Just recently, I was setting up shop on the patio at my favorite coffee spot and while I was getting organized I couldn’t help but stop to just people watch. At this particular local hot spot, you see all kinds of women from all walks of life and if you are lucky, you can even spot a local celeb or two.
As I continue to get situated/procrastinate and sip on my favorite hot bev, I start to create my own version of these women by admiring their unique style. Airports are usually the best venues to “people admire”, but today, it was this local coffee shop.
At first, I spot a woman decked out in her yoga pants, tank top and running shoes. You see, in this part of town, this is a common uniform, especially when it’s of a certain brand name. So I continue creating my own stories for these unknowingly accomplices…. I assume this new fitness friend of mine is a mama getting her well-deserved caffeine break after dropping her kids off at school. Then, I think maybe she is a yoga instructor or both? Regardless of her yoga attire, I admire how she is put together and most importantly not showing too much skin. You know the mesh leggings and low cutout arm hole tanks I am talking about ladies? Yep! Only for the gym, not public. So thank you to my new friend from afar for avoiding that trend.
I revisit my people watching, and can’t help but hear a gal to my right chatting on her iPhone that has initials engraved in rose gold on the back, of course. She has a simple yet striking navy sheath dress on, matching designer pumps and a smart looking, cognac color tote that probably includes her laptop and/or business forms. She is like a Jackie O in modern times.
At the other end of the coffee house’s patio, I spot this “newly married” friend. She is catching up with old friends and giving them the low down of her fabulous European honeymoon adventures. At least that is what I am conjuring up in my mind. She looks all refreshed with sun-kissed skin, donning a bright maxi dress and taupe wedges. She was truly a walking advertisement for “get your tan on and go on vacation if you want to look like me.”
Then, at the next table over, there is the “just had a baby” friend that is so glad to get out of the house and of course the coffee part is not a bad deal either. This glowing mama is wearing a peasant top, skinny jeans (yes, I know) and sandals. She is showing off her new bundle of joy while trying to get in every last sip of her caffeinated beverage. I really admired her for taking pride in herself even though she was probably dog tired from being up all night with her newborn.
On the other end of the life spectrum, I see a mom sitting with her fresh out of college daughter having a sweet conversation (well, possibly) about summer plans and maybe a girls trip to boot. They are both coincidentally wearing white jeans…my fav! Mom is wearing a bright Lily Pulitzer tunic and the daughter is wearing this soft gray v neck tee with “made in the shade” written on it. Truly! These two women from different chapters of their lives were quite the pair. It was like Southern Living and Lily herself just placed them right there just so we could all get a peek at what southern mamas and daughters look like these days.
As the morning goes on, and as I am about to finally get back to what I need to be doing instead of “people admire,” in walks in (and I’m assuming this as I have been making up stories today) a retired lady and her husband. Maybe they are here to enjoy the slow pace of this beautiful summer morning. Maybe they read the newspapers or do crosswords together? You can tell the woman is ready for the day with her straight dark rinse jeans, white button down and ballet flats. Of course her make up is on point and her red lipstick complements her stylish attire. She kind of reminds me of Sally Field as she has this easy, very age appropriate put together look. Then, I hear from my favorite movie “her hair looks like a brown football helmet.” Well, you can’t talk about Sally Field without mentioning a line from Steel Magnolias can you?
Now you are probably wondering where I am going with all these people watching stories. How does this have anything to do with fashion or style? Well, when you think about it, what you wear is telling a small version of your story. And whether you like it or not, it gives others a first impression of who you are, how you want people to see you, and how you see yourself. On a side note, did you know that a first impression is made within the first seven seconds of meeting someone! 7 seconds! Crazy, right?
My first impression of these ladies…was that they seem to be embracing the phase of life they were in. It was written all over their face by way they interacted with others and then by the way they presented themselves. To me, these individual ladies’ “stories” were of renewal, grace, strength, and contentment. It was refreshing to see all these women own and embrace their stories or at least my stories of them.
So when you get dressed today, what is your story going to be? Whatever it is, I hope you will embrace it and dress well for it.