At this point I’m not ashamed to admit that I have reached the phase of my abroad experience where I am longing to go home. Between coming to terms with the amount of work I have yet to finish and realizing how much I miss the familiarities of my family, I have felt discouraged and a bit stuck lately. In times of anxiety and self-doubt, fashion has unfailingly been a way to restore my self confidence and exercise creativity. I find that the worse I feel, the more reason I give myself to dress up—it’s as if experimenting with outfits is a compensatory or distractive measure I assume in situations of high stress. Whether this is good or bad (realistically it’s probably a bit of both) it’s something that went on this past week as I got ready to go out on Sunday afternoon and asked to borrow my friend Charlotte’s leopard print coat. The spots immediately elevated the coziness of my jeans and turtleneck into something bolder and gave me the chance to participate in this winter’s edgiest trend.
Besides feeling literally swaddled by this jacket, I also found comfort in this look by incorporating sentimental items of my closet: a gold moon pendant given to me by my mom, my sister’s Forever21 turtleneck that I brought with me to Rome and a belt that I picked up at a garage sale in Encinitas. I like combining elements of things both borrowed and bought because the memories of a particular piece often remind me of the person I was when I first acquired it. After taking photos of each other's outfits and wandering around Prati, Charlotte and I finally stumbled upon a cute neighborhood cafe, ordered identical sandwiches and sipped on American coffees, all while further procrastinating our research papers. Delaying your homework doesn't feel quite so bad when you're in good company.