Style Wars: The OC vs The IE
I woke one Saturday morning with such joy in my heart. What lay ahead was a pure, no holds-bar girls day out! I invited my one girlfriend that I knew could handle a full day of shopping and browsing bliss. Our destination of choice was the Head-to-Toe Women’s Expo at the Orange County Fairgrounds. An expo chalk-full of everything that women adore … shoes, purses, jewelry, makeup … you get the picture. We were headed to Mecca.
As we journeyed down the freeway, we could barely contain ourselves. We chatted about our day-to-day lives; and then preceded to share our list of items we hoped to score at the expo. My friend’s list was quite extensive. However mine was quite simple. All I hoped to find was a simple strand of dark gray pearls to add to my jewelry collection. I was confident that the selection of classic necklaces would be unlimited.
As we approached the expos entrance, we were handed a brochure that listed all the vendors. As we looked up … oh my goodness … row after row of seemingly amazing selections of everything our hearts desired.
My friend and I ooh and aahed our way toward the aisle that contained the greatest amount of jewelry vendors. Our first stop didn’t pay off; neither did the second; nor the third. Hmm, we were beginning to doubt our excursion into the OC. Each vendor seemed to carry the type of accessories that I found. Well, let’s just say that it wasn’t my taste. What seemed to be all the rage was bling, bling, and more bling. Jewel encrusted belt buckles, necklaces, earrings; and overly embellished handbags. I watched as the women in attendance clamored to purchase the goods, while my friend and I longed for the simplicity of the IE.
We began to second guess our wants and began to think, that perhaps, we were missing the beauty of the rhinestone adorned booty. I looked over to my friend and stated with authority, “I’m not leaving here empty-handed!” I pushed passed the crowd of tall, full-bosomed, wrinkle-free women to join in on the shopping frenzy. I grabbed a necklace that had Juicy Couture written across it in pink rhinestones; tried it on in the mirror and turned to my shopping companion for approval. Her response was, “Take it off.”
Discouraged, we both reached the conclusion that, perhaps, the OC style wasn’t for us. Just as we made the decision to head back to the good old IE; we came across a vendor that had very few guest. As skeptical as I was, I made the choice to give it a try.
Amidst the lovely, quiet and demure pieces of classic jewelry lay an unbelievable strand of lustrous dark gray pearls. I immediately scooped them up and handed them to the attendant. I imagined my new find with every understated garment that I owned.
My day in the OC left me wondering how two, very obvious, distinct styles could exist within a 30 mile radius. I decided to spend some time analyzing the look of the women of the IE at Victoria Gardens. With my pearls sitting pretty around my neck, I sat quietly and watched the women as they passed me by. Where the OC women preferred the embellished, over-the-top look; the IE women seemed to exist in the “keep it simple” concept. 99 percent of my fellow Inland dwellers dawned jeans, flip-flops and t-shirts. Jewelry was kept to a minimum and handbags were discreet. I did spot one woman that had on quite a bit of jewelry, stilettos and carried a very large designer bag. Needless to say, she stuck out like a sore thumb … as I’m sure my friend and I did in the OC.
After spending my day in contemplation over the two styles, I reached the conclusion that perhaps a collision of the two would make a good mix. If the OC would tone down the bling a bit; while the IE ups the ante in the flair department; I do belief that it would make a perfect marriage in good taste and style. (Wink.)