Style Story: Amber + the belt with a past

THIS I WEAR - Street Style, Amber

Amber is a recently returned NOLA native with the perfect mix of confidence and self-consciousness. While Amber’s style will pull you in, it’s her stories that will hold your attention. (And we didn’t even get to her colorful Toms wedges!) Like many of us, she’s shopping on a budget and trying to find clothes that fit well. She’s not afraid to show off her rocking little body or talk about her love of pockets. And I am happy to report that all of the (two) interviews I have done so far have references to housedresses.

What are you wearing today?

It’s a 50’s style denim-looking [dress] and a little woven belt.

How long have you had the dress?

I actually got it in New York at some random place. I think it was $15. It was near where I worked around 36th in Midtown in the Garment District.

What made you pick it out?

At that time, I had to dress in business casual, but sometimes those clothes are expensive. I went in to see what they had. It looked really comfortable, and it has pockets, which is really important to me. And it actually fit, which is pretty hard to do because I’m small.

What part of your outfit is most special to you?

The belt. It belonged to my long-term boyfriend’s mother’s best friend. She was a wonderful woman, and she recently passed away. She was tiny like me, so I got a lot of her wonderful hand-me-downs.

Do you think of her when you wear the belt?

Yes, but I didn’t know her so personally as my boyfriend’s mom did, but I like to wear things that have a story.

[Note: I did not pay her to say this!]

Do you have any good memories of her?

I actually got to know more about her through [her husband] after she passed away. You can tell by the clothes she used to wear that she was like a little “Jackie O.” She [had] all of her housedresses, perfectly buttoned up, and the best accessories. Just going through pictures of her and her old things, I got to learn more about her than I knew when she was with us. And I think it’s more for my boyfriend’s mom that I continue to wear these things. She gets very excited whenever she sees me wearing one of Mary’s dresses or Mary’s belts.

Because it reminds her of Mary?

Yes and that these things didn’t cease to exist. Somebody’s using it.

Name one item you’d love to add to your closet.

Recently I’ve been searching for a maxi dress that doesn’t have the low-v. And I’m really short, so everything I try on is really long.

Do you have to tailor a lot of your clothes?

I try not to. Tailoring can get really expensive, and just because you get it tailored doesn’t mean it is going to fit perfectly anyway. Tailoring feels like such an investment. I actually bought a sewing machine, but I actually broke it a week later. It’s gone now.

Were you planning to learn to sew?

That was the intention. It was when I was in New York, and I saw a cute little vintage compact sewing machine on Craigslist. I trucked all the way out to Brooklyn and carried this thing – it was like 30 lbs – on the subway. I got home, downloaded the instruction manual from a website, and then broke it almost immediately.

Did you leave it in NYC?

No, I brought it to Indiana, but my boyfriend’s mom threw it away for me, because she knew I had a hard time parting with it.

Thanks to Amber for the interview. Comment below or tweet @ThisIWear to share times you’ve been disappointed in Brooklyn, things a mom has thrown away for you, and/or your tips on finding petite clothing.

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