Monday, October 26, 2009

Thoughts on Fashion

My thoughts on fashion lately are this. I LOVE what my fellow bloggers and fashion forward people wear. I love seeing all the fun and creative things that they do with their clothing on a daily basis. I love that people find such fun items thrifting or shopping their closet and they remix the ways they wear said items.

On the downside, I am not sure these things are for me. Not that they don't look fine on me and not that I haven't gained a lot of stylish ideas that I will be continuing with in the future, but I am having trouble using the fun fashion files that I keep as inspiration and turning them into something that I love on ME!

This isn't a body issue post. This is a style issue post. I have said before that I want to give off a certain vibe about me. After going through my recent layoff from my past job, a few months of unemployment, and a new hiring at a vastly different company, I have been going spending more and more time thinking about the me that I want other to see.

Sure I want people to think that I am stylish. I want them to think that I am fun and creative. At the same time, I want them to think that I am sleek, professional, minimal, and chic. To me that means someone who doesn't have a lot of extra hanging here and there. No boho chic and not too much feminine girlie. I want people to see that I am a strong person. Portraying this person that I have an image of in my head is very important to me right now.

As much as I long to try all the fun things that my bloggers do on a daily basis, I need to figure out how to make some of these things work in this image.

That morning, I pulled out a chic, comfortable, pulled together dress. On it's own it would have been great. It would have fit said parameters for being me. Instead of wearing the dress alone, I needed to make it a warmer version for our 40-50 degree weather lately (or 30's even. ICK!) I pulled out a brand new pair of leggings, (Super cute on me... but...) layered a long sleeve shirt under the dress, and went to the kitchen for breakfast.

I could hardly eat my breakfast. My thoughts about what I was wearing were eating at me. Sure I looked cute and I would have been happy to post the outfit for my fashion friends to see (and should have) but I wasn't who I wanted the people at my new job to see me as. The outfit didn't fit the me I want to be in my new job. The outfit would fit someone else IN my same job just fine but I couldn't wrap my mind around it being me for the day.

I instead layered the long sleeve tee under my dress, added my black skinny cords, and tucked the dress in as a shirt. The pants brought the outfit into the tough enough but creative enough realm that I was happy with.

I spent a large part of my day wondering why I couldn't be happy with the initial (cute) outfit. I think it is for the same reason that I wasn't happy with this recent outfit.

It was cute but not the me that I want people to see. Not the image I want to portray. Not the person I want to be. (Granted she IS a cute person. I may have thoughts about the grass being greener on the other side for a day, and I may rant about the size of my tummy, but overall I am happy to have the body I have.)

This is not a moan that I don't look cute or a cry for sympathy that I can't fit into certain clothes. Although I have those days too. This is an in depth look at why I don't wear the cute items I buy. A discussion with myself about who I want to be in life. A concentration on what makes me me and the person I want people to see me as.

Why do I have to feel the pull to try all these cute things when it doesn't fit with what I am working to create?


Kyla said...

First, I think the outfit you ended up with is very flattering, very YOU and very sharp.

Second, I think that knowing what kind of a style you want to have is the first step in developing it. Since I've started my blog, I have noticed my style sway back and forth and I finally feel as though I'm settling into what is really MY style.

This became most apparent to me when I went to NYC for the Weardrobe conference. I was SURROUNDED by so many creative and beautiful girls, all with impeccable style. It was so cool to see so many different kinds of styles represented. It was also really, really intimidating. At first, it was really easy to think that all of the other girls had better style or better clothes than me. But, really, they were just different than me and my style. Once I realized that, I was much more comfortable with my style and more appreciative of others' styles.
Anyway, Who What Wear has a book about finding your style and encourages finding a celebrity that best represents your style and using that as a foundation.
I realize this is the longest comment in the history of comments, but I just wanted you to know that you're not alone. Be yourself, sista!

Bianca said...

Aww...I check your blog often, but wanted to post. I am a girlie girl, I love frippery, bows etc...


Recently, I worked at a company that was a real boys club. I was the only woman there, and really felt out of place in my usual stuff. Well, I still had to dress appropriately, and rework my wardrobe.

I found my cues from Detective Olivia Benson. It was perfect. Chic, professional, easy to move in - exactly what I needed. This might be a good place to start - find some people who do dress appropriately for what you want to project and move from there.

Best of luck!

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Tina said...

I know exactly how you are feeling. I enjoy trying out new looks and ideas that I get from other people, but these don't always portray the image that I know I want to portray in the office. Right now it's not an issue b/c of the nature of my work, but once I get back into a formal law firm, I'm going to have to focus on projecting the image that is 100% me.

alya said...

I've been thinking the same thing, lately. I have what are considered stylish clothes and I can put them together, but often I wind up taking my blog picture and then switching my outfit to actually leave the house. Once a co-worker saw me in an outfit and teased me relentlessly the next day, even though that particular outfit was featured on, so SOMEBODY liked it.

Maybe it's a confidence thing. But then that can be a vicious circle, too, trying to figure out if the lack of confidence stems from the particular item, your body, the image you think you're giving off, etc.

Man, you really make me think. Hahaha.

Anonymous said...

i feel blogging has really helped me. i love it for ideas/inspiration. at work, i don't suffer about portraying me, more so just feeling like my work clothes (especially in winter) are lackluster. definitely not blog-able. boring. i have to be comfortable and warm at work as i walk in and outside all day long. so i use the times outside of work to not be so focused on comfort. there are certain trends i see on blogs that i think no way are they for me, but i have also noticed that seeing them over and over in blogs sort of opens my mind to them. i may eventually try them myself. sometimes not though. there are just some looks or trends that aren't for me. i do enjoy seeing what everyone else is coming up with though. so fun. i like your blog. keep it up:)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jenna!

I stumbled upon your blog and will become a follower. I love your writing, very real and genuine.

Thanks for the great postings!

Kristen said...

The outfit you ended up with is very YOU, and I love it like that. I have to admit, I would love to see how it looked as a dress-with-leggings, and mainly because that's in my style wheelhouse and I wanted to see if I liked the dress and would want to get it myself. But for your style, I can see why you weren't comfortable with it.

I don't think there is anything wrong with trying different styles and seeing if they work for us; some will and some won't. I read a lot of blogs where I adore what the girls wear but I know just from looking at them it's not for me. From them, I try to emulate their confidence, the way they know themselves so well, etc -- their attitudes more than their actual styles.

But sometimes I do try their styles, and it can be a disaster. It's a learning process, seeing in the mirror and in the camera how we really look in certain shapes and colors and genres. You don't know until you see it for yourself. So don't be hard on yourself for getting wrong FOR YOU sometimes; it happens to all of us!