I enjoy being a stylish girl. I really do. But I find that I am always a little slow with catching up to whatever the newest “look” is. When flat ironed hair came “in” about 12 years ago, I was still getting spiral perms. When pointed-toe shoes came in, I was still loving my snub-nosed clogs from 2 seasons before. And when belts made a huge come back, well, I’m still getting used to them- I currently only own one and I’m not convinced I’m wearing it right.
I have to really watch how people are wearing the latest look and study it and watch blog outfit posts to gain the confidence to try it. I think I lack an innate sense of style, so I mimic others. I would have been kicked off Project Runway immediately. (which would have been fine with me because there seem to be unnecessarily high levels of drama involved in every episode…..)
As a teenager, I could disguise this lack of style awareness by spending large amounts of time shopping and paying attention to others. When I first had babies, I went through a period of not really caring about staying current in fashion, because I just figured, “oh well, I’m a mom now and that doesn’t matter”. Then when I was suddenly single again, I got concerned about how “dated” I looked and how that might affect “dating”. I got remarried and have spent my late 20’s through late 30’s trying to figure out what my style is, and how to be current without being too young or too trendy. I’m too busy to spend hours trolling the internet or reading magazines. If I had to give my style a label it might be “cute and girly meets classic off the clearance rack” I find myself asking:
at what age do I stop wearing actual shorts? can I shop at Forever 21? Is it really ok for my bra straps to show a bit from under my tank top straps? How long are we going to be “belting” because I don’t want to buy a bunch of belts if they’ll be “out” in a season or two. Are skinny jeans already out, or can I keep wearing them?
I realize none of these thoughts are very deep or particularly life altering. They are simply reflection of the fact that I have never outgrown the desire to be lovely or stylish. What I have (thankfully) learned is that my acceptability and worth cannot be fulfilled by achieving either desire. I listened to some friends today talking about the struggle to feel acceptable in their own skin, after babies or age catching up with them or simply because they are overweight currently. It struck me as we all talked that being lovely is a good desire- but unless you believe you are already seen in that light be the One who will always love you perfectly, insecurities will surface. One of the good gifts of aging is the greater acceptance of myself for who God made me to be- small, curvy, girly. And style challenged.