News and politics aside, another favorite thing of mine is fashion. I love clothes. My mom is a wonderful artist, and while I can’t draw, I like to think my best forms of art are the words I write and the clothes I wear.
I wore a sparkly jumpsuit to my senior prom, and I’m not sure I’ve ever loved an outfit more. The only problem was that I had bad hair (I thought that wasn’t supposed to happen until you had kids and were looking back at prom pictures with them?)
Anyway, the sparkles on the jumpsuit were bright colors, so I wore giant neon yellow earrings to match. Earrings are my favorite accessory. Automatic fashion level-up? Add a fun pair of earrings. Easy. You’re now one step closer to being Karen Fairchild.
Not only is she a country music queen, she’s also the first lady of fashion. Karen makes up one fourth of the band Little Big Town— the group she’s been making music with for some twenty years. Just by looking at them you would imagine a prerequisite for joining the band would have to be something like “wildly attractive people with amazing hair only.”
You thought I was kidding.
Karen is on the far left, followed by Jimi Westbrook (her husband, no less), Kimberly Schlapman, and Phillip Sweet. The picture is from the 2020 Grammys in January, and the band is dressed from head-to-toe in Dolce&Gabbana. Karen has said that this look may just be her favorite ever, which clearly makes it her sparkly senior prom jumpsuit. I mean, look at it. If wearing fur-trimmed Dolce&Gabbana to my senior prom was an option, trust me, I would’ve done it.
Karen also makes me want to dye my hair darker and let it grow really long. Quarantine has taken care of the latter for me, but otherwise I’m just left trying to convince myself that my light brown hair really is dark brown and clearly looks exactly like hers.
I promise you, it does not.
And, naturally, Karen’s music is just as good— better, even, than you could possibly hope for. Little Big Town released their ninth album Nightfall in January, and embarked on an intimate tour of theaters across the country playing the new album from top to bottom. I’ve seen their live concerts more times than I can count, so no less than two months after watching them play Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion for the 4th of July last summer, I called my mom from school in September and told her we had to get tickets to see them again when they came to the Wang Theatre in Boston. Merry Christmas to me.
In July, we sat so close to the stage that I could see the sparkles in Karen’s blue eyeshadow. In February, when they came to Boston, they played just about every song you could imagine. The question of whether or not I will ever be as happy elsewhere as I am at a Little Big Town concert is still up for debate.
Now, we can’t talk about Karen without talking about fringe… yet another trend I myself adore. Are we sensing a pattern yet? Here she is at the 2016 CMA Awards in an emerald green fringe dress, and in 2018 in a white fringe ensemble for the Kennedy Center Honors for Cher.
I just ordered black fringe pants that look exactly like the white ones she has on. They are, in fact, amazing. Not sure where exactly I’ll be wearing them or if they will improve my ability to belt out the words to “Girl Crush,” but I’ll let you know.
Between sparkles and fringe, I’m really not sure what else you could ask for from fashion. Or Karen.
So, here you’ll find the coolest pair of jeans probably in the history of denim. They’re custom made (originally for Justin Bieber, believe it or not) and I will probably spend the rest of my life searching for a similar pair of jeans so messed up they’re just as helplessly cool.
“I view it a lot like telling a story in a song. I think an outfit tells a story.” —Karen Fairchild
Did I mention she’s bffs with Christian Louboutin? As in, she had a private party at her home in Nashville and he came and brought her shoes? The red bottoms, man.
In return, Louboutin was gifted a custom Gibson guitar (it’s red on the back, y’all. Like his shoes).
There’s also the matter of her iconic TV appearance outfit: a white blazer and black pants with a red stripe down the side.
...what, like I wasn’t going to do the same thing? Has this post taught you nothing?
The pants may not be exactly the same, but the blazer sure is. Yes, literally. Last summer Karen cleaned out her closet (stars, they’re just like us) and decided to sell the gently worn pieces on an instagram account she and one of the band’s employees created together. So I bought the white blazer, and now it’s my lucky blazer. Which is ironic because it’s white, and white is just terrible for TV.
I’ll leave you back where we started at the Grammys. I could very much keep going, but I’m not entirely sure how long or short these things are supposed to be just yet. Here is Karen’s Grammy look from 2019. I may not have been able to wear Dolce&Gabbana to my senior prom, but I was on the right track with my colorful sparkles.
If I could, I would call up Bobby Bones, or Kelsea Ballerini, or Lady Antebellum, and have any one of them testify to the fact that Karen, and Jimi, and Kimberly, and Phillip... are just good people. I can say it all I want from all the concerts I've seen and all the podcasts I've listened to and all the interviews I've watched, but I've never actually met Karen or the band. Still, I think the very best part about her, fashion and music aside, is that she's exactly the kind of person you would want her to be. And who doesn't want to be just like that when they grow up?
So, yes, my big, black, flat-brimmed hat plastered in the photo all over this website is most definitely in homage to hers.
I'm Alex, and welcome to my blog. I'm a junior at Boston University where I'm studying broadcast journalism and dabbling in political science. Usually, us journalists write articles and not blogs, but seeing as summer 2020 already hasn't gone according to plan, I missed writing with a purpose. Here you'll find all my thoughts and the words I felt needed to be put to paper (or, immortalized on the internet).