Plus, tonight was Coffeehouse (I volunteer there when I'm around, every two weeks or so) and I managed to get my laptop out for a few hundred words before intermission. Despite the shoddy adaptor cord and the fact that my Netbook was acting up every few minutes.
And now for something completely different.
I'm not fond of many of the fashion trends of my age group; I have hardly ever been fond of them, as a whole, save maybe one type of clothing article every once in a while. I don't know the historical terminology for the styles I like, but I know that I like showing shape over showing skin. I prefer long-sleeved tops with maybe a hint of cleavage that I can tuck into trousers or skirts (mostly skirts, since I can never find trousers that fit my petite legs and not-petite thighs and bottom), especially with a belt over the waist. Dresses and suits that accomplish the same are also high in my books. I love the mystery of shaped clothing rather than revealing clothing; I love that a little imagination is involved. (It's not as though in much of the clothing described people miss the fact that there are curves beneath--we tend to know they're there! I like the different form of revelation.)
So lately I've been going with that style when I leave the house (which is thankfully not often, as I don't have many clothes that work that way) and I did so tonight. Long-sleeve v-neck top, skirt at the waist that goes down near my ankles, elastic waist belt and those Victorian-like shoe-boots I picked up a while back. Hair pulled back at my ears with a barrette. I asked for my Da's opinion before leaving and he said he liked it, adding, "You know, Kiwi, I like the way you dress." I like that at 21 I'm getting compliments from my parents on my dressing style.
At the Coffeehouse, I finally remembered to put on my volunteer shirt; it was baggy over my other clothes. After a while I actually noticed. Once upon a time, I would have left it...but this time I headed off to the loo and tucked it in under the skirt and belt as well. I feared I looked mighty odd, being the only person with a waist-tucked t-shirt, but when I came out one of the women I know kept looking at me and away when I caught her eye. (Nothing romantic - she's in a long-term partnership with another woman and they're both far older than I - but still appreciated.) When I got some soda and she looked again she mentioned my shirt. I said, "Yes, I feel a bit weird with it - but it felt so strange knowing the belt was underneath!" She replied, "Oh, no, I'm just not used to the t-shirts looking that good on anyone! You wear it well!"
It reminded me of my mother saying, "And what a lovely figure you have!" the other day went I bent over to fetch something on the floor and both made me feel wonderful, which I'm not used to at all.
I've been thinking lately about my low self-esteem. The thoughts didn't lead to anything active, but I think reading about Rachel Carson again (I took out some children and young-adult biographies on her) combined in my mind and inspired me to dress in the styles I've been looking up lately and see how that felt.
I think my conclusion is that it feels good. Mind, this is with my older crowd - parents, congregation, lovely older-lady bookstore owners - which is different from hanging out with my peers in what many of them appreciate stylistically. I'm also realising that it's fine and perfectly normal to have a varied wardrobe (beyond just work/play, formal/informal, whatever else) in having different outfits one is likely to wear around different groups of friends. It's not as though one is any more 'me' than any other. But if this style consistently keeps me more comfortable with myself and improves my esteem for myself/my body, then I may start phasing out some other clothes. Even in the summer I'm not a fan of spaghetti-straps and tank-tops...so why keep them, if looking at them in my drawer and not wearing them makes me feel bad about myself?
I've always dressed for myself and my individuality, which has always given me a certain level of comfort and confidence. I think now it's time to accommodate an attempt to increase my self-esteem, too, which means dressing in a way I think flatters my body, even if it's more akin to a different decade and generation than my own. From there I can mix it up. (Although it is funny to me that I'd be more comfortable in a skin-toned spandex suit or nude than in a bikini my peers would wear.)
- Clothing: Working on it.
- Body: Time to start working on it more.
- Personality: Erm...so far no-go.
- Self-worth: *Sigh.*
- Writing: Good enough that I'm pushing myself to NaNo, bad in letting insecurity slow me down.
- Expression: Not so fantastic. Keep fumbling/stuttering my words out of self-consciousness over everyone pointing out my accent and asking if it will go away. I don't know, people, I just talk the way I talk and words come out! But if I think about how the words will sound they stop coming out, so please, let it alone! D:
- Intelligence: Really need to work on that. But I'm reading more again, which helps some, as I feel I'm not neglecting the bright-light curious child within and all the wonder I have for the world.
- Achievements: Feeling pretty good.
- Confidence of Future Achievements: Doesn't really exist a lot of the time. Need to work on that too. Especially because sitting on so many unfinished things makes me doubt myself.
I still have a lot of work to do up in this cobwebbed carnival-mirror brain of mine, then. BUT IT'S BUDGING. First short-cutoffs, now shape over skin so I'm comfortable in mine... I can do this! Slow and steady!
Now to bed, since I have church in the morning. (:
"The one person who really knows me best says I'm like a cat - the kind of cat that you just can't pick up and throw into your lap. No, the kind that doesn't mind being held, only when it's her idea; the kind that feels what she decides to feel when she is good and ready to feel it."
[Ani DiFranco; Virtue]