By the formal tone of this introduction, you may have deduced that the writer is not your Ms. Jillian Lansky. I am Andrew, boyfriend of @theaugustdiaries (as she insists I call her in bed), and this is my very first guest blog entry. It threatens to be my last.
The driving idea behind this post is that of male perspective. As the instagrammer behind the most likes, the reader behind the most hits, and the answerer of the most “why do I have nothing to wearrrrr” exasperations, I am uniquely positioned to offer an inside outsider’s perspective on women’s fashion. Or at least, this woman’s fashion.
And what an outsider I am. I am an evidence-based, science-peddling, glasses-adjusting kind of guy. Ask me why I like a pair of shoes, and I start to sound like coach Bruce Boudreau in the Capitals locker room.
So you can imagine my struggle. How does an equation-balancing guy like me rationalize which outfits he loves and which he hates? Why do the man-repeller outfits invariably repel me? How do you measure your ‘gut’ feeling? Why are my favourites… my favourites?
I have come to appreciate that the answers to these questions are not relevant. I’m learning to like a look, an accessory, or even an entire outfit without being able to explain why. Believe me when I tell you that it’s a gradual process.
So that begs the question: “Which are my favourites?”. As Marcel the Shell would say, “Read on!”
1. WORK TO PLAY
Pro tip: everyone loves a successful woman, and nothing screams success like a blazer. One piece can subtly take you from ‘fun-loving girl in jeans+tee’ to ‘fun-loving future-CEO in jeans+tee+blazer’.
2. BLACK EDITORIAL
Talk about wearing confidence. Yours truly shot these photos, but a seagull with a polaroid couldn’t miss this look. Black is the new black. Buy it. Wear it. Love it.
Having a unique staple accessory (in this case those signature August Diaries rings) is like having your very own hype-man. It doesn’t change the core of an outfit (i.e. the clothes) but it adds an exclamation point to your look. Picture T-Pain saying “OKAY” when you put on a pair of jeans.
4. PRINT DRESS
Having a well-cultivated aesthetic is great, but stagnation is the enemy of progress. Maybe today is the day you step out of your comfort zone and try something completely new. I can’t overstate this: boredom is toxic. Will every experiment be perfect? No. But “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take – Wayne Gretzky” – Michael Scott”
5. VIONNET DRESS
… ‘nuff said.
More important than any accessory, any outfit, any look is your smile. Good thing it’s free. You could be wearing the tackiest clothes known to (wo)man, and if you’re showing off your pearly jibs, you’ll get the attention of any suitor. I’ll take the smiling girl in the vertical stripes over the scowling Vogue model any day. But I’m not writing this post (and Jill doesn’t publish this blog) in an effort to help people attract mates. It’s about looking, and by extension, feeling your best. A smile, even a fake smile, has been shown to make you measurably happier. That’s what makes a hearty grin my #1 fashion must-have. Try it, fake one right now for 15 seconds and tell me it didn’t make you happy… It worked, didn’t it?
So there you have it! The beautographer’s perspective. A bit of a cop-out wasn’t it? I told you to wear black, buy accessories, dress like a professor, experiment, and smile. All things you already knew. My tips are not ground-breaking, not complicated, and certainly not inaccessible. They’re quite straightforward, actually. And maybe that’s because I have a poor understanding of fashion, because I’m new to the game, or because I couldn’t tell the difference between a Prada Creeper and a Sketchers Sport Flex. But the best part about fashion? There’s no right answer. So suck it, Anna Wintour.