Cool Girl

it's all about the aesthetic

Tag: style

Cool Girl style: the leather jacket

For many years now, the leather jacket has been a staple item in any cool girl’s closet. I can understand why: it’s versatile, which makes it perfect for “off-duty” days and times when you’d have to dress it up a little bit and it evokes a sort of rocket-chick-chic mood that girls like Behati Prinsloo and Dakota Johnson pull off so well.

Dakota Johnson being the ultimate rocker-girl-chic (Photo taken from Vogue)

It is also the perfect mid-season attire. Spring and Fall have the perfect not-quite-warm-not-yet-cold weather that calls for a light perfecto, skinny jeans and some worn-in leather boots. Those easy, yet alluring style choices have had my heart since I became aware of them, and I started to search for the perfectly loose, stylish jacket for myself.

While shopping for them and searching for inspiration pictures, though, I have stumbled across a number of articles selling exactly the “quintessential cool girl look” I wrote about previously. And it is cool! I too want to look like I could hop on a motorcycle and ride through some seaside road in Italy, or like the badass member of a girl-gang, or an off-duty superheroine.

Unfortunately, I have yet to find a jacket that actually makes me feel like either of those things. Between my love for comfortable clothes and my lack of confidence when it comes to looking badass, buying a leather jacket hasn’t been a fructiferous task. However, this is such a beloved article of clothing that I nearly feel guilty for not having found one yet (at least not one I can afford without feeling extra-guilty).

What I like about this trend, though, is that it feels like something I can pull off (even if I haven’t exactly the perfect fit for me yet). Unlike some passing trends that seem to require a perfect bikini body, a fat bank account or unlimited access to second-hand clothing (and time to scan through them in search for perfectly conserved brand items) the leather jacket looks good in different types of people, it’s pretty much genderless, and it just seems easy to pull off (and friendly to vegans, since faux/vegan leather has already reached the market).

Searching for a leather jacket will probably turn into a saga (I can be especially annoying when it comes to certain items of clothing), but I can only hope that somewhere out there there’s a jacket that gives me that effortlessly stylish air I’m seeking (even if, along with it, I’m wearing age-old jeans and a white t-shirt).

Advertisements

Cool Girl travels: Cannes

My first (and so far only) visit to Cannes wasn’t what one would call glamorous. I had been on the road for almost a month, sleeping poorly, eating canned food and taking showers at the beach (those little shower heads saved my life and my hair). Still, when I got to the French Riviera it felt weirdly like I had become a character on Gossip Girl.

Maybe it is my own tendency to fantasize and daydream whenever I travel, but even in my run down Havaianas flip flops, jean shorts and t-shirt, I instantly felt more glamorous when I hit the city. Nice had seemed too much like a town and not enough like a dream to awaken the same feelings, and Cannes seemed to be covered in the type of mysticism that only a city that’s used to receiving millionaires and stars can be.

From the road that links Cannes and Monte Carlo.

As I walked through its cobbled stone streets, I could distinctively recall the days I had spent reading the Gossip Girl novels. At one point in my life, I had been obsessed with them (maybe, at a deeper level, I still am), and walking through a place that Blair Waldorf could choose to spend her vacation in felt like I was living a particularly good episode of my own life.

Although, in all truth, there isn’t much to do in Cannes if you don’t have money to spend and aren’t interested in gambling. Since I could not go to any of the glamorous restaurants and my group decided we wouldn’t gamble, I settled for the sights and held on to that strangely comforting Gossip Girl fantasy instead. I watched the yachts as if I could hop on one of them and sail away, and looked at the stores like I was perusing for new collection items.

The weather helped a lot. The blue sky stretched out infinitely above me, and the sea offered a cool summer breeze to placate the heat. I went in July, so there were no big movie stars or groups of paparazzi swarming the place. There were lots of tourists, French families who wanted to hit the beach, groups of Asian tourists that carried an insane amount of photographic cameras (though I was also guilty of that), and groups of German, English and other European families that, much like the group I was with, wanted to see what all the rave was about.

I also did tourist-y stuff, obviously, like visiting the famous red carpet of the film festival, Le Suquet and the old port, and allowing myself to lay on a nearby beach and just exist under the hot July sun.

DSC03241

I think Cannes is a cool girl destination because it is one of those places that, like Paris or New York, has the ability to make you daydream. Instead of being disappointed in the fact that I couldn’t party on a rooftop pool, go on a yacht trip or eat at an Instagram-worthy restaurant, I simply allowed myself to feel and see and experience the trés cool sensation that the place itself brought me.

However, I wouldn’t be opposed to returning it in more favorable conditions, if only to relate how that same feeling would show itself as I did any of the things mentioned above.

Cool Girl reads: The Raven Boys

Here is a little snippet about myself: I am a big reader.

I love books. The smell of new and old books, the heartwarming feeling of starting a new story, getting lost in hours of a fictional life, it is all pretty amazing to me. I also collect books, and every now and again I come across a story that makes me ignore everything else in the name of spending more time with its characters.

TRB coverThe Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater, has been one of those books. It is also, for me, an amazing example of what I think a “cool girl book” is. So I thought it was only fitting that it was the first post in my reading tag.

The premise of the book is simple: Blue Sargent has been told, throughout her life, that when she kissed her true love, he would die. Putting it like that, though, makes it seem like your usual young adult romance/drama/supernatural series that involves fantastic creatures and clichés. It is, however, none of that.

Maggie Stiefvater instead delivers an enticing story about friendship, cars, enchanted places and lovable characters. It is unexpectedly sweet, exciting and filled with heartwarming plot twists. The Raven Boys was one of those rare first-in-a-series books that had me wishing I had access to all of its sequels immediately.

The main characters are all relatable, and Stiefvater manages to touch on heavy subjects (such as death, abusive relationships and mentions of suicide) with softness. And though its villains (or morally dubious characters) still leave that particular bitter taste in your mouth, they do so somewhat pleasantly, such is the talent of this author with words. Maggie Stiefvater provided me with exactly the sort of literature I seek, the sort that makes me wonder afterwards, the sort that makes me search for similar stories, similar characters (and, inevitably, fanfiction).

The Raven Boys, above all, left me wanting (for magic, for more, for something you can’t quite put your finger on), which is why I believe it is a perfect cool girl book. The longing Gansey (one of the main characters) experiences was mirrored by myself as I read the story, and I was amazed with the feelings that lingered once I was done. Although it isn’t a biography of a famous designer, or the style tips of a savvy blogger, Maggie Stiefvater’s thrilling beginning to The Raven Cycle inspires a feeling much more profound feeling of belonging and not quite belonging. I was taken to the streets of Henrietta easily, but could see myself reading that story by a beach in Cannes, or in a rainy London afternoon.

It is that transfixed experience that I look for in books. That sense of being taken to somewhere else entirely, and that I gladly found in this beautiful first installment.

I will refrain from commenting on the other books in the series, but to say that none of the sequels have disappointed me thus far (I still haven’t read the last book, The Raven King, but I doubt it will be different). I highly recommend this if you want to be transported to a much more magical version of the world, or if you want to read about types of love that don’t necessarily involve kissing.

The aesthetic

Throughout our lives we are constantly sold images of people we should strive to be. Media often sells us ideas, and my personal favorite has always been that of the “cool girl”. Magazines tell me I should wear leather jackets, tie my hair in a carefully deconstructed ponytail and get myself some perfectly fitted 500$ jeans, but I believe that the cool girl is donned, above all, with an air of effortlessly achieved style.

Please note, I say girl, but I also believe that the cool girl aesthetic is fundamentally genderless.

I started this blog as a way to praise cool girls (and guys, and people that fit other gender identities), but also to praise moments, experiences, books and places that have made me feel confident enough to pretend that I can also do that trés chic thing French girls seem to carry in their genes.

This is a blog about clothes, travelling, books, people. A blog about lifestyle choices and also a blog about myself.

I am P, and this is Cool Girl.