So I left one resolution off my list (mostly because I was embarrassed to admit it) but here, let me share it with you anyway: To become a better dresser. Totally shallow, I know. I want to look good. I have complained about my winter wardrobe in the past, so part of it is trying to shape that up and part of it is trying new things and getting a little out of my comfort zone.
I used to be adventurous about my clothes. I started high school wearing flannels and combat boots Eddie Vedder-style, but soon my style morphed to a homage to the movie Clueless. Think short plaid skirts, thigh high stockings, sweater vests, that sort of thing. Which was pretty fucking awesome, I must say, because I was the only one dressing like that in my high school at the time. I wore some crazy stuff. No skirt too short, no heel too high, nothing I wouldn't try. I had platform jelly shoes--okay?
I used to spend a lot of time reading fashion magazines and for a while I wanted to be a fashion designer.
So really it was no surprise when at my high school reunion, a bunch of people asked me if I ended up working in fashion. Which sort of made me feel kind of sad. Like, where did that fearless fashionista go?
I know the answer. I left her in Syracuse, New York--where I went to college. It was so cold and snowy and miserable all the time that you had no choice but to wear large sweaters, jeans and sneakers under a big winter coat. I really disliked college, I kept to myself and I didn't want to call any attention to myself with my clothes. So fashion stopped being a priority. Sad.
After college, moved to New York, started working in an office, I had to step it up a bit. And that's when the uniform came into play. As an assistant, nearly every day I wore some variation of a turtleneck sweater, Banana Republic dress pants and sneaker-loafer things. As a promotions manager, this look grew up to a cable-knit sweater, corduroy skirt and boots (see good example here). I love the look of heels but never wear them because I can't stand the pain. I am always flat.
Don't get me wrong. I still love clothes. I buy a lot of clothes. They just all look the same.
It was my old roommate Meagan who pointed out that I wore a uniform everyday (It takes one to know one--she has a uniform, too. Only she actually works in fashion so her uniform is a little more stylish than mine). I remember we were shopping one day, and she pointed to a mannequin and said, "That looks like something you would wear" and it was this horribly plain outfit. She wasn't being mean. It was the truth. That is when I realized how boring my wardrobe had become.
Even though I love colors, my clothes tend to gravitate to blacks, off-white, blue and grey. I love grey. It looks awful on me, it washes me out, but I can buy a thousand grey sweaters.
"You wear a lot of brown," Meagan told me recently. I looked at her horrified.
"No, I don't. I don't even like brown." I wear brown. It's true.
Lately, in my freelance years, since the reunion really, I have been yearning to rediscover my fashion self once again. I have done a pretty good job this summer infusing my summer wardrobe with pretty dresses (okay so it is a new uniform, whatever!) My winter wardrobe, brimming with cable knit sweaters in every color of the rainbow, is not faring as well.
This week has been an earnest attempt to start a new, fashionable winter Yvonne. It's just about trying a little harder, putting in the effort. I have been wearing old standbys the last few days but today I took it to a new level. I pulled out a new dress I got on sale last week (it's grey and it's like a long turtleneck sweater--what???), but it was totally different this time because this dress is short. Like the almost high school short. Like I am not sure if 30-year-old Yvonne who took a long hiatus from working out should be wearing it short. But I did. And you know what else? I wore my black boots--the ones I love but never wear because they have heels. Yes I did. And the topper of it all? I wore a headband.
Because yes, my hair has a uniform too. While I faithfully cut and color it often, going from short to long no problem, I don't do anything with my hair. Every day, I wear it down. And on the weekends, when it's long enough, I wear it in a ponytail. But today, on a weekday, I wore it in a ponytail and I wore an accessory--a headband with a poofy sort of fabric flower on it. An accessory that says, Hey, look at me! An accessory that I was compelled to buy knowing that I might not actually wear it. But I did.
And at my job, where no one really talks to me, here I was with my short dress and a poof ball on the side of my head, brimming with excitement to reveal the new (old) me. And no one really cared that much. All that drama for nothing.
Though judging from this picture, I don't think the outfit was much of a success. I look kind of pregnant here and that dress is much shorter in person.
The poofy headband is sort of weird. Maybe I should have worn my hair down after all. I don't know. I am a little rusty.
Next step: Wearing lipstick. That grey really washes me out.