Annette and I were talking about our individual fashion styles yesterday, and she pointed out how often what’s on the inside doesn’t match the outside, particularly as we age and have to deal with lifestyle, finances, and our actual physical bodies.
Our conversation was a thunderbolt* of self-realization. I definitely don’t dress as I see myself internally, and I mostly blame that on my wallet and my body. There are certainly outfits that in concept are stylistically what I’d like to project, but I know my physical shape gets in the way of the final product. For the most part I see myself as an American classic/preppy from the early 80’s with a dash of 90’s indie rock girl and some Mad Men-era structured/housewife looks thrown in. I do have elements of those influences in my wardrobe, but I mostly take the easy way out and shop at Target and TJ Maxx and assorted fat girl stores and wear what fits and what’s inexpensive and doesn’t resemble a caftan. I suppose it’s about not addressing my weight and at the same time just being lazy. Honestly, at this point I’m more interested in hiding flaws than anything.
Anyway, we were bantering back and forth about style ideals, and I started thinking about what influenced me when I was younger and what has stuck with me to this day. This topic definitely can’t be covered in just one entry, but here’s my initial foray into the subject of my style.
It’s definitely important to consider ideas of beauty versus ideas of actual style. As I aged I began to study other women not just for what they looked like and what they wore but also for how they carried themselves. Style became more about a sense of feeling and how the pieces were put together, as opposed to the labels and the colors and the trends for that season. Some looks and feelings are timeless, and I realized I wanted to incorporate that timelessness into my wardrobe.
This post has opened an internal floodgate and I know I’ll be visiting this subject again and again – I’ve barely scratched the surface. I suppose one of the elements of personal style is that it does fluctuate, and what influences one on any given day can vary drastically. I’m very interested to hear what influences you, and who your style icons are. And do you see yourself differently on the inside than the outside?
*What the hell is a thunderbolt? I think I meant lightning bolt or thunderclap. Or something like that.