Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Childish things

A few years ago I knew that the time was nearing when certain items had to be put on the shelf, when by virtue of my age they would tip over the line from cute to undercooked. But instead of sobering up my wardrobe and becoming more strict with my purchases, I decided to just buy whatever was my heart's desire. I didn't choose for longevity--in fact, I knew much of what I was buying had a half-life of maybe a handful of years. But I wanted to wear those silly garments for while I still could.

Now, I wouldn't want to tell any woman that they can't wear something because they're too old. But for my own personal sense of things, I feel some items are the province of the young, and one thing I've learned is not to play a younger woman's game.

And suddenly, after the long haul of pregnancy, when the fact of your physicality becomes front and center and forces you out into the world of people (who, for the most part are curious and kind, though some are simply obnoxious and nosy), I find that my perspective on clothes and the body and looks has changed. I don't know if it's from becoming a mother, but I do know I have gone through the experience changed. Among other things, I no longer have any desire to put on the same clothes. Actually, I'm perfectly sick of my former style, at least on myself. I have a desire to cultivate what I keep thinking of as, somewhat oxymoronically, a hyper-quiet aesthetic. No more frills or furbelows or cutesy flourishes.

I'm always suspicious of these sorts of changes, and how deep they really go with me. But I'm thinking this isn't just a momentary aversion. Because as I was doing my usual internet hop-skipping, I ended up watching this video of Anna Karina on YouTube performing "Roller Girl." Style.com called it a "revelation." But I found it flat-out grotesque. The archly sexual cutesiness, the performing to the camera, the fact of a grown woman branding this particular form of female sexuality just kind of turned my stomach.

I half worry that this is just frumpiness creeping in in disguise, but I don't know, and I'm not sure I care if it is. Priorities change, you know? So when I cleaned out my desktop folder, these are some of the images that I discarded. The first one from Rachel Comey is nice, actually, especially the jacket, but the styling is something I wouldn't do anymore.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Odds and ends

I haven't felt the desire to write a blog post in awhile. I needed some time to think about things, like my level of consumption and how it related to the purpose the blog served for me. I felt uncomfortable. Blogs are by their nature just one facet of a person, but I wasn't sure if serving up this one-sided version of me felt authentic. I liked the breezy, upbeat frivolity of keeping a fashion blog; what I didn't like was when this persona started to feel at times ill fitting.

Anyway, I haven't really come to any big conclusions or meta-analysis about my blogging. Just wanted to explain a bit and provide some awkward prelude to the following list of random thoughts.

1. I'm obsessed with the thought of warmth. I'm consumed with dread about the upcoming winter and feel the need to prepare. I think long johns will be key, since I don't want to wear the same sloppy wool sweater every day, as I did last year in a desperate but futile attempt at warmth.

2. I'm enamored with the uniform of vintage plaid button downs and old jeans. I'm slowly amassing a small collection of plaid button downs.

3. My most quintessential Seattle moment was standing in the packed basement of someone's rental as three local bands played short sets for the birthday boy, amidst a sea of beards and buffalo plaid flannel. I counted something like 7 guys outfitted thusly, just in my general vicinity. The fall weather makes me remember and miss Seattle.

4. I'm not sure when the moment turned, but at some point high-end luxury became thought of as accessible for ordinary, small-income people. Lately, I've rethought my feeling about this and have decided that I rather liked it when expensive items were thought of as inaccessible. Lusting after designer items provokes a kind of meaningless anxiety in me.

5. I've subscribed to a few "frugal living" blogs. It's a good balance to the fashion blogs I read. It keeps things in check, resets the range of normal. And the natural parenting forum I visit does the same for the purse forum and the fashion spot. On the mothering forum, I am likely to read about recipes for consuming one's own placenta (the boyfriend refused to be in charge of the placenta smoothie when I half seriously floated the idea by him) while on TPF or TFS I'll find somewhat porny reveals of some extravagant handbag purchase.

6. With that last thought, how to mention the most profound moment of my life on this, a blog meant for harboring my least profound worries? I guess I'll just say that my baby arrived a little more than a month ago. At first, it felt both unreal and ordinary at the same time. Now I'm beginning to realize just what a sea change it is, and how it has affected everything in my life. Including my thoughts on clothes, but I'll get to that maybe in a future post.