Before I moved to New York, I had a giant Craiglist sale of pretty much all my things. Everything had to go: furniture, kitchen goods, clothes, electronics. I got rid of as much s as I could because I knew I wouldn’t have room in Manhattan. I didn’t even have a place to live at the time, so whatever was coming with me had to fit in one suitcase.
That suitcase. I call it “Big Green” and I still remember carting that giant house on wheels from place to place while I looked for a permanent place to live. That suitcase housed the remainder and $300 in cash. That’s all I had.
But something in my heart knew whatever I had given away I would get back someday.
Sometimes, I think about that period of my life when I get dressed. I’ve had some scary times since that big move, and I’ve had to part with a good number of things to stay alive at certain points. It makes me a very careful shopper now. I’m not interested in a closet bursting with volume as much as I want to acquire a wardrobe of basics surrounded by little treasures.
The little treasures I’m wearing in these photos are some of my new favorites: a necklace from Baublebar that just makes me smile, a wild Kenzo clutch that goes with so many things, and Lanvin flats. I wear ballet flats to death from spring through fall, and the bronze snakeskin pattern on these will be seen a lot in the coming season.
Even the bright hat from H&M causes me joy. Because that’s what getting dressed should do for you: it should delight you. Even if you wear a uniform, throw on one accessory that makes you happy.
I couldn’t have dreamed of the treasures I’ve discovered since I decided to risk it all and become the woman I’ve always wanted to be, and I’m grateful for all the experiences that have brought me to this very moment. And the best news? I’m just getting started. I can’t wait to see what’s next.
What I’m wearing: J.Crew Cashmere Sweater; Marc New York Ada Asymmetric Zip Front Coat; Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren Skinny Boyfriend Jeans; Baublebar Jasmine Ribbon Necklace; Kenzo Multi Logo Pouch; Lanvin Ballerina
All photos: Ashley Sears Photography. Photographed in Harlem, January 2015. All rights reserved.