later, I thought I'd found a pair of pants at J.Crew that I'd wanted but had been discontinued. When I called to ask about the money factor, he said "I'll OK flexing the budget to buy these, and you'll promise never to wear stripes and sailboats again." I discovered that the pants were NOT available after all, but when I told my husband, his response wasn't to be sad with me about the loss. No, he said, "Nonetheless, your promise about the stripes and sailboats is still binding." Message received, honey.

TN: Who are your style influences? 
K: When I'm feeling like my city-self or really want to score with my husband, Kate Middleton, Audrey Hepburn, Gwyneth Paltrow and Grace Kelly are women I'd love to dress like. For style philosophy, I'm usually of one mind with Coco Chanel. And when I'm feeling free-spirited, I am my only inspiration.
This top & these jeans are from Goodwill!
Dress = another thrift store score.
TN: Where's your favorite place to shop?  
K: Believe it or not: Goodwill. I enjoy altering almost-perfect clothes to perfection, and like that my purchasing saves my family money, provides jobs to those who need them, reduces the amount of stuff being thrown into landfills, and cuts down my own consumerism. In our area, you can find startlingly good quality cast-offs!

TN: How do you pick out an outfit? 
K: I'm SO boring... I have a formula. We have a family joke called The Bohemian National Uniform. The BNU is a white T, jeans, and one tasteful accessory (only one, usually... I feel over-accessorized VERY easily!). All my outfits are just a variation of that formula -- shirt + jeans + accessory. I deviate, of course, but on the main, you can deconstruct everything I wear into those basic parts.

TN: What's your favorite thing in your closet to wear and why?  
K: My white T-shirts. I wear them as often as they're laundered.

TN: Any shopping tips or fashion advice you'd like to share? 
K: Always, ALWAYS be true to your own creative voice. Dressing to please others or merely to be "on-trend" will always show. But dressing in clothes that reflect your personality will make you relaxed and confident -- and WAY more beautiful! You know what you want to look like -- don't compromise!

*   *   *   *   * 

Thanks Kari! I'm really excited for Secondhand September!

If you have questions for Kari (either about her interview or about thrift store shopping), leave them in the comment section below.

1 comment:

  1. Love this post and love her style. Gotta get out to more thrift stores!