In addition to being voted “Most Artistic” in high school, I was also awarded the honor of “Best Dressed.” I found this to be amazing since I sported Doc Martens and hoodies, usually paired with a fabulous black velvet floor length skirt trimmed in neon pink which I ‘borrowed’ from the school chorus closet. I was thrift store chic and I didn’t even know it. I would class up my million bobby pin up-do with babies breath and rock the halls of my high school like no other. In the end I was forced to choose which title I would forever be known in the yearbook for (the Abercrombie girls just didn’t think it was fair) so I chose “Most Artistic” and can still be found grinning an awkward grin with a tempura paint Dali moustache.

What on earth does this have to do with you? It gives you permission to think outside the fashion box. Just because a magazine or runway totes that this season’s must haves are a steal at $300+ doesn’t mean you can’t get something even better for far less and run a much better chance of not having the same thing as the entire yearbook staff. Yes, that Coach bag is lovely, but there are 4 others just like it on the other side of the coffee shop. By shopping locally, and specifically handmade, I know for a fact that my fraction-of-a-Coach purchase is not only a) the coolest thing in the room but also b) there isn’t another one like it. Anywhere. 

This is where you grab the staples from your wardrobe (that cute black scoop neck, your thrifted pencil skirt…) and add amazing one of a kind (OOAK) accessories to put yourself in the running for “Best Dressed.” When I feel that I stand out from the crowd with unique pieces I feel beautiful. And when you feel great about how you look, you project that to those around you and your light shines even brighter. See where I’m going with this? You cannot help but light up a room when you know how great you look and how great you felt while picking out your awesome OOAK duds. 

I have my high school reunion coming up this year, and though I am sad to report that I no longer have the Docs or that super awesome velvet skirt, you can bet I’ll be rocking some amazing handcrafted and thrifted finds. My other half has the Dali stache these days, but I am ready to walk in and light up the room with an amazing confidence in how fantastic I look and feel. And though I’m sure I won’t be the only one wearing a little extra weight, I know I will be the only one in my Best Dressed qualifying outfit and attitude. You should do the same thing. Handcrafted looks good on you baby!