Personal style dilemmas come like a thief in the night. Or at least it seems that way. If I were to map them out, I’m sure they follow some kind of pattern on the calendar, but every one is no less cataclysmic nor confusing than the last.
Last Spring, I traveled home to Florida around my birthday in April, and came back feeling fully Floridian (minus the meth and throat tattoos one might associate with us). Tallahassee being a bastion of ass backwards thinking and Vera Bradley color schemes, I promptly immersed myself in white linen and spray tan upon returning to Texas.
Fall fell, last year, somehow bringing even more rebellion than usual with it for me, and I found myself gravitating helplessly towards black on black with a touch of black. If Spring 2015 Me were to meet Fall 2015 Me they might immediately forget doing so, for they shared no common ground.
I get a lot of my thinking done while I’m driving, and my latest sphere of idle contemplation has been “Who I Am” from a fashion standpoint. I have a killer wardrobe, full of a handful of cool personas, none of which I feel I can sustainably own for an indefinite amount of time. If these personas work on a rotation, I haven’t synced with the rhythm yet. Mostly it’s just chaos.
The main casualty of this phenomenon is my feeling of awesomeness by the end of the day. My confidence sort of wanes on a look by EOB, and I feel all kinds of blah again, ready for sweatpants and a robe.
The thing I try to focus on, when I can’t gather inspiration from the outside – usually because it’s either not there, or incredibly overwhelming – is embracing it all. Like, yeah, maybe I’m a nautical Floridian with a flair for the tacky but who values a damn good pair of white chinos, who has a secret itch to wear scant things that I know only I and a select few other stick-shaped gals can get away with, who also has a sartorial history of wearing jeans and vintage button-downs whilst bike-commuting until they literally rotted off, cutting my own hair and going braless, and a young woman with a penchant for high-end loafers, a well-placed narwhal tattoo and tasteful facial piercings. WHAT? That’s normal, right?
It’s a lot to own. I have a closet with a For Love & Lemons see-through cocktail dress next to grey patent leather Dr. Martens, up next to a Banana Republic trench and Mara Hoffman jumpsuit. When does being a fashion-onion cross over into being a walking identity crisis? Or worse, a fashion victim? I don’t know, but when I do, I’ll let you know.
What I do know is that the Vince and Theory full-price shoppers of the world will likely never accept me into their fold. And that’s good, because I’d likely disappoint them. There’s just nothing thrilling to me about paying $300 for a pair of otherwise nondescript slip-on sneakers or twice as much for an oatmeal colored knee-length sweater-coat. I tip my hat to their subtlety, though. Kudos to you, Blah Clothing Lovers. I bet your $80 tee shirt washes like a dream, and your charcoal Lanvin flats make you feel like old money, or something.
Bottom line: I don’t have time to be expensive and boring. You only go around once, and if chaos and confusion is the alternative to predictable, I’ll take the former any day.