I am, and maybe always have been, in a serious 50’s glamour mood.
I want full skirts and red lips and a hat for every outfit just like the classic beauties from what seems to be my spirit-animal-of-a-decade. However, it took quite the style roller coaster to get me here.
When I was younger I sort of walked a fine line between tomboy and girly girl. I never identified with one or the other because even though I spent most of my time in jeans and ponytails, I filled most of my daydreams with glamour and style. But realistically how many 14-year-old girls have the confidence to take on a full-skirted shirt dress and matching hat? Maybe 2? I sure didn’t so jeans and t-shirts were it for me.
Then freshman year of college rolled around and Lord knows what unbridled freedom and a city like Tacoma can do to one’s sense of style… (I hit a hood-rat phase). Shocking. I can’t even elaborate because it was such a strange time.
Slowly but surely, I stepped out of my gold flecked Nikes and oversized sweatpants and realized that I could wear whatever I wanted. I had been so intimidated by the idea of being over dressed and what people might think, that I hadn’t thought to be worried about people’s reactions to how severely underdressed I had been.
Obviously, post sweatpants intervention, I still spent a decent amount of time in casual wear, but it was no longer shouting at people, “I don’t care about myself at all!”
The real change came when I started looking for jobs senior year. This was the moment I had been waiting for. My daydreams of glamour and style were about to come true because I would be joining the forces of corporate America and could wear pencil skirts! I took every interview I had as an opportunity to wear snappy clothes I loved more than an opportunity to learn about the jobs that came with them. Misguided but nonetheless I ended up hired.
I left lovely Tacoma for San Francisco where I imagined impeccably styled city life.
Shockingly enough the tech world doesn’t have a significant amount of dress code standards and as a result there are far too many individuals who need a sweatpants intervention. However, city life is incredible in this arena because of the diversity of styles squished into one area mixed with people’s callous disregard for what anyone else is doing. People honestly and truly don’t care what anyone else is wearing. They might not like what someone else is wearing but there is no right or wrong and there sure as hell is someone else who is wearing something weirder. People just get dressed and that’s it.
What’s really happening here is maybe more than changing environments. It’s bigger than Tacoma versus San Francisco and more in line with freshman versus senior. What’s happening is my attitude and self-image has changed. Even though what people think of me still weighs on me, I’m starting to realize that what I think and how I feel is more important. I’d much rather dress for myself than for a random audience of strangers who’ll never notice me or ever see me again. Plus the people who do know me and will see me again appreciate me for me and nice clothes are just a bonus.
So bring on the glamour is what I say! And besides, Coco Chanel spelled it out perfectly when she said, “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.” Here’s to being remembered for who I am and not for the raggedy sweatpants I used to live in.
Has your style evolution been a dramatic one or inspired by any one decade in particular?