Friday, May 8, 2009

Fashion Forward....Or Not So...

As I have not been failing to mention, we are headed to Hawaii soon. Well, vacation for Michael and Allison, always means shopping. We both love to get some fun new outfits before we go on vacation. It's one of our "things" and we budget it into the overall cost of the trip.

I have always been a haphazard shopper when it comes to shopping for clothes, and I don't want to be that way anymore. For some reason, I used to morph into the style of whoever I was shopping with and that caused my wardrobe to be very strange and oddly eclectic. Like, if I shopped with my Mom, I would somehow always end up with godawful (sorry Mom!) Harold's or Talbots clothes that are just not me. Granted, Harold's is not all bad though I guess this is a moot point since it's gone now. If I shop with Michael, I end up with way too many trendy, chest baring pieces that aren't 100% me and also some random things like graphic tees (more on this later). Keeping my husband's tastes in mind when I shop though will always be a priority and to be honest, I do like showing off "the girls" from time to time.

Other reasons for my bad fashion issues include, but are not limited to:
-Pine Cove...sorry girls, but we sometimes dressed like idiots and the bandanas that we cut to make into headbands wouldn't even be cute on my dog, Kosmo
-Pine Cove...did I mention, I got a perm before I started working there during the summers because I thought it would be a good idea so that I could just wash my hair and go (this never worked because I cannot force myself to be that kind of girl and not once did I leave the cabin without fully drying and diffusing my horrific permed hair)
-Pine Cove/Texas A&M...for some reason, many of us felt the need to bring our terrible camp fashion sense to school with us and continued doing the headband/bandana thing (I'm not talking the cute headbands that Leighton Meester is constantly wearing on Gossip Girl)
-Texas A&M...anytime I wasn't wearing sweatpants, a t-shirt and my hair in a ponytail, I would get asked by multiple people: "Why are you so dressed up??"

Here are some horrific pictures of me at Pine Cove and at Texas A&M:

Yes, I believe that is a turtleneck that I'm wearing under my t-shirt in the above picture.

So I decided to go on a quest to finally determine my style and be more intentional about what I buy so I don't continue to end up with clothes that stay in my closet WITH TAGS STILL ON for another 10 years. Yes, I still have clothes in my closet after about 12 different moves, from 10 years ago. It's disgusting. One of the worst was my pair of purple corduroy pants from Abercrombie that I kept telling myself I might one day wear with my also unworn granola-ish chunky brown leather clogs. Yeah. I'm serious though. I really did tell myself that for 10 years. There is something wrong with me!!

Here are almost exact replicas of said outfit that was never worn:

And from now, I renounce my old fashion ways! After quizzing several trusted people on what they think my true style is and what looks best on me, I have finally come to my conclusion.

My true, authentic, ME style is not only what I like best but also what I feel most confident that I'm wearing it and not the other way around.

My signature style =
-Anything pink
-Anything feminine and girly
-Lots of dresses and skirts
-Anything dramatic and over the top
-Sometimes preppy, sometimes trendy, sometimes classic
Charlotte, sometimes Samantha (hardly ever, if ever Carrie...I'll never be among the first to adopt a trend, that is for sure)
-Limited jean-wearing
-NO graphic tees (sorry, I just hate them and cannot do it, but they probably look cute on you!)
-No neutrals and probably no J. Crew
-Lots of make-up...but in a good way
-Big, Texas-style curled and teased hair (very blonde and long, possibly with clip-in extensions)

So please, if you can help it....if we get together to go out for lunch or something, and I'm wearing a semi-casual "day" dress with flats (or even heels) and some nice or trendy jewelry and my hair done up like I'm about to participate in a beauty pageant, please please please don't ask "Why are you so dressed up?". I will forever thank you because, to be honest, I think there's nothing wrong with looking nice and getting dressed up for no real reason (though I personally do think lunch with a friend is a great reason), and I'm sick of having to answer that question. If I don't wear jeans, I consistently get asked that awful question, but the answer is "I'm just not really a jeans girl, sorry....this is what I'm comfortable and confident wearing and I don't need to explain myself, thank you very much".

And I realize the main reason I get asked the "Why are you so dressed up?" question is because whoever is asking the question is the one who feels insecure because they are wearing jeans and a graphic tee, but don't try to make me feel insecure by asking that question in order to make me feel like I'm too dressed up. Just let us each just be who we are. By the way, I'm not really speaking to anyone in particular's just a general rant about all people because it's something I face every day - at work, at home, at church, etc. :) Yes, I know I go to church at The Village and it's a sin to get dressed up for church....well, I'm a sinner anyway, so I plan to continue dressing up for church as much as I would if I still went to Prestonwood.

Even when I was a little girl, dresses were always my 1st choice:

These guidelines will hopefully help me avoid some of this in the future:

You cannot really tell in this picture, but I am wearing black suede chaps with lots of fringe over some soffee a.k.a. "cheer" shorts. The reason I know this is because I did this all the time. And yes, that is my horse, Chief in my backyard in Emerald Forest. My sweet Dad used to let me have him spend the night in our backyard because I loved it so much!!

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I am color coordinating my soccer ball and pigtail hairbands (socks too if you could see the whole picture: left foot - pink, right foot - black) so they match the team colors...which is pretty much the main reason why I never ended up playing sports.

I actually like this girly outfit and big bow and cute snaggle teeth even though I'm sure this is a fashion faux pas in most people's book

Way too old to be wearing a jumper like this in the 4th grade!

And I plan to carry this better style sense throughout my entire life from now on...when it comes to decorating as well. I've been very haphazard about it....transitional, old world, contemporary, french countryside, traditional...well, no more.

Regardless of my decorating style, here's what I want my home to be:
-Clean and neat
-Orderly and uncluttered
-Elegant but casual

Before I buy things, I'm going to ask myself if it fits into the kind of statement I want my home to make. Essentially, I want it to be a haven for my family where we can live and be authentic while also being a place that is hospitable and inviting for friends and family. First and foremost, it's got to be live-able. My dogs have taught me that without a doubt!! Furniture should be used...not worshipped and not something to stress about when it comes to wear and tear...that defeats the purpose.

One of my favorite places that is the essence of what I love for the home is Ballard Designs! It's sort of a more girly, feminine version of Pottery Barn. Though I definitely like brighter colors than what they used in this season's collection.

Just to be clear:
I'm not dogging you if you are granola or otherwise "fashion-challenged"!! I just want to make that clear. If you are granola (or trendy or preppy, etc.)...just own it, work authentic and be YOU!! I'm all about keeping it real and that's the true meaning behind this post! And I do still like to wear sweatpants, a t-shirt and my hair in a ponytail from time to time as well!


Mindy Rives said...

Is it embarrassing to admit that I thought I was in "my prime" when I worked at Pine Cove? I think so.

Such a funny post! Good luck finding "your style!" I'm still in the search for mine...and probably always will be!

Happy Friday!

Unknown said...

I LOVE the sunflower outfit with the jean stylin!!! I remember your "signature" being those Gap jeans freshman year....I still only wear Gap jeans.....guess I need do some "style soul-searching" ;)

Allison said...

My style freshman year is something I hope to never re-live!! :) LOL

And yes - I thought everyone who worked at Pine Cove "had it all figured out". Still love that place though...and everyone I worked with! :)

Kelly said...

This cracked me up. Especially the headbands because I definitely wore those at A&M! ha. Loved the sunflower hand, by the way!

Caroline said...

allison, just found your blog. love it. seriously? what were we thinking at a&m? i remember coming home and my dad saying, seriously, caroline, that's not cute!! i really should have listened!
good seeing you briefly on saturday!