Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you live.
My name is Carolyn, I'm 20, and I live in a small suburban town west of New York City, in northern Jersey. Most of my life at this point however, takes place in a few small towns in upstate New York, mainly Lake Placid - my summer home and love, and Saratoga Springs, which is where I go to school. I'm studying to be an artist and photographer once I graduate college, and it is truly my only talent and path that's clear.
What are your passions?
Well besides my love of fashion, art of course - but mainly photography. There is nowhere I go without a camera, even if it's just going to dinner or a friend's room down the hall. I do love so many other things about art though, as the center of my life I enjoy it in so many other forms. I love watercolors, jewelry-making, occasionally drawing, and even tattoos and forms body art.
How did you first get interested in fashion and why is it important?
I first became interested in high school when I actually started to think about what I'm wearing as opposed to just throwing on clothes. I looked like a slob for most of middle school, and was raised with very well dressed parents so I began to think it was a shame I wasn't taking advantage of my own creativity in terms of appearance. I changed a lot about my style in a very short amount of time; I cut my hair and began looking for bargain clothing, and thinking about what I was wearing to school.
What's the fashion scene like in your area?
I grew up in a town where dying your hair was a big deal because it was so different. Everyone wore Lilly Pulitzer as children, you wore designer dresses to dinners at the country club, and appearances were very important. I rebelled from this as a kid, going through a kind of punk phase until high school. Now all I see when I'm at school is the lazy side of fashion - where uggs are real winter boots and leggings are pants, I tell myself I dress better than most. I feel that my choice in clothing makes up for the laziness of my peers - the only time I look sloppy is while sleeping, or in my studio clothes. I'm sick of seeing sweatpants with things written on the butt, crocks, and wifebeaters.
Describe your personal style and its influences / inspiration.
My personal style has gone through a lot of changes and inspiration, but recently I'd have to say my style is very vintage. Just like everyone else's, I suppose, these days. I wear heels almost daily until it gets icy outside, in which I usually switch to my winter boots in the snow, or my handy all-purpose docs or other boots. I believe in traditional staples like the peacoat and black basic heels, but also love unique outfits with odd patterns and colors. I wear dresses as often as I can because I love them, and if I'm wearing pants, they're usually skinny jeans or plaid pants in the winter. Western and Southwestern clothes have been a recent influence, as well as male models in Europe, Nautical summer wear, and even a little bit of fifties pinup. Essentially - I just wear what I want.
Favorite designers and places to shop?
Designers was something I was never really into all that much to be honest. The expenses have kept me far from them, but even so, I must admit that I am not as knowledgeable as many other fashionistas are about designers and their history. I'm not quite as invested, I guess. Though in recent years, I do appreciate the nautical look of Ralph Lauren, especially in their interior design section, I still don't agree with prices. My favorite places to shop are local consignment places, H&M, Forever 21 has some great dresses, and then best of all, I'm addicted to ebay.
The first thing you look at in another person's outfit is:
For other females, if the color of their outfit doesn't catch my eye, it's usually the shoes, which I'm a sucker for. On males it's usually their shirt; or if outside and well dressed, I'll note how much I like their blazer/coat/vest.
What do you skimp on?
Fur. My mother's fur coat always kind of scared me, despite how soft it is. I have some fake fur on the occasional jacket hood, but that I don't care about.
What do you splurge on?
Definitely shoes. There's nothing like feeling confident and looking fabulous in a great pair of boots or heels.
A fashion rule you never break:
In a world where Ke$ha and Lady Gaga are popular culture, I don't think there are many "rules" to break. But if dumbing it down to tradition, I almost never break the "don't wear navy and black" together rule. Maybe it's just the shades of those colors I own, but I can't seem put together an outfit that consists of those colors that looks decent together. Black pants and a navy blazer? Never!
What do you think is the most recent notable trend to appear/reappear, and what are your thoughts on it?
Probably a lot of reoccurring things from the eighties. I have mixed opinions on it, however. I love blazers, minus shoulder pads of course, but I am not really sure when those are out of fashion - they just seem big now. I was not enthused to see rompers and harem pants back this summer, I have only known one person who can pull those off who isn't a slinky model. A lot of eighties clothes weren't flattering on many body types, and I think this doesn't help most people become fashionable if they can't fit in clothes.
What is the most underrated item in menswear and womenswear?
Hats! I understand a lot of people don't think they have a "hat head", but I know a lot of my generation overlooks head wear unless it's cold and you need something up there to keep the heat in. I think they're fabulous and can make an outfit.
What is your next "must have" purchase?
Grey boots; I can't seem to find a pair I like. I can only find flat grey boots, and as someone who's short, that's not really what I'm looking for. I want at least a small heel!
Are there any fashion icons or famous people whose style you admire?
Despite my dislike of her music, I love Rhianna for how many times she's changed her hair, and how many wild styles she's tried. It takes a lot of guts for someone so public to do that, and I think it's awesome!
What's on your iPod / bookshelf / DVD player at the moment?
I was raised with classics and will never leave them - I can be found blasting seventies hits and the Beatles in my car when the weather permits me to have the windows down. Most of my DVDs are comedies, anywhere from The Hangover to A Fish Called Wanda and even Animal House; but recently I've been adding childhood favorites like Spirited Away and The Iron Giant to my list. Though I haven't been reading much as of late, I have been enjoying trashy romance novels that my friends have been passing around to each other.
What can't you live without?
Black tights. They keep me warm under my pants in the winter, and add to any simple silhouette. If I didn't have them, I don't know what I'd do!
Next place you want to travel to:
Ireland. I am half Irish and have never been. I'm fully aware the amount of rain might depress me - but I need to go, I feel a pull.
What is your personal favorite outfit on LOOKBOOK.nu by you, and by another member?
My favorite look as of right now is simply this, though it revolves around the dress and isn't really that inventive or different, I am convinced this dress works magic when I wear it. Since I have two favorites, I might as well go on about them. One is probably "Clueless" by N., who pretty much never posts anymore, but when I first started browsing lookbook before joining, I always came back to his page. Maybe it's the combination of simplicity, vintage styles, and nerdyness that gets me. I love it! I have also always loved Bobby - for more than just his heart-melting smile, but also his dress style of classics. This look got me in particular because I am a sucker for suspenders - but Bobby also seems to be a fan of vests and nice hats as seen in his other posts, and that is classy all the way!
In the year 2015 you will be:
Hopefully comfortable somewhere in a job I like and sleeping in the arms of someone I love - but realistically, probably struggling to earn enough money to support myself, and trying to establish myself as a photographer.
What would you say to someone seeking general fashion advice?
Always look for clothes that flatter your body type, and don't buy simply what's popular currently. Start with classics and then develop your style by finding what you love.