Every so often, I crank up the browser to surf the currents and eddies of the web in search of fun, fashionable blogs – blogs like Eli Perez’ Thrift Eye. Like those few other bloggers whose posts I regularly follow – and share with you in the right sidebar – Eli has that quality of being able to fashion for herself a style that’s uniquely hers yet inspiring at the same time. This is to say that she has plenty of ideas for the rest of to stea- I mean borrow. Or, rather, adapt for our own purposes. Alas, I don’t think that means striped nails for me. However, her use of patterns does offer intriguing possibilities to a monochromatic guy like me. As part of my continuing efforts to explore the bigger picture of fashion, I’m happy to bring you an interview with Eli.
How would you describe your style?So there you have it. Thanks, Eli!
My style is a bit of strange animal that has evolved in a few years of influences of my own and around the world because of the prevalence of the Internet and blogs as well. If I had to give my style a particular name/category, I would call it quirky retro prep because I am heavily influenced by styles of the past clashing with styles of today. Some days I'm a vintage girl, some days I'm a modern woman.
What are your fashion inspirations?
I believe some of my inspirations come from textiles and their combinations. I love going to thrift stores and seeing all the different patterns on clothes of all kinds of eras come together and their clashing creates combinations in my head with possibilities to wear. I think my style is too random to be inspired by one particular person - each decade has many, many icons that influence us.
What's the key to putting together a successful ensemble?
For me, the key to a successful outfit lies on instinct. I'll wake up in the morning with an inkling of what to wear, sometimes I try to convince myself not to, but I almost always go back to my first instinct. It is not about how many compliments you get, but how comfortable you feel when you leave the front door!
In many of your outfits, you've injected a note of whimsy. I'm thinking of that fun little number with the Zara cat-print dress, Buffalo Exchange top, and bunny ears, or those fantastic striped nails. With whimsy capable of being a powerful element of any fashion style, how do you keep it balanced?
I have to admit that I am guilty of posting most of my flamboyant or eccentric outfits on my blog - I used to have the luxury of working in the retail business with Italian clothing store Fornarina (which has since closed all US stores sadly) that was in the same vein as Diesel and Miss Sixty - this job threw me into the world of fashion, and they were renown for their eccentric designs, so this gave me a new platform to be as bright and bold as I wanted to be. This is where I gained my appreciation for a fine crafted Italian leather shoe, as well as some of the nuances of working in fashion. I no longer work in this industry but on my way to becoming a librarian (quite polar, I know). And while we aren't strictly business casual, we get to be fun, but we still have to be work/office appropriate. This actually forces me to be more creative because I have to start thinking outside my normal terms. And the fun part is that I still get to wear my fun outfits after work, on the weekends, and special occasions.
If you could give readers one piece of fashion advice, what would it be?
The only advice I could ever give is to try everything once before you declare you hate it!
Check out Thrift Eye – after you’re done here, of course, and do share your own thoughts and opinions in the comments below…don’t be shy!