Sunday, June 3, 2012

New Orleans Style – Part 2

{ D&G // Gap }

Ooh, surprise! I lied and didn't post Part 2 of my New Orleans style quest before my trip (see Part 1 here). Meh, I was busy. What do you want from me? I'm getting too old to be apologetic about my own inadequacies.

I suppose, though, since I DID do a lot of the legwork, I might as well make this a style-postmortem rather than the informative little packing post I had planned.

So yeah, I didn't really know what to expect, other than hot steamy awesomeness (I was right). I was unsuccessful in my search to find an authentic (and good) New Orleans-based style blog. No help there. So I could only go by my perception of the city based on what I've absorbed through Googling and movies (FLAKES!). Also, my over-active imagination (it likes to make things dreamier than they are).

 { of course, I packed this skirt. but what else? }

What is NOLA style? Bohemian avec bling? Hillbilly-chic? Disco Stevie Nicks? Tragic southern belle?

(I was wrong on all accounts)

I was envisioning a soft 70s thing happening: floppy hats, long skirts. Mostly because of the heat. Fashion forced by necessity. I assumed that the music scene and the french influence MUST have some sort of impact on style. Jazz! Le Français! Bourbon! Heatwaves! Casual but classy. Breezy, effortless, classic (good GAWD, I am none of those things!).

Maxi skirts and sequin boleros! Raffia wedges and multi-strand pearls! Floral tunics and wide-brimmed hats! SO MANY HATS! SO MUCH ROMANCE!

(OK, I was postulating. And setting myself up for disappointment.) 

Whatever. I was NOT going to end up looking silly again. The nun habit and school headmistress gear is collecting dust. If we were gonna spend post-trade-show-floor time sipping fancy bourbon drinks and patting our brows with embroidered vintage handkerchiefs and absorbing some local culture (via oversexed dancing?), I wanted to look the part. Sigh, I romanticize everything.

(In reality, I was drinking king cans of Chelada and ghetto Red Bull-based "cocktails" while attempting to wrangle 5 raucous drunks. It's a living.) 

Based on my speculations, I made a healthy donation to my summer wardrobe in preparation for the trip: kelly green strapless ruffle dress, Costa Blanca cream lace shorts, swishy black racerback tank, platform wedges, H&M denim light-wash sundress, GAP birdie hair scarf, amazing was-$400-on-sale-for-$27 sequin Pink Tartan skirt!

  { costa blanca // H&M }

 { maxi dress, Winners // belt, Zara // bag, Jessica Simpson // sunglasses, vintage Ray Bans // ring H&M }

Despite the awesomeness of my new purchases, I kinda style-failed again, but at least in a direction I can handle. Nawlins is an incredibly beautiful, magical place. But it ain't fancy. I was overdressed. But hey, that's my comfort-zone, and I felt preeeeetty glam under the circumstances. Unlike Vegas, where I felt like a washed-up hag, I felt fresh and noticed. Hey, boys. Little ego boosting is good for the soul, yeah?

My packing advice (oh look, we're doing this anyway!), more appropriately-timed now that I'm a seasoned pro:
  • Tiny, flow-y cotton dresses and shorts – casual, people, casual. (I wore sequins, but that's me. I'm arrogant and manage to get away with it.)
  • Hair elastics - just put that shit in an up-do, yo. Heat tools and anti-frizz products? That humidity will just laugh at (then annihilate) you.
  • Flats. Only flats. A comfy wedge if you have to (I had to) but girrrrl, don't even THINK about packing those pumps. The streets are either cobblestone or in terrible need of construction. And you want to be walking a lot, because it's gorg.
  • A light cover-up. You don't actually need to wear a jacket outside. Ever. Even in the rain. But, those folks looooove their A/C and you'll be sorry mid-oyster feast that you didn't plan for frostbite. 
{ ikat cover-up, Everly // iPhone case, Melody Miller for GelaSkins }

{ headscarf, thrifted // necklace, J Crew // dress, H&M }

{ dress, Urban Outfitters // sandals, Zara }

Now that you know how to pack, I insist that you go.

(And, take me with you.) 

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