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Don’t be afraid to keep it simple. I was back in Ottawa visiting last weekend and, let me tell you, it was a tough time for me to figure out what I was going to bring with me. It always is. There were so many outfits I envisioned in my head upon packing for my short getaway but not enough space in my suitcase. I thought to myself "you can’t go wrong with 'street style’. Keep it casual, keep it chic”. So I did. I paired my white AE ripped jeans with an off-the-shoulder black tie-up blouse from NastyGal. And yes, I did just say my jeans are from AE. American Eagle is so affordable and the quality of their denim is so fab. For footwear, I decided to go with a pair of beige, cute but extremely uncomfortable, strappy block-heel sandals from F21. I somehow thought it was a good idea to break these shoes in for the first time on a long day of walking around and exploring with my friends. This ended up being a HUGE mistake. Looks can be deceiving ladies— watch out. F21 is awesome for its affordable pricing and its endless ‘street style’ clothing choices. However, the comfort factor in this brand’s footwear has been hit-or-miss for me. I definitely did not pick a 'street smart' choice for shoes on the day I decided to play tourist in the Capital. Lastly, to pull this look together I reached for my retro Urban Outfitters transparent yellow sunnies, which gave my simplistic-look some extra detail and spunk. Although over-packing for a trip may seem like the more secure way out for many of us, upon deliberating what to bring with us on vacation, I feel that it’s better to pre-pack more interchangeable pieces which have the potential to be worn in more than one outfit combo. I have realized that I only ever end up going for a more effortless everyday-city look (even when I’ve had a suitcase stuffed to the maximum with an overload of options). It all lays in the detail you choose to accentuate and pull it all together with. Whether it be a cute vintage LV bag or a statement jacket with a plain white T, it’s about staying chic and, more importantly, comfortable to get you feeling on top of the world ;)
So, last month I decided to pick this bad boy up right off the shelf in good 'ole Mendocino. After scrolling through my Instagram the last few weeks I was overcome by the vision of a model, Candice Swanepoel, rocking this very stylish fisherman’s hat I was now holding in my very own hands. I was so in love with its incredibly unique and 'refreshing-look' that makes it standout from the overdone and typical snapback. As I stared back at my reflection, I fell in love with the empowerment my new crown gave me. As these feelings poured in, the second-guessing began. "Maybe it’s just a bit too out there"... and I’m definitely no Candice Swanepoel. I thought to myself" it’s not even a trend yet, maybe it’s not too popular enough to wear". I blankly smiled back at the associate as If I wasn’t rethinking all my life choices that led me to this moment then realized “hold on I thought, I loved myself in it so much so that I almost exploded with joy when I caught my reflection with it on for the first time. It made me feel BADASS so why was I second-guessing it? Why worry about what other people would think of me in it? As I caught myself questioning if I could pull it off, I then realized that I CAN and WILL pull off whatever I want and make it a part of my style. I walked out of the store strutting in my new prized piece and, to be honest, I have not taken it off since. I love the way it makes me feel and the unique vibe it brings to my closet. Momentary fear of buying something that would make me stand out too much in the crowd has become a bigger gain to me as a fashion enthusiast than buying something that would get the instant approval of others for being 'basic’. In my honest opinion, the biggest mistake a woman can make when shopping is compromising her taste and personal style in clothing for the sake of blending in with society and not making too many heads turn. Asking yourself and others if you can ‘pull something off’ is taking the easy way out of being unique and stepping out of your comfort zone. Worry less about what society wants you to mimic and march out with something that is ‘you.’ Don’t be afraid to make a ripple, go find your fisherman’s hat, get out there and make waves.