February 8, 2009

Your Fashion Choices Just Aren't Working for You

My mom did a good thing. When I was really young she started turning my fashion choices over to me in an effort to teach me to dress myself. It had to be done at some point in time. The problem was there were several long years where I looked like an awkward weirdo. I didn't much care for dresses and skirts at this time in my life and so looking girly didn't fall into my realm of choices, with the exception of the few clothes in my mother's closet that I would tolerate wearing. The rest of my choices came from my dad's closet, the hand-me-downs from my brother, and the school shopping trips at the beginning of the school year. For some reason I usually loathed the clothes we got on those trips. So I usually ended up looking like a combo of my family members. I guess in my case, the clothes were always better from someone else's closet.

I remember going to my mom and asking her if a particular pair of pants worked with a particular shirt I picked. She did a really good job of teaching me that if one was patterned the other ought not to be. But that doesn't mean I had good options to choose from if a particular set didn't work for me. The closest we ever got to agreeing on something acceptable to be seen in public in was probably some kind of patterned pants with my dad's high school t-shirt that had words and whatnot kinds of graphics on it. But thinking back, it must have looked ridiculously silly.

One thing that didn't help my options is that when we did go shopping, I picked out ridiculous fluorescent colored clothes. I couldn't help it, those were the colors I was drawn to as a kid. Some kind of overwhelming compulsion to look hideous I guess. I rarely picked out "outfits" when I went shopping too. I'd pick pieces that I liked, take them home, and then struggle to find something to wear them with. Funny how that works out.

The next problem I had was with the length of my jeans and various other pants. I was a tall girl. Well at some point in time I reached 5 feet 8 inches. Back then they didn't make them in short, regular, and long. At least not that I found. I think they were all made to fit girls 5'5-5'6 and shorter. Meaning that all of my pants went to the top of my ankles. Half-way down if I was really lucky. Maybe some of you had the same problem. Some girls I knew worked around this by buying jeans in the boy's/men's section where they did have different leg lengths. I didn't do this. I just hated my clothes. When I started buying some more of my own clothes, I got around this and the "mom-jean" high-waisted problem, that I hated so much, by buying a size or two bigger and hitching them down to my hips just below my belly button. This worked well for me through out high school. I still thought I looked funny, but at least my pants didn't go up to my boobs, and the legs went below the top of my ankles. I later discovered the problem with this look. My pants were so baggy (especially in the crotch) that they hid my figure and I looked like a boy.

I suppose maybe I had too much freedom in my choices at an early age. Hard to say. Maybe I was just the victim of 10-15 years filled with a bunch of fashion faux pas that just didn't work for me, so my only other alternative in my mind was to look like a boy for most of those years. Maybe in spite of my mother's best efforts, my hate of the current fashion trends at most if not all the time, doomed me to a lifetime of feeling awkward no matter what I put on, with a disdain for clothes and shopping.

Can anyone else relate to me on this one? Because I've always felt alone on this one. I would look at other girls and what they were wearing and thought they looked nice and attractive in their clothes, but I never could get there myself. I still struggle with it. Not nearly as much as before. At least I look like a girl, if only for high heels sometimes.


Jay said...

I wish I could echo you on the girl dress thing... but it does remind me of something, uh, like I bought a pair of bright orange pants and went to dance in that once. Ditched forever afterwards - bright colors are evil.

I imagine it would feel really bad for a girl having to flip through the guy's jeans shelf (just think about how many XXXXLs are there! I would've leered). Doesn't it remind you of an episode in SATC that Samantha almost dumped a guy who shop kids' clothes? And I did that occasionally... where the H are all the small size shirts?

jan said...

This took me back to some times buried in my subconscious for good reason. I was the slobbiest junior high girl in history, but suddenly became a fashion plate in high school. I think it must have been boys and hormones.

Chandira said...

You're not alone at all, I hate all the weird polyester psychedelic print pregnancy tops that are 'in' at the moment. Hideous on me, I am not 6 months pregnant!! They only suit anorexic 12 year olds, if you happen to have dropped a good quantity of lsd..

n a n d a said...

i used to pick white, black, gray, brown , green army, and navy blue when shopping w/ my mom. she said i dress like an old woman and i should choose brighter colors which is "more suitable for teen".

she hated shopping w/ me, cos all i did was frown and said things like "i'm not gonna wear that/ that's ugly/i cant make up my mind/can we go home now?" ;p
she'll end up buying all things she'd picked and me sulking. in the end i wore them simply cos i had no choice (-_-);;

funny to see now i prefer rainbow colored clothes instead of black or beige shirts for work she picked (^_^);;