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Austin Fashion

posted Jul 12, 2017, 7:32 AM by Eli Roberts
By Sonia W.

Growing up a tom-boy, it would have never crossed my mind in my adult years I would be labeled a “Fashionista,” or “Shopping Addict.” To tell you the truth, I’m a far cry from this title in today’s society, but within my circle of friends, I am the fashion expert. On a weekly basis, it is quite common for me to receive texts soliciting advice from my girlfriends who are planning their outfits for an upcoming wedding/party, a night out on the town, or even what to pack for vacation. Accompanying each text is usually a selfie either of the outfit or my bestie wearing the ensemble.

Tue, June 16, 10:25 AM

Missy: Yes or No?

Me: Yes, but don’t add heavy jewelry, nude or solid flip-flops

Nothing with bling b/c it will look like you’re trying too hard

…let the belt be the statement piece, the main accessory.

Although, I am honored my friends elicit such advice from me or value my opinion. I’ve often wondered, why me? Could it be because I’m known for being “that” friend? You know, the sister who isn’t afraid to tell you that you have a large piece of spinach in your teeth, or that your butt looks a tad too frumpy in your pastel colored jeans. Could it be that I’ve been reading fashion magazines since I could afford the subscription, my shoes are labeled in clear, plastic boxes, or the fact my closet is organized by color? Maybe it’s all the above or maybe it’s because I’m the only one who will answer their texts. Either way, I love it! With so many questions being asked, I’ve often wondered why my friends haven’t just Googled their fashion questions. It wasn’t until I took the liberty myself and researched some of their inquiries. I have to say that the basic wardrobe essentials that apply to the world are not what I would recommend to my fellow constituents that live in the ATX. So, in hopes of helping out my future clients, I would like to relay the interchangeable versions of what society’s fashion world views as essential wardrobe pieces to that of what an Austin, Texas girl actually needs.

First and foremost, let’s be clear that this is a limited and general list of wardrobe fundamentals. I do not plan on discussing other accessories like jewelry, statement pieces, make-up, hair or nail care. We can save that discussion for another day, with another pitcher of margaritas.

Let’s begin with the outerwear. You, the buyer, are told it is important to have a dressy jacket, a wool peacoat, a black, leather motorcycle jacket, a khaki trench, or the ever so versatile fitted black blazer. People, we live in Texas! It is summer nine months out of the year, and our autumn ranges from two to three weeks somewhere between November and mid-December. A trench coat/raincoat can add to your wardrobe but isn’t a must. You can easily get by with a well-tailored denim jacket or an array of cardigans. The leather biker jacket is a nice touch but not a necessity.

Next in line, we have the classic white, button-down, French cuff shirt that appeared on several lists. I don’t even think the judges in our town own this staple. A white shirt is a must but forget the French cuffs. Bleh! You can definitely survive with a plain white Gap tee, similar to the one Sharon Stone donned at the Oscars, and the essential white tank top. If you must have a white button down shirt, please make sure it is a perfect fit in your arms and torso. Otherwise, you will look as if you rummaged through your boyfriend or husband’s side of the closet.

Moving on down the body, we come to the beloved tailored trouser. This appeared on fashion lists over and over again. Several adjectives like sleek, fitted, black, and/or printed accompanied the title, however, the black pant isn’t a must in our city unless you’re an attorney or a court reporter. You will absolutely survive if you have just one fabulous, fitted pair of dark denim jeans. It is perfectly acceptable to wear your denim to high end restaurants and even to the Long Center. Remember this is Austin, not Dallas. On any given day, what you might think is a homeless person, is, in all actuality, probably a person who has millions in the bank. Never judge, just don’t do it.

If you must dress in cocktail attire, please take the time to invest in the LBD also known as the little, black dress. I, for one, would pick the black trousers over this any day, but that’s just me. You can easily get by with an expensive fitted wrap dress, think Diane von Furstenberg, or an empire-waist halter dress. Without sounding redundant, but again I will say, we live in Austin, Texas.

Continuing along the same lines, the pencil skirt made the cut every single time. I can think of a million substitutes for this piece of uncomfortableness. Here are a few: a mini, pleated floral skirt, a long, Bohemian solid-colored flowy skirt, the ever-so-comfy long, elastic cotton skirt either in solid black or a stripe number. If you’re worried about your age and the short length of the skirt, add a great pair of opaque, black tights or black leggings, problem solved.

Last but certainly not least, the end of all end-all, the shoe. Every wardrobe list mentioned the black pump, yes, that’s what I said the black pump. In my case, I have yet to observe the use of a black pump outside of a funeral procession. You can easily get away with four types of shoes, if you take into account all the pieces of your wardrobe. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, then invest in a beautifully crafted pair of cowboy boots. With a variety of colors and styles, you are able to choose what will work best with your needs. I, personally, have a pair of dark-cherry Lucchese’s that blend with everything in my closet. It is important to have a sturdy, yet stylish, pair of flip-flops, a wedge, and a pair of ballerina flats. Of the last three choices, one pair should exist in the color nude or chestnut brown.

Like I previously mentioned, this comparison of wardrobe essentials are just the bare bone musts. But I felt that you should know that because of our laid back, “Keep Austin Weird,” mentality we don’t conform to the rest of the world. We have our own unique, relaxed style. One final piece of advice, any outfit would not be complete without a layer of confidence and an amazing smile. It’s most important to love who you are, the rest is just icing on the cake.