Thursday, February 2, 2012

Look at what I found!

In order to take a break from the [un]packing and organizing that seems to have taken over my life these past few weeks I've been perusing through My Documents. The bulk of the contents of this computer folder are job applications, far too many versions of my CV, and small narrations, observations or prose written over the life of this little computer of mine. One of such jewels is what follows, written almost exactly one year ago and ne'er thought of since.

Is it possible to have Style without knowing it? With ‘street style’ images bombarding the fashion world, clothes and fashion as means of personal expression has become important in the culture of today. I look at images of women and men pairing eclectic pieces and patterns in ways that are unfathomable to my mind, but that work in a unique and brilliant way, and create a statement about the person wearing them. As I mentally inventory my sad state of a wardrobe (never again will I live in an apartment without any closets)  I honestly cannot think of an outfit or ensemble that truly says something about who I am. Perhaps it is because I am not sure about who I am. I am a 20-something lost in self-doubt and struggling between waiting shifts to come up with ways to discover who I am or what I want to do or how to tap into my passion. I know I am not alone in this. In fact, my current state of confusion has come to be known as a phenomenon by some academics and as a necessary growth period by some psychologists. Say I do have style, for surely there are those who think that I do. Those friends who gasp at a top as we browse through shop racks and exclaim “Alex, this is SO YOU”. These people seem to know something about the clothes that express who I am, so why when pressed to think about it don’t I? A friend of my mother’s once said to told me “You have a completely different ‘look’ every time I see you!” To him it would seem as though my outward appearance changed as frequently and completely as my inner perspective. Yes, I suppose I could be an ESL teacher - OUTFIT. I’m going to go sing in a choir today - OUTFIT. Maybe an office job is right for me - OUTFIT. I loathe the idea that I lack style altogether. I read blogs and magazines, look at photos, and gawk at sartorially superior strangers as they pass me on the sidewalk. I often pine over items in stores but resist buying them because I don’t believe I live a lifestyle worthy of their awesomeness. Take high heels. I have often thought how fabulous it would be to be the type of girl who struts around on a… Tuesday morning in her beautiful stilettos or chunky platforms or high-heeled boots. Then I factor in the fact that I am already 3-6 inches taller than all of my friends, work waiting tables, and don’t go anywhere cool enough to warrant such awesome footwear. (Budgetary restrictions are a whole other source of woe). So I don my loafers and leave my albeit limited selection of heels in the closet awaiting a night out or a special occasion and take note of stylish footwear throughout the day. I loathe to think that I am “style-less” just as much as I am “career-less” or (sad to say) “clueless”. If I can’t get the inner growth, life stuff down I would like to think that I can at least get the style stuff down if not all the time, than at least on a regular basis. Maybe I’ll ‘fake it ‘til I make it’. Pick a word to describe “my style” (because for some reason it is required for those coveted street style snapshot-ees to describe their style in one word or phrase), dig through my small Ikea wardrobe and leave my house wearing something unique, brilliant, and indicative of who I am… or who I am on that particular day anyway.

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