I’ve enjoyed reading through and learning from many excellent posts this week. They’ve woken me up to parts of my value system and personality that are so basic, I tend not to think of them as things. I still don’t know how to do the YLF separation between the three categories, so forgive me that I’ve listed them all in one.
1. No waste
A. That saying about “use it up, wear it out” etc is how I live my life. I refuse to remove items from my closet for things I see as temporary, like trends or my body shape/size. If they’ve earned a spot, they’ll stay until they are limp and lifeless. I apply this to other parts of my life as well, am not replacing the glass bread pan and pie dish that were my grandma’s and great-grandma’s. Until I have them again, I’m using cheap aluminum ones that were containers for food we purchased. Buying more nice ones would be a waste.
B. No wasted movement. I tried to look up a scene from my favorite movie to illustrate this point, but came up with this clip, which centers around that scene and says many other wonderful things. It’s a 10-minute watch, but worth it. I might rename myself Tampopo on this site, after the movie. What it says that applies to my style is that I don’t wear flappy bits—no scarves, ruffles, sleeves or pants legs that get in the way.
C. Form follows function. My new avatar is a celebration of that; the bridge’s curves and chains are all functional, but I find them beautiful. It also shows that there’s more than one way to fill a function—the paint could be any color, but they chose green. This also means that it’s worth getting good quality items that are a pleasure to see and use. I want footwear I can move and walk a long way in, but it can be lug oxfords, metallic ankle boots, or suede ankle boots with a block heel. The same applies to other wardrobe items as well. I like ornamentation, but it needs to follow function, or at least not get in the way. My preference for showing the body’s structure is part of this too.
D. Why buy when you can adapt? Our rags used to be a bedsheet or my son’s underwear. I scrub nooks, crannies, and bottles with old toothbrushes. The brass beads I got for a college formal have a little patina and work to add a little edge to outfits. My son’s old sweatshirt jackets fit me well. There is often nostalgic pleasure in this, and connection, say, to the mother figure who took me to the market where I bought the sarong I wore to death that now adds a decorative flair to the couch cushions, or to the great-grandma who cooked my dad’s meals in the frying pan I use now.
E. I don’t want to support producers who are wasteful of resources, whether that be water, fuel, materials for their production, finished product that wasn’t purchased, or something else.
2. All time is like the present
A. If I don’t find what I’m looking for, it can very probably wait until the next season. Even without flat slip-on shoes, I wasn’t barefoot in the winter. This also relates to waiting for the baking dishes above.
B. If I like a thing, I like it and expect it to be a permanent part of my wardrobe. For this reason, I don’t go big on trends. I’m much more likely to get baby bootcuts than great big flares, and to wait until skinnies show they have staying power to pick some up.
C. I wear things from different eras and like to connect the eras. Per La Ped’s excellent suggestion, I want to start playing this up even more, focusing my multi-era outfits on a theme. This will take some work, so will be an occasional thing at first.
3. Equity and equality matter
A. I look for products produced by companies that treat their workers well and pay them decently. For the time being, I rely on European labor laws to do the research for me. I’m really looking forward to stores reopening, because I expect this will be a lot easier then.
B. I don’t want to dress in a way that presents me as better than or above anyone else.
C. Theft of intellectual property is theft. Colonialism is theft. Although I like color, pattern, and ornamentation, I won’t knowingly wear designs that were lifted from another culture, whether overseas or right in the US of A.
D. Gender equality is important. We aren’t all the same, thank goodness, but we all have equal value. I’m not about to add social markers of femininity, like lots of make-up or clothing that forces me to take up less space or restrict my movements. I walk through my city confidently, even in the dead of night.
E. I am as old as I am. I’m not going to dye my hair to look younger, or hide my legs because they’re “old” (but I do work out to put some muscle on my thighs and broaden my back/shoulders).
4. I’ve gotta be me
A. I don’t pay much attention to rules about age, or who can/‘t wear x.
B. I like to mix up dressy & casual, “vintage” & new, pricey & inexpensive.
C. I like color, pattern, texture and shine. They are generally present in all my outfits.
D. I’m apparently a maximal dresser. Rn I’m exploring that, in a tentative embrace. It doesn’t feel bad.
E. Following trends is not for me. If you show me an excellent item, I’m as likely to interpret that as a prompt to look through my holdings for something similar as I am to think you mean I should buy it.
F. I “own” some things others would see as beauty flaws—the multiple shades of my hair, the scar on my bicep, my birthmark and freckles. (I’m not quite consistent here though—I shave, use coverup for the allergic rings, might start waxing my upper lip)
G. I need to remember that other people pick up on my vibe. Subconsciously, I think I give off energy & confidence, but I am aware there are others who consciously evaluate and judge what a person is wearing. Deciding how much I care about them is tricky. My default is to flip them off.
5. I live dangerously
A. Physically, I want to be ready for a little football—running, reaching, falling down & getting back up. I’m not too precious, so my clothes shouldn’t be either.
B. I’m not afraid to make mistakes, even when others can see.
C. I have a sense of humor about myself, and about most things, loving wordplay, understatement (“it doesn’t feel bad”) and double references.
D. I tend to assume others are the same, which has gotten me in hot water more than once.
6 And all that other stuff in my “me” style post.
A. I have an edge to me, in my personality, am trying to figure out how to bring it across in my style. Bare face & nails, flowing hair, shirts that come untucked on their own—all that is me. “Rocker” style, with zippers and over dyed denim, piercings, and lots of black, is not. It feels fake for me. Androgynous (but not the costumed kind) might be. A little bit of sexy might be.
B. This edge is in constant tension with a compassionate side that I think is currently overstated in many of my looks. I don’t want to be a doughnut with pink icing and sprinkles. https://i.ya-webdesign.com/ima.....-png-2.png My compassionate side isn’t sugary-sweet anyway.
Wow, this got long, even for me! If you got this far, thank you!
*The movie, Tampopo, has been remastered in recent years, and is worth a watch as well—my son watched it with German subtitles when he was 6. Too bad he lost those language abilities and had to relearn the language! But if he could do it, you can too. It’s widely available with English subtitles.