Sunday, April 23, 2006

Carnivale de Couture ~Reply 1~

Today I did my laundry.

This is important because Danielle at Final Fashion hosted the Carnivale of Couture this week, and her prompt was about what favorite outfit people love to wear fresh out of the laundry.

I loved this question because it's so simple and honest. Does everyone not hit a moment of euphoria while doing their laundry, when they stumble onto a shirt or something they'd worn, and were reminded that they'd loved just wearing it, and then look forward to wearing it again? I do.

So this is the first time I will play along and participate in the Carnivale.

So while I was at the around-the-corner (public) laundromat, folding my hot, delicious clothes straight out of the dryer, I noticed what items drew my attention.

And I learned a little something about myself.

For the things I enjoyed and looked forward to wearing again were none other than a simple embroidered tshirt and (not together, but separately) my faux velour grey sweatpants that I sleep in. I have more expensive, exciting pieces, but these, at approximately $7.00 each, were what I enjoyed and looked forward to wearing.

Over the last few years I've faced an exodus from slouchy, comfortable, practical clothing to chic, sleek, sophisticated outfits. It was strange to realize that in my heart I look forward to wearing the boring, cheap, unfashionable items the most. Not that I don't adore wearing my cashmere sweater or don't always feel sexy in my distressed 7 For All Mankind jeans, but the things I choose to put on in the discretion of my own house are the things that truly reflect my preferences.

On the other hand, tonight I wore a dress out to dinner with some friends (more on this tomorrow) and afterward, I ended up grabbing drinks at the neighborhood bar in the same ensemble- a little overdressed. But I got more compliments than ever in this bar, being dressed too posh. Some from straight men, some from gay men, some from women. One of these comments was, "You are the most stylish person here." Others varied around "You've got such great style" or "I bet you're always this stylish." The word 'style' slammed through my humbled mind every single time. Ever since starting to blog, I've given my own style personality a much more objective consideration- and I liked to think I'd been being objective already! It made me think about how the choices I make are perceived by other people, and how that can beneficially affect my voice as a connoisseur of fashion.

I also mentioned to my friend C., while we were at the dive: "...I'm worried that girls in bars always think I'm checking them out. They think I'm scanning their bodies and I'm really thinking: shirt, bottoms, shoes... looking at everything they're wearing." She just said, "I know, I know." If only guys could claim they were noticing the brand of my sweater...

Overall, I guess that what it comes down to is that I like to dress up, and I like to feel comfortable. These two factors rarely ever mesh, but they can. Tonight was such a night. But while I sit here and type in my David & Goliath capri pajama bottoms and ribbed Roxy tank top and feel 100% cozy, I have to acknowledge that being overdressed and perfectly accessorized in the neighborhood bar made me feel wonderful, too. Overkill and underkill, the polarized ends, seem to be my comfort zones. It's an interesting thing to learn all in one day.

I'll still never understand girls in their BCBG or Juicy velour jumpsuits or sweat outfits though. Style and comfort don't have to be mutually exclusive, but slapping a brand name onto what is essentially down-time clothing certainly isn't the way to embrace both aspects. If you truly are conflicted- with your favoritism leaning toward leisure wear but your public comfort zone being dressed-to-kill, and your style as it should be is independent of how others think of you- try wearing your favorite pants, your favorite top, your best jewelry, and a kicky pair of shoes to the degree of comfort of your choice. This way you'll feel good, look sparkly, and know that the guy chatting you up isn't just interested in what's underneath your outfit (because you're not trying too hard to impress or 'appear sexy' which might attract even the guys you don't want). Your personality will shine through in your true favorite clothes. Plus you'll have the comfort to keep going all night! Everyone says confidence is a girl's sexiest asset- and this way you won't look like you've just come from the world's most high-maintenance gym.

For more information on the Carnivale of Couture, go here, to the Manolo's fabulous shoeblog where it all began, for information on the very first round and how to get involved.

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