Solving a Style Crisis

Once upon a time, a girl started fashion blogging because she hated wearing pants. She had challenged herself to wear skirts and dresses and tights for a full week in the middle of December, when it was rainy and slushy and miserable, because she knew that if she could make it through a week of December in a dress, she would never have to wear pants again. It was around that time she found two blogs: Selective Potential, and What I Wore. These bloggers inspired her in so many ways because they wore dresses and skirts most of the time, layered tights, combined colors and prints she never would have thought to combine, and were generally the exact kind of feminine, retro, quirky style mavens that she had always wanted to be.

But over time, more and more fashion blogs came into the girl’s peripheral and she saw perfect vintage bloggers, beautiful pinup styles, rockabilly fashions, Modcloth-esque mavens, and so many vintage or vintage-inspired styles that she no longer quite knew who she wanted to be. And, as her original two favorite bloggers changed, so did she.

While many of her favorite vintage or vintage-inspired fashion bloggers began to turn more modern, this girl began to delve further into the past. She chased a dream of wearing vintage every day, of looking like a perfect 1950’s housewife, of having a closet full of beautiful vintage dresses, and generally being one of those bloggers whose closet looks straight from the past.

After many years of searching and collecting and testing, she finally got there.

And something happened that she did not expect.

She had all of the vintage dresses she had ever wished for, beautiful shirtwaist dresses straight from the 50’s, vintage hats of all kinds hanging on her walls, all the vintage she’d never thought she could afford… and she realized that somewhere long the way she had passed up the style she truly loved for a chance to be one of the vintage bloggers. You see, this girl had never really been part of the cool crowd, or the pretty girl crowd, or any crowd, really, given her introversion and general preference for books over people. And she had always wanted that.

But getting there showed her one of the most surprising things she’d ever realized. In all her years of blogging, reading blogs, loving vintage, collecting vintage, and chasing after a small dream she’d had since the day she started wearing dresses all the time… she had never realized that she’d already found her own style. And that it wasn’t as a 1950’s housewife, nor a pinup style maven, nor a rockabilly retro girl. 

At her core, she had always been a kind of nerdy, quirk-loving, print-loving girl and for a while, she’d been firmly in that realm of retro/vintage inspired outfits with lots of print mixing and quirkiness. She’d been happy there. She’d loved feeling colorful and retro and quirky.

It was only now, looking back, that she realized, after eight (or nine?) years of blogging, who she really was style-wise.

I’m sure you all know this girl is me. For the past two or so years, I’ve been able to collect a closet full of gorgeous vintage dresses. It’s something I’d dreamed of for years, the more I got into reading vintage blogs, and to have a plethora of 1950’s dresses at my fingertips has been truly wonderful. But also confusing. Because, despite always having wanted to wear vintage, I’ve realized at heart I’m far more comfortable in quirky, print-mixing, vintage inspired outfits than actual vintage dresses. I wear beautiful 50’s house dresses and feel like I’m in a costume.

The above photo is my top four favorite outfits that I’ve ever worn. Funny enough, they all took place within the same six months, right before I started collecting true vintage and wearing more era-specific looks. Today I made a pinterest board of all of my favorite outfits through the years, and realized only two or three of them are actually that true vintage housewife look. 

Oddly enough, when I realized this about myself, that I’ll never be one of those vintage girls, or any of their spinoffs, I felt relief. Lately I have been feeling as though I just have too much clutter especially in our room and my closet. I have been hoarding  plethora of things I may  only ever wear once, and it’s only today that I realized I was just afraid to purge because I thought I might regret it later. But when I went back through my own style and realized what I truly, truly loved… I feel ready.

Ready to be my own style, after years and years of trying to figure it out. Ready to let go of the many things in my closet that are truly gorgeous but just aren’t me. Ready to go back to that six months where I was truly being myself style-wise.

Finally, after eight years of searching and blogging, I have found my style. And it feels good.

Cardigan (similar), shirt, scarf, skirt (similar) all thrifted. Tights, H&M (similar). Shoes, Modcloth

  • epopek

    Even though I didn’t go through the same progression as you, I can totally relate to this! It’s a constant struggle for me to sort out the things I admire or appreciate aesthetically from the things that feel like they are part of ME – I am definitely better at it than I used to be, but I still get tripped up sometimes. And while it’s fun to try out / play with other styles, there is that bit of discomfort that comes from feeling, as you said, like you’re wearing a costume. I’m so happy for you that you feel like you have found your style!

  • Bravo! Though, it doesn’t have to be one or the other or extremes – just wear whatever the heck you want! Somedays you may very well want to pull on a vintage dress and do your hair (since you are so damn good at it) and other days you won’t. That’s OK!

    I don’t think ANYONE’S style is ever 100% one way or another. I certainly am mixed – sure most days I am ME in a petticoat and swing dress but there are so many days I am just a Modcloth quirky print covered person like I was 3-4 years ago. It doesn’t really matter to me! It’s just me! I put on what I want to put on and choose whatever I want to choose! You do you, girl!

    http://www.inanutshellblog.com

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  • Lindsay Dianne

    Ohmygoodness this was such a lovely inspiring read!!! So happy you finally feel like you know your style (and don’t feel bound to keeping clothing that doesn’t make your heart soar!) I’m so excited to purge my closet soon haha