|The truth is: I'm Batman|
Recently I have been having what can best be described as a "style identity crisis". I have felt very uncertain and awkward in almost every coordinate I put together; unsure if I am truly expressing myself or some style I am trying to emulate. I would say that I am very susceptible to outside fashion suggestion: if I spend a lot of time looking at Harajuku street style, I want to dress like that; if I watch bad reality TV shows I want to wear tight bandage dresses and chunky bracelets; if I peruse lookbook I'm all about Peter Pan collars and printed leggings.
I find it strange that I am having this struggle with my closet lately. First of all, I own a LOT of clothes: I rent a two bedroom apartment just so I could turn one of the bedrooms into a closet. Most of it is vintage, stuff that I have scooped up at the Good Will outlet... the only thing I ever really splurge on is shoes. My closet represents every style, but a constant for me has definitely always been PINK and BLACK, the two colors I find myself consistently gravitating towards.
But the reason I find it strange is that I am at a point in my life where I am actually super certain about who I am and what I want from life. I'm more secure, self aware, and motivated than I have ever been before - so why this crisis identity with my clothing?
In a brief comment conversation with the effortlessly chic Orchid Grey, I feel like I may have worked a few things out (but it doesn't make it any EASIER for me!)
I possess duality in my personality, which is best explained by my past and upbringing. I was born and raised in a tiny, tiny town in Alaska called Soldotna, which had no more than 6,000 people. I lived at the end of a gravel dirt road, overlooking the swamp with the Kenai river and the mountains in the distance. I spent my childhood fishing, four wheeling, riding horses, respecting nature, and running amok barefoot. On top of that I was homeschooled, thus I thrust myself madly into the world of the whimsical: fantasy books, anime, comic books.
So as I matured those interests remained. My interest in fashion was ignited by Japanese Street Fashion magazines I downloaded on my 26k connection from livejournal, and I emulated that fashion all through highschool: I was either "Fruits" style or Visual Kei, depending on my mood. As I grew, I became interested in arts and culture and city living. My parents moved me to Idaho when I was a teenager, but I still experienced the agricultural world. I was an anomaly in my highly conservative and religious town with my ever changing hair and bizarre style. This was before websites like Lookbook.nu existed, and I mostly just dressed how I FELT LIKE IT... and in that teenage bliss I didn't really care what people thought about me.
Then I discovered indie music and my love of all things vintage. This resulted in floral dresses, long maxis, floppy hats. I wanted to look like I was walking out of Woodstock every day, but at times I still yearned for my crazy anime style.
Finally, when I was just shy of 21, I made the big move to Seattle - to a real city. The dreary days and the distant attitude of people isolated me, so I started wearing more and more black again. I definitely have an interest in all things "goth", and do not balk at dark lipsticks and delicate lace collars. I would say that this "goth" fashion has been a central theme to my style for my entire life - I remember smearing black lipstick all over my face at 13 in a desperate attempt to emulate Malice Mizer.
But here is the problem: Now all of those styles are jumbled up inside of me. Earthy/"mori" girl, nu-goth, Japanese street style/inspired by anime. I yearn for gentle florals and ripped up black tights simultaneously. I crave studs while wishing for rocking shoes.
And I just have no idea which direction I want to go towards.
I am certainly a fashion chameleon, but running a fashion blog or seeing the same people every day for some reason makes me feel the need to pigeon hole myself into a particular trend or style. For some reason it feels awkward or strange to dress all light and summery and airy one day while showing up rough and tumble punk rock the next.
The other struggle I am constantly facing is this: I am a curvy woman. I used to ABHOR my curves, but as I age I am starting to realize that no matter what I do they are not going away, and I can either whine about it and be miserable forever or learn how to work with it. However, this long journey to accepting my body doesn't mean that I have become careless: I know that some things don't look good at me. For example: my hips are incredibly wide, and if I wear leggings with just a t-shirt, it is exceptionally unflattering. Or the fact that despite my height of 5'10", I have quite short legs and thus wearing ankle length flat boots look ridiculously bad on me. And this PISSES ME OFF. I cannot EXPRESS to you my intense jealousy for lithe, lovely women who can wear whatever they want and look incredible in it. It adds an entirely new layer to my dressing in that I have to dress for wide hips and thick thighs (seriously - I'm built exactly like Nicki Minaj). It's ANNOYING that I can't just wear what I feel like, but that I also have to be thinking "well, will this flatter my stupidly curvacious body?"
Has anyone else ever experienced a fashion identity crisis like this? How on earth do I get over feeling like everything I wear is not me, but only a part of me?