Same Coat, Different Look

Today I'm wearing the same coat I've been wearing for probably two weeks straight because it goes with everything. It can turn even the most bla·sé outfit into an #ootd worth photographing. And you really cannot beat the price for a wool blend coat that is lined and well made (right now, just over $10 on Dresslink).

I've had this Diesel sweatshirt since 2001 (what is that, 15 years?!), and it still looks brand new. Love its muted green hue and the high neckline. It's perfect for refined sporty looks.

Just got these gorgeous boots from Ralph Lauren. They were on sale and a half size too small, but when I tried them on they fit perfectly. Meant to be. Wasn't the Ralph Lauren Fall Winter 2016 Collection glorious? His use of brown hues and metallics blew me away. You should go to ralphlauren.com just to see the video on the home page. Definite website design goals (part of what I do for a living, so I'm allowed to geek out).

Okay, on to the necklace from By Invite Only. You may have seen this before on my blog because it's one of my favorite pieces of handcrafted jewellery. The founder of By Invite Only, Trixie Khong, is uber-talented and self-taught! You should buy her jewelry. That is all.

My eyeglasses are from Polette, and right now I'm hosting a Polette Eyewear giveaway. Get your buns over to this page to ENTER TO WIN A PAIR OF POLETTE GLASSES OR SUNGLASSES!


The Breakdown

Round Gold Glasses  Polette Eyewear

High-Neck Sweatshirt  Diesel

Wool Blend Coat  Dresslink

Sweatpants  Target

Moto Buckle Boots  Ralph Lauren

Amethyst Geode Necklace  By Invite Only


The Art of Distraction: Styling Tips from Whitney

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While it goes against a human's survival instincts, I love wearing bright, bear-attracting, colors in the snow. It's a great way to lift your spirits in the frigid weather, and it reminds you that spring will come, eventually. Today, I went with berry hues, paired with a heather-beige suspender dress and a wool coat. You can't really tell from my photos because, as a photographer, I know how to work my angles (ha), but I have gained several pounds over the past year or so. What can I say, I love cooking, and I love to eat! Plus, once you get to a certain age your metabolism stops replying to your texts and eventually puts you on Do Not Disturb, and you have to work out twice as hard to make up for it (which I've been doing, and if I'm successful I will let you guys know what I did so you can do it too). And for some ladies like me, we don't have baby weight to blame. Just food. And Game of Thrones, Nurse Jackie, Jessica Jones, etc etc. And working on a computer most of the day. A recipe for body disaster!

As such, I have been forced to change my style somewhat to accommodate my newfound curves, and this look exemplifies this shift. I've found that when you are petite, even the slightest weight gain can be appear drastic. (Yay.) And even though many people may not think that I have anything to complain about, it's all relative; and I know many of you are in the same boat. None of your cute jeans fit and you resort to the dregs of your closet, you avoid social outings until you can get your body right again, etc. It can be a very isolating feeling when you put on the pounds, and no one is there to support you if you feel uncomfortable with your newfound inches; only to say "I wish I looked like you." or "You were too skinny before." (Nope! I was healthy then too.) But I refuse to sacrifice my personal style now that my closet options are limited, and I refuse to spend a ton of money on all new clothes. So I'm getting creative with what I have and thrifting what I don't.

I do not subscribe to the idea that certain body types should not wear certain clothes. I think that's bullshit Cosmo propoganda that forces women into unhealthy choices in order to attain the "perfect body". I'm petite and curvy, and my outfit advice may be a little biased in that regard. But having styled outfits on ladies of all body types, I have a few styling tricks that work for almost anyone (SANS PHOTOSHOP) so you can keep the fun in dressing up. The art of dressing can be similar to painting or photography: It's all about tricking the eye. My goal with this outfit was to subtly mask my derriere, midsection and chest without wearing a burlap sack. The way I accomplished this is through the art of distraction. By wearing bright lipstick, a pretty cowl neck sweater and bug-eye sunglasses the eye is drawn to the face, and then the eye is led to my legs with bright tights and adorable vintage boots. My dress and coat are still there, still stylish, but they aren't the main focus. Speaking of the coat, I really love that it has this tailored look without being too form-fitting. I can wear it will almost anything. Having a piece like this in your closet can work with casual or business looks.

In closing, even if your body is changing (losing weight, gaining weight, or your body shifts in a way you never could have imagined), you can still wear clothes you love. Just try to stay positive knowing that other women are in the same boat, and if you find that your favorite clothes don't fit, try to thrift replacements or learn some basic sewing skills. If that still is not possible, I recommend pairing some of your less-favorite pieces with stand-out "distractions". 

x

Whitney


The Breakdown

Round Oversized Frosted Clear Sunglasses: vintage (60s)

Muted Pink Turtleneck Blouse: vintage (70s)

Structured Wool Coat: Dresslink

Pinafore Ribbed Knit Suspender Dress: vintage (90s)

Bright Berry Tights: We Love Colors (very well-made. Highly recommend!)

Burgundy Ankle Boots: vintage Etienne Aigner

 


Don't forget to enter my giveaway. Time's running out!



First Snow: Outfit of the Day

The other day I tried to summon snow by layering myself in white clothing. Well, I am happy to say that it worked, and it is now revealed to the world that I am, indeed, a witch. I can hear some of you now yelling "CALLED IT! Told you she was a witch." I can also hear someone correcting one of you, "No, you said she's a bitch." I try not to be, I swear!

I wrote a little essay today about my approach to fashion, if you would like to read what I really think about getting dressed.


The Breakdown

Puffy Plaid Kimono Coat: vintage (sorry)

70's porn-mustache-guy Sunglasses: vintage (I'm so sorry!)

Gold Geometric Belt: vintage (I'm getting to the ONE item you can buy. Promise)

Blue sweater: Pierre Cardin from TJ Maxx

Combat Boots: Easy Rider, vintage


Why I REFUSE to say, "I would never wear THAT"; an essay

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Some would say this jacket wouldn't work for them. Some would say a girl who is 5' 3" like me shouldn't wear it. I have something to say to those people.

Growing up petite, fashion magazines would always be telling me that I cannot wear this or that because of my height. It made me feel shitty. And I try to avoid anything that makes me feel that way, but at the same time, I do not think it is wise to ignore something simply because you do not agree with it or makes you feel uncomfortable, or less than. So I didn't unsubscribe to those magazines that told me it isn't acceptable to wear those clothes on those models. Instead, I decided to take inspiration from what made me feel happy, from what I found interesting. Currently, it is sculptural pieces, but mostly it is whatever fits me that day and makes me say "That's so LADYWOLF." To me, that is fashion: Wearing clothes for the love of clothes. The body comes second to the art of dressing.

In that vein, fashion is a shield for me, a confidence builder. Any time I hear

"That is different."

or

"I could never pull that off, but it looks good on you." (You know, the ol' compliment-but-not-really-a-compliment),

it is fuel for me to dress even more "different". That type of sentiment bums me out too though; when one limits themselves to a certain mold, I believe that narrows their horizons and opportunities to connect with others. It's the same with food:

"I would never eat olives."

Me: "Have you tried them though?"

"No, but I know I wouldn't like it. Gross."

Or my favorite: naming "best friends". Announcing your BFF's is really exclusionary to me, and limits the possibility of making deep connections with new people. Unless, of course, you call all of your friends your "best". Anyway, that's another topic for another day.

This same mentality applies to fashion. When we decide to dress one certain way and to chastise certain clothing, it limits us in other ways. Saying you would never wear wide brim hats to a person wearing that hat, also says that you would probably not connect with them in other ways in life. Not wearing something because it is "out of style" works the same way. Trends exist because brands want us all to buy the same shirt at the same time, so they can make those dollar bills. And the people with the most money, and the most fear of not fitting in, are the ones who adopt those trends, making those of us who are less fortunate feel like we are missing out. Would I call you "basic" for doing that though? No. I think there is much more to you than wearing the latest trends. Would I do the same if I had a ton of money? Probably.

I, personally, never grew up with a lot of money and had to get creative with my attire. So much so, that I remember kids thinking I had a ton of money. I remember one girl in 8th grade saying, "I don't think I have ever seen you wear the same outfit," and remarked that my family must have a lot of money. In reality, a lot of my clothes were thrifted or bought on discount and wouldn't last long enough to make a second appearance in my #OOTDs. Don't get me wrong, my mom did buy me some clothes at NY&Co and American Eagle, but I never got the type of reaction to those as I did when I'd wear something from the thrift store. Unique always won over fitting in. 

Don't get me wrong though, I'm not hating on trends. You should just wear whatever you want and not feel restricted. Our society pushes us into these molds though, and even someone like me who is okay with whatever you are wearing, is forced to fit those molds from time to time.

Let's fast forward to my life as a creative professional, working as a photographer and designer. I live in east Tennessee, so sometimes wearing low-cut shirts or ragged denim just because I like them isn't good for business. Let me tell you guys though, the close-mindedness in my neck of the woods goes even further. Yes, I have a story. One day a year or so ago, I went to present a website to a client (mother-daughter owners; The daughter in her 40's, mom in her 60's.). I was dressed in my regular modest powersuit that works well when meeting with clients and keeps the focus on my work, but that didn't stop the judgmental comments that day. As I was opening my laptop to show them the product of my hard work, the daughter looked as my nails and said, "Mother calls that nail color 'Whore Red'. She really doesn't like that color. She's very particular about colors." I looked at the mother and said, "Well, I'm not." I could have said more. I could have said, "Putting absolutes on a color and attributing it to a woman's sexual lifestyle makes you a shitty person. And it is harassment. Did you know women can harass other women? Did you know that being a 'whore' isn't actually a bad thing?" But I wanted them to like the website I made for them, so I kept my mouth shut. I definitely had the "You're a whore." vibes from them the entire time though. When I got in my car, I realized I also had a lighter shade of Whore Red on my lips, which I was vehemently proud of. I gave this whore a kiss in the mirror and carried on.

To sum it up, don't dress by the indoctrination of others. You are much more than your outfit of the day. Wearing a trend doesn't make you "basic". Wearing red lipstick doesn't make you a "whore". And don't dress like you are a superior being because of your outfit, and most certainly, do not shame others because they choose to dress differently from you. You are a multi-faceted human who is naked underneath all of those clothes after all. Wearing clothes should be fun, and I'm thankful to have the closet full of clothes that I do; moth holes and all.

I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member.
— Groucho Marx

Spread kindness,

Whitney


Want details on this #OOTD? Go this this page, and I'll tell you all about it.

Sir Cuffs a Lot

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Cuffs: How Long Can You Go?

Tried to summon snow by layering myself in as many white pieces as possible. My white skirt didn't fit today though, so naturally, I went with black. Pretty sure I cursed our snow opportunity by doing that.

Let's talk about this wrinkled button down with the long French cuffs for a second. It's vintage Cavalli, and it used to be Gabe's. It's pretty unique, so I decided to interview him about it.

 Terrible Rider: Why are you asking me about this shirt? Are you making fun of me?

Ladywolf: No. I seriously love the shirt and want to know. Where did you get it?

TR: At Century 21 near the World Trade Center in 1999.

LW: What made you want to own this shirt? 

TR: The Perma-wrinkle thing just happened. And I needed a shirt with French cuffs.

LW: Ah, I see. Did you get compliments? 

TR: Yes. And I was a hot gender bender. I blame Bowie. 


And I thank Bowie. Because now it's mine. I've always wanted a shirt with cuffs that cover my delicate fingers.

 

The Breakdown

A lot of this look is vintage. The black felt-like wool mini skirt: 90's gap. The hat: from the 60's. The striped shirt: 90's.

Perma-wrinkle button down shirt: 90's Just Cavalli

The boots are by Farylrobin.

 

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Starman

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Didn't know what time it was and the lights were low
I leaned back on my radio
Some cat was layin' down some rock 'n' roll 'lotta soul, he said
Then the loud sound did seem to fade
Came back like a slow voice on a wave of phase
That weren't no D.J. that was hazy cosmic jive
There's a starman waiting in the sky
He'd like to come and meet us
But he thinks he'd blow our minds
There's a starman waiting in the sky
He's told us not to blow it
'Cause he knows it's all worthwhile
He told me
Let the children lose it
Let the children use it
Let all the children boogie
I had to phone someone so I picked on you
Hey, that's far out so you heard him too!
Switch on the TV we may pick him up on channel two
Look out your window I can see his light
If we can sparkle he may land tonight
Don't tell your poppa or he'll get us locked up in fright
There's a starman waiting in the sky
He'd like to come and meet us
But he thinks he'd blow our minds
There's a starman waiting in the sky
He's told us not to blow it
'Cause he knows it's all worthwhile
He told me
Let the children lose it
Let the children use it
Let all the children boogie
There's a starman waiting in the sky
He'd like to come and meet us
But he thinks he'd blow our minds
There's a starman waiting in the sky
He's told us not to blow it
'Cause he knows it's all worthwhile
He told me
Let the children lose it
Let the children use it
Let all the children boogie
- David Bowie, Starman

 

It's been a day filled with sporadic tears and listening to Bowie. I woke up at 6:00 AM to the news, and ever since I've been reminded just how many times I've been influenced by Bowie since 1984. His music made me feel okay about being strange growing up; about staying home, listening to music and putting together weird thrifted outfits instead of partying after school. He no-doubt influenced my decision to pursue art and fashion as a career. Bowie had a way of allowing you to escape your problems by contemplating the vast expanse of the universe, yet inspiring you to be your best, weirdest earthling all at once. Because there is a place for each and every one of us here on this earth. He's also proof that getting older is not the end of the world; the older we live, the more time we have to explore, to create! I cannot believe we are so lucky to have existed on this earth at the same time as this wonderful human. I dedicate this outfit to you, Mr. Bowie. May you rest in peace.

 

And, you know, despite the sad news this morning, today turned out pretty okay. I felt like the whole world came together in celebration and remembrance. The Internet was filled with nothing but videos and photos of David Bowie. And the rest of it was GIFs of Leonardo Dicaprio being adorable. Yep, today was a good day. Maybe Bowie planned it this way. 

Much love to you guys,

Whitney

 

  

The Breakdown

Denim Button-Down Shirt: Levi's 

Cropped Jeans: Max Jeans

Black Turtleneck Tank Top: NY&Co 

Black T-Strap Heels: BCBGeneration 

Round Blue Sunglasses: vintage

Burnt Sienna

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Burnt Sienna was usually my shortest Crayola crayon. It may have been due to my love for autumn leaves; leaves are most beautiful just before they fall after all. This vintage cableknit sweater that my mom thrifted for me in the 90's is the item in my closet that most closely matches the brown-red-orange hue. Unfortunately, the hue is a rarity in fashion, but I have always found it to be such a warm, happy, romantic color; I want to see it on the runway more.

It's finally feeling like winter here in Tennessee, so I can safely wear wool without feeling like a sweaty fool. These culottes magically appeared in one of my vintage storage bins. I must have acquired them years ago but have only just now fit into them; the wonderful thing about gaining weight! Which, by the way, I've heard a lot of "You were too skinny before." these days. Having always been a healthy, food-loving person, I believe that while folks are just trying to give a compliment, it's actually quite hurtful to say a person looked underweight until now. Being thin does not equal being unhealthy! The underweight/overweight shaming should really stop. Giving someone a compliment is quite easy. Much easier than punctuating it with an insult, don't you think?

Anyway, I digress...back to these fabulous culottes. The proportions of the culottes, resting just below the knee and with a high waist, can give the illusion of being inches taller. Petite girls rejoice! I really like pairing them with knee-high boots, like these Farylrobin lace-ups. Although, I think these wide-legged cropped pants would look lovely with tall socks and loafers too.

I normally keep accessories minimal, mostly because I spend so much time picking out my clothes that I'm too exhausted or have no time to pick out accoutrements later. So it's unbelievable when I actually have some on. Same goes for bras...Really, I only wear bra for that moment at the end of the day when you get to free yourself from the chains and take it off. Best feeling ever; am I right, ladies?! I have an affinity for jewelry nonetheless. My friend lent me this beautiful African necklace, made of brass. It's heavy and substantial, and beautifully crafted. When I wear it, I feel very important. Like, Khaleesi important. The golden leaf wrap ring is by Gorjana (from Rocksbox).


The Breakdown

Cable knit blouse: vintage

Cardigan: Tiny (by Karyn Craven) from Anthropologie -- This is the softest, prettiest cardigan and is made so well! I can wear it with anything from loungwear to a business look. Highly recommend Karyn's designs.

Culotte pants: vintage

Boots: Farylrobin

Necklace: handmade vintage

Ring: Gorjana

 

x

Whitney

#LADYWOLF