Monday, September 14, 2009

Fashion Sense...or Lack Thereof

I expect you might be rather tired of me going on and on and on about my vacation (I'M ON A DISNEY CRUISE!). If so...sorry. I'm easily excitable and overly obsessive.

Here is some relief for you...

The ever-fabulous Girly Muse has agreed to grace Spoils of Wear with a delightful guest post. Yippee! Lori and I have been friends for many many years. Her family took me in and let me hang with them for a couple of years in my late teens when I had little desire to spend much time at my own home (thank you, Girly). During that time, I developed a very special friendship with her then-toddler daughter, Greyley. We're all grown up now (Greyley just turned 11!) but I remain steadfastly in love with Girly Muse and her wonderful family. I'm on their team for life.

I'm so honored to do this guest post for Jilliebeanie. Besides being an awesome friend, she never ceases to amaze me with her fashion sense...all while getting the best deals. I love this blog!


I think everyone, whether they realize it or not, expresses themselves with the clothes they wear. Even the person who says they don't care about clothes is still wearing something that says a little something about them at that time.

Finding my fashion sense...or the lack thereof...has been a lifelong quest. The search began long before I realized it. My style has evolved over the years and I'm sure it will continue to do so...I like to think of it as a way of growing.

If I could pinpoint a time when I realized that I loved clothes, it would have to be when I put on my first twirly skirt. You know the ones...they may look simple to the everyday onlooker, but once you've put on a twirly skirt, you know the telltale signs. It's that extra bit of material...the way the material can just tell that when you give it a good twist, it is not going to disappoint. The skirt will fly out and then fall back in a demure, flirty way that to the unobservant eye would be completely missed.

To my five-year-old mind, the twirl factor set a high criterion for every other skirt/dress I would own. To this day, I am smitten with high twirly goodness.

Later, I would get distracted by my red, white, and blue t-shirt that said, "Made In the USA" in big letters...along with a little jean wrap skirt. I think I wore that every day that it was clean.
I'm embarrassed to say that my attention turned even further around age eight or nine to things besides clothes. I wanted so badly to either have glasses or braces...because everyone knew that was the epitome of fashion. I would straighten a paper clip to look like a retainer and wear that around while I was playing. I liked how it made me talk...made me look pretty cool, too.
I got my wish for glasses at age ten and realized they were not all I'd hoped. Glasses in 1982 were just a little short of coolness. OK, way short.

My hair also changed textures at age ten. It was before mousse, so I'll let you draw your own mental picture about the combination of frizziness and big glasses.

Thankfully, my attention did get back to clothes. I never liked to shop so much, though. My mom did a great job of that, but I knew what I liked. And I knew what I didn't like.

1) I wanted to wear things that were different.
2) Same as #1.

It was the above fact that led me to thrift stores in my teen years. They weren't quite as hip as they are now. It was kind of something you kept quiet about...not that I was ashamed of it, but the few times I confessed where I'd gotten my fabulous jacket or whatever, people would say something like, "Eww, gross."

I happened to know there was nothing gross about it once the items were washed. I will admit that I'd give anything if wet wipes had been around then, though...that black film you get on your hands while handling the clothes can be a little disconcerting.

The most amazing things could be found in those little hole-in-the-wall places. I lived in California at that time and if you went to the more expensive parts of town, the thrift stores would be overflowing with treasures.

Thrift stores are still one of my favorite places to visit. And now that I'm (sort of) an adult, I adore boutiques. I really like to support small businesses AND get the unique thing. While it's rewarding to shop at my local boutiques, I also really enjoy visiting boutiques when I'm out of town. Styles vary somewhat from state-to-state and sometimes the styles in another state fit what I like more than the styles where I live.

And I know this is a departure from the other two types of places, but I LOVE TJ Maxx and Marshall's. I know that you can occasionally find someone else with the same blouse, but it is very rare. The turnover in there is so quick that it ends up feeling like you have a one-of-a-kind item.

Don't even get me started with online shops. I haven't taken full advantage of them, but have enjoyed every experience. I have gotten a dozen or so items on ebay, which is somewhat risky, but they have all been huge hits. I will be exploring that more, you can be sure.

I wish I knew what my style this day, my quest to nail down my fashion sense...or lack thereof...has been complicated. I feel part hippy, classic, vintage-inspired, and bohemian...

I know that I'm not preppy. That much I do know.

I'm satisfied to keep figuring it out.

Perhaps one day, I will feel like I have arrived and KNOW my style...until then, I'll just be content to keep growing...


Michelle, Queen of Everything said...

I'm thinking this might be the year to get some style. For work, it's all black and gray. For home, it's a sad uniform: khaki, black, or denim capris with a solid color V-neck tee. And in winter that just changes to jeans and a solid color long-sleeved V-neck tee. Help me!

Bug said...

I have no idea what my style is - I can't categorize it, and that's ok.

Jilliebeanie said...

Pinpointing my style would really help me, I think. Sometimes, I venture into unknown style territories and then never wear the item because it's just not 'me'. This could be avoided if I really knew what 'me' was.

Thanks again for the great post, Lori.