The phrase “There appears to have been a struggle” comes to mind when describing my fashion sense. I have never and will never claim to be a fashionista. If you dug out my senior yearbook right now, you would not see me listed under the best dressed category. In fact, the only section you will find me under is class clown, which oddly enough not only describes my winning personality but my train wreck fashion concept as well.
Back then (and now really) I would describe my fashion sense as meeting the minimum requirements. And no, I am not talking ‘minimum’ as in coming to school with daisy dukes, crop top and flip flops (Lord help us all with the imagine we now have floating in our head). Thankfully, fabric coverage was not an issue.
On any typical day you would see me in pants which were sometimes jeans but mostly athletic type pants even though my M.O. was more closely aligned with
‘fake an illness to get out of PE’ than to be a participant on any kind of sports team. Shoes—if they would have let me go barefoot I would have, but #rules. A t-shirt with either the school mascot, (Go Warriors!) The Beatles or the Cubs. I would top this look off with my Relient K hoodie which I still have and still looks like it was worn every day for 3 years straight (because it was).
The hoodie was multi-functional. It served as a pillow in classes where I could catch a nap (after my homework was completed of course). It kept me warm in classes that lacked the best heat in the Indiana winter. It helped me sneak in whatever banned item that I felt I just absolutely needed in class, although for the life of me I can’t remember what I would have needed. (It couldn’t have been a cell phone because not many of us had them yet) But If we are being completely honest here (this is my web page and I pronounce this a judgement free zone) the hoodie meant that I did not
need have to wear a bra.
By the grace of God these items would match every once in a while, but most days you might assume that I got dressed in a small closet with the light off 5 minutes before running out the door to catch the bus. Those assumptions would be correct by the way.
College and dorm life did not help my fashion decisions at all. My 7:30 am freshman journalism professor told us on day 1 that she understood that her class was an early one and if having near perfect attendance throughout the whole the semester meant letting us crawl in the door at 7:25 with our pajamas and slippers still on, she was more than ok with that. (teeth brushing was non-negotiable as it should always be.) I took advantage of this generous request more times than I care to mention.
I think college only further confirmed my fondness with hoodies, and by sophomore year I was in a full blown committed relationship with one. (again, this is a
judgment free zone). Freshman year I bought a brown and teal overpriced hoodie (pictured on the right in various years of being worn) from the campus bookstore with left over textbook money I had. (as you can see my history of stellar decision-making skills goes wayyyy back) I wore that hoodie e-v-e-r-y-where. My room mates often joked that it would need to be surgically removed from my body (that is if it didn’t disintegrate first). In the end that hoodie and I had the last laugh. I bought that guy over 12 years ago and I still wear it as much as the Texas climate allows me to.
It wasn’t until I met a handsome, sweet guy in my junior marketing class, that I participated in a ritual that most girls practice and master while in high school. I believe the term ‘I have nothing to wear’ captures the mood best. I stood on a mountain of rejected clothes in front of a half-broken mirror propped up against my closet wall. I feverishly tried to learn the fashion rules that most learn in 4th grade (who says black pants and a brown shirt can’t go together anyways) in one night. Now, I can’t say for certain if my ultimate choice of pairing a pink empire wasted shirt with classic jeans was the reason why my now husband decided to ask me to marry him but I am sure it helped.
So where does that leave me now? I stated clearly at the beginning of this post that not now or ever have I claimed to be a fashionista, but I will say my fashion game has stepped up a little bit. (just a little bit) After analyzing pictures of myself from the last few years it appears that my fashion choices follow 4 clear guidelines.
1. Is it comfortable? I’m not saying that I should walk around daily in sweat pants and a hoodie just because it feels like a warm hug all day long, (although…that would be the dream) but in my mind I should be able to go a solid 8 hours of wear time before I have the urge to undress prematurely in any kind of way. I can think of several occasions where I have begun removing pieces of an outfit i.e. jacket, undershirt, bra (nope not kidding) because I simply could not take the torture anymore. The only exception to this rule should be your wedding day and those times when your employer makes you dress up as the Easter Bunny (pictured on the right for your viewing pleasure) The kid and I in this picture had the exact same expression, mine was just hidden and lasted for 3 full 8 hour days.
2. Does it match? Gone are the days where my biggest concern was making sure I didn’t wear brown dress shoes with black dress pants. Now it seems with the popularity of Lularoe that pattern and print mixing is in. For most people this would seem like a no brainer, but yet here I am still seeking guidance from the powers that be on Pinterest trying to find out if certain items in my closet can be worn together. p.s. Pinterest says to wear small stripes with bold patterns or bold stripes with small patterns. One can safely assume that because of this I avoid most patterns and prints and stick with jeans and a black shirt. This way no one gets hurt.
3. Does it fit? This rule goes hand in hand
with rule number one and sadly the rule that took me the longest to learn. There should be no reason that I should have to lie down to let the laws of gravity aid me to fit into a pair of jeans. Nor should the jaws of life be needed to remove me from a pair of jeans after my body has become one with the skin tight material. It is amazing the embarrassing moments one can avoid by making sure your clothes fit properly. (I’m looking at you, high school muffin top and plumbers crack)
4. Can I get by without wearing a bra? We all have different rituals we practice when arriving home after a long day at work. Some people hang their coat up, put their keys on the hook, grab the mail or let their dogs outside. Well, my return home ritual is very similar except instead of hanging my coat up as soon as I walk in the door, I remove my bra. Now I know what some of you are thinking, “ but that is so un-lady like” and you may be right, but one has never experienced a joy as pure as coming home from a long day of work and removing the worlds most socially accepted torture device. I know in most instances a bra is a best practice but if there is even a slight chance where I can get by without wearing a bra and not end up on the people of Wal-Mart website, you better believe it, I am there in a heart-beat.
I have been dressing myself on my own for at least the last 24 years and I think it is safe to say that progress has been made. I mean I’m not going to be featured on E!’s best dressed list any time soon but I also don’t see myself being arrested for indecent exposure either, what more could a girl ask for?
What are some of the fashion faux pas you are guilty of committing and what are some fashion rules you live by to this day? Leave them below and let me know I am not alone!