A New York Winter

A close friend of mine, who lives in Soho and works in fashion, is almost completely responsible for the infusion of any edge that might style might actually possess.  While I would generally refer to my “look” as perpetually polished with (hopefully) a dash of the unexpected, I can’t deny that the subtle changes that she’s physically forced introduced into my wardrobe (Think studded anything), have imparted more fun, interest and color into my daily digs, rendering me just a bit more confident upon prancing walking out of my front door each morning.

My friend Caroline is the girl who can eat anything and remain eternally thin, who can forego the purchase of a hairbrush and somehow emerge with the low maintenance, bohemian waves that I’ve literally scoured hundreds of Manhattan hair salons to try to attain. She once wore a fur vest, leather shorts, and a fedora to the supermarket at midnight just because; so, it may come as no surprise to you that she has the same perpetual cool factor that seemingly unstudied fashionistas like Emma Wasson and Mary Kate Olsen possess.  And, of course, she’s perfectly blonde, but somehow, I bet you already surmised that.

When I found the fur vest pictured above at a fur salon on Fifth last week, my first impulse was to reach for my IPhone, snap a quick pic, and send it over to Caraline for her immediate review.  The vest was a little bit out of my comfort zone, especially for an investment piece; generally, I would gravitate towards something smaller in size (this is grizzly bear massive in person) and singular in tone.  In other words, I’d opt for a classic look that was understated and…well, safe.  Noting its unexpected knee length and gradually deepening color, I almost wanted her to talk me out of it, believing that it was inevitably impractical and that I just couldn’t pull it off.  At the very least, I longed for her to tell me that I should have it taken up a few inches, creating something more subtle and everyday appropriate.

“OMG stop it.  Don’t you dare touch it,” she snapped.  I glanced down at my phone to find that she was still writing, continuing her textual tirade about the importance of keeping this piece wholly unaltered. “I just tried on a Rag & Bone runway gilet w/the same shape that I almost pulled the trigger on.”   With the assuredness of her pressing response, I knew that the matter was settled.  I was going to be daring.  Uttering that frailly rooted statement under my breath like a chant that a warrior might repeat before preparing for battle, I walked out of the store donning an early Christmas present that I was more afraid of than excited about.

When I got it home, I stood in the mirror (trying it on over pajama pants), cinched the darts a bit from behind and decided that whether or not it was quintessentially “Brooke,” it was still a beautiful piece, and I was going to do it justice.  I’ve found that one of the most important aspects of style, which surpasses the superficiality of merely looking good or flashing a quick red bottom sole, is its enmeshment with who one is on a very personal level and the subsequent projection of that truth.  Like many of us, I’m an evolving individual.  I realized that although I want to remain true to my own aesthetic, forward progression, for me, is tantamount to letting go, having fun, and embracing the new.  So, mixing Caraline’s confidence with my own personal style, I pieced together an outfit that I think is reflective of our friendship as a whole.  She is edgy, fun, and outgoing; I’m generally more classic and subdued.  Together, you have the best of both worlds, something polished and understated with just a pop of the utterly unexpected, a strike of crazy that can can only be born from a fedora affixed, leather clad blonde girl casually walking the corridors of a supermarket at night.

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