Outfit: The Escape Of A Long-Forgotten Book

One of my truest passions is finding old, vintage books. There’s something about the smell of old pages that have had dozens of hands reading through them, the occasional pen marks when a previous owner found something worth noting and the wonderful surprise of finding a new gem where countless others have searched.

That’s how I found my copy of The Count of Monte Cristo, dozens of old geology textbooks and a truly ancient copy of All Quiet on the Western Front. I found all of these – and many, many more – in a wonderfully small book shop out in Grand Rapids called Redux Books. Going through the front door it feels as though the shelves are going to collapse under the weight of all the texts, and it’s a place I love to go to decompress. With the pandemic currently ravaging the world and the post-election stress compounding everything, it feels almost as though this was one of the few places I could go to escape. And when I go, I have to have to right outfit on.

This is an outfit concept for those days when I need to escape the world and into the pages of a book that’s been collecting dust for untold years before I picked it up. Some of these pieces are ones that I own currently and the rest are ones that I’ll soon be adding to my collection.

Vans – Butter Leather SK8-HI Reissue:

While a normal SK8-Hi is a classic shoe, the leather version steps up the lux element that this outfit is subtly sporting throughout. From the blue eyelets at the collar of the shoe to the soft, white leather exterior, this shoe is all about detail that goes mostly unnoticed. After all I’m not really here to flirt, but if a boy with cute glasses asks me about my preferences for science fiction, I want to look my very best.

I’m a sucker for hiking socks. I don’t care what sort of environment you’re in, hiking socks have always provided the right amount of breathability and cushion for either being on your feet for long periods of time or having to sit through boring meetings with important people Regardless, these socks will pair perfectly with the shoes and jeans, and that’s the most important thing.

The thing about Redux Books is that, for the most part, all the books are piled onto overflowing shelves or on dusty chairs and tables. The downside is that, to get at the ones that people haven’t looked through, one must often squat over to reach the best samples. These jeans are built with a certain amount of stretch woven into the denim to allow for these sorts of movements without becoming too restrictive. In short, they’re perfect.

This year I’ve developed a love of thick, warm sweaters and this was the first I’ve added to my collection. It’s a looser fit through the body which means that it’s perfect to layer over something a little thicker where the temperature really drops during these winter months in Grand Rapids. I’ll find myself reaching for it way more than is strictly necessary, but I love it too much to let it sit in the closet for too long.

It’s 80% wool and 20% nylon which, as I’ve said before, is a perfect percentage for sweaters which bridge the gap between being warm enough and affordable enough for a college student’s budget.

The final piece to this cozy puzzle is an (optional) beanie to protect your hair from the blowing wind and crazy weather that is so common in Michigan during the fall/winter months. It keeps your head warm and stylish no matter the conditions, and since it’s made from 100% cashmere, it looks stylish while remaining the most understated and visible form of luxury in the room.

Truth be told this isn’t the end of the outfit, but rather a starting place. There’s three colors throughout (white, blue and grey), but to pair something on top wouldn’t be a chore at all. A heavy work shirt in caramel brown, a puffy coat (for those bitterly cold days), or a navy blue topcoat for when you need to make an impromptu visit to the office (or out to dinner with the cute boy from the book shop) would all work perfectly!

As always, thank you for taking the time to read through, and let me know what you think! Do you have chunky sweaters already? What are your favorite cozy weather color combinations? Leave a comment or shoot me a message through Facebook or Instagram! I’d love to hear from you!

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