Saturday, May 5, 2012

[Thoughts] ....

You may or may not know how I feel about fashion and clothes. This was a bit agonizing to write. Bear with me.

Many of you who know me are aware that I love music (and probably can name at least 5 of my favorite artists/groups), animals, running/exercising, cooking, dancing, and reading. You probably know what books I've recently read because we've probably chatted about them. Maybe we've worked out together or you've come out dancing with me at Wild Bill's. Maybe I've snuggled with your pets or made you brunch when you stayed over at my house or belted out songs with you at karaoke. These are things that most people I'm close to just know about me because they're things I talk about. I love that, because most of them are things of substance. I've always tried to be a woman of substance. I enjoy reading the news, or talking about books or how to improve your 5K time. And I also enjoy fashion and clothes.

I don't talk about it as much because I feel like it's a bit superficial. Fashion, beauty, style - these things can evoke some pretty serious feelings. I worry that I might come off like a show-off, or that I might be judged by what I buy or spend. I worry that liking clothes or shopping or nail polish makes me seem like an airhead. But if we're speaking frankly, dressing well makes me feel good. It improves my mood. It improves my confidence. You know, "when you look good, you feel good!" I admire those with better style than me and I use them as inspiration. When I came across the world of style blogging, I fell in love. I admire the women who confidently share their style with the world and I wanted to do that too! I mean, there has to be something that others would glean from a glimpse into my style, right?

So I started working on this blog, with the intent to make it a style/fashion blog. But as I've worked on it, there has been this thing hanging over my head. I don't know what it is; maybe it's the fear that I'm not really fashionable at all. Maybe it's the fear that I won't have a blog as stylish/interesting/smart/trendy as the rest of the style blogger world. Maybe it's just the fear of being judged, of being deemed narcissistic in terms of looks or shallow in terms of brains. I don't want anyone reading this to think I'm full of myself or that I think I'm beautiful or a wannabe model. I know I'm just me - an IT geek who's kind of good with words and decent at finding deals.

I mean, there are certain things we know we do well, skills we're confident in - I know I can bake well; I've had enough people ask me to make them baked goods. (But I don't love baking all the time. Which is why it will only appear occasionally here. Fashion I love all. the. time.) My friend Rachel knows she can sing because she's been asked to sing at some pretty amazing places. My friend Alison is incredible on horses; she's been riding her entire life. My friend Lea is a fantastic cook and jewelry maker - she gets compliments on both every time she hosts a gathering at her house. My friend Jena is amazing dancer - she's won awards. I know so many people who have confidence in their skills, myself included, but maybe because style and fashion are so subjective, it's a scary world to put yourself in.

In reality, I'm not even concerned about those I don't know. The lovely ladies who visit style blogs are often style bloggers themselves, and you all are such positive, encouraging women. When I start thinking about sharing this blog with people I know, that's when I waver. I haven't done it yet. That's what been hanging over my head. I've been hiding this from the people that mean the most to me. Because I'm worried about what they'll think.

I remember when I was young, watching a movie with my family. I've always loved to sing, and when the credits came on, I started belting out the song. A family member in the room said something along the lines of, "Jamie. Who do you think you are, ________ (fill in amazing singer of the time here)?? Don't sing like that." - implying that I had no business singing like I was good at it because I obviously wasn't. That's stuck around in my head and it makes me think twice about doing things I'm not sure I'm good at.

I'm not sure I'm "stylish". I know so many women more stylish than me. I value the opinions of my friends. What I dread is someone saying "who does she think she is? posting about fashion like she knows something about it!". And not just any someone saying that, but someone I care about. I've been fighting this demon as I've written this blog for the last month. But today, no more. I'm putting this out there and let things fall where they may.

Why? Because I do have my own style, whether others see it that way or not. We all do. We have things we like, clothing styles we gravitate to, and things that make us feel great when we wear them. Because I just love clothes and fashion and shopping and it generally doesn't come up in my every day conversations (and I kind of like it that way). Because I read 10+ fashion magazines a month and I have opinions and wish lists. Because I have some friends who ask me about where I got something or for a recommendation on shoes. Because from now on, this blog will be a conversation.

Honestly, I think we all have our moments - ones where we look amazing and ones where our outfit just doesn't seem to work - and I'm hoping to be able to acknowledge and share both. I'm not a model or even close, nor do I think I'm one. I have a really short torso. I have high hips and long legs. A big chest (thanks, Mom and Grammy). No butt and freakishly big feet for my height. A pointy nose.  I like to think I'm just an average gal. But I'm confident that I'm a pretty good writer. And I think I have a knack for finding great deals. I'm on a budget (a tiny one). I don't know big names in fashion nor do I care about them. I just want to share ideas, great finds, and style suggestions. So that's just what I'm going to do.

I love clothes. There is something just beautiful about a dress that cuts in all the right places or the perfect pair of shoes. There is something I love about mixing colors and prints and styles, using combinations you wouldn't have imagined working and coming up with a finished product that makes you feel amazing. When I see a trend I like, I enjoy the hunt; I like trying to track down the right piece in that trend that works for me, and finding it for the best price possible. When I score a great deal, I want to share it so that you can score it, too! Other bloggers have pointed me to some great deals on things I was searching and searching for.

And of course, you'll see "substance" sprinkled in. I'll write about books. I'll write about music. I'll write about my life. But I'll mostly write about fashion. It will be a conversation. Style is always a work in progress and with so many stylish women out there, I desire nothing more than your ideas on making my style choices better. You all get to be my personal stylists. So I'm going to post things and ask what you think. Be honest. What you'd add, or take away. What other styles would work for me. Whether I should get rid of something or keep it or style it differently. I want you to tell me as much as I'm telling you. That's what this is really about. Exchanging ideas and inspiring each other.

This is the last I want to write about this. I will no longer beat myself up with these questions and insecurities.  I will no longer worry about being judged as I've made my intentions perfectly clear. My thoughts are in order, right here in black and white (or black and blue? My blog background is blue?) I'm going to go forward blogging and if you don't like the content, you don't have to visit. Even if we're friends in real life, I won't expect you to visit here unless you like it. But if you DO like it - please - comment! Make me a better fashionista!! I love hearing your voices.

And if you're not interested in fashion, but are interested in my life (that's for all you male friends of mine out there haha), you will be able to choose what you read because each post title will tell you it's category. Read about what you want. You can ignore the fashion side if you so choose.

'Til later,


  1. this is such an awesome post, jamie! i love that you shared your heart. girl, you have to do what is right for you - what makes YOU happy. i learned a long time ago that if i made decisions based upon what other people think, you'll never be truly satisfied or feel like you're doing what you love. i think you look FABULOUS - and what i love about blogging is that you can share YOUR personal style. if we spend our time comparing ourselves to other people - we'll never improve. we'll never move forward. it's all about being content with who we are. plus, when you're a "real" person who shares your "real" style - that can inspire others to do the same!! now i feel inspired to write a post of my own... i may just do that this week! thanks for the inspiration, lady!! :) you are awesome!

    1. Thanks so much for your comments! You are totally right in all of your points and I need to keep that in mind. This post took me days to write. Then it sat in my drafts folder for another week as I even debated posting it. Those creeping insecurities always sit in the back of my mind but I'm not going to let them any more!


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