As a kid, I carefully selected my outfits every day. Beginning around 7th Grade I started hitting the thrift stores hard, an activity that even on my limited pre-teen allowance meant that I was now in control of my own personal style.
Using hair color to set myself apart visually from the crowd wasn’t far behind and by the time I started high school I was well versed in styling my catholic school uniform in such a way that it didn’t look even remotely like anyone else’s (oh, the referrals I collected…my Saturday detentions put The Breakfast Club to shame — so much so that by my Senior Year the Dean of Women gave up and citing my insistence on patterned tights and vintage cardigans as a key reason she’d decided to loosen the school’s dress code).
I was a faerie-loving riot-grrrl, a strange hybrid, but one that made me feel like my own brand of unique, sequined stars pasted on my face, Alfons Mucha charm strung on a garnet-colored ribbon around my neck, and fishnet stockings and doc martens sticking out from under my thick wool pleated school skirt. (I’m not saying it was pretty, I’m just saying it was.) Getting dressed was the highlight of my day. My personal style was huge part of who I was, even as I morphed it to include bleached hair and red lips to compliment my rockabilly boyfriend (now husband — you should have seen this guy with safety pins through his earlobes.) I wore my personality and moods on the outside.
Motherhood changed all that and then some. I’ve fought hard through weight gain, weight loss, depression, and more weight gain to figure out how to have an inside I want to reflect on the outside. Earlier this year the lovely ladies of Tog + Porter gave me a jump start when they helped me hone my style and reminded me how great it felt to turn heads. Chopping my hair was a huge step in the direction of feeling like I’ve found a me I’m comfortable showing the world again (despite never really having had hair that short except for a brief stint in college when a student at Vidal Sassoon burned my hair so badly it broke off at the root, but that is not a good look for anyone) and going to the insane style-palooza that is the Altitude Design Summit in Utah, flying fashionably under the radar made me feel like I had left part of my self at home (which, to be clear, I HAD, since I failed to bring two of three outfits I had planned on). So wish me luck Internet. And let the self-discovery begin.