On Style

I was talking to a friend at work about personal style and dressing professionally. She sent me this link to a YouTube video about a basic wardrobe.  Mind blown. I have always wondered how stylish people learn what to wear. I figured as with so many things like make up, decorating, networking (aka socializing with people I don’t really care about), there is a handbook and I never got it.  It is a distinct possibility that I was just not paying attention during adolescence but how are some girls born knowing how to paint their nails, line their lips and do a smokey eye?

In her video (and the riveting sequel) Erin Busbee outlines about 30 pieces that are must haves like black dress pants, dark trouser jeans, a lbd and a trench coat.  Of course! A list of timeless staples upon which one can add seasonal flare.  I immediately recognized all of the women whose taste I admire.  They have a personal style that doesn’t chase after every cheap trend.

I shared the video with another friend who didn’t feel the same way. It brought up old feelings of not looking the part when she lived and worked in a trendy metropolis.

So that brought me back to a conversation I had with a patient several weeks ago. She had previously lived in another trendy but hipper and more West Coast metropolis. Did she not think it totally lame here in this little town where the residents are about as likely to be sporting farm dirt on their boots as the latest shoe trend?

She said something really interesting that has had me thinking for weeks. “I feel much better about myself here.” I immediately knew what she was talking about. I thought about the feeling I have when I arrive in Atlanta to visit family. I feel a little dingy and drab. My car is dirty. My jeans are cheap and not the right wash. I instantly want to go shopping and spiff myself up. Often I do.

I don’t feel that way here. I feel ok, like I am an important part of the community.  I put on my lab coat at work and I look respectable, even if my dress is last year’s Old Navy.  I truly believe that no one cares what I wear to church. Even if I look messy sometimes, people don’t automatically assume I’m a mess.  I don’t know how to make that out of place feeling go away when I visit another place but I guess I am not alone in it.

On another somewhat related topic, apparently in one Kentucky town, it is illegal for a woman to buy a hat without her husband’s permission.  It really should be the other way around in my experience.  Also, laws. Really?  I can only imagine the backstory on that one.  I’m sure it served to put some earnest entrepreneur out of business to maintain the status quo.

So that’s all for now.

xoxo Jen


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