We all own items that take us back us to very specific moments in our lives. It might be a pair of shoes that you gifted yourself to celebrate a promotion, or a pendant you acquired while discovering the hidden gems in an open market in a foreign country. Just looking at the item brings back the feeling of that era. If you close your eyes, you can place yourself in the very moment you first saw it.
I arrived to Madrid a week after graduating high school wearing my lavender Little Mermaid t-shirt, ripped jeans, a silver sequined belt and a straw cowgirl hat. I forget what shoes I was wearing. I vividly remember my dad’s reaction; he looked at me tenderly and chuckled. At the moment, I didn’t realize that I probably looked like a crazy kid but the truth is I’ve never cared. I’ve always worn what I wanted, even if it looks weird. This has made for years and years of jokes with my best friend who laughs shamelessly at some of my fashion choices. Looking back at some of these outfits, I can’t blame her.
I lived with my dad for six months before I started college in the spring at Florida International University. I was eighteen years old and the world was my oyster. Wide eyed and ready consume the world in one gulp, I had returned to my grandmother’s birth-land one decade and three countries later. The sense of freedom, familiarity and adventure was intoxicating.
One day, my dad I were walking the streets of Madrid when we encountered a hat store right in the Plaza Mayor. (I am a certified hat-freak). The options seemed never-ending. During that time, I was really into hats made of natural fibers (hence the straw cowgirl hat) when this safari-looking hat caught my eye. My dad bought it for me and I wore it for the rest of the day as he continued to show me around the city. It was so special to hear the city’s history narrated by my dad who is an avid reader and history buff. I had daydreamed of days when we could enjoy each other’s company like this. I had missed this man dearly since my parents’ divorce. We walked into a souvenir store in a touristy section of town and I bought the Spanish flag pin to decorate my new hat. I wanted to remember this day forever; the sweet summer heat, the chilled vino and the addicting larger-than-life feeling.
Looking at this hat takes me back to my eighteen year-old self, back to my time in Spain and back to my dad who still lives there and I miss dearly. Feelings of love and gratitude flood my body every single time.
About this outfit: This powder-blue dress was love at first sight at Forever 21. The lace neck and sleeves give it a dainty, retro feel and the gold buttons pop without being too distracting. It is the perfect wardrobe item that can tie spring into summer and summer into fall as it can be worn with sandals, booties, oxfords or a pair sexy high heels to give this sweet, little-girl dress a grown-up and edgy look.
These sweet leopard oxfords are on MAJOR SALE at Aldo right now! (here) They are soooo comfortable and fun that I find myself wearing them all the time! I completed this look with these mother of pearl, heart-shaped earrings for some added daintiness and a fringe purse (also from Aldo) for some texture contrast.
This lipstick is my new fave red lip which is “Cruella” by NARS.
Do you have any special hats in your closet? I would love to know the story behind them.
Photographed in Wynwood by the amazing Chantal Lawrie. See more of her work here.
Blow out courtesy of the awesome team at Elegance Salon in Coral Gables, next to Merrick Park
(786-452-9275). Check out their reviews on Yelp here.