Wardrobe Confidence

I don't think I have ever considered myself a "fashionable" person but since some time in high school, I started to care about having my own style. I have clear memories of idolizing other girls/women who had their own distinct style. Whatever it was, handwriting, jewelry, accessories or clothing, if I liked the woman, I paid attention to what she had and how she used it.

Through the years I realized that it has been the things and the way she uses them that attract me to the women who have eventually become my friends. I like to think that I am an observant person, but I know that what I look for and pay attention to may not be important to most people. I sometimes wonder if people are seeing me the way I want to be seen, if they notice the little details that I took so much care to add. The feeling I got when months after our wedding Costas mentioned that I had worn pink eyeshadow that day--I don't know if I love him more for noticing or for mentioning it...
So as I struggle with my preparations for this fast-upcoming trip to Athens, I have decided to take matters in to my own hands. My usual route is to scour the malls & the outlet stores searching for exactly what I want, but that can be grueling, tiring, and in the end, expensive. Instead I wanted to adjust my wardrobe with my own two hands-- using fabrics and colors that will comfort me and keep me happy no matter where I end up wearing them. A few weeks ago I posted a skirt I made after copying one of my favorite store-bought ones. I adjusted that pattern a little more and came up with this:

I shortened it and made it with quilting cotton and some silky polyester trim. I even figured out how to put in a hidden zipper. I liked it so much that I immediately dove into another, this time a linen blend in a light green floral print, adjusting the pattern again (increasing the front panel by about 1" to make it a size larger so that it will hang lower on my waist) and using ribbon for the side ties. I haven't hemmed it yet, but after I do I may add the crochet trim I mentioned here. I also bought a nice chocolaty brown linen blend for a 4th, and if I can whip that up before we leave, it's my intention to have this travel wardrobe in mostly greens, blues & browns. This decision is new for me, and a far stretch from the bright pinks & whites I usually wear in Greece in the summer. I hope it works. I think I can pull off just about anything, so long as I feel comfortable in it.

I am rather materialistic and I strongly believe that you can make yourself happy by surrounding yourself with things you like. It's widely known that a self-confident person is more attractive than someone who's unsure of herself. So what do you keep around you that makes you happy? And who has inspired you on your path to creating your own style?

Here's a list of some of the things that stick out in my memory:
*1992-Aunt Cathy's handwriting.
*1993-Ryoko's red pants with the square flap with buttons like a sailor.
*1993-1997 all of Lauren Shover's accessories
*1994-the blue Pelikan ink in my penpal Astrid's fountain pen.
*1995-the Swiss exchange student's pants with patchwork panels up the sides.
*Any French woman walking through an airport with a thin woven scarf.
*1999-the Japanese women with long hair in messy buns and Indian-print or loosely woven cotton/hemp clothing.
*2000-Satoko's lime green eye liner applied only at the inside of her eyes.
*2002-Mrs. K's sewing kit.
*2004-Makiba's green & orange elephant drawstring pouch.
*2007-Fumi's teal & white crochet vest.


The Calico Cat said...

Love the skirt... (Do you have an exact definition for Zakka?)

I can still recall the wardrobe of a girl (Amy P.) from my first high school, If I had it, I would still be wearing it - I still love that style! (I at least love what my mind remembers.)

Kathie said...

When I was in college in the late 60s and early 70s, most everyone had loooong, straight hair. And I was determinedly growing mine too, even if it overwhelmed my face.

One girl on campus (Dot Z.) had extremely short boyish hair and it made a big impression on me, even if I wasn't ready to cut my own hair at that point. Her audacity at bucking trends made at least as big an impression as the cute hairstyle.

I eventually ended up with my hair super short like that, and it has become my signature too.

So thanks to my old friend Dot for showing me the way...

African Kelli said...

That skirt is fabulous. And I definitely create my style by taking tid bits from others too!

Peggy said...

What a nice post. It's been on my mind for a few days, and made me really think about my "style" or lack thereof, and who/what has influenced me. I'll probably blog about it...anyway, just letting you know you've got me thinking. AND...of course love the skirt(s). Wishing you a lovely (and inner-peaceful) time in Greece with your C-man.

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