Fashion Mishaps Lead to Growth … and Embarrassment

I’ve always thought of myself as a very fashionable person.

It started in high school when I brought back bell bottom jeans for a short time in 10th grade.

Then during my college years my sorority sisters got me into the “sorority girl” uniform of Express’s black pants and sexy tanks to go clubbing in.

Then I entered the work force, and hit some missteps along the way.

Once, at 22 I tried to go to work in a shiny gold Express spaghetti tank (from my sorority days) and my supervisor asked me if I came to work straight from the bar.  Umm…sorry you’re like 50 and have no fashion sense at all, I thought.  [Eye roll]

Then I bought this fab plaid skirt at the Guess store.  I couldn’t afford the matching plaid jacket so I opted for a cute white button down.  I remember going into the office feeling like a hot preppy.  My boss asked me if I was going to an afternoon tennis match.  I think it was the flip-flops.

I went to an interview once in open-toe shoes when I was 23.  Do people really judge you based on the shoes you’re wearing?  Especially when they totes matched my lucky business suit (I still own it and wear it, and it is still lucky!) perfectly and it was a 95 degree day?  I didn’t get that job.  In fact, the interviewer gave me a tip.  “Don’t ever wear open toe shoes to a job interview.”

All lessons learned along the way….

Once I hit 30 I thought I had it all figured out.  But, I’ve still hit some stumbling blocks here and there.  I remember when I wrote the post Fashion Conscious.  Wow, that sparked some negativity during a time when I thought I was OK, but I wasn’t.  It was a very dark time in my life when I was trying to pretend like I had it all pulled together, but for realz I was about to lose it at any given moment.  And then I actually did lose it.

I remember reading a gal’s comment on Fashion Conscious and thinking:  ‘Wow, I’ve really been so off base about myself for soo long.’  Like I thought I looked good, and I thought I dressed well, and I thought that was me, that was like a part of my identity, but like Cher Horowitz finally said: “I was just totally clueless!”

Ohmigosh, I soo wanted to be Cher!

As was I.

As I got better though a few things changed:

1. I decided it’s OK to be me.  I like fashion and celebrities and that doesn’t make me a bad person.

2. To each their own.  Some people find their fashions at Kmart (umm…Sofia Vergara has a line there!) and others opt for Von Maur (my FAVE) and others opt for Bergdorf Goodman.  Fashion is your own art form, and if you put it together well and wear it with confidence you’ll be fashionable.

I haven't been to Kmart in like 20 years but these don't look bad???

3. It’s OK to laugh at yourself.  We’ve all worn that outfit that we thought we looked sooo good in.  And then we look back on it and think what was I thinking?  We burn all the pictures and ask our friends how they ever EVER let us go out dressed like that.

4. I don’t have all the fashion answers, and I need to stop pretending like I do.  Does anyone?  Isn’t it all relative?  I wonder about trends and brands like anyone else.  Case in point, I just had a debate with friends today about Victoria’s Secret’s ‘Pink’ collection.  When are we just too old to sport ‘Pink’?

After my Cher Horowitz “totally clueless” moment I stumbled on a great website that I love:  Thirty-Something Fashion.  I was religiously reading this website, and now I sadly only check back from time to time since I work full time and am writing more.

But, the gal who writes this website, Carly, is so beautiful on the inside and on the outside.  I remember reading her blog and thinking, ohmigosh, this girl totes has money because she’s wearing all these fab designers … and I think I’m cool wearing Juicy Couture.  Omg, I’m sooo lame.

But now, I revert back to #1.  IT’S OK TO BE ME!  And it’s OK for you to be YOU.

In saying that I do love Carly’s fashion and would love her entire wardrobe.  Maybe when my book sells I can hire Carly as my stylist and walk the red carpet to the premiere of my made-for-TV movie. 😀 “Dare to dream, Ms. Woods, dare to dream.”

I was also obsessed with Elle Woods - Tiffany's and pink! OMG!

Side note:  I had a conversation with a friend recently.  He asked me who would play the main characters in my TV movie.  I said Rob Lowe would play the antagonist (King Douche Bag), and Jennifer Love Hewett would play me.

Now Jennifer Love is super annoyinggggg, but,,,I started to think about it, and I can be a bit annoying myself and I’m a bit of a spaz so it does make sense!  He thought Rachel Bilson.  Hmm…

Yeah...cuz that's what I look like!

So, anyways, I don’t know if I dress well or not…and I don’t care.  Because I’ll just be me.  I love Juicy Couture.  I love leopard print (my bitchy sorority sister once said “Animals belong in the forest not your wardrobe.”  Whatevs…).  I love good deals at Old Navy.  I love thrift shop finds at my fave neighborhood shop.  I still love Express work pants – they’re the best out there!  I love splurging when I can, and I hit up Forever 21 [omg, am I too old for that place?] for cheap trendy pieces.

But the great thing is I’m finally in a place where fashion to ME is about being yourself.  It’s about loving yourself and it’s about being comfortable in your own skin.

LMAO...I remember modeling this outfit in a Chili's. Yes, a Chili's after like 3 glasses of wine thinking I looked sooo good! OMG, how embarrassing! Hahahahahaha

Now what is fashion to you?

Author: jlee5879

Office manager by day...struggling writer by night

4 thoughts on “Fashion Mishaps Lead to Growth … and Embarrassment”

  1. Girl, I’ve gone through the 70’s (although young at the time), the 80’s, 90’s and am still here. Can you only imagine the crap I’ve worn? I don’t even like what I wore to work yesterday, haha. My money for fashion has gone to my teenagers, and mama is not sporting cool clothes lately. But I want to start changing that, so I really appreciate this post. Tomorrow, I’m going shopping and unfortunately it’s going to be a TJMAX “fashionista” kind of day. And I’m not taking either of the girls because they cut into my spending money. It’s all about me at the moment. 🙂 Time to start dressing for success again…or as you said, just for myself.

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