Lately I haven't been feeling myself. I know a lot of that definately stems from stress and worry, but there's also been something little niggling away.
Recently I have felt like I'm frumpy and undesirable. It started with a woman I work with saying to me, 'Oh you're carrying Nanna's bag' with a little nasty smirk. While I was wearing my colourful 60s wool wiggle dress, she remarked that she used to have something like it when she was young, but wasn't much fussed on it. She also asked why I was wearing a housewife dress another time.
Only this weekend someone said to me while I admired a cute floral dress with fitted torso and two frills running from shoulder to waist with a tie waist at the back that I dressed 'conservative'. It was insisted that it meant nothing other than that I don't show much skin. The irony is of course that calling me conservative felt like a bit of joke. I'm dressed so completely opposite to my peers, so far from their tank tees, coloured bra straps on show, muffin tops (an accessory all on their own) and tattered jeans (to the ballet) that it seems almost an insult.
That same person, only the weekend before, insisted that my Alice McCall dress was their favorite I had worn because it showed a bit more skin. That dress should make me feel marvellous, fashionable and glam, I admit, just like it did when I wore it to the Coco Avant Chanel premiere last year, but it doesn't suit me at all anymore to the point I am considering selling it.
A few weeks back of course, a male I know said to me, 'It's ok to dress 2010 not 1940 you know' after a speech about how showing some cleavage wouldn't hurt. Aside from, obviously, my long-standing view that not showing your assets is much more attractive (thank you Joan Holloway for holding up this view in the Sterling Cooper office), it made me feel overwhelmingly upset. It shouldn't. The 1940s were a very lovely period for clothing, thank you very much. But ouchies it was all the same. Even my parents get in on the act, criticising my choice in hats, and especially in clothes. Only a fortnight ago, my Dad asked if my Gran was going to get her dress back, and if I hung out with any other grannies.
Suddenly these comments has compacted. The modern dress I felt so uncomfortable in was welcomed, and the clothes that feel like second nature, in fact, like second skin, make people a little derisive. People aren't just criticising the way I dress, they are criticising me, whether they realise it or not.
I will clarify that I don't mind standing out. I don't mind being different, I like it when people say to me, 'That's a nice dress/skirt/shirt/belt etc' and I can feel grateful to say, 'Oh it's vintage. I picked it up on etsy/at this store'. But it seems this theme is cropping up so often that it has really shaken my sense of faith in my own wardrobe and style. I suddenly feel like that awkward teen that knew school mufti day was coming up and knew in an instant that I had no sense of style, and no idea how to look 'good'. I always ended up in random pieces that were hastily bought the day before, with no clue whether they even worked. Lately I feel like things have really taken my joy out of dressing, and what is the point of fashion if you can't enjoy the ritual of dressing?
Anyway, I am sorry to be giving you this spiel, but of everywhere to say this, where more appropriate than here, among friends? I am grateful for the support of my fewmreaders, and the vintage blogging community which reaffirms that it's ok to be different and to be yourself. Hopefully, soon, I will feel like myself again.
Love WTP x
(As a side story, I wore this outfit to a fashion parade a few weeks back. I love the dress the most, who knew a cheapy dress would just keep on being so fabulous and timeless? Dress: SES - Vintage Beaded Necklace: Tresors - 60s silver charm bracelet: Thrifted - Bag: Collette Accessories)