I had a bit of a style black hole for a few years in my life. Even well into my late twenties, I kept receiving subtle and not-at-all-subtle messages that I should be more “girly”…to the point of people offering to take me shopping expressly to buy some dresses. Apparently slim ankle-length pants, metallic sandals, and a silk camisole are not appropriate attire for a bridal shower. (?!)
Honestly, I’ll never turn down a paid-for shopping spree, and I did find a few nice things that day, but the whole time I felt uncomfortable. Rather judged. And just…like my own style was somehow inferior to that of a “real” woman’s.
Today, I no longer wear any of the things my well-intentioned personal shopper so generously purchased for me. I now dress the way I like, and I feel incredible, because I feel like myself.
I have to admit that the impetus to unabashedly dressing as androgynously as I wanted was finding Lizzie’s Tomboy Style blog. She’s a talented curator and reading her content made me feel great! Reading it was inspiring, but it also quelled my need to continue seeking further inspiration for my own personal style. I stopped subscribing to fashion blogs en masse and got rid of half of my clothing that I felt…not like myself in (I was also pregnant at the time, which helped that impulse). After my son arrived I slowly began to collect clothing that felt like me, and I now rarely dress in anything that feels weirdly girly like I used to. Jeans, blazers, fedoras, shoes from the men’s department (and silk camisoles!)…this is my uniform that I love wearing. Even while painfully attempting to reclaim my body after a pregnancy, I at least could happily dress like myself. I’m embarrassed that it took external forces and 29 years of life for me to unashamedly define my own style, but it’s more than just the materiel. It’s the confidence to wear your persona as obviously as you’re wearing a baseball cap on your head.
That is what I was missing. No more.
Inspired by Lizzie, I started to curate a Pinterest board dedicated to all things tomboyish (including slingshots and skateboards). It’s still my favorite board (although the Lake House board is a close second). Through Pinterest, Ashley George found me. She is doing an incredible project called, succinctly, The Tomboy Project. She’ll interview and photograph a tomboy in each of the 50 states and compile her content into a book, and I am so happy she is well on her way to completing the project despite her Kickstarter campaign being unsuccessful.
Ashley, best of luck…and if you need a Pennsylvania representative, I hope you’ll ping me!