Sunday, March 28, 2010
On the Subject of Fashion
To me, fashion is a deeply personal subject. I believe that fashion is in the eye of the beholder. And like most bloggers, I would go so far as to say that often personal fashion is a direct expression of someone's personality. (Or at least the personality they want people to perceive!) As a child, I was pretty fashionable. Mostly because my mom was in charge of my clothes, so everything I had was very cute and appropriate for a kid. Once I hit my tweens, though, and she didn't have any more say in my clothing choices, it all started to fall apart. This is where I confess my sad, sad lack of fashion skills between the ages of ...say, 10 and 17. Oh, I thought I was fashionable. I thought I was the coolest looking girl out there. And I know, it should work out that if you think you're cool, you are. But no. I wasn't even a hot mess. I was more of a tepid mess. The eyes that beheld me were often pretty disgusted. There were shirts I clung to, that I cringe at the thought of, my hair that went poorly brushed most mornings, the fact that most of my clothes I picked out were too big, until the latter half of high school when the tops at least went the other direction. To be fair, I don't think most kids have a great sense of fashion. I think it's something we have to grow into to, because our fashion is as personal, and most people don't have any clue who they really are until after puberty. I certainly don't think it helped that I went through puberty early, and was wearing an actual bra, not a training bra, in the fourth grade. And then in high school, puberty smacked me around again as I went up multiple cup sizes, and through a lot of new bras. I had just started to develop a vaguely artistic, slightly hippie, occasionally dangerous looking style of my own when I went off to college. And then. I went to a private university, where anorexia and bulimia ruled the women's dorms, with preppy style close behind. I stayed my true size (a curvy hourglass), but the preppy style slowly crept in over the next four years. It stayed there in the edges while I moved to Kansas and went to graduate school, working full-time. Then I moved back to Virginia, and as I kept applying for jobs and not getting them, I gained some weight. I finally got a job, and as I went through all my clothes to find stuff that fit, I was dismayed at what I saw. This wasn't me! I wasn't really this boring, oxford shirt-wearing, plain black pants sort of person! Last year, my sister showed me some fashion blogs online, I got interested in this concept of finding my own personal style, and maybe even making a outfit blog of my own. I rummaged through my closet, and set huge piles of stuff on the spare bed. It turned out that, despite my lifelong snarking about "girly girls", I prefer wearing skirts to pants or jeans. It just looks better on my figure, and feels more comfortable. I still like those hippie shirts like I did in high school, but I also love embellished t-shits made of slub cotton, and buttonless cardigans. I wear flats, not heels, but that doesn't mean they aren't adorable. I wear leggings under most skirts and under dresses, and I have a deep love of arm warmers and leg warmers. So now, my sense of fashion has regrown to the point where I like what I wear and I have written proof that others do too!