Hi everyone, my name is Jamee, and I am psyched to be writing about fashion for Ugly. I’ve admired the people doing work on this publication for a while now, and I feel lucky to be among such talent.
I started really caring about what I clothed myself with during my senior year of high school. (I’m 21 years old now, so we aren’t going too far back in time!) My monthly copy of Teen Vogue came in the mail, and mentioned a pretty cool guy named Marc Jacobs. I sat down on the computer and between compulsive checks of my various social media sites, scrolled through style.com’s slideshow of the newest Marc by Marc Jacobs
runway collection. It was the S/S ’09
show, and it was fucking beautiful. I’ll never forget the immersion lesson of layering I got from clicking through that show over and over again, and those lace-up boot/sandal hybrids are still a shoe I wish I could find and horde forever. Plus, an extremely young looking Karlie Kloss was the opener. Proof that models who walk in Marc’s shows often go very far!
That collection served as a springboard for the very long dive I took into the fashion world. I started taking great pride in knowing things like the fact that Balenciaga wasn’t run by a dude with the amazing family name of Balenciaga (not anymore, at least!) but by a genius man named Nicolas Ghesquiere, and it’s been really exciting to see our generation’s prodigy Alexander Wang step into the role of creative director at the house this year.
An oft-quoted line goes, “Fashion is what you buy, style is what you do with it.” One of the most common critiques of the fashion industry is the fact that it’s completely inaccessible to the majority of people. I mean, we can all log on to the internet and window shop for a perfectly minimalistic clutch from The Row for $5,950, but how many of us can actually proceed to check-out? Not many of us, and surely not me.
Luckily, we live in a world where designs from the Paris runways are translated into H&M pieces almost overnight, and while direct copying is always a bummer, turning popular silhouettes and color palettes into something everyone can afford and enjoy is a practice I can get behind. Plus, we should all know by now that you get what you pay for. If you want boots you can wear almost every day for three years, I’d skip Forever 21 and head straight to Nordstrom.
My own personal style is constantly evolving and I hesitate to even try to define it with adjectives, but currently I’d say the best description is grunged-out-girly-shit. (It’s a very technical term, I know.) I’ve spent the last year growing my hair out and it’s taken me pretty far down Androgyny Lane. Recently I purged my closet of almost all color, and then filled my entire stand-alone clothes rack with new black pieces. (The only color being gold studs, of course.) I’ve made a habit of topping most of my outfits off with a black beanie and black ankle boots. I usually balance out the masculinity of those things with a skirt that makes my hips look all wide and girly-like. It’s a combination I’m super into right now, and I highly recommend it!
Well-made ankle boots are something I think everyone needs in their closet, especially if you live in Salt Lake City. You’ll be trudging through snow half the time, and during winter you can wear them with leggings or jeans. Then bring those babies out and pair them with a figure-hugging dress and red lips at Bar X on warm summer nights; perfectly casual and put together at the same time. (Attention men: the ankle boot suggestion applies to you, too. There’s nothing more attractive than a man who knows what a good boot looks like. Also, jeans that fit well…but that’s another post for another day!)
I often joke that my style icons are Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen…two years ago. Because those ladies always seem to be about two years ahead of the mainstream fashion world. It’s mind-boggling. I’ll see what they wear this month, and think, hey that’s pretty nice looking. However, I’m not necessarily clamoring to replicate it (yet). BUT, if I go back into the paparazzi archives by approximately twenty-four months, it’s almost identical to what I see, or wish I saw, in my closet. No matter what they wear, you can always tell they chose it because they genuinely liked it and felt like themselves in it.
That’s a lesson I’ve taken from them and adopted as my style mantra forever. Sometimes this leads me to wear five inch tall wedge platforms to class in the dead of winter, and people ask me, “Why are you so dressed up?!” or something to that effect, and my answer is always the same: I physically feel more comfortable in this than in jeans and a T-shirt! To me, there’s nothing worse than being out in public in something that doesn’t feel like a true reflection of who I am and how I’m feeling that day.
I’m always changing my mind about which piece in my closet is my favorite, but one thing about my style that never changes are my tattoos, which do a great (and permanent) job of keeping the balance between masculine and feminine no matter what I’m wearing. Tattoos are innately masculine, but the images I’ve chosen (hearts, roses, a pretty lady and a butterfly) are extremely feminine. I highly recommend Jake Miller at Cathedral Tattoo
if you are in the market.
At the end of the day, every single ray of light that reflects off your retina and produces an image is something you accept or reject as an influence on your style, which in turn influences what you pick up and ultimately purchase. Every film, every person, every street sign, every piece of vintage jewelry. It’s a culmination of your whole life, and the key to looking your best is to follow your every aesthetic whim, no matter where it may take you.