I Auditioned for my First Role in 7 Years, Here’s How it Went (and what I Wore)

audition outfit

I Auditioned for my First Role in 7 Years, Here's How it Went (and what I Wore)

by Veronica R.

Fair warning my friend, what follows is a story of serendipity, passion and heartbreak. Oh yes, and of course, a heaping dose of melodrama. But let’s just jump right in, shall we?

A few weeks ago, I woke up on what should’ve been a glorious sunny morning feeling… off. Just a few days prior, I’d been happily musing over the fact that I’d spent the beginning of my twenties meticulously ticking things off my bucket list: traveling the world, getting engaged, going to Fashion Week, growing a YouTube channel, learning instruments, etc. And yet, it felt like something was missing. 

The stage.

Performing and I have had an on-again-off-again relationship since I started (and stopped soon after) acting in elementary school. I’ve always struggled with pretty crippling anxiety but in high school, I joined the school Musical in my Senior year and overcome my stage fright for good.

Or so I thought.

Fast forward about 7 years, and somehow, my stage fright had come back with a vengeance. Still, I couldn’t deny how much I missed it. I missed the lights, the community, the energy. But most of all, I missed that electric moment right before going on stage. If meditation is the art of being fully present, than performing is perhaps my greatest form of meditation; in no other situation have I ever felt such a wonderful mix of electricity and peace. I knew someday soon, I wasn’t going to be able to deny this inner longing anymore, I’d have to take action.

I just didn’t think it would be so soon.

audition outfit

See, my brain’s version of “soon” would have been preferably… never. It would’ve loved for me to simply complain about this dilemma for the rest of my life, but never actually leave my comfort zone long enough to do anything about it. But someone up there must have heard my plea and they were terrifyingly efficient in answering the call (now, if we could just get that same level of enthusiasm at the DMV). Because the very same day I cried about all of this to my fiancee, I ran into an old friend who mentioned she was doing the costumes for The Producers. In fact, she was working for the same theater that I had last performed at 7 years prior. Excited, I asked her if she knew of any upcoming auditions.

“Well, we’re auditioning for The Producers on the 29th!” she said.

“Oh, okay! Of March?” I asked, as February was just about to end.

“No, like in 2 days.”

I was, at once, filled with both excitement and dread. Excitement because I was getting what I wanted! And dread because… well.. I was getting what I wanted. I knew I needed to do this. I had no choice. How could I complain all morning, but turn away the moment the solution was right there in front of me? It wasn’t ideal, but nonetheless, with 2 days to prepare, I ran home and obsessively practiced my audition song.

When that fateful day finally rolled around, a new kind of panic set in. The omgwhatamigoingtowear??? panic. How should I present myself for such a critical (in every sense of the word), moment? What exactly is the proper attire for your first musical debut in several years wherein you must both stand out but dress comfortably enough to dance and sweat and sing and not worry about a wardrobe malfunction?

I avoided choosing an outfit until the last possible moment, intentionally denying myself time to overthink it. Dressing instinctually, I chose the black-leggings-black-turtleneck combo so common in the theater, and to add a little pizazz, wore what I like to call my bad-ass ballerina flats. A lovely combo of nude, pink, unassuming flats with tough, black buckles and mismatched bows tied around my ankles. It’s my go to shoe whenever I feel the need to express that I’m multifaceted (which is often), and I hoped that would be the message received, not that I’m blind.

I raced to the audition and even made it there early. So early in fact, it seemed like no one else was there except for one other actor waiting in his car. The theater was locked, no lights were on, so I waited in my car too with a sinking feeling that something wasn’t right. By this point, auditions should’ve been starting by now, and that’s when my fear was confirmed. As the other actor was about to leave, he graciously told me the auditions had been moved to a completely different location. Thankfully, he kindly let me follow him to the proper place but forget about being early, now I’d absolutely be late. 

Regardless, I walked in with my head held high and introduced myself. Before I knew what was happening the auditions were beginning. I was up there, belting my heart out and dancing with no real training. Yet somehow, I felt so much more comfortable than I expected. It was over in a flash and I left the audition feeling like a million bucks.

The next day, while thrifting, I got a call I didn’t see coming at all.

theater outfits
winter outfits idea

“We’d like you to come back and audition for the role of Ulla,” I heard the lovely director saying in my ear. In a predominantly male play, Ulla is basically the only female lead. I couldn’t believe it. However, if I thought I was nervous before, now I was completely panicked. I had less than 48 hours to prepare a much bigger song in between working full time. I spent every spare second listening to the soundtrack, running to the bathroom to practice in the mirror whenever I could and belting my heart out on my commute. While before, I’d been able to tell myself that I didn’t care about getting a big part, the big part, once it was dangled in front of me, I knew I wanted it more than anything, and I was going to give it all I had.

Yet again, I found myself standing before the casting crew. A strange sense of confidence was taking me over and I pulled out all the stops I could. I danced, I shook, I shimmied and put on my best Swedish accent.  I had no idea where all of this was coming from, but I felt like for the first time in such a long time, I was really living the life I was supposed to be living, and dare I say it… maybe even had a real shot.

Then, after a hearing a comment someone made before I left, I knew instantly I wasn’t getting the part. Even so, it didn’t hurt any less when I got the call confirming it the next day. The director offered me a part at least, which, I had to remind myself was my biggest dream just two days ago. I knew I should’ve been grateful, I was grateful. Still, after working so tirelessly, giving it all I possibly had and learning my best wasn’t good enough, I accepted the offer, said thank you and promptly burst into tears the moment we hung up.

Now, I can’t lie. That day, I was being quite the drama queen. I was exhibiting the kind of mourning generally reserved for situations like the airport losing your luggage with like, ALL of your favorite clothes in it. Because part of me was mourning something very special. Though it was short lived, I’d spent so much time getting close to the idea of Ulla. I had intensely imagined wearing her costumes, learning her numbers, her personality, her accent. But Ulla wasn’t mine to play, and saying goodbye to that dream was heartbreaking. 

Dealing with rejection and heartbreak sucks. But here’s the thing. Sometimes, it’s vital. Sometimes we think we’re comfortable where we are, but really, we’re just trapped. Fear is convincing us to stay put, to avoid following our hearts because it’ll only lead to trouble. However, I started to realize… maybe I wanted a little trouble..? Maybe I wanted the messy, imperfect chaos of life. Maybe I wanted my heart to be liberated, to lead me through the good and the bad. Maybe I wanted, not a boring, safe life, but a full life. Sometimes, when our hearts are stuck shut off to the rest of the world, we need something to break them open, to let new light in. 

And in that new light, I saw everything so clearly. I saw that this wasn’t the end of the road, but only the beginning. I saw the fire within me, awakened. I saw my heart breaking again and again if that’s what it would take to live my dreams. I saw more strength and courage within myself than I’d seen in a long time. I saw the person I was really born to be. 

And I can’t wait to become her. 

What New York Fashion Week Taught me About Living Your Deams

New York Fashion Week guest

What New York Fashion Week Taught Me About Living Your Dreams

by Veronica R.

One glorious morning a few weeks ago, my friend, Sydney, (hey Syd), who works in the magical world of fashion sent me one of the greatest texts I’ve ever received: 

“I might be able to get you into a runway show.” 

My heart nearly burst out of my chest. As someone who’d always hoped that one day, maybe, just maybe, after I became a celebrity (for doing who knows what… locking my keys in my car one too many times..?), I may be invited to the exclusive and elusive Fashion Week. It was a dream I wouldn’t even dare allow myself to fully dream because it felt so far removed from who I was. Rather, it was just a hazy image nestled into some dark corner of my psyche that I’d occasionally peek at when drooling over all the girls on Instagram who’s lives I desperately admire. 

Yet, somehow, my dream was coming true and so much faster than I anticipated! As I was drafting up my list of 2020 goals I would’ve added NYFW to the list had I thought there was even the slightest chance it could happen for me! It was an unforgettable experience to say the least, but perhaps most unforgettable, were the 5 lessons the experience taught me about living your dreams. 

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New York Fashion Week guest
Green embroidered dress

1. Your Dream will Make You Feel Resistant – Do it Anyway 

After days of holding my breath, at 10:30pm before the big day, I get the confirmation. It’s no longer a maybe, I’m going to my first ever NYFW runway show. I see the all holy barcode hit my e-mail inbox and I can hardly believe it. And yet… almost immediately after I scream with delight, I’m ambushed by dread. An idea slowly creeps into my brain. 

Maybe I shouldn’t go… 

Why on earth would I think that when clearly, this was a moment I’d been waiting for forever and may never come around again? But to my dismay, worse thoughts were right behind it. 

Everyone will be mean to me, I hear it’s filled with snooty people… What if I get lost? I won’t know what I’m doing and everyone will be able to tell! Now I have to buy train tickets and metro cards.. I shouldn’t spend the money…

And the age old zinger: what on earth am I going to wear?!?!?!?! 

Thankfully, I’d been low-key planning my Fashion Week debut ensemble for years should this day ever come. Something bold of course, this is the ultimate excuse to dress up after all! I decided to channel Gucci and wear one of my latest thrift scores: an emerald green dress covered in embroidery, beading and rhinestones. I layered it over a second dress with a Peter Pan collar (1. for warmth 2. for cuteness) and styled it with a green belt, socks and heels. 

Creating the outfit had given me a burst of positive energy, but the moment I was done, my brain was back to convincing me not to go. I believe this is what Steven Pressfield has coined “Resistance” in The War of Art. It’s the idea that anytime we’re called to do something wonderful, make art, step outside our comfort zone, live our truest destiny, we essentially go through the hero’s journey. We get the call, but we’re afraid of it. We resist it. Some people go on resisting their whole life, feeling guilty for never leaving their comfort zone but fearfully staying comfortable nonetheless and regretting it once it’s too late. 

I wasn’t about to be one of those people. I was going to see this journey through to the end.  

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2. “Self-made” Doesn’t Exist 

As I sent myself into a frenzy trying to prepare, I was shocked and touched by how everyone around me was not only just as excited, but willing to help make it all possible. My Mom offered to spend her Sunday morning driving me to the train station rather than sleeping in. My sister gave me her train tickets and Metro card that she could’ve used for herself. My fiancee also gave me his metro card and offered to pick me up from the station when I got home.

But the kindness didn’t end there. 

On my disgustingly-early-for-a-Sunday train, I coincidentally ran into my friends John and Bridgette, on their way to a parade in Chinatown just 4 minutes from where I was headed. The whole way there, they happily helped me take pictures of my outfit, very important for such a momentous occasion! Then there was Aaron, the sweetheart standing next to me wearing fabulous blue cowboy boots. We struck up conversation and as soon as he heard this was my first NYFW, he took me under his wing and guided me along as the seasoned vet he is. 

What I couldn’t stop thinking throughout this whirlwind day though, (other than OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG), was that somehow, despite the fact that I’m essentially, how shall I put this mildly… a f*cking nobody, I’d made it to Fashion Week! And in such an endearing way, it was clear that I couldn’t have done this alone. 

And then it hit me… “self-made” is a fallacy. 

We all have help, in big ways or small. When you fill the majority of your life with wonderful, supportive, caring people, they want to see you succeed just as much as you do.

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Bevza 2020 runway show
Blue Cowboy boots

3. Nobody is a Nobody  

I walked into the bright, airy studio overlooking a stunning view of Manhattan and suddenly found myself seated next to some of my biggest inspirations. Was I seriously breathing the same air as Eliza Cardinal Tamkin from Man Repeller? Was I really sharing precious and limited but-cheek space with Stephanie Arant on the bench? Was I honestly having a casual conversation with Alyssa Coscarelli about her Miu Miu shoes? And part of me wondered… what was I doing there again? I began to realize what an ironic choice my emerald dress was… 

I was quite literally and obviously very green in this whole world of fashion.

Then it hit me: Yes, yes I am sitting here with all of these wildly successful and prominent people. And the reason they’re all here is because at one point, when perhaps they were still “nobodies” like me, they believed that they were somebody with something to say and something wonderful to share with the world. Thus, they grew to be the icons they are today. 

So if I could be there, in the same room with all of them, what’s stopping me from being in their position one day too? The space between us was drastically decreased, and it was humbling to realize that they’re all just humans. Talented, hardworking, successful humans, but humans. And I remembered that I too am somebody with something to say and wonderful things to share with the world. Aren’t we all? 

Because at the end of the day, “Somebodies” are just somebody, and nobody is a Nobody. 

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Claire Rose at Bevza
Michelle Song at Bevza 2020

4. The Universe is Totally on Your Side  

Okay so maybe not totally… we’ve all had those days when your hair sucks and every light is red and you’ve spilled the smoothie you made in effort to “start the day right” all over yourself and you find yourself screaming “why have you forsaken me smoothie!?!” On days like that it feels like every force in the galaxy has it out for you. 

But seriously, not to sound completely woo-woo, but The Universe, God, Mother Nature, The Powers That Be, whatever you prefer to call it, is vast, right? So just as much as there’s space for unknown forces that seem to be having a good laugh at your expense, there’s absolutely space for forces of nature that are 100% rooting for you (get it? Nature?? Rooting!??) And I’ve noticed that the more we focus on our good fortune, and the closer we get to living our destiny, the more that good fortune grows.

This was one of those days where everything was just going right! Between having friends and family who even care to help me get into NYFW, randomly meeting my friends on the train and ending up in line next to someone so kind, it seemed like these were little validations that I’m on the path I’m supposed to be on. And as one last little happy coincidence, as I left the show on cloud 9 and walked towards Miu Miu to window shop, I accidentally ran into KarenBritChick, another one of my all time biggest inspirations. I’d been playing it cool and holding back much of my excitement all day, but when this happened, it seemed like all my dreams were coming true at once and… well… I totally fangirled. Oops. 

If I scared you with my overzealousness, I do apologize, Karen. 

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Bevza 2020 runway show
Bevza 2020 runway show

5. You’ve Found Your Calling When You’re Eating Everyone Else’s Shit Sandwich 

I first heard this term in Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic (which is a serious must read BTW). The original idea comes from Mark Manson. He believes that “everything sucks, some of the time.” It’s up to us to decide what sucky things we’re willing to put up with, in other words, what shit sandwich we’re willing to eat, in order to do what we truly love. 

So the next day, after it felt like some Cinderella-status enchantment had worn off, I was back to my day job. I was regaling a few work friends with my fashionable adventures when one of them very frankly said “oh yeah, I went to that a few years ago. Hated it.” 

Ironically, his name is Frank. 

It was comments like these that had contributed to my Resistance before the show. For years I’d lusted over the idea of Fashion Week, and was disappointed every time I read an article or heard an interview with someone who revealed all it’s worst qualities. They didn’t like how tiny the benches were, they said everyone who went was stuck up, they said it was boring, etc. I half expected to find myself feeling the same way but all I could think was how exhilarating all of this was!

But that’s the thing. It all depends on your taste for shit. I was willing to loose sleep, spend hours traveling, walk around in the cold with my hands going numb and maybe even deal with some rude people just to be a part of the action. I adored waiting in line to watch slinky models march down the runway for 15 minutes with music pumping so loudly you can feel your heart vibrate. For many people I know, that’s a shit sandwich they’d never be interested in eating. 

But truth be told, I can’t wait to eat it again and again. 

New York City buildings
green embroidered dress

10 Outfits from The Nanny to Copy Right Now

10 Outfits from The Nanny to Copy Right Now

by Veronica Rush

Growing up, there were few people whose style I worshipped more than Fran Fine. She’s bold, unconventional and fearless when it comes to getting dressed, a true femme fatale. And 8 year old me didn’t understand why I wasn’t allowed to totter around in stiletto heels and micro skirts just like her. But more than 25 years later, after the first episode aired, the archive of inspiration from The Nanny is ripe with incredible outfits, all of which I can now proudly say I don’t need my Mommy’s approval to wear. (Sorry Mom.) Of course, with 6 seasons to binge and several incredible ensembles per episode, there are WAY more looks to borrow from Fran that I haven’t even touched upon here. But keep reading, because I’ve chosen 10 of Fran’s best moments that would have Mr. Sheffield’s jaw to the floor. 

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Outfit #1 - Episode: An Offer She Can't Refuse

Source: tumblr

SIMILAR ITEMS HERE:

One of the most iconic and my personal favorite outfits from The Nanny is this Herve Leger dress paired with this amazing Moschino heart bag. I’m definitely wearing something similar this Valentine’s Day! While the dress itself is may seem like your average LBD, the neckline and structure set it apart with all it’s va-va-voooooom! The bag is such a refreshing and whimsical touch that really elevates the look, proving that even when going the more classic route, Fran has to do something to stand out.

Outfit #2 - Episode: You Bette Your Life

Source: @whatfranwore

SIMILAR ITEMS HERE:

Moschino Piano Skirt, Anthropologie Piano Skirt, Moschino Piano Dress

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Now this is by far my all time favorite outfit from Fran. It’s the look I dream about at night, wondering when I’ll ever get my hands on such a fantastic piece. (In fact, I once even had the exact vintage Moschino skirt in my Etsy cart and didn’t purchase it in time. It still haunts me). Especially as a budding musician now, I sometimes wonder if this skirt didn’t single handedly push me towards picking up the piano in the first place. 

Outfit #3 - Episode: That's Midlife

Source: Racked

SIMILAR ITEMS HERE:

It just doesn’t get more badass diva than this. The sunnies, the fur coat, the fact she’s even wearing a fur coat with white shorts. It’s kind of confusing and fully fabulous. Not to mention, this years hottest accessory is a sassy, sarcastic butler, so like, super on trend. 

Outfit #4: Episodes - An Offer She Can't Refuse &
The Hockey Show

Source: IMDB

SIMILAR ITEMS HERE:

Teezaz Queens College Top, Dancewear Solutions Red Jersey,

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There were two moments when Fran wore oversized menswear and despite the fact that it went completely against her usual figure-hugging style, she still made it totally sexy. This Queens College top gets turned up a notch with her pigtails. And the messy bun and giant red jersey that she wears during a strip tease have me searching endlessly for something similar in every thrift store I visit. 

Outfit #5 - Episode: Unknown

Source: @whatfranwore

SIMILAR ITEMS HERE:

Another killer Moschino moment. This outfit is perfect for those days you want to look like the coolest Girlscouts leader EVER. And who cares if you can’t find a jacket with patches already sewn on? I say, grab any pink jacket and start “earning” patches for whatever you deem important enough to get one for. Paid your bills on time this month? That deserves a patch! Before you know it, you’ll be covered in patches that actually mean something to you. 

Outfit #6 - Episode: Unknown

Source: @whatfranwore

SIMILAR ITEMS HERE:

Have we realized yet that Moschino basically created all of my favorite Fran Fine looks? Because this is yet another one. It’s such a perfect take on the simple jeans-and-a-top look and proves it’s possible to stand out even in the most simple of outfits. 

Outfit #7 - Episode: Pilot

Source: @whatfranwore

SIMILAR ITEMS HERE:

Another whimsical piece from Moschino, but this one is extra special being that it’s the first Moschino outfit we see Fran in! The collar is absolutely brilliant and the cherry buttons are too cool. We saw fruit inspired pieces in high supply last year so creating a similar look is actually quite doable! 

Outfit #8 - Episode: Unknown

Source: @whatfranwore

SIMILAR ITEMS HERE:

Here’s a look that’s actually NOT Moschino… Okay I lied it is Moschino. But it reminded so much of this fabulous sweater I once spotted from Suki LA! Being that it was vintage, it’s no longer available, but I’ve done my best to link a ton of other similar options above. 

Outfit #9 - Episode: Unknown

Source: @whatfranwore

SIMILAR ITEMS HERE:

This Todd Oldham dress was one of my all time favorite style moments from her. The colors and the pattern are reminiscent of a gorgeous tapestry from Asia and the cut is just to die for! Paired with yet another heart shaped mini bag by Moschino and some sheer tights, it was so flawless. I love how Fran isn’t afraid to layer statement pieces rather than just picking one. 

Outfit #10 - Episode - Material Fran

Source: @whatfranwore

SIMILAR ITEMS HERE:

And finally, last but not least, this little number. A fuzzy robe with a tiara? Yes please! This is the ultimate style statement that says even when lounging around in pajamas, you can still be utterly fabulous. 

I hope these looks inspire you as much as they’ve inspired me over the years! Fran was absolutely a woman who knew the world was her runway and was fearless when it came to style. Let me know if I missed any gems in the comments below and until next time, don’t forget, the world is your runway too!  

Wear is… Kate Glavan?

Hi! Welcome back to Wear is She Wednesdays, a series that highlights one special girl each week to let her shine! Every Wednesday, we feature a different “she,” and get the scoop on her style, what makes her tick, and how the heck we can learn to be as awesome as she is. Today we’re asking the question everyone wants to know… Wear is Kate Glavan?

a selfie of Kate Glavan

WEAR IS... KATE GLAVAN?

In a world where it often seems that women must choose between style and intelligence, it's not everyday we see someone so effortlessly and fearlessly vying for both. That is until you meet Kate Glavan. She is perhaps the most fashionable future Lawyer you could ever hope to know. She's a sustainability supporter and a power suit partisan and one to keep your eye on because in a few years, she might just save the planet. Keep reading for her thoughts on pantsuits, running shoes and taking chances.

Hi, Kate! Please introduce your wonderful self!

Hi, I'm Kate Glavan, a Pre-Law and Politics Student at New York University in NYC! I'm currently working as a research assistant at a government tech startup called Supersystem, where we are building a digital platform to make government services more accessible for users. 

I am also doing research for a law professor at New York University. And I have my own personal blog where I compile a bi-weekly newsletter to make politics, environmental and climate news as well as sustainability tips more accessible to the average news consumer!

1. What was your personal style journey like? And did you make any mistakes along the way?

My style developed throughout high school, then again when I moved to New York three years ago for college. I fell in love with thrifting in Minnesota as a way to reduce my own environmental impact by avoiding fast-fashion. It's a way to refuse wasteful consumption, plus you can regenerate a new life in an acquired item. I always love imagining the person who wore some of my crazy pantsuits or vintage bags in a past life.

The hunt of finding a piece that you love makes some of my favorite thrifted items so special to me. I will always remember the corner of a jam-packed thrift store where I found the piece. When I moved to New York, I felt a pressure to save up to buy designer pieces... but luckily got over it. I have a few pieces from when I worked in the fashion industry as a freshman, but now look to secondhand marketplaces for designer goods. I love TheRealReal.

Kate Glavan in grocery store
Democracy is not a spectator sport

2. Who or what inspires your style most currently? 

Leandra Medine has always been, and to this day, [is still] my biggest style inspiration. She truly reinvigorated personal style that challenges traditional norms and what it means to be a "woman" in the modern world. I've been loving ways to incorporate sportiness into my look, whether it be through a baseball hat, leather crossbody bag, sneakers, or a vintage crew-neck sweatshirt. It's really nice for on-the-go, especially if I'm running to or from a workout class and still want to be polished in New York!

3. Is there anything on your thrift list right now?

Yes! I am always on the hunt for perfectly fitting trousers. I am a sucker for a pantsuit. I have about 6 vintage blazer / pant or skirt sets that I plan to wear to law school, one day. *fingers crossed* I'm pretty tall (6'0) so I never get to purchase any cool vintage shoes, unfortunately, but I always dream of acquiring a vintage loafer or oxford. (Sometimes I shop in the men's section for shoes and coats, too!)

a close up of Kate Glavan's outfit
a mirror selfie of of Kate Glavan

4. What’s one tip you could share for finding your personal style?

Take risks! Try again! Purchase what you find yourself frequently gravitating towards and wearing on most days. I used to tell myself I should stop buying white or creme blouses, but realized that is a staple in how I like to get dressed. Always spend your money on pieces for longevity, things you wear each day and will wear for long periods of your life. I will always buy myself nice running shoes (Hokas!!!) and vintage coats, for example. 

5. What’s your current favorite item in your wardrobe and why?

This floor-length vintage houndstooth trench coat I found back home in Minnesota 🙂 It's so perfect to throw over a boring outfit since it's so long and covers everything. I feel really powerful walking around New York in such an amazingly tailored, strong piece.

a mirror selfie of Kate Glavan
Kate Glavan selfie

6. And the bonus question I like to ask everyone before they go: What’s something you’re really proud of right now?

Pushing myself academically and professionally since moving to New York and taking a chance on myself to pursue law school.

Where else can we find you, Kate?

My Instagram is @kateglavan and my blog is kateglavan.wordpress.com! You can sign up to receive my bi-weekly newsletter, here. 

The 4 Staples of the Perfectly Extra Birthday Ensemble

birthday outfit ideas

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audrey hepburn from breakfast at tiffany's

The 4 Staples of the Perfectly Extra Birthday Ensemble

by Veronica Rush

So January is my birthday month. And that generally means a glittery weekend spent in New York City to celebrate, but not before a major panic attack (or several) in front of my suitcase asking the question that has baffled the greatest thinkers of our time for years: but what will I wear? Now, while I generally enjoy being a little outlandish with my style, for whatever reason, the fact that it’s my birthday turns me into a totally gaudy train wreck. I’m talking sequins, tulle, feathers, you name it. I want to look like a Gucci garbage can threw up on me.

Am I subconsciously making a statement? That I’m fearless and open to taking on whatever this next year throws at me? Maybe. But it’s more likely that I’m just an attention whore. 

I like to think of it as holiday attire of sorts. Like how on Halloween the real reason everyone started dressing up in costumes was to ward off evil spirits. Or how bridesmaids started wearing special dresses to redirect… well… evil spirits away from the bride. I didn’t think I was nearly as obsessed with evil spirits as our ancestors apparently were but maybe this is my 0wn way of sidestepping negativity through the art of style. Because honestly what bad juju could really come your way while you’re decked out in sequins? (editors note: APPARENTLY A LOT. But that’s a story for another day…) 

Anywho, I adore using my birthday as a chance to just play! And after years of seeking inspiration for gaudy, strange, ridiculous ensembles that are still somehow… chic?, I’ve discovered that there are 4 main staples to every great birthday outfit which I’ll be sharing with you today! Think of it as my birthday gift to you, you’re welcome. 

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1. Tulle

Carrie Bradshaw tutu outfit Sec and The City
tutu outfit ideas
via @chessi on instagram

The only tulle that shouldn’t be seen on your birthday is your ex-boyfriend. Other than that, pile it on baby! And preferably in the form of a tutu ala Carrie Bradshaw. But tutus aren’t the only way to add some pizazz! Ruffly tulle sleeves, a thin piece tied around your neck like a birthday bow or even a big tulle scrunchie are all perfect ways to embrace this festive look! Also, whatever you’d call this, yes please!  

My current inspiration in terms of tulle is coming from Rodarte’s SS19 Ready to Wear Collection, namely this wildly fun dress. If I had all the money in the world I’d be rocking this so hard on my birthday. But alas, I will instead choose to eat and pay rent for the next 5 years instead of buying one amazing frock. However, I decided to create my own variation of the look by repurposing an old tutu I made for a Halloween costume one year, so don’t be afraid to get really creative!

2. A Tacky Tiara

Daphne Reynolds from What a Girl Wants
audrey hepburn from breakfast at tiffany's

Ever since seeing What a Girl wants, I’ve always wanted to recreate Daphne Reynolds’ birthday outfit. The style inspiration of this whole movie, this generation of movies really, is fantastic. However, this outfit especially has always stayed with me. Maybe we could chalk it up to nostalgia at this point, or maybe I’m trying to subconsciously become her, (who doesn’t want to live with her fabulous rocker mom in Chinatown and then run off to England to fall in love with some British hunk?), but either way it’s the perfect birthday inspiration. Her crown, her bright nail polish, her eyeshadow. It’s so childlike and whimsical! 

Years later, I saw Breakfast at Tiffany’s and watched Holly Golightly have a major meltdown decked out in hot pink from head to toe. The tiara, the sparkly clutch, all of it is so over the top and yet she wears it like it’s nothing. These are the vibes we should be channeling, my friend! And personally, I say the the tackier the better. So grab yourself the cheapest, cheesiest tiara you can find and wear it like you’re the Queen of England. 

3. Fur & Feathers

pink fur bra outfit
via @dyspnea on instagram
chessi parsell styles a pink robe
via @chessi on instagram

When it comes to the perfect birthday look, it’s all about layering up the textures! And there’s nothing like some fur or feathers to make the look extra fun! It can be as much or as little as you like! A fully feathery ensemble is just as cool as some furry pom pom earrings. 

My favorite way to incorporate a little fluff into my look, however, is to scour the lingerie section of thrift stores. There are often hidden gems waiting within the racks: lush furry robes, fuzzy camisoles, you name it! But if all else fails, it’s so simple to grab a boa and a hot glue gun and make anything a little more fun. I even made my own version of this Saint Laurent Ostrich dress with some second hand feathers and a $10 strapless dress! You can see my version in this haul, (I show it around the 12 minute mark).

4. A Little Sparkle

how to style a sparkly skirt
via @in.the.city on instagram
Brittany Drawstring Bag from Urban Outfitters
via Urban Outfitters

Be it in the form of glitter, sequins, both and more, your birthday is your chance to shine, literally! And if you ask me, the more sparkle there is, the better! You should look like sentient disco ball. Wear a knock out dress, rock a sparkling bag (I am dying over this one), throw on some glittery eye shadow and you’re good to go! By the way, if, like me, your birthday is in January, this is the perfect opportunity to scoop up all that left over New Years Eve goodness at half price. Even if your birthday is later in the year however, it doesn’t hurt to take advantage of the winter deals and save your tacky finds for your special day! I personally wear the same white sequined dress I picked up for an NYE celebration almost every year for my birthday now. 

So there you have it! Mix these 4 staples together and there’s no way your birthday could be anything other than magical! If you’re curious to see how I put all this together into my own birthday outfit, check out my instagram where I document all my crazy looks. Also, be sure to check out the lookbook I did on my YouTube channel packed with birthday style inspiration! Until next time, don’t forget, the world is your runway, and a very happy birthday to you!