Shopping and Self-Care, My Time at Hi-Bred

In a world of chaos it feels like we all need a savior and those consistent moments for self care.This is lighter topic to give rest to some of the most recents posts that were saturated with lots of content and thought provoking ideas. I’ve been realizing that my mental health is just as important as the work I do for the community. I have to be sure that my mind is sharp and well rested and balanced, a day of shopping does that for me.

I absolutely love to spend time at my favorite stores enjoying the shopping experience. Nordstrom, Macys, Bloomingdales, Saks. I always enjoy those days where I’ve scheduled that to throw myself into racks of clothes, even ones I know I couldn’t afford even if I sold my soul. Lately as my style and esthetic has evolved I’ve been finding myself more intrigued and interested in shopping at sophisticated and independent owned boutiques.

Nearly two months ago I paid a quick visit with a friend to a lovely vintage boutique in East Walnut Hills, Hi-Bred. My first time in the store was brief but it left a lasting impact. I was there on a mission for someone else so I wasn’t able to completely immerse myself into the tables, racks and shelves of clothes shoes and accessories that surrounded me. Being completely honest I’m not the biggest fan of vintage clothing, my style esthetic is more contemporary but with a hint of an homage to classic glamour. But I was immediately taken in by the stunning fabrics and textiles that my eyes and hands couldn’t ignore. While my friend was in the dressing room I immediately began fingering through the racks the stuffed racks of color coordinated gowns and suits trying viciously to resist the urge to try anything on.

Even after my visit was over the shop remained in my mind. I contacted my friend who is also friends with Shauna, the fantastic and whimsical owner of Hi-Bred to see if she’d be interested in allowing me to come by and take a closer look at her store, try on a couple of eye catching pieces and take a “few” photos, thankfully she agreed she was more excited and extremely welcoming to the idea.

I came back on a breezy and cool afternoon, this time I immediately dove into the clothes that surrounded me flipping through dresses and suits and separates. I picked up things I knew wouldn’t even fit over my annoying growing a** but I felt attached to. In the meantime my friend picked up several things he wanted me to try as well.

There was a richness in the variety in the texture in the quality of every garment. I tried on several looks but only five made it to the mini photo shoot we staged around the store. The prints the heavy bead work and delicate lace and regal taffeta, all of it made this experience for me. One of the most memorable pieces for me was this all white lace and sheer chiffon tea length dress. It was weightless and angelic and from the moment I put it on I felt as if I was supposed to live in this dress. I immediately pictured it paired with a pair of silver feathered and jeweled pointed toe Manolo Blahniks and a silver clutch and oversized chunky cocktail ring to toughen it up a bit. I saw myself in it as a guest at a garden wedding in the early weeks of summer or out on a crispy windy day in Beverly Hills doing some high end shopping. I can’t get it out of my mind the perfect clash of modest and sexy, a sweet southern bell with a twist of contemporary girl in the big city, very much that easy but fashionista sort of style Sarah Jessica Parker posses, Manolos are her go to shoe.

MY BODY IS ART AND ITS MY JOB TO ADORN IT. FASHION HAS NEVER FAILED ME, BUT INSTEAD SERVED AS A BAND-AID TO ALL OF MY OPEN WOUNDS.

My body is radical and rare in its existence and I’m proud to document this journey. My body is so beyond imperfect that I love to celebrate it. I want to be proud of who I am and where I am and I think it’s even more important for me to be aware of that and prideful of that as I’m embarking on this physical journey where my body is also finding it’s own way and coming into an understanding and settling of its self.

For the first time in a long time I felt alive, shopping does that for me. No matter what I’m going through fashion makes me feel invincible and beautiful. In a world where I so often question myself in those moments when I am shopping I feel undoubting beautiful and powerful without a need for validation. Dressing up everyday is my way of recreating that feeling of power and undoubting beauty, giving me the confidence and validation I need to power through my day.

I didn’t get through nearly all of the clothes that we pulled but the mini photo sessions we set up for the five looks I did try were fantastic. They were scattered all over the store. One taking place at the front in my favorite white lace dress where I spread out on the the retro couch ending with a romantic barefoot twirl for the camera, another wearing a stunning beaded green suit in the front windows amongst the mannequins, a third under a gazebo across the street from the store in a vintage yellow polka dot dress, the fourth at the back of the store next to a ladder positioned to fix the majestic lighting above in a resort/ cruise wear look and the final look on the steps right outside the back door of the boutique against the red brick building which worked in amazing contrast with the dress. I wore a divine cerulean blue taffeta cocktail dress with a bubble skirt. That look came in a very close second with the white lace dress. It looked, felt and fit like couture, truly a dress made for me. I’ve never had a dress off the rack fit so impeccably and so flattering to my changing body and gave me fantastic cleavage. Not to even mention the color was an absolute win for my skin tone.

I returned to the black Michael Kors jumpsuit and patent leather peep Jessica Simpson pumps and I came in and said my thank yous and goodbyes. I was sad to leave but I left on a high that lasted the remainder of the day and even now I get high thinking about the moment I spent there even now as I sit on stairs writing this in my sheer red backless Victoria’s Secret night gown and well worn Birkenstocks (yes I do wear comfy flat shoes when I’m at home……most of the time).

Experiences like these give me life and remind me to feel worthy. Especially at such a pivotal time in my life when half my wardrobe no longer fits over my legs and butt and chest. I crack a smile every time I close my eyes and play back the video of myself twirling in that lace dress to This Is What Makes Us Girls by Lana Del Rey. If your form of self care is shopping ( which I encourage everyone to try it) be sure to visit Shauna at Hi-Bred for an amazing time or just go out and visit any independent boutiques or stores for a unique experience.

Be sure to check out the pictures for this post!!!

Hi-Bred
2807 Woodburn avenue
Tuesday- Saturday 12-7p.m.

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