Elevated Casual: Blurring the Lines in Fashion

sneakers and .... wide brim fedoras?!

Elevated Casual: Blurring the Lines in Fashion

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love to break molds in fashion. Ever since I was young, if someone told me x and y don't "go together" in an outfit I made sure I did it. Mixing two different patterns? Sure did. Wearing white on white outfits in the dead of Winter? You bet. Anything that felt either A) against the 'norm' or B) something most people 'couldn't pull off,' little ol' me was absolutely doing that. Why? I liked being different. In high school everyone would wear sweatpants and ask me "why are you so dressed up?" and I would be wearing a normal ass outfit that just wasn't sweatpants. I also loved the creativity that came with pairing things that you "wouldn't normally" pair together. I'm a visual person, so just putting things together was an art form for me. 

I do not claim to be a fashion connoisseur by any means, I just worked in the retail world for a long time. I was never into high-end designers or runway fashion, I just liked putting things together. 

Recently, after making the shift from working in a shop and wearing head-to-toe outfits, to working from home and wearing sweatpants and a "cute zoom worthy top," my style has definitely altered. One of the major additions to my wardrobe that I *literally* never thought I would like is: sneakers. Listen, I'm all about a running shoe for the gym, but I was never the type of girl to do casual well. After years of standing for 8+ hours a day, living in Chicago, and completely destroying my feet, I now find myself craving comfort. I threw up an Instagram story asking all the girlies out there which sneakers were considered a must-have in the wardrobe. I got a ton of great responses and ended up going with a Nike Air Max all white. The shape was a little intimidating for me but I just went with it. Trust me, our Pinterest Style Inspiration Board was a MAJOR help in this journey. The other thing that helped is the trends right now: trousers with sneakers, biker shorts, oversized blazers, and sneakers, patterned dresses with puff sleeves and sneakers. THIS IS MY TIME TO SHINE.

On the flip side, a shout-out to our Goorin Bros. president himself, Mr. Ben Goorin because years back when I first met Ben he was rocking straight leg denim, a zip up hoodie, a sneaker, and a WIDE BRIM FEDORA. I was instantly drawn to this look thinking to myself, A) I could absolutely NEVER pull off a zip up hoodie and make it look cool, and B) Sneakers and wide brimmed fedoras...whattttttt?! Now, having been a huge wide brim fedora girl forever, I had plenty of those to rock, but now with the addition of three different pairs of sneakers in my arsenal? I was ready to conform to the non-conformity of it all.

So many content creators, brands, and celebrities are doing it so well, but my favorite and easiest way is to rock a monochromatic outfit on top and bottom, and let the sneakers and hat speak for themselves. We talk a lot of The Bookend Theory when it comes to coordinating your shoes and your hat, but this takes it up a notch. Last weekend at a surprise birthday dinner, I knew I wanted to wear a sneaker and because we were going to be on the patio, I knew I needed a wide brim straw hat for sun protection. I chose Belly Flop, which has a bleached coral tone to it, and paired it with warm earth-toned sneakers by Aimé Leon Dore x New Balance. As for the rest of it? Black top, black vintage shorts, and Voilà! Another trick I like to do is when I normally would opt for the baseball cap, swap it out with a fedora. Once you start getting used to these more casual outfits with a more "dressy" hat, it starts to become second nature and way less forced. Here's some great inspiration of "elevated casual" looks I'm aspiring for, check 'em out, and break the mold!


[pinterest grid sources]

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