Monday, October 22, 2012

Style blog

I love clothes but really I love sweaters. I have so many sweaters, but I am always hoping for a sweater that's lighter, warmer, softer. I like this boys' sweater from J. Crew. (Most of what I wear on the farm was made for boys, including my raincoat and long underwear.) I like clothes that are all cotton or all wool. I like the idea of wearing clothes until they fall apart, but the problem is, if I like a piece of clothing enough to wear it so often that it would fall apart, I will never wear it, because I'll be worried about it falling apart.

When a friend died this spring, I remembered her most vividly in a certain sweater. I mentioned the sweater in a memorial service and some people around the room nodded and sighed. It was this sweater, in white. Oh my god, American Apparel, do you not sell it in white any more? I wanted it after I saw her wearing it. I never bought it because I thought it was too expensive and hard to clean and impractical (it's not warm, and it's sheer). I don't know if my friend wore a bra with it. It looked so appealing falling low on her beautiful back. In the summer of 2011 I spent a long time considering that sweater in an American Apparel in NYC, and an old woman said, "Oh, that's beautiful, isn't it? If I saw it on the street I'd think it was Chanel. You should get it, it would look beautiful on you..." and I was thinking oh, it's too expensive, and my friend already has it, but I told her I was planning on buying it soon.

Clothes on other peoples' bodies are so different from clothes on my own body. In comfortable clothes, I feel flat and boyish. In elegant clothes I am usually uncomfortable. But clothes on other people's bodies are so comforting. I love my girlfriends with rolled up sleeves. A chest equipped with a sweater is so lovable, a whole world. I loved the style of the girls I met at my hostel in Marrakesh, lots of far-afield British and Australian girls, their harem pants made from draped scarves, girls who wear bunches of necklaces and rings, despite the weight and the heat. I like the idea of traveling with all these tokens attached to you à la Captain Jack Sparrow, though I don't have any.

I read so many personal-style blogs, and every single one, at some point, feels compelled to justify "why fashion matters" or "why caring about your self-presentation is important" or "why I can post hundreds upon hundreds of images of myself in all different outfits and poses without feeling like a total narcissist or fearing that no one is interested." Most of the time this comes off as either bullshitty or desperate. Sometimes it is wonderful and exciting. My two favorite things I ever read about personal style were 1) Patti Smith's Just Kids (Jewelry made out of fishing lures! Unabashed searches for the perfect black turtleneck! Life-changing haircuts!) and 2) This blog. It is two friends and they are both amazing. Here is Amanda talking about how she became interested in clothes, which is different from every other such thing I've ever read on a personal style blog, and also the way I always felt but could never articulate.

"Socializing always left me disappointed.  Kids were cruel and boring most of the time.  I preferred to make my own worlds, which were far more exciting because I controlled them.  I think my interest in clothes developed because of my dissatisfaction with the present.  Buying clothes was all about preparation for some fantastical future, as if when I wore them the people around me wouldn’t suck anymore and cool things could happened.  But it didn’t really work people just noticed me more (in positive and negative ways) which was at least slightly more exciting."

One of my mom's friends, who is now a dressmaker, said that the whole reason she went to high school (instead of homeschooling) was "to wear different clothes." It doesn't have to be as advanced/self-conscious as "self-expression." Sometimes it is just about being lonely and weird.

Above: an outfit I wore in 9th grade. The tights are from We Love Colors which I read about in Anthem magazine. I decorated those cheap Mary Janes with puff paint. It's all coming back to me! It is shocking how alt the girl style at my high school become in the half-decade since I graduated. Having an Urban Outfitters in town, plus Tumblr, seems to have made a huge difference. In my day it was all about Abercrombie and Fitch and Hollister. Not that there's anything inherently better or worse; people will always figure out ways to exclude each other.

Above: Prom (I did not have a date, as you can see. My poor mom took photos of me by the staircase anyway). My dress was from Time After Time and I tried to get it cleaned but it was full of mildew.

Warning: The following paragraph contains the grossest thing I've ever read.

Today I built a fence for the sheep. I couldn't stop thinking about how Issei Sagawa, a confessed murderous cannibal who is not in jail, said, about his victim, " The meat on the soles of her feet smelled bad, though, and didn’t taste very nice." I need to finish American Psycho asap so I can stop thinking about Christie's death, which is the other grossest thing I've ever read.

And that is what I have to say about personal style!

Above: Here is my Norway personal style. The hat is God.

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