My justification at that point was that I was getting it as an early birthday present to myself, though I regretted the action almost immediately upon pressing "Confirm" on the Zara website. At that point I had to wait it out - if I wasn't as in love with the blazer in person as I was on the website, I would just have to return it.
So it was with some trepidation that I pulled the plastic from the box yesterday and carefully unwrapped the enclosed items from the tissue paper; all sorts of anxieties were bouncing around in my mind: size and fit questions, worries about the fabric and texture, and (mostly) uneasiness about the cost of the order (which shall remain unspoken, but the oversize tank I purchased was one-tenth the price of the blazer). As excited as I was to receive the package, I was almost too afraid to open it - I was so in love with the fantasy blazer I had seen on the website and I was terrified reality wouldn't translate into what I had pictured in my imagination. I was afraid of being disappointed (again).
You see, to me, disappointment is heartbreaking. It is destructive. It is shattered dreams and broken hope. Call me dramatic, call me a shopaholic, call me obsessed, accuse me of taking it too seriously - whatever. It's all true. I take my wardrobe very seriously. These are the pieces that describe me to the world, that tell my story without ever saying a word. These are what make a first impression. These are my art.
Not every piece is a work of art in and of itself - nor should every piece be so. The art forms when the pieces are put together; like paints on a canvas, they are not complete without each other. It is vitally important that each color be mixed perfectly, be placed aptly, and within the right context, in order to achieve a work of art rather than simply an outfit.
The more I learn about fashion and style, the more I begin to realize that this artform really is an art, as much as painting or drawing or writing or architecture. There is no science to style, no exact formula for achieving it nor established criteria for determining whether one has it; only one's sense of self and imagination and the hope for the best.
I truly believe that the way we dress reflects the way we feel about ourselves.
It may be subconscious, it may be deliberate; it could be somewhere in between.
Style is the ultimate form of self-reflection.
But back to the story.
As soon as my hands grasped the fabric of the blazer, my fears evaporated; I gently pulled it from the wrapping and looking at it, holding it, feeling it, was like first love all over again... only without the painful heartbreak at the end. This is a piece that will never, ever betray me.
The studs of various sizes that run along the collar and faux pockets are a matte, almost burnished, silver; the black fabric seems to be a mix of boucle and frayed tweed and seems heavy at first glance, but upon inspection is actually rather thin and thus perfect for both summer and winter. The strong shoulders feel like armor against the weight of the world, while the frayed hems and seams are the perfect imperfection - just enough muss to keep the blazer from being too stuffy. The texture of the jacket and cut of the neck and shoulders is certainly reminiscent of the famous Chanel jackets, but the Zara version has a longer length and more boyfriend like fit than Coco's classic cut. This is an impeccably balanced blazer: enough polish and charm to establish it's position as a classic, yet a roughness to it that reminds us of its bad assery.
I mentioned the heather gray oversize tank I purchased to go with it, though upon close inspection I am finding this blazer is a source of continual inspiration that will likely be matched with nearly everything I own throughout the summer. Despite it's uniqueness (or perhaps because of it), it seems to be the most versatile garment I own.
It is important to note that (in my experience, at least) Zara sizes seem to run a bit small. I typically wear a small or medium, but wear a medium or large in Zara clothing. Even the shoes seem to run on the small (narrow) side. I chose to go with a large for this blazer, and I am very happy with that decision.
Today I paired with with the oversize tank, a pair of denim flares and my Kork-Ease sandals that I received gift (see a close up + a review further down in this post). I'm thinking a remix of this combination will likely become my spring/summer uniform, while I have a number of skirts, dresses and shorts (pencil, mini and leather, specifically) that will do quite nicely for dressing it up for any occasion that may arise. I may do some experimenting this weekend; I will be sure to share any photos that result.
This blazer absolutely lives up to it's name - it is the utter fulfillment of my fantasy, the perfect piece to add to my collection of cherished and beloved pieces. I may have what seems like an infinite wardrobe, but my collection is quite small. My collection is the art; it is what I am focused on growing, now that I am older and I understand the difference. Expect a closet purge very, very soon.
It was rainy and breezy as I stepped outside for a self-portrait session; the drops fell in an intermittently steady drizzle as I timed and snapped these photos in our bathroom garden (the whole concept still somewhat confounds me, and yet I love it). There was a hint of chill in the air, but it was faint, haunting - only the ghost of winter remains here, it seems. The blossoms are just blooming on our plum tree - tiny white flowers surrounded by tiny green leaves on still gray branches, silhouetted by a stone sky. This is my favorite kind of spring weather.
These leather studded sandals are a very close second for my favorite summer staple. I snagged these beauties as a free reward, and I adore them. It took a couple of weeks for them to arrive, but they are so comfy (the insoles are actually padded enough that I can push it down!) and classy that I am completely willing to overlook the lengthy shipping time (especially since they were free). The chunky wooden heel is the perfect height for both casual and work wear and the crisscross leather front keeps things looking sleek while the studs add some edge to the overall look. Definitely the perfect addition to my summertime shoe collection.
Sigh. At least I can say my family is unique in their sense of aesthetics.
[blazer: Zara Studded Fantasy Fabric Blazer; tank: Zara (similar item here); jeans: Refuge Denim (similar item here); shoes: Kork Ease; layered chain necklace: Sears (similar item here); moccasin necklace: vintage; nail polish: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Snappy Sorbet (orange) and Flashy Fuchsia (pink)]
Tell me about your most decadent buy - was it worth what you spent? And what do you think of my new Zara blazer? Any suggestions for styling it? Do you have any questions about my make up?
Or maybe some there are some embarrassing yet kinda cool family secrets hiding in your backyard that you'd like to share?
Spill your thoughts or questions in the comments!