The Allure of the Quirky Sophisticate

May 31, 2011

The best part about recovering from surgery? Endless TV time.  I’m a self admitted workaholic, constantly on the run.  I needed a surgery like this to actually stop myself.  Do you know how hard it is to feel like a baseball bat has smashed your spine?  I can’t move. I look at my magazines on the floor.  I cannot reach down and pick them up. What can I do? It’s lay in bed and watch. Watch all of the crap on TV that I never could before.  Now I actually know those Kardashians sisters, instead of just understanding them through US Weekly. The best? I’ve discovered that on any given day I can watch Sex and the City about five times on various channels. It’s like a magical fashion fairy has come down and granted me a wish.

Now when it comes to the world of Sex and the City, all of us identify with one of the girls, whether it’s their fashion sense or personality, we have all connected with Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, or Miranda on some level.   My personality is a mix of Miranda and Carrie, but when it comes to fashion I’m all Carrie. Watching an episode last night, I realized something I never had before, (that’s the best part about watching reruns of SATC you normally connect somehow on a different level), Carrie is quirky.

I’m not sure why this seriously obvious fact never dawned on me before. I’ve seen every episode and identify with her endlessly. But now I know how to classify the beauty of Carrie.  Quirky sophisticate.

In the particular episode I watched last night, Carrie was introducing Berger to her friends (you know, the douche bag who dumped her with a post-it note!). She went out to dinner with the most adorable, quirky look.  A vintage Mickey Mouse tee with a gorgeous white fitted blazer.  Absolute perfection in my view.  Quirky cool.  Then later in the episode her and Berger debate the infamous “scrunchie” for the NYC woman.  She is wearing a fabulous slip dress with a divine little hat, one that could have passed for normal at a royal wedding. Berger and her continue their fight over the scrunchie on her stoop.  He proceeds to make a snide comment about her hat.  She screams back, as she takes off her hat, almost throwing it at him, “It’s fabulous and you know it!” Oh, if I could capture that moment every time I had someone make a comment about what I was wearing!  The confidence, the total utter belief in how fantastic her style is.

Now how to master this style?  How to become a quirky sophisticate? My belief is to use those everyday classic items with fashion twists, the unexpected with the expected. Inspiration is out there for you to capture.  A maxi dress with a pair of high top converse. High waisted, cropped pants with a sparkle sweatshirt and studded oxfords, topped off with a fedora. Skinny jeans, ballet flats with a silk necktie blouse and piled high bright bangles. Of course, no quirky sophisticate would be without some cool cat eye sunglasses or large black “nerd specs”, a la Clark Kent. Quirkies change their hairstyle and color at a drop off a hat.  They do not get attached to one particular style.  Red, brown, blonde, black, pixie to French bangs, we will do it all.

A website that I’ve been dying over lately is The Sartorialist.  This is a blog with the coolest photos of peoples fashion from around the world. It captures some of the most unique styles.  I would post some of her pictures but she has strict copyright rules, so you must go discover them for yourself. Nylon magazine demonstrates a wonderful mix of quirky cool with classic pieces. Many stores can capture this look, Asos, H&M, Zara, and Topshop are the best if your budget is like mine. Jcrew has really stepped up this vibe with the addition of Jenna Lyons as their creative director. Burberry has been evolving into the high fashion brand that represents the quirky sophisticate. I mean have you seen their studded trench?

The real trick of the quirky sophisticate is how to dress this way without ending up being arrested by the fashion police. It is a delicate balance. I’ve seen many starlets attempt this look. The most successful seem to be: Alexa Chung, Rachel Bilson, Emma Watson, and Zooey Deschanel. However, my absolute favorite is Olivia Palermo.  She has mastered the Carrie, quirky sophisticate to a tee.  With an endless budget, beautiful body, and access to the best clothes and stylists out there, she unlike many others, does not waste those gifts. Ahh to be rich, young, and beautiful!

If you are like the rest of us attempting to be the quirky sophisticate be prepared for stares, good and bad.  Your mix of the classic with the unique makes you so special, and remember in the words of Ms. Carrie Bradshaw, “It’s fabulous and you know it!”

Much Love,


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