Fashion Insecurity

October 9, 2011

So I’ve never been one of the cool kids.  Like, in middle school and high school (the years when cool is important).  Not at all.  I didn’t attract boys or have cool clothes.  The best I managed was inoffensive.

(Woo, go self-esteem!)

I mean, yeah, I’m over this.  I got over this in college, when I had lots of friends, and afterwards, when I totally landed the captain of the football team.  (Yes, I base some of my internal cool cred on my husband’s high school sports proficiency.  I am aware this probably means I have problems.  But I’m cool with that.)  I haven’t really been awkward-looking since I was 12 or so.  I can pull off “cute” without much trouble and dress decently, if somewhat uninterestingly.

It’s only in my 30s I’ve been vaguely venturing into personal style.  Sometime in the last two years, I finally figured out makeup.  (I have my friend and former paralegal Krystal to thank for that.  She does Mary Kay.  Somewhere between Mary Kay mineral powder and Maybelline Big Great Lash mascara, it all clicked at last, though I still haven’t figured out how to manage lip color when I drink water or tea all day long.)  I’m not into anything fancy or expensive but I’ve finally gotten consistent about trying to make my face look nice on weekdays.

Clothes are sort of another matter.  I do the basics.  And right now I’m just wearing a lot of nylon maternity dresses.  Probably I started to get interested in shoes, first.  Note- I am not Carrie Bradshaw and I have no desire to be.  The whole designer thing doesn’t do much for me.  But I started picking out cute shoes at Target for work, got compliments on them, and started picking out more.  Got more compliments on them, which built my shoe self-confidence, which led to an increased interest… blah blah blah.  Over the last few years, I’ve started to make cute shoes part of my self-image.   And this is vaguely starting to lead to being interested in other things.  I’ve gotten into Pinterest and have been pinning things I like.

Things I like that I’ve been acquiring:

  • Shoes.  Especially with round toes, in cool colors (and multiple colors), with straps, thicker heels, little platforms, and pretty high heels.
  • Patterned tights and nylons.  Actually, I wear nylons most of the time.  Kate Middleton and I are bringing them back.  Shoes are just more comfortable and your legs look better.
  • Flowery barrettes or ponytail holders.
  • Sparkly flat shoes for casual.  I get these in the kids’ section.
  • Kids’ princess socks for casual.
  • Fairly plain, conservative-looking suits.
  • Art deco-y looking jewelry
  • Wayfarer sunglasses, though mine are just knockoffs
  • Nothing that requires ironing.  AT ALL.  We all have our limits, this is mine.  I wear sweater shells under suits.

Things I like that I haven’t gotten the nerve to wear yet:

  • Vintage-looking stuff, particularly fitted suits
  • Anything Chanel-ish
  • Nylons with seams
  • Anything with sari fabric
  • Fingerless gloves/arm warmers
  • Things with bows
  • More dresses
  • Stripey tights.  Anything that reminds me of the Burton Alice in Wonderland.
  • Sweaters or jackets with elbow patches.

I want this.  Found it on Etsy in a vintage shop and am seriously contemplating it.  I think my hesitation is that I don’t feel like I’m cool enough to pull off something unusual or vintage.  It feels expensive, but it’s no more than I’d pay for a regular suit at TJ Maxx.

It takes a certain sort of fashion confidence to carry off things people notice and comment on, right?  I don’t know if I have it.  I’m working my way up to it


2 Responses to “Fashion Insecurity”

  1. Fizzy said

    You should probably only wear fingerless gloves or arm warmers if you somehow get transported back to the 80s. (There’s certainly a non-zero chance of this happening, since it happens all the time on TV/movies.)

    I will never, ever be good at dressing well, and that makes me sad. I just know it’s not going to happen for me and then soon I’ll be too old for it to matter. Oh well. At least I’ll save money on shoes.

    • I mean arm warmers sort of like this:

      Not really as in Madonna-esque lace gloves. More as sleeves that go onto the hand, sometimes with a spot to put fingers and thumb, not with individual fingers. Or the knitted kind. Mostly for winter.

      I don’t know if I’ll be good at dressing well. I do decently well already. But I would like to dress more to a personal style… in things I like as opposed to just things I can pull off.

      I don’t think it’s ever too late. (And I don’t spend much on shoes at all. The Target ones I buy are usually about $25).

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