My Style Journey…

I think the best way to describe my style is to explain how my style developed. I believe style and fashion is a form of personal expression, so I would say my style has been a journey, just like my development as a person has been.

Firstly, as a teenager, a time where personal style tends to most especially develop, I really didn’t have much of a personal style. I followed trends, wore whatever was popular, with a few personal likes thrown in. For example, I remember in the summer of 1998, khaki pants from the GAP were popular where I was, so I had a pair and wore them often. Nevermind that I felt awkward in those khakis because I felt it made me look heavier; I just wanted to keep critical classmates at bay.

I do remember during my junior and senior year two shirts from Mandee that could be best described as boho-like. I loved those shirts, but tried my best not to wear them too much or else those critical classmates would not be kept at bay.

You see, I didn’t have a lot of self-esteem in high school. In fact, I had zero self-esteem. I was bullied a lot, and blamed myself for it, thus leading to a self-loathing mentality. But the clothes I wore did not reflect that. Instead, I relied on clothes to make me feel better about myself. The prettier the shirt, for example, the better I would feel.

Yet, this didn’t always work. It wasn’t like if I wore a lovely shirt, I would like myself. If anything, the pretty clothes were like a costume, pretending to be something I wasn’t. It was like a role I was trying to assume, and I would do this for many years – wearing clothes to make me feel better about myself.

Yes, I would insert a few outfits that I personally liked, no matter the trends or what people said. Starting in high school, I loooooved skirts and dresses. I felt feminine that way and tried to wear them often. Too bad kids at school would mock me, saying I looked like a teacher (OK, I did), and that made me afraid to wear the clothes I wanted. Basically, I was too concerned with others thought about me, so I never really developed myself as a person. Instead of getting to know myself and explore myself, I was consumed with what people thought of me (or what I thought they thought of me) for many years – and I mean, many.

You might recall an earlier post where I explored my interest in goth sub-culture. It is true in junior high and high school, I admired some goth style, particularly the witchy and the Victorian-like styles. But I didn’t have to guts to explore that side of me for a number of reasons. Among them, fear of being bullied and too self-loathing to truly express who I was.

So, for my teens, 20s, and early 30s, I wore clothes that I felt I should wear, not what I wanted. Yes, I wore a lot of skirts and dresses. But I wore what was trendy, or I would wear something to make me feel pretty, to mask the ugliness I felt inside. Again, I felt the clothes I wore were making up for what I did not have or feel.

You could say, since style is personal and a reflection of one’s self, my style during this period reflected me running away from myself and trying to be something I wasn’t.

Things started to change when I was 31 and moved from Staten Island to Brooklyn. I was on my own for the first time, and free to get to know myself and develop a sense of self. I didn’t expect that to happen, but once it began, it was exciting. And a little scary at the same time. A new world had opened up, and a new me was coming to light. At this time, I remember wearing pastel sweaters with sequins on them, sparkly tops, and gold glittery flats. As in, outfits to make me feel pretty since I felt ugly inside.

But as I got to know myself, and became kinder to myself, I began to eschew these items. I started to go with plainer, simpler clothes, and to my thrill, I did not feel ashamed. I didn’t care anymore what people thought, and it was liberating. I also began to explore the boho-chic look, though not all of it would appeal to me. Some did, like peasant tops and Roman coin jewelry. But I wasn’t fully boho.

Eventually, I began to feel more comfortable in darker clothes, particularly black. But I was still hesitant. I was afraid of being teased for wearing too much black. I wasn’t ready to let that side of me out.

Then came a dark period in my life, so to speak. I was at this job from hell, that caused me to develop serious mental health issues. I began to embrace darker colors, and soon began to explore the goth subculture again. I became honest with myself that I should’ve been a goth as a teen, and felt like I missed out on a major development period in both style and as a person. After all, I had spent years and years trying to be something I wasn’t and not being honest with myself. So, where would I be now if I had done that whole goth phase when I was younger?

At the same time, the major mental health problems I went through left me with some shame and a sense of darkness in me. I felt like I had gone through some sort of an abyss in me, and it took a while for me to get over it. Basically, I was haunted by my mental breakdown, and it took a while for me to love myself again and not feel ashamed about what I experienced (Someday I’ll talk more about my mental health journey, but not right now).

But still, I could not see myself wear clothes that were not dark. It felt like I was slowly, very slowly, stepping into my own skin whenever I would buy clothes that were dark red, dark blue, gray or even black. I still felt uneasy, mainly because I felt I was far too old to be developing this side of myself. But then again, I believe in the saying, to thine self be true. And my truth was reflected in dark clothing.

Over this past summer, I re-embraced my penchant for dark clothes, most especially black. I could not ignore that I felt like I was truly in my skin whenever I wore black. It just felt – and feels – natural. It is who I am.

True, I do get self-conscious still. Even though I am embracing an all-black look more and more, I still tend to wear other colors – red, purple, gray, dark blue and even ivory. I choose to wear ivory sometimes because I believe in healing, and ivory/off-white/ecru/whatever reflects that belief. But I wear other colors because sometimes I like the clothing item I see, or I feel like I should “spice up” my wardrobe by wearing more than just black all the time. I don’t know if it is because I am worried what others say or think, but I suspect this is common among those who wear black all the time.  Like, perhaps we admit we could use a different color now and then, or there’s more to us besides black. Hmmm, that sounds like a blog post topic down the road!

Anyway, I am feeling more comfortable in my skin these days. If dark colors are it, then so be it. To hell with the opinion of others. I am more at ease with my style more so than I ever was, mainly because I have more inner peace and self-liking more than ever. And my clothing choices are a reflection of that.

And who knows where my style journey would take me? Will I be in black at age 50? Who knows?

Just who knows?

 

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How I Choose My Earrings

I’m a total earring addict, and have been since my early teens. I especially got more into earrings as I increased the number of piercings in my ears – 4 in each ear! I am picky on how I decorate my ears, even if no one really notices them but me. Since I am such an earring addict, I consider these to be part of my everyday outfits and part of my personal style.

I have three holes in each lobe, and one in each upper cartilage. For the latter, I always choose the larger stud earring since it needs to stand out, being alone up there in my ear.

For the lobes, I usually go by a hooked earring in the middle or a hoop earring, with a medium sized stud on one side and a smaller stud on the other side, normally the one closer to the face. In fact, it is always the one closer to the face. I rarely break from my earring styling, and find no reason to do so.

7.19.18 earrings 2
How I wore my earrings recently

In the past, I used to randomly pick earrings, usually trying not wear the same ones over and over. But recently, I started paying close attention to which earrings go with what. Call it an obsession, but to me it is like putting together an outfit. Everything must go with the other and the colors should also blend together.

To do that, I usually go with the most important earring of the bunch – the middle earring in the lobe. I choose that one first, and everything else mus match well with that one. Note the photos I have here; the earrings blend well together, for the most part.

I am also careful about which style I choose. I wouldn’t put two floral or two pearl or two zircon studs together for the day. That would mean there’s an overload of that particular style. I try my best to not mix ball studs on the same day, but since I have so many and sometimes not too many studs to choose from (more about that later), I just have to go with it. Then I tell myself very few people would notice my earrings, so get a life, LOL!

I also try my best to have everything match, including colors. Not easy, since I have more “middle” earrings than I do compared to the others. But I do what I can.

The reason why I don’t have too many studs to choose from is because, well, I do have more “middle” earrings than stud earrings. Sometimes I try to make an effort to buy more stud earrings, but then I wind up buying more bigger earrings for my middle hole.

I have three jewelry box drawer-full of earrings, and I see no reason to slow down. Yep, I am pathetic and need to chill.

So, that is how I dress my ears. I am earring obsessed and there is no sign of slowing down on it. Perhaps I’ll burn out with this obsession. One day. Someday. Yeah, it may happen.

 

Mismatched Earrings – Cool or Uncool?

Image found on The Fashion Tag Blog

I know I am very late with this topic, but I only heard about it recently and I do want to chat about it.

As some of you may know, supermodel Kate Moss recently declared matching earrings “uncool”. Mandy Moore was seen at this year’s Met Gala with mismatched earrings, as did Ivanka Trump while visiting Germany with her father. As someone who adores earrings and has multiple piercings, it did get me asking whether mismatched earrings are indeed a trend and one to follow.

Personally, I think mismatched earrings only look good at certain places. I think if you work at a uptight, professional atmosphere, mismatched earrings may look juvenile and unprofessional. But if you are out with friends or at a party, sure! Go for it!

As for me, I really don’t think I’ll be wearing mismatched earrings anytime soon. I am too much of a neat freak to wear mismatched earrings, and besides, it can look sloppy if you don’t pick the right earrings to mismatch. Take Charlize Theron at this year’s Oscars for example. She wore dangled diamond earrings, but one was shaped like a pear while the other was shaped like a heart. That’s totally fine. But if she were to have worn a dangled pearl earring with one of the diamond earrings, I think she would’ve done the mismatched poorly. As for Mandy Moore, it looked like one of her earrings lost their bottom part.

So, if you choose to go mismatched, make sure you pick the ones that do sort-of match anyway. Pick a fraternal twin to one of your twins rather than an identical. Or, stay identical! You’d look more put-together that way, depending where you go.

 

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! 😁