Fashion Forward

I most often write about the things God is doing and speaking in the quietest places of my heart.  But, today, there's just something I need to confess.  And it seems loud and not very spiritual at all.  But, it has to come out.

I am a fashion mess right now.

I'm not really sure how this happened.  For most of my life, I've been able to look around the room, take stock of the styles and trends represented, and think, "Yep.  Smack in the middle.  Not too far ahead, like a Paris runway model, but not far enough behind to be reppin the Amish runway style."  And I was good with that.  "Just enough to keep up" was kind of my motto, but not so vested that I had to buy a complete new wardrobe next season when whatever current trend that was all the thing became the thing that wasn't the thing anymore.

But, something has happened.  It's not that I'm the Amish runway model, exactly.  I'm just confused.  It's like I went to sleep, woke up, and can't make sense of my closet.  Do my jeans work anymore?  Am I supposed to always roll them?  I did that already, in the eighties, but my old tight-roll method doesn't seem to apply here.  And the boots.  I had just gotten used to the tall boot thing, but now they're short.  Some with the wedges, some with the fringe, but none, apparently, with socks.  So now there's a little gap of skin between my boot and my jeans, which is, by the way, the same crisis I experienced when Jennifer Garner rolled out low rise jeans to American culture on "Alias" and suddenly I looked decidedly much more Amish because I was terrified to follow suit.  First of all, there was the fact that while she rolled it out, she didn't roll out, if you know what I mean.  I, on the other hand, was pretty sure there would be a good deal of rolling if I attempted it.  But, second, there was the other fear that people would see my skin.  And if they thought my face was fair complected, seeing the paleness that is my stomach was going to cause some serious blinding which I might in turn be sued for.  Which is exactly my new problem with that bare skin between my jeans and my boots.  It's white, people.  Really, really white.  Which means if I wear the popular black pants and equally popular black booties, my leg resembles a double stuffed Oreo.

And then there are the off the shoulder tops (we did that back in the "Fame" days of the 80s, too), the geometrical everything, and the necklaces that look strangely like my mom's twisty beads from back in the day.  I just have no idea what to do with all that.  I go shopping and try to buy an outfit that has the "look," and I end up going home with a tea towel and a mall pretzel.

Which is why I'm doing something I would never have done before.  I now subscribe to a service that ships clothes to my house.  It means I have a stylist.  Her name is Erin.  And she looks at my measurements and sends me things that fit.  And what's more, I try them on in my own closet, following her instructions with how to pair things, and strangely like every single thing she sends. 

And the crazy thing is when I look over her choices for me, I usually can't find a one that I would have picked up in the store.  Not a one.  And yet, Erin sends them to me, and they look fabulous.  

She is somehow able to discern the look I want (not necessarily trendy, but classically stylish) and piece together the puzzle of my wardrobe with just a couple of new things that really work. 

It's like she's able to see where I'm going and get me there without the hindrances of my own self-critiquing brain.

She's gifted, I tell you, gifted.  And lest you think other stylists would be equally as gifted, I'll let you know that the company once tried to change my stylist and the entire shipment was such a disaster that I wrote the equivalent of War and Peace, Fashion Edition in one epic email until they called me and told me Erin would be my stylist again, and forever be my stylist.  I'm serious.  I'm pretty sure they have now doubled Erin's pay and given her a corner styling office just so she'll never leave them for fear of receiving Moby Dick, Fashion Edition in their inbox.

I'm not going to tell you which styling service I use because I'm afraid you'll think I'm getting paid to write a promo for them, but I will share this with you, my one deep and slightly spiritual thought for this shallow rambling. 

How many successful options have I passed by over the years because I was confident they weren't for me and would never work?  How many times have I missed the fabulous in favor of the safe and tried and true?

I think the answer to that may be more than I'm comfortable admitting.

I am in fact quite uncomfortable when I think about the times I've refused to try something a lot more important than new jeans for fear that I would look foolish or find out that I'm not good at it.  The times that I've censored myself from success because I was just downright afraid.  The times I've refused to follow the bold longings because I wasn't sure where they would lead.

I wish Erin had a service for that.  But, since she doesn't, I'm going to have to listen to another stylist.  One who knows me better than I know myself.  One who doesn't care what I look like when I'm trying something new.  And One who is confident He can get me where I'm going, if I'll trust Him.

MindyGrowing, Messy, StyleComment