The nature of the New Year lends itself to reflection and resolution. One looks on the tangible past with a certain tenderness for the good times and a desire to resolve the bad for future betterment. We write lists of goals as a response to society’s overwhelming call to action on the first of January, and we carry these lofty goals with us as we proceed into the future hopeful that these resolutions will re-inflate our egos and protect us from making the same mistakes that we made in the past.
However, too often our resolutions are too lofty, too overwhelming to really stick to past January 5th or so, when our lives returns to their crazy, busy normality not buffered by the holidays and PTO days. So this year I decided to make resolution that were doable that I could work on right now and every day go forward, little things that I feel I could stick to even when life gets crazy again.
One of said daily intentions is to reinvigorate my personal style and not in a way that requires the purchase of a whole new wardrobe. So in sticking to the customary reflection and resolutions I turned to the past, gleaning inspiration from my sartorial heroes in order to improve my future style choices and make old pieces feel new again. I’ve learned that you can definitely teach an old skirt new tricks.
The following women, whether fictional or real, inspire me on a daily basis to dress in a way that articulates a specific story.
Joan Didion published her first novel at 29, wrote of the human experience with objective truth that divulged the denigration of American morals, drove a Corvette, clocked time at Vogue, was bicoastal and took a similar approach to dressing as she did her writing. Valuing simplicity, elegance and restraint, her personal style revolved around oversized black shades and refined sentences lines.
Jane Birkin epitomizes the Parisian boho-chic of the 1970s, channeling the innocence of Lolita and the sex appeal of a femme fatale. Famous for her blunt cut bangs, mile long legs, mini skirts and peasant tops, she undoubtedly posses that certain je ne sais quoi. There is no question as to who I hope to be emanating when I wear a white t-shirt, loose jeans and a single gold chain.
Anna Karina, née Hanne Karin Bayer made innocence sexy, paving the way for the likes of Alexa Chung and Zooey Deschanel. She is all bangs and feline-inspired eyeliner. Her style can be distilled to knee-length plaid skirts, frilled collars and ballet flats. Widely considered the French art-house brunette equivalent to Brigitte Bardot’s blonde bombshell sex appeal, she is both enchanting and intelligent, ingénue and sophisticate.
Annie Hall’s slouchy trousers, vests and bowler hats were a welcome change to the era of metallic hot pants and flared bellbottoms. She single handedly re-introduced the idea of menswear-inspired fashion to the public. She made layers of tweed and buttoned up shirts feminine and sexy with her charm and confidence. Her free-spirited and effortless style is as brave as it is organic. One can’t help but admire the Charlie Chaplin meets crazy cat lady perfection that is Annie Hall.