|Of course I didn't actually wear these shoes, but they look pretty in the picture.|
|I remember my grandma wearing this blouse so often in my childhood.|
|My brother, Dusty, brought me these Jesus earrings from Mexico, and my sister, Sierra, gave me the ring for one of my birthdays.|
|This skirt never fit me right, which always made me so sad because it was a favorite.|
I recently started using ye olde Flickr account. Once upon a time, my use of Flickr was intense to fanatical & religious, but in recent years my uploads have been sporadic. However, a recent loss of a few months' photos on my computer led me back to Flickr; as many backups as possible is a good idea. Once there, I took a walk around, exploring all my old albums and falling into nostalgia over that time BB (Before Baby), when it was just me with my little snap & shoot, making a compulsive photographic record of my new husband's handsome face at every angle, the food we ate, the flowers in bloom, and what I wore.
The year: 2011. In 2011, personal style blogs abounded on the internet. Now, most personal style blogs still in existence, the ones that have remained fresh(ish) and interesting(esque), have evolved into lifestyle blogs. That's a good thing! But, it was a nice diversion from a work day full of data entry to pop over to a style blog and ogle the contents of a stranger's closet. (My favorite, by far, was Second Skin.) Inspired by those blogs, but moreso by my longtime friend and penpal, Kath, who was in the habit of recording her own sartorial adventures at that time, I started taking my own self-portraits. I was very secretive about the whole thing, though, and never posted them anywhere. Or, if I did, I didn't advertise that I did. I told myself it was a record for me and me alone; I'm not sure how true that was at the time, but now I realize it was probably a record for me and five-years-later me alone.
I stopped trying to photograph my outfits, though I never stopped creating ensembles and experimenting, trying new things, retrying old things, honing and refining my style. I just stopped with the camera because I just wasn't very good at self-portraits. I didn't have the right equipment, to start--a tripod, a remote, a professional-grade camera. But, more to my disadvantage was the fact that I just never got comfortable with what I was doing (it was embarrassing), likely because I just wasn't that comfortable in front of a camera. Each photo I took of myself was subject to my own harsh, unforgiving scrutiny. I always thought I looked frumpy, messy, kind of goofy, really. Which is why it was so surprising when I looked at those photos today and realized how damn adorable I was. That itty bitty waist, those gigantic ragdoll eyes, that nest of baby dreads wrapped in scarves and nets, the whole business casual hippie vibe I was grooving. I was buxom and whimsical and adventurous. This is what I saw in those photos now, so far from what I saw then, which is a lesson in self-image I am constantly relearning (i.e. years from now, I will think current/present me is damn adorable when I look back on photos of these days, so on these current days when I look upon my reflection with disapproval and stinkeye, why don't I just assume I'm being crazy and am in actuality damn adorable, always).
This post is not just a message-to-self (and you by proxy if you're reading this) about self-image; it's not just a vain celebration of like, seriously, the tiniest waist ever (I still have what would be called an hourglass figure post-partum, but it's no longer that cartoonishly exaggerated). This is also a post about the clothes themselves (itselves?). Though Wolfman will not credit me with this (he thinks I have too much, always, though I know for a fact he likes the way I dress), I've purged my closet quite a lot in the past few years since I took these photos. Most of the pieces I'm wearing in these pictures I have since passed along to charity shops, and I gaze upon them now as old friends, however ill-fitting or ratty they may have been or become.
|My pervert dog pulled these pants out of the dirty laundry basket and chewed out the crotch. I mourned.|
|This blouse got me out of jury duty once--too hippie dippy.|
|My grandma's vintage Banana Republic dress. I wore it to an Easter picnic at my mother-in-law's house once with gigantic sunglasses, and a few of her guests agreed I looked like a movie star. This dress is fab.|
|I've had this top since high school, though it looked a lot different on me when I didn't have boobs.|
|My Pagan Festival 2011 outfit.|
|The fascinator was made by a friend of my husband.|
|Buffy wears this shirt in a season 5 episode. It fits her a little different.|
|Another piece from my high school wardrobe, the skirt, making into my adult life.|
Stay tuned for Part 2