One of my favorite things to do on the weekend is to go shopping for shoes. I love shoes. Having spent so many years thinking I was fat, shoes were the one thing I could always fit in to.
I especially love shoe shopping at the big warehouse stores with rows and rows of shoes.
The change in season is a perfect excuse for new shoes, so I went shoe shopping with a friend. She wanted tough, rocker-girl boots. I wanted something short, like a “bootie”, but not with too high of a heel. I wanted shoes I could walk in and dance in, as well as look good in.
I’d seen lots of people wear those suede, wedge almost tennis shoe style shoes (I think they are by Toms) and I liked them. But I didn’t like the laces.
What I wanted was a mix of two styles I’d seen people wearing: the wedge heel of one with the rounded toe and bootie style of the other. I didn’t know if such a shoe existed, but I knew that was what I wanted. I could picture it in my mind.
We started at one side of the store and walked slowly through each aisle, stopping to try on shoes we liked along the way.
There were many different versions of the lace-up wedges and I tried them all. Something was just not right with each of them. They gaped at the back of my ankle or they were uncomfortable to walk in. The laces just didn’t look right. The look on my friend’s face told me I was right about that.
I also found plenty of the ankle bootie with a platform toe and a thin, tall heel. The foot part was perfect, but the thin heel wobbled when I tried dancing in the aisle. They were cute, but not walkable, and not what I was looking for.
My friend found plenty of boots, but her heart just wasn’t in it. She poo-pooed everything I held up for her and eventually she gave up.
I was getting close to feeling the same way. I started to think maybe the shoe I wanted didn’t exist. Maybe no one else had thought of it yet. I could either choose one of the two options I didn’t really like or go without fall booties.
I didn’t like either option. I just wasn’t ready to give up yet.
I decided to keep looking.
We had been through all the boots, booties, and flats already. The only rows left were the pumps, and I didn’t think I’d find my booties there. We went anyway.
On the very last row, two shoes in from the end, were the shoes I’d been looking for. Wedge, slip-on ankle booties. A platform under the toes, and no laces. They were perfection. I slipped them on and walked up and down the aisle. They were comfortable, too.
I didn’t have to think twice, I bought them right away.
As I was leaving the store with my friend, I thought about that moment when I had the choice to give up on what I wanted, like she did, or keep looking for what I wanted. Yes, it was just about shoes. But, how many other times in my life had I been through that same moment?
How many times in my life had I been faced with the same choices: make do with something I didn’t really want, give up altogether, or keep looking and believing what I wanted was somewhere out there?
In college I couldn’t find the major I really wanted, so I made do with what was available and easy. And I’ve spent most of the years since searching for the career that would make me happy.
I tried to made do with living in Portland, no matter how much it wasn’t the right fit. I can see the same pattern in dating history, too. I tried to be happy with what was there, instead of looking for what I wanted.
In all areas of life: in our careers, in working out, in friendships, in dating, we have the same choices. We can make do, we can give up, or we can keep looking and trust that what we want is out there. That it really does exist.
It worked with my shoes, it worked with my gym, and it worked with where I live. I choose to be open and keep looking for what I really want. Those things and this place did exist, I just didn’t know it yet.
Now every time I see those shoes, and every time I slip them on, I’m reminded that what I want is out there. I may not know it yet, but I am not going to give up. I am not going to settle for less. I am going to keep looking.
How about you? Have you been able to find what you want by not settling or giving up? Are you still looking for what you want in some areas of your life? I find that this seems especially true with career choices. We need a job, but can still keep looking for our dream career. What do you think?
I’ve been doing CrossFit for awhile now, and it’s become a big part of my life. Ten months in, I’m seeing changes in my body. I’m getting stronger, leaner, and a little faster. I’m becoming more confident, in small steps.
I’ve also been getting the gear little by little. I didn’t want to jump in and buy the shoes, the gloves, the jump rope right away. It seemed presumptuous. As if I had been doing it long enough or well enough to need the gear. I could hear the girl from Clueless in the back of my mind. Who did I think I was?
So I started small and added things in slowly.
But the whole time there was something I secretly wanted to get: a cute CrossFit tank top.
The people who’d been at my gym forever had so many with great sayings. I knew I could never pull off “Beast Mode.” But “Stronger than Yesterday” was true, even for me.
I started searching for the best ones online. I made a mental list and even took some notes. I told myself as soon as I was strong enough, or fast enough, or had been there long enough, I’d get myself a shirt.
But the enough I set kept moving. Every time I wanted to click the buy button, something held me back.
If I could wear it at work, that would be one thing. People there think of me as strong and in shape. I’ve been called “the epitome of health” and co-workers like to show me their lunches when they eat salads or any kind of greens.
But the gym was different. Compared to people there I am a weakling, a newbie. Even a little chubby.
I couldn’t walk into the gym in a CrossFit tank top without thinking about high school.
There were some great things about school, but the social hierarchy wasn’t one of them. I loved to try new styles and experiment with fashion. But not everybody appreciates that.
I remember being stopped in the hallway. One of the cool, rich girls didn’t like what I was wearing. ”You obviously don’t know any of the brands.” Her voice was loud and the hall was full kids, watching. “Where do you shop at, Goodwill?” It was rhetorical, so I just stood there silent with my feet stuck to the floor. And then she whipped out my personal favorite: “Your butt is way too fat to be wearing that!”
I never remember how it ended, just like I couldn’t say what I was doing before it happened. Everything around it is a blur, but that moment is forever in my brain. Like it happened yesterday.
I was terrified that if I walked into the gym in a shirt that proclaimed I did CrossFit a similar scene would occur.
The strong people would gather around me, pointing and laughing. Someone would step out from the crowd and ask me who I thought I was and what I was doing. Didn’t I know I was too fat for that?
I decided to be an adult. To suck it up and take the risk. I wanted the tank top, dammit. I’d been working hard not to care what other people thought, I couldn’t let it stop me now.
It was easy to click the buy button, and I was excited when the package arrived in the mail. But the day that I packed it in my gym bag, I worried all day long.
I texted my friend before I left work, to make sure she was going to be there. I needed a safety net. Someone to be there to tell me it was all ok.
But she had something else to do. I was on my own. It was either wear the shirt and deal with it, or go home and not work out.
I decided to deal.
I walked into the gym with my sweatshirt zipped all the way to my throat. I was sweating underneath, but dreaded taking it off.
Eventually the workout started and I had no choice. I took my sweatshirt off and tried to act natural. At least I was exercising, so it would make sense if my face turned red.
People noticed my shirt right away. A guy who runs and does pull ups with a weighted vest (because he’s that freaking strong!) said, “Cool shirt, I like it.” I waited for a second to make sure I had heard right and then I thanked him. It was not the reaction I had been expecting, and he seemed sincere.
Then one of my friends said she liked it and asked me if it came in a t-shirt, because she isn’t a tank top person. She’s my friend, so I wasn’t expecting her to ridicule me, but we all know there is no bigger fashion compliment than someone asking where you bought something.
The reaction that really made me stop and think came from one of the coaches. He is a big, remarkably strong guy who totally intimidated me for my first few months at the gym. He saw it and said, “Are you wearing a CrossFit shirt?” I nodded. He said, “Alright!” and put his hand up to give me a high-five.
It was exactly the opposite of what happened in high school. I was supported and encouraged for wearing that shirt. It may seem trivial or silly, but it was a big deal to me.
Maybe it’s that we gravitate toward people like us as adults, or maybe it’s that everyone matures. I’m just glad to learn once and for all that I can be who I am and wear what I want without worrying about public humiliation.
Life as an adult is much bigger than the halls or cafeteria of high school and we can find the place where we fit in. The place where people bring us up instead of pulling us down. And as an adult, we can walk away from places and people who don’t treat us right and keep searching until we find our place, our community.
I’m happy to say I’ve found mine.
Do you ever worry about how people will react if you are your true self? Or have you gotten over worrying about what other people think of you? Are you one of those rare people who had a fabulous time in high school?
In June I wrote about my summer goal of finding a pair of shorts that look good on me. I thought it was going to be a long journey. And there was a small chance there would be no happy ending.
Luckily, I was very wrong.
I went home to visit my family and see my little brother graduate from high school. One of the things my step-mom and I like to do together is shop, so that is what we did.
I had my list of things: work out clothes, sunglasses, and shorts. I knew I could get the first two taken care of. But I was running of hope for those shorts.
We walked up to the front of Ann Taylor Loft and my step-mom stopped. She wanted to go in. Actually, she said she needed to go in. They were having a sale: 40% off of everything.
A smart shopper just can’t pass that up.
I rolled my eyes and told her that I don’t shop at the Loft. I believe my exact words were: “Their clothes just don’t fit me.” And, I have always thought them to be a little pastel for my taste.
But she said I needed to open myself up to new things, and she dragged me inside.
Sometimes, I really hate how she is always right.
But not this time.
We walked in to a store filled with shorts. They had different styles and differents cuts, and another big sign that said: Buy One, Get One 1/2 Off.
I went around the store picking out different styles that I thought might look good. When my arms were full, I went to the dressing room.
My step-mom made me come out of my room and show her everything I tried on. The sales girls were sweet and outgoing, and they jumped right in with comments and suggestions.
They started bringing me more styles and different sizes. One of the girls brought me a pair of bermuda shorts with “Curvy” on the lable. They were made for those of us with hips and thighs and butts, but they didn’t look like mens’ work shorts.
I tried them on, and they were perfect! Long enough to wear to work (or anywhere else where modesty is important) and still cool enough because they are shorts. I am no longer destined to a capris-only summer.
I have shorts!
And, I learned another valuable lesson. Just because we didn’t like something once, doesn’t mean we should turn up our noses and hate it forever. If I had refused to go in to the Loft, I’d still be shorts-less. All because I had a bad experience with a pair of pants once, a long time ago.
And really, is there a store where I have not had a bad experience with pants? Knowing my body, the answer is probably no.
Shopping isn’t like dating. The stores we didn’t like are worth a second chance. Stores change, styles and fads change, and sometimes we change, too.
Will any of you be willing to try on some Curvy shorts at the Loft? Will you keep looking for shorts, or stick with your capris and be happy? How do you feel about second chances, especially when it comes to shopping?
*Note: I looked online for a link to their Curvy shorts, but couldn’t find it. I guess it is one of those styles only available in the store.
I have never really been a shorts person.
I have meaty thighs and my skin is very pale, so my legs aren’t the thing I want to show off. I have always been more of a capri pants and sundress type of girl.
But this summer, that is going to change.
I am determined to find a pair of shorts that actually look good on me.
I have been doing the research, a.k.a. shopping, and so far it hasn’t been pretty. One of the big styles for the summer seems to be short-shorts. The kind that don’t actually cover your whole butt. That is not going to work for me.
A friend at work told me I should try the longer style. You know, the more formal shorts that come to just above the knee. I told her it wouldn’t look good with my thighs. She said my thighs match my butt and hips, so they will look good together.
I took her words with me when I went to the mall. I focused on longer shorts and tried the same trick I use for jean shopping: just take every pair you find into the dressing room. Sometimes the winning pair is the last in a pile of 20.
Not one pair fit right. They were too snug at the hips and too big at the waist. My friend used the word “hippy” when I stepped out of the dressing room. I knew she wasn’t talking about the fact that I’m from Oregon and like to recycle.
After three stores, I gave up. I was tired of trying to fit myself into style that just didn’t fit my body.
So, now I’m on the look out. There must be a pair of shorts out there for me. A pair that looks good on meaty thighs and hips, not like I’m trying to pour myself into some skinny girl’s clothes.
Because I actually like my body, muscly thighs and all. I just want a pair of shorts that will bring out the best in them. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
I’m not ready to resign myself to capri pants and dresses yet. Not this summer. This summer, I will wear shorts!
Do you wear shorts? What are your summer staples? Is there one piece of summer clothing that makes you feel good? I’d love to hear suggestions for styles of shorts or places to shop, especially from other meaty-thighed ladies. (And, yes, it’s a good thing!)
We all know that rewards can work for kids, and we often use them for ourselves. I have a friend who has been known to pop a handful of M&M’s in her mouth as a reward for getting off the couch and heading to the gym. Whatever works, right?
I’ve tried a lot of reward systems for myself. Usually it is food or TV related. Something I see as a little indulgence. I even tried to pay myself a dollar for every workout. In the end I was too cheap to pay up, even to myself.
Yes, I can be a little thrifty. Especially when it comes to workout clothes. I have been wearing the same things for years. And some of those are even hand-me-downs themselves.
I’ve never seen the point in spending money on things I only wear to the gym.
Sure, I admire the people who shop at Lulu Lemon and Lucy. I just figured that we had different priorities when it came to shopping. I spend on the things I wear the most: work clothes.
They would tell me that it is nice, and even motivating, to workout in clothes you like. I’d just roll my eyes and save my money for a great pair of slacks.
But I’ve been going to the gym consistently now for four months. And I’m starting to see some results from all of my hard work. Now I finally understand what they were talking about.
I want to reward myself for working hard. I want to wear a cute sports bra at the gym, even though it’ll be hidden under my tank top and no one will know but me.
So this weekend I took myself to one of those fancy workout stores.
It was a whole different experience from shopping at Target. The store was filled with beautiful workout gear, organized by sport. Sales people were helpful and friendly, and they had experience wearing the clothes.
The dressing room was big, and so nice that there were throw pillows on the bench. I felt special just by being there.
And as I stood in front of the giant, gold framed mirror and tried on clothes, something happened.
I began to see myself differently.
Instead of staring at my reflection and noticing the flaws, I liked what I saw. New, toned muscles and a more fit body than I’ve had in a while.
I looked good in those workout clothes and that made me feel good. Or maybe the fact that I felt good made me look good. It’s hard to say. Our feelings and physical appearance are a lot like the chicken and the egg.
What I do know is that when I slip on that hot pink sports bra I feel like I deserve it, and that makes me want to workout even more.
Do you reward yourself for your hard work? What kinds of rewards do you like? Do you invest in workout gear or cheap out, like me? Are rewards motivating? Or just an unnecessary indulgence? I’d love to hear what you think.
Every Fall feels like a new beginning to me. A new school year, new goals, new friends, and new clothes.
It’s the time of year when we have to stop wearing those summer dresses and skirts that make us feel so good. Feminine and fun is hard to do in wool pants.
The best way to deal with that is to get a few new pieces for winter that make me feel fabulous. It’s what I usually do.
But I don’t usually have to furnish an entire apartment. So this year I don’t exactly have the budget for any new clothes. I’ve been trying to mix it up as much as possible. Thankfully, I now live in a place where it’s still warm in October.
Then I was walking through Target, looking for a floor lamp, when I had an idea. I walked by a row of colored tights. Then I turned around and walked by it again. Color. That is exactly what I need to add some fun to my wardrobe.
I can take all those black and grey skirts and dresses for Winter and make them fun with color. So, I bought a pair of red and a pair of purple.
With a black skirt and grey top, red legs will give me the pop of color I need to feel fun. To feel like I’m wearing something different.
A bright color doesn’t have to take over our outfits. We can add them in small doses, safely. Purple tights and purple feather earrings will make that old outfit seem new. And it’s a good way to experiment with the new trends.
Sometimes when shopping I feel like the Goldilocks of fashion. The fun new trends can be way too much for me. But, I still want to try it out. A bright, color blocked dress or a hounds-tooth coat look great on celebrities or hanging on the rack, but not on me.
I prefer something smaller. Tights or a scarf? A belt or shoes? That’s just the right amount.
It worked this summer when I put a bright yellow belt and shoes with my blue dress. That little bit of bright color was all I needed.
I’m so excited by my find, that the next time I go to Target I’m going to get a pair of blue, and maybe even green. I can change the way I feel about my entire closet with just five dollars.
Small things can make the biggest difference sometimes.
Have you ever made small changes to an outfit and changed the way you feel about it? Do you have any inexpensive tricks for adding to your wardrobe? Can one small thing change the way you feel about your clothes, and yourself?
If you are interested in checking out some colored tights, Target has some online, as well as a great selection in stores.
Express has some colors, and even a hounds-tooth pattern in black, for about twice the price of Target.
When it happened to Janet Jackson at the Super Bowl I was sure it was staged. I mean, who wears something they haven’t tried out at a dress rehearsal? It just didn’t seem likely to happen on its own.
But after this weekend, I believe that accidents really can happen anywhere.
My friend’s husband, Ryan Fox, is a talented watercolor artist who had paintings accepted into the art exhibition at the State Fair. He was out of town for the weekend and they had to be dropped off, so she enlisted my help.
I thought, knowing the two of us, that finding the right building would be the toughest part of the trip.
We did spend quite a bit of time driving around the fair grounds looking for the building. And we drove around the actual building three times before we realized it was the right one.
Eventually, we figured out where we needed to be and we parked close to the open doors. My friend grabbed her baby and asked if I’d rather carry the baby or the paintings, which she had unloaded and set on the ground.
There was no chance that the paintings would spit up on me, so it seemed like the obvious choice.
I bent down to pick them up and heard a giant ripping sound.
I felt around and found a tear that started at the inside of my thigh and went to just below the center of my butt cheek.
I stood up without the paintings and started freaking out. I’d never ripped a pair of pants before, let alone in public. Sure, they were about 5 years old and not of the highest quality to begin with, but dang. It was not something I was prepared for.
The whole world looking at my dangling butt cheek was not on a list of things I wanted to experience. Not to mention the worry I had of what people would think.
When my friend finally stopped laughing, she told me to tie my sweatshirt around my waist and handed me the baby. She took the paintings and I tried to look as normal as possible, considering the circumstances.
Back in the car, she gave me a choice. We could go back home so I could get out of my ripped pants and deal with my shame in private. Or we could continue with the day we had planned: a trip to one of the local college campuses to get Brave On The Page, and then to the state farmers market.
I had to think about that one. I’m not really big on public humiliation and I’ve spent most of my life feeling fat. And far too much time worried about what other people think.
But I wanted that book, and I wanted to have fun.
And I didn’t want to be so vain that I had to run home and hide my head just because I had a wardrobe malfunction. Janet Jackson kept singing, and a little nipple flash didn’t stop her from getting on stage again. So, I wasn’t going to let my ripped pants stop me from having fun.
I tied the sweatshirt a little lower and to the side, to cover the tear as much as possible. My friend assured me that she couldn’t see it, not even from the front when I walked. I’m not sure if she was telling the truth, but we went ahead with our plans anyway.
We ran around and played on the NC State campus. Then we went through every aisle at the state farmers market. I taste-tested tomatoes, salsas, and apples. And I even bought some ice cream. Two scoops.
Yes, I thought I noticed people looking at me funny. Maybe they noticed the tear, or maybe they just thought the ice cream looked good.
Yes, the thought even flashed through my mind that they were looking at me and thinking: Oh, wow, that girl should’ve stopped eating the ice cream when her pants ripped!
But I decided not to care.
I was having fun and enjoying my weekend. And now I know I’m confident enough to do that in ripped pants.
When we got back to my friends house, I ripped off the rest of my pant leg. It made short-shorts on one side. My friend called them Shants: half shorts, half pants. I did the running man in the living room and called them my Dance Shants.
We laughed about it and had fun.
Because I couldn’t change what happened. I’m down a pair of pants and I now know what it feels like to tear your pants in public. But what I could do was decide how I would react to the situation. And I’m glad I took the risky road.
I learned that a little public humiliation is not so bad if you’re having a good time. Besides, a little exposed butt cheek never hurt anyone.
Have you ever had a public wardrobe malfunction? How did you deal with it? Do you ever let your appearance or worry about what other people might say stop you from having a good time?
Before I moved to the south I had a picture in my head about what people dressed like here. It involved dresses, big hats, and clothing appropriate for church or the Kentucky Derby.
Not exactly what it’s like. At all.
People here dress in a lot of different styles. Yes, there are a few hipsters like I left in Portland, but they aren’t everywhere. Men in plaid shirts and skinny jeans is not the norm.
When you go out you see women in cute (but not churchy) dresses, jeans, skirts and tops, and even shorts. People wear shorts out to dinner and even to dance clubs.
I’m not talking about cargo shorts, running shorts, or hiking shorts. They are dressy shorts, usually in a silky fabric. And always worn with heels.
Something I’ve seen before in fashion magazines and never had the nerve to try.
I’ve always considered myself a person who doesn’t look good in shorts. I have thick legs and my skin is rather pasty. It looks good on my face, but legs is a whole different thing. Thick, white legs in shorts may be too scary to be cute.
I was always able to talk myself out of it in Portland. It was usually cold and almost always raining, so shorts weren’t a good investment. I’d just buy another pair of boots.
There is one other fashion trend I’ve been thinking about, for like thirteen years. Ever since J.Lo came out with “If you had my love” in 1999: white pants.
I figured if J. Lo could look so good in white pants, I couldn’t use my butt as an excuse not to wear them. And I’ve seen quite a few people rocking them since I’ve been here.
It’s warmer for more of the year so shorts and white pants have a longer life in the south. That means I don’t have the it’s-not-worth-the-money-because-I’m-only-going-to-wear-them-twice excuse.
It’s time to try them on.
I’ve gotten close a few times. A pair of white jeans on sale at the already discount store have made it to the dressing room. But white is not the fabric to cheap out on. J.Lo’s pants were’t see-through. That’s why they looked so good.
A nice, thick white fabric, that’s what I need. I may have to spend a little more than twenty bucks to get a pair that looks good on my body, but I’m worth it.
And I already know that pants are harder to fit. I take the time to find a style that looks good and I’m willing to pay more for a pair that flatters my body.
But there is still some fear inside of me. Left over from my “fat girl” days, even though I was never really fat. It’s that tape that plays inside my head with old messages that were never true. So I think my fat legs don’t look good in shorts, and look even worse in white.
Maybe I just need to practice. Go to the store and stand in front of the dressing room mirror and tell my reflection I look good in those shorts. Turn around and give my butt a compliment in the white jeans.
When I was in high school I took all kinds of risks with fashion. The plaid skirt with the bowling shoes? Some people thought I was crazy, but I didn’t care because I thought I looked great.
Even recently I took a risk with a sparkly top and red jeans at a fashion show in Portland. I definitely didn’t fit in, but I felt good about what I was wearing, so I didn’t care.
Maybe the key to taking risks is the confidence we feel in ourselves.
I just need to work on building the confidence up in myself and I’ll be wearing shorts and white pants in no time.
I’ll just take it one dressing room mirror at a time.
What risks are you afraid to take with clothes? Are there any trends or styles you’ve been afraid to try? What makes you feel confident in clothes?
I would apologize ahead of time to all the hipsters out there, but they’re probably not reading this anyway.
There was an article in the local paper a few weeks ago about how the city ranked in some sort of attractiveness poll. The people, not the actual city.
It wasn’t that big of a shock to see that Portland was high on the list of Least Attractive. Number 13, to be exact.
At first I thought it was probably because of the weather. It’s cold and rainy pretty much all the time, so people are pasty and they wear a lot of ugly rain coats and funny looking waterproof shoes. There is a habit among the people here of looking like they are about to hike the Himalayas when they are really stopping by Whole Foods to pick up some organic milk.
But the unnecessary “outdoorsy” look is not the only reason Portland ranks high on the unattractive meter. No, I don’t like the REI look and I think it’s ridiculous that people spend so much money on ugly things they don’t actually need. Really, though, the problem is the Hipsters.
This is a city filled with Hipsters. Everyone is wearing skinny jeans, plaid shirts, and the same black framed glasses. Except for the women who like dresses and skirts. They’re in bigger versions of little-girl dresses, usually paired with clogs. I always wonder whose closet they were in playing dress-up, and why they’d want to look seven years old. The guys have the same “messy” hair that probably took at least two different products to achieve and they make the lines at the local coffee shops too long to stand.
The big problem with Hipsters is that everyone looks the same.
If you go to a party and meet more than two, you won’t remember who is who. ”The guy in the plaid shirt” doesn’t really narrow it down. “The girl with the pig tails and apron” doesn’t help either. They’d need name tags to keep them straight.
My own personal issue with Hipsters is more about their bodies. I have never seen a curvy Hipster, and I think I found out why.
I wanted to prove that Hikers and Hipsters were not the only people in this town. So I went on a local fashion search. I figured, there have been Project Runway winners from Portland, so there must be some small time designers with style.
What I found was pretty disappointing.
If you’re not thin, there’s no point in shopping local in this town. I’m not over weight or fat. But I have hips and a butt and boobs. My body has been described as womanly and curvy. And I’ve come to appreciate it.
But my curvy body did not fit into any of the local designs. The cuts were all straight and narrow. No hips or butts allowed. And not much a waist, either.
I understand that local designers are limited in scope. They can only make one pattern and so many different sizes. But I know who they are designing for here, and it is not me.
Hipsters are now the mainstream. They are everywhere. And, frankly, I’m bored. I’ve had enough of the same skinny style. Hipsters make me appreciate Kim Kardashian. That should signal a problem right there.
I’m looking forward to a time in fashion where the mainstream is a variety of body types and focused on personal style. Clothes are supposed to be about self-expression, and there’s no way that everyone can be feeling the same thing. We don’t all look the same, feel the same, or think the same. So we shouldn’t have to dress the same.
In the meantime, I’m doing the only thing I can. I’m moving! Goodbye Portland, Hello Miami!
How do you feel about Hipsters? What would you consider your personal style?
We all have certain styles we like and ways of dressing for the things we do everyday.
I like to dress professionally for work. I work with people who prefer a casual look, so I am used to being the most dressed up person in the building. But I am ok with that because I would feel uncomfortable being casual at work.
Yes, it is possible to be uncomfortable in comfy clothes.
Where we are going makes a big difference in how we dress.
This past weekend I had two events to attend. One was an afternoon get-together at a friend’s house and the other was my Going Away party.
The get-together was something my friend does every year, around her birthday, that is just to celebrate her. It’s about bringing together all the people in her community and spending time together.
I knew that it was going to be at her house, and that it was going to be casual. I knew the food would be vegan, gluten-free health food and that the other guests would be super laid back. They’d fit my definition of under-dressed.
So I didn’t shower.
Yes, that’s right. I went to a party dirty.
I brushed my teeth and put on deodorant. My hair went up into a pony tail and I put on a pair of comfy pants and one of my brother’s old school shirts. It took me less than 10 minutes to get ready. I was a total scrub, but I knew it didn’t matter. In my rule book, if I’m not going to get all the way dressed up, then I don’t need to shower.
On of my besties calls it my “Dirt-A**” look. I’m ok with that.
I felt totally comfortable at the get together. I was not the most casual person there, and I didn’t stick out at all. Nobody knew that I hadn’t showered. And even if they had, they wouldn’t have cared.
When I left my friend’s house I went home to get ready for my party. That meant showering, doing my hair and make-up, and spending time picking out the perfect outfit. I wanted something that said Summer Fun, but with a touch of Miami style. I wanted to find the perfect balance between backyard bar-b-que and cocktail party. Because that’s exactly what it was.
I figured that anyone who knows me knows what kind of party I would have. Fancy drinks in martini glasses and bite sized, bacon-wrapped h’orderves.
Most of my friends came dressed for the occasion, in dresses, skirts, and cute summer capris.
Then my friend who had the afternoon get-together showed up, wearing the same jeans and t-shirt she had on earlier. I hadn’t thought to warn her because I figured people should wear what they want to wear. And I assumed they knew what I’d be wearing.
But I was wrong.
When I talked to my friend about it later, she told me that she hadn’t thought much about where she was going and what kind of party it was. She said she was usually so comfortable in her skin, that she thought she’d feel comfortable no matter where she was.
But she was wrong, too.
She felt uncomfortable, out of place, and under-dressed.
And that totally changed the way she behaved. She went from being the confident, out-going, fun girl I know, to being the wall flower in the corner.
It was so strange to see what someone was wearing completely change their personality. It made me realize that we don’t dress to impress other people, we dress for ourselves. When we know where we are going we can dress in a way that will make us feel not just comfortable, but confident. Then we can let our true selves shine through.
Not everyone owns a cocktail dress, or wants to. I know that. But if we plan to dress for an occasion in a way that will make us feel good about ourselves, we can go in confident from the start.
Does the way you dress for different occasions change the way you feel? How do dress to feel most confident? Do you change your look depending on where you are going?