Thursday, January 3, 2013

To skinny jean or not to skinny jean?

Hello Island readers! Welcome to the first post of 2013. I trust everyone had a wonderful New Year's Eve and spent New Year's Day as everyone should: sleeping in, eating breakfast food all day, and lying on your couch watching Pitch Perfect. Face it, lying on your couch is not that different from mermaid dancing.

As I discussed in my last post of 2012, 2013 is the year that I do a better job at being the leading lady in my own life. The only way to make sure that I do this and achieve leading lady status is to select things that I can do to achieve this goal. The only way to know you've achieved a goal is to quantify it so I've decided that I need to put some actual parameters around how to do this. So of course, that means a list. I don't have all the specifics worked out yet but here's my first draft:
  • Get involved in volunteering again
  • Take a dance class (maybe tap or ballroom just because)
  • Go to Paris
  • Be the instigator of plans 
  • Allow my friends to set me up on blind dates (I mean, why not?)
  • Be more spontaneous (I'm not sure how one quantifies this but that may be the point)
  • Be more daring in my fashion choices and dress like a leading lady
Today we focus on this last one since I'm struggling to define my fashion identity. I'm not sure that I've ever really had one. In high school, I wore a lot of black and baggy clothes (I would say this was because I was on the tech crew for most shows we did but really it was a self-esteem thing). I did try to branch out more in college - wore more skirts and dresses and "going out" clothes (at least my version thereof). I even wore tank tops without a cardigan. Crazy times.

The cardigan has probably been the only real staple of my wardrobe over the years. I believe I may have actually been called "Cardigan Girl" at one point but I may also be making that up. Clearly, I am a Southern lady since I do love a sweater set (and we all know how much Southern ladies love sweater sets). In college I was particularly attached to sweater sets. My favorite was a baby blue one (really?) with embroidered flowers and a little tank top to match. It was from the Gap if I remember correctly.  But I also really like cardigans in a punk rock, Patti Smith, grunge sort of way. I love long cardigans because they somehow feel fancy and having a cardigan is always a good idea. I've also come to embrace dark jeans as my favorite fashion invention of all time. Yes, I would like to wear a pair of jeans that make my legs look longer and are slimming all at the same time. But there really are only so many combinations of cardigans, basic tees, and dark jeans that I can get away with. At some point, I need to dress like a leading lady. And if I'm following the Kate Winslet school of leading ladydom, then I need to invest in some wonderfully tailored blouses, a blazer or two, and a few "perfect" dresses. And scarves - Kate knows how to rock a scarf unironically.

It's also possible that I will need to embrace two items of clothing that I have sworn to never wear: skinny jeans and knee high/mid-calf boots. Now don't get all excited - there are some people who look marvelous in skinny jeans. Many of my friends are those people. And all of them can rock knee high or mid-calf boots like champs. I envy their easy relationship with their boots and the carefree way in which they accessorize with scarves and cute jewelry (it's like they already went through leading lady school with Ms. Winslet). I, on the other hand, have large calves and feel like skinny jeans accentuate the parts of my legs that dark jeans (non-skinny variety) help to make awesome.

But things change don't they? On New Year's Day instead of eating breakfast food all day and watching Pitch Perfect, I spent the day with my parents. We watched football (seriously Michigan?) and had a nice dinner together that did not involve breakfast food. Most importantly, my mother gave me a pair of purple skinny jeans. I have no idea what possessed my mother to purchase them (originally for herself by the way) and I have absolutely no idea why I really like them. I didn't think I would but I do. A lot. So much, in fact, that I am now on the hunt for a pair of boots to wear with them. I own ankle boots but those don't look right and if I'm going to take the plunge and wear skinny jeans, shouldn't I get the boots to match?

Now just because I'm accepting one pair of skinny jeans into my life does not mean that I accept skinny jeans for all. I still stand by my previous comments on men and skinny jeans (or as my friend Daniella likes to say, "he'd be cuter if he had worn different pants"). This is simply a fashion experiment for me. How will I know that I don't like them if I don't try wearing them? So this weekend I will find the perfect (and affordable) pair of boots to wear when I rock those purple skinny jeans. And I will begin my journey of being a fashionable leading lady.

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