Dressing to Impress

There were things I liked about living in Scotland, and there were things I didn’t like about living in Scotland, but one thing I liked was that in Scotland, everyone dressed like garbage all the time. It’s impossible when freezing cold rain is hitting you from every angle and the streets are old loose stones built over rolling hills to look like anything other than a human dumpster. I occasionally saw girls in short dresses and six inch heels in Scotland, but the general assumed opinion of these people was that they were crazy and should be stopped. Let’s just wear black leather jackets and lace-up boots everywhere and pray to God that we are not consumed by the wrath of this vengeful wasteland.

So now I’m home and going on interviews and all the sudden I have to look like a person who hasn’t been living in the sewer behind a Chinese restaurant her whole life. And it’s very hard because I actually got to be more confident not dressing up. On Crazy Ex-Girlfriend last week there was a song that parodies the way women often dress “for themselves” but really with the male gaze in mind called “Put Yourself First”. It was spot-on and perfect and you should watch it now:

At one point the girls sing, “Wear six-inch heels just for yourself!” and Rebecca counters, “If it’s just for myself, shouldn’t I be comfortable?” To which the girls wholeheartedly respond, “No!”

And that’s the problem I think I have. If looking good is just about feeling confident, then I feel most confident in a t-shirt and jeans. My confidence does not increase at all when I wear makeup or attempt heels. Jewelry always feels ridiculous on me. There have been many times where I have wondered if I was a lesbian simply so much of my personality seems like a butch dyke stereotype. (There’s just that tiny detail about actually, you know, being into girls.) But different occasions call for different uniforms, and I cannot go around wearing my Cookie Monster onesie to network in the city.

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“Me is business professional.”

I think there’s got to be a way to combine my image of myself with a career woman and not feel like I’m lying to myself in some way. I just haven’t found it yet. My personal style is still like precocious child librarian. I’m waiting for that to be the fall’s hot new trend.

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About A.C.

Amateur time-traveler
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2 Responses to Dressing to Impress

  1. Well, you have pretty much summed up my 60 years of fashion dithering and flip-flopping.
    I mean to say that I covered GROUND: Nordstrom’s fashionista, Gene Juarez hair model, back-to-the-land hippy type ( hiking boots and old jeans), to full on business-dress-for-success mode–heels included.
    Now, in retirement, I can finally be me, which means a fleece pullover, or a plaid flannel shirt, comfy pants and low or no heel shoes. I have to say that living in the NW helps in these not being seen as unusual outfits for my age or gender.
    While I can dress appropriately for any occasion, I always feel like I am ‘passing’ for something other than my woodsy, geeky, outdoorsy inner gal.
    Somehow no matter what the outfit, I always manage to come off looking like an intellectual type ( I could do the librarian thing easily) and I don’t know what that means about my clothes.
    Feeling you and sticking to letting comfort dictate my fashion choices these days.
    P.S. I have been dubbed an honorary lesbian by certain of my friends. (-:
    P.S.S. I have found that black tights, a black pencil skirt, ankle boots or patent leather brogues and a really nice black cashmere sweater can show up almost anywhere and be credible.
    Good one, AC

    Like

  2. Xandra says:

    There’s this bit in the Happiness Project about how Gretchen went out and bought like 5 of the same type of shirt and people were confused. She was like nope. This is me.

    Like

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