In Or Out: 10 Things I Will Always Love, No Matter What

I realised yesterday, after making a lighthearted  Revenge of the Nerds reference at work, that I have become that person in the room who makes pop culture references that are completely lost on the twenty-somethings. This is not a sudden realisation mind you. When this first started happening, I put it down to cultural separation from my American vernacular combined with my current geographical location. No, I now realize that it has less to do with a lack of British appreciation for iconic American pop culture masterpieces such as Revenge of the Nerds, and everything to do with the fact that I’m just freakin’ forty.

But seriously, It’s Revenge of the Nerds people…. come ON! It’s a classic! The masking tape between the glasses? Where does everyone think that came form? Anyone?......Anyone?  (sigh)

But instead of resigning myself to the beginning of the end of my reign of hipness, skulking around and waving my stick, shouting to anyone within earshot about how in the 90’s we had rock stars who wore flannel and had real angst, not pre-pubescent 13 year-old boys with more money than sense….instead of doing that, I will simply gather myself and do what I do best. I will be defiant. But still chic too....naturally,  of course.  Defiantly chic.

Turning my thoughts to defiance in fashion,  I wonder if  my "inness" or "outness" also has an expiration date similar to my pop culture references. Will my fashion tastes become irrelevant in the eyes of the "it" generation? Just about every fashion rag out there has a running piece that addresses this; Do’s and Don’t’s, Keep, Wear, or Toss…a moveable fashion barometer of personal hipness that is in place to supposedly guide us through the constantly-changing seasons. Can I still wear my skinny jeans with stilettos, or is it brogues now? What about flares? Do I really have to wear white-framed sunglasses (again)?!

All in all, asking myself these questions made me less self-conscious about the social relevance of my sartorial choices, and more aware of the things that are essentially me.  Therefore...

The Highland Fashionista’s Top Ten Fashion Items That She Will Always Keep On Hand, No Matter What.

10. Vampy Nail Polish

photo courtesy detroit mommies

It doesn't have to be the Chanel Vamp varnish that set the 90's on fire, goodness knows that there are plenty of good permutations out there, but there is just something about that red/black shade that manages to be both edgy and sophisticated at the same time. A little more dangerous than your standard-operating red, and really amazing on your toes (I tend to save the fingers for special nights out). Some budget-friendly options include Orly nail polish in Mind's Eye (#40422)SinfulColors nail polish in Burgundy Apple, and my personal favourite,  Revlon nail enamel in Vixen.  

9. A Good Jeans Jacket

Michael Kors cropped Denim Jacket, J Crew skirt, New Look tank, honora pearls.

They go in, they go out. But this will always be a staple in my closet. We are currently seeing them trending again, although perhaps not quite as heavily as last season. In a classic cut and fitted style, they will always be around. I love it as a warm-weather holiday jacket, as they always look cute over a sundress or shorts and a tee with pearls, taking care to avoid the Texas Tuxedo look. Here are some lovely options from Esprit and Fornarina .

8. A Big-Ass Handbag

Donna Dixon Ruched  Leather Tote 
Men may hate it, and we don't care, because we have our makeup, iPads, a change of shoes, mobile phones, several magazines, lunch, extra socks, a small dog, and whatever else we can fit in there to be prepared for any eventuality. I always use one as a carry-on. Some great options, as always, by Michael Kors and

7. Low Waisted Pants

Calvin Klein Jeans, Limited belt, New Look tank.
No, no, no...I'm not saying we should all be walking around with our bellies hanging out (some things are only for effect). I know they're not everyone's cup of tea, but if you're tall,  long-waisted,  or just built in a sort of straight up and down athletic way, these seem to always work well. Just make sure your shirt is long enough to prevent the dreaded plumber-butt, or as they say here in the UK, builder's bum.

6. The Smoky Eye and Light Lip

To really bring the drama. Love this look. Use any colour, the darker the shade, the more dramatic. A great affordable pinky-nude lipstick to try with your smoky eye is L'Oreal Color Riche Star Secrets Lipstick in No. 715, Pink Beige.  

5. Miniskirts

Old Navy skirt, All Saints sandals
Hemlines rise and fall, and sometimes just sit somewhere in that awkward middle area (midi skirts, ugh).  But I am a fan of the mini. It is a great way to balance the proportion of a blowsy top or thick chunky sweater. Wear them with tights and tall boots if you feel like you need more coverage, and they take up no room in a suitcase, giving you endless possibilities.  You can try this classic version by Lee.

4. Loooooong bootcut jeans

New Look tall bootcut jeans, All Saints sandals.
This is a style that raged with popularity in the 90's, but are still quite prevalent today, despite the skinny-jean takeover. A long bootcut jean is universally flattering on all sorts of body types, and paired with a blowsy top, its a fantastic casual look that still looks polished. Some good ones to try are Levi's Demi Curve bootcut jeans, and Tommy Hilfiger Sophie bootcut jeans. Seven For All Mankind and Calvin Klein also make some fantastic options. 

3. Tunic Tops

J. Crew cotton tunic
The perfect holiday or weekend shirt, instantly chic without really having to do anything. Tunics look great with jeans, shorts, or over a bathing suit. Layer it under a jacket in winter, or if it is long enough, belt it and wear it as a dress. So darn easy. Just getting started? Try this most classic example; a white linen version from Laura Clement.

2. My Gray Hair

Yes, it strikes a lot of people as weird, old, or unkempt, but I like it. It's mine, I like that it makes me different, and I enjoy the discussion that it creates. For more on this topic, check out The Gray Area.

1. My Big, Black “Jackie O.” Sunglasses

Andrea Jovine sunglasses

I am tired of looking at aviator-style sunglasses.  When Wimbledon was on, all you could see in the stands were women in aviators. I suppose I get it, they're classic, but in my opinion, they are incredibly hard to wear for most face shapes (including 3/4 of the faces at Wimbledon). I much prefer the gigantically oversized black shades that were favoured by Jackie Kennedy-Onassis. By far my favourite accessory, these add instant glamour to anything you put on, and are also infinitely more comfortable on than anything with a wire frame, especially if you, like me, have a habit of putting your sunglasses on top of your head when you go into a store.  The bigger the better, if you ask me. Some of the most iconic ones I've seen are made by Gucci , although  Ralph Lauren  makes some slightly more affordable beauties as well.

As it turns out, I'm not the only one who has a very specific set of things in my fashion cache that make me,  There are a lot of us out there. Check out Not Dead Yet Stye's collection called "visible Monday". It's a collection of other bloggers, also not twenty-something, showing us their favourite personal style items.  Link to it here.  


  1. I freaking *love* this post, HF! I'm much older than you and have been going through the pop-culture vacuum for quite a while (Really? Nobody knew Revenge of the Nerds? What's next, no Animal House? No George Michael?)

    Your list is fabulous, and I like your attitude. Thanks so much for linking up to Visible Monday, and please come back any time : >

    1. I will indeed Patti, I added you to my Bloglovin' list of must-reads. I too admire your attitude. Its all in the name...NotDeadYet....awesome!

  2. I teach college and work very hard to try to keep my cultural references current, although it is a losing proposition. On the other hand, they don't get my cultural references any more than I do theirs. I'm totally with you on the grey hair and the jean jacket and bootcut jeans!

    1. You're right, it is indeed a losing proposition to try to stay on top of each and every new twenty something cultural trend. I also find it less and less attractive the older at get.

  3. Totally with you on the bootcut jeans. And gray hair. We can always find company somewhere, right?

  4. I adore woman who know their own style...and live it! So happy to have found your blog on Patti's Visible Monday!

    1. Glad you found me too Tamera, and the feeling is usual, I am glad to have found Patti and all of you as well!


Post a Comment

Talk to me...

Popular Posts