Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.

Saved! Access Favorites in your account profile. Removed from my favorites

How Thinking Of Your Clothes As Costumes Can Change Everything

  1. Begin
    Illustrated by Alex Marino.

    SHARE IT

    comments
    See All Slides
    We don't just appreciate an inspired ensemble. We want to know the whole making-of story behind it. But in Style Roots, we're going one better. In partnership with Nordstrom Rack, this series will deep-dive into the real sartorial evolutions of seven city dwellers who all came from very different starts. Be it a streetwear OG or newbie vintage collector, we'll examine how past and present cultural, social, and career influences mold one's unique style persona.

    "Dress for the job you want" is one of the oldest — and possibly most unrealistic — tropes in the world. After all, most of us have to dress for what our current life calls for with what's already in our closet. But for performers like Danielle Burdick, the saying is a literal means for landing her next gig. In other words, a girl can dream.

    The professionally trained dancer and Tustin, CA native switched up her quintessential SoCal-girl vibes (flip-flops, tank tops, "easy beach style," as she puts it) for an East-Coast-appropriate uniform (leather jackets, sturdy boots, etc.) when she moved to New York four years ago. But taking a closer look, the aspiring Broadway performer is the true definition of a style chameleon in that she constantly switches up her self-styled ensembles as she heads from audition to audition, creating looks that fit a specific role in a specific time to tell a specific story. And as we learned, that approach to dressing doesn’t stop when she’s offstage either. With a flexible (in more ways than one) aesthetic that blends feminine and masculine with classic and edgy, the up-and-comer fills us in on why thinking of life as scenes and clothing as costumes can be surprisingly liberating.

    Be sure to check out Nordstrom Rack's new store, opening August 26 at The Market Place in Tustin, CA. Get details here.


    Begin Slideshow
  2. Illustrated by Alex Marino.

    SHARE IT

    comments
    See All Slides
    0 of 5
    }

    When I think back on Tustin... "It feels small, now. It didn’t feel quaint when I was growing up. It’s considered part of Orange County, and for my pivotal developmental years — when The OC and Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County were on TV — there was this big moment for the area as a whole. Even though Tustin wasn’t coastal, I remember being in high school and totally identifying and feeling like part of that trend, especially in the early 2000s."

    Growing up, I always wanted to wear... "What every girl was buying at the time. I wanted designer jeans and halter tops. But I was also interested in editorials and loved immersing myself in magazines. I would try something that I felt looked like high fashion, but it didn't draw attention in a positive way. After college, I started to wear more tailored pieces that you don’t see much of in Southern California — there's not a lot of structured blazers or classic East Coast prep wear. It wasn’t really until I came to New York that I totally evolved."

    Shop similar off-the-shoulder tops.

  3. Illustrated by Alex Marino.

    SHARE IT

    comments
    See All Slides
    1 of 5
    }

    Living in New York has been so pivotal for me because... "One, my age — coming here in my mid-20s and now moving into my late-20s. This is a defining time period. Then, add an extreme change in location and lifestyle — the fast pace, not having a car, living in a smaller apartment...almost every single facet of life."

    I still cringe a little bit when I think about wearing... "My first year here, when I was doing a lot of the grungy hipster look. Looking back, that felt a little too much like costume clothing. I still love having some edge, in terms of adding in leather, studs, or wearing a lot of black. But now I have some balance."

  4. Illustrated by Alex Marino.

    SHARE IT

    comments
    See All Slides
    2 of 5
    }

    My style philosophy is... "I approach dressing outside of my industry the same way I do auditioning: You go in for so many different projects that need you to be a different character in a different time period. Even if it’s [an audition] for a dance role and I’m wearing shorts and a sports bra, how I do my hair and makeup and choose my color scheme all need to help casting directors envision me as the character. I take a lot of that into consideration when I’m dressing outside of auditions or rehearsals, too. Where am I going? Who am I going to be with? Will we be taking pictures? I spend so much of my time in dance clothes that when I get to put on my real clothes, I get so excited and approach it the same way."

    Shop similar leather and faux-leather jackets.

  5. Illustrated by Alex Marino.

    SHARE IT

    comments
    See All Slides
    3 of 5
    }

    On a typical day, you can likely catch me in... "Navy and white nautical stripes, via a T-shirt or long-sleeved sweater — I've got about seven or eight variations in my closet. Then, some sort of tailored jacket. Whether it’s an oversized moto jacket or a black blazer, this really ties together an outfit. And then, probably skinny jeans. Also, I love menswear flats — either a smoking slipper, loafer, or a brogue. That outfit feels very me."

    How my past still influences my style... "There’s still so much California in me. As soon as the weather warms up here I go back to my default — I put on ripped cutoffs and am trying to get myself to the beach."

  6. Illustrated by Alex Marino.

    SHARE IT

    comments
    See All Slides
    4 of 5