I'm going to go ahead and say it: I think trends are designed to make suckers out of all of us. Now, don't get me wrong, I love to get dressed up as much as the next New Yorker beating the streets, but when it comes to what I'm wearing, Vintage/pre-loved always comes first. There is SUCH a wonderland of clothing options out there, and anyone can build their dream closet; it just takes a little trial and error (and a GREAT tailor). I found a handful of sellers I love and who I've built great relationships with around what works for my style and body. When I'm feeling like I want to treat myself to something chic and fresh, there are a few labels that I turn to for the investment pieces that I know I'll wear until death do us part.
A good pair of pants
Case in point, my favourite pair of pants from LOEWE, bought two years ago on a trip to Paris. (embarrassing antidote: I was mispronouncing the name the ENTIRE time I was in the showroom, and the salesperson didn't bother to correct me. I'll chock it up to them thinking I was already a dumb as you please American tourist) I paid the most i've ever paid for pants which…well, I don't need to be gauche. You have Google, BUT to my defence, I wear the ever-living sh*t out of those pants. And when did they tear at the seams for catching on a door handle? I took them to a seamstress, like an adult. And I will wear these throughout my daughter's high school years whilst she makes fun of their balloon-esque profile, and when she realizes how cool her Mom was all along, maybe, maybe I'll let her borrow them.
A Vintage T-Shirt/Sweater
My vintage T-Shirt collection is outrageous. If it has a tongue-in-cheek reference, a Playboy bunny, a weird Bar logo or a slightly misprinted animal. I want it. If the shirt is too oversized, I'll wear it over a skirt or shorts with a tall boot, sling a long blazer over it and call it a day. My go-to accounts for discovering vintage currently are @cobwebvintage @thriftshark @selectvintagenyc and @stitchesvntg!
Buttons? Never Heard of Them
I love a button-up, but you'll never see me use more than two or three of said buttons. If we've met, you've become familiar with my navel, and you know what? I'm just fine with that. As a teenager, I waited and waited and waaaaaited for my boobs to grow given that the other women in my family boast double D's. Well, I'm still waiting in case you were wondering and so in the meantime, I've fallen in love with exactly what I've got. A wide open collar also lends itself to a perfect necklace backdrop. Win, win if I ever did see one.
Feeling Sexy, All The Time
I don't think anyone should be able to tell you what sexy looks like, but I'll share how it feels, for me personally, because it took me a long, long time to find out what it felt like to dress sexy for MY SELF. Day in and out, I feel sexiest when I'm in beautifully made suit separates I've either found and tailored or bought from thoughtful designers like KALLMEYER or AWET. I love comfortable but powerful shoes like my vintage leather loafers (re-soled and stitched four times as of writing this) or black boots. Occasionally, I want to vamp it up. When this comes upon me, I will reach for something I know I'll be counting down the minutes to take off but that I am also going to really, really enjoy the effect of wearing, like a top from Christopher Esber or a leather corset over loose fitting pants. I highly suggest trying a designer out via a vetted pre-loved outlet (like realreal/poshmark/et cetera) before you commit to anything brand new. Or maybe I'm just bad at returns and you have that system locked in.
ANYWAY, I suppose the real point I want to make is don't wait to find an occasion to wear something that makes you feel sexy or listen to what someone else is saying about what is "sexy" for your body/gender/age.
Do it right now and do it often until you find out what it means for you.