Style is Anything but Standard

Style is Anything but Standard

Noah Wilson had a fresh street style that caught my eye in Hampden. He was wearing a shirt that read “Moving Quality Goods” and a military hooded jacket by SKTBRDS & HSTLR. You can find both at the Push clothing store. His skatewear outfit was completed with a pair of relaxed American Eagle jeans and Nike tennis shoes.
Going casual doesn’t mean you leave your style on the sidewalk.

When the Ideal Arts Space recently hosted the “Baltimore Vintage Expo,” you know this vintage fan wouldn’t be able to resist this “Call of the Styled.”

There, I met up with Joy Strum, very appropriately wearing a vintage blue Aztec pocketed dress from Bottle of Bread.
Joy’s outfit is true to her style, which she describes as “classic with some eclectic panache.” Just like she does in her work for Charleene’s Houses – a custom builder in Baltimore – Joy approaches fashion with a focus on timelessness. She’s passionate about creating spaces and outfits that are beautiful, as well as functional. Joy said her approach to fashion is minimal and “unfussy.” Growing up in a family of five – where hand-me-downs were the primary source of her clothing – she learned to make the most of what she was given.

Even today, Joy buys most of her clothes from consignment stores where pieces can stand the test of time. The black wood bead necklace was found in a local thrift store and the straw J-Crew bag is another timeless purchase she found at Vogue Revisited. “We live in a throw-away culture, it’s important to me that I’m not wasteful in my choices. Quality, versatility, and ‘do I love it?!’ are my guides for purchasing,” she told me. The black sunglasses from Madewell and black leather sandals from Ma Petite Shoe were the few items that Joy bought new.

At the Expo, Joy found a beautiful flowing cinched-waist caftan with bold and electric florals on a black drapery backdrop.I don’t like to create and enforce rules when it comes to fashion, but I feel like pulling off a caftan can be tricky. You need to be confident and be ready to feel glamorous. Accessories are key to pulling off this look. Go with a clutch purse opposed to a larger tote or crossover bag, and choose large dramatic jewelry and sunglasses (during the day only, please).

Joy picked a snake clutch from Nordstrom, along with black oversized sunglasses from The Zone to subtly accessorize her look. Her contrasting black and white zig-zag Nicholas Kirkwood heels from Saks Fifth Avenue added a funky pattern. All Joy needs is a martini in hand and she is cocktail party-ready!

Then there was my own Expo adventure! Braving the massive line to get in, then forcing my way through the flocks of fashion hounds, I managed to nab a few finds like this Rose Marie Reid vintage playsuit. I had a lot of fun adding accessories to create a glamourous look that could be worn to a day party.

I added my carved wood cat purse by Timmy Woods that I found from a consignment store in Easton called Frugalicious. Then, I tied a Pucci scarf to it to add some color. I also layered on some serious statement accessories like; gem cocktail rings by Oscar de la Renta, a giant bow raffia hat from Onigo, oversized vintage sunglasses from Doubledutch Boutique, and my Miu Miu gold cork platform heels. I even had a play on words with the outfit by adding a costume rhinestone Barbie necklace that I found in NYC that was soon commandeered by my daughter. So when I say serious . . . I mean seriously fun! I go with my gut with what feels right when getting dressed and do not get caught up with what is “in” at that time.

I also pulled out a piece of my vintage Louis Vuitton luggage collection that I purchased from a consignment store, Great Finds & Design, because I was feeling inspired by the whole look of the outfit. Thinking outside the box applies to both your personal style and that of your home (flash back to Joy’s style-osophy!). I’ve used designer and non-designer luggage pieces to accessorize my home. For record storage, a unique end table; the possibilities are endless.
If you need another excuse to justify a purchase, remember style extends beyond just what you wear!

Elizabeth Massing

One look at Elizabeth Massing and you see her fabulous sense of style and artistic self-expression. She combines old and new, classic and trendy, luxurious items and vintage steals.  “Fashion and what you wear should be a statement of who you are and how you feel. You shouldn’t be scared to take risks. It should be fun and make you feel good, no matter your budget or fashion experience,” she says. For Elizabeth, fashion is a way to tell her story.  “I like my stories full of fun and excitement, history and romance, and - from time to time - a little drama. Bold fabrics give me a thrill. Couture makes me swoon. Daring pairings are a magnetic force I cannot overcome,” says this B-more native. Elizabeth also loves to see the “stories” other people tell, which may come from her work in publishing and media as HR Director for The Agora Companies, where - she says - creativity and originality is always encouraged. Now, she’ll be relaying some of those stories to us in her column, “The Haute Find.”  “It’s about finding style on the street, in homes, and out-and-about. It’s an adventure looking for textures, fabrics, and how people add layers of details and interest to their wardrobe.” So, ramp it up, Baltimore. Maybe Elizabeth will be “telling” your story!