Style

Tuesday Outfit: It’s Weird to Talk About Fashion Right Now

I put together an outfit post last week and set it for publish on Tuesday morning like usual, and promptly forgot about it.  I didn’t notice it was still live until someone left a comment on it. And there is nothing usual about today.

Admittedly, writing about breezy brunch outfits is the ultimate non-sequitur to the post that proceeded it.  But instead of deleting the original post, I wanted to use the space to discuss about how weird it is to talk about fashion right now.

My plan had been to re-open the blog for “normal” operation tomorrow with a post about black-owned and minority-owned retailers and brands that I love. I am genuinely looking for ways to do more in my daily life, and writing this blog is part of my daily life so it felt like an organic way to start being a better ally in this space. I will probably make mistakes as I grow that presence on this blog, and I hope you will help educate me and keep me accountable when I do.

Is it enough?  What is enough?  The goal is to do more and keep doing more.

I write about fashion, and I earn money doing it.  It may not be my full-time job, but it’s much more than a hobby, and I am as proud of this blog as anything I have done.  I am especially proud of the community that exists around it.  But my career would be so much easier if I did not write Capitol Hill Style.

I have been told that I cannot be a serious lawyer and write CHS.  That I “need to think about” what message it sends to future employers.  That I am a liability to the candidates I work for because I write it.  And that writing it reduces me to a “ditzy girl.”  (A female hiring manager told me that.)

Reading fashion blogs does not make any of you less serious about the professions and causes that matter in your lives.  Writing one shouldn’t bestow similar derision on me.  And frankly, trying to make women who like fashion one-dimensional caricatures is anti-feminist and exactly the stereotype that I started this blog to combat.

This blog is part of my job, and more importantly, something that I truly love sharing with all of you.  And I need to get back to it tomorrow.  I promise to actively create ways to be a better ally in this very public space.  But I’ve also got a hair product review and a stunning Four Ways that I’m excited to share, and I intend to do that too.

***

(This was the original post.)

Today is Montana’s primary election, and I need a distraction.  How about a breezy, summery outfit that feels perfect for a baby shower or brunch date?  A little fashion escapism, if you will.

Earrings

BR Wrapped Hoop Earrings ($48)

Dress

Poplin Puff-Sleeve Dress ($149, XXS-XXL, petite and tall)

Belt

Striped Webb Belt ($58)

Sandals

Double Strap Mule Sandals ($148)

Bag

Wicker Minaudière Clutch ($98)

{this post contains affiliate links that may generate commission for the author}

LEAVE A COMMENT

    23 comments

  1. Christina says:

    Yikes. This makes your post from yesterday feel incredibly disingenuous.

    June 2, 2020/Reply
    • Fan from boston says:

      I disagree. Abra’s post yesterday was honest and fitting -and also clear that she would continue to post content that this blog is based upon. Quoting from her eloquent post yesterday: “I can talk about fashion tomorrow and every day after, but today needed to be for this.“ I appreciated yesterday’s post AND this is a fashion blog where I expect to keep seeing that content that I come here for. Just as Abra strives to be size/shape inclusive, I believe she will also be race inclusive. I’d love to see product shots that feature models who are people of color. I’d love to see guest posts by people of color. I’d love to see fashion brands and beauty products that are founded/owned/led by people of color. Just three examples that might make sense within the context of what this blog primarily is.

      June 2, 2020/Reply
      • E says:

        Well said, Fan from Boston. I concur.

        June 2, 2020/Reply
      • Amelia says:

        Yup, everything Fan from Boston said. There is always room for growth and improvement, and I hope she takes those suggestions to heart. However, as a woman of color, I have noticed Abra’s efforts towards inclusivity and diversity over the years and that speaks volumes to me.

        Abra, I too would especially love to see posts featuring brands and products founded/owned/led by BIPOC (and people of color in general in the longer term). Also seconding the idea of guest posts from BIPOC in this blog or featuring BIPOC voices in this platform in some other way that is consonant with the blog’s purpose.

        June 2, 2020/Reply
        • Belle says:

          If you have any guest posters you would like to request, let me know. I was planning to share more links from BIPOC fashion bloggers, but guest posts could be really fun too. And frankly, as we go forward, I’m open to suggestions from people because while this is a fashion blog written from my perspective, it doesn’t only need to feature content from my perspective.

          June 2, 2020/Reply
          • Kate says:

            Someone whom I think would make a great interview subject (five by five or on the Blog) or style feature would be Latonya Yvette. She’s a stylist and writer and her book, Woman of Color was excellent. https://latonyayvette.com/

            June 3, 2020/Reply
    • pam says:

      I think she’s clearly flagged it as “escapism” which acknowledges that there are serious things going on in our world.

      June 2, 2020/Reply
      • Belle says:

        Please see my response to the comment and the extended post above. I wrote this post last week and didn’t mean for it to post today.

        June 2, 2020/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I write posts and schedule them for later dates. I wrote this post last week under the assumption that today the MT election would be the most pressing thing on my mind. Obviously it isn’t, and with everything that happened yesterday, I just forgot to check if I had any posts in the queue.

      That being said, eventually things on this fashion blog are going to have to be about fashion again. I wrote a deeper response to your comment at the top of the original post. But please no that the jarring nonsequitir was not intentional, just a really unfortunate oversight.

      June 2, 2020/Reply
  2. Lauren says:

    Thank you for clarifying. It seemed very unlike you (based on your past posts) and I thought something was up when you didn’t even mention what’s happening in the world in your original post.

    June 2, 2020/Reply
  3. Evelyn says:

    Abra, you are doing just fine. No need to apologize. And as an African American woman I am excitedly looking forward to your post tomorrow.

    June 2, 2020/Reply
  4. Jessica says:

    Abra, I know you have the power to censor comments, so I give you a lot of credit for publishing one that questions your heart and motives. Kudos to you for facing it head on and being willing to have the conversation. Very inspiring stuff.

    P.S. The feedback you’ve received about writing CHS and what a serious lawyer should be doing in her free time is very disturbing. Talk about a double standard. Not sure you want to work for an employer that is so narrow minded.

    June 2, 2020/Reply
    • Shannon says:

      Yes, I found that very upsetting that someone would say that to you about your blog. I am quite a bit older than you and much more liberal, but I have been following you for years. This is one of the few blogs I still follow, because it’s full of such great advice about so many things, but especially about fashion for work. Keep up the good work!

      June 2, 2020/Reply
    • Sierra Delta says:

      I’m missing something, Jessica! You said to Abra, “The feedback you’ve received about writing CHS and what a serious lawyer should be doing in her free time is very disturbing.” I thought I was a pretty faithful reader, but I honestly don’t know what you’re referring to. Could you point me to the post Abra wrote so that I can read it? Thanks.

      June 2, 2020/Reply
      • sierra delta says:

        *Bright red face* Never mind, Jessica! Abra’s (updated?) preface to today’s post didn’t show up when I read this the first time. I’m up to speed now.

        June 2, 2020/Reply
  5. CaNdice says:

    Abra if that hiring manager actually took the time to read your blog I imagine she would find you, as I do, to be an articulate, creative and intelligent asset for any organization. You are the farthest thing from ditzy!

    June 3, 2020/Reply
  6. Nancy says:

    Do you know the blog and Instagram account FauxFuchsia? She writes from a wonderfully lighthearted perspective on similar topics, with a solid core of values served up deliciously. She is a force for good in this world, and an attorney in Australia. Check her out, she is your sister in many ways!

    June 3, 2020/Reply
  7. SG says:

    I always appreciate hearing your point of view – and you’re often saying the things I’m thinking better than I could ever say them! Thank you for that, and thanks for the honesty that you bring to this space. 🙂

    As an HR professional…NO WAY does a site/side gig like this make me think twice about someone being “serious” about their professional career. To build a high quality, successful website is no small feat, and to see that an employee can share an accomplished resume and achieve success in a personal pursuit makes me more inclined to want them for a job! Passion, dedication, persistence…all the things that you want in an employee, and all the things proven to exist because of this site.

    Looking forward to making mistakes and learning along with you, keep up the great work.

    June 3, 2020/Reply
  8. Susan J Berke says:

    Would love to see you address pandemic fashion – best stud earrings to wear with masks. I love my danging and hoop earrings but it’s so complicated to put on and take off a mask with them. Looking for more options than just my gold balls for work.

    June 3, 2020/Reply
  9. J says:

    Hi Abra,

    I saw this post yesterday before the additional blog information and didn’t think too much of it because ultimately, this is a fashion blog. I come here for all of your content, and you’ve stated prior that you auto-load several posts, so it didn’t bother me at all.

    One of the things that I’m trying to do to be a better anti-racist is to purchase more from black-owned/minority-owned businesses. What I’ve noticed as I’ve searched is that my social media has more ads for these and similar businesses. If these companies are on social, you could do more “saw it on social” posts highlighting them?

    When you’re posting outfits, you could also select more black-owned/minority-owned businesses. As others have said, this fits with the nature of the blog.

    If/when you’re ready, I’d also love to see more discussion about intersectionality of women, race, and fashion. Either guest posts or additional dialogue. I think that would be a natural extension of the blog and bring some of those issues to a wider audience.

    June 3, 2020/Reply
    • HH says:

      All of this. (Though the last idea is tricky and maybe for a different venue. Just my 2 cents.)

      June 3, 2020/Reply
      • J says:

        Oh, the last one is most definitely tricky and will be hard to accomplish. And you’re right, if Abra considers it and believes that this is not the right forum for it, that’s her prerogative. But I think even considering it as an option is a step towards awareness, and everything helps.

        June 3, 2020/Reply
  10. Jeanne says:

    I’ve been following you for several years and enjoy your blog. I appreciated your note today about “feeling weird” about posting on fashion right now. I’m reaching out to suggest that you consider highlighting fashion brands by folks of color. Financially supporting business owners of color is another way to support the effort. Thanks for considering.

    June 3, 2020/Reply