The weather made this round, shall we say, challenging. Most days started off gray and chilly, which limited my options to…jeans. If I didn’t have Dress Your Best to think about, I probably would have spent the whole week in the same pair of jeans, moping about Pacific Northwest weather and how it would never be sunny ever and can we please move to New Mexico. It would have been lousy. Luckily, I was encouraged to be creative, which brightened my outlook on life considerably.
Scarf: TJ Maxx
Jeans: Nordstrom Rack
Wedges: Lifestride, from DSW
I know, it’s kinda All Wedges All The Time with this challenge. I thought these would be the best choice to offset the heavy winteryness of the jeans. Actually, I discovered that it’s way easier for me to style these jeans with summery shoes, wedges and sandals in particular. I always felt a bit like Sandy from “Grease” wearing them with pumps, and I don’t like the look of skinnies with sneakers on me, so sandals appear to be the best option. I wanted to keep the rest of the outfit summery as well. The scarf brings the focus more up to the face, and it saved me from having to resort to a cold-weather cardigan to stay warm.
Then, of course, it started pouring and all my attempts to be summery were shut down. I wound up having to wear a coat and my pirate boots when I went out. At least the skinny jeans got to leave the house, even though wearing them in public is still extremely stressful. My legs? Visible? In their entirety? Ack! Spotting two guys taking a picture of a girl’s yoga-pants-clad butt the day before didn’t help. And I wore them to Victoria’s Secret, no less. (Speaking of which, why do they have to stock all the really exciting stuff in the very front? Let us shop for sparkly bras in the back, in private, please.) As I said in the introductory post, I’ve never been really comfortable with my legs. I’ve spent most of my life in bootcut jeans that hide my knees and my skinny calves. Having this much of my shape visible is a little stressful, but I survived, and nobody made fun of me or wolf-whistled or paid any real attention to it anyway. And then I put a picture of it on the Internet to give them another opportunity, I guess.
Dress: Max Studio, from Nordstrom Rack
Tights: Hue, from Macy’s
yes, those wedges again
Belt: vintage via my grandmother
By now I was tired of jeans (it’s June! I should be in skirts every day!), so I decided to break out the tights from their seasonal resting place. Nothing draws attention to your legs like unnaturally-colored tights! And honestly, it’s cheating to wear a dress like this for these challenges because Max Studio jersey dresses are probably the most flattering thing in the entire world. See, there are curves! And a flattering neckline! (Believe it or not, I am wearing exciting eye makeup. But I’d been having enough trouble with these self-portraits that trying to get a picture of my eye just didn’t sound like fun.)
I don’t know why I’m comfortable showing my legs in tights (obnoxiously colored tights, too), but not in skinny jeans. Maybe it goes back to my default style being bootleg jeans – in my worldview, jeans and tights each give the leg a unique shape, and they shouldn’t overlap. Jeans shouldn’t show off legs like tights, according to my subconscious; jeans should hide legs. Plus, when I wear tights, I’m usually wearing skirts that hit at the knee, like this one. Those conceal my knees, which are my real area of insecurity.
I do enjoy wearing those peeptoe wedges with tights, though. It feels so pinup!
Dress: Old Navy
Earrings: from a market in England
Today was Day One of a two-day Internet outage, another questionable weather day, and the day the RSVPs were due for our wedding. No time for a full tripod setup – it’s flash-off and a mirror for today.
But I chose to do this challenge because I wanted a creative project that didn’t involve wedding decorations. Putting a little more effort into my appearance than I would have in other circumstances made a stressful day a bit more pleasant. In fact, if the weather had cooperated more, I probably would have done the full two weeks instead of just a few days. Feeling better about how I was looking made me more relaxed (with the exception of the skinny jeans), more confident, and, well, prettier. All good things.
So, what did we learn?
1. Other people aren’t thinking about your outfit as much as you think you are. I got no extra attention, negative or otherwise, for wearing the skinny jeans. No one raised disapproving eyebrows at my lace vest. Wear what you like because 99% of the time, no one will be bothered – and if they are, that shouldn’t bother you.
2. It’s hard for me to dress to draw attention to my eyes. It comes naturally to some gals, but it’s something I haven’t mastered, I guess.
3. I gotta learn to like my knees. They don’t appear to be changing anytime soon, so we’ll have to learn to get along.
4. Many problems can be fixed with a swirly jersey skirt. It’s like a stress ball for the soul.