I listened to this episode and had so many things come up in my mind. Interesting, or maybe not so interesting, asides and digressions popped up as we were traveling down the diverse roads the three of us are taking.
I discussed my disco days briefly, one of the most trendy and in-style parts of my life, weirdly until recently. It seems that youth goes hand in hand with trendy, but some of us circle back to a little bit of trendy when we get old and gain all the confidence that we were missing when we were young. It is an interesting journey, let me tell you. Anyway, I remember LOVING the shiny dark patterned shirts and the pants that went with them and the incredibly high platform shoes from the late 70's. And to think I danced in those things. Oh wow I loved those clothes. They represented freedom to me. I acquired them when I was in college, when I escaped from my fairly restrictive parents (sorry mom) and seriously cut loose in SO many ways. I danced, I drank, I did some fairly risky things.... it is a wonder we survived. But I did and found a husband who is incredibly along the lines of what my family was. Conservative, reserved, funny and lively all at the same time. So, after moving to the north, I was again landed in a situation that restricted my movement, my freedom and in many ways the pleasures that I had found and reveled in. Debi was reined in for a while.
I am not saying at all that I regret the life I have- you can't remain 21 forever and your priorities change. But the fact remains that through geographical reasons, I was trapped in a very small world. My parents were 5 hours away, my friends at least as far, then I had kids and as life goes, you have to live with what is given to you. This particular post has already veered wildly from my original intention, so apparently it needs to be said!
As I implied, I didn't have a lot of style, or even clothes for that matter. Not compared to what I have now. I didn't actually need them, I didn't go far and we didn't do a lot. Mostly we needed WARM clothes because it is damn cold up here. And the kids and the hubby got the most clothes. He had a job, the kids grow.... you know the drill. I didn't have a full time job for a number of years after I got married, so the wardrobe didn't matter in my case. I remember feeling so excited to pick up some things to wear when I did get my teaching job. To buy more than 2 or 3 things was just exhilarating. But I didn't go over board, and I would not call myself stylish at that point. My "style" was in all the crazy socks I wore- I was strictly utilitarian. I remember looking at beautiful items of clothing in stores and being so sad that I didn't feel I could wear them. i told myself it was because I taught art. Or that they wouldn't fit me.... or that they wouldn't look good. In reality I didn't think I was good enough to.
Fortunately, as I have mentioned before, when I turned 50 something clicked inside me. I took back my life. I had been traveling more by myself, I started doing things I wanted, and generally became more independent. And during this time I began finding myself - at first by restricting myself until I almost disappeared- and then I found the authentic me somewhere in between. With a little help from my coach!
In our makeup discussion, Anne-Sophie talked about how no one ever showed her how to put on makeup and so she feels strange when she wears it. Like it doesn't quite seem right. My first encounter with makeup was when I was about to enter 6th grade. My cousin who is a few years older than me had indoctrinated me into the idea that makeup was something that I should have and I should wear.... and when I was up at my Grandma's on vacation ( I think she was there too) I bought some mascara. It was the old fashioned kind where there was a separate brush thing and the actual product was a cake- sort of like eye shadow. Anyway- my mom yelled at me and took it away. She and my aunt, and probably my extra conservative Grandma were so disappointed and distraught that I bought that mascara. I guess because I was so young. I found it a few month later and used it! Lol. I wore all sorts of make up in high school, and college, so I am no novice. I don't usually leave the house with out mascara on (LMAO) but I don't bother with a lot of other stuff. My skin has changed and I don't want to deal with it.
I use a style service now, I actually began filling out the form for stitch-fix on a whim. It was almost like my brain had planned it and I was doing it before I even understood what was happening. And when you fill out the style form, then you have to finish the whole thing because- well, just because. I have to say that I love the clothes that I have gotten through this company. I think that they are a little off base on some of their cuts, the arms of their non-stretch clothing is pretty small. Certainly I am not the only person in the world who has triceps?? I have sent back two kick ass jackets in the last year and a couple other things because of that. Notice that I don't blame myself?? I happen to know enough about clothing construction to understand that it is the pattern makers fault, not mine. Just sayin'!! And you can try it on at home and have a few days to think about your purchase. Stitch fix has been instrumental in figuring out what I look good in now. Because I have changed, just like we all change all the time. And that is what happens and it is good. If you don't change, you remain stagnant.
So what is the take away from this podcast episode and I guess from this post.... beyond my usual random neuron firings.....?
Know that you are worthy of attention... you are worthy of spending some money and time to make yourself feel good. You might be a full makeup face person or not. You might be a dress and skirt girl, or maybe pants are better. You might love to wear jewelry of all sorts, or you might break out from it all. However you are, please don't hide yourself. You don't have to wear baggy black clothes. You should be able to feel comfortable and stylish. Beautiful and at ease. We have some pretty good choices these days, not perfect but it is getting better. Don't forget that you are here to live your life, you are not here to please others. You literally can wear what you like.
Oh yeah, that Karl Lagerfeld thing? You know that the high fashion houses only make like 2 sizes because the are trying to remain exclusive. By making themselves seem "ultra special" they are making themselves an ultra amount of money. It is a way of the wealthy keeping themselves apart from others. It is exclusion at its worst. It is oppression in an insidious form. Don't even get me started.
So start small and try something a little different. You just never know how something will look unless you try it on. Leila's advice and discussion about taking it home because dressing rooms are not safe places. Life is hard enough without dressing room traumas. You know that saying fake it u until you make it? For all three of us, the confidence came second. We basically worked our way to inner confidence by pretending at least some of the time. Because it works. And we are more than good enough to deserve that confidence in our life.