If you have ever been to Cape May then you know just how unique the architecture of the buildings in the area is. Each home has its own personality, painting a different story for every person that walks by it. There are old churches, restaurants, bed and breakfasts, and boutiques- each with no less character than the last.
The colorful homes and intricate gardens of Cape May are just two of the many reasons why it is one of my favorite places. I could wonder the streets for hours and be perfectly content with life. My family knows this for sure; they are often the ones that I am dragging around with me on long walks.
Cape May’s architecture is clearly Victorian. However, it was not always like this. In 1878 a massive fire broke out on the little beach island, destroying 30 blocks of buildings and hotels. The rebuilding of this area surrounding Washington Street was considered the modern style of the day. Now, the style is an old charm like no other, giving everyone that visits it a glimpse into the Victorian era.
Defining features of Victorian architecture include stained glass windows, gingerbread trim, and detailed fencing. Ironic that this little Victorian home is called the Gingerbread House? I think not. The entrance is decorated with this beautiful, twirly white trim that I just can’t get enough of.
Cape May is actually a National Historic Landmark, which makes sense when you think about all of its rich history. The town was known as the “President’s Playground” because of it being a popular vacation destination for presidents like Abraham Lincoln and James Buchanan.
However, Cape May was not always a National Historic Landmark. The Victorian buildings were actually threatened in the mid-1900s when many argued that they should be demolished to make room for more modern architecture. Luckily, many more people appreciated these one-of-a-kind buildings and argued for them not to be torn down. Once the town was given its historical title in 1976 the buildings were forever safe from harm.
Just like timeless architecture, I believe fashion is something that should be preserved for centuries to come. It represents a moment in time that is to be forever cherished. Clothing tells a story just like buildings do. While my style is simple and classic, it shows my youth and drive as a young woman in the business world.
As a modern woman walking the streets of Cape May that the great American Presidents once walked, I aim to leave a lasting artistic impression on the world for decades to come. If these buildings can inspire me as much as they do, why can’t I inspire others with my fashion choices?
When you walk into an antique shop or vintage store you are surrounded by one-of-a-kind pieces, each with their own stories to tell and hidden history. Shopping in these stores is an experience that brings you back in time, immersing you in a different time period.
Cape May is home to antique stores filled with World War II memorabilia, old polaroids and advertisements from the 1960s. While of course I love going to the beach and soaking up the summer sun, exploring these antique shops is one of my favorite activities to do while at the Jersey Shore for the weekend.
When I visit these shops I am enlightened by all of the inspiration around me. Seeing something that speaks to me and is unique in its own way inspires me to recreate that essence in the outfits that I wear every day.
Each look that you put together tells its own story, not about the individual clothing items but about the person that is actually wearing them. It is the first thing people notice about you and the first thing they will use to make their judgements about you. Just as every antique item is one-of-a-kind your style should be as well.
Many people are afraid to stray away from what everyone else is wearing because they fear they will stand out too much. Ask yourself, is standing out really so bad if you are sharing your story with the world?
I am encouraging you to visit your local Goodwill or your local antique shop. Seek inspiration and soak up the stories of the past that are there to tell. Then take this inspiration and infuse it into the clothing that you wear. Before putting on your clothes, ask yourself, what story am I willing to share with the world today?