Picture it: you’re a teenage weirdo. Maybe you can do a convincing impression of a normal person, or maybe you’re too strange even to pretend. Maybe you have a few friends like you, or maybe you’re totally alone. At any rate, high school seems endless, and you’re itching to escape to something bigger and better. At some point during this struggle, a well-meaning adult sits you down and tells you, “You just have to find your niche.” It’s good advice, but the “just” is misleading. More importantly, this tidy little maxim is missing some crucial information, like: what the fuck even is my niche?
For us, our niche is each other. For fifteen years, we have each been the other’s ride or die: car-singing partner, horror movie enthusiast, fellow creepy dog-ogler. We lived together for five years, and then, when Lindsey moved to Chicago with a boyfriend, Taylor followed with no real plan, simply because by then our friendship had become the most reliable map by which to navigate the world. Even after we were living in different states, we consulted each other on every important decision. When Taylor got married, Lindsey was not only the maid of honor but the de facto event planner, running out to Michaels the morning of the wedding to buy extra buffet décor and still making it back in time to get her hair and makeup done. We have always encouraged each other’s strangeness, silliness, fierceness—and nowhere has this been more true than our personal style. In college, we filled easily hundreds of disposable cameras with vanity shots of ourselves and our outfits, hoping that the photo tech at Eckerd (who was quite obviously judging the shit out of us) would hand us at least a few frames that weren’t totally fug or obscured by someone’s finger. (These children today do not understand the struggle.) These pictures are hilarious and terrible (hilarible?) in retrospect, but they’re also a testament to how intertwined our friendship and fashion have always been, so of course we’ve included them here. As we’ve gotten older, our once-similar styles have diverged; Lindsey’s is more polished and crisp, and her makeup tends towards the natural, while Taylor favors sneakers and slouch and has a twenty-pound train case full of cosmetics. Nonetheless, we’re still guided by the same principles of having fun and pleasing ourselves before anyone else. (And believe us, we got way more side-eye for taking pictures of ourselves in the early 2000s than we do now.)
When we found ourselves back in Atlanta, together again for the first time in seven years, it felt like a sign. In many ways, The Sable Thread is the latest stage in the natural progression of our friendship, but it’s something more, too. Now in our thirties, we find ourselves pondering that initial question again: What is our niche? We aren’t teenagers anymore; we know we aren’t special snowflakes. We know there are plenty of other awesome grown-ass women out there doing whatever the fuck they want, sartorially and otherwise. We know that these women come from all over the place and are comprised of all different shapes, colors, and sizes. And where do women like that—who love clothes but are often uninterested in or shut out from mainstream fashion—go? Well, we hope the answer is here: to this little corner of the Internet.
You will never read a “dos and don’ts” post here. While we’ll talk about high-end fashion occasionally, neither of us has money like that, so you’ll never see us wearing couture or suggesting you have to spend to look awesome. You’ll never hear anything about cleanses or veganism (although veganism is fine! We love vegans! But we also love steak). Most importantly, you’ll never see us shaming or criticizing other women.
On the other hand, you will see us rocking fast fashion, showing love to our hometown of Atlanta, featuring indie designers and makers that we love, peeping the style of our fellow women on the streets, getting stoned and talking about HGTV, and hopefully much more, as our community grows and those of you reading and commenting have the opportunity to steer us in new directions. Ultimately, we want The Sable Thread to be about more than just ourselves. We want it to be about you, too. We want to foster excitement and positivity and connection. And we want to be well-dressed while doing it. Thanks for taking this ride with us. We hope it’s as fun for you as it has been so far for us.
(Keep scrolling to see the evolution of our outfits over the years and to get to know us a little better.)
When do each of you remember meeting the other for the first time?
- LC: This is tricky because we went to high school together, so I knew of Taylor well before we ever actually spoke to one another. We had quite a few mutual friends, so we kind of spoke around each other or indirectly through other people, but for some reason we never really talked one on one. I think it was probably because we both reeeaally wanted to be friends with the other, and as a result we did the exact opposite of that, because we were scared little dummies. Anyway, she showed up to a party at my house one night with some of the aforementioned mutual friends and we said “hi” to each other and little else, but I think that that was enough of a catalyst to get us to actually attempt starting a friendship like normal human beings. I’d say when we REALLY met (as in, when we realized we were soul sisters), was one afternoon not long after that party at lunch time – we were sitting outside at a table with some other people and somehow we separated ourselves from the conversation and entered into one of my favorite and most serendipitous conversations of all time. It was about poop, and it was glorious. It was one of those conversations that comes along very rarely, where right in the middle of it you realize that you’re going to be friends with this person for a very, very long time… and maybe one day cry your way through a speech at their wedding, get a BFF tattoo with them, and then later start a blog with them.
- TFO: I think the first time Lindsey and I actually ever exchanged words was at one of her “house shows” our junior year of high school, when I said hello and thanked her for having me. (This was a super fucking nerd move on my part, considering that there were literally a hundred people there, most of whom I’m pretty sure she didn’t know.) I was aware of her before that, though, partly because we had mutual friends and partly because she had the tips of her super-long hair dyed neon red, which was the height of edge in the year 2000. She also had a pair of white vinyl bondage pants that I coveted but knew my parents would never let me wear. As far as I was concerned, she was the coolest girl in school. We didn’t become actual friends until senior year, when we had economics class together. I’m not sure when we really started talking, then, but I do know Lindsey initiated it, because she intimidated the hell out of me and I would never have approached her.
What was your initial impression of her?
- LC: Taylor was, and still is, very smart. I knew that before I knew her. If we had gone to school in a John Hughes film, she would have been the brain and I would have been the weirdo. I think we were a natural fit for one another, but as I mentioned before, it took us a while to get there. I was definitely intimidated by her, not that I was some kind of blubbering idiot, but she was the one with all of the honor cords around her neck at graduation, and I was just the one sporting the wide banded leather watch with the gigantic face from Hot Topic… where I also worked. YES I WORKED AT HOT TOPIC. For four years.
- TFO: See my first answer, with the addendum that, once we actually started talking, I was shocked to discover that Lindsey is a genuinely kind person and extremely laid-back. Before that, I’d always assumed anyone that cool must also be stuck-up. But she’s always been open, accepting, funny, and weird as hell (which I mean as the highest possible praise). None of that has changed.
How would you describe your style?
- LC: Oh my God. I have no idea. I look like someone who used to work at Hot Topic and is now 32 years old…?
- TFO: I often joke that my metric for getting dressed is that I have to be serving at least two of the following, but preferably all three: Boy/Mom/Witch. I think that’s a little simplistic, but it’s not inaccurate. I like clean lines, comfort, and an undercurrent of weirdness. The latter can take a lot of forms, but most consistently for me it’s giant crystal jewelry, an intense lip color, and cuts that might traditionally be seen as “inappropriate” for my age and body type.
How would you describe your bestie’s style?
- LC: Witchy refined goth momboy (cross between a mom and a tomboy because she wears Keds sometimes, and by sometimes I mean, like, a lot).
- TFO: I don’t know if I have a phrase that would sum it up, but maybe “detail-oriented” is the most accurate. By that I mean that (like me), she doesn’t wear a lot of color, but she is very attracted to pattern and texture—especially fringe and hardware. I think there’s also an awareness of and appreciation for the past in her aesthetic; she’s had a mod phase, a sort of hybrid punk/fifties teenager phase, and I would say for many years now she has loved seventies influences and details—but all of this has been tempered by sleekness. She likes streamlined cuts and close fits. And big jewelry. If my style is “mom,” hers is “slightly eccentric aunt who throws great parties.”
How has your own style evolved since you first met?
- LC: I could write a book on this one. Let me try to just provide the Cliff’s Notes for the sake of brevity. OK, here we go, starting from when Taylor and I first met: Poor Man’s Gwen Stefani/ Middle Class Teenage Goth Mallrat (lots of skirts over pants, one- shouldered tops, plaid, vinyl, pleather, detached sleeves, and things with fur trims) > Neo Mod (aka I’m really into International Noise Conspiracy and now I only wear white belts, ties, side swept bangs, and a strict color palette of black, white, and army green) > Grandma Chic (there was this weird time in the early 2000’s when pearls and cardigans had a renaissance for some reason and we have a lot of photo evidence of it which is simultaneously glorious and inconceivably embarrassing) > Hipster Dive Bar Trashwear (really at this point in my life I just went to Rag-O-Rama and bought the craziest shit I could find and wore it all together as one outfit with as many gold necklaces as my malnourished neck would support) > All of the aforementioned styles, just old and with a tad more florals.
- TFO: Honestly, I don’t think I began to form my own style until my late twenties, and it’s only in my thirties that I’ve really come to understand what I like and why I like it. Before, I wore what I thought I was supposed to, both trend-wise and in relation to my body type. For instance, I was always self-conscious about being tall and large, so I would try to feminize my dressing in weird ways: wearing skirts when I have never particularly liked them, gravitating toward ruffles or romantic lace details, which I love on the rack but rarely on myself. Then I swung the other way, and was strictly a T-shirt and jeans wearer because that felt easier—but I still didn’t feel like myself. It took a long time for me to accept that I have the body I have, and that doesn’t disqualify me from wearing anything, no matter what the culture at large might say about it. So, once that shift happened for me, I was finally able to figure out what I like, and that has pretty consistently been black and neutrals in simple, comfortable cuts, with nary a ruffle in sight (although I do still love a little lace now and then).
What is the most memorable outfit you remember the other person wearing?
- LC: OK, there are a lot, but I think it has to be when we used to wear those corsets over the long white button up shirts with jeans. Don’t get me wrong, Taylor has some fantastic outfits now, but the most memorable is definitely the corset + button up combo. Followed closely by the god-awful tuxedos we used to have to wear at our jobs at the country club in college, just because we spent so much time in those outfits together eating leftover buffet scraps straight out of the chafing pans and stale wedding cake. God, those were good times.
- TFO: There are a couple. The first is one Lindsey already mentioned, but she didn’t mention that it’s an outfit she originated and I copied, because of the two of us she’s the true innovator: in twelfth grade, she wore the corset from her junior prom dress over a knee-length white button-down shirt with flared jeans and these black platform round-toed shoes from Delia*s. It was, like, the most creative dressing I’d ever seen in our high school. The second is one that sticks out for mysterious reasons; it was just something she wore to work one day in our sophomore year of college and I don’t think she ever wore it again. Anyway, it was this cute little red pleated skirt, a pair of knit yellow-and-orange argyle tights, a mustard-yellow-striped short-sleeved button-down, a red men’s tie, a printed silk scarf in her hair, and red Mary Janes. Oh my God. I wish there was a picture of it. I think I might just remember it for its boldness and total disregard for “matching.” Lindsey was pattern-mixing before it was cool.
What does the other lady wear that you feel like you never could?
- LC: Taylor crushes the sheer shirt + visible cute bra look. I love this look, but for whatever reason, whenever I try it I just end up feeling like a phony. Taylor pulls it off nicely. It just looks right.
- TFO: There’s an earthy quality to the way Lindsey dresses that I just don’t think I could pull off. She wears a lot of details that could technically be described as “bohemian,” but on her they don’t look that way. I’m thinking specifically of the way she incorporates fringe into her wardrobe (seriously, boo loves some fringe). Anytime I try on something fringey I look like I’m wearing a hippie costume, but she knows how to do it in a way that’s sexy and mysterious and totally natural—no crunchy granola or even Coachella vibes to be found. Also, she looks great in high necks, and my head sits almost directly on top of my shoulders, so I can’t play that game myself.
What are your hopes for The Sable Thread?
- LC: I guess I really just want to create a space where our readers can come together, laugh, be inspired, share their thoughts, feel safe and good and strong and empowered. I’d like it to feel more like a community of like-minded individuals than just another style blog that only posts a ton of pictures of themselves every day because 1) I don’t have that many clothes and 2) I don’t do something interesting every day, so unless you wanted to see pictures of me sitting on my couch eating cereal and watching old episodes of The Tudors, you’d be pretty underwhelmed if we didn’t mix things up a little bit. Ultimately, I just hope that some of the topics that we discuss, or some of the people that we feature, or anything about the content that we put out there is able to touch someone in a positive way.
- TFO: I want us to talk about style and culture in a way that I don’t see anywhere else. My friendship with Lindsey has been such a defining part of my life, and I think a lot of the points on which we connect are points where other women can connect, too—but I don’t think there’s currently a lot of places to do that. The idea of being able to create a space for our fellow weirdos, who love dressing however the fuck they want and incorporate that spirit into everything they do, is a dream for me. I want our readers to feel known and included and accepted, and also to have fun with us. I would love to see this become a real online community—where women can exchange ideas and even help shape our content. And I want us to have big conversations, because what we wear can really tell the world who we are in a meaningful way, and talking about who we are opens up pathways to bigger things. Style and culture aren’t just artifacts. They’re reflections, and I think we all want to see ourselves represented somewhere.
That’s all for now! Thanks for reading, and we’ll C U Next Tuesday! (Yes, we decided to post on Tuesdays just so we could say that.)