Marti Esther lives in a farmhouse in Bend, Oregon, where she works as a marketing manager for an aviation company and paints in her free time. “I’ve settled into a style that feels like me,” she says. Here, she shares how she dresses for the extreme seasons, the joy of catalog shopping, and five outfits she wore in a week…
Tank: Anthropologie, similar. Skirt: Ace & Jig, similar. Straw bag: vintage, bought on Noihsaf Bazaar, an Instagram account where women resell pieces. Necklace: Malso.
“Bend is smack dab in the middle of Oregon, in the high desert. We have snowy winters and dry summers. Lots of people move here for their outdoor recreational hobbies, so it’s comically casual. The joke is that if you’re going to the fancy steak house, you put on your nicest Patagonia! Bend has also taught me how to layer. I wear my summer jumpsuits over long-sleeved tees in the winter, throw sweaters over collared shirts in the fall and fully appreciate soft leggings under dresses during the colder months. Thank god that ’90s-style layering is ‘back,’ because it’s warm!”
Dress: Sundance. Scarf: Madewell, similar. Slides: Target. Hat: similar.
“There’s a war in my brain between having a minimalism and maximalism style. Half of me wants to be Georgia O’Keeffe and wear simple linen dresses all day; and half of me wants to be Iris Apfel and cover myself in patterns and jewelry. I sit somewhere in between. Almost everything in my closet is neutral colored, but I have a collection of pink, blue and green scarves from thrift stores that I look at every morning and think, ‘How can I put this on my body today?’ I’ll tie them around my waist or put them in my hair.”
Linen cardigan: CP Shades, similar. Camisole: Artisan NY. Jeans: Warp + Weft. Necklace: Ritual.
“This camisole was actually from a pajama set! With little shorts that matched. I wear it constantly — with jeans, skirts, layered under anything. It has lovely details, like an eyelet neck and swiss dotting. Often, my best outfits happen in a panic — in those moments when I’m getting ready and NOTHING is working. That’s when I try something random that I normally wouldn’t think of, like this tank, and then decide to wear it forever.”
Shirt: Eileen Fisher, similar. Skirt: Loft, similar. Slides: Target. Turquoise necklace: handmade in Spain. Gold pendant: Ritual.
“Business attire is a nightmare for me, but this Eileen Fisher top has always made the cut. It’s first thing in my suitcase when I’m traveling for work. It can fold up in the teeniest little wad. Bend has a Macy’s that often has markdowns on Eileen Fisher. Those pieces last forever. I’m also a catalog shopper for brands that are probably aimed at a different age demographic than mine, ha! I. LOVE. CATALOGS. When I was younger, I would go to my parents’ house and bring all their catalogs home with me, until I started ordering from Garnett Hill and Sundance myself. They’re how I learned to put together outfits.”
Jacket: Supplies. Jumpsuit: Anthropologie, similar. Gold pendant: Ritual. Sandals: Old Navy, similar.
“For a long time, I felt like my body was at war with trends. Low-rise jeans were the worst, and I wore only A-line skirts and dresses because that was marketed to me as the only shape that a curvy woman should wear. But lately, I’ve been rejecting that idea. Loose, linen dresses feel comfortable and chic! Similarly, high-waisted blue jeans make me feel sexy, even if they don’t minimize the size of my thighs the way that black jeans do. There is not a one-size-fits-all way to dress your body type.”
“It’s easy to be your own harshest critic, but I’m learning to be more gentle with myself — be it about academic achievements or my social anxiety. I can also get behind a face mask and a glass of wine, like any true millennial woman. I want to honor myself in the place I am, but still have fun.”
Thank you so much, Marti! You are wonderful.
P.S. More women share their week of outfits, including a preschool teacher and an architect.
(Photos by Brooklyn Wagner for Cup of Jo.)