My style saga...
Saturday, February 09, 2013
When I was young I lived in a world where alligators and little men riding on horses playing polo ruled. Laura Ashley was everyone's best friend and for some reason Dickie pants were the thing. These things were important to me because they were important to my friends. I needed boat shoes for some reason even though we didn't have a boat! I always felt kind of uncomfortable and stuffy in those kinds of clothes but I wore them anyway because they were the "uniform" of the area in which we lived. At some point in high school I rebelled and wore the new uniform of all dark and distraught teen girls as shown to us by Alley Sheedy in "The Breakfast Club"... ALL BLACK! Well, I added purple high tops to the ensemble to occasionally mix it up...and I still wore the Ralph Lauren perfume of course.
After those years I was kind of a mess, trying to find "my style" trying punk, trying sporty, trying...well kind of slutty...sadly I landed back into the Polo thing when I married the first time since it was his "uniform" too. However, once I was out on my own again, newly divorced and living in a tiny little apartment in a sketch part of Chicago (it was all I could afford) I actually stumbled into what really did become my "style". I could not afford to shop in regular stores so I scoured thrift shops and ended up with a very "vintage eclectic" style that felt fun and wonderful and was completely me. Three quarter length sleeves, fur collared jackets, women's vintage suit jackets with sassy mini skirts...once I even scored at a Ben Franklin store up in Northern Minnesota and found, way high up on the shelves brand new clothes and shoes from the 60's that they had never sold...lots of capri pants, vintage collared shirts and even a skirt or two...I got them for pennies! At about this time I also cut off most of my hair (like a boys) and bleached it white blonde!
Even once I became more successful in my career and had met Patrick I stuck with this funky style and just added in pieces that went well from "real" department stores. I never didn't have something cool to wear. Then several things happened...I started gaining weight AND then...I left the country putting all of my stuff except the summer things in storage since we were moving to the Caribbean.
On my first trip back from the islands I had gained more weight and had a shopping spree at Old Navy to fix my wardrobe since I didn't fit into many of my clothes...Old Navy is nice but is not really my style...didn't matter. I needed clothes.
When we moved to Norway I had to make another shift because now I had all summer clothes and was heading to the Arctic. Another frantic shopping spree...again at another size up...trying to buy warm clothes on a bit of a budget. Not worried about the style.
THEN I got pregnant with Liam...up a few more sizes after that but needed my money for the baby and then another move to Oslo from Tromsø. By that spring, I literally had two pairs of pants that fit me (one was sweat pants) and a whole bunch of boxes stuffed under my bed with a mish mash of different clothes in them ...my "style" completely forgotten.
I did begin my weightloss journey that year though and delighted in pulling those boxes out and seeing clothes start to fit again. Then summer came. I pulled out my boxes to get ready for my first trip to France and realized that I had passed my clothes up and was too small for my summer clothes! Another frantic trip of clothes shopping...I was going to France! But they were summer clothes and I lived in Norway.
I kept losing weight and then...on the other end of things, I found that I was again wearing one or two outfits all the time because now I was getting too small for everything but not done losing my weight and not wanting to invest in in between clothes. (Thank goodness sweatpants have draw strings! ....Sadly keep in mind...just a few years before I would not be caught dead in sweatpants at all much less ill fitting baggy ones!)
Then a miracle happened...we had to move again. (I do this a lot.) The day I went to visit our new apartment to collect the keys the woman who owned the place had three huge IKEA bags full of clothes sitting there and asked me if I wanted them because she was about to donate them. (She had gone through a divorce, weight gain and weightloss and a style transformation of her own leaving a huge load of clothes in her wake.) I gladly accepted the bags and had a ball going through them. This woman had style...not mine...but one I could deal with. She saved me and never really knew! I ditched most of my clothes and took on her style.
Thing is...she actually was a little bigger than me and I lost a few more pounds so I had to discard some of her clothes...then for some reason my mom started occasionally buying me clothes and... well...her taste has become kind of odd over time...and yet...clothes are expensive here so I wear some of it...although I can't do the glittery Minnesota Vikings shirt or the Michael Jackson like jacket.
Soooooo here I am...going through my closet....another move...another mish mash of clothes! Granted, a higher quality mish mash than before but a mish mash none the less. The kicker is I had bought a few pieces on my own last year that I like, but guess what? I GAINED again so they don't fit! UGHHHHHHH!
I would love to get rid of everything I don't like. I would like to start fresh with this move. How fun would it be to go back to my style...the only true style that I ever felt completely comfortable in. Unique. But I can't. If you have been following you know I have some issues right now with expenses and it is impossible for me to even think of replacing or adding to my wardrobe. Today I will huck anything I just can't stand but I can't overhaul it all. I dream of my wardrobe that is currently in the depths of a storage unit in Southern Oregon...fashionable and cool and unused.
Just another day...just another complaint from me! Thanks for bearing with me through this!
Member Comments About This Blog Post
Classic clothes never go out of style. So even if you gained some weight, you know you can lose it again.
Boy, can I relate. I remember Dickies ! How sad is that ! LOL ! The preppy look was a very 80s thing, then along came GRUNGE thanks to Nirvana. Everyone wanted to be anti-establishment. Which was kinda nice. it meant I would never have to wear those awful secretary bow shirts ever again. Thank goodness for causal Fridays.
Of course, I nearly had a heart attack when hip huggers came back. How can anyone sit in those in any comfort ? you can't. Who wants to sit with all that ventilation. LOL !!
Anyway... hope you're ready for your big move !!
1642 days ago
Oh boy can I relate! When I was a smaller size I used to have fun clothes shopping, finding unique things that expressed 'me' and were fun to wear. As I gained I bought cheap things just because they fit or started wearing clothes from others because they were getting rid of it and it fit me. I also feel like I have lost my sense of style and fun with clothes along the way. Now, I just wear whatever is baggy enough to cover the problems and cheap because I don't want to be here too long. My closet is full of several sized wardrobes that I don't want to discard because I will need them as my sizes go back down. I feel really stuck and really sad! Thanks so much for talking about this. And I hope you will be able to figure something out that will make you feel better about things!
1644 days ago
Great writing as usual! I can completely visualize your style and you are stylish! Even if only virtually at this juncture. :D
My solution is to stay home and wear workout clothes. That is handy for working out, but not so much for looking decent. It would be so much harder in Europe. I remember when I lived in Finland, I didn't even own a pair of jeans. Now that I'm "old", I don't much care about fashion anymore.
You should go to Oregon and fetch your wardrobe! There's a candy shop within 600 miles. ;)
1648 days ago
It is completely eerie how you and I are going through some similar things. Yesterday I purged my closet! Well, at least the first sweep. I gave up on attempting to make some things work and realized hanging on to clothing for the one possibly time I might need it wasn't worth it (okay, I did keep my painting clothes -- we are at the beginning of a remodeling project after all). I too have lost my "style" choosing to shop high-end items from Good Will because money for clothing just isn't there. And while I have a bit of quality, the style is a bit old. And all my additional weight is not off yet.
But here's to getting our "groove" back on, uh? Oh, that was probably before your time :)
1648 days ago
A problem most of us can relate to, believe me!
1649 days ago
I can relate to a lot of this. Right now, I have about 4 pairs of decent work pants that I dare to wear (I have a couple of light-colored ones, but not wearing those for now for obvious reasons). I got a bunch of clothes in a clothes swap party a couple of years ago when I had lost a lot of weight, but I can't wear them anymore. :(
To be honest, I miss wearing a uniform every day. It was my favorite thing about the army. No thought, no worries about what to wear every day. Just make sure your boots are polished and uniform ironed (even though we technically weren't supposed to iron fatigues, we did). I had 4 uniforms and 2 pairs of boots. A couple of hours on the weekend getting everything ready, and I was ready to go for the week.
I've been trying to re-create that for the last 25 years or so. But for now, I'll wear whatever fits.
1650 days ago
Style - what is that? I don't think I have a style - must be a woman thing!!!
I have just started following you - haven't figured out why you move so much - but it sounds like a good life - I wish I could travel.
Weight up and downs -my wish for you is that you arrive at your goal and then you stay there and wear what you want for as long as you wish.
1650 days ago
So sorry, Ronna. It just seems like it is always something, doesn't it? I can recall all of my "styles" that I tried. I cringe at the thought of some of them.
1650 days ago
When I was little we used to move a lot too
1650 days ago
One of the upside of moving for me is sorting through my stuff and eliminating some things, but rediscovering other things.
1650 days ago
What a well written blog. I could 'feel' all of your emotions.
After you move, could you go on a little shopping trip say once a month and add one new or "new to you" piece of clothing as a reward for your healthy lifestyle living? A little splurge within your budget, if it would permit. It would be something fun to look forward to doing.
Just a thought.
Thanks for sharing a little bit more about you!
1650 days ago
I ALWAYS DISCARD ONE ITEM AT A TIME AND REPLACE IT.
1650 days ago
Boy to I hate what you are going through. I wish there was a Consignment shop where you could pick up just 1 or 3 things. I found an upscale shop close by that has been there for years and I had never stopped in. It is only well named brand clothing but severely discounted.
Know that a time will come when you will be more comfortable in both your skin and clothing. I wish I had an answer.
1651 days ago
I can sooooooooooo understand. Unfortunately, my moves have all been in the US so I'm still trucking around four sizes of clothes! Can't bear to part with some, though they're not realistic... how often would I wear a formal beaded gown in the garden?
Chuck what doesn't work (within reason - can't go around Norway in your skivvies!) so you're not literally carrying more baggage! THEN, commit to one piece at a time when you can afford to. I do think you'll lose weight with this move... healthier and happier!
1651 days ago
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