In 2010, I was in a rut. My day job in the insurance industry was as boring as anything I could imagine doing for a living and paid so poorly that I could afford very little fun in my off hours. I craved glamour. I wanted macarons and fresh roses and beautiful clothes. And, more importantly, I wanted reasons to wear them. When I started Coco & Vera, I gave myself a reason to wear the beautiful clothes I loved. And, as time went on, I received more and more invitations to the kind of parties that demanded those beautiful clothes. I collected gowns and tulle skirts and satin shoes and I couldn’t have been happier.
I was twenty-five in 2010. In the ensuing years, my life, and what I want from it, has changed considerably. I started to wear a lot more jeans – and let’s be honest, a lot more yoga pants. I still love macarons, but more because I want to snack on them than because of how they look. One day, about a year and a half ago, I opened my closet and felt like I was faced with a wardrobe that belonged to someone else. So I cleaned out a lot of the gowns and the tulle skirts. I replaced them with black dresses, the kind I am happy to reach for over and over. But it wasn’t that simple.
The thing that hasn’t changed is Coco & Vera. My original reason for dressing up, for expanding the horizons of my wardrobe, remains. And so do many of the shopping habits that came with it. I love these photos we took at the Palais Royal garden in Paris this spring, featuring a tweed dress made by my dear friend Floriane Fosso. But when I look at them, I feel like I am watching myself play dress-up. I won’t hold back the truth: this dress is gorgeous, but I don’t wear it. It hangs in my closet, waiting for photo shoot days. I don’t feel like myself in overtly feminine and deliberately pretty outfits, not anymore. But I keep wearing them because that part of me that craves glamour is still there. And she has yet to figure out her new definition of glamour.
Shortly after we took these photos, I made a promise to myself: I will no longer buy anything just because I think it will look beautiful in photos. It doesn’t matter how fully formed my idea for a photo shoot is and how breathtaking I know it could be. I knew when I made that promise that the transition would not be easy. Of course, I still find myself tempted by beautiful dresses and lacy skirts and all kinds of pretty things I will never reach for when getting dressed in the morning. But I’m trying. All this to say that as time goes on, there will be less and less pretty-dress-with-macarons-and-roses style photos popping up in this space because that’s not what I wear anymore. These days, you’re much more likely to find me wearing culottes and a cropped sweater. And I’m pretty okay with that.