Sartorial choices documented in mirror selfies

I recently learned I’m a part of Generation Z, technically, which partly negates several things I’ve written about millennials with personal anecdotes. I guess I’m on the cusp, the first (or second, depending on which publication you read,) year of the new generation. So, claiming both, these are some of the things my two generations have in common: mirror selfies, mom jeans and a deep, conflicting, complex love of smartphones.

Bringing those three things together, I sit in a trendy cafe, staring down some velvety (very 2018) perfectly disheveled cushions (Instagram-worthy) in a slightly more refined Gen Z yellow (the new millennial pink, where have you been?) listening to a radio playlist of romantic comedy favorites (currently a remix of Hall and Oates’ “I can’t go for that”) putting together a serious post of my outfits over the past month in mostly quick and convenient mirror selfies.

Back in my old blogging days, I used to beg my parents to drive me to locations perfectly matched to my outfit and snap photos on my clunky DSLR, that I would painstakingly edit in impractical, slow web editing programs.

These days, my fabulous photographers live a bit too far away to document my every sartorial choice and I don’t have as much free time as my high school days.

Enter my trusty, slightly broken iPhone, dusty mirror and easy-peasy filtering apps.

Pictured above: I may have watched a little too much “Mamma Mia” lately. Here’s a very themed Cinderella’s “day off” look. Nothing says Sunday like white overalls, comfy sandals, a bandana covering my slightly-frizzed head and a tee. Nothing also says “spill me” like wearing white overalls virtually anywhere. Have I entered adulthood when I start wearing napkins on my lap to avoid spilling on my clothes and consciously eating over the table? Were other kids more spill-averse than me? Both?

Wore this to: a summer cookout, where I expertly navigated so many sauce-spilling obstacles.

I wore this while scouring the racks in Zara, taking in their, clean, simple beauty. I took a long hard look at my passion for clothing and decided I would now declare it a hobby. Is it really? I asked myself. Then I thought about the countless hours my boyfriend (sorry to throw you under, Dan) spends pouring over his fantasy football app and answered, yes, yes this is definitely a hobby.

I’m also, coincidentally, wearing all Zara. I have been enjoying Zara probably too much lately, as most college-aged-fashion-lovers do, I’ve read. The denim skirt, with its on-trend raw, zig-zag hem, has gotten more than its worth in wears. The tee, which boldly says “please donate free coffee here,’ in red and yellow furry letters was originally mocked by me in the secondhand store (Second Chic) I found it in. My mom saw its real potential and it went home with me. Of course, my mom was right.

Wore this to: a coffee shop, the mall, then another, different coffee shop (the ideal Monday).

Evidently, I wore the above outfit to a concert. People often assume that liking fashion equates to dressing to the nines every day, but I disagree. Complex, beautifully styled outfits are fashionable, but generally either unreasonable on a daily basis or undesired. Personal style is finding what works for you in whatever mood you’re in. Jeans and a tee is quintessential. Parisian style-identifiers, strictly classic-aficionados, athleisure-lovers and even, especially, famed style icons all claim jeans and a tee.

Wore this to: A Band of Horses concert. A woman kept hitting me with her purse while she commanded five feet of dancing room close to the stage. Experiencing this was the closest I’ve gotten yet to feeling like a curmudgeon.

Another all-Zara look. How original, me.

I wore this tee four days in a row when I got it. This is look three, you’ll notice if you’ve been closely paying attention to this post. That was probably two days too long. Worn with a mustard, faux-suede skirt I ordered online on clearance and have also already worn in every instance I could have since it came in the mail.

Wore this to: Speaking about journalism in a fellow (much more talented) writer’s middle school summer class (hi Tim!) Which was both cool and weird, because I’ve never spoken about journalism in a class before, except by way of Hermione Granger-style hand-raising at school. Hopefully, I’ll have lots more to say in one, five, ten years.

This outfit was pure, movie theater comfort. High-waisted skinny jeans don’t exactly scream cozy, but this Zara pair actually does. Or at least, they shout it with some vigor. Worn with an at-least-four-years-old soft Zara tee. (The Zara streak ends here, I think.)

Wore this to: The movies. Mamma Mia 2 again, thanks for asking.

Forever 21 is known for its low prices and usually matching quality (I’m sorry, friends) but this dress happily surprised me. It’s not the best material, but it flows nicely and feels comfortable, not weirdly short like other dresses from the brand. It even made it into an Instagram photo. (Success.) Worn with a thrifted chain belt from Second Chic, Urban Outfitters heeled mules, a thrifted bag and the same accessories I wear most days: a bandana and Indie Twenty jewelry.

Note Dan’s lonesome loafer making it in the shot.

Wore this to: Sunday brunch at Toutant.

What a studious look. To make it even better, I’m carrying two art books I just picked up from a garage sale in Allentown. The ultimate strategic artsy pose.

We have now left my bedroom and entered the outdoors! My photographer Dad is back and saved me from my mirror selfie steak. The best part is, he did it in under one minute and didn’t call any attention to us. Forget Instagram boyfriends, we’re going with Instagram Dads now. I thrifted this plain white tee four years ago in Florida. While Goodwill white t-shirts are a terrible idea as a rule, this was the exception. It’s very soft, flattering and has held up four years, a bunch of washes, spills and sleeps later. I styled it with yet another Zara buy (on clearance) a mustard yellow, faux-suede skirt and leather mules from Shoefly.

Wore this to: Brunch at Betty’s.

Zara has taken over my life. But this anorak couldn’t be left out. So cute! So functional!

Wore this to: In this photo, nowhere. Other times, sweating it out in the summer rain.

I’m extremely curious about whether this dress and the many, many like it that have inevitably graced the Instagram feed of everyone following at least one semi-popular fashion blogger will still be “in” next year. Not that I follow trends too closely, but I couldn’t help but wince every time I saw a long, white, buttoned dress show up on the body of blogger after blogger online. I wasn’t early to the trend by any means, I fell somewhere in the middle. But now, I suppose even if it goes up in flames as something once great but then overdone, like a catchy, hit pop song everyone loves then universally can’t hear again for a decade (no, still too soon,) I can figure out ways to salvage it as a skirt.

Wore this to: a day in Lewiston for the boy’s and my one-year dating anniversary.

When this accordion style leopard top came in the mail, I immediately started frantically running around my room pairing it with every bottom I love (I wish this was an exaggeration but that is, truthfully, exactly what I did). The winner was a thrifted, Mary Kate and Ashley style Express skirt, probably from the early 2000s. Clashing patterns will always be a friend of mine.

Wore this to: nowhere but soon, somewhere great. If I show up in this outfit, know that I really want to be there.

This very comfortable and equally tight black dress was an Audrey Hepburn-inspired buy. It hits around mid-calf, but in a kind of restricting way, so generally I pull it up to knee-length and suffer the subsequent ruching. Worn here with a thrifted sweater, chain belt and hat and my favorite Same Edelman Chelsea boots.

Wore this to: an Arctic Monkeys (one of my favorite bands, with the best sounding, extremely British lyrics ever) concert.

A cozy look captured in a new location, the bathroom mirror at Remedy House. A thrifted, ultra-soft waffle knit by Free People, with wrinkle-prone linen tie pants that double as sweatpants, work pants or going out pants, depending on shoe choice.

Wore this to: write undistracted in my favorite setting, a crowded cafe.

The aforementioned top is making a comeback paired with aforementioned skirt. This time on a beach.

Wore this to: a beach night with friends I wish occurred more often.

The aforementioned skirt paired with a different top. This time, a thrifted lace camisole, bandana, jewelry and matching denim jacket.

Wore this to: dinner with my mom at Root & Bloom, a newish vegan small plates restaurant that has to take the cafe for most picturesque dining place in Buffalo, a title getting progressively harder to achieve.

The Forever 21 dress makes another comeback, this time accompianed by different accessories, chiefly a heaping gelato.

Wore this to: Taste of Buffalo. I tasted too much and my stomach hurt.

Lastly — because I’m still convincing myself it really is summer — a very summer outfit. A covered-up swimsuit and thin, casual, white button down, tied in the front (not that you can see that).

At least it’s still summer for a few more weeks. Although I may or may not be counting down the days to the semester. Nerd.

Fluorescent Adolescent – Arctic Monkeys

Love, Francesca


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