Besides answering these questions, what are you up to at the moment?
At this very moment I am getting ready to go downtown to see a show and stressing about what to wear.
You have an amazing fashion blog called Read Between the Hemlines. In a social media dominated world where everyone has sort-of brought the idea of blogging to places like Instagram, what inspired you to create one?
Thank you for considering it amazing! I actually started Read Between the Hemlines my senior year of high school in 2013. If you add .blogspot.com to my website you can go cringe at my old posts. I have always loved fashion and challenging myself to find different ways to style my clothes. I feel like blogging, specifically fashion blogging, was gaining a lot of momentum in 2013. Especially with the rise of Instagram. I loved this new idea of sharing what you wore on social media and decided to join in on it. However, once I started college I wasn’t able to fully dedicate myself to it. I would make a post every now and then, but it slowly fizzled out during my junior year. As I entered the awkward post college phase this past winter and was becoming more interested in web design, I decided to revamp my blog and begin putting more time into what I post Instagram. I regret that I didn’t keep it up when I was in college, but at the same time I’m relieved. My personal style and level of self confidence have evolved so much in the past two years, I’m a different person from when I first started Read Between the Hemlines. I’m more confident in myself and my style choices and am glad that I get to show that in the posts I have created in the past few months.
Your Instagram bio mentions that it’s just you and a tripod! Are all your photos actually just taken by yourself?
Yes! For the most part it is just me with a camera, tripod, and remote! Last week I was standing on the side of the road in front a field with cows taking photos of myself. Multiple cars drove past me and must have thought I was crazy. I used to get really embarrassed when I would take pictures, and sometimes I still do, but then I realized that just do not care what people think! In Athens, GA it is not necessarily the norm to see someone dressed up and taking pictures just anywhere, but I am used to the funny looks by now. When I am traveling or in a crowded public place with a group of people, I will ask one of my friends or a family member to take my picture, but for the most part I take them.
What’s one piece or outfit that is your go-to when you’re rushing out the door?
Currently, I am all about dresses. When it is summer I just want the ease of putting one piece of clothing on my body and being done. It’s funny because I love layering, but at the same time it is too hot in Georgia to wear any unnecessary amount of clothing. I have three different dresses on rotation that I will just throw on when I need to get out the door. A denim one, a multi-colored striped one, and a black one with embroidered flowers.
You’re based in Athens Georgia! What brought you there, and what keeps you there?
I was born and raised in Athens and attended college here as well. It’s home to the University of Georgia and actually a really cool town. We have lots of good music, food, and cool people. I am ready to go somewhere new though. I am hoping to move in the next year. I am currently torn between Atlanta and New York, today I am leaning towards Atlanta.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
My parents have always encouraged me to pursue my passions and to be true to myself and that is the best advice I could ask for. When it comes to clothing, my dad has always told me to save my money to buy nicer clothing that will last longer and I am grateful for that. He also said to only buy things if they are at least 60 percent off. I don’t always follow that advice.
In one of your blog posts called: “Adventurous Tatas,” (which I absolutely love) you talk about showing skin, feeling comfortable in your body, and the whole notion of not caring what’s meant for a certain body-type. I feel like I still walk that narrow rope when I get dressed in the morning of not wanting to expose too much, sometimes caring about what one might think, and just feeling all-over insecure. While feeling insecure with anything from time to time is part of the human experience, for anyone out there who’s also in the same boat, what would you say was something that helped you to become more comfortable in your skin (something I’m trying to do as well.)
Thank you, I am glad you enjoyed it! This has been one of the hardest aspects of fashion for me. I used to always wear oversized things that were fashionable but hid my shape. I still do that sometimes, but it’s because I just like to be comfortable. I cannot exactly pin point the moment that I finally felt truly comfortable in my own skin. It was like a switch was flipped on and I suddenly realized that I didn’t care what other people thought. I knew that I looked good and that was all that mattered. For me, it was important to realize that everyone else is also worried about how they look. I always admire and am drawn to people who don’t care and just wear what they want, nothing makes a person seem more confident in my opinion. With this logic in mind, I decided to just wear what I want because life is too short to worry about what others think. Still, some days are harder than others. Some days I can’t stand the look of myself in the mirror and other days I can’t stop looking in the mirror because I love my outfit and how I look. I think it is important to recognize that we all feel bad about ourselves some days and you shouldn’t be ashamed. Ultimately you should wear what you want for yourself and nobody else.
Who are you listening to right now?
Mitski and Natalie Prass for music. My Favorite Murder for podcasts.
In a dream world, where would you be and what would you be doing?
I would have a successful career that involves fashion, where I have the freedom to live wherever I want, work remotely, and travel the world.
What’s one trendy item that you dig right now, and one that you could never see again?
I really want some steel toed boots. I am already sick of leopard print and fall has not even started. However, I will most likely be guilty of wearing it because I have a few pieces in my closet.
When do you feel most you?
When I put together an outfit in my mind that is edgy or unrealistic and when I put it on it looks amazing. That is one of the best feelings. But also when I am hanging out with my dogs.
I love that a lot of your looks incorporate high and low pieces. What’s the process for you when putting together an outfit like that?
Honestly, I just put together what I think looks good. Sometimes different looks come together because I am excited to wear a new piece, other times I think of a new outfit when I am doing something completely unrelated to clothes. I’ll be at work or out to lunch and suddenly think to myself, “Oh that top would look great with those pants!” Other times, it is a long process where I try on five different things before finally settling on an outfit. I do find it important to invest in certain pieces, and I am a strong believer in the idea that the right accessories can make a dress you bought at the thrift store look expensive.
Following up with putting together an outfit, when you find yourself shopping, are there every any items or aspects about an item that you look out for before deciding to purchase?
I normally ask myself how a certain piece will fit into my wardrobe. If it’s similar to something I already have, I will put it back. If I can’t see myself wearing more than a few times, I will pass on it. I also pay attention to fiber content, but I think that’s because I am genuinely interested in that stuff. I studied fashion merchandising with a product development emphasis. My favorite classes were the ones that focused on product development, specifically my textile testing class. However, a specific fiber content does not make or break a piece for me. I want to make the effort to be more aware of where my clothing is coming from and also to step away from purchasing fast fashion. I will admit that I am guilty of buying a piece from Forever 21 every now and then – it’s because sometimes there are specific trends and styles that I cannot find anywhere else in my size. While plus size fashion has come a long way, it still has so much growing to do. It is frustrating when I want to purchase a dress in a specific style that is a new and exciting, but I have to wait until someone else makes a cheaper knock off in plus size.
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
Hot or Cold? Cold
Matte or Glossy? Glossy
Book or Film? Book
Heels or Flats? Flats (Boots specifically)
Salty or Sweet? Combo
Black + White or Color? Color
By Plane or By Car? Car
East Coast or West Coast? East Coast (for now)
City or Country? Living in a countryside that is near a city
Lastly, If there’s one thing you could tell your younger self, what would it be?
Do not care about what other people think! That is such a hard thing to do, especially in middle school and high school. Deciding that I did not care what others thought of my clothes and my interests was such a freeing thing and I wish it didn’t take me until my early twenties to truly feel that way.