Long Time No Blog! – My Style These Days

Well, hello there!

It’s a long while, right?

Well, I am still here, and I’m still loving fashion and evolving my style. I’m still photographing my style on Instagram and I recently restarted my Poshmark account, where I am selling items to clear out my closet, as well as start some kind of a business.

As for my style, I’m starting to get more comfortable with it. I still am drawn to dark colors, such as black, black, and black! LOL. But I still like dark red, gray, purple, dark blue and so on. The only lighter colors I enjoy are cream/ecru/ivory/what-have-you, and some shades of red. I enjoy the former because I believe in personal healing, and that color to me represents healing. I like red because I’ve been told that I look good in red, and I have to admit some shades look amazing.

Does that mean I’ll be back wearing pastels and medium colors anytime soon? I doubt it. The other day I work a pale blue turtleneck, and it felt so odd. I don’t think it was because I hadn’t worn such a pale color in seemingly eons; I think it was because it simply is not me. I feel at peace and in my skin with darker colors. And that’s that.

Am I still exploring my gothic side? Not really, not anymore. It is mainly because that’s a phase that I missed out on in my teens, and now in my mid-30s, it doesn’t make much sense to explore that part of me. However, I do adore gothic jewelry and some goth fashions. So I consider myself a semi-goth. I believe being goth is a lifestyle, and it is not a lifestyle I can do, at least not now. The reason why I felt so interested in exploring the goth lifestyle previously, was because I was going through a dark, hellish period in my life. I was also getting to know my inner demons and inner darkness. But now I’m at peace with all of that and don’t feel a need to indulge in them.

That being said, I do love the Corp Goth style, and seek to emulate it. I’ve always liked the sophisticated, professional look, so by adding dark colors and some gothic jewelry, I guess you could call me a Corp Goth or a mature goth.

But what about my other style sense? I mean, I love the boho look, even though I’m not entirely carefree and could never wear certain colors. For me, the boho style represents inner peace which I strive for. So by combining Corp Goth with Boho, I’ve got my own style coming on.

And let’s not forget vintage! I’m starting to really like vintage jewelry and some clothing. It’s a good thing that the 90s are considered vintage these days, LOL!

So what is my style? It is Boho/Corp Goth/Vintage.

Yeah, that’s it! 😁

My Interest in Goth Subculture

My first exposure to the goth world was when I was in junior high. There was a this lone, quiet girl who didn’t seem to have too many friends. But she drew a lot of attention because of her unconventional outfits. She wore black everyday, for one. She once wore red velvet pants, and another day, wore pants with white skulls on them. She also wore thick dark eye makeup and dyed her hair black. This was all in eighth grade.

When I first saw her, like many, I was scared and repelled by her. She was a freak to me, and I wanted her to go away. Yet, at the same time, I was intrigued by her and her outfits. I found myself wondering what she would wear each day, and sometimes I liked what I saw – such as a lacy black top or a fuzzy off-shoulder top. It was unusual and daring, and I slowly was fascinated with that type of style.

I could never dare to dress like that, though. This was junior high, the epitome of childhood bullying. Dressing goth like that was like social suicide. I could never dress so differently from everyone else. Plus, my parents were rather strict and wouldn’t support me expressing myself in such a way. You can say my self-expression was repressed. It would be for quite a long time.

A year later, a few more kids began dressing in that “rocker” type of style. Only they were more grungy and Marilyn Manson-like. Meaning, they either looked dirty or downright scary. There was no way I was going to emulate them. Besides, Marilyn Manson was huge with this crowd, and I was not interested in the music. Too loud, too hateful, too scary, too much of a lot of things. I was turned off.

However, I became so-so friends with one of the girls in this crowd. She was cool, in the sense that she literally did not care what other people thought of her. Totally. Honestly. And it was really amazing to witness her brush off, or even laugh off, verbal and physical harassment from the other kids. Adolescence is such a difficult time, and wanting to be accepted is a major part of the period in life. Many at that age wants everyone to like them, so to see someone bold enough to laugh off brutal comments was admirable.

I moved later that year, and at my new high school, there were some goth types, though they were more like metalheads when I look back on them. There were a few who were genuine goths, and I met a few of them. Again, they were so cool in their insistence on being different. But I was far from ready to not worry about what other people thought of me.

Still, my interest in the goth subculture was there. I remember when Madonna’s “Frozen” video came out, with her in that goth attire. I watched and rewatched that video so many times because I was so intrigued by her outfit. I knew then I was drawn to the romantic, mysterious side of goth. I wasn’t into the vampirish, dark metal kind of goth because it seemed too hard for me. But the other kind? Wow, I used to daydream about dressing like that.

But I was having low self-esteem issues, and suffering from depression for most of my teen years. In fact, all of my teen years saw me having low self-esteem and depression. I had zero confidence and a poor sense of self. Years of being bullied and given poor guidance in life led to deep confusion and self-hatred. I started to dress in a way that shaped an image of what I thought I should be. I wore pastels and bright colors. I wore outfits that had sequins, glitter, and lace on them. I wanted to feel pretty because I felt so ugly inside.

I would have this mindset, and dress like this, during my teens and my twenties.

Then, when I turned 30, things started to change for me, as it wonts to happen when people turn 30. I began to discard my pretty clothes, and began focusing inward. I began dressing plainly and simply. I became more self-aware and more self-confident. My self-esteem improved.

With that, my interest in dark clothing and even goth fashion began to spark in me. I was becoming more honest and more comfortable with myself. And I had to be honest that dark colors were like a bright light for me.

During all this, however, I would face challenging moments and dark situations that exposed to me a different side of me. I began to understand that my mental issues would never leave me, and I would have to manage them rather than try to banish them. I began to make peace with my inner darkness, which included depression, mania, anxiety and pessimism. As I did, I felt more drawn towards goth attire. It was as if dark clothing, especially black clothing, helped me embrace my own inner darkness. Wearing black was a like a filter for my darkness so it could come to surface for the rest of the world to see. I could not go on wearing pastels or bright colors. Dark clothing was it. Whether it was black, gray, burgundy, purple, dark blue or red, I felt at home in my own skin finally.

But not all the colors I wear are dark. Because I believe in healing and inner peace, I also wear ivory or cream colors. I could never wear actual white, so I stick to something a couple of shades darker. Maybe someday I’ll wear magenta, but not yet.

As I explore my goth side, I find myself enjoying the jewelry, the clothing, the music most often liked by goths, and some of the entertainment. However, I realize there is so many facets to goth subculture. There’s literally dozens of subcultures within the subcultures. There’s corporate, bohemian, punk, cyber, vampire, and so much more! It’s a bit tough to find where I place. You could say I am corporate goth because I have a professional job. There’s also a good chance that I’m boho goth because I love boho clothes, though in dark shades! Then there’s the Victorian-romantic look…

Either way, I will find my path into the goth world. I’ll soon figure out what it means to be a goth – for me, at least. All I know is that I have been drawn to this world for a long time, and I’m finally embracing that fact. I am exploring myself and learning more about myself. As I develop, so does my personal style.

To be continued….

 

Makeup = Warpaint

“I wear makeup not to attract but to repel.” ~ Shirley Manson

That is what the lead singer of one of my favorite bands, Garbage, said in a recent interview with Billboard magazine. Shirley Manson has always worn edgy makeup (though she has clearly lightened up – pardon the pun – over the years) and I always thought she looked fabulous. I remember admiring her makeup from Garbage’s classic videos Only Happy When It Rains and Stupid Girl.

So, to read about her reasons for wearing makeup, I felt like a lightbulb went off in my head. I have been exploring my own personal makeup style over the last year, and I couldn’t figure out the philosophy behind it. Well, OK, I could to some degree. After being harassed and hit-on by repulsive men, I decided to wear black eyeliner as a way to claim my looks. The eyeliner became like warpaint as I went on each day and faced a world filled with men with no respect for women. Me wearing eyeliner was me saying, “this is mine, not yours.”

It’s funny how some men think they own women. No matter how liberal and secular they are, some men really do treat women like property. Our faces are theirs to own. Our bodies are theirs. Our sexuality is theirs to taunt or play with. It’s scary and repulsive. So, for me to put on black eyeliner is me saying, “This is mine. I’m ready to fight for what is mine.”

Lately, I’ve been getting into lipstick. For a while, I wore pink colors and some red, but wasn’t fully comfortable with the colors. But when I read Shirley’s comment, I realized a good a reason to wear lipstick. I’ve been leaning towards bold colors as a way of being bold about my face. It’s mine, not someone else’s. It gives me more confidence in facing the world as it is.

Behold my pics from Instagram…