** This is the start of a new series profiling peeps I know with interesting style. If you have great style or would like to nominate someone you know contact me at: email@example.com **
Intro:: If you don’t already know from the number of times I’ve mentioned her here on this blog, Raven is a good friend of mine from my days living in Chicago. On top of being funny, smart, and deliciously geeky Raven also happens to be a chic dresser, something I’ve always quietly admired until now…
Name: Raven Moore
Who: I divide time by working in a law firm and attending graduate school, I’m currently studying Human Computer Interaction at Depaul University. I also blog and write about my adventures in tech, style and media at ravenmoore.com.
Describe your style: Classic and sophisticated coupled with quirky or unexpected touches. I sometimes like dressing with a utilitarian look and adding feminine elements like a flowy scarf, flowery brooch or bright, saturated color. I also love texture – I’m on the hunt for a fantastic fur vest. I don’t mind waiting awhile to find the right one since I’ll probably wear it until I’m dead. I’m also studying ways to experiment with pattern mixing, for instance, a satin shirt patterned with simple black and white polka dots paired with a bold leopard skirt and patent leather pumps
What influences or inspires your fashion choices: I’ve recently become much more serious about incorporating my fashion personas appropriately with my style sense. In other words, being a lot more honest about what kind of life I lead vs. the way I want to dress. I recently threw out a bunch of shoes that I didn’t wear because they made no sense (from a fashion standpoint) in my wardrobe. Lately, I’ve become obsessed with Asian fashion bloggers like Wendy Nguyen of Wendy’s Lookbook and Ahn of 9to5chic. I also read of ton of magazines for inspiration (Net-a-porter on iPad, Vogue, W magazine, InStyle, Elle and Elle Decor). I track what I like in a series of binders to keep my perspective fresh. I try not to read the “it” girl fashion blogs too much because it becomes more aspirational than inspirational (but a girl can always dream!).
Where do you shop: eBay, Shopbop, Gilt, Nine West, Filene’s Basement (when it was still alive), Forever 21, Nordstrom’s Rack, Net-a-Porter (mostly browsing, then I try to scout for deals based on what I find), JCrew, BHLDN (you can find lovely, one-of-kind accent items for your wardrobe or jewelry collection – they’ve also got loooovely lingerie), Anthropologie, TJ Maxx (tip: get friendly with workers so you can find out when new shipments come in to your local store), the Outnet – my mom’s closet (I’ve been trying to convince her to give me a pair or Burberry shoes she’s never worn – I recently pilfered a beautiful, royal purple suede Talbot’s clutch). I used to visit thrift stores like they were the only game in town, now that I’m interested in collecting some vintage pieces, I’m a lot more discerning about what I pick up there.
Fashion Icon/s: Angelina Jolie, hands down. The woman sweats sultriness through her pores. I also adore Kerry Washington, she is my fave for best use of color in her wardrobe – she’s not afraid to experiment. I would also say Hilary Swank reminds me of the way I dress now (I have to love a girl who will still use coupons to shop). I also think Zoe Saldana, Gwen Stefani and Zooey Deschanel match my style persona.
Fashion Peeve/s: I can’t say I have any pet peeves about how other people dress (save for the obvious ones like wearing ill-fitting or stained clothes and not taking care of yourself overall), but I do have one gripe: people who make negative assumptions or moral judgments about my financial health or fashion sense. I get a lot of “you dress so nice, but must be broke” hostility from certain people. Taking pride in my appearance doesn’t equate to being shallow or having debt up to my eyeballs. Thinking someone is a snob because they like to dress themselves is snobbery on your end as well. Let’s be a little grown up, folks! Granted, for all those people who can’t understand why someone might spend $$$ on a dress or a pair of shoes, as long as she’s spending the money wisely for something she adores and will wear for all time – what do you care? And, even if she isn’t doing any of those things – why do you care still?
Any parting wisdom: Be honest with yourself about the life you lead versus the life you are dressing for. For example, if you work in a formal environment, why is your closet filled to the brim with flighty, trendy pieces? I ran into this problem a lot on my style journey. I was working in stoic, staid environments that didn’t allow much room to showcase my flowy tops and colorful bottoms. So I had to learn two things: a) buy clothes that can do double duty with my colorful fashion persona and stiff working environment and b) edit my closet appropriately for pieces that didn’t quite fit.
But, also don’t be afraid to experiment.