The day I turned vanilla

Dear white people,

I don’t mean to be a reverse racist, but have you ever just looked in the mirror and been like “damn I look so totally like a ‘white person’ should today.” I don’t even know if that is a thing, because I am not white, but I always wonder if it’s harder to be “casual-chic” when you’re Caucasian.

I used to be a real edgy dresser. All black everything. I used to spend hours in front of the mirror trying to figure out new ways to wear my clothes so that they were “unexpected” and “interesting.” To some degree, I was just a poor art student with only a few pieces of designer, trying my best to get the most mileage from my clothes, but I was still a head turner on the streets. A bundle of layers in shades of black, and people couldn’t help but think “what is she wearing?”

With age, and a big-girl job, my style has shifted, and while I still think I look “interesting” I blend more seamlessly into the cityscape now, with my button up and my cropped trousers. And while dressing simply (but sharply) can be a great indicator of timeless elegance, I can’t help but question whether I am just getting a bit boring with my outfit choices. Sometimes during my morning mirror check, I need to swap out that third layer of merino with a leather jacket, just to feel like I still have my edge.

Where did my edge go?

When I recently traveled to China, one of my most prized purchases was a windbreaker from Zara. I know… ZARA. What. The. Fuck. I went all the way to China, to buy a piece of outwear that I thought would absolutely compliment my full-length yoga pants as well as my favourite pair of slacks. I realised I had turned vanilla through and through. Not even a choc-chip to jazz things up.

To be honest though, I love my Zara windbreaker. It comes with a detachable hood, in an unassuming deep navy, has beautiful gold furnishings, and a million pockets like a good and practical vanilla jacket should. Taste that bland sweetness on your tongue.

I worry that I look boring when I wear it. That maybe the chic isn’t showing through enough. But sometimes, you just gotta let the vanilla wash all over you. And that’s okay with me – because I’m Asian, and a little vanilla just makes me look clean and polished. But what about you?

What happens when you mix vanilla with vanilla?

Sincerely yours,

Concerned Reverse-Racist.


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