How To Dress Like Portland

So now that I’ve been on Portlandia and shoulder the responsibility of representing my city, I’m perfecting the art of how to dress like Portland. I don’t mean how to dress like Portlanders dress; I mean how to dress like the city itself. If Portland were a person, this is what its wardrobe would look like. It’s time to document this style journey…

The project began when I was randomly invited for the audition. I had no idea what a person wears to audition for a tv show, but after a little facebook crowdsourcing, I came up with this…

portlandia audition outfit

We don’t carry umbrellas in Portland, or anywhere in the Northwest. But we can wear them ironically on our clothing. This umbrella print skirt is one of my favorite things, especially when I pair it with a notice-me-yellow top. (We don’t get enough sunshine in our Vitamin D deprived city, so I like to do my part by providing the sunny yellow.) And the outfit absolutely needed these shoes–normal people would call them brown Oxfords. I alternately refer to them as my hipster shoes, my old man shoes, or my American Girl doll shoes.

And accessories are important, so let’s not fail to give credit to the quirky cat necklace.

quirky cat necklace

I don’t know exactly why this outfit needed a quirky cat necklace, or why that fits the Portland theme. We’re really more of a dog loving city. Maybe when I wear it, people think it’s a dog? Whatever, it just felt right.

Having discovered my love for umbrella skirts, I came across this LuLaRoe maxi, and had to have it. There wasn’t even a choice in the matter; it just had to happen. The umbrellas and the raindrops and the utter essence of Portland…. I stuck with the bright yellow on top. I think it’ll be cuter with red flats next time, but it’s very hard to talk myself into wearing anything but boots in the winter.

Portland outfit - umbrella maxi

You have to zoom in to appreciate the full value of this skirt. The blue umbrellas have tiny unicorns on them!

umbrella unicorn

portland unicorn

 

Portland is a unicorn of a city. Magical, mythical, you can’t believe it’s real, even when you’re looking right at it. (Although it does have the ability to stab you. And it’s pretty white….) This Portland unicorn sticker lives on the side of my chair (thanks, Powell’s), and is another one of my favorite things.

 

 

My mission to dress like Portland continued when I fell in love with these leggings, which my friend said reminded her of the PDX carpet. There can’t possibly be another city in the world that loves its airport carpet with the same fervor that Portland loved this one. The carpet may have been replaced a couple years ago, but it will live forever in our hearts… and our tshirts, socks, mugs, key chains, and all varieties of merch. I have a pair of earrings that another friend says are reminiscent of PDX carpet, so obviously I had to wear them with the leggings.

PDX carpet clothes

And this outfit was born.

Portland carpet outfit

I am PDX.

Fun fact: I also wore that chambray shirt on Portlandia, only buttoned, and the costume department deemed it “very Carrie.” So, the outfit scores a couple more Portland points.

Next. For the last six years, I’ve had a fashion rule for myself: nothing with a bird on it. It was too cliche; I just couldn’t do it. Sometimes I’d find really cute things, but with a bird, and I’d get mad at Portlandia for taking birds away from me. When I fell in love with this shirt, I felt the familiar irritation rising… and then I realized, things have changed. Portlandia is part of me now. I not just can, but should own something with a bird on it. So I bought the shirt, enjoying my new fashion freedom, and saved it for the day my episode would air.

Bird on it outfit

Since it was an occasion, I had to go all the way with my theme, and wear bird earrings too.

bird earrings

Hummingbirds are kind of my spirit animal. They just speak to me. And for some reason, I’ve stumbled into learning the word “hummingbird” in three indigenous languages, plus, of course, Spanish.

For Portlandia day, Carolee got in the spirit by wearing her bicycle scarf. Portland loves bikes even more than it loves putting birds on things! We tied ourselves together with the scarf, because sharing also feels like the spirit of Portland.

portland selfie with carolee

I’m told that by sharing a scarf, we may or may not be married in Hawaii. I haven’t investigated this alleged tradition. But Carolee’s husband is a cool guy, and I’m sure he wouldn’t mind me being her Hawaiian spouse. It feels like an oddly Portland arrangement.

Keep Portland weird! But not ugly. 🙂

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