It was a wintry afternoon in 2010 during cheer practice. I was bundled in a hot pink Victoria Secret Pink crew neck, black velour track pants and knitted black Uggs when my fellow cheerleader and friend turned to me and said:
“Kristin, I love your outfit. You have the BEST style.”
The last five words echoed in my ears and seemed to cement in my mind. Me? Style?
I’d wager you expect that this exclamation was one of many I had received back then. After all, at age five, I discovered my mother’s collection of Vogue magazines under her sink cabinet and fell in love with fashion. From then, I went on to sketch clothes and play dress up in my mother’s treasure trove of a closet (half of my wardrobe now is a collection of her ‘80s and ‘90s gems). I was groomed to embody style and grace.
Alas, like all kids I had quite the awkward phase up to that point.
Prior to this compliment, I had survived a seven-year sentence in a Catholic grade school uniform followed by some questionable fashion choices in middle school like Limited Too (now called Justice) mixed with Abercrombie & Fitch tossed in with angsty grey skinny jeans (an atrocious combination, I know).
But in high school, everything changed.
I had a fresh slate, fresh wardrobe, and apparently a fresh identity as a fashionista. Those words from an older cheerleader, naturally, initiated decade-long cultivation of style that has transformed tremendously over the years. But somehow, each phase of life, I became known as the fashion girl. In honor of the upcoming decade, here’s my 10-year ensemble evolution.
2010: Kristin the Accessory Aficionado
At thirteen years old, I had a thing for statement necklaces and strapless dresses. This layered combo featuring a cameo charm is foreshadowing of my draw to bygone eras. But in the meantime, I had not touched a single vintage outfit and frequented fast-fashion haunts like Forever21 and H&M.
2011: Kristin the Princess
I wore this glimmering garment to my freshman homecoming. The powder pink dress was a clear choice after some little girls peaked through the Betsey Johnson window while I was trying it on and said, “look mommy, there’s a princess in there!” Needless to say, Betsey Johnson became my go-to at most formal events that year.
2012: Kristin the Prepster
Eyelet shorts, floppy hats, and pinstripe collared shirts? Oh my! 2012 was the age of J.Crew and Blair Waldorf inspo, thanks to my newfound obsession with Gossip Girl. In addition, 2012, was the first time I started wearing blazers (not pictured) because of Lauren Conrad’s Style guide, which I basically treated like my fashion bible. Blazers are still alive and well in my closet today (so is this shirt).
2013: Kristin the Edgy Girl
High tops and acid wash jean jackets with crochet shorts by day and black tulle skirts with charcoal tweed jackets by night! I favored a ton of black, beanies, and studs my junior and senior year. Call it a mid-high school crisis. Call it the side effects of having mostly guy friends that were also my short-lived bandmates (hey, we won battle of the bands so it was a successful run!). Either way, I was living on the edge with the wind in my colossal tresses. Side note, this was also the year I started my fashion blog!
2014: Kristin in Boho
I had a brief boho stint brought on by living by the beach for the first time in my life. As a freshman at Pepperdine, my friends and I frequented Malibu sea and sand, so with it came breezy floral dresses, flowy shorts, and crochet cardigans. My style evoked the bohemian elements of an established ready-to-Wear brand like a Chloe or fashion-forward celebrities at Coachella.
2015: Kristin in Kensington (London)
Ah, my beloved London. The English capital became my soul city for the year that I lived there, which is why it significantly impacted my style. I refer you to 2015 me who put it best: “After such a short amount of time, this city has become a part of me–it is me. Among the natives, you’ll find me with a good book and an excellent cup of caffeine as well. I’ll probably be wearing a wool coat, button down, and some trousers like I am here. And you bet your biscuits and tea that I shall explore my surroundings afterwards. This isn’t to say that they transform my look into something more aesthetically European–it only means that my style evolves; it is still my own, but different. In fact, it may be more true to my personal style.”
2016: Kristin Hepburn
An ongoing admiration for Audrey Hepburn finally manifested in my closet after watching all her movies, reading her biography and traveling to places that she held dear. I’m talking about getting a drastic haircut a la Roman Holiday, dressing like the refined Eliza Dolittle in Covent Garden, sporting Jo Stockton’s (Funny Face) black monochrome look with loafers and a trench coat in Paris and a Breakfast at Tiffany’s LBD to afternoon tea for my 20th birthday. To this day, I have an Audrey phone case and refer to her chic clothing philosophy when I get dressed in the morning.
2017: Kristin the Parisian and Historical Fiction Heroine
My aesthetic two years ago would alternate between what a french woman would wear while dining al fresco to what my a female protagonist in a classic novel would be clad in. Naturally I found myself in off-the-shoulder, medium length dresses during the summer and a beret and cashmere sweater during the winter. In both seasons, I accessorized with my latest read in hand. That much has not changed and won’t in the next decade.
2018: Kristin in Vintage
While I incorporated vintage pieces here and there in previous years, 2018 was when consigned and handpicked throwback pieces from my mother, grandmother and a cool aunt began to dominate my closet. Think heirloom designer bags, old world brooches added on to a modern, high-end suit, ’80s and ’90s dresses and gold jewelry.
2019: Kristin in [Old] Hollywood
This year was the year of red carpets. Due to my jobs at Entertainment Weekly and The Hollywood Reporter, I would find myself covering events in Hollywood anywhere from once to three times a week. Observing the celebrities I interviewed, I naturally learned what looked the most flattering on camera and in photos. Such tricks I took into my own dressing while still keeping my signature vintage soul sensibilities. I dress to flatter my body, wear more color and value the power of tasteful makeup and accessories for final touches. Oh, and I wear heels way more often, better to take over the world in.
Disclaimer: My fashion today still contains traces of my personas of the past. Fashion is ever-evolving, and that’s why I love it so much. What is your favorite phase of my style? Let me know in the comments!
Keeping it Krischic,
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