Last night I was sitting on the couch staying up far to0 late watching What Not To Wear and gushing over my love for Clinton Kelly, I mean seriously he said one of my favorite quotes ever…
“Sometimes comfort doesn’t matter. When a shoe is freakin’ fabulous, it may be worth a subsequent day of misery. Soak in Epsom salts and take comfort in the fact that you’re better than everyone else.”
— Clinton Kelly
Anyways I sat down and watched two episodes I hadn’t seen before and both of the women seemed to be having the same problem in different ways. Now we all know that What Not To Wear is all about taking the fashion mislead and disfunctional and helping them to realize their real potential with clothing and getting them to stop looking foolish, but I really think I finally figured what its really about. Walking a fine line between who they are and who they want to be fashionably.
The first episode was about a young woman who was also and Episcopal Priest. She was amazingly beautiful, serisouly some sick features, but she was always trying to downplay her feminitiy. I understand this since she is in a prodominantly male career path, also a modest position in life and that she has to figure out how to work a white collar with her outfits but she was going so against the grain that she looked young, sloppy, uncomfortable with her appearance and it was affecting her love life as well as her marketability for bringing people to the church. Stacy and Clinton ofcourse worked their magic and did so in a way she could understand and by the end of the episode she had it figured out, but her journey to figure it out seemed really downplayed. I think her real struggle was, and probably had been most of her life, finding a way to love God, be modest and still be feminine without crossing over to being “too sexy”.
In the second episode they were working with a 30 year old scientist who was so adorkable I could hardly handle it. She was a bit weird and ecentric but in a really endearing way and her style was very grad school and very granola. The reason for her style needing to change was basically that it just needed to grow up so she could be taking serisously as a professional. Once again they figured out a forumal for her to work with, since she was so right brained, and eventually the results were amazing. The biggest struggle for this woman though was the word “pretty”, I believe she had been taught her whole life that pretty and smart were two completely different things that couldn’t go together. That smart was the goal and pretty was for shallow girls without a brain in their head. For her she need to find the fine line between being intelligent and being attractive and put together as well.
So my point, well I think we all have hit that road block in our lifes on our journeys to personal style and being fashionable while still being ourselves. I know for me I have always dressed well but didnt really find my personal style and love for fashion until about 3 years ago. I had just come out of the closet and was spending a lot of time with more masculine lesbians. It was hard for me to understand how I could still be me, still be feminie and be a lesbian because it just wasn’t something I had really seen around me.(Keep in mind I live in a very conservative state.) Anyways I tried all sorts of different styles which was almost reminiscent of the same way I did as a teenager. Actually now that I think about it, you know that part in Eat Pray Love where her friends tell her that she used to look like her ex husband and now she looks like her new man? Well I was kinda like that, when I dated a garage band punk rock kid, I was all about Ramones T-shirt and Dickies Pants, when i dated a jock I ended up spending more time in his sweats then my own… yeah, not good. I reverted back to this behavior at that time with Nightrider because I didn’t know how to be and how to find a way to be pretty and feminine and fashion forward and gay all at the same time. I couldn’t find the a way to still be me and who I wanted to be. Anyways eventually I discovered my Femme potential and realized that was just the ticket and my personal style was finally harnessed and felt good! I could be me, I could be gay and I could wear dresses and heels and ridiculous headbands and that is what felt best for me. I could also do all this and still be a professional. I could have edgy hair that really was the best thing I ever did for myself and tame it down when necessary. I could wear pearls one day and studded boots the next, I just had to find that fine line, that line that was me.
I think when it comes to fashion everyone has this moment of how to be themselves but have the look and style they crave but what it really takes is finding the fine line inbetween and riding it unaplogetically with confidence, grace and willingness to try and fail and try again until you find it.
When have you struggled with having your personal style and love for fashion match you life?