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