Sunday, November 13, 2011

Libby The (Mostly) Tongue-in-Cheek Style Guru

I'm still reading the October issue of InStyle. The one with Katy Perry with her stupid pink hair* on the cover. I just can not wait until the whole world embraces the brunette and doesn't let go. It's going to happen. I'm still reading it because I love magazines a lot. I love them so much and then I bring them home and I flip through and look at the pictures and read anything that is written in a fake-handwriting typeface and then I put it on the coffee table and forget to read the articles that I really did want to read. But today, I started cleaning my house. And by that I mean, I put a few things into a garbage bag and then found this issue and decided to read some articles.

There's an "article" called "Inside the Files of the Super Stylish" where someone asked "ten top tastemakers" a bunch of questions and then wrote an article in the easiest and most-fun-to-read way. Q&A! I love a good Q&A. It's why I've considered getting a subscription to Interview for four years.

Of course I feel like I'm more than qualified to join the ranks of Vera Wang and Zoe Saldana when it comes to answering questions about how to be stylish and fashionable. What gives me that credibility? Yesterday at Walmart, a woman came up to me and said, "You're a fat girl. I'm a fat girl. But you always look awesome and I look stupid. How come?" And I gave her the best style advice that I could come up with on the spot: I shop the clearance racks at Target and Old Navy.
So... obvi I'm totes the man for the job. Let's QA, shall we?

What's something you hated but now love? Skinny jeans. A few years ago, when I was still in college, Deanna** would wear these incredibly slim fit jeans with her big chunky sweaters. She looked gorgeous and edgy and gorgeous. But I was certain that she was the one in seven-billion who was Audrey-Hepburn-enough to pull that off. I was afraid that everyone was going to start wearing skinny jeans. And they did and not everyone looked so bad, after all (some people did look bad but as with anything--you have to do it right). No one looks as good as Deanna--but they don't all look horriffic. I even just bought a pair that I like to wear with ballet flats and my own big, chunky sweaters. I don't want to appear to be a copy-cat so I have to wait five years to start following trends.
Also, pink. I really used to hate pink but I'm starting to appreciate it. Though I take it in masculine ways--like a men's button down shirt with jeans and flannel boots.

What's the best style advice you've ever received? "Never make your house wear something that you wouldn't wear on your body." This is why you'll never find roosters in my kitchen or wallpaper borders and inspirational phrases filigreed across my wall. Because it's tacky--some much more tacky than others. I have cream and gold velvet chair, off-white, crepe curtains, and a picture frame covered in deep, green feathers all in my living room. Would I wear those things? Probably. But not all at once.

Do you collect anything? Not really. Not on purpose, anyway. When I first moved to McPherson, people started giving me little owl figurines and now I have tons of them in little bits of my house here and there. Also, I've started to develop quite a collection of my dear friend, Joshua Monaghan's artwork on my mantle. When I lived in South Dakota, I said that I wanted to start collecting local art from every place that I've lived. So far, so good.

What one item should every woman have in her closet? White v-neck t-shirts. They make everyone look cool and clean and classic. They go with everything. Not only that but they're sold in three-packs. That way, some day, you might drive your super-pregnant sister to the hospital to be induced and you stop at Starbucks on the way and instantaneously spill 74% of an Earl Grey latte onto yourself. Then you still have two more t-shirts left to ruin. (In this picture I am wearing the aforementioned ruined, white, v-neck.) Also, the thing about white t-shirts is that if your base is pretty basic and classic, you can build up with those cheap, trendy items that you'll only wear for a few weeks before you realize that they're completely insane. Like patterned tights. Or body glitter.

Who's your style icon? Zooey Deschanel, obviously. She is 100% the reason that I cut my bangs and 88% of the reason that I started parting my hair down the middle. Which--I might add, people freakin' love. At work, one day, I was wearing my bangs pulled back into my high-pony and a co-worker specifically requested that I wear my bangs down the next day.
Michelle Williams on her off-day. She makes me seriously consider going blond. And, of course, Adele. But I kind of want to be like her in all of the ways. Confident. Sexy. Chubby. Witty. Classy. Quiet. Vulgar. Gorgeous.

What's your secret cheapie? Wet and Wild eyeliner and nail polish. It's so cheap that you can go nuts and experiment with weird colors just to see how it looks--plus the eyeliner smudges big time which is a good thing. Once you find one that you like, go buy something more quality. But I don't leave weird colors on my nails very long so I'm not going to bother spending $8.50.
Let me tell you about the difference between me and anyone instide of InStyle Magazine. My answer was an item that costs $.99. Vera Wang said, "Swatch watches" which retail for about $50.00 and she says that since they're so cheap you can buy one in every color. What the hell, Vera Wang? We live in different worlds.

What's your fantasy purchase? An old farm house about 15 minutes outside of a decently sized town. Maybe in Oregon? It will have a porch on which I can sit in the mornings or when it rains in the evening and there will be peonies and lilacs in the back yard.

What's your favorite:
Beauty product? Cetaphil face wash. I first heard about this regarding infant eczema and decided to try it. I thought that I might regret this gamble but it turns out that it is a secret thing that I'll never ever give it up. It's $13 for a bottle--which is a huge amount of money for someone who's not Vera Wang. But it lasts forever and it is completely worth it.
Hostess Gift? Yeah, I'm not sure I've ever brought a hostess gift because what's a hostess? Is it something you bring to a party or strictly for someone who lets you stay at their house? I don't know. I like to think that I'm the kind of person who would bring flowers. I love getting flowers. Love. Getting. Flowers. So I really would like to give them to people. I will never give anyone carnations and will only share those cheap-ass daisies in the rarest of circumstances.
Accessory? I like to wear scarves for everything. It really dresses up that aforementioned v-neck and the skinny jeans that I've already convinced you to buy (I get mine from Ye Olde Navy because I only buy cheap things--even full price, $40 for jeans is kind of debilitating for me but Vera would buy four in every color and probably treat them as disposable). The other thing about scarves is that the really fat ones can be used to cover up your gigantic Earl Grey latte stain.
Comfort food? Mrs. T's Pierogies. Stylish people do most of their shopping in the frozen food section. Also, avocados make me feel calm and soft and happy.

That's enough for your stylish and trendy advice. I have to go sleep with a cucumber relish smeared across my face.

Love, Libby.

*For the record, the photographs of Katy Perry contained within this issue are gorgeous.
**Yeah, click on that link. Deanna has a delicious blog.


Katie Hurl said...

Pink hair. *snort* Yeah. What's THAT all about...

The Foreigners said...

I find myself questioning everyone else's financial situation when I read fashion magazines. Especially InStyle...their "girl on a budget" sections are always trying to promote t- shirts that cost upwards of $50 and whatnot. If THAT is a girl on a budget, I am a girl in poverty.

Also, that style advice is brilliant...and I too used to hate skinny jeans, but I just bought a pair of sorta skinny jeans, and I LOVE them.

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