outfit of the [yester]day: return to the sea

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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!

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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.

glowing (2 of 5)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?

2 thoughts on “outfit of the [yester]day: return to the sea

  1. Hello Keely,
    when I first read this post, I wanted to write something about “standing out” but I eventually only wrote the essential message you see above.
    However, the thought resurfaced every now and then, especially yesterday when I bought a blue cardigan made of 60% viscose and 40% iridescent lurex yarn, which I forced myself to wear this morning. (For the records, I have kept my jacket on all morning…)

    This is an exception because I don’t often wear “outstanding” clothes but I think I can relate to your occasional lack of confidence nonetheless. That’s because I always wear “the same” clothes.
    I own few clothes (long story, let’s say that I could afford many more but don’t buy them) if compared to the average woman in the western world, especially if considered that there are distinct seasons here in northern Italy, where I live (basically, I need everything from snow shoes and heavy sweaters to airy skirts and sandals) and sometimes I wonder e.g. if my colleagues will notice that I am still wearing the same dress I had 8 years ago and what they’ll think about it.
    Most times I do not care but there are days when I feel insecure because of this. In such cases, I try to remind myself that there are reasons (each of us has her own) behind my choice and walk on ^_^

    Also, I read that most times, most people don’t notice. I am attentive to detail and notice if one wears something unusual (the funniest was seeing people with their sweater worn inside out or with the front in the back :-D) but my experience tells me that most people are not like me.

    I hope you’ll keep your style because your dresses are beautiful and you are so pretty with them.

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