07 Aug Fashion Confessional: My Worst Wardrobe Habits
Ten years is indeed a lifetime when it comes to your closet. Obviously trends change dramatically in a decade but what about your tastes, your figure, your lifestyle? Ten years ago I was a sophomore in college, I LOATHED my body, and my clothes had an entirely different purpose than they do today. They were meant to hide and blatantly advertise me all at once. I swam in them in an effort to make my body look small and dainty because I thought it worked for the skinny girls (but really it only worked for them because underneath mounds of fabric, they actually were small and dainty and I was still just fat). Clothes were also my freak flag. They represented my interests and lifestyle choices because when you are that young, you think all that shit actually IS you and not just what they are–things you like.
My style then and now are basically a world apart and in between, I broke so many rules of basic fashion decency that I can’t even list them all. SO…let me break down my style lowlights by combing through my most egregious fashion infractions.
1. Men’s cargo pants
One important detail can explain most of my bad fashion habits. Plus size clothes were fucking ugly, dated, unflattering, and marketed for the middle-aged back then. Honestly, stocking my closet with men’s pants and t-shirts seemed like the lesser of two evils. Still there really are few things less flattering than cargo pants on any woman and turning any part of your body into a storage unit is never a good look.
I’m 5’1″. Capris and crops are basically off limits for me but cut-offs–SO much worse. Remember when Lane Bryant had those hilarious (yet helpful) shapes assigned to their jeans? I was a square. So what better to highlight my no-waist, boxy glory than to take wide leg trousers and cut them off at the calf? I looked like a Lego person.
3. DIY band shirts. NOTHING but DIY band shirts.
In high school, I would raid sporting goods stores for blank baseball jerseys in every color, cut off the fronts of band tees and sew them onto the jerseys. A 3/4 length sleeve was as girly as I got back then so this was actually a tiny baby step in the right direction. Proud as I am of my craftiness, I sadly could not stand to wear a top that did not have a band logo raggedly sewn across it. This even took a sinister turn when I finally started to wear women’s tops. Whether it was a plunge, boat, or crew neck, it didn’t matter. I would find a way to get a Tool logo on it. Even in my current wardrobe, you will still occasionally see plain camisoles with a sewn-on, and even rarer–puff painted, band logo. I wish I knew how to quit you, band shirts.
Actually sorry, not sorry. I love you.
4. The way-too-blond phase
Fact: All Hispanic women go through a blond period. It is our way of exploring exotic territory and it’s very exciting at first until you realize there is a reason your hair has to be darker than your skin. For me it was a little insidious. My hair is naturally almost black and I had been coloring it red since I was 12. In an attempt to (pun intended) get back to my roots, I switched to real, blue-based Superman black. I looked ill and none of my makeup worked any more. So I paid $180 to have someone strip my entire head. I looked like the sun. And because I hadn’t yet mastered the art of touching up my roots instead of pouring an entire bottle of dye on top of my head and slathering it in like shampoo, it just got lighter and lighter until I saw a picture of myself and screamed holy shit I’m super blond.
5. Overplucked brows
I might never forgive my mother for encouraging me to shape my eyebrows. In junior high I was too chickenshit to pluck them so she shaved off my strays with a razor blade. Once I was ready to pluck, she cautioned me to stay within her carefully laid-out guidelines. She should have known better because you see, children are power-hungry, dumb little assholes. If you say you can have one cookie, they take three. Such was the fate of my eyebrow hairs. By the time I actually noticed the ruins of my once-full (and now-would-be-considered-TOTALLY-chic) brows, it was just too late and they NEVER grew back. And I only started using brow powder like four years ago, which was a rocky start to say the least. It took me maybe a full week to not go full Faye Dunaway in Mommy Dearest. Good god.
I don’t know why I just couldn’t have stayed down this path:
I would totally rock that watermelon dress today. But those little white shoes, yuck.