I was back at home in San Francisco a few weeks ago doing what I always do when I find myself sitting indian style in my childhood domain: reminiscing. I skimmed through old, embarrassingly honest diaries (shout out to my 4th grade crush, Jonah!), dug through boxes of saved memories (see: my first bra), and flipped through yearbooks of my awkward youth. While looking through class photos, I noticed how considered and coordinated each of my classmate’s outfits were. Plaid bows matched plaid smocked dresses, ruffled socks matched ruffled blouses, dimpled chins matched runny noses, and then there was me, the girl standing front row clashing in floral leggings and a striped t-shirt, an overly excited grin spread across her face. Of course I thought I looked awesome, and given the return of 90s fashion in today’s trend-o-sphere, I suppose you could say that I looked awesome by today’s standards, too; but in the eyes of parents, mine included, I’m confident that I looked more like a colorblind and confused kid who ate boogers for breakfast. However, where once I rejected even the thought of coordinating my days of the week underwear with their coinciding day, I now find myself drawn to matching pieces together as if they came in a set.
Another fashion element that I once rejected but now embrace is the color pink. Until recently, the girly stigma-ridden hue was only faintly represented in my wardrobe. Sure I had the occasional pink sweater or pink pants for days when I felt particularly…”girly”…but those days were about as common as a dog walking on its hind legs. This infrequency was largely due to the fact that I just couldn’t figure out how to wear the color. A pink blazer paired with my go-to black pants felt a little too, “Prima Donna Punk.” A pink shirt styled with a pencil skirt looked too “Mildred Goes to High Tea.” And pink pants worn with just about anything screamed, “Hello, Valentine’s Day!” So, though I found myself accumulating pink pieces against my better judgment, I was more or less unable to wear said pieces because I was never satisfied with how I styled them. That’s where the coordinating came in.
It was a typical morning for me as I reached yet again for a pink blazer hoping that today might be the day that I break through my style block (similar to writers block). Seemingly endless frustrations of testing out clashing looks and overly simplified outfits amped up with the pink blazer resulted in piles of clothes strewn about my floor as beads of sweat consolidated on my forehead and upper lip. But just as I was about to give up, I noticed a pop of pink poking out from the back of my closet — a pair of pants trimmed with a hue undeniably identical to the blazer I was currently battling! I instantly knew that pairing the unexpectedly matching pieces together would not only yield a look that implied I purchased them together, but would also finally give me the opportunity to wear pink. You see, the pink on it’s own was too loud, too in yo’ face, but with the hint of the same hue poking out around my waistline (or hipline? I really can’t tell these days, too much cheese), the bright fuchsia color adopted a more subtle tone.
Oh, and the fact that the bows of the shoes matched didn’t hurt the coordinated pink situation either.
// photos by Emily Malan