Wavy Alabaster

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the family paisley

the family paisley

Shining a new light on clothing that has seen more sunsets and acquired more dirt stains than I have scars is my definition of achievement these days. No one can deny the magic of vintage garments. They are broken in with secrets and memories. They outlast trends and spark conversations. Folks scour the world for them, open shops dedicated to them, pass them from generation to generation.  But, every once in a while, there is a piece that is acquired, whether through chance or purpose, that not only challenges your style, but evokes a deep connection . Each time you slip on this particular garment, hell each time you merely lock eyes with it, you are united with a place, a time period, or even a person.  

This paisley-printed button down was my father's when he was a young, adventurous boy.  When style meant nothing to him. He played ball in it, he ran down the sidewalks of Glen Rock, PA creating no good in it.  It was comfortable.  It was unique.  It was lived in.  He loved, and still loves, this shirt with every fabric of his being because "no one in my town had a shirt like this." My desire for hunting and gathering unique, one-of-a-kind garments was born with my father and his favorite shirt. When my parents downsized in light of their bold move to Florida, it was an item I had to have in my styling wheelhouse.  

My father stands out in a crowd and has never hid in the shadows. He creates his own light, even in the midst of some pretty dark times. This shirt has a playful, mischievous spirit.  I wanted to highlight this essence. The family paisley is paired with a ribbed mock neck tank from Free People and distressed denim shorts from Treasure&Bond from Nordstrom. I strayed away from a simple white tank because the boldness of the deep cranberry, for me, matched that of button down. Yet, the easy shape and solid color perfectly compliments the stand out print. 

I have never been the biggest fan of denim shorts. I gravitate more toward the ease of soft pants, dresses and skirts, but these cuffed boyfriend shorts are the perfect fit.  A nice mid-rise with decent length and balanced distressing. Length for me is key as it makes my long legs proportional to the rest of my body.  Distressed denim doesn't take itself too seriously and plays with the boyish spirit of this outfit, which balances the femininity of the Joe Lace Up Boots from Free People. 

This pair of boots is a statement in every sense of the word.  Feminine and strong; they provide that extra element of mischief and playfulness. When I lace up these boots, especially paired with my father's shirt, I can conquer anything, I am powerful.  Quite fitting as my father has been a constant source of strength in my life. He lit a path to guide me, to keep me safe, but never directed me where to go. He allowed me to be my own map. 

This is more than a shirt. 

It is a memento. It is a feeling.  It is a way to lessen the physical distance of my parents and myself. It will continue to be passed through our family, forever be to be treasured, and when someone asks, "where is that shirt from?" I will be proud to answer "from my poppa jack." 

No one can deny the magic of the family paisley. 

Cheers, Jessa

All photos by the lovely Jenn Ott (@jennotter)

// tank Free People, boots Free People, boyfriend shorts Treasure&Bond from Nordstrom, pendant necklace Free People, paisley button down Poppa Jack // 

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layer well

layer well

pale mess of mine

pale mess of mine