I Recreated the Looks of “The Window Box” from My Wardrobe
Back in high school, my shoujo manga obsession was at its peak. Now, I enjoyed the romance storylines as much as the next person, but I quickly realized my obsession mainly stemmed from the clothes the characters wore. In particular, Ai Yazawa’s Nana was life changing for me, not just because of the more mature and complex storytelling, but because of the clothes. THE CLOTHES. I wanted all of it: Nana O’s Vivienne Westwood, Nana K’s vintage/gal style, Junko’s artsy bohemian long skirts, Misato’s gothic lolita frills…
Anyway, after devouring Yazawa’s works, my high school-self determined someday I would make something influenced by Yazawa art and sense of fashion. About a decade later, I started Sundew, and Sundew made The Window Box.
Each character in TWB has her own aesthetic, not just to reflect their personality, but also because different aesthetics are fun. Why stick to one, when your characters can wear them all?? And if the characters can wear them all, we can do it too, right?? Using the clothes out of my closet, that’s exactly what I did. Most of the items you’ll see below I bought second-hand from either consignment shops, eBay, Poshmark, or TheRealReal. However, I’ve provided the designer for each item in case you want to hunt down the exact one, along with fresh off the rack options to recreate your own look.
Elsa Parelli, Living for Luxurious Loungewear
A flowing pleated lilac dress paired with a long floral lace cardigan, a perfect outfit for a nice stroll in the garden, or for bumming around the house. Classy comfort is Elsa’s MO. One of my biggest inspirations for Elsa’s character was Rosalind Rusell’s Auntie Mame. Not only does she have an amazing collection of duster cardigans, but she’s also a pretty eccentric lady. While my dress and cardigan are much simpler than Rosalind Russel’s and Elsa’s, I decided to add little eccentricities through my accessories. My New Year's resolution this year was to focus more on buying accessories rather than clothes, since 1) I’m running out of closet space and 2) accessories can totally transform an outfit. These ASOS sandals were one of my first purchases, even though I knew I’d have to wait another 6 months to wear them. The embroidered butterflies and flowers make my feet feel 10 years younger than the rest of my body. It’s a strange but fun feeling. Both my hairclip and earrings are from Anthropologie. Elsa likes flowers, so I figured she might wear a flower hair clip. As for the cicada earrings, well, they were the closest shape to the earrings Elsa actually wears, and she’s also probably the kind of person that likes bugs.
Margot Wu, Casual Business Casual
This outfit and Finley’s, whose you’ll see a bit further down, were the hardest for me to style. I’ll admit I cheated a little. I bought this Marc Jacobs blouse specifically for this article. Button-downs aren’t my favorite, and neither are pants, but fortunately the one of three pairs of pants I own are similar enough in color to Margot’s.
Now, Margot’s actual style is inspired by the previously mentioned Dame Vivienne Westwood. Also, as I previously mentioned, I don’t really care for button-down shirts, but Westwood’s are amazing. I love Westwood so much for her use of careful cuts and draping to give basic articles of clothing a new personality (some might say attitude). Though unfortunately even second-hand Westwood is pretty expensive, which is why I’m wearing this Marc Jacobs top instead.
When creating my IRL Margot outfit, I wanted to tap into her humorous side. Part because Margot is funny, and part I don’t feel nearly cool enough to pull off a sharp button-down shirt. Instead I opted for this blue ruffly button top, with pink-ish pants, and my favorite Seychelles poodles shoes. However, I am wearing some Westwood jewelry to make up for my lack of a Westwood shirt. I bet Margot is secretly a jewelry obsessed lady. After all, who doesn’t like shiny things?
Sophie Smith, The Preppiest Prep of Them All
OK, I don’t think that’s actually true, but Sophie is definitely up there. Her style is based off designers such as Lilly Pulitzer and Kate Spade, along with brands like J. Crew. So pretty preppy. I can imagine Sophie looking up to Jackie O., who helped launch Lilly Pulitzer’s popularity back in the 60’s, for fashion inspiration. Prep style is also often associated with upper-class, private college educated folks (like Jackie O.), who we can all agree Sophie probably aligns with.
For Sophie’s ensemble, I wanted to embrace her pretentiousness, which wasn’t hard to do. I feel like a-line dresses and pearls just kind of lend themselves to that. My only regret with this outfit is that I didn’t have an egg-print dress or any egg-inspired accessories. However, other than knowing that Sophie has a bit of a stick up her butt, we also know she has a taste for potty humor. While, I don’t have any potty-inspired accessories either (Does anyone? Probably.), I do have these seemingly fancy earrings that actually happen to be gross bugs… earwigs to be precise. Don’t ask me why I have so many bug-themed earrings. I really don’t know.
Finley Flores, the Travel Journalist
For being the character with the outfit most literally based off one by a famous designer, Finley is probably the character who cares the least about fashion. Even though, yes, she’s dating a fashion designer. So maybe she does care. Or maybe Paige cares for her. Well, Paige does care for Finley, but I meant Paige cares for Finley’s fashion sense as well. Anyways, yes. Finley’s outfit is based of early 70’s Yves Saint Laurent, who is the designer that famously brought the safari jacket to luxury fashion.
Similar to Vivienne Westwood, YSL is also very pricey, so my rendition of Finley is not wearing a shred of YSL. Instead, she’s wearing almost all second-hand Anthropologie head to toe. Also with this outfit, you’ve now seen all but one pair of pants that I own. The third pair is the green version of the pink version I wore for Margot, which I could have worn for this outfit, but didn’t. Out of all the outfits, this one was definitely the most comfortable too. I highly recommend it for your next outdoorsy adventure.
Also, yes, that’s my dog. He’s a chiweenie named Noodles.
Paige Reese: Bohemian Princess
Oh, Paige. Sweet, quiet, Paige. You’d never think she hates standing out with the clothes she wears. This girl loves color, patterns, and embellishments, much like the designer Anna Sui. If you ever have the chance, go check out one of Anna Sui’s boutiques. The one in NYC is absolutely amazing, and it’s an experience even if you don’t end up buying anything. The cool thing about Anna Sui is her clothes encompass so many different styles from rock and roll, to victorian, to mod, and bohemian. If you like decadent clothes, definitely check her out.
Part of/the main reason Paige’s outfit is influenced by Anna Sui, is because Anna Sui also happens to be one of my favorite designers. When putting together this outfit, I already knew I wanted to wear this maxi dress. The cut is amazing, but I particularly love the metallic details. They take the dress from pretty floral print maxi to glam floral print maxi. And of course, I felt the need to wear all my glam accessories. In case you couldn’t tell. I had the most fun with this outfit. Probably because if I could dress every day like this, I would.