I enjoy experimenting with new style trends, though I’m probably the furthest thing from a fashionitsa — I usually only buy one or two “trendy” pieces each season and even still, I tend to prefer my favorite old comfy clothes. A colleague even once pointed out that the classic “Alexandra style” is a striped top with a cardigan. I’ve been told my glasses are somewhat distinctive, too.
While I’m not quite sure what’s so unique about a striped shirt and dark-rimmed specs, I am certain that my go-to pants are completely unremarkable. They’re just an old pair of well-loved jeans that are a size too big and in need of a few patches.
But despite their imperfections and old age, they’re my favorite — every thread of their worn-in, stretched-out, faded glory (pun intended.) I’m pretty protective of them too, because I know I can’t get another pair; Target discontinued their Mossimo brand, much to my chagrin, so when it comes time to upgrade my jeans collection I’ll have to look elsewhere. (This is something I regularly mourn, because Mossimo jeggings + tee shirts were my all-time favorite. Sigh. Cue the five stages of grief.)
Back to my point about (not) being a fashionista…
I didn’t used to embrace my boring jeans quite so much. In fact, I felt quite a bit of pressure to keep up with the Jones’ style. I’d buy clothes that were “in” even if I didn’t love them, but after bringing them home and getting dressed, I’d find myself feeling kind of yucky. Some of the most popular cuts and shapes don’t complement my own body so well, and I’d find myself frustrated and preoccupied with my clothes. All day. I’d be adjusting, pulling, cinching, or sucking it in to be more comfortable, only to come home and put on comfier clothes. I’d even be frustrated with my body at times, blaming myself for the fact that trendy jeans didn’t complement my own unique genes.
I finally realized that the amount of time and energy I’d spent criticizing my body, pulling down shorts and shirts that wouldn’t sit right, and feeling uncomfortable and frustrated with clothes that weren’t cut for me was not worth any sort of positive feelings I’d garner from being “trendy.” Once I realized that stylishness doesn’t do much for my self-esteem, I gave up on buying the latest fashions and decided to stick with what made me feel good.
Realistically, it doesn’t make any sense to force ourselves into clothes that don’t fit just so we can try to feel fashionable. (At the end of the day, “fashion” doesn’t even really make us feel better! And if it does, the feeling is fleeting.) The distraction that results from discomfort ends up draining the quality of our lives rather than empowering us to live more fully. When I’m focused on a waistband that’s too tight or a top that looks fresh but doesn’t keep me warm, I’m not living the fullest, most purpose-driven life. On the other hand, when I dress in a way that feels good and complements my own unique shape and size, I’m set free to focus on things that are way more important than being en vogue.
” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. “Proverbs 31:30
Do you find yourself struggling with fashion trends? How do you dress to live your best?
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