I've been thinking about clothes lately.
Yeah, I know. Duh.
So I guess I'll start over. I've been thinking about style lately. In clothing, interiors, attitudes.
No, that's still not quite right. While all of it is true, I guess what I really mean is I've been thinking about myself lately.
And before I get too self-conscious and apologetic, this is a blog, right? Land of self absorption and navel gazing. But this is what I've been thinking.
When I was little, and well past the age of embarrassment, my mother picked out my clothes. Well of course that's completely normal and expected when you are very young but there comes a time when most girls want to start having a say in what they wear. My mother was still playing dress up vicariously through me into high school. I wanted desperately to pick out my own things, mostly in an attempt to fit in at school and with friends. One of my most awkwardly embarrassing moments was when I was 12 and brought some neighborhood friends inside to see my room. My mother had laid out "outfits" complete with costume jewelry all over my bed and draped over surfaces. I can still hear my friend asking "your mom picks out your clothes?" in a mixture of disbelief and disgust.
I love my mother.
She has no sense of style whatsoever, now or then.
So in my great rebellion in the tenth grade I threw away all the clothes I had except for a few things I actually liked and what I could find on the cheap at thrift stores. The summer before eleventh grade I actually bought back to school clothes that I felt a connection to. I was finally able to express myself.
And my expression, while very risque for my particular high school, was not original either. I did the babydoll t-shirt thing, thrift store finds, flannel and overalls. I wore vans sneakers and knock off doc martens. Costume jewelery was casy usunder in favor of safety pins and chains.
It quickly evolved into a goth look. I died my hair black and started wearing purple lipstick. I alternated between the tomboyish look of black jeans and concert tees and black slip dresses and fishnet stockings. I did this for too long.
Eventually, say age 20, I started to crave more variety, more color, but I had no idea how to go about it. Then came a phase of greys from dove to charcoal, not black but not color either. I bought blue denim jeans. I tried to evolve a style but really had none. I held onto to a lot of black clothes and ended up wearing purples and burgundies and I'm more embarrassed about this anti-style than any other phase of my life. It only worsened as i incorporated more colors and variety.
Then I had my semi-single bar phase. I wore skinny jeans and form fitting tees, black tall boots tucked under the pants. I got interested in jewelry and wore big earrings and other chunky pieces. I rarely wore dresses or skirts. I ended up with a lot of trousers in pinstripes and greys. I did a casual girly menswear look if that makes any sense. This slowly evolved into a black and white stripe obsession. Then to general black and white combination, in any pattern. Jewelry became bold but minimal. I started wearing shift dresses and leaned toward a 60s mod style.
I loved getting dressed to go out but felt too much like I was going with the crowd and what was popular then.
Then I moved South for grad school. I was beyond sick of black and white. I had a lot of personal problems and clothing and style were on the bottom of my list of concerns. I was kind of living out of a suitcase. I threw together whatever was handy, that I had brought with me. I had less than zero to spend on anything new. It was hot in summer and I wore capris and tank tops and felt poor and bland. To make matters worse, my then boyfriend's friends were all hip art students with cool creative style so I felt even more bland by comparison.
I went through a short lived career phase (back when I thought I would have one). It started with a month long seminar I attended. In an effort to impress I wore suits, or skirts and blouses. I had limited suitcase space and mixed and matched a lot of separates to make a new outfit everyday, including outside events (bars). I never repeated once. Unfortunately this business casual followed me home. I wore a lot of jeans with button up shirts and blazer combos. But I was also single again so from time to time I threw on a dress.
And it's kind of a blur from there. Around that time I met the man I would eventually marry. Maybe my style evolved partially to catch his eye, to become the type of girl I thought he would like. Perhaps I had just gotten my groove back, in the parlance of our times. Somehow I got to where I am now. I like to wear dresses a lot. I'm not much for jewelry. Makeup is often what makes the outfit. I love color and pattern but sometimes I get intimidated by texture. My sources of inspiration are more diversified. My confidence is growing.
Tell me your story, love. How have you evolved?
(I'm seen here in my dining room playing with neon brights and structured menswear; blazer-vintage, neon blouse-Macy's, blue jeans--Macy's, brown maryjanes--Mudd)