Sarah Hart Landolt, 30
Lexington Fox Interview by Lauralee Crain Estill
What are you thinking about when you get dressed in the morning?
Good question. I’m thinking mostly about my mood and what I feel comfortable in, what is me. It’s impossible for me to plan my outfit the night before, because I don’t know what I’m going to feel like. At least once a week, I just want to wear a bag. But nothing in my closet is like that because most of my things are super tight. I try things on and I just want to feel like myself and that changes from day to day.
What kinds of questions do you think about when getting dressed?
What is the location? What is the space I am going to be in? What’s the expectation for the space? Five days of the weeks it’s going to school; I can’t have my ass hanging out. I still want to be me, but I have pushed the boundary in the past. In Lexington, it’s different. In Lexington I tone it down for what I’ve done before. I’m thinking, what’s the audience in Lexington? It’s always casual. It’s always casual in Nashville, too but it’s a different kind of causal, i.e., high waisted jeans. Then I think of very practical things. Weather because I bike a lot. Making sure it feels right on my body. It’s flattering.
Where do you start your outfit? For ex. Shoes first or shirt, etc.
Never shoes. Usually, I go with a dress. Lately, I’ve had a shift of where I start with a dress, shoes, accessories. It’s gotten really simple.
Are you aiming to say anything when you put together an outfit?
I went through my closet with my breast-friend Maggie, because I’ve been trying to curate a simple closet with modern geometric flares. Clean, chic, still loud and bold. She helped me by saying. ‘Sarah, you clearly light up when you put on things like American Apparel disco-pants, or your crop tops.’ My whole thing used to be crop-top, short skirt, boots or wedges. It was a playful aspect of my personality. She said to me that she would be upset to see me lose that. So you need these pieces for aspect of your life but still communicates the playful part of yourself. Instead of short skirts, I do longer skirts. A more modern crop top instead of one with cats on it. I want to communicate a uniform. A brand of this is who I am. But also, there’s competing factors that I want to wear the fun things, but can I still pull off that sort of thing based on age and my weight has changed. How can I marry the minimal sleek style with my personality and still say this is who I am? It’s been conflicting in the past few years.
What’s your go-to styling trick?
Black tight dress, comfortable shoes, a modern necklace. Having those go-to pieces already in your closet.
What’s your go-to outfit?
It once was crop top and wedges. And I’m still attached to that. But now it’s body-con dresses. Always. I still like heels. A simple purse that’s lightweight. Minimalist statement necklace. Red lipstick.
What’s an outfit that never works?
Pants. I fuckin hate pants. I hate pants that are not spandex. And I love the masculine boyish looks but it never works, because of my body. It’s frustrating, but I have a very feminine body and anything baggy makes me look like a bag.
What are you wearing when you feel most yourself? Why?
Form fitting clothes. Either a dress or a skirt. Again, because of my body type I have to go with what I feel comfortable in. And I can’t go with pants. I have boobs, small waist, hips — I go with a dress. I don’t feel myself when I wear a t-shirt.
When do you recall coming into your own personal style?
I’ve always been obsessed with style. Always. I became more outlandish about it when I was in 7th or 8th grade. In high school I experimented a lot– I would wear anything. Sometimes it was too much.
How did you experiment with style in earlier years?
I would have so much more history to tell you about it if I had a different body type. I wasn’t able to wear the low-waisted Britney Spears jeans, culottes or gauchos. Maybe my body saved me from those trendy looks. I experimented and got more outlandish with style maybe during times when I was hurting. In high school being depressed–my high school was cookie cutter–so I think sometimes I went a little too extreme to rebel. I experimented more with my hair, like chunky Kelly Clarkson highlights. My body prevented me from getting really trendy and I have such a style of my own that I can’t get really trendy despite myself. It prevents me from fully adhering to an era. I remember being more hippie bohemian in college.
Do you dress to reflect your mood or to change your mood?
Reflect. Definitely reflect my mood.
Are there ways you wish you could change your style?
I wish I could be more– idk you look in catalogs and instagram. It’s hard for me not to be myself and go with a trend. If I had a different body type I would experiment more with style. Masculine style, for example.
Have you ever gotten bored with your closet? How do you get out of a style rut?
Shopping. I am someone who likes nouveauté; who likes new things constantly.
What are three places on the internet do you consult for fashion inspiration?
Pinterest. I have a pinterest board I’m always adding to. I really like TOTOKAELO. An over-the-top expensive brand from Seattle. I want to mention a style icon on instagram, but I end up just unfollowing them because they all look the same. What’s the point of following this person with 300K followers just posting outfits all the time. It just gets kind of boring.
What are three places not on the internet you find inspiration for fashion?
I would say I’ve always looked to art. Art and pattern. Anything that’s vintage or historical. Film. I always go back to 1960s and 1990s and films and shows in those two time periods.
What’s something new in fashion that you’ve discovered that has you excited?
Blogging. Putting the power to normal people. That’s the biggest break that I still think changed fashion. Even though it’s not novel, the internet giving you access to anything. And Jewelry and accessories available from artisans. This is something that was not available when I was a teenager.
What’s the coolest thing you’ve done in the last week?
I went to a chemistry lab to experiment with a chemist working with crystalline colors that she makes in her lab. We’re experimenting with trying to paint with the colors she’s making. They’re very small prints and I mixed them together with a gloss. The chemist bought my paintings and afterward we decided to collaborate.
What’s the best place to eat in Lexington?
County Club. Love County Club. Die Hard.
Where’s the best place to shop in Lexington?
Places in Lexington that are not available anywhere else, I would say Fox House. I have seven different items that are super unique that I’ve worn a ton from Fox House. And Salvation Army.
Who in Lexington inspires you?
My landlord is really awesome. He is a painter, gardener, bonsai extraordinaire, carpenter— all sorts of titles. Always upbeat, quirky, always throwing parties, socialite.
Sarah Hart Landolt is a French Instructor at the University of Kentucky and an artist. I met Sarah at her studio in Lexington. She is originally from Nashville, TN. You can find her artwork here. http://www.sarahhartlandolt.com