Olivia Lee is a young musician from San Francisco who plays for an indie folk band and loves taking the “ordinary out of context” when it comes to both her music and personal style. While DC has a relatively conservative fashion sense that follows fine lines of clean, simple and refinery–San Francisco celebrates quirks and brave, unconventional statements that make it a special city where pushing the envelop is encouraged.
At a massive thrift shop called “Unique” in Merrifield, VA–Olivia took away two new blouses, a black leather purse and bracelet for less than $20, including the gemstone-hued paisley top she’s wearing above. A huge steal that proves fashion doesn’t just come from runways and retail.
Getting to spend an hour looking through aisles of old sweaters, leather boots and chunky jewelry with a girl who believes “the uglier, the better” was incredibly refreshing, because it’s nice to know not all girls believe beauty is all about hot pink, glitter and platinum flat-ironed hair.
“I have friends that would be all over this,” she said, pointing at a long necklace of rusty, thumbnail-sized metal squares, hanging together like boa of dark gold feathers. “With a long black dress, maybe?” she added, waiting for my response.
I kept staring at the necklace though, unable to decide how I felt about it because normally–I look past jewelry that’s either too bold, big or daring–but I took a second look at the necklace she pointed out, even after she moved on to check out the bracelets. I pictured the rustic details and muted gold hues against a flowy black dress and thought, wait a second–that sounds lovely!
The epiphany reminded me that one of the biggest reasons why San Francisco is such a famous capital for fashion and culinary creativity, is because it celebrates and encourages what most people are afraid of–being bold, brave and daring. So, DC– the next time you find yourself second guessing a bold fashion statement you love, but don’t have the guts to flaunt, ask yourself this–who says you can’t pull it off?
P.S. A few of the items she’s wearing are actually on sale right now. Hooray! 🙂
Unique: 2956 Gallows Rd Falls Church, VA 22042l 703-992-6560.