Tuesday, June 7, 2016

(Un)fashionable Me

Over the last 30 or so years I've dipped in and out of fashion (I have a love/hate relationship with sewing and mending/modifying). Sometimes I like to be cutting edge, sometimes I like being purposefully out of fashion, for the last five years I mostly just wore jeans and nondescript t-shirts. But continuity has been a linchpin of my looks - wearing a dress for ten, even twenty years in different ways, cutting it in two to make a top or skirt when another part is damaged, that sort of thing. I still held on to vintage or unusual clothes I'd had back when I lived in Hamtramck, and wore them sometimes to class at Boise State University; but I mostly stopped wearing them when I left Idaho. I didn't want to stand out. I wanted to not draw attention to myself. I wanted to seem more normal, more responsible, more hire-able, more like my old boyfriend's friends,
more conservative. Not "fun," not interesting, not anything but blendable. Harmless. Dependable. Not artsy or possibly decadent. How sad, right?

This isn't true any more. During my last move, I could only take a limited number of boxes from CA to MA, and I had to let so much go I still have waves of shock and sorrow half a year later. I took very few clothes, mostly what would pack very flat. I knew clothes would come to me from yard sales and thrift stores, and I had to admit almost all my vintage had been worn to death or barely fit without a serious corset - prednisone for a year blew me up like a balloon, and most of that weight is still clinging even with my fabulous new personal trainer's help, thanks to the high-calorie and delicious comfort food I am not avoiding with my new fella. So I let the vintage go.

I'm tired of jeans and t-shirts again. Moving back to New England I remembered why Cyndi Lauper was my heroine growing up: homogeneity is all around me in the Boston area. Sure, there are some marvelous exceptions, and I light up and smile when I see them on the street. But how to get back in that groove after so many years of "blah?" How to set myself up as one of those Interesting Old Ladies for the future? And how to avoid owning too much of a good thing, now that I've committed to owning less?

I found a hip length green silk kimono with blue dragons and an asymmetrical neckline. I decided I would concentrate on interesting tops to wear with my jeans, ones I could take in as I go down in weight, and for every nifty top I'll give away a t-shirt, one at a time. I think this will work! 

Have you ever radically changed your style to suit someone (or something) else and regretted it? What did you do?

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