Image via Pixabay
She walked into the coffee shop wearing the uniform of so many young women on the go. Tight jeans, boots, a form-fitting shirt, scarf, with a wide smile and sassy, bright-colored hair. She was exactly our type.
I leaned in and whispered, “Boots to your right.”
His eyes perked up immediately, his head swiveling to catch a glimpse. August in Florida isn’t exactly boot weather. A sighting would be a nice change of pace. When he slumped back, disappointment etched in his forehead, I smiled.
“Give her a minute. She moved to the right.”
We shared a conspiratorial grin, knowing we’d never speak to her, but everything about her, from boots to sassy hair spoke to us. I hadn’t mentioned her round ass, but I didn’t need to. His eyes would move from the bottom of her boots to the top of her head and miss nothing in between.
We listened to the thick clomp of her boots on the tiled floor, watching her through our eyelashes and out of the corners of our eyes as she sashayed (yes, really) out the door.
We love people watching and also people lusting when we’re out together. It builds a different kind of connection and always gets us thinking.
That 30 second encounter from afar started a conversation about my own aesthetic and how I present myself to the world. My work-from-home uniform is decidedly sloppy. It’s a look that says, “At least it’s clean.” My going out uniform leans towards graphic tees and stretchy pants but also veers into dressing-exactly-like-my-mother territory.
That’s not even an exaggeration. When we visited my mom over the summer, three of the shirts I packed were hand-me-downs she gave me. We went shopping together, and she tried to buy me a pair of pants…the same pair she chose for herself. There’s nothing wrong with dressing like a 57 year old grandmother…unless you’re not a 57 year old grandmother.
I want to dress the way I feel — a bit sassy, sometimes feminine, and always babygirl. (Yes, that can be mutually exclusive.) Of course that means nothing in terms of fashion. The look I want to pull together has no clear identifiers in my mind. It’s an I’ll-know-it-when-I-see-it kind of thing.
John Brownstone and I chatted about how I could go from worn out and sloppy (or, alternately, 57 year old grandmother) to the me I want to present to the world. What does that uniform look like?
Up until then, it wasn’t a question of “what will it be” but always “can I pull it off? Will I look right?” I knew what I liked but I questioned it. Maybe it’s age, maybe it’s a growing comfort in my own skin, but I’m caring less about whether I “should” do something. What makes me feel good when I wear it? What makes me happy? That’s what matters most.
We all have our own “uniform” — a look that we go back to time and time again. I’ve worn the literal uniform of restaurant server, retail employee, manager, and office desk jockey. For a time, I fell for the stereotype that being a freelance writer and working for myself meant sloppy, ill-fitting, and comfortable.
Post-divorce (several years ago) I sassed it up a bit. Big earrings, slinky dresses, and wedge heels. I adored that look.
But I’m tired of uniforms that identify me by a single trait — where I work, my age, motherhood. I want a look that speaks to me as a woman.
I need a new uniform, one that fits both my body and my mind. If it happens to catch a few glances when I walk into a coffeeshop, even better.
As an interpreter my clothes for work are decided for me. Solid and contrasting color to my skin. So my own style as been whatever worked for work. At home I just dont want to wear a bra and usually have a tank top and leggins on. I too wish I knew what my style was. I dont want to dress my age because those styles are frumpy or crazy grandma style. It’s a struggle.
The struggle is real.
There were so many years where I dressed like I thought I should, like I thought was acceptable. I was too fat to wear skirts and dresses so I had to wear pants with oversized T’s to hide my ass. The one day during winter I was in a daring mood. I put on tights and a short skirt and T with a scarf and boots and I felt fucking good! That was the beginning of it. I gradually moved onto wearing dresses which hug my curves and I don’t care one bit what people think. Okay, I do have my days when I do care, but I have never gone back to wearing pants and oversized T’s. Wear what you like, what makes YOU feel comfortable and sexy and babygirl and fuck the rest of the world 😉
“What makes me feel good when I wear it? What makes me happy? That’s what matters most.” . . . you are so right.
And when we are happy, that happiness radiates and shines through!!!
Xxx – K
Like Marie I spent YEARS wearing what I thought I should wear and it was BORING!! I felt dull and drab and that is no way for a woman to feel. When I set out on my own and joined the kink scene I realised what I wanted was to dress like a 5 year old. Unicorns, bunnies, glitter, bright colours and plastic are so much fun to wear. Someone asked me a few weeks ago ‘Do you actually own any clothes without a unicorn on?’ in a judgey and rude way, and my answer was ‘unfortunately yes, some of clothes are void of unicorns.’. What I wanted to say was a lot more F.You and your tone, but I resisted, well done me! :p
I very much hope you find a look and style that makes you feel as awesome and sassy as we all know you are and I look forward to hearing (and perhaps seeing if you share photos) what things you decide are ‘you’. xxx
I used to wear boring clothes for work and was glad to put those behind me. I look forward to it, too, and oh yes, there will be pictures, lol.
I know I only saw you over the course of a weekend but you did have a distinctive style. It was cute dresses and an infectious confidence that was entirely your own. Your clothes said I know where I am at but don’t be scared to come and talk to me.
Awww, thank you so much!! I want to give off that feeling that people can talk to me all the time.
This is a great post. As a young woman, I used to wear make-up a lot because the other women around me did. Then I decided to be me and only wear a little occasionally. I get more compliments about my skin and femininity than I did when I was fully made up. And of course, make-up and wellies don’t go together too well 😉 x
I used to be the same way about make-up. I’ve gone so long without wearing it, that when I do wear it, it’s a treat. 🙂
As I have got older I find myself getting braver. I am determined to have fun with my clothes but a tight budget means they nearly all come from a charity shop
That’s where I went shopping the other day. Didn’t find anything, but just looking is a start.
Took years to refine my witchy look. Hair is long, boho blouses, long skirts or jeans, lots of silver jewlery, dramatic eye makeup, moon & Goddess tats. I’m retired, on fixed income, so watch for sales on my type of clothes. After a career requiring boring conventional work clothes, it’s nice to be able to express myself & donate those things that are not me!
Your look sounds absolutely lovely! I look forward to figuring myself out more and more. I’m getting closer, but not quite there yet.