Thursday, June 04, 2009

Fashion Non-sense

I'm having a blast with What's Mina Wearing Today? I love how easily it all comes together for her. She's like a magnet and clothes are drawn to her and assemble themselves in interesting ways. Maya too has an easy cool, colorful style that's perfect for her.

I'm not saying I have no style or fashion sense. I think I just came to the conclusion a few years ago that it's too exhausting for me. And quite honestly, shopping for clothes weighs me heavy with unnecessary guilt. Being fashionable seems like an endless, worrisome and expensive pursuit and giving it up -- like jumping off a express train -- brought me relief. My style now waffles between workout-pant-cardigan casual and for dressier days, jeans-tshirt-cardigan glossed up a little. And flats. Heels begone! Molly says my outfits don't look totally complete until I’ve rolled up my right pant leg. I can’t have my pants getting caught in my bike chain! Aaahhh. I love being me.

But why is it such a long road to being yourself sometimes? I was the coolest dresser I knew, until high school started. Then I struggled. For a long time. It never crossed my mind then to keep it simple. The 80's and 90's were a bitch on keeping it simple.

The Christmas of 1970 was a fat one for us. There weren't many fat ones, but this was one was relatively plentiful. The presents I received that year allowed me more freedom to explore my early fashion sense. This picture gives you an idea that at three years old, I was on an ambitious path fashion-wise. It's hard to keep up with such trendsetting What-the-Fuckedness.
My elementary years were filled with Catholic school uniforms and frankly, I don't remember much else. Except when there's evidence that someone else dressed me. Like for this wedding circa 1973. I'm super thrilled about this look as you can tell. Or I'm wishing I was rocking that cool, plastic football helmet again. I love the socks though.But when middle school came my way in 1980, I was somehow on the top of my game. I shopped at the Salvation Army and garage sales because that's what I could afford and serendipitously I was fashionable. The original wave of punk was making it onto our scene and though I didn't feel moved to egg-white my hair into gravity-defying do's, I was inclined to self-sheer my bangs. I wore army-surplus parachute pants and aprons as accessories and brightly-patterned Nigerian woven skull caps. It was all aimless and rad. Here I am in 1981 at 14, I think, and it was just before I pierced my nose with an ice cube and a sewing needle which in 1981 was out there because even the punkers weren't too much into piercing yet. I self pierced my nose -- which took several excruciating attempts -- after I had gone to an African festival at UCLA. I couldn't get over how beautiful West African women were with head wraps and long patterned dresses and nose studs. I was a far cry from that with sun-bleached hair and a 60's vintage moth-eaten-but-still-awesome men's sweater shirt.>I wish I had more pictures from junior high, damn. I just found this one. I think it's from 1982, at YMCA overnight camp, where I experienced some of my best childhood memories. I'm wearing a thrift store men’s sweater. Hey, there's a safety pin in my ear! And this classic . . .the kelly green garage-sale score with the lavender vinyl belt and the vato slippers. So on my game then!It's been pretty much downhill since 1982.

Except I've been rocking this again lately:I bought this ring 22 years ago from a street vendor when I lived in Berkeley with Betsy. Ok, I didn't buy it, I traded for it. The ring cost about $30 and there was no way I could afford it. But I always stopped by to look at it. Finally the guy said, "Do you know how to cook?" I said, "Sure," which I really didn't back then. He said, "Make me a tuna casserole, and the ring is yours." I said, "DONE!" The next week I brought him a full tin casserole tray of tuna slop and he happily handed me the ring

So, I got that going for me. And a rolled-up pant leg trend I'm trying to ignite.


j-boo said...

Oh gosh, this is such a fun post! As always, I adore your writing.
How fun to sneak peeks at your adorableness through the years! I just LOVE IT!!!

Being yourself and finding the place where you are most comfortable is the most amazing feeling and life is too short to NOT live it the way that fits you best!!!!

Thanks for sharing these awesome memories. You are too fantastic!
xoxoxo, Jinxi Boo

Michelle said...

love love.

Marigoldie said...

I got my right leg rolled up too. Actually, I always peel my whole pant legs -- both of 'em -- way up my whole leg. Something about that feels great, and looking nuts is part of the fun.

Madame One Tree said...

Too funny! Your posts are so worthwhile.

LeS said...

it matters not what you drape that beautiful frame with because you are cool down to your bones, my dear :)

SUEB0B said...

I love Mina's fashion blog. So much fun.

Betsy Kimmel said...

I don't remember much from back in the day, but I will NEVER forget your bangs and your nose stud! You stood out then and now-rock on sister!

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