as i mentioned in my recent safari-themed outfit of the day, i’m a huge fan of ethnic patterns and textures – so here’s another casual spring look that centers itself around textiles of the globe. in fact, i went down a research rabbit hole to try and truly understand where certain trends originated, and what their place in history was.
it was fascinating, and i learned some facts that are definitely worth the share. the more i absorbed the more i realized i wanted to tell a #stylestory, which i’m defining as a head to toe, cohesive look with relevant backstory and intention.
i’ll start with the most basic staple: my jeans are from francesca’s and they are the all-american glue that ties together an outfit that is chock full of historical and multi-cultural significance.
on my feet, i’ve been super excited to wear my newest shoes: the ‘desiree a-line espadrille ballet flats’ from dv by dolce vita for target. at just under $25, these bad boys are a true statement for a modest price. they add the perfect ‘pop’ to an outfit that’s full of texture but lacking in print. the origin of the espadrille comes from the pyrenees, which is a range of mountains that forms a natural border between france and spain. the existence of this shoe dates back to at least 1322, and though it’s name (espadrille) is french, it originated from the spanish word esparteña and refers to the type of shoe made with esparto – a tough, wiry mediterranean grass used for making rope. the espadrille started out as peasant footwear, then was privy to urban workers. presently, this shoe can be found at virtually any price point – and whether you’re rocking them with a platform wedge or flat with leather tops, the espadrille embodies casual earthy comfort in literally any form.
i’m carrying my things inside the mariska leather backpack by marc jacobs, exclusive to last year’s bloomingdales line. unfortunately, it’s no longer available for purchase – but here are a few recent favorites of mine: mini turnlock rucksack from coach, and the cobble hill charley bag by kate spade. on my wrist i stacked a series of alex and ani bangles. these bracelets are fun to personalize. the brand has charms that vary in size and significance and i own bangles that are lighthearted, as well as ones that have special meaning. the bangle bracelet originated in south east asia – india, nepal, pakistan and bangladesh – which offsets the cultural significance of my shoes and top, adding depth to my #stylestory.
and while we’re on the topic of jewelry, i’m wearing the esmeralda circle drop earrings from francesca’s. earrings are the oldest form of jewelry known to man. they were worn as symbols of cultural or tribal identity, markers of age, marital status or rank… or even because they were believed to have medicinal powers. crescent-shaped gold hoops similar to the esmeralda’s were worn by sumerian middle-eastern women as early as 2,500 b.c.e. talk about longevity. the earring’s origins run so far and spread so wide that it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what culture this pair is paying homage to… but they pack a punch for $16 and accent this global #stylestory beautifully.
so, there you have it. my very first #stylestory. every trend has it’s history… and if i’m going to rock culturally-relevant statement pieces, i value having a basic, general sense of their origins. equating espadrilles to working-glass europeans (for example) helps in styling an entire look. knowing an item’s backstory draws all the lines for you, and lays out fashion guidelines that you might not have even known were there in the first place. so next time you’re looking to tell a #stylestory, let history guide your way.