American Apparel Skirt, Vintage top from Ritual
American Apparel Skirt, Reformation shirt, Sue London flats
This summer, I’ve had what has felt to me like a major style transition, one that has correlated with an overall change in headspace that I’ve been experiencing for a few months now. For the years preceding this evolution, I was in a total hippy meets granny phase. I wore nothing but floral and printed dresses to the ground, moccasins and lots of jewelry. One might say that I often looked a bit like Elaine from Seinfeld meets Pocahontas (both of which I view as totally complimentary references). This “boho” (for lack of a better word) phase came about at StyleLikeU’s beginning, when I was initially liberated from idolizing model-y looking girls who looked perfect in skinny jeans in a way that I never could. No matter how hard I tried to squeeze my hippy hips into the skin tight, low-rise jeans, I would feel immediately uncomfortable and self conscious. However, as all StyleLikeU interviews have in one way or another, I was touched after interviewing a series of “curvy” girls who intoxicated me with their confidence in their bodies (Shine Blackhawk, Domonique Echeverria and Elizabeth Spiradakis), awakening me to how wearing skirts and dresses could help me feel more comfortable in my clothes and thus more “myself” in my style. That, combined with loving the hippy aesthetic (Chase Cohl, Lauren Buxton, Pamela Love, for example) led to my previous style phase.
Recently, however, something shifted. A series of events, including feeling strong again after a difficult breakup with my boyfriend of two years, and a visit from Scout Willis, who looked sexy and chic in a high waisted skirt and a black leotard, had me at American Apparel going buck-wild for the leotards and feminine, cinched waiste, a-line skirts. All of the sudden I got girly– ballet flats replaced moccasins, long tangled hair was cut into an above the shoulder, polished do, and bright colored nails / lipstick took the place of my previously au-natural, makeup-less look. Whereas in the past, I had been afraid to expose my arms for fear of them looking pudgy, tentative about shapely skirts for fear of my hips being exposed, and perhaps nervous and lacking in confidence in the face of male attention, I felt a change. I felt ready to begin stepping into my fears by putting my figure out on the table in a new way. Even though I am far from fully confident, all summer, I have felt liberated by the experience and sexy in a way that I have never experienced before. My new sense of style helped me exude the confidence I was beginning to feel inside, and over time, I have realized that for me, while wearing this free flowing clothing was a step in the direction of accepting my body and not letting society’s prevailing beauty standards stand in my way, I was still hiding. Comfortable, yes, but I was still shying away from revealing my true self. Now, rather than hiding under big, baggy clothing, I am trying to get more at ease with being seen and accepted for the voluptuous woman that I am.