Or, Playing Dress-Up With A Friend…
Having settled in to my own quiet style comfort zone, I’m not much inclined to veer too sharply outside of it, unless of course asked very nicely by someone whom I admire, respect and like very much, thank you. Which is how this project with Lisa of Privilege, which we’re calling “Under The Influence” came about.
During an emailed conversation about other bloggy issues, Lisa shared an idea she’d had about us each choosing an outfit for each other, something we’d like to see the other try that was outside of our usual style personas. We talked about how our friends and peers can influence our style, and whether they sometimes see something in us we don’t see in ourselves. I thought it sounded like a blast, and we started sending each other links to possible pieces. As soon as I saw what she had in mind, I took to the fainting couch. 😉 Not really, but I certainly had a challenge ahead of me.
First, the look she was going for is more tailored and well, a little glamorous. Think Helen Mirren, Lisa said. She’d envisioned light colors, and wide leg pants and a cropped boxy jacket, pretty much the opposite of my usual silhouette. And did I mention glamorous? I’ve always been in awe of those women who can do glamour having not being blessed with the Glamour gene myself. I’ll admit it was a little daunting. And the fit logistics were daunting as well. Because the intention was to be able to return most of the pieces afterward (the camisole and shoes are my own), alterations were out of the question. There are few brands that offer petite length pants, and even among those who did, the wide leg styles tended to swallow me. And jackets that look “cropped” on the models hit me at mid-hip. I tried several iterations of both pants and jacket before we hit on this combination that were close enough to Lisa’s original concept, and worked with my frame. (The funny thing is, we both wound up in the same jacket, in different colors.)
Beladora.com was kind enough to lend me these earrings for the needed splash of color (Lisa picked these out too) and they definitely brought the glamour to the party.
So with le monsieur in tow I set out to shoot “on location.” Meaning in public, with people driving and walking by. I’m self-conscious enough snapping outfit pictures in front of my house with just a few bemused neighbors about. I felt very out-of-body in these clothes, which I think ultimately worked to my advantage. Back when I used to perform at the Renaissance Faire, we had a saying, “nothing you do while in costume counts.” Lace up that bodice, stick a feather in your flat cap, and introverts become extroverts. Sometimes wearing Someone Else’s Clothes allows a part of you to surface that otherwise has no stage. I felt silly and uncomfortable for a few minutes, then Miss Diva showed up to help out. She doesn’t take herself too seriously; she knows it’s just a part. But she has fun with it. So I did too.
While I had a bit of fun on my imaginary photo call, ultimately it was a relief to slip back into my denim-clad comfort zone. Yes, a stylist would probably approve of these lighter colors and shapes for me, but the takeaway here is that looking “good” really only bolsters confidence if the clothes and look are aligned with how I see myself. Style is more than a matter of coloring and body shape, which is why we might not always “get” someone else’s style choices. And this adventure reinforced my sense that I’ve been on the right track the last couple of years after all.
But I think Lisa looks amazing, don’t you?
The runner-up jacket BTW, was this one. It’s a very nice little jacket if you like this style.
Earrings: Beladora.com (these were loaned and are still available for sale) // Jacket: Vince // Top: Adea “Bra-Friendly” Camisole, color Linen // Ring: Wendy Brandes // Pants: Talbots // Shoes: Fitzwell (no longer available in leopard, here’s a croc version).
Do you ever intentionally step out of your usual style persona? How does it feel to do so? Do you learn anything about yourself?
Linked up with: Share In Style at MIS PAPELICOS
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