Fashion Feelings: Fit In Or Stand Out

I’ve always been a blend of personality types…or so I feel.  I mean, let’s be honest.  No one really fits into one tiny box that you can check on a personality test, right?  But I think a lot of you can relate with what I’m saying…you kind of feel like you’re a little bit of a lot of qualities mixed together.  Like a “mutt” of personalities, per say. I can be analytical about certain things, but I’m not a crazy logical person.  I’m typically driven by emotions, but not in all situations will that be my deciding factor or what drives me to a decision.  I love to stand out.  But there’s parts of me who also want to fit in.  I think this is something a lot of women can relate with.  And of course, this all relates to style.  Because most things in my life can be paralleled with fashion and how I dress!

I grew up in an area where everyone kind of sort of fits into a certain box.  It’s a pretty homogenous area compared to most other cities.  I mean, it’s not like as extreme as some suburbs can be I’m sure, but definitely, my family did not fit into the boxes that I saw when I went to my friends’ houses as a child.  It was hard on me.  I think when you are born into a home, you think that where you live is “normal” because you don’t know anything else, right?  And then, you get old enough to become aware of things like financial status and all that, and you go to a friend’s house and realize…their house is not up on blocks like yours is.  I lived in a mobile home for the first nine years of my life, and to me that was “normal”.  We were not “poor” really, I mean it was a decent park and this is a nice town so I’d say the mobile home parks are probably nicer than the average…but still.  I sure got a shock when I started going to friends houses and realized that all their furniture was new and matched each other.  I remember after we moved to our first non-mobile home rental house, inviting a friend over to play.  I had seen her house and I knew what she was used to…and that gave me anxiety.  I was probably ten years old, and I was already embarrassed to have a friend over.  At that point we were living in a very nice large house with a big yard, but it wasn’t new and we didn’t have expensive pretty “stuff” in it.  My bedroom set was old (from the 60’s which NOW I love but at the time I was not crazy about) and nothing was decorated anywhere in our house.  I felt like I needed to fix this before having my friend over, so I took matters into my own hands.  I went into the garage, found some cans of paint, used an old pair of haircutting scissors my mom had left into the garage to open the cans, and painted my furniture.  Yes, I ruined that pair of scissors and yes my furniture looked quite bad when I finished with it.  I am NOT good at painting still to this day, and back then I was equally as impatient and my lack of attention to detail makes for a bad combination when it comes to art.  But you get the point.  I SO BADLY wanted to fit in.  I wanted us to live in a brand new tract home like she did.  I wanted new Pottery Barn furniture.  I wanted to look like the “norm” and I was tired of standing out.  Of being the one kid who was home schooled, had old stuff, and whose mom shopped exclusively at the thrift store.  Notice how ALL OF THOSE THINGS are cool now.  I was so born in the wrong era you guys!!!

Then I hit college and I decided that I was a stand out kinda gal.  I wore bandanas on my head like Daisy Duke and cowboy boots and light blue eyeshadow to match my vintage ruffled top.  I wore whatever I wanted.  I stood out.  People would stop me and compliment my style, much like they do now…mostly because I dress differently than the “norm”.  But then, post college, I found myself in a situation where everyone around me was once again, “normal” for the most part.  I somehow started to revert to my childhood feelings of just wanting to fit in.  Maybe it’s because I never experienced it as a kid, maybe I just wanted too badly for my friends to accept me as one of them, I don’t know…I longed to fit in.  Sometimes I look back at the way I dressed during those years and I think…”my gosh, where did I go?”

Now, let me be clear.  I’m not bashing that time in my life or my friends or where I was.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to fit in.  We all have an innate desire to be part of something, and there are times in our life when we just kind of need to feel like “one of the group”.  But I think in my case, I kind of lost a bit of my edge for a while.  No worries…I got it back.  But you guys, I quite honestly think that I am both of these people on different days.  I want to stand out and I want to fit in.  And I think that’s okay.  There are days when I dress completely “normal”.  I just kind of want to feel like a “cool kid” and so I wear something that most people would wear.  Now, those days aren’t often, but they do happen.  And it’s okay.  Most days I dress like it’s Halloween and there was a fire sale at the local thrift store in the “crazy lady” section (they should SO have those at thrift stores…it would make it a lot easier for me to find the stuff I’m looking for), but occasionally, I just need to feel like I wanted so badly for my life to be as a child.  It’s okay, you guys.  You can do both.

This outfit is me “fitting in” and “standing out” all at once.  I’ve been wanting a leopard skirt for a while, but resisting the urge to buy an expensive one from a popular brand…this whole outfit is thrifted or vintage.  It’s my silent rebellion!  I’m fitting in while doing it my OWN UNIQUE WAY!  See?  You can totally do both!!  I love looking at styled photos from say, Free People or couture designers and challenging myself to do that in my own way.  It’s a fun way to both be unique and expressive and to also follow trends.  Because it’s completely okay to like something just because you’ve been seeing people wear it and you think it’s cute.  Stand out and fit in.  Be all the people you are at once.  And don’t tell your therapist I said that, because it sounds like I’m encouraging you to be a crazy person.  :)

Happy Wednesday
Katy

 

Advice In Style: Costume Couture

Drop everything you are doing right now, stop reading this, and run, RUN to your local thrift store.  Okay, okay, maybe finish reading this so you know why you’re running.  I went to my local Goodwill the other day, and do you know what I saw?  THE COSTUMES ARE OUT!  (I know, I need to switch to decaf, I hear you loud and clear).  You guys, I cannot emphasize enough how much this is the BEST TIME OF THE YEAR TO THRIFT.  (*Pouring decaf now).  Now, you may be saying: “Katy, I don’t wear weird stuff like you, I don’t want to shop in the costume section!”  But that’s why you need to read this post.  From the weird to the conservative, there is something for you in that costume section.  Lemme break it down for you!

Sure.  This looks like madness.  All together, you’re thinking: “Well THIS sure doesn’t look like couture to me!”  That’s where you’re wrong.  I would bet money that a runway stylist could shop the costume section at the Goodwill, send a model down the runway in it, and you probably wouldn’t even know which model was wearing the “costume couture”.  Why?  Because styling is everything.  Sure, that jacket doesn’t look expensive siting on the rack next to the Spiderman costume!  Nothing would!  But here’s how you can shop top trends and regular style staples in the COSTUME SECTION!

Jackets

This jacket is a real vintage jacket.  It’s only in the costume section because someone deemed it “costume worthy”.  That’s something to remember if you are feeling insecure about this whole ordeal!

Check out this black beauty of a duster I found!  I just saw this style on the Today Show this morning you guys.  Top trends in the costume section.  Under $20.

Retro Denim
This is a GREAT time to find some classic 1970’s bell bottoms, some 80’s overalls, or pretty much any era of great denim.

How about this patchwork denim vest, totally on trend for Fall?

Metallics
Metallics are so hot right now.  Thanks to the costume section, you won’t have to pay much to give this look a shot!

GOLD BABY!

Skirts
There are skirts a-plenty during this time a year!  I’ve seen vintage petticoats (which make amazing prairie skirts, think Spell Style), square dancing skirts, and even just simple solid colored vintage midis…on trend for Fall.

This black skirt is full and perfectly flattering for the upcoming season!

Fringe
You know I love me some fringe.  I saw a fringe vest today and really, the crowning jewel of my costume couture hunting happened right here:

This is a vintage, handmade, leather fringe tunic.  I know.  I know.  I got no words you guys.

Pajama Couture
Pajamas are so hot right now…you can wear the top with jeans or the bottoms with a graphic tee…or just rock ’em together, devil may care!

Maxi Dresses
Sometimes vintage nightgowns make the best maxi dresses.  They often are what the new bohemian maxi styles are modeled after!

I fully plan on wearing this bohemian maxi with cowboy boots and lots of turquoise.

Kimonos
Yeah, I said it.  This is THE TIME to find traditional gorgeous asian couture!

Just look at those pretties…perfect with jeans!

Military Jackets
These are out in spades right now, and they are always so chic!

And So…
I decided to make my very own thrift store dressing room costume couture chic outfit (over my athletic leggings obviously)!

Sure, the dressing room isn’t quite couture, but hey, the prices and the finds make it worth it!

GO FORTH AND COSTUME SHOP!
Katy