11/02/2014

REDEFINING MY INDIVIDUALITY

A year ago, I offered to do a wardrobe overhaul for the hubster; I would get rid of some of his clothes - actually about 80% of them. I offered to take away what didn't belong there and replace them with what I thought was appropriate for him. My intentions were sincere and my offer was from a loving place. He is a great looking guy but (in my opinion) his sense of style takes away A LOT from his good looks and in turn makes him look a lot older than he really is.

He isn't a vain guy (thank goodness) so he goes for 'comfort rather than style' as he puts it . I have pointed out to him in vain that having a sense of style has nothing at all to do with discomfort. Personally, i believe that discomfort only comes into play when one becomes a slave to fashion and by that I mean going for the latest fad whether or not it hangs comfortably on your body type, or even if the colour agrees with you.

Style is a lot of things. It is the garment, the way it hangs on YOUR body, the way YOU feel in it, the colour; how it complements YOUR complexion, or the texture of your hair, or the youth in you. It is about wearing something no matter YOUR shape or size and KNOWING it looks good on YOU. Style is timeless and classic and has NOTHING at all to do with the latest trend in fashion.

When I offered to do the hubster's wardrobe overhaul, it was simply because it was chocked full of dated items, styles that were actually of a particular trend period and they had gone out of style. I made it clear that I would respect his need for comfort and would focus on timeless pieces that complement his personality and he told me in very clear terms "You don't get to decide what I will wear." and that was final.

So I stepped back and watched him dress dated for a whole year and right along with him I went with the plain Jane look. It was not difficult to do so. In my relocation from Italy, I had gotten rid of 90% of my earthly possessions some of which was my old wardrobe which I loved. It was either the wardrobe (not new clothes) or my huge collection of fabric (which I can sew new clothes in styles I love). I chose the fabrics. I figured I would spend the time making clothes for all three of us (the hubster, the kid and myself). That never happened; when he told me to back off with the overhaul; carrying on in my current obscure sense of style felt comfortable as it was.

I had gone about publicizing my services as a stylist but lacked the confidence to really say it out loud and for fear of coming across as a fraud and a failure. I mean, if I can't get my own husband to trust me enough to let me dress him, who will believe I really can identify anyone' else's sense of style and help bring it to being? And surely a Stylist should know when an item is dated and advice her clients accordingly (in this case my hubster) won't she?

So I resigned, but I must admit, I was resentful of it and then it turn into guilt. Resentful because his refusal to trust my styling ability was as good as saying I didn't have what it took to be a stylist. Then I would feel guilty for expecting him to be my support in this sense, on this endeavor.

The other day my daughter asked me why I didn't 'dress nice' any more. She used to think I was a great dresser and she would tell me how she couldn't wait to grow up so that she could borrow my clothes. Well recently, she asked why I had let myself go, and then confessed to disliking my clothes. She said she certainly wasn't looking forward to borrowing them when she grows up. At first it was funny, then it finally sank and I felt a sense of sadness at the realization that I had become one of those colourless people roaming the streets that I had promised myself never to become.

I have nothing against colourless people, I am just not one of them. I love colour and I love being able to say this is me, through my clothes. I love individuality so strongly that I have a hard time wearing styles that are dated.

I am not a fashionista; far from it, but I have always had and loved having a sense of style and individuality strong enough to have friends and family see a colour or a texture or a drape and say that is so very Naan. It's like one would see a statement Jewelry and think this is so Iris Apfel. All of that (my personal sense of style and individuality) has vanished and especially in this past year and all because I wanted to blend in with the hubster's sense of style....

It dawned on me that I sincerely cannot blame my sudden obscurity to the husbter's sense of style. I can and should be me regardless. The hubster thinks I am vain anyway, and he loves me the way I was, so this period of obscurity hasn't made him think me any less vain. Most importantly, this obscurity is not the way to be a stylist, especially if I  intend for anyone to trust my ability to style, so I am slowly rising from the ashes and finding myself again. I probably will emerge the peacock I once was but it will be about ME defining MY sense of individuality again regardless of who wants to walk this path with me. Hopefully I will be my own publicity until I find my very first client - someone trusting enough to let me style them too.

2 comments:

  1. Be the butterfly you are. Show your colo(u)rs, promote your style. If other's don't understand, then sure;y that's their problem. Being a chameleon doesn't mean blending in!

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  2. That is so sweet Laidlaw, the nicest thing I have heard in a while. Thank you :-)

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