Friday, July 28, 2017

Finding My Style

Let me be the first one to admit that know next to zero about fashion.  I've never worn the "in" things simply because by the time I figured out what was "in" it was already "out".  I tried through elementary school to be one of the cool kids, and failed quite miserably.  Mainly, because I was largely on the chunky size, and in the eighties, it was REALLY hard to find jeans and cute clothes for chunky kids.  I wore leggings all through elementary, and I think it wasn't until I was in probably 6th or 7th grade until I really started wearing jeans... actually make that 8th grade...

In high school, mid nineties, I adopted the grunge look, much to my mom's displeasure and sported huge skater pants, tie-dyed tees, huge hoodies... anything to hide my stomach rolls and other body imperfections.  At this point, I stopped caring so much what others thought.

Then I became a jeans and t-shirt gal.  All through college, that was what I wore.  I gave up on trying to fashionable in most ways, and just wanted to look normal, presentable, and pleasant.  On my mission, I wore dresses and skirts for 18 months, then when I got home it was back to jeans.

Yoga pants and HUGE jeans became my go-to's when I got married and pregnant, and things just never really changed from there.  When you're morbidly obese, you really have little choice in clothes.  You wear what you can to look decent and comfortable and then you don't think about it.  It didn't matter what I wore, I felt fat and ugly.  There came a point where I wouldn't hardly leave my house, and I refused to get my picture taken or even look in the mirror.  I was so horrified.  I was so unhappy.  And I felt like I lived in a prison.

Now, I have lost well over a hundred pounds.... but I have about sixty more until my goal weight.  I thought, with all our kids and expenses, there was no way I could afford a whole new wardrobe.  I wanted to just suck it up until I got to my goal weight.  I mean, I had some smaller jeans from when I was thinner last time, I could wear those and just work with what I had in my closet.

But one day about a month ago, Ben came home I was wearing my "fat clothes" and he told me I looked like a total frump and I needed new clothes.  I went to Walmart and bought a $4 t-shirt.  He told me that was pathetic.  But I seriously have major anxiety about spending money, especially on myself.  It drives me crazy, and I actually lose sleep over purchases sometimes if I feel they aren't justified.  When you spend the last 13 years pinching every penny that comes your way, it becomes a habit.

After a heated argument over my frumpy wardrobe, Ben and I came to a compromise. That I would get a small budget for clothes and if I used it wisely, shopping sales and such, I could get a few new shirts, pants, and a dress or skirt.  So for a few days I thought about where I would go, when all of a sudden I realized that I don't even know what I like... or what I want... what is my look?  What is my taste?  I spent a few days online looking around on online stores, and nothing really stood out at me.  Then by chance I stumbled upon a website, and I can't find it again for the life of me, about shopping for vintage clothes and how to rock the looks with a touch of modern.  For those of you who know me, you know that I have my education in History and anthropology, so this idea fascinated me beyond explanation!  So I started researching on how to find and identify vintage clothes by their make, style, fabric, and clothing labels/tags.  I was HOOKED!  Couldn't wait for Ben to get off work, so I could go to the local Goodwill's and thrift stores to see what I could find with all my new knowledge.  I spent less than $200 and I replaced my entire wardrobe with vintage clothes, and vintage inspired clothes... and I couldn't be more pleased!!  But not nearly as happy as my penny pinching hubby who was beaming with pride at all the deals I got.

So what is considered "vintage"??  Anything older than 20 years... so yeah, my junior prom dress is now vintage... wow, that makes me feel old.

Now, having lived through the 80's, I can't bring myself to wear any of it, unless it is Victorian inspired, which I have found quite a few lovely blouses from the 80's with high necks and beautiful lace.  But the rest... yeah, not there yet.

Victorian inspired lace top.  NOT vintage, but super cute!
This lace top is vintage 80's. This was a fun look for a church picnic.
Same lace top as above looked great over my 50's inspired swimsuit and large sun hat.

However, I have found some really nice 60's and 70's pieces!
1970's vintage blouse with modern day flares.  Peace!

Late 70's-early 80's vintage blouse with modern day black leggings.
I couldn't resist a little Farrah flip with my hair... but I kind of failed. 

Here I am this morning, sporting a sleeveless late 60's early 70's vintage dress with a black
undershirt and modern day black leggings.
Now, for the record.  I don't dress up every day.  In fact, these styles only really lasted a few minutes because with 5 boys, jeans and a t-shirt is just so much safer.  Already my little guy has broken some of my jewelry and peed on my nice clothes.... So I just play dress-up for a few minutes every few mornings to remind me that I am not just a Cinderella mom, but that there is a women underneath the yoga pants that wants to feel pretty every now and then.  I feel vain and stuck up taking these selfies... and probably even more like an idiot because I don't know what to do with my hands and arms... but my mother-in-law encouraged me to take them and share if only to let people know that there are some very cool clothes to be found at second hand stores, I seriously only paid less than $2 for each of these pieces above.  The last dress, I only paid 25 cents!!!  AND the best part... vintage clothes are usually one of a kind.  So no one is going to be showing up to the party in the same outfit I am.  How sweet is that?!

Still trying to figure myself out, but I think I have found a love and a place in my heart for the vintage look... if clothes could only talk, the stories they would tell!


PS -- for the record, I'm really not a vain and stuck up person... When I look in the mirror now, I'm not thinking how wonderful I am, because I know I am TOTALLY not!  When I see my reflection I think, wow, I finally see ME!  And I smile because I'm so stinking happy about it!


Ashley Bennett said...

Cat- you are so beautiful! I love the looks you found! As I looked at your selfies I didn't think for one second that you were vain or stuck up all I could see is the beautiful woman you are! ❤️❤️❤️

Twinkle said...

Nice post. It is really interesting. Thanks for sharing the post!
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