Monday, June 22, 2015

Lessons In What I Wore Past

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

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