I decided to do something different with my latest Eve Convention. I decided to dress in a more business casual model. Normally, I toss on whatever comes to my hands. Jeans and loose t-shirts with a pair of my beloved Vibrams. I pull my hair back into a bun at the base of my skull and I stride out into public knowing I am clothed and violate no laws.
I’ve never much worried about my appearance. I never desired clothing. I didn’t wear makeup until I was in my mid twenties. I often blamed this on the fact that I went to private school until I was fourteen. I never developed a sense of fashion.
However, that is but an excuse. Many people who go to private school develop a sense of fashion. I just never had one. I’d irritate my mother until she left the store when she tried to take my shopping. I remember her frustration that I had to pick another color besides black or blue. I branched out to gray. It was not because I was goth or trying to be rebellious. I recoiled from pastels and bright colors. Later, I came to understand that a lot of it had to do with my not wanting to bring attention to myself. Blend in, be unremarkable, that is the safe way to go about things.
When I was first planning to go to Iceland for my first CSM summit in 2014, I told my husband that I needed dress shirts. He asked why and I informed him that I was going into a business environment and I wanted to dress well. He shrugged and went with me and I gathered a handful of button down, shirts that I paired with jeans. I also applied a light layer of makeup. Enough to brighten the eyes and make everything look a little bit more pulled together.
I decided to take this look to Vegas. I believe that it is because I don’t feel casual about my CSM position. I also wanted to look nice for the potential attention. It was not quite vanity. It was more a desire to avoid sneering or the surprise that my appearance brought. I don’t know what people expected of me. My dowdy, plainness is not it.
It has also been a season to experiment. I’m a bit behind by ten or fifteen years in discovering myself and discovering my look. I wiggled my blue painted toes in my open toed sandals and strode out into public.
There is something deeply depressing in the fact that people treat you differently when dressed for business. Hawkers of naked girl cards ignored me. Casino security greeted me and passed light weight pleasantries. And something happened that has never happened before. I was told that I looked nice.
What a fraud I felt. It came to a head on Friday as I slumped on the bed and told my husband I had lost the courage to wear the skirt I had purchased. It is a frothy thing of lace layers in a burlesque style. It is knee length in the front and floor length in the back. It flows. It is like nothing I have ever worn. And, at the end of the day, I wasn’t able to bring myself to wear it.
My weight isn’t where I find it acceptable. It is my own fault and I blame nothing else. It makes me picky about what I wear. Mixed with the fact that I’ve never loved skirts and dresses, I felt foolish and ridiculous. I’d watched an endless stream of women trot by in tiny butt length skin tight dresses and sky high heels. I was still not in fashion and while I was okay with that I found my courage had deserted me.
“I’m a fraud,” I told my husband.
“That isn’t how it works,” he told me.
I’ve always found clothing shallow. I look at the women who shove their overly abundant bodies and bellies into skin tight clothing with a puzzled air. I don’t care that they are wearing the latest fashion. I’ve just never understood wearing clothing that didn’t fit. Beyond that, wear what you want. I wish we had a broader sense of fashion. These days it is tights and little dresses. It is boring and repetitive and it must be hard to escape from a car and run through a forest if one found themselves in that situation. Beyond that, who cares what others wear?
Yet, my experiment tells me that people do. I may not care to my hearts content but the world is different depending on the cloth you cover yourself in. And that left me rather depressed and extremely sad as well as more than a little bit lost. I feel as if I twisted my ankle on the path of discovering myself and now I sit in the middle of the road with a broken shoe. Do I fix it? Or do I take it off and walk barefoot without a care?