Tuesday, April 8

In Which Minnie Zephie Dresses in a Manner Unseemly to Her Age

This past year was a rather pivotal year for me, fashion-wise.  It was the year I realized that I have reached an age that requires different ways of thinking about myself and the clothes I wear.  It's not that I suddenly started feeling old, or think that I have to follow someone else's Rules for Dressing When You Have Reached Middle Age;  it's that I realized there are things that I see others wearing that I may like very much on them (Lolita skirts! Steampunky hair accessories! Anything baring or calling attention to the midriff!), but which I have never had the urge to buy for myself, because unconsciously I knew they would only look ridiculous on me.  Yes, I'm now of an age to look ridiculous in certain things--hard truth, but one I can honestly say I'm perfectly fine with, esp. since the realization of it came about in a very natural, self-honoring way.

As I started assessing my wardrobe last year for potentially increasing it's Steaminess, I started paying more attention to the things I found myself not wearing.   There were clothes in my wardrobe that had previously been favorite favorites that I just no longer reached for, that I realized I had not worn all season--I kept reaching past them in the closet, choosing other things instead.  Since the closet real-estate is at a premium around here, I took the time to evaluate why I was not wearing them, to decide if they should stay or go.  Some of the things I just did not have the right pieces to wear with--they need different footwear, like the flat-soled tall boots I've been searching for recently, or a different skirt.  Those are "problems" I can (happily) find solutions for. But there were other clothing pieces that I finally decided just seemed too. . . youthful.  They bared too much skin on my chest and upper arms--places I feel actually more youthful if I cover up.  Or they had fabrics or patterns or colors that seemed more appropriate for a 20 year old and not a 40-something.

I'm not ashamed of my age.  I think I'm rocking it quite well!  And I don't feel like I have to kow-tow to the Expectations of Others in Society.  (Clearly, or I would not be regularly sneaking Steampunk into church services.)   But.  One of the good things about getting older is that you start to understand and appreciate yourself better, and I am old enough to know I want to feel good, not only in my own skin, but in what I put on it.  I don't care what others think as much as I care about what *I* think.

And *I* think I am of an age where I want to be attractive, but attractive AS my age, not seemingly trying to be a younger age.  We've all seen older women wearing things that just didn't look right--and it's just because some styles are made for the young, and when an older woman wears them, it looks like she's not happy with her own age.  Or like she's not aware of fashion enough to know what not to wear.

Which leads us to. . . the skinny jeans. 

This is my first (and only) pair of skinny jeans.  I bought them because there were some tops/tunics I had in my wardrobe that seemed to necessitate them, and I thought I was pulling them off well enough.  (At least the teenager who was sharing the changing room mirror with me there at Ross was enthusiastic. ; ) 

I also really wanted to try a pair of skinny jeans because I find that if you want to do "everyday" pseudo-Steampunk, you have to be very careful about the silhouette you create--and as I learned back in this post, the only jean that lends itself well to the more punk aspect of Steampunk is the skinny jean.  So, I tried playing around those skinny jeans and other pieces in my wardrobe that are each vaguely Steampunky, and this is the first look I came up with:

Top by H&M, found at the Salvation Army
Vest by Jones Wear Jeans
Ancient belt, once belonging to my husband's grandpa
Jeans by Rue 21, from Ross
Marin boots by Caterpillar

Seeing as how it was still winter (northern California style), I also tried the look with a favorite Victorian-esque jacket.  But as you can see, the slight peplum shape of the jacket is just. . . odd over the long and lean jeans.  Proportions all out of whack!

Jacket by Ann Taylor LOFT
Earrings by ElainaLouise on Etsy

See--when I crop the image, the jacket over the vest looks just fine.  Picture beneath a long, full skirt in black, or grey, or a brown and color plaid--that's the shape that will look best with this jacket when I am trying to bring out the most Steampunk from it.

So, hit or miss?  I still have not decided.  I'll show you all one more attempt at pseudo-Steampunk with the skinny jeans in my next post--the update on the casual look I linked above--and would so appreciate feedback!