Adventures in personal style.



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Faking it
Tuesday, 19 April 2011 / 11:15

On Sunday 10th, the sun came out and it was freakishly warm (19 C!), so I knew I had to drop my jeans + sweatshirt + woollen coat uniform in favour of something lighter. I put on my favourite dress, a crimson tea dress scattered with white flowers, and added my new navy cardigan and some cropped leggings. As an outfit, it looked pretty good.

Then I went outside and felt... not good. Awkward. Self-conscious. I wondered if people were noticing the way my skirt was hanging (that dress needs either a lining or a slip), or staring at my exposed calves, or even just thinking I looked too dressed up. I was too preoccupied with my appearance to enjoy being outside. I cut short my walk, went home, and changed into jeans and a hoodie.

Related: I've been meaning to make a haul post for the last three weeks, but it's been held up because I don't want to take pictures of myself wearing the clothes I bought. *sigh*

Confession time: I've been fairly depressed lately, and that's made it pretty hard to maintain a positive attitude to... well, anything. I lose interest in things, I avoid socialising, I lack energy, and my body image gets worse. As you can imagine, none of this is conducive to dressing well or writing a style blog...

When I opened my feed reader last week, this post by Sally of Already Pretty appeared.

Life is tiring, difficult, and constantly in flux. Virtually no one will feel cheerful, energetic, and serene at all times, and if a lack of cheerfulness, energy, and serenity continues for an extended period, it becomes harder and harder to tap back into that positivity. Sometimes, you’ve gotta generate it yourself by any means necessary. And dressing the part can help. A ton.

I was fortunate enough to come across that post in a relatively good frame of mind, so I read it and thought "she probably has a point. Maybe I should keep trying." Much of the time I feel like there's no point in dressing well, that I look ugly in everything anyway, etc etc etc... but I'm going to go with Sally vs. my depression on this one. I'll keep pushing myself to dress a little better, to take photographs that aren't 100% perfect and post them anyway, and to be more courageous about what I write here instead of withdrawing. So, sorry for the blog silence there... hopefully it won't happen again.

I know that for a personal style blog this post is rather heavy on the "personal" and light on the "style", and I feel the need to apologise for that too, but I'd hit a roadblock: my various hang-ups were making it harder and harder for me to post here, and I've decided to be honest about that instead of giving up and walking away.

I have several posts in the pipeline: my shopping haul from late March (some of which I have still to photograph), a couple of fitting room reviews, and thoughts on some of the spring/summer trends I've noticed lately. I know I failed to keep my promise to post an OOTD in March, but I did at least put an outfit together and photograph it; the lighting was just so bad that I counted it as a failure. In the interests of beating back my perfectionism, I'll post it now anyway.
Cardigan: unknown, possibly Johnston's of Elgin - a hand-me-down from my granny. I left it unbuttoned here to show off the tee underneath, but it looks more appealing when buttoned in some way.
Tee: Uniqlo Cath Kidston Charity Project (review to come!). The photo really doesn't do it justice; it's a lovely muted green with a beautiful floral print.
Skirt: French Connection, via a local charity shop.
Tights: John Lewis girls.
Shoes: John Lewis girls, reviewed here.

It looked better IRL than in that photo, I swear... yeah, excuses, excuses. I need to learn how to pose better. Grey + dark blue is my standard colour combination formula, but I'm not sure how well the light green goes with it. Perhaps the tee would look better under a dark grey cardigan (contrasting values).

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Blogger Elle said on 27 April 2011 at 21:30  

Your post makes me want to give you a big hug (*invasive virtual hug*). I think you are too harsh on yourself, you look great (actually, I think a lot of people would be baffled by why you are clouded by this air of insecurity because you are practically supermodel like. Maybe not what you like to hear...so apologies for my insensitivity).

I can relate to feeling insecure and like the world holds a judgmental magnifier to my every move. Then again I was wildly depressed and had an eating problem in high school that I've since found a way to overcome. I think it's normal to feel tired and pessimistic from time to time but I really believe dressing the part of a happy person will get you 5% closer to that feeling.

Sorry for rambling, your post really resonated with me. Feel better missy.

Blogger En Bouton said on 28 April 2011 at 11:28  

Aww, Elle, thank you. *hugs back* Your comment wasn't insensitive at all. Part of me knows that I'm way too hard on myself (about the way I look and other things), but sometimes the insecurity is strong enough to override my better judgement. I'm doing better with it than I used to be, though, and I agree with you that dressing the part should help.

I'm so sorry to hear that you struggled with similar things, but I admire you for overcoming them - that's really encouraging to hear. Sometimes I feel like I'll never get out of this negative mindset, but when other people do it that reminds me it is possible. Again, thank you. ^^

Anonymous Anonymous said on 4 May 2011 at 00:08  

I just came across your blog today! When it comes to fashion blogs I generally try to look for blogs where the author is about my size. I'm pretty much the same as you and hence I face similar anxiety/awkwardness. I can really relate to your post. It is so much harder to make bold fashion choices.
Especially with spring coming on, exposing my skinny hands and skinny legs drives me to the same emotions that you face.

But that aside, you might feel like this on some days but there is so harm in trying newer styles which suit our thin frames. I get depressed about it sometimes too but like Elle said, trying on new things does bring happiness! And the smell of new clothes! ^_^

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