Friday, February 28, 2014

My own sartorial choices

I am not what you might call a trendsetter.  Or a trend-follower, for that matter.  My personal style has evolved over the years, as I constantly try to find a look that flatters my body as well as enhances whatever image I have crafted for myself in any given year.  I have had my fair share of hits, and definitely my fair share of misses.

There was the hippie phase, with long, long hair and endless broomstick skirts, plus the occasional unfortunate pair of overalls.  That transitioned into grunge, when I started dying my hair red and shaving the bottom half of my head and wearing the same two plaid flannel shirts layered over EVERYTHING.  Art school chic, where it didn't matter what I wore as long as it was artfully streaked with oil paint and smelled vaguely of cigarettes and turpentine.

I went through a strange phase shortly after I was married when I wore things that I'm pretty sure are called "slacks."  That segued into two solid years of wearing, I kid you not, nothing but different combinations of corduroy pants (I believe I owned six pairs, in assorted colors), spaghetti strap tank tops and hoodies.

Then I had a kid.

I'll admit, I have spent a decent-sized portion of the last nine years in various versions of the mommy uniform.  Yoga pants.  Layered t-shirts.  Leggings with Uggs.  There was a brief flirtation with a puffy vest, a fairly complete embrace of the pea coat in assorted colors.

It is VERY safe to say that I spend far more on my children's clothing than I do my own.

In the past couple of years, my style has drifted in a direction that I think is pretty much my own.  At least, it is around here, in the small town I live in.  About four years ago, I cut my hair drastically short. Incredibly short.  I mostly do the faux-hawk thing, except when I let it get too long and it flops pathetically.  This hairstyle does not generally win me much admiration (I usually get compliments only on the days when my hair is horribly grown out and looking very much like a hair helmet, and I'm feeling really terrible about it), but I feel like it suits me, and says something, maybe, about the person I wish to be.  When I've really been too long without a haircut, I have a black newsboys cap that I like to wear, which I also like quite a bit and feel good about.

Good hair day.

Really high faux-hawk/swoop, verging on needing a haircut.

I've also started to wear dresses a lot, and skirts more often than pants.  I am slavishly devoted to Hot Rod Johnny, and own, at last count, seven dresses from his collection, in assorted prints and neckline styles.  I almost always pair my Hot Rod Johnnies with crinolines from Pettiskirt Style.  One of the things I love best about both of these companies is that their products are Made in the USA.

Scoop-necked Hot Rod Johnny, with
yellow tea-length crinoline.

I wear 6-hole black Doc Martins almost exclusively, any time it's too cold for sandals (although I was gifted a very nice pair of brown leather knee-high boots for Christmas, which I make an effort to wear  as frequently as possible).  My Docs currently have sparkly pink laces.

I just like this picture. 

One clothing item that I get a LOT of remarks about are my tights.  I love tights.  I think most people love my tights, too, even if they wouldn't wear the same colors I do.  Comfortable, well-fitting tights can be a hard thing to come by for a plus-size girl, so when I found some that a) fit really well, b) didn't run or get holes the first time I wore them, and c) came in an mind-boggling array of colors and styles, I was really thrilled.  I get my tights, as well as many many many tights and leotards for various costumes, from We Love Colors.

Splash-color tights.

Black & White striped tights.  Or are they
White & Black?

Splash color tights, at Disney World!

Back in December, I was needing to restock my tights supply, so I went to We Love Colors planning to buy a few pairs and stick them in my Christmas stocking, "from Santa."  Stockings in the stocking, good, right?  Anyway, all of the striped tights that I love so much were marked "out of stock."  Waaaah.  I emailed the company, asking when they might be restocked.  The response was that they were dealing with some sizing issues with their vendor, hoping to restock soon.  As of a couple of weeks ago, still no tights.  Then yesterday, out of the blue, I get a message asking me if I'd be interested in testing out some new product for them.  Ummmm, YES??  Of course I would!  How fun is that?  I'm so excited to get them.  I am so hopeful that they are as awesome as the old ones.

I will surely post pictures, especially if the new tights arrive in time for motherboy's spring awakening next weekend.


  1. I'm a terrible judge of fashion, mine or anyone else's, but I've heard other women say after meeting you decked out in Doc Martins and funky tights, that they wished they had the self-confidence to pull that off as you do. If "the person you hope to be" is self-confident, brave, creative, fun and proudly unique, then I'd say your fashion is spot on. I'd say the person you hope to be is what others see in you, because it's who you already are.

    1. Thanks, Jeffrey! It's a curious balance between craving attention and not wanting anyone to look at me, ever. Probably speaks more to my self-diagnosed multiple personality disorder than anything else.

  2. So glad I happened upon your blog (via blogher) today. I've gotten in quite a funk about my style/wardrobe. I'm 15 years into parenting two kids (15 and 12) and honestly, I have let any sense of style fly right out the door. Pretty tired of it and have been obsessing about it a little bit later. Love your tights, dresses, sense of style (and short hair)!

    1. Thank you so much! It's way easier to stay in yoga pants and t-shirts every day, at least it is, for me. But I find that when I'm happy with what I'm wearing, I'm a happier, more productive human throughout the day. It just took me a really long time to realize that I can't shoe-horn myself into the current trends. It's a constant reinvention ;) You could try what I did, which was pick one or two things that I really loved and that made me happy, and look for other items or outfits that made me feel the same. A lot of clothing that was already hanging in my closet was a lot more appealing when I combined it in different ways. Good luck!!


So, whaddya think?