To Thine Own Self Be True

For three days, the kids and I have pretty much been holed up in the house, eating (me) and playing (the kids) our way through our days.  Although I keep threatening that we are going to go outside and play, well, we haven’t.  A trip to Toys R Us to redeem gift cards that the kids got from their Uncle and Auntie?  Canceled, since two cards are missing, something second son, who has guarded his with his life, is not happy about. His brother and sister’s carelessness is impeding his greed.So, as I sit here, lazily, browsing blogs on the computer, occasionally yelling over to my kids to turn off their iPod/computer/Wii/television (oh, hypocrisy, it’s great to be a parent), I happened across this blog, The Cool Hunter via this blog, A Few Things From My Life, which I arrived at through a link in an email of Houzz Buzz.  Are you still with me?

The Internet is like a gigantic rabbit hole, sometimes leading you to a treasure, sometimes just wasting your time.  Today, in a post on The Cool Hunter, I like to think I found a treasure.  If you have some time, give it a read.  I think it’s worth it. (Go Read)

Pretty inspiring, don’t you think?  While I realize the post is rather ironic for a blog that prides itself on finding cool things, I liked it, because in all honesty, some days (actually, most days), especially when it comes to fashion, I am that person.  The one, when I have somewhere important to go, who looks through magazines to see what’s in fashion, get ideas, see what other people are wearing.  The one, who while getting dressed or shopping for new clothes, thinks, does this look good?  If I wear this, will people think I’m nuts, trying too hard, or not trying enough?  You get the picture, right?

That is, until the other day, when I was out shopping (for myself, shame, shame) the Thursday before Christmas.  I don’t know why, but I think it had something to do with a peasant blouse I bought, forgetting that I am neither long nor willowy, I started thinking about style, specifically my style, and I came to the sorry conclusion that I could not put any name to my style, because, in fact, I didn’t have one.  This thought started my mind (which is also like a rabbit hole) in motion, and I began mentally cataloging the styles of all sorts of people from the ordinary to the famous, acquaintances and friends, and even the woman shopping in the same store as me.

In particular, two women came to mind, who, I happen to know, would categorize their style as bohemian, yet, I would say a very chic bohemian.  The looks they pull off, not only look effortless, but seem well suited to them.  And although I almost always admire what they are wearing, I know, without a doubt, that I would look ridiculous in the same clothes.

Why is that?

While one of the women is tall and thin, the other is built similar to me, yet, walking around with laced cuff leggings under a wrap dress with a giant (but tasteful) bow in my hair, would make me look something like Pippy Longstocking, rather than a beacon of style.

Or, would it?

I never think either of these woman look strange or overdressed, even when one comes to back to school night in high heels and jeans.  Yet, I would feel ridiculous if I slipped on a pair of stillettos with my bootcuts.

I know both these women are very style conscious, but I wonder, as they are getting dressed, are they asking themselves what other people would think of their outfits?

I don’t know.

Which leads me back to my shopping trip to Ann Taylor.  While it’s not exactly Anthropologie, a store that I know these two women frequent, and I have yet to visit, I decided last Thursday morning that I would not let my thoughts wander to what other people would think, or if I would be under dressed or overdressed for the occasion I was shopping.  I decided, instead, that I would focus on what made me feel good.  It turns out it was a grey sweater that draped around the neck, and boot cut jeans (at, might I add, 50% off).

Normally, I would have continued to shop, just to make sure there wasn’t something better out there, or to give myself options, but that day, I decided that I had already found something I liked, that fit well, and that was all I needed to feel happy and confident.

And so, I decided that I do have a style.  Maybe it’s not bohemian chic, or edgy, or polished (like my friend who used to tuck her sweaters into her jeans), and maybe it has no name, but it’s me, unfussy and simple, yet modern in an understated sort of way (and usually involves solid colors).

It’s that time of year again, when people start thinking about the year past and the year ahead of them.  I am one of those people, someone who likes to make New Year’s resolutions, and I can tell you that they rarely have to do with the ubiquitous promise to lose five pounds, though, cutting out sugar and exercising more, have made the list. No, my normal resolutions usually have something to do with becoming a better me. This year, one of those resolutions is going to be to trust my instincts and be true to myself, whether it be in fashion, writing, or whatever.  I’m going to (try) and stop worrying about what other people think and instead, follow my own intuition.  I hope you’ll join me.

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