Let's Talk About... Being "Fancy"



I feel like I should start this post off with a disclaimer that if my soul were materialized into a children's book, it would be Fancy Nancy. When I was little I was the direct opposite of a tomboy. I loved dressing up and wearing my mom's makeup- even doing face masks and hot rolling my hair from as early as I can remember.

I had a best friend in Kindergarten named Betsey and, I swear, I don't even think we spoke to each other. But we forged a friendship over one unbreakable bond: we had the exact same pair of patent leather mary janes that we wore every day. We would sit together with our dresses and our shoes kicked out in front of us while the other kids got messy and acted like fools. I don't know where Betsey is now, or even where she went after Mrs. Smith's kindergarten class, but I hope she's somewhere with beautiful shoes.

Now please don't think I'm horribly uptight, because I'm truly not, but I recognize I was born with more of an affinity to the "fancy" than others. I don't mind a gigantic statement necklace on a Tuesday or some 4" heels to a movie. That being said, I've been noticing a certain statement a lot lately, and maybe this is a Midwestern thing, but it makes me kind of sad.

It's any variation of this one idea, "It's too fancy for me" or "for this outfit."

Now I recognize we don't have all have the same tastes. And minimalism and normcore are really valid fashion statements. So why does this make me sad? Because that's not the vibe I'm getting. It's not like it's too fancy for their taste, it's like it's too fancy because their lives aren't glamorous. Or they're not perfect looking. And that is sad because I think, regardless of taste, everyone should at least feel it is okay to be fancy. Should you wear a rhinestone clutch to work? No, probably not. But should you have one for girl's night out? Duh.

I mean, I guess it's some people's nightmare to be overdressed for something, but I tend to be in the Rachel Zoe camp on this one.


And to the second point, that something is "too fancy" for an outfit. This makes me sad because in the current state of fashion, it is the most wrong statement (or should I say lack of statement) to ever exist. One doesn't need to pair their fanciest necklace with their fanciest dress and fanciest shoes and so on. No, in fact the the most stylish girls are usually doing the opposite of that. Whether we're talking Olivia Palermo or the girl in your neighboring cubicle, the reason you like to see what they wear is not because they're these perfect fashionable wizards that can make anything look good. No, I would bet my favorite "fancy" shoes it's because they pair unexpected things together. Things you don't think "should" go together. The fancy with the casual.

Need proof? Take a look at some of these most recent looks from two of the world's most famous bloggers...


Here, Julie Sarinana of Sincerely, Jules, who honestly, against all evidence to the contrary, just has to be Manny from Degrassi, am I right?! But back to the main point, let's assess this look. Fancy shoes? Check. Fancy skirt? Check. Fancy earrings? Check. Fancy sweater? Nope. See? That's why it's so cool.


And look #2 is Aimee Song of Song of Style in a perfectly mixed ensemble. Fancy top, shoes, and bag. Completely unfancy distressed denim.

Now obviously there are times when it works great to go head-to-toe "fancy," like to a wedding, or casual, like to the gym. But in general, a little mix-and-matching never hurts and will always add more interest to your look.

But maybe you're thinking both of these looks, regardless of the casual piece, are still really fancy? I can see that side of the argument, but that doesn't mean it can't work more casually, as well. For example, one of the girls who works the desk at the YMCA wears the required t-shirt, black pants, and tennis shoes as everyone else, but she often opts for a bun or braid over the standard ponytail and wears some earrings that make major statements. She even wears chopsticks in her hair on occasion. Point is, I never ever think she's overdressed for her sporty attire. I just tend to think, hey, great hair. Great earrings. The effort is unexpected and appreciated.

So moral of the story here is this: don't over think it because no one else is and that is exactly what kills great personal style. You can be as "fancy" or "unfancy" as you want to be, regardless of the box you might put yourself into or even the outfit you've got on. If you love a pair of multicolored chandelier earrings or sequin shoes, for heaven's sake, life is short- wear them!

And if you think you don't have anything to wear them with, here's a simple way to start out. Take any basic top (v-neck tee, chambray shirt, slouchy sweater, etc.) and mix with any basic bottom (pencil skirt, boyfriend or skinny jeans, ankle length trousers, etc.). This "unfancy," simple foundation works perfectly with absolutely any "fancy" accessory. You can also swap out a more fabulous piece, like an embellished skirt, and wear it with any of the basic tops, and no matter what it will be a perfect mix.

Can you see the trend here? Basically you can do no wrong. And if someone tells you your ensemble doesn't "go together," well then, girrrl, you are on your way to style mastery. And after all, a little fancy just makes life more fun!

But I'd love to hear your take on this. When's the last time you bought or wore something "special?" And if it's been a very long time, why is that? And what I'm most interested to hear- if you are one of those people who doesn't like things that sparkle, please explain that to me. Because I can not wrap my head around the who/what/when/where/and why of that concept. Enlighten me in the comments section! :)