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Damn Fine Coffee

3 weeks ago by

About a year and a half ago, I really started to embrace the idea of dining alone. It all started during a peculiar time in my life. In the months leading up to it, I had a rough breakup with a boyfriend that I was living with and I moved into a new apartment on my own. At 27, it was the first time I had ever lived alone in my life. Shortly after my breakup and move, I got laid off from my editor job at a magazine. I went from a person in a serious relationship with full-time employment, to a single freelancer in the span of about two months.

While this twist of fate left me feeling kind of terrified, I was also liberated. I was no longer burdened by a relationship that wasn’t good for me. And even though I didn’t leave the magazine by choice, getting laid off was the push that I needed from a safe but boring job, to a slightly scary, but much more exciting freelance career. All of a sudden I had no one to answer to. My time, both work and play, was truly my own.

Damn Fine Coffee

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Damn Fine Coffee

At first it wasn’t easy. I leaned on my friends a lot, as anyone would. Over hours-long dinners and too many bottles of wine they would lend me their ears and ask me all about my new life. Having them by my side meant a lot. But, of course, they couldn’t be there all the time.

It’s like that scene in Sex and the City, if you’re not a superfan like me then allow me to summarize. For weeks and weeks Carrie prattles on to her friends about her breakup with Mr. Big. It’s nonstop. At first it’s understandable, but eventually her friends get tired out. They can’t be her therapists anymore. “Look, we’re as fucked up as you,” Samantha kindly explains, “it’s like the blind leading the blind.”

My friends didn’t have to have that same conversation with me (they didn’t send me to a therapist either, which is what ended up happening to Carrie). I may have learned my lesson from all of the SATC I consumed as a young adult, but I think there was something else telling me to find the answers within my own heart and mind. There was that little voice inside.

Damn Fine Coffee

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Deep down, I knew that the time had come for me to be really, completely alone. I had to learn to rely on myself for both productivity and companionship. I knew that I had stayed in a bad relationship and an unfulfilling job because of a lack of confidence in myself and a fear of being alone. It was time to look that fear in the face.

Damn Fine Coffee
Damn Fine Coffee

And that’s just what I did. As Rupaul says, “if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love anybody else!” On my journey to self-love, dining alone became an important stepping stone. Being confident while being all alone in public felt like I was taking a stand. “I can do this!” I proudly pronounced inside of my head. Soon, taking myself out for a good burger or a martini after a long day of work was one of my favorite things to do. Now that I’m in a new job and a new relationship, it’s a habit that I still cherish.

And now that I’ve shared more about my personal life on the internet than I ever thought I would, I dedicate this fashion story to the tables for one! May you eat, drink and enjoy in good company, even if it’s just you.

Damn Fine Coffee
Damn Fine Coffee
Damn Fine Coffee
Damn Fine Coffee
Damn Fine Coffee

Top, Beaufille; Skirt, Le Kilt, Shoes, RE/DONE x Bass; Earrings, Mondo Mondo

Sweater, Altuzarra; Dress, Maryam Nassir Zadeh; Sneakers, Converse; Hoops, Mondo Mondo

Shirt, Lorod; Skirt, Altuzarra

Jacket and Skirt, A.P.C.; Sweater, Altuzarra

Sweater, PH5; Skirt, Acne; Bag, Musier Paris

Shirt, Lorod; Coat, Beaufille 

 

Special thanks to the Square Diner for letting us take over for the day!

 

18 comments

Add yours
  • So good! I love this and now I am going to find the confidence to take myself out on a solo date and eat a burger and drink a martini alone.

  • Hey I just love your content and your website. Your fashion is amazing and inspiration to many people, keep up the good work. Looking forward for more amazing content from your site.

  • Best combination of fantastic texts and gorgeous, fun, evocative pictures ever. Love it!

  • So beautifully written and relatable, and the accompanying editorial is to die for. You guys just get better and better. This is up there with the Didion photo story. <3

  • Love this story and the beautiful pictures!

  • DaveysHouse February, 28 2019, 1:45 / Reply

    Lovely! I was widowed almost 10 years ago. One of the hardest things was going out to eat alone, but I found a couple of welcoming places in town, and I still go, alone or with friends. It is something we learn to do for ourselves. And when someone said “just” you, I sometimes corrected them, ever so gently. Now I don’t even bother, because it no longer bothers me ;-).

    Thank you for these gorgeous pictures, these women with no visible makeup, the authenticity!

  • Heck yeah! Takes a lot of self-awareness and self-acceptance to truly be content being alone.

  • Love the mood of your recent fashion stories. They’re getting more and more sophisticated, charming, melancholic and so, so elegant.

  • Stunning fashion story! Bogdana is the most incredible photographer, every shoot she does blow me away with the richness and texture.

  • This story so BEAUTIFUL and refreshing! The pics are breathtaking!!

  • I really enjoyed both the premise of and the photographs in this post. Great advice, at age 63, I still feel a bit self-conscious when eating out alone. And while I don’t see myself in any of those lovely duds, I do wonder what products the model is using on her hair. As someone with a similar haircut, I’m always interested in ways to de-frizz (if Ilana even has that problem). Thank you for the joy!

  • I have never ever thought it’s weird to go alone to a cafe, restaurant, movie. I never even knew it was an issue until I noticed that people are talking about it. :)

    I live in a little bit different culture but I think mostly I do stuff alone because I like being on my own. I like to think, observe…. I like to be selfish and do things the way I like and when I like…
    (Going somewhere alone makes you meet new people easily, too.)
    I also like to read and write so going to a cafe enables that, too.

    By the way, I’ve never lived alone. I’m 45, I have a family, a job. In the company of others I talk a lot… :)

    I think that being around people is really nice but it is also very tiresome for me. I just need time alone.

    The only thing I don’t understand is why on earth people think doing stuff alone is weird?! Where does this thinking come from? What’s the real reason?

  • Dining alone is not always as easy outside of the city but once you do, you realize it doesn’t matter what other people think anyway. Two, most likely people are laying little antrention anyway. Hence our discomforts about it usually aren’t necessary.

    Sometimes I think people are slightly intimidated when they see a woman dining alone. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

    Revel in it.

  • Such a heartfelt reflection ( and a wonderful shoot ).
    Some years ago, newly single after ten years married, burnt out from my ER job and morning the death of my nana I took myself off for a week to a remote spa hotel in Southern Ireland. The first night the maitre d asked ‘if I would like a paper or book, a corner table perhaps? I took a deep breath and said I would actually like a glass of red and a table in the window overlooking the ocean. I then took an even deeper breath and asked if he could consider that a standing request for the whole week. By the second night I was having after service nightcaps with the staff in the library. Now happily married I still treasure the moments I sit people watching in a cafe in solitary splendour.

  • Hello, Garance; oui, c’est une belle histoire… Mais je me perds dans les traductions: je crois que vous écrivez en français mais vos lettres m’arrivent en anglais alors je m’empresse de cliquer sur “translate”. Mais cette traduction ressemble à celle du robot de google et n’a pas le charme de votre jolie écriture. De plus tout est conjugué au masculin. Est-ce voulu ou est-ce dû à la traduction? Merci pour votre réponse.

  • Salwa Kyobe March, 3 2019, 3:23 / Reply

    This was a joy to read and the images are stunning as always. When I think of my most magnetic, authentic true self I picture her taking herself out. Getting ready for me and not to meet friends or guy. It’s the best feeling and I try to do it as often as possible.

  • Jorge Alexandre Teixeira March, 4 2019, 5:04 / Reply

    Mrs Bog Fergunson ,in terms of Talent (I swear ), you could be like … the daughter of
    Annie Leibovitz and Bruce Weber if they had a child !!!
    The story also accompanies very well the environment of the shoot !!! Great Job , Chris !!!

    Tenham uma Excelente semana *_*!!!

  • Lindyl March, 5 2019, 6:12 / Reply

    Christina + Bogdana your editorials are sooooo so beautiful.

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