Tuesday, September 14, 2010

although...embarrassing myself is a small price to pay for a whole new (free) wardrobe

I just realized something. I'm in the most terrible clothing rut. Ever. Possibly of my whole life. To say I don't suddenly feel like I've been left behind in a decade would be a lie, because I feel like I've been strutting around in the same shlumpy clothes that I was wearing in high school.

Ok, maybe not the same exact clothes as high school (though, my pajama wardrobe would say differently), but the same style. The same ideas. The same thing.

I've really started to realize that the way I've been viewing certain articles of clothing is wrong.

Like my ridiculous rule that my jeans have to cover at least 90% of my shoe. They have to look a certain way when I look down. I can't describe how, they just have to look right.

Or how I can't seem to shake the sneaker habit. I know, I know. They're great because I walk. A lot. But there are lots of good looking shoes out there that are perfectly good to walk in, and I'm not wearing them. Why? Because I think my toes look stupid? Earth to me, they don't look stupid. It's all an illusion. An elaborate illusion I set up for myself back in 1999/2000 when I thought I was dressing pretty swell.

So there. I've confessed. I feel like I'm still living in 10 years-ago-style.

Something needs to change and I want to start with my jeans.

Do you know that feeling you get when you get a new haircut? Or maybe you wear glasses and after trying on half the store, you find the perfect new pair and suddenly, you feel like you need to get a whole new wardrobe or, yes, even a new hair style, to match? Do you know that feeling? I want to get that feeling with jeans. I want to find a pair that's so 2010 and updated that everything else will fall into place.

Shirts will naturally get updated; shoes will become easier to shop for; heck, I might even get myself a new pair of glasses and a new haircut.

That's where I want to go, but getting there is going to be difficult.

You see, I hate shopping for jeans. Well, pants in general. They're just never right. When they looked at women's bodies, they looked at everyones' but mine. Or at least that's how it feels.

So I think for all my life, I've just been okay with the jeans I've been wearing. There might have been one aspect of each of them that I liked, but the rest was either ill fitting or just wrong in some small way. I think I've been only just getting by in this department.

Now I'm at the point where I feel like the jeans I currently wear are so terrible, so ill-fitting, so out of date that I can't even believe I'm still going out in public in them. So it seems like an obvious place to start, and I think that instead of just settling for a pair that does a halfway job, I'm going to invest the time and try on as many pairs of jeans as I possibly can. I don't care what the label says or my stupid rules on what I think they should look like even before they go on. I'm just going to try them all and hope I find a winner.

For example, previously I thought I couldn't wear a skinny, legging-type jean or one that tapers a little at the ankle. Do you know why? It's because I have this 1999 view of what a tapering, skinny legged jean is and that's not how they are now.

I had to return something to Walmart on Monday, so for fun, I searched anything they might have had labeled as a skinny jean or a jegging (that term really gags me) and tried it on. Surprise! I actually really liked how my legs looked in the skinny jean (the jegging, not so much). If the waist had fit better, I probably would have bought them.

So now I really know that my preconceptions of how things were and how they are now are completely wrong. I guess you just get used to seeing yourself a certain way for so long that it can be really hard to switch gears and keep modern. I'm starting to have a whole new understanding and appreciation for some of the more deeply style-rutted people on What Not To Wear. I've always sat there, watching that show, and I thought, How can they not see how completely out of date they are? Yeah. I get it now. I feel their pain. At least it didn't take embarrassing myself on tv to figure it out.

So I'll just be busy reinventing myself, now, one pair of jeans at a time.

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