Sitting on the bleachers at Fremont Brewing with my bestie and her grad school friends I suddenly noticed how out of place I was. Style is, among other things, an expression of culture and as I looked around me I saw a sea—a literal SEA—of black, grey, and denim. I was completely surrounded by Gore-Tex clad, waterproofed, jean-wearing Seattle outdoorsmen. There were limp pony-tails to my left, hand knitted infinity scarves to my right, and ALL. THE. TENNIES. Everyone looked the same…and this is what I was wearing:
My dress is a bin-find gem that was probably handmade by a homeschooler, and it says “I [heart] my cat!” I also found this sweet little periwinkle Merino wool sweater from J. Crew in the bins. The boots were thrifted by a friend who used to re-sell vintage, and the necklace is Chico’s from UXC. I spent at least forty-five minutes putting this look together before I drove up to Seattle to hang out with my BFF.
When my best friend moved to Seattle last year to go to Occupational Therapy school it afforded me the opportunity to make the forty-ish minute trek up to the big city to visit her. This is SUCH a good experience for me because I am a total creature of habit, and visiting her takes me out of my comfort zone which is fun and exciting. In a serious sense it is also character building because one of my biggest anxiety triggers is not having clear expectations or a frame of reference for how things are going to go. I’m not what you would call “easy going”. So when I go and visit my bestie who is wild and free and spontaneous and a total “Yes” girl living in the city, I get to be brave and flexible. And it grows my self-confidence every single time.
Being me and dealing with my issues the way I do means that the most important part of these little filed trips is… my outfit! I know I am going to be mostly uncomfortable emotionally and mentally so I really want to feel confident in what I am wearing. I’ve said before that PrettyRx is about looking how I want to feel and this is a perfect example of that. If I am going to be nervous and feel out of control in my surroundings then I need to take time to put myself together on the outside. “Getting ready” has become an exercise in putting myself together emotionally because as I consider the potential activities and interactions that lie ahead of me I am able to survey my wardrobe and carefully dress myself in things like confidence, capability, charm…I make myself pretty!
As silly and self-centered as it may sound I was really stoked about my outfit that day. I thought I was the cutest little thing that ever lived in my I <3 my cat baby doll dress and frilly sweater which I cleverly balanced with just a touch of cowboy from the boots and necklace. My hair was up in an effortless “I woke up like this” kind of way (I did NOT wake up like that, nothing about this look is effortless). I really thought about this outfit, guys! I made intentional choices about each element because of how they made me feel and what I thought they said about me, but being in a room full of people who put me in such stark contrast with my context, I realized two things. First while exploring my personal style is largely a positive thing I have to be careful about how much I depend on what I look like to make me feel good about myself. Style is a tool and if I don’t pay attention it can quickly become a crutch, or worse, it can start to dictate my thoughts and feelings which eliminates its usefulness all together. The second, even harder to swallow truth is that no one besides me really cares what I am wearing [horror movie face emoji]… More on that another day, but when I pointed out to my BFF how I felt about my outfit she said, “what? No one can tell. You look fine” UH!