On the Search for Inspo

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PIPER Boutique

one of my favorite places to shop! 

Let’s start out with a question.  

How do you all find inspo? Let me guess: you go on Instagram, search for your favorite blogger, obsessively see what she is wearing (sound about right?). Or maybe you surf Pinterest looking for ways to make all the season’s trends work for you. You could also raid your fashionable friends’ closets and see what they have. (I don’t recommend doing the last one!)  

As for me, I do all of the above. I also visit my favorite boutique, Piper Boutique, nested behind the Starbucks on the corner of 34th & Walnut in University City. I also hit up my mom for some fashion advice though to this day she still doesn’t quite understand trends. 

I remember distinctly as a kid that I was never really allowed to pick what to wear. My mom would always shop for me, going to the local mall in search of the latest bargains and of course, Gap (which was really big back in the day). We are both short women; I was even shorter back then. She liked to dress me in fitted things; shirts would always be just right, everything to her had to be just right or she wouldn’t get it.  

Needless to say, her sense of style was far from boring. My mom wanted to make sure I always looked my best in class.  She pulled pieces here and there: a little sequin for the holidays, a fitted pink dress for my 10th birthday. She always managed to bring in pops of colors & contrast even into outfits with one dominant color. 

Fast forward to freshman year of college and it was the first time I actually left home. Between middle school and high school, I didn't honestly care about what I wore and I mostly just threw things together. Senior year of high school was my attempt to take fashion seriously; I went for a mix of designer labels and places like Forever 21, styling pieces for a more elegant occasion with a casual finish. 

the embroidered faux leather jacket 

the embroidered faux leather jacket 

So when I went to college, I was actually pretty excited to shop around in Philadelphia. I didn't have to look far however; I quickly found out that the little building between Starbucks and the salon was a boutique that just managed to offer the most amazing selections. I quickly jumped on the opportunity to mix and match various trends to my heart's desire; I discovered fabrics like suede (you can tell I am a newbie), velvet (well, the other day, I got a velvet scarf from Anthropologie and I can't wait to style it with this warm, classic trench coat I got from Piper the other day!), faux leather, faux fur and more! I also tried out the oversized sweater for a bit, and discovered that anything goes as long as you have the right pair of leather leggings! And the best thing? Boutiques offer you (a) amazing customer service + the opportunity to connect with the owner and hear what she has to say and (b) selections from so many different brands that just aren't offered at a Target or department store. 

I have recently become a big fan of florals and anything embroidered. I am convinced that florals can work in any weather, whether it be a soft cardigan to lounge around in or a faux leather jacket gives off the "I am the boss, don't mess with me" vibe. I always like to add a feminine touch to any trend. I styled the embroidered floral leather jacket I got from Piper with a tie-back lavender sweater I bought from Huyentxo and white jeans paired with flat-heeled black leather boots. 

Piper Boutique has helped me figure out what works best for me. If any of you live in Philadelphia, I highly recommend you check it out! More outfits to come featuring pieces I have bought! 

So what are you waiting for? Before Cyber Monday, go into your local boutique, do a little window shopping, maybe buy a thing or two! Remember to do your part and support small businesses this weekend! They are what keep where you live lively and running!