my life in style…

Change is everywhere. People change. Places change. Weather changes. Even your taste buds change. Change in life is as common as a bedazzled leather jacket on just about anyone at a biker convention.

In my own life, change is a common subject. This past year alone has seen me move twice, make multiple transitions at work, re-kindle an old relationship, travel to four countries, bring back my love for playing soccer, lose both toenails in the process (and also break my thumb), change hairstyles….I could go on but I feel another change coming….wait for it……nope…just a hiccup brewing. I think I eat too fast. 😦

Moving on from what could be a gaseous situation (oh lordy…), I love reminiscing on how my own personal style has changed over the years. I didn’t always love pink, I didn’t always have this many pairs of shoes, and I for SURE didn’t always have brushed hair (thanks, Mom, for keeping the rat’s nest maintained!).

The infant/toddler years can most often be credited back to the ones raising you. Since you can hardly walk, let alone put on your own pants, the outfit combining and color coordinating are pretty much at a minimum on your end. In my own “wardrobe”, I kept it plain and simple: diaper and sunglasses. Oh, and not just any sunglasses….these were Jackie O replicas with one eye hole poked out. I believe the term “classic” was coined after these shades. That, and, “No shoes, no shirt, no problem!” I brought back Risky Business in a mad way.

During my early childhood, my mom did a pretty decent job of working with the 80’s in order to fashion my outfits. Yes, I may have worn fabrics with more blends than a Jamba Juice smoothie, and yes, the neon colors were used primarily for detection purposes in a crowd…..but my hair was always braided, my face was always scrubbed clean, and I usually had shoes on. Job well done, mom. Job well done.

Elementary school brought along the “tomboy” phase…the period of time I wish would die right along with jeggings and uggs/mini skirts. I was just getting into the more competitive aspect of soccer, and thus thought it necessary to express to the world my undying love of the sport. Enter: Umbro, Reebok, Nike….and the swishy red track pants. There was even the dreaded week where I wore those red pants and a white turtleneck EVERY DAY to school. Not even the tormenting, ragging and egging on from my brother and sister could tear that outfit off me. I was determined to apparently choose neither style NOR comfort, and instead clothe myself in humiliation. I had some good moments throughout those years, but they were grossly overshadowed by my turtlenecks, tapered jeans and scrunchies.

Middle school brought along the promising glimpse of any sort of fashion sense. I began to branch out in my look, releasing myself from the grips of athletic gear and exploring the world of skorts, plaid jumpers, and sweater vests. I became the ultimate “preppy”. Think Cher in Clueless, minus the hoochie mama mini-skirt. I still wore scrunchies, but repurposed the old title of “messy ponytail holder” to “awesome arm bracelet thingy”. For some reason, girls at my school thought wearing a scrunchie up around your bicep was a key component to any wardrobe. Apparently the wrist was getting too much love…

High school was the melting pot of my style. It was as if my brain went into hyperactive mode and couldn’t land on one particular genre. I tried everything from punk to princess. Monday’s outfit  might have been a pencil skirt, white button down, and a tie (yes, my brother would tie them before school for me), while Tuesday had me showing up in black lace, boots and heavy eyeliner. I changed my hairstyle, hair color, and heel height more times than I can count. I was cramming in a decade of repressed fashion expression into four years of high school. It was the style version of puberty. Ugly at times, and LOTS of changes!

In college I spent the better part of two years living in my sweats again. I was back in “soccer” mode, but this time, there was no “swish swish” to be heard when I walked. The sweats were back every day, but the look had drastically improved. My hair was at its longest in college, and usually, thanks to my “job” as an athlete, spent the majority of its time pulled up in a high braided pony tail. Makeup was kept at a minimum, and dressing up really only happened on the weekends when we’d hit the bars and clubs for some much-needed stress relief after a crazy week of practices. I still brought out the heels, thanks to our coach’s policy of “dress to the nines” for travelling, but the majority of the time they took up residence in either my closet, or in my oven….and yes, you read that correctly. Ovens make GREAT storage space for those of us who lack the cooking gene, thankyouverymuch. My junior year, since I was no longer playing soccer, I increased the “class factor” exponentially. The heels came OUT of the oven, the skirts and dresses went front and center in the closet, and the girly girl you all know (and hopefully love) finally emerged. I still alternated styles, but my true sense was starting to shine through. Living abroad in Italy my senior year cemented my love for fashion and clothing, as Florence was a living runway for trends and trend setters. Just walking to school each day I’d be inundated with new ideas and inspirations to emulate. I got a little funkier in my style, a little bolder. Leggings, booties, and feather earrings started working their way into the picture. Headscarves and fedoras were brought out on occasion. I awoke the “hippie” in me, mixing floaty, floral prints with bold metallics. It was a cacophony of style, but I had finally learned to recognize the sound.

Post college, my style has relatively stayed the same. Besides working in trends here and there each season, I’ve stuck mainly to two “genres”: bohemian chic and girly modern. I’ll wear a denim vest over a bold colored maxi dress with long, feathery earrings, rings on each finger, and strappy sandals one day, and the next, sport a chic, simple black sheath dress, pearls, and a pair of red pumps. The sweats only come out on movie nights or late night fro-yo runs, the running shoes are used for just that: running, and thanks to the pixie cut my hair has sported for the past 4 years or so, the pony tail braid has yet to be seen (I’m growing it out though….I’m sensing a comeback??).

As you can see, my style has jumped all over the map over the past decades. One thing has remained constant though: it was always “my style“. Whatever I wore, I owned it. I made no concessions for my red swishy pants back then, and I make no concessions for my headbands and floral frocks today. Style is what you make it. Yes, I am most certainly influenced by trends and fads…who isn’t? But at the end of every outfit, I always try to make it mine. That’s what makes it so much fun. Style in the details.

what was your style growing up? Has it changed much?

hearts and hugs,

B.

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Comments

  1. I don’t know if it’s the growing up with seven brothers or just the natural bent I have toward au natural, but I feel like femininity is always an uphill climb and feisty fight for me. Until I was 13 (and those annoying curves started popping out all over the place), I mostly wore my brother’s hand-me-downs and LOTS of jeans. It was fighting tooth and nail to get me in a dress =) I don’t think I’ve ever had a style in my life except jeans and comfortable colors! I don’t have your gift for the love of shopping, that’s for sure…haha…

    • SEVEN BROTHERS??? please tell me you’ve seen “Seven wives for Seven Brothers”….omg….awesome. haha

      and I feel ya on the annoying curves…whoever said birthing hips were flattering?? haha

      My love of shopping is seen as a curse to some people…but not my bank 🙂

      And finally, jeans and comfortable colors IS a style!! YOUR STYLE!! 🙂 love it!!

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