Style Portrait: Amanda Carl of Born Cages — Musician

When I started going into New York City for gigs, I became more and more influenced by the amazing music scene there. New York is a great mecca for style in every sense. It’s the kind of effortless confidence New Yorkers have that makes anything they wear look amazing. I can get style inspiration by just people watching on any street.

The shopping here, too, is unlike anything you can find anywhere else. Whenever I see an Artists and Fleas market pop-up, I can guarantee I’ll find an amazing, unique piece or two. I love Search and Destroy on St. Marks, and Metropolis has great vintage shoes. I wear dresses and skirts on occasion, but I feel most confident in anything structured. Whether it be a blazer, jacket, or tailored pants — structure is key. Boots are a staple in my wardrobe as well, no matter what the season is.

When I’m on the road with the my band, Born Cages, I make sure I have stage outfits that I can mix and match, depending on how I feel that day. On stage, I love bold jackets, faux fur, or vintage ’80s and ’90s blazers with bright patterns or kimono-like shawls.

My makeup onstage is always important to me as well. If I do a bold lip, I offset it with just some lashes and smoky liner. If I do crazy colored eyeshadow and winged liner, I’ll go with a neutral lip. My favorite liner is Kat Von D tattoo liner pen — it stays on forever! When I’m not working, I take the time off to shop for some really cool pieces, or experiment with changes in my makeup routine. Marc Jacobs has a really great neutral eyeshadow palette for days off. I love his new makeup line.

Films have always inspired me from an early age. I used to watch The Sound of Music over and over again when I was about four or five. I was so fascinated by Maria’s fashion transformation and how she had to give up all her dresses to join the convent. I thought it was the greatest thing in the world that she could make her own clothes, and I wanted to wear one of her DIY curtain dresses so badly. I have such vivid memories of the costumes in that movie. Even though they were simple, it was how Julie Andrews wore them that really helped convey the transformation of her character. Even though I was so young, I noticed that Maria was wearing earrings and did her hair at the end of the movie. It said so much about her confidence.

It sometimes pains me to see such painfully thin women modeling clothing in a catalogue, lookbook, or at a show at New York Fashion Week. Sometimes the pressure gets to me when I have a photo or a video shoot coming up, and I feel like I have to drop a few pounds just to look good in my clothes. The truth is, all women are built differently, and we don’t have to be a size zero to wear what we want, and look good in it. It’s all about the confidence we have, how we feel when we wear a certain outfit, and what we can do to re-affirm that confidence in ourselves daily.

The media surrounds us with false images of what we’re supposed to look like, and when you’re in the entertainment industry, it can get to you. With so much work to be done and music to be made, there’s no room for self-deprecating energy.

Check out Born Cages on Facebook and Soundcloud.

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