Fashion by Felicia
Felicia Caponigri | Tuesday, November 23, 2010
I prescribe to a certain behavior I like to call “borrowing beyond borders.” This behavior usually is at its zenith at the beginning of the school year and, of course, during the holidays, especially at Thanksgiving.
The steps of this behavior common to any fashion worshipper usually go something like this:
Step 1: While imagining a perfect outfit you’ll put together over these last weeks leading up to finals you realize you are missing one key accessory.
Step 2: As you think more about the key accessory you realize that it won’t just go with that one outfit that will inspire you to ace your presentation, but that it will also go with that lovely dress you are planning to wear to the dorm holiday party.
Step 3: Suddenly you realize, “Wait, I’ve seen that accessory before! It’s in my sister’s/mother’s/grandmother’s/aunt’s/first cousin once-removed/friend’s closet!”
Step 4: “Aha,” you think. “How convenient!” I am going home for Thanksgiving! I can easily borrow said accessory for the last few weeks of the semester. After all, no one will miss their favorite wardrobe member.
Step 5: Over turkey and mashed potatoes you exchange extra niceties. In the midst of passing the cranberries you casually mention to that certain family member how much you love their style, especially that one piece that would fit so perfectly into your own fashion fiesta.
Step 6: You ask to borrow said accessory, but only for one night while you see your old friends for a movie and popcorn.
Step 7: You leave to catch the flight back to campus after the holiday and somehow that prized accessory has found its way into your luggage. How did that happen?
Step 8: Your family member calls you and asks, “Have you seen my (insert name of accessory here) that I lent you?”
“Oh no”, you reply. “Maybe I left it in my room, or maybe it somehow got wrapped in one of my sweaters and therefore accidentally came to campus with me. Oops, here it is! I am so sorry. Of course I’ll bring it back at Christmas.”
Step 9: You wear said accessory, look fabulous and then give your family member an extra big Christmas gift to atone for your “borrowing.” Sound familiar? I thought so.
This behavior is common to all walks of the fashionable life and indeed has even created its own look, which this author has seen in the flesh whilst studying away in the Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris. A pair of lived-in jeans with a roomy sweater may be your go-to studying outfit, but tack on your grandmother’s sparkling brooch and not only do you have something shiny to enliven your philosophy reading, but you are also the epitome of “intellectual bohemian chic.”
The brooch is an elegant staple that comes in a variety of sizes and colors. Whether bijou or the real thing, it can dress up a casual outfit or be the ultimate jewelry that compliments a holiday frock.
Pin it close to your collarbone and pair it with understated post earrings, or use it to emphasize that unique part of your dress or jacket by pinning it to the lapel or decorative ribbon. If you don’t find it while riffling through a family closet, Urban Outfitters is offering them for $9.99. At these prices, “borrowing beyond borders” may become a thing of the past … well, at least until your roommate sees it.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer. Contact Felicia Caponigri at firstname.lastname@example.org