Saturday, 17 August 2013

Lost Soul: Carolyn McGraw

What is so refreshing about Carolyn is what I can only think of as a sort of style infidelity. Far from being a bad thing, her versatility and ability to look amazing in practically anything is what made me notice her. I think we should all step out of our comfort zone now and again and try something we were scared of before, because no one says you have to dress in a certain style, talk in a certain way, or be anyone other than who you want to be.

'Rockin' Ribs' on LB

Hello, Carolyn! What are three things we should know about you?

Hi! Well I guess I’ll get right into it – and make it easy. 1. I like to look good. This means that even if I’m just going to the grocery store to pick up milk, I still want to look relatively put together, and certainly clean. You will never find me in sweatpants out of the apartment. I am not the type to slip on flip-flops because it’s 'easy'. I think I went out of my room in PJs once in my time in college (which most people here consider their sloppiest time) and felt like a lazy slob. I think you get the point. 2. I always choose ridiculous over practical, especially when it comes to shoes. 3. I guess I should say something that isn’t about my clothes – so I’ll say that I’m forever a lake girl. My heart is in the Adirondack Mountains.

Your style is incredibly varied and versatile. How do you decide how to dress each day?

I usually pick out what I am going to wear the night before, especially if I have to get up early. My mind moves pretty slow before work, so I can’t waste time standing in front of my wardrobe! I usually will want to wear a specific item (maybe a pair of shoes or a certain shirt) and try and plan something around that one item.

'Help me lose my mind' on LB

How has your style developed into what it is now?

My original desire for my own personal look blossomed in my teens when I went to an all girls' private high school. Everyone dressed very similar back then, and I didn’t want to be just another preppy private school girl (we didn’t have uniforms). I wanted to be different, so I became the only girl in the student body with unnaturally-coloured hair. That hasn’t changed much! I think I dress better than I did then, but improvement is where it’s at, and my desire for independence is still strong. Though I’ve never really found one 'style' like so many others, I revel in being able to change from one look to another very easily.

In an environment like that, there really are only the extremes of conforming or rebelling, but it takes some bravery to rebel. Non-uniform is always such a lie, because students always create their own uniform!

Which of your looks is your personal favourite at the moment?

For the summer season, I’m a big fan of shorts, boots, and a tank or blouse. Boots will forever be my most comfortable footwear – since underneath, my ultimate favourite of looks is anything layered. However, the heat this season is keeping me from doing that often!

I like summer's warmth, but as a fellow lover of boots and layering, I have the same problem. Sometimes I go out wearing way too much and end up boiling.

'Chaos' on LB

What do you think are the best and worst things about having short hair?

I don’t think there are any bad things! Cowlicks aren’t my friend, but that’s only an occasional problem I can cover with a scarf or hat. The best part is that it’s both easy and stylish – I don’t have to spend hours with it in front of the mirror. I use a negligible amount of product if I feel like spiking it, and sometimes I may not. Even when it grows out a little – it’s still cool. I don’t find the upkeep horrible, as it never takes me much time compared to when I had much longer hair. No straightening or curling like I had done. Takes two seconds to dry. Don’t have to use a pound of conditioner any longer. Looks good even after a day in the wind. I could go on!

'A day for pastels' on LB

Who are your fashion icons and inspirations?

You know, I never really had any of those. The country club town I grew up in certainly didn’t lend any fashion mentors I wanted to listen to, and even when I cared enough to follow trends and blogs on the internet (beginning mostly when I discovered Lookbook in early college), I could never pick out any specifics. I think that comes from growing up around name-droppers and flashy brand lovers – things I’d dismissed in my unconscious for years until I understood why I dress like I do. It doesn’t stop me from admiring the styles shot in high fashion European magazines, or the day-to-day looks from many Lookbookers – but I couldn’t tell you that I really followed anyone closely. I like to say my style is a conglomerate of learning how to mix and match from the high end to the low brow, and from many different individuals who dress very differently than I do.

Actually, it makes sense that you don't really have any particular fashion icon. You seem far to free a spirit for that.

'He throws big parties, and I like big parties' on LB

Where do you like to shop?

Online shopping is addicting! Anywhere and everywhere. I was very into eBay vintage for a long time, and browsed almost every day. Currently, I love Black Milk and sport quite a collection of printed clothing (which as a photo person has always appealed to me). My typical shopping centre visits are stores like H&M, Forever 21, and Anthropologie should I have a gift card. Other than that, I am nearly considered a regular (or at least recognisable figure) in many of the second-hand shops in both my area and my parents' area. In reality, I could try and find something anywhere. I like taking the challenge of picking something out in a store I might normally dislike!

What do you think of the street fashion where you live?

It’s an entirely mixed bag – I live in Saratoga Springs, which is in upstate New York. Right now, street fashion is full of large hats for the racing season, and a diverse amount of sandals and sun dresses. Some of them are wonderful, some of them are awful, but I do really love the hats. When autumn returns, the student population returns. They tend to be a little more with it in terms of interesting style, since the horse crowd is otherwise an older and more uninterestingly-styled crowd to me (and also very expensive; we frequent different boutiques in town). We are technically a 'city' – just not a very big one, but a growing one, and I think the fashion is growing with it. However, I still definitely get looks when I wear something a little more 'loud' (spiked hats, suspender leggings, etc.)

'Zombie Time!' on LB

What do you see yourself doing, and where, in seven years' time?

Living in a larger city I hope, but based on recent talks with my fiancé, we could really be anywhere! Planning has never been my forte – I can barely see a week ahead of where I am now. All I can say is I hope to be somewhere more populated and a little more cosmopolitan, hopefully in a higher positioned art job (preferably photography related). It’s hard to say, but not in a bad way at all!

I've really enjoyed reading about why your style is what it is, and I just love seeing you in my LB feed, so thank you for talking to me, Carolyn!


  1. These outfits are gorgeous, so unique. :) x

  2. I wish she got more recognition. She's one of my favorite Lookbookers.

    1. That's precisely why I do these interviews - there are just so many hidden gems out there.


Thank you ♥

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...