Nearly ComplementaryTuesday, January 17, 2017
Since I've been dressing myself, my life has been marked and measured by the clothing I've worn.
In adolescence, there were lots of olive green tops, overalls, and carpenter's jeans-- a style shaped by a decided effort to fit in. When my efforts at normal proved futile, the next era (teenagerhood) was spent trying to stand out with a dark abundance of black lace, vinyl, combat boots, spiked collars, and layers of inexpertly applied black makeup.
Tired of all the doom and gloom of high school, my early college days saw a brief transitional era of ripped jeans and dreadlocks and a struggle to forge my very own style identity. Unable to craft a truly satisfying look on my own, I began looking elsewhere for inspiration-- all it took was a 40s polka dot dress to usher in the next era of personal style (my 20s) and start my long romance with vintage clothing.
I have few regrets about any era in my personal style history.
Each section of time is directly shaped by what came before and directly shapes what follows. Without the struggles of adolescence, there would be no angsty goth years, without all the black, there would be no (slightly cringey) dreadlocks, without those locks, there would be no vintage, and without vintage.... well, the future is still unclear but the evolution is ongoing.
We cannot move forward without looking back; we cannot celebrate the present nor the future without acknowledging the past.
My closet, as it stands, stretched between NY and NC, is something akin to a geologic record with each garment like a layer of rock strata, representing each era of my fashion history, molded and shaped by the events of my life.
As time passes, layers of my fashion strata become compressed, reduced to make way for the garments of present day. If you look hard enough, you can still find evidence of each era-- a blouse here, a sweater there, with a heavy helping of my goth years (the largest preceding era), standing as a shiny, black layer of obsidian in the record of my life.
Lucky for me, and unlike rock columns of geologic record, my record has yet to solidify meaning that not only can I acknowledge the past, I can borrow from it.
This outfit pays homage to a couple different eras in my fashion history: the sheer black blouse from that era of all black (henceforth referred to as the obsidian era-- yes, I quite like that), the patterned Avon skirt from early on in the era of vintage and the sweater and turtleneck from late in the era of vintage, perhaps later to be referred to as the thrift store era.
Together, all these elements combine to form what might represent an entirely new style era or are perhaps components of an outfit of passing fancy-- time will tell.
Purple sweater-- thrifted, Monsoon
Goldenrod turtleneck-- thrifted, Twenty One
Sheer black blouse-- lux
Skirt-- thrifted, Avon
Tights-- Angelina via Amazon
Putting this outfit together, I was inspired by the mix of patterns in my last post, and a determination to wear the sheer black blouse and still look seasonal.
Though I had put together the outfit on hangers, once I had it on, I began to doubt my choices of nearly complimentary colors and tried on nearly every other sweater and jacket in my closet. Eventually, I ended up back at my original pairing, finding the contrast of colors much more pleasing than just throwing on a black jacket and calling it done (as would have previously been my inclination).
I wore this ensemble to Wilmington to run some errands and to get a much needed (and much dreaded) haircut-- my first professional cut in over a year!