Two years ago today, I published my first cautious “outfit of the day” post, showing off what would become two classic staples of my personal aesthetic: Peter Pan collars and nods to marine biology. At the time, I possessed only that one vintage-style dress, and I wore it so often that I ended up buying its twin in another color. I’d never identified as someone who was Into Fashion, but there was just something about that dress–as soon as I zipped it up, I felt like a cheerful, quick-witted girl detective equipped to handle anything with anachronistic flair.
In the time since, acquiring pieces for my quirky wardrobe allowed me to feel more confident and more myself than I’d ever been in jeans and sweaters or Young Professional Workplace Wear. Now, if I so desire, I have the ability to wear colorful retro dresses literally every day. Even a skirt decorated with galactic, bioluminescent mermaids and sea creatures is at my fingertips! But — as my absence from this blog might have suggested — over the past few months, I’ve begun to lose confidence in my bold fashion. In some moments of confusion, I’ve almost wondered if I might have to abandon the style that I love and start showing up in slacks or skater skirts!
I’ve always acknowledged this paradoxical aspect of my character–that I’m shy and retiring in public but wear outfits that don’t exactly make me blend in. Transitioning into a new stage of my life and an unknown social environment made me terrified of looking like some freak that wears the most bizarre clothing ever.
Wearing my favorite ridiculous skirt (and these incredible bell sleeves, which might be my new obsession!) yesterday, though, felt like coming home. Why would I settle for a more “acceptable “skirt when I could smile down at mermaids and whales all day? So I’m back, and I am going to try to return to outfit-posting as frequently as ever – it’s a great way to remind myself of how much joy this form of self-expression brings me!
If you dabble in any of the countless varieties of “alternative fashion” like I do, how do you handle confidence and anxieties about sticking out in a crowd?