Friday, November 15, 2013

Why I Fail at Fashion

Sara commented on my Sweater Weather post that my lack of love for Uggs made her question if there was something wrong with wearing Uggs now.  I tried to tweet back an explanation, but my weirdness about fashion and anything that is fashionable is not easily explainable in so few characters.  So here we go.

I can remember the very first time I ever liked someone else's style and tried to make it my own.  I was in third grade, and my best friend Kelly and I were at day camp.  There was a girl named Lara who I just thought was the coolest person ever.  She rolled up her jeans and wore keds with no laces and a giant T shirt every day.  I am not sure what about this was so appealing to me, but when I tried to do the same thing later that week, Kelly called me out on it.  In retrospect, this was either a sign she was a bit jealous, or a sign of things to come (Kelly "dumped me" for a new BFF later that summer).  

I am not at all trying to say that getting called out by an 8 year old caused a deep seated issue with trying to fit in...I felt weird even before she pointed out that I was "copying" Lara.  That weirdness when wearing clothes that are new or different has never really gone away.  Unless the latest trend already fits in my pre-defined "Laura uniform", I always feel weird when I try it out.  Like a poser (poseur?) if you will, to throw out an overused high school term.  Sometimes I get over the weirdness after a few wears, but more often than not, trendy clothes stay in the back of my closet because they feel too much like a costume instead of an outfit.  

I never feel like I am put together or like my clothes lay on me the same way they do everyone else.  This is the case whether I'm a size 6 or 16.  I never really put much thought into the weirdness when I was younger...I just wore whatever my mom bought me until high school, and baggy "grunge lite" for the next 8 years.  Black has always been my comfort zone (even as early as 4th grade), bright colors or pastels were not.  

I went through a bit of a clothing identity crisis in my early to mid twenties...boy clothes and flannel shirts were no longer my thing, but I still didn't really know what was.  Those were the years I started dressing more or less like "everyone else", but I would constantly like something in the store and hate it at home.  TONS of clothes were sent to goodwill years later with the tags still on them.  

I feel like I started settling into my grown up style in my late 20's.  I gave up on trying to wear stuff that's too far out of the black color family.  I started buying plainer clothes that would work from season to season.  I occasionally branched out into stuff that was super mainstream popular.  The Uggs never felt right on me, but leggings were a win.  I have better luck with accessories than I do with shoes or clothes - something can be super trendy, and if I like it, I can rock it without a second thought.   

I guess this is just a really long winded way of saying that clothes are a freaking STRUGGLE for me, even at age 34.  I wish I could be that girl who is always on trend and looks like she has her shit together at all times, but I'm not.  And I wish even MORE that it was acceptable to wear jeans and a black t-shirt at all times, because that is what makes me feel like me.  But I'm okay with where I have landed on my home uniform and work uniform.  I feel like I have mostly figured my own personal fashion out.  Finally.

And just because I feel like an alien when I wear Uggs doesn't mean I don't think YOU look great in them.  My problem with with ME and clothes, not YOU and clothes.  I say wear whatever makes you happy and gives you confidence.  Group hug!

What about you?  Is your style effortless, or does the thought of planning the perfect outfit give you hives?


Swistle said...

I am a Uniform type: I like to wear ALMOST the same thing every day. So I have three pairs of jeans, and I have the same Old Navy Perfect Tee in a dozen colors, and I wear the same thing every day. In hot weather, I wear one of three pairs of pedal pushers instead of jeans; in cold weather, I add a flannel shirt.

What I notice is that once in awhile the wardrobe will undergo a shift, but just to a new uniform. So for example, before the Old Navy tee I was wearing a bunch of all-over-pattern (the ones with lots of curlicues and pictures that looked kind of vintage) t-shirts, and I wore one of THOSE every day. Then I got tired of them and switched to solid colors.

Lacey said...

I am TRYING to figure me out too. I tend to go almost trendy, but not too far. And I'm always looking like a creeper checking out other people's outfits when I walk to lunch or whatever and trying to mentally store their outfit so I can recreate later. Of course with my memory that never works, so I need to just break out my phone and start photographing these people against their will. ;)

Ironically, I have Princess Nebraska's blog open in another tab right now and am looking at her 'What I Wore' posts for some inspiration for this morning's online shopping. She's going to be creeped out when she sees her stats and sees that someone was looking at her pictures for 2+ hours. But I swear it wasn't continuous...I got busy at work but didn't close it out...swearsies!

Basically, all of this to say I am a creepy outfit poser. Also, I'm a fellow Uggs hater.

Kara Keenan said...

I am completely unable to dress like a grown-up. I loved that I was a teen during the grunge years, because layering and flannel are some of my favorite things. In college, I went through a hippie phase and wore a lot of wool and tie dye with broomstick skirts.

I work in places where I don't have to dress like a grown up either. As a result, I totally wear a black Hanes men's v-neck t-shirt and Target jeans almost every damn day. Most of the time with black flip flops from Old Navy. Old Navy pants are the devil, BTW. I can never get them to fit right. They're always way too long, even the "petite" sizes. Winter brings out the navy blue hoodie and black puffy vest. In the summer, I'll occasionally wear a pair of khaki shorts (but I won't wear khaki pants, hate them).

april said...

I want those sweater Uggs. But I live in Florida.

Pickles and Dimes said...

I feel like I'm just barely starting to understand how to dress for my body type and what colors complement my skin tone (hint: not red, which is a color I love).

I too have been stalking Princess Nebraska's clothing posts. So far I have bought three things on there that she's showcased: the sheer, navy, polka-dotted Old Navy blouse, the gold tassel necklace and the cream, long-sleeved/pleated skirt dress.

For me, things like Pinterest and Princess Nebraska help me visualize what I have the most trouble with: accessorizing. I have so many scarves and belts and necklaces, but no idea how to pair them with an outfit so it doesn't look overwhelming.

It's a work in progress, for sure.

Erin said...

I am totally in the same boat, I never in my life have felt put-together. Whenever I try to coordinate an "outfit" as opposed to throwing easy stand-bys on, I feel like a big fat faker.

Laura said...

I try to look put together and some days it's easier than others. I've found that for a professional look, I gravitate towards the standard sheath dress and casual is skinny jeans and boots or ballet flats. If you see me show up to book club in leggings, just know its totally for comfort. I love them, but tend not to leave the house in them.
And Uggs.... no. Just no. Besides, have you read about the bacteria they breed? yuck.