Tuesday, May 28, 2013

the 'why' behind the outfit posts...

 top & clutch: Kohls, jeans: Ross, shoes: Franco Sarto

I'm no trendsetter, I don't own a stitch of designer clothes, nor am I a model.  So, why the outfit posts?  Well friends, pull up a chair and let me tell you allll about it...

Have you noticed that in our society, we are big on defining people by the roles they play?  That one of the first questions we often ask someone after meeting them for the first time is "What do you do?", and based on their answer we start developing a sense of who they are?  While this is normal and honestly useful & probably a fairly accurate first impression of someone, it offers only a snapshot of who they are.

Growing up, this was never really something I had put much thought into.  You see, throughout my life, I had always been good at moving on to the right stage at the right time, or the expected stage at the right time I suppose.  I completed high school without so much as a hiccup and moved directly on to college right along side my peers.  During this time, it was easy to understand where I fell into society's expectations of my role, and therefore my own understanding of myself, and it was comfortable.

I graduated college, got married, landed a job, and started thinking about graduate school.  Going into my 24th year, I was still fitting in well with society's {and my own} expecations for my life path.

And then bam. By the time the end of my 24th year rolled around I was a brand new mom {one of the first among my friends} and no longer planning to attend graduate school, but instead going back for a second bachelor's degree in it's place.  And something about this combo confused me.  Not that any of the roles were bad, in fact all of them were wonderful and quite welcomed. But typically undergrad and babies don't go together too often, heck typically marriage and undergrad don't go together too often.  And so, with this new combo of roles, I was having a difficult time of understanding how they all fit together and how they fit with my own understanding of who I was.

I remember going 'back to school shopping' that summer with little Sam in tow, and for the life of me I could not figure out what to buy.  Not for lack of liking anything, but rather I couldn't figure out what I "should" buy, what I was supposed to wear, or how I was supposed to present myself to the world.  Silly I know, but true none-the-less.  I started school that year with a wardrobe consisting mostly of t-shirts and jeans.   By the time fall rolled around I felt no closer to understanding who I was 'supposed to be'.

While clothing nor outfits define a person in anyway, I believe the way a person chooses to dress can be a form of self expression.  An outward reflection of our own self perceptions.  But I was having trouble establishing my own self concept.  I was having trouble expressing who I was, because I was in a place where I was being forced to reflect on and redefine who I was, no longer able to base my self concept on the standard social flow.

Slowly, through this process, I began to realize that the roles I choose in life do not define me.  They  can add to who I am, add to my story, but they are not me.  And because of this, I can do & be & wear what I like.  No longer feeling constrained by social expectations of what mothers are 'supposed' to do or wear, or college students, or wives, or 24 year old women,  it became easy to understand and be who I was.  And suddenly I found it so much easier {& fun} to get dressed in the morning. 

And so that's what it came down to for me.  A reawakening I suppose.  A real Zoolander "Who am I?" moment when my ridiculously tiny cell phone rings...{still love that movie}.  How do I see myself?  How do I choose to express myself?  And these outfit posts are somewhat of a challenge to myself to remember that.  Not that it is always that serious or even a highly conscious decision anymore when I get dressed in the morning, but this is the story of where it all stems from.  And I suppose a small part of me also hopes that if there are other women out there going through a similar internal struggle, maybe my story, my self expression, can help them to discover theirs as well.


  1. Love this outfit!! And I love your explanation of what fashion and fashion posting means for you. It's so true. It's not about what you are or who you are it's just about what you wanted to wear and how it made you feel to wear it. Sounds like you've come quite a long way to finding yourself.

  2. That is a really interesting point you made about life roles and what it meant to you. I've never thought about it really, but I think you're absolutely correct!

    You do dress really well too!

  3. This is a really pretty outfit on you!
    I like your explanation, and I am glad you have found your style freedom :) I am trying to use my outfits as a means for self-expression, but it's hard when I feel like I would need to start with a whole new wardrobe to actually capture the look that I want, haha.

    floral & fudge

  4. What a great post hon! I love your wardrobe and I agree that clothing choice is SUCH a form of self expression!
    ♥ Kyna

  5. I love to see what you are wearing, especially since you tend to show the life around it too. It is personal and uniquely you. Keep sharing!

    And visit Seattle soon!

    Dani // Andbubblegum.com

  6. Beautiful look and location!

  7. That's a very good explanation and I can relate to that. I don't or didn't go through exactly the same thing, but I recognize the search and the reason for choosing outfits. When I observe what people wear, I go beyond just what they are wearing but I always wonder what that says about them, about the choices they make, about the image they choose to project, etc. Like you said, not that clothes define a whole person, but it is part of what they decide or not decide to do and that tells something.


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