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Black Summer

When I was younger, I used to feel somewhat awkward about wearing black in the summer. I thought, “Summer is reserved for bright colors and whites! Take advantage of the sunny opportunities!” Obviously I’m over that now, but accepting black into my year-round wardrobe wasn’t always what I considered an option. Once I found I could comfortably say ,”this is me” when it comes to my personal style, that’s when I feel my style began to flourish. Instead of sampling a variety of fashion trends and inspirations, I no longer just get what I admire without thought as to what it would add or take away from my overall wardrobe style.
It takes a long time to become aware of your own comfort, detecting how often you could work that item into outfits and figuring out what you want it to say. For me, I’m just not comfortable with bright colors anymore.  I admire them on other people, designs, outfits, art, on walls, etc. Realizing bright colors weren’t “me” pushed me into creating a strong presence, but keeping to myself; I wouldn’t be able to achieve that (personally – though there’s plenty of badass minimal outfits I marvel at) with loud colors. Bright jewel tones were my thing for almost all of high school, and it brought me a lot of attention that I had to adjust to; I just enjoyed working the colors together. Perhaps you’re one who shies away from black or darker colors during the summer (or always) – that’s awesome and I admire that! My color theory comes down to personalities. Brighter colors symbolize outgoingness, and darker colors convey reservation. Each temperament can be friendly, but I prefer not sticking out too much if I can help it. I’m an introvert, it makes sense, right?
But I allow myself to have a lot of fun and freedom when I’m styling myself for photoshoots. Sorry to break it to ya, but I’m not usually wearing a maxi skirt with a giant black hat, platform sandals, odd glasses and a crop top all the time in the summer for daily events. It’s still me, but another side: the theatrical side. Realizing I wanted my movement to be uninhibited really began to nudge me into reserving outfits or certain pieces for artistic means instead of daily wear; though of course there’s a lot of mix-and-match going on within those two camps. If I lived in NYC or LA, my more outlandish artistic style would likely be often on display, but it doesn’t completely make sense for Portland because it’s so casual here. Not to say I’m not fashionable “irl” or don’t exhibit what I really do wear day-to-day on here – there’s a good mix of both that I showcase. But I tend to separate the impractically fun outfits from those I can run around downtown in to catch the bus and not be ogled at by nasty creeps for the rest of the 40-some minute bus ride home.
 There’s a kismet feeling I wait for when I browse fashion. When I saw these absolutely beautiful metal frame Polette sunglasses, I felt a meant-to-be moment. There’s a lot of eye candy out there to boggle at. But these sunglasses were an absolute must-have for both artistic and everyday situations because they just felt like “me.”
 Since this year has been stupid hot in Portland, I’ve been on the lookout for more sleeveless pieces to wear. The CN Direct black sleeveless vest dress proved it’s worth in professionalism (with a tank underneath and probably another knee-length skirt), comfort and sleekness. Adding a belt made it perfect for wearing it more casually as a dress. The platform 90’s stretch sandals enhanced the dress look and made this simple but perfectly handy faux leather purse from CN Direct tie in the whole look. If someone saw this outfit somewhere else and told me they thought it was very “me,” I’d be happy they thought of me.
 What are your thoughts on wearing black during hot weather? Is it foolish because it can attract more heat in the sun, or is it daring? …Or is it just “you”? Do you feel kismet moments with items? (Or am I just being silly and materialistic…?)

SILVER METAL FRAME CLEAR SUNGLASSES, INTUITION: POLETTEBLACK FAUX LEATHER VINTAGE STYLE SHOULDER BAG : CNDIRECT;  BLACK WAISTCOAT SLEEVELESS VEST DRESS: CN DIRECT.

PHOTOS: ALEX BAUMANN / AMMALYNN;   COPYRIGHT: AMANDA HATHEWAY / FASHION VEDGE, 2015 ( ALWAYS LINK BACK TO FASHIONVEDGE.COM )
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Amanda Hatheway

Vegan since 2011; artist and nerd since birth in 1990; portrait photographer; friendly and silly yet distinguished introvert; feminist and philosophical soul; partial to felines; hopes to help as many as possible with the truth about animals and what our actions means for all of us; plans to create a chic, ethical, all-vegan boutique in Portland that is as much about eternal style as it is about ethics.

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