Fashion has this funny way of connecting us all. We all experience the cyclical trends together. One moment we are all bell-bottomed out coiffing our Farrah Fawcett hair and the next minute we are tossing aside the wide bottomed jeans for wide shoulders (shoulder pads should have never happened) and perms. These moments are cringe-worthy when we look back, but the moment we zipped up those jeans and slid a doily-collared shirt over our perfectly permed hair we felt like we ruled the world. Fashion gives us power…albeit that power comes with a few tragic fashion memories.
Even the untouchable Gwynnie had a moment that makes us think “what the goop?!” But, there’s no doubt that when she hand selected this trash bag skirt and see-through tank she felt like the baddest bitch on the red carpet. I’ll bet her organically moisturized hands get a little sweaty when she sees this picture.
Just kidding. Gwen doesn’t sweat.
(2002 Oscars in Alexander McQueen)
Gwyneth has also had moments that make her bone broth boil, because she is on FIRE! I actually feel the need to bow when I see this picture. You done good girl.
(2012 Oscars in Tom Ford)
The point is… it’s a journey, PEOPLE. An evolution if you will. And, as I stated in my new book, Breaking the Glass Slipper, “Most of us, no matter how fashion savvy, don’t realize just how much fashion carries us through big moments in our lives: graduation gowns, wedding gowns, first power suit, maternity clothes, nursing tops (where were those for all my postpartum nip slips?!), mom jeans, etc. Fashion plays a huge role in so many of life’s big moments or transitions and we often forget just how defining those fashion choices are to our memories. These fashion choices make important memories seem more tangible. I think fashion sense is almost as powerful as the sense of smell. Remembering exactly what you were wearing can put you right back in that moment again. It’s pretty damn powerful if you think about it. Should we have a moment of silence here?”
So, in an effort to bring this full circle and to strengthen our bond I’m sharing some of my big moments… these gems I pulled from my archives, dusted, cringed over, scanned and now I’m posting them on the internet (sober, might I add).
Without further ado, the good, the bad, and the fugly. Give me grace.
Here I am after I raided my Mom’s closet, when I first discovered the formidable power of fashion. The goal was to look just like my Mom and I think I achieved it. Job well done, E. The weird thing is, this outfit was put together in homage of pure dignity and grace yet it could now take me to straight to Coachella. Maybe I’ll dig it out and catch you by the ferris wheel so we can exchange glow sticks before Post Malone? Kidding, I’d only stand in the desert for U2.
Here I am channeling a version of Sound of Music meets Captain and Tenille. I was in that phase of experimentation across all areas- hair, dress and accessories- (note the hat).
I’m about ten years old in this picture. This is the onset of my doily addiction around this age. Stay tuned. Also, can we just take a moment to appreciate the effort put into those bangs. That kind of lift and curl takes planning people.
Here I am staying true to the 1970’s vibe of wearing a denim vest with just about anything. Once a denim lover, always a denim lover.
The word to define this phase of my fashion life seems to be Big.
Big hair. Big dreams. Big regrets.
This is my senior graduation picture- the doily made its way back to me- WHY?? Am I supposed to learn something about myself through the doily? Is the doily my spirit animal?
Well- I am not going to be so hard on myself because gorgeous Kate Middleton is still sportin’ them in 2018. I guess I was her fashion idol long before she was mine. 🙂
Who wore it better? Actually, no. Keep your comments to yourself.
Senior Prom 1988. I actually don’t feel the need to say anything about this picture…but I will.
I love it. DAMN. I. Look. Good. The white peplum and white gloves are just so right. I remember feeling completely in control here. I owned it. I unashamedly love the 80’s. Also, a leo has to make mention of her hair. My hair looks incredible here and I’m sure my date agrees. I’m also 99.9% sure I asked him to hairspray it again at some point during the night. NEVER LET THE POUF FALL.
Circa late 1990’s- early 2000’s
When I jumped into motherhood and a fashion business all at once. Pregnancy brain does weird things y’all…like convince you entrepreneurship is a cake walk. (Spoiler alert- it’s not. Don’t get me wrong though, there is cake…when you are eating your feelings.)
I am at my wedding dress fitting in NYC with my mom. As you will read in the book- I had some insecurities about wearing a dress that was sleeveless. But this picture brings back a flood of emotion, and that look on my face tells me I made the right choice. I was a garden princess on my wedding day and I wouldn’t change a single detail (even the sleeves).
These pictures were taken right after I started my business. The casual power suit became my go to! I kept wearing suits but they were much more casual than the ones I wore in NYC. I was a career woman but I was beginning to dress down- I had a new baby and a new business. And if you are asking yourself, ” Is she insane?”
The answer is yes. I am insane.
But, what’s not insane? I’m pretty sure the sneakers I’m rocking are WAY ahead of the current sneaker trend. Ten points Elaine!
This is me. This is now.
Here I am in the Elaine Turner Landa caftan dress. I seem to gravitate to anything kaftan nowadays. I also gravitate towards places to sit. Cut me some slack though, I have two teenagers, a fashion business, and a husband who’s shop talk is now handbags, shoes, and hem lengths. In all seriousness though, caftans are God’s gift to women. They look great and leave room for perimenopause puffiness? Can I get an amen?
So see, Guys?! We are on this journey together. I was brave enough to post my fashion journey and honor the place I was in when I chose doilies because at that moment it felt right. The doilies felt powerful.
Let’s Break the Glass Slipper by being vulnerable enough together to share and own the fashion choices we have made over the years. The power in this is knowing we don’t have to fit a certain mold or pretend we are perfect. Fashion has the ability to transform who you are or who you want to be. We simply need to all be ourselves and own exactly who we are regardless of poufy hair, white gloves and doilies.
I’d love hear your fashion journey, too! Has there ever been a moment when you felt so empowered by your choices or like you may have missed the mark? Let me know in the comments below!