Monday, September 18, 2006

Are You Out There?

A few of you have contacted to ask where the Style Bard has gone! Well I thank you for your concern.

I am, seemingly, alive and well. Just in a time of transition (we all go through these), working more hours per week than ever before, plus trying to follow everyone else's fashion week blogging without getting too jealous of their ability to be there in the tents in person. This is the most closely I've ever paid attention to Fashion Week, and I have to confess, it's a little overwhelming- not only to seek and see the collections posted, but to also try and take in what the bloggers I revere have to say about them all.

Today I am here to regale you with tales of my latest fashion crisis: over-dressing.

I have to confess, I absolutely envy every woman I see who manages to look sexy and pulled together, yet like she's not even trying. I just cannot do it. I envy the cotton top and denim bottom that make a woman look amazing- and yet like she can take you in a race, on the spot. Because she's comfortable, too. That bitch.

When I actually get a chance to shed my work uniform, I tend to choose to go somewhere upscale. Or at least somewhere you might be expected to dress as such. Lately I haven't been wasting my precious free time sloughing around thrift stores, flea markets, Starbucks, or even the movies. None of my old local haunts. (Besides, I feel old at many of these places, compared to the teenage majority. Apparently I am a grown up now. Or something.) Even when simply dining out, I don't want to go to any chain that resembles my own places of employment. It has to be somewhere nice.

And everytime I leave the house I feel the need to dress 'up.' As though to show the world that I can, too, look good outside of my work apron and ponytail. My attempts to dress become a memo: Dear World: My hair is long by the way, and curly! I actually do not smell like fried food. And also, I have a waist and hips. Thank you for paying attention. Love, Bard.

For someone to whom style and appearance is so important, work can really crush my spirit. And also to incite it to enormous overcompensation. Because when I go out, everything has to be perfect. Makeup, outfit, accessories, shoes! and even scent. A long, full shower of scrubbing, and shaving- no unsightly body hair anywhere please, (gross).

Yesterday I was invited to join a friend at a local dive for some drinks, and getting ready took over an hour once I got home from work. For many people, 'jumping in the shower' to meet someone is a hasty process ending in jeans and a tank of some kind. Not for me. It involves changing earrings. It involves eyeliner. It involves laundry. And all of this so that I can look 'casual' or the ever-elusive 'effortlessly chic.' Effortless, my foot. By the time I met my friends they weren't sure I was even coming anymore. And of course when I arrived, the other women were in a) jeans and a black top, or b) jean skirt and a green halter top. I was also in a denim skirt and a white GAP tshirt. That took me for-ev-er to put together. I just have issues.

Yes, I like to look good. My clothes express the aesthetic of my personality; I put myself out there before I even say hello. I believe firmly in the importance of a first impression. Hell, I like to be complimented. And I enjoy my reputation as someone with a sense of style.

But there is a line and I fear I tend to cross it. When I went to a wine-tasting last week everyone was in very casual daywear and I was in my nicest black trousers and a silky top. I didn't mind standing out when Sexy Corporate Hunk was nearby, but when I wanted to just dip in and grab a taste of the accompanying bruschetta, it was the women in sensible shoes, khakis and clean, casual tops that beat me to the bread line.

It's a top and some bottoms, Bard. Why does everything have to be a high-heeled humdinger of an ensemble for you? I must be trying to overcompensate. For when I'm lazing around in my pajamas or a robe at home. Or when I'm sweaty and running around at work in ugly sneakers. But in the fashion industry, it's always the designers who dress down in blacks, the makeup artists who wear barely any at all, the hair stylists who have their hair in a bun. Everyone simple, simple, simple because they have nothing to prove; they flaunt their talent elsewhere. Why must this Bard feel unsettled in her appearance at this point in her life? Why does she feel the need to impress perfect strangers with her color coordination abilities and balance in 4" boots?

I do not know, my friends, but I'm working on paring down. Quite frankly, I have better things to do with those hours lost in my closet. Like getting back into gear with my beloved blog.


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Stylefinder said...

I have the exact same problem...not so much with over- dressing (okay maybe a little) as with spending ultimately too much time thinking about what I'm going to wear....

I just really enjoy finding a new way to wear an old garment that doesn't get much use anymore...

Cara said...

Paring down? But how will you spend an hour figuring out what to wear before bringing me in to spend an hour trying to figure out what you should wear before we decide nuts to this, let's have some wine?